One Smart Way to Fix Immigration Policy NOW


Give the undocumented some documentation, but not citizenship. Let them pay some back taxes. Let them learn English if they like. And let their American-born children be American citizens. 

Is that a "perfect" approach? Is it "comprehensive?" More importantly, do we need to care? It sidesteps most of our political and culture-war drama, attending to our present needs in a way that wins us back the most valuable commodity of all in a democracy: time to think and talk in relative peace and quiet.

That's from James Poulos, writing at The Daily Beast.

The whole column is well worth reading.

Tightly related: "Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders," by Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal:

NEXT: Bergdahl Prisoner Swap Reignites Debate Over Obama's Promise to Close Guantanamo

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  1. Also, for the love of all that is holy, abolish E-Verify.

  2. Give the undocumented some documentation, but not citizenship.

    No shit. Why are so many people so completely bound up in this absurd assumption that everybody who ever comes to America will never leave?

    Guest workers. Students. Come, stay for a while, go home.

    1. But how will we address our JERBZ and how immigrants TOOKERM?

  3. Give the undocumented some documentation, but not citizenship.

    IOW, amnesty. Jeebus, but I hate, hate, hate smarmy euphemisms and intellectual dishonesty, even when deployed on issues I don’t have a definite opinion on. We’re not going to get to any good answers if we wallow in misdirection, euphemism, and dishonesty.

    1. So what? Let’s have a Jubilee and call it a day. Make them ineligible for anything but legal residency until they pay a large fine and even then they have to wait until everyone who didn’t immigrate illegally has been processed.

      1. “”””Make them ineligible for anything”””

        Wouldn’t at least some judges say that was against the equal protection clause. They already say that about schools and medical attention for illegals

      2. I’m not saying that amnesty is necessarily a bad thing, Brett. I’m just saying I’m sick to death of the pro-amnesty crowd lying about what they want.

        If we’re going to have a debate about amnesty, let’s start with a look at what it will do to immigration:…..4T20140528

        It seems an amazing coincidence, no, that tens of thousands of minors are crossing the border after Obama announces a quasi-amnesty for minors and there is a big push on for comprehensive amnesty. Especially with the economy so persistently weak.

        Maybe that’s OK. But lets at least talk about reality, and not live in the quasi-magical world where issuing a piece of paper solves all problems with no “unintended” consequences.

        1. So what? Either you believe that people are a resource or a burden. I soundly fall on the resource side. Does that mean it’s all puppies and rainbows? Nope, but also I don’t believe that nothing has a downside; everything has a downside, especially nativist thinking.

          They’re only a burden if you’re a utilitarian and/or have an vested interest in a welfare state.

          1. Does anyone here know, off the top of their head, what percentage of the population is on welfare now? I mean direct subsidies, just to keep things easy.

            1. 4.1%

              Wow. Welfare is higher than minimum wage in at least 10 states.

              1. That sounds incredibly low. What aren’t they counting?

                I’ve also been wondering how big the current trend towards getting on (essentially) lifetime disability is. Even in my personal circle, I know of several people on disability. At least a couple on very thin claims, too.

                1. NPR actually had a feature on the rising tide of people on disability recently.

                2. This page from the WaPo says 49% of households include at least one person who received a direct benefit from the Federal government.

          2. Still not getting my point, JW. Try again.

            1. No, you’re not getting his point. Are you a utilitarian, or do you have morals? You can’t be/have both.

              1. Depends on how you define welfare.

                They apparently aren’t even counting food stamps, as 46mm people is something like 13% of the population right there.

                Personally, I think Medicare, Medicaid, and SocSec are all welfare programs. Throw those in, and you get to that 49% number.

              2. I, for one, am very wary of moral absolutes, as those are what fanatics have, and we all know where that leads.

                I can’t divorce the morality of an action from the effects it has and the context of the action.

                Example: I have a dog. I kill the dog. Moral or immoral? Depends on context, no? I have a dog. I inject it with insulin. Moral or immoral? Depends on the effects: if the dog lives because its diabetic, moral, but if the dog dies because its not, probably immoral.

                I struggle between moral absolutes and moral relativism.

                And none of this has anything to do with the fog of euphemism and misdirection that I’m whining about.

            2. I thought your point was the pro-amnesty people being dishonest?

              I have no dog in the amnesty race; immigration isn’t a utilitarian argument to me.

              But if you want a utilitarian argument, how is that the Border Patrol now patrolling 80-90% of the population with their 100-mile zones and blatently unconstitutional road-blocks working out for you?

              It’s not unlike the Drug War. How is the constant erosion of civil liberties and growth of the police state possibly worth the ostensible goal of the programs?

              1. JW, what on earth makes you think I’m in favor of the Border Patrol’s serial violations of rights and the law?

                I agree that the machinery necessary to enforce any restrictions on immigration at all, and its likely expansion and abuse, needs to be part of the equation. And is a weighty argument in favor of open borders.

                1. I’m not saying that you are explicitly, but if you’re arguing in favor of closed borders, you’re implicitly arguing in favor of the enforcement mechanism.

                  It may have gone far beyond what you would consider reasonable, but that’s what happens when you put your faith in the state to control something. They didn’t ask you what you thought.

      3. So you have a large class of residents without the rights of citizenship.

        That worked out well for South Africa…

        Yeah, yeah, I know… This would be different!

  4. “””””It sidesteps most of our political and culture-war drama, “””\\

    It does not sidestep anything, the open borders supporters win, end of story.

    1. Bring on the “unintended” consequences! I mean, they’re unintended, so they’re no one’s fault, amirite?

  5. And let their American-born children be American citizens.

    Or give those children the nationality of their parents and let them naturalize when they meet the requirements. If they don’t have at least one citizen parent, just being within our borders should not qualify one for automatic citizenship.

    1. give those children the nationality of their parents

      How European! This is how you wind up with hordes of disaffected youth in your country.

    2. Good luck getting 37 states to ratify that one.

  6. Oh man, these threads are great for watching many “libertarians” show their true nativist colors, their progressive-like envy (“but it’s not FAIR that they came here illegally and might get to stay!”) and their fuck-you-I-got-mine slam the door behind me mentality.


    1. Look, I’m completely in favor of Mexican migrants working those rubbish low-wage jobs laboring in fields or frying up my enchiladas. But the feds had better stop handing out those H1-B visas before I graduate.

    2. Some people you don’t have to scratch that hard to get to the collectivist underneath.

    3. These threads are great for watching many “libertarians” show their true socialism where they think that a libertarian world would allow the free movement of people.

      Instead every property owner along the way would have all sorts of restrictions on people using their property for movement. Its only with government socialism that we get the illusion of free movement of people, movement that only happens because the government points a gun and takes land for roads, ports etc.

      1. While this is true, to some extent, the same thing can be said of borders, as we understand them in the modern sense. I’m sure most property owners would not be willing to allow migration through their properties, but some would be.

        Also, if the roads and ports were privately owned, then the same reasoning could be applied: there would likely exist some road owners and port owners who would permit migration through their property. Same for landloards, etc.

        Freedom of movement is an illusion, but freedom of association and its child freedom of commerce are not.

        If two people wish to do business with each other, and in the process violate no one else’s rights, they should not be subject to any restrictions.

        1. I mean borders in the context of national borders, with patrols, fences, and checkpoints.

        2. I agree, but they would not allow unlimited freedom of movement, once you do that you have basiclly given up control of that property and therefore are on a slippery slope to losing ownership

          1. Indeed, enterprising property owners would be well inclined to charge fees for the privilege of traversing their property.

        3. Very few rights are enforceable against a private actor.

          My right to life and to be free from harm are about it. I grant that “harm” is pretty broad. Otherwise, for example, no contract that you enter into, that I’m not a party to, is enforceable against me. At the same time, you can’t just go an shoot me because I’m unintentionally trespassing.

          Likewise for your right to speech. Say anything you want, wherever you want, but not on my property, should I disagree.

      2. Free movement? In a libertarian world? Pish posh!

        What a ridiculous scenario you’ve imagined.

  7. One Weird Trick To Fix Immigration Policy THEY Don’t Want You To Know About


    1. Congressmen HATE him!

  8. Truly, Epi, your mind-reading abilities are wasted on an internet discussion thread.

    I could listen to a principled argument that no nation has the right to restrict the movement of people across their borders so long as those people aren’t part of an invading army. I am curious as to how a principled open borders position is consistent with any restrictions based on health, criminal record, or other undesirable activities. You don’t lose your human rights just because you’re sick, after all, or suspected of a crime, or have served your time. I would also be interested in a discussion about the likely effects, good and bad, of no-shitting open borders.

    But I’m not getting that, from much of anyone. What I get is euphemism, misdirection, and name-calling.

    1. I’m the Uri Geller of H&R. Look, as a moral issue, restricting people’s right to free movement is wrong. I know that many of you will insist something something welfare state something something, but denying people their right to free movement because of other bad policies you disagree with but can’t end is still wrong.

      You don’t take away people’s gun rights because some people abuse them. And you shouldn’t take away people’s right to free movement because some people abuse that.

      Was that euphemism, misdirection, or name-calling?

      1. Now we’re getting somewhere. Thank you.

        I tend to agree, to tell you the truth. The devil is always in the details.

        Do you think we should restrict the immigration of people with communicable diseases? What justifies restrictions on free movement? Does the state have the right to impose restrictions on non-citizens that it does not impose on citizens?

        These, to me, are interesting questions. Ones that cannot be examined in an atmosphere clouded by the fog of misdirection. Which your last post is admirably free of.

        1. Does the state have the right to impose restrictions on non-citizens that it does not impose on citizens?

          Why should the rare exceptions drive the rule?

          I asked above, how is the relentless scope creep of state powers worth an almost intangible liability in terms of letting the wrong people in? And who’s to say that they can even stop anyone with a communicable disease? Diseases cross borders constantly, in spite of efforts to stop them.

          I’ll happily take my chances with the poor and huddled masses of immigrants than the Immigration Stasi.

          1. Why should the rare exceptions drive the rule?

            What rare exceptions are you talking about?

            Immigration controls are premised on the idea that the state can and should impose restrictions on non-citizens that it does not impose on citizens. I don’t think that’s an easy question to sort out. If you think the answer is that the government has no more power over foreign nationals than it does over citizens, then you wind up in the open borders camp. If think that citizens can and should have rights as against their government that non-citizens do not, you’re likely to wind up in another place.

            1. Sorry, I thought I had copied your bit about disease. That was the example of the exception.

              Should it have the power? No. Rights don’t come from citizenship, not considering state “rights” such as voting.

      2. “””‘denying people their right to free movement “”‘

        There is no right to free movement, only property owners and those authorized by property owners have a right to move and that is only on their property.

        1. Sooo… no right to free speech except on your own property? Same with self defense?

          Got it.

          1. Actually, a property owner would be justified in throwing you off their property for any reason they want. That could include speaking or carrying a weapon in self defense.

            1. Absolutely. That doesn’t mean, however, that our right to self defense, free speech…AND free movement don’t exist because of PRIVATE PROPERTY and ROADZ.

              1. So where do you plan on exercising this right to free movement?

                1. Currently, with restrictions, in Brazil.

                  But just because a country makes guns illegal doesn’t mean the right to self defense doesn’t exist… or do you want to get into a Tony-esque argument over rights?

              2. Absolutely. Perhaps DJF is envisioning a world where all land is privately owned? Of course, that isn’t reality.

                1. And open borders type envision a world where free movement is a libertarian idea when it certainly is not.

                  1. This is dumb. Based on your logic NO rights exist, as all land should be privately owned.

                    The right to free movement is no different than the right to free speech, self defense, or any other right libertarians profess. ANY right can be limited on private property.

              3. The point of the argument against free movement is that, in order to move, you must traverse some property. If it is not yours, you must have the agreement of the owner, or else you are committing the crime of trespass.

                The real counter-argument is that the government should not have a say in a negotiation between a property owner and a potential migrant. If you want to open your property up, you should have that right (along with any incumbent liability). If someone does not want to open his property up, then he should have that right also.

                “Public” roads are funded by money taken from taxpayers, and so it should come as little surprise that such individuals wish to have a say in the use of their money.

                1. I get the argument, I just think it’s wrong. Nobody should be able to tell me who I can do business with the same way no body should be able to tell me what I can ingest because the government is involved in healthcare.

                2. Hypothetical: A group of landowners encircles another. These landowners enforce a strict no trespassing rule, so the encircled landowner cannot leave their property or have others come to them. They can’t get food, they can’t get water, they can’t get building materials for shelter, and they can’t leave to go someplace more accommodating. In a world of inviolate property rights, what recourse does the encircled landowner have?

                  1. “”””what recourse does the encircled landowner have?””


                    Even better they should have looked at the property prior to buying and if possible bought rights to movement over the surrounding property. If not they should have bought somewhere else.

                    1. The premise is that the encircling owners don’t want to negotiate. The premise is that the encircling owners won’t sell rights to movement. And if the encircled owner had enjoyed rights to movement with previous owners, and it is new owners that are restricting him, the buying somewhere else isn’t much of a defense.

                  2. In a world of inviolate property rights, what recourse does the encircled landowner have?

                    Easement. Or helicopter.

                    1. Easement, as I understand it, seems like an attempt to create a right to free movement (at least as applied here). The premise is no such right exists.

                      You may be one to something with a helicopter. That presupposes that the airspace over a property is not part of the property. In which case, a right to freedom of movement does exist, though we are in the odd situation of saying that it only meaningfully came into existence with the invention of air travel.

                    2. Right, easement, but it seems like DJF assumes that would not exist in a libertarian world. Hence “inviolate property rights.”

                      There is some kind of right to movement that overrides strict sovereignty of the property owner. If a migrant needs to get from A to a job in B (or, say, unowned land in B to homestead), some road company or landowner must accommodate him. They can’t all refuse (presuming they would to begin with, which is pretty ludicrous). The most they could demand is compensation from the migrant.

                    3. Put another way, the right to movement (as part of going about your daily business and generally living life) can conflict with the rights of property owners to decide who may use their property. Generally, the property owners’ rights prevail: the traveling person must use the routes available to him when it is reasonable to do so, even if they’re not ideal. But where it is not reasonable to do so – he is surrounded by hostile neighbors or the commute is otherwise impractical – then the rights of the property owner must yield. The courts decide what is reasonable and how the property owner is to be made whole for giving up his rights.

                      Of course, we haven’t even touched the argument for public land in an ancap society…

            2. It?s also important to mention that free movement is also intertwined with free association. It’s nobodies business when two peaceful parties get together to negotiate the terms of a rental contract or employement.

              1. Nor when they refuse to negotiate.

                1. Who’s refusing to negotiate. Are immigrants forcing companies to hire them?

          2. The right to free speach only extends to the Federal Governmnt. ‘Congress shall make no law You have no right to free speach on my property.

            I am just pointing out that some people like to take part of libertarianism like movement and not take the other that movement is only allowed on property where you own or have permission. The rest is socialism with public roads

            1. The right to free speach only extends to the Federal Governmnt. ‘Congress shall make no law You have no right to free speach on my property.

              Similarly, government cannot (Constitutionally) limit movement unless it is in connection with its enumerated powers. Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

              1. But on the other hand does it say government has the right to expidite movement by building public roads? Or by requiing businesses to provided services to all that request it? So a bus company is not required to carry all who want travel nor a motel provide a room to all who request it?

                The government putting its thumb on the scale in favor of movement is not libertarian

                1. Nobody here is asking government to force businesses to accomodate immigrants.

                  1. But the government requires it.

                    So the false right of free movement is being used to attack the rights of individuals in the use of their property.

                    1. So what? The government also puts inserts itself into a number of areas that it should. Does that mean the right to free association isn’t a legitimate right?

                    2. “”Does that mean the right to free association isn’t a legitimate right?”‘

                      It is a legitimae right, it just does no create a right to free movement since movement requires the permission of others. Some who will call upon thier right to not associate with you and ban you from using their property. Depending on how many and where they are located this could stop your intended movement.

                    3. DJF, I can’t tell if you’re being trollish or dense.

                      No shit, the freedom of movement doesn’t permit you to trespass. That isn’t the point of it.

                    4. This. Fuck.

                    5. So your mass movement of immigrants is not libertarian, it socialism since only by using governmnt property is it brought about.

                    6. DJF, it seems like you are conflating an ideal world in which all property is private and the actual world we live in which government does own and control a lot of property, including the roads that cross the borders. I have never heard anyone argue that we need restrictions on immigration to protect property owners along the border from trespassing. Probably because the two issues are not really related.

                      What exactly are you advocating for? Or against?

                    7. It is the Open Borders, Free Movement of People who take one extreme position which they call libertarian.

                      I am just pointing out that real libertarian would not have “Free Movement” and that any present “free movement” depends on socialism of government road and laws which mandate that private property owners service all who come along.

                      Free Movement of people is not a libertarian idea. It socialism.

                    8. You lost me going from roads to mandating that private property owners service all. If you want to criticize government roads, fine. But that is a separate issue.

                    9. “”””You lost me going from roads to mandating that private property owners service all. If you want to criticize government roads, fine. But that is a separate issue.””

                      Its government who mandate property owners service others. That is forced labor, I would think that a libertarian would be against that. If I own a motel I must allow all who can pay to stay. If I own a hospital I must allow all even if they can’t pay to stay. Are you not against this?

                    10. You misunderstood my question. What do roads have to do with forcing business owners to accept all customers?

                    11. The government roads and the government laws that require business owners to allow have travelers use their business even if those businesses would say no.

                      They work together to create “free movement of people” that you seem to think is libertarianism.

                    12. Sorry, but roads and forced service laws are not related.

                    13. S”””orry, but roads and forced service laws are not related.”

                      Roads are created by government using laws and so are service laws.

                      And if they were private roads they would not allow free movement along them, there would be restrictions.

                    14. Free Movement of people is not a libertarian idea. It socialism.

                      Really? You have a right to stop my movement on unowned property, or property that isn’t yours? You have a right to stop me on a road where the owner has given me permission to travel?

                      Do tell. Before I shoot you in defense, for physically impeding my movement, that is.

                    15. NO.

                      But that is not free movement since it involves getting permission at the very least and will involved restrictions on how, who, when, etc that property can be used.

                      No property owner if they want to keep ownership will give out unlimited rights to movement on their property since that will lose them control of that property and without control there is no ownership.

                    16. But that is not free movement

                      Absolutely it is. My right of movement is against the state, not you. And who says that property owners have to give unlimited access? They can easily give limited access for travelers, passage, if you will,, if they so choose.

                      You seem to be laboring under the idea that in a libertarian or anarchist society, there would be no cooperation. We’d all sit in our homes, unmoving, and slowly starve to death.

                    17. No I don’t but it would not be free movement of people, there would be numerous and different restrictions.

                      People today advocating free movement of people are using government roads and government laws to force such movement which since it involves government is not libertarian.

                    18. It appears he’s also walking a tight rope between anarchy and libertarianism.

                    19. Haven’t the open borders free movement types jumped over the tight rope. They don’t want any compromise, they want what they want and if it requries government socialist roads and laws requiring people to associate then that is what they will support.

                    20. If your issue is with government requiring businesses to accommodate immigrants (which I didn’t know was a thing), then why not attack that?

                    21. “””‘If your issue is with government requiring businesses to accommodate immigrants (which I didn’t know was a thing), then why not attack that?””

                      I am attacking everything that is not libertarian. Civil Rights laws that require business to serve all who show up. The false idea that ‘Free Movement of People” is a libertarian idea. That mass movement of people today would not occur without massive government support.

                      I get tired of so-called libertarians who push certain ideas to the limit but ignore what real libertarianism would cause. Libertarianism is not libertine, you don’t get to do whatever you want where ever you want with no consequences.

                    22. BTW, DJF, I get your argument and what you’re getting at, it’s just that you’re dead wrong in terms of your understanding and conclusions.

                    23. You seem to think that free movement involves asking permission of every property owner along your travel and all the fees, restrictions, mandates, etc that those property owners put on the use of their property. Its not free.

                    24. I am attacking everything that is not libertarian.

                      OK, but can you keep it limited to immigration, since that is what this thread is about?

                      Now, I get it, you don’t believe in freedom of movement is a right because you envision a world in which all property is privately owned, and you believe anything less than that is socialism. I’d argue that a world in which all property is privately owned is ancap, and anything less is simply something else.

                      And JW is right in pointing out that by your logic, no rights exist other than the right to be secure in your life and actions while on your own property. Everything else is just a privilege granted to you by other property owners. See my hypothetical above for how that can lead to serious abuses. And what if you don’t own property? At that point, you’d basically be a slave.

                      This has all actually given me another reason to oppose anarchy.

                    25. “”””This has all actually given me another reason to oppose anarchy.””‘

                      So you don’t want anarchy?

                      So you want some form of government?

                      Government implies at least some government property held in trust in the name of the people maybe?

                      And such property would include some roads?

                      And as I pointed out ownership is not ownership if you give unlimited rights of use to anyone, that would mean that the government possibly with the assent of the majority of people can restrict the rights of those not part of the government in the use of that property.

                      So restricting those who are not part of the government from using the roads is a legitimate right of the people and their government.

                      So borders are a legitimate thing and can be enforced.

                    26. So some government is legitimate.

                      Government is a collective of people

                      That implies that certain territory owned by those people is under some collective government control

                      These people have control in government according to rules. Often 51% make the rules though some rules require much higher levels of support.

                      Among those rules would be at least some restrictions on commonly held property since ownership of property is based on control of such property.

                      Those people outside of the particular government would not have the right to force themselves into the collective since that would violate the members right of association.

                      Since they are not part of the government collective outsiders would be restricted in the use of collective property.

                      So borders are a legitimate act of government.

                    27. Yes, I do think borders are a legitimate act of government. But ideally, governments wouldn’t restrict movement across borders any more than they restrict movement within borders. So you might be able to make a principled case for stopping criminals at the border. The Mexican guy looking for a job? Not so much.

                    28. Borders enclose far more than just the “commonly held” property, and even so most “commonly held” property was taken from a private owner by eminent domain.

                      You cannot appeal to the sanctity in defense of the violation of property.

                    29. You cannot appeal to the sanctity of property in defense of the violation of property.

      3. I am told that the “Principled” Libertarian position on marriage (gay or otherwise) is to get the government out of the business of deciding who is marries.

        I am also told that it’s not practical/realistic to actually do that, so we have to recognize SSM.

        I am told that “Principled” Libertarian position on Immigration is Open Borders.

        I am also told it’s not really practical/realistic to do away with the welfare state, so………

    2. I am curious as to how a principled open borders position is consistent with any restrictions based on health, criminal record, or other undesirable activities.

      I’m going to play devil’s advocate a bit here, because I’m sort of on the fence (no pun intended) when it comes to totally open borders, but would like to lean in that direction.

      When it comes to criminal records, you could make the argument that a person acquitted or released after serving jail time in some other country may not have been if tried and sentenced under U.S. law and by a U.S. jury. Since the U.S. government isn’t beholden to the courts of other countries, it is within their right to decide for themselves if someone accused of/convicted of a crime can enter U.S. jurisdiction.


      1. Additionally, what might be a crime else may not be a crime in the US.

        Are we going to refuse an Arab Christian to enter the US because they violated Shariah by drinking alcohol or eating pork?

        1. Right. Individual cases need to be examined individually.

          Another issue is verifying that people do/do not have a criminal record. Forget about whether or not it was a crime under U.S. law. How complete and easily accessible are the legal records in third world countries? Hell, how much can you trust them in first world countries?

          1. Right. Individual cases need to be examined individually.

            Which is not consistent with an absolute right of free movement.

            1. It is not necessarily any less consistent than putting a criminal in jail.

            2. Immigration policy should be based on the idea that the government should have a reason NOT to let an INDIVIDUAL enter. The burden of proof should be on them. A basic background check and medical exam (Both currently required) should suffice.

      2. (cont.)

        Health might be a little trickier. It depends on where you come down on the role of government in protecting public health. I would expect someone who thinks forced quarantines are OK to not have any problem denying someone entry based on communicable diseases. But that reasonably would really only apply to extremely dangerous and contagious diseases. Quarantines aren’t imposed for the common cold.

  9. Nick Gillespie, moderate Republican (chuckle)

    Sorry, Nick (and Jim), the Republican base HATES FURRINERS! GOT THAT? THEY HATE ‘EM. And the base ain’t dumb enough to be fooled by this middle of the road jive being pushed by senssible folk who want to “think and talk in relative quiet,” which, frankly, sounds totally gay to me.

    1. Is that all 58 million Republicans?

    2. Re: Anal Vanneman,

      Sorry, Nick (and Jim), the Republican base HATES FURRINERS! GOT THAT? THEY HATE ‘EM.

      Well, Anal, is not like the Democrats care more about the legal status of “illegals”. They have been playing the game of being in favor of immigration reform and a path to citizenship but they fully well know that once immigrants become citizens and start owning property in the U.S., they quickly turn Republican. No, they want them exactly where they are, so they continue to illegally vote for otherwise unelectable politicians like Sheila Jackson Lee. The Demo-rats will continue to perform the dog and pony show with the xenophobic Republi-rats. No immigration reform bill will ever be passed by the Democratic senate precisely because the Democrats don’t want citizens, they want voters.

  10. I’ve got an idea. Get rid of the welfare state and the regulatory state. Then we could have open borders without worrying about immigrants getting on the dole or taking away jerbs because there would be no dole and because without the regulatory state there would be more than enough jerbs for everyone.

    1. But how are we going to maintain our crony capitalists and their authoritarian enablers without a permanent underclass?

    2. Or prop up the welfare-warfare-regulatory state on the backs of immigrants, since both it and they are not going anywere.

    3. Are we also going to get rid of the civil rights laws that require businesses to serve all who want service?

      If I don’t want to rent to an immigrant would that be legal?

  11. Well, that’s not exactly a smart way. What is needed is an Americas immigration treaty that creates a single set of laws to be applied to all countries in the Americas. The process for entering Mexico would be identical to the process for entering the U.S., etc. The penalties for avoiding the process would be identical in Mexico, the U.S. Canada, El Salvador, Brazil, etc. The requirements for immigration to Mexico, the U.S., etc. would be identical. Visas and temporary worker permitting would be identical. Deportation processes would be identical.

    In other words, the EU process.

    Then, once this was established, further agreements could be defined regarding taxes, welfare, legal protections, etc. An Americas monitoring agency could be empowered to inspect and investigate violations.

    In other words, Mexico, for example, could not merely allow their citizens to cross borders without proper identification and processing if Mexico did not allow other countries to send their citizens to Mexico in that manner. This would provide an orderly and responsible and safe approach to a chaotic situation.

    1. “””In other words, the EU process””””

      In other words expanded socialism under a bureaucratic state

    2. Politically, this approach has not worked for Europe.

      1. … and why not? Because immigration is lopsided. But if only movement is open on an equal basis and welfare benefits are not, then the movement will continue to be lopsided.

        I’d love to have an easy way to move to a nice section of Mexico and receive unemployment benefits just like the Mexican undocumented here. Much better weather than in the great white north. Of course, I’ll expect them to provide services in English.

        Sorry if my egalitarian approach seems ridiculous. Doesn’t “immigration equality” appeal to the senses? I’m sure the homeless in Detroit would find that a nice arrangement.

    3. Re: Bruce Hall,

      In other words, Mexico, for example, could not merely allow their citizens to cross borders without proper identification and processing

      It may be news to you, but Mexico is not East Germany, and the population will thumb their noses on “las autoridades” as they have done forever even if the government decided to restrict the movement of the citizenry.

  12. Ah, Immigration: where we get to watch the Libertarian “purity” tests come out. And the right to national suicide.

    1. Teh constitution iz not a suicide PACT!!!!!1!!!!

  13. Man ought to be free to go where he pleases and able to bring along his women.

    1. I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  14. Noting the consequences of one’s ideals and tempering them accordingly does not make you a utilitarian. It just makes you sensible.

    The US is, in many ways, the most libertarian country. It’s not perfect, but it’s in our national history and psyche. It’s one of the things that makes it a nice place to live. The problem with mass immigration (to say nothing of open borders) is that it makes the US a less libertarian place, because immigrants are, on average, less libertarian than the people already here. So one libertarian principle (free movement) ends up weakening all other libertarian principles, because immigrants vote for Democrats. It’s “Californication” on a global scale.

    And, sorry, but “just get rid of the welfare and regulatory state” is not a practical option. We can’t convince citizens to support relatively minor things like school vouchers, so it’s absurd to say “Just turn the US into a libertarian paradise and then open borders are fine.” Besides, once the rest of Latin America moves here and votes like Latin Americans do, the welfare and regulatory state will return, with a vengeance.

    1. And Papaya makes the near-perfect utilitarian argument that I referenced above.

      You can have rights as long as they don’t make a mess of things. Got it.

    2. “Noting the consequences of one’s ideals and tempering them accordingly does not make you a utilitarian.”

      Actually… it does.

      1. Actually… it does.

        Ding. We have a winnah!

        Yeah, it’s basically the definition.

        1. I don’t know why libertarians feel the need to run from that word. At the risk of sounding like Tony… unless you’re an anarchist, everyone is a utilitarian to a certain extent.

          1. Exactly. Everyone ought to be, because otherwise they fall into the trap of being ideological purists.

            Your map ain’t the territory, folks. Nobody has a map that good. It behooves you to examine the real-world consequences of your ideals.

            And, I note, nobody has actually challenged my main point, which is that mass immigration makes the US less libertarian.

            1. And, I note, nobody has actually challenged my main point, which is that mass immigration makes the US less libertarian.

              I already did.

              I wasn’t aware that the point of rights and liberties, note that those are human rights and not American rights, was to make the political landscape more to your liking.

              And to say that my choice to eat fewer carbs to lose weight, my own personal utility, is the exact same thing as political utility, completely misses the entire idea of utilitarianism as an ideology.

              1. Noting the practical effects of your ideals in the real world is not the same as having utilitarianism as a philosophy. One can (and should) have a philosophy with ideals, but be aware of the difference between theory and practice.

                You don’t seem to know the difference, or don’t care. Your attitude seems to be: if mass immigration means a new electorate that votes like Mexico, and destroys the last vestiges of libertarian influence in the US, so what? At least you stood for one particular libertarian principle, even if it destroyed all the others.

                I have a hard time understanding your blindness here. I don’t see why any libertarian would advocate libertarianism as a suicide pact.

      2. No, I am not advocating “a theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number.” I am pointing out that one libertarian ideal can conflict with all other libertarian ideals, and that there’s plenty of real-world evidence that it does.

        1. IOW utilitarianism.

          1. Noting the practical effects of your ideals in the real world is not the same as having utilitarianism as a philosophy. One can (and should) have a philosophy with ideals, but be aware of the difference between theory and practice.

  15. Stop federal welfare, end drug prohibition, abolish the income tax, kill SS and Medicare and immigration suddenly stops being a problem, along with a lot of other things.

    1. Not a practical solution.

      1. Why not?

        1. At the risk of speaking for Papaya, I think he means not practical in the political sense.

          1. Yes. Running on a platform of abolishing Social Security will get you nowhere, except maybe hung from a lamppost.

  16. Ah, for the good old days of the 1600s when there were no immigration laws… only some natives to barter with. It didn’t matter if you were English, Spanish, or French and spoke those languages. You didn’t have to pay taxes or register guns. Survival was the only law. The penalty for breaking that law was death. Everything was pure libertarian.

    Things have gone to hell since then.

    1. Yawn. Go back to Balloon Juice.

    2. Every word of this post is bullshit. Immigration was heavily restricted, you had to get a passport (iow permission from the King’s agents) to cross most borders, taxes were arbitrary and non-payment would get you thrown in debtor’s prison. The King’s whim was law and conscription was a normal punishment for breaking that law. Almost everything was a progressive wet dream.

  17. “Give the undocumented some documentation, but not citizenship.”

    I can hear the shrieks of “apartheid” now, even if it is a sensible idea.

  18. Choose a massive welfare state XOR massive immigration?

    Can we…can we at least do that?

    Both are destructive of liberty on their own, but together it’s gg.

    1. How is massive immigration destructive of liberty?

      1. Because you are importing people from countries that don’t have a tradition of liberty. If you swamp the US with Mexicans, surprise, they (on average) vote like Mexicans. If you think the schools and universities and media are left-wing in the US, take a gander south of the border.

        All the studies confirm this. Except for refugees from Communist countries, immigrants are heavily Democratic voters. They want more government, and this applies to their children as well. And in the case of Hispanics, it’s often the worst of both worlds: fiscally liberal but socially conservative.

      2. In short, mass immigration means more anti-libertarian voters.

        1. If we’re going to assume practical realities, then it is equally true that nothing even remotely approaching a libertarian perspective on this matter will come to a vote. “Open” borders is no more a practical possibility than dialing down the welfare state.

          1. “Legal” open borders aren’t a practical possibility, but de facto open borders are, and we are getting close to it.

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