Immigration

Friday A/V Club: Ronald Reagan Says 'Open the Border Both Ways'

George H.W. Bush: "We have made illegal some kinds of labor that I'd like to see legal."

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Three and a half decades ago, Republican rhetoric about the border sounded rather different than it does today. From April 23, 1980, here's Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush discussing illegal immigration at a debate before the Texas presidential primary:

The full debate can be seen here. The sentence that gets cut off at the end of the above clip is "This is the only safety valve right now they have, with that unemployment, that probably keeps the lid from blowing off down there."

From the transcript:

AUDIENCE QUESTION: Do you think the children of illegal aliens should be allowed to attend Texas public schools free, or do you think that their parents should pay for their education?

[…]

BUSH: Look, I'd like to see something done about the illegal alien problem that would be so sensitive and so understanding about labor needs and human needs that that problem wouldn't come up. But today, if those people are here, I would reluctantly say I think they would get whatever it is [that] society is giving to their neighbors. But it has— the problem has to be solved. The problem has to be solved. Because as we have kind of made illegal some kinds of labor that I'd like to see legal, we're doing two things, we're creating a whole society of really honorable, decent, family-loving people that are in violation of the law, and secondly we're exacerbating relations with Mexico.

The answer to your question is much more fundamental than whether they attend Houston schools, it seems to me. If they're living here, I don't want to see…six- and eight-year-old kids being made, one, totally uneducated, and made to feel like they're living outside the law. Let's address ourselves ot the fundamentals. These are good people, strong people. Part of my family is Mexican.

[audience applause]

REAGAN: Could I add to that? I think the time has come that the United States, and our neighbors, particularly our neighbor to the south, should have a better understanding and a better relationship than we've ever had. And I think that we haven't been sensitive enough to our size and our power. They have a problem of 40 to 50 percent unemployment. Now this cannot continue without the possibility arising—with regard to that other country that we talked about, of Cuba and what it is stirring up—of the possibility of trouble below the border. And we could have a very hostile and strange neighbor on our border.

Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don't we work out some recognition of our mutual problems? Make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit, and then, while they're working and earning here, they'd pay taxes here. And when they want to go back, they can go back. They can cross. Open the borders both ways.

My own ideal immigration reform would look something like this.

(For past editions of the Friday A/V Club, go here. For another memorable moment from the 1980 campaign, go here.)

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192 responses to “Friday A/V Club: Ronald Reagan Says 'Open the Border Both Ways'

  1. TEAM RED did it! So it’s OK if TEAM BLUE does it too!

    Laws are so pass?

  2. That’s about the least compelling arguemnt I’ve ever heard. Anyways birth rates have plunged in Mexico so the safety valve isn’t needed anymore. In fact, Mexixan fertility almost doubles once they make it North so limiting immigration is a great way of keeping too much pressure from restive populations from building in the US. We don’t have a safety valve so let’s treasure our home and be just as selective of who we let into our country as we are with who we let in our house. We don’t let our kids invite homeless kids into our homes in order for the homeless to do their cores for them. Why should it be in differnt for agribusiness Luddites who don’t want to invest in labor saving technology, but instead pay slave wages.

    Let’s keep these liberty loving, small business starting 5’7″ bundles of energy in Mexico so they fight the good fight and force Mexican kleptocrats to shape up.

    1. That’s about the least compelling arguemnt I’ve ever heard.

      Reread your own.

      1. If you’ve got a counter argument make it. If not well read more and Omega 3s I guess.

        1. In fact, Mexixan fertility almost doubles once they make it North

          This is not a bad thing. Populations that get too old stagnate. Look at Europe, and especially Japan.

          restive populations

          Crime is usually lower in areas with large immigrant population.

          let’s treasure our home and be just as selective of who we let into our country

          Aside from criminals and sick people, what makes someone worthy of coming to America? Work ethic. Mexican immigrants work their asses off. Education? Low-skill workers provide valuable services that make our lives better. Fuck elitism. Besides, immigrants tend to highly value education for their children. Language? They’ll learn enough English to function, and their kids will be fluent. If you don’t like it, shop somewhere else. Problem solved.

          Even if you believe there should be some other criteria besides health and safety, who decides what that is? Top men in government? That isn’t going to fly with libertarians.

          who we let in our house

          America isn’t your house. You don’t own it. Government has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to protect the population. Go ahead and try to make a libertarian argument for government protecting your preferences or your job. I doubt you can.

          1. (cont.)

            Why should it be in differnt for agribusiness Luddites who don’t want to invest in labor saving technology

            You don’t own their business. They do. They can run it as they see fit so long as they don’t harm or defraud people.

            pay slave wages.

            Slaves don’t get paid. And however hard life might be for them in America, it is apparently better than in their home country. Which is why they are coming here. If you were actually worried about their well being, you’d accept their ability to choose for themselves and welcome them.

            And that was without even taking my Omega-3 pill!!!

            1. I fear, Pin, that Sammy’s challenge was disingenuous, and that you have wasted much keystrokes.

              1. It’s good practice. And if he reads it and somewhere deep down inside, past the self-deception, he knows that his arguments are horse shit, then great. If all it does is piss off a racist, well, that might be even better.

                1. Touche, Pin. Touche.
                  (And damn it, now you got me talking like a stinkin’ Frenchie.)

                2. Has the definition of racist morphed into being anti illegal immigration ?

                  If so, that is some prog worthy ungoodspeak.

                  His argument is weak but I see nothing specific to racism unless mentioning another country by name is racist.

                  As one who grew up amongst Mexicans ( illegal and legal) Americans, bedded down with many a beautiful Senorita legal and otherwise), played poker with a bunch of Mexicans until 1 am this very morning ( multi generational Tejanos who don’t like free shit to illegals)), and is dead set against this unfettered illegal immigration, am I automatically now a racist ?

                  Who knew ?

                  1. I think the charge of racism is thrown around way too much these days. I try not to use it lightly myself. But he made some other comments downthread and in other articles that qualify, IMO.

                    1. Ok.

                      I haven’t read his other words and I’ll take your word for it.

            2. Thanks for such a patient response which pretty much sums up how I feel. I never have the patience to deal with xenophobes or pretty much any statists.

            3. And that was without even taking my Omega-3 pill!!!”

              The rush is better when you snort it.

          2. “Crime is usually lower in areas with large immigrant population.”

            source?

            1. It’s true. Of course, crime is higher among illegals than legals, and Hispanic crime rates are higher than average, so this policy will increase our crime rate in the long term.

              1. And generally speaking, it’s best to ignore people who want to pretend illegal and legal immigration are the same. If they can’t be a little bit honest there, you’re wasting your time.

    2. Re: Sam Haysom,

      We don’t let our kids invite homeless kids into our homes in order for the homeless to do their cores for them.

      Maybe YOU don’t let your kids invite homeless kids into YOUR home, but you cannot say what others do or don’t do. In other words: That analogy does not translate to PUBLIC POLICY, Sam, because people do not own the whole country, last I saw. Americans are not the Borg. If *I* want to hire an immigrant, I am within my natural right to do so – it is MY MONEY. If *I* want to rent a space to an immigrant, it is my natural right to do so – it is MY SPACE.

      You can do whatever YOU want with your own home and enterprise. Leave the rest of people alone.

      1. Well put, OM, but do you have to capitalize so dang much?

        1. Teach a man to italicize, and he’ll italicize for life.

      2. Yes, you have the right to hire him. You do not have the right to bring him here without our approval.

        1. Re: Careless,

          Yes, you have the right to hire him. You do not have the right to bring him here without our approval.

          “Our” approval? Who are you talking about, the Supreme Soviet? The Politburo? Who’s “we”?

          1. Americans.

            1. Which Americans? Only the ones who are against immigration like you? Or should it be put to a vote? Every time someone wants to enter the US all 330 million people have to cast a ballot on whether they will allow it or not?

        2. And who is this “our,” kimosabe?

          1. It’s right there in the Preamble Chief Headinsand.

            1. Point out to me in the Constitution where government is empowered to protect you from non-English languages and enchiladas verde.

      3. MY SPACE ? My Space…..hummm ?

        I wonder if their is a failing business model there ?

        Viva la Mexico !

        Also a reaon that the TOP MEN want to get the Meskins on paper is to take as many as possible out of the cash economy so as to help shore up Social Security.

    3. Fuck off, slaver.

      1. Fuck off kleptocratic boot licker. Shilling for the Mexican ruling class is far worse than anything John Calhoun did.

          1. Truth stings. I’d suggest you rethink a policy that does nothing but allow a parasitic, kleptocratic ruling class horribly misrule a population of more than 100 million, but you’d rather have cheap lawn care.

            1. Lawn care? Pshaw! You think I can afford to pay white man’s wages in my monocle factory?

              1. You want cheap lawn care when they’re supposed to be down in wetbackland, taking their well-deserved lumps from the ruling class, for the entertainment of smug nativists?

                What kind of monster are you?

                1. maybe they could fix the problems in their own country before invading ours?

            2. I’d suggest you rethink a policy that does nothing but allow a parasitic, kleptocratic ruling class horribly misrule a population of more than 100 million

              Yeah! Much better to condemn those 100 million to suffer under the kleptocracy than having to see a Spanish language billboard or risk that the all-American holiday of St. Patrick’s day face competition from Cinco de Mayo for biggest drinking holiday of the year!

              1. They’ll take my Guinness and replace it with a Corona from my cold, dead hand!

                1. Guinness in March, Negra Modelo in May. Can’t we all just get along?

                  1. Can’t we all just get along?

                    NO. IT HAS TO BE SAME AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

                    1. NO. IT HAS TO BE SAME AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN WAS WHEN I GOT MINE UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

                      FTFY

                    2. Good catch. I thought practically the same thing after posting.

                      WE MUST FREEZE THE CULTURE IN AMBER, AS IT WAS WHEN IKE WAS PRESIDENT.

                2. Guinness is piss water.

            3. So you think it’s that easy to eradicate deeply entrenched corruption in a government? You think the Mexicans don’t just do it because they’re lazy? Has it ever occurred to you that maybe if you can barely feed yourself you don’t have much time on your hands to take to the streets in protest? Or that maybe, if such a revolution ever did happen, it might be for the worst, as that seems to be the rule rather than the exception? (Cuba, Egypt, Vietnam, China, Russia, etc.)

              Or maybe you’re being disingenuous and you’re just using this limp argument as an excuse to seem compassionate while also denying people opportunity to improve their lives even though the impact they have on you is negligible.

        1. DEY TUK ARE RULING CLASSES

  3. I hope this finally disabuses anyone of the notion that as a political alternative, the libertarians are offering anything except the same shit sandwich with a slightly different choice of sides.

    1. And what do you think libertarians are offering? Enlighten me.

      1. Not much we aren’t already getting. Which was the point.

        1. Re: Rorschach Carlyle,

          Not much we aren’t already getting. Which was the point.

          You must be crackers. Do you really think the libertarian position is to have 11 million people living under the shadows and with the fear of being deported? Do you really think the libertarian position is to have a fascistic eligibility verification system that unwittingly harasses American citizens instead of catching undocumented immigrants?

          The libertarian position rests on one principle: the Non Aggression Principle. Stopping people from peaceful immigration IS an act of aggression. Stopping people from hiring whoever they want IS an act of aggression.

          The other principle is Liberty. An immigration system that purports to say who can come in and who can’t runs counter to the ideal of human liberty. It grants too much power to the State while diminishing the rights of the citizens to freely associate with whoever they want.

          1. “the Non Aggression Principle. Stopping people from peaceful immigration IS an act of aggression. ”

            And how is illegally invading another country not an act of agression ? Are not Liberts allowed to be agressive to agressors ?

            To say nothing of the individual property owners along the border who are directly agressed upon my the migrating herds.

            Should they be allowed to shoot with impunity those who trash their property and steal from them on their way north ?

              1. I see this snark from you from time to time.

                Is it supposed to have a meaning ?

            1. Making a natural human activity illegal, be it drinking alcohol or moving to a place where one can find work, makes as much sense and will be as successful as King Knut (or whoever) standing on the shore and telling the tide not to come in.

            2. And how is illegally invading another country not an act of agression?

              Simply put, they are not “invading” (bad word choice, but we’ll stick with it) to do you or anyone else any harm. If they *are* (criminals, terrorists), then by all means, keep them out. But simply crossing a border is not in and of itself an act of agression.

              I suppose you can argue that the government “owns” the border, and so has property rights and can decide who they let in. I don’t really buy that. The government doesn’t have rights. It has responsibilities to its citizens. But as a libertarian I don’t believe those responsibilities extend to protecting people from competition or preserving some idealized version of American culture.

              1. But, they’re a horde. A horde! They’ve come for our wominz and jobz!

                1. Your silly attempts to to paint my viewpoints as “extremeist fear” is actually interrupting a good adult conversation between LynchPin and myself.

                  I’m surprised you didn’t manage a good “RACIST” or two.

                  You’re welcome to join our conversation but just standing back and hurling elementary level salvos in an attempt to paint my comments favorable to your junivile thought process is a waste of everyone’s time. Go find Tony where your posts would be appropriate.

                  To say nothing of increasing your carbon output by wasting otherwise good electrons.

              2. “But simply crossing a border is not in and of itself an act of agression.”

                Breaking a law isn’t an agression in your opinion ?

                They are not “simply” crossing a border.

                They are illegally crossing a border and competing with citizens for jobs, scarce healthcare and other public resources. Citizens who bear the burden of a masive public debt who don’t have the option of “going back” whenever they no longer want that burden.

                1. Breaking a law isn’t an agression in your opinion ?

                  Not in and of itself, no. There are lots of things that are illegal that don’t involve aggression. Like almost the entirety of the drug war.

                  They are illegally crossing a border and competing with citizens for jobs, scarce healthcare and other public resources.

                  Competition is not aggression, nor economics a zero sum game.

                  Citizens who bear the burden of a masive public debt

                  A pressing but not directly related issue. At any rate, an easier path for legal immigration will make it easier to collect taxes to support public services.

                  who don’t have the option of “going back” whenever they no longer want that burden.

                  You can immigrate to another country. I’m not employing the “like or leave it” argument. Just pointing out that you do have options.

                  1. “A pressing but not directly related issue. At any rate, an easier path for legal immigration will make it easier to collect taxes to support public services.”

                    I am not against that in the least. I whole heartedly support a guest worker program like Canada’s.

                    I am against the current unfettered, even encouraged by the government, lawless flow across others people’s property.

                    Yes you can immigrate to another country.

                    If the other country agrees and you pay your exit taxes to this one.

                2. Breaking a law isn’t an agression in your opinion ?

                  In many cases, no.

                  Smoking pot isnt aggression. Hiring a prostitute isnt aggression. Using your land for purposes it isnt zoned for isnt aggression. Moving to a place where people want to hire you isnt aggression.

                  1. Then we disagree.

                    As long as a law is on the books, popular or not, breaking it is an agression against the society who’s books have on it that law.

                    Change the law, don’t just excuse breaking it.

                    Now, you will have excuse me while I go roll a joint and agress against the State of Texas.

                    1. I don’t think you can aggress against society. You can aggress against individuals. I don’t see that happening wrt immigration or robc’s examples.

                    2. I thought that committing a crime was an agression towards a society by breaking it’s laws.

                      I think it would be splitting hairs to say that when one has agressed against enough individuals one has agressed against their society.

                      So I’m definately going to make that claim because doing so because that would be too “Bo Clair-eske” for me and I couldn’t look myself in the mirror.

                      Have a good day. See ya around.

                    3. definitely not going to make that claim.

                      Pardon.

                    4. So was it an “aggression towards a society” when slaves ran away from their owners? Because that was illegal, you know?

                      “Legal” is not the same as “good” or “moral”. The holocaust was legal. A law is just something that a bunch of bureaucrats decided they liked. It’s not in any way an indicator of morality.

              3. “Simply put, they are not “invading” (bad word choice, but we’ll stick with it) to do you or anyone else any harm. ”

                I care about as much about their “intentions” as I do progs who want to run my life.

                I am discussing the actual effects of their actions, not their “good intentions”.

                From reading you in the past I had presumed you were more of a results kinda guy than a “but they meant well” sort.

                Oh well, silly me.

                1. Fuck utilitarians.

                  1. Is “OneOut” Tulpa? He sounds very “law and order” like.

                    1. Then you should get your hearing checked.

                2. I like to think that I am someone with a reasonably sound and well thought out moral foundation, but that recognizes the need to face the world as it is, not as I want it to be.

                  It’s not so much a question of intentions. It is a question of identifying someone that is harmed by an illegal border crossing. And allow me to preempt a possible counterargument: that my statement implies that we should wait until an invading army actually starts shooting before repelling them. We can easily distinguish between crossing a border for the clear purposes of aggression and a border crossing for the purpose of engaging in peaceful activity.

                  I’m not arguing that they are not breaking the law. They are. I am arguing it is a bad law, and Congress should repeal it and grant leniency to those that have broken it.

                  1. I must have confused your post with another with regards to intentions. When I posted whaat I did I thought you had posted above that the illegals didn’t have some sort of “intentions” or other.

                    My apologies.

                    We are not at opposites in much here as far I can see. Just different shades of a color with out any glaring clashes. But what should be done isn’t fixing the here and now problems.

                    I don’t know where you are geographically. I find that the further away from a problem someone is the less of a problem it seems to be to them. I know personally some who have been, and are being, harmed directly on a daily basis. I know of some who have basically been denied the use of their property. Many along the border live in real and justifiable fear on a daily basis. Here in Houston we had a recently deported convicted child molester come back across. When he was arrested again he shot a cop in the back of the head. The cop left a widow and three little kids.

                    1. Of course that is anecdotal. We have such anecdotal instances, most not as bad but some even worse, on a regular basis in this area. Simply because they don’t make the national news doesn’t make them any less tragic or frequent. Adding them up I am less concerned for the poor unwashed masses who choose to leave their shithole countries and their anecdotal problems than I am for my fellow Countrymen who are having their lives turned into a shithole by this unchecked, even encouraged, political football.

                      When my 5′ 105 lb. wife returns home some nights from teaching ballet classes it is after. She is very liberal and voted Obama twice and is very pro amnesty ( she’s young but is learning and didn’t vote the straight Dem ticket last election. She went to concealed carry classes and carries a .380 auto in her bag. That’s the reality we live in, even some liberals,the smarter ones, carry.

            3. To say nothing of the individual property owners along the border who are directly agressed upon my the migrating herds.

              If immigration were legal, it would certainly be much more orderly, thus avoiding people having to cross the border clandestinely.

              1. I agree.

                But it’s not.

                And until it is they are being agressors.

                1. And until it is they are being agressors.

                  Put the blame where it belongs on government policy, not the people who are negatively affected by it.

                  1. Did you read my comment to say that I was blaming the ranchers and other landowners for the effects the illegals have tramlping across across their property ?

                    Wow.

                    1. Did you read my comment to say that I was blaming the ranchers and other landowners for the effects the illegals have tramlping across across their property ?

                      No, OneOut. You’re blaming the immigrants who come here illegally because of bad government policy when you should be blaming bad government policy.

            4. Re: OneOut,

              And how is illegally invading another country not an act of agression?

              “illegally invading”? What, are there legal invasions?

              They’re not invading. If at all, they’re being INVITED to come. There IS a demand for unskilled labor in the U.S.

              An invader comes to a territory to TAKE. Immigrants come to TRADE their labor for money.

              To say nothing of the individual property owners along the border who are directly agressed upon my the migrating herds.

              That’s entirely the government’s fault. There are ports of entry; however, immigrants don’t use them because the State treats them like pests.
              .

              1. “”illegally invading”? What, are there legal invasions?”

                If legal immigration were wide open and a country were inundated with migrants that could be called a legal invasion.

                “That’s entirely the government’s fault. There are ports of entry; however, immigrants don’t use them because the State treats them like pests.”

                I believe the conversation here was about Illegal immigration as it is, not legal immigration and how it could be.

                Nit picking another’s post and ignoring the real content is an ugly trait. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it from you before Old Mex.

                Shame.
                .

            5. You don’t get to pick and choose what is and is not an act of aggression. Implied in the term “non-aggression principle” is the fact that aggression can only happen against person or property. Or, if you want to be even more specific, someone has to *willingly* cause *physical* damage on either your body or on some property you own to be considered an aggressor.

              Otherwise we might consider all sorts of things an aggression. Saying something offensive? That could be an aggression. Hiring someone for a low wage? Aggression. Looking at a girl’s butt? Hell, that’s an aggression if I’ve ever seen one.

          2. I agree that government engagement in the hiring (or firing) process is aggression. Unfortunately, employers DO NOT enjoy this freedom as applied to citizens, so I don’t understand the argument make a special exception for immigrants.

          3. The Libertarian position is rather obviously to bring them over by any means possible, and worry about the legal niceties after it’s a fait accompli. Which is, in practice, exactly the same position taken by the Democrats and the cheap labor conservatives. The fact that the lot of you are giving a slightly different speech while pulling exactly the same stunt doesn’t buy you much.

            1. Re: Rorschach Carlyle,

              The Libertarian position is rather obviously to bring them over by any means possible,

              That’s not the libertarian position.

              exactly the same position taken by the Democrats and the cheap labor conservatives.

              The Democrats couldn’t care less about immigrants. They pay lip service to humanitarianism and other moral positions but what they want is to maintain a cadre of voters with the promise of citizenship (which never comes).

              And I don’t understand what you mean by “cheap labor” conservatives. Do you mean there are expensive labor conservatives? Maybe Labor Unions would fall under that category…

          4. “Stopping people from peaceful immigration IS an act of aggression. ” it is called upholding the law.

            1. so was burning jews in ovens…

              BOOM! GODWINED!

              can we go now?

  4. Congratulations on turning California deep blue, guys.

    1. Yes, that is really the issue here. Team Red partisan goals. We must remember that.

      1. For the record, I’m not team anything. I am anti-illegal immigration and think that it’s remarkable how you guys have convinced a bunch of Republicans to cut their own throats. It’s the most remarkable political feat I’ve ever heard of.

  5. What I found most interesting is that CSPAN existed in 1980.

    1. I believe it went live in 1979.

      1. I think that this was originally broadcast on Houston public television, and that C-Span ran it on one of its historical programs many years later.

      2. The Lamb himself sacrificed himself for the faithful.

        1. Hey, Plug. You have some honest-to-god real wingnuts flying round this thread. Why don’t you have a go at them?

          1. I’d be happy to make some popcorn.

      3. “I believe it went live in 1979.”

        Have you ever watched it ?

        I don’t think it ever has been live.

  6. I have a feeling those abandoned border crossings in Europe will be ramped up again sooner rather than later.

    1. They will of Europeans have anything to say about it.

      The operative phrase there being “if Europeans have anything to say about it'”. Given that we’re learning that freedom means that the peasants shut up and accept the judgement of their betters, it’s not clear that’ll ever happen.

  7. I believe in easy to get green cards and more or less open borders, but I also believe the President should enforce the law as it stands. His amnesty program is a clear signal that he is putting his judgement above that of the law of the land, basically refusing to enforce part of the law, not because he cannot, but because he will not. I am not sure about the legality of the action, but it is definitely against the ethics of the office of the President.

    1. I also believe the President should enforce the law as it stands.

      Should the president be enforcing federal marijuana law in WA and CO?

      1. Yes he should.

        That is until the ink dries on his reclassification of pot as a narcotic.

        1. I would argue by doing so he would be a criminal. The prohibition of alcohol took an amendment to the constitution therefore the prohibition of drugs would too. I see no amendment therefore ALL federal drug laws are not valid…they haven’t been given the authority. The enforcement of federal drug laws is technically treason and according to the constitution severely punishable.

          1. “The enforcement of federal drug laws is technically treason and according to the constitution severely punishable.”

            Citizens Arrest ! Citizens Arrest !

            I’m dealing with the reality of life in the here and now, not political philosophy.

            Under our current laws the Prez does have the legal ability to reclassify pot.

            1. The reality of life is East Germany had a wall with guns and STILL couldn’t stop the migrations. No way 2000 mile border can be sealed. If you are

              dealing with the reality of life in the here and now, not political philosophy

              then you MUST admit that enforcing the political philosophy of “secure the borders” is asinine and the best course of action if for the president to enforce the written law of the land, the constitution…just sayin.

              1. “The reality of life is East Germany had a wall with guns and STILL couldn’t stop the migrations. No way 2000 mile border can be sealed. If you are”

                It was slowed to the merest trickle until Soviet economic collapse led to it’s removal.

                “then you MUST admit that enforcing the political philosophy of “secure the borders” is asinine ”

                ” Esinhower secured it very well. So I MUST not, necessarily speaking.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Wetback

                the best course of action if for the president to enforce the written law of the land, the constitution…just sayin.”

                We agree, plus Congress needs to change the legal immigration laws to reflect modern realities.

  8. Reagan only wanted cheap gardeners! He understood supply and demand.

    /Pathetic assholes who still tell Reagan jokes

    1. Give Reagan more credit: he was clearly in it for the hawt Latina ass-sex.

  9. Remember, Regean was talking before the drug gangs made large sections of Mexico into some of the most dangerous places on earth. In an ideal world, drugs would be legal and the Mexican drug gangs out of business or under control. In such a world, real reciprocity with Mexico and Canada where people from either country could move to and work and invest and own property would be fantastic. Mexico is not that poor of a country by world standards. It is a lot poorer than here but it is rich compared to most of the rest of Latin America and would quickly get a lot richer.

    The problem with the southern border is that the Mexican elites use the US as a dumping ground for their surplus population and as a way to avoid any sort of political acountability. You cannot overstate just how loathsome the ruling class in Mexico is. They are protectionist and racist as hell. Assholes like Carlos Slim make billions on the backs of the Mexican people and tell anyone who doesn’t like it to fuck off and move to the US if they don’t like it. If it came with a real liberalization of Mexican government and laws such that Americans were free to go to Mexico and work and invest just like Mexicans can here, I would be all for it.

    The problem is that will never happen because the Mexican elites would never agree and the Democrats only want voters. So they would never agree to a system that did nothing but make the country rich and didn’t give them new classes of dependent voters.

    1. In an ideal world, drugs would be legal and the Mexican drug gangs out of business or under control.

      Because as we have kind of made illegal some kinds of labor that I’d like to see legal

      I’m sure Bush probably wasn’t talking about drug legalization, but it’s kind of interesting that one could interpret it that way.

    2. the Democrats only want voters. So they would never agree to a system that did nothing but make the country rich and didn’t give them new classes of dependent voters.

      Well, with the rising black middle class and teh gayz becoming more and more accepted by the minute, they’re going to need a new underclass of voters to bribe with promises of free shit. It’s pretty much all they’ve got.

      1. Rising black middle class? Greetings from 1984z

        1. Are you saying there’s not more blacks in the middle class now than there were 30 or 40 years ago? Or is your purpose here just to be another obnoxious non-sequitor spouting troll. We have more than enough of those already.

    3. In such a world, real reciprocity with Mexico and Canada where people from either country could move to and work and invest and own property would be fantastic.

      Plenty of foreign companies and foreign people can come to Mexico to live and work. In my city of Aguascalientes, there are thousands of people from Japan who are working here for the Nissan plants and many other Japanese suppliers. American companies like Flextronics, Texas Instruments, and Eaton Corporation are also here. It’s easy to get a work visa to live and work in Mexico. I got mine lickety-split through my company (literally within a month and a half with a single 10 minute interview at the Mexican Consulate in Chicago). Were you referring to reciprocity from the U.S. side? Or something with unskilled labor?

      1. You can get a visa if you company gets it for you. You will not, however, be able to own any property in Mexico or start a business. You also cannot move there and do anything but rent and live as a retiree unless you are already working for a company that gets you a VISA.

        Our border with Mexico is in no way open.

        Your annecdote like all annecdotes does not tell the full story.

        1. You will not, however, be able to own any property in Mexico or start a business.

          The property bit is plain wrong. I bought a house here–it’s 100% mine. I’m not even a permanent resident yet although I plan on being one in the future. I could also buy a lot and rent a business space if I wanted to. My source is my immigration lawyer. Foreigners can own property. In the restricted zone (a certain number of miles from the coast and border), foreigners make a deal with a bank so the bank manages the property for them, but the foreigners are recognized as the owners in all but name. The Mexican government made it really easy precisely because they wanted foreigners to buy properties in the restricted zone which had been established way back in the Constitution in the early 20th century. Furthermore, the vast majority of the country is not even in the restricted zone where the extra step with a bank applies.

          I don’t think you’re correct about starting and owning a business either, but I’m too lazy/apathetic to look into it definitively.

          It’s really easy to get a visa from a company to work in Mexico. You can also switch to a new company if you want to. I don’t know what the process is like if one doesn’t have a job already lined up. It is however much easier than trying to live and work in the U.S.

          PS I’m not even an engineer or anything like that. I teach English in a private company!

          1. Foreigners can own property. In the restricted zone (a certain number of miles from the coast and border), foreigners make a deal with a bank so the bank manages the property for them, but the foreigners are recognized as the owners in all but name.

            So foreigners are not free to buy property in Mexico. Sorry but “owning in all but name in a restricted zone” is not being free to own property.

            I don’t know what the process is like if one doesn’t have a job already lined up. It is however much easier than trying to live and work in the U.S.

            It is still not free. And if it is easier than the US, so what? The point is that if we get rid of the restrictions in the US, Mexico should do the same. Otherwise, we just become a dumping ground for Mexico.

            And lastly, even if you get yoru VISA, you won’t be getting citizenship any time soon. And that is fine. Mexico doesn’t owe you citizenship. But given that, the government of Mexico has no right to demand the US give their migrant citizens US citizenship. Leave citizenship out of it.

            1. So foreigners are not free to buy property in Mexico. Sorry but “owning in all but name in a restricted zone” is not being free to own property.

              Foreigners are completely and legally able to buy property outside the restricted zone, the vast majority of the country. I think even people with tourist visas can buy property including commercial property. Temporary residents can buy property, as I did.

              Within the restricted zone, foreigners have all the benefits of property ownership in the form of a trust with a bank upon purchase from a seller, becoming the beneficiaries in legal terminology. The beneficiaries (foreigners in this case in the restricted zone) can use the property however they want (as long as it’s legal, of course) including renting to a third party; they can also sell the property whenever they want and receive the benefits from the sale. The bank cannot alter, indebt, or sell the property unless the beneficiaries want them to. Despite this, you are correct that it is not the same as owning the property but it is nearly a distinction without a difference. And this is only within the restricted zone.

            2. [The visa process] is still not free. And if it is easier than the US, so what?

              Since you originally mentioned reciprocity, the U.S. would have to greatly relax its visa and entry process to currently be reciprocal with Mexico.

              The point is that if we get rid of the restrictions in the US, Mexico should do the same.

              I agree.

              Otherwise, we just become a dumping ground for Mexico.

              Well, without a welfare state, it wouldn’t be a problem just as free trade with a country that subsidies some of its industry isn’t a problem; of course it would be better if the country didn’t subsidize anything. Most of the debate here of course is related to the presence of the welfare state in the U.S. however.

            3. To celebrate Obama’s speech yesterday Mexico announced that it is now charging people who cross the border into Mexico $28. If someone wants to enter Mexico and stay for more than 7 days, or to work , they have to pay for the privledge.

              This includes Mexicans and South Americans going home to visit family from the good old US of A.

              Mehico. What a country.

              1. What is the point or relevancy of your post, OneOut? I don’t deny that the Mexican government can and does make silly policy, just like the government of the United States and many other countries in the world. Regardless, the visa process to live and work in Mexico is much easier than going to live and work in the U.S.

                1. Sorry I wasn’t slow enough for you.

                  The point of the post was to inform those who might not have read about the new tax on entering Mehico.

                  If you can’t appreciate the relevancy of the contrast between the two countries policies and the hypocracy of Mehico’s immigrantion laws vs. their critisism of ours, the problem lies with you, not me.

              2. While I haven’t ever applied for a visa from the U.S. for obvious reasons, I have gotten visas and work permits from other countries. Paying a fee isn’t uncommon, nor do I find it particularly offensive. It’s a user fee. If you need one to go from Mexico to the U.S. in the first place, I suspect you have to pay.

                1. You mean the US charges people a fee to cross the border ? I never heard of it but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I’m reading your statement to say that you haven’t applied for a visa TO the US.

                  I was just contrasting the millions who cross south to north who not only don’t pay but actually get met with a grab bag of goddies vs. the ones who are gonna cross north to south who now must pay.

                  I just thought it a little funny in an ironic way. Maybe it wasn’t No big deal either way.

                  1. Sorry I wasn’t slow enough for you.

                    The point of the post was to inform those who might not have read about the new tax on entering Mehico.

                    So your post was entirely irrelevant to the conversation you inserted yourself into; you didn’t go too fast for me. John and I were talking about reciprocity in government policy. It is much easier to legally live and work in Mexico than it is to legally live and work in the U.S.

                    Additionally, your misplaced condescension is totally unnecessary, but you can be an a**hole if you want.

    4. “Assholes like Carlos Slim make billions on the backs of the Mexican people and tell anyone who doesn’t like it to fuck off ”

      Sounds just like the assholes in the USA

      1. He is the single largest money maker from the “Obama Phone” program.

  10. I was watching Fox and Friends this morning (only because inflicting other morning shows on my tender eyes would put me in the loony house) and was listening to Geraldo argue with Tucker Carlson (filling in for the odious Brian Kilmeade) about the president’s executive order. One thing that Geraldo said is something I said here many times: That most immigrants used to come here temporarily for the work, returning home after the season was over, crossing again the following year, and so on. Geraldo mentioned that after 9/11 Congress and the executive power made it almost impossible for immigrants to continuously go back and forth, enticing them to stay an bring their families at whatever cost. His point was that it was the fear of terrorism that made immigration the clusterflak it is today.

    For some reason, the “libertarian” Carlson berated Geraldo for not thinking about Americans who can’t seem to get a job. Geraldo mentioned something that most liberals dare not say: that the welfare system provides an incentive to many Americans not to work. Suddenly, Tucker Carlson went full Progressive and asked “How dare you say that welfare recipients do not want a job?” I didn’t know if he was being sarcastic or serious, but it did take me by surprise. Is this what it has come to, conservatives turning into Progressives? Maybe that is the reality: conservatives are Progressives in disguise, just as ignorant of economics as their brethren on the Left.

    1. Geraldo is the worst, and I can’t abide by anyone who wears a bow tie. Fuck Carlson.

      1. He really jumped the shark after 9/11.

        When proclaiming on TV his trip to Afghanistan he said yada yada yada, and who knows ?, maybe catch a terrorist.

        He actually put the idea out their that while he was doing indept reporting he was gonna be keeping a look out for Bin Laden.

        He went so far as staging photo opps of him personally crawling around some mountain points looking for him. He also staged some pics of him praying over dead soldiers.

    2. Carlson isn’t a libertarian so your confusion is more accurately described as ignorance.

      1. Re: Sam Haysom,

        Carlson isn’t a libertarian so your confusion is more accurately described as ignorance.

        I know he’s not a libertarian, which is why I placed the quotes. He has stated before that he’s a libertarian, as recently as on The Independents a few weeks ago.

        So it is not my ignorance of the facts, but Carlson’s hypocrisy.

    3. just as ignorant of economics as their brethren on the Left.

      Conservative tend to subscribe to protectionist fallacies while being somewhat economically literate when it comes to taxes and wages.

      1. Only if you falsely pretend that protectionism applies to labor instead of goods.

        1. It can’t apply to both?

          1. No because protectionism describes trade policies. Actually I should probally clarify you don’t believe in human trafficking right? Because if you do I’m wrong. Anti-slavery laws are protectionist policies against labor.

            1. Are you saying that tariffs that raise the price of imported goods in an effort to get people to buy American are not policies designed to protect labor?

            2. Anti-slavery laws are protectionist policies against labor.

              Gee, and here I thought they were protections for basic human rights.

            3. Re: Sam Haysom,

              No because protectionism describes trade policies.

              Immigrants trade labor.

              Please, stop trying to argue Economics, Sam.

        2. Re: Sam Hayson,

          Only if you falsely pretend that protectionism applies to labor instead of goods.

          Hey, nitwit, if you’re going to argue Economics, you better be prepared: you’re dealing with the adults in the room here.

          Labor is a GOOD. Protectionist schemes can apply to both labor and goods the same way because both labor and goods are economic GOODS.

          1. No they can’t. Protectionism is a trade policy. So unless we are talking about triangular trade there is no such thing as protectionist labor policies. You can’t trade labor across borders.

            1. Protectionism is a policy that tries to eliminate or reduce competition for native goods and services.

            2. You’ve chosen the wrong platform to try to spread ignorance.

              If you wish a fawning audience for your economic ignorance better go elsewhere.

            3. You can’t trade labor across borders.

              Um, wut?

              1. You guys are so unbelievably ignorant. No you can not trade labor. It is not a good and more importantly it can’t be separated from its producer. Because libertarians like slavers get reduced to arguing that people are things. John Calhoun would be mighty proud.

                1. So when an employer pays an employee, what exactly is he paying for? I’ll answer that: the employee’s labor.

                  And when one person gives something of value (like money) to another person in exchange for a good or service (like labor), what is that called? I’ll help you out again: trade.

              2. Amazing is’t it.

                Here on a discussion about illegal immigration someone pops up and says you can’t trade labor across borders.

          2. The difference between goods and labor: when my iPhone becomes obsolete or non-functional I throw it out. What do you do with labor that becomes incapacitated or obsolete?

            1. Throw it in the sausage grinder, dummy.

            2. Re: Rorschach Carlyle,

              What do you do with labor that becomes incapacitated or obsolete?

              I am sure all those buggy whip makers were placed against the wall and shot.

              Jeez, I am beginning to think these guys are Tony’s spawn.

              1. Don’t lock eyes with ’em, OM, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows.

                1. thank you…this was needed 50 comments ago.

            3. “What do you do with labor that becomes incapacitated or obsolete?”

              Trade it back to Mexico for some yung’uns ?

      2. You threw me for a loop for a minute until I realized you propably meant immigration only.

        They are in no way protectionist with regards to “free” trade, unless it is their own, specific market.

        Want some Nafta protected sugar for your coffee ?

        1. Add up enough those specific markets and you end up with protectionist policy.

          1. Yes very true.

            But it isn’t an overall, top down platform.. What you are referring to is the weight of a collection of individual self protection wishes.

            But anyway, I’m splitting hairs.

            I have no beef with you and appreciate much of your commentary.

            Free trade for you but tariffs for my competiters! I personally took a direct hit from NAFTA. It enabled many of my customers to bypass me and go direct to my suppliers while also specifically prevented me from bypassing them and going direct to their customers.

            I still have a bone in my craw over that because it hurt my pocket book in a big way. Who would have ever though that a “free trade” agreement erasing barriers to cross border trade would be have to be 2,000 pages long with carve outs.

            Fuckers. We ARE stupid American voters a la Gruber to continually allow the political class to piss on us and just say it’s raining.

    4. Geraldo is a dickhead but he is right. The debate over immigration is just so fucked up. Everyone on both sides just talk past each other or argues in bad faith.

      One of the biggest problems is that the millions of immigrants who don’t want to stay here and just come here to work for a few months or years and go back home don’t fit either narrative. Both sides want to believe every immigrant is a future voting member of the new prolitariat class and argue accordingly. And the left like they do on every other issue poisons the well and argues in bad faith. The left doesn’t care about these people and only wants votes and thus will never agree to anything that doesn’t lead to votes. Since the Right doesn’t trust them and know sany settlement will always and forever later lead to citizenship, it makes it impossible to work out any kind compromise to give people the ability to come here without getting citizenship.

      1. I used to work with a Mexican dishwasher who would work eleven months in the states, living very frugally and saving money, then go back to Mexico for a month and live like a king. In the States he was a lowly dishwasher, and in Mexico he was highly respected for coming home with fists full of American dollars.

        1. There are small towns in Mexico that contain nothing but families supported by men who come to the US and work. You can come to the US and work for a few years and if you are frugal save enough money to live a comfortable life in whatever rural village you came from. There are a lot of people like that.

        2. I work in construction with plenty of hispanics (mostly El Salvadoreans and Hondurans in my area) every single one of them to a man plans on going back to their countries when they retire.

          1. This.

            I think the political class, who to a person, probably have never had any significant face to face dealings with illegals have no idea what these people want. All they think is what the brown Al Sharptons tell them these people want.

            Why would an illegal want citizenship ? He is signing up to shoulder an enormous public debt. He will be taxed for half his wages and any increase in wages will not match the new taxes. His grand children will be paying for his current healthcare ad infintum. His children will have to pay full out of state tutition if that issue comes up. He will now have to buy auto insurance instead of being rleased on the scene by the cops. The list goes on.

        3. A buddy of mine manages a TGI Fridays in Hagerstown, MD. The stories he tells of the locals, all native-born, are frightening. These people are only supposed to exist on reality shows.

          He was so happy that he finally was able to to hire a couple of Hispanics for the kitchen. I asked him why.

          “They work. They work their 8 hour shift, they don’t complain and then they leave to go work at their next job. The shitheads that were born here won’t actually work to begin and do nothing but complain.”

          1. The shitheads that were born here won’t actually work to begin and do nothing but complain.

            Maybe you could divide the “shitheads who were born here” into a smaller subset of “natives” so we can properly stereotype them

            1. Oh, sorry.

              Reality show level, low class trash. Methbillies.

          2. I found when I entered the work force twenty five years ago that a work ethic was a rare thing. That’s one thing I thank my parents for, and is something I plan to pass on.

      2. This like everyother problem that politicians decide they need to fix soon is entirely manufactured. The reality is if they do nothing it will figure itself out, the one thing I can guarantee will emerge from any immigration reform will be wealth redistribution from tax payers to the politician’s donors.

        1. The last thing the people who hire illegals want is for them to become legal. If they become legal, their employer has to treat them like human beings. The employers don’t want that.

          The problem is no one other than the immigrants, and how gives a fuck what they want, has any vested interest in giving them legal status. The employers want them as slaves with no recourse if they are screwed over, the Democratic Politicians either want them as voting citizens or to remain illegal and thier status a club to call the Republicans racists and the Republicans rightly don’t trust the Democrats and know any compromise will just lead to citizenship and Democratic voters down the road.

          1. You forget that illegals are still working for their employers voluntarily. If they are treated badly they can always go work for someone else. Not only that but, in my experience anyway, anyone who says Mexicans are lazy has never worked with any. People who work their asses off will always be in high demand, and be treated well for it. I don’t think they are treated as badly as you think.

            1. The people who treat them badly are the ones that speak both english and spanish, I’ve heard multiple stories of foreman, unbeknownst to the company, basically making their companies workers pay them money or they threatening to fire them which is a major labor violation. All of these guys come from places where corruption is so common they don’t bat an eye about that stuff, also they aren’t educated past a 4th grade level, anything dealing with finance they are all taken for a ride even more so than the average citizen.

          2. John ” their employer has to treat them like human beings.”

            John I usually agree with most of your posts. However here I have to call Bullshit !

            I grew up in South Texas and have been around Mexican both legal and illegal all my life.

            In what way are these people being treated as sub human. Yes they work, usulaay hard, for low wages compared to US citizens. Many are appreciated for that very thing. I have seen many business people go out of their way to do things for a favored employee that they would not do for a low wage Citizen worker with the corresponding work ethic. I have had illegals hired to work around my home eat at my dinner table. I have watched ranchers whip out their wallets to help a “wetback’s” sick family member. I am sure there is also ancedotal evidence to the contrary but I don’t think it is the norm.

            I just think you comment is over the top.

            1. I think people’s response to illegal immigration is just like their attitudes toward lawyers and politicians.

              My “wetback” is a good old boy. It’s all those other bastards that are the problem.

    5. conservatives are Progressives in disguise, just as ignorant of economics as their brethren on the Left.

      Pretty much, yes. Both are economically illiterate, and both want to use the power of governemnt to make society “better” regardless of what the people actually want. Anyone who think they know better how to run your life than you do, and seek to impose their preferences on the rest of society from the top down are really Progressives. Regardless of what they call themselves.

      Both parties have been taken over by progressives, it’s just different types of progressives. We no longer have a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwhich, but just different flavors of turd. Either way you’re gonna end up eating shit.

    6. “I was watching Fox and Friends this morning (only because inflicting other morning shows on my tender eyes would put me in the loony house)”

      ROFL…Fox and Friends….that does not put you in the loony house? Fox? The king of all propaganda networks?

  11. Wait. Isn’t Reagan simply saying he’d allow Mexicans to freely cross and return in order to temporarily work? That’s a far cry from putting them in the express lane for citizenship. Isn’t the real issue not about freely crossing and returning (something I’m fine with) but the legal/illegal path to citizenship, and thus voting?

    I cannot imagine any scenario where a Progressive would care one whit about Mexican children unless by giving them amnesty, it leads to new voters for their party.

    1. I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make. Yes, Reagan is saying what he’s obviously saying. Your observation about Progressives, however accurate, seems a non sequitur.

      1. Non sequitur? Just last night Robby Soave virtually praised Obama’s dictatorial fiat to allow amnesty of the several millions of illegals living here. And this morning he points out how hypocritical the repubs were 30 years ago by also arguing for open borders.

        But this is not the position they actually argued for. The lberals want amnesty to buy votes. I don’t see Reagan arguing for that in 1980 thus making it an inapt contrast by Reason.

        1. Ah. I didn’t realize you were commenting on Robby Soave and posts not this one. I suppose that should have been obvious. My bad.

        2. FYI, this post is by Jesse Walker, not Robby Soave.

          1. Should I have added a sarcasm tag? Also my bad.

    2. Yes. See my point above. The problem is that the Left has poisoned the well. You could easily get a majority of Republicans to agree to real reform and a guest worker program, if they thought it settled the issue. The problem is that you can never settle an issue with the Left. It is just like gun control. What is today’s compromise is tomorrow’s loophole that needs fixed. So the right won’t agree to anything because they rightly think the left will just view any compromise as one step further towards the goal of importing a new electorate.

    3. Re: Duke,

      That’s a far cry from putting them in the express lane for citizenship.

      The reason Hispanics would be looking for citizenship is because at that point the government would stop harassing them.

      I was talking to an immigrant from Australia. He received his green card by marriage. He recently became a citizen. He really didn’t need to be a citizen except that, as he stated, citizenship means that the government will not attempt to run him out of the country in the future, for whatever reason.

  12. What do you expect from a left winger who voted 4 times for Roosevelt.

  13. I think a lot of the reason that America was much more willing to accept immigrants in the 1980s was because of the cold war. If we weren’t more open then other nations would be open to communist influences. Once the cold war ended, pretty much any acceptance of increasing immigration was drowned out by unions decrying about job security.

  14. If “opening the border both ways” means dropping the extremely racist one-way street that can allow a person of specific ethnicity and suspected nationality to walk away from a serious, many times violent, criminal past to start anew with a clean slate, preferred hiring status, elevated legal protections and countless other too good to be true benefits, then by all means count me on board!

  15. i would be for open borders if we end all welfare programs and replace the federal income tax with the Fair Tax (minus the prebate).

  16. And since we’re pretending the USA is still an open frontier badly in need of unbridled immigration to fill all it’s empty spaces, instead of country the left endlessly rails is overpopulated and using far too many resources far too quickly, how about we take huge tracts from the vast majority of the overall land out west and open it up for settlement and development by citizens such as myself.

  17. *vast majority of the overall land out west of which the US Government claims ownership

    1. We already moved on, dude.

  18. Reagan’s amnesty is one of the big reasons for the trouble we’re in. Thanks for reminding people, Reason! You finally for closed borders, huh?

  19. Wow… debates were much less of a spectacle back then…. a curtain, a cheap-looking sign, podiums that look like they were assembled out of cardboard? Wow.

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    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  21. my neighbor’s aunt makes $75 /hour on the laptop . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her pay check was $18092 just working on the laptop for a few hours. read the article………. http://www.payflame.com

  22. my neighbor’s aunt makes $75 /hour on the laptop . She has been laid off for 7 months but last month her pay check was $18092 just working on the laptop for a few hours. read the article………. http://www.payflame.com

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