Immigration

Obama's Immigration Order Means Rational Use of Deportation

The president is right to think the law should not function like a lottery.

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Obama
White House

If you're a foreigner in this country without authorization, you may be a hardworking, upright and taxpaying person, but you live in daily terror of making a fatal misstep. Overlooking a broken taillight, being a witness to a crime, getting hit by a car while crossing the street—minor misfortunes that attract the attention of police can bring exile, family breakup and misery.

Yoli Navas, a college student in Boston, came to the United States from Venezuela at the age of 6. She was one of the lucky "Dreamers" spared by President Barack Obama's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for more than a million young people brought here without permission by their parents. But she faced other perils.

"Those of us who are fortunate enough to still have our parents here live in fear every single day," she wrote last year on the blog of America's Voice, a pro-immigration group. "If my parents are deported, I would either be left without a family, or I would be the sole caretaker of my 13-year-old and 11-month-old sisters.

"This could mean being separated from my family for years, or having to drop out of school just to be able to take care of my sisters. If I had to drop out, that would mean I would no longer be eligible for DACA, which would lead to my deportation as well."

Under Obama's new executive order, up to five million undocumented immigrants could gain work permits and an assurance they won't be removed. This group includes the parents of kids born in the United States as well as foreigners who have been here five years or more without getting into serious trouble. Navas' parents would qualify. So for two years, anyway, their mind and hers will be at ease.

Obama's argument is that since the federal government can't and won't expel everyone who is here without authorization, it should pass over those who pose no real threat and focus on the more objectionable ones—criminals and foreigners who return after being expelled.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has the manpower and money to deport only about 4 percent of the foreigners who are not entitled to be here. It makes sense to focus those resources on the most worrisome ones.

Critics who opposed Obama's previous reprieve, however, are even more vehement in opposing this one. They regard it as an unconstitutional abdication of his duty to enforce the laws. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., said Obama was "acting as a monarch."

It's not a ridiculous claim, but it falls short of being persuasive. The Supreme Court has ruled that in this realm, the executive branch has plenty of latitude. "A principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials," it said in 2012. "Returning an alien to his own country may be deemed inappropriate even where he has committed a removable offense or fails to meet the criteria for admission" (emphasis added).

Obama hasn't helped his cause by repeatedly insisting that he didn't possess this authority before suddenly deciding, on the advice of lawyers, that he does. But it's reasonably clear that the powers used by Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in shielding some immigrants also cover what Obama is doing.

The difference between this new approach and the previous one is modest as a matter of federal policy. Its impact on the lives of those affected, though, is huge. Under previous rules, the vast majority of undocumented foreigners would not, in fact, be deported in the next two years. ICE can't handle most of them. But they would all be at perpetual risk—a small risk of a terrible outcome.

Obama's directive isn't likely to reduce the number of people who will be removed during his remaining tenure. It merely defines the group from which these deportees will be chosen. The change is important for the small number of affected immigrants who otherwise would be expelled. But it's even more important for all the others who can stop worrying about that fate, at least for the time being.

Under this program, deportation would be used in a rational way against those most deserving of removal. Under the GOP alternative, the number wouldn't be much different, but being expelled would be mostly a matter of terrible luck. Obama's critics can live with that sort of random eviction. But the president is right to think the law should not function like a lottery.

NEXT: Brickbat: By Thor

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  1. Oh, yes, you’re quite persuasive, it dispels the fears of those who’ve already shown a williness to disregard our laws once to continue to do so in as brazen a manner as they please.

    Your sympathetic (or more acurately, pathetic) anecdote fails to tug on heartstrings hardened by years of sob stories by fraudsters, con artists, and yes, illegal immigrants.

    While there may be lattitude in the poorly worded law for apathy, the extent of that is having a presidential order to do nothing. Instead this one carries orders for thousands of new bureaucrats to be hired to extend active assistance to people who should not even be here.

    1. ” it dispels the fears of those who’ve already shown a williness to disregard our laws once to continue to do so in as brazen a manner as they please.”

      Are you talking about people in CO and WA who use marijuana?

      1. Are you talking about people in CO and WA who use marijuana?

        You mean the people who saw a law they didn’t like and *gasp* followed procedure to change it?

        1. They changed federal marijuana prohibitions? I missed that.

          1. Give them time, they’re working on it.

            And tell me, wannabe lawyer, how come alcohol required a consitutional amendment to allow for federal prhobition, but marijuana could be outlawed without one?

            1. SCOTUS commerce clause interpretation (no fan)

            2. Because, “Fuck you! That’s why.” ??

              /non-law-talkin’-guy

            3. Because people at that time weren’t very smart and had not yet gained the proper appreciating for the flexibility of the U.S. Constitution. They had the bizarre idea that the process for amending the constitution was actually there for a reason.

          2. Regardless, there is a big difference between an American citizen refusing to follow a law he thinks is unjust, and a sitting president changing the law for political gains.

            It sickens me that Reason writers are celebrating such a power grab by the executive.

            And so many of you so-called libertarians celebrating it like a bunch of moron progressives. Remind me again who is obsessed with intentions and feelz, because it seems to be you assholes this time around.

            1. Eh, maybe.

              You know, it’s also not like we live in a glorious free market economy with limited government, and just now, a government agency just grabbed a bunch of power which may be used for nefarious purposes in the future.

              The power to use executive orders is built in the system, has been for a while, and will be there for future politicians, with our without this particular executive action. So, I have a hard time buying the “slippery slope” argument.

              Yeah, we have a screwed up system, and, by and large, I do assume that, going forward, it will be used more often to do harm than good. Trying to game the system and forget my principles just because it’s already screwed up seems like a waste of time.

              I’d rather look at examines of the government being less violent to peaceful people trying to work and live and say, “Hey, good idea! Could you do more of that, please, all around?” than buying into their version of the world, in which we all plot and scheme against each other, based on what the other is doing with political power. Because, really, I only have one vote, and it has practically no power for a reason.

              1. So…as long as their abuses comport to our sensibilities, then they should be tolerated?

                1. No, I don’t advocate tolerating abuse. Hence, “Hey, being peaceful to people who just want to live and work is a good idea! Do more of that!” i.e., stop abusing other people, too.

                  Or, to put it another way, instead of cherry-picking certain executive orders to complain about, examine all of the laws as well, and make a coherent argument, based on principles.

                  It’s not a coincidence that none of the people who are arguing against executive orders on purely technical grounds, also happen to not like the idea of immigrants, or changing the law to let more in.

                  I have a certain sympathy for people who want to take a hard line on immigration because of the welfare state, but, really, no one cares. If you want to game your vote and vote R instead of D because we can’t have immigrants with the welfare state, great, go ahead. OK, now that that’s settled, any more ideas? Or does “keeping it real” equal “just think in the box our dear leaders want to leave us in”?

                  I mean, you get one vote. Once you figure out how to game that, why actually bias all your principles based on that? Might as well go all out. If the system is going to go ahead and ignore half-measured principles, too, why not go all the way?

                  1. Wouldn’t the fact that

                    “none of the people who are arguing against executive orders on purely technical grounds, also happen to not like the idea of immigrants, or changing the law to let more in.”

                    also indict those who are supposedly more principled in their viewpoints keeping quiet on an obvious executive overreach because they agree with the ends?

                    1. There’s a difference between keeping quiet about executive overreach because you like the outcome, and keeping quiet about executive over each because, in general, you consider the government pretty much one big overreach, and choosing to get your panties in a wad over this one on purely technical terms doesn’t seem to make much sense.

                    2. Fair point, what would you consider a large enough issue to “get your panties in a wad” about?

                    3. How about using violence against peaceful people in general as a way of addressing social problems?

                    4. Also, if by “technical terms” you mean rule of law, then yes.

            2. Government does not have the power to restrict movement of a natural peoples. Also people should not live in fear of government, whether that is the US government or the Mexican government. I don’t think that clashing with congress is good for the country, but neither do I think this is a bad law or an illegal action.

              1. Sorry, Article 1 Section 8 allows the govt. power to define rules regarding naturalization, which infers that there should be rules. However, Congress is given the legislative authority, the executive branch is simply tasked with carrying out law, not rewriting it on a whim to their own ends.

            3. True, but….
              THE WAR ON DRUGS!!!!!!!!

          3. Hey Bo. Maybe you can clarify something for me. Where in the Constitution does it say that the Federales shall have the authority to regulate marijuana?

            I mean,when they wanted to ban alcohol, they didn’t just say, “Presto! Alcohol is illegal now.” They had to go through a little process called “amendment the Constitution” by passing the 18th Amendment. Later, they decided that regulating alcohol was such a GOOD idea, that they REPEALED the amendment (the only one ever repealed.) So here’s the question: Why, if they needed a Constitutional Amendment to ban booze do they not need a similar amendment to ban pot?

            And don’t try to hand me that tired, worn-out bullshit Wickard v. Filburn case. It’s quite possibly the most tortured case ever delivered by the Boobs in Black, coming in just ahead of Raich, which determined that Congress could regulate illegal enterprises and the Controlled Substances Act (which holds pot as a “schedule one” substance – i.e., having no medicinal value – despite the US government holding two patents on the use of pot for medicinal purposes!)

            In short, straightforward application of Constitutional process would completely obliterate the Federal laws on… well, probably 90% of what the Feds do. But specifically, with prohibition and the requirement for the 18th amendment as a model, there is NO LEGITIMATE FEDERAL AUTHORITY TO REGULATE DRUGS. Period.

    2. This. If-I-were-king-of-the-worldTM, I’d change the rules so that most people who wanted to come here and work for a living, could do so legally with minimal fuss.

      But I have very limited sympathy for the plight of those who have come here illegally. Our fracked-up immigration system is world-famous, so it’s perfectly fair to say anyone who got themselves coyote’d over here let themselves in for the consequences.

      The problem with illegal immigration has never been the numbers or ethnicity of people coming here. It’s the turning-a-blind-eye-to-the-law that makes people nervous. Once you get that ball rolling, you can’t ensure that only bad laws are ignored. And the world becomes a target-rich environment for bribe-soliciting bureaucrats.

      1. ” It’s the turning-a-blind-eye-to-the-law that makes people nervous. ”

        I know, the policy not to prosecute marijuana users breaking federal law in places like CO really is appalling.

        1. I realize there’s a process to changing the law. That’s not what we’re talking about here. The immigration issue has dragged on for thirty years or more, and both sides have more or less settled on doing nothing while letting things default to a system of outside-the-law practices. That’s now the biggest reason it needs to be fixed.

        2. I know, right? It’s much better to have laws against weed enforced selectively and preferentially based on random circumstances and personal vendettas. Prosecutorial discretion is the libertarians’ best friend.

          I know you’re being sarcastic, but I think you’re proving the opposite point.

        3. You are an idiot.

          1. ^^this, again, and again

        4. As long as CO doesn’t allow sales from groups outside CO, the Feds don’t get a say.

        5. I WANT MY DRUGS!!!
          Signed
          Bo Cara Esq.

    3. Oh, yes, you’re quite persuasive, it dispels the fears of those who’ve already shown a williness to disregard our laws once to continue to do so in as brazen a manner as they please.

      If I lived in a third-world shit hole with drug goons running around beheading people and the line to legally get me and my family to a better place was measured in years, I’d probably seriously consider disregarding immigration laws too.

      1. So, you are implying that some people are better off having immigrated even if it was illegally. That’s probably true and that’s the risk they chose to take. I know someone will say children did not have that choice and I agree.

        No one that has come here illegally can ever be a citizen. However, there are cases where they should not be deported either. For these cases I think some status of permanent resident should be available; however, one that can never lead to citizenship. “Permanent permanent residency”.

      2. I don’t care. Just because my living room is nicer than yours doesn’t mean I have to tolerate you moving into it.

    4. Well said. The people defending this outrage are just as bad as the criminals that cross our boarder illegally.

      1. My comment was not directed to Brian who is an idiot. It was in response to Uncivil Servant

      2. Well said. And they’re just as bad as the people smoking pot despite federal regulations. No respect for the sovereignty of the state or the rule of law! None!

        I hope that, one day, we can throw all of these people in rape cages and/or deport them, so that the rest of us can be truly free.

  2. It dispels fear as long as the Dems hold the White House. “If you don’t want grandma deported, better vote for Hillary”. I realize this is Steve “Washington Generals” Chapman, but you’d think even he would recognize the impact on liberty that the govt taking family members of millions of voters hostage would have.

    1. I know, right? “Help us deport Grandma” should be a bipartisan position!

      1. NO! Families should be deported TOGETHER!

        1. I think the rallying cry should be “deport the unemployed, citizens or not! Because, welfare state and, good for economy!”

      2. What does someone’s age have to do with it? I thought we were the principles people, not the feelz people.

  3. Under this program, deportation would be used in a rational way against those most deserving of removal.

    Unless the Executive Order reads something along the lines of “Whereas immigration control is not a defined power of the federal government according to Article I, Section 8, the INS will hereby lose the “I” part”, then I highly doubt that is the case.

  4. Everyone of these little whelps that get hatched over here is immediately covered by Medicare SCHIP. We have enough of these little parasitic breedlings of our own to pay for…sooooooooo…

    …Just put birth control OTC, and hand them a free pack as they cross the border. Or on their way out of the detention centers.

    In fact lets do the above, and then use our many billions of printed dollars to advertise the availability of birth control and encourage it’s use.

  5. But what about the important shit like Ebola and Benghazi? And Ms. Lerner’s e-mails?

    1. They found the e-mail, 30,000 e-mails that had previously claimed as ‘irretrevable’, just as real IT people said was possible.

      But that’s a different thread, this one is about a particular facet of presidential lawlessness.

      1. That story fizzled because it is no longer politically expedient. Just like Ebola and Benghazi did.

        1. Were you born a fat, slimy, scumbag puke piece o’ shit, or did you have to work on it?

          1. Pretty sure it was lead paint as a child.

        2. Boy, the fake controversies resulted in a lot of resignations of top officials involved, including the secretary of defense just now.

  6. I’ve noted with increasing alarm that there is a class of undocumented that is singled out and given the most horrific treatment when caught, yet not one rights group has stepped forward to take up their cause. I’m talking about those brave souls who dare to walk among us as undocumented bank customers.

    Where are the cries for amnesty? Where is the movement to allow them to keep their withdrawals despite being made with no proof of being a customer of the bank or of a balance sufficient to cover the withdrawal? Do they not have the same right to take money from the bank as any documented customer? Many of these undocumented customers are poor and unskilled, with families to support. If you deny them the right of undocumented withdrawal you are condemning their families to a life of privation and want as dire and desperate as in any third-world country. The flotsam and jetsam of your uncaring attitude. You monsters.

    1. Wait…is this a metaphor for immigration, or govt?

  7. Rule of law?!! Pssshhhhawwww, just do whatever the hell you want.

    Yeah, this isn’t going to have negative consequences. Not at all.

  8. Just wait. Jeb Bush will fix this.

    1. I bet you’re the kind of guy who would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around. I’ll be watching you.

  9. All I can say is ‘Gruber’.

    1. +1 horse whinnying in the background

    2. Suthenboy you were right. The economy is going gangbusters since the GOP won. New market records daily, cheap gas, low UE, strong dollar.

      It is a fucking miracle! Thank Gawd and Elvis!

      1. Meanwhile, U6 remains stubbornly high and the labor participation rate is at lows not seen since Ward Cleaver was in his prime working years.

      2. “New market records daily, cheap gas, low UE, strong dollar.”

        Hurrah for the one percent (that’s expanding overseas) and increased oil production, made partially possible by fracking?

        Your lefty friends constantly want us to stop drilling. Thank god the production has outpaced the demand, huh?

  10. my best friend’s aunt makes $60 hourly on the computer . She has been fired for nine months but last month her check was $17081 just working on the computer for a few hours. go to website….

    ?????? http://www.payinsider.com

    1. I’m not sure this is on the up and up.

    2. So, if Central American immigrants to be just worked from home, just a few hours on their computers, they would have big $?!?!?!?

      GUYS, I THINK WE HAVE A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM!!!!!

      1. They took ur fake online jobz!!!

        1. DEY DERKA DURRRRRRRR!!!!

  11. You have to give it to this administration. Incompetent at governing, they are good at high conflict politics. With this immigration move no ones talking about his party’s recent drubbing. And no ones talking about our Peace a Prize winning, anti-war Presidents most recent reneging on a promise to de escalate our wars.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the…..sence.html

    1. Look! Over there! A Republican county-council member of whom you’ve never heard has said something yuck-worthy! [/my Obot acquaintances]

      1. AQUA BUDDHA!

        Full stop.

  12. I suppose the best support Obama has is the Arizona case, where Arizona couldn’t aggressively look for immigration violators and turn them over to the feds because it violated the feds’ prosecutorial discretion.

    And of course the authorities can prioritize which violators they will proactively seek out, and go after the drunk drivers and wife-beaters in preference to other illegals, if that’s what they want. They can’t seek out *all* the illegals after all. See generally

    http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42924.pdf

    But what if, instead of the states daring to try and enforce a federal law, which of course Violates Federalism (/sarc), and instead of the feds conducting an in-depth investigation, a private person came to the immigration authorities with proof that someone is illegal? A jilted lover, a business rival, etc, with proof of the guy’s fraudulent documents, fake SSN, etc., etc.? Even with their cliched limited resources, are they to refrain from picking the guy up because the Pres told them to look the other way?

    1. a private person came to the immigration authorities with proof that someone is illegal? A jilted lover, a business rival, etc.

      But that would create perverse incentive to spuriously claim someone is illegal when they aren’t. I mean it’s not like we have a law that allows female illegal immigrants to be fast-track for green cards if they claim to have suffered domestic abuse or to have been a victim of human trafficking. That law would create a whole lot of perverse incentiv….NEVER MIND

      1. I get your joke, but seriously, I’m supposing that the person has actual documents and evidence beyond his own say-so.

        1. A prosecutor can always decide not to take action when something’s brought to them.

          1. “Always” is a bit of a stretch, and in any case a flat-out policy not to pursue certain violations is a bit different from deciding this on a case-by-case basis.

            1. I would say it’s better. Better to have a spelled out policy than the prosecutors in discernible whim.

              1. A policy to respond to well-founded complaints of lawbreaking would seem to be fairly discernable.

              2. Yeah, it’s not like we have an entire separate branch of government to decide what the policies are supposed to be or anything, right?

  13. without authorization

    Illegal?

    1. We don’t use that word to describe them. They have very delicate sensibilities.

  14. If you legalized drugs, drug users and sellers would no longer live in fear of arrest. Of course whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is entirely the issue. Chapman is just engaging in question begging here. These people live in fear because they are violating the law. Every law causes those who violate it to live in fear. So if the stnadard is “no one should live in fear”, then every law should be repealed.

    Of course Chapman thinks this is a bad law and therefore people living in fear because they violate it is wrong. Pointing to people living in fear just begs the question of whether the law is just and they should be living in fear. Chapman as usual does a poor job defending his own position. The whole article is just an exercise in assumption and question begging.

    1. More evidence that Chapman is an idiot.

    2. That is, typical social liberal arguments.

    3. The article is worse than an exercise in assumption and question begging. He does selective fact-stating. That the Supreme Court allows for prosecutorial discretion is only part of the story. The Court did not allow for law-making. But Obama will give these people work papers.

      1. There is no fear, and there are no shadows.
        If there are, how come every one of these heartbreak stories includes a line quoting, by name, someone here illegally and how sad they are? I think if I was in constant fear and living in the shadows, I wouldn’t want to be quoted by name admitting my status in the news.
        It’s also interesting that only immigrants, not Americans get to “Dream.” I’m sure Americans dream of an English speaking country with the rule of law in effect.

  15. I would also point out that this sort of mawkish fairness argument plays perfectly into the Progs hands on every other issue. Progs don’t respond to freedom arguments because they see the dark side of freedom Libertarians try to ignore. For Libertarians freedom means the right to do all things right and good. While that is true, freedom also means the right to be an asshole and do horribly unfair things. A free society, while in the aggregate much wealthier and fairer than an unfree one, is often for the individual a grossly unfair one. Progs see this and reject freedom because they view fairness as the ultimate value. Libertarians and conservatives are unbothered by this because they view self reliance as the ultimate value and understand that life will always be unfair no matter how hard you try to make it fair.

    When Libertarians make arguments like this that are based on fairness and mawkish concern for individual welfare, they do nothing but yeild to the Progs contention that “fairness” is the ultimate value. If it is so terrible that these people live in fear of deportation such that the government must give them relief, why then shouldn’t the government do something for people who live in fear of unemployment or fear of losing everything if they get sick? If the government has the obligation to make this fair then it should be obliged to do a lot of other things.

    1. The point is not to say that we shouldn’t have open borders. The point is that if we should, the reason for that is not because it is unfair that people can’t move here or the ones who choose to do so in violation of the law live in fear, because fairness is not and shouldn’t be the ultimate value in government.

    2. Progs don’t respond to freedom arguments because they see the dark side of freedom Libertarians try to ignore.

      Give it a left! Give it another left! You’ve got the straw man on the ropes! Knock it down! Kill it!

      1. God you are tiresome. Try reading the post again and thinking this time.

        What the hell is wrong with you? I don’t troll your points. Why do you insist on shitting on every post without even trying to understand them?

        1. I don’t shit on every post. Just the ones where you make ridiculous statements.

          1. You don’t understand what I am saying. I am not saying Libertarians are wrong. I am saying they don’t appreciate why people view things differently.

            You can’t just assume everyone automatcially values freedom in the same way you do. And you have to understand why they don’t value it if you are going to convince them otherwise. You have to stop trying to sell fairness and start convincing them why self reliance should be the ultimate value.

            The reason why Progs don’t view freedom as the ultimate value in society is because they value fairness not personal responsibility. If you are going to

            1. I am saying they don’t appreciate why people view things differently.

              Really? You mean libertarians don’t understand that the left runs on emotion, not logic, and that they value fairness over justice? Libertarians are soooooooo stupid and you’re sooooooo smart!

              You can’t just assume everyone automatcially values freedom in the same way you do.

              Yep! I totally assume that Tony values freedom in the same way that I do! You got me! I never would have thought he’s an emotional turd with no sense of logic or reason who who values fairness over justice! Thank you for enlightening me! You’re sooooooo smart!

              /sarc off

              You are an arrogant fuck sometimes, John. Seriously.

              1. If you think everyone who disagrees with you is just irrational and emotional, you don’t get it. They are perfectly rational. They just make different assumptions than you do. You won’t convince them of anything unless you attack their assumptions.

                When you make arguments like the one Chapman is making here, you are confirming their assumptions. And that gets you nowhere.

                1. They are perfectly rational.

                  Maybe not “everyone” John, but a whoooooooole lotta them are UTTERLY irrational.

                  So Ima need a [citation] to buy that statement of yours right there.

                  Otherwise, totally agree with you re: Chapman’s argument (which mostly isn’t one – typical Chapman).

                  1. Their assumptions are wrong. But if you assume the same things they do, their positions make perfect sense.

                    The root of the disagreement is about the assumptions. Both Libertarians and conservatives need to stop assuming fairness is any kind of compelling goal for policy.

                    1. The whole concept of fairness is not rational. It’s emotional. It’s something you feel. Everything the left stands for is predicated on emotion. They feel that they are right, and no amount of logic or reason can change what they feel.

                2. No, John. They are not rational. And that’s why there is no convincing them. You can’t reason someone out of something they didn’t reason themselves into.

                  1. “You can’t reason someone out of something they didn’t reason themselves into.”

                    This and triple this…such a good line.

          2. You don’t think freedom has a dark side? I’m not sure this is the best way to phrase it, but there are certainly issues that are worth addressing. Many people just don’t do that well with freedom. They need someone else to do their thinking. (Ok. I’m exaggerating … a little.)

    3. While that is true, freedom also means the right to be an asshole and do horribly unfair things.

      Well, yes, but it is precisely the right to be an asshole that most needs protecting. For the swell fellow who everybody loves, well freedom is kind of beside the point, isn’t it? Everybody already approves of him or her. It’s the bastard all right-thinking people find objectionable that needs to be able to fall back on his rights and liberties.

      1. Of course it does. But doing that means living with a certain amount of assholedom. That doesn’t bother me or you because we understand that that is how life works sometimes. Progs don’t get that. They are horribly bothered by unfairness and seduced by the idea of somehow ending it.

        1. John, it can’t be “ENDED”, but unfairness needless human suffering can be mitigated without completely trampling on people’s rights and freedom.

          Again, unless someone is poor or black or disadvantaged (and is not gifted or extra ordinary), certain people just simply don’t understand or care.

          1. unfairness needless human suffering can be mitigated without completely trampling on people’s rights and freedom

            No, actually. It can’t. Because it’s a moving target. Every time it moves, and another “solution” is implemented, another right or freedom is trampled. The logical conclusion is a total destruction of rights and freedoms, while still not accomplishing the stated goal because it is an impossible task.

            1. I hear and respect what you say.

              But I think it will always be a give/take.

              You may not agree and perhaps I can even be thrown out of a libertarian camp from the following statement:

              Rights and freedom for the few ,if rendering poverty and suffering for the masses, should be reevaluated.

              1. I don’t know what you are talking about.

      2. “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”
        ~ H. L. Mencken

        1. Nice quote.

    4. This is one of your best posts. Spot on.

  16. This is a ridiculous argument, claiming that “only 4 percent can be deported.” We can deport as many as we want and Obama has not enforced the law in this regard, nor asked for more resources to deport more illegals. Shabby logic.

    1. Obama never deported people or ask MORE GOVERNMENT MONEY to DEPORT THESE BIG CRIMINALS.

      Wanna hear something funny, neither did GWB nor CLINTON nor GWHB. And, the guy before them, Saint Reagan, he gave Amnesty to these SO-CALLED CRIMINALS.

      Do you wonder why mr. arthur the ibertarian?
      Corporations and individuals (mostly wealthy and some middle class) are the biggest benefactors to having illegals here so that they can drive down the salaries of the American worker and the Job Creator can dodge all of the labor regulations that libertarians general hate.

  17. It is also true that Obama is the major reason there are 11 million illegals in this country. He has neither secured our borders nor asked for the resources to do so. He has screwed the Black community, which is also what supporters of illegal aliens are doing. It is largely a racist
    position – Hispanics are preferred to our native Blacks.

    1. Hispanics are preferred to our native Blacks.

      Yes, they tend to be close to white-people.

      Plus, Latinas are much much HOTTER than any African American Black Girl Any Day.

  18. I agree with Steve Chapman and disagree with the people commenting here villianizing Latino Immigrants.

    This country would look at a Russian who escapes the IRON CURTAIN as a brave soul in search of liberty that deserves an opportunity in one way and a Mexican as a wet-back that needs to go back to where he came from.

    It was’t illegal to come to America until the Brown people started showing up.

    It has nothing to do with Law and Order. I see libertarians time-and-time again supporting breaking the law for unjust matters (like paying taxes and smoking pot). An illegal alien commits a misdemeaner. A Tax fraud is a Felony.

    Nevertheless, I see Obama’s actions as impotent….like all of his other actions.
    1. How many illegal aliens would join a registry that the Republican in 2016 won’t use that same list to go after these people?
    2. Once you give these people work VISAs, they lose the edge that they had on Americans and will be subjected to labor laws, taxes, etc. I’m not sure they would remain employed unless they have their own businesses (many do).
    3. The Conservative Supreme Court will likely overrule this Executive Order.

    1. There is no one villianizing Latino immigrants. The only people on this board who ever get villainzied are the natives, a disproportionate number are black by the way, who object to losing their jobs or competing with them.

      1. People losing their jobs or having to compete with others has never ever been a concern of the libertarian. That is, as long as it is not the individual libertarian’s livelihood at risk. Creative destruction is always good for other people.

        As far as Latinos not be Villianized, perhaps not on REASON.COM. But check out Arizona.

        1. I mean no one on here is doing so. Libertarianism, like every ideology is not perfect. It has its blind spots. The in ability to account for the effects of immigration on the job market and the effects of a forever tight job market on society at large is one of the bigger blind spots.

          True open borders means the job market for anything but the highest skilled workers will forever be tight. That reduces leverage employees have over their employers and generally makes life harder. It also makes the consiquences of even the smallest mistake, getting into it with your boss, going to jail or such much greater. In a tight job market there is always someone who hasn’t been fired and has a perfect work history to hire over someone who doesn’t. Libertarians just can’t understand how that could be a bad thing or how natives might not want to live in such an economy. So whenever someone voices these concerns, all Libertarians can do is dismiss their concerns as racist or being made by lazy ignorant people with the old “they took our jerbs” insult.

          And they just can’t understand why people won’t vote for them. I mean what could be more appealling that making fun of people’s concerns by implying they can’t even speak proper English?

          1. Libertarians do not understand that open borders can only be had between states and nations whose values and government are similar. Check out what our founding fathers did with the United States for example, open borders between the states. That is where open borders is awesome. We could probably even do it with Canada and a few European countries and it would be a positive for everyone involved.

            Though, the biggest issue, which I’ve touched on before, is that too many of these people who immigrate here have the ability to vote to further erode our freedoms and liberties. Fix that at the very least, and we can talk about loosening immigration policy.

            That so many so-called libertarians are not screaming about this when it comes to immigration shows them to be fucking stupid.

            As to your points about diluting the skillset and education of the average American worker, I kind of look at immigration from less educated and skilled countries as fertilizing your lawn. Too much and you can kill it, the right amount and you will have the best damn lawn in the neighborhood.

            1. Libertarians and Conservatives don’t understand that open borders can only be had between states and nations whose values and government are similar

              This is So So So TRUE. I’ve always said this.

              I’ve always said this particularly about OUTSOURCING our jobs and industries to third world countries with practically no Labor or Environmental Laws.

              The Politician and Libertarian may believe in FREE MARKETS, but the JOB CREATOR prefers slave labor and NO NIMBYs.

              1. Please do not add to my quotes. I do not feel the same way about conservatives as you obviously do.

                And I touched on outsourcing not at all. I do not believe any government has the right to hold anyone prisoner, I only believe that each country and her citizens has the right to accept people into her borders on not, not hold them prisoner, as you seem to want to do.

                1. To put it another way, you can only come into my home if I invite you, but that still doesn’t give me the right to tie you up and throw you in my basement once you are here.

                2. I do apologies for adding the word CONSERVATIVE to your quote. I meant to put it in () but forgot.

                  The outsourcing, as stated, is my point.
                  And, if we are free to obtain labor from slave laborshops for a fee far less than the market’s labor, well then that re-defines the Free Market.

                  I believe the problem is including the entire world in the Free Market. The challenges we are seeing in this country is due to tapping into 3rd world labor.

                  I don’t think we can have both a global free market and subjecting the local citizens to poverty once creative destruction has taken away their livelihood. If you try, there will be a nasty revolution.

                  1. I’m not so fond of the idea of trying to stamp down a global free market because of 3rd world labor and fears of uprisings.

                    One of the main reason large pools of untapped labor exist in 3rd world countries is because of their centrally planned, economic mismanagement for large portions of the 20th century. See India. At that point, it seems like we’re saying that we can’t have global free markets because of all of the places that haven’t had relatively free markets recently.

                    The best way to deal with untapped labor pools and stagnant economies is to liberalize them and tap them. As seen in India and China, wages and skills go up. Computer scientists in India aren’t taking manufacturing jobs away from low skilled workers in the US, and you don’t get computer scientists by refusing to do business with a population.

                    Probably any scheme for employing large numbers of local, unskilled workers by trade and immigration restrictions is doomed to failure. In a global market, you can’t make everyone do business with just you, and you still have to compete globally.

                    And, frankly, any person who’s hearing for a future where low-skilled machine operation is a valuable skill in high demand, is hoping for a past that will probably never come back. This has happened before, though. We haven’t had to go back to an agrarian economy in order avoid uprisings, just to employ farmers.

                    1. One of the main reason large pools of untapped labor exist in 3rd world countries is because of their centrally planned, economic mismanagement for large portions of the 20th century.

                      This is bullshit. You mean the hundreds of millions of dirt poor in central Asia, southeast Asia and Africa would be happily working at factories and living a first world existence if only their government changed? Oh yeah, if they just had “free markets” factories and a skilled workforce would appear overnight. The factories are only there because American companies are opening them to dump what they produce back into the US. There is no significant market over there.

                      Yeah, where would all those factories be and what would they make? Where would the schools be and who would pay for them? This is just the same stupidity that assumes all people are the same except applied to countries.

                      When the crash came in 2007 it was estimated that there was an excess worldwide automotive capacity of 20 million cars a year. Factories needed to close.

                      As for the globalist BS, I only care about workers in the US. A worldwide glut of workers is on the horizon. The less of a glut we have here, the better so no need to import more or outsource the jobs – let the rest of the world have the riots and damage that the glut will cause.

                    2. This is bullshit. You mean the hundreds of millions of dirt poor in central Asia, southeast Asia and Africa would be happily working at factories and living a first world existence if only their government changed?

                      OK, so what’s your explanation for why South Korea turned out so differently from, say, North Korea, China, Cambodia, etc.?

                      Oh wait. You don’t pose an explanation. You just strawman and appeal to ignorance for 1500 words. Bravo.

                    3. This is just the same stupidity that assumes all people are the same except applied to countries.

                      Right. It’s stupid to think that the South Korean economy turned out differently because they had a different government and economic model than China, North Korea, etc. That’s treating people like they’re all the same.

                      Clearly, the South Korean people are just fundamentally different from Chinese, North Korean, Cambodians, etc., in some fundamental way that you hint at and don’t explain.

                      Gee. I feel so silly.

              2. Hey Bowie, maybe you can learn to make a POINT rather than just RANDOMLY capitalizing WORDS in a pathetic ATTEMPT at making yourself seem COHERENT.

                1. I’ve been here for years. The RANDOM CAPs is my trademark.

          2. The in ability to account for the effects of immigration on the job market and the effects of a forever tight job market on society at large is one of the bigger blind spots.

            If you assume your interlocutor is smarter than Bo, then it’s not a blind spot any more than ignoring the existing costs of controlling the labor market indirectly through restricting immigration is a “blind spot” for people opposed to (greater/freer) immigration.

            A glut of unskilled and unemployed laborers is a sign of an unhealthy economy. As is often the case, immigration just exposes the inherent flaws, it doesn’t create them.

            Property rights and the rule of law (when the law is just) create the incentives for all people to take responsibility for their own existence and create enough value to justify what they take.

            Where I think a legitimate issue can be taken with (some) libertarians is that rule of law is necessary but not sufficient (as is capitalism) for an effective free society. Libertarians who are willing to discard the rule of law out of political expediency are just sowing the seeds for future problems.

            The people who come out of the woodwork to lecture about “the social contract” and spout economically illiterate nonsense are not going to convince any libertarians. No one is going to convince Bo of anything, but we’re not all Bo.

            1. economically illiterate nonsense

              I always get a kick out of people talking about economics as though it was something other than the worthless pseudo-science it really is. Economists cherry pick some facts then create a narrative surrounding it just like any politician or con-man but science it ain’t.

              Now you can talk all you want about the “laws” of economics or the models that are produced or all the people getting a Nobel Prize (which is really not a Nobel Prize by the way) but the bottom live is that they are all wrong at some time and usually when we need them to be correct the most.

              Imagine physics where you wouldn’t know from day to day whether your plane was going to fly or if it would just suddenly fall out of the sky. Yeah, that is what economics is.

              The really funny part about all social sciences is that those on the right correctly deride all the nonsense put out by sociologists without realizing they both use the same methodology just ones politics is on the right and one is on the left.

          3. I think we could get around the problem of tight labor markets by drastically reducing entry barriers that discourage self-employment.

    2. It was’t illegal to come to America until the Brown people started showing up.

      This is Bullshit, The immigration spigot was turned off in 1924 with significant support of organized labor headed by Samuel Gompers.

      Eisenhower deported the Mexicans but it had more to do with making sure returning GIs had jobs.

      Thanks to the Jewish lobby (Jacob Javits) afraid for another Voyage of the Damned and their useful goy idiot Teddy Kennedy looking to fill the country up with third worlders dependent on welfare we started on this path in 1965. Reagan’s stupidity put it on steroids.

      Pretending everything is racism is getting old and pathetic.

  19. Fuck ’em all. Literally, everyone.

    There, that’s fair. Right, Steve? So we’re OK now? No?

    Cause I wouldn’t anyone “terrorized” by not knowing we’re going to fuck them. Let’s give them certitude – you WILL be fucked. There – that’s fair.

    Lesson number 2,398,729,347,eleventy why my favorite Steve Chapman article begins with, “Steve Chapman is on vacation this week.” He is the very definition of milquetoast.

    1. Here is the thing, they are clearly not that bothered by whatever fear they have or they wouldn’t come here.

      I understand the Libertarian position on open borders. But for the life of me I can’t understand how any Libertarian could make the sort of compassion argument Chapman is making here. (Yeah I know Chapman isn’t a Libertarian but he pretends to be one, so work wiht me here).

      Libertarians in every other context are huge on personal responsibility and people being competent enough to accept the best deal. The immigrants came here knowing they would be illegal and under the threat of deporation and chose to do so anyway. It is not like the government went out and kidnapped them. So they clearly feel they are better off being here under the threat of deporation than not being here. So, I don’t see how you can say that removing that fear is some kind of a compelling argument for opening the borders. They made the choice. Why should anyone else feel obligated to give them a better deal?

      1. We are in violent agreement

      2. I agree with this. The only issue is for children brought here by their parents, the so-called “dreamers”. (What they are “dreaming” about is not clear.)

        1. Well, we cry no tears for semi-grown children that are trucked across to this side of the border by their parents…why should we cry for those going the other way?

  20. Yea, I know Chapman isn’t a Libertarian.

    There are LEFT-Leaning Libertarians, like myself.

    The illegals took personal responsibilities for themselves and families to come to America for a better life.
    And, what they heard from the people that came before them is that the Immigration law is not enforced because the JOB CREATOR loves paying less for labor and to go around labor laws. This is and has been a Bi-partisan effort with the Democrats acting like they are bleeding hearts to get the Latino Votes and the Republicans acting like Assholes to obtain the racist vote.

    1. The “JOB CREATOR” responds to the incentives of the market. The CONSUMER wants lower prices, and one of the ways to supply that is through lower labor costs.

      Effective labor laws are a luxury. Employers will follow them up to the point where the consumer can no longer afford them. Much of the world suffers in abject poverty because the laws place the cost of doing business far above what anyone is able to pay.

      Restricting immigration solely for economic reasons creates all sorts of distortions in the market. This is basic seen-unseen stuff, but for some reason many people seem to develop a sudden blindspot here. If your job could be done by someone outside the country just as well for half the pay, then it continues to exist only at the expense of the consumers–including those who are priced out completely.

      However, just because the flow of labor does not axiomatically have deleterious effects does not mean all immigration is good. For every legitimate job seeker, there’s a future welfare recipient, a gangbanging drug pusher, etc. If you are unwilling to address those incentives, then you have to accept and account for the consequences.

      1. So many here are not willing to address the incentives. This is the problem. There are a million other things to fix before even loosening border restrictions can be feasible while still at least maintaining the status quo on the health of our liberty.

        I fully understand your points above, and agree with them, though one also has to take into account that too much dilution of the skillset and education of a workforce on average can be very detrimental to not only the host country, but the economy as a whole.

        I’m not sure if there have been any papers on this, but to me it seems common sense, if the burden to educate and train is greater than the existing workforce can handle to catch those who are further behind up, the innovation and progress of an economy would suffer as future workers would be trained at a lower level.

        1. Yeah, one of the big issues is to hammer home the difference between legal presence and citizenship. John is quite right though that the left will always push to conflate the two because they think they can benefit from handing out voting as a favor.

          In the context of a just propretarian and lawful society, it is hard to fathom a scenario in which a large pool of unskilled and uneducated individuals can develop. You can’t get or keep much property if you are unable to earn. Insofar as you may become dependent, you can only be so at the volition of others.

          I don’t support any expansion of immigration control or restrictions (although that grants quite a bit of leeway to the executive to ramp up enforcement), but I will not compromise on getting my pony at the cost of many negative externalities. Changes should come through the legislature, they should be simple and avoid perverse incentives, and most importantly of all they should be tactically aligned with other libertarian objectives.

          1. I see no reason there can’t be another status. Permanent residence WITHOUT the possibility of ever becoming a citizen. Permanent residency has its advantages. If you don’t plan on voting (legally) or working for the Federal government, it’s really not a big deal.

            1. Permanent residence WITHOUT the possibility of ever becoming a citizen.

              I agree with the idea, but really it would require a constitutional amendment. Any law so passed by a Congress could be amended by a later Congress to change the status. Not to mention a President feeling frisky with his pen.

      2. The consumer is also the job doer. We didn’t seem to have a problem in the 50s and 60s with high wages and high prices and stay at home moms.

      3. The “JOB CREATOR” responds to the incentives of the market.

        The JOB CREATOR wants to undercut his competitor and keep the difference in his pocket. Most illegals start in unskilled service jobs. The black janitors union was destroyed in Los Angeles not because the office cleaning companies were responding to anything. New companies hiring illegals started showing up and undercut the union shops. The government did nothing to stop it.

        At Hughes Aircraft Company we even had the same thing happen to a defense contractor. Only one in the crew spoke any English.

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  22. You wrote “The Supreme Court has ruled that in this realm, the executive branch has plenty of latitude” Excuse me, BUT the point is Obama is neglecting and purposefully NOT ENFORCING EXISTING LAWS and that is a violation of the Constitution he swore to uphold. So do we not expect our politicians to follow laws now? His actions go beyond immigration issues…don’t get blinded by the pandora’s box he just opened if this decision is allowed to stand unchallenged. Next Presidents will have an open door to enacting laws, legislating and running the country WITHOUT any checks & balances and THAT is the real danger…Cruz is right…obama is acting like a despotic, 3rd world dictator making up laws and ruling as only HE sees fit….we cannot ignore the rule of law or this country might as well throw in the proverbial towel…

    1. Yes, Obama sword to uphold the Constitution. Actually, this falls to the level of just another campaign promise, albeit made after the campaign.

  23. Explain to me again why I shouldn’t want people in this country illegally to live in fear? In my opinion the only thing better than their fear is them actually getting caught and deported.

  24. From the history books: “Then, for his next executive order, Obama used his pardon power and prosecutorial discretion to refrain from arresting people who murdered legislators, judges and journalists who stood in the way of his agenda. This came to be known as, in a termed coined by President Obama’s long-time ally, Russian President Vladimir Putin, as ‘The Flexibility Period.’ Research estimates the death toll during this period, to violence and starvation, at 20-30 million….”

  25. What very few understand nobody knows these 5 million Obama set lose.The government will never deport the ones in the nation now. The government as it sits now will deport a few criminals they find .Don’t worry they wont go after the 30+ thousand criminals released last time Obama got pissed in 2013 They just have to say that they are one of the 5 million!
    Don’t worry Obama will have plenty of legitimate fake identification but the overload upon the health care system and the education system are no longer under the control of people who have America’s best interest either in heart or mind. I would venture to say there is not one major government department that is sympathetic to the American cause. It happened during the Vietnam debacle the leftists have been sneaking around putting people in places where they shouldn’t be. Too big to fail that’s the principal they have used to undermine the very laws that founded this nation.
    No one knows how many Islamic ideological head choppers are in this country! That’s a secret ingredient that has been fermenting for decades. And for decades they have been free to travel to America until caught. They catch hundreds each year just imagine how many thousands that’s slipped through their cracks . Especially when they stopped looking.

  26. What very few understand nobody knows these 5 million Obama set lose.The government will never deport the ones in the nation now. The government as it sits now will deport a few criminals they find .Don’t worry they wont go after the 30+ thousand criminals released last time Obama got pissed in 2013 They just have to say that they are one of the 5 million!
    Don’t worry Obama will have plenty of legitimate fake identification but the overload upon the health care system and the education system are no longer under the control of people who have America’s best interest either in heart or mind. I would venture to say there is not one major government department that is sympathetic to the American cause. It happened during the Vietnam debacle the leftists have been sneaking around putting people in places where they shouldn’t be. Too big to fail that’s the principal they have used to undermine the very laws that founded this nation.
    No one knows how many Islamic ideological head choppers are in this country! That’s a secret ingredient that has been fermenting for decades. And for decades they have been free to travel to America until caught. They catch hundreds each year just imagine how many thousands that’s slipped through their cracks . Especially when they stopped looking.

  27. “The president is right to think the law should not function like a lottery.” Does Reason know that opposing the equal application of a nation’s laws to all people, of all colors, while cherry picking laws in order to favor South American immigrants over all the rest IS using the law as a lottery. Apparently not.

  28. Steve Chapman has proven himself to be an Obama Leg Humper.

    Obama’s immigration order is “rational”. Really?

    Let me quote Powerline:

    “The proposed executive action on immigration (or whatever name you want to give it) will allow [illegal aliens] who have US citizen or green-card children and who have been here for five years to apply for some kind of quasi-status and open market work authorization. That would allow them to work for a period of time at any employer, the authorization presumably renewable until they decide to leave or have an option for US permanent resident status (green card status). This, the administration tells us, is fair and just and Biblical ? yada/yada.

    But this option is explicitly NOT available to those in the US in a valid legal status. There are millions of people in the US who have temporary status ? as students or temporary workers or researchers or as investors (lots of Koreans own businesses with E-2 investor visas, for example). These people ? many of them have US citizen children and have been here five years. These people who have been here legally and not violated their immigration status ? these people are explicitly NOT eligible for open market work authorization, renewable indefinitely.

    You must be in violation of the law to benefit from this provision.”

    Yeah, that is rational. Chapman should not be writing for a magazine named “Reason. There is no reason in his articles.

  29. I do not know why when ever I post here it comes up twice one for Obo I guess.

  30. “Rational” use would be to make like so miserable for criminal aliens that they self-deport.

    Like a law the fines anyone who knowingly hires or rents property to a criminal alien $1000 per day per violation and a blanket denial of process all benefits – including treatment at emergency clinics, schools and all forms of welfare.

    On top of that, a two-year mandatory sentence to an Arizona desert tent prison and loss of all property for any criminal aliens caught in the Country after a period to allow them to leave (say, six months) and the problem is solved.

    Rationally.

  31. From a principled standpoint, the question is whether you believe in the non-initiation of force or not. If you do, then someone walking over the border voluntarily to work for someone who wants to voluntarily employ them and pay them for their labor is NOT an initiation of force. Putting that person in handcuffs, sending them to jail, or forcibly removing them from the country are all initiations of force. So a principled libertarian should support open borders or at the very least a reduction in deportations.

    From a practical viewpoint, I do think they way Obama went about this can set a bad precedent for further extending the sweep of executive powers that both he and his predecessor arrogated to themselves. If a president can choose not to enforce this law, why can’t he or she refuse to enforce any other law?

    So, the result is good, but the method of reaching that result was highly questionable.

  32. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  33. So basically the claim is if you violate the law and illegally enter the US its okay. By the way, we are going to give you the same consideration as all those people who have emigrated legally, and did everything by the book. Then why the hell do we even have any laws? In addition, Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 did not do the same thing as President Obama. Both were responding to laws which had just been passed by Congress. Congress has not passed any law and THAT is why President Obama acted and that is the difference. He did not issue the order to fix a law, but issued an order to override a law.

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