Immigration

Let Illegal Immigrants Come Out of the Shadows

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Amidst predictably partisan reactions to President Obama's recent executive order offering five million illegal immigrants a reprieve from deportation, some critics have denounced it as a special affront to immigrants who played by the rules to come to this country. So, as one of those legal immigrants—my family came to America from the Soviet Union in 1980—let me say that illegal immigrants do not offend me. Like some two-thirds of Americans, I believe that if they have committed no crimes while living in the United States, they should be granted the option to stay here legally and, in the President's words, "come out of the shadows."

Yes, they broke the law by coming here. But as federal judge Alex Kozinski and attorney Misha Tseytlin—both of whom, incidentally, are legal immigrants, from Romania and the Soviet Union—point out in a 2009 essay with the self-explanatory title, "You're (Probably) a Federal Criminal," federal law today is so vast in reach that most of us have probably broken it at some point. And a few have done so to accolades from some of the same folks who are greatly exercised about law-breaking border-crossers. See, for instance, Nevada lawbreaker Cliven Bundy, the rancher who insisted on letting his cattle graze on federal land without paying the legally required fees, and whose defenders (before he started spouting racist tirades) included Fox News talk show host and illegal immigration hardliner Sean Hannity.

In many ways, immigration law is especially arbitrary and capricious—and hardly sacrosanct given its history. For a century after the American founding, we had open borders; a 1798 law allowed the President to order the deportation of resident aliens from a country at war with the United States, but that's about it. The first laws limiting immigration were strongly tainted with overt racism; the Page Act of 1875, which forbade entry to "undesirable" aliens, specifically targeted Asian laborers, and its 1882 sequel was actually called the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Obviously, we've come a long way since then. Even so, modern immigration law is flexible enough that what's legal today may be illegal tomorrow; it is replete with quotas, lotteries, and shifting definitions of what constitutes close family for the purposes of allowing legal entry to family members of U.S. citizens or resident aliens. It is less an instrument of justice than a morass of technicalities; no wonder it commands little respect.

Suppose the government imposed a quota on entrepreneurs so that people had to wait for years—or enter a lottery—for a permit to open a business. Would someone who starts an illegal business be viewed as a criminal by most people, at least if the company's products or services cause no harm to anyone? Probably not. For that matter, in a non-hypothetical situation, how many Americans, especially conservatives, would condemn an otherwise law-abiding citizen who runs an unlicensed day care center because the red tape is too costly, as long as the children are safe and well-tended?

True, in those cases we are presumably talking about American citizens. But we are a nation of immigrants—the cliché, in this case, is built on a profound truth—and descendants of immigrants who mostly came here when legal barriers to entry were few. To a very large extent, being here legally is a matter of luck, not of being more deserving.

In my case, the luck was partly a matter of Cold War politics: as Soviet émigrés, my family and I were automatically eligible for residency as refugees. For that, I give thanks on every Thanksgiving Day and on many others. But I am well aware that many people whose plight was at least as bad (or worse, with far more extreme poverty and active persecution rather than general oppression) did not have the same privilege. People who enter this country in violation of the law but earn an honest living, harm no one, and contribute to society—often getting far less back in benefits than do citizens or legal residents—have my sympathy and respect.

Few would deny that there are real, vital national security issues related to border control. There is also a legitimate debate about the social consequences of unrestricted immigration. Yet it is also indisputable that efforts to crack down on immigration violations have often resulted in ungenerous, even inhumane policies that one might call truly un-American.

Think of people brought here as children who never went through the naturalization process, and who suddenly faced deportation to places they barely remembered because of a minor past transgression—a bar brawl, or public urination classified as a sex offense—that made them deportable due to changes in the law. Think of people with American spouses who face the Catch-22 of having to exit the United States to apply for permanent residency, and being barred from re-entry for three or even ten years because they were here illegally. Think of people arrested on suspicion of often technical immigration violations who are imprisoned in worse conditions than violent criminals.

Think of Howard Dean Bailey, an Iraq war veteran who legally came to the U.S. from Jamaica as a teenager and whose heartbreaking story was told in Politico magazine earlier this year. A father of two, a husband and a small business owner, Bailey was deported back to Jamaica in 2012 after two years of often degrading detention; he was shackled during transit from one holding facility to another and once denied access to a toilet until he lost control of his bladder. His crime? A 1995 conviction for possessing marijuana with intent to distribute—which Bailey voluntarily disclosed on his citizenship application in 2005, not knowing it would disqualify him. Bailey, who otherwise has a clean record, says he was duped into picking up some packages for an acquaintance and pleaded guilty without realizing that it would doom his chances of becoming a citizen. Even if his role wasn't quite as innocent, his treatment strikes me as far more outrageous than amnesty for illegal aliens.

Whether President Obama's executive action overstepped the lawful bounds of his role is a question for constitutional law experts. One such scholar, George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin, argues that he did not, because violations of federal law are so ubiquitous that any president must pick and choose which ones to pursue. (Somin, too, happens to be a legal immigrant from the Soviet Union.) Be as it may, I hope that Congress can find the will to pass immigration reform, extend the President's reprieve, and allow illegal immigrants the opportunity to make things right with the law and stay in this country without fear. It's what most Americans want—and it's the American thing to do.

This column originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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220 responses to “Let Illegal Immigrants Come Out of the Shadows

  1. Ah, “the shadows”. Is it possible to speak rationally about immigration, or must all discussions be couched in such tendentious terms?

    1. Having a convenient anecdote always helps too. Either the seemingly-innocuous illegal alien who turned out to be a serial child rapist, or the hard-working adoptive father of 30 starving orphans deported to Guantanamo because of a paperwork snafu back in 1953. Of course, Cathy Young can always split the baby:

      “On the one hand, obviously we don’t want to welcome serial child rapists into the country. On the other hand, how can we defend a system that deports a hard working adoptive father of 30 starving orphans to Guantanamo?”

      3deep5 anyone.


      1. Texas state senator: 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members in state

        Texas state Senator Dan Patrick, who is also the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, said from 2008 to 2012, 143,000 illegal immigrant criminals were arrested and jailed in Texas. He said these were “hardened criminals, gang members, and other criminals that we identified as being in Texas illegally.”

        “We charged them with 447,000 crimes, a half-million crimes in four years, just in Texas, including over 5,000 rapes and 2,000 murders,” Patrick said. “We estimate we have 100,000 gang members here illegally.”

        1. I’m guessing that’s all bullshit.

          1. Ah yes, just because you say so, LOL.

          2. While Dan Patrick is far from ny favorite politician, it might be hard to lie about crime statistics without being called out on it.

            Just guessing isn’t calling someone out on bullshit.

        2. It’s sad.

    2. It must be a helluva shadow, considering it has to accommodate illegals marching en masse through the streets of major cities, including the capitol, waving Mexican flags and issuing demands. Perhaps “in your face” might be a more accurate euphemism.

      1. But what about in the real world?

          1. It has Google, apparently.

            1. Indeed it does. Learn to use it.

              1. BAHAHAHA how about you use it to substantiate your outrageous claims? The onus is one you after all. Not that masses of people waving flags is remotely worth getting upset about.

            2. “It has Google, apparently.”

              It’s a shame that you don’t.

              Might make you appear more intelligent.

      2. Some of them carry umbrellas, so they can march in the shade, but I wouldn’t think they’d want to come out of the shadows.

  2. Dude that makes no sense at all man.

    http://www.Safe-Anon.tk

    1. Yep! Cause the first thing they will do is add 20,000,000 people and their kids to this budget:

      WIC, ($7,000,000,000) SNAP ($80,000,000,000 a year), TANF ($31,000,000,000), Supplemental housing ($24,000,000,000) and MEDICAID ($265,000,000,000), CHIP ($9,000,000,000) School Lunch Program ($11,600,000,000) total $795 BILLION A YEAR this doesn’t count 8 Cash Assistance programs 8 vocational training programs 3 utility assistance programs total 2 child care and development programs. ALL together are tax payer burdens.

  3. BUT THEY WILL ALL VOTE DEMOCRAT!!

    1. Yes, they probably will.

      What’s your point? Or are you just puking bullshit again?

  4. Does Cathy Young pretend to know what it’s like for post-1990s legal immigrants to qualify for residency and citizenship? If her family got expedited treatment, and she wasn’t the one chasing paperwork, does she really know what it was like for typical immigrants even in the 1980s?

    If Congress and the President want to reform immigration laws, let them do it by amending the laws — not by categorically abrogating enforcement of them.

    1. Think of this as Obama’s Emancipation Proclamation.

      1. THIS IS WHAT SHREEEK ACTUALLY BELIEVES

      2. Like it or not, PB’s statement is consistent with deontological libertarianism. I know most of the commentariat are utilitarians, and open borders are a difficult pill to swallow, but it’s silly to simply ignore the ethical argument.

        1. ” most of the commentariat are utilitarians”

          Whose utilitarianism seems most acute on issues where traditional Republicans diverge from libertarianism, interestingly enough.

        2. Knock it off Bo. You wouldn’t pass my purity test either.

          1. If you say so.

        3. Being ” ideological or theoretical” doesn’t do squat in the real world. Obama is ideologically pure and see what a complete bozo he turned out to be.

          If a idea is not pragmatic then it should remain in the category of failed ideas.

          Unregulated immigration is a failed idea. Especially in a semi welfare state. All that will happen is more illegals will be encouraged to come here and the government will continue to grow on the backs of the productive people already here. Eventually the system will collapse under its own weight.

      3. If we can embrace Soros as an American citizen, and forgive his past indiscretions in joyfully helping to round up a few hundred Jews for the Nazis, surely we can embrace US citizenship for all?

        1. Good grief. Free Republic is thata-way!

          1. Sorry BoBo, didn’t mean to upset you by mocking Shrieky. Obviously you both have similar notions of what arguing in good faith entails.

            1. arguing in good faith entails

              Oh shit, I mentioned faith, obvious SoCon giveaway.

            2. Those kind of attacks on Soros are the right wing equivalents of juvenile attacks on the Kochs.

              1. Wouldn’t want to be juvenile when dealing with Shrieky and BoBo, now I’m definitely feeling ashamed.

              2. Except that Soros is a self admitted former Jew hunter for the NAZIs and in fact called that period the happiest time of his life.

        2. Proof that even a productive capitalist is an enemy of Team Red when he steps off the GOP plantation.

          1. It’s nice of you to admit that rounding up Jews for slaughter is stepping off the GOP plantation, Shrieky. I congratulate you for your honesty.

            1. You seem awful wedded to this right wing smear trope for someone who protests he’s just having fun with PB. Almost as if it comes naturally to you.

              1. When did I ever protest that I was just having fun with Shreiky?

                Stop projecting BoBo. Words matter, need I remind you once again of this?

                1. Hello BoBo??

                  Still waiting for proof or a retraction. Words matter. I’m convinced you will have the intellectual honesty to follow through on this.

                2. “Sorry BoBo, didn’t mean to upset you by mocking Shrieky”

              2. Shrike is a vile troll–and an idiot.

                There isn’t any need to justify going after Shrike.

            2. Pretty sure that’s a lie and Soros need rounded up Jews.

              1. As I recall, Soros was 14 years old when the Nazis invaded Hungary. He was a Jew who could pass for a non-Jew. His father abandoned him to live with a non-Jewish family friend–under the guise of his wealthy friend’s son.

                Soros’ father’s wealthy friend was a local magistrate who was tasked by the Nazis with sending legal letters to local Jews telling them to report at such and such a place at such and such a time. He send Soros to hand deliver the letters, and told them to tell the families that if they reported, they would surely be killed. And by all accounts, that’s what Soros did. He hand delivered the letters and told the families that if they reported, they’d be killed.

                Soros spent a big chunk of the war a) hiding in plain sight in the middle of the holocaust b) hiding in a barn with his Jewish father. When the war was over, he made a fortune and has spent a big chunk of it fighting right-wing extremism–especially in Eastern Europe.

                That people would pounce on what he did during the war as some kind of nefarious thing should be embarrassing to anyone who falls for that narrative. To believe it, you’d have to ignore everything people who were there reported about him, everything he’s doing to fight right-wing extremism since, and even worse…?

                You’d have to blame holocaust survivors for what they had to do to survive–blame that properly belongs to the Nazis who created that situation on purpose.

                1. That’s actually. . .really fucking awful. After reading that story, I can see why Soros might want to try and create some kind of prog utopia.

                  I wonder if he does what he does because he really wants to make the world a better place? I know intentions don’t trump results, but it would be nice if his intentions really WERE altruistic, and stemmed from his time in Nazi Germany.

                  1. I believe it would be Nazi occupied Hungary,

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H…..eportation

                    But otherwise, yeah, what he’s done since, politically, is easily explained by his experiences during the war–as well as his having studied under Karl Popper after the war. I mean, he calls his foundation “Open Society”.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K….._tolerance

                    Anyway, I’m not saying Soros is a libertarian, or that I agree with him on anything. But people who denounce him for being a collaborator either don’t know what they’re talking about or they should be ashamed of themselves. Soros became extremely unpopular in Republicans establishment circles for his support of their opponents on culture war issues and for his support of things like ObamaCare.

                    I oppose ObamaCare as much as the next libertarian (maybe more), but I’m just like I’m not willing to pretend what Obama is doing is constitutional–just because I like what he’s doing–I don’t have to pretend Soros was a collaborator just because I disagree with him.

      4. Think of this as Obama’s Emancipation Proclamation.

        So it really only applied to geographical areas outside the control of the US gov. and positively affected no one?

          1. In reference to what the emancipation proclamation actually did, which was nothing.

            1. Around 20,000 to 50,000 slaves in regions where rebellion had already been subdued were immediately emancipated.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E…..oclamation

      5. That is some funny shit right there.

        I know, I know, it isn’t nice to laugh at retards.

      6. See, when people comment on how badly you prostrate to Obama, they’re referring to shit like this. Complete propaganda that has nothing to do with the actual actions being discussed. I laugh that you consider yourself a ‘rationalist’ when you deliberately construct irrationalist arguments for emotion’s sake.

      7. So if a future president issues a broad executive decision on facilitating the Keystone pipeline and fracking (because Congress is slow to act on them, along with dozens of other issues), that’s fine with the lefties? Especially since science has proven them to be relatively safe?

        Do you remember that we were at war at the time Lincoln made the EP, and that it only affected confederate states? Union states with slave, yea, they could keep’em.

        That means Lincoln actually had to make a tough, delicate decision with the fate of the nation in mind. Not like Obama, who made a political decision to benefit himself and his own party.

        1. “So if a future president issues a broad executive decision on facilitating the Keystone pipeline and fracking (because Congress is slow to act on them, along with dozens of other issues), that’s fine with the lefties?”

          Think bigger.

          Why not get rid of the income tax?

          Budget battles are a thing of the past!

          1. small potatoes ken…
            pass an executive order for the orderly dissolution of the federal govt

      8. Are you suggesting that Obama made this proclamation prosecutorial discretion to punish and hobble the red states?

  5. Six months ago I lost my job and after that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a great website which literally saved me. I started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month… The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start… This is where to start…

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

  6. I’m an open borders guy…

    “Federal law today is so vast in reach that most of us have probably broken it at some point.”

    1. Damn server squirrels ate 4/5 of my comment.

      I’ve never seen it do that before–where it posts some but not all of a comment.

    2. “Federal law today is so vast in reach that most of us have probably broken it at some point.”

      Anyway, yeah, I’m an open borders guy, and this is a horseshit justification for Obama usurping Congress’ enumerated power to set the rules of naturalization.

      And there isn’t anything about Clive Bundy refusing to pay grazing fees (that he doesn’t think he owes) that’s in any way comparable to Barack Obama using the Constitution as toilet paper.

      If anything, Bundy not paying grazing fees might be comparable to single moms hiring illegal aliens for child care or an elderly couple hiring illegal aliens to do yard work.

      And Cathy having immigrated here from the Soviet Union in 1980 doesn’t justify Obama ignoring Article One, Section 8 of the Constitution either.

      1. Pretty sure the USG does not have constitutional authority to limit immigration. Naturalization refers to acquiring citizenship, and Obama’s decree does not give out citizenship.

        1. Have you ever or do you ever plan in the future to oppose a war on the basis of its unconstitutionality?

          Because the power of Congress to make the rules of naturalization comes from the same place as its power to declare war.

          And is it really so easy to fall for Obama’s word games. We certainly shouldn’t help him.

          Is the purpose of Obama’s “decree” to subvert the “uniform rule of naturalization” or isn’t it?

          “To establish a uniform rule of naturalization” is an enumerated power of Congress according to Article One, Section 8–the same place that gives Congress the power to declare war.

          Just because I’m an open borders guy (and support open immigration) doesn’t mean I have to pretend that what this disgusting president of ours is doing isn’t unconstitutional. He might as well have declared an illegal war.

          1. “Is the purpose of Obama’s “decree” to subvert the “uniform rule of naturalization” or isn’t it?”

            Is he or isn’t he protecting people from being repatriated on the basis of his own standard–a standard that hasn’t been approved by Congress?

          2. Immigration vs naturalization isn’t ‘word games’, Ken.

            1. Yes it is.

              Any way you slice it, Obama is changing the uniform rule of naturalization by decree without a vote of Congress.

              That is an enumerated power of Congress.

              A rose by any other name would be just as unconstitutional.

              What, are you one of those people that refers to Vietnam as a “police action”? Do you imagine that makes it any less unconstitutional?

              1. CITIZENSHIP:NATURALIZATION

                NOT DEPORTING PEOPLE:IMMIGRATION

                Not word games, just beyond your Ken.

                1. Barack Obama circumventing the uniform rule of naturalization isn’t unconstitutional if you call it “immigration”.

                  I understood the stupid shit you were saying before you shouted it.

                  It’s just like saying Vietnam wasn’t unconstitutional becasue it was a “police action”.

                  I’m not interested in your word games.

                  Congress has the enumerated power to establish the uniform rule of nationalization. Barack Obama does not!

                  1. Can you name the people President Obama has naturalized or plans to naturalize?

                    I would think they would make a great front page story in the Times.

                    1. Can you explain how contravening the uniform rule of naturalization through executive action isn’t contravening the uniform rule of naturalization by executive action?

            2. “Immigration vs naturalization isn’t ‘word games’, Ken.”

              You mean like “tax” vs. a “penalty”?

      2. GOOD! It costs $12,600 to educate 1 child for 1 year in the US. KP-12= $163,800.

        In 2009 there were 6,000,000 kids belonging to people who don’t belong here.

        6,000,000 X $163,800 = $928,200,000,000

        You got that in your pocket? If not shut the !!ell up cause I don’t want to pay for it!!

        1. agreed.
          then you have the bill for their healthcare, their food stamps, their section 8 housing ect…..

          then these illegals have more children who are given immediate citizenship further complicating the problem. Eventually they will have de facto citizenship because it will be impossible to deport them.

  7. “I believe that if they have committed no crimes while living in the United States …”

    Does that include neglecting to file tax returns?

    1. I’m kinda jealous of them over that, but I don’t think they should have to file tax returns like the rest of us.

      I think the rest of us shouldn’t have to file tax returns either.

      1. Jealousy doesn’t have to enter in. It’s unequal application of the law.

        1. Yeah, well, I’m not sure unequal application of the law is a problem when the law itself is fundamentally unjust.

          I think there’s an old Army saying about how out of stupid or smart and lazy or industrious, stupid and industrious is the worst possible combination.

          I guess the flip side of that is the two old ladies complaining in a restaurant. One of them says, “The food here tastes terrible”, and the other one says, “And the portions are too small!”.

          Take warantless wiretapping as an example. I was upset about it when we found out that was happening to some people back during the Bush Administration.

          Finding out that this injustice is being equally applied to pretty much every single American? That doesn’t make me feel better about it at all.

    2. Does that mean breaking US immigration laws?????

  8. if they have committed no crimes while living in the United States

    Is not the first crime sneaking across an international border?

    (disclaimer: I believe only those who are known violent criminals and/or carrying communicable diseases should be barred entry. That said, if you have already broken a law in the current system you should probably not be granted defacto amnesty w/o consequence.)

    1. That’s not really a crime, it’s just illegal.

      1. That’s not really a crime, it’s just illegal.

        That’s the case for basically all of US law.

        1. bwahahahahha basically

  9. Whether President Obama’s executive action overstepped the lawful bounds of his role is a question for constitutional law experts.

    Or anyone who knows how to read…

  10. They can come out of the shaddow at any time, they just have to return to their own country.

      1. YES! We can’t afford them: The total cost over this first generation of immigrants is estimated at a staggering $6.3 trillion in terms of total lifetime government benefits over and above the taxes the immigrants will pay in. http://www.forbes.com/sites/je…..rsus-cost/

        More than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians ? even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population.It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty. California taxes are 42% higher than Texas.
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/th…..and-water/

  11. When all laws are arbitrary, and many (like the drug laws), immoral, there’s no good answers left anymore. There are ethical, rational arguments to be made for various immigration policies and procedures. But there’s no point making them when you can point to ten times as many irrational policies and procedures and unethical, irrational arguments.

    It’s not an immigration problem. It’s a government in it’s entirety problem that needs to be fixed

    1. Violent revolution is a good answer, and it fits the bill perfectly for the situation we find ourselves in.

      1. you first, were right behind you

    2. It IS Illegal Immigration causing the loss of 8,300,000 US domestic jobs to illegals.

      It is a bunch of ignorant people who haven’t connected their bottoms to their babies:

      Several hospitals, including ones in Stockton (42% Hispanic & Bankrupt), CA and Dallas, TX, report as many as 70% of their deliveries are to non-residents. Similarly, since the parents of infant citizens still qualify for welfare in order to protect the child, studies estimates nearly $2 billion dollars goes to illegal aliens annually, in the form of food stamps and free lunches alone not to mention Medicaid, Supplemental Housing .
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..43158.html

  12. But we are a nation of immigrants?the clich?, in this case, is built on a profound truth

    Is it? IIRC, despite the best efforts of folks like you, a large percentage of the population can still number among their ancestors British colonists and settlers. Since when is moving from one British territory to another considered “immigration”?

    1. Even given the weasel phrasing ‘among their ancestors’ and ‘large percentage’ do have a cite for this

      1. Why I bother responding to an asshat like you, I’m sure I don’t know. It’s not exactly an obscure fact:

        Using the self reported 2010 census figures British Americans are the second largest European ancestry group after German Americans. However, this figure is likely an undercount, as a large proportion of Americans of British descent tend not to claim British ancestry or identify solely with other ancestry. Eight out of the ten most common surnames in the United States are of British origin.

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

        1. Good grief, they’re not even the first place among dozens and you’re hanging your hat on that?

  13. You cannot have open borders and a welfare state at the same time:

    Pew Research Center: Hispanic Politics, Values, Religion

    Support for a larger government is greatest among immigrant Latinos. More than eight-in-ten (81%) say they would rather have a bigger government with more services than a smaller government with fewer services.

    1. I keep hearing that increasing the fraction of the population with this propensity to favor and vote for bigger government will, in fact, make government smaller. It might be due to Self Ownership, the Non-aggression Principle or perhaps Underwear Gnomes.

      The smart people have it all figured out.

      1. Draconian immigration laws = draconian enforcement = 100 mile constitution-free zone around each border.

        Border-boner conservatives are a much greater threat to our freedoms than all the unauthorized immigrants combined.

    2. You can’t have a welfare state, period, and you can’t be a libertarian who wants to sacrifice immigration freedom for the welfare state.

      1. I’m impressed. It’s not every day I have the pleasure of meeting someone with the authority to boot Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman and John Hospers out of the libertarian movement. Would it be presumptuous to ask who died and left you the arbiter of all things libertarian?

        1. I’m an Objectivist, so I get to better than everybody!

          1. The only thing being an Objectivist does is get you an invite to the wife-swapping parties.

            1. And then what happened …?

            2. link please?

  14. Pandering to people who aren’t even allowed to be here and aren’t even citizens makes zero sense.

    What has our country come to? Enforce our laws and this won’t be an issue.

    Why are we obligated to please these ILLEGAL people?

    Good grief! Americans like myself are struggling. I’m employed (temp work) but can’t afford health insurance. I don’t drive much either cause I can’t afford gas. My auto insurance, which the government has yet to ruin, is thankfully only $25/month (from Insurance Panda) and my homeowners is only $65/month from Accenture (thank god). Please, Obama! Don’t try to socialize those too! I also cut cable and internet and I haven’t been out to eat or to the movies in god knows how long.

    It infuriates me that these people who don’t even belong here are getting more freebies than tax paying, law abiding citizens like myself!

    Illegal aliens show up and all of sudden the government bends over backwards for them? while throwing good, law-abiding citizens to the wayside.

    1. Every word a lie.

      1. THE TRUTH! They are the biggest drag on our economy even more than war!

        $38,039 The median income of Hispanic households in 2009. 81% of illegals are Hispanic

        The Congressional Budget office (CBO) estimates Household in the bottom quintile received $29,015 in benefits & paid $4,251 in Federal, state and local taxes. (Income $20,262 mean $11,239)

        In the second quintile household received $24,709 in benefits & paid $9,524 in Federal, state and local taxes. (income top $38,520 mean $29,204 )

        When legalized they will CONSUME 3-7 TIMES in Social Services (like WIC, TANF, SNAP, Welfare, Supplemental Housing, Disability, Medicaid) than they contributed in revenue. http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p60-238.pdf?

        The total cost over this first generation of immigrants is estimated at a staggering $6.3 trillion in terms of total lifetime government benefits over and above the taxes the immigrants will pay in. http://www.forbes.com/sites/je…..rsus-cost/

        1. Where’s Cytotoxic ?

          One would think he would be here with facts and figures to prove all this wrong.

          Cytotoxic ?

          1. Can’t prove it wrong. That would require facts.

            To argue otherwise would be to argue that there is no value in having a citizenship at all.

    2. I will just point out that most of your insurance is already “socialized.” In most states, auto insurance operates almost identically to the ACA. If you drive, you either have to carry the state minimum for liability or pay an uninsured motorist fee to the DMV.

  15. Excellent article by Cathy. I was on the fence, but it’s increasingly clear that Obama’s decree is 1) not that sweeping and 2) not illegal. Congress gave the president these powers before.

    It’s also clear that the groundswell of anger and fury amongst the American people and the resulting GOP fightback that the border boner crowed expected are not happening. The American people just aren’t that averse to mass immigration and reasonable adjustments to law enforcement. Sorry borderites, we just don’t share your neurosis. You’d know that if you didn’t live in a bubble chamber.

    1. The correct philosophy is to either have controlled borders, or to have uncontrolled borders. Anything in-between lacks idealistic conviction and is just “policy by anecdote”. Different laws for different people and situations [Mind you, progressives seem to be fine with that approach].

      Turning a blind eye to current illegals is this ‘in-between’. Either proponents argue for un-controlled borders and explain why this would be better (good luck) or opponents argue we keep controlled borders and why that is necessary. Once the argument is made and decided, any in-between is inconsistent and again just “law by anecdote” – laws that are flexible to the situation of the moment (including the people they are applied to). We’ve seen plenty of examples of societies run by those types of laws. They are the places people want to get away from.

      1. I’m in favour of controlled, open borders. The control would be used only to keep the infectious and criminal out, such as spies and terrorists. Nothing else is justified except during an actual war.

        1. A valid position.

          I personally see open borders as cultural suicide. Whichever culture moves in the fastest, produces the most children – that becomes the new dominant culture (after which they change the laws and close the borders).

        2. Illegals have squandered 8,300,000 US jobs. What about American workers. Do you want to replace them all?????????

          1. Even if that number is accurate, how does your desire for a job justify the government pointing guns in peoples’ faces?

        3. Which is fine, but the decision for how the border is controlled and to what degree should come through the proper channels as defined in the U.S. Constitution. That’s what it’s for, or are you a secret monarchist (not that you would say so else it would no longer be a secret) who would prefer a single individual with the power to efficiently craft and implement laws (only those you think are worthy, of course)?

      2. The correct philosophy is to either have controlled borders, or to have uncontrolled borders. Anything in-between lacks idealistic conviction and is just “policy by anecdote”.

        I’ve got to side with Cytotoxic here. Controlled borders that let anyone not specifically proven harmful through is the correct philosophy.

        That means no quotas or durations on visas and no restrictions on employment. But it still means no suspected terrorists or carriers of Ebola.

        1. See my response to Cytotoxic above.

          I think that North America could be said to have had ‘open borders’ at the time of the Native Americans (not as policy obviously, just the default). European culture moved in, took over, and closed the door behind them.

          1. You’re comparing a group of literally thousands of tribes (all with their own independent political systems, cultures, hierarchies, notions of law and property rights, etc.) who were already ‘underpopulated’ (in comparison to European states at the time) before a massive epidemic of disease wiped out vast amounts of the population to a modern day nation state numbering in the hundreds of millions with a vast infrastructure, hierarchy, established system of laws and a historical record of absorbing vast immigrant populations into its cultural heritage. That’s a bit of an apples and oranges comparison there.

            1. *This example excepts Mesoamerican societies like the Aztec, who did have a high, centralized population, because they were deliberately conquered by military means, not through European immigration.

              1. Would the result have been different you think if it had been just immigration?

                Another more modern example is Lebanon (Nassim Taleb give a good description of what happened in ‘Black Swan’).

                1. I’m not even going to touch historical what-ifs because shockingly just making up your own history is not a good argument. Tell me, when did white settlers submit to Amerindian political systems and hierarchies, outside of when they purchased land? My entire point is that your example is poor because colonialism is specifically not the same as immigration.

                  Lebanon’s at least better example that actually has to do with immigration, but again, population of less than five million with a history of conflict between in-country minority groups compared to a massive country that has integrated immigrants historically. Have a lot of American Protestant/Catholic civil wars I haven’t heard of?

                  1. You don’t want to touch historical what-ifs, but since there are no open border countries in the world today, that’s all we are doing right now anyways – ‘What-ifs’. That’s all we have. That fact that is all we have suggests to me that open-borders are unstable (because, otherwise, where are they?)

                    You don’t think that immigrants coming in at a sufficient rate can adopt political systems and hierarchies initially, and then vote and change them later? It’s an honest question, you just don’t think that would happen?

                    Seems very possible to me. If the culture difference is small, then obviously it doesn’t matter much. If the cultural difference is large, then there will be conflict.

                    1. “Because, otherwise, where are they?”

                      Uh, Schengen Agreement? The entire history of European microstates?

                      “It’s an honest question, you just don’t think that would happen?”

                      I’m not suggesting it can’t happen, I just find it interesting that there’s a constant freakout about this occurring with immigration, when, you know, the people who seem most willing to change America’s political system today are Americans themselves. Mexicans aren’t the ones pushing to change the First Amendment over Citizens United, Mexicans didn’t install a police state-esque anti-terrorism act, and South Americans aren’t the ones who claim ‘Commerce Act’ to justify every expansion of state power. You’re already losing to the natives and act like immigration changes will fundamentally alter American society. Newsflash: American society is already being fundamentally altered, the people doing it gain support every generation, and the guys doing it you can’t deport.

                    2. There is ‘concern’ because it is irreversible.

                      Q. Why do South and Central Americans want to come to the US?
                      A. Because there are more wealth and more freedoms

                      Q. Why is there more wealth and more freedoms in the US?

                      Both colonized; stealing and killing off the indigenous populations. Both have abundant resources. So what is the difference? Just universally bad luck across all 20 or so countries there? That’s quite a coincidence …

                    3. All clearly had the exact same colonial histories right? They were all recognized by the European powers and weren’t horribly repressed in ways far more extreme than British treatment of America right? And they certainly didn’t have to deal with decades of interventions and wars by European powers or even America itself right?

                      And your argument is profoundly self-defeating. If your culture leads to so much more wealth and freedom, then they will actively integrate and be absorbed into that culture in order to gain those benefits.

                    4. Sorry I’m a bit confused about your last argument here.

                      They do not have equal histories to each other at all. Doesn’t that support my argument? They all had different histories, but the same basic crappy outcome (socialism, under-performing, high crime). Why?

                      I’m all for melting pot immigration. But this doesn’t happen with high rates of immigration, and indeed doesn’t seem to be happening right now. Open borders would likely destroy any remaining aspect of ‘melting pot’ integration completely.

                    5. My point is that you’re presenting it like a grand societal experiment where every nation is set off at the exact same time and given the same advantages and disadvantages, meaning that the only thing that determines their eventual stasis is culture, ignoring the geographical and geopolitical realities of the time periods. There’s a ton of extremely bad political decisions you can lay at the feet of Latin America, but you also have to understand the geopolitical realities of why it happened (do you think that Latin America would have jumped for socialism and Soviet support so readily if say, America, fruit companies and the CIA hadn’t been mucking about in their affairs for decades?).

                      Imagine almost all the American Founding Fathers being captured and executed by the British. Makes George Washington crown himself king much more likely, right? That’s basically what happened in the Mexican Independence War. Do you not think that, say, France randomly invading the United States in the 1838 might have consequences to the nation’s long term well-being?

                    6. They all had different circumstances (the Latin American countries). You can point to this war for Mexico, or that war for Chile and so on, but they didn’t ALL experience the same thing, yet outcomes are almost identical. The US had an extremely destructive and divisive civil war during the same period of time, so it’s a disservice to logic to suggest the US went through history unscathed and “that’s” why it succeeded.

                      All these different histories, all these different hardships of different kinds. The results surprisingly similar. British settled colonies did the best by far and Spain and Portugal’s the worst. At least that’s my conclusion (and no I’m not British).

                      The British had the best concept of liberty, property and rule-of-law. That’s the difference. This is culture that built up over a long period of time.

                      It’s all dying now; the culture of freedom and self-responsibility, so maybe the whole conversation is moot anyways. Maybe all systems are unstable.

                    7. NOPE! We are talking about supporting all of them and their offspring ad infinitum: The total cost over this first generation of immigrants is estimated at a staggering $6.3 trillion in terms of total lifetime government benefits over and above the taxes the immigrants will pay in. http://www.forbes.com/sites/je…..rsus-cost/
                      More than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians ? even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population.It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty. California taxes are 42% higher than Texas.
                      http://www.forbes.com/sites/th…..and-water/

    2. “The Congress shall have power

      To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization”

      —-Article One, Section 8

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A…..f_Congress

      Obama is protecting unaturalized people from being repatriated in accordance with the uniform rule of naturalization.

      Why pretend otherwise?

      1. Please describe the ‘Uniform Rule of Naturalization’.

        1. It’s the set of laws regarding naturalization that have been enacted by Congress.

          You want to change them, you have to go through Congress.

          ’cause the Constitution says so.

          1. ’cause the Constitution says so.

            I agree. I’ll add that the president is hired to enforce the law. By not enforcing the law, he is abdicating his responsibilities as president.

          2. See Mike P below. Naturalization =/= immigration

      2. Obama is protecting unaturalized people from being repatriated in accordance with the uniform rule of naturalization.

        Naturalization is not and never has been immigration. This clause does not empower the government to control anything but naturalization.

        1. THANK YOU

        2. A thing is what it is and not something else.

          You may not like the rules of naturalization. I don’t think I do. But they’re the rules whether we like them or not. They’re certainly the rules regardless of whether Obama likes them.

          The rules may say that if you’ve overstayed your visa, you’re not eligible under the standard rules.

          The rules may say that if you’re not in the country legally, then you have to go home to your own country before you can apply for citizenship.

          Obama doesn’t get to suddenly say, “Oh, well I don’t like those rules. All of you people who are here illegally, if you meet my standards (been here for so long, etc.), then you can apply for citizenship from right here in the USA!”

          He doesn’t get to say that because the Constitution gives the right to establish the rules of naturalization to Congress–not the president.

          1. Perhaps I misheard what Obama’s executive orders were, but I was in no way informed that he was granting citizenship.

            My understanding is that he is allowing people who may in the future be eligible for citizenship to register not to be deported.

            I.e., he is not naturalizing anybody contrary to any law whatsoever.

            1. Well, then, I have a simple enough solution. Given that we’ve established the president can prioritize enforcement of the laws, and the bill of rights clearly states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”, simply declare that anyone illegally in the country will not be protected under US law. Leave the matter in the hands of the people, as directed by the bill of rights. I guarantee the matter will be sorted out pronto.

            2. “He is not naturalizing anybody contrary to any law whatsoever.”

              Jesus Christ, I never imagined so many libertarians would not only fall for Obama’s bullshit, they would actually start arguing it on his behalf. Again, just becasue you like what Obama is doing–doesn’t mean it isn’t unconstitutional.

              He isn’t changing the rules of naturalization–he’s just making it so some 5 million people applying for citizenship on expired visas can stay while their cases are decided in contravention of the law!

              This is bullshit.

              When Obama fought a war that I supported in Libya–I still denounced it for being unconstitutional even thought I would have supported it if it had gone before Congress (as the Constitution requires).

              This isn’t any different. Just because I’m an open borders guy doesn’t mean I have to pretend the unconstitutional shit Obama’s pulling isn’t unconstitutional. It’s scary to see how many–of my fellow libertarians–will rationalize away the plain language of the Constitution so long as the executive is ignoring the Constitution in a way they approve of.

              Well fuck that!

              1. Next time Obama does something in countervention of Article One, Section 8, I’ll bring this back up again. And believe me, the enemies of liberty will be sure to bring it up, too! They’re all gonna say, “How come when the president circumvented Congress and the Constitution it was okay in regards to illegal aliens? How come we can’t do the same with this war?”

                Are you all gonna play word games with them then? Oh, that wasn’t immigration–it was naturalization! But I’m not gonna laugh. I’ll be too busy mourning the slow death of our republic.

                Historically, this is always the way republics die. The executive starts telling people what to do without the legislature, and the people just go along. Call me naive, but I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime. Now it’s hard to imagine that I won’t live to see it myself.

                1. Here’s the next hurdle:

                  “The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

                  In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.”

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08……html?_r=0

                  He’s been promising to do this since weeks before midterms–look at the date on that article.

                  Hell, even the New York Times has more regard for the Constitutional powers of Congress than some of you do. So what’s the word game angle? Who here is going to stand up for Obama and say, “It isn’t a ‘treaty’, it’s an ‘international accord'”?

                  1. An international accord is not a treaty. The Constitution tells us what a treaty is, what it takes to make a treaty, and the standing a treaty has with respect to the rest of the authority of the government.

                    Sorry about that.

                    1. “An international accord is not a treaty.”

                      Yeah, right. Obama doesn’t need to seek the approval of two-thirds of the Senate because…word games!

                      Playing word games actually changes the meaning of the Constitution–and the fabric of what is necessary under the Constitution.

                      This is very stuff that horseshit is made of.

                      At least you’re consistent!

                      P.S. The New York Times, apparently, has more regard for the separation of powers than you do–do you realize that? How’s it feel?

                    2. I’m having a lot of trouble here. The people Obama is negotiating with know they are not negotiating a treaty or anything that is likely to become a treaty.

                      Everyone will negotiate an accord and, if an agreement is successfully formed, everyone will follow or ignore the accord depending on their respective situations years from now. This is the case for every country — whether or not each respective government actually ratified the accord as a treaty.

                      There is nothing unconstitutional or difficult about any of this at all.

                2. It seems to me this immigration vs. naturalization argument has been decided long ago. I don’t see any significant faction in either the Democrats or Republicans advocating a different view. I would be very surprised if the SCOTUS decided this nitpicking was meaningful.

                  1. Indeed, while the argument that the Constitution does not grant any power over immigration to the federal government is completely correct, I find it specious. If the federal government were to suddenly start behaving constitutionally, I have zero doubt that an amendment that gave government that authority would pass with no problem. That is true now as well as it would have been in 1965, 1924, or 1882.

              2. It’s scary to see how many–of my fellow libertarians–will rationalize away the plain language of the Constitution so long as the executive is ignoring the Constitution in a way they approve of.

                The plain language of the Constitution is that no one in the federal government has the authority to prohibit residence of harmless aliens whatsoever. You might not like the fact that naturalization means something, and that the Constitution limits the government’s powers to that meaning, but it does and it does.

                I grant that it would have been better if Obama hadn’t loudly tromped around the separation of powers like a bull in a china shop: in particular, he should have simply done what Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush (prior to 2007) did and simply quietly avoided deporting those who aren’t a danger to the public.

              3. If they drop a kid on US soil they don’t have to worry about anything else – all will be given to them at the expense of the people who have worked ALL THEIR LIVES for the people of THIS country!

  16. Oh, open borders thread! And no one has started referencing the late Roman Empire and the Goths yet? Disappointed.

    1. We’re waiting for the Rio Grande to freeze over like the Danube did and really boost incoming illegals. Then we’ll bring that up.

      1. I was going to say you should wait until a vast Mexican diaspora forcibly turns New Mexico and Nevada into the sovereign state of Aztlan.

        1. YES! Then they can cut out the hearts of babies and offer them to the sun so it will come up!

    2. DEY TRK R JRBS

    3. Re: John Titor,

      Oh, open borders thread! And no one has started referencing the late Roman Empire and the Goths yet?

      The Goths helped defend the Empire for a bit longer than its lifespan, John. The reason the Empire collapsed was the high level of taxation, as the revenue from the wars and the pillage was reduced to a trickle.

      1. I’m more poking fun at when it’s pulled out in immigration arguments. There’s plenty of information on why the Eastern Roman Empire collapsed, and attempting to equate the Gothic migrations to modern day immigration is anachronistic at best. Gibbons’ theories are still the most solid positions.

        1. Ah, yes. Sorry, my sarcasm-o-meter is broken today. Too much leftovers from Thursday.

          1. You can’t tell if it is sarcasm without the smirky face!

        2. *Western Roman Empire. Geez, that was dumb.

  17. I probably broke some law when I downloaded stuff online for free. Therefore, I have to support illegal immigration? A bit apples and oranges.

    Immigration is like defense, fighting fires, or building roads. It’s something that a nation has a right to do. No one says “Oh no, do we have a right to defend ourselves?” when missiles are headed to their shores.

    If America was a podunk Eastern European nation with 2 million people, then who cares. Let it have open borders. But we’re a super power with a relatively stable economy (compared to the rest of the world) and an established immigrant communities.

    Reason honestly cannot believe that the country won’t run into ANY problems if even 500,000 poor South Americans freely crossed the borders ever year. The immigrants in the country RIGHT NOW have problems, and deportation isn’t among them. The amnesty activists have been the voice of immigrants for far too long.

    Immigrants do not live every single day thinking about immigration. Do white people think all the time about taxes, country music and hockey? And what shadows are we talking about? I’ve never seen horrifying immigration raids. 98% of deportation are criminals or people caught fresh at the border.

    1. The immigrants in the country RIGHT NOW have problems, and deportation isn’t among them.

      Pretty sure deportation is the big problem and their other problems stem from the extremely draconian immigration restrictions in place.

      the country won’t run into ANY problems if even 500,000 poor South Americans freely crossed the borders ever year.

      The price to pay for freedom. The benefits will be orders of magnitude greater than the problems.

      1. And when the immigrants import their culture (a culture that lead to the problems they had back home and the reasons they wanted to leave in the first place) and change the laws to suit their culture (and then close the door behind them). What happens to freedom then?

        If a country is a ‘melting pot’ and people come and adopt the dominant culture – then immigration would be a net benefit and I would agree with you. That was probably true at one time and worked well. I don’t think that it’s the case any longer or can be the case when immigration rates are too fast.

        1. Re: cryptic,

          And when the immigrants import their culture

          Oh, no! Tacos! Zarapes! The humanity!

          Please.

          1. Tribalism (Africa), Religious piety and tribalism (Middle East), Socialism (Latin America).

            But ya, sure, reduce it to the ridiculous. If Tacos were the only difference then why do they want to emigrate in the first place?

      2. It costs $12,600 a year to educate 1 child for 1 year.
        KP-12 = $163,800
        500,000 every year for 10 years is 5M people not counting the kids their prolific women have. Hispanics now make up 22% of ALL kids under 18 while represent only 16% of the total population.
        22% of 5M =
        1,100,000 X $163,800 = $180,180,000,000 To educate and they will NEVER in 10 lifetimes contribute enough revenue to cover JUST EDUCATION!

      3. Legal immigrants generally don’t worry about getting deported. Illegal immigrants worry more, but it’s hard to say how much. You are conflating the two (again).

      4. As long as there is a welfare state, this calculus does not work out. Sorry that i feel my right to not be forced to fund a welfare state for the entire third world ought to trump the right of someone to break dozens of laws so that they can feed off that welfare state.

        I’d like to invite people into my home, but when someone breaks into my house, helps themselves to the fridge, and then starts complaining about the food…when i call the cops it is not a crime against humanity,

    2. Re: XM,

      I probably broke some law when I downloaded stuff online for free. Therefore, I have to support illegal immigration?

      No. Therefore the State is willing to criminalize anything, even normal non-violent actions. That’s the point.

      Reason honestly cannot believe that the country won’t run into ANY problems if even 500,000 poor South Americans freely crossed the borders ever year.

      Countries don’t run into problems, only individuals do.

      Why do otherwise reasonable people stop being consistent in their reason and apply these collectivist arguments whenever expediency dictates?

      1. Because utilitarianism is drilled into basically everyone in the Western world’s head from a young age?

  18. The first laws limiting immigration were strongly tainted with overt racism; the Page Act of 1875, which forbade entry to “undesirable” aliens, specifically targeted Asian laborers, and its 1882 sequel was actually called the Chinese Exclusion Act.

    Current law does not go as far, of course, but if you wanted to give it an apt name, it would be called the “Undesirable Nationalities Exclusion Act.”

    1. It looks like Asians only represent 4% of the population but have 19% of the Tech jobs and 35% of the “social” jobs. That’s pretty colorful! Companies are discriminating against WHITE applicants for Asians. NO MORE VISAS!
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/fr…..diversity/

  19. Here is where every pro immigration advocate gets it wrong:

    …. But we are a nation of immigrants?the clich?, in this case, is built on a profound truth…

    It is a silly pronouncement. Taken to its logical conclusion based upon what comes to us via the social and physical sciences, everyone in the US is an immigrant in the longer view of life.

    No, what we are is a nation of CITIZENS! Every immigrant had to eventually leave their customs and traditions behind. Yes they brought them here and practiced them, but the pressure was on for them to conform to their new homeland. And as their traditions and customs became part of the whole, so did they and their descendants.

    No such pressure exists, particularly on one community, the Mexican community. And too many are maintaining their customs and traditions without any demands.

    Let me put this another way, I’ll personalize it. My friends from the hood and I are going to come to your house. We will eat your food, sit in your lving room, sleep in your bedrooms. We will work for our keep, but we will keep to ourselves.

    You down with that?

    1. “You down with that?”

      You down with pressuring people to conform to completely arbitrary standards?

  20. To all the open border proponents. It would be great if some place in the world actually had open borders so you could point to it’s success. Without it, you might as well be arguing about how communism can obtain utopia or other theoretical ideals that we are asked to simply take on faith. Since there are no open border countries, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to postulate that such a policy is ‘unstable’. Any open border lasts as long as it take for a new group of people to enter and then close it behind them.

    1. I hear the same arguments about other things–on various sides of a bunch of different arguments.

      Some people say real communism was never implemented–so how can we say it won’t work?

      Some people say the same thing about capitalism–there’s always been some interference in the economy, so how can you attribute the success of “capitalism” to a lack of government “interference”?

      The fact is that labor is a resource, and having more of a resource is better. And just like with oil, we tend to have more economic growth when labor costs less. Why would the same things costing more–just because of government interference at the border–be good for the economy?

      Certainly, there is no good reason to believe that the free flow of labor across borders is any different from the free flow of goods across borders.

      There’s an old saying about how service jobs are protected from international competition–you can’t import a haircut!

      Bullshit.

      My last haircut was imported from Colombia. Just as low cost goods from other countries are beneficial because they compete with domestic producers, so low wage labor is good for the economy becasue it competes with…the local resource. The amount of money consumers keep as a result of those savings is part of what makes our economy grow.

  21. Ken,

    If labor is a resource then more people automatically equal more prosperity. The fact that there basically no correlation between the two in the real world (except maybe a slight inverse correlation) makes that statement dubious (to be generous).

    With some things (socialism, economic freedom) we at least have varying degrees. We can then look for correlation (freedom vs prosperity – check). So we don’t need to play the “No true McCoy” defense of our ideological position, we can point to empirical evidence of the varying degrees and outcomes.

    So, you know, prove your statement to me empirically. I think you will find your conjecture doesn’t hold in the slightest.

    1. On reading my post it’s clear my phrasing is crap. So to try again.

      Basically you are saying, “more people more wealth”. However, I don’t think empirical evidence doesn’t back you up on this (i.e. ‘population density’ versus ‘GDP per person’). People are a resource, but they also a consume resources. You only included one part of the equation.

      However, my argument, in general, doesn’t care about economics at all. I believe in free trade and I believe that open borders are ‘initially’ equivalent to free trade and beneficial.

      The difference is that immigrants import culture and can vote to change the laws. Free trade doesn’t do that.

      1. “Basically you are saying, “more people more wealth”.

        See my comment below.

        More resources is better, but more resources doesn’t always translate into more wealth–if the government is interfering in the economy.

        Russia has tremendous natural resources. They had the same resources under the USSR. But with government policy strangling the productive capacity of those resources, no, you’re not getting more wealth just because you have more resources.

        But having more resources is better.

        And the government policies we’re talking about that makes this labor relatively unproductive are the immigration laws, the way we work with our border, etc.

        The biggest reason why Mexico isn’t more like China from an economic growth standpoint is because of government policy there. It certainly isn’t because they have so much labor. They have less of the cheap labor resource than China does. …and that’s one of the other reasons why they lag.

    2. “If labor is a resource then more people automatically equal more prosperity.”

      That isn’t necessarily so. Labor, like any resource, can be squandered or strangled out of productive use, etc.

      If cheap labor is a drag on economic growth, then over the past 13 years, China must have had the slowest growing economy in the world.

      China strangled the productive capacity of its labor resources under communism. Then it started respecting some property rights, started letting markets set prices, and all of a sudden, the world beat a path to its door.

      Things costing more–solely because of government interference–is necessarily and always bad for the economy. And the border is one gigantic example of government interference that cuts off our access to all that cheap labor.

      How do you feel about cheap oil coming across our borders? Is that bad for the economy, too?

    3. Labor is not fungible. Different people have different skills with differing value. Any labor skill category in which there is a glut wi ll mean lowered wage thresholds. This would tend to be especially true for unskilled labor, more unskilled labor probably does not mean more productivity when there is already 12% or worse unemployment among unskilled workers,

  22. As you see in my follow up I believe free trade is good and I believe that open borders are economically equivalent to free trade if you ignore the political/cultural aspect. The difference is that immigrants can import culture and can vote and change culture.

    I believe culture is important. I believe the reason why Chinese immigrants earn more money than any other group (by a large margin) is because of their culture (they highly value education, strong work ethic, self-responsibility, ‘don’t rock the boat’/’fit in’ mentality), for example. I believe that the reason Africa is an eternal basket case is also culture (tribalism and fatalism – the opposite of self-responsibility).

    I love cheap oil coming across the border. See above.

    1. I lived in Mexico for a couple of years.

      The culture is different in some ways.

      For instance, our idea, rather, my idea of selfishness is different from theirs. Their idea of selfish is someone who isn’t willing to share what they have with others. My idea of selfish is people are eager to help themselves to things that don’t belong to them–without regard for the people they belong to.

      On the other hand…

      The Mexicans where I lived? Were much more entrepreneurial than we are. Just about everybody on my street was running a business out of their homes of some kind. They start a restaurant, or a convenience store, or a laundry, or a boxing studio, or a studio teaching ballet to little girls, or a retired opera singer who gave singing lessons. Just about everybody was doing something entrepreneurial. And that carries over when they come here.

      Starting a landscaping or construction business or babysitting business or house cleaning business comes as natural to them as graduating from high school comes to us. I wish we were more like them that way.

      If we traded one lazy entitled native born American for every three uneducated Mexican immigrants, we’d come out way ahead in the deal.

      1. There are other ways they’re different.

        For instance, the chances of first generation Mexican immigrants sending their parents off to live in a nursing home on the taxpayers Medicare dime? Is pretty small. They’d just as soon send their children off to an orphanage than send their elderly parents away to live with strangers. And they aren’t sending their children anywhere.

        1. “There are other ways they’re different.”

          One of the more interesting observations I made of Mexicans was in one of the bus terminals of D.F. I was sitting at the end of a long row of seats in the waiting room, and a janitor sweeping the floor passed me by. I basically ignored him as he swept around my feet. Then I noticed that as he continued all the people waiting in the seats further down the row, all Mexicans, lifted their feet from the floor so that the janitor could do his job better.

      2. I agree with you. Melting pot immigration is the way to go as long as the ‘melting pot’ is working. It won’t work with open borders and high immigration rates. It’s already not working.

        I think also the differences are relatively small on the scale of things (compared to say the Middle East and the US), but they are in important areas.

        The fact that there are ‘around’ 20 or so countries in Central and South America with almost identical outcome (socialist, under-performing, high crime). Well that must be due to ‘something’ in common I would think.

      3. Underbidding all our companies because they don’t pay:
        Workman’s Comp,
        State, Local & Federal Income tax
        FICA
        Minimum wage

        Facts don’t back you up. Stockton – 40% Hispanic just went bankrupt. The average LEGAL household only makes $39,000 in wages. They fall into this:

        In the second quintile household received $24,709 in benefits & paid $9,524 in Federal, state and local taxes. (income top $38,520 mean $29,204 )

        More than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians ? even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population.It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty. California taxes are 42% higher than Texas.
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/th…..and-water/


      4. Pew Research Center: Hispanic Politics, Values, Religion

        Support for a larger government is greatest among immigrant Latinos. More than eight-in-ten (81%) say they would rather have a bigger government with more services than a smaller government with fewer services.

      5. What you are calling “entrepreneurial” is really third world life. There are no significant sources of employment so people make do.

        Why would I want to sit in a stall all day waiting to sell a tortilla when I can get a job still that pays far more by gaining a skill and working for a large company.

        I saw that “entrepreneurship” in La Paz. Somebody with all their life’s wealth surrounding them in the form of candy and cigarettes bundled together for days at a time set up on the sidewalk like a makeshift store, sleeping at night with it to protect it. Obviously, they don’t live there – eventually they have to pack up and spend some time at a hovel somewhere in the city.

        Yeah, we need people like that. Once they get here and they realize they can game the welfare system, their entrepreneurial instincts really take over

    2. “because of their culture (they highly value education, strong work ethic, self-responsibility, ‘don’t rock the boat’/’fit in’ mentality)”

      I don’t think you appreciate Chinese culture. The notion of self-responsibility is alien. Rather Chinese believe that one is responsible to one’s family. The family unit is first and foremost and one’s primary responsibility is towards one’s parents. That’s the essence of Confucianism.

    3. ” I believe the reason why Chinese immigrants earn more money than any other group (by a large margin) is because of their culture (they highly value education, strong work ethic, self-responsibility, ‘don’t rock the boat’/’fit in’ mentality),”

      You racist pig.

      Why do you hate Koreans ?

    4. As you see in my follow up I believe free trade is good and I believe that open borders are economically equivalent to free trade if you ignore the political/cultural aspect. The difference is that immigrants can import culture and can vote and change culture.

      The problem isn’t with the cultures people come from. People who emigrate from communist or fascist states generally do so because they don’t like that way of running things.

      The problem is with the culture we are creating here to welcome them. That is, if immigration into the US means free health care, subsidized housing, and guaranteed welfare, we’re going to attract people who want that. If immigration into the US means that hard work is rewarded with success, that’s the kind of immigrants we are going to attract.

      1. “if immigration into the US means free health care”

        It doesn’t mean that now and it has never meant that. Haven;t you got anything more important to worry about?

        ” that’s the kind of immigrants we are going to attract.”

        Scratch a ‘libertarian’ and you’ll often find a social engineer underneath.

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  24. Every American who stands for the principles of a strong defense, our unwavering national sovereignty and self-determination to remove this giant government from our lives and abolish the huge amounts of rules and regulations being fed to us everyday that is crippling industry. YOU should watch this film documentary ‘The Border States of America’ https://www.teapartypatriots.org/theborderstates/ and see the outrageous reality, which uncovers the insane standpoint of this President’s elective failure to uphold the demanding will of the American People and the rule of law. On cable news the unbiased straight reporting from ‘One America News’ http://www.oann.com is currently showing this numbing video.

  25. First of all, as someone who came in with their parents, who came in legally, I doubt you really appreciate the difference between someone applying for citizenship and someone just sneaking over the border. Secondly, I seriously doubt many of the people here illegally, really want to do what’s necessary to become legal because it’s going to, first of all put them on the books, and secondly force them to shell out money.

    There is only one way to do this right and it’s through Congress. The community organizer doesn’t understand how to actually deal with Congress so he needs to work through EO’s. He’s surrounded himself with people who have no clue how legislation works and can’t understand why Republicans have a hard time dealing with him. He’s basically either ignorant about how government works or just doesn’t care how government is supposed to work and only wants to do what he wants to do.

    Finally, we have immigrants here who left countries where el Presidente had the power to do just about what he wanted. Now that they’re here, they want this country to run the same way. Pretty soon, they’re going to turn us into what they left and then they won’t be able to figure out why they can’t improve their lives. It’s time for those of us to really care about this country to do some education.

    1. “First of all, as someone who came in with their parents, who came in legally,”

      Why do so many here seem to boast about coming in legally? This shows qualities suitable for waiting in line and taking orders. Is this what kind of people America really wants to attract?

      Those who came in illegally show daring, courage and enterprise. Are these the people you want to shun?

      1. No they show a blatant disregard for the law. They are takers.

        Try this on. Things are tough I’m moving into your house with my family. Now you are gonna keep paying all the bills but I am now ENTITLED to take or use all the items you paid for. You didn’t invite me but it’s just so much nicer at your house and my kids can get a better education.

        1. Except that your country, any country, is vastly bigger than your house, or any house. If the sizes were even remotely comparable, they you would have a point.

          But even then you wouldn’t. You don’t seem to have any problem with home grown Americans moving into your home.

  26. “nation of immigrants”
    “descendants of immigrants who mostly came here when legal barriers to entry were few”
    etc., etc.

    So what? Every nation was a nation of immigrants at some point in their history. Why exactly does this matter?

  27. Well now that makes a lot of sense dude.

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  28. “Let Illegal Immigrants Come Out of the Shadows”

    I agree 100%, so we can send them home.

  29. Yes, it makes it easier to apprehend and deport them.

  30. Count me in.

    Bring them out of the shadows, have the National Guard there in the light, round them up, put them on buses, ship them back to Mexico.

    What’s not to love.

  31. How can they be “law-abiding” and an illegal alien at the same time. It is a logical impossibility. If someone is an illegal alien in this country, there is a host of immigration laws broken every day they are in the country.

    Here’s one that is broken pretty much every day, consider an illegal alien parent housing and driving their illegal alien child around town…how about a few hundred counts each?

    U.S. Code? Title 8 ? Chapter 12 ? Subchapter II ? Part VIII ? ? 1324 “Bringing in and harboring certain aliens”

    (a) Criminal penalties
    (1)
    (A) Any person who?
    (i) knowing that a person is an alien, brings to or attempts to bring to the United States in any manner whatsoever such person at a place other than a designated port of entry or place other than as designated by the Commissioner, regardless of whether such alien has received prior official authorization to come to, enter, or reside in the United States and regardless of any future official action which may be taken with respect to such alien;
    (ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;

  32. (iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;
    (iv) encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law; or
    (v)
    (I) engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or
    (II) aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts,
    shall be punished as provided in subparagraph (B).
    (B) A person who violates subparagraph (A) shall, for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs?
    (i) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i) or (v)(I) or in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), or (iv) in which the offense was done for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both;
    (ii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(ii), (iii), (iv), or (v)(II), be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both;

  33. (iii) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) during and in relation to which the person causes serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of title 18) to, or places in jeopardy the life of, any person, be fined under title 18, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both; and
    (iv) in the case of a violation of subparagraph (A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) resulting in the death of any person, be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, fined under title 18, or both.

    1. Natural law abiding then

      the US criminal code is hardly the paragon for right and wrong
      unless you think kidnapping assault and murder is an appropriate way of dealing with non violent offenses. nor would i consider it a book of laws unless it has the word Physics on it. petty codes and rules breaker is more like it

    2. The point is that these are unjust laws which are “not laws at all”

  34. What all of the open border crowd forgets is that there never was
    a $2 trillion a year welfare state during prior periods of large
    immigration. Now the lure of free health care, food stamps, tuition,
    EIC, child care credits, SS, Medicaid and Medicare will entice millions
    to enter and stay dependent on government handouts. BTW: No one
    is in the shadows; Obama has already suspended interior enforcement;
    handcuffed border control; expanded asylum to include any excuse;
    and will never deport anyone not caught on film murdering someone.
    Without strict rules that are enforced, America will drown in welfare
    costs. Turning future elections in this country over to those who entered illegally and thrive on entitlements is suicidal.

    1. so abolish it in its entirety

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  38. Come out of the shadows…..then go back to your country and immigrate legally.

    What a load of moral equivalency this article is. We’re all criminals so everybody stays.

    1. or they could just abolish welfare, that would be my preference

  39. No states
    No Slaves
    No Boarders
    just people
    string the black flag high

  40. No disagreement. We should allow those who are here and want to embrace our culture and heritage to “come out of the shadows”. If they pay back taxes, apply for citizenship, learn english and American History, and have the means to support themselves then I am OK. We should not ignore our laws simply because they are too complex. That is for our elected representatives to change. Rough calculation is that someone 45 making $20K per year gets granted a SSN and the right to benefits at retirement will get 10X their contributions, plus earned income credits, food stamps, housing allowance, K-12 ed.,and healthcare subsidies. WE CAN’T AFFORD IT!

  41. “Let Illegal Immigrants Come Out of the Shadows”

    Illegal Immigrants?

    Hate Crime! Hate Crime!

    They’re Perfectly Peachy People not Possessing Papers! Didn’t you get the memo from Shikha When the Walls Fell and Sheldon SinceIAmA RichMan?

    When they come out of the shadows, can they go back to their countries of origin?

  42. “because violations of federal law are so ubiquitous that any president must pick and choose which ones to pursue.”

    This is this most disturbingly true statement here

  43. To keep the families together in the future there is a simple fix:

    Get rid of the 14th amendment and deport the kids along with the parents.

    For those already born here we can offer to deport them along with their illegal family members and part of it can be paid with a “deport tax” if the natural born citizen makes enough money, or the family has made a certain level of income.

  44. The writer argues that since all Americans have probably broken federal laws they were unaware of, then all foreigners who enter illegally should be given clemency.
    Rubbish. With the exception of a very few, every last one of these people is fully aware that they are violating our laws because their country has laws far more draconian than ours. The thought is that we might not enforce our laws and they can demand not to be repatriated. With that thought, many of them reason that they can safely ignore any other laws they might find inconvenient.
    Regardless of the many targeted surveys, the fact of the matter is that the American public doesn’t approve forgiving foreigners for breaking our laws any more than any other entire class of criminals. There are major difference in culture, circumstances and intentions between these people and the immigrants the parents of the authors were. These people are no more immigrants than shoplifters are shoppers.
    Let them “come out of the shadows” in their own countries. We owe them nothing and attempts to garner charity by arrogance and deceit are reprehensible.

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