Donald Trump

Why It's a Mistake to Take Donald Trump's Immigration Plan Seriously

Trump's white paper is an attempt to create the illusion of policy detail.

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Gage Skidmore

The release of Donald Trump's immigration policy "white paper" yesterday has occasioned a flurry of analysis that attempts to pin down exactly how the GOP presidential candidate's program might or might not work. Much of it is valuable in that it details how expensive, awful, unpopular, impractical (if not impossible), and downright inhumane Trump's ideas ("ideas") are.

But in some larger sense all of this sober, relatively traditional political analysis is beside the point, because, regardless of how much detail Trump does or doesn't provide, or how plausible or implausible his plan is, or whether it accounts for the complications of Congress, cost-estimates, or the Constitution, it is a mistake to treat Trump's paper—or, for that matter, anything else he says or produces—as serious policy.

One of the things we know about Trump at this point is that he tends to give matters of policy very little considered thought. While other Republican candidates prepped extensively for the GOP primary debate earlier this month, the billionaire real estate developer's campaign claimed that he did not rehearse, and reports indicated that Trump essentially ignored the various policy and strategy memos that were prepared for him. One adviser told ABC News that he had no idea what to expect from Trump at the debate. It's likely that Trump didn't really know either. He finds out what he's going to say when the rest of us do—that is, when he says it.

Something else we know about Trump, related to the previous item, is that even when he announces support for a position, he does not tend to stick with it. Rather he has a cavalier, play-it-by-ear attitude toward policy pronouncements: He has, for example, infamously flip-flopped on abortion and health care over the past few years. As The Washington Post notes, he's been wildly inconsistent on other issues as well, offering differing, sometimes conflicting, occasionally obscure versions of how he'd address the Iran deal, tax reform, the Islamic State, and, yes, immigration—and this is just in the past three months.

It's true, of course, that presidents often adjust or even significantly rethink their campaign plans once in office. But Trump's stated plans (the majority of which do not qualify as actual plans in any meaningful sense) seem to have no bearing whatsoever on the day-to-day of his campaign statements. Just because Trump has offered up some position today does not mean that it will be his position tomorrow or the day after that. He is a completely unreliable guide to his own policy ideas.

Finally, Trump is a self-aggrandizing showman, and he likes to play-act at whatever thing he is pretending to be doing, adding theatrical but totally meaningless gimmicks and flourishes in hopes of making a bigger impression. In his 1987 book The Art of the Deal, for example, Trump wrote that, in conducting his real-estate business, he would draw up architectural plans designed to look far more expensive and thoughtfully designed than they were, or have construction equipment engage in meaningless busywork in order to impress investors with the illusion of activity.

With his half-baked immigration white paper, Trump is doing essentially the same thing, but for his presidential campaign: He's attempting, through the use of a simple gimmick, to create the illusion of thoughtfully crafted, substantive policy detail. Don't be fooled. Trump's white paper is cheap, shabby, policy artifice, and it shouldn't be confused for the real thing. 

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  1. Trump’s white paper is an attempt to create the illusion of policy detail

    Is there anything you can say about Trump that can’t also be said about other candidates?

    1. Nope. The Reason contributors are just crazy with disappointment that Rand Paul isn’t winning.

    2. I think it’s even more of a mistake to take anything Peter Suderman says seriously.

      How much is FOX, Carl Rove and all of the other influential progressives paying you guys at Reason to trash Trump?

      Did FOX and company buy Reason within the last couple of years without my knowledge? I would guess yes.

      1. This is hilarious. The idea that progressives are anything but ecstatic at the rise of trump is rich indeed.

        1. overt — You are obviously easily amused.

          Do you really believe progressives such as Carl Rove, Roger Ailes and crew, Chris Christie, Graham, McCain, McConnell,John Boehner, every Bush living, and the Reason crew are “ecstatic at the rise of Trump?

          Explain yourself, if you can. We all understand if you aren’t able.

  2. OT (‘cos fuck Trump): Britain Hates Fags:

    http://tinyurl.com/qbfx2bw

    From 1 October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicles) with anyone under 18 present. The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

    Both the driver and the smoker could be fined ?50. The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence. The law does not apply if the driver is 17 years old and is on their own in the car.

    1. So you can voluntarily inhale first-hand smoke if you are 17 but have to wait until you are 18 before you can voluntarily inhale second-hand smoke?

      I’m not sure why I’m surprised. You’d think I’d have stopped looking for consistency in policy years ago.

      1. It’s an idea that reeks of committee thinking.

      2. I am in no way defending this law, but I think the logic is that if you are under 18 you might not be in the car voluntarily. Remember, minors don’t have freedom of association. (Not that anyone really has freedom to associate any more…)

    2. A similar law has been on the books here in Maine for many years.

      http://www.tobaccofreemaine.or…..e-laws.php

      They’re not going to make tobacco illegal, they’re just going to make it so that there are no places where you can legally smoke it.

      1. Like guns . . . You can own one after passing our background check, locking it in a safe buried in the ground, and asking permission to load it and pursue your own defense. Hey! Militias!

    3. Britain Hates Fag

      I’m not reading your comment or its link because it’s nonsense and insulting. I just read that the majority of young Britons scale themselves as not a hundred percent heterosexual. That’s right, all of those British consider the possibilities at least of same-sex relationships. And what does that mean for Britain’s future? It means you’re wrong, because the only thing hipper than snogging with someone of the same sex in a parked car is smoking with them afterwards.

      1. “Fag” is British slang for cigarette.

        Derp, da-derp, derp, derrrrrrrrrp!

        1. Sarcasmic failing to recognize sarcasm or going meta with double reverse sarcasm?

          1. Maybe you and I have been out-sarcasmed.

      2. Fist of Dumbass

      3. Excuse me Mate, ya got a fag?
        And do you mind if I shag with your wife?

  3. in conducting his real-estate business, he would draw up architectural plans designed to look far more expensive and thoughtfully designed than they were, or have construction equipment engage in meaningless busywork in order to impress investors with the illusion of activity

    I’m curious whether that can be considered fraud, or if it’s a caveat emptor situation.

    1. I’d say it depends to some extent on the presentation. If an investor drops by a job site and finds himself impressed with a bunch of useless machinery digging ditches and then filling them back up, probably caveat emptor. If an investor drops by a job site and the developer introduces him to the “project manager” and proceeds to discuss the details of the ongoing work that isn’t actually taking place, definitely fraud.

      1. Most businesses work that way to some degree. Did they actively tell the construction crews to perform useless work? Or did they tell them, some bigwigs are coming by so make sure you are doing something. I’ve been on plenty of sites where the latter is common. It’s not like you are misleading anyone, just insuring that the first impression is a good one.

    2. “draw up architectural plans designed to look far more expensive and thoughtfully designed than they were”

      Not fraud. Crappy, but not fraud (and also pretty normal for the architectural industry, to varying degrees).

      “have construction equipment engage in meaningless busywork in order to impress investors with the illusion of activity”

      Also not fraud. Dishonest, but not fraudulent unless the investor is paying by the hour for the faux work. Then it’s fraud.

      1. In defense of contractors, though, sometime you are waiting on a piece of equipment or some materials or whatnot, and that may even be because someone at your organization screwed up. Owners/investors really, *really* don’t like to see inactive sites, so when the owner comes by you start up your equipment and pretend to be making progress, so everyone stays level-headed. As long as you still make your completion date, it’s all good.

  4. I’m not going to suggest that Trump is a remotely agreeable libertarian candidate but is immigration the hill that Reason is going to die on? If Trump had a platform that included a libertarian solution to all the other problems the country faces, would Reason swallow it’s pride and support him?

    1. Can’t speak for Reason, but I’d still be skeptical. Trump is a crony capitalist who cheered on the bailouts, advocated socialized medicine and engages in eminent domain abuse. The degree to which I could take him seriously as a supporter of libertarian issues is not high.

      1. I’m not remotely suggesting the guy is a good candidate and frankly I’d rather have Hillary or Bernie as president, but it’s incredible how much of a dog whistle immigration is for our dear writers and editors.

        1. “and frankly I’d rather have Hillary or Bernie as president,”

          I’d choose Trump over Bernie Sanders in a heart beat. Have you ever listened to Bernie Sanders speak? Trump doesn’t particularly care about Libertarian ideals, but Sanders is actively hostile to them.

    2. No, immigration is the hill that the GOP is going to die on.

      1. Well, Stupid is as Stupid does.

    3. Restoras,

      Trump is a shrewd oaf, nothing more. He lacks the brains and the patience to proffer anything but rank populism spiked with ugly nativism. He, and his campaign, are a farce. He is a thoughtless, stumbling, pandering fool, a whore tricking ersatz earnestness. His pet issue can’t get him elected, but he is too dumb and too vain to stop.

      1. Yes, I agree with all of that.

  5. Everything they said about Trump is true. But the story isn’t Trump – it’s the broad support that a common-sense immigration policy has. Of course I can’t prove it, but I believe that if they answered honestly without fear of being called racists, the vast majority of citizens would be in favor of securing the border and deporting those who are here illegally. It’s just enforcing the laws we already have – why in the hell is this controversial?

    And to those who say that we can’t keep EVERYONE out, or that we won’t be able to find and deport EVERY illegal immigrant, I say we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. It doesn’t have to be a wall, but serious monitoring and enforcement of the borders is beyond a doubt one of the main jobs that the government is SUPPOSED to be doing. As for finding those already here, let’s start with actually deporting the ones we find. Then we can, you know, actually check to see if the people we arrest, or who sign up for benefits, are actually here legally. Simply not turning a willfully blind eye to the obvious would go a long way toward solving the problem.

    We need to reform our system to make it easier for people to immigrate legally. We need to let more people in through the front door (but who knows how many that should be?). All of this is true. But not one bit of it should happen until we begin enforcing the laws we already have.

    1. It’s just enforcing the laws we already have – why in the hell is this controversial?

      It’s controversial for much the same reason the drug war is controversial.

      It punishes people for a victimless crime (no one is harmed by the simple act of crossing the border illegally).

      It’s really expensive (Reason discussed a number of $200 billion to deport everyone. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t larger).

      It leads to a growing police state (checkpoints, militarization of the border) and violation of the rights of citizens (E-verify, for example).

      It won’t end. Instead, it will continue to grow and all the bad stuff listed above will spread (the drug war is directly applicable here, but so is almost any other government program).

      1. It won’t end.

        That’s the thing. Every time the government hires more enforcers, those positions will be filled forever. So if they accomplish their goal, then another goal will be set. Each goal being another crushing blow to liberty. Government is a one-way ratchet. Every new enforcement scheme is another click towards totalitarianism.

      2. I am against the drug war and in favor of legalizing virtually anything someone chooses to put in their body. I say that as someone who has never ingested an illegal substance (to my knowledge). I think the end of drug prohibition would go a long way toward solving the problems in Latin America that make people from there want to come here. I also realize that over the long term, it is absolutely inevitable that wages and standards of living will normalize across the globe. There is nothing that will stop a worker in Balmopan from getting the same pay for the same work as a worker in Berlin, Beijing, Bratislava, Baghdad or Baltimore. It will happen.

        But uncontrolled immigration causes economic, demographic and cultural disruption on a large scale and a short time table. Yes, America has always been a country of immigrants, and each wave has come with challenges and opportunities, but the good has usually outweighed the bad. But what we’ve created in the last 30 years is a vacuum that sucks jobs out of the country and blows unskilled, uneducated people into it. We’ve papered over the destruction with the occasional internet bubble or housing bubble, but those have only served to concentrate the wealth. We’re killing the middle class in a lot of ways, but immigration is a huge one. And there is no macro study that override the unassailable logic of that assertion.

        1. we’ve created in the last 30 years is a vacuum that sucks jobs out of the country and blows unskilled, uneducated people into it

          I think too-high labor costs relative to other locations had more to do with that than uncontrolled immigration.

          We’re killing the middle class in a lot of ways, but immigration is a huge one

          You lost me here. Bad government policies and perverse incentives are doing more to destroy the middle class than a few million illegal immigrants.

          1. Too-high labor costs mean nothing if there isn’t freedom for competing workers from elsewhere to offer work at a lower cost. The high wages of the 60’s and 70’s were a direct result of protectionism, and there’s no way to get them back without going back to that. In the end, that’s a losing fight – globalism is here to stay. But by allowing the “black market” of illegal labor, we exploit the poorest workers while simultaneously driving down wages for those here legally. It’s a lose-lose scenario.

            I believe immigration policy is one of those bad government policies, and is helping to create the perverse incentives. There are many other factors, and immigration may not be the biggest, but it’s up there.

            1. The high wages of the 60’s and 70’s were a direct result of protectionism

              Perhaps in part but union demands, poor corporate decisions and limited competition were contributing factors.

              we exploit the poorest workers

              How so? Are they forced to work by someone or something?

              while simultaneously driving down wages for those here legally

              Maybe those wages were too high to begin with? Not to mention that no one has a right to any wage at all, high or low.

            2. “The high wages of the 60’s and 70’s were a direct result of protectionism, and there’s no way to get them back without going back to that. In the end, that’s a losing fight – globalism is here to stay.”

              Germany seems to do a good job of having well paying manufacturing jobs in a global economy.

              1. Germany’s economy is far more protectionist than the United States economy is.

                http://brazilianbubble.com/loo…..the-top-5/

        2. How about this, then?

          Historical unemployment rate

          Population of illegal immigrants

          There isn’t a correlation.

          1. Just as correlation does not equal causation, lack of correlation does not equal lack of causation. There could be other mitigating factors.

            1. Not sure I agree, Dave. You can’t have causation without some kind of correlation.

              1. I would refer you to the climate change debate. 17 years of no warming with CO2 increasing. Yet the scientists tell us that even without correlation (which they are desperately trying to find), there is still causation. CO2 increases heat. But other factors seem to be offsetting that, reducing or eliminating the warming that the CO2 would otherwise cause.

            2. You asserted that illegal immigration leads to job losses. I presented numbers that show otherwise. You’re right that we live in a complex, multicausal world, but if you can’t identify at least some possible mechanisms to support your position, then your position lacks both empirical and theoretical support. If you want to argue it on more philosophical or legal grounds, then OK, but I don’t see evidence that immigration is an overall economic harm.

              I won’t deny that it can affect some individuals negatively, or lead to job losses for citizens in some specific situations, and I feel sorry for people in those situations, but I don’t think we should use government force to protect them from economic reality, especially when there is good evidence that immigration is a net benefit for the country at large.

              1. Immigration as a whole may be helpful. Letting in only skilled workers is almost certainly a positive. Letting in only unskilled workers is debatable. Letting in only welfare sponges is certainly a net negative. We know that we’re letting in lots of all three types (although we can’t quantify it because – illegals). If we can all agree that we only want to let people come into the country who we can reasonably expect to be positive contributors (can we agree on that?), how do we even begin to accomplish that without some sort of control over who comes in?

              2. The BLS link won’t load for me, but presuming it’s U3 unemployment data, it’s not a great point for comparison since it fails to capture underemployment (which tends to happen when labor supply exceeds demand) or take into account labor force participation (which has arguably been a much bigger issue during the current recession than the U3 number, and is also affected by the overall labor supply).

                It’s axiomatic regardless of your persuasion from Marxist to Ricardian that when supply increases, all else equal, price falls. We don’t admit enough legal immigrants for it to make an appreciable difference in the wages of most educated, middle class and higher workers, but at the lower end of the skill and education spectrum there is most certainly at least some level of job loss and/or wage suppression.

                Which doesn’t support any particular policy necessarily, but immigration is not an unvarnished good for every person even if it is neutral or positive in the aggregate. If you’re a deontological type rather than a utilitarian it shouldn’t enter your reasoning at all.

                1. I know this thread is on its last legs but I was curious about this, so…

                  The BLS link was for U3. This one should work for labor force participation.
                  http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

                  It looks like it rose until about the 90s, which I suspect is largely due to the rise of women in the workforce, though I’m just speculating. To me it looks like it more or less plateaued in the 90s before dropping slightly in the early 00s, rising again, then dropping a lot after the recession.

                  To me it looks to be nearly steady but with influence from recessions, at least up until 2008. I don’t see the type of steady decline since the late 80s that one would expect given the rise of the immigrant population *IF* there was a significant impact. I admit that the drop during the early 00s might be indicative of that, though.

                  I of course don’t challenge that increasing supply leads to decreased prices. What I’m saying is that immigrants may have filled demand in the labor market that was largely unmet by citizens, so the assumption that increased immigrant labor leads to decreased labor for citizens doesn’t necessarily hold. Certainly in that low-skill portion of the labor market immigrants will drive down wages, though. Or at least would absent the minimum wage. But if there aren’t many citizens working in those sectors it won’t have a large effect on wages for citizens overall.

            3. Uh lack of correlation does mean there is no causal link.

          2. And there is no macro study that [can] override the unassailable logic of that assertion.

            He already declared himself to be completely closed-minded on this issue. He will ignore any and all data.

          3. Since the official unemployment rate is constantly being redefined, and is widely regarded as a completely useless number these days, I don’t think a correlation or lack of it to the unemployment rate proves anything at all.

    2. But not one bit of it should happen until we begin enforcing the laws we already have.

      Again, I see a direct analogy with the drug war here. We aren’t arguing that we should end the current illegal drug trade before we legalize drugs.

      1. We aren’t arguing that we should end the current illegal drug trade before we legalize drugs.

        No link and too lazy to google, but I thought some prohibitionists have argued exactly that. Although it’s true that “we” don’t.

    3. ^ This. When illegality is profitable and lawfulness is expensive, it’s not surprising what people do. However, Reason’s open-borders stance is at least as unreasonable as the throw-them-all-out crowd. Both positions are untenable, infeasable, and subject to corruption.

      1. That was for CPA, by the way

    4. Except much of what Donald Trump is saying isn’t common sense. It’s nonsense. Deporting American citizens, how is that common sense? Ending birthright citizenship, something enshrined in the Constitution since the 14th Amendment, how is that common sense? Trashing people for proposing increasing the number of H1-B visas, letting people through the front door, how is that common sense? Requiring that anyone who hires anyone check with the government first, how is that common sense?

      1. Ending birthright citizenship, something enshrined in the Constitution since the 14th Amendment

        Bullshit.

        The current birthright citizenship model was a court-invented “right” and is not in the least bit mandated by the 14th amendment.

        1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

          I don’t think you can interpret that in any way that doesn’t confer citizenship by birth. America is relatively unique in doing so though.

          1. You forgot to bold *and subject to the jurisdiction thereof*.

            1. By definition you become subject to the jurisdiction of the US just by your presence within its borders (that’s how we’re able to charge people with crimes even if they are not in the country with permission, for example).

              1. So the clause is completely meaningless and unnecessary? It’s not possible for someone to be born here and NOT subject to our jurisdiction?

                1. It’s not possible for someone to be born here and NOT subject to our jurisdiction?

                  No, that’s possible. For example, you could choose to reside in another country and become subject to its jurisdiction, with or without renouncing your citizenship. I don’t think there’s any way to read the 14th amendment where citizenship isn’t conferred by birth in the US though. That’s the way SCOTUS ruled on the issue in 1898 in United States v. Wong Kim Ark.

                2. Yes, there certainly is. Children of diplomats born in the US are not citizens because of this clause.

                  If illegal immigrants weren’t subject to US jurisdiction, then the federal government would have no legal basis for detaining them, prosecuting them for crimes, etc.

          2. Cut the knot. Propose a constitutional amendment to end birthright citizenship. I think it would have popular support.

        2. The Fourteenth Amendment:

          All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

          How the hell can you get any interpretation out of that other than birthright citizenship?

          1. Because they’re subject to the jurisdiction of the nation of citizenship of their parents by virtue of the fact that everywhere else practices bloodline citizenship. Thus, beind citizens of their parents’ nationality, are not eligable to be regarded as citizens of the United States.

            The clause was written to override the claims of slaveholders that blacks could not be citizens. As they had no other nation under whose laws they did have citizenship, they were clearly US citizens.

            Otherwise, again, how can you be born here and not be subject to the jurisdiction thereof?

            1. *again being a reference to CPA above.

            2. Scroll up to my post at 9:05. You can be subject to multiple jurisdictions at the same time, but just by virtue of your presence you become subject to US jurisdiction when you are within its territorial boundaries. The “jurisdiction thereof” would be more relevant in cases of naturalization, not birth.

            3. Children of diplomats can be born here and not be subject to US jurisdiction.

        3. If you reject the idea of courts broadly interpreting the Constitution, you may want to look at Henderson v Mayor of New York (1876), a Supreme Court case that “invented” the federal power to regulate immigration.

      2. Hey Bill, Aren’t you that guy Trump hired in Season 1 of The Apprentice?

    5. COMMON SENSE

      ILLEGAL AIN’T A SICK BIRD

      or that we won’t be able to find and deport EVERY illegal immigrant, I say we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      “Good”. Hilarious.

      1. We won’t be able to stop every drug transaction, but we have to try!

    6. The entire west is coming to the realization that you can’t have both an unlimited welfare state and an open door to the entire third world at the same time. You can have one or the other, but not both, at least not for much longer. It was possible to keep that charade going when the west still had outstanding economic growth, but it doesn’t any longer, and it’s possible that the high economic growth of the past may never be coming back.

      And pretty soon, trying to keep both going will lead to the sort of internal strife that hasn’t been seen for decades.

      1. trying to keep both going will lead to the sort of internal strife that hasn’t been seen for decades

        I think Europe has a bigger problem with this than the US does. Europe is far too cultural homogeneous and elitist to willingly accept the numbers of immigrants that are culturally alien and show limited willingness to assimilate.

        1. Europe is far more dominated by the left than America is, and the left doesn’t believe in assimilation. The left believes in “diversity”, meaning polarization and division.

          If they really wanted ordinary people to embrace mass immigration, they would encourage assimilation, but they like the polarization more because it brings them votes.

          1. Excuse me, why should ANYBODY be “assimilited”? Do you actually believe in freedom, or you just want to force other people to become cultural clones of the natives? You can?t have both bleiefs at the same time.

            1. Making an effort to adapt to the country and culture that’s nice enough to let you in shows courtesy, manners, and gratitude. Things that you probably wouldn’t understand.

            2. Belief in freedom — especially the radical Libertarian kind — is a cultural value that has to be “assimilated.”

              I’m always just shaking my head because open borders Libertarians are the architects of their own doom.

              1. Cloudbuster – Only if you believe that assimilation and open borders are mutually exclusive concepts.

                Maldoror is making a larger moral argument, which is that people should be free to make choices about their culture, language, etc.

                Mike M. is making a very narrow argument, which is that an immigrant should be “grateful” that the US government was kind enough to let him in and assimilate in due course. It’s the only “mannerly” thing to do.

                I’m going to make the argument that no one should be forced or bullied into assimilating, but that most immigrants, and definitely most immigrant children and children of immigrants, would want to assimilate anyway. Why? Because it’s in their self-interest, partly, but also because there’s broad appeal for western/American culture.

                There’s no reason to think we’ll have hordes of foreigners living in this country who hate America or hate American values. Strict immigration laws that keep most people out and create a permanent underclass of people without legitimate and legal options to participate in society will create resentment, on the other hand.

      2. You speak as if the US had “an unlimited” welfare state, and not as it has a very small and mediocre one.

        1. a very small and mediocre one

          Relative to where? Europe? Well we don’t have a problem with Europeans coming here for our welfare, do we?

        2. 50% of government spending is not “small” and mediocrity is a matter of opinion

    7. “It’s just enforcing the laws we already have – why in the hell is this controversial?”

      It’s not controversial to say we should secure our border–the thing is most illegal immigrants aren’t coming in by sneaking over the border (we do have fences, monitoring, patrols, etc.). Most either enter legally and overstay visas, or sneak in via checkpoints, or enter by boat or plane. Also, deporting isn’t as simple as grabbing someone off the street and putting him in a bus–many have been here a while with jobs, families, assets, even military service, and some arrived as children, and of course there’s a legal process involved (which may be inconvenient for deportation, but is necessary so the lawful aren’t also deported).

      The thing is it’s a far more complicated problem than the “deport ’em all” side acknowledges, and the fact that no one has tried their solution isn’t so much due to lack of will as the fact that it won’t really work, and would do a lot of damage to this country, economically and otherwise.

  6. Only his hairpiece knows for sure.

    Does anybody doubt that this is just another publicity stunt, a false flag campaign, or both? Peter, why do you keep writing about this clown? Is the spectre of millions of low-info dopes pulling a lever for His Donaldness keeping you awake at night?

  7. why in the hell is this controversial

    It is to libertarians on the principle of freedom of movement, but most people would probably agree that It’s just enforcing the laws we already have and really, it isn’t unreasoanble.

    I think we need a far more open immigration system than we have now and don’t really understand why it is so hard to have it, except that some politicians don’t the current laws enforced, and the others don’t have the balls to go back to their constituents and argue for a more open system than we have now.

    We need to reform our system to make it easier for people to immigrate legally. We need to let more people in through the front door (but who knows how many that should be?). All of this is true. But not one bit of it should happen until we begin enforcing the laws we already have.
    I couldn’t agree more, and well said.

    1. It is to libertarians on the principle of freedom of movement,

      Freedom of movement is not the same as permission to stay.

      See, every easement ever. There’s a lot of places that you are free to move over, or even stay on for a short while, but not free to stay on indefinitely.

      “Freedom of movement” casts only a little more light on immigration issues than calling a fetus a trespasser does on abortion issues.

  8. That’s all fine and good, Suderman, but does his immigration policy rank above or below the UA sorority chick video in its offensiveness towards women?

    At least a Trump presidency would put an end to one thing: but, but, BOOOOOOOOOOOSH.

    1. At least a Trump presidency would put an end to one thing: but, but, BOOOOOOOOOOOSH.

      I think that’s just a bit optimistic.

  9. Trump in 2012:

    The Republican Party will continue to lose presidential elections if it comes across as mean-spirited and unwelcoming toward people of color, Donald Trump tells Newsmax.

    Whether intended or not, comments and policies of Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates during this election were seen by Hispanics and Asians as hostile to them, Trump says.

    “Republicans didn’t have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians,” the billionaire developer says.

    1. “The Democrats didn’t have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren’t mean-spirited about it,” Trump says. “They didn’t know what the policy was, but what they were is they were kind.”

      Romney’s solution of “self deportation” for illegal aliens made no sense and suggested that Republicans do not care about Hispanics in general, Trump says.

      “He had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal,” Trump says. “It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote,” Trump notes. “He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.”

      The GOP has to develop a comprehensive policy “to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country,” Trump says.

      What the hell happened? Did he catch his Mexican poolboy sleeping with his wife?

      1. Did he catch his Mexican poolboy sleeping with his wife?

        I’m not sure he would care. As others have pointed out, he is just latching onto a current of populism and nativism to boost his own ego – and maybe (though I doubt it) point out the spinelessness and hypocrisy of the other candidates.

  10. The more conniptions the writers at this site throw, the less seriously I take reason (the magazine, which evidently isn’t founded on rationality).

    I’m just going to laugh, and watch the commentariat throw punches at each other. You know, the usual entertainment value here.

    1. This was a damn good journal once, back when it was still predominantly staffed by real libertarians, as opposed to Beltway liberals pretending that they’re libertarians for a paycheck.

      I have a dream that one day it will go back to that, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime very soon.

      1. Mike, by all means, tell us what a committed libertarian you are by arguing for a militarized border and large federal bureaucracy, all in service of the goal of keeping foreigners from working here.

  11. As a libertarian, I’m not automatically comfortable with “enforcing the laws we already have,” not when so many of those laws are ill-conceived and dangerous to liberty. For example, the entire War on Drugs and a good chunk of the domestic surveillance activities are based on laws we already have but which should be consigned to the nearest wood chipper.

    I’m surprised that immigration policy is an even more divisive issue for libertarians than abortion. I don’t get why that is. When it comes to presidential politics, there are ideas we oppose but still take seriously and ideas that need to laughed at and dismissed. I’m aware that Bernie’s idea about deodorant choices leading to child hunger was universally derided here. I don’t even think the resident progressive trolls mounted much of a defense of that stupidity. And yet a large minority of the commentariat here seems to take Trump as something other than a complete buffoon. He is the least serious presidential candidate since “The Rent is Too Damn High!” guy.

    Perhaps Reason itself is partly to blame for giving Trump so much proverbial ink. In the last election, the mainstream media, from MSNBC to Fox, collectively decided they would largely ignore Ron Paul as a way to neutralize his chances. It clearly worked. I wish the mainstream media and Reason would turn a similar blind eye to Trump. He is clearly either a Hillary campaign plant or simply a troll with a raging case of narcissistic personality disorder.

    1. The problem with telling people to ignore Trump is that he’s the Republican frontrunner.

      1. Yes, so was Ron Paul for a little while. And that was DURING actual primaries — not 5 months out like now! One of the main networks, I think it was ABC News, actually reported the #2 and #3 finishers in the Iowa caucus and that’s it. They did not even mention Ron Paul at all, and he had just finished first. I’m not one for news self-censorship, but maybe they should start collectively trying to minimize the charlatan front-runner just a bit.

    2. He is the least serious presidential candidate since “The Rent is Too Damn High!” guy.

      *pedant on*

      Jimmy McMillan never ran for president, he ran for Mayor of New York City several times, and Governer of New York once, but the Rent party never got on the ballot for president, even in New York.

      *pedant off*

  12. I have two immigration plans. One is to create a one mile wide obstacle course along the southern border with landmines, barbed wire, trenches, and mud. You get through that, citizenship is awarded.

    Or two, we invade and annex Mexico as a US territory and grant them all citizenship.

    1. RE your two: Oh, hell, no. You don’t want all of them voting in American elections. That’s pretty much the Democratic wet dream.

  13. As for as not being prepared for the debate,there are many on H&R that could answer the questions of the top of their head.It’s easy when freedom and restraint of government is job one.When you have to explain how your going to take are of everyone and every group and solve all problems no matter how smalll,it shows how empty minded these people are.

  14. Libertarianism in one country.

    1. I agree. How about Antartica?

  15. This article is nothing but a giant ad homenim. It amounts to “he doesn’t really mean it”. Even if that is true, it just means that you shouldn’t take Trump seriously not necessarily his plan. It is very possible for an unserious person to put forth a serious plan. Sudderman and Reason just dismiss it because they frankly don’t have very good arguments against it. The articles Suderman linked to rely on the fallacy of the perfect as if any plan that doesn’t solve all illegal immigration must therefore be a bad plan as if there are not degrees of good or improvement over the current situation. Funny how reason rightly finds such arguments ridiculous when put forward by teachers’ unions against school choice. And that the plan is “expensive” as if $200 billion dollars over multiple years is a big deal to the federal government and as if we won’t be spending a good portion of that money on ICE and Border Patrol anyway.

    If there is anyone who shouldn’t be taken seriously about immigration it is Reason. They never offer any solutions to the real problems and dislocations associated with immigration. It never takes any criticism of open borders policies seriously and never admits there could be any downside for anyone to open borders. It is always sunny on an open border I guess.

    1. Well,deporting 11 million people isn’t going to happen and hiring thousands of border guards was done after 911,along with thousands of TSA workers. Many are incompatante and or corrupt.Drugs flw across the southern borber and the many in the border guards have to be involved.There’s also the roadblocks 100 miles inland shaking down everyone.Even to the point that going in and out of a town means a stop every single day.So,what’s your plan,or you just bitching. Oh ,and deporting people born here is illegal.

      1. Amother point,deporting 11 million means 11 million hearings and appeals,taht with take what.50 years?

      2. Well,deporting 11 million people isn’t going to happen

        It doesn’t have to. Once you start enforcing the law, a good number of that 11 million people will go home on their own since they won’t be able to find jobs. Moreover, you are committed the same fallacy of “if it is not perfect it can’t be good” I spoke of above. So what if you don’t get 11 million? If you get 6 million that would make a huge difference. If you think getting any is a bad idea, say so. But don’t try and tell me that anything short of 11 million is a failure.

        and hiring thousands of border guards was done after 911,along with thousands of TSA workers.

        TSA doesn’t enforce the border. And we already have thousands of border guards. We just have to employ them better. Moreover, since when is hiring people something the government can’t do?

        There’s also the roadblocks 100 miles inland shaking down everyone.Even to the point that going in and out of a town means a stop every single day.So,what’s your plan,or you just bitching. Oh ,and deporting people born here is illegal.

        Those roadblocks don’t work. The way to get them is to go after employers and cut off the demand. You also cut off social services so no one comes here to get a free ride. Moreover, actually patrolling the border would eliminate the need to have those road blocks in the first place.

        1. So, as libertarians, we should endorse more economic regulations, more border guard hires, and hot pursuit of private business owners who are trying to contract with people born on the wrong side of a border. Please square this with the libertarianism. I happily concede that libertarians aren’t anarchists and they accept the government (begrudgingly) as a necessity to protect liberty, but at the very least, if nothing else, libertarian means starting from the presumption of liberty.

          Creating a militarized border, spending vast amounts of money adding border guards to the payroll, regulating how businesses hire and whom they can hire, all to prevent people from moving here and working here. Since there’s nothing inherently immoral about traveling and taking a job from someone willing to employ you, you need to have really good arguments to expand government power and use state force to keep them out. I don’t see anything in your argument that even comes close to justifying it, just that it’s logistically possible to get them to self-deport by the millions. Why should we do that and how are your suggestions compatible with libertarianism?

    2. From my post up above:

      It punishes people for a victimless crime (no one is harmed by the simple act of crossing the border illegally).

      It’s really expensive (Reason discussed a number of $200 billion to deport everyone. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t larger).

      It leads to a growing police state (checkpoints, militarization of the border) and violation of the rights of citizens (E-verify, for example).

      It won’t end. Instead, it will continue to grow and all the bad stuff listed above will spread (the drug war is directly applicable here, but so is almost any other government program).

      That doesn’t even address the unconstitutional idea of deporting citizens or the practicality of forcing another country to build a wall to keep people in.

      Reason did point all this out. They and others have called the plan for what it is: unrealistic and awful.

      1. It punishes people for a victimless crime (no one is harmed by the simple act of crossing the border illegally).

        So what? You are just assuming your conclusion. You don’t think borders are legitimate. Good for you. Others do. This is par for the course on Reason. Just ignore the arguments assume you are right and then claim some moral high ground.

        It’s really expensive (Reason discussed a number of $200 billion to deport everyone. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t larger).

        So is supporting millions of immigrants who come here for welfare, social security and schools. If we were just getting single men coming here to work, that would be one thing. But that is not what is happening. We are getting families and children and that costs a fortune. And sorry but the public school systems are not going anywhere.

        That doesn’t even address the unconstitutional idea of deporting citizens or the practicality of forcing another country to build a wall to keep people in.

        We are not deporting citizens. We are deporting illegals. And there is nothing unconstitutional about enforcing the borders. All you guys have is invective and pathetic moral appeals about “that isn’t fair”. You are not serious on this issue. You are no better than Progs.

        1. You don’t think borders are legitimate.

          There you go again, assuming facts not in evidence. I have no problem with government controlling the border to keep out criminals, terrorists, and other potential threats (as I’ve said many times before). It’s a legitimate government duty. But if you’re so sure I’m just assuming the conclusion, can you point to someone that is harmed by the act of crossing the border? Go ahead, counter my point.

          So is supporting millions of immigrants who come here for welfare, social security and schools.

          Which is why I’m in favor of what I think are realistic reforms that would reduce the cost of those programs but that work within the political reality. But as it stands, I’d rather spend money educating immigrant children who will one day contribute to American society (and whose parents often already do) than kicking them out of the country, which will make us less wealthy overall.

          We are not deporting citizens. We are deporting illegals.

          My understanding is that Trump’s plan calls for deporting citizen children.

          Since you didn’t counter my other arguments, I’ll assume you realize that they are good arguments and that you’ve accepted that your original statement, “they frankly don’t have very good arguments against it”, was incorrect.

          1. What happens when a woman comes to this country on vacation from . . . France . . . pops out a new socialist and then, what – ding ding ding – You’ve won a free pass!
            This happens – the way it works is when the child is 18 the can choose to be US citizens – until then the GO HOME with their parents. Same will the children born to illegal immigrants.

            Your so called controlled border obfuscation is ideological horseshit. We let everyone come over except the bad people but we can’t really ask who is or isn’t bad. I wouldn’t trust you to wash my car. You have no answers and deny the problems.

            And what is it that makes you think all this is a competition to see who wins the argument?

            If you aren’t here legally – please go home.

            1. Bad = violent criminals and people that intend to commit crimes. You identify them through a background check, though I’ll readily admit that isn’t always going to be easy depending on the government they are coming from. But it is an objective standard.

              You want an ideological test for immigrants? Really? What makes you think it won’t be used to keep libertarians and fellow travelers OUT? Or that it would even matter? Progressives didn’t rise to prominence because they imported other progressives, but because they appealed to current citizens.

              You have no answers and deny the problems.

              I’ve given well reasoned arguments for why so many of the “problems” aren’t really problems.

            2. As for answers, I support allowing low and high skilled workers into the country if they have jobs or if business will sponsor them (I’d go further, but I’m working within political realities). I don’t think we should have quotas or require labor market opinions or the like. I do think we should run background checks and require a physical exam, vaccination, etc. I think we should make it easier for people to get seasonal work visas that easily allow them to migrate back and forth between Mexico and the U.S. I’m perfectly fine with denying welfare programs to seasonal workers and requiring proof of status for welfare programs (I’d do plenty to reform the welfare state, too, but that is a separate issue). I think we should give current immigrants a path to citizenship if they want it, and I’ll concede that they have to pay a fine, but as they didn’t victimize anyone by crossing the border, I think that should be the limit of it. I don’t think amnesty is a bad word because I don’t think illegal immigrants broke any serious laws simply by coming here. I think that if we make it easy enough for people to cross the border for work or to gain citizenship, it will be easier to police the border for violent criminals. Though I also favor ending the drug war, which would also drastically reduce the need for border patrol. Those enough answers for you?

              1. Oh, and as I said, suggest some policies to help mitigate the potential negative labor market impact for citizens and I’ll consider it.

              2. I agree with some of what you suggest – guest workers, restricting give-aways, health exams. But you miss my larger point – which I acknowledge I’m not articulating well – that there have to be (in fact are) boundaries to immigration that we establish through a legislative and democratic process. And they must be accepted and enforced until changed.
                I am NOT saying that anyone has been specifically harmed by most illegal immigrants, rather that the issue is your approach does not respect the laws.
                Open borders in this situation is ideological fantasy and chaotic. The 11 million number is probably bullshit, there are likely many times that many people here undocumented. “Just let them stay” is the same in effect as saying anyone who can cross into the US gets to stay. How is that a good policy?

                1. that there have to be (in fact are) boundaries to immigration that we establish through a legislative and democratic process

                  I agree with that as a practical matter.

                  And they must be accepted and enforced until changed.

                  But they can’t be enforced. Not without pursuing police-state policies and spending gobs of money. But I’m all for changing them through the legislative process.

                  rather that the issue is your approach does not respect the laws

                  To be clear, I’m talking about changing the laws, not just using executive fiat to declare everyone legal. But I don’t think the current crop of laws are good. If it were practical and not a net negative, I could see an argument in favor of enforcing current laws *until* such time as they are changed. But as part of that change, I would be OK with granting amnesty or something close to it to those that are here. If you want them to go through a background check and maybe pay a small fine, I’m OK with that, though I see no real reason for the fine.

                  1. So you agree that the laws should be enforced until democratically changed. And you agree that they CAN be enforced but you don’t want to because “police-state”.
                    Look I HATE being told what to do by some authority. I feel far more qualified in most circumstances to act in a way that harms no one. But, I’m an adult and I recognize that one of the disadvantages of living in a non-chaotic society is that I have to eat shit once in a while by from some “law enforcement agency”.
                    People will continue to come across the border (as they do AT THIS MOMENT) as long as people know we are afraid or unwilling to enforce the law. That is a very rational choice.
                    Second, nothing you are proposing solves the problem in the future because people will be incentivized to continue to cheat the system and it’s unlikely that the laws will be changed to create some fantasy open-border utiopia. The result is amnesty and perpetually uncontrolled illegal immigration.
                    The best way to end up with a true police state it to let this shit go chaotic, if you don’t see that then I can’t ‘splain it to you.

                    1. GregMax, so in your scenario, we have two options:

                      1. Illegal immigrants continue to break the laws, chaos ensues, mayhem, blood in the streets, etc., etc.

                      2. We enforce the laws we have on the books, which you acknowledge kind of suck, in order to uphold the rule of law and some shit. And even though we most definitely won’t get open borders or anywhere close to it, we have to wait patiently with our hands folded until the laws democratically change. *prays* Any day now, any day now…

                      I don’t accept this false dilemma, firstly, because the “chaos” stemming from illegal immigration is mostly a government-created farce. Just like with the Drug War, a lot of the so-called problems are government caused, like illegal immigrants getting welfare or educating their kids in public schools, for example. There’s nothing chaotic about people moving into your city and working, otherwise why shouldn’t every city and state in America build up a fortress to keep out new people?

                      But also, I don’t see how you can argue with a straight face that illegal immigration exacerbates the police state when the police state exists in part to regulate it. If you’re afraid of a crazy police state, then continue arguing for more ‘enforcement of the laws.’

                      If LynchPin is unwilling to say it, then I will: we should NOT enforce unjust laws.

                    2. So you agree that the laws should be enforced until democratically changed.

                      That’s a tough one to answer in general, as there could be some really awful laws. At the same time, I realize that the rule of law as a concept is an important tool in defending liberty, so as a rule of thumb, yes, I think the law should be enforced when practical, even when I might disagree with it.

                      And you agree that they CAN be enforced but you don’t want to because “police-state”.

                      No, I don’t agree with they can be enforced, any more than I think we can really enforce drug laws. It’s not just a question of will. And police state is a very real concern. You can’t just view enforcement in a bubble.

                      But, I’m an adult and I recognize that one of the disadvantages of living in a non-chaotic society is that I have to eat shit once in a while by from some “law enforcement agency”.

                      We aren’t just talking about eating shit. Again, look at the drug war. People will get the shit beat out of them. They will get shot. All over crossing a border without permission to work hard. And the fundamental rights of citizens will be violated in this hopeless pursuit.

                    3. Second, nothing you are proposing solves the problem in the future

                      See some practical reforms elsewhere in this thread. I want to simplify the system so people who want to come here have a real mechanism for doing so legally. People currently come here illegally because it is practically impossible to do so legally unless you are high-skill or already know someone.

            3. If you aren’t here legally – please go home.

              Born and raised, so you’re stuck with me. 🙂

              Though that might not always be the case if you get your ideological purity test for citizenship.

              1. It was a generalization, not directed at you specifically.

          2. We are not deporting citizens. We are deporting illegals.

            My understanding is that Trump’s plan calls for deporting citizen children.

            Probably, yes. But that can easily be reconciled with birthright citizenship, believe it or not.

            Tell the parents they are deported, but their kid can stay. Naturally, the kid will have to go through CPS and/or the foster system.

            Or, they can take their kid with them. And the kid, as a US citizen, will always have the right to reside in the US. As an adult, no prob. But if they want to live here as a kid, they will need to be adopted or be a ward of the state.

            This is all perfectly legal under current law, as far as I know.

          3. I have no problem with government controlling the border to keep out criminals, terrorists, and other potential threats (as I’ve said many times before).

            What about people who have no means of support? Because that’s what about 90% of our current immigration laws are theoretically based on.

            Its no accident that our immigration laws have become more restrictive as the welfare state has grown. You can’t have open borders and a welfare state, at least not indefinitely.

            And yes, yes, theoretically illegals aren’t allowed on welfare. They nonetheless access all kinds of taxpayer funded benefits (schools, health care), and some of them are, in fact, on welfare.

            They aren’t breaking the bank in the big scheme of things. But for people who are opposed to welfare in principle, this shouldn’t matter.

            1. I don’t need to go into general arguments about the welfare state on a libertarian website, but it seems like the arguments against non-citizens in particular collecting welfare is that they aren’t paying the full suite of taxes and so shouldn’t be able to collect from the various welfare programs. That’s reasonable. But if you made it easier for people to come here and work legally, then you could collect some payroll and income taxes, so that takes care of that particular complaint. And that would be a good thing for solvency because immigrants tend to be younger. If there are more general arguments about not making more people eligible for welfare programs, then I can see an argument for restricting programs to citizens. As you say, that is ostensibly true now, but it would be easier to keep track of who can access what if we could keep track of who was here in the first place. But the current system, which makes illegal entry the only viable option for many, makes that nigh-on impossible.

              As for things like schools, all immigrants are going to at least pay into things like local sales tax. And again, if they are documented you can collect property taxes.

              The key point is that in a system with a viable legal option, you actually have hope of enforcing your preferred welfare payment/restriction scheme, regardless of what that is.

    3. As to your second point, as I said yesterday, I feel sorry for people who are displaced by competition from immigrants, but as libertarians we aren’t in the business of using government force to protect entrenched economic interests. And as I was saying to CPA above, I’m not even convinced that immigration is as disruptive to the labor market as you seem to assume. I’m sure you can find individual stories but the impact of rising immigration is not seen in the unemployment numbers, and it is entirely plausible that low-wage immigrants met a previously unfilled demand in the labor market, thereby increasing wealth. As we all know, the economy is not a zero-sum game.

      But if you have an idea on how to mitigate the potential negative impacts of immigration on the low-wage labor market, I’d be more than happy to listen.

      1. As to your second point, as I said yesterday, I feel sorry for people who are displaced by competition from immigrants,

        No you don’t. If you did, you would take their interests into account. You don’t give a flying fuck about them and are happy to sacrifice them for your ideology. Libertarians are always happy to bravely sacrifice other people for their ideals.

        And as I was saying to CPA above, I’m not even convinced that immigration is as disruptive to the labor market as you seem to assume.

        1. I’m taking their interests into account by opening my mind to policies that might help mitigate the potential negative impact. So again, do you have any policies?

        2. Question: when a liberal says to you “you want to end welfare because you hate poor people” how is that substantively different from your above appeal to emotion?

          I’m sympathetic to your below cultural argument though not entirely onboard. I’m not sure there’s a way to practically enforce cultural assimilation. But the above argument is not consistent with what I assume is your ideology. If a company can hire a lower waged worker and get the same economic output, isn’t that their prerogative? By insisting they keep the higher salary worker, how is that any different fundamentally then a federally mandated minimum wage?

        3. John, do you not understand that you can feel legitimately sorry for someone and not want to use the full force of the US federal government to interfere on their behalf? When my mom lost her job, I felt terrible for her. I would’ve done anything in my power to help her get her job back or find a new one. I care about my mother more than any stranger, foreign and American born, yet I would not have insisted that anything the government could do in service of my mother’s employment prospects would be morally justified.

          In that same vein, LynchPin can be remorseful whenever a person loses his or her job and still not endorse a statist solution. Moreover, you need to explain why we should feel so much more saddened for an American than we do an immigrant. Immigrants have lots of hard-luck stories that would make most Americans’ look pretty petty by comparison, but I don’t see you shedding any tears for their plight.

      2. There is no way they couldn’t be. More importantly, they are disruptive to the entire society. Our society has worked because it has been able to absorb and assimilate immigrants and create a common culture. We don’t have balkinization and ethnic conflicts here like they do elsewhere. There is however a limit to that. And we are getting close to it. Raise the population to say 400 million and the culture of this country will transform. A place like Mexico or El Salvador is not like America because the people and culture are different. Libertarians suffer from a complete lack of imagination and understanding of other people and cultures. They think everyone in the world is just like them and importing entire populations from different cultures could never have a bad effect on the country. Latin America is a socialist hell hole because the people there are not Americans and don’t think like or want a government like Americans do. It doesn’t mean they are inferior or worse or better. It just means they are different. And Libertarians are utterly unable to grasp that fact.

        1. There is no way they couldn’t be

          Just plain wrong. If immigrants fill a labor market demand that was mostly going unmet by citizens, then the disruptive impact on citizens will be small. I never said it had to be zero. I said I don’t see evidence that it is as significant as you seem to assume. And you’ve done nothing to show otherwise.

          Our society has worked because it has been able to absorb and assimilate immigrants and create a common culture

          Something like 4 million Irish and Italians immigrated to the U.S. by 1920. That is about 7% of the total U.S. population in 1920. That doesn’t even take into account immigration from everywhere else in the world, it’s just two countries.

          If there are 20 million illegal immigrants here now with a population of about 350 million, on a percentage basis the waves of 19th and early 20th century immigration were far, far more significant. And of course there is already a large Latin cultural influence in America. This is not unprecedented. I’m not going to fret over it without some better arguments that it’s going to lead to huge social unrest.

          1. In 1920 schools weren’t forced to teach their lessons in Italian to the detriment of the education of local children.

            Local governments weren’t forced to print ballots and other forms in the immigrants languages.

            !920s imigrants werent allowed in the country if they had certain diseases..

            Immigrants who wanted to succeed had to learn the common language.

            Modern immigration policies coddle the immigrants with free services and even some advatgages over the citizenry.

            If a citizen in Arizona wants to go to college in Texas they have to pay out of state tuition. If an immigrant from El Salvador wants to go to the University of Texas they don’t have to pay out of state tuition.

            Numbers alone don’t explain the differences between 1920s immigration and today.

            1. In 1920 schools weren’t forced to teach their lessons in Italian to the detriment of the education of local children.

              Are there schools that teach classes in Spanish (other than maybe Spanish) that have non-Spanish speaking students? If so, that is bad, but focus on fixing that.

              Local governments weren’t forced to print ballots and other forms in the immigrants languages.

              Immigrants who wanted to succeed had to learn the common language.

              Immigrants have always formed enclaves where they speak their native languages. Neighborhoods, churches, businesses. The rule of thumb is that the generation that immigrates gains basic proficiency, their children are generally bilingual, and their grandchildren speak very little of their grandparents’ native language. There is no evidence that is changing in the current wave of immigration.

              !920s imigrants werent allowed in the country if they had certain diseases..

              I’m fine with health screening.

              If a citizen in Arizona wants to go to college in Texas they have to pay out of state tuition. If an immigrant from El Salvador wants to go to the University of Texas they don’t have to pay out of state tuition.

              Does that student live and have family that pays taxes in Texas? If no, it sounds like a silly policy, but an issue for Texas. Focus on fixing that.

              You bring up valid concerns but I don’t think they are deal breakers for immigration. And the language issues work themselves out.

            2. Most of the children of adult immigrants speak English, so if they’re being coddled, you wouldn’t know it.

              The rest of your concerns seem a little petty, quite honestly. Oh no, more than one language on a ballot! Heavens!

        2. . Latin America is a socialist hell hole because the people there are not Americans and don’t think like or want a government like Americans do

          Political ideology isn’t genetic and it’s just plain insulting to imply so. Libertarians should be taking the opportunity to spread our ideas among immigrants. They aren’t libertarians? Let’s convince them to become libertarians!

          And I really don’t think you’d like where ideological tests for citizenship would lead. If you would, that’s just awful.

          1. “Libertarians should be taking the opportunity to spread our ideas among immigrants. They aren’t libertarians? Let’s convince them to become libertarians!”

            If this were actually occurring in some meaningful way, I know I’d be much more comfortable with an open border. Unfortunately, I think leftist organizations like La Raza have a monopoly on this activity.

            1. We shouldn’t be conceding the point, though.

              And there is no reason to assume that immigrants are representative of the ideology of their host countries. Maybe they are, but it’s not a given. I mean, they left for a reason! Refugees from Eastern Europe during the Cold War or North Korea today were/are some of the biggest opponents of those regimes.

              1. Cubans as well.

            2. Regardless, the ideological purity argument is one of the worst and frankly, most frightening, the the anti-immigration crowd tosses around. Using government force to keep out wrong-thinking people? That’s a far greater threat to liberty, and to individual libertarians, than potentially left-leaning immigrants.

              1. Consider how you (not anyone in particular, but anyone reading this) might react if Bernie Sanders wanted to force any high-skill or entrepreneurial immigrants to commit to a social justice agenda and to pay any workers at their new business a fair living wage before being allowed to immigrate…

              2. I don’t disagree. Not suggesting at all that certain people be denied because of their ideology. Or that it should even be a question asked. Apart from: “is there anything you are interested in blowing up during your stay?”

                Mainly referring to exposure to the culture. I dont think citizenship classes are unreasonable. To explain limited government, federalism, bill of rights, etc. Unfortunately most that didn’t come through the system aren’t exposed to this. The ones that have been, I’ve found are an order of magnitude more knowledgeable on the subjects then your average native born American.

                1. To clarify, I don’t mean they should be taught those things to persuade them to think a certain way. Just educate.

                2. I’d be OK with civics classes. Insofar as the federal or state governments are dictating curriculum to schools, it should be a bigger part. I had no dedicated classes on civics growing up. I didn’t even read the full text of the Declaration or Constitution in any formal educational setting, even my college class on political philosophy! Granted, that last one was taught by a self-described socialist. So heavy on Rousseau, Hegel, Marx…and not a thing on Jefferson. He at least did present Locke.

                  1. I’m surprised he didn’t tie Jefferson to Rousseau. Or Paine. I’ve seen leftists in the past name drop those 2 to try and make Rousseau more approachable for American audiences.

                    Agreed in that civics should be required. If I need to learn how to identify frog ovaries, one would think learning how I’m governed would be emphasized at some point. Learning HOW it works (or how it’s supposed to work at least) should give some ownership/investment. And hopefully a desire to defend it and ensure it isn’t undermined. Which is as good of a starting point for the culture at large as can be hoped for.

              3. Why? You really think allowing people into the country who are openly hostile to the constitution or liberty is a good idea.

                1. I’m not convinced they are openly hostile to the constitution or liberty. I strongly suspect most immigrants are like most Americans — only vaguely political.

                  But even if they were avowed Marxists, I’d still let them in. The moment you start saying that only right-thinkers can come into the country is the moment you betray freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom of thought. I guarantee that authority would be co-opted by those in power, and it isn’t going to be libertarians drawing up the ideology tests.

                  I see a direct parallel to the security state and the threat of terrorism. I’m not willing to give the government the power to spy on innocent people even *if* it did make us safer. I’d rather live with the threat of terrorism than sacrifice freedom.

                  Liberty takes courage. The same kind of courage that compels us to stand up to the NSA or a government censor is needed in the face of immigrants that might hold ideas that are antithetical to liberty. That’s one thing I won’t compromise on.

  16. I think that Peter is actually too close to see it. Maybe the white paper IS just an illusion to bring investors (voters) to his campaign. Maybe.

    But I think Trump is a much smarter Troll than that. Much smarter by half, at least.

    Rather, I think that Trump is doing this as a great illusion, one more “artful deal” to increase his wealth and power over a long period of time. This is a long game to get his name out there, get his pageants and hotels and casino, etc., out there. He doesn’t want to be president, I think. Or, maybe he does, but he is too smart to invest this much if there is the distinct possibility he will lose and not get anything out of it.

    This is brand building, this is PR for his companies. And it might just be the greatest hand ever played in a reality TV show — because Trump knows exactly what is going on here. He knows what a showman can do and he is doing it with amazing skill.

    1. Your right,he is not going to put all his assets in a blind trust and I doubt he has 1 billon cash to spend unless he sales off some of said assets.

  17. I hope the end result of this is the pushing of Republicans with a brain more into the libertarian wing of the party inhabited by Charles Cooke/Kevin Williamson. I tended to scoff at the notion that voter animus over immigration was motivated by bigotry. It struck me as SJW nonsense. I always considered it to be a sovereignty argument and from that perspective was sympathetic.

    That was before I saw the explosion of stormfront trollers pour into Twitter calling everyone that doesn’t end their tweet with #makeamericagreat a “cuckservative”. When informed of the white supremacist origin of the word, they say “so?” Most are not just arguing to enforce immigration laws, they want immigration shut down completely.

    The experience has pushed me further to the open borders position (though I’m still not quite all the way there). Here’s hoping it does the same with others and on more than just immigration but related issues like free trade.

    1. There is no need to go full open borders. I think it’s a nice ideal, like so many of the extreme libertarian ideas, but it’s unworkable politically and practically in our current world.

      1. Agreed. Have seen some here argue for the ideal. That’s why I feel the need to hedge a bit.

      2. I’d be happy if we just got closer to open than we are today. I argue for the ideal, but I am not unaware of the political climate.

        We need to start from the ideals, from the hypotheticals, but there are libertarians here who don’t even concede the very basic and fundamental principles behind open immigration.

        Right now our immigration laws start with the premise that all immigrants are disallowed from entering and that they need to prove why they should be given a chance. I’ll be content if we reverse that and force the government to argue why people should be kept out.

        1. I don’t disagree. Arguing freedom of movement is fine as far as principled stances go. And I don’t mind engaging on the topic. I have seen some demagoguery from that side of the argument as well though. In that if you DONT value freedom of movement over competing fundamentals like national sovereignty then you’re a police state pushing fascist. In so many words.

          I think arguing the underlying economics is the best course. What’s the best way to prevent outsourcing? Short of making it illegal to move operations outside the country, importing labor is the answer. As Friedman said, it’s hard for people to see the big picture outside of their limited interests. Understandably so. The benefits aren’t intuitive whereas the drawbacks are. IMHO at least

    2. You need to understand that Twitter is not reality.

      Those people are probably 1-3% of the population.

      Would you extrapolate from a few anti-Semite socialists that “all Democrats” are anti-Semites?

      No.

      1. I’m extrapolating nothing. Just describing my experience. I “scoffed” at the implied bigotry initially because I thought it was negligible if not completely non-existent. I was wrong.

        I’m not attempting to say that all 24% or whatever of the Republican electorate is in this category. But a significant enough group is to give me a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure the rest are in it for less nefarious reasons, but it’s not like I’m seeing a large push (or any push) from them to disown the behavior.

  18. Donald Trump trump de trump. Trump de trumpity trumpy trump. Until one day, the trumpa trumpa trumpatrump. Trump de trump. Da teedily dumb. From the creators of Der, and Tum Ta Tittaly Tum Ta Too, Donald Trump is Da Trump Dee Trump Da Teetley Trumpee Trumpee Dumb. Rated PG-13.

  19. Reason.com’s position on Trump’s immigration policy is not surprising. Reason advocated for legalizing child porn back in the 1990’s.

  20. Does Europe have the same number of illegal aliens?

    I saw a CNN graphic that had the number at 72,000 in 2013.

    That seems very low. Are they instead getting them all as refugees/asylum seekers?

    Because I don’t think Europe is spending $200 billion a year on border controls, and yet they seem to do a better job.

    I’m also willing to do open borders, as long as the compromise is a much smaller welfare state. So far, the left has not agreed to this compromise. I guess they must hate immigrants.

    1. Harun, I don’t think you can fairly conclude that they hate immigrants because they’re unwilling to roll back the welfare state. I think you can only say that open immigration is not a higher priority to them than the welfare state.

      I’m not so sorry Europe is doing a great job. And if they are, it’s coming at the expense of a lot of human life because people are feverishly trying to circumvent those ‘effective’ laws.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32573389

      1. Not so sure*.

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  22. Actually issues with immigration are tentpole issues with parties in almost every major Euro country. Italians and the other Mediterranean countries are angry because they’re having to bear the largest brunt of it along with the corresponding economic burden. Northern Europeans all have major anti-immigration parties with support rising every day to remove freedom of movement from the EU charter. So … do they do a “better job”? Debatable if you take their citizens’ response to it as worthwhile evidence.

    1. This was meant in reply to Harun.

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  24. Suderman has produced a rather silly argument that Trump is a showman and unreliable and his positionpaper on imigration should not be taken seriously. That’s pretty dopey – the position paper is there in black and white and has been praised highly by many who know a hell of alot more about immigration problems than the dopey Mr Suderman. Suderman is the ultimate anti-Trump
    journalist – pay no attention to anything he writes

  25. You know, you guys with all this…you’re actually making we warm up to Trump. It’s not so much about him; you could’ve done the same for Fidel Castro or Charles Manson & I’d havethe same rxn.

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  27. It is long past time for Republican candidates either to scorn and shame Donald Trump by revealing his immigration “plan” as both cruel and impossible, or acknowledge they haven’t the political courage.
    His plan to build a wall and to deport 11+ million persons violates reason. Our border with Mexico is crossed – legally – over a million times a day as part of our commercial and personal relationships with our neighbor and a wall would be literally impossible to maintain without breaching those relationships irretrievably.
    And any effort to find, identify and deport millions of persons now living in America will require the hiring and training of a Gestapo-like “internal security” force, utterly inimical to America’s values and traditions (to say nothing of its expense, swallowing funds needed for education, infrastructure, etc.)
    Trump is either a fraud or a fool.
    We cannot afford to elect anyone President who is afraid to say so

  28. Just admit it, your criticism of his plan rests almost entirely on the fact that…..
    You Just Don’t Like “The Donald”!

  29. Putting classified emails on a private server is a victimless crime.

  30. “Why It’s a Mistake to Take Donald Trump’s Immigration Plan Seriously”

    Wait, wait, I know – OPEN BORDERS!

    Do I win a toaster?

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