Immigration

Rand Paul's Refugee Stance, Alienating Libertarians

Paul has never highly valued free immigration as a liberty Americans should care about.

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Sen. Rand Paul's response to the Paris terror attacks, caused in case it matters not by Syrian refugees, contains a lot of anti-refugee statements and proposed legislation, including one that would "suspend visa issuance for countries with a high risk of terrorism and impose a waiting period for background checks on visa issuance from other countries until the American people can be assured terrorists cannot enter the country through our immigration and visa system."

DonkeyHotey / Foter / CC BY

That proposal includes further demands that:

the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) certifies and Congress votes to approve that:

1) Aliens already admitted from high-risk countries have been fingerprinted and screened, pose no terrorist risk, and are being monitored for terrorist activity

2) Enhanced security measures are in place to screen future applicants and prevent terrorists from entering the country

3) DHS' visa entry-exit system is 100 percent complete and a tracking system is in place to catch attempted overstays

and impose a 30-day waiting period for all entries to the U.S. in order for background checks to be completed, unless the traveler has been approved through the Global Entry program.

One of Paul's other amendments targeting immigrants was both libertarian in practice (as it involves ceasing a federal payout) but still reads by its odd specificity as more rooted in anti-immigration feeling than libertarian spending purism: denying federal housing aid to refugees or asylees from a list of 34 countries. Paul is peeved that no vote has happened yet on that one.

The first bill is overkill to solve a very rare and unlikely problem. As I've tried to argue when Paul began aiming legislation at immigration "sanctuary cities," demanding government spend lots of cash and effort toward a goal that will overwhelmingly merely bedevil the innocent, not solve any real problem, is an instinct anyone of even libertarian sympathies should doubt. I see analogies to gun control, an area where Paul (and most Republicans) recognize that "a far-off chance of preventing some unpredictable crime is not a sufficient excuse to waste government resources and restrict peaceful people's lives."

Turning to refugee control as a response to terror is not new for Paul; he did the same thing after the Boston bombing.

Politico today surveys various libertarians annoyed with Rand Paul over all this, crediting him for standing strong against more phone surveillance as a response, but causing Cato's David Boaz, the new-ish, libertarian-ish Niskanen Center, and the Libertarian Party's John LaBeaume all to complain more or less that, to quote the Niskanen Center's David Bier, 

"I think he has staked out a position that is definitely at odds with the broader libertarian coalition," said David Bier, the author of the Niskanen post and the director of immigration policy for the think tank. "His position is that essentially the actions of a few individuals within the societies renders all of the persons in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries guilty by default."

As with other areas where he's not fully satisfying the GOP base or matching his opponents' rhetoric, the folks in the Politico article point out that those who really want to stick it to potential refugees have other places to go than Paul.  

But this kind of thing isn't political opportunism. It does represent where Paul actually stands on immigration. It's like he is quoted in that Politico article:

Paul insists he will be vindicated, eventually, as long as he sticks by his guns. "You know, this is who I am and what I stand for," he said Thursday.

Like Paul says, an anti-immigrant streak is not a new thing with him. Shikha Dalmia here at Reason did a thorough accounting of Paul's clear discomfort with aspects of free immigration.

Paul has never been anything close to an open-border libertarian. He's sensible enough to reject e-verify (though not sensible enough to realize it's a natural result of worrying about the supposed dangers of immigrants working here illegally) and to admit at least occasionally that we can't get rid of every illegal immigrant now here (while still afraid to say the word "amnesty,") but he's never really valued it particularly as a liberty that already-legal Americans should care much about.

The libertarianism of the Paul family has often acted more or less that, as far as the U.S. government should be concerned, liberty is the business of Americans, that is, the Americans already here, and need not be actively extended to others.

That's helpful when it comes to recognizing we shouldn't be thoughtlessly waging war for their alleged freedom, but it also leads Rand to not give much moral or political weight to the idea of letting outsiders in here to live and work (even though that impacts the freedom of the people already here who might want to hire or otherwise associate with the would-be immigrant).

The politics of it are obvious though awkward. They are obvious in that a Paul who isn't going to have "go over there and kick ass" as a first instinct in response to Middle-East rooted terror home or abroad wants to be able to seem like he's doing something to protect Americans from ISIS, so he settles on "don't them them come here" (leaving aside whether there is reasonable cause to fear that letting in refugees is in any way the equivalent of "letting them (as in ISIS) come here," but conflating ISIS with a mass of displaced people trying to escape ISIS seems to be popular these days). The politics are awkward in that any anti-refugee voter has plenty of more congenial places to go.

Freer immigration remains, for reasons likely pre-rational (hysteria over it, in terms of the economy, destruction of culture, or terrorism, all far outweigh the actual risks more immigration poses), a hard sell, apparently even to politicians with as many libertarian instincts as Rand Paul.

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  1. The refugees are Libertarians?

    1. No. But it seems libertarians aren’t libertarians, to be fair.

      1. Robc’s 2nd rule of libertarianism applies here.

        1. You’re *the* Robc!?

          1. Technically, he is the fourth of that name. Robc the First never amounted to much and was overthrown by his own advisors; the Second implemented the Rules of Libertarianism, ushering in a golden age of Hit ‘n’ Run commenting (May 14-16, 2009); the Third died young, less than a month after assuming the mantle.

            1. That two day period must have been the Libertarian Moment about which I’ve heard so much.

              1. It was almost a full 3 days. And it was glorious.

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            2. Actually Im the fifth. The fourth burned down, fell over, and sank into the swamp.

              1. He was the greatest of them all *sniff*

                1. His attempt to institute prima nocte on the Reason comment boards failed when it was realized that there are no libertarian women.

                  1. If he was a true Alpha, this would not stop him.

                    1. You’re thinking of STEVE SMITH.

                  2. “This has led to the mistaken belief that there are no dwarf women!”

            3. The real Robc has been retired fifteen years and living like a king in Patagonia

        2. Robc’s 2nd rule of libertarianism applies here.

          ???

          1. 1. Everyone agrees with libertarians about something.

            2. No two libertarians agree about anything.

            1. Accurate.

      2. Are all libertarian goals of equal importance?

        No?

        Good.

        Then let’s dismantle the welfare state and the police state FIRST.

        Then we can talk about importing trouble from other countries.

        1. Why should those libertarian goals take priority over other libertarian goals? Someone could just as easily say the libertarian principle of freedom of movement should take priority over reducing taxes. It’s just as arbitrary either way.

          1. Because if you open the borders before dismantling the welfare state, you’ll never ever dismantle the welfare state.

            Immigration can go one of two ways:
            1. Penniless immigrants come to the country expecting lavish welfare. Lacking a need to find immediate work, they retreat into ethnic ghettoes where they don’t need to learn the language or culturally integrate. The welfare entitlements become generational, the numbers of beneficiaries grow exponentially, and said beneficiaries vote for anyone who promises more welfare.

            2. Penniless immigrants come to the country knowing that it’s sink or swim, so they arrive expecting to work for a better life. They learn the language as quickly as possible, as integration is crucial to their livelihood. The children of these immigrants are raised to understand the value of participation in the workforce, take education seriously, and generally become more successful than their parents were.

            One of these paths leads to endlessly expanding welfare and inevitable social strife. The other leads to a successful, less dependent, more free society.

            1. Beautifully put.

              1. Agree. Very clear, concise way of summarizing our current problems with immigration.

      3. Nonsense.

        Litmus tests are the epitome of libertarianism.

  2. It isn’t alienating this libertarian. Your articles are, though.

    1. The door is over there, Dan.

      1. Yes, Tonio, because the best reaction to ideas one disagrees with is to run away from them. You’re very clever. Thanks for pointing it out.

        1. I’m not alienated by what Rand is doing either. I’m cool with this.

          (ducks)

        2. As if Dan’s the only commentor to ever complain about the Reason editors writing disagreeable things…

    2. “Reason” should change their name to “Retarded”, but giving it more thought, “Completely Assinine”, “Dumbass”, and “Shit for Brains” all work equally well.

      1. They should rename it ThinkProgress 2.0

  3. 1) Aliens already admitted from high-risk countries have been fingerprinted and screened, pose no terrorist risk, and are being monitored for terrorist activity

    So after we decide they pose no terrorist risk, we’re supposed to keep monitoring them. Sounds great.

      1. Also, Ebola.

      2. They should be executed just in case they ever become terrorists.

      3. Do you think that is somehow responsive to my comment?

        1. So after we decide they pose no terrorist risk

          1. Nikki thinks we shouldn’t be monitoring them or linking their arrests back to their refugee status.

          2. Well no one poses no terrorist threat.

            Really, this is a quantitative question: if 1 in 2 Arab (or Syrian, or whatever) immigrants later turned out to be terrorist; few would dispute the justification of these screening measures.

            But what if it’s 1 in 100,000? What if it’s about the same as the probability of any other demographic groups proportion of immigrants that become violent criminals? Or slightly greater?

            I guess I would prefer if someone would 1) come up with some criteria for what constitutes a ‘high risk’ group, or high enough risk to warrant special procedures (1 in 10 have to turn out bad? 1 in 100? 1 in 1000?) and 2) find data demonstrating that X group is uniquely high risk, warranting (if one accepts the criteria ad valid) the application of such special screening procedures.

      4. Also, killer bees.

    1. We could model it after the sex offender registry! Make the preterrorists register when they move, forbid them from living within 1,000 feet of a school, mall, hotel, or oil refinery, knock on doors to tell their neighbors when they move to a new area and so on.

  4. Never mind Syria.

    WHY AREN’T WE BOMBING BELGIUM?

    1. Belgian beer

      1. And waffles. But those are the ONLY reasons.

        1. Duchesse de Bourgogne carries a lot of weight in my opinion.

          1. Damn, that stuff is tasty. Dangerously so.

            1. just got my hands on some Rodenbach Grand Cru. I am looking forward to trying that very very soon.

              1. Hang on, i’m on my way over.

              2. Grand Cru is spectacular. But so is the Duchesse…

        2. Will no one defend the frites?

          Normally, I wouldn’t late post, but…

          1. Moules FTW.

    2. We should deport every single Buddhist, citizen or not (except the ones who run Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, of course). Interment camps for all Methodists for the duration.

      1. Yeah those violent Buddhists! Ok with the Methodist internment though! Won’t that scoop up the Clinton dynasty?

        Worth a shot.

    3. Mussels in Brussels.

  5. Meh. I think this is perhaps the best we could hope for from any Republican at the moment, and is ultimately no worse than what many Democrats are supporting.

    1. Is it far from Badnarik ’04 either?

      1. Paul hasn’t proposed razing the UN building yet.

        1. There is an idea I could get behind.

  6. As was pointed out by reason staff and then commenters, 6x as many are killed by syrian government as by ISIS, so probably 86% of the refugees are fleeing the government, hence may be more supportive of ISIS.

    1. I would guess they support both sides equally (as in, not at all).

    2. Like I give a shit if they are killing each other in their own country. It is when they export it to the West that I get pissed off. Otherwise as far as I am concerned muslims are like commies, the only good ones are dead.

  7. Until I am convinced that we have some obligation to import people from countries that are sourcing terrorists, I don’t see why declining to do so is a big deal. Refugee programs are not a “free association/freedom of contracting” thing; they are government-sponsored and funded movements of people to this country without any particular “pull” by a specific American who wants to associate/contract with a particular refugee, so the usual liberatarian justifications of openish borders don’t seem to apply.

    I could see knocking a couple of loopholes in such a policy: People who qualify for H1-Bs (that is, have a job and sponsor lined up, are in high-skill professions, etc.), for example.

    1. Refugee programs are not a “free association/freedom of contracting” thing; they are government-sponsored and funded movements of people to this country without any particular “pull” by a specific American who wants to associate/contract with a particular refugee, so the usual liberatarian justifications of openish borders don’t seem to apply.

      Great, now what about commenting on Rand Paul’s actual proposal as discussed in the post?

      1. Are you enforcing on topic responses now? You truly are the worst.

        1. Well, as much as I’d love another thread of random, undirected jerking off about whom “we” should or should not “import,” it might be even more interesting to move on and talk about a specific policy proposal.

          1. You’re not in favor of jerking off?

            All this time, I thought this ‘worst’ thing was just a meme.

      2. I thought I was, at least this part:

        suspend visa issuance for countries with a high risk of terrorism

        A moratorium on visa issuance from other countries starts to raise the association/contracting red flag, but the rest of it seems like tightening the current system up to prevent leakers. If you think the immigration system should be filtering out people who pose security/safety risks (such as people with criminal records, etc.), this shouldn’t be objectionable in principle, although the details are where the devil traditionally resides.

        1. You’re claiming this is about the importation of refugees, directed by the state, when Paul’s proposal is about free travel by private parties.

          No comment on suspending the visa waiver program for normal European businesspeople and tourists who haven’t decided to participate in Global Entry?

          1. What are the odds of getting a makeshift boat from Damascus to Miami?

            1. Why is it so hard to understand that this would apply to all foreign tourists?

              1. Good point, Nikki. This does sweep more broadly than people claiming refugee status.

                For the “tourists”, I would say a suspension could be justified because the benefits to Americans of their vacations are outweighed by the risk of having an open pipeline of any kind to areas that are sourcing terrorists.

              2. Who says I agree with Paul wrt tourists? I just want a refugee system similar to with Cubans. If you get here, you get to stay, unless Reno finds you in the closet.

                Tourists cant stay long term either. They have to leave.

                1. Who says I agree with Paul wrt tourists?

                  Well, that’s what Paul’s proposal is about. It’s not a system for dealing with refugees. It’s about basic border controls.

                  1. But tourists already have plenty of exceptions to basic border control rules.

                    Some things can be assumed.

                    1. The whole point of Paul’s proposal is to get rid of those exceptions. That is the proposal: suspend the visa waiver program.

                  2. Also, the headline says refugee stance.

                2. Don’t forget that some? many? of the 9/11 highjackers were here on tourist or student visas, either.

                  1. And the so-called mastermind of the Paris attacks, a Belgian National, boasted that he traveled freely and easily between Syria and France/Belgium.

                  2. I’m not forgetting that. But if you think suspending the visa waiver program is a good idea (which, btw, does not include travelers from any Middle Eastern countries), it would be good to actually talk about that rather than refugees or people on student visas from Saudi.

                    1. Im more interested in how many syrians could get to Miami via a boat they built. I want them as citizens. Stat.

                    2. ” it would be good to actually talk about that rather than refugees or people on student visas from Saudi.”

                      What makes you think you’re the arbiter of what to talk about you stupid fucking bitch?

                    3. Whoa, SOMEBODY needs some Midol and a nap.

      3. Actual proposal or Reason article about it?

        Sen. Rand Paul’s response to the Paris terror attacks, caused in case it matters not by Syrian refugees, contains a lot of anti-refugee statements and proposed legislation, including one that would “suspend visa issuance for countries with a high risk of terrorism and impose a waiting period for background checks on visa issuance from other countries until the American people can be assured terrorists cannot enter the country through our immigration and visa system.”

        Or maybe

        One of Paul’s other amendments targeting immigrants was both libertarian in practice (as it involves ceasing a federal payout) but still reads by its odd specificity as more rooted in anti-immigration feeling than libertarian spending purism: denying federal housing aid to refugees or asylees from a list of 34 countries.

        If Reason wants to connect the proposal with refugees, so be it in the comments!

    2. Im willing to combine the 30 day waiting period/background check for every immigrant with end of H1B and eliminate quotas.

      No need for amnesty either, go home for 30 days and reenter legally.

    3. Because you are violating Michael Moore’s freedom of association:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..11310.html

    4. I remain unclear on what free immigration of Syrian non-libertarians has to do with being an American libertarian.

    5. Because that doesn’t get the ‘libertarian’ staff of Reason invited to the cool cocktail parties.

  8. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of a third string candidate’s long shot!

    1. Third string? Paul is up to 4th place in the latest Reuters poll.

      1. He’s doing better than the 1-2 percent he had been drawing. Bloomberg’s latest national poll has him at 3 percent, behind Trump (24), Carson (20), Rubio (12), Cruz (9), Jeb! (6), and tied with the likes of Kasich and Fiorina. PPP’s latest national poll has him at 2 percent. Polls from RCP.

        He’s still at the big kid’s table, but he’s not getting the big pieces of chicken.

      2. Yeah I mean if he really works hard and libertarians pull through for him he might just win the bronze metal from the party that’s going to lose the general election anyway!

  9. One other thing to keep in mind:

    Terrorist activity of any kind is the driver of the ongoing erosion of civil liberties in this country. Increasing the risk or incidence of terrorist activity ramps up the pressure. I’m not excited about that, myself.

    It is a foreseeable consequence of bringing in tens of thousands of “Syrian” “refugees” that the police state will get another booster shot. If it happens, don’t say you weren’t warned.

    1. Terrorist activity of any kind is the driver of the ongoing erosion of civil liberties in this country.

      There’s certainly evidence of that– no matter what your stance on Syrian Refugees is in particular.

      Even if you ignore what’s happened in America since 9/11, Europe and France are now exploring closing borders between other European countries and have already increased a large number of security measures which literally weren’t in place a week ago.

    2. This is quite true. And if one were paranoid, one might think this was not an unintended consequence of the Democrat’s urge to import as many Muslims as possible. The surveillance state is a good way to keep track of those dangerous Tea Party extremists, who are the real threat, of course.

    3. That’s why I much prefer Rand’s approach: Direct the scrutiny and surveillance OUTSIDE our borders rather than inside.

    4. If that happens? It will happen.

      1. If that happens? It will happen.

        If articles like the Atlantic article Drake linked to yesterday are correct, then ISIS wants, needs the US to engage in open warfare against it. Beyond drones and flying a few sorties here and there. According to their ideology, fighting the US openly will cause Muslims worldwide to be forced to pick sides. So ISIS needs to enrage the US enough to get involved.

        (Without however, so pissing off the US that the spirit of Generals Sherman and Sheridan circa 1875 gets into CENTCOM and the US decides to just leave a mountain of skulls in Syria, Iraq, and Riyadh. The US may not have the will to do so—and thank God for that—but it definitely has the capability)

        Attacks on NATO allies’ civilians haven’t enraged the US enough yet. So either ISIS will increase the pace of those European (and now African, evidently) attacks, or they’ll escalate to attacks on Americans within the U.S.

        FWIW, I don’t think letting in refugees or keeping them out will matter much as far as materially increasing the chance that ISIS will decide to try and attack civilians in the US. I also think that, for all the talk of how vulnerable we are here, it’s a lot tougher to run attacks like that than it is for them to do it in Europe.

        1. I also think that, for all the talk of how vulnerable we are here, it’s a lot tougher to run attacks like that than it is for them to do it in Europe.

          +2nd Amendment

          1. It’s not even that so much, as the US doesn’t have many (any?) of the no-go areas, filled with jihadist sympathizers or at least people who won’t rat them out, that France and the rest of Europe are known for. It’s hard to gather a group of people, feed them, house them, train them, build munitions for them, do all of the rest of the tasks needed to pull off attacks like the ones in Paris, and not draw attention. It’s a lot easier to do that when you live in an area where the residents are afraid to call the cops on you—as McCarthy’s latest article in National Review mentioned was the case during the manhunt for the Paris attacks’ ringleader—than it is when you don’t have that kind of camouflage.

            Europe has that. The US has places like Dearborn, MI, and Little Mogadishu in the Twin Cities, and not many of those. Part and parcel of 0.8% of the population vs north of 13 percent.

            I like the 2nd Amendment, I like Texas’s attitudes towards personally carried firearms, but practically, a concealed pistol isn’t going to be very much help in one of these situations. Much better than nothing of course, but people’s first inclination that something is very very wrong, is likely to be the large, heavy coat wearing, smelling of bleach, freshly-shaved, tan gentleman disappearing in a very loud cloud of peroxide-laden smoke.

            Or you can take on two+ body armor wearing guys, jumping out of a minivan with rifles, while you’ve got a holstered pistol. Good luck.

        2. I’m pretty sure that France has the will to do that. Now. Possibly the means, as well.

          Until we have decided to go Sherman on their asses, I think we should stay out.

          It pains me to say this as a Southerner, but Sherman was right to bring the fight to the plantation owners. He was tired of killing the poor boys on the front lines. He wanted to kill the rich people financing the war.

          1. Oh, they’ve the means. Cleaning their domestic house first is probably a better idea. For one, the term Sensitive Urban Zone, as meaning a place where the police can’t go, and French law de facto does not hold: that term needs to go away permanently.

            I mention the French cans of sunshine, but I think that’s not going to be a monopoly of the Great (and semi-great: India, Pakistan) Powers for too much longer. Realistically, it’s not if Iran’s getting a nuke, it’s when, and when they publicly do, KSA et al are going to be right there with them.

            If I were Russia, I’d be sweating a lot, thinking of that contingency. I am betting a good chunk of whatever weaponizable material either Shia or Sunni Gulf countries possess, originated in a Russian reactor. And with a basic physics package design, will look to an airborne sniffer post-hypothetical atrocity, a lot like a device that originated from a Russian stockpile.

    5. What’s most unfortunate is that this isn’t just going to fuck over the Syrians. It’s going to fuck over other immigrants too.

      Particularly Asians. Can’t really blame them for despising the GOP: they come here, get productive jobs, work hard, try pretty hard to learn the language, even take English names, and then get their visa renewal application denied for no reason and shipped back across the pacific ocean for no good reason. I’ve known a few good Asian people who’ve had that happen to them.

      National discrimination is fine, but it should work both ways; if we’re going to keep Syrians out, let’s at least let East Asian and Indian immigrants and immigrants from countries that are reliable sources of law abiding productive citizens jump over the bullshit and make it as easy as possible for them to come and stay?

      There are a good number of countries out there for which there would be no drawback from having ‘open borders’ with them;why should they (and the rest of us who consume the goods they produce or produce the goods they consume) suffer because of these Syrians?

      I personally am 100% in favor of importing Asians. Let’s face it, they are, on average, just plain better than Americans.

  10. This comment has not been properly vetted.

    1. YOU HAVEN’T BEEN PROPERLY VETTED!

      1. GO VET YOURSELF YOU VETTING VETTER!

      2. You know who else didn’t properly vet people?

        1. Ned Stark?

        2. Eddie Vetter?

        3. James Herriot?

  11. A new poll by the Pew Research Center reveals significant levels of support for ISIS within the Muslim world. In 11 representative nation-states, up to 14 percent of the population has a favorable opinion of ISIS, and upwards of 62 percent “don’t know” whether or not they have a favorable opinion of the Islamist group.

    It’s absurd to consider objecting to “freer immigration” is “pre-rational.” It’s entirely rational to object to importing welfare cases into a broke welfare state, and refugees are often welfare cases. I realize that “free movement” is a libertarian principle, but I do not support it because it injures other libertarian principles. The US does not need more Muslims, who have an established track record of, shall we say, not improving the societies they move into. (Yes, the US hasn’t had too much trouble compared to Europe, but then we don’t have many Muslims compared to Europe, and the stats show that the more you have, the more trouble you get.) Why import people who hate Jews and gays, believe in oppressing women, and a significant percentage of whom support religious violence? It’s idiotic. Islamic culture sucks, and the Muslims who move anywhere rarely seem to abandon it and assimilate.

    1. Because purity!

    2. It raises a fundamental question:

      Should a country restrict immigration in any way? Even the open borders folks eventually say yes (leaving aside the hardcore anarchists).

      If the answer is yes, then the next question is: on what basis? If the purpose of allowing immigration is to benefit the current citizens, then I’m having a hard time with a principled objection to importing people who pose a risk of harm to the current citizens. Of course, defining what risk of harm, etc. is the next question, but it sounds like there are a fair number of people who cannot bring themselves to say that we should be trying to filter out people who pose a risk of harm. Its baffling to me.

      1. Should be “a principled objection to declining to import people who pose a risk of harm to the current citizens”.

        1. You’ll get plenty of people to say we should restrict immigration from criminal/ known terrorists.

          However, many won’t support any program that actually attempts to screen them, that won’t allow people in that can’t be screened, or that does anything if someone skips the screening and just comes in illegally.

          Implied in any screening process is the ability to detain illegals. Otherwise, it doesn’t really do anything. Paul’s idea is a half-measure but probably somewhat effective since immigration from across the ocean, where the terrorists are more prevalent is much more difficult than from Mexico. Granted, they could still go to Mexico or elsewhere and then come in but it makes it much more challenging.

    3. “””I realize that “free movement” is a libertarian principle,””

      No it isn’t, in a libertarian world property owners only have the right to move on their own property, on other peoples property they would have to get the permission of the owner or owners.

      1. That is free movement.

        1. But it does not give you a right to move from Syria to Detroit. You may get permission but it does not give you a right.

          1. What if I use toll roads?

      2. Actually, a libertarian property rights regime has to satisfy the simple-connectedness proviso. The simple-connectedness proviso states that there has to be a simple connected path between any two points. Thus, for example, you can’t homestead a circle around someone else’s property without a right of passage easement. Any property rights distribution that does not satisfy the simple-connectedness proviso is unjust. Thus, this amounts to a de facto right of free movement.

        1. So you are stealing the use of my property for your own use?

          And have you gotten the agreement of the property owners over you ‘simple-connectedness proviso? If not your just taking without compensation which makes you no better then the government

          1. Do you understand what an easement is?

            go to the 15 min mark: https://youtu.be/sLqEk3BKoiQ

            Also this: https://goo.gl/vTyVfD

            1. Who is going to force me to give an easement when I don’t want to? If you bought land without an easement that is your problem.

              And even easements have limits, you can’t build a superhighway on the easements, you can’t drive your M-1 tank brigade up and down a easement, you cannot invite you buddies the Mongol Hordes to use the easement

              1. Actually, I can drive my M-1 tank brigade wherever I want.

              2. “Who is going to force me to give an easement when I don’t want to?”

                The courts.

                Of course easements have limits. But if you have a right of passage easement to your property, that right of passage extend to any guests. Thus, if you want to have the Mongol Hordes over for dinner, they can pass across your encircling property.

              3. Who is going to force me to give an easement when I don’t want to?

                The courts will deem there to be an easement to a landlocked parcel.

              4. In Louisiana you are not required to give easement. I just gave a guy an easement. He had no access to a piece of property he inherited and the easiest way was across mine. He called and asked. I said it was no problem. We met at the property, I gave him a strip on the back line ten feet wide the length of my property to put a road on. It raised his property value, which raised my property value multiple times the cost of that 10 foot wide strip.

                He is ecstatic, I am happy.

                1. Why would you want to raise your property value? That just raises your taxes…

                  1. Oh, and Louisiana law is not something that should ever be referenced in polite conversation.

        2. You can’t homestead a circle around someone else’s property precisely because they’ve previously homesteaded the path (getting to and from their home).

          It wouldn’t apply to anyone and everyone.

          1. Nope, that is incorrect. In the video I posted above, Block specifically states that the circle in the middle of the donut has not been homesteaded yet.

            1. That’s the Blockean Proviso, it’s not widely accepted.

              Even then, once all land had been properly “homesteaded” the proviso would be fulfilled so any right to free travel would end.

              1. Well, leave me out of any property rights distribution that does not satisfy that proviso. I believe most reasonable people would agree to that proviso and thus the courts would enforce it.

                Also, once all the land has been homesteaded based on that proviso, the right to free travel would remain, because all the easements would be in place.

                1. So you are not willing to negotiation, you demand?

                  And in negotiation you never get everything you want. Nor would anyone give unlimited right to travel on their property since that in effect gives away that property.

                  1. We are not talking about unlimited right to travel. We are talking about there being a path from any property to any other property for the two property owners or their guests.

                    1. So does that include Syrians who are halfway around the world?

                      If it does then it is unlimited since it is only limited to 7 billion people

                    2. “So does that include Syrians who are halfway around the world?”

                      Michael Moore wants to invite some Syrian refugees to live in his apartment. How will you use libertarian theory to stop him?

                    3. If he can negotiate an agreement with the property owners between Syria and his home then he can do it.

                      But he is also stuck with the Syrians until he can negotiate their passage off his property.

                      Maybe he is willing to pay the price, maybe not. But he has no right to it.

                2. “Well, leave me out of any property rights distribution that does not satisfy that proviso. I believe most reasonable people would agree to that proviso and thus the courts would enforce it.”

                  Maybe. Reasonable people have very little to do with libertarians though.

                  “Also, once all the land has been homesteaded based on that proviso, the right to free travel would remain, because all the easements would be in place.”

                  The easements would be in place… for people who use them. (At least that’s how I see reasonable people and courts settling the matter, I believe Hans Hoppe wrote an article about this)

            2. how are you going to homestead the donut hole without trespassing?

              1. “how are you going to homestead the donut hole without trespassing?”

                That’s exactly the point. You can’t, unless there is an easement. Because unclaimed resources have to be available for homesteading, there has to be an easement. Otherwise, you are using force to prevent others from homesteading.

                1. “That’s exactly the point. You can’t, unless there is an easement.”

                  Or a helicopter.

                  “Because unclaimed resources have to be available for homesteading,”

                  Block’s reasoning here seemed to be nothing more than the old “nature abhors a vacuum” talking point. (I think he literally said or wrote that) Maybe he has gone into more depth and I’ve completely forgotten but this seemed uncharacteristically sloppy for Block.

          2. You can’t homestead a circle around someone else’s property precisely because they’ve previously homesteaded the path (getting to and from their home).

            Would this mean that no previous trail could be homesteaded if it was well used by various people over the years?

            1. That is a great point, Ivan. In effect, all ancient trails and roads might well be considered some form of public property. Imagine what would happen if someone tried to homestead land with the trail on it. Someone that uses that trail would come along and say “hey, I used this trail before you.” But if THAT person tried to homestead the trail, someone else might come along and object. In the end, clear ownership could not be established, as there would be too many claimants. So, the courts might declare the trail common property.

              1. True, but the common property would be for the local commons, and does not mean that someone from the next village would be allowed to use it let alone someone from thousands of miles away.

                The commons use is a result of an agreement among those who agreed that the land was a common.

                They may let outsiders use the trail but it would not be an unlimited right but a limited use. They might be charged a fee, they might have restrictions on how many could use it, whether they could use horses or wagons, how long they could camp on it, etc etc

                If you don’t do that then you get what is called the ‘Tragedy of the Commons” where that common is misused

            2. “Would this mean that no previous trail could be homesteaded if it was well used by various people over the years?”

              No. The trail can be homesteaded as long as the same right to travel among it remains for the people who used it prior.

              For example, I can build a toll road where a path once sat provided that the current users of the path get to pass toll free.

        3. This has been explained to DJF several times in the past. He doesn’t care.

          1. Sure I care, I just think that the market is based on negotiation and nobody will willingly give away unlimited rights to their property since that is the same as giving away the property.

            People might agree to others traveling on their property but it will not be free and it will not be unlimited

            1. The easement(s) have already been priced into the cost of your land. If you make easements harder that vastly lowers the value of landlocked parcels and that in turn lowers the value of your land. So you’ve already been paid for their use. Therefore you need to keep your end of the deal.

              Plus, since all land at some point was not near a road the property you have was very likely landlocked and needed easements for access so It’s a reciprocal arrangement that has carried forward from the previous owner of your land to you.

              1. Actually, most of the US population lives on land that was owned by a government prior to being sold or given to private owners. That initial sale didn’t come with an open-ended easement, so why would you think you have the right to claim one now? You’re basically claiming ownership of a right that neither you nor any of the prior owners ever negotiated for.

                1. If there is any history of, or plan of, an easement a court can well say it’s valid.

                  There’s also the necessity argument that courts can look at.

                  In any event, who buys a landlocked parcel without looking into the easement issue? How would you even go see it to see if you wanted it if there was no easement to let you pass?

        4. Chipper, that only applies to new property claims surrounding existing ones. If you purchase or homestead land inside the bounds of property that has no right-of-passage easement, the owner isn’t obligated to give you one. If you wanted one you should have negotiated when you bought it.

          1. Yes, but how did the land inside the bounds end up without an easement? Only if the previous owner somehow gave it up earlier. It is possible to give or sell an easement, so that could be the case later. But the initial homesteading has to respect the proviso.

      3. By the same reasoning, “free speech” is not a libertarian principle, because you can only speak on your own property or with permission on another’s property.

        You have the basic liberty to travel. If that liberty comes up against someone’s property, the owner’s liberties usually outweigh your liberty of movement (you can’t waltz through someone’s house or across their field because you feel like it). Sometimes, the owner’s liberties must yield to you (encirclement is an obvious one, but so is control over the only reasonable method for you to enjoy your rights and liberties; e.g. the only way for you to relocate to a city for your new job). And that the owner may need to yield absolute control over his property doesn’t mean he has to do it for free.

      4. What if one purchases a .00001 millimeter strip of land running from the Atlantic to the Pacific? Would anyone who tries to cross over it by land be trespassing technically?

        Also wondering if ownership of land also entail ownership of airspace above one’s land? Or how far up, or down, one is allowed to go above someone else’s ‘land’ without trespassing? And how does it apply to waterfront land? One can own a beach, but does the land that one technically owns (and therefore has a right to deny access to) literally change with the tide?

        Just some philosophical questions.

      1. How many think the government faked 9/11?

      2. So what’s your point? Because we have many stupid Americans, we shouldn’t object to importing stupid foreigners? Hugh, when half the food in your fridge goes bad, would you go to the store and be OK with buying new food, half of which had gone bad?

        1. The point is you can find a certain percentage of people to answer affirmatively to any poll question, no matter how retarded it is. How many of that overwhelming minority of people support ISIS because they want a worldwide caliphate and how many support them because they are fighting the Western imperialists who bomb elementary schools?

          1. You are ignoring the possibility that many more likely support ISIS and religious violence in general, but won’t tell a pollster that.

            It really doesn’t matter why believe what they do. If they believe that, I don’t want them as immigrants. You also seem to be implying that “bombing elementary schools” is 1) a regular thing, 2) an intentional thing, and 3) a thing that somehow just happened as an act of aggression. We had plenty of Muslim terror before we did any bombing to fight back against it.

            1. It really doesn’t matter why believe what they do. If they believe that, I don’t want them as immigrants.

              There are a lot of people I don’t want as neighbors or parents, but I don’t get to decide that.

              1. Because they’re citizens and because (in the case of your parents) you don’t own a time machine.

                If they were non-citizens in another country, you do indeed get to decide — or, rather, pressure the government to decide — not to let them in. That is not only your right, but a good idea. The more consensual a government is, the better.

              2. Sure you do. That’s why God gave us zoning laws.

            2. I’m also ignoring the possibility that 0% or less of the populace actually support ISIS and just tell the pollsters that to fuck with them. You can’t tell from a poll what people really think or why, which is why opinion polls are crutches for mental cripples.

              And even if you could know for sure that the US government wasn’t targeting civilians, or that they actually cared about civilian deaths (which they demonstrably do not), nobody cares if they were accidents. All they see is a foreign war machine raining death on their neighbors.

              1. Hugh, let me simplify this for you:
                1. They have no right to come here.
                2. We gain nothing from them coming here.
                3. The odds that none of them are our enemies are extremely remote.

                Non-zero risk vs zero reward = don’t do it.

                1. “2. We gain nothing from them coming here.”

                  I don’t know who the hell this “we” is but anyone who has ever worked for a company owned by an immigrant (think Intel and Google) or anyone who has ever sold or purchased anything from an immigrant, just for starters has, in fact, “gained” something.

                  1. Pshaw. Those founders’ jobs should go to native born Americans!

                  2. no one is suggesting we end all immigration. The point is that this might not be a well we want to dip in.

                    1. Bubba, I’m not sure if you’re responding to my comment, but if you are, my comment was directed DB’s assertion that NOTHING is GAINED from refugees.

            3. “You are ignoring the possibility that many more likely support ISIS and religious violence in general, but won’t tell a pollster that.”
              I dunno. Sounds kinda like “1 in 4 women say they were raped, and that’s ignoring all the ones that were too afraid to tell the surveyer they were raped! So it may as well be 1 in 2!”

              I’m sure you can find a survey saying 40% of Muslims like pork. Really, for a survey to convince me (and therefore any reasonable person) of something, it better be pretty damned extensive and well-designed.

              “We had plenty of Muslim terror before we did any bombing to fight back against it.”
              And I’m sure they’d say western countries did plenty of bombing over there before terrorism was even a household word. But what difference does that make?

          2. Hugh, you’ve listed two of the many reasons why a refugee might have chosen to support people who want me dead. The relevant point is that they support people who want me dead. So they can fuck off and die in Syria for all I care, because I sure as hell don’t want them allowed in to this country.

      3. 40% of Americans believe in Santa Claus:

        http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrew……kqB3jk1xk

      4. Interesting, the poll you cite is 2013 with 11% believing Bush knew about 9/11 in advance. In 2007, it was 22%, including 39% of Americans.

        About ten years ago, 4% of Americans believed the moon landing was faked.

        1. So wait 20 years before we let Syrians in?

          1. Heh, heh.

  12. “Chili, if we move Vietnamese Syrians, they are evacuees. If they come to us to be evacuated, they are refugees.”

    Are they coming up to American soldiers and asking to be taken to a safe haven? If,the answer is no, then they are not refugees. And a follow up question would be: how are they getting to America? Because if we’re actively seeking them out (sans boots on the ground), they do not meet refugee status and should apply for entry the same as any other Syrian. And last I remember, we are not letting people come or go directly to or from Syria.

  13. “The libertarianism of the Paul family has often acted more or less that, as far as the U.S. government should be concerned, liberty is the business of Americans, that is, the Americans already here, and need not be actively extended to others.”

    Hey, maybe I am a libertarian after all!

    1. That sounds like John Derbyshire’s “One State Libertarianism”

      If less than one in seven American voters is inclined to libertarianism, then there is much missionary work to be done among present-day American citizens. To think that this missionary effort will be made any easier by a steady stream of arrivals from foreign parts, most of which have never known rational, consensual government, is highly unrealistic, to the point of delusion.

      That is why I say that libertarians who favor mass immigration are nuts. If there is any hope at all for libertarianism, it rests in the libertarianism of my title: libertarianism in one country. There is no contradiction between maximum liberty within a nation and maximum vigilance on the nation’s borders.

      Not only is there no contradiction between the two things, in fact, it may be that the second a precondition for the first.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/…..derbyshire

      1. That’s true.

        I’ve read it as the “Virginia” and “New Hampshire” Theory somewhere as well – The most effective way to keep our liberty is keep out those Marylanders and Massholes!.

        I think there definitely can be contradictions between maximum liberty and maximum immigration control though.

        Might be a conservative/common-law aspect of just accepting that good policy may be disjointed and have contradictions in it.

      2. The Free State Project is still a few thousand short of 20,000 to move to New Hampshire.

        1. And NH has been getting less free, hasn’t it?

      3. It’s worth observing that many of the most desperate immigrants come from poor countries. Poor countries are poor because they’re very un-libertarian, although you wouldn’t expect the immigrants to realize this. This may result in them voting in favor of the very same socialism that destroyed their home lands. We’ve also observed this with the California exodus; and how Californians are prone to supporting the same stupidity that made their state uninhabitable, in their new state, without a hint of self-awareness.

        If this hypothesis is valid, then yes, free movement could be very detrimental to the Libertarian Moment. Assuming free movement would result in more people moving from poor countries to rich countries, as common sense would suppose. Maybe something worth investigating, but I don’t see the Reason staff acknowledging it in the near future.

        1. Dear Heaven, please save Texas from California immigrants.

          1. +1 “I love Austin; if you have to live in TX, live there,” and “Why don’t you guys do it [the way it was done in CA]?”

  14. Fact is, a fuckton of these refugees have been back and forth through the pits of hells most of us can only imagine with the help of demonic possession alongside a hit of acid. I just fucking hate to see thousands upon thousands of brutalized and displaced people with truckloads of little kids maligned into plastic object thingies over a relatively small number of psychopathic barbarians that might be using these unfortunate broken souls as malevolent cover.

    The severity of this problem strikes me as much more complex than any of us could possibly dream of but in spite of this fucking bullshit thousands of small children along with what remains of their family actually exist as a mass of distinct and desperate humanity that needs help. Fucking sad place this world.

    1. Agile points out the moral obligation to help the real refugees, which I think is what is motivating a lot of the demand that we bring them into this country. Nation-states are typically not good vehicles for moral crusades.

      The difficulty here is that, typically, a mass movement of refugees does not carry such a high risk of being salted with combatants, and is also not typically embedded in a mass economic migration. This is pretty much unprecedented in modern times.

      1. “This is pretty much unprecedented in modern times.”

        Tragic masses as pillboxes for serial killers. I would concur that this is unprecedented and, also, confounding.

    2. At what point are these people responsible for doing something other than running away?

      1. Give every male an AK-47 and send them back?

        1. Might be better to send them back, and then give them an AK.

      2. What a retarded thing to say. If this country got overwhelmed by violent lunatics, it isn’t my responsibility to die to dethrone them and make it safe for everyone else again, and let my family get murdered in the process. I’d get the hell out and move to any country that would take me.

        Indeed, I would question the sanity of any person that would choose to stay in that shithole while being able to get out. You assert your right to refuse to host them, but you cannot possibly question the rationality of leaving (and for those of them with children and dependents, moral imperative to leave) and go somewhere safe.

        And you think you’re a libertarian? And you’d tell people to go and die for “their country?” Fuck their country, fuck our country, fuck any country. Self, family, friends, maybe community. But country? Nope, not dying for 300 million strangers.

        I’m not sure if you’re an idiot or a sociopath, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the two.

  15. Is there any survey of self-described libertarians that shows what % are “open borders advocates” versus “Other”?

    – i.e. those that don’t consider open-borders immigration a Ideologically Predetermined ‘law’…. but rather lie in a spectrum between the idea that Immigration its merely a domestic economic policy which should – in the best of circumstances – be as liberal as possible, allowing for the freest movement of people in and out of the economy… to those who are closed border fanatics who think Murka is Fer Murkins and the Messikans are Taykin ur Jobz, or something in that ballpark.

    My anecdotal SWAG-machine indicates to me that the actual underlying split is 20/80 (80 being, “other”)… and that within that 80%, 50% are ‘flexible’, and 30% are the Nativists who think Immigration is a scourge and a drain on our resources and culture.

    In short = that the most extreme *opposite* view – ‘closed borders’ – is actually more popular among libertarians than the purist ‘open borders’ idealists…

    …and that the “flexible” people in between – those that feel immigration policy should be driven by context and circumstances and long-term economic benefit – are the actual dominant population.

    1. http://tinyurl.com/qd9zojc

      Not sure how many are actually libertarians though.

      1. “”Not sure how many are actually libertarians though.””

        Sure.

        That’s sort of funny in both the “No true scotsman sense” (73% are clearly not *actually* libertarians!), as well as the idea that Nativists run around finding polls to skew….which they probably do.

        If there’s any ‘evidence’ there, i think its in the “Yes” column. The “No”, as you suggest, is probably more iffy

        1. Well, okay, but that’s like saying many people who call themselves “libertarians” are also in favor of government aid to the poor and anti-discrimination laws. Why should those litmus tests be considered more important than open borders?

    2. I don’t think there are many who think all immigration is a “scourge and a drain on our resources and culture.” Despite the insults and hyperbole thrown around here on that topic, I’ve never said or believed any such thing. But dogmatists (as many libertarians are) often have a hard time reconciling ideology with the real world. They fixate on an ideal (“immigration is good”) and refuse to see anything bad that might come from the application of that principle: “That means that any quantity of immigrants, from anywhere, no matter who they are, is a good thing!” It’s always possible to have too much of a good thing.

      I agree with this.

      1. Just an observation, but I’ve noticed many libertarians are willing to compromise with the world, welfare, public schools, licensing, in pretty much every area except immigration.

        (Maybe I’ve just spent too much time on BHL and other left leaning areas though)

      2. “I don’t think there are many who think all immigration is a “scourge and a drain on our resources and culture.” “

        I would characterize the view of the Alt-Right, NRx, VAdare-types…which fetishizes “European Christian Heritage” etc, as being of the view that all immigration – legal and illegal – is a net drain on our mythical Dominant Eurocentric Culture… as well as the current & future economy.

        re: “”Dogmatists”” –

        “They fixate on an ideal (“immigration is good”) and refuse to see anything bad that might come from the application of that principle”

        I don’t see much of that.

        I see

        a) some ‘dogmatic’ Open Borders types for whom it is a libertarian principle..and its actual consequences – good or ill – are less important

        b) some people like me, who looked at the economic impact of immigration and determined that its both a current net-economic-positive, as well as a long term economic *necessity* — but whom aren’t tied to this idea of “open borders” as a policy idea

        c) some people who advocate a “Tall Fence/Wide Gate”* approach, where we must necessarily create a less-porous border…. *before* opening up the ‘gate’ (i.e. reform the current bureaucracy)

        (*these types seem to range from the sincere to the disingenuous – e.g. “we can have open-immigration…WHEN YOU GET RID OF THE WELFARE STATE!!!HRRRDRRR”)

        What i *dont* see are many ‘cytotoxics’ = those who pretend immigration is wunderbar no matter what.

    3. Generally agree. I think both extremes are significant minorities, but that the ‘open’ minority is larger than the closed amongst libertarians.

      Most of us fall more towards Ass-burgers on ‘Gilmore’s Spectrum of Autistic Immigration’

      1. “”I think both extremes are significant minorities, but that the ‘open’ minority is larger than the closed amongst libertarians.”

        I’d like to think so, but everything i’ve seen here and elsewhere seems to suggest that its the other way around, and that the “restrictionists” are far more common than proper ‘open borders’ types.

        If you had some evidence to point to, it would be helpful. the above-linked Libertarian-Party survey certainly doesn’t help that argument.

        1. I think it’s going to vary based on whether public concerns about immigrants are tied to security/crime or economic competition, as libertarians have more sympathy for the former as being plausible responsibilities for a night watchman state, whereas libertarians tend to have much less sympathy for the latter as it is simple rent seeking.

          1. that’s a good point.

            That came up when people were talking about Syrian refugees in the EU vs. US/Mexico immigration. I pointed out that there was nothing ‘unlibertarian’ about EU countries having concerns about security risks and reducing their intake of refugees accordingly…. but that the same point could hardly be made about US immigration, which is primarily bringing in low skill labor from Mexico.

            At least some people wanted to pretend that mexican immigrants presented some equivilent ‘threat’ which i thought was ridiculous.

  16. OT: Feds burgled more assets in 2014 than burglars burgled.

    1. We’re stealing it from ourselves and then giving it back to ourselves.

      1. Because the government is us, so it’s ok.

    2. Feds burgle more from me every 2 weeks than burglars have in my whole life.

  17. Have some economic justice

    It’s a question that no candidate is asking at the moment, but it’s one Bernie Sanders used to be preoccupied with, starting in the 1970s. Back then, during one of Sanders’s early Senate campaigns, one local Vermont newspaper wrote that he wanted to “make it illegal to amass more wealth than a human family could use in a lifetime.” Sanders was apparently still batting the idea around until at least the early ’90s, when he submitted a Los Angeles Times op-ed by the journalist Sam Pizzigati titled “How About a Maximum Wage?” to the congressional record. (The Sanders campaign has been contacted for comment but has not yet replied.)

    Here’s how it’d work: Right now, any dollar an American earns beyond a certain amount (about $450,000) is taxed at 39.6 percent. This is America’s top marginal tax rate, and lower marginal tax rates are applied to money earned under other lower thresholds. Sanders’s one-time plan for a maximum wage was simple: Set a threshold above which the marginal tax rate is 100 percent, so that every dollar earned beyond it would go straight to the government.

    At least we know the money won’t be wasted on crazy shit.

    1. I’ve been thinking for awhile now that most people on the left have serious OCD.

      Everything has to be controlled, no one gets to leave the socio-economic box they’ve been placed in and so forth.

    2. Yep, ‘Merika will surely be the most advanced and innovative on Earth once Bernie’s plan goes into effect!

    3. If five percent appear too small…. be thankful I don’t take it all….

      Even the liberal hippie Beatles feared The Taxman.

    4. Any amount of wealth can be spent in a single human family lifetime. I have plans on how to spend a billion dollars in a couple years. I’m only one individual. There is a half billion dollar house going on the market in California soon. The amount we spend on ‘necessities’ goes up with our income in America. Even folks on the poverty line in our country have fat in their budget that can be cut.

    5. Set a threshold above which the marginal tax rate is 100 percent, so that every dollar earned beyond it would go straight to the government.

      It is rotten and dismal that a world of so many hundred million people should be ruled by a single caste that has the power to lead millions to life or to death, indeed on a whim…This caste has spun its web over the entire earth; capitalism recognizes no national boundaries…Capitalism has learned nothing from recent events and wants to learn nothing, because it places its own interests ahead of those of the other millions. Can one blame those millions for standing up for their own interests, and only for those interestsJoseph Goebbels

    6. Shit Bern, why stop at 100%? Think of how much better things could be if 99% of the wealth was in the hands of the .0000000000000000000001% at the top of the government food chain.

    7. typical commie bait and switch. he wants a maximum lifetime wage, then proposes a bill limiting how much you can make in one year. all lies, all the time.

      1. And he seems unclear on the concept of investment. If no one has more than they can spend, then no one has enough to invest.

  18. “Listen, buddy, it might look like there’s plenty of room, but this lifeboat luxury yacht is a lot smaller than it looks. Why, we’ve barely got enough champagne to get us home, as it is.”

  19. …conflating ISIS with a mass of displaced people trying to escape ISIS seems to be popular these days…

    Which is understandable, since an obvious strategy if ISIS wanted to send some operatives into the US would be to blend them into “a mass of displaced people” looking for refuge in the US.

    1. Yeah, and 10 years ago the ‘obvious strategy’ was for them to contract with coyotes and drug smugglers to cross our ‘porous’ southern border.

      1. And in all this, the strategy they seem to be taking is to immigrate, raise a family, and twenty years later end up with a couple of young sons that get radicalized enough to shoot up the place.

  20. Obviously the entire immigration system of the United States needs to be fundamentally transformed. From a bureaucratic angle it should be much easier to legally immigrate to the United States, from a technical angle it should be much harder to illegally immigrate to the United States.

    And the idea of open-borders is by nature reciprocal; one nation with an open border to adjoining nation that controls border is not ‘open border’ – but a one-way street. As an example there can be no open border with a Mexico unless Americans can just as easily go the other way – and with just as much local accommodation – and setup shop in Mexico. So when people advocate for open-borders in the conventional sense, they’re advocating for something else.

    This double-applies to a place like the Middle East vis-a-vis the E.U. or even USA. One sees dysfunctional, ignorant societies essentially blowing off surplus populations like a teapot – taking their dysfunction with them. There is nothing reciprocal what so ever. These are not people seeking asylum from tyranny, these are people fleeing because their ethnic/religious faction in said tyranny is losing.

    1. The reciprocity should also apply to Americans leaving America. The IRS shouldn’t be able to reach into your pockets for years afterward.

      1. That basically goes without saying…lol.

      2. The IRS shouldn’t be

    2. . . . it should be much easier to legally immigrate to the United States, from a technical angle it should be much harder to illegally immigrate to the United States.

      If you make it easier to legally immigrate you, at the same time, automatically make it more difficult to illegally do so while also removing the incentives that make illegal immigration attractive.

      All it takes is to remove the quota limits on unskilled visas. Don’t even need to have a path to citizenship, just let people who want to work here come do so.

      And, I don’t know how familiar you are with the Mexican side of the border – but Americans *can* just come and go as they please. We actually get *more* accommodation than their own citizens (and far more than the US affords us).

      1. If you make it easier to legally immigrate you, at the same time, automatically make it more difficult to illegally do so

        Only in the sense that it is “more difficult” to break a law that doesn’t apply to you.

      2. And, I don’t know how familiar you are with the Mexican side of the border – but Americans *can* just come and go as they please.

        I am familiar with Mexican side of border. It is easy for Americans to come and go as they please.

        It is also much easier for a Mexican citizen to get ID’s, licenses, run for office, own property, invest money, procure benefits, join the military, go to school, or interact with officialdom in any capacity in the United States than other way around.

        ‘Open borders’ refers not to accessibility of a frontier, but sovereign accommodation an alien person finds once they cross it. Do you see my point?

        1. “It is also much easier for a Mexican citizen to get ID’s, licenses, run for office, own property, invest money, procure benefits, join the military, go to school, or interact with officialdom in any capacity in the United States than other way around.”

          In fairness, it’s not all that easy for Mexican citizens to do any of those things in Mexico, either…

    3. “These are not people seeking asylum from tyranny, these are people fleeing because their ethnic/religious faction in said tyranny is losing.”

      To be fair, that could be said of lots of waves of American settlers and immigrants.

      1. With turkey day approaching, let’s not forget those oh-so-tolerant Puritans…

  21. I won’t stomp my feet and spit today.

    I know a few Syrians. They came here in two waves in the mid and then late 1970’s. The first lot opened a laundry service an were very successful. The son went off to college and fit right in living the all-american life. When he got out he opened a fried chicken store, the best there ever was. Gary’s Fried Chicken. The most popular and best fried chicken you can imagine. He couldn’t compete with Al Copeland because he put taste and quality first so Popeye’s eventually overpowered him. He retired after 17 years and now runs a U-Store it storage facility. When he isnt riding around his storage yard in a golf cart he is riding around the golf course in it.

    He (second generation) was only 5 when his father arrived here so he essentially spent the bulk of his formative years in America. He married a gringo girl and they had a baby. She eventually left him because he spent 16 hrs per day working on building his fried chicken business and she was lonely. She didn’t understand that kind of work ethic and needed more family time. When his son grew up his son fell into difficulty, developed a drug habit and eventually went to jail. It is sad but it isnt a problem of being Syrian or the grandson of immigrants. This bunch assimilated very nicely and are a credit to our community. What happened to the grandson is something that happens to lots of American kids.

    1. The second bunch opened restaurants. One opened a bar The Port ‘O Call. They served regular food and drinks and were immensely successful. He married a gringo, had three kids and eventually retired. He also came out as gay and though he and his wife divorced they live as roommates now, both very happy. All the kids went to college and have a passel of children themselves. No disasters.

      Very good assimilation.

      His brother opened a high end middle eastern restaurant “Atta’s” and was also very successful. He had a Syrian wife when he arrived and children who were 10-17 years old. He and the wife are retired and still married but the kids all turned out to be disasters. They were lost, didn’t fit in well, developed drug and legal problems and today, if any are still alive are either in jail or languishing in some trailer park hell.

      A cousin of that bunch tried his hand at a number of businesses; car lot, building contractor, insurance, furniture store. Each business failed and he is on his second jail stint. The first was for slugging a state policeman who caught him running back the odometers on the used cars he was selling and now for tax evasion stemming from his furniture store. All three of his children were born here but turned out like the restaurant guy’s kids, i.e. disasters. They just didn’t fit in well.

      All in all I would say they assimilated well and achieved about as much success/disaster as families who hav been here for generations.

      1. Those people who immigrated here immigrated on their own initiative and on their own dime. They did it because they liked what they saw here and realized they could have more success here than in Syria. These are the kinds of people we want coming here. They want the American dream. They aren’t so fixed in their ways that they can adapt and assimilate, but most importantly, they want to.

        Gathering up shiploads of people from a foreign culture, people we know little about and have no idea what they want is not going to work out well. Many of them, if not a majority, are young, unattached males who spent their formative years in a foreign culture. They are set in their ways. They are not motivated to assimilate. They will be socially inept, awkward and confused around women in our culture. They will quickly sift to the bottom of the socioeconomic scale and be marginalized, isolated, and looked down upon.

        This is a recipe for disaster. A few will become radicalized, sure, but most will fall through the cracks into a life of despair and crime. This is not in their interest or ours.

        1. The bleeding hearts keep arguing that it is in their best interest to at least give them a chance. I disagree. If you factor in the best interest of the people of the US the scale tips wildly against this refugee effort, and our interest is what this damn government is duty-bound to look after. That is their only job. If we feel duty bound to help these people or if we just want to the best way to go about it would be to create a safe place in Syria for them to live in. Help them to make their own country a place where they can live the good life. With luck and a lot of effort that might spread to the whole country.

          Shipping them here is the worst solution to a bad situation that we, in no small way, helped to create.

          I might go back to stomping my feet and spitting now.

          1. Oh, and before anyone brings up the boat people, I watched that influx with my own eyes also. Different culture, different values, different result.

            They came here with their shirts on their backs and worked their asses off. I know several families and none had any disasters, only successes. I went to school with the kids and they fit in well.

            Typical example: Dude opens a drive thru fish restaurant. I see him in there before sunup every day and he goes home at nine at night. I dated a girl who lived next door to him and noticed that he had some kind of import business operating out of his garage. When his kids aren’t in school they are packing and unpacking for the import business. The oldest daughter is working in the fish restaurant. Years later all the children have college degrees, are lawyers, business people, and one doctor. Old man and wife are retired and living in a very nice house very comfortably. That is one hell of a long way from floating across the south china sea on a log raft.

            Different culture, different result.

          2. You’ve laid out a big part of this debate and why it’s different. People who immigrate to America legally on their own dime are the best class of immigrants. They aren’t eligible for welfare and they know that ahead of time, so they come expecting to work for a living. They have the discipline and the motivation to save enough to move to a completely new country for the chance at a better life.

            Refugees on the other hand are eligible for welfare and nothing can be said about their motivations and discipline. Maybe they were fleeing violence. Maybe they saw an opportunity to mix in with those fleeing violence and receive the benefits there of. Maybe they are just doing what their family tells them to do and would have really preferred to stay home. There is no way to know.

            1. I didn’t want people thinking I am a raging xenophobe. I am not.

              There are a lot of factors in play here with regards to our obligations, cultural assimilation, motives of immigrants, etc when it comes to success.

              I want people to throw their fucking violins down and start weighing those factors and thinking seriously how we can achieve success.

              The Obumbles plan is the least likely to achieve that.

              1. I didn’t want people thinking I am a raging xenophobe. I am not.

                I think most of us know that. A small segment of the population uses comments like xenophobe or racist to shut down conversation. Unfortunately libertarians aren’t immune to that behavior.

                1. The key point he makes is the distinction between people who choose to come here because of America, and those who are forced to come here because of Syria.

                  One group wants to build an American life. The other wants to reclaim their Syrian life.

                  1. Well put Bubba. I am stealing that.

                  2. “The key point he makes is the distinction between people who choose to come here because of America, and those who are forced to come here because of Syria.”
                    Hmm, I think that’s usually a distinction without a difference. Most immigrants are fleeing something, what makes one a refugee rather than an immigrant is purely a matter of what exactly it is they’re fleeing. Nobody comes here because they like McDonald’s and rock and roll. They leave Ireland because it’s poor and starving, and they come here with the hope that they’ll get food and a decent salary. And fundamentally, a civil war in the Levant is no different from an Irish potato famine or a bad harvest in Southern Italy: it’s something that makes people that more or less like their home countries go somewhere else for economic (or safety) reasons. And most of them only ever grow to love their new country when it either 1) makes them well off or 2) they’re here for enough generations that their descendants have finally forgotten where they came from.

  22. I imagine these sprawling camps of hundreds of thousands self-organize along family or other relationship ties and they know who the ISIL fucks are. Would they tolerate an ISIL mole while they’re scrounging for UNHCR scraps for their kids?

    1. I expect somebody could have asked pretty much the same question when the permanent refugee camp at Gaza was being set up, and look how it turned out.

      1. Now the Gaza refugee camp sounds like a breeding ground for insurgents but it’s been there for decades with generations born and raised in .75 square km.

    2. Many years ago on NPR, I heard a segment where a guy who had spent years working for NGOs in refugee camps in trouble spots around the world- many in Africa, became very introspective about the work he was doing.

      According to him, the very people driving victims into refugee camps were the mass-murderers themselves, and the UNHCR camps were essentially feeding and supporting them, because they didn’t bother to differentiate who was there and why.

      1. “refugees in the camps were the very mass-murderers driving the crisis” I should have written. This is what happens when you work while posting.

      2. God nothing makes you feel worse about charity than hearing stories from people who give it in mass bureaucratic ways. Especially foreign aid type charity. That shit is a cluster fuck.

    3. You’re forgetting that the war has more than one side, Woodchipper. Refugees could just as easily be refugees from the Assad regime as from ISIL; the former has killed a lot more people than the latter.

  23. I don’t know, Rand Paul is making sense to me.

  24. When Pollard went away I thought he would never make it to the end of his term. Since some criminals can be strongly nationalistic I figured he would have been shanked long before now.

  25. So how many well known libertarians have to come out against open borders before it’s no longer considered the Libertarian stance on immigration? Just curious cause it seems like more libertarians are against open borders then for them.

    1. More libertarians or more libertarians *here*.

      And (l)ibertarian or (L)ibertarian? There can be huge differences between small l libertarian philosophy and the stances the big L party takes to get candidates into office or even what the more vocal wackjob wing of the party espouse.

      1. Personally, while I’m all for open borders and unilateral removal of trade restrictions, I can also accept the argument that there are plenty of countries right in that region, with similar cultures and dominant religions, that could and should shoulder the ‘moral’ burden of giving these people refuge.

        I’m not afraid of terrorist infiltration here (I consider the steps necessary to stop it far worse than the terrorism itself), but that we step in right off the bat simply takes the pressure off the countries to do so.

        1. I’m not afraid of terrorist infiltration here (I consider the steps necessary to stop it far worse than the terrorism itself),

          Well, the steps that would be taken after we open some pipelines to the jihadi hot spots. I don’t see how just shutting down immigration from those areas really needs to result in any other steps being taken domestically.

          1. We shut down immigration from Mexico and points south – still didn’t stop immigration from those countries.

      2. Yeah, I’m a pedant about Libertarian and libertarian.

        If you want to know the Libertarian stance on immigration, just check out their web site.

      3. +1 wicked case of argyria

    2. It really depends on when you ask. The recent Paris massacre shifted attitudes decidedly in the anti-immigration direction. Most people’s beliefs are largely determined by recent events, libertarians being no exception.

  26. “. . . and impose a waiting period for background checks on visa issuance from other countries until the American people can be assured terrorists cannot enter the country through our immigration and visa system.”

    So – forever then?

    Because we can’t stop Miguel from slipping into the country to pick strawberries, let alone anyone half-way coordinated (like drug smugglers) with the largest federal law enforcement agency manning the southern border.

    So, how long before we start rounding up the local Muslims to put them into ‘internment camps’ for the duration of the ‘war’ on terror – can’t afford to allow any terrorists or terrorist sympathizers to hide amid that group.

    Maybe we’ll start by mandating that religion is included in, and displayed on, your REALID. And since it will be required for everyone, equally, it’ll pass the ‘rational basis’ test. Just sort of ease us into what’ll be needed to make this country genuinely safe from terrorists.

    Then we can move onto requiring citizens to provide their REALID on demand, and biometric checkpoints, stop-and-frisk addition to the Terry Stop exception to the 4th amendment. Internal passports and visas. Block sweeps.

    Eventually we’ll be safe enough from outside threats and we’ll only have to worry about our own government.

    1. yeah because not flying in hundreds of thousands of people from Syria and putting them on welfare is exactly the same as the things you list.

      1. But you’re not going to keep out the terrorists if you’re not willing to go all the way.

        1. “If it prevents just one terrorist . . . .”

          More seriously, why not take steps that (a) reduce the risk and (b) don’t impact on domestic civil liberties, even if those steps are not absolutely 100% guaranteed to be perfectly effective?

          1. Because I don’t trust out government to be able to *handle that sort of nuance*. Or to be able to stop once it gets moving.

  27. I have a question. I don’t mean it ideologically one way or the other on this pissing war.

    Where do refugees stay while they are being vetted?

    1. Disused salt mines?

      1. Nope, those are all being used for government shelters to provide CoG after the apocalypse.

        1. Call of Graft?

          1. Continuity of Government.

            Call of Graft is what the USG’s IT department play in their dungeon.

    2. Like for anyone else waiting on permission to enter the country the answer is ‘As long as its not here, that’s *your* problem’.

    3. Your mom’s house.

    4. US has lots of territorial islands that could serve this purpose. Put them in a facility on Johnston Atoll while they are being processed and I guarantee you refugee applications will flat line. This is what Australia did and effectively solved its migrant problem within a year.

    5. They stay wherever the UNHCR has room for them to stay.

  28. We could save everyone a lot of time and trouble if we just let these people in, put them on a plane, and then flew them to Saudi Arabia.

    1. Humanitarianism unfortunately is largely a western thing. Saudi Arabia would bus them all back to Syria within a week.

  29. Go vote for Austin Peterson then and shut up! To hell with libertarians then. The border needs to be secure and Rand Paul is about The Bill of Rights and The Constitution and keeping the country safe. That’s plenty good for me. Rand Paul 2016!

    1. You’re a feisty one, aintcha.

  30. It is almost as if the screening is a sham or something

  31. First we learn that Rand is totally ignorant of a tax code he doesn’t know how to fix.
    Shall we now assume he’s also ignorant that France had been bombing Syria for over a month?
    Many of us have said he’d likely disgrace the libertarian movement … and replace it with religious tent revivals. 🙂

    1. Your mom disgraced the libertarian movement AND any number of tent revivals.

      1. How is it possible to disgrace a tent revival?

    2. Hihny! You’re back, welcome! I’m so glad you wanted to say hi. Please tell us more. We are all paying attention.

  32. Rand Paul’s Refugee Stance, Alienating Libertarians

    Just so you know, not every libertarian has to be a no-borders/anarchist type.

    I don’t recall Hayek and Mises spending a lot of time on the subject, for instance.

    (Disclosure: I’m for more immigrants, and taking more refugees. But not radically open borders, especially not while there’s still a copious welfare state.

    I just don’t think “libertarian” requires that stance any more than it requires a purely-defensive military or the gold standard or any number of other popular humbugs of “the movement”.)

    1. Quite true. It would be more libertarians to be less collectivist and just say “Rand Paul’s Refugee Stance, Alienating *Us*” rather than purporting to speak for everyone.

      But I guess it’s sort of a fait accompli to readers. “We -ists/ians are really pissed off about that thing, right guys?” “Yeah!! that damned thing- wait what? Whatever, yeah, we’re really riled about it.”

  33. I can’t believe what absolutist idiots libertarians sometimes are.

  34. Rand Paul’s Refugee Stance, Alienating Libertarians

    Not true. ANd there doesn’t seem to be any real liertarians at Reason anyway – only posers.

    Paul has never highly valued free immigration as a liberty Americans should care about.

    No libertarian values free immigration. That is just bullshit made up by unReason magazine.

    1. “”liertarians””

      Freudian slip?

    2. YOU apparently don’t know what it means to be a real libertarian, ASSHOLE, which is why you worship as if he’s God the equally confused Rand “Faux Libertarian” Paul. Every time I read the comments here on Reason.com, I think, “Man, most of you people (I sound like Ross Perot now) have dog shit for brains.” Actually, most of you, like lying, hypocritical phony Paul, DO know the definition of “libertarian.” You’re just a Faux News-loving Republican who hides behind the “libertarian” label because it sounds less partisan, thus more appealing. You support only those libertarian position that don’t stray too far from conservative ideology, and it’ll be proven by the negative responses I get.

  35. Jack Samiluo is not going to like that at all man.

    http://www.CompleteAnon.tk

  36. Why aren’t Latinos coming from Mexico and Central America considered refugees from the Drug War?

  37. I for one am not surprised. Rand Paul is just another Washington politician.

  38. Brian Doherty – I’m glad that you are so thoroughly assured that all of these refugees from Syria and parts unknown can be and will be fully vetted to make sure that none of them are part and parcel of ISIS and other Extremist Terrorist organizations.
    — Trey Gowdy on the Lack of Capabilities on Gathering Necessary Intel Information on All the Refugees coming from Syria ..
    “[Syria]… a failed state …, doesn’t have any infrastructure .. all the data sets that police the intel services you normally would go to .. to seek that information don’t exist. That is not a Republican presidential hopeful .. That is the FBI.”
    Oh, … and I have never found any and all Libertarian’s marching in lockstep on their mindsets and/or agreeing with one another on all opinions.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmaZYeenhmA

  39. Yes it makes great sense to allow a bunch of people who generally believe that Sharia law is good to come to the US and not try to assimilate. We might even find some more Boston bombers in the group. If this makes me not a libertarian than so be it.

  40. When did central planning get so popular with the Reason staff?

    1. As soon as it became obvious they weren’t gonna be able to inflict massive third world immigration on us without it.

      There’s a pattern here: to Cosmotarians, open borders is the defining feature of liberty. Therefore, anything facilitating open borders is by definition “libertarian”.

      At this point, I submit that all of the best libertarian ideas have already been harvested by more viable and realistic political movements. Ergo, the only remaining ideas that still distinguish libertarians from other movements are the stupid ones.

      1. We can solve terrorism with open borders and free drugs for everyone! It’s the libertarian way!

        1. But … Global warming causes terrorism and drug abuse … it’s the progressive way!

  41. Dude is just looking for votes. He knows. You can’t expect a perfect candidate. Let’s vote for this guy.

  42. The U.S.A. is our safe place. Pause the acceptence islamic refugees, vet the heII out of the islamic refugees, lock our own homeland doors as we do our own homes. THEN we can talk about refugee intake.

  43. “Paul has never highly valued free immigration Open Borderz as liberty Americans Proggie Reason Writers should care about.”

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