Refugees

Taking In Refugees Is Good for America

Fear of terrorism is understandable but overblown.

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refugees wait in line
CNN

We all intuitively understand that if your friend loses his house in a hurricane, the right thing to do is to invite him to stay with you. But what if 10 of your friends lose their houses? You might call on your other friends to help out with the cost of hotel rooms. And if you don't actually know the unfortunate souls who lost it all? You might still lend a hand through the many private charities that assist those in distress.

The same philosophy should apply today, as the American people decide whether to accept a portion of the estimated 4.2 million Syrian refugees currently trying to escape their civil war-torn nation. And yet popular resistance to the idea is strong.

In 2015, the United States admitted 70,000 refugees combined from countries such as Iraq, Iran, China, and Indonesia. For 2016, President Barack Obama proposed increasing the ceiling to 85,000—higher than at any time since he took office, but much lower than the 207,116 refugees—mostly from Asia—that we welcomed into the country in 1980.

Obama also requested that 10,000 refugees from Syria be accepted—a number that barely begins to address the humanitarian needs of the millions displaced by war. It also pales in comparison to the 1.1 million Syrian refugees who have found a home in Lebanon and the 815,000 allowed to resettle in Turkey. Unfortunately, with the rise of radical Islamism and recent terrorist attacks in countries such as France and the United States, many Americans (and American presidential candidates) are concerned about the national security implications of allowing in any refugees from that region.

Protecting U.S. citizens is obviously a priority, and the government has a responsibility to vet refugees before letting them settle here. But this isn't as easy as it sounds, since reliable background checks may be hard to obtain and people who have fled their homes may have a difficult time providing verifiable proof of their identities.

Those difficulties shouldn't be deal breakers, however. Arguably, no act of terrorism has been committed in the last 40 years by refugees in the United States (though a tiny number of refugees have been arrested on terrorism-related charges, and depending on the precise definition of refugees used, the Boston marathon bombing or other incidents may count). And the long wait time and high costs of entering the country as a refugee make that an extremely inefficient way for terrorists to get in.

Meanwhile, countries that refuse entrance to refugees—forcing them to reside in terrible living conditions in camps near the theater of conflict—may inadvertently be facilitating recruitment by extremist groups. A 2013 study in International Interactions shows that when large numbers of refugees are placed in countries that have historically had tensions with their country of origin, it increases the risk of terrorism. Georgetown University's Ann Speckhard, who studies terrorist psychology, says: "Experience from many conflict zones teaches us that the longer these refugees are left to languish in despair in camps, the more prone they become to radicalization." In other words, there are serious security downsides to not accepting refugees.

Resettlement in the United States is only the first step in the process, of course; assimilation is also important. Thankfully, past efforts on this front have met with positive results. "Refugees adapt quickly to the U.S. economy, complement existing workers, and settle rapidly into their new homes," argues Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration specialist at the Cato Institute.

Because refugees cannot return to their homeland as many economic migrants do, Nowrasteh explains, they tend to make serious long-term commitments to learning English and other relevant skills. The data confirm this point: A paper by Kalena E. Cortes, published in The Review of Economics and Statistics in May 2004, looked at how implicit differences in the time horizons of refugees and economic immigrants affected subsequent human capital investments. She found that a decade after their arrival, refugees who settled here between 1975 and 1980 earned 20 percent more in wages, worked 4 percent more hours, and had improved their English skills 11 percent more.

"Unlike other immigrants, refugees do have immediate access to some welfare programs," Nowrasteh adds, "but they generally leave them rapidly and are more likely to enter the workforce than natives or other immigrants." This is a good thing, since the availability of welfare doesn't do much to help assimilation and may even hinder refugees' well-being.

de Rugy

A 2000 paper by Andrey Vinokurov, Dina Birman, and Edison Trickett in International Migration Review looked at the psychological impact of working on 206 (mostly Jewish) Soviet refugees in the United States. It compared Russians who settled in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn to those who settled in the Washington, D.C., area.

The New York refugees had more access to welfare. However, the data show that those in the D.C. area were more satisfied with their lives and more upwardly mobile. The more the job matched the refugee's original skills, the more positive the impact. There was no real difference on the level of acculturation.

But what about the impact of these new entrants on Americans? Economists have shown that immigrants generally increase the host country's overall gross domestic product (GDP). The result on GDP per capita is a source of debate, but the literature suggests that the effect depends on the relative skill set of refugees compared to the native population. Highly skilled refugees would add much more to the average per-person income than low-skilled ones. But does that mean that low-skilled refugees have a negative impact?

That doesn't seem to be the case. In a well-known 1990 paper, economist David Card looked at the impact on the Miami economy of 125,000 Cuban refugees who arrived during the Mariel boatlift crisis. Though the immigrants increased Miami's labor force by 7 percent—and were concentrated in less-skilled occupations—contrary to people's fears, the influx had virtually no effect on the wages or unemployment rates of the city's less-skilled workers, even among previous Cuban immigrants.

Low-skilled refugees, like other immigrants, tend to boost the employment opportunities of native workers, either by providing cheap child care services that allow women to increase their labor force participation or by pushing native workers to pursue more complex occupations and higher wages. A 2013 National Bureau of Economic Research working paper by Mette Foged and Giovanni Peri, for instance, looked at the effect on Danish workers of a large inflow of non-European refugees between 1991 and 2008. It found real positive wage effects set in after five to six years, as the rest of the economy adjusted to the increase in workers and the native laborers moved into more complex jobs. The flexibility of the Danish labor market played to everyone's favor, much as the strong economy in the U.S. in the 1980s did.

Assuming these results hold true today, accepting more refugees is not just the moral thing to do. It's in everyone's best interest.

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  1. You do not address the problem that these are not normal immigrants. They do not assimilate. Rather, they hold to their own culture and then constantly complain that we are racists.

    I welcome immigrants who understand that they need to give up their culture for ours. Cubans appreciated what we had to offer; many Muslims do not.

    I think Ben Carson was right on this one: help them stay near their homelands.

    1. You do not address the problem that these are not normal immigrants. They do not assimilate.

      I think this could be an understandable concern, but what do you mean specifically by “assimilate” and how is it different from other immigrants? Do you have any reliable data that indicate this?

      1. The more I read the articles in Reason the more I believe Libertarianism is nothing more than a tool of the Socialists to flood America with tens of millions of immigrants, if not hundreds of millions of immigrants, in order to turn the world into one Communist government.

        Bring on the next civil war! I’m sure there are tens of millions of us willing to die to preserve The Constitution for our offspring.

        Libertarians (socialists in disguise), go fuck yourself!

        1. You might want to start using two layers of tin foil.

          1. I think the guy already used too many layers and put his brain a vice grip.

            1. *vise.

              Fuck me.

        2. Hundreds of millions of immigrants! The immigrant hordes are coming! And they are gonna took-oor-jooobs! No, wait, they are gonna not work and all get on welfare! Either way, I am gonna need new pants. Preferably pants made in the US to protect American jobs, and not pants made by those lazy third-worlders.

          1. “they took our jobs” is a populist conservative chant. Only the welfare one is libertarian–but we mostly use it as a knock on welfare rather than a knock on immigration.

            The opposition to muslim immigration is over ideological incompatibilities rather than economic concerns.

        3. EndGOP,
          Was that satire or are you insane?
          Can’t tell.

        4. I really get a kick out of all of you Libertarian Idiots who trash my statements without offering ANYTHING to counter my arguments. All you have is name-calling?which only goes to prove me correct.

          Allow me to quote one of my favorite Libertarians, Milton Friedman:

          “You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state.”

          Now be sure to vote for Mr Trump in 2016!

      2. Well Eric, these migrants/refugees as opposed to the majority that tried to emigrate before the ‘arab spring’ weren’t coming to the west to fuck your children, take all of your shit and cut your throat. It is a subtle difference.

        1. If that’s what you’ve got, it’s not convincing.

          1. This is not the first time this topic has been discussed.

            In my experience nothing is convincing.

            No amount of rape, murder, looting and mayhem by these savages is convincing. You are unhinged with regards to this issue.

            1. No, I’m simply interested in data–not scare tactics. Show me the data, and that I’ll accept your claims.

              1. I doubt you will. Open borders boosters are interested in open borders.

              2. You and I both know the data you request is not readily available. What I see is any number of left-leaning European politicians getting tossed out on their asses for forcing this nightmare on their countries.

                Letting people walk into this country who are ideologically opposite is toxic. And, I still have to ask why all this outrage isn’t focused squarely on Saudi Arabia. They have yet to take even one.

            2. Suthenretard,
              Don’t you have a gun to shine?

      3. Take a good hard look at England’s Muslim immigrants and get back to us.

        1. Show me the data. I’m completely open to it.

          1. Data? Haven’t you seen that one youtube video of that one muslim guy being a total dick? what more do you need?

          2. Male Muslims represented 12% of those incarcerated for rape in the UK as of 2014, while the total Muslim population in the UK is about 4.5%.

            Understandably, such data is not always readily available across broad crime statistics, since information on the religion of an accused or convicted criminal is not always (or probably even usually) collected at the time of the offense.

        2. You mean like…

          Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal
          Aylesbury child sex abuse ring
          Banbury child sex abuse ring
          Bristol child sex abuse ring
          Derby child sex abuse ring
          Halifax child sex abuse ring
          Keighley child sex abuse ring
          Oxford child sex abuse ring
          Peterborough sex abuse case
          Rochdale child sex abuse ring
          Telford child sex abuse ring

        3. Or maybe Germany?

          New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Germany

          During the 2015/2016 New Year’s Eve celebrations, there were reports of mass sexual assaults, at least 24 rapes, and numerous thefts in Germany, mainly in Cologne city centre. There were similar incidents at the public celebrations in [other German cities…] For all of Germany, police report that 1,200 women were sexually assaulted and estimate that at least 2,000 men were involved, acting in groups.

          The German Federal Criminal Police Office said the incidents were a phenomenon known in some Arab countries as taharrush jamai (translated as “group sexual harassment”).

          Chief Prosecutor Ulrich Bremer stated that “the overwhelming majority” of suspects were asylum seekers and illegal immigrants who had recently arrived in Germany.[38][39] Only a small number of the alleged perpetrators have been identified. By 9 April, police in Cologne had identified 153 suspects, 24 of whom were in investigative custody.[4][5][7][15][40] Almost all of the suspects of the Cologne crimes were non-Germans; two-thirds of them from Morocco or Algeria. 68 suspects were asylum seekers; 18 were residing in Germany illegally, and the legal status of 47 others was unclear. Four suspects were underage, unaccompanied refugees. By July, four perpetrators had been convicted,[28] and it was reported that half of the 120 outstanding suspects had been in Germany for less than a year,[24] most of them from North Africa.

          (Wikipedia)

    2. They do not assimilate

      I hear that a lot. I suspect that is a refrain that has been sung for at least 150 years. Is there any evidence that actually supports that assertion? I’m really asking. I don’t doubt you can find anecdotes and news stories about the ones who don’t assimilate, but is there any reason to believe they are the rule rather than the exception?

      And more fundamentally, is it right to judge “them” as a group instead of as individuals?

      1. It might be the level of assimilation. Cubans shared a similar religion, ethic, culture to the US. Islamites, not so much. Why is Europe having such difficulty assimilating muslims right now ?

        1. I don’t think you can compare Europe to America on this. Assimilation is a two way street – it depends a lot on the culture doing the assimilating, and how welcoming it is to outsiders, as well as the assimilated and their willingness to adapt.

          Europe doesn’t have a cultural history of assimilation. America does.

          As for the cultural differences, I’d wager that there is as much difference between 19th century America and southern/eastern Europe as there is between 21st century America and the Middle East.

          1. Why do we accept data on other, past refugee groups in the US as representative of the current issue, but in the same breath say, “Well, Europe isn’t the US!” when it comes to the same group’s assimilation in Europe? I would submit that current European culture and lifestyle look a lot more like the US’ than Cuban refugees from the late 50’s look and behave like the refugees of this conflict.

            1. …meaning, imho one is better justified to conjecture based on Muslim refugee assimilation over the past decade into European culture, rather than data on the Cubans and Soviets of 50 years ago.

          2. We have a *history* of assimilation, but I’d argue we don’t *currently* have a culture of assimilation. Quite the opposite: the “multiculturalism” pushed by many of the dominant cultural centers in the US praises people for NOT assimilating and tells everyone they can’t assimilate each other because that would be “appropriation” which is supposedly bad for no reason.

          3. Islam doesn’t have a cultural history of assimilation.

            It has a cultural history of war and conquest.

            1. Resistance is futile.

      2. I’m cool with refugees , immigrants whatever if they believe in capitalism and liberty. I’m not cool with more democratic party voters.

        1. Turco – Amen. Also I’m not as concerned with violence as I am with endless complaints about such trivialities as school girls showing their faces and bare forearms. There are too many damn minuscule things that offend Muslims…and too many left-leaning American attorneys champing at the bit to represent them.

    3. Mrs.,

      You are right, and the article author (who I like a lot on TV and in print, by the by) is totally wrong. Apart from your correct points, the labor issues she cites are very different now due to labor laws and an overabundance of both skilled (via a bipartisan approval of more mid and high level job visas during Obamatime) and unskilled (note turnstiles, almost, on our southern “border” during Obamatime).

      But between Libertarians who just hate them a border and love them any kind of immigrant, and Dems who love what some political junkies call “undocumented Democrats” we need more than logic and (so appropriate for this comment bloc) reason. So I say, this should be a new Trump or Cruz policy (I don’t think any others would touch this) : “Understanding that some think these folks benefit a country by their presence, and that America has an overabundance of benefits that should be shared with other countries, here ya go! These folks are going to any country or countries we can get to take ’em.”

  2. That initial metaphor, about a friend loosing a house to a hurricane, is trite. Try applying that to total strangers.

    1. Byt it Feelz so gud!!! Unicorns and teddybears and world peace is what that statement said to me!

    2. And add to that, that even your best friend, if their house burned to the ground, you wouldn’t want to stay with you indefinitely – and in the case of the “refugees”, permanently.
      Let’s face it, getting to live in the U.S. is the gold standard. Few are the people, worldwide, who wouldn’t give almost anything they had to be able to emigrate to here. That’s why we have to have laws/rules that determine who we let in. Even nations that are not as appealing do that. Yet, for some reason, a great many, here, seem to think – though nowhere near enough to get the lawmakers to, actually change those laws – we should come up with reasons to abandon those restrictions, mostly because of feelz.
      I thought libertarians were supposed to be steely-eyed, logical, NAP eschewers of using feelz to make policy.
      Using emotions, something that is impervious to being judged through statistics or evidence, to make laws and policy seem to make a strict reliance on the NAP, impossible – emotionally, anything could be looked upon as aggressive.
      A lot of the comments, I see here, seem to be along the lines that the Constitution isn’t a very libertarian, especially as originally penned, direction for government, but feelz trumps all.
      You guys all sure you are libertarians or just cheapskate progs?

      1. You are right on the US being the gold standard. I was lucky (and perseverant ) enough to be able to immigrate here from the middle east.

        If we fling the doors wide open, the U.S. population would double in a few years and the country would be unrecognizable.

        Uncontrolled immigration is NOT a good thing.

      2. You are right on the US being the gold standard. I was lucky (and perseverant ) enough to be able to immigrate here from the middle east.

        If we fling the doors wide open, the U.S. population would double in a few years and the country would be unrecognizable.

        Uncontrolled immigration is NOT a good thing.

  3. Sure, I’ll help my friend out… and probably his friends to some degree. But it was my choice on how to expend my resources for that goal. Refugee relocation is some statist telling me that me and my community need to divert resources to the helping of a mass of people without our individual concent. Should we help? Sure, helping I’d a good thing by and large. Should we MAKE people (other citizens) help? No way… that’s slavery talk.

  4. Sure, I’ll help my friend out… and probably his friends to some degree. But it was my choice on how to expend my resources for that goal. Refugee relocation is some statist telling me that me and my community need to divert resources to the helping of a mass of people without our individual concent. Should we help? Sure, helping I’d a good thing by and large. Should we MAKE people (other citizens) help? No way… that’s slavery talk.

    1. If you’re not willing to make other people pay for something they don’t want than you’re a filthy wignut rethugliklan yeehawdist rightwinger wignut!

      /derp

  5. Sure, I’ll help my friend out… and probably his friends to some degree. But it was my choice on how to expend my resources for that goal. Refugee relocation is some statist telling me that me and my community need to divert resources to the helping of a mass of people without our individual concent. Should we help? Sure, helping I’d a good thing by and large. Should we MAKE people (other citizens) help? No way… that’s slavery talk.

  6. Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for anyone… Start working for three to eight hr a day and get from $five-$ten thousand each month… Regular weekly payments… You Try Must…………

    ______ http://www.alpha-careers.com

  7. So,all the people flocking to Europe and demanding food,shelter and money {up to ‘their ‘standards”} are good for Europe? And their bitching they aren’t given enough.Let’s not forget the crime many have brought. They also have a governmental philosophy [Islam] that is not compatible with western values.

  8. If the refugees had anything to offer, they wouldn’t have to be ‘taken in’, and would be welcomed. But that isn’t the case.

    1. Really? Latin American immigrants have a lot to contribute and they aren’t always welcomed. Sometimes people’s other concerns (and sometimes their prejudice) get in the way of evaluating economic or social contributions.

      1. I agree with you Latin immigrants who on the whole contribute to the US and are a net positive. Is there any evidence that muslims have done the same in Europe ?

        1. I truly don’t know. But my point was that you can’t infer much about the immigrants from the reaction of the natives.

          And as I pointed out above, I don’t think it’s fair to assume that the experience of Europe will transfer to America.

          1. LynchPin,
            Your tenacity is admirable. But Islam is not just a religion. It’s a complete way of life that includes education, economy, law, politics, and even nutrition. All of those things are informed by a religion with too few teachings on how to love your brother if they are not a Muslim.

            If you can provide evidence on how bringing that here will work any better than it has in Europe, I’m all ears. What you’ve presented so far isn’t compelling.

            1. Islam is a religion of peace.

              And Brutus is an honorable man.

          2. Why is it fair to assume Europe’s experience won’t transfer to America?

            And if it does how then do we repair the problem?

            How many women have to be assaulted, how many San Bernadino’s and Orlando’s do we have to have before we decide it is not worth it?

      2. Shrug. I completely welcome anyone to come here, no matter where they come from, so long as they aren’t being subsidized by US taxpayers.

  9. They are not our friends. If you have friends like these, you don’t need enemies.

  10. Reason is so crazy for “immigrants” that even when the taxpayer are forced to pay for their importation and upkeep they still want them.

    1. Open borders no matter what. Apparently.

      1. OPEN BORDERZ Uber Alles!

  11. A article on how the UN is the agency which screens who is a refugee and who is not

    “”””The UN’s Role in U.S. Refugee Resettlement”””

    http://cis.org/Rush-UN-Role-US…..settlement

  12. We all intuitively understand that if your friend loses his house in a hurricane, the right thing to do is to invite him to stay with you.

    Yes, friends, people I have evaluated myself, I know well and have judged as trustworthy. And if they are going to trash my house, I am going to have to pay for it.

    Protecting U.S. citizens is obviously a priority, and the government has a responsibility to vet refugees before letting them settle here. […] The same philosophy should apply today,

    You’re effectively saying that government bureaucrats should decide, based on rules set up by politicians subject to lobbying and political pressures, who my friends are. That is not “the same philosophy” as me freely choosing who my friends are at all.

    In fact, right now, individuals are denied the right to treat refugees like friends, and you would continue to deny us that right. We should indeed adopt the kind of system where housing refugees is like helping out friends. That is, the US government should give refugee (and employment) visas to anybody who has a sponsor in the US; a sponsor is someone who takes on the financial responsibility and risk for a refugee or immigrant. Sponsors could be individuals, charitable organizations, or insurance companies. And those are the only refugee and immigrant visas the US government should give out.

    1. he US government should give refugee (and employment) visas to anybody who has a sponsor in the US; a sponsor is someone who takes on the financial responsibility and risk for a refugee or immigrant

      I’m personally OK with letting people in without a sponsor, but this seems like a reasonable compromise given the realities of the welfare state. For me, the ideal situation is that government only performs security screening.

    2. Yes, friends, people I have evaluated myself, I know well and have judged as trustworthy. And if they are going to trash my house, I am going to have to pay for it.

      Plus those people are probably from the same general area and have a similar value system. Plus, hurricanes, especially ones strong enough to displace someone, mostly happen in a short amount of time and in a finite time of year. Chaos in the ME has a much larger length of time and last for more period of a year(s).

    3. I have to believe this whole “sponsor” thing is nothing more than another way, by the progs, to get more immigrants in, to get their desire of a permanent prog voting majority.
      Does anyone believe that a “sponsored” immigrant goes into a welfare office and the clerk checks some database and exclaims: “Oh, shit, Joe Blow guaranteed your financial support, so we’re going to force him to pay what we would have”? Such stuff just doesn’t happen.
      It is just like the claims that illegals, before we let them vote – citizenship ain’t the goal of the progs, just being able to vote – they will “have to pay a fine and back taxes and go to the back of the line and learn English”, when anyone, with half a brain cell, knows no such thing will happen.

      1. Does anyone believe that a “sponsored” immigrant goes into a welfare office and the clerk checks some database and exclaims: “Oh, shit, Joe Blow guaranteed your financial support, so we’re going to force him to pay what we would have”? Such stuff just doesn’t happen.

        Are you really that stupid? Obviously, you should get welfare only if you paid into the system. “Do we have a record of you? No? Then go away.” Sponsorships, on the other hand, could simply happen by posting the money into an escrow account for a decade.

        I have to believe this whole “sponsor” thing is nothing more than another way, by the progs, to get more immigrants in, to get their desire of a permanent prog voting majority.

        I have to believe that stupid objections like yours are just another way, by the progs, to stymie any sort of libertarian discussion. Fuck off slaver.

        1. Rational,
          What did he say that is in anyway stupid? The progressives and democrats have given us no reason at all to trust them on this issue.

          As for the escrow accounts you cite, how many people do you really think are going to agree to pay into an escrow account for a decade to help some person here permanently? I’d bet my right limbs that the number is vanishingly small, so it’ll start out as a voluntary program, but quickly morph into a tax when the progs aren’t making any headway with it (their permanent underclass voting bloc).

          If you are on the side of forcefully bringing in millions of so-called refugees, you’re on the wrong side of the issue and will find it difficult to break single digits in most elections. Recent history is my guide.

  13. And once again Reason does mental backflips to try and justify any and all immigration without any form of restraint. No wonder the Libertarian party is viewed as a fringe group.

    1. I don’t understand it either.

      And I’m not even sure these people should be called ‘immigrants’. Given that they’re imported and subsidized by the state.

      1. They are voters imported by the Progressive Theocracy.

    2. Well, look at all the backflips that went along with agreeing that the SCOTUS could eviscerate the Ninth and Tenth Amendments with their horrible Obergfell decision.
      Progs ain’t got nothin’ on the “libertarian” feelz that come out, here.

      1. Libertarianism has become more about looking cool and hip and acceptable to progs then it has anything to do with serious commitment to issues. At least it’s become that way on Reason. They are more caught up with not being associated with those “dumb hick conservatives” then they actually care about making any significant ideological stand.

  14. Assuming these results hold true today, accepting more refugees is not just the moral thing to do. It’s in everyone’s best interest.

    European nations are not comparable to the US: they don’t already have large populations of unskilled migrant workers, they have huge demographic problems, and they have lower (yes, lower) welfare and government service payments than the US; on the other hand, European nations are set up to impose draconian measures and supervision on refugees in order to force them to conform and work, something we don’t do in the US either. Adding any group of young people to Europe probably has a slight positive impact on the economy on average, but that’s because Europe is in so much demographic trouble.

    In addition, you can’t measure the impact of such forced settlement and immigration policies by economic impact alone. When the Jytland-Posten cartoons came out, a group of Danish Imams toured the Middle East drumming up support for opposition to free speech in Denmark.

    Governments moving people around the globe and forcing associations based on average improvements to economic performance is totalitarian. It’s something that the Nazis did. It is not something the US should participate in.

  15. I don’t have a problem with immigration per se, but immigrating into a free market society where you’re expected to be peaceful on productive is one thing, bring immigrants into a corpora-fascistic society on its last legs is another. This thing is going to blow, and having thousands more people who are trying to get up the economic ladder when it does go is going to make things even worse. We need to find ways to employ the people have here already, not simply move them permanently onto the dole for generations and replace them with immigrants.

  16. I’ll grant you that our experience with Iranian refugees from the Iranian Revolution has been positive, and that generally we do well to admit refugees. I would also point out that in those instances where we’ve admitted refugees they were either not coming from places where the US was directly involved as a side in a conflict, or they were not admitted en masse.

    As others have said upthread, this is not a case of helping out a friend who’s down on his luck, this is a case of the state forcing “generosity” on its citizens. And as I always say when it comes to government assistance, it’s easy to be generous with other people’s money. Some Reason contributors seem to be of the mind that state coercion is perfectly acceptable so long as the point of the coercion is something of which they approve, which is a disappointing stance for a “libertarian”.

    The fact is that security risks inherent in admitting large numbers of refugees from a war zone in which we’re directly involved without the ability to adequately vet them are almost secondary to the issue of such a monumental choice being taken out of the hands of the people who’ll have to live with the repercussions. Let the government admit these refugees; let them bunk on Pennsylvania Avenue, and in the Capitol building. Put ’em up on K Street.

    1. It’s an interesting topic. In hindsight, do you think it was good for the U.S. government to reject Jewish refugees right before WWII since the government (i.e. taxpayers) would have been forced to pay for it?

      1. That’s, again, a false dichotomy. The issue isn’t whether government should have rejected more or fewer refugees, the issue is that government criteria for determining who can come in are wrong in the first place.

        1. My purpose wasn’t to set up a dichotomy. When people say accepting refugees should not be done because it relies on taxes, I’m curious how far they really want to take that. I’m not trying to set up a false equivalence either between Jewish refugees before WWII and current Syrian refugees. My purpose is what I mentioned either. I’m curious how far people are willing to go with the argument of no refugees because of taxpayer money argument.

          1. But it is a dichotomy in that the two situations aren’t equal.
            Pre-WW2 Jewish refugees were not attempting to enter the welfare state, we have, here, today.
            I don’t know if their exclusion was due to laws, or just rank antisemitism, but that was in no way equivalent to the current situation – but it does draw out the feelz argument: “If you feel bad for the pre-WW2 Jews, you must feel the same way for current Middle Eastern ones, no matter how dissimilar the situations.”

      2. It’s not just the money, it’s the security concern, it’s the influx of concentrated, culturally-disparate populations to a given area, the whole package. And to be absolutely clear, because this is the core of my argument, I’m not saying that I believe Syrian refugees are a security threat, or part of some Arab or Muslim cultural beachead, or a huge drain on tax revenue; I’m saying neither I nor the government has the right to make those calls for other people, especially given how little skin in the game the people making those calls tend to have.

        But to the Jewish refugee question, popular sentiment at the time was opposed to admitting refugees beyond what the immigration quotas of the time allowed. That wasn’t just a government policy, it was a popular opinion among American citizens given the disastrous economy and massive unemployment. I can’t judge the morality of the decision with any fairness given the benefit of hindsight, but I can say that the government didn’t go against the popular sentiment of the time, and if our government is truly representative then that’s the only “good” decision that could have been made.

        1. I would say, with the enormous benefit of hindsight, that it was a bad decision to return those Jewish refugees back to Europe where they were later exterminated. I think it would have been better if the U.S. government had let them in so they could have survived even if it meant spending taxpayer money to do so. But that’s only my opinion.

          1. It’s always okay to steal as long as you do it for a good cause, said everyone who wanted to justify stealing, ever.

          2. Right, but setting aside the invalidity of the analogy, you’re still focusing on it as an issue of money. And what I’m arguing is that the question of whether or not it’s morally good for a government to force citizens to accept unknown risk and/or burden against their wills is not the same question as whether or not private charity is morally good. Obviously, charity is a moral good, but forcing someone else to be “charitable” is not itself charity, nor is it an unquestionably moral act. Whether or not the moral calculus works out is a question each person answers for his or herself.

            I don’t believe Syrian refugees are a security threat, and I don’t think that admitting Syrian refugees would suddenly create Paris-style Muslim ghettos in St. Louis. That said, the people who are making the call as to whether or not those risks actually exist will suffer absolutely no ill effects if they’re wrong. They’re playing with house money.

            Here’s a more concrete example. Do you think the person who approved Tashfeen Malik’s K1 visa lives in San Bernardino? It’s easy to be generous with other people’s money, brave with other people’s safety, or welcoming with other people’s communities. The government does that every day.

            1. Excellent post, especially the final paragraph. Nobody on the left (or the Reason staff) would want any of these so-called refugees in their neighborhoods.

              “I love Blacks and Gays and Latinos…as long as they don’t move next door…so love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal.” -Jello Biafra

          3. Also, you’re casting the WWII Jewish refugee issue in an oversimplified manner. It wasn’t an issue of a fiscally-conservative government saving a couple of pennies. FDR was not a popular president at the time, his numerous make-work government job programs having failed to reduce catastrophic unemployment in any meaningful way. The American economy was in a shambles, and most people were reflexively hostile to the idea of importing boatloads of people from Europe to feed and clothe while American citizens were begging in the streets and lining up at soup kitchens, particularly given the nations of origin. Remember, in the 20’s Congress enacted a law restricting immigration from continental Europe out of concern over just adding to the unemployment rolls. So when you frame this as some sort of tax-saving issue you’re missing the much, much larger issue of a long-term domestic economic crisis and the very real political pressure from Americans in general.

    2. I’ll grant you that our experience with Iranian refugees from the Iranian Revolution has been positive, and that generally we do well to admit refugees.

      Most of those refugees from Iran were the (direct, in some cases) beneficiaries of a westernized economic and cultural system imposed by the Shah. Letting them in at the time was a no-brainer because we had provided them and their families with a decent living with American aid prior to the revolution. I can’t see in what universe the current situation even compares.

      1. Agreed. And, this isn’t unprecedented. Carter did pretty much the same thing as Trump with Iran. Where was the left’s and libertarians’ outrage then?

        http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=33233

        3rd paragraph from the bottom:
        “Fourth, the Secretary of Treasury [State] and the Attorney General will invalidate all visas issued to Iranian citizens for future entry into the United States, effective today. We will not reissue visas, nor will we issue new visas, except for compelling and proven humanitarian reasons or where the national interest of our own country requires. This directive will be interpreted very strictly.”

  17. forcing refugees upon Americans will work out as well as forced school integration. what did school integration do it, created more anger and racism by forcing people into groups that people didn’t choose on their own and it lowered all the education levels of all americans and wasted billions of dollars in gas and time in transporting people around. Yes forced immigration will work just as well as school integration.

    1. It worked out perfectly for the Progressive Theocracy. Stoke racial hatred. Divide and conquer.

  18. Syrians are not our friends. They are not necessarily Syrians and they are not widows and orphans. The people selling this horse shit have been caught selling horse shit.

    Fuck off.

  19. Historically, people in the U.S. have commonly been against taking in refugees by wide margins. Likely for the same reasons as today.

    57-32 opposed accepting hundreds of thousands of people from Vietnam in the 70’s.

    55-33 opposed taking in refugees from Hungary in the 50’s.

    72-16 opposed taking in Jews from Europe in the 40’s.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/186…..ugees.aspx

      1. So… it’s not simply anti-Islamic sentiments, and it’s not a short term blip in the polls.

        And it’s something where elected representative should follow the will of the voters.

  20. just before I saw the bank draft that said $7985 , I have faith …that…my friend woz trully making money in there spare time at there computar. . there uncle haz done this 4 only twenty months and just now repaid the mortgage on there mini mansion and bought a brand new Dodge . learn the facts here now……

    http://www.Wage90.com

  21. assimilation is also important. Thankfully, past efforts on this front have met with positive results.

    Peachy keen.

    1. Is FGM covered by Obamacare yet?

  22. I’m not concerned about terrorism. I just think that before we handle other people’s problems, we might give a thought to housing and feeding our 600,000 homeless American veterans and 1.5 million homeless American children. Syria sucks? Not my problem. They’re damn near all able bodied men. Maybe you should think about fighting for your country instead of hauling ass, you cowards.

  23. look at the middle east and mexico and them move that to the USA….

    Islam is a totalitarian ideology, cloaked in robes of religion to present itself as honorable to an unsuspecting world. We have heard imams (Muslim clerics) who describe Islam as: “The Religion of Peace.” Islam is in truth a demonically influenced regime of warlords, whose goal is world dominance.

    The word Islam means submission.

    Quran (8:12) ? “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” These words are clear, and commentary here would be redundant. ”

    Quran (8:57) ? “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.” I am reminded of the videos with beheadings that are posted for all to see. They love to put fear in the hearts of all infidels. ”

    Quran (9:5) ? “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.” (Clearly, these words show that the only way to escape death is to convert to Islam.)

  24. This article would make sense, were there not a Democrat Party creating and buying an anti-American bigot vote by viciously demonizing Americans for the over representation of anti-western prejudice and anti-American violence in the Muslim population.

  25. This article reminded me of a poignant video I just saw about the about the refugee crisis that I felt was worth sharing. It’s been in my head all day. What a beautiful song!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMWSSc87sk4

    1. Decent musicianship, but pretentious lyrics. I have my doubts about whether the Sandra Fluke look alike vocalist would want any Syrian “refugees” living next door to her.

  26. You might still lend a hand through the many private charities that assist those in distress.

    Indeed you might. I suggest all the OPEN BORDERZ fans at Reason knock themselves out.

    Reason still doesn’t want the US government to be the world’s police force, right?
    When did they decide that the US government should be the world’s Welfare State?

    Protecting U.S. citizens is obviously a priority, and the government has a responsibility to vet refugees before letting them settle here.

    That really worked out for the Germans in Cologne, didn’t it?

    Below is Pew Research on political views of Muslims in various Muslim majority countries. There are no numbers for Syria. But check the Middle East/North Africa section.

    Check for support for “Making Sharia the Law of the Land”. I think the numbers for support of Stoning of Adulterers and Death for Apostates are particularly interesting.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2013/0…..ut-sharia/

    A 2000 paper by Andrey Vinokurov, Dina Birman, and Edison Trickett in International Migration Review looked at the psychological impact of working on 206 (mostly Jewish) Soviet refugees in the United States.

    Really? You’re going to take Jews emigrating from the Soviet Union as representative of Syrian Refugees today?
    Because if you’re going to be full of shit, don’t half ass it, go for the Big Lie!

  27. I have to say, I am getting really sick of Reason, in the name of libertarianism, nearly always–after lots of deep soul-searching, and with much word twisting, coming down of the side of ‘whatever the statists want today’.

    We shouldn’t be the world’s policeman.

    But we HAVE to be the world’s daddy–taking everyone in, making everyone safe, making sure everyone’s got enough ‘chores’ to ‘earn’ them a good enough allowance(and slipping a little extra in if not).

    So much we HAVE to do to stay within the bounds of rightthink.

    And anyone who points out ‘hey, this isn’t really very libertarian’ gets jumped on.

    1. I stopped caring about being jumped on about my beliefs long ago. The fact is, there really aren’t that many people in the west who are outraged by Trump’s order. A portion of the protesters are bought and paid for by Soros organizations, and the most of rest are perpetually in a state of protest.

      If extreme vetting of foreign Muslims was unpopular with the majority, Trump wouldn’t have won, left-liberal politicians wouldn’t be getting the boot in Europe, and Brexit wouldn’t have stood a chance.

  28. Re: “the influx had virtually no effect on the wages or unemployment rates of the city’s less-skilled workers”

    Does this study consider factors other than wages? For instance, costs to the Miami health system (overrun emergency rooms that are treated like free clinics by those who cannot afford health care), welfare costs (EBT, SNAP, etc.), lost productivity and increased pollution due to increased traffic congestion, increases in crime, etc.? I highly doubt they considered all these factors, as there are simply too many to consider.

  29. We all intuitively understand that if your friend loses his house in a hurricane, the right thing to do is to invite him to stay with you. The same philosophy should apply today, as the American people decide whether to accept a portion of the estimated 4.2 million Syrian refugees currently trying to escape their civil war-torn nation.

    Of course, people help their personal friends; personal friends are people that are known to us and that we trust. It is intellectually dishonest to apply terms like “friendship” to societies: the personal bonds, histories, obligations, and kindnesses that constitute friendship don’t exist between societies, only between individuals.

    Even if you foolishly insist on personifying societies or groups, please tell me in what way the 4.2 million Syrian refugees are America’s “friends”, even metaphorically. What bonds of friendship exist between these people and the Americans?

    Any honest discussion of whether to accept more Syrian refugees has to start from the simple truth that these are strangers, and strangers that often dislike America. There is, of course, a moral obligation to help strangers. But that obligation is not unlimited (and we currently have 11 million illegals to worry about). Furthermore, charity and aid should be voluntary, not coerced.

    1. I agree. There is a term for this unlimited aid to others: “pathological altruism.”

      I like to use this metaphor: if you see someone drowning, before you jump in to save them, consider how well you can swim.

      If you’re going to drown along with the victim, don’t jump in, simple as that. The USA is not in a condition to be helping people right now, with massive debt and a faltering economy that appears to be at a top just before a massive crash.

    2. and what about all the poor in the country today? We have our own war zones to deal with as in Chicago.

  30. where don man game over game over. nick is cool will his shit on tv. no onever agrees
    why does truth always have to be a losing battle?

  31. tldr jesus would do it

    1. But Jesus would not force me to do it too.

  32. No. Muslim “refugees” from the Middle East are not my friends; i know none of them. No, taking in refugees is not like helping a friend whose house burned down. These people share none of my beliefs or interests. Why are you slavers forcing me to support these people? Who i choose to “help” is my business.

    If all you progtards care so much for Syrians, go to Syria and help them stabilize and rebuild it. I am sure there are charity organizations you can contribute.

  33. No. Muslim “refugees” from the Middle East are not my friends; i know none of them. No, taking in refugees is not like helping a friend whose house burned down. These people share none of my beliefs or interests. Why are you slavers forcing me to support these people? Who i choose to “help” is my business.

    If all you progtards care so much for Syrians, go to Syria and help them stabilize and rebuild it. I am sure there are charity organizations you can contribute.

  34. How many refugees should we accept ? 150,000 or 900,000 like Germany ? How about 2,500,000 ?
    Even the Obama administration refused to accept 97% of the refugees.

  35. A good friend of mine, a longtime libertarian, broke with the party over what she called its rabid, progressive-ist stance on open borders. I agree that that stance seems anti-libertarian in many respects, including forcing the citizenry to pay for welfare for refugess. Then again, I also know firsthand how desperate some of these people are for a better life?and the U.S. has always been a beacon of liberty to those who live elsewhere under tyranny.

    The problem is, the majority of these refugees adhere to a religion that is tyranny incarnate. My Facebutt feed blew up yesterday with posts from friends decrying Trump’s executive order as religious bigotry. And yet, these same FB friends regularly poke fun at fundamental Christians, Mormons, and Catholics for being backwards. Only in a Libertarded universe does Islam square with progressive cosmopolitan ideals while Judeo-Christian ethics are to be shunned.

    1. I left the libertarian party for their rediculous stand on open borders as well as a few other things. Open borders and a welfare state = disaster. There is no chance in hell of getting rid of the welfare state in this country anytime in the next 8 or even 16 years. It’s a utopian fantasy.

      Some think Islam will go though a reformation – simialr to Christianity. It’s not going to happen. Christianity didn’t go though a reformation – the Church did. We’re using the same New Testiment that was used before the reformation. The flaws with islam are built into their doctrine. Unless you rewrite the Qu’ran, Islam will never be compatiable with Western Culture. If you rewrite the Qu’ran – it’s no longer Islam.

  36. As I explain in this post, not only are the reaction to this executive order completely hysterical, but the hypocrisy of liberals in that affair is truly baffling. Overall, the charge of hypocrisy doesn’t apply to libertarians, but I’m not sure I can say the same thing about the charge of being hysterical.

  37. Rapidly rising Minimum Wage Laws argue against the notion that low-skilled refugees boost employment opportunities. We’re rapididly incresing the unemployment or partial employment of that group alread.

    There is also a significant difference between a refugee and an immigrent. In theory an immegrent comes here by choice, looking for opportunity, and prepared to add to the economy. A refugee comes here out of desparation, and is looking for a handout. This culture is radically differnent from Syria, they would be better off moving to another Islamic country.

    See how well your comparisons work when applied to Europe who now as rather too much experience with “refugees” feeling muslim countries.

  38. I cannot say it better than Teddy:

    “In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

    ? Theodore Roosevelt

    What we have seen over the last few decades is not immigration and assimilation, but simply people from other countries moving here and establishing enclaves where they try to recreate their homeland within the US. In the special case of some Muslim immigrants, complete with Sharia law.

    Do I have to include disclaimer? Sure it’s not everyone, but it seems to be a problem.

  39. but it may not be good for a few individuals here and there.

    its rather apropos that the movie currently in Theatres – Patriots Day – is about the results of the US taking in some Muslim “political” refugees from Russia.

    as I recall there are 4 dead and about 100 pretty seriously wounded – losing legs is permanent injury btw.

    so tell me again how taking in refugees is good for America, or at least those Americans that are now dead or permanently injured.

  40. Unstated in that is that we expect them to actually integrate into our society. Not retreat into barrios and enclaves where they keep their languages, customs, etc. and essentially make Little Vietnam or Little Colombia sections of town.

    My tell…who do they root for in the World Cup? It’s fine to root for the old homeland, but if they are playing team USA–you gotta be rooting for team USA. Otherwise, you’re not an American originally from Brazil, you’re a Brazilian who happens to be living in the US.

    Immigration is somewhat like a divorce. Your ex-wife is the mother of your children and you may have some good memories about them–may be on good terms with your ex-in-laws. But if there’s a situation where you have to chose between your new wife and your ex-wife…well, you don’t put your ex-wife’s favorite ornament on the top of the Christmas tree if you want your new marriage to be a good one.

  41. RE: Taking In Refugees Is Good for America
    Fear of terrorism is understandable but overblown.

    I’ve told republicans (mostly) who are against more immigrants that most of incoming people are leaving their country because of war, economic and/or political repression. Most of these immigrants also will embrace the capitalist ethic (or what’s left of it) in this country. They will also appreciate the peace and freedom (what’s left of it) in America as compared to where they came from. These immigrants also make good workers and are for more appreciate of the freedoms we have than many Americans take for granted. So, I welcome these new immigrants, providing they do not wish our country or other Americans any harm.

    1. Knock yourself out paying for them. And knock yourself out again by letting them move next door to you.

      Don’t expect me to do the same. Also, don’t expect me to care one whit about being called a racist or xenophobe or anti-immigrant or any of the other liberal checkboxes.

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