Donald Trump

Stronger Border Enforcement Backfired

Militarizing the border unintentionally fueled the growth of undocumented immigration

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ImmigrationReason
Reason

Practically the first campaign promise that Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump made was that he would deport all 11 million undocumented migrants living in the United States. An interesting new study looks at why so many migrants came and, but more crucially, also at why they chose to stay. Their conclusion: Ratcheted up border enforcement played a big role. The article, "Why Border Enforcment Backfired," published in the American Journal of Sociology looks at how ever greater attempts to close down the border led to decisions by those who made it across to stay here rather than risk returning to their home countries.

The researchers argue that rising "border enforcement emerged as a policy response to a moral panic about the perceived threat of Latino immigration to the United States propounded by self-interested bureaucrats, politicians, and pundits who sought to mobilize political and material resources for their own benefit." From 1986 to 2010, the U.S. government spent $35 billion on border enforcement. The result was to essentialy militarize the border, making it ever harder for migrants to travel back and forth. This policy unintentionally transformed "undocumented Mexican migration from a circular flow of male workers going to three states into an 11 million person population of settled families living in 50 states."

"Greater enforcement raised the costs of undocumented border crossing, which required undocumented migrants to stay longer in the U.S. to make a trip profitable," explained researcher Douglas Massey, a sociologist at Princeton University to Phys.org. "Greater enforcement also increased the risk of death and injury during border crossing. As the costs and risks rose, migrants naturally minimized border crossing—not by remaining in Mexico but by staying in the United States."

Also over at Phys.org Harvard University sociologist Mary Waters (who was not involved in the research) further noted: "This is a very important article that looks at a long sweep of history and provides the very best data and analysis to lead to a conclusion that most Americans would find very counter-intuitive. Throwing money at militarizing the border led to the growth of undocumented immigration and if we had just done nothing, undocumented immigration would be much lower."

As it happens the flow of undocumented migrants from Mexico has significantly slowed. Border enforcement may have played a role, but so did the lack of economic opportunities in the U.S. subsequent to the Great Recession, and even more significantly sharply falling Mexican fertility is producing a labor shortfall in that country.

Massey suggests that if the U.S. government were to grant some kind of legal status to the 11 million undocumented migrants lots of them would return home secure in the knowledge that they could come back.

Ultimately, Trump's border wall is "solving" a "problem" that is well on its way to solving itself.

For more background, see my article, "Immigrants Are Less Criminal Than Native-Born Americans."

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  1. This makes perfectly good sense to me. Many of the people who cross the border do so to get to jobs and shopping–the same reasons that people travel anywhere. In fact, many of the so-called anchor babies were not born here to gain American citizenship but to get better healthcare. It’s all commerce.

    1. ” Many of the people who cross the border do so to get to jobs and shopping”.

      wow….you should tell that to the huge illegal populations in the mid-atlantic states, that they could have just shopped in SoCal and saved the travel costs.

      1. Mike, I said many, not all. There are certainly those who come here to stay, and to stay illegally. But the vast majority of those who live along the border are merely shopping and getting to their jobs.

        1. Yep. If you said “Most”, you’d be correct.

          Shithead is gonna shithead.

          1. It’s not “most” either. border states account for well less than 50% of the illegal population per the Pew Hispanic survey Even if assuming all of them “just came to get to jobs and shop” it wouldn’t qualify as “many” or “most”.

            try to speak in facts.

            1. You have a problem understanding immigration, Mike. Imagine drawing a line across any major city. Then consider the flow of people across that line, in both directions. There are some, of course, who cross it to engage in illegal activities. But the vast majority are merely taking care of personal and corporate business. An international border is no different.

      2. Eh? That makes no sense. First off, if they all stayed in SoCal, they’d flood the job market.
        Second, if you are implying that they cross the border to rape, pillage, and steal, same thing: better to spread out than all pile up in one area.

        Explain yourself!

        1. Not quite sure what was difficult to understand, but I was refuting the “many just come to get to jobs and shop”, which IMHO is a nonsensical statement. Perhaps a few do, but the estimated 11 million illegals in the lower 48 are largely spread out across the country. They didn’t cross the border just “to get to jobs and shop”, but crossed to remain for a variety of reasons. There are huge populations in the Mid-Atlantic states….kinda far to just travel to a job from Mexico.

          I never implied anything about rape/pillage/etc, but like any group of people there will be a criminal element. I think it is worse in illegal populations, not because they are inherently worse, but because the economic trap of being a second-class citizen in a foreign country puts limitation on legal success. Man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

          1. Your comments are very interesting and insightful.

          2. The port of entry closest to me has 100,000 crossings PER DAY.

            That’s over THIRTY SIX MILLION CROSSINGS PER YEAR. At just one port of entry.

            You didn’t refute shit. Do the math.

            1. So now you are talking about legal crossings? You do realize that the article we are commenting on is about illegal crossings, right? Or did you miss that part.

              1. So there are more than 36M illegal crossings? And that’s only counting the one port of entry.

                Does not compute.

                1. FFS….a ‘port of entry’ is reporting legal crossings. Utterly irrelevant to the above article in question which is discussing illegal crossings.

          3. Mike, read my comment farther downstream. In it, I point out the the annual flow of shoppers and employees across the southern border is some 138 million–in 2015 alone–which dwarfs the 11 million illegals that has accumulated over many years. When I said many, I was referring to those who cross and then go home. And that number is extremely large compared to the number who come here with the express purpose of never returning home.

            1. I point out the the annual flow of shoppers and employees across the southern border is some 138 million

              Sure, people who are here for the day. Its like counting page views, as opposed to unique eyeballs. There aren’t 138 million separate people who cross the border; there’s a much smaller number that crosses the border repeatedly. Because its legal and easy for them to do so if they are coming just to shop for a day. And its easy enough even if they are illegally working a day job but living in Mexico.

              Its apples and oranges to illegals living here full time, generally with stolen identities, etc.

              1. Yes, that 138 million statistic includes many repeats. Nonetheless, there are over 100 thousand unique crossings in between large cities like El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.

                My point was that commerce and family business go on no matter the imaginary border. While I am very much against illegal immigration, I have seen, first hand, the enormous flow of people in both directions across the US/Mexican border and believe that restricting it–no matter the reason–is bad for both Americans and Mexicans.

      3. wow….you should tell that to the huge illegal populations in the mid-atlantic states, that they could have just shopped in SoCal and saved the travel costs.

        Who knew the floods of unattended minors from central america were just here to pick up soccer balls and Dora paraphernalia??

  2. Border enforcement may have played a role, but so did the lack of economic opportunities in the U.S. subsequent to the Great Recession…

    So President Trump’s upcoming trade wars should do more than any wall he could build, no matter how classy?

  3. “Greater enforcement also increased the risk of death and injury during border crossing. As the costs and risks rose, migrants naturally minimized border crossing?not by remaining in Mexico but by staying in the United States.”

    Of course the study doesn’t provide the data to back that assertion.

    I’m guessing it’s a wash. Yeah, people definitely minimized border crossings as they became more dangerous. That means staying in the US longer, and it also means not crossing at all.

    1. Not exactly a wash. There is that 100-mile border zone.

      The Supreme Court declared in 2014 that law enforcement could no longer perform searches of cellphones incident to arrest without a warrant. The exceptions to this ruling are making themselves apparent already.

      The area of the United States where the Constitution does not apply — while still being fully within the borders of the US — apparently exempts law enforcement from following this ruling in regards to cellphone searches. The Southern District of California has come to the conclusion that border searches are not Fourth Amendment searches and that the government has no need to seek a warrant before searching a cellphone.

    2. What few people understand about the the southern border is that there are generations of families separated by that imaginary line. The border is not very old, afterall. Just try to cross that border on a Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas. You’ll find hundreds of thousands of people moving both directions to spend a holiday with family. There are people who work in family business on one side while living on the other side. It’s a real hassle to cross the border at any time, but much more during peak times.

      The current configuration of the southern border is a great impediment to commerce. Most people–especially Hispanics–are very attached to their families and surroundings. It is only dire circumstances that make them leave the country of their birth and their families. Removing impediments to border crossing would be great for commerce and for the families on both sides. Just give them a visa. It’s not that hard.

      1. That is true. But there is one other thing that people don’t seem to understand. The migrants today are for the most part not Mexican. They are Central American. So, they are not coming up to go to grandma’s birthday party or cousin Maria’s first communion. Mexico has nasty immigration laws and enforces the hell out of their southern border. (Amazingly Libertarians never seem to let that fact get in the way of their love of all things Mexican). When Central Americans come to this country they have to brave the borders of Mexico first. They come here to migrate and to stay. That doesn’t mean it is good or bad. it is just what is happening.

        1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Those coming from Central and South America are different from the Mexicans who are merely do their daily business. What concerns me most about this is that the Mexicans and their business will suffer for in the struggle against migrants of other countries.

        2. Mexico has nasty immigration laws and enforces the hell out of their southern border.

          Mexico also organizes trains to bring them up to our border. Thanks a lot, Mexico!

    3. How can you make that assertion without data? At an intuitive level the assertion makes some sense. It is however hardly self evident. For it to be true, you would have to assume that every migrant or a significant number of them is coming here for the single purpose of making some set amount of money and not to stay and calculates how long they will stay based on the costs of being smuggled into the country.

      I am sure that describes some migrants but it hardly describes all or even most. And even if it did, it assumes that none of them can be deterred from coming in the first place by the increase in cost. I can think of no other situation where increasing the cost and risk of doing something didn’t also decrease the demand for that something. The study basically assumes that demand to be smuggled into the US is completely cost inelastic.

      1. John, I’m not sure whether you’re responding to me or not. But I will assume that you are.

        In 2015 there were 138 million passenger crossings into the United States across the entirety of the southern border according to bts.gov. This query includes only automobile passengers and excludes commercial vehicles. Think about it. There have accumulated some 11 million illegal immigrants over decades, yet there are some 138 million who cross and then go home every year. Many is indeed the correct modifier.

        1. But half of the illegal aliens in the country came in on visas and then overstayed.

        2. I was responding to playa. And yeah, the border is crossed all the time. And it actually is crossed less now because Mexico is so unsafe. Americans used to go to Mexico almost as much as Mexicans came here.

        3. 138 million crossings is not the same as 138 million people crossing.

    4. That is of course a completely untrue assumption. We know that for two reasons. First, almost nothing is totally cost inelastic. Cost and risk matter, especially to people who are have little money or means. Second, if it were true, the smugglers would have already raised the price of coming across the border no matter what the state of security. Smugglers charge as much as their customers will pay. And if their customers will pay any amount, the smugglers will charge as much as they think they can get away with.

      Lastly, I have never paid a smuggler but I doubt they work on credit. So even if the demand were price inelastic, the migrants are limited by the amount of cash they have on hand. It does no good to think “I will just work two years instead of one” if you don’t have the money up front to pay the smuggler and get into the country in the first place. So a rise in the cost of getting into the country had to have resulted in a decrease in the number of people coming in for the simple fact that higher costs are going to put being smuggled in beyond the means of more people who would otherwise have come had the price been lower.

      This study is retarded on about five levels.

      1. It’s not that expensive to just cross the river, John. People do it regularly when they can’t get through the checkpoint. Or, at least they used to before the build up of Border Patrol. I used to live along the our southern border and I’ve heard stories of people who paid to get a quick trip across the river because they were late for work, or some other reason that made the normal process temporarily unacceptable.

        Getting further north is certainly more involved and consequently more expensive. But, as I pointed out, many (most) Mexicans are just trying to get to work, see family, or go shopping.

        1. As we said above, the migrants are coming from Central America. The expense is getting through Mexico. Once you get here, you still have to go a long ways north. And that costs money.

    5. Re: Playa Manhattan,

      Of course the study doesn’t provide the data to back that assertion.

      You can perfectly explain this by using sound economic theory. As the cost of crossing increases, the Opportunity Cost of leaving BECOMES MUCH HIGHER. Ergo, these immigrants who ostensibly would come only for the seasonal jobs now stay in the US and do whatever it takes to bring their families.

      You can thank the government and the xenophobic assholes that populate it.

      1. Isn’t it interesting how so many government policies produce the opposite of what they claim to want?

        Illegal immigration is often a problem but the means to stop it only increases it. Perhaps if we made legal immigration easier and more palatable, and then discouraged illegal immigration merely by disallowing government assistance and deporting them when caught, we’d have more of the former and less of the latter.

      2. No you can’t Mexican. I spent about three paragraphs using sound economic theory explaining why. Do me a favor and read that before responding.

  4. From what I understand, the flow of illegals from the Mexican border has really subsided that much; the illegal immigrants are just increasingly from places other than Mexico. I could be wrong about that. The smuggling money still goes to Mexican cartels and the crossings are still over the Mexican border, so I find it a misleading to only talk about Mexican immigrants. We need to greatly simplify our immigration process and make it basically unlimited except for criminals. If we can find a way to let these people in by a method in which we can vet them, I am totally okay with deporting anybody who still does not comply and comes here illegally. It’s what every other country, including Mexico, does. We have the most generous illegal immigration policy in the world.

    1. The decrease in immigration from MX is largely due to a decrease in the birth rate.

      1. PM: That’s what “falling fertility” means in the blog post.

        1. Blog post? I’m just here for the comments.

          1. beer me!

      2. Falling fertility, and a modernizing economy.

  5. Naive Rich once thought that sign was a joke.

    Now cynical Rich will see if Trump’s foreign policy is a joke (or a sign).

    1. I always picture Rich as an Argentine.

  6. I think it is so cute that you are using claims from Ivy league sociologists.

    Is there a group more notorious for manipulating and cherry-picking data points to support an SJW premise? If so, that’s news to me.

    1. NUMBERS DUN GOT IS FAGGOTS SJW

      1. But if Top Men don’t provide us with answers who will?

        Sorry… *ahem*… MUH DATA!

    2. MP2: Better that than the ignorant bloviations of a mountebank.

      1. As I explicate above Ron, this study has some real problems. From an economic perspective, it makes no sense. And it seems to have no actual data to show why its very suspicious and unlikely assumptions about migrant behavior are true.

        I think its garbage.

        1. J: Alas, the study is behind a paywall, but take a look at this longer article at the Chicago Policy Review for more details on their data and modeling.

          1. Massey, Durand, and Pren find that escalating border enforcement is simultaneously thwarted by immigrants’ “strategic adjustments” to avoid capture. Border enforcement does not mitigate immigrants’ desire to come to the United States; instead, the changes in border enforcement make the costs associated with immigrating higher, the journey more dangerous, and the risk of returning to Mexico and a return journey to the US more perilous.

            From you link Ron. That is patently absurd. It assumes that raising the marginal cost and risk of coming to the US does not cause people to no longer come here but instead just to stay longer when they do. I don’t buy that for two reasons. If that is true, why is the cost of smuggling dependent on the state of border security? The smugglers are in the business of making money. If raising the cost of getting here doesn’t diminish the demand and just causes the migrants to stay longer, the smugglers would already be charging the maximum price possible no matter what the state of security. it is not like the smugglers care how long people stay. There is no way that the demand for smuggling is that cost inelastic and at the same time the cost of being smuggled is dependent on the state of border security. Those two things can’t both be true.

            1. Re: John,

              It assumes that raising the marginal cost and risk of coming to the US does not cause people to no longer come here but instead just to stay longer when they do.

              That’s because you’re ignoring Opportunity Costs. When the border is ‘less secured’, people don’t stay in the US because of nostalgia. Once the PRICE for re-entering the US goes up, nostalgia is thrown out the window.

              If raising the cost of getting here doesn’t diminish the demand and just causes the migrants to stay longer, the smugglers would already be charging the maximum price possible

              But they are ALREADY asking for the maximum price possible – that is, that PEOPLE are WILLING to PAY. The demand for their services comes from new immigrants and that has been the case since a long time, because the immigrants with more experience (before the border was ‘secured’) knew how and where to come in and out. Those with NO experience use the smugglers. Just like YOU use a tax expert to prepare your taxes for the first time; maybe later you do them yourself after learning a few of the tricks. That doesn’t mean the tax experts find themselves scraping the dumpsters for food, or does it?

              1. If they are already asking and getting the maximum cost they can get, then the price of crossing in no way depends on the amount of border security. The study is premised on the idea that increasing the border security increases the cost of crossing and this causes people to have to stay longer to make it worth while. If the price is already as high as it is going to be, the increased security can’t increase the cost of crossing or effect how long people stay.

                You guys will believe anything that supports the open border religion.

      2. bank mount what?

  7. “better”….really?

    Shouldn’t we question everything we hear from people that have well known agendas? Or do we only question that which doesn’t support our worldview?

    1. Yes. Better. Much better. Infinitely better. Of course it’s better, you fucking illiterate. Jesus Christ.

      1. Jesus can’t save you now, Johnny Football.

      2. Yeh…sure. Embrace information from ‘authority’ figures that supports your world view and refute and ignore everything that doesn’t. You’ll go far with that. Heck, you could be in politics!

        And I’ll will continue to mock anyone who takes studies from elitist sociologists seriously.

          1. Yeh, Trump sucks. At what point did I imply otherwise.

            Sociologists suck too.
            So let’s phrase this differently….

            On one hand we have an obnoxious politician who speaks in hyperbole to gain votes with the masses.

            On the other had we have elitist academics that use pseudoscience to push an agenda, typically extreme progressive, onto policy makers.

            “Better” is not a word I would use to describe one over the other.

        1. BOOK LARNIN IS 4 FAGS MY DADDY TOLT ME THAT

          1. as if we couldn’t tell…

        2. I AINT NEVER DUN LERNED NOTHIN FROM NO FAGGOT BOOK SHIT

          1. Honestly, I gotta say that Ron Bailey’s, “BUT TRUUUUUUMMMMMPPPP!” was a way better argument.

            1. Nobody’s arguing with you slackjaws. It’s stunning that you fail to realize this.

              How’s your brother-in-law doing?

              1. MUH SQUATS!

        3. WHYCUM COLLGE FAGS NEVR GIT REEL JOBS HUH?

          1. CUZ, THAT’s Y

          2. This is supposed to be funny?

            Questioning the pseudoscience that passes itself off as ‘sociology’ automatically makes one an illiterate hillbilly?

  8. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. Im using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I do,

    ——————- http://www.richi8.com

    1. Recession and a dysfunctional state-run economy

      An unlucky coincidence.

      1. Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded ? here and there, now and then ? are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

        This is known as “bad luck.”

  9. They’re migrating for a better life because where they come from is a corrupt shithole.

    Same reason people are leaving New York, Michigan, Illinois and other progtopias for places like Texas, Florida and Georgia.

    1. And that’s why all those immigrants are dirty foreigners who need to be kept out, to keep them from sullying the last good places in the country.

      1. I agree.

        You hear that, Detroiters? Stay the fuck out of our paradises.

        1. Alas, i fear Colorado may have fallen. For this is where the vanguard of Cali alighted.

  10. I think the solution is to invite Mexico into the United States. We could even send our president to meddle in their electoral process and openly advocate a position while in their country.

    Ha, could you imagine the outrage on the left if a GOP President did that? I bet it would be inversely as loud as their current response (read: total silence) has been when Obama did the exact same thing on limetree island.

    1. At the very least, we should annex Baja.

      It’s practically California anyway.

      1. PM: Historically, the U.S. conquered all of Mexico in 1848 and then took only about two-thirds of its land area, instead of keeping all of it.

        1. This is true. The U.S. Army occupied Mexico City for some time.

        2. The treaty also stated that Mexicans who remained in the state would be permitted to become U. S. citizens, and that they would be allowed to keep their property. However, the treaty was never fully honored. In the decades following the signing of the treaty, Mexican-Americans were stripped of nearly 20 million acres of their land by American businessmen, ranchers and railroad companies, as well as by the U.S. Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture.

          Lovely

          1. The US is not very good with treaties. Ask the natives. Something like 201 treaties (all of them, ever) were broken…and quite clearly.

          2. sure does suck to lose a war…

        3. I wonder how things would have gone if we just kept all of it, admitted them as states, etc.

          I have a feeling everybody would be better off now. (Ex-)Mexicans, and Americans.

          1. We’d still have the problem of illegal immigration from Central and South America.

            1. MUCH easier border to control, though.

              1. Canal thingy makes a great “natural” boundary…

                1. we could put giant piranha and man-eating squid in it and everything…

          2. I disagree. Mexico still has a sizable native population, which has contributed greatly to the formation of Mexican culture as we know it today (especially the cuisine). OTOH, the U.S. government never saw an indian it didn’t want to murder or herd onto a reservation. It’s interesting to note that the Yucatec Maya (and to a lesser extent, the Pur?pecha indians of Michoacan) were never fully “conquered” by the federal Mexican government. They just kind of gave up and let them be.

      2. “At the very least, we should annex Baja.”

        Didn’t they offered to sell it to us for $50 million in 1917? See if the offer is still there.

  11. They’re not fucking undocumented, they’re illegal aliens

    1. There’s no such thing as an ‘illegal alien’. A person cannot be ‘illegal’ merely for existing. This is not about being P.C. but about being accurate.

      1. There’s no such thing as an ‘illegal alien’. A person cannot be ‘illegal’ merely for existing.

        I have to disagree. They aren’t an illegal person. They are an “alien” in the US (meaning, not a US citizen), and their presence here is illegal. Hence, illegal alien, here. Perfectly legal citizen, wherever they came from. One person, different statuses in different jurisdictions.

        Illegal alien is the accurate term.

        1. Re: R C Dean,

          I have to disagree. They aren’t an illegal person. They are an “alien” in the US (meaning, not a US citizen), and their presence here is illegal.

          Being PRESENT cannot be illegal, RC. That notion would imply that what defines REALITY is the legal code. That’s preposterous. You may say that they’re here with NO documents, ergo undocumented. Not unlike saying “driving without a license”, or how many times do you hear people saying “illegal drivers”? Driving itself, as an act, is not illegal. What is illegal is driving without a license and so you describe the ACTUAL CRIME: Driving WITHOUT a license. Hence: Undocumented alien.

          1. “Being PRESENT cannot be illegal”…Try that excuse the next time you jump the White House fence…

            1. Re: Radioactive,

              “Being PRESENT cannot be illegal”…Try that excuse the next time you jump the White House fence…

              That would be trespassing. A person who trespasses is called a ‘trespasser’.

              1. also can be called beat to shit fence jumper…those guards are in a shit ass mood…

              2. while specifically a “trespasser” they are also performing an illegal act, which would make their presence…wait for it…”ILLEGAL”…QED

                1. But you would not call the person illegal, as a matter of fact you didnt. You called their presence illegal. I think OM’s point of being present is off base but my point about nouns below still stands. You can’t logically make a law against a noun.

                  1. Hell at this point I may have to start lobbying grammarists to change illegal from a noun to an adverb.

                    1. edit: noun – adjective

        2. I may disagree. Alien is a noun and an adjective. As a noun it is defined as a person who is not a naturalized citizen of the country in which they reside (or planet). Now, that person’s “presence” can either be authorized or not, illegal or legal, but the person himself cannot be illegal or unauthorized anymore than a gun can be illegal. Illegal is a term relating to a verb, not a noun. When people say guns are illegal what they really mean is possessing guns/firing guns/thinking about guns is illegal.

          As a libertarian, I (we?) believe that rights are the ultimate personal authority to perform some act. All rights are inherent. All rights have an attached responsibility and this is what the law is attached to. So only the act can be made legal or illegal and the responsibility foisted upon the rights bearer (noun again). The Object and Subject nouns themselves can not be made illegal…unless you are god I suppose. Because outlawing a noun is a illogical.

          1. I do understand illegal is an adjective though. FYI.

      2. “Undocumented” is inaccurate. These folks have documents, I guarantee you. Birth certificates, passports, all that kind of thing. Its just that their documents don’t make them legal residents of the US.

        You might as well say someone without a medical license who forges prescriptions is an “undocumented doctor”.

        1. You might as well say someone without a medical license who forges prescriptions is an “undocumented doctor”.

          Yes. You could. And it would be an accurate term for that doctor, too.

        2. Re: R C Dean,

          “Undocumented” is inaccurate.

          No, it is not.

          These folks have documents, I guarantee you. Birth certificates, passports, all that kind of thing.

          All IRRELEVANT when it comes to what the State demands from YOU at that moment when it asks Papieren, schnell!

          1. I’m just saying that “undocumented” means “has no documents”. Which isn’t the case, so its inaccurate, and obscures the fact that the problem isn’t really “doesn’t have the right paperwork on them at this instant”. The problem really is, “doesn’t have the legal right to reside in this country.” For which status, you can’t beat “illegal alien” as an accurate term.

      3. They’re not illegal merely for existing though, are they? They are illegal in that they are in the US illegally. They are therefore illegal aliens, as opposed to legal aliens. I guess we could call them criminal aliens if you want to be pedantic, since they are breaking the law and that makes them criminal. But “undocumented” is just newspeak bullshit to try to control the way people think of the situation by controlling the language. Advocating for open borders is fine, and we can argue that what they are doing shouldn’t actually be illegal, but let’s not lower ourselves to SJW Progspeak to try to win cheap rhetorical points.

        1. Re: WTF,

          They’re not illegal merely for existing though, are they? They are illegal in that they are in the US illegally.

          That’s a lie. People call them “illegal aliens” as a term of derision. A person that is not in the U.S. with the government’s permission is merely a person who is in the US without the government’s permission – the permission being a DOCUMENT. Ergo, undocumented alien. A person cannot be inside a country ‘illegally’ because that entails his mere presence is in itself illegal. That’s preposterous.

          We in Mexico have always called immigrants from Central America ‘indocumentados’ (the undocumented) for decades, because we know they are not in the country ‘illegally’, they’re simply in the country without documents. The government does not get to decide who is ‘legal’ and who is ‘illegal’. The government only gets to grant papers and that is already too much power in their hands.

          1. The government does not get to decide who is ‘legal’ and who is ‘illegal’.

            The government passes laws determining what people must do to be in the country legally. If they break those laws, they are here illegally. This is really not that complicated. You can argue whether the immigration laws should be what they are, but to argue there is no such thing as an illegal alien is ridiculous.

            1. The government does not get to decide who is ‘legal’ and who is ‘illegal’.

              But the government does get to decide who is in this country legally and who is not.

              You keep conflating their entire existence with their presence on US soil. Stop that.

              People call them “illegal aliens” as a term of derision.

              Even if its true, so what? People call them “undocumented immigrants” or whatever in order to obscure their true status.

            2. Re: WTF,

              The government passes laws determining what people must do to be in the country legally.

              The government can pass laws that say the sun will rise from the West.

              Your statement is MEANINGLESS. A PERSON cannot be “illegal”. His or her ACTIONS can be illegal, but in THAT case, we call the ACTION itself ILLEGAL, not the person.

              If they break those laws, they are here illegally.

              No, they are not here “illegally”. One does NOT break laws by merely EXISTING. That is what YOU don’t get. They are merely not complying with the requirements the government is imposing in regards to permits. This is why I mentioned as comparison that no one would talk about “illegal drivers” but one would talk about the action itself: driving without a licence. Or being in the US without papers, thus “undocumented”.

              A hair braider is not an “illegal braider” if she works without a license. She’s an “UNLICENSED braider”. She’s not breaking the law by EXISTING, she is merely doing an activity for which the government has not issued her a permit. NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

              This is really not that complicated.

              It isn’t for me, since I do not confer the State any special rights to define ME. GET IT?

          2. That’s a lie. People call them “illegal aliens” as a term of derision.

            No, people call them illegal aliens because that is what they are. The term undocumented is used to try to obscure the fact that they are breaking the law to be in the country. If you are so hung up on “illegal”, let’s just call them criminal aliens then.

        2. Criminal would be accurate. Documented and Undocumented are also accurate. Legal and illegal (from my philosophical point above) are illogical. Like saying hot ice.

          1. I think I have been hellbanned on HyR

          2. I think I have been hellbanned on HyR

          3. Documented and Undocumented are also accurate

            Not really. Illegals have documents, you know. Just not the ones they need to be legal residents.

    2. Nonsense, aliens are “beings from another planet.”

      http://tinyurl.com/znhvv23

      I believe the new correct term is “Premature Citizens”

    3. ILLEGAL DON’T MEAN A SICK BIRD BROTHER

  12. Duh.

  13. Hmm working and didn’t get to listen to it but was expecting an H&R take on trumps foreign policy speech.. Was it more sensible than Hillary “McCain” Clinton?

  14. Sometimes dude you just have to roll with it.

    http://www.Complete-Privacy.tk

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