Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson: Trump and Other Politicians Are Lying to You About Immigration

Libertarian nominee argues that the best way to stop illegal immigration is by 'making legal entry efficient'

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||| Reason
Reason

Donald Trump's so-far incoherent softening this week of his hardline immigration policy is a good time to remind people of a fact that, in a just world, would be cause for painful introspection among Republican politicians and conservative commentators for years to come: This outsider real estate/TV mogul, less than three years after blaming Mitt Romney's loss on the 2012 candidate's "mean-spirited," "crazy," and "maniacal" policy of encouraging self-deportation, managed not only to win the GOP nomination on an explicitly anti-constitutional hostility to immigrants, but to pull almost his entire competitive set into an authoritarian fantasy land where borders can be "sealed," human beings can be treated like FedEx packages, the 14th Amendment can be wished away, and—what the hell!—a wall might be a good idea up north as well.

The GOP's nativist summer was revealing not just in the way that it accelerated the party's long trend away from the Reagan/Bush welcome mat toward a more Tancredoan restrictionism, but also in how it ratified the obviously unattainable demands of conservatism's entertainment wing as the party's preferred policy approach. Those commentators who damn well knew that you could never deport 15,000 illegal immigrants a day (plus another 5,000 or so of their U.S.-citizen children), yet cheered Trump on when he said crazy stuff like that, deliberately chose know-nothingism over reality. Never forget that the same National Review that showily came out "Against Trump" in January, were spending last August editorializing that "Trump's Immigration Plan Is a Good Start—for All GOP Candidates," while its editor encouraged the party to "pander to Trump on immigration."

All of which are reasons why Gary Johnson's column at CNN Opinion today is such a refreshing jolt of reality into a debate in which participants on both sides of the political aisle prefer to perpetuate fantasy. The Libertarian nominee for president gets straight to the point:

Rounding up more than 11 million people—a population larger than all but the 7 largest states in the union—is a ludicrous notion to begin with. Everyone knows it, including Donald Trump. It was a lie cloaked in a promise. Even if it were possible, the idea of federal authorities rounding up millions of people and loading them on buses is an image America could never stomach.

Emphasis mine. I agree with Nick Gillespie that it is good news Trump has flipped on this issue, but there is an underlying sickness with a political tendency that privileges such lies.

More bracingly obvious observations from Johnson:

The fear-mongers would have you believe 11 million people swam the Rio Grande, burrowed under a fence or otherwise sneaked into our communities in the dead of night. Yes, some of them did. But a significant number of undocumented immigrants actually came here legally—and stayed.

Many didn't come—and nor do they remain—for nefarious reasons, but because they found work, established relationships or joined family members. They couldn't stay legally due to special-interest-driven restrictions on their visas. They were students who graduated or found jobs, seasonal workers who found year-round work, or children brought here by their parents.

Of those who did hike the mountains of Arizona or stow away in a container ship, how many of them would have rather come here legally if the line to enter was actually moving? Almost all of them.

||| Reason
Reason

The key to illegal immigration, as we keep telling you here at Reason (and Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did 36 years ago), is to stop looking at it like a criminality problem, and start recognizing it as an artifact of prohibition and bureaucratization. As Johnson writes, "If it took months or years to get a driver's license, how many of us would throw up our hands, get behind the wheel, and take our chances driving without one? You know who you are." The reality of "Get in Line!" is the unspoken tagline: "And stay out." The Libertarian approach? "The way to stop illegal entry is to spend our resources making legal entry efficient for people coming here for the right reasons."

Immigration is not a simple policy issue (one of many reasons why it's still with us politically), and Johnson still has some convincing to do about the details of his approach, not least in terms of how precisely federal authorities will know enough about an immigrant's background, and what the new legal category will be created for former illegals who get right with the law. But here's his opening bid: "No caps. No categories. No quotas. Just a straightforward background check, the proper paperwork to obtain a real Social Security number and work legally or prove legitimate family ties, and a reliable system to know who is coming and who is going. Border enforcement will become what it should be: Keeping out real criminals, would-be terrorists and others sneaking across the border for the wrong reasons."

As entrenched as they may seem today, the two major political parties have each shifted a great deal over the years on immigration. Two decades ago, Bill Clinton's Democratic Party was positively Trumpesque in its security-first, crime-scaremongering approach, and it's only been since 2008 that Democrats have focused so singularly on a pathway to citizenship for those here illegally. But both parties have long since abandoned the notion that you have to primarily change the legal immigration regime if you want a policy that approaches sanity. I can't tell you if Gary Johnson's precise set of policy recommendations is the best approach, but it sure is refreshing to read a politician at least take a legitimate stab of describing the world as it really exists.

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  1. “The way to stop illegal entry is to spend our resources making legal entry efficient for people coming here for the right reasons.”

    And what are the right reasons, Reason? To vote DEMOCRAT? Hmm???

    1. Well, that will stop illegal entry for people coming here for the right reasons. Won’t do a damn thing to prevent people from coming here illegally for the wrong reasons.

      1. Good luck getting anyone at Reason to admit there are actually any bad reasons to come here. When you’ve talked yourself into the position that drug smugglers and welfare recipients aren’t negative externalities of open borders then what’s left?

        1. Drug smugglers are not a negative externality – in as much as they provide people with a good that they want that the state decrees is contraband; John Hancock was an asset to the colonies not a drag on them.

          Of course, those of us who recognize that the welfare state is doomed are really not interested in violating people’s human rights in a desperate attempt to time shift the inevitable collapse to our children’s era.

        2. The bad reason to come here is if you don’t want to bake wedding cakes.

          1. “Bring me a bill guaranteeing the right of illegal immigrants to refuse to bake cakes or make burritos with decorative frosting for gay Nazi weddings and I’ll sign it. But if there’s a zombie apocalypse going on, his ass better have a vaccine scar or he’s on the first bus to TJ.”

        3. The best way to stop those is with a preemptive drone strike on their villages, amiririte brother?

  2. This is, I think, the first time I have read any statement by Gary Johnson that wasn’t based on collectivist notions but premised on natural rights.

    Kudos.

    1. Blind squirrel. …

      1. And yet he’s still right more often than SIV.

        1. SIV is more of a dead raccoon in a trashcan than a blind squirrel.

            1. Can I have that done to my dead body, too? Then fly it over the White House walls, and have it deliver my Libertarian Manifesto to the Dear Emperor… Drop it on His Nappy Head!

    2. This is, I think, the first time I have read any statement by Gary Johnson that wasn’t based on collectivist notions but premised on natural rights.

      Stopped clock…

  3. Johnson has basically states the Badnarik immigration position.

    Which is also mine, although I am sure Johnson and I disagree on details.

  4. Those commentators who damn well knew that you could never deport 15,000 illegal immigrants a day (plus another 5,000 or so of their U.S.-citizen children), yet cheered Trump on when he said crazy stuff like that, deliberately chose know-nothingism over reality

    Remind me how that’s any different from Bernie Sander’s entire “Free Stuff” campaign, or a half-dozen measures which Clinton has entertained.

    Campaign ‘promises’ are mostly about pretending to be Santa Claus to the public’s Id. “Whatever you want! I WILL GRANT YOUR WILDEST DREAMS”. And they’re always ‘softened’ to the point of meaninglessness by the time election day has rolled around. By that point its no longer about giving people their wish-list, but rather convincing them that the other person is going to be their worst nightmare

    1. We can keep our doctors. We’ll get cheap drugs from Canada. We’re closing Gitmo. EVERYTHING IS GONNA CHANGE!

  5. But they took our jobs!* And look at all the taco shops opening up in my neighborhood catering to them!**

    *Despite there being no actual evidence that “they” actually did so.

    **Yes, I frequent those establishment; those tacos are damn good!

  6. While I agree with Johnson, I question his analogy. It is very difficult to get a driver’s license in Europe. How many people just drive without one?

    Is it really that common?

    1. That explains the extremely poor driving I witnessed on my recent trip to Europe…

    2. No it is not. And be prepared twice yearly house visits from the gendarmerie to make sure you are up to date on your immigration status.

      1. Why would there be twice yearly house visits when the government is the one who issues the paperwork and gives immigration status?

    3. People in Europe are descendants of Europeans – people too chickenshit to pull up stakes and move somewhere else where they might find some freedom. Or drive a car if the king hasn’t bestowed his divine consent. People in America are descendants of the Europeans brave enough to say “fuck this shit and kiss my whole ass, king boy, I’m outta here.” Even if they had to go somewhere they weren’t wanted, where they didn’t know the language or the customs, where they only had an opportunity but no guarantees, – you know, people like today’s Mexicans.

      1. People in America are descendants of the Europeans brave enough to say “fuck this shit and kiss my whole ass, king boy, I’m outta here.”

        Or, you know, people who were deported.

        1. Or, you know, people who were imported.
          http://www.jstor.org/stable/2998861

      2. 9.5/10 for the surprise twist ending

        1. That was truly Shyamalan-esque.

  7. If libertarians actually hated the state as much as they hate the nation, they’d actually be good for something.

    1. Question: do people have to operate from a perspective of hate in order to be good for something, or is hate just by definition useless?

      1. Question: Why do you ask stupid questions?

      2. Question: do people have to operate from a perspective of hate in order to be good for something,

        If you are an adherent of any of the totalitarian ideologies (socialism, fascism, progressivism, theocracy, etc.), then you most certainly do!

    2. How can I hate a thing which doesn’t exist?

  8. The best way to prevent the abuse of imminent domain is to nationalize all property.

    1. imminent domain

      Things I learned today: Sam Haysom is a John sock.

      1. Dont you mean: “Sam Haysom es a John sock”?

  9. I think we should build a higher wall. With a shark-filled moat in front of it. A flaming shark-filled moat. You want to come here? Let’s see just how bad you really want it.

    Then we film the crossing attempts and make a reality TV show ou………

    Fuck.

    I think I just figured out Trump’s real plan for building that wall.

    1. I was thinking more a gambling-themed Immigration Roulette. Using land mines along the border and kind of a lottery-style game (every mine has a number like a lottery number – if the one with your number blows up, you get a payoff).

    2. The Americana trench… A 500 foot canyon with machine gun nests and patriot missile installations every 100 yards on the American side, as well as crocodiles and a giant meat grinder at the bottom. Not only do you end the illegal immigration problem, but you have a cheap source for authentic Mexican food!

      /I’m sure some district attorney is gonna take me serious

    3. A flaming shark-filled moat.

      Roasted shark fillets.

    4. Do the sharks have lasers on their heads.

  10. So when Disney makes you line up for a amusement park ride what they are really saying is don’t come to our park? Does anyone actually believe this? When people say get in line generally they mean have to decency to follow the norms and etiquette of the place you just entered.

    1. Disney makes you stand in line with the implicit understanding that you’ll be able to get through it and onto the ride in a reasonable amount of time. If you got to the front of the line and they said “sorry, we already have too many riders from your parking lot, fuck off,” you would see a different dynamic emerge.

      1. ^This.

      2. So who are the real world examples of people who get to the front of the immigration line and then are denied entry. What your really saying is that you should get to pick what reasonable amount of time is. And frankly my response to that is fuck off slaver.

      3. And if the lines at Disney were screwed up and very slow, they’d just say “OK, everyone can come on in now!”

    2. Where Disney used the long lines to create another revenue stream with their Fastpass. Politicians use the immigration system to create a revenue stream for themselves with special Visas for their supporters and such.

    3. So when Disney makes you line up for a amusement park ride what they are really saying is don’t come to our park?

      It works on me.

    4. Yeah but if Disney closed the park to people who never went to Disney before say 1983. I would get a BB gun and take the portly but lovable security guard hostage and me and my family would ride all the rides without waiting in line and without paying.

  11. The key to illegal immigration, as we keep telling you here at Reason (and Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did 36 years ago), is to stop looking at it like a criminality problem, and start recognizing it as an artifact of prohibition and bureaucratization.

    There’s a lot of truth to this, but its not the whole truth. Anything but theoretically pure open borders (disease? no problem! criminal record? no problem!) requires prohibitions and the bureaucracy they entail. You can’t get rid of prohibitions and bureaucracy unless you are willing to have completely pure open borders.

    1. I think your mistake is assuming that most Reasonoids wouldn’t support open borders if they though they could get away with it.

    2. It depends on what the objection to legal immigration is. Making immigration easier satisfies those who truly objection to illegal immigration for the myriad problems it can cause. If you don’t want immigrants at all, it solves none of your concerns.

      1. But making immigration easier just adds more people to the welfare rolls, SugarFree. The welfare system is irrevocably broken, so the answer is to restrict peoples’ free movement. If you don’t see the logic there, you must be drinking too many beltway cocktails.

        1. how is free movement a libertarian cause? Free movement assumes public land (not very libertarian) and that freedom of association doesn’t apply to nations (oddly illibertarian).

          1. The answer you seek:

            Dismantling a ‘Libertarian’ Argument for Restricting Immigration

            The summary:

            All of the ‘harms’ caused by free migration fall into one of two categories:

            1) Acts of trespass against legitimate property owners, which should be dealt with after the fact by punishing actual wrongdoers.

            2) Acts that are legitimate in a free society that make some people uncomfortable. The latter are not legitimately the subject of preventative or retributive violence.

            Neither of these categories, alone or together, justifies the aggression required to enforce a restrictive immigration policy. The damage to society done by the actions required to enforce a restrictive immigration policy are far more damaging to the fabric of society and its capital stock than any peaceful migration of people.

            1. One interesting justification I’ve heard advanced by people who are sympathetic to Dr Hoppe’s arguments is that the state can be treated as a corporation that owns the public roads, ports etc, and that it can legitimately dictate who is permitted to enter a port, while ejecting unwanted trespassers. The citizens are then shareholders, and the management is merely choosing, like a restaurant chain, to exclude certain classes of people from its facilities.

              This is a seductive argument, until one realizes that in practice it is not the case at all. IBM could, for example, decide to prevent anarchocapitalists from entering its facilities in Armonk NY. However, if I were to purchase some land in Armonk, arrange for an airport to be built on it, and fly into the town, IBM would have no cause to physically prevent me from landing on my airstrip. If, on the other hand, I were to by a ranch in Mexico and another in Arizona, build airstrips on both properties and start shuttling passengers between them, the state would still intervene to prevent these flights.

              ICE agents have as much moral justification to show up on my Arizona ranch to arrest me and seize my property as agents working for IBM do: none at all.

              This is an interesting rebuttal to my second point, but it’s flawed. IBM doesn’t claim to have an ownership interest over Armonk. The federal government does.

              1. *in the airspace over Armonk

                /hit enter too soon

                1. The federal government claims ownership over lots of things. Whether they actually ‘own’ those things is a different matter.

            2. The damage to society done by the actions required to enforce a restrictive immigration policy are far more damaging to the fabric of society and its capital stock than any peaceful migration of people.

              How’s that Merkel logic holding up these days?

              1. You mean where the government is refusing to prosecute crimes; suppressing news of criminal activities by the migrants and depriving people of the means of self defense?

                It’s working out terribly. Go figure.

                1. It’s almost like we should address the world that exists instead of assuming can openers, spherical cows, and Libertarian Man.

                  1. Yes it is!

                    Sadly, though, people just insist on supporting government programs that infringe on people’s rights based on pie in the sky ideas that the infringements will magically make those who aren’t politically connected better off.

                    Shocking!

                2. Yeah it’s ridiculous. I have some friends in Belgium and they are rah rah burkini ban as vengence for assaults on topless women and such. The cops in these instances show up take statements from witnesses and then don’t arrest anyone it seems like ever. Yeah I’d be pissed off too, at the fucking police though.

            3. Neither of these categories, alone or together, justifies the aggression required to enforce a restrictive immigration policy.

              As a property owner, I am required to rent to legal immigrants and do business with legal immigrants. I’m required to pay taxes to support the infrastructure, public insurance, and public benefits that legal immigrants will be entitled to at some point. That’s why in Western democracies, citizens have a right to decide who to let into the country and who to keep out, by force if necessary.

              And in a libertarian nation, I would most likely live in a town or city that is a private association, within a building complex or subdivision that is also a private association. Towns and subdivisions would be perfectly free to keep out anybody for any reason and to enforce their opposition to migration with force if necessary. The same principle really applies at the national level as well: the citizens are effectively the owners of the nation, and collectively they have the right to keep others out of their nation.

              1. so you believe you get to have a say in who gets to be born to citizens then too? They are going to be entitled to that public infrastructure, etc. Is there a cap on how many children I can have so that I don’t unnecessarily burden the public infrastructure?

          2. Well, the “free” in “free movement” is a pretty big clue. It should at least serve as a presumption.

            An American wants to hire someone from another country. Isn’t that citizen’s liberties infringed upon?

            And free movement does not assume public land, it assumes some sort of right of way. Classic example: you cannot buy up all the land around me and then deny me permission to leave my property. You might be able to charge me something, but I need a reasonable way of practicing my liberty of movement.

            1. Well, the “free” in “free movement” is a pretty big clue. It should at least serve as a presumption. An American wants to hire someone from another country. Isn’t that citizen’s liberties infringed upon?

              True. But given that we are living in a massive welfare state, hiring someone from another country also imposes large costs and risks on the rest of society.

              So, in a libertarian society, your argument works. In a massive welfare state like ours, it doesn’t. Get rid of the welfare state and libertarians will fully support that argument.

              No, sorry. Freedom of

        2. In other words slaver Hugh thinks he should have full access to your pockets in order to support the immigration policies that he favors. Fuck off slaver.

          1. No he doesn’t.

            You really are a failure at putting words in other people’s mouths.

            1. He seems to have a problem with words generally. For example he doesn’t seem to understand what slavery is.

          2. If you are gonna steal my* line, do it correctly.

            *Technically, the on-time P Brooks used it first.

        3. But making immigration easier just adds more people to the welfare rolls

          Not if rules restricting welfare to citizens are enforced. That really shouldn’t be difficult to do. No blocking people at the border or stopping them anywhere within 100 miles of it to check their status. Just a polite “Sorry, you don’t qualify” if they apply for a welfare program. Those not supporting themselves will quietly leave. Very, very few will die in the streets (although yeah, there might be one or two, or at least it can’t be proven that there won’t be).

  12. Trump and Other Politicians Are Lying to You About Immigration Everything

    FTFY.

  13. I do have to say that, looking at it from a strictly economics-theory viewpoint, it does seem to me that if we have too many people competing for the immigration slots, then we’ve got more demand than supply. And how do we fix that problem? We lower the price of the product by making it easier to get in! Wait, that doesn’t sound right. Aren’t you supposed to raise the price if you have more customers than product?

    Sure, you could correct the imbalance by expanding production – making more immigration slots – but that ruins the cachet and the exclusivity of the product. Pretty soon you’re selling your product to ugh the sorts of people who live in trailer parks, shop at Walmart, watch Jerry Springer, drunkenly chant USA! USA! USA! at sporting events – and nobody wants that kind of trash here.

  14. Johnson will *never* soften…his immigration stance.

  15. This “legal/illegal” debacle is just a proxy to the real problem. The “immigrants from Mexico commit between 3.5 and 5 times as many crimes as the average native, while “all other” immigrants commit less than half as many crimes as natives”, aler.oxfordjournals.org/
    content/early/2013/09/13/aler.aht017.full.pdf. There is no problem with with immigrants, legal or illegal. There is a problem with Mexican immigrants. Importing crime from Mexico makes no sense, while the need for some kind of wall is obvious. The approach suggested by Johnson is not Libertarian as there is going to be a negative effect on population as a whole or on too many individuals currently living in the US (whatever way you want to look at it) due to decreased safety and increased crime rates.

    1. Wow that paper is a piece of shit that uses horribly out of date data from a violence wave that crested 20 years ago.

      1. Immigrant crime or lack thereof is undefined due to a lack of data. Anyone claiming that immigrants are either more or less likely to commit crimes than natural-born Americans is full of shit and pushing their own agenda. The only place it is actually tracked is by DHS in federal prisons, which only makes up a small amount of all prisons and therefore cannot be extrapolated to the population at large.

        I suspect this will never change, because actually collecting this data would run the risk of finding “racist” things.

  16. Rounding up more than 11 million people?a population larger than all but the 7 largest states in the union?is a ludicrous notion to begin with. Everyone knows it, including Donald Trump. It was a lie cloaked in a promise. Even if it were possible, the idea of federal authorities rounding up millions of people and loading them on buses is an image America could never stomach.

    Denying illegal migrants government services, public schooling, public universities, drivers licenses, public retirement benefits, public medical services, Obamacare subsidies, and tax refunds, however, is quite feasible, and may lead to people leaving voluntarily. And that doesn’t even require employment verification.

    1. I’m exuberant over that slice of rationality.

  17. Libertarian nominee argues that the best way to stop illegal immigration is by ‘making legal entry efficient’

    Yeah, and the best way to lower the country’s murder rate is to make killing people legal.

  18. This article was phenomenal. Nicely done Gary!

  19. It’s very interesting information, actually just what I was looking for.
    eye care softgel

  20. For every 7 immigrants that become American citizens, 4 will become Democrats, 2 Republicans, and 1 an independent – those are the stats. Thus open borders is suicide for the GOP and conservatives, and will turn the country blue. That’s why all immigration, not just illegal immigration, should be opposed. It destroys the voice of existing Americans. Without borders you don’t have a country, just like a house without doors doesn’t work well.

    Besides, Johnson isn’t a real Libertarian, he’s a LINO. He believes CRA’64 is constitutional, whereas real libertarians consider government force as anathema – the government shouldn’t be telling a small business what services it must perform. He supports TPP, which Rand Paul opposes and calls a surrender of American sovereignty and crony capitalism. He also believes in the pseudoscientific AGW “global warming” theory and promotes “carbon credits”. Finally, his VP Bill Weld is anti-gun. Why would a libertarian choose an anti-gun running mate?

    1. No one is a real libertarian except you or I for that matter! That is the problem with Libertarians.

  21. Gary is better than nothing and that’s something.

  22. I’m no expert, but it seems to me that any system that would be able to keep bad guys out with background checks has to be able to keep everyone out. If that is what we want, then that has to be in place before granting another amnesty. We know from experience that amnesty encourages immigration and that ‘promises’ of border enforcement are not kept AFTER an amnesty is agreed to, so it must come before. I say all this as someone who basically agrees with Gary on ends.

  23. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.

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  24. Reason’s stance on immigration always fails to note that illegal immigrants?and they are illegal regardless of whether they walked, tunneled, swam, drove or flew?are major beneficiaries of the welfare state which Reason OPPOSES. How do they not bother to square that logic? So while rounding them up may be a bad or even impossible idea, I would apply a very tight filter to any newcomers and make sure any that remained never got to vote and did not qualify for any public benefits. Why? Simple. Because they broke the fucking law.

    Then let’s see how good we look to our neighbors to the south.

  25. Nietzche is the enemy of libertarianism because he is the enemy of natural law. Defeat his ideas and defeat the garbage they have spawned.

  26. Liar, Liar?

    “Put not your trust in princes,
    Nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” -Psalms 146:3

    As the old joke goes, how do you know when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.

    Is Mr. Johnson correct? Is The Donald saying, “Read my lips folks, I’m lying.”?

    During the primaries, Mr. Trump was just a businessman not a scheming politician. That which you saw and heard is that which you were likely to get ? or so it seemed. Now? Who knows? Is he devolving into just another deceitful, mealy-mouthed, lying politician? Hillary with a comb-over? Maybe not.

    Admittedly, Mr. Trump needed to modulate his style. He appears, however, to be shifting his message.

    See “Mr. Gaffe” under …
    http://nationonfire.com/catego…..liticians/ .

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