Criminal Justice

Trump's Insane Immigration Plan Would Add Yet Another Unnecessary Mandatory Minimum

Fast-tracked immigration prosecutions have already cost an estimated $7 billion. Now Trump wants to add mandatory minimum sentences.

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Paul Hennessy/Polaris/Newscom

Donald Trump announced his proposed plan for his first 100 days in office on Sunday, including new mandatory minimum sentences for illegal border crossings, which already make up nearly half of all federal prosecutions annually.

In addition to his—frankly insane—plan to build a border wall and somehow force another sovereign nation to pay for it, Trump's proposal to thwart illegal immigration would establish "a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations."

Currently, illegal re-entry is punishable by up to two years in prison, although a prior criminal record can add more years to a sentence. Last year, Republicans in Congress introduced a bill called "Kate's Law," named after Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed by a man with several violent felonies and illegal re-entries into the country. That bill would have also strengthened sentences for illegal re-entry, but advocacy groups that oppose mandatory minimums say Trump's proposal would go even further.

"This is Kate's Law on steroids," says Kevin Ring, the vice president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. "I don't know if our country has enough backhoes to build all the new prisons we'd have to to implement this dumb idea."

Illegal entry and re-entry is already one of the most prosecuted crimes in the U.S. and sucks up an enormous amount of federal resources. According to a report by Grassroots Leadership earlier this year, prosecutions of illegal entry and re-entry into the country already makes up 49 percent of the federal caseload every year. Foreign nationals make up 22 percent of the federal Bureau of Prisons system, which was operating at 20 percent over its maximum capacity as of 2015. The current average sentence for illegal re-entry is 18 months, according to the report.

To try and deal with both the huge amount of immigration cases and the small number of federal judges, the Bush administration created Operation Streamline in 2005, which allowed federal courtrooms to handle dozens of illegal entry and re-entry cases in a single hearing. The program continued to escalate under President Obama, reaching nearly 100,000 immigration prosecutions in fiscal year 2013. The feds took their foot off the gas in 2014, but roughly three-quarters of a million people were prosecuted under the program over a 10-year-period.

"Nothing has worked to stem the tide [of illegal immigration]," retired federal judge Felix Recio, who served from 1999 to 2013 in Brownsville, Texas, said in a conference call with reporters in July shortly after the release of the report. "The only thing we have done is destroyed the lives of many people who only desired to exercise their human rights to feed and care for their families."

Former federal prosecutor Ken White wrote at the blog Popehat in September that Trump's claim that mandatory minimums would have an impact on illegal immigration is "crowd-pleasing bunk":

Even with fast-track programs in place, and even with immigration crimes taking up a very large percentage of federal criminal efforts, only a small percentage of illegally returning deportees are prosecuted criminally. A tiny percentage of first-time illegal entries face prosecution. There are no resources to do more. U.S. Attorney Offices generally create internal guidelines to determine which cases they'll prosecute. For instance, when I was a federal prosecutor in the 1990s, the Los Angeles office only prosecuted cases involving aliens with prior aggravated felonies or lots of prior deportations. Those days, the office—one of the biggest in the country—indicted about 1,200 – 1,500 cases a year total. That number is lower now. It cannot make a statistically significant impact on immigration crime.

What it can make a statistically significant impact on is the Justice Department budget. The prosecution and incarceration of illegal entry and re-entry offenders under Operation Streamline has cost $7 billion since 2005, according to the Grassroots Leadership report.

Trump's fabulous, just really tremendous border wall could also cost up to $25 billion, according to a Washington Post estimate.

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  1. My lawn! My precious, precious lawn!

    1. This land is your land
      This land is my land
      From the redwood Forrest to the New York Island

      And thus Brooks goes full on country socialist.

  2. In addition to his?frankly insane?plan to build a border wall and somehow force another sovereign nation to pay for it…

    Don’t know cash value of remittances that go south from USA to Mexico every year, but I think that’s the revenue stream big enough and trackable enough to skim for border walls that can be construed as ‘paid for by Mexico.’

    Not advocating such a thing, but that is plausible in my mind as Trump’s actual scheme, if he has one at all.

    1. Exactly, you could tax those remittances pretty easily. Is that a bad idea? Reason thinks so. The problem is they can’t seem to be able to articulate why and instead go with the absurd lie that it is “impossible”. No its not impossible. Is it a bad idea? Maybe I expect too much from reason to explain why that is.

      1. Perhaps something to do with…free markets?

      2. How about something to do with unconstitutional takings?

        Outside of progressive fuck you that’s why invocations of the commerce clause there is no way it would be constitutional

        1. Export Duties are entirely constitutional.

          1. Are they going to make you open your wallet when crossing the border for shopping now?

            “Let’s see, you have $200 in cash and 3 credit cards. We’ll be taking the $200, thankyouverymuchmovealongmovealong.’

        2. Last I looked the Constitution authorized taxation. This is just a tax. There is nothing unconstitutional about it. And you don’t need a progressive view of the commerce clause. The feds have exclusive control over foreign trade and the power to tax it.

          So it is both possible and constitutional. The question is why is it a bad idea? Why shouldn’t Mexicans who live here have to subsidize border enforcement with Mexico? I don’t see why they necessarily should but I also don’t see why it is insane to think they should.

          1. Last I looked the Constitution authorized taxation.

            That having been said, screw the 16th and the horse it rode in on.

            1. This isn’t an income tax. I think you could tax remittances to Mexico under Congress’ power to regulate trade with foreign nations.

              1. If they can do that, then they can impose capital controls.

                1. I think you’re missing the point where there are two parties to the transaction. It is a transfer to a second party.

                  1. I am not missing that at all Brett. It just doesn’t make any difference. There are two parties to my buying a foreign made product as well. But that doesn’t prevent the feds from having the power to tax that transaction in the form of customs’ duties.

                2. If they can do that, then they can impose capital controls.

                  They can. What they can’t do or shouldn’t be able to do is to keep you from taking the money out and keeping it in the country. But they can I think keep you from sending it out, though it would be a really stupid idea.

                  Moreover, taxing is not a capital control. A capital control would be saying you couldn’t do it at all. Taxing a remittance is no different than taxing any other transaction with a foreign nation.

                  1. Taxing a remittance is no different than taxing any other transaction with a foreign nation.

                    Except there is no transaction. The money is going out, nothing is coming back. That means it’s not an excise, duty, or impost. Congress’s taxing power is limited.

                    1. Yes there is a transaction. Your bank is sending money to another bank. In many cases you are paying them to do so. You are exporting money, which is in principle no different than exporting widgets or anything else, all of which can be subject to customs’ duties.

                    2. Is the tax only on bank transactions or all money going across the border? And yes, taxes on the movement of money out of a country are capital controls, albeit not the most severe form. Has there ever been a tax like this in the history of the country? What about supporting documents as to its constitutionality/legality?

                      I see no grant of authority and am loathe both to institute a new tax and moreover to give the left an excuse to impose farther reaching taxes.

                    3. Has there ever been a tax like this in the history of the country?

                      Yes. We have been taxing foreign investment by US companies in different areas for years. I understand you don’t like it. But it is Constitutional. Congress has the power to regulate trade with foreign nations. And sending your money to a foreign nation is trading with that nation. It just is.

                    4. Investment returns are taxed as income. And sending money with no expectation of anything in return is not trade.

                    5. Oklahoma already do this. Its an excise tax on all wire transfers.

                      You can get it refunded on your tax return.

                      Hmmm, so who pays? Illegals.

                    6. Why can’t you impose a duty on the export of currency?

                    7. Why can’t you impose a duty on the export of currency?

                      Strictly speaking, the simple answer is: because it’s never been done, and I don’t see any evidence that the power to lay “imposts, excises, and duties” was ever meant to allow it.

                    8. Strictly speaking, the simple answer is: because it’s never been done,

                      yes it has. If I invest money in a foreign country and then bring the profits back to the US, those profits are taxed. If they can tax money coming in, they can sure as hell tax it going out.

                      Then there is this

                      The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA), enacted as Subtitle C of Title XI (the “Revenue Adjustments Act of 1980”) of the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980, Pub. L. No. 96-499, 94 Stat. 2599, 2682 (Dec. 5, 1980), is a United States tax law that imposes income tax on foreign persons disposing of United States real property interests. Tax is imposed at regular tax rates for the type of taxpayer on the amount of gain considered recognized. Purchasers of real property interests are required to withhold tax on payment for the property.

                    9. Neither of your examples are analogous. This is not about income, and it is not about returns on foreign investments. The money is moving one way, nothing is coming back, and no untaxed gain is being realized.

                    10. This is totally about income. What is income except cash? If you keep the cash in the country, you don’t pay the tax.

                    11. If they can tax money coming in, they can sure as hell tax it going out.

                      In analogous situations, maybe. The analogous situation here would be an American expat living abroad but sending money back to his family in the U.S. He pays income tax on his earnings abroad but his wire transfer is not taxed.

                    12. No, what do you think the individual mandate is in Obamacare? They are penalizing us for NOT engaging in commerce. Clearly they do in fact believe they can “regulate” (tax) anything, everything, and even nothing at all.

          2. “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”

            Do you see what I see??

            “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes”

            “taxes on incomes”

            “on incomes”

            “incomes”

            Taxation on transference of money is not permissible by the 16th. And according to the 10th that means it’s not possible.

            That being said, no one fucking cares about the 10th, so I don’t doubt you can get away with it. Just don’t call it “Constitutional”, you living document commie.

            1. I see now you don’t mean it as a “tax” so much as a charge on money leaving the country through Commerce powers.

              In that case you’re right.

              Commerce Clause has been determined by market-hating progressives like you to mean whatever the hell the government wants it to, so yes. That way you can do ANYTHING you want. Correct.

              1. I personally wouldn’t classify moving your money around as “commerce”, which by definition is “buying and selling of goods and services”, therefore moving your money into a foreign bank account from the US SHOULD not count under the Commerce Clause.

                But because of the bastardization of the Clause I concede that yes, that is possible. But it certainly doesn’t mean you’re operating within the spirit of Constitutional limits on power, you living-document commie.

              2. It is a tax on money going to foreign nations. The Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations. It says so in so many words. There is nothing Progressive about it. It says so.

                Is reading the Constitution as it was written now Progressive?

                1. It’s not COMMERCE if it’s simply a transference of funds. It’s not TRADE.

                  Commerce: Noun, an interchange of goods or commodities, especially on a large scale between different countries (foreign commerce) or between different parts of the same country (domestic commerce) trade; business.

                  Meanwhile a remittance is a transfer of money by a foreign worker to an individual in his or her home country.

                  To get the power you want, YOU TOO have to bastardize the Commerce Clause like the progressives so love to do, by stretching the definition of “Commerce” to mean something it doesn’t.

                  The only difference I see is typically progressives prefer to stretch the definition between “interstate” instead of “commerce”, but the effect is the same. Your plan is to bastardize the Constitution to give the state more power than the Constitution was intended to allow it.

                  I don’t doubt it is possible. I don’t doubt you’d get away with it. But don’t call you’re bastardization of the written law “Constitutional” or act as if this is a power that the Government is actually granted by the Constitution.

                  It isn’t commerce under the clear definition. Your idea would also CERTAINLY open up the law and I have no doubt the political class would use it as a precedent to “tax” money transfers to, say, banks in Cayman. Anything other than US banking and the State will demand their cut.

                  1. Why isn’t it commerce? Isn’t it a part of a commercial transaction? Illegal alien comes here, gets money, wires some back to Mexico. The tax would be on part of that.

                  2. It’s not COMMERCE if it’s simply a transference of funds. It’s not TRADE.

                    That is so stupid, I don’t even know what to say to it. By that logic, estate taxes are illegal. What are they but a transfer of funds?

                    Moreover, customs are not a tax on the sale of foreign goods. They are a tax on the importation of the goods. I have to pay the customs duty to get the goods in the country. Even if I can’t sell the goods, I am still out of the money. So customs duties are a tax on the movement of goods. Sorry but commerce means the movement of cash and goods not just strictly the buying and selling of goods. You are confusing customs duties with sales taxes.

                    You are as bad as the progs. Like Progs you seem to think anything you don’t like must also be un Constitutional. Sorry but it doesn’t work like that, at least not if words have actual meaning.

            2. So, the Supreme Court has ruled that my Obamacare penalty is a tax. Guess what? Not buying insurance is NOT an income.

            3. The FCC taxes I pay on my cell phone and cable bills are also not on income. They are on usage.

            4. {“”on incomes””} The Amendment was to allow Congress to tax INTRAstate. They have always had the authority to tax commerce INTERstate. Your argument is ridiculous. It’s like saying “on incomes” means they can’t impose tariffs. It’s not mentioned in the Amendment because it doesn’t need to be. They have always had that power.

    2. I’m not seeing the insanity.

      Building the wall is just engineering and construction. You may disagree with it from a policy perspective (I do), but its not “insane”.

      As noted, getting Mexico (or, at least, Mexicans) to pay for it is also not terribly difficult.

      ProTip – marginalizing and dismissing people as being insane over policy differences isn’t going to change any minds, and could well fuel exactly the sort of backlash that gave us Trump.

      1. Reason has long stopped trying to convince people of things. It is virtue signaling all the way down and has been for a while. What purpose other than virtue signaling does calling your opponents “insane” serve?

      2. Hungary has already built a wall closing off its Serbian border. The Turks are building a 550 mile concrete wall on their Syrian border, expected to be finished next February.

        Have those who insist a border wall can’t be built ever seen a stretch of interstate highway? A wall may be a dumb idea and it may hurt the feelz of the open borders fans, but it isn’t technically difficult.

        1. They also ignore the fact that we have a number of walls already in place and working. They also forget that the border wall was approved, just not financed quite some time ago.

      3. Well, its is insane once you figure out how much it will cost to build – really cost, not ‘government bid cost’ – and compare that to the net ‘damage’ illegal immigration does.

        The fact that people are taking ‘build a wall’ seriously but consider ‘reduce the welfare state so these supposed moochers don’t have an incentive to sneak in’ to be beyond the pale – *that* is insane.

  3. I am not a fan of mandatory minimum sentencing. So, I am not a fan of this plan for that reason. Even though I object to it, I fail to see how thinking that raising the punishment for something is a way to deter it from happening is “insane”. Does reason no longer recognize incentives or understand how they work?

    Beyond that, so what if it costs more money? The question is should re-entering the country after you have been deported be a crime or should it not. If it should be a crime and long punishments are necessary to make it a meaningful one, then $7 billion is a pretty small price to pay given the enormous amounts of money the feds throw at other problems. If it shouldn’t be a crime, then $1 is too much.

    I understand that reason thinks the borders should be open. That is not an unreasonable position. What is unreasonable is not being honest and arguing that position and just calling anyone who disagrees “insane”.

    If I started a fake internet persona to troll and discredit the open borders position, its trolling would not look that much different than reason’s articles on immigration.

    1. No you are the one who is not recognizing incentives and how they work.

      There is literally no punishment we could apply that would be harsh enough to change the calculus of a poor Mexican with few job skills living in an area controlled by a mix of utterly corrupt cops and Drug Lords on whether to cross the border into America.

      Even a show trial followed by an automatic death penalty for illegally crossing the border regardless of any other factors would still make it worth doing because there still remains the possibility they could avoid detection long enough to make a difference for their family back in Mexico

      1. There is literally no punishment we could apply that would be harsh enough to change the calculus of a poor Mexican with few job skills living in an area controlled by a mix of utterly corrupt cops and Drug Lords on whether to cross the border into America.

        That assumes the US is the only country they could fee too. Moreover, you assume that the only option is to flee. And it is not. Plenty of people stay in these areas. Moreover, if leaving meant risking years in a US prison instead of an easy life doing manual labor or on US welfare, they would look harder to solve the problems where they are.

        You assume Mexicans are some kind of a race of animals who can’t be reasoned with, are unable to make choices or solve their own problems in any way other than to flee to the US. I think of them as human beings who will take the easiest way forward and do what they have to do based on the incentives of the situation.

        1. Um, have you looked at a map recently?

          The only options out of Mexico are the US, Guatamala, and Belize and the latter 2 while possibly being slightly less corrupt are even more poverty striken than Mexico. Every other option requires purchasing a plane ticket and flying through an international airport.

          Sure, one they have crossed the US border illegally they could keep going another 1500 miles to Canada and some of them probably do but it is not a realistic option for the majority of them.

          As far as not fleeing yeah that is an option sure, but you aren’t paying attention when weighing stay here, keep my head down and hope my family isn’t killed by the drug gangs or cops and manages to not starve, stay here and become a rebel and fight against both the government and the gangs and risk watching my family be killed for retribution, or flee to the US to earn money to send back to my family with a tiny chance that I will be caught and send to jail for 2 years (or 5 years) option C still wins

          1. Yeah I have looked at a map. You are aware that just because you come into the US, doesn’t mean you have to stay. If staying in the US meant risking years in prison, my guess is many central Americans would keep on moving until they got to Canada. Mexico has nasty immigration laws and staying there illegally puts you in jeopardy of serious prison time. So Central Americans don’t stay long and just transit on their way to the US.

            And again, not every person leaves those places. Some people stay. Incentives always matter. Even when you wish they didn’t.

            1. No, listen carefully John.

              I am not saying incentives don’t matter.

              I am saying it is not possible for us to apply a punishment harsh enough to make more than a tiny dent in illegal immigration.

              We could make crossing the border illegally a death sentence and it might cut 10% off the illegal immigration rate

              1. How about a worse-than-death sentence?

                1. Okay Mulatto,

                  I saw over the weekend where Lindsey Vonn is now dating Lewis Hamilton. First Tiger Woods, now Hamilton. Lindsey seems to have a taste for the mixed race guy. I am not saying there is a chance, I am just saying there is a chance man.

                2. An hour in Warty’s dungeon?

                  Eternity trapped in SugarFree’s mind?

              2. I am saying it is not possible for us to apply a punishment harsh enough to make more than a tiny dent in illegal immigration.

                The example of Mexico shows that to be untrue. Mexico as bad as it can be is much preferable to Central America and getting there is a lot easier than getting here. Yet, they don’t stay.

          2. Mexico is a big place.

            1. A big place with serious immigration laws and the will to enforce them.

        2. “the easiest way forward and do what they have to do based on the incentives of the situation.”

          What’s your personal preference in the choice between Guatamala, Belize, or America with a slight chance of ending up in American prisons instead of America proper??

      2. That’s not even remotely true. In Texas, a lot of the mexican labor transits home periodically. Being in jail would be a real problem for them.

        1. YES. And lots of them go back after a few years. Currently, more are leaving than coming in. Our migrant problem is coming from Central America. And it is a problem that Mexico has foisted on us by having really draconian immigration laws themselves. A good number of the refugees poring out of central America would stay in Mexico if doing so didn’t risk long prison terms and Mexico didn’t go out of its way to make sure they were transported through and onto the US.

          1. I don’t know what the solution is, but being more draconian seems like the wrong direction to head.

            1. Perhaps. But it is a discussion we need to have. Either we more or less accept the majority of the population of central America or we figure out a way to stop them from coming here. There really isn’t a third option.

              1. I personally didn’t understand what was so bad about W’s plan of increased work visas or whatever.

                Say “Look, we know you’re gonna come here so anyone that wants to come and work, just fill out this short form when you want to cross the border to work.”

            2. Free bus tickets to Canada.

      3. There’s something intuitively unsettling about punishing illegal entry by forcing them to stay here. Violent criminals like the one who made Kate’s law a thing should be deported to an ice floe in the Beaufort Sea. Otherwise, it seems like we ought to be able to do better than to use up a scarce and expensive prison cell on someone looking for work.

        1. If immigration enforcement amounts to catch and release, then there really isn’t much point in doing it. The only way you can enforce any law is by punishing people who violate it.

      4. American prison is probably an upgrade from certain parts of Mexico, yeah.

        If you REALLY want a disincentive, make the punishment deportation to they’re choice: the Congo, Syria, or Libya. You’ve got to make it worse than the worst parts of Central/South America for it to matter. US Prisons, while bad, aren’t that level.

        1. American prison is probably an upgrade from certain parts of Mexico, yeah.

          There is some truth to that. Now think about what that does to the deterrent effect of US laws to immigrants from those places who come here to commit crimes. You really don’t want people in your society who have nothing to lose and see prison as being an upgrade to what they have.

    2. Like with everything, there are diminishing returns where more pressure is at best ineffectual (and at worse, makes things worse – think drug war ramping up) but imposes extra costs.

      We don’t like people sneaking in and mooching? So we’re going to arrest them and put them in prison for two years – where we’ll have to pay for everything *and* they won’t even have the chance to earn any money to offset that cost.

  4. When are Republicans going to wake up to the fact that threat of punishment, no matter how harsh ceases to have ANY deterrent effect on anyone over the age of about 11 to 13?

    1. Depends on what it’s for. If someone’s gonna commit murder, they’re probably not worried about about the prison sentence. On the other hand, if you mandate the death sentence for shoplifting, shoplifting would be much less of a problem. The case at hand is somewhere in between those two (extreme) examples as far as incentive to commit the crime.

      1. Largely not true. The deterrent effect of any given crime is the risk of getting caught, not the severity of the punishment. Extremely harsh punishments of minor crimes might stop teenage thrill seekers from engaging in it but that would be about it

        Middle Eastern cultures that punish the equivalent of shoplifting with chopping off a hand still have to deal with petty thievery

        1. The deterrent effect of any given crime is the risk of getting caught, not the severity of the punishment.

          Strongly disagree. Everyone does a risk/reward analysis when taking an action. The risk side of that equation includes both the likelihood of negative outcome and severity of it. Losing a couple bucks at the slot machine has a high likelihood of negative outcome, but it’s not a big deal. Blindly betting $2k on a football game has a higher likelihood of positive outcome, but could be devastating. Most people would choose the former. The magnitude of the downside is 100% relevant.

          Middle Eastern cultures that punish the equivalent of shoplifting with chopping off a hand still have to deal with petty thievery

          And if you loosened that sentence, there would be exactly the same amount of petty theft? No. Hell no. These things aren’t absolute in any way. Incremental increases in the severity of punishment will be met with incremental reductions in the rate of the crime. You can never eliminate a certain behavior. But heavy punishments do reduce its ubiquity.

          1. Actually the entire point is no, more often than not people do not do a risk reward analysis before taking actions. They perform them sporadically at best and do a horrible job of evaluating risk when they do perform them.

            If everyone did a risk/reward analysis before they took an action Las Vegas would not exist

        2. I am 100% deterred from modifying my AK to shoot full auto because of the deterrent effect of have the fed government vigorously prosecute me and put me in prison for 10 years. So, there is that.

      2. I disagree – there’s no noticable difference in the rate of murder between before and after the removal of/institution of the death penalty.

        This is mainly because people who get caught committing crimes are generally not that bright – they commit the crime because they don’t expect to be caught. If you don’t think you’ll be caught then the severity of the penalty is irrelevant.

    2. Yo! I don’t want to go to jail. I’m 39. I’ll not cross the border illegally in an attempt to not go to U.S. jail, and for damn sure not into Mexican jail.

    3. threat of punishment, no matter how harsh ceases to have ANY deterrent effect on anyone over the age of about 11 to 13

      There are a number of “victimless crimes” that I do not commit solely for fear of punishment.

      The deterrent effect of any given crime is the risk of getting caught, not the severity of the punishment.

      I think, like any calculation of risk, its both combined.

      1. There are a number of “victimless crimes” that I do not commit solely for fear of punishment.

        Definitely This^

        And if you can lose your license, or be denied it all together for said victimless crimes, forget about it.

      2. I have never smoked pot.

        This is entirely because I don’t want it on my permanent record. I don’t want to go to jail. More likely, I don’t want to impede my ability to get a job.

      3. But it is not the severity of the punishment that you fear it is the “possibly getting caught” and being known forever more as “that guy who committed X” that you fear.

        take for example, smoking pot. It’s a misdemeanor, you’re not likely looking at jail time, especially with no priors, you’d probably be looking at a night in jail followed by at worst a 6 month suspended sentence, some community service and a small fine at worst.

        now take anyone who is not deterred by that existing tiny punishment and turn the punishment for even minor pot possession into a 5 year mandatory sentence but leave the odds of getting caught and punished at all where they are, how many of them would be convinced to quit pot because of the harsher punishment? The answer is a tiny tiny percent.

    4. I notice they don’t have much of a drug problem in Singapore.

      1. Yet, when they use drugs, they go hard.

        I’d say the low rate of narcotic use in Singapore is as much a product of the high median level of education and income within the population as much as the draconian punishments meted out to traffickers.

        1. Last time I noticed the US doesn’t have a drug problem either. Just a prohibition problem.

      2. Yeah, actually they do. A bad one. They just don’t have junkies sleeping in the doorways because they kill them.

        I’m not sure that’s *better*.

  5. You dare speak of insane, Reason? What the fuck was that Clinton/Trump vampire clown popup window? THE FUCKING FUCK WAS THAT?!

    Respect. The. AdBlock. YOU ASSHOLES!

    1. I had turned AdBlock off on this site.

      Not any more.

      1. I had to turn it on years ago, because ads were crashing my browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, on Windows and Mac). I just consider my yearly donation/subscription as my share of H&R hosting costs.

        Oh, and looks like something changed somewhere, so I also had to add ||taboola.com custom filter to my AdBlock, because those idiotic “49 celebrities you didn’t know died/are transgendered/are Muslim” links started showing up.

  6. You couldn’t get a Mike Riggs quote from Families Against Mandatory Minimums?

    Does he not work there anymore?

    1. Nope! He moved along a year or two ago.

  7. I’ve already explained the perfect way to end open border policies. Just make it a two way stream. After a few years of Americano hipsters building Starbucks and McMansions all over the hillsides of Mexico and then setting on their way to tell everyone else what to do, the Mexicans will be on the border protesting… to STOP immigration.

    1. If the presence of mtrueman within their borders didn’t convince them to ban every gringo, I fear nothing will.

      1. You’re underestimating the progtards.

    2. That’s actually…not a half bad plan. Of course, you’d have to get Mexico to agree to our shipping immigrating hipsters.

      1. The other sure fire plan is to just let the left continue to have control of the country. Then all of them will voluntarily go home because no one will have a job and they’ll run out of other people’s money.

    3. If Donald Trump advocated the US sending hipsters to Mexico, he really would be the biggest anti-Mexican racist in the history of politics. I understand international statecraft is often dirty but inflicting hipsters on Mexico? Really? Why not just nuke the Mexicans instead. It would be more humane.

      1. Maybe if we build the wall after all the hipsters get to Mexico, I can support a wall.

        1. Yes. How about moving reason headquarters to Mexico City? That would be a hoot wouldn’t it? I would love to see the reason staff actually have to live in a foreign country and a foreign culture rather than eating at an occasional food truck and remarking how educated and tolerant they are compared to the boobs living out in flyover land.

          1. Wouldn’t help. Didn’t Dalmia live in India, and she’s the worst of the lot?

            1. The key is to not let them live in an armed gringo compound.

            2. Dalia is from India. And the experience apparently made her crazy. I was thinking more of the staff who are American.

    4. The reality is that if you’re going to have ‘open borders’ as a part of the libertarian party’s (or any party’s) platform, it has to be reciprocal. If we can’t immigrate just as easily the other direction then it only serves to burden the people who cannot immigrate just as easily. Then we’re left with the burden of listening to all this bitching.

      Mexican’s want to come here for work, I want to open a HaciendaBucks Coffee and Churros in Baja, live on the beach, and generally enjoy the lower cost of living.

      Should we allow immigration – hell yes, but free immigration poses problems.

      1. Yeah. If open borders to Mexico meant Americans could just as easily move there, it would be a lot less objectionable. But the Mexican government would never allow that because they don’t give a shit about anything except staying in power.

  8. illegal border crossings, which already make up nearly half of all federal prosecutions annually.

    As it should be. Sorry, but border enforcement, treason, IP (depending on your take) and a few property and violent crimes in DC should be the only federal crimes to begin with. Therefore the vast majority of federal prosecutions should be for those that cross the border illegally.

    Also, why the fuck are we talking about the morality of immigration policy without coupling it with welfare and other entitlement reform? Because they absolutely must go hand in hand if we are to speak honestly about our broken immigration system.

    1. Is your point that we should encourage more immigration, as immigrants are always younger than the general population and thus are net payers-in to the welfare state?

      1. No. my point is that there are way too many federal laws on the books and that if the right number of federal laws existed, well over half of federal prosecutions would be for illegal border crossings.

        And if you think all illegal immigrants are net payers to the welfare state, then I’d have to vehemently disagree.

      2. Illegal immigrants are a net tax benefit only to the extent that we never let them reap the rewards of their taxation. This seems like Roman-era decadence to me. Especially since they seem to be paying taxes in the hope that one day they will be legalized.
        http://www.theatlantic.com/bus…..es/499604/

        Legal immigrants are a net tax benefit to the extent that we limit immigration to skilled labor.

      3. Fun fact: a family with three kids in public school who shows up at the ER to exploit EMTALA rules each time one of them kids gets the sniffles is a net plus because they pay self employment tax on the $50k per year they make for their assorted piecework gigs. They are younger, after all.

        Tony logic, everybody.

  9. Fun fact for Reason writers: There are two major-party candidates running for President

    Thought you might be interested to know this, doesn’t seem you were aware.

    1. One is running for President. The other is running from indictment in hopes she is handed the Presidency.

      1. One is running trolling for President. The other is running from indictment in hopes she is handed the Presidency.

        South Park might have the only correct perspective on this election.

        1. I accept your correction.

  10. Trump’s Insane Immigration Plan

    …is nowhere near as insane as our current welfare system for illegal immigrants, legal immigrants and American citizens.

  11. So is Trump a goner and reason is just cleaning out their notebooks or do they think he’s got more of a shot than the rest of the media is publicly saying? Jesse Walker, please investigate.

    1. They think they’re just spiking the football now.

      1. I guess other than generating a lot of comments from the ten people who comment in every article, I don’t understand the motivation. If he’s already toast, I would think that the message from the online editor (who I am reliably told is NOT KM-W) would be to move on to things that really matter, as Trump’s plan and Brett L’s plan for the southern border have the same effect on the real word, if, indeed he is so thoroughly beaten and was already out of favor with the GOP House and Senate.

        1. Note to reason staffers, that email works, and I will send you a semi-coherent policy memo that promises to annoy 100% of the reason commentariat over some plank.

          1. annoy 100% of the reason commentariat

            I don’t think they need any help with this

            1. I’m just saying, they could run Brett L’s Incoherent Immigration Policy and generate the same outrage if that’s what they’re going for.

    2. Hillary’s not 50 points up. Let the pants shitting resume.

  12. Every time Trump gets momentum, it’s like he intentionally pulls out some retarded shit like this. I keep thinking back to that call he got from Bill Clinton encouraging him to run as a Republican. Is that conspiracy theory as conspiracy as it once seemed? Or are Trump voters really that retarded?

    1. (B) is true regardless.

  13. John, if Mexicans are fleeing here, just take it as a compliment on behalf of this great country. You Trumpian morons need to explain exactly what you think the threat to you is.

    Is your plan to make this country such a dictatorial shithole that they stop wanting to get in?

    1. Tony you are an idiot. You just are. You can’t seem to grasp that anyone other than an evil white male could in fact be someone you don’t want to meet. You mean well. I don’t think you are a nasty person in the way Joe from Lowell is but you are never going to grasp these issues in anything but your own simple and narrow minded way.

      1. I am aware of every excuse given for being anti?Mexican immigration (Swedish immigration never comes up, for some reason). They’re all bullshit. I’m just curious which version of bullshit you personally buy into, or if you don’t bother and freely admit to the eugenics angle.

    2. Our plan is to keep the country from becoming a corrupt dictatorial hellhole like Mexico.

      Mexico is what it is because of the people who live there. Bring them here, and the US becomes more like Mexico.

      Particularly relevant for a supposedly Libertarian site, Hispanics, first or second generation, want bigger government by a 3-1 margin.

      PEW Research on Hispanic Americans
      http://www.pewresearch.org/fac…..democrats/
      Hispanics Lean Democratic over 3 to 1
      http://www.pewhispanic.org/201…..-religion/
      Hispanics Want Bigger Government Providing More Services over 3 to 1

  14. I see someone lit the retard signal.

  15. No better way to rid your country of illegal immigrants than to forcibly hold them at taxpayer expense in your prison system!

    1. No, send the bill for their incarceration to their countries of origin.

  16. Trump’s Insane Immigration Plan

    It’s “insane” for the chief law enforcement officer to enforce the law?

    1. Immigration law is enforced up the ass thanks to race hysteria. It is enforced beyond all measure of human decency. Rounding up and deporting tens of millions of people, however, is simply not feasible.

      1. Immigration law is enforced up the ass thanks to race hysteria a great boon to lawyers and cop unions that is basically treated like a joke by both.

      2. They got here under their own power, and most can be incentivized to leave under their own power. We won’t need to drag 15 million people into vans.

      3. Enforced up the ass?

        Tens of millions of illegals in the US would indicate otherwise.

  17. how to pay for the wall? Subtract the cost from the foreign aid we send to Mexico.

    In 2014, Mexico received a total of $332,311,612 in foreign assistance from the U.S. That breaks down into $281,093,177 in economic assistance and $51,218,435 in military assistance.

    How to control immigration? Make it economically unprofitable to stay here. Canadians, Mexicans, Chinese etc do not come here because they love the philosophical implications of our constitution and the positive effect that a Constitutional Republic has on the general state of mankind. They come here for the money, that is how they define freedom – the ability to be paid decent amount of money (highly subjective BTW) for their work.

    1. Agreed. And all the welfare goodies are a plus. I often see illegals using food stamps.

      1. Wow, you can detect “illegals” on sight? That’s amazing!

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  20. Enforcing the law – that’s just *craaaazy* talk

    Not only should we enforce the law against illegal immigrants, we should send the bill for their arrest, prosecution, and incarceration to the countries of origin.

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