The Immoral 'Rule of Law ' Behind Trump's Deportation Regime

It is wrong just like Fugitive Slave laws were wrong.


Donald Trump has barely been president for six weeks. And already, he has declared a full-blown war on undocumented immigrants.

karenklipo via / CC BY-NC

America's 45th president has ordered deportation raids in at least half a dozen cities, issued an executive order making all undocumented immigrants — not just "bad hombres" — fair game for removal, and threatened to defund sanctuary cities.

His agenda is harsh and may well set the stage for a moral showdown not unlike the one America saw in the run-up to the Civil War. At that time, a renewed crackdown against fugitive slaves generated a massive abolitionist backlash, ultimately ending slavery. Similarly, Trump's loathsome anti-immigrant actions are provoking a widespread resistance movement that may finally weaken immigration restrictionism.

Now, obviously, I'm not trying to compare slavery itself to illegal immigration. But the same "rule of law" argument that was made to forcibly return fugitive slaves to bondage in the 19th century is now being made to forcibly return undocumented workers to their home countries, resulting in an escalating — and, paradoxically, ever more lawless — use of state violence.

Consider the history:

Four years after the U.S. Constitution effectively enshrined slavery, Washington passed its first Fugitive Slave Act, granting slave owners a "right" to recover their "property." But by the beginning of the 19th century, free Northern states such as Pennsylvania, appalled by the inhumanity this entailed, started passing laws barring slaves from being removed from their territory. This was finally challenged in the Supreme Court in Prigg v. Pennsylvania in 1842, resulting in a mixed ruling. Since federal law superseded state law on this issue, the court noted, Pennsylvania could not stop Uncle Sam from hauling slaves away. However, the federal government could not force the states to assist its removal efforts either.

Less than a decade later, many of the free states and the feds were in full-blown showdown mode, paving the way for the Civil War. The feds passed the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, ramping up enforcement against fleeing slaves. The law criminalized harboring or assisting fugitives, imposing fines and jail sentences on "abettors." It offered monetary rewards to private citizens who assisted in capturing runaways and appointed special magistrates expressly to issue search and arrest warrants.

Outraged, Northern states responded through subversion, tightening personal liberty laws barring local authorities from cooperating with the feds. They instructed city constables neither to arrest fugitives nor allow Uncle Sam to use local jails to park the alleged slaves after arrest. These laws gave freed slaves and white abolitionists — farmers, businessmen, and homeowners — the space to create routes to cross the Mason-Dixon Line to the North where a vast network of safe houses — underground railroads — cropped up to shelter runaways, all of which undermined the moral authority of slavery.

A similar dynamic is unfolding today between a federal government hunting down undocumented immigrants and the local governments trying to protect them.

Even before President Trump's election, four states and some 300 cities and municipalities had declared themselves sanctuary cities. What that means varies, but basically, just like the "personal liberty states" during slavery, these jurisdictions cannot prevent the feds from hunting down undocumented immigrants for deportation. However, they don't assist these efforts either, except when there are violent felons involved or when ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents actually produce a warrant. It is a stance of non-cooperation.

Since Trump's election, some municipalities, such as Miami-Dade County, have caved in to his threats to cut off funding and ended their sanctuary policies. In addition, some red states are cracking down on their sanctuary cities, threatening to withhold state funding and even fine them and charge their officeholders with felonies. Arizona is working up a bill to seize the assets of pro-immigration protesters.

But just as personal liberty states proliferated during slavery, "sanctuary jurisdictions" are proliferating under Trump now. "In general," notes ACLU's Jonathan Blaze, "Trump has spurred a new wave of protective policies, with some states and dozens of localities reaffirming or expanding existing policies and a number of new ones establishing policies for the first time." California, a sanctuary state, is developing a legal challenge to Trump's executive order to cut off federal funding. Even some health centers, college campuses, and transit lines such as BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) have declared that the feds will have to conduct all immigration enforcement actions without their assistance.

Apart from such public entities, scores of private churches, synagogues, and civic bodies are also jumping in to help. St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin has declared itself a sanctuary church. Usually authorities leave religious establishments alone even though technically they are public spaces and don't require a warrant to enter to conduct law enforcement action. However, religious leaders in California are not counting on the Trump administration to have any such compunctions. Hence, in addition to providing legal and other services, they are also building an underground network of houses where undocumented and mixed-status families can live in hiding.

All of this means that the Trump administration will encounter massive resistance as it ramps up enforcement. And overcoming it will require ever-harsher tactics that will underscore the odiousness of the enforcement regime.

Restrictionists insist that leaving undocumented immigrants alone violates the sanctity of the rule of law. Whatever sense this makes in the abstract, enforcing it requires unleashing intrusive state actions on "crimes" without any victims. And this confronts people with what University of California's John S.W. Park calls the "Huckleberry Finn Problem."

Huck Finn in Mark Twain's novel could not bear to turn in Jim, a fugitive slave, even though he believed that freeing black men was a sin against both man's and God's law that would earn him a sure-fire ticket to hell. But Jim hadn't hurt anyone and Huck ultimately couldn't find it in his heart to betray a good fellow whose only sin was to try and improve his lot. "Inflicting the law became hard," notes Park, "when there was so much evidence of common humanity."

Restrictionists instinctively realize the inherent inhumanity of their position, which is why they have to go to great lengths to depict undocumented workers as criminals — "bad hombres" — even though the reality is the exact opposite. And restrictionist pundits like Victor Davis Hanson go even further, suggesting that sanctuary cities are the modern-day neo-Confederates whose insurrection is "unsustainable in a republic of laws."

But such blatant attempts at moral inversion will inevitably collapse once stories about ICE hauling away folks like Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco, an Illinois restaurant owner who served free meals to firefighters returning from a blaze, penetrate the public consciousness. Protests will escalate along with government efforts to quell them. People who are not paying much attention will inevitably wake up and recoil in horror.

Why? Government force is legitimate when proportional to the legal transgression at hand. When it isn't, it's best to rethink the law. Trump's crackdown on the undocumented is not just disproportional, but also misdirected at people who mean no harm. The tragedy is that under this president, the country will find out the hard way — and only after many innocent casualties.

This column originally appeared in The Week

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176 responses to “The Immoral 'Rule of Law ' Behind Trump's Deportation Regime

  1. Shorter Shikha: Rule of law is bogus when I don’t like the law.

    1. Rule of law is bogus when the law is unjust. Obviously.

      1. Be clear. You mean unjust by your subjective standards.

  2. Toddler President Fooled Again by Fox & Friends Propaganda

    At about 6:12 a.m. on the East Coast, it was time for some “HEADLINES.”
    “A win in the war on terror,” a woman’s voice declared. “The Trump administration just killed a former Guantanamo Bay detainee released by Barack Obama….One hundred twenty-two prisoners released from Gitmo have returned to the battlefield.” The report did not note that of the 122 prisoners who were released and then reengaged in terrorism, 113 were released by the administration of George W. Bush.

    At 7:04 a.m., the president tweeted: “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!”

    President Ritalin later corrected his false Tweet. In Bizarro America.

    1. It is a good thing you are not a troll or anything. Otherwise, you would never comment on the cop threads or the pop culture threads or anything except post partisan bullshit.

      They do a bad job training you dumb asses. If you would ever post anything but partisan bullshit, people might not see through your act so easily. Of course, doing that would require hiring people to troll who were not complete retards. And that apparently is more difficult than it seems.

      1. Not that you are defending Trump.

      2. He’s probably Matt Welch’s troll account.

        1. Welch is smarter than that. I am not sure he could pretend to be this stupid.

        2. Nah, just one of the last libertarians remaining in this Republican hangout.

          1. You keep using that word.

          2. There does seem to be plenty of Neocons and Trumpalos here. Probably just push back from half the staff being obsessed with kissing leftist ass, rather than intelligent journalism.

        3. SMELL LIKE BO

  3. Fucking Federalism, how does it work?

  4. Are we just going to ignore the fact that President Obama deported 2.5 million illegal immigrants during his time in office or does that just detract from the narrative?

    1. Yea so why are they “resisting” now

    2. False narrative. Obama changed the reporting standards on “deportations” to include people turned away at the border.

      1. Are you implying Obama would lie about such a thing? He said they were DEPORTED.

      2. Well, and Trump is changing the reporting standards too! People “deported” by Trump have just been incentivized to leave the country, in the nicest possible way!

  5. Dear god

    You are comparing cracking down on illegal immigrants that is slightly more than obama did to fighting for freeing the slaves

    And what “resistance”?

    1. Not to mention that Dalmia is employing exactly the same rhetoric as the anti-abortion crowd who compare Dredd Scott to Roe v. Wade.

      1. True, but the anti-abortion argument makes more sense, because they are discussing whether or not a fetus is a person worthy of rights (the same issue being discussed in Dred Scott, with regards to slaves). No one is denying that illegal immigrants are persons and they receive a hearing before being deported, so they aren’t even being stripped of rights.

        Shikha’s argument is intellectual laziness

  6. Other than that stupid tweet of hers a few days back I don’t get all the negativity to Shika Dalmia’s articles here.

    The above is a sound political analysis, not to mention staking out the moral high ground, something libertarians should always be doing and damn any blowback from the tribalists.

    1. It is nothing but one long exercise in question begging. All she is saying is “this isn’t a rule of law issue because the law is invalid.” Well, that is the whole fucking question, isn’t it?

      And as far as the tweets go, she justified and condoned political violence. That pretty much disqualifies her from being taken seriously on about anything.

      1. So, your proposition is that all laws, all the the time, are to be followed without question? The following of all laws, all the time, should be the moral and political norm?

        Yep, that sure sounds very libertarian to me.

        The tweet was awful and stupid and she was called on it.

        1. How do you pick and choose what laws to follow then? Is there some code? As everyone has different preferences

          This is why i favor getting rid of most laws.

          1. Yes, it’s called a moral compass and/or a conscience, there’s a long and honorable history of law-breaking to highlight injustice and end it.

            1. Sure. And why are immigration laws immoral? Shika never bothers to explain that. She just assumes it.

              1. US immigration policy is a mess. Libertarians should be doing the hard work of why everything needs to be reformed and new policies put in place and NOT cheering when families are shattered and children wrenched from their parents through state-sanctioned force.

                1. Who is “cheering” and your concern is dishonest as i am not sure the target is children of illegals

                2. NOT cheering when families are shattered and children wrenched from their parents through state-sanctioned force

                  Who, exactly, is doing that?

                  1. He or she is making it up because they know their argument sucks

                3. NOT cheering when families are shattered and children wrenched from their parents through state-sanctioned force

                  The only ‘cheering’ I ever remember where a family was shattered and a child was wrenched from their home is when Elian Gonzales was torn from the arms of his family and handed over to communists.

                4. How tall is that moral high horse you’re riding?

                  Maybe you should climb off it now.

                5. So, you don’t have an actual argument except that you don’t like the law.

                  There are lots of laws I don’t like. There are laws that I think are cruel. I don’t compare them to slavery.

              2. And why are immigration laws immoral?

                If someone wants to travel to a new place to live and work, it is immoral to prevent them from doing so by force.

                1. I’m really glad to hear that. I’ve been planning to start up a little woodworking shop in your garage but those trespassing laws had me nervous.

                2. Such an attitude runs afoul of property rights.

                3. If someone wants to travel to a new place to live and work, it is immoral to prevent them from doing so by force.

                  Tell it to the anaerobic bacteria, buddy, because they fight invaders coming in to find new places to live and ‘work’

                4. If you come on my land, I’ll shoot you.

                  Your right to travel is not absolute.

                5. Juice: “If someone wants to travel to a new place to live and work, it is immoral to prevent them from doing so by force.”

                  Then countries are immoral because the very essence of a country is to draw a distinction between people who have the legal right to reside there and those who do not.

                  If you think that living in the US (or the West) is just the same as anywhere else, you’ve never been anywhere else.

                6. Then, virtually every country in the world is “immoral”.
                  What a stupid argument!

              3. Yes. She starts off with the presupposition that restrictions on immigration are immoral, then proceeds to excoriate enforcement of immigration laws as being immoral. She never explains *why* they are immoral. Why does a country have no right to control immigration or to prosecute those who illegally immigrate?

            2. Who determines the morality? Ive seen folks justify assault cause it is used on people they dont like and they consider it moral

              1. When did reach appoint when commenters stopped understanding the NAP?

                1. When did you stop thinking that economic harm isn’t actually harm?

                  Like many will probably tell you, get rid of the welfare state then we can talk about immigration law.

                2. What could be more aggressive than forcefully occupying a space they are not entitled to?

        2. So, your proposition is that all laws, all the the time, are to be followed without question?

          No. Nothing I said implied that. What I said was, the entire debate is about whether this law is valid. Shika just begs that question and assumes it is invalid and argues from there. It is a worthless article.

          1. She is saying there are many here that, although technically breaking immigration laws, are doing no harm and the law here is an ass. Unless you think breaking up families, separating children from parents etc. represents some kind of moral high ground.

            1. They arent the ones being targeted. It is impossible to go after all of them. That is why priority is on arrests, charges and convictions

              1. Families are being targeted and young children separated from parents. It’s disgusting and antithetical to everything libertarianism represents.

                1. Maybe some anecdotes that makes for some good emotion. Im curious if those folks in families have any arrests or charges?

                  What is your proposal here?

                2. The priority is criminals, those arrested and charged for a certain number of crimes

                3. The true scotsman has spoken. So your answer is simply to go with your feelz that you know(tm) are right. Why isn’t sending a thief and a parent to prison breaking up a family? Or maybe it is in your worldview.

                  The parents did not have to subject their kids to this risk; they chose to. “But they just wanted a better life!” Well don’t we all. That doesn’t enable me to squat on your land or take your property even if doing so would be a minor nuisance. It’s still your property and not mine.

                  1. That doesn’t enable me to squat on your land or take your property even if doing so would be a minor nuisance.

                    Don’t give them ideas.

                4. I’m pretty sure that parents, when deported, are free to take their children with them. If not, we should correct this.

                  I know a girl, sweetheart but a bit of a mess. She fell in with the wrong guy and is doing time for cooking up meth. Needless to say, she and her young children have been separated, without any option of getting together.

                  Sadly, children often suffer the consequences of their parents’ poor choices. If you are convinced it could be otherwise, you may send me a check to make up for my not having been born to millionaires.

                5. Since when do libertarians make a special carve-out for families and young children?

                  Your appeal to emotion isn’t libertarian. It’s religious.

            2. “Outside of committing crimes, they are committing no crimes.”

              Why is it OUR job to keep families together? The parents are free to take the child back home. We aren’t holding the child for ransom.

              1. “our” “we”

                either you’re a border agent or a collectivist

                1. Or you’re somebody who believes that you, as a member of the country, has the right to determine who is and who is not permitted to enter.

                2. Get off my porch, bitch

            3. So what? That doesn’t necessarily make the law invalid.

            4. The kids can go back to Mexico too. I’m not forcing them to stay.

    2. Comparing slavery to immigration laws is a :sound political analysis”?

      Not even close.

    3. The article consists almost entirely of feelz – check out the penultimate paragraph for a prime example.

      1. Shikha is Ipecac. If I’m in binge-purge mood, I don t visit the corner vomitorium.

        I read Shikha.

    4. It’s called SDS (Shikha Derangement Syndrome).

    5. not to mention staking out the moral high ground, something libertarians should always be doing

      There’s a difference between ‘staking out the moral high ground’ and ‘hyperbolic emotional rant about how “it’s just like slavery, man” that actively delegitimizes your argument.’

      Posting photos of sad eight year olds is more effective and honest.

    6. Moral high ground? You mean like “when in doubt treat it like it is an actual human being deserving of liberty” sort of high ground?

    7. How do other countries treat illegal immigrants?

      Deporting them to their home country seems like a reasonable thing to do.

      If this were truly an outrage, Canada would offer to take them.

      1. Apparently, any country but the U.S. is a hell hole where no one can live, so it would be morally irresponsible to deport anyone back there.

    8. Get rid of the welfare state & we can have a discussion.

      Or are you advocating free ridership?

  7. They are being deported…not thrown in prison

    1. They are being deported in the bilge a large, stinky, leaking ships.

    2. But… innocent casualties!!

    3. For some it’s probably more like being kidnapped and dropped off in a foreign country.

      1. The country they came from is foreign?

        1. I’m sure there are examples. Such sob stories are used to drive the narrative.

          1. Your cold heart arouses me.

      2. Too fucking bad

  8. A similar dynamic is unfolding today between a federal government hunting down undocumented immigrants and the local governments trying to protect them.

    You mean when the local cops and landowners conspire together to enslave some Central American serfs?

    1. And did you know that any local cop can at any time conscript you to go after a fugitive illegal?

      Dalmia is profoundly ignorant. And she likes it that way because knowing anything might cause her to question her beliefs. No one wants that.

      1. You hate all of Reason’ writers. Why are you still trolling this place?

        1. Because I like picking on retards like you. If you weren’t here, I would have no reason to come anymore. But alas, i just can’t resist kicking around stupid people. it is a vice.

          1. A boot stamping on a stupid face forever.

          2. So… ‘cuz you’re a ‘tard?

            1. No, because you’re a ‘tard.

              Didn’t the orderly ready John’s post to you?

        2. We all know why YOU troll this place, Weigel. Because you’re an insane cretin who can’t get over the fact that Welch fired your worthless dumb ass.

        3. still? You showed up after the election.

        4. Shikha is the worst and most deserving of our disgust. Now that Sheldon Richman went bye-bye

    2. Basically.

  9. It’s cute that Dalmia thinks that the “sanctuary” policies put in place in every liberal jurisdiction have anything to do with her organization’s open borders position.

  10. Since we dont allow anyone in with no questions asked is that inhumane? How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go with this logic….is it not humane to kick out renters onto the street if they no longer pay? Do i have to let anyone in my house that wants to come in?

    1. Most open borders people will tell you that private property is totally different and stuff. By implication they’re telling you that a natural right is predicated on the existence of public property, acquired through taxation and/or eminent domain.

      1. Yep. Who established these natural rights anyway? A sky god? As many countries have different versions.

        And for them how does one establish who gets to own, where and size of property in first place? They dont want to admit it requires a system of govt to determine and respect it

        1. I’m a fan of the theory of natural rights/law for the record. My only point is that a “right to immigrate” cannot possibly rise to the level of a natural right, like a right to life would. Perhaps a contractual or legal right as circumstances dictate but not natural law. So when the Shikha’s of the world tell you that it’s a violation of someone’s right to have immigration policies in existence, they aren’t talking about legal rights or privileges, they’re asserting a natural right to access public and/or private property which if true would constitute a logical contradiction to natural law. It’s an argument that subtly refutes itself.

  11. “”””Now, obviously, I’m not trying to compare slavery itself to illegal immigration.”””

    Except that is what you did.

  12. It is wrong just like Fugitive Slave laws were wrong.

    She takes a monumentally stupid comparison and doubles down on it. Since I disagree with her, and telling her how invalid that comparison is has gotten nowhere, I guess now all that’s left to me in settling with Dalmia is brute force.

  13. First it is impossible to deport the 13 million illegals or anywhere close to that.

    Second this is slightly more priority with arrests than the obama admin for which the resistance was non existent

    If you havent been charged, arrested or convicted of a crime then you probably dont have much to worry about

    1. First it is impossible to deport the 13 million illegals or anywhere close to that.

      Remember all the stories about immigrants crossing over to Canada?

      People respond to incentives. Cut off benefits, cut off employment, end birthright citizenship, and the US will look a lot less appealing.

      Bush was deporting 300K per year.

      Ike apprehended 1mil in the first year of Operation Wetback.

      13 years. And that’s if a government 5 times the size can only keep the same rate as Ike.

    2. In addition, for illegals, it would still be a good idea to keep your head down and not associate with any known criminals. You can still get scooped up just by being in the wrong place and the wrong time.

    3. It is quite possible to deport 13 million illegals, just hire the 90 million out of work to track them down. See problem solved.

  14. The 13th amendment formally outlawed slavery (a law)

    The emancipation proclamation technically did not

    Perhaps congress should get off their ass foe the peaceful legals to make them permanent legal residents if they wish or temporary migrants legal if they seek to spend time in one country and come back for say a season every year

    I dont want a civil war over this

    1. That would be the decent thing to do. I join your sentiment.

      1. That won’t happen because people like Shika would never agree to it. They want voters. They don’t give a shit about the actual immigrants.

    2. Current illegal immigrants do NOT need a “path to citizenship”. It’s will withing the power of the government to create a type of permanent legal residency where there is not such path. They would still be legal residents. This *should* be perfectly acceptable to pro-illegal immigration factions, but the rhetoric usually involves a call for a “path to citizenship”. This points to the real agenda of many of these groups being not to legalize illegals, but to increase votes for Democrats for whom it’s assumed the great majority of illegals would vote (either personally or by proxy).

      1. In fairness to the Dems, although they’d certainly like citizenship for current illegals, they would probably be satisfied with just letting the illegals stay so that their children (the Dreamers!) and grandchildren can vote.

    3. Congresscritters know the risks of declaring that legitimately passed laws shall no longer exist.
      They open themselves up to an opponent’s criticism, of them not believing in their position as lawmakers, of denying the legitimacy of Congress and the attack of what other laws they might feel should no longer exist.
      Doing an Emily Litella, saying “never mind”, about a law on the books, is not a position any lawmaker wants to hold.
      Immigration policy is a Constitutional power, relegated to Congress. They have to take a position and, even people, like the idiot Shika, will not admit to a belief that open borders is a sound policy.
      PS: There is no such thing as an illegal alien, who hasn’t violated laws, other than crossing the border or overstaying a visa. The most frequent being identity theft, that for a citizen is a major offence, but seems to want to be overlooked by the open borders crowd

  15. Finally, a clear argument about the fundamental flaw in the “rule of law” argument. Additional examples more recent than the fugitive slaves laws would include Jim Crow and anti-gay statutes which were quite popularly supported until overturned by “judicial activists”. In each case, the function of the “rule of law” has been to make illegal a status or activity that is simply part of human life..

    1. Ok murder is part of human life? Do you want to go down that rabbit hole?

    2. Theft is a part of human life

      War is a part of human life

      1. Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

    3. The only flaw in this reasoning is nobody worth taking seriously is actually using the “rule of law” argument against open borders.

    4. You got to be kidding? Jim Crow in comparison to enforcing immigration laws?

    5. The fact that there have been unjust laws does not mean that immigration laws are inherently unjust.

      (Are you really that dim or are you just an ideologue?)

  16. ANOTHER column comparing illegal aliens to slaves? Really, Shitka?

  17. Ok here it goes: illegal immigration is an unjust law because the only victim is the state. It commits no wrong against any individual.

    1. So should the borders be opened?

      1. As long as you seem like a reasonable dude, why not

    2. What about the legal immigrants who waited for a visa? I’ve never met a legal immigrant that was in favor of illegal immigrants.

      1. Visas kinda suck too. Why should a company have to prove they can’t find a native American?

    3. illegal immigration is an unjust law because the only victim is the state

      This is when you know Open Borders “libertarians” aren’t libertarian.

      The victims are the American people, as immigrants force bigger and bigger government on them.

    4. Really? Taxpayers aren’t harmed?

      Aren’t illegals the very picture of free riders?

  18. Is it wrong to deport illegals who have felonies?

  19. Wow, I guess now Dipshit Scumbagetta is claiming that any immigration law other than a completely open border (which every country on has) is akin to slavery?

    Not quite as totally unhinged as when she advocated violence against those that disagree with her, but pretty close.

  20. Please note that trump didnt make the immigration law or start ice or border patrol

    I think it gets a little hairy when you use selective enforcement of law. How does one pick and choose? If you friends have done something wrong is it ok to not enforce for them but enforce for others?

    Note this priority is for criminals and those arrested with certain crimes and charges. It is impossible to deport 14 million or even close to it.

    I suggest congress pass immigration reform

    1. Immigration law should be enforced. If they are bad laws, they should be changed. If the current elected officials will not change them, *they* should be changed. illegal immigrants chose to break the law. Slaves had no choice. Big difference. If we start choosing which laws to enforce and which to ignore, laws become meaningless. Civil society eventually breaks down. Trust deteriorates. Instead of a Rule of Law, we get Rule of Power” (aka Rule of Men).

  21. I’m amazed at all the new names in the comment section. Simply amazed. Great article Shikha! You’re one fine, upstanding statist boot licker!

  22. Also i have issue with those who are legal and decided to follow rules by jumping thru hoops versus if you sneak in should be all good.

    Make it easier via the law. Congress should get off their ass and represent. As trump i dont think fully got the memo that in Washington it is mainly theater and optics while he thinks it is about fulfilling campaign promises

  23. “I don’t want to compare illegal aliens to slaves, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do”

    Let’s ignore for the moment that slaves were fleeing certain deaths and unimaginable cruelty, whereas illegals in America mostly live comfortable lives receiving tax payer support. By Shikha’s standard, every nation that enforces deportations on the dot are guilty of relying on the “rule of law” behind the “fugitive slave act”. If I was illegal in Mexico or Canada, I would be in imminent danger of being detained and processed for deportation regardless of my family situation.

    Every 4 years some pissed off partisans threaten to move to Canada (not Mexico). And every time Canadians gently remind them just how difficult it is to become a citizen in that country, or that immigration enforcement isn’t any more merciful. It’s reasonable to expect deportation process to be humane, but the removal of unlawful aliens is pretty much a global standard.

    How often do we cringe when libs compare mistreatment of chicken to the holocaust? Or when they charge that libertarian proposals will result in starving children thrown out into the streets? We observe how rowdy, violent protests will actually turn off people and may even encourage them to support Trump. But this sort of tasteless rhetoric will also turn some heads. Shikha is damaging her cause, not empowering it.

    1. Excellent comment. Her columns are so silly one could argue Shikha is a secret Trump plant whose mission is to discredit opponents of immigration enforcement.

  24. Slaves were brought here against their will. Illegal immigrants chose to come here. The difference is so obvious it is ridiculous.

  25. Mexico is not a slave plantation.

    If it is, we should invade and liberate the people so they can stay there in peace.

    1. Annexing Mexico would certainly simplify border security.

  26. “Despite the obvious differences between slavery and immigration, fugitive slaves were the illegal immigrants of their time, banned by law from selling their labor to whomever they wanted wherever they wanted.”

    “Banned from selling labor as they please” is … not … quite the same as “forced to labor for someone else in any way that someone desired, with plenary control over literally their life and death*”.

    Seriously, Dalmia.

    When your analogy is bad and everyone tells you how and why it’s bad, don’t double down on it for rhetorical value even while tying to say “there are obvious differences”.

    Because saying there are differences and then treating the two like they’re Meaningfully The Same is going to get you … the same damned response, louder.

    If you want to say “immigration laws are bad because people should be able to live and work anywhere they want and nobody should be able to stop them”, say that. That’s a respectable, defensible position, even if it’s not one I agree with.

    Don’t try to make any immigration controls “like slavery”.

    Because, again, that just makes you look like a goddamn idiot who doesn’t even understand any of the counter-arguments; it’s the equivalent of saying “Fuck you, Slaver!” to everyone who isn’t a Rothbardite Anarchist for supporting, oh, a Nozickian minarchy.

    (* In practice if not quite in law.)

  27. Thank you for the article was very helpful
    Obat Sakit Lutut

  28. I suppose appealing to Shikha and the editors who continue to let her publish this tripe on the grounds of logic or common sense would be fruitless, but let’s consider the political effect of an unhinged screed such as this one on the average voter. If America is ever going to experience the “libertarian moment” that Gillespie assures us is right around the corner, then Reason needs to convince the average American voter the Libertarian Party isn’t COMPLETELY FUCKING CRAZY.

    Of all the slogans Donald Trump used during his campaign, from “Make American Great Again” to “Drain the Swamp”, the one that got the biggest rounds of applause was “Build a Wall”. In a nation with tens of millions of under- and unemployed workers and the lowest labor force participation rate in a generation, almost nothing infuriates the average American more than seeing foreign nationals flout immigration laws with impunity,

    Nothing, that is, except being told by snooty foreign-born Media elites that if they object to this state of affairs then they are the modern-day incarnations of Simon Legree.

    In short, does Reason want more Trump? Because repeatedly publishing insulting, condescending diatribes like this one are how you get more Trump — or someone even worse. Because the border WILL be secured eventually: You can do it now, when people are relatively sane and reasonable about it — or you can do it later, when people are even more angry.

    1. Like most media, Reason has been taken over by SJWs.

      Best explanation for Shikha and Sheldon is a calculated effort to discredit libertarianism in the eyes of public as they burn Reason to the ground and salt the earth.

  29. Trumps rule is something else thats never been seen in the American history:

  30. Funny how Shikha spends all her days calling the US Evil for not having Open Borders.

    The country that took her in. The country with the largest immigrant population in the world.

    Has she just concluded that we are the biggest chumps in the world?

  31. Now that we have failed to knuckle under to being decried as “Worse than Slavers”, will it be “Worse than Hitler” next?

    Or will they end the suspense and go full HuffPo, closing down the comments section?

    1. Did Huffpo close comments? Haha.

  32. Not just “undocumented immigrant,” it’s “undocumented worker” now.

  33. Ugh. I seriously just don’t get the 100% open borders crowd. I mean I get the whole freedom of movement concept. I get it… There are valid points, and surely it should exist within a nation states own borders.

    But I just don’t see how anybody can be 100% all in on international freedom of movement, with zero restrictions, being an absolute right, that cannot have a single caveat or rule applied to it. There are sooo many obvious real world examples of why any sane human being would not want this that it could fill volumes. But a few:

    1. Convicted murders (rapists, drug addicts, etc) should be free to travel anywhere in the world they want!

    2. People from countries that have openly declared themselves to be hostile should be able to move to your country, even if they’ve stated it would be to do harm to your country and its populace!

    3. Poor people who have very low odds of being productive members of society should be able to move to your country in endless supply and drive down the living standards, wages, change social norms, etc because it’s great to be multicultural and stuff!

    1. So unless you people think that murderers, rapists, and stated enemies of your country should be allowed in, then you must concede SOME limitations are reasonable. If some limitations are reasonable then it’s just a questions of WHAT limitations. Try winning the argument that NO limitations are reasonable with 99% of the population, I DARE YOU. It’s a dumb shit idea, and common sense says as much, so it’s just a matter of the details.

      It’s not that I’m against immigration. We need to fix many of the flaws in our system. I think we need to import as many highly skilled workers from abroad as possible. Brain drain the fuck out of the rest of the world! But a 21st century high wage economy doesn’t need half illiterate janitors imported by the millions when we already can’t employ the less educated people born here!

      But to me this is a matter of fixing concrete problems by having better policies, not getting rid of all restrictions and letting it go willy nilly. Globalism in labor markets (via outsourcing jobs) has already harmed living standards in the west in some respects (and benefited in others), and globalism in actual place of living would completely destroy the rest. Everywhere would be brought down to the lowest common denominator if people could go anywhere at any time. America and Europe would be flooded, and we’d be lucky to maintain a standard of living equal to Brazil or Mexico today, possibly falling to Chinese or Indian levels of poverty.

      1. I think one main thing is that there needs to be a permanent resident status that does NOT have a “path to citizenship” and where the holder could still be deported later. There is no good reason not to do this. If many current illegal immigrants are to be legalized, this should be WITHOUT any path to citizenship. Citizenship is not a requirement to address any of the arguments pro-legalization advocates use.

        1. I think that’s a very reasonable way to deal with part of the problem for sure. A temporary worker program that’s not stupidly constructed could be another. All of these people “living in the shadows” is a bad way to do things though. We need to have reasonable laws that let useful people come here legally, and enforce the fuck out of the laws to prevent anybody who isn’t up to snuff from getting in and/or staying here if they do get in.

    2. If we had 100% open borders legally is it not possible that we could have 100 million immigrants of low education levels over a couple dozen years from China, India, Mexico etc? Is it not possible this would totally FUCK UP and lower the quality of life here as the economy was flooded with labor and there were not enough high wage jobs to go around? Is it not possible these people, raised with wholly un-American ideas of what government is and should be would totally fuck up our political system even worse than it is? Is it not possible that people that are already here might find the above very realistic and plausible outcomes undesirable? If so, is it WRONG for the people already here to want to protect what they and their forefathers have built by putting in RULES on who can come here???

      I think it’s pretty damn reasonable. I don’t think anyone should begrudge an American for not wanting to let in endless people from wherever to come here, just the same as I wouldn’t begrudge the Swiss for perhaps not wanting to let me move to their country. It’s THEIR country. If they don’t want to let me in for whatever reason, then that’s tough shit. I could be obsessed with Switzerland and Swiss culture or whatever, but if they don’t want to let me immigrate their that’s their call. It’s just tough luck.

    3. You open borders people are deluded as fuck. The real world implications are too obviously bad for any reasonable person to believe it’s a good idea. We need BETTER immigration laws, and those laws need to be enforced, but we don’t need to have NO immigration laws.

      1. I completely agree, and open borders is the “Reason” I refrain from calling myself a Libertarian. At least in the Reason since of the word. They’ve done a good job of keeping socially liberal conservatives away, maybe they’re the real Hillary plants and not Trump. (She was only presidential candidate in support of anything close to open borders.)

        1. It’s one of a few areas where I can’t go to the extremes of libertarian thought. I agree with 99.9% of libertarian ideals in theory, which usually translates to a pretty hardcore libertarian policy position on my part… But on some of them I just can’t go all the way.

          Is freedom of movement as a right generally a good thing? Sure. But with REASONABLE exceptions in the case of international travel.

          Theories, principles, ideals etc are useful tools, but I think most intelligent people can understand that there are ALWAYS exceptions to any “rule” that pop up from time to time. If we had intelligent and well meaning politicians and an educated public we could be VERY far towards the libertarian end of all issues, and only make exceptions to the principles in extreme cases or where it was very obvious there was a real world problem that makes the theory not work so well… But we don’t have good politicians or intelligent citizens, so we get the clusterfuck we have now instead!

        2. I try to stick to the high ideals when I can, but I will simply admit hands down that in some cases practicality takes precedence over high minded ideals. I’m all for the non aggression principle, and I don’t go running around starting shit with people in the world as it is. I’m a pretty nice guy… Buuut if there were an apocalyptic event and shit went all Road Warrior out there, I’m going to get harsh.

          I wouldn’t be the kinda person who went around trying to screw people and killing for kicks, but in many situations I would jump to killing somebody preemptively if it seemed like the most reasonable thing to do in the moment. That’s putting practicality above principle, but sometimes if you don’t then you’re going to get screwed. You can often only be as honorable as your opponent or else you put yourself at a disadvantage. I feel that that’s where we’re at on a few issues like immigration, trade etc. There are pros and cons to letting things go willy nilly even when you know it is harming you in some ways, as there are also advantages, but I’m OKAY with interfering in these areas a bit so we’re not being made fools of too badly. That’s just my 2 cents.

  34. Shikha is dumb as a brink. All feels and no thought.

    FFS, a first world service-based economy simply doesn’t have enough jobs for low-skill labor. It is impossible to continually import more people that have little hope of meeting current employment needs. To do so, simply adds more people to the welfare pool. And automation is continuing to reduce the number of those jobs. They aren’t coming back.
    There is a very distinct reason why unemployment for college+ educated people is in the very low single digits, and unemployment in STEM jobs is essentially on-par with the peeps leapfrogging around. Unemployment for unskilled labor is close to 20%.
    Open borders to unskilled labor is destroying the lower classes. Absolutely destroying them.

    So, I take it back. You aren’t dumb Shikha. you are evil.

    1. It’s as though the idiots who catch the “feelz” working in said service economy refuse to comprehend our reality. I won’t to care less because it won’t affect me as much since I’m hardly low skilled. But the regressives will likely tax me unemployed if they had their way. The minimum wage and open borders policies go together like oil and water. Heck even Bernie Sanders called open borders, a “right wing” policy that disadvantages American workers.

  35. Go away SD, no one likes you… You terrorist sympathizer, go resist on HuffPo.

  36. As for the emotional rhetoric; “You’re tearing families apart”… Well most immigrants abandon their families back home, so the wall may keep more families together. And I’m sure they won’t leave their kids here.

  37. Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. If they are working for less than minimum wage, they are the victims being exploited by their employers. If their employers are aware of their illegal immigrant status and are paying them less than min wage and/or under the table, then they are involved in a criminal conspiracy to break employment laws and evade taxation. The victims are other taxpayers and employers who play by the rules. Why should an honest business make less money or risk going under if his competition is breaking the law and illegally paying their workers less than minimum wage? Turning a blind eye to employers who exploit illegal workers hurts honest businesses.

    I find the progressive’s position of 1) we need illegal immigrants for cheap labor and 2) we need to raise the minimum wage to $15 hypocritical. So it’s okay to exploit illegal immigrants….got it. If an illegal immigrant steals someone else’s identity for a SSN or other identifying paperwork, that is identity theft and the victim is the person whose identity was stolen. If they are illegally receiving welfare or other benefits, then the victims are other welfare beneficiaries who are being stolen from. Yes, let’s truly reform immigration law, but don’t tell me that illegal immigration is a victimless crime.

  38. Shikha, this is why no one takes libertarians very seriously.

    Your articles are a joke.

  39. No, Shika, not allowing people to enter the country without a by-your-leaveis not even remotely similar to slavery. And if you weren’t wearing ideological blinkers you’d realize that.

    Allowing people to come into the country illegally is unfair to them. It puts them in a grey underground subculture where they are easily exploited. And it won’t change until the laws change, and too many people are happy with the status quo for the laws to change until they start getting enforced.

    Please climb down from your open borders hobby horse. It has gotten stale.

  40. First sentence told me all. You claim ‘undocumented immigrant’, not illegal alien.

    Next, the silly statement that leaving them alone is better. American citizens are getting killed by these people, just read the news. The ‘sanctuary’ zones are rife with the violation of equal protection under the law notion. Illegal aliens were given papers to bypass TSA pat downs, those are available online. Any slight of the law encourages more.

    Your analogy to the War of Northern Aggression is amusing to a history major and retelling of slavery ludicrous. There is ONE difference between the Confederacy and CA successions. Constitutionally, several states of the South had already left when Lincoln seized Sumter and called for troops to illegally invade those states, a right held commonly among Americans of the time and earlier (New England in W1812).

    1. Mr. Revisionist History, Lincoln did not “seize” Sumter. It was owned by the Federal government and continually occupied until the South engaged in aggression by firing upon it. And whether the Southern states could secede and whether Federal troops legally went into the South was the point of the war. You lost. Saying they can secede is one thing; everyone has the right to revolt if they’re willing to risk the consequences. But insisting upon calling interpretations “law” that the war decided against is bankrupt and ineffectual.

  41. just as Phillip implied I am alarmed that someone can get paid $6887 in one month on the computer . published here………….

  42. “Four years after the U.S. Constitution effectively enshrined slavery”

    I’ve written before to point out your flaws, Ms. Dalmia, but I hadn’t heard you knew nothing about the Constitution, too. The Constitution WENT OUT OF ITS WAY not to mention slavery or race, in contrast with the Constitution of the Confederacy which explicitly did so. And, in point of fact, it was one of the main achievements of the Civil War that it ended slavery with the U.S. government’s continuity under the Constitution intact– which it could hardly have done if it had been “enshrined”.


    1. If you call what we have, since the WNA, as the Constitution being “intact”, then it is you who is the revisionist.

  43. Immigration, crime, and drugs are the points where libertarians are the weakest.

  44. Immigration, crime, and drugs are the points where libertarians are the weakest.

  45. Who’s that Lunatic?

    *scrolls back up*

    Iiiiit’s Sikha!

  46. Undocumented immigrants? They’re illegal aliens — except this time they’re your favorite type of people: Muslim terrorists. Maybe the Muslims will destroy America, as is your with, but you rhomites will derive no benefit from them. Your Muslim terrorists will kill you rhomites just as easily as they would kill untermnscn such as myself.

    “there’s no need to fear. Underzog is here>!

  47. It is wrong just like Fugitive Slave laws were wrong.

    What an ignorant, bigoted, and hateful thing to say.

    Shika: you are a disgusting human being.

  48. Trumps rules are totally unfair that’s why many people are against him still:

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