Immigration

Trump and Associates Can't Stop Scapegoating Immigrants

The concern about radicalization by Muslims in the U.S. is a red herring intended to make Americans distrust foreigners and immigration in general.

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Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/Newscom

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna displayed an odious hostility to liberty at a press briefing last week when he tried to associate immigration with terrorism.

"If you have immigrant visa programs where the eligibility criteria are low to nonexistent or even an outright lottery," Cissna, "you're not selecting for the types of people that we [sic] want in this country, according to criteria, that will ensure their success in our nation. That will ensure that they will assimilate well."

I can think of one type of person I'd rather not have in the country—people like Cissna. Who the hell is he or anyone else to participate in a coercive process to "select[] for the types of people" who can live in the territory called the United States? What gives anyone the right to set criteria for that? The country is not a country club requiring membership criteria. Individual property owners of course should be free to set any criteria for selecting who lives or works on their property. If someone wants to exclude people from other countries, they should be free to do so without government permission or interference.

But such freedom would necessarily assure that criteria will differ among property owners. Owners with more liberal criteria should also be free to welcome—to their homes, rental properties, and businesses—people from other countries. Those property owners also should not be required to have government permission or be subject to interference. "Anything that's peaceful," as Leonard Read put it.

It should not be the government's prerogative to define and ensure immigrants' "success" and assimilation. We have zero reason to be confident in the ability of politicians and bureaucrats to predict success, however defined. And whether people assimilate is not the government's business. The last thing we should want is politicians and bureaucrats managing the culture. We are all immeasurably richer—in all kinds of ways—because many past immigrants did not assimilate, despite bigoted pressure, official and private.

Cissna specifically criticized the lottery, or diversity, visa and chain, or family, migration. Cissna did so because two recent terrorism suspects entered the country through those programs in the immigration law. (For the record, I oppose immigration law because I favor open borders.)

The diversity visa program opens immigration to people with "at least a high school education or at least two years of work experience in an occupation which requires at least two other years of training or experience" who originate in "countries with low rates of immigration to the United States in the previous five years." Ending the program would condemn even more people to lifelong poverty than now occurs because of U.S. immigration restrictions.

Cissna says the "low" criteria for qualifying for the lottery make it prone to fraud by terrorists. Of course, he had no data to show the program is a major threat because it isn't. He would not say that a recent terrorism suspect had something in his background that should have barred his entry. (Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov came to the United States from Uzbekistan in 2010.) Cissna instead dismissed well-documented studies showing that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born citizens. Lottery visa immigrants aren't exempt from vetting, though demagogues like Cissna want us to think they are. (For Trump's own ignorance on display, see this.)

His critique of chain migration is equally flawed. (Akayed Ullah came from Bangladesh in 2011.) , First, it's a "'contrived term' that seeks to put a negative light on a phenomenon that has taken place throughout the history of the country," writes immigration champion Stuart Anderson. Moreover, entry through this program is in no way expedited. "The wait times for sponsoring a close family member are long and, in some cases, extremely long," Anderson wrote in 2011. "For example, due to the annual limits the State Department is only processing applications for siblings from the Philippines filed prior to August 1988, according to the department's Visa Bulletin. In other words, American citizens with brothers or sisters in the Philippines who filed while Ronald Reagan was still president and before the Berlin Wall fell are still waiting for their relatives to join them." Again, chain migration does not mean no vetting.

That the Trump administration wants these program ended is an outrage against decency and liberty. The Trump/Cissna "logic" about potential terrorism would mean no immigration at all.

Cissna emphasized he was not saying recent terrorism suspects were "radicalized" before entering the United States. Had he suggested that were the case, he would have been criticizing the government's intelligence apparatus, and he clearly did not want to do that.

The concern about so-called radicalization by Muslims in the United States is a red herring intended to make Americans distrust (certain) foreigners and immigration in general. It's unlikely that someone would become attracted to violence merely by looking at a website that calls for violence. Rather, someone who already believes they have a cause that warrants violence might look at sites that mirror that belief and offer suggestions for action.

Now where might a Muslim in America—or anyone else—come up with a cause that might be pursued violently? How about 24/7 cable news channels and websites that report the U.S. government's wanton violence throughout the Muslim world? Violence against innocents for political or other reasons is of course inexcusable, but that doesn't negate the fact that the news media have the potential to inspire what Trump calls "radical Islamic terrorism."

So who favors shutting down news channels and sites as an anti-terrorism measure? No hands? I didn't think so.

Let's stop scapegoating immigrants.

This piece was originally published by The Libertarian Institute.

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217 responses to “Trump and Associates Can't Stop Scapegoating Immigrants

  1. Sheldon, to be gentle, you’re a fucking idiot.

    Assimilation is SUPPOSED to be the goal of immigration policy. We want people who will fit in with us to the best of our abilities.

    Your apparent “Well, let’s just let them all in” has been tried and is an abject failure. Your attempt at an argument is that people aren’t radicalized but, instead, always have those views is the reason we should tighten immigration law. There is no right for non citizens to live here.

    1. Thanks, damikesc. And the obvious flaw in all these open border rants is that while we are stuck with a welfare state, allowing unregulated immigration is financially and even logically impossible.

      Besides, Richmonds bio tag gives him away: “Center for a Stateless Society” (try that without first eliminating all the collectivists and let us know how it works out).

    2. “Your apparent “Well, let’s just let them all in” has been tried and is an abject failure.”

      How is this true? Did you lose your job picking lettuce in the San Joaquin valley?

      1. We have enough immigrants in the USA and a population of ~330 million. That is good enough.

        Slow immigration to a trickle, make sure tourists leave after their visas expire, and secure the Mexican border.

        Maybe in 20 years, we can re-evaluate immigration policy. That is plenty of time for the Democrats to lose most of the important elections and self-destruct as a political party. By then the Republicans will control over 3/4 of the state Legislatures to hold an Article V Constitutional convention and add amendments that rollback our welfare state.

        1. Are you seriously championing the Republicans as defenders of the Constitution?

          1. Sometimes Republicans do. Sometimes Republicans don’t. Some states would just not ratify the amendments they find the GOP went too far.

            Democrats never do. Lefties don’t like the limitations of the Constitution nor want it to survive.

            1. Here’s a lesson for you young one: Neither side gives a whiff about the Constitution. The only reason that the Republicans claim to is that conservatives have been on the losing side of government for so long, they’ve convinced themselves that they’re anti-government. As the pendulum swings back and forth, you’ll see.

              1. I am probably older than you are.

                Neither party is as principled about the Constitution like Libertarians but there are still a few Republicans who want limited government and want to abide by the Constitution.

                Both parties are bad but Republicans sometimes do right. Democrat never do.

                Trump has a lot of good achievements under his belt and this tax reform will be another one. Trump has mostly been checked on his bad ideas because the left hates him and bureaucrats don’t want to rollback corruption. He really has to pick his battles because even RINOs in Congress fight Trump as every turn.

                1. You’re vacillating between TEAM and critical analysis on almost every statement. So from your post, I can take it that Republicans are slightly less awful than Democrats (who are wrong always). But…Trump’s bad ideas have been thwarted because the Democrats and bureaucrats hate him. But wouldn’t that make them in the right??? And what you’re also saying is that true Republicans in Congress (non RINOs), would rubber stamp Trumps every jerk of the knee, rather than fight him.

                  It seems that there may be a war within you attempting to develop principles despite your fealty towards Team Red. I suppose we all come at libertarian thought from different perspectives, but you need to open yourself to the possibility that the world isn’t exactly how you currently perceive it to be.

                  1. Lefties will fight anything that Trump does. So that does not make them right, it makes them obstructionists toward limited government and rolling back the Welfare/Police/Nanny State.

                    I am not too worried about the Republicans that abide by their platform, except for the aforementioned religious stuff they try and push sometimes. Trump is pretty much following the Republican platform or trying to so any “Republican” who does not repeal ObamaCare is a RINO.

                    Funny, most Libertarians think the same way about major points, which is why we…are Libertarians… I would say. Property rights, limited government, free market, etc.

                    As usual, you have zero idea what you are talking about because me countering TDS is not the same as being partisan on Team Red. You would not know that because you are Team Blue no matter what and are just on Reason to push your lefty nonsense and probably try and divide Libertarians from supporting things that Republican do that are Libertarian-ish.

                    Your lefty playbook is old and so worn out.

                    1. Your blind allegiance to a party of barely literate fascists & reflexive dismissal as everyone who might agree w you as a pinko stooge was worn out 80 years ago.

                    2. It’s very clear at this point that Democrats are much, much worse. (And I’m a Democrat.) Also, Trump has been much better than expected, and is pretty much awful only in areas where he’s little or no worse than the alternative.

                      I’m not going to look too harshly on anyone who calls you a Team Red cheerleader, though, distasteful and unproductive as that kind of discourse can get. Here’s why:

                      By then the Republicans will control over 3/4 of the state Legislatures to hold an Article V Constitutional convention and add amendments that rollback our welfare state.

                      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL We must not be watching the same Republican party.

              2. I’d be interested in hearing how ‘Republicans have been on the losing side of government’…

                They’ve had a pretty good run for a while now… It seems more cyclical than any sort of trend, though of course government is always trending disproportionately larger.

          2. When they get to rewrite it, that’s what they will be automatically.

        2. Why is 330 million people the proper number of people? What are you using to arrive at that number?

          1. Let’s be honest, the only reason both parties want massive immigration is because it is the only feasible way to pay for our debt that they refuse to do anything about. We need our population to increase to spread our debts out among more people.

            1. 70% of hispanic immigrants in America receive welfare benefits. Exactly how do you pay off your debts by increasing government spending and reducing per-capita tax contributions?

            2. Yeah, that may be part of why Republicans want immigrants, but not Dems. Democrats want Democrat voters, which is why they champion low-IQ 3rd world-barbarians. They know that these people ruined their countries and didn’t learn the lesson. They will continue to support gibsmedat and Democrats are the official party of gibs.

    3. You are absolutely correct, damikesc: Sheldon is indeed a fucking idiot. He gives himself away with the idiotic assertion: “Who the hell is [Cissna] or anyone else to participate in a coercive process to “select for the types of people” who can live in the territory called the United States? What gives anyone the right to set criteria for that?” The territory called the United States??? Really? By which, I assume, he means a sovereign nation that as a matter of course has not only the right but the responsibility to “select for the types of people” upon who it bestows residency and citizenship. “Types of people” is clearly intended as dog whistle for people of color or “exotic” religions, when we all know that the intent behind Cissna’s comments is to tweak immigration policy to welcome more people of education, means, ability, and, yes, the willingness to assimilate, regardless of color or religion. In point of fact, the reforms to immigration would almost certainly result in more immigrants of East Asian and Indian descent, as well as Hindu, Buddhist, and that great bugaboo, Muslim religions. But guys like Sheldon simply want to reap the benefits of an imported brown underclass that either lives off social programs or completes for the jobs of lower wage workers, without threatening the teat off which he suckles. Not many economic refugees, after all, are going to apply for positions as schlock, hackneyed, manipulative writers.

      1. The Gulf states (UAE, Qatar, etc.) Have essentially privatized the immigration system – anyone can sponsor or hire a foreigner, as long as they vouch for them and are responsible for them financially. The government just does a minimal check (background check, infectious disease check etc.) The system works pretty well, to be honest. If the immigrant screws up, he as well as his sponsor are in trouble, which is only fair…

    4. “Assimilation is SUPPOSED to be the goal of immigration policy.”
      Immigration policy & the pseudo scientific nonsense bolstering it have since their inception in the US been barely disguised attempts at cultural eugenics. Whether its the chinese, the jews, the irish, the italians or the mexicans, racists like yourselves are convinced that only a nation ofpure blood can succeed; that a belief in freedom is inculcated in the blood thru a magical process depending on the GPS coordinates of a mothers womb at the time of birth.
      Detention & deportation based on ones race or nation of origin & nothing else clearly violates the NAP. The justifications for doing so – that government beauracrats can do a better job of managing the culture than markets – is the absolute antithesis of libertarianism as expressed by the knowledge problem.
      I keep repeating myself but why are you nazis flocking to a libertarian website to peddle your socialist, nationalist fantasies of how racial purity will revitalize the state? Do you truly see yourself as a defender of freedom? That the tree of liberty requires kidnapping lawncare & farm workers, making orphans of their children? If so I can only marvel at the human minds capacity for self deception & delusion.

      1. Borders exist. Sorry if your support of slave labor is now the focus of Libertarianism.

      2. Where on earth did they say any of this racialist nonsense?

        Why are YOU spending your time commenting on a forum where your comments are obviously not pitched to try to persuade those around you, but merely to insult them? I have always wondered why people do that.

      3. Yeah, Weider, I’m sure whenever you go to a foreign country, you throw your Americanism in the host nation’s face and call them a bunch of racial supremacists when they don’t acquiesce to your little tantrum.

      4. “why are you nazis”

        This is where i wish Reason an ignore feature in their comment system. “You nazis” is just another incarnation of the racist/misogynist/homophobic tactic used to shut down conversations and demonize opponents without discussion. And worthy of being ignored.

    5. Fit it meaning what? Agreeing with your politics? What about my politics?

      1. Well Tony, you clearly ensconce yourself in the politics of evil (progressivism).

    6. I agree, “whether people assimilate is not” is the government’s business. It’s foolish to allow people, who want to dismantle our Constitution and freedoms into the US. It’s also taxpayers’ business as to whether immigrants take advantage of taxpayers. And it’s also citizens’ business if immigrants have a record of harming others. I do not want immigrants who assimilate into a life of crime and welfare.

      1. Trump has been scapegoating immigrants though. He prefers to blame a lot of our problems on foreigners: unfair trade deals, the economic impact of immigrants (usually ignoring the benefits), and criminal immigrants. Instead, we are the true culprit, for voting for the government we got that’s a bigger cause of our problems.

        1. You’re conflating Trumo’s condemnation of illegal immigration with legitimate immigration. I’m not sure if you’re being disengenuous, or just confused.

    7. Who the hell is he or anyone else to participate in a coercive process to “select[] for the types of people” who can live in the territory called the United States?

      It is the unassailable right of American citizens to decide who can or cannot come here, using any criteria we deem proper. Full stop.

      Immigration is not a right to be claimed; it is a privilege to be earned.

    8. I agree with you partially.

      Assimilation – to an extent – is necessary. And ‘let them all in’ *has* worked in the past. When we insisted on a minimum amount of assimilation.

      What certainly isn’t working is the modern concept of ‘let them all in’ paired with ‘let them keep even the shitty parts of their original culture/state that they came here to get away from in the first place’.

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    14. These open borders folks need to get a grip on the real world. IMMIGRATION is a good thing when properly managed. Those who don’t assimilate are a severe drain not just economically but also on whether America’s belief in itself as a unique place where self control and self support are rewarded. Muslims have devoted themselves to a text that is an anathema to our Constitution. Islam is not a religion it is a political system that intends to force it’s will on all to subjugate all to it’s tenants. We are not the caretaker and sugardaddy to the world. The libertarian party needs to rid itself of this nonsense.

  2. “The country is not a country club requiring membership criteria.”

    Every other single developed country uses criteria to accept individuals. I see no reason why the US should be different. I would prefer highly educated Indians, Nigerians, Chinese, whatever to come to the USA versus some poor dude with only the skills to drive a taxi. I fail to see how some highly undereducated foreign dude would add much to society or the economy.

    The whole reason people are up in arms about immigration is the powers that be have felt it politically expedient to ignore immigration issues while the populace has repeatedly indicated they do not like the direction current immigration policies are in. The longer immigration remains largely ignored the more likely it is for people to take hardline stances as previous political pressures obviously amounted to nothing, it is only natural. Ignore the people in a democracy at ones peril.

    1. I would prefer highly educated Indians, Nigerians, Chinese, whatever to come to the USA versus some poor dude with only the skills to drive a taxi. I fail to see how some highly undereducated foreign dude would add much to society or the economy.

      Education level is irrelevant for these purposes. Studies show that diversity is a good thing in and of itself. If your hypothetical “highly undereducated foreign dude” would make this country more racially diverse, we should be happy to have him.

      1. So diversity is good because, well, diversity…

        The next time you get on a plane be sure to pick the flight crew from among the passengers based on diversity.

        1. Don’t be his porn.

      2. OBL, you are a failed cliche. You sound like an Evergreen college graduate.

        What is so great about your narrowly drawn concept of “diversity”? Racially homogeneous countries do just fine.

      3. Studies show that diversity is a good thing in and of itself.

        Studies, in fact, show that cultural diversity is a bad thing in and of itself.

        Diversity becomes a benefit under conditions of high selectivity: that is, if you are looking to attract top scientists, it would be foolish to exclude China and India from your applicant pool.

        more racially diverse

        Racial diversity is a biologically meaningless concept and is something that only die-hard racists like you even believe in. Go to hell.

        1. Guys, it’s a troll account

          1. Troll account or not, he’s good at expressing the liberal party line.

      4. Studies show that diversity is a good thing in and of itself.

        Look dude, I’m probably the most pro-open-border commenter on this site – and that’s complete horseshit. ‘Studies’ show no such thing.

        The Olympic swim team isn’t automatically made better just because you tossed a guy with one arm into the pool with them.

      5. “Studies show that diversity is a good thing in and of itself”

        Yeah about those studies…

      6. Oh brother, where art thou common sense? Japan, Switzerland, Australia, not very diverse but highly successful. Diversity is a PC buzzword devoid of universal applicability.

    2. The economy collapsed because of prohibitionist asset-forfeiture, as in 1929, 1932, 1987 and 2008. Immigrants were blamed every time. The same initiation of force, exported by the DemoGOP Kleptocracy, causes poverty elsewhere. Disguising that fact causes the lynch mob to mill about until someone hollers: “look, a brown person!”

      1. What a lot of gibbering to say something so dull and stupid.

    3. I want immigrants that don’t have brown eyes so that future elections will be stacked against Democrats.

      1. I want immigrants that want free shit so that future elections will be stacked against Libertarians and Republicans.

  3. Brain scans at the borders! We have the technology! It just needs some tweaking and packaging… Put a nice ribbon on it, and USE it!

    With all of modern brain-scan technology, we can’t yet get off of our asses yet?!?! Stop discriminating against people on the basis of what religion they believe in, or what nation they are from, and start discriminating against them (at the borders at least) on the basis of, do their neurons and synapse-firing patterns reveal a tendency towards suicide-bombing, or not?!?!

    Semi-Manhattan-project-scale R&D here would pay off MUCH better than our perpetual wall-building and occupations of Stanstanstanstanistans!!!

  4. Excellent article. I especially liked this part.

    The diversity visa program opens immigration to people with “at least a high school education or at least two years of work experience in an occupation which requires at least two other years of training or experience” who originate in “countries with low rates of immigration to the United States in the previous five years.” Ending the program would condemn even more people to lifelong poverty than now occurs because of U.S. immigration restrictions.

    This describes why open borders is not only the correct policy from a libertarian perspective, it’s the right thing to do for moral reasons as well. When you see images of poor, starving people on TV, remember that their problems are the fault of the United States. And since we’re responsible for their misery, we have an obligation to let them move here.

    1. Hahahah +1000000

    2. Nah, OBL, I think you should go to those people and personally apologize (and give them all your stuff) (and maybe your neck).

    3. Another loudspeaker who hasn’t read the LP Platform. Importing mystical murderers is a non-starter. The Kleptocracy is already addicted to exporting that very commodity (to Afghanistan, Iraq, The Americas, Africa, Europe…). When they finish their tours, murderers trained in the initiation of force are snapped up by militarized prohibitionism here and converted into dog-shooting people-killers protected from justice by mock trial.

    4. When you see images of poor, starving people on TV, remember that their problems are the fault of the United States. And since we’re responsible for their misery, we have an obligation to let them move here.

      Any sufficiently advanced form of sarcasm is indistinguishable from stupidity.

  5. I want immigrants that have marketable skills, not psychopaths like Akayed Ullah. We should be discussing how we can implement that concept do that rather than the random thing. Random is for idiots.

    1. I need a like button.

  6. More immigration idiocy at Reason. Every country on the planet controls who comes in, why do you morons insist that we do not? No one has a “right” to come here. Fix your own damn shithole; don’t come here and fuck up ours.

    1. This. The only liberty the US government should be concerned about is the liberty of Americans.

    2. Part of the problem is that These kleptocratic States send hordes of superstitious meddlers with guns all over the world to make laws prohibiting trade and production. Read the State Department “International Narcotics” report that caused the March 2015 Flash Crash (It’s free to download). There is the blueprint for forcing the entire planet to subsidize Coors & Budweiser, The Liquor Trust and Big Tobacco by shooting and jailing foot-dragging miscreants in what they imagined were “their” countries.

    3. If no one has a “right” to come here, then you don’t have a “right” to be here either. Unless you think right and wrong are whatever the government says they are.

      1. If no one has a “right” to come here, then you don’t have a “right” to be here either.

        That does not make any sense.

      2. If no one has a “right” to come here, then you don’t have a “right” to be here either. Unless you think right and wrong are whatever the government says they are.

        The US government and US citizens have a legal right to limit who comes to the US, under international law. That legal right is in no way controversial: it is exercised by every nation around the globe.

        And since the US is not a libertarian nation, but instead a nation in which US citizens are forced to be members of a national community, forced to own and pay for the upkeep of shared property, and forced to participate in national redistribution schemes, US citizens also have a moral right to exclude people from that community.

    1. France should introduce Sharia law and create a Muslim state to avoid civil war says professor

      I’m not sure exactly what that means. If it’s a form of panarchy (parallel states within the same geographic region), it may be compatible with libertarianism. That is, there is no inherent problem from a libertarian point of view if people make a voluntary choice to limit their own freedoms.

      De Moliner adds that in France a parallel society already exists and that it has opposite values compared to the Enlightenment principles upon which French society is founded.

      The idea that French society is founded on “Enlightenment principles” is a joke. French has always used a pretense of Enlightenment principles to cover up its essentially totalitarian nature. Ditto for other continental societies.

      1. That is, there is no inherent problem from a libertarian point of view if people make a voluntary choice to limit their own freedoms.

        Right, because people exist who are like, “Wow, I should be thrown from a roof for liking men”.

        Idiotic.

        1. Right, because people exist who are like, “Wow, I should be thrown from a roof for liking men”.

          Yes, just like there exist people who are like “Wow, I should pay $10 million in penalties for breaking this contract.” and “Wow, I should give 30% of my income to my wife and child for the next decade after my divorce.”

          People often accept the possibility of harsh penalties in order to gain some other advantage. In the case of Sharia law, the benefit is membership in, acceptance by, and ability to marry into, a religious community. I think for most heterosexual males, being thrown off the roof for homosexual conduct is actually less of a concern than draconian US family laws that they are forced to accept if they want to marry (of course, fewer and fewer men take that deal).

  7. Sheldon should read the LP platform. Surely he’d realize that mystical Saracen berserkers brainwashed from birth to expect freebies from underage necrophiliacs as reward for blowing up infidels are Dangerous. Most of the wannabee immigrants from Altruria, Bolivarian communism or Asian Death-Worship are simply undesirable. Like the Dems, they attribute unemployment, dictatorship and starvation not to coercive altruism, but to “the wrong people” doing the looting. Fully half of the US electorate voted to try to ban power plants and repeal the Second Amendment. By exporting freedom instead of prohibitionism, These States could foster the growth of enough wealth elsewhere to enable us to export parasitical socialists and berserkers instead of importing more of them.

    1. Are you this way because you need to be medicated, or BECAUSE you are medicated? Hard to tell which.

  8. The last thing we should want is politicians and bureaucrats managing the culture.

    But that is exactly what we have now.

  9. I am in principle for open borders . But i find the family reunification law (aka chain migration ), diversity lottery and anchor baby law discriminatory against wannabe immigrants who would be “better” citizens in the sense of not needing public assistance/welfare.

    I would prefer a find a job , keep a job and use no public assistance and you stay. Need taxpayer money? Sorry go home.

  10. Two Points:

    1) Setting uniform rules for naturalization is a power that is properly enumerated to congress in the Constitution–in the same place as the power to declare war and tax because inflicting an unpopular naturalization policy on the American people is like inflicting an unpopular war on them or an unpopular tax. “No naturalization without representation” means that congress should justify the benefits of more immigration to the American people–something that should be easy to do. Suggesting that congress has no business making arguments about the positive and negative consequences of immigration to their constituencies is, ultimately, to deny the proper role of democracy. Because I oppose any given tax or war doesn’t mean I oppose enumerated power of congress to tax or declare war.

    1. naturalization != immigration

      1. You’re right. Naturalization includes the entire process of becoming a citizen–from granting a visa to becoming a citizen.

        Naturalization includes immigration and more.

        1. Article V explicitly bans passing an amendment to grant congress the power to limit immigration prior to 1808. Why would congress need to pass such an amendment if it already had the power to limit immigration? It wouldn’t. Congress has the power to limit when people become citizens, but not to block them from coming here.

          Since 1808, no amendment granting congress such power has been passed, so all limitations on immigration as inherently unconstitutional.

          Congress’s only actual power over immigration is the authority to charge an excise tax on immigrants entering the country.

          1. Um, no, the wording of Article V is specifically:

            The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

            It specifically states “Migration or Importation”. It says nothing about naturalization or excise taxes.

            Other than that, I agree with your argument. Why limit a power that Congress doesn’t have?

            1. It limited the power to amend the Constitution. Article I prohibits Congress from limiting immigration prior to 1808. Article V prohibits using the amendment process to lift the Article I prohibition. The restriction on Congress expired in 1808.

            2. Not sure why you guys are discussing Article I Sec. 8 & 9 clauses but saying its under Article V.

      2. Stormy Dragon|12.17.17 @ 12:02PM|#
        naturalization != immigration

        This has already been explained to you and the open border types that the Constitution enumerates the power of naturalization and migration (after 1808) to Congress.

        US Constitution, Article I, Section 9.
        The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

        1. Article I, Section 8 has this clause:
          To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

      3. Immigration is commerce with foreign nations, regulation of which is one of the explicitly-granted powers of Congress in A1S8.

  11. 2) As a libertarian, I maintain that if government has any legitimate purpose at all, it is to protect our rights. We have police to protect our rights from criminals. We have a criminal court system to protect our rights from the police. We have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats. Using the rules of naturalization to protect our rights from whatever threats immigrants may present is a perfectly legitimate function of government–so long as those rules do not violate the Constitution; e.g., the rules cannot violate the First Amendment (Congress shall make no law . . .)”, the Fifth Amendment (due process), the Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection), etc.

    There are open questions about how many fighters ISIS had at any time. Estimates suggest that they had as many as 100,000 at one time, but the war has killed tens of thousands of them. Now that ISIS’ enemies are occupying ISIS’ former territory, the tens of thousands of former ISIS are scrambling for safety like rats off a sinking ship. Not taking that fact into consideration when formulating our immigration and naturalization policies against the threat of ISIS fighters who mean to violate the rights of American civilians would be woefully incompetent–dereliction of the government’s legitimate duty to protect our rights.

    1. As a libertarian

      The Sunday morning funnies.

      1. I believe in individual rights, that they arise naturally from our agency (without government), that if government exists for any legitimate purpose at all, it’s to protect our rights, and I believe in slashing regulation, taxes, and spending as the best way to achieve life, liberty, and prosperity for everyone. I believe that people should be free to do anything so long as they don’t violate someone’s rights.

        I’ve also got 14 years of comments, here, that are all demonstrably consistent with all of those principles–on a myriad of topics.

        I’m also committed to intellectual honesty rather than only acknowledging facts if I like their implications for libertarianism on the topic at hand or at the moment, but even if I weren’t a libertarian, I’d know that attacking individuals rather than their arguments (like you just did) is a clear sign that you’re ashamed of your argument.

        If you’re going to argue with non-libertarians like that, please tell them you’re a progressive.

        Seriously, that’s all you got?

        1. Well, you believe in YOUR individual rights, anyways.

          I’m also committed to intellectual honesty

          I’m sure you believe this is true.

          1. Doubling down on the ad hominem makes it even more embarrassing.

          2. Individual rights for Americans not non-Americans. I know you lefties like to spin stuff but Ken’s point was clear.

            1. Those amendments I cited are about what the government can or can’t do–regardless of how we feel about the rights of non-citizens.

              For instance, while the constitution gives congress the power to set the rules of naturalization, the First Amendment prohibits congress from making any law that violates . . .

              That isn’t about the rights of individual immigrants. That’s about what laws congress cannot make.

              First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law . . . “

              1. As you can see, he’s trying to make a lefty point that Libertarians are pro individual rights because we want the upper hand at other’s expense. In other words, we got ours and FYTW!

                The lefties cannot fathom that Americans by a clear majority want to protect American individual rights over non-American immigrants desire to come to the USA. The Constitution was set up to protect newly formed America from the historical patterns of government mistakes and abuses. These include enumerated powers for Congress to regulate naturalization and immigration (after 1808).

                You’re too nice to the lefties on here but whatever floats your boat.

          3. Stormy, Ken is too polite to say this, so I will……

            Stormy, fuck off.

  12. “Trump and Associates Can’t Stop Scapegoating Immigrants”
    ? As this article is titled probably catches a lot of truth. However, Trump himself (as opposed to his many, not all, but many-many Troglodoofus voters) may be smarter than we give him credit for. Consciously or sub-consciously, I don’t know, but he may understand the below?
    Ragging on immigrants brings in votes from the red-meat crowd (plus, Islamofascism is actually a real danger). So let’s keep them happy by advocating super-expensive walls that Trump knows will never get built? And saying red-meat silly things about “making the Mexicans pay for it”. Do a lot of barking, but very little biting.
    Why? Because the illegal humans prop up Social Security to the tune of about $10 billion per year! They pay in, but have little if any chance of eve benefitting!
    Illegal humans pay in about $10 billion per year to prop up Social Security (under fake SSNs), with little if any hope of ever getting to benefit from what they paid in.

    “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes” (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one… (The link is too long to post).

    Trump may actually understand that the Feds need illegals to prop up the SS system, while he constantly rags on these same illegals to maintainhis political support.

  13. The only thing that surprises me about this article is that people are attempting to make serious responses to it. The only way I can account for this is that the author is too far away to punch in the face or pelt with rotten eggs.

    1. Yeah, I haven’t been on Reason much lately because the TDS is getting worse and the open border arguments acting like the Constitution does not enumerate the power to Congress and the President.

      1. What’s the critical threshold to make you go away permanently?

        1. You lefties really hate the truth don’t you?

          You will stay, I’m sure, because you lefties have to insert your socialist nonsense into everything hoping someone will buy into it.

          1. You didn’t answer my question. I’m sure infowars could use another idiot. Hannity could use a good fluffer. Coulter too. You obviously have a lot of time on your hands and yet you hang out on this lefty (your words) commentariate. Put your amazing skills of persuasion to good use and help the righteous right-wing put the boot to the necks of all of us lefties.

            1. What’s infowars? Who is Hannity? Who is Coulter?

              “all of us lefties.”
              At least you admit you are a lefty.

              1. You’re stupid but not stupid enough to not know who those are, so you’re a liar.

                When your arguments can be traced verbatim back to one of those right-wing vermin, that’s also a clue.

                1. Tony, you and Eric are stupid, dishonest, nasty bags of shit. In fact, the primary difference between you two and a literal bag of excrement is the bag. Loves and Ken are intellectual titans relative to you and Eric.

                  The two of you should beg their forgiveness immediately then proceed to go drink Drano.

                2. When your arguments can be traced verbatim back to one of those right-wing vermin, that’s also a clue.

                  Tony: “When everybody makes arguments supporting the idea that F=ma, it can’t be because it is true, but it must be because they are all copying their lies from that original liar, Sir Isaac Newton!”

            2. Since when did ad hominems become acceptable around here?

              If you can’t answer his arguments with reason, then maybe you should go work on that.

              Do you imagine Tony and Shrike are laughing-stocks because they’re lefties? It’s because they’re immune to rational argument.

              Self-identifying as left or right isn’t the issue. Plenty of commenters around here have respect for Christopher Hitchens and George Orwell, and they were both Trotskyists. Maybe neither were libertarians per se, but commanding the respect of libertarians isn’t just about where you are–it’s also about how you got there.

              If you can’t beat loveconstitution1789 in a fair fight, that doesn’t mean he isn’t a libertarian. It means you’ve got more to learn, and you may have just learned something from him.

              There’s a word for libertarians who can only learn from someone who already agrees with them. They’re called objectivists and it’s practically a cult.

              1. Are you talking to me or LC Ken? In his parlance “lefty” is an ad-hominem. So who took a shot first?

                And exactly what ideas of his should I be countering in a fair fight? He doesn’t listen, and is every bit as much a troll as Tony or Shrike. His world view is set, and he doesn’t argue in good faith. To him the world consists of him (the one true conservative) and “the left” which is everyone who doesn’t agree with him. And that’s about the extent of every post he pens here.

                1. “If you can’t beat loveconstitution1789 in a fair fight, that doesn’t mean he isn’t a libertarian. It means you’ve got more to learn, and you may have just learned something from him.”

                  I was talking to you.

                  And I’ve seen him make a number of arguments today that you could take issue with, but didn’t.

                  And I have not seen that he is like Tony or Shrike. He is neither obvious to nor immune from rational argument.

                  1. “He is neither obvious to nor immune from rational argument.”

                    Well, he spends his time on here defending Trump, so I guess birds of a feather…

                    1. I defend Trump’s actions that are good for the USA. Some of those examples include nominating Gorsuch, EO repeal 2 for 1, enforcing immigration law, limiting and/or trying to exit foreign engagements, rolling back the Welfare/Nanny/Police State somewhat.

                      I counter the TDS on Reason when its just blatant nonsense. The funny thing is Trump has all sorts of legitimate stuff he’s doing or not doing to go after. Some of that coincides with lefty Nanny-State or Military Industrial Complex cronyism that the left endorses too so not much is said about it.

                      You think Trump is bad, I don’t. He is a better president so far than Obama, Booosh, Clinton, Carter, NIxon, LBJ, JFK, FDR, and Wilson.

                      A lefty like Eric waves the pom poms for Team Left no matter what and cannot understand why someone would support Trump sometimes and not support Trump other times and be a Libertarian.

                    2. Because Trump is actually right about a number of things. You’re too much of a progtard partisan to understand that.

                2. Eric|12.17.17 @ 2:27PM|#
                  Are you talking to me or LC Ken? In his parlance “lefty” is an ad-hominem. So who took a shot first?
                  And exactly what ideas of his should I be countering in a fair fight? He doesn’t listen, and is every bit as much a troll as Tony or Shrike. His world view is set, and he doesn’t argue in good faith. To him the world consists of him (the one true conservative) and “the left” which is everyone who doesn’t agree with him. And that’s about the extent of every post he pens here.

                  Lefty is not a put down term. It encompasses all the politically left positions like Socialism, Communism, Progressivism, Nazism, Liberalism, and Democrats.

                  You might consider it a put down and that is maybe because being a slaver is bad and you know it deep down.

                  1. Since when did liberalism become a bad thing to libertarians? I suppose Adam Smith and John Locke are evil lefties also?

                    1. What do you mean by ‘liberalism’ in this context?

                    2. Since when did liberalism become a bad thing to libertarians?

                      American political liberalism, as practiced by the Democratic party, is a misnomer; it is actually a form of progressivism or soft fascism, pretty much the opposite of classical liberalism. You find similar terminological confusion at the root of “socialism”, “progressivism”, “fascism”, and “communism”.

                      At the root of the error is the leftist assumption that the only way to achieve social goods is via the state; that is, leftists consider themselves “liberals” because they falsely believe that liberty arises from state action. The same error accounts for the other terms, which refer to “social behavior”, “progress”, “cohesive societies”, and “community”.

                3. In his parlance “lefty” is an ad-hominem.

                  You don’t seem to understand what an ad hominem is. An ad hominem is when you imply that an argument is wrong because of the person making the argument.

                  You haven’t made any arguments, so it is impossible for him to ad-hominem against you. Looks to me like the two of you are just exchanging insults (started by you).

  14. Yet another example of Reason completely sabotaging its stated organizational goals by publishing a stirring argument for libertarianism that gets completely undermined by a comment section demonstrating how phony and unlibertarian most actual “libertarians” are.

    1. You’re not a Libertarian, so there’s that.

      1. And you are? Conservative trolls are tolerated here, far more than progressives, but don’t take the silence that greets your posts to mean that most people agree with you.

        1. Progressives are not tolerant of wrong-speak.

          I don’t care if people agree with me. That’s why I am a Libertarian. I know what I say, I can support. I try and convince people. I they want to see what’s going on, great! If not, there are plenty of people that are starting to see socialism’s failures.

          Hate to break it to you but Republicans have more in common with Libertarians than Democrats. The Republicans just push religious agendas but that stuff gets smacked down. Libertarians are mostly conservative just not socially conservative like republican are.

          1. “Progressives are not tolerant of wrong-speak.”

            No they are not. They are horrible authoritarians. What you fail to see is that the other side isn’t either. Here’s a bit of wrong-speak that will get me in trouble round your tribe:

            “The military is chock full of freeloaders”
            “Taylor Swift’s music sucks”
            “Rural areas live off of welfare from the cities”
            “The MIC is the largest welfare program in the U.S.”
            “California > Texas”
            “Ronald Reagan was a big government imbecile suffering from advancing dementia”
            “Joining the military does not make you a hero, nor does joining the police”
            “I’m not by default impressed that you were in the military”
            “Oh I thought my patriotism is implicit, Do I really have to wear a flag pin on my lapel to prove it?”
            “France is actually a pretty great country”
            “Christianity, Islam, Judaism are pretty much the same religion…their followers are just at different stages of delusion”

            1. “No they are not. They are horrible authoritarians.”
              Glad you admit that.

              “What you fail to see is that the other side isn’t either. ”
              Of course RINOs are authoritarian types. RINOs and lefties work together all the time to make government bigger and more bankrupt- financially and morally.

              The great thing is more and more people are seeing Libertarianism for the best way to counter lefty socialism and conservative religious agendas.

              1. It’s not the RINOs who boycott the NFL because of kneelers.

                1. It’s not the RINOs who boycott the NFL because of kneelers.

                  How is that authoritarianism? The kneelers exercise their freedom of speech, and the fans exercise their freedom of association. That’s how a free society hashes out disagreements.

      2. No one who comments here is. The difference is I don’t pretend to be one.

    2. Pretending that facts are other than they are because it seems to suit our personal preferences is not the definition of libertarianism.

      If you can’t account for the arguments against your position, and, instead, resort to name calling, no true Scotsman fallacies, etc., and doing it in the name of libertarianism, then you’re doing a great disservice to libertarianism.

      Again, because I opposed the Iraq War doesn’t mean I have to pretend that congress doesn’t really have the power to declare war. In fact, if I were to argue that because congress has no power to declare war, the war is unconstitutional, that would actually be undermining the libertarian position–because undermining the separation of powers simply makes the executive even stronger. Because once I sell intellectual honesty short, how do I get people to care about it again? The truth has a libertarian bias–which is why I have so much faith in reason, even when it seems to suggest things that I don’t like.

      Meanwhile, telling people that congress has no power to set the rules of naturalization (or that naturalization doesn’t cover immigration) undermines the argument for open immigration. I advocate a treaty with Mexico–to be ratified by the senate–which makes travel across our borders without a visa possible.

    3. Not enough American voters will support that when there are so many fake libertarians arguing against the separation of powers, against congress’ power to set the rules of naturalization, against the appropriate place of democracy etc. You think open immigration is a libertarian good–and it is–but that doesn’t justify your attempts to transform the constitution into an instrument of pro-immigration authoritarianism or denigrate the appropriate place for democracy.

      The road to hell is paved with good intentions. It starts with people being willing to sell intellectual honesty short in the name of lofty goals. It ends in things like the drug war. you’re more than halfway down that road already. In your mind, you’re already using the coercive power of government to inflict “libertarianism” on the American people against their will. There isn’t anything libertarian about that. There is no libertarian substitute for persuasion, and your authoritarian, anti-democratic arguments are undermining the libertarian argument for legal, open immigration.

    4. You cannot pick and choose a few libertarian policies you like, argue for them, and then claim that you made a “stirring argument for libertarianism”. Yes, I personally think borders should be completely open provided the state gives me back control of my private property and stops interfering in my business transactions.

      But opening borders while keeping the current system of taxation, anti-discrimination laws, and government benefits in place is not a libertarian policy, it’s, in fact, traditional statism and socialism. That’s what you are advocating and defending.

    5. Desperate to shift the Overton Window.

  15. I have problems with the idea that we should maintain government programs to satisfy someone’s strange definition of liberty.

  16. I can think of one type of person I’d rather not have in the country?people like Cissna. Who the hell is he or anyone else to participate in a coercive process to “select[] for the types of people” who can live in the territory called the United States? What gives anyone the right to set criteria for that?
    The Constitution gives that authority specifically to Congress and the Executive Branch executes immigration and naturalization laws that Congress enacts.

    You open borders people are as bad a lefties with socialism justifications to fit your narrative.

    We can discuss who and when immigrants can enter the USA but the power to regulate the borders is enumerated in the Constitution.

    1. Amen!

    2. The power to tax income is also enumerated in the Constitution. Yet most around here would (rightly) consider income taxation as little more than theft. Just because it’s in the Constitution, doesn’t mean it’s right.

      1. Excellent example of moving the goalposts. You are truly a font of dishonest argumentation.

  17. Why do so many people want to come to the US?

  18. So the market works and is self-regulating…

    For everything EXCEPT immigration.

    1. Completely get rid of the welfare state and immigration will work on a more free market plane.

      Border security is a government function, so free market is not the only factor. Same thing with US military.

      You lefties always crack me up because your ignorance of Libertarianism is so blatant. Its like you’re a 10 year old trying to discuss business in a board room to professional executives.

      1. You lefties

        That’s awesomesauce!

        Care to argue your case from first principles?

        1. You commented with what you think is a cute way to bash free market and securing borders.

          You be genius with an IQ of 25!

          1. So you can’t argue your position from first principles then?

          2. Bash the free market?

            No. Just the opposite.

    2. The question for me isn’t whether immigration is a good thing.

      The question is whether good things should be inflicted on the American people against their will.

      1. You mean your will. Or are you referring to specific polling on the issue?

        1. How about the last election? Trump ran on a platform of limiting immigration, but you and the Democrats seem unwilling to accept the outcome of that choice.

          1. That poll did not favor Trump either. Why do you people keep forgetting that? The electoral college does not confer a policy mandate.

            1. The electoral college does not confer a policy mandate.

              You’re wrong: that is exactly what it does.

            2. Neither does a plurality of the popular vote, which is all Hillary would have had (and all her husband ever got, as well). Somehow I doubt you’d be minimizing her “mandate” if the EC had gone the other way.

        2. “You mean your will. Or are you referring to specific polling on the issue?”

          People ask why I always keep writing the same things, but then people ask me the same questions over and over again–like I’ve never addressed them before.

          Maybe Tony just doesn’t understand the obvious implications of things.

          So, here it is Tony–so that an 8th grader could understand it:

          Setting the rules for naturalization is an enumerated power of congress–just like taxation and declaring war. The constitution enumerated those powers to congress because inflicting those things on the American people against their will is unacceptably oppressive. A rallying cry of the American revolution was “No taxation without representation”. It’s the same idea with wars. If the American people don’t want to go to war, then the government has no business inflicting a war on them against their will. It’s the same thing with immigration policy. Why should the American people be subjected to an immigration policy they despise? Congress is the proper venue for these policy questions because congress reflects public opinion on these matters. Individual rights shouldn’t be subject to popularity contests, but democracy does have its proper place.

        3. Congress is not the proper venue to decide which religion the American people should have or what people can or can’t say–because individual rights shouldn’t be subject to popularity contests. That’s why the First Amendment starts with “Congress shall make no law . . . “. The proper questions for democracy are questions about spending, taxation, war, and . . . you got it–immigration. Our immigration policy should reflect the opinion of the voters on these topics–as expressed through our elected representatives–but those policies should be subject to our constitutional rights. For instance, congress sets the rules of naturalization, but it can’t violate the First, Fifth, or Fourteenth Amendments in doing so.

          None of this should be hard for an average middle school kid to understand. Why you need it explained to you over and over again in the same thread is beyond me, but my first guess is that you’re being willfully obtuse–but that’s giving you the benefit of the doubt.

          If your next question is genuinely about why the First Amendment is different from immigration policy–after that’s already been spelled out for you again (and again, and again, and again)–then calling you willfully obtuse was being too kind. Maybe you’re just obtuse–full stop.

      2. The idea that someone going peacable about their business is some how “inflicted on you against your will”. Is exactly the sort of attitude I was referring to with the “Well, you believe in YOUR individual rights” remark earlier.

        1. “The idea that someone going peacable about their business is some how “inflicted on you against your will”

          Were you or were you not arguing that congress shouldn’t have the power to set the rules for immigration?

          Are you or are you not arguing that immigration policy should not reflect the wishes of the voters?

          I’d point out how silly it is to argue for something and pretend the obvious implications aren’t what you really want–but you do want your favorite immigration policy inflicted on the American people regardless of how popular it is, don’t you?

          You want the constitution to somehow treat immigration policy like it’s freedom of religion–“congress shall make no law . . . ”

          That’s what you want, isn’t it?

          And after stripping the American people of their say on immigration policy, you want to pretend that you’re not actually inflicting your opinion on them, too?

          That’s not coy. It’s just asinine.

        2. Maybe the reason people who tilt right treat you like a dishonest adversary is because you’re being dishonest about your intentions. That’s giving you the benefit of the doubt because the other likely explanation is that you don’t realize that stripping the voters of their say on immigration is inflicting your will on the American people. Is there another explanation?

          You want an unlimited number of immigrants to be free to come here, and you want the government to be able to do nothing to about that–no matter what the voters want. Isn’t that so?

          Your desire for this is so complete, you actually pretend that this is what the framers intended. Isn’t that so?

          You’re acting like Tony. You’re acting like Shrike. Don’t be surprised if people treat you like one of them.

    3. I suppose there is also a question about whether the government has a legitimate interest in screening out immigrants from areas that are rife with anti-American terrorists who mean to target American civilians with violence.

      Per my caveats above about the government not violating the the First, Fifth, or Fourteenth Amendments, I see the answer to that question as “yes”. If immigration policy has any legitimate purpose at all, it is to protect our rights from foreign threats.

    4. The free market works very well for immigration, as soon as we start accounting for the costs immigrants impose on the US as a nation. US per capita government spending is about $25000/year (about half federal, half state/local).

      Any immigrant who pays at least that much in taxes per year should be welcome; any immigrant who doesn’t should be sent home.

      Alternatively, we can cut government spending to more manageable proportions, and then we can lower that threshold.

    5. So the market works and is self-regulating…

      For everything EXCEPT immigration.

      For everything EXCEPT matters where force is being applied. In this case the force applied by immigrants’ voting for bigger govt and sucking welfare from the taxpayers’ teat.

    6. F d’A:

      I’m pretty sure you need to point out how opening our borders would create a free market on a global scale.

      I can think of dozens of perversions of this “market” right off the bat, which would disqualify it from being free.

  19. “From whence cometh the power of mighty Caesar to bar the humble Visigoths from glorious Rome?”

    ~Sheldonus

    1. What does visi goth to do with immigration into the USA today? What does visi goth to do with ANYTHING, fer Chrissakes?!?!?

      1. The hordes change things, sometimes for the worse.

        Allowing lefty voting immigrants to flood in for no other purpose than to get lefties elected is stupid. Lefties don’t like free market at all, so that’s not why they want open borders.

        1. I have been told that the horde is bored… We need more bread and circuses!

          1. Ah. Like ObamaCare?

            1. More progress than THAT is needed…

              FREE veterinary insurance for ALL of our pets!

        2. “The hordes change things, sometimes for the worse.”

          Yes, they do. And as long as we are talking about free migration – and not, say, an actual invading army – the state does not know in advance whether certain migration will be for the better or for the worse.

          Border restrictionists seem utterly convinced that letting freer migration occur would lead to a worse outcome for America. How can we possibly know this? No one has a crystal ball. Sure it seems likely that some aspects will change for the worse, but it is also likely that some aspects will also change for the better. How do we know that it won’t end up being a “net win” for America?

          Let free people be free. Stop trying to control people and restricting them from exercising their liberty.

          1. You’re very adept with sophistry. In this case, dismissing clearly foreseeable outcomes of open borders policy because we can’t be 100% certain they will come to pass. Same sophistry that the neocons used to get us to invade Iraq.

            We have the freest country in the world right now, and we owe that fact entirely to cultural inertia that’s been going for 200+ years. God knows our current institutions and elites don’t favor that being the case and wish to change it as quickly as possible. It’s extremely unlikely that we will enhance our freedom by importing people who are used to the dynamic where you get free shit by obeying those in power.

          2. And as long as we are talking about free migration – and not, say, an actual invading army

            So you’d be okay with lining up MS-13 gang members and putting a soft-nosed bullet in the back of their heads?

            1. Yes….I’ll pay for the ammo myself

  20. WHERE is Agile Cyborg?!?!

    Only Agile Cyborg could bring REAL logic and coherence to this immigration debate!

    I personally would like to see the next contest for Libertarian Presidential Candidate be primarily between Agile Cyborg and Ken Shultz! Watching the Agile Cyborg v/s Ken Shultz debates would be the most sexy and glamorous thing since the Lincoln-Douglas debates!

    1. You’re just not liking the controlled immigration/securing American borders points being made on here.

      You need backup.

  21. Before we stop scapegoating Muslims immigrants Muslim immigrants must stop scaping our goats.

  22. Anyone who claims to be for open borders and has a fence around their community, their yard, or a door on their house to prevent anyone from coming and going anytime they like is a hypocrite. How many of these immigrants will live in THEIR home or neighborhood? NONE.

  23. You real libertarians gonna keep letting these authoritarian eugenicists appropriate your political label?

    1. The only reason that a demand for skill-based immigration seems racist to you is because you are an authoritarian eugenicist yourself, Tony. Of course, that’s entirely consistent with your leftist ideologies and your proclivities for racism and authoritarianism in other areas.

      The rest of us recognize that immigrants of any racial background are capable of meeting the criteria for high-skill immigration.

  24. The concern about radicalization by Muslims in the U.S. is a red herring intended to make Americans distrust foreigners and immigration in general.

    Well, I hope they are succeeding.

    As an immigrant who has lived in half a dozen countries around the world, I believe Americans should “distrust foreigners and immigration in general”, because most of the world is full of people who hate liberty and free markets, and who vote for totalitarian and socialist governments given a chance.

    Until after WWII, we didn’t have to explicitly exclude these people from the US because they would stay away; but since the massive expansion of the welfare state in the US, they have every incentive to come to the US.

    1. Exactly.

    2. To be fair there are plenty of US natives who hate liberty and free markets.

      1. True, but historically, they haven’t been able to wreck the US completely because they were in the minority. I would like to keep it that way for as long as I can.

        Of course, if statists, socialists, or fascists/progressives take over the US, I suppose I and other skilled workers can always pick up and leave again for greener shores.

  25. Who the hell is he or anyone else to participate in a coercive process to “select[] for the types of people” who can live in the territory called the United States? What gives anyone the right to set criteria for that? The country is not a country club requiring membership criteria.

    That’s how nation states operate, and the US is still a nation state. The right of nations to set arbitrary criteria for immigration is universally recognized.

    Individual property owners of course should be free to set any criteria for selecting who lives or works on their property.

    But the US has large amounts of shared infrastructure, mandatory shared insurance plans, etc. Since people are forced to pay for those, they have a right to determine membership, just like in any HOA or country club.

    If someone wants to exclude people from other countries, they should be free to do so without government permission or interference.

    But they aren’t allowed to do that either.

    1. “The right of nations to set arbitrary criteria for immigration is universally recognized.”

      The right of nations to set arbitrary tax rates on its citizens is universally recognized. That doesn’t mean we want the state to be setting absurdly high tax rates, or any tax rates at all, really.

      This argument isn’t about what the state has the power to do – yes, the state has the power to arbitrarily limit immigration from anywhere for any reason, no matter how unjust it may be – the argument is about how the state ought to use its power.

      “But the US has large amounts of shared infrastructure, mandatory shared insurance plans, etc. Since people are forced to pay for those, they have a right to determine membership, just like in any HOA or country club.”

      This is a red herring argument, because the state’s power to limit immigration is not dependent on public funding of the infrastructure of a nation. For example, if I invited a foreigner to visit my property, and the foreigner’s visit did not involve using any public resources whatsoever – because, say, our parcels of property adjoined each other and were separated by a national border – you would nevertheless support the power of the state to deport this individual if he/she did not possess the correct permissions from the government, right?

      1. This argument isn’t about what the state has the power to do

        The question in the article wasn’t about “power”, it was about legitimacy: “What gives anyone the right to set criteria for that?” And the answer to that is simple: the US government has the right to set criteria for immigration both under international law and under the articles under which the US was constituted.

      2. For example, if I invited a foreigner to visit my property, and the foreigner’s visit did not involve using any public resources whatsoever – because, say, our parcels of property adjoined each other and were separated by a national border – you would nevertheless support the power of the state to deport this individual if he/she did not possess the correct permissions from the government, right?

        That’s not a meaningful hypothetical because merely by being on US territory, foreigners acquire numerous rights and benefits. Furthermore, even if they don’t leave your property, they still impose costs on infrastructure (presumably, you’ll feed them, want fire and police protection, Internet access, etc.). If they have kids, those kids would still be US citizens under current US law. It would also make immigration enforcement and border security impossible without violating the rights of American citizens. So, you are correct: unless there are substantial changes to US law, I continue to support the power of the US federal government to exclude foreigners even from private property.

        I will tell you what I do support: I think anybody should be allowed to work in the US who pays more in taxes every year than the average per capita government spending. I also think you, or any other private citizen, should be allowed to sponsor whoever they like at that level by posting a 10 year bond.

  26. Many are not in favor of high levels of immigration – because the increase in population level decreases their quality of life ($ for rent, housing, tuition; crime, welfare). For them, it’s not about immigrants, but immigration – the numbers (see NumbersUSA.org).
    That is why the RAISE Act makes sense.
    Those who benefit from increased population (the 1%) will, of course, use their influence [$] with congress (remember what Charles “I certainly hope so” Keating said – look up Keating five) and their control of the media to prevent the RAISE Act from becoming law. See http://www.washingtonexaminer……le/2631734
    The 1% will be supported by the compassionate [aka useful non-thinkers] who are easily led. Those same compassionates will continue to complain about the high cost of rent, price of houses, college tuition, etc., without understanding cause and effect.

  27. Other than for extremely obvious cases (i.e., known terrorists, Nobel laureates), I do not trust the state to have the wisdom to decide which potential immigrants would be “good for America” or “bad for America”.

    I do however trust individuals to know how they would like to manage their own affairs.

    Besides we already know what happens when the state has the power to decide who comes in and who doesn’t. Well-connected rent-seekers will steer that power to benefit themselves. We see this with big companies abusing H1B visas, farm interests abusing farm visas. Heck, Trump himself does this with the temporary visas for workers for his resort properties. (And BTW I don’t blame him for using the existing rules for his benefit.)

    Immigration is a complete mess in this country BECAUSE the government has so much power over it. So long as America is a rich nation full of successful businesses, immigration in its current form will continue to be a corrupt graft-filled disaster. Because there isn’t a single immigration policy that will have the support of both the Googles of the world and the Trumpkins of the world, so given the tension between the two, government will of course choose the path that benefits *itself* first and foremost – and that most often leads to benefiting the Googles against the Trumpkins.

    1. Other than for extremely obvious cases (i.e., known terrorists, Nobel laureates), I do not trust the state to have the wisdom to decide which potential immigrants would be “good for America” or “bad for America”. I do however trust individuals to know how they would like to manage their own affairs.

      Well, then there is a simple solution: government policy is limited to setting annual quotas for immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and those visas get auctioned off to the highest bidders. We should also require bidders to post a bond that pays the government in case the visa holders turn out to commit crimes or become public charges within 10 years of entering the US.

      That way, government gets out of the business of selecting “good” vs “bad”, “risky” vs “benign” immigrants entirely.

      1. annual quotas for immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and those visas get auctioned off to the highest bidders

        Do you really view that as a low state solution? There is a tremendous amount in your scenario left to the wisdom of our overlords. Including assumptions that more money = more valuable to us in the long run, and that government has the wisdom to know the correct quotas of people that should be allowed.

        So I ask you this. How do you reconciliate your stated distrust of the state, with your call for incredible state interference in this realm?

        1. There is a tremendous amount in your scenario left to the wisdom of our overlords. Including assumptions that more money = more valuable to us in the long run and that government has the wisdom to know the correct quotas of people that should be allowed.

          There is exactly one number that government needs to come up with, namely the number of annual visas; there are no other significant decisions. That’s about as minimal as you can get for an immigration policy and offers basically no opportunities for rent seeking. If that still worries you, we can come up with that number by plebiscite.

          So I ask you this. How do you reconciliate your stated distrust of the state, with your call for incredible state interference in this realm?

          Since the “incredible state interference” exists only in your mind, there is nothing to “reconciliate”.

    2. So because it is a difficult issue it is better to just give up? I am not sure I follow.

      If the politicians do not find some moderate position on immigration to pursue I can spell out what will happen, they will elect bigots who do not want anyone to come and will shut down immigration entirely. Which would be within the purview of powers enumerated to our government. Nearly every single country in Europe has had to deal with resurgent far-right parties almost entirely because of immigration policies pursued in an undemocratic manner and I do not think it is some stretch of the imagination to think Trump won on this issue either. There is no reason to suppose this would change in the future.

      I implore libertarians to pursue a more moderate position in this instance free of their ideological preferences. Perhaps it is not to your personal liking but the world is not a perfect place either, it is best to deal with it as it is rather than how one would wish it should be.

      1. Which would be within the purview of powers enumerated to our government.

        Saying the constitution allows it is the a weak fallback for anyone having an ultimately ethical debate.

        Nearly every single country in Europe has had to deal with resurgent far-right parties almost entirely because of immigration policies pursued in an undemocratic manner

        And democracy is often a sham used to suppress the rights of minority. Hell, one of the common fears expressed here is that immigrants will vote to suppress the old guard americans. This is part of the problem with democracy entirely. 99.9999% of people agreeing to murder the 0.00001% doesn’t make it right.

        1. Fair enough. I do not personally find it terrible unethical to restrict immigration similar to other developed nations (accept only refugees or individuals who could immediately add value to the nation) so there is that also.

          And I agree democracy can be mob rule, but that is why ours is backed up with enumerated rights to include protection of minorities. So I have a generally positive impression of our democracy.

        2. Fair enough. I do not personally find it terrible unethical to restrict immigration similar to other developed nations (accept only refugees or individuals who could immediately add value to the nation) so there is that also.

          And I agree democracy can be mob rule, but that is why ours is backed up with enumerated rights to include protection of minorities. So I have a generally positive impression of our democracy.

        3. Saying the constitution allows it is the a weak fallback for anyone having an ultimately ethical debate.

          No, it’s an answer to the question raised in the article of where governmental powers originate. And it’s not just the US Constitution that allows this, it is every nation state in existence, as well as the UN human rights charter. Ethically, limits on immigration are part of a whole package of balanced rights and obligations in nation states.

          And democracy is often a sham used to suppress the rights of minority.

          Well, I’m in the minority of people who make a substantial net positive contribution to the tax base, and by bringing in even more low skill workers, you are suppressing my property rights even more. And I object strongly, on ethical grounds.

    3. I do not trust the state to have the wisdom to decide which potential immigrants would be “good for America” or “bad for America”.

      If that’s your position, the choice would have to be between open borders or no immigration at all. I certainly don’t favor prohibiting immigration across the board, but it’s better than open borders for a multitude of reasons. So I don’t know that you want to force that dichotomy too hard.

      Or we could have the market decide — change the H1b lottery to a simple ranking of salaries. The top N salary offers get the visas. (You’d have to insert language forcing the employer to actually pay that much and never reduce the salary for the duration of the visa, etc.) Seems like a good metric for determining which immigrants are useful and which are just more mouths to feed.

      1. Open Borders is letting the market decide. Labor is a commodity like anything else. Letting people come freely or leave freely if it is not economically advantageous is a free market idea.

        1. Labor is a commodity like anything else. Letting people come freely or leave freely if it is not economically advantageous is a free market idea.

          “Open borders” for labor markets in the current environment is the equivalent in consumer markets of US taxpayers subsidizing imports by foreign corporations in order to lower prices for American consumers. It is a complete absurdity.

          In the presence of massive social programs, socialization of labor costs and insurance risks, “open borders” is not a free market solution. It becomes a free market solution only if immigrants pay about as much as they cost the government, an average of at least about $25000/year (per capita US government spending).

  28. Ultimately, I view immigration as natural flow in the market of human labor. How do we limit this particular market while squaring it with the idea of free markets? If it is not, then what is immigration? If the fear is that they will overwhelm our welfare, then you should explicitly state your issue is with the welfare state, and not the fear of others coming and using it.

    One thing I see a lot that I dislike here is fear of immigration for certain things like voting, but almost entirely giving a pass to voting or culture of people already here who don’t have libertarian ideas. It’s like when people complain about Mexican’s coming and fucking up the vote, they’re talking about some 3% pushing things over into a majority. They’re never bitching about the 48% of natural born americans fucking it up.

    Or how when they complain about how some foreign group has some stat like, “55% support a bigger government” they always use that to shit on the entire group rather than give praise to the 45% in their own statistic that is not for bigger government.

    Because too many people here are inherently statist. You view rights only in terms of citizenship and fealty to some state.

    1. Or how when they complain about how some foreign group has some stat like, “55% support a bigger government” they always use that to shit on the entire group rather than give praise to the 45% in their own statistic that is not for bigger government.

      That is not what people are complaining about. People aren’t saying “don’t let in any Mexicans because they are 90% statist”, they are saying “don’t let in Mexicans indiscriminately because they are 90% statist”. What reasonable people want is an immigration policy that selects for self-sufficient, highly productive immigrants regardless of country of origin, race, ethnicity, or religion.

      And that is hardly something outrageous to ask for: that’s how immigration works in Canada, Europe, Australia, and pretty much everywhere else. It is the current US immigration system, with its race based, family based, and place-of-birth based criteria that is utterly absurd, dysfunctional, and a complete outlier.

    2. “Because too many people here are inherently statist. You view rights only in terms of citizenship and fealty to some state.”

      Perhaps rights are natural, perhaps they are not. Be that as it may, they only way they are protected right now is inside the borders of a national government. This is unlikely to change in the near future. So I do view rights in terms of citizenship and how they are negotiated with society as a whole and expressed in our laws.

  29. One thing I see a lot that I dislike here is fear of immigration for certain things like voting, but almost entirely giving a pass to voting or culture of people already here who don’t have libertarian ideas.

    I have never “given a pass” to the 20-30% of socialists and fascists that exist in the US (primarily in the Democratic party), nor to the 10-20% of theocrats (primarily in the Republican party). As a libertarian, I speak out against them in the strongest possible terms and I also vote for cutting the subsidies to those populations. But that’s all we can do in a free society; they are citizens and have the right to vote, and we can’t take that away. What we can do easily and legally in a free society, however, is to limit more of those people coming into the country.

    1. You’re assuming that the average immigrant is more statist than the average native, but you’re probably wrong about that.

      1. I don’t think he is wrong about that, honestly. It is all about incentives. US immigration has slowly morphed from “opportunity” to “free shit” as the main incentive. The types of people coming here reflect that, as do the way they vote.

      2. You’re assuming that the average immigrant is more statist than the average native, but you’re probably wrong about that.

        I’m not “assuming” that, it’s a fact: the current population of immigrants and their children for several generations statistically favor larger government and vote Democratic by a wide margins. That’s true for both legal and illegal immigrants. That’s one reason Democrats favor legal and illegal immigration so much.

        You can see the consequences in California: prior to 1986, it was a purple state, a few years later, it became solid blue.

        (There are different reasons for it. Many low skill immigrants benefit from Democratic handouts and government programs. Many high skill immigrants benefit from Democratic handouts to big corporations and academia. But whatever the reasons, the statistics are clear.)

  30. Most countries use merit based system or other difficult criteria to effectively limit immigration. “Chain migration in America isn’t as easy as you think” is sort of irrelevant, because it’s certainly way more easier for you to get in here via family member or business connection in the states. My churches used to sponsor families all the time. It’s a process that requires effort, but it’ll probably pay off in the end. The result – there are enough immigrants here to form their own nation, while Canada is still 87% white.

    Immigrants (in practical terms) have very little to offer to Trump’s rust belt fans or the poor Obama voters. Does any of your black friends earn living wages working for a small Asian company? Working full time at a Yogurtland or Morning Glory is no one’s definition of an American dream. If you’re working for Hyundai, then you’re probably cream of the crop to begin with.

    You don’t have to tell me that immigrants find success in this country and contribute to the economy, I see them. But that’s actually more of a testament to America’s willingness to accommodate outsiders. People flee places like Korea because there’s no future for them there, despite their talents. These people couldn’t possibly go to places like China and expect their experience and skills to matter in a fixed economy.

  31. Muslims are 1% of people living in America, and 10% of mass shooters in the past decade. “Scapegoats” indeed.

  32. Ok so clarify something for me since you guys are smarter than me on detailed positions held by libertarians.

    1. You want open borders because, well you just do.

    2. You want an end to big government socialism, entitlement programs (the welfare state) and you want fewer people thinking and voting like socialists….

    ?BUT YOU WANT OPEN BORDERS SO THE WORLD’S BILLIONS OF SOCIALISTS CAN COME HERE, GET BENEFITS, AND VOTE DEMOCRAT. ?

  33. Muslim immigration is destroying Europe as we speak.

    Yet the open borders crowd still thinks for some reason they will assimilate here.

    All we’re doing is sowing the seeds of violence.

    Real, BIG, violence.

  34. Many Americans distrust legal immigration because the government has refused, over decades, to enforce the border control laws. Enforce the Law, punish and expel the civilian invaders, then we can talk about measured legal immigration.

    Recall that not just anybody could go to Galt’s Gulch – the strikers hid it’s existence from view thus blocking illegal entrants. Until Dagny Taggart agreed to join the strike she couldn’t remain in GG.

    Until they abandon their collectivist inclinations (as exemplified by supporting the democrat party) and demonstrate respect for the law (i.e. not cross the border without permission) peasants from central and south America must not be allowed entry or stay in the country in numbers.

    Like the great strikers of Galt’s Gulch the US too has the right to decide whom to admit to our citizenry.

  35. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna displayed an odious hostility to liberty at a press briefing last week when he tried to associate immigration with terrorism.

    “9/11 never happened”

  36. To be fair to lunatic Richman, if you’re an anarchist, of course you don’t believe in government borders. Anything and everything having to do with government is horrible and icky.

    You can’t expect sense out of him for anything to do with borders. Just laugh, pat him on the head, and move on.

  37. Islam is incompatible with freedom, it actually means “submission”. There can be no assimilation at that point and that is the point. Reasons enough to keep them out.

  38. Islam is incompatible with freedom, it actually means “submission”. There can be no assimilation at that point and that is the point. Reasons enough to keep them out.

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