Immigration

Trump is no Deregulator on Immigration

My new Penn Regulatory Review article explains why =widespread claims that Trump is a deregulator are undermined by his immigration policies, which include increases in regulation that outweigh reductions he may have achieved elsewhere.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

The Statue of Liberty.

The University of Pennsylvania Regulatory Review has just published my article on how the widespread belief that Trump is a deregulator is contradicted by his immigration policy. The article is part of the Regulatory Review's symposium on "Regulation in the Trump Administration's First Year," which also includes contributions by Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin, Texas AG Ken Paxton, and law professors Dan Farber (UC Berkeley), Cary Coglianese (University of Pennsylvania), Richard Pierce (George Washington) and Mark Nevitt (Penn). Here is an excerpt:

If there is one thing that most commentators agree on about President Donald J. Trump's economic policies, it is that he promotes deregulation. American Enterprise Institute President Chris DeMuth lauds him for being a "full-spectrum deregulator." Susan Dudley, a leading academic expert on regulation, similarly concludes that Trump has made "undeniable" progress on the deregulation front. Most liberal commentators agree that Trump has been a deregulator, even if they differ from DeMuth and Dudley in their normative evaluation of his actions.

But the near-universal belief that Trump is a deregulator is in need of serious revision. His Administration's immigration policies are nothing of the kind. Not only do they increase regulation, but they likely do so far more than Trump's other policies decrease it…

The impact is by no means limited to immigrants. American citizens also face substantial costs, both narrowly "economic" and otherwise. American businesses and consumers obviously suffer from losing the productivity of those excluded or deported by the Administration. American citizens also obviously suffer from being cut off from family members who are deported or banned from entering the United States.

In addition, expanded efforts to deport undocumented migrants also harm American citizens. Shockingly, the federal government probably detains or deports several thousand American citizens every year, on the assumption that they must be illegal aliens. Once arrested by immigration authorities, these people are "swept into the Kafkaesque nightmare of the immigration system, [where] they are effectively assumed illegal until proven otherwise," as immigration expert Shikha Dalmia puts it….

The article also addresses claims that Trump's immigration policies are just a matter of "enforcing the law" by reducing illegal immigration, an interpretation further belied by his support for legislation that would massively cut legal immigration.

There is an interesting synergy between my article and Cary Coglianese's forthcoming contribution to the same symposium, which argues that Trump's deregulatory record elsewhere is not nearly as extensive as it is cracked up to be (I did not have an opportunity to see his essay before completing my own).

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  1. This article has very little to do with regulation. Instead there is an argument that immigration has economic benefits. Maybe so, but not to Americans. Taking refugees and other immigrants has been costing 100s of billions of dollars.

    Maybe deregulation should cause the USA to abolish all immigration.

    1. I agree. Under the logic of the article, completely opening the borders of the U.S. while simultaneously adding tons of regulatory approvals and filings for ordinary business transactions would make that administration “deregulatory”.

      This is an article about immigration, not how easy it is to do business in the U.S., which is what most people think of when they think “regulation.”

      1. “This is an article about immigration, not how easy it is to do business in the U.S., which is what most people think of when they think “regulation.””

        I’m a people and when I think of regulation, I also think of immigration regulations. So does the President. Go control-f his Border Wall EO and you’ll see plenty of references to immigration regulations.

      2. The article does not argue for open borders. You’ve put words in the author’s mouth.

        1. It doesn’t matter if this particular article argues for open borders or not. The author is so very much in favor of open borders that he literally believes anyone who wants can come to the US and immediately get residency, including people who verbally advocate the destruction of the United States, as long as those people haven’t taken steps to actually destroy the United States.

    2. Taking refugees and other immigrants has been costing 100s of billions of dollars.

      Absolute nonsense. Immigrants and refugees are a net gain to our economy. Not only are they more likely to not take on debt but they are more likely to create small businesses, create jobs, and are more family oriented than most Americans. They are a republicans wet dream if they could stop being such racists.

      A country cannot survive without immigration. If you ban immigration the economy will tank. And it will make us less safe.

      1. A country cannot survive without immigration.

        This is obviously, comically false, so it must be a joke, but I don’t see a punchline

        1. I agree, it’s generally false, but he may be thinking about reports that birth rates in the US and other industrialized nations are falling combined with the baby boomers causing a bulge in the retired population causing the workforce to shrink absent immigration.

          Without immigrants, U.S. workforce would shrink dramatically over next 20 years

          1. But, are low birthrates causing a need for high levels of immigration, or are high levels of immigration causing low birthrates among natives? The US was, until recently, an outlier in the trend towards sub-replacement birthrates.

            I don’t think immigration is the exclusive cause of the problem here, but it may at least be exacerbating it, by depressing wages so that people find it harder to afford to have children. (Without making lifestyle sacrifices they’re reluctant to make.

            It’s certainly not a real fix. Rather, it’s like responding to a gushing wound by just giving somebody repeated transfusions, instead of staunching the bleeding. And knowing that some fraction of your blood supply is contaminated with AIDS…

            1. “But, are low birthrates causing a need for high levels of immigration, or are high levels of immigration causing low birthrates among natives?”

              It’s the former, nearly everywhere in the world. This is demonstrable.

              “…by depressing wages so that people find it harder to afford to have children.”

              Your hypothesis isn’t supported by data. Birthrate is negatively correlated with increased income. As people make more money they have fewer children. Poorer people have more children. Everywhere. If you increased the wages of white Americans, they’d have as few children as Luxembourgers.

              “It’s certainly not a real fix.”

              It’s the only fix. The majority of Japanese women are too old to reproduce. The only way to solve the demographic problem would be to put Japanese women into time machines, send them back to their reproductive years, and have them reproduce. But since we don’t have a time machine, the only way that Japan is going to have a population tomorrow that is the same size as the one today, is importing people who are young enough to reproduce. Reversing Japan’s fertility problem internally won’t yield results for decades; the population will still continue to decline.

        2. I note that you do not find citations of a ‘100s of billions’ cost number to be comically false. Humor is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

          Nowhere more than immigration do you see each side repeatedly rushing to lower itself below the other when it comes to false narratives.

          1. Depends on which population you are discussing. Is it the legal or illegal population.

            Heritage Report

            There is a reason democrats only point to the legal side to proclaim all immigration is good and ignore the sunk cost in illegal immigration. Legal immigration can control things such as disease, education levels, etc. Illegal immigration can not. There is a reason most countries, such as Canada, use a metrics based immigration system.

            Even on the legal immigrant side it depends on what types of costs are included in the calculations. The liberal think tanks often ignore food stamps, Medicaid, schooling etc for citizen children of legal immigrants despite them being a net cost when included in the family structure of the legal immigration family. So it becomes a game of moving around costs and adding benefits.

            1. There’s a reason you’re using a Heritage report.

              I am very much not a fan of illegal immigration, but your characterization if illegal immigration as adding little value because of lack of education and disease is doubly wrong – it undervalues the incredible productivity cheap, unregulated labor brings to industry, and it seems to believe illegals (and their subsequent generations) are incapable of becoming educated. Which is, ironically, what the GOP’s harsh policies would assure.

              1. it undervalues the incredible productivity cheap, unregulated labor brings to industry, and it seems to believe illegals (and their subsequent generations) are incapable of becoming educated.

                If illegal immigrants have a higher cost to society and pose a greater risk than legal immigrants, then why don’t we stick with legal immigrants? The only reason I can see is that the fear of deportation that illegal immigrants have allows us to abuse them and subject them to unconscionable conditions without fear of repercussion.

                1. Because we pay illegals under the table, don’t need to give them safe working conditions, and can work them ridiculous, unregulated hours.

                  It’s an immoral system, and one I hope we end, but not by burdening these poor souls.

                  1. It’s an immoral system, and one I hope we end, but not by burdening these poor souls.

                    So I take it that you agree that illegal immigrants should be prevented from entering the country.

                    1. I’m not an open borders guy, if that’s what you mean. But I’m also not for infinite ICE funding and like landmining the border. Like everything else, it’s about line drawing.

                      Requiring businesses to pay minimum wage and give national benefits to everyone, no questions asked, and suddenly the problem solves itself. Though at probably nontrivial costs to our economy, both short term transition and long term.

                    2. I’m not an open borders guy, if that’s what you mean. But I’m also not for infinite ICE funding and like landmining the border.

                      Are you in favor of taking effective steps to eliminate illegal immigration?

                      Requiring businesses to pay minimum wage and give national benefits to everyone, no questions asked, and suddenly the problem solves itself.

                      Illegal immigrants subject to deportation will not be helped by laws requiring them to be treated fairly and paid a decent wage, because when the law is found to be violated they will not be paid more but rather will be deported.

                    3. White “open borders” advocates exist, they’re largely used as a straw man argument to portray nuanced immigration positions as extreme.

                      Illegal immigrants should be prevented from entering the country. And they should be prevented from entering the country in cost-effective ways. And the cost of keeping them out should not exceed any net cost of caring for them if we did let them in.

                      However, that answer says nothing useful about the far more important and difficult question of what to do about undocumented immigrants that successfully enter the country and set up a life, have citizen children, and become positive and productive members of their communities. That’s the discussion we need to be having.

                      And it would be nice to have that conversation without “Family Values Patriots” advocating for separating young children from their parents or throwing US citizens out of the country because their parents are undocumented.

                    4. And it would be nice to have that conversation without “Family Values Patriots” advocating for separating young children from their parents or throwing US citizens out of the country because their parents are undocumented.

                      So that discussion must not question the premise that illegal immigrants who give birth in the United States must be given permanent residency status, as must all siblings of the child born here. What’s to be discussed?

                      What’s wrong with those illegal immigrants being promptly deported (with their kids), instead of the lackadaisical approach where we first allow them to stay for seven or eight years and then are faced with deporting them after the kids have become acculturated?

                      And the cost of keeping them out should not exceed any net cost of caring for them if we did let them in.

                      How do you evaluate cost where an illegal immigrant takes the job of an American citizen? Since keeping them out obviously has a cost, it sounds like you would be in favor of admitting all those millions across the globe who want to immigrate and who would be gainfully employed doing some menial job, since they would be able to earn their keep and the cost of keeping them out would be greater than zero.

        3. How does it compare to the assertion that, “taking refugees and other immigrants has been costing 100s of billions of dollars.”

          1. What do you think the cost of illegal immigration is? See this evaluation.

      2. regexp is one of those dishonest people who are intent on making the word ‘racist’ mean absolutely nothing

        1. Could you identify any of the intolerant people who are intent on keeping racism — and misogyny, and Islamophobia, and xenophobia, and homophpbia — alive in America?

          Or, as I suspect, do you see solely color-blind and gloriously post-racial people?

          Do you believe that people who defend militant homosexuals are just defending traditional values?

          Do you observe race-targeting voter suppression and shrug, ‘but we are losing our country?’

          Do you hear Republican candidate Courtland Sykes describe conservative views of women and think ‘he’s only telling the truth?’

          Racist means something. You don’t like what it means.

          1. Ah, Rev

            How does it feel to be nothing more than piss in the wind.

            1. My preferences have prevailed in America throughout my lifetime, goober. Reason, education, progress, tolerance, science, inclusivity.

              Conservative preferences have been fading as America’s great liberal-libertarian alliance continues to chart America’s course of progress.

              You will take your stale thinking to the grave, muttering bitterly — and increasingly inconsequentially — from society’s sidelines.

              Carry on, clingers.

              So far as your lousy educations, bigoted souls, superstition-laced gullibility, and depleted, can’t-keep-up backwaters can carry anybody, anyway.

              1. “My preferences have prevailed in America throughout my lifetime, goober. Reason, education, progress, tolerance, science, inclusivity.”

                I would describe them as your own delusions defended only with poisonous rhetoric. I have yet to see any response from you that resembled anything educated, tolerant, science based, or had any goal other than to be an emotional attack in search of an emotional response.

                It certainly isn’t ‘inclusive’/

                Hard to take you seriously, cousin.

                1. America has improved throughout my lifetime. We ejected creationism and prayer from classrooms, despite conservatives’ howling and foot-dragging. We stopped bigots from beating homosexuals for sport in alleys, and from causing our government to treat them as second-class citizens, against despite conservatives’ intolerant efforts. We enabled women to escape the barefoot-uneducated-and-pregnant dungeon, especially outside our backwaters, and watched them attend graduate schools, earn elective office, and move toward parity in the workforce. The list continues, with two standard themes: The liberal-libertarian alliance forged the progress, and conservatives fought and lost time and again. Conservatives’ principal accomplishment in the past 50 years has been to welcome the migration of southern bigots from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

                  Congratulations on that one, clingers.

                  1. Hooray for you

                    but now you have gangs of coffee-house tyrants who in the last 12 months have assaulted more Trump supporters than there have been reports physical hate crimes against gays over the past twelve years.

                    You have lead to a resurgence in antisemitism that makes Jews the #1 target of hate crimes.

                    ” We enabled women to escape the barefoot-uneducated-and-pregnant dungeon..”

                    No you haven’t. You’ve put them in a convenient place where they are allowed to think they are equal, but are rife for harassment. The whole #METOO thing is a left wing problem, not a right wing one. You separated yourself from God. Congrats! Now you see women only in terms of what sort of utility you can get out of them. You must feel so proud.

                    “Conservatives’ principal accomplishment in the past 50 years has been to welcome the migration of southern bigots from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.”

                    Bad facts beget bad arguments, something that you should remember.

                    Fact: The Conservative ideology of today grew out of the Civil Rights era. We are the ones trying to ‘Conserve’ the idea of racial equality before the law. The Left has largely rejected this in favor of racial preferences.

                    Fact: The Dixiecrats by and large did not become Republicans. They stayed and Died as members of the Democrat leftist party. the few that did become Republican did so after recanting racism.

                    Fact: There are far more racists on the Left than on the Right.

                    But keep up your drivel,

      3. “Absolute nonsense. Immigrants and refugees are a net gain to our economy.”

        Certainly it depends on what immigrants and refugees we are talking about. Lets be clear, the difference between most of the Left and the Right on this issue concerns the quality and productivity of people we ought to retain.

        But the problem with even this is that it doesn’t make an argument to preservation of our Constitutional order. How many people, even productive people, can we import from quasi-failed neo marxist states without straining the failing consensus around very important principles of the Constitution or further remove us from a limited government? Immigrants tend heavily to support the policies that created the conditions they ultimately flee from.

        1. The differences between left and right on this issue tend to be authoritarianism and bigotry.

          Carry on, clingers.

          So far as lousy educations, bigoted souls, superstition-laced gullibility, authoritarian preferences, and can’t-keep-up backwaters can carry anyone, at least.

          1. It must be so comforting to be such a simple person Arthur. No real intelligent dialogue, just attacking the morality of others. It is ironic how well the moniker Reverend fits you as you do exactly what most liberals complain of religious ideologues of doing.

            1. Not a fan of attacks, yet a regular at a right-wing blog devoted to advancing movement conservatism with cherry-picked attacks on liberals (with a heaping side of faux libertarianism and an academic veneer)?

        2. And that’s true inside the United States too. Liberals flee the “crime” and “high taxes” of liberal states to places like North Carolina, Colorado, and Florida, and then continue to vote for Democrats there.

        3. Lets be clear, the difference between most of the Left and the Right on this issue concerns the quality and productivity of people we ought to retain.

          At the moment, I see on the right a general hostility to bringing people over at all.

          How many people, even productive people, can we import from quasi-failed neo marxist states
          It’s ironic how the nativists have so little faith in America’s ideals to win out even for people who choose to come here.

          Immigrants tend heavily to support the policies that created the conditions they ultimately flee from.
          Completely unsupported. Of course, they really mean they fear they won’t vote Republican. Not that they’re going to bother to make a case. Not when they have so many accusations of Marxism based on country of origin to make!

          1. No, our hostility is to bringing in more unskilled, uneducated people who are a burden to the system.

            America’s ideals only win out people who are capable of making it on their own. Most third-world immigrants are not. As for “making a case,” when 80% of non-European immigrants vote for the Democrat Party, it seems the case is made for us.

            1. I love it when you help.

              1. [rolling laughing emoji here]

              2. Is a single line of my post untrue?

                1. Most of it isn’t even wrong. But my personal favorite is specifying ‘non-European.’

                  1. It’s true. Even educated people from India and China vote 80/20 Democrat. This isn’t a matter of debate.

                    1. It’s about time for another faux libertarian to jump in and decry mentions of right-wingers’ bigotry.

                      Carry on, clingers.

          2. It’s so hostile to want an immigration policy that more closely resembles most other countries including such liberal stalwarts as Canada and Norway?

            1. Jesse, read these comments. Lazy, criminal, diseased, antithetical to America…yeah, hostile is a pretty good word for it.

              And Canada and Norway are different from America in fundamental ways, among them population and diversity. For the same reason their health care system isn’t right here, their immigration system doesn’t apply.

          3. At the moment, I see on the right a general hostility to bringing people over at all.

            Perhaps if you dislodged your cranium from your rectum long enough to wipe your eyes you might see what actually exists rather than what your confirmation bias causes your imagination to dream up for you. Your comments are the same brand of clap-trap used to describe anti-illegal immigration positions as simply “anti-immigration”…because that’s easier to attack than the actual position being held. It’s lazy and dishonest. In other words, it’s you.

            1. Read the comments, Wuz. Also look a Trump’s agenda.

      4. A good article to read on this subject:

        Economist George Borjas: Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers

        Quote (but read the whole article):
        … it’s not too farfetched to conclude that immigration has barely affected the total wealth of natives at all. Instead, it has changed how the pie is split, with the losers – the workers who compete with immigrants, many of those being low-skilled Americans – sending a roughly $500 billion check annually to the winners. Those winners are primarily their employers. And the immigrants themselves come out ahead, too. Put bluntly, immigration turns out to be just another income redistribution program.

        Once we understand immigration this way, it’s clear why the issue splits Americans – why many low-skilled native workers are taking one side, and why immigrants and businesses are taking another.

        1. Yep Kevin,

          With immigration in particular, you are going to find a field full of contradictory claims. Economic studies appear to be like mining. You only dig deep enough to find what you want, and often pay no attention to the things you don’t.

        2. The problem is that Borjas is an outlier on the topic. Sure, read him; he’s not a crank. But read him understanding that the vast majority of economists come to different conclusions than he does.

          1. You offer so many helpful citations to counter Borjas I see. Or you’re referring to the net number which Borjas agrees with but then does a secondary inspection based on groups.

            1. Good lord, ge offered an opinion on how to read Borjas and you jumped all over him.

              Not everything is an attack on you. Or maybe for you, it is.

          2. “The problem is that Borjas is an outlier on the topic. Sure, read him; he’s not a crank. But read him understanding that the vast majority of economists come to different conclusions than he does.”

            I thought this was a very fair point.

            However, I would be careful with economic ‘consensuses’. Remember, economics is not really a science and economists are educated to believe their craft can solve the world’s problems. By their very nature this endears them to the ideals of statism, so their *findings* tend to reflect the desires of an over reaching state, which right now supports high level of immigration and lax enforcement.

        3. “…and businesses…”

          A ha! The Chamber of Commerce Democrats strike again!

      5. Immigrants who come here on skills visas, yes. Immigrants who come through diversity visas or family reunification and refugees, absolutely not. They’re a net loss, and a huge one. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying.

      6. “A country cannot survive without immigration. ”

        Japan and China say hello.

        1. “hello” Japan whimpered.

      7. C’mon man!

        It is an easily proven statistic when one combines the healthcare, education, judicial system, etc. expenses that are given to illegal foreign nationals. While there are a few that contribute to society, the vast majority create a huge net loss to the various government entities.

        1. That’s…not evidence.

          I think a lot of the things you find obvious about illegals is flat wrong. One of us is right, one of us is wrong.

          I would point out that if we buy your stark narrative, it applies just as easily to all immigrants. And, indeed, to poor people generally.

  2. The University of Pennsylvania Regulatory Review has just published my article on how the widespread belief that Trump is a deregulator is contradicted by his immigration policy.

    The U.S. justice system also has an effect that works against deregulation. Perhaps we should just stop arresting and jailing criminals. Most of the problem with immigration concerns illegal immigrants. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 92% of the 24,476 confirmed aliens in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons are here unlawfully.

    Furthermore, I know that the figures are disputed, but some claim that illegal immigrants and their kids are costing American taxpayers $135 billion a year.

    Before arguing that deregulation of illegal immigrants would be a good thing, Ilya should address the net cost of illegal immigrants.

    1. I know that the figures are disputed, but some claim that illegal immigrants and their kids are costing American taxpayers

      The very first line of the article that you linked too is demonstrably false. Illegal immigration has fallen over time. It has not “swelled” in recent years. And the article completely ignores the net benefits that person in this country provides. So sorry if I doubt that deeply reasoned article. /sarcasm

      Illegal (or undocumented) immigrants are less likely to to commit crime for a simple basic reason: it makes them more likely to get deported. Which is not what they want.

      1. “The very first line of the article that you linked too is demonstrably false. Illegal immigration has fallen over time. It has not “swelled” in recent years.”

        The Washington examiner article wasn’t talking about the number of illegals swelling, but their total cost to taxpayers.

        “Illegal (or undocumented) immigrants are less likely to to commit crime for a simple basic reason: it makes them more likely to get deported. ”

        No, it makes them far less likely to report a crime. And they committed a crime already simply by entering our borders. Quite frankly, the claims that illegals commit less crimes has, rightfully, an uphill battle for credibility for one other reason: the demographic.

        Most Illegals are males 16-35. This is the age/sex demographic most likely to commit crimes in pretty much every culture in history. Why would this abate once they commit the crime of illegal immigration? This is a case where an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.

        1. “Most Illegals are males 16-35. This is the age/sex demographic most likely to commit crimes in pretty much every culture in history. Why would this abate once they commit the crime of illegal immigration?”

          Unless you can come up with evidence that they are even more likely commit crimes than native born males aged 16-35, why would it matter one way or the other?

          “This is a case where an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.”

          And of course there is zero possibility you are wrong/confused about who is making the extraordinary claim here.

          1. “Unless you can come up with evidence that they are even more likely commit crimes than native born males aged 16-35”

            Because they are over represented as a population compared to 16-35 year old male natives. Also, they commit a crime simply by entering the country.

            Also consider: https://goo.gl/1uxYgz

            stolen ss numbers is not a victimless crime. It screws with people.

            That’s one crime in the least, and two in the case of many. Explain to me how your precious illegals can overcome this statistical difficulty and manage to be more law abiding than the native born.

            Also, in crimes of illegal vs illegal. It makes sense that these go under reported. Consider also that illegal immigrants often cavort with human traffickers and drug traffickers to get here.

            “And of course there is zero possibility you are wrong/confused about who is making the extraordinary claim here”

            Except it isn’t an extraordinary claim to express heavy skepticism that this, our magical illegal immigration population, can buck historical trends exhibited by virtually every other society and break laws to get here and still remain more lawful then the native population.

            1. That’s one crime in the least, and two in the case of many. Explain to me how your precious illegals can overcome this statistical difficulty and manage to be more law abiding than the native born.

              I like how you’ve completely left the realm of your argument being functional, and moved entirely to pedantic point scoring.
              Of course, given that above you make it clear you think immigration leads to Marxism, I can see why a more limited thesis might get a bit scattered.

              isn’t an extraordinary claim to express heavy skepticism that this, our magical illegal immigration population, can buck historical trends exhibited by virtually every other society and break laws to get here and still remain more lawful then the native population.
              No, it’s not. Apples and oranges, law-wise between overstaying your visa or crossing a border and knocking over a store. Not that you guys are going to make that distinction when you’re so enthusiastically pushing your criminality narrative.
              Especially since we have the stats to show your logic is wrong. And what historical trends are you talking about?

              1. “I like how you’ve completely left the realm of your argument being functional, and moved entirely to pedantic point scoring.”

                No, that was me explaining how the argument was functional, and it is. What you’ve done is that you’ve tried your own hand at “point scoring” while conveniently ignoring the ideas presented.

                Bravo.

                “Of course, given that above you make it clear you think immigration leads to Marxism, I can see why a more limited thesis might get a bit scattered.”

                I am, and so should you be.

                1. You’re clearly smart enough to understand the distinction between what people envision when they hear criminal and ‘stolen social security numbers are not a victimless crime.’ I guess you lost the thread somewhere there.

                  If your thesis is that there are costs to illegal immigration, fine. But your point seems to be ‘they are all criminals…technically; statistically’ which is correct only in the most trivial sense.

          2. In NM, over 85% of gang members are illegals. The same holds true for most border States
            In prison, well over 80% of incarcerated immigrants are illegals. The same numbers are found in most prisons especially federal prisons.

            1. The relevant statistic is how many illegals are in gangs, not how many gang members are illegal, no?

      2. Undocumented Immigrants, U.S. Citizens, and Convicted Criminals in Arizona

        Quotes:
        Using newly released detailed data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017, we are able to separate non-U.S. citizens by whether they are illegal or legal residents. These data do not rely on self-reporting by criminals. Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens.

        Young convicts are especially likely to be undocumented immigrants. While undocumented immigrants from 15 to 35 years of age make up slightly over two percent of the Arizona population, they make up about eight percent of the prison population. Even after adjusting for the fact that young people commit crime at higher rates, young undocumented immigrants commit crime at twice the rate of young U.S. citizens. These undocumented immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes.

        If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries.

        1. 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime.

          Can you see why this is not the same as being the disordered criminal element that seems the story you guys are straining to push? Even beyond the questionable imputation of causality, I especially like how they adjusted for age, but not class.

          Talk about their stinky hygiene next!

          1. Why adjust for class? We’re always going to get low skill, low income immigrants under our current system, so adjusting for class means we’re assuming an immigrant class that is not representative of what it actually is.

          2. Can you see why this is not the same as being the disordered criminal element that seems the story you guys are straining to push?

            142% greater can be overlooked as long as they are not a disordered criminal element? The point is that there are a number of studies concluding that illegal immigrants pose a higher risk of crime and that their cost to society is greater than their benefit.

            What study says that illegal immigrants (as distinct from legal immigrants) do not pose a higher crime risk?

            1. First, we don’t make collective judgments. America has become great by being individualist, not collectivist.

              Second, there is correlation, not causation. ‘more likely to be convicted’ doesn’t mean a dang thing about what they are, and what they are doesn’t mean a dang thing about what each individual is.

              Third, I don’t need a countervailing study because you study doesn’t prove your thesis about risk, and population risk analysis shouldn’t be the sole determiner of how we treat individuals.

              1. First, we don’t make collective judgments. America has become great by being individualist, not collectivist.

                Second, there is correlation, not causation. ‘more likely to be convicted’ doesn’t mean a dang thing about what they are, and what they are doesn’t mean a dang thing about what each individual is.

                So if a study demonstrated that illegal immigrants as a group have a much higher rate of crime that would have no bearing on your determination as to whether we should try to prevent illegal immigration?

                If a study showed that those convicted of violent felonies are more likely than the average person to commit crimes in the future would that have any bearing on your opinion as to whether convicted violent felons in general are more likely to commit crimes in the future?

                Third, I don’t need a countervailing study because you study doesn’t prove your thesis about risk, and population risk analysis shouldn’t be the sole determiner of how we treat individuals.

                So a study showing that teenage boys have a higher risk of automobile accidents should not be treated by an insurance company as a reason for charging higher premiums to teenage boys generally?

        2. Strange that many of the safest cities in America are near the border. If you want to live in dull places with low homicide rates, move to El Paso or Nogales.

          1. The border cities are not their destination. Otherwise, they would have the higher crime rates associated with illegal immigrants.

  3. I hope the Volokh Conspiracy regular contributors have their research ready to write some more pertinent pieces after the President presents the State of the Union address next Tuesday night.

    Two areas will likely be highlighted. Trump may well mention that his four associates who have been forced to confess to some process crime by the Mueller investigation may well band together to file a civil lawsuit for malicious prosecution.

    To bolster this case, Trump may well release some or all of “the memo” which was prepared at the DOJ by a special unit under Asst. Dir. Stephen Boyd.

    The mainstream media, to an absolute certainty, will be blindsided and gobsmacked because they all have been stonewalling a cornucopia of news that would have prepared the American people to hear the things of which our president will speak. The MM talking heads will likely avoid any epiphany concerning their own zealous fake news & promotion and misinformation campaigns of the last year, and descend into ever-more-confused mumbling about how the whole content of “the memo” is all a Russian plot.

    I expect a better analysis here. Remember, forewarned is kinda as much as foreplay. . .

    1. You are inviting the Volokh Conspiracy to emulate more closely InfoWars, Instapundit, FreeRepublic, RedState, PowerLine, Breitbart, Stormfront, and Gateway Pundit?

      In the reality-based world, that’s known as going “the full LaVoy.”

      I expect the Conspirators to decline this invitation.

  4. Somin libertarianism:
    having borders=excessive government,
    moving heaven and earth to hunt down and punish every last private cake baker that doesn’t want to bake cakes for SSM = totally in line with a minimalist decentralized government

    1. Ad hominem is tiresome. There’s a lot of fodder to discuss in what Somin wrote. Though I wonder if you even bothered to read it.

      1. “Though I wonder if you even bothered to read it.”

        Its Somin on immigration. Is reading it actually necessary?

        [And yes I read it. It was not necessary]

        1. Heh.

          Depends on what your goal is.
          I like to mix it up, so I read it on the off chance the comments touched on the OP. And it was short, so I didn’t even skim.

          If your goal is only to vent your spleen, then just dropping a ‘SOMIN SUX’ is indeed all that’s necessary.

          1. “And it was short”

            Yes, to that extent it was an unusual Somin post.

  5. Professor Somin has a brilliant legal mind. I love to read his articles that address legal issues. Whenever he steps outside of his areas of expertise, I cringe. In his non-legal concoctions Professor Somin’s ideology overcomes his recognition of reality. Professor Somin, please continue to impress us with your knowledge of the law, but keep your ideology private.

  6. Of course he isn’t a deregulator on immigration. Immigration is a national defense issue (although I realize that some Volokh members seem to think it is an inalienable right. To pretend that it falls in the same vein as, say, regulating details of automobile systems, or any of the many other overregulated areas, is just wrong.

  7. To comment on immigration as if it is a policy question on its own is to misunderstand immigration. The immigration question is one of where all other policy questions. If an immigrant and his children are in favor of deregulation, admitting them helps deregulation, if they are in favor of regulation, admitting them increases regulation.

  8. There’s some talk about illegal immigrants being a “net” contribution to our economy. This rests on a bit of economic slight of hand.

    Say that you entered a pact with 9 other people, to pool your money for a nice restaurant meal each month. (Yes, it’s stupid to pool your money that way, that part of the analogy is our current welfare state.)

    Each of you kicks in $50, your total “economy” is $500.

    Now along come somebody who inserts himself into your group without following the group’s rules. He kicks in $10. Your total ‘economy’ is now larger, $510 is greater than $500! Isn’t it great?

    No, not really, because your “per capita” economy, the average amount available for that meal, has gone from $50 to $46.36, and you now will all be getting the sirloin instead of the prime rib.

    That’s the scam the “Illegal immigrants increase our economy!” con men are pulling. Yes, the illegals increase the total size of our economy. But, because they are less productive on average than the native population, they reduce the per capita economy, and we on average are a poorer nation.

    And don’t think for a moment that the Ilya’s of the world don’t know the scam they’re pulling.

    1. Now, if you weren’t pooling the money, if the country weren’t a welfare state, the more the merrier! He comes in and buys his burger, and it doesn’t stop the rest of you from buying whatever meal you want to pony up for. Without a welfare state, you don’t have to care so much about the per capita economy, because you don’t have to experience it.

      And that’s why real libertarians support open borders after we have a night watchman state, and not before. Because it’s only the welfare state that makes you poorer if there are poor people added to your country.

      Has Ilya ever addressed this point? If he has, I’ve missed it. But this used to be a standard facet of the libertarian analysis of immigration. Why did it get dropped?

    2. This is not how national economies work, though. A clue should be in you metric of ‘per capita economy.’ I mean…

      There’s a reason just about every empire in history has had a peasant class of some sort, and it’s not for the $10 they’re kicking in.

      1. And when the peasant class is contributing $10, but sucking off $200 in health care, education, and other expenses?

        1. A healthy and educated peasant class?!? That’s outrageous! I mean, before long there might not even BE a peasant class. Then we’d have to allow all those disease-ridden, felonious immigrants back in. A disaster, I says. A disaster.

          1. So you’re admitting that most of these people are going to be charity cases. In that case, what is in it for us?

            1. How many words did you need to jumble about to draw that conclusion?

  9. Despite previous protestations (and I’m sure individual exceptions), it isn’t very surprising that the hostility to illegal immigration and citations of ‘rule of law’ are now giving way to a general hostility to immigration and immigrants of all sorts.

    Well, except those from Norway.

    1. I’m sure we can still find room for the Irish and northern Italians. No Sicilians, though:

      https://youtu.be/PcZCGMCDzbU

      (Btw, I’d never noticed before but Hopper would have been a shoo-in to play Trump in the eventual “All the President’s Men II: Erratic Trumpaloo”).

  10. It is not surprising because they are mostly intolerant, right-wing authoritarians, Sarcastro.

    They pretend to be libertarians, yet lack the self-awareness to recognize that reflexively slamming the lone genuine libertarian among the Conspirators wrecks their credibility, and that of the Conspiracy.

    The Conspiracy has become less prominent and important since departing the Washington Post, but I believe the Conspirators still care about the reputation.

  11. TL;DR version: In Ilya’s mind anything short of a society with no borders is bad.

  12. How exactly do you “weigh” deregulation of economic transactions against increased immigration restrictions? They’re not at all similar things. Sure, immigration has effects on the economy, but so do lots of thing. If an administration deregulates business transactions and deregulates crime (I dunno, by legalizing marijuana?), how do you “weigh” those things? What if the number of crimes and the punishment for crimes are increased?

  13. Our all-time record high levels of immigration have decimated working class Americans and kept their wages flat for decades.

    Of course, that is the main reason for it. Opening the floodgates for mass immigration boosts GDP and Wall St profits — but more importantly for anyone who actually cares about the American people, mass immigration tanks GDP per capita.

    At the same time, this policy is on the cusp of securing a permanent majority voting bloc in favor of indefinitely increasing socialism, racial and other subgroup identity politics, and deepening cultural division. That’s the other side of why this policy stubbornly persists.

    Even President Trump’s apparent efforts to go against the grain have failed miserably before even getting off the ground. He has now offered a proposal that gives amnesty, and citizenship, to upwards of 2 million entitled and unassimilated illegal whiners, with no effective fix for the massive continuing problem of illegal immigration (such as e-verify), and zero cutbacks to immigration other than a pipe dream ten years out.

    1/2

    1. 2/2

      Funny, it appears the U.S. government is no longer by, for, or even remotely tethered to the People. The disconnect is illustrated by a number of recent polls, wherein more than 80% of Americans favor major cuts to immigration levels, including 85% of African Americans and 72% of Democrats and Clinton voters (but remember — these folks must all be racist white supremacists according what the hateful media blares over its channels of influence thousands of times daily). Similarly strong public support is shown for other measures such as ending chain migration in favor of merit- or skills-based selection, ending visa lotteries, mandating e-verify, etc.

      1. The federal government is far more “tethered to the People” than the founders intended it to be, with their distrust of democracy.

    2. Come for the ‘of course’ immigration is the cause of all our working class and political woes.

      Stay for railing that America isn’t a democracy because general sentiments that poll well aren’t being reflected in policy.

      1. Leave because of Sarcastro’s silly straw men. 🙂

        1. I mean, you do blame immigration of a lot without backing it up beyond ‘of course.’

          And sophistry about polls not being followed meaning America is no longer of the people is contentless. Americans can yell about policy-polls disconnects all day long, about countless issues, throughout the history of our Republic.

          1. It’s funny that you are whining about M.L. not backing up his claims. Have you posted a single bit of evidence for your position on this post? All I’ve seen from you is more whining about how the other sides evidence isn’t good enough because you don’t like it.

            1. I have cleverly made my position that most of you guys are wrong, and making stuff up.

              Gadflies don’t need evidence 😛

              1. You are a fine jousting partner, Sarcastro, reminiscent of Syrio Forel.

                It would be good to observe you in a setting that required your ‘A’ game.

  14. Governments in the US detain hundreds of thousands of persons every year who have committed no crimes, on the pretext of mental health, and this seems to shock nobody.

  15. Normally, it’s best to stick with the word ‘disingenuous’ when calling out whoppers – it keeps the temperature a little cooler, and at least pretends to lofty rhetorical affectations. In this case, I find it difficult to see the argument made above other than simply dishonest. ‘IF Trump pushes any policy that adds regulation, THEN Trump is not a de-regulator’ can’t possibly be taken seriously. I see no point in engaging just foolishness – it would just drag me down in the mess as intended. For all his manifold faults, Trump is right – at least in part – to fight against illegal immigration, and he’s right – at least in part – to fight to remove unnecessary regulation that bogs down the economy and does no real good. A reasoned argument could be made otherwise, but it certainly hasn’t been made here.

  16. Bull cow is crying over immigration again. He wants his unrestricted open borders and a one-world communist cabal in which he thinks (wrongly) that he will be part of the elite dictating the rules for everyone else.

    1. That this guy focuses his ire on Prof. Somin and me pleases me — it indicates libertarians have the right enemies.

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