The Growing Insurrection Against Trump's War on Immigration

A California mayor issued a public warning of an ICE raid earning the administration's wrath


Trump's war on immigration, it seems, is encountering a mounting insurrection. That's to be expected given the scope of his administration's actions against peaceable immigrants.

The Department of Homeland Security

DonkeyHoter via Foter

spokesman James Schwab quit this week declaring that he does not want to participate in the administration's campaign of lies.

The whole thing started last month when the president berated the mayor of Oakland, California, Libby Schaaf, for thwarting a four-day Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sweep by issuing a public warning that the raid was coming.

Trump called Schaaf a "disgrace" and claimed that had it not been for her missive, ICE would have caught a majority of the 1,000 people it was looking for rather than a mere 232. Furthermore, he alleged, that most of these folks were criminals and Schaaf's actions had endangered public safety. Attorney General Jeff Sessions piled on as well. "How dare you? How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of our law enforcement officers to promote a radical open borders agenda?," he thundered.

As it turns out, Schwab too is no fan of mayor Schaaf's actions, even openly calling them "misguided." However, he believes that the administration's claims were totally false and didn't want any part in spreading them. "I didn't feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against [the mayor's] actions was the way to go about it," Schwab commented. "We were never going to pick up that many people," he maintained. Nor were 100 percent of unauthorized aliens "dangerous criminals" as the administration touted, he said.

In fact, as ICE later fessed up, only five of the 864 who managed to escape the dragnet had been convicted of serious crimes. Of the 232 people arrested, 115, or just under half, had "prior felony convictions for serious and violent offenses" or past convictions for "significant or multiple misdemeanors." The other half had no criminal history at all.

Yet ICE insisted that all of them were fair game because they were "in violation of immigration law."

This statement goes to the heart of the restrictionist case for a harsh enforcement regime, namely, that undocumented immigrants are law-breakers who deserve to have the book thrown at them. If individuals are allowed to simply pick and choose which laws they want to obey and which they want to ignore, the thinking goes, the country will collapse into mayhem and chaos. So it doesn't matter if the rule of law is good or bad, it needs to be enforced.

The trouble with this argument is that it fails to consider the law-and-order consequences of trying to enforce inhumane and irrational laws.

When laws are just and sensible they are for the most part self-enforcing because the vast majority of people obey them automatically. Indeed, most people don't go around killing, stealing, pillaging and raping. So authorities have to go after only an infinitesimally small subset of violators, which in functioning polities is a manageable task.

However, when laws are arbitrary and unjust, they lack an automatic majority buy-in and two things happen: Either people become indifferent to these laws and don't care if they are enforced (even when they don't actively oppose them they can't muster too much enthusiasm for them)—or they actually profit from subverting them.

Consider alcohol bans: Non-drinkers may or may not mind laws against drinking, but they would have to be real moral zealots to turn in fellow citizens who happen to enjoy a dry martini. Most people just aren't such dicks. So, contrary to, say, murder or theft, crimes that have actual victims, authorities cannot rely on spontaneous compliance or cooperation to enforce such bans. They have to resort to an ever more elaborate enforcement apparatus to launch witch hunts. Their use of force inevitably becomes disproportionate and therefore itself lawless.

And as law enforcement becomes draconian it spawns resistance.

That's the stage we are approaching under Trump on immigration. Indeed, he is cueing up a moral showdown not unlike the one that America saw in the run up to Civil War when the Fugitive Slave Act was passed, as I have noted previously. Just as this act requiring Northern states to return fleeing slaves to their Southern masters generated a massive abolitionist backlash, Trump's anti-immigrant jihad is provoking widespread resistance.

Indeed, the Oakland mayor is not the only one now openly flouting and subverting Trump's draconian immigration designs. That's what the entire sanctuary movement is all about. Schaaf's actions are no doubt calculated to promote her political interests—just as Trump's are calculated to promote his. But the difference is that as Trump escalates his use of state violence against peaceful individuals, the moral high ground is increasingly on the side of Schaaf-style "resistance."

Even before Trump took office, Obama's immigration crackdowns were triggering an incipient sanctuary movement with four states and 300 municipalities declaring themselves sanctuary jurisdictions. Since Trump, these entities have proliferated even more. Indeed, health centers, college campuses, and even transit lines such as BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) have declared that they will not assist with federal immigration enforcement actions. Sanctuary churches offering shelter to undocumented aliens facing deportation have doubled from 400 to 800 under Trump.

Imagine how different their response would have been if the feds were trying to apprehend actual terrorists or serial killers. Or what the public reaction would have been at such non-cooperation. That's why Trump and Sessions are straining so mightily to convince everyone that illegal immigrants are bad hombres and criminals.

But the fact that they have to try to convince people demonstrates the weakness of their case. The fact of the matter is that the very act of enforcing a bad rule of law undermines it. Ultimately, it loses. The question only is how long that takes and how many innocent lives are ruined in the interim.

NEXT: Libertarian Plays Spoiler in Close Pennsylvania Special Election

Immigration Sanctuary Cities Sanctuary Churches

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85 responses to “The Growing Insurrection Against Trump's War on Immigration

  1. “No criminal activity”…except for that whole illegal immigration thing. You give hacks a bad name.

    1. They’re just undocumented. We don’t go after undocumented drivers or gun owners.

      1. Most assuredly not. In fact, leadership often warns, to much press support, proposed round ups of undocumented gun owners.

    2. Obeying unjust laws, especially victimless crimes, is no great indicator of morality.

      1. Nor is posturing when it’s cheap and doing nothing when you have the means to create change.

        The people wailing about this today did absolutely nothing to address this issue when they had both the executive & legislative branches sewn up so I’m not inclined to cut them much slack.

  2. I feel that giving federal monies to insurrectionists is immoral. You abide by your laws and i abide by mine

  3. There is no growing opposition to Trump’s immigration policy as if everything will turn against enforcing current US immigration law.

    Stop lying. About the same number of people oppose it and the about the same people support it.

    It give actual open border people who make reasonable arguments for their position when other open border people like you lie to get what you want.

    1. A solid majority of all Americans don’t want to deport all illegal immigrants and want Dreamers to stay. A solid majority of all Americans also want more border security and an end to any new illegal immigration.

      Neither party will admit the other is true.

      1. I don’t think accurate polls reflect your first sentence. With that being said, a majority of Americans want more border security, limit new immigration floods, and our immigration policy to be taken seriously.

        If all illegals and Dreamers need to be deported for that immigration policy to be taken seriously and non-Americans get it that Americans control immigration policy, then so be it.

      2. And if the media would be honest about who those “dreamers” are, that majority would evaporate very quickly. There is a reason why the Democrats turned down Trump’s offer to give the dreamers a 12 year path to citizenship. The Democrats know that the Dreamers as a group are generally high school dop outs and petty criminals who stand very little chance of making it 12 years without committing a crime and getting deported. So, Trump’s offer was a dead letter and the Democrats knew it but of course, couldn’t admit it.

  4. Shikha’s argument: Trump is a poopy head.

    1. Dalmia is evidence that immigration laws have been too lax for too long,

      1. He comments make the exact point many of us secure border types are saying.

        We let in far too many immigrants who tend to be for undermining US immigration policy as determined by Americans.

        Shikha was let into the USA and now advocates that we let more immigrants who do not want the USA to be a Constitutional Democratic Republic governed by Americans.

      2. At least Dalmia is honest. She honestly loathes this country and the people who live here and thinks there should be no border controls of any kind so that better people can move in and replace the people she loathes so much. That is what all of the open borders advocates believe. But only Shika is honest enough to say it. So in that sense she deserves some credit for honesty.

        1. I give her credit for being honest about her position to undermine America and Americans.

          I bash her for lying to convince others to join her cause.

        2. When has Shikha ever said she loathes this country? I think she has said just the opposite. Stop spreading fake news, John.

          1. Shikha does not like the current way Americans run America.

            Nothing millions of non-Americans can’t fix.

          2. She says it in every single article. Go find me a single instance of her having anything good to say about the current state of the country or anyone who lives in it.

            Stop lying and pretending the truth is other than what it is.

            1. Well, she is always pretty positive about the millions living here illegally…

  5. Indeed, he is cueing up a moral showdown not unlike the one that America saw in the run up to Civil War when the Fugitive Slave Act was passed, as I have noted previously. Just as this act requiring Northern states to return fleeing slaves to their Southern masters generated a massive abolitionist backlash, Trump’s anti-immigrant jihad is provoking widespread resistance.

    If anyone here knows people IRL who are undecided on the immigration issue, I recommend using this argument. Explain to them how being anti-immigration is not much different morally from being pro-slavery. In my experience it’s a useful tactic to convert people to the open borders cause.


    1. Haha gold star from me, my friend.

  6. “I didn’t feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against [the mayor’s] actions was the way to go about it,” Schwab commented. “We were never going to pick up that many people,” he maintained. Nor were 100 percent of unauthorized aliens “dangerous criminals” as the administration touted, he said.

    In fact, as ICE later fessed up, only five of the 864 who managed to escape the dragnet had been convicted of serious crimes. Of the 232 people arrested, 115, or just under half, had “prior felony convictions for serious and violent offenses” or past convictions for “significant or multiple misdemeanors.” The other half had no criminal history at all.”

    I would love to believe that a government spokesperson committed career suicide rather than mislead the public on statistics; on the other hand, I wasn’t born just yesterday.

    There’s more to this than meets the eye, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. Either this spokesperson was already planning to leave or there’s something else going on.

    1. Who cares? If the person can’t support the mission of the organization, they need to quit. Dalmia doesn’t believe in any border enforcement for any reason. So she lies and acts like any act of enforcement is some kind of outrage.

      1. If Dalmia has gone so far off the rails that she’s extolling the virtues of a government spokesperson and his unfaltering commitment to telling the public the truth–all in the name of libertarianism?–then I find that telling.

        1. The open border people and the lefties on other issues are typically in a minority position in the USA. They bolster that minority position with things like propping up opinions of ex-government bureaucrats they sometimes hate to use them against someone like Trump.

          Comey was a prime example of that. The left hated him because the FBI might have indicted Hillary and then protected him when they could use him against Trump.

    2. All illegals are criminals but the “dangerous criminals” label is a stretch.

      The narrative that only illegals that have convictions should be deported needs to stop. They are all criminals and need to be deported. Let them follow US law and apply to enter the USA.

      1. Still, some people go through their lives and are never convicted of multiple misdemeanors.

        If half the people targeted in the sweep were either convicted felons or had multiple misdemeanor convictions–and that’s just the 232 people who were arrested in the raids?

        I suspect the 232 who didn’t run probably had less incentive to run because they had fewer felony convictions than the rest of the 864 who escaped. If you know you have a felony conviction, surely you’re more likely to run.

        P.S. This mayor may have committed obstruction of justice.

        1. I saw 1 article about the DOJ/FBI investigating criminal conduct by the Oakland mayor and nothing since.

          Its one thing to use your 1st Amendment rights to advocate against current immigration policy, but another to aid and abet criminal activity and subsequent enforcement of applicable laws relating to that criminal activity.

          Most Americans are just sick of the left using state’s rights to further their causes and then call state’s rights racism when states are standing up to the federal govenrment’s unconstitutional power grab. Some states rejecting ObamaCare is one example.

      2. Every illegal alien has committed multiple other crimes than just crossing the border or overstaying a visa.
        The most common being identity theft, by using a phony, or stolen SS number.
        Unless, of course, they came over, independently wealthy and have lived off their own money.

  7. most people don’t go around killing, stealing, pillaging and raping.

    I’ll give you 3 out of 4 but last time I looked at my pay check; a majority have voted to pillage.

  8. Libertarians seem to have no allegiance to the rule of law. If throwing away the rule of law gives them what they want, Libertarians are all for it. You would think a group of people who claim to understand the failings of leftism would understand that once you throw out the rule of law, a lot of other people use that fact to get what they want. Sadly a lot of libertarians are cultural leftists who have bought into the progressive view of history that says the arrow only points in their direction. There are few more foolish things to believe.

    1. I don’t think it’s fair to hold Shikha Dalmia up as a standard libertarian. There’s a whole faction of libertarians who went and started their won site rather than continue to support this one in no small part because of writers like Shikha Dalmia.

      I maintain that setting the rules of naturalization is an enumerated power of congress that includes every aspect of becoming a citizen, from tourism up to establishing legal residency and becoming a citizen. I maintain that this power is granted to congress because setting immigration and naturalization rules is the proper purview of democracy–just like taxation, spending, and declaring war. In fact, imposing an unpopular immigration policy on the American people would be just like imposing an unpopular tax or an unpopular war–to have it any other way would be fundamentally unlibertarian.

      1. I thought we aren’t supposed to talk about the Glibbening.

        1. You aren’t supposed to use the g-word.

    2. It’s true I’d like us to have an open borders treaty with Mexico, in which we develop a database that lets Mexican citizens go back and forth across the border simply by showing an ID, much like the way American citizens visit Mexico. I maintain that this would be in the best interests of the American economy (because labor is resource like oil and having more of a resource available for less cost is better) and the best interests of American security (since the only people sneaking through the desert at night would be people whom we would reject at the border if they presented ID).

      I intend to achieve this goal through persuasion, rather than trying to strip American voters of the power to influence immigration policy through democracy.

      I also maintain that all of what I’ve written here is both supportive of the rule of law and libertarian as fuck.

      1. Ken, you have written persuasive and respectful comments relating to borders and you position that you prefer open borders but also respect the rule of law.

        I am for more secure borders but much of the crack down on illegals would be relaxed if Americans were not marginalized on determining our own immigration policy. The silent majority often goes with the flow until we cannot take anymore.

    3. This is nonsense. Libertarians advocate rule of rational, rights-protecting law. I know of no libertarians who have allegiance to stupid zoning laws, licensing laws, the whole Drug War industry, the whole panoply of anti-sex laws (pornography, prostitution, other kinds of sexual behavior). Libertarians believe that violation of immigration laws, especially by those who are not even at fault (such as the Dreamers) is no worse than smoking pot.
      This insistence by many on this blog that immigration laws are somehow sacrosanct and ordinary peoples’ lives need to be wrecked to satisfy their fears that ‘illegals’ will vote Democrat is unbecoming to the commenters on a libertarian blog. [DRINK!!!]

      1. You can rail against the stupid drug laws all you want but aiding and abetting criminal behavior to circumvent the established law in our Democracy has consequences.

        The whole point of Libertarianism is to respect the rule of law so all of our rights are protected. You cannot just violate the rules you don’t like and expect everything to work out. If you think its okay to just pick laws to follow, you might want to rethink why Libertarian?

        The way our system was designed is to have limited government with enumerated powers and new laws are not created on a whim. The people then have a say in that government and which laws are created.

        if you spend your time in prison for violating the rules that you don’t like and ignore, how does that help the Classical Liberal cause of Libertarianism? Spend your time fighting drug laws. Spend your time getting incumbent politicians kicked out. Spend your time getting laws repealed.

      2. You don’t like immigration laws and drugs laws. Good for you. That doesn’t mean you get to ignore them or resort to extra legal means to get around them. If you can, then everyone else can do the same thing. Libertarians are not the only ones who object to laws. You think it is okay for this mayor to ignore immigration laws, a lot of other people think it is okay for this mayor to ignore the laws on guns and civil rights and a million other things you like. And once you embrace the idea that it is okay to ignore the law, you have exactly jack and shit to say about them doing it.

        You totally miss the fucking point. I mean completely. Thanks for providing a perfect example of what I was talking about.

        1. We know you don’t like brown people. We get it.

          1. Thanks for admitting I won the argument.

          2. Sarcasmic, do you have a license for that goal post moving equipment?

        2. This is why John doesn’t smoke pot.

        3. He missed the point.

          Doing everything you can within our democratic constitutional republican to keep politicians from adding more laws is hard.

          Some people would rather smoke weed, engage in butt sex, and help illegals across the US border or aid and abet them.

      3. *thunderous applause*

    4. It’s not a matter of “want.” That’s why Tony cannot comprehend libertarianism. All he understands is wanting stuff.

      Libertarians work on principles.

      When the law and those principles come in conflict, most libertarians choose their principles.

      1. Thank you.

      2. Do you never tire of your own insufferable self-regard?

        “Everyone else is just in it for themselves! We are the only truly principled ones. Now stop taxing me!”

        1. As I said, you are incapable of comprehending libertarianism.

          1. You just described it though. You’re the only people on earth with any principles.

            Hey. It’s good to have self-esteem.

            1. No, that’s not what I said. You can’t even paraphrase what’s in front of you. Idiot.

              1. What you actually said is that all your specific political beliefs are correct because God says so, but you don’t want to just come out and say it.

                1. 0 for 2. Thank you for playing.

                  1. Tony is the Cathy Newman of H+R.

      3. “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.”

        ? Fr?d?ric Bastiat, The Law

        Most libertarians still have their moral sense.

        1. Good for them. So does everyone else. If you can ignore the law because of your “morals”, so can other people. And you are not going to like it very much when they do.

          1. How does that authority cock taste?

            1. You tell me. You are the one claiming anyone can ignore any law they like if they just think it is immoral, which is nothing but an invitation for someone to stick their cock down your throat for your own good. So, it must taste really good since you seem to want it so badly. Or is it that you think no one would really ever do it to you?

              1. I made no such claim.

                However you appear to be saying that the law is the word of God, and that no one has any right to object, to question, or to practice civil disobedience..

                1. Practice civil disobedience all you want. Immigration into the USA is not a civil right. Its not like a free speech right. Its not like a right to protect oneself under the 2nd Amendment.

                  The mayor of Oakland thinks there are no consequences for aiding and abetting criminals.

        2. By definition, statists favor the law 100% over personal morals, libertarians favor personal morals 100% over the law.

          1. I am sure they do. They are just too stupid to understand that not everyone has the same idea of what “morals” are. Libertarians are incapable of understanding that people are not just like them and won’t become like them if only the government would leave them alone.

          2. I am sure they do. They are just too stupid to understand that not everyone has the same idea of what “morals” are. Libertarians are incapable of understanding that people are not just like them and won’t become like them if only the government would leave them alone.

          3. Wrong. Libertarianism is the balance between rule of law and personal freedoms with heavy leanings toward personal freedoms.

            100% freedom is Anarchy. You do whatever you want and I do whatever I want. No government to stop us.

            1. “100% freedom is Anarchy. You do whatever you want and I do whatever I want. No government to stop us.”

              Is it?

              freedom (fr??d?m)
              n. The condition of being free of restraints.
              n. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
              n. Political independence.

        3. Having a moral compass is great.

          You know what is moral in the USA? Not doing whatever you want.

          In the USA we have a system to keep bad laws off the books, so its easier to live free. Unfortunately, people like Tony and Butt push for the Nanny and Police state to create as many laws as possible to stifle freedom.

          That is the problem not laws per se.

          1. What we need is a system for the repeal of bad laws.

            As it is legislation simply accumulates.

            1. Perhaps that’s because some people ignore the laws they don’t like?

              If you don’t like immigration policy, get your representatives to change it. Oh that’s right you can’t because open borders is a minority position that cannot currently defeat the majority position which is to secure borders and what partly got Trump elected.

              1. You have no idea of what I think about immigration. I’ve never said.

                1. YOU being generally those advocating ignoring the rule of law.

                  Immigration is one example and what this article is about.

                  1. I break the law all the time. It’s a hobby of mine. And as long as there is no victim, no one complains.

    5. Libertarians want all the socially progressive policies, they just don’t want to pay for them.
      Just like the idea of the communist utopia, “libertopia” is an idea that ignores human nature.

  9. FFS. THere is no middle ground here. Either they are deportable or they are not. If they are, you can’t be surprised when they are actually deported. Arguing that they are not, OTOH, is essentially arguing for no border controls period. The author ought to come out and clearly state this position instead of dodging the point in multiple articles every week.

    1. This statement goes to the heart of the restrictionist case for a harsh enforcement regime, namely, that undocumented immigrants are law-breakers who deserve to have the book thrown at them. If individuals are allowed to simply pick and choose which laws they want to obey and which they want to ignore, the thinking goes, the country will collapse into mayhem and chaos. So it doesn’t matter if the rule of law is good or bad, it needs to be enforced.

      First of all, no libertarian uses the phrase “rule of law” like that. It’s a standard piece of jargon with a standard meaning. Second, what the fuck kind of restrictionist thinks this? Every restrictionist I know of explicitly defends borders–and therefore their enforcement–as legitimate.

      1. You are right Libertarians don’t say that. They think the rule of law only matters if it gets them what they want. Anytime they don’t get what they want, they just declare the law to be “against their morals” and rationalize any means to get around it. The idea that there could be such a thing as a law that while bad is not so immoral and shocking that it’s harm outweighs the need to respect laws never occurs to them. It does occur to them but only in so far as it means that every law they don’t like is the same thing as the Nuremberg laws. It is just one long “Give me my pony!!”

        1. I can fairly assume that you would have obeyed the Fugitive Slave Act. After all, the law is to be blindly obeyed and never questioned.

          1. I would have pushed to end the Fugitive slave act. I would have found every legal avenue to get out of returning any slave that I came across, including providing reasonable compensation to the owner of the slave for buying their slave and freeing them.

            If I decided to break the law, I would have expected the consequences fully.

          2. I love hypotheticals because I would have been the richest person in the United States before the 13th Amendment was passed in 1865.

        2. Disobeying unjust laws is as American as apple pie. At least it used to be.

          1. No its not.

            There were far fewer laws back then and most people obeyed the few laws on the books.

            Don’t confuse disobeying unjust laws with using rule of law to minimize the consequences of unjust laws.

      2. Dalmia was the first on this page to misuse the phrase ‘rule of law’. Darn furners!

  10. Reasons position on borders:


    Before I visited this website I used to think libertarianism was supposed to be opposed to zealotry of all kinds. 100% wrong, it appears to me libertarians are really conservatives or anarchist leaning people who are really smug so they have to stake positions that are not “Democratic” or “Republican” so they can bash both sides and be even more smug than the most smug San Francisco liberal.

    Ronald Bailey is fantastic though. Really like that guy. Some others are pretty good, like Mangu Ward generally and a few of the others. Gillespie seems like a dope that just likes to talk shit about Democrats and Republicans so he can pretend to be the smartest guy in the world.

    1. A border is where a jurisdiction ends. It does not vanish when people (or goods) cross it. Could we pretty please have less of this nonsense that free movement “endangers borders”?

      If there were no border, every government in the world would be policing and taxing you. Clearly that doesn’t happen just because a million people you don’t like sneak across it.

  11. I lost the logic of the facts supporting your argument towards the beginning. Ignoring the fact that entering a sovereign state without the approval of that state’s government is a crime in itself, you’re saying that of the 232 caught, roughly 50% were actual criminals. Yet, of the 632 that were not caught, only 5 were serious criminals? Isn’t this an apples to oranges comparison?

    Using your numbers, I’d venture to say that of the 632 that were not captured, it would be closer to 300+ of them were criminals (again, ignoring the crime of illegally entering a sovereign state). This number may also be higher since these were the people motivated enough to avoid capture. So, by alerting the public to the ICE’s intentions, not only did Schaaf endanger the lives of the law enforcement officers, as correctly ‘thundered’ by Trump, but Schaaf also aided in the escape of 300+ criminals (again, ignoring the crime of illegally entering a sovereign state).

    Using false facts and aiding actual criminals is not the answer. Saying that Trump is a liar by stating ‘1000’ when it was only 864 is misleading and irresponsible journalism. Also, I’m failing to see the correlation of returning real criminals to their home countries and returning slaves to slave owners. Again, we’re not talking about law abiding, tax paying dreamers, we’re talking about real criminals.

    If you support open borders and lawlessness, you should just start your article with that.

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