Trump's Border Lawlessness

His anti-asylum proclamation is illegal and an abuse of his executive powers.


President Trump's last-minute fear-mongering campaign against the Central American migrant caravan may have fired up his base, but it failed to win

Border Babies

swing voters. And his despicable ad depicting these helpless people fleeing violence in their own countries as an invading horde full of "cop killers" badly backfired. Republicans who embraced this message fared poorly at the polls.

But instead of backing off, the president is doubling down on his plan to gut the nation's asylum laws. This is almost certainly a lawless and unprecedented use of his executive powers. Nonetheless, he has just issued a presidential proclamation that will pretty much suspend America's asylum program as we know it.

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act allowed anyone — regardless of whether they entered the country legally or illegally — to request asylum upon arrival. But as part of the administration's "zero tolerance" policy," over the summer it started slapping asylum seekers found entering between ports of entry rather than actual ports as required with criminal charges. However, that did not affect their asylum petition. They could be fined or punished for trying to enter the country illegally. But if they could convince border agents that they had a "credible fear" of persecution in their home countries, they were still entitled to a hearing by a judge who would make the final call on whether they could stay.

But Trump apparently wasn't content with simply criminalizing asylum seekers for minor transgressions. He wants to turn them away by any means necessary.

The president is pretending that the approaching caravan is some kind of national emergency that gives him the power to issue a proclamation — effective immediately without going through the usual notice and comment period that normal regulations require — that'll basically bar anyone found trying to enter between ports from even applying for asylum, much like criminals and terrorists are currently barred. Instead, they would be put in "withholding" proceedings where they could petition to stay in America temporarily but, unlike asylum seekers, wouldn't be able to obtain green cards. And to even get this mercy, they would have to meet a higher bar and prove a "reasonable" (not just a "credible") fear of persecution or violence in their native countries.

All of this is an elaborate ruse to subvert existing laws and strip asylum seekers of the rights and privileges that a duly elected Congress extended to them. And the notion that asylum seekers are flocking to the United States in such overwhelming numbers that they represent a national emergency justifying a presidential proclamation is total BS that should trouble all "rule of law" conservatives.

Trump has hyped the 7,000-strong caravan. But if past experience is any indication, a very small fraction of these people will actually even reach the U.S. border. Indeed, Mexico has already offered asylum to some 2,000 and many more are simply quitting because the long journey is too difficult for kids and families. There is no stampede at the southwestern border justifying an emergency proclamation, without going through proper rule-making procedures. The National Immigration Forum's Zuzana Cepla notes that the number of apprehensions at the southwest border are close to a 22-year low. Yet none of Trump's predecessors thought it fit to declared a national emergency or deploy the military at the border, as Trump has done.

More to the point, these people have formed a caravan not to storm the United States but to avoid being harassed by drug cartels looking for mules and human coyotes.

But why do these asylum seekers sometimes attempt to enter between ports of entry? Because U.S. Customs and Border Protection has taken to deliberately turning them away at authorized ports, telling them to return later, citing alleged capacity limits. This leaves these people, already past the point of exhaustion, in limbo with nowhere to go for days and weeks. Human rights groups are challenging this practice, known as "metering," in federal court. But given its widespread use by this administration, is there any surprise that people who are fighting for their life try and find alternative ways of admission? Trump is trying to portray these people as border jumpers and law-breakers trying to sneak past border patrol. In truth, they often just go and park themselves at some spot on the border where agents are bound to find them so that they can surrender and request asylum more expeditiously.

Trump's proclamation goes even further than the travel ban, which didn't straight up bar people in the listed countries from applying for asylum. That's because American law has always recognized the special need to offer asylum to those fleeing oppression and persecution. That Trump doesn't care about immigrants is one thing. But that he doesn't care about the law he swore to uphold is quite another.

He is the true menace to the rule of law in America.

A version of this column originally appeared in The Week

NEXT: Portland City Council Rejects Mayor's Constitutionally Dubious 'Emergency Ordinance' on Protests

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  1. Illegal Border Shenanigans

    Nice band name.

    1. I like it a a name for a live album, especially one recorded in Mexico.

      1. ?Ay, caramba!

        1. Travesuras ilegal en la frontera?

      2. I heard them play in Belfast once.

        1. I saw them when they opened for Abortion Clinic Blessing.

          1. My cousin used to play bass for them but got kicked out for accidentally destroying an entire village in Liberia with John McAfee while they were on a PCP and third world prostitute binge. It worked out okay for him because he got a new gig with National Socialist Cookie Cutter.

  2. President Trump’s last-minute fear-mongering campaign against the Central American migrant caravan may have fired up his base, but it failed to win swing voters.

    Months-long Russian fear-mongering. That’s how you sell an existential threat.

  3. Cue the frothing Shikha Derangement Syndrome comments….


      1. Whatever happened to Lucy?

        1. She wasn’t crazy enough.

        2. Duuuuude, there are certain rules of decorum we follow around here: Don’t tease or mock the squirrels, don’t link to NSWF materials without a warning, don’t engage Hihn or Tulpa in a discussion, and never ever talk about Lucy.

          1. Last time that I saw Lucy, she was modelling some diamonds in the sky… She is one trippy babe!

          2. I’m not really shocked getting your ass kicked around has made you squeamish, but advertising your cowardice like that is pretty pathetic.

            1. Yes, we are ALL afraid of engaging Tulpa in a discussion… It’s like trying to breathe in a vacuum, or being sucked into an intellectual black hole of nothing but insults! Thoughtful posters dread to tread there! The emphasis there is on childish, grade-school-level ass-kicking instead of the thoughtful exchange of ideas and information!

              In days of old,
              When knights were bold,
              And toilets weren’t invented,
              We stopped by the road,
              And dropped our load,
              And walked away contented!

              The days of old are over now… We have toilets now. Please be considerate of others, and drop your loads there, instead of a nice, clean, rational web site like!

            2. You got it, Tulpa. I don’t roll around in feces because I am a coward.

    2. “Cue the frothing Shikha Derangement Syndrome comments….”

      I think you mean the Shikha frothing rebuttal Syndrome. Though to be fair, this article has somewhat less hysterical and emotive language than is her wont.

      Still, “last-minute fear-mongering campaign “, “despicable ad depicting these helpless people”, “an invading horde full of “cop killers” ,

      1. The caravan was a publicity stunt created by pro immigration groups and covered relentlessly by the pro open borders media. Yet somehow, the whole thing is Trump’s fault. WTF?

        1. You are too adorable for words.

            1. This raises interesting questions that I wish would be addressed beyond the usual “you’re a racist” or “you just want illegals to vote Democrat.”

              Pueblo Sin Fronteras openly supports illegal immigration and actively wants to unionize migrant day-laborers. Some of their biggest financial supporters are the AFL-CIO, the AFT, and the SEIU. They don’t keep this secret – they are open and proud about this.

              They deny that they actively organized the current caravan, but acknowledge that they did organize the earlier one. They are providing food, water, transportation, sanitation, and medical services to these 5k people at enormous expense.

              They also are providing free legal advice on how to work the US immigration system.

              In legal disputes I’ve been involved in in construction, parties get treated differently based on the level of legal information they have access to. A small contractor who puts in a bid on a take-it-or-leave it public contract is treated differently from a large, sophisticated contractor who has a legal team review and comment on a contract. The latter party doesn’t get to take a “we didn’t understand what we were signing stance.”

              1. By the same token, I think that arguably one could treat members of this caravan the same way – i.e. while it’s not necessarily reasonable to expect every migrant day-laborer from Honduras to understand the particularities of US immigration law, these particular people are getting free legal advice on the way by a group dedicated to getting them into the country by any means necessary.

                It’s clear that this group is testing the legalities of the border with the expressed intent of erasing it. In many what they are doing is in line with An-Cap ways of thinking, and I can’t think of what laws you could pass to prevent PSF from doing this.

                While I sympathize with some of the arguments against unfettered immigration, I also tend to agree with chemjeff’s general take that no one has yet suggested a solution that doesn’t sacrifice a great deal of liberty for something that to me isn’t so clearly worth achieving.

                But it would be nice to see a more coherent take than “Trump is pretending innocent baby refugees are terrorists because Orange Man Bad.” That’s not what’s happening here.

                1. Sacrificing a great deal of whose liberty?
                  Americans, who believe in the Constitution, want liberty for those, for whom the document was written: “We the People of the United States of America”.
                  Not the entire world.
                  And that legal advice doesn’t seem to have filtered down to the average caravan follower.
                  A recent newsman interviewed several and none of them claimed they were seeking asylum, but were all just looking for work. Roughly 90% of the caravan being single males.
                  We have laws that say one can’t come for that reason, without going through a process, of which mass invasion is not a part.
                  Turn each, and every, one of them away, at our border and treat seditious organizations, such as the one assisting these people, as we would a terrorist entity.

                  1. “roughly 90% ate single males” is such obvious bs to anyone who has seen aerial news footage I wonder if you aren’t just trying to convince yourself? I have also seen reporters from HBO’s Vice news and the BBC news speaking with caravan members and while several did say they wanted work they almost universally are seeking asylum. The horror stories and official assessments of the civil disorder and rampant violence in Honduras tends to confirm this proposition. I’m sure if you take a fresh uncritical look at it you will conclude they are no threat and the real danger comes from an Executive branch that is so brazenly exceeding its authority and dishonoring the nation whose law it has sworn to uphold

    3. Shikha is a great author. Show her some respect.

  4. Kind of a one-trick pony, isn’t she?

    1. You know who else was a one-trick pony?

      1. Mr. Ed?

      2. Annie Oakley’s horse?

      3. Annie Oakley’s horse?

      4. Catherine The Great’s horse?

      5. Paul Simon?

      6. Godiva’s

      7. Ask a brony.

  5. Does anyone seriously believe a significant fraction of this population are actually eligible for refugee status? Shouldn’t we actually be concerned with people that actually meet the definition of refugees?

    If you want higher low skilled immigration, just make the argument for it. Don’t try to twist the rules of the U.S. Federal Refugee Resettlement Program to fit another agenda.

    1. This. I could take the whole “asylum” thing a little more seriously if so many of the asylum seekers weren’t no-shows at the hearing.

      1. if so many of the asylum seekers weren’t no-shows at the hearing.

        So how many is this?

        1. As usual, it depends on who you ask. Left-leaning sites like ThinkProgress say the no-show rate is “only” 25%. Even if they aren’t downplaying things that represents thousands of people.

          I guess I figure that somebody seeking asylum is in desperate straits, so I would expect the no-shows to be a lot lower than that.

      2. No-shows at what hearing? Most of them haven’t even applied for asylum yet.

        1. And that’s why it is perfectly legal for Trump to refuse them in mass; They’re traveling through an asylum country, and not applying for asylum. This is called “asylum shopping”, and you don’t really have a legal right to do it.

          Basically, if you walk up to the US border, and your claim isn’t that you’re facing relevant persecution in Mexico or Canada, you’ve extinguished your legal right to seek asylum in the US. Even if we find you have a good claim for asylum, we can dump you back over the border to apply for it in Mexico. Or maybe Guatemala.

          Previous administrations have not stringently enforced this rule, but it’s still not a crime for Trump to decide to do so.

          1. There are, also, legal ways to apply for asylum and arriving in a horde isn’t one of them.
            None of the countries they are “seeking refuge” from are in a wartime situation and their governments aren’t targeting every one of the caravan-followers.
            So, they really don’t have any claim to make of being “refugees”. That’s why upwards of 80% of applicants, that actually go through the process, are denied. And that’s why the vast majority don’t show for their hearings. They just blend in with the 22(?) million illegals already here.

    2. Bingo. If Reason wants totally open borders and thinks everyone who wants to come here should be able to, they should just be honest and make that arguement instead of pretending these people are refugees and that the law is something other than what it is. They think immigration law is wrong and Trump wrong for enforcing it. That is an honest position worthy of debating. Calling Trump “lawless” and pretending the law and the facts are something other than what they are is not an honest position and not worthy of consideration.

      1. Slight disagreement. These people aren’t interested in honest debate. They will tell you to your face that they want open borders and that people should be free to come here and vote and turn on their heel and complain about Russian meddling.

        They’re the kind of people who would insist that their specific lack of a plan is the plan and then criticize their opponents for having no plan.

        1. They are utterly dishonest on immigration and trade.

        2. and that people should be free to come here and vote

          Who here advocates for granting voting rights to all immigrants, citizens or no?

          1. Anyone who supports open borders while opposing voter ID?

            1. Opposing voter ID is not synonymous with “let non-citizens vote”, just like opposing highway DUI checkpoints is not synonymous with “let the drunks go driving”.

              1. Yes it is. Forseable consiquences are by defnintion intended consiquences.

          2. Israel allows non-citizens with permanent residency to vote in local elections. I wouldn’t mind that happening in America.

          3. Who here advocates for granting voting rights to all immigrants, citizens or no?

            So they should be allowed to come here but not become citizens, be allowed to come here and become citizens but not vote, or come here be allowed to become citizens and vote?

            Your choice you stupid bigot.

          4. Gillums lawyer Elias literally asked a judge to count an illegal immigrants vote to count last week.

      2. At this point “the law” can be anything anybody wants it to be. For example, for over a century, “the law” was that anybody born on US soil was automatically a citizen and that’s how multiple Congresses, Presidents and Supreme Courts understood it – and now (for some people) it’s clear as day that “the law” means no such thing. A penalty? A tax? A penaltax! Perfectly legal. State exchange, Federal exchange? Legally, there’s no difference. Bombing foreign countries is foreign affairs strictly within the President’s powers? It’s right there in the Constitution. Make up whatever silly arguments you want, there’s somebody who will solemnly swear that’s exactly what the rule of law requires.

        1. Yep. I’m disappointed that Trump is blocking the refugee application process. This one of many reasons why granting arbitrary power to elected officials is dangerous.

          1. I’m glad that he’s finally enforcing the first country of refuge rule, myself. Yes, granting arbitrary power to elected officials to ignore rules like that is indeed dangerous.

    3. I cited the USA asylum categories below. These people are fleeing poverty which is NOT a category for asylum.

  6. This is almost certainly a lawless and unprecedented use of his executive powers”

    it is not lawless to try to change laws otherwise we would still have slavery. Way to be more outlandish than the person you claiming of being outlandish.

    1. It is very lawless for the President to think he can unilaterally change laws and then to act on that thought.

      Changing the federal law is the responsibility of Congress.

      1. Changing the federal law is the responsibility of Congress.

        I agree, MatthewSlyfield, but try telling that to the angry Black resident in Paterson screaming, “Fuck the police! I am the police.”

      2. This article was thoroughly unconvincing in its “argument” that the President acted illegally.

  7. These are the people Trump finds threatening!

    I don’t know about the people, but that there looks suspiciously like an unregulated assault pacifier.

  8. Because U.S. Customs and Border Protection has taken to deliberately turning them away at authorized ports, telling them to return later, citing alleged capacity limits.

    I’m sure there is some evidence and statistics of this. Where can I learn more about it?

    In truth, they often just go and park themselves at some spot on the border where agents are bound to find them so that they can surrender and request asylum more expeditiously.

    So.. problem solved, then?

  9. Is it immoral to turn away immigrants, or asylum seekers? These people are desperate, I don’t deny that.

    Is the proper solution to their problem for us (US citizens) to lower our own standard of living, to depress the wages of our own poor people. Those who harangue us on this point have no skin in the game, except that it makes their lives more comfortable via cheap house keepers, gardeners, poultry processors, etc.

    If “we” are so concerned with the suffering of Central Americans, maybe a better and more humane approach would be to improve their home countries. Surely, our glut of experts such as Dalmia, could be sent to Guatemala to refresh their laws and economy. These brilliant people know what needs to be done, and they have the pure motives to reshape the lives of the poor and downtrodden in a benign way. We need a cadre of terraformers to help these poor people in situ, perhaps a new department in the UN, staffed with the angelic correct-thinkers. I am sure many of our benevolent billionaires would lend their minds and mighty shoulders to the task.

    What do you say, Dalmia? Are you up to the task? Is your reservoir of compassion deep enough to bathe these poor beasts in your kind sympathies?

    1. Hold it, you mean there might be second order effects of allowing immigrants into the country and harms from those effects that might create a moral dilema here such that the answer is so simple as “let the immigrant in you filthy racist”?

      Well knock me over with a feather. Who knew?

      1. [knocks John over with a feather]

        1. [Invites immigration advocates to talk to the Bergen County Board of Freeholders about the shortage of beds in the local homeless shelter.]

          Home construction is a necessary part of a generous immigration policy. Good luck making our immigration system more libertarian. I’m putting my limited time towards YIMBY so immigrants have homes to move into when they arrive.

    2. Yes! If all of our deeply concerned celebrities would just put some of their billions where their mouth is, they could revitalize all of Central America. Then they could travel down there along with every leftist and media mouthpiece to give their time, talent, and incredible knowledge of all the right answers. We encourage them to stay there, permanently. The world would be fixed in no time.

      1. lol. How many Venezuelas does the world need?

        1. Remember when Jane Fonda helped out Vietnam?

    3. Those who harangue us on this point have no skin in the game, except that it makes their lives more comfortable via cheap house keepers, gardeners, poultry processors, etc.

      I guess this is where Team Closed Border tries to impugn the motives of TEam Open Border with inventing their own set of false motives.

      Team Open Border to Team Closed Border: “The only reason you don’t want migrants here is because you’re racists!”
      Team Closed Border to Team Open Border: “The only reason you want migrants here is because you want cheap nannies!”

      Perhaps both teams should stop impugning the motives of the other.

      1. Stop lying and having bad motives and maybe people will stop pointing that out.

        1. Well, John, if you are going to lie and just accuse me of being an ‘open-borders fanatic’ just because I want cheap nannies, then perhaps I should lie and just accuse you of being a ‘closed-border fanatic’ just because you hate brown people.

          Or, both of us can stop lying about the motives of the other, and have an intelligent conversation.

          Which is it going to be?

          1. I’d like to know why you think people want to come here. If I read nothing but Shreeka articles I’d think this was an awful, racist place. Mexico offered safety, and is full of brown people. And yet, they come in droves.

            What makes American so great?

            I’d also like to justify tax dollars being spent on non-americans, directly against the will of the people. I imagine you’re against that as well, but I don’t understand why the right is seen as evil for requesting taht the will of the people be respected. Why can’t the left respect Americans?

          2. You seem to have no opinion about immigration beyond let the immigrant win. You are forever claiming you are for some border controls but there has never from what I have seen been a single border control that you support. Your act is simple and transparent; claim not to be for totally open borders while arguing that whatever border control is at issue is just going too far.

            The day you argue for a border control that is actually at issue, is the day I will believe that you are not an open borders control fanatic. That day, however, has yet to arrive and I am pretty confident it never will.

      2. In New Jersey, the largest support for open immigration comes from towns close to NYC that use restrictive land use policies to ensure that only wealthy immigrants live there. You’ll also find support in low income New Jersey neighborhoods where locals use violence to make sure that only immigrants from the countries they like stay in those neighborhoods.

    4. So your solution to asylum seekers is imperialism.

      Well, I gotta give it to you, it’s a novel approach.

      1. It’s not that novel. A recent EU aid package to Turkey was designed to stem the flow of refugees to Europe. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton supported American action in North Africa in part to prevent a refugee crisis from landing on European shores. How many social justice warriors on college campus try to dictate polices to Israel, because their hearts are torn when they look at the descendants of refugees from Israel’s 1948 War of Independence still living in refugee camps in places like Syria where they don’t enjoy birthright citizenship or equal employment opportunities?

        Frankly, the with the proper PR, we could set up camps for Central American refugees in the southern end of Mexico and then demand that Central American countries win the drug war so that they can enjoy a right of return.

      2. I largely see open borders as inverted imperialism (and missions) for the lazy.

      3. How can there be “imperialism” if there are no borders?
        Open borders would mean that a sufficient number of “Americans” could go to what was Mexico, or Honduras, or Guatemala and turn those areas into little Americas, with our troops being able to support the new regime and it wouldn’t be “imperialism”, just that desired global utopia.
        A world without borders, would have to go both ways.
        Or would it be like leftist “democracy” – only legitimate if we win.

  10. Nobody needs 27 kinds of immigrants.

    1. That is awesome.

    2. hilarious.

    3. You are correct, we need 42 kinds of immigrants…

  11. >>>fleeing oppression and persecution

    were they? or were they *put on the road*?

    >>>He is the true menace to the rule of law in America.

    these are fun sentences … like a soapbox moment

    1. There is no greater threat to the rule of law, than a President who faithfully tries to enforce it.

      This seems to be what reason and Shika actually believe at least in regard to immigration law.

      1. >>>faithfully tries to enforce it

        good luck. Immigration Code’s a mess.

          1. I’m sure our congresscreatures will fix it — right after the Tax Code, that is.

        1. AUMF empowers him to designate them a terrorist threat and direct them toward specific entry points.

        2. What is a “mess” of the immigration code is where the courts have injected themselves, usually in the direction of opening the borders.

      2. Except in this case, the current President is not faithfully trying to enforce the law. They law says people can enter anywhere and still apply for asylum. Trump is trying to prevent this group from being able to apply for asylum at all. That’s not faithfully enforcing the law as it is.

        1. No. The law says that people have an obligation to take asylum at the first place offered it. They have been offered it by Mexico and they refused. That gives Trump every right under the law to insist that Mexico live up to its obligation under international law and deport these people back to where they came from.

        2. The law also says to not lie to federal officials, but these immigrants are being trained on how to abuse the asylum process.

  12. USCIS asylum categories

    These people are poor not political refugees.

    They have zero valid claims to asylum in the USA. Trump is just calling it like it is. The Lefties hate that.

  13. The caravan is not comprised of asylum seekers. They have declared so themselves. Additionally, they have refused offers of asylum from other countries on their route.

    So as usually, you provide nothing but misrepresentations.

  14. The only “elaborate ruse” and lawlessness here is by the anti-American open borders fanatics. They have encouraged the flagrant abuse of the asylum system to create a de facto open borders regime, such as by creating the “Flores” rule and subsequent developments.

    Asylum seekers at the border should not be let into the country, but if they really need three hots and a cot pending their hearing then they are voluntarily submitting to this and their children should be kept with them. They should never be released into the country. None of them from Central America are being politically persecuted for their race or religion, anyway. And if you ever cross the border illegally, you should be denied asylum forever.

    Funny how this author never once bothered to back up his assertions of lawlessness and threats to the rule of law. Just a lot of fluff about supposed “fear-mongering” when in reality the vast majority even of black and Hispanic Americans just want illegal immigration stopped, period. This isn’t even hard to do, but our politicians have just ignored and sold out the people for decades.

    1. This isn’t even hard to do

      Or even particularly inhumane or cruel especially compared to the way things were done when “Send me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses…” was penned. Pregnant women without husbands, prostitutes, convicts, lunatics, idiots, paupers, polygamists, epileptics, professional beggars, anarchists, subversives, imbeciles, tuberculars were reasonable justifications for denying someone entry or deporting someone who had entered legally but was subsequently found to be undesireable.

    2. None of them from Central America are being politically persecuted for their race or religion

      I see that M.L. has been trying out his mind reading machine again.

      1. Care to point out the widespread program of religious or racial persecution in CA?

        Or are you just making things up again.

        1. The latter. It’s all he does.

  15. So perhaps this is when our fervent border restrictionist crowd finally lays out the costs associated with their preferred policies. How many IRS agents do you want to hire to enforce e-Verify on every single business in the country? How many more border guards do you want to hire? How many more ICE agents do you want hunting down every last undocumented migrant?

    1. >>>How many IRS agents do you want to hire to enforce e-Verify on every single business in the country?

      can we reassign them from 1040 audits?

      1. Enforcing E-Verify is no different than enforcing sales taxes or income tax withholding.

        1. dang. my plan meant less 1040 agents.

        2. So basically make companies fill out a bunch of forms and then remain in a state of fear that they will be audited. Which is basically the system that we have now, with the I-9 form. Which is deemed unacceptably lax by the border restrictionist crowd. So, let’s try again.

          1. Yes, basically it is a small marginal increase to the burden they already bear.

          2. “How many IRS agents do you want to hire to enforce e-Verify”

            The IRS has no obligation to enforce e-Verify. The I-9 form is required to be filed for all employees, with no regard on/of immigration status(read the law). Your state DMV has access to online SSN verification and had such access since 2003.

    2. In our new information age, that’s easy and wouldn’t cost much at all.

      Currently, in the vast majority of localities across the country, one must provide a driver’s license or other government ID for most aspects of public life, for everything from driving to banking to renting. All that’s required is the simple matter of adding those ID requirements to voting and receiving government assistance.

      poof, problem solved. Close off the government teat and the problem will work itself out over time.

      1. So what you are asking for is essentially a national ID card. Is that correct?

        1. No. Current ID system works just fine.
          We already need to produce state-issued ID for most of the major public life activities.

          1. In many states, driver’s licenses are available to drivers irregardless of their immigration status. How would you coerce states to change that requirement?

            1. You don’t need to coerce states to change that requirement.

              The federal government is legally able to refuse state-issued IDs that do not meet their standards. Just refer to the Real ID issues and TSA refusing to accept state-issued drivers license that do not meet the standard.

              If Cali chooses to issue the same driver’s license to citizens and non-citizens, with no differentiation, then the federal government has the perfectly legal authority to refuse to accept those for activities requiring proof of citizenship.

              It is only difficult if you want it to be difficult.

              1. You mean the Real ID that’s been deferred for later for over a decade now?

                Yeah, that’s a real winner of a strategy.

                That said, you seem to have an interesting definition of “coercive” if “the federal government taking deliberate action to force states to make specific changes to their own IDs” isn’t “coercive”.

                1. That said, you seem to have an interesting definition of “coercive” if “the federal government taking deliberate action to force states to make specific changes to their own IDs” isn’t “coercive”.

                  Beat me to it.

                  1. It is not coercive for the Feds to say “in order to do X with the federal government, you must have an ID that provides XYZ”. The states are not required to provide their citizens with that. They can freely choose to provide no ID to their citizens. And the citizens are freely allowed to avoid interaction with the Feds that requires ID.

                    1. Now do the state exchanges under the ACA.

                    2. ACA is and was an affront to States rights.

                      Just because States are empowered within their borders, does not imply that the Feds are not empowered to control things within their authority. This is and has been established law for a very long time.
                      The States do not automatically get a say what happens on the Fed’s turf….like say, on the National border. States cannot dictate what ID is accepted by the Feds for entry into the country and more than the Feds can dictate what ID is required to drive on a State road. If States don’t like what the Feds are doing, they have representation to change that, not go rogue like Cali and thumb their nose at the law.
                      Functioning within your legal authority is not coercive.

                    3. Functioning within your legal authority is not coercive.

                      Telling states “adopt these regulations or your citizens don’t get to vote” is coercive. It’s coercion you approve of because it accomplishes a goal that you approve of. That doesn’t make it “not-coercion.”

            2. Jeff… How do you think the federal background check system for purchasing guns work? Are you this fucking stupid? Do you not get how a database works?

        2. everyone cries about national when we have one already they are provided by the individual states that comply with federal standards.

          1. Then please propose a scheme for a national ID card that is consistent with a libertarian view of the Fourth Amendment.

            1. We already have Federally issued Social Security cards.
              We are also issued birth certificates.

              Both documents can be used as a Federal ID to establish legal citizenship and are required in some instances.

              So what is the Fourth Amendment issue with that? You are making issues out of nothing.

              1. Both are required for Real-ID and a U.S. passport.

                1. Plus a recent photo.

      2. State IDs don’t prove citizenship, and I’m skeptical of any system that requires every citizen to have an ID.

        1. I’m skeptical of any system that requires every citizen to have an ID.

          As anyone posting on a libertarian website should be!

        2. I hate to tell you this, but every natural born citizen already does have an ID.
          It’s called a birth certificate.

          Every legal immigrant or naturalized citizen is issued an ID.

          1. You seem to be confusing certificates with IDs. They aren’t the same in theory or practice.

            Put simply, you can’t go to the bar and wave your birth certificate at the bouncer to get in. Similarly, your certificate of naturalization will also do you no good. While those documents, when combined with other documents, might offer proof of one thing or another, there is no situation in which they alone identify you.

            That said, a kid born in the backroom of a crack house doesn’t stop being a citizen just because they never had their birth registered with the state. Sure, they’ll have a lot of problems with the bureaucracy because of it, but they’re still a citizen.

            1. I think the confusion is yours. The birth certificate or naturalization document is the primary identification of a citizen. It is filed in the state records for you at no cost. Guess what you need to produce to obtain a drivers license in most states. Guess what you need to produce to obtain a passport.
              A drivers license is a secondary form of identification…not the primary.

              Bars accept a drivers license because its easy to validate and difficult to transfer to others. That doesn’t mean its a more valid ID than a birth certificate.

              And that kid born in the backroom of a crack house. Sure, they are a citizen without documentation. That’s a shame, because their ability to function within society is almost nil without the documentation.

              We already have national ID and we’ve had it for decades. Acting like it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it any less real.

              1. Sure, they are a citizen without documentation. That’s a shame, because their ability to function within society is almost nil without the documentation.

                A True Libertarian, right here^.

                We already have national ID and we’ve had it for decades. Acting like it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it any less real.

                And acting like there hasn’t been overwhelming popular resistance to national ID cards in this country from when they were first suggested and that they’ve been stealth-legislated in anyway doesn’t make that any less real, either.

            2. We already have national ID’s but they do not have our pictures. They are the birth certificates and the social security cards. The better question to ask is why the security at a bar is so strict that you need a picture ID to get inside. We have a higher standard for proving one’s identity to buy beer than to vote in many locations.

              1. We have a higher standard for proving one’s identity to buy beer than to vote in many locations.

                That’s not a fully honest argument. You are showing your ID at the bar to prove your age. The bar doesn’t give two fucks about your “identity,” and certainly not your legal status as a citizen.

    3. Jesus fucking Christ Jeff. Do you know how federal databases work? You think an individual IRS agent is assigned to every e-verify request?!? My god man. Just stop.

  16. Is the caravan playing to the tune of Van Morrison’s ‘Caravan’?

    1. It is not painted red and white. So they will not be staying overnight.

  17. no…I think it’s this…

    1987….31 years ago. same as it ever was.

    1. Will the migration stop if native born Americans keep dancing the Ghost Dance?

  18. We should help these poor people by moving our border south to meet them!

    1. Yep.

    2. If I recall correctly, that’s why Hawaii was part of America when Obama was born there.

  19. So-called “open borders” is not about charity. It’s not about sympathy. It’s not about compassion. It is about liberty – liberty for the migrants, AND liberty for citizens.

    1. I asked you about this above, thank you for answering here.

      I use my liberty to make money, the government takes it, and leftists seek to hand it to non-americans. Directly against the will of most all Americans.

      Why should I care about the liberty of people from failing states, when you advocate for taking away some of mine?

      1. How much liberty should I allow the government to take from me and hand to others?

        1. Government Almighty is taking away my liberty to hire or otherwise associate with the illegal sub-humans, w/o me travelling to where they are… I cannot hire them to mow my lawn, unless they come here… I can’t take my lawn to them!

          Oh yes, I know about welfare… But please see my other recent post slightly further below…

          1. Having trouble following the sarcasm, but I think I follow your point. I’ll be happy to let most anyone in once the welfare state is in check. The problem is that if we allow open borders and big government, the latter will only get worse. Because the big government crowd will play the pity game, and just dish out tax dollars (see DACA). Then we will keep getting called racists because we trapped another minority in the welfare state.

            It’s a screwed up cycle that will be eliminated upon the proper reduction of government. Until then, there are 7 million unemployed people here already, and tons of people who mow lawns on the cheap.

            The only people I’d call subhumans are the collectivist assholes who think the government can solve their problems (Example – the countries everyone is running from)

          2. Only the truly evil are sub-human, these people are 3rd world culture people which has a much crueler as well as hopeless element that these people are largely setup to fail here. That works well for the party that supports welfare largesse however the cost to the citizenry during the hopeful transition from 3rd world cultural values to our values is too high for too many families. This is not a long term solution and our efforts would be better spent and we would be better served were we to focus on shifting trade and favors to a system which acknowledges first republics, then democracies that meet specific criteria.
            My foreign policy would be to offer statehood to any nation that wants it. There would obviously be a transition period with many milestones to achieve prior to statehood, but ultimately, this world will unite behind something and it will be bloody getting there.

    2. It’s about robbing your neighbors to pay for the services of immigrants or the people they displace. It’s about making life harder for those barely getting by by pricing them out of the labor market unless they go black market.

      If there were any serious arguments being made by the pro open borders crowd to limit the size & scope of the welfare state you might have a point, but all I see from those people is how everything is a humanitarian crisis and government needs to do something today to make them feel better.

      1. Please consider me as one who is both generally in favor of more-open borders and utterly opposed to Government Almighty-coerced charity (I am anti-welfare). I don’t think that I’m alone.

        We aren’t so much robbing our neighbors when we hire an illegal sub-human, in many cases (non-under-the-table cases), when the illegal sub-humans are paying into Social Security w/o being able to benefit from the same… We the native-borns are the shameless moochers, and the illegal sub-humans are our semi-slaves being mooched off of, in these cases!

        See “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes” (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one… AKA…

        1. We the native-borns are the shameless moochers, and the illegal sub-humans are our semi-slaves being mooched off of, in these cases!

          And this is where I have a certain amount of sympathy with Pueblos Sin Fronteras – they’re trying to achieve basically the same thing as the An-Caps, but from a different direction. They recognize that “illegal aliens” in many areas form a semi-official underclass of people who aren’t subject to labor laws and who, as you point out, often wind up paying taxes and not receiving benefits (and yes, I know it works the other way, too).

          At root, PSF’s basic premise is that all workers should have the same rights. I think we all agree on that, if we may not all agree on what those “rights” should be.

        2. “when the illegal sub-humans are paying into Social Security w/o being able to benefit from the same.”

          That occurs because “illegal sub-humans” are using some other person SSN. So, The original number holder gets the credit. The fact that the “illegal sub-human” entered by breaking the law, is their decision. It is also their decision to use another person’s SSN.

          They can apply for a work visa and get a SSN of their own. And collect SS benefits when they achieve 40 quarters of credit.

          1. If it is so easy for the illegals to do that, then why aren’t they doing it? Why is the Social Security system pulling in $10 to $12 billion per year that the native-borns benefit from, that the illegals don’t benefit from?

            1. It is easy enough that over a million, get that status, each year.
              How many do you think we should bring in?
              Or should the number be limitless?

              1. Up to or at least towards 2 million… The fact that there are tons of illegals here means that the free market conditions are NOT being met, as does the fact that fruits and vegetables often rot in the fields, for lack of the laborers willing to do the low-paid back-breaking labor that is needed. 1960s-style “bracero” program is needed to cover that. Constant fighting between teams red and blue prevents it. Trump JUMPS at the chance to turn legal immigrants into illegal immigrants, as well!

                See…..immigrants and…..wall-of-bu

    3. Increased welfare states aren’t liberty Jeff. You amazingly can never link welfare and open borders together. This is why I think you’re an idiot. The concepts are not orthogonal to each other. One changes the other.

  20. People seeking asylum are supposed to ask for it in the first country they come to.

    That country is not the United States in this case.

    They don’t get to shop for asylum anywhere they want to.

  21. “The Immigration and Nationality Act says the president “may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

    In writing the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the president’s travel ban this summer, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the immigration act “exudes deference to the president in every clause.”

    —-New York Times…..rder.html?

    I’m not sure this is about breaking the rule of law, and it sounds like Congress can change this whenever they want.

    It should be noted that Dalima has repeatedly denigrated the rule of law on immigration when the law isn’t in her favor, but things can be awful and terrible without being illegal or unconstitutional.

  22. Just looking at the title I knew this was an article by non-American Shikha Dipshit. No need to waste my time on that drivel.

  23. Well, if Trump is lawless with regard to immigration law, then he joins a crowd of lawmakers and administrators past that have been nothing but faithless in oversight, administration, and execution of immigration law for about forty years now. I assume that means he is keeping good company.

  24. Stuff It!

  25. More Socialist propaganda from “Reason” … a Libertarian publication. LOL

  26. “But Trump apparently wasn’t content with simply criminalizing asylum seekers…”

    BS. If they were seeking asylum they could stay in Mexico where it was offered. And, of course, there is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, the president is fully authorized to limit immigration in whatever fashion he deems necessary.

  27. Typical nonsense from Dalmia, who seeks to eliminate borders altogether using any convenient ruse.

    First, the President does possess this authority; it has been done before more than once, and has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Second, she pretends that all that is required to claim asylum is to have “a credible fear of persecution.” But that is NOT what the law requires; she conveniently omits the rest of the statutory language. Asylum is available only to those who suffer “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion . . . .” 8 USC ?1101(a)(42). (My emphasis.) Few, if any, of the central american migrants traversing Mexico meet that definition, and they will properly be turned back. It is relatively easy to do so if they are still outside the US, which is why they are supposed to apply at a consulate, of which we have many throughout Mexico, or a legal port of entry. (That is also the norm under international law.) But once they are inside the country it becomes much more difficult. And that is why it is important to treat those who enter unlawfully as the criminals they are.

  28. This is just sad.

    No country should be subjected 7 thousands of migrants crowding their border every other year. It’s the height of insanity to reward asylum to this many people simply because they have numbers. Why have standards and protocols on asylum at all? Why have immigration laws? I’m with John Stossel – I’m for limited government, I’m not in favor of anarchy.

    The migrants have admitted to journalists that they have criminals among them. What would happen if a large scale fight broke out among them? What if women are being raped but they’re too afraid to come forward? Do you trust the Mexican police to keep these people safe long term? Who’s funding and organizing the caravan?

    The migrant surge is likely an annual tradition now. When a human tragedy inevitably strikes these people, the inept American media who failed to ask relevant questions will be all like “Oh no, who could have foreseen this terrible incident, what more could have been done”

  29. Libertarian expresses libertarian position at libertarian website.

    Fake libertarians express outrage and authoritarian positions, demand to be taken seriously.

    Just another day at

    1. Do you think libertarians will support the libertarian open borders position when libertarians will be forced to open the doors of their homes to house immigrants.

      I suggest you ask the Polish who were forced to accept the Soviet immagrants into their homes!

      1. I think they don’t mind if shanty towns get built and fail

        1. *government funded shanty towns

    2. You are an idiot. Shitka is a far-Left Socialist not a Libertarian. What’s wrong with you?

  30. Ah Shikah, I didn’t think you were so naive. Those who are sworn to “uphold the rule of law” – including presidents, Congressmen and Supreme Court justices – are just a mob of power-grabbing hypocrites.

    They have abandoned principles and reason in pursuit of power, and there is no turning back. I have met a lot of cops, politicians, prosecutors and judges, and I have never yet met one who did not consider themselves above the law. In the case of most of them, they believe they define the law so it can’t possibly apply to them.

    Trump is no different, he is just more visibly and publicly abusive of his powers. And more dangerous, since he does wield so much power.

    1. If he were on the governing class team the vitriol wouldn’t be at the level it is and the shift in the economy from wall street and their internationalist agenda to the main street America economy Trump is championing demonstrate that he is different in at least that respect. I for one support that shift, for the record.

  31. I’m a libertarian but do not support open borders, which is essentially the same thing as globalism. The US began as a relatively libertarian society, which has slowly devolved into various forms of fascism, socialism, oligarchy and crony capitalism. Globalism only serves to preserve these anti-libertarian ideas by expanding central authoritarian government and government dependence. The left is actively promoting free speech censorship and the welfare state and hopes to bring millions of new voters under their influence, particularly from latin America. We have a lawful method of bringing in immigrants from all parts of the world and should continue to do so, perhaps even at an increased rate. But supporting illegal entry is counter to the values of our libertarian Founders who knew it would be quite difficult to maintain a Constitutional democratic republic with even legal citizens, let alone with millions who would have little or no incentive to assimilate into, accept, and support our form of government, our common language, our laws and our free enterprise capitalism. Diversity is good, but libertarian unity is even better.

  32. First these people are not fleeing violence in their countries. Most are looking for work because the economies in their countries suck. A bad economy is not justification for asylum. Second, the President has braod discretion on how to enforce immigration laws. This is why Obama was able to set up DACA. All the President has said is people entering illegally cannot claim asulym. Seems to reason if you were actually seeking asulym you would not enter illegally because there would be no need.

  33. What a biased and illogical article. It ignores the inconvenient truth that most of the invaders say their primary reason is economic thereby denying Shikha Dalmia’s ludicrous claim that they’re “fleeing oppression and persecution.”

    Furthermore, the caravans seem to be 80-90% military service aged me, despite the biased pictures showing the few women and kids. It is indeed an invasion and President Trump is right to insist that if they want to apply for asylum then they should NOT illegally enter America.

    The editors at Reason have lost the capacity to think rationally. Their socialist bias is showing – but why support the Dems who support illegal immigration for the votes they expect to gain. And yes, President Trump is indeed upholding the law – Dalmia is NOT thinking straight!

  34. While the 1965 Act allows them to apply, it does not take from, nor could it, take from a President their constitutional authority to determine who or how many shall be granted asylum. The current “caravan” has been offered asylum in Mexico and they refused, thereby forfeiting the right to claim asylum here under both international and US law.
    If you already know that, then your article is fake news and you are an inch from evil for propagating these lies. Much of what you say is true, there is just much context and additional legal considerations that your piece leaves out that the message taken from the article is untrue. Please try to do a better job of balancing the many considerations that exist to every issue.

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