Trump Administration

Trump Is Fighting to Dramatically Restrict Legal Immigration

The president's stance on immigration goes well beyond fighting illegal entry.

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|||Oliver Contreras/picture alliance / Consolidated/Newscom
Oliver Contreras/picture alliance / Consolidated/Newscom

From the moment Donald Trump stepped into the Oval Office, he has acted deliberately to restrict the number of immigrants coming to the United States. His administration has not only been cracking down on unauthorized entry to the country but also closing off legal avenues for immigration. It initially curtailed admission from Muslim countries and slashed refugees. Now it has turned its attention to family and skills-based categories—without any new congressional authorization.

Trump's first major policy initiative to restrict immigration—the so-called Muslim travel ban—came within months of taking office. He had called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" during the presidential campaign but then bowed to political reality and narrowed the ban to "merely" five majority-Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen). The executive order also included visa restrictions on two non-Muslim countries, North Korea and Venezuela, but this was almost certainly window dressing so that the ban didn't seem religiously motivated and could pass constitutional scrutiny.

Predictably, the number of immigrant visas issued to nationals of the targeted Muslim countries dropped 84 percent in Trump's first two years as president. Immigrant visas to Iranians fell from 7,727 in 2016 to 1,449 in 2018, a whopping 81 percent drop. Yemenis experienced a 91 percent drop. Even temporary visas for short visits were slashed by similar numbers.

The Trump administration has nearly shuttered the U.S. refugee program. In 2018, only 22,491 refugees were admitted, down from 84,994 in 2016. This was only half of the administration's own low cap of 45,000 for 2018 and below the ceiling of 30,000 for 2019, a historic low that's less than half of what President Barack Obama allowed.

The administration is not just turning away Muslim refugees. Despite Trump's pledge to help persecuted Christians, America admitted only about three dozen Christian refugees from the Middle East in 2018, a number that could comfortably fit in a school bus. The administration argues that it would rather support refugees overseas. But that's just spin: The president's 2020 budget proposes to slash overseas assistance to refugees.

Another move that has reduced legal admissions is a March 2017 presidential memorandum titled the "Immediate Heightened Screening and Vetting of Applications for Visas." As its name suggests, this document is supposed to fulfill Trump's pledge to institute "extreme vetting." Subsequently, in January 2018, the State Department changed its Foreign Affairs Manual to make it easier for consular officers to deny visa applicants on "public charge" grounds, due to a sponsor's income or a belief they might in the future receive some government benefits.

The result of those two actions can be seen in the data. Immigrant visas issued in the "immediate relatives" category (spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens) declined from 254,430 in 2017 to 236,526 in 2018, a fall of 7 percent. Moreover, between 2016 and 2018, immigrant visas issued to the spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens dropped 25 percent. Temporary visas issued to a fiancé of a U.S. citizen fell 29 percent from 2017 to 2018. And immigrant visas denied on "public charge" grounds increased 316 percent during that same time—a gratuitous rate of denial, given that immigrants are generally ineligible for federal means-tested benefits programs until they have been in the U.S. lawfully for at least five years. (And as attorney Susan Fortino-Brown notes, sponsors can be "required to reimburse the government" for any means-tested benefits an alien receives anyway.) Overall, the State Department's "ineligibility findings," which are used to deny visas, increased 39 percent for immigrants and 5 percent for nonimmigrants applying merely for temporary admission between 2017 and 2018.

In other words, Uncle Sam is shutting out people whom American citizens want to marry or spend their lives with or just have come and visit.

And more is to come. Last December, comments closed on a proposed Homeland Security rule that would go much further than the State Department's public charge guidance. If this controversial regulation survives legal challenges, it could reduce legal immigration to the United States by 200,000 a year, roughly a 20 percent drop—even though Congress has declined repeatedly to do so.

The biggest myth of all is that the Trump administration favors "merit-based" immigration. Official government hostility toward international students and high-skilled foreign nationals and their employers has never been greater.

The State Department issued 30,644 fewer F-1 student visas in 2018, an 8 percent drop over the previous year. The total decline between 2016 and 2018 was 108,799 or 23 percent. State Department data make it difficult to know how much of the decline is due to denials, but Indian students are losing interest in U.S. universities, in part due to tighter H-1B visa rules that limit future career options. Canadian universities appear to be the beneficiaries.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has still more plans that could make international students think twice before coming to America. A May 2018 memo on "unlawful presence" would make it more likely for an international student to get deported. That's because under the new policy, if a technical error in a student's status lasted 180 or 365 days, even without the student knowing it, he or she could be barred from the U.S. for three to 10 years without getting an opportunity to fix the problem. The agency may also change policy to allow international students to stay only a set number of years in the country, requiring them to get extensions approved if they wish to continue their studies.

The administration's regulatory agenda also includes plans to eliminate or restrict international students' ability to work after graduation on Optional Practical Training (OPT) in a science, technology, engineering or math field. This despite the fact that a recent National Foundation for American Policy study, conducted by economist Madeline Zavodny, concluded that there's "no evidence that foreign students participating in the OPT program reduce job opportunities for U.S. workers….The OPT program is an important way for the U.S. to attract and retain foreign talent."

In addition, USCIS has implausibly decided that IT services are not important to the country or the competitiveness of its companies. The agency has established far tougher adjudication standards for IT services companies, resulting in denials of 34 to 80 percent of H-1B petitions for new (initial) employment for several well-known companies that perform technical work for American businesses. Peter Bendor-Samuel, founder and CEO of Everest Group, says, "Almost every major U.S. firm is building some form of digital platform so it can enhance its competitive position….The current skill shortages are going to grow as the demand for digital and IT skills explodes. If this administration wanted to harm U.S. competitiveness, then restricting access to this vital labor would be an excellent approach."

The USCIS isn't just denying new skilled visa petitions; it's making it more difficult to renew existing ones. Its adjudicators no longer defer to prior approvals, forcing many longtime visa holders to leave the United States because they can't obtain extensions. Denials and "Requests for Evidence" for H-1B visas have increased since Trump issued his Buy American and Hire American executive order. And employers expect the situation to worsen after an anticipated H-1B regulation will redefine terms like "specialty occupation."

Donald Trump said in his 2019 State of the Union address, "I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally." Two weeks later, USCIS proposed a regulation to rescind a current rule allowing up to 100,000 highly educated spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in the United States.

The lesson is clear: Ignore what Donald Trump says and instead watch what his administration does.

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267 responses to “Trump Is Fighting to Dramatically Restrict Legal Immigration

  1. Hey look John predicted this.

    1. So, now Reason is recognizing the distinction between legal and illegal aliens.

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    3. Foreign graduates of US schools should be freely given H-1B visas,but they should be the only ones getting them.

  2. In addition, USCIS has implausibly decided that IT services are not important to the country or the competitiveness of its companies. The agency has established far tougher adjudication standards for IT services companies, resulting in denials of 34 to 80 percent of H-1B petitions for new (initial) employment for several well-known companies that perform technical work for American businesses. Peter Bendor-Samuel, founder and CEO of Everest Group, says, “Almost every major U.S. firm is building some form of digital platform so it can enhance its competitive position….The current skill shortages are going to grow as the demand for digital and IT skills explodes.

    If there is a shortage of something, they will just have to pay more to get it and the paying more will eventually cause the supply to rise and the price to fall. But in reason land the laws of supply and demand magically stop working in labor markets. Real wages for most of the country have been stagnant for decades. They are finally starting to rise. Maybe making it so that everyone is employed only so long as there is not someone else anywhere in the world more desparate to take the job isn’t the best idea.

    1. Compensation has not been stagnant if you account for full wages- including benefits. It has grown nearly 80% since the 80s. Most of the “wage stagnation” news mistakenly leaves out benefits like FML and Health Insurance, which is where most of the compensation growth has been held over the past 20 – 30 years.

      In the STEM fields, compensation growth has been even higher. If you want your children to succeed very well in life, they should be going into a STEM field. This has been the case for over 20 years, and yet not enough kids are going into the field in the United States.

      Companies depending on STEM workers cannot wait for kids to eventually overcome the US cultural bias against STEM fields. So the choices are: import the workers, outsource the functions overseas, or just not invest in more projects that require the STEM degrees. Only one of those options (importing workers) results in improvements to the US economy.

      And FWIW, H1B visas represent less than 15% of the tech industry. While I am sure this impacts wages, it has not kept wages or wage growth ridiculously low. My company is expanding our office in Taiwan where our H1B workers will end up now that we cannot get visas approved any more. So, sure you can expect more wage growth as the US STEM market tightens, but that won’t necessarily improve the US worker’s prospects any more than the minimum wage will.

      1. And FWIW, H1B visas represent less than 15% of the tech industry.

        The fact that you are trying to claim that an increase of 15% in the labor supply is not significant or has kept wages down with a straight face is pretty epic even for here.

        And overall wages and compensation have risen but they have gone nowhere for the middle and lower classes. Mass immigration is great for the immigrants and the rich. It fucks everyone else.

        1. The fact that you are trying to claim that an increase of 15% in the labor supply is not significant or has kept wages down with a straight face is pretty epic even for here.

          Please read what I said. I specifically acknowledged that it has impacted wages, and yet STEM wage growth has been the leader among different industries for decades. While it is likely that wages might grow faster/higher for STEM fields at a certain point, it no longer makes sense to employ people here in the US. The whole purpose of H1B was to make offshoring less attractive than bringing people here.

          And overall wages and compensation have risen but they have gone nowhere for the middle and lower classes.

          These people are not H1B/Stem employees so the argument is a moot point when talking about H1Bs. Yet, still, with full compensation included, median earnings have improved for everybody.

          But tell me- if you are so interested in the Government interfering in the market for the express purpose of increasing wages, why aren’t you a proponent of higher minimum wage?

          1. These people are not H1B/Stem employees so the argument is a moot point when talking about H1Bs.

            Bullshit. Most H1B visas are for low end workers. Not every STEM worker is highly skilled or even highly paid despite their pretentions otherwise.

            1. You clearly do not know what you are talking about. Sure, many are “Low end” of the Stem fields, but a low end developer (i.e. brand new, no skills) can make close to 6 figures. Even in the rural north east, a low level (i.e. 2-3 years experience) engineer makes $65k to start. This is a salary I signed off on just 3 months ago. This places them alone above 50% of wage earners in the US, and if they are married to someone making about the same, their household is in the top 25%. In hotter markets, you can add about 20% to that. These are not middle and lower class people- and *again* STEM wages have been going up for decades. They have not been stagnant at all.

              And I notice that you didn’t answer my question. If you are so gung ho about the government interfering in markets to artificially increase peoples’ wages, why aren’t you banging the drum for a higher minimum wage? It is effectively the same thing, and would target those low-income earners you claim such sympathy for.

        2. “The fact that you are trying to claim that an increase of 15% in the labor supply is not significant or has kept wages down with a straight face is pretty epic even for here.”

          Reason has explained time and again that the law of supply and demand was repealed where immigrants are concerned.

      2. There’s something to what you say: As an engineer, my wages have been largely stagnant for the last decade, but they doubtless HAVE increased significantly if you count my employer’s contribution towards my health insurance.

        The cost of which has been inflating at double digit rates.

        But that’s not actually much of a consolation, since I can’t eat or live in the health insurance.

        1. Since starting my job at my current company 15 years ago, my total monetary compensation (stock + salary) has increased by about 800%. This is largely due to salary increases and stock grants (the value of the stock between 2004 and today has been relatively flat, accounting for maybe 10% of my gains over that time).

          I am willing to accept that I am atypical, but as a manager I also see the salary bands for my employees. They are significantly higher than they were in 2004. A position paying $90k circa 2006 is now earning around $130. Thats for a straight software engineer (2 levels above fresh graduate).

          And of course, this assumes the person has stayed in that position for 15 years, and most have at least gotten 1 or 2 promotions during that time.

          I respect that your experience may be different due to geographical location or perhaps your living situation. I am curious to know though what length of time you are judging here. The increases I have observed (personally and among my teams) have tended to come in fits and starts. One year, mediocre raises, then 2 years later a massive true-up to get the company competitive again so it doesn’t hemorrhage talent to the Big Guys (Goog, Facebook, Apple).

          1. Totally agree with this. In my experience, average pay has increased by close to 50% in tech roles which is where a majority of the H1B visas go to. Totally counter-intuitive to the narrative pushed by Trump supporters.

          2. You’ll forgive some of us for not giving a fuck about 90k going to 100k+

      3. I don’t forget stock options, too

    2. H-1B visas should be the ONLY ones issued to graduate students of US schools. But they should be virtually automatic.

  3. A good article that explains this well:

    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. sending a roughly $500 billion check annually to the winners

      Like those two brothers whose name begins with K.

      1. the Krogers?

    2. Put bluntly, immigration turns out to be just another income redistribution program.

      Exactly. The open borders advocates act like they are not picking winners and losers just as surely as any central planner. They are. As a wise man once said, the forseeable consiquences of an action are not unintended. The open borders advocates know that this screws American workers and helps employers and immigrants and that is the result they want.

      1. Markets pick winners and losers. It’s what markets do.

        I prefer that markets do so, rather than any sort of planner.
        Why? For the sake of freedom, first and foremost. Then, for the sake of the consumer, of course. Get your bloody plans, quotas, limits, and other nonsense out of my transactions.

        The amount of sheer economic ignorance required to see market activity in terms of income redistribution schemes is breathtaking.

        1. Define market

          1. Shirley defines “market” as sort of an ideal. There is this thing called a “free market”. While it can never be achieved, it is an ideal that must be striven for. So, any consiquence that is the resutl of a “freer market” is therefore morally superior to consiquences from a less free market. The desireability of all ends is judged by how much they are the result of a “free market”

            This is what Shirley believes thought she likely doesn’t even understand her own views well enough to realize that.

            1. The way some people invoke the word “market(s)” often reminds me of how words like “science” and “god” are frequently used.

            2. John, I don’t put words in your mouth.
              I’ll thank you to do me the same small courtesy.

              Now, as far as that word-salad off assertions manages to convey any relevant meaning, it’s that I believe ‘more free’ is better than ‘less free.’
              Well duh.
              Apparently you do not.

              You seem to believe we’re talking about ends. This is absurd. We’re talking about means.
              Markets have no ends. Markets are processes, they persist over time. They are means. Ends are determined by the subjective valuations of persons expressed in the acts they effect.
              Markets are processes comprised of the set of actors engaging in exchange ? the transactions which occur and the parties thereto.
              And in markets, as in all things, more freedom is better than less freedom.

              It Is possible to see the problem of downward pressure on wages as a ‘local optimization’ problem. Think about it.
              Ultimately, unimpeded transactions maximize both parties satisfaction under current conditions. This implies that markets are an optimizing process. Complex optimization problems have solutions that can fall into local, but not global, ‘best fit.’ Disruptions of the local optimization means reducing the current levels of optimizations to find more global optimizations.
              We make things worse by not optimizing because we can know that we are far from optimum. [human wants being infinite]. Even if local disruptions move away from some current, inherently transient, ‘better’ state.

              1. Now, as far as that word-salad off assertions manages to convey any relevant meaning, it’s that I believe ‘more free’ is better than ‘less free.’
                Well duh.
                Apparently you do not.

                No, Shirly, I am not a member of your religion. I value freedom but I don’t worship it.

                You seem to believe we’re talking about ends. This is absurd. We’re talking about means.
                Markets have no ends.

                Markets have results. And how the government interferes with them or doesn’t interfere with them produce different resutls. But markets and the understanding of them say nothign about which set of results is preferable. it just tells you what the results will be. Economics is not moral philosophy. You are treating it like it is. You go to your church and I will go to mine.

                1. Freedom is foundational. It is one of the conditions for the possibility of agency.
                  I argue that at the level of interpersonal transactions morality and economics overlap markedly. Ethics has broader scope, but the concerns of economics have a strong resemblance to those of ethics.

                  The question of just what are, and are not, to count as ‘results’ is problematic. I accept the arguments of the knowledge problem that one cannot know what the ‘results’ the market process are in any precise or useful way. If markets are an ongoing process, as I argue they are, they only ever have at most intermediate results. The only thing being optimized, the only ‘result’ that matters to the market participants is satisfaction of current wants. Ethics, not markets, speaks to those wants. It is ethics that is built on agency, markets are the transactional mechanism, amidst all the others, that entrains freedom in service of global optimization of whatever is wanted.
                  But if ethics provides no warrant for violating the freedom of another, surely the market cannot either.
                  You can selectively slice off aspects of market activity, but that will always be arbitrary and incomplete. It will also be time-bound ? it’s one frame out of the film, so to speak (loosely).

                2. “Markets have no ends.” Yes they do. It is so obvious that your ignorance is lowering the I.Q. of everyone reading these comments. Freedom IS objectively better than coercion; if you oppose that concept, you are placing your own desire to tell people what to do over their own inherent human dignity to choose their own interactions. That is unethical.

                  1. “Markets have no ends.” Ooops, pasted the wrong section.

          2. Market refers to the basic human condition in the absence of coercion whereby humans naturally exchange things of value based on their own calculations of utility.

        2. Shirly you treat the market as some kind of Utopian ideal that we must strive to obtain. Basically you have made economics a religion. And the amount of sheer ignorance on your part to think that infuriates me.

          There is no “Market”. There are a set of laws that describe mass human behavior. What you want to make of those laws and what policies you want to have in light of those laws is a question of what your desired end is and what your values are. There is no “better” or “worse” result in any absolute sense. There are only a set of foreseeable consiquences that result from the available policy options.

          To say that one is necessarily better because “the market dictates it” is profoundly stupid. Go find a better God than the market because I am tired of people like you pissing on the otherwise good science of economics by using it as a rationalization for whatever you want and for whatever wierdo ways you wish to find meaning in the world.

          1. Market forces are people making choices for themselves. The freer they are to do so, the better off they’ll be. Just because the government keeps putting its thumb on the scale, that doesn’t man the general observation isn’t the same. People will still be better off participating in markets–even when the government’s thumb is on the scale. The more the government takes its thumb off the scale, the better off they’ll be.

            The early communist revolution was in big trouble. They had this problem with starvation. Lenin made it so that people could keep small gardens of their own and sell whatever they didn’t eat to their neighbors. Lenin got all kinds of flack for that from the other communists. If it hadn’t been for that reform, the Soviet Union might have imploded 50 years earlier than it did. A little tiny bit of capitalism and markets can go a long way.

            A little bit of capitalism can be the difference between mass starvation and people getting enough to eat. More capitalism is better–even if the markets are never completely free. Because the markets have never been completely free is certainly no reason to defend making them less so.

            1. One day commie shitheads like Bernie and that imbecile from the Bronx will allow people to have gardens too!

            2. Market forces are people making choices for themselves. The freer they are to do so, the better off they’ll be.

              Depends on how you define ‘better off’. The freer they are the better off some people will be. But individual results may vary. Your entire original post makes that point quite well. How you can now walk back on it is a bit of a mystery.

              1. Individual results will always vary.
                Enforced outcomes for identical results?
                Why are you here when we have Tony?

                1. Sure individual results always vary. Your problem is that you think one particular resutl is morally superior to another such that you can dismiss all others. Your God tells you that this set of results are better than all others. Sorry, but I don’t worship your god.

                  1. Demonstrably, I do not.
                    You’re the one arguing specific results are good or bad.

                    You want to meddle with the free choices of others.
                    I don’t.
                    I believe freedom is foundational to agency, that it matters.
                    You don’t.

                  2. Because one particular result IS morally superior. Your argument is fundamentally a socialist one. Are you aware that you are a socialist?

              2. Yeah, there are losers. Getting overpaid to screw in lug nuts is good for the people who are overpaid. Not good for society as a whole.

                You can say things that are true for the rest of society without being true of every individual components within it.

                Our economy has continued to grow even as American manufacturing continued to fall and Chinese imports continued to climb. There are people in the rust belt are not better off because of that, but the economy continued to grow.

          2. “To say that one is necessarily better because “the market dictates it” is profoundly stupid”
            Wow are you not smart. It isn’t stupid at all. It is an empirical fact proven by countless studies of economics over centuries. The weight of the evidence against you is truly staggering. There are, in fact, better results in an absolute sense. Ask the people who live in Venezuela if it would be a “better” result if they could, you know, have access to things they need to survive. Just wow. I hope you don’t get to make an important decisions.

        3. Is China a market or a planned economy?

          1. Private ownership of the means of production is legal, prices are set by markets, and redistribution of income isn’t a high priority.

            That being said, property rights are poorly protected by the courts, and people’s ability to make choices for themselves are largely constrained by the interests of the government.

            Never in the history of the world have more people raised themselves out of subsistence peasantry to the middle class so quickly, and that isn’t just a coincidence. It’s because a little bit of capitalism can go a long way.

            They’re more capitalist than socialist, and the more free their markets become, the better it will be.

            1. So, serious question, how much interface with a planned economy ( not saying China is one, just a thought experiment) can a free market economy engage in before it is distorted beyond what wpuld be considered a free market? A little? A lot? It doesn’t matter?

              1. Again, market forces are people making choices. To whatever extent they are free to make choices for themselves within the context of a market, they’re better off than they would be if they had less freedom to make those choices.

                Different markets will behave in different ways. A market controlled by a monopoly will not react the same as a market of pure competition. Some products have peculiarities that may constrict how innovative people can be within that market.

                The one thing that’s true of all of them is that the freer people are to make choices for themselves, the better of they are.

                That concept that market forces are people making choices is extremely important. Market forces are not created by government or changed by them. The Soviet Union tried to abolish them in the hope that market forces would stop tormenting their plans. Market forces are what people choose to do under various situations. People choose to substitute x for y under this condition. People tend to enter or exit the market under that condition. The freer they are to make choices for themselves within the context of the market, the better off they’ll be–and that goes all the way to when the government is starving people to death by killing the market for food.

                1. In fact, the closer you get to the government completely destroying people’s freedom to participate in market, the benefits of freeing them may be even greater. In that sense, government interference never gets so bad that freeing the market up more won’t make the outcomes better.

                  1. None of that answers my question Ken, but thanks anyway.

                    1. Honest and reasonable people can disagree about whether a particular system is more free market or more centrally planned. Whether more free markets are better is another story.

                      Even when it’s completely communist, adding more free markets is better. Within the context of the wider discussion in this thread, the government can never interfere in the economy so greatly that more free markets aren’t an improvement.

                    2. Again, that really doesn’t answer the question but thanks.

          2. That is a good question. They are economically capitalist, and politically communist. In other words people can own their own business but are controlled by the government. I always thought that was the hallmark of fascism.

            1. I’ll ask you since you seem capable of brevity and concision.

              How much interface with a planned economy can a market economy have before it is distorted away from aarket economy and more resembles a planned economy.

              1. i recommend you read Murray Rothard and Mises’ take on market interventions. It’s difficult to quantify “interface” or intervention. Interventions are not homogeneous and would be difficult to quantify.

                In any case, your questions seems to be more semantic than substantive.

              2. Where do you draw the boundaries around markets?
                What level of cross boundary flow negates the boundary?

                1. his question just reads like one of those questions that freshman douche in philosophy 101 class asks just to make himself sound smart, while everyone else groans.

                  1. And yet you failed to answer it or Shirley’s question.

                    1. And in fact, went full ad hominem because you probably can’t answer it.

            2. “I always thought that was the hallmark of fascism” — Leftist propaganda trying to peg the term ‘fascist’ on the right for years now has created some confusion on the term fascism.

              Fascism and Socialism are practically synonyms only differing on their ‘target’ goal of uniformity.
              Nazism = National Socialism

              Fascism – national socialism (uniformity) of race/religion.
              Socialism – national socialism (uniformity) of wealth/market.

      2. By definition, federal fiat restricting the movement of human capital is central planning. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      3. Once again, by definition, open borders is the ABSENCE of central planning, at least in regards to movement of human capital. Get a dictionary.

    3. The idea that the purpose of the government is to protect low skilled workers from competition is absurd. incidentally, low priced imported cars are bad for American UAW workers, too. So what? Find something more productive to do. If you can’t compete with relatively uneducated immigrants from Mexico and central America, most of whom have no more than 8th grade education, then you should avoid getting a felony on your record and avoid using meth. My purpose in life is not pay artificially created premiums so that you can be overpaid to do something relatively unproductive.

      1. uneducated immigrants from Mexico and central America, most of whom have no more than 8th grade education

        Only racists object to their country being filled with such charming people.

        1. I didn’t say that.

          I said I don’t oppose them coming here because they compete with low skilled, native born labor.

          1. You don’t object to your country being full of adults only capable of menial labor? Good luck with that.

            1. I didn’t say that either–although labor is a resource and having more of a resource available for less is better. China has created a tremendous amount of wealth from cheap labor.

              I’m also not opposed to importing as much cheap oil as we can either–even if that’s bad for American oil companies and American oil workers.

              1. Cheap labor costs more than it produces, Ken. How is this not obvious?

                1. If you keep your Guats chained up in the chicken coup, fine. But that’s not how the rest of the world works.

                2. “Cheap labor costs more than it produces, Ken. How is this not obvious?”

                  If cheap labor costs more than it produces, then people wouldn’t consistently hire it.

                  How is that not obvious?

                  People hire illegal immigration labor specifically because they get more out of it than it costs. If you’re talking about adding in government spending, then I suggest we work on that. The problem with government spending isn’t illegal immigration. The problem with government spending is government spending, and the solution is to cut it–not just for immigrants but for everybody.

                  1. If you’re talking about adding in government spending

                    If?

                    It’s really hard to believe you’re acting in good faith here.

                3. Because it is obviously false? You are either a fascist, a communist, or a labor union activist at heart. Maybe you should go on a tour of self discovery to truly learn how much you don’t understand economics.

                  1. Valkanis, you’re truly terrible at arguing a position.

              2. China has created a tremendous amount of wealth from cheap labor.

                Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan don’t.

                1. Originally, they did!

                  The reason the so called Asian Tigers (including Hong Kong and Singapore) became so prosperous originally was largely because their labor in the ’50s and ’60s was cheaper than elsewhere.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Asian_Tigers

                  1. In fact, the success of the Asian Tigers had a lot to do with China going all perestroika with confidence and declaring that to be rich is glorious.

                    The fact that all the Asian Tigers were growing like mad, to the point that Hong Kong had a higher GDP per capita than the UK, was enormously embarrassing to China and communism. How could they continue to pretend that communism was the best way to raise the peasants out of poverty when the poor people of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan were joining the middle class in droves?

                  2. “Originally, they did!”

                    Orignially, Ken. Originally. Importing 80 IQ stoop labors to recreate labor prices in 1950’s Taiwan might be the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.

            2. Your preferred policies will make that more likely to happen, not less. Good luck with that. Actually, no.

    4. >>>Put bluntly, immigration turns out to be just another income redistribution program.

      totes why Elected (R) & (D) are same-team on it. helps them, screws We.

      1. all economic activity has winners and losers. in that sense, anything could be a redistribution program. The question is not whether wealth is re-distributed, but whether it was voluntary.

        1. Yes, a million times yes.
          Succinctly put.

    5. Yes, but it helps Democrats, in elections.

      What’s the first rule of economics? Resources are scare.

      What’s the first rule of politics? Ignore economics.

      1. “What’s the first rule of economics? Resources are [sic]scare.”
        This doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    6. Yeah, my Northern European grandparents benefited from their immigrating at the expense of my other Western European grandparents. Took their jobs and everything. Back in the 30s there were even signs saying “Immigrants only, filthy English and German types need not apply”. [weeps]

    7. Oligarchs First! Workers Last!

      What does a “free market” mean, but catering immigration policy to the Oligarchs?

      1. Oligarchs, by definition, have government power to enforce their commercial gain. Free market hurts the Oligarchs. Are you a communist? What you just said could very easily have been said by Lenin in 1917.

        1. A new gibberish gabberer here at Reason.

    8. The problem is that he is so awfully wrong that calling him an “economist” is being too generous. He clearly is not qualified for the job. Immigration has INCREASED the total wealth of everyone, natives and all. The notion that low-skilled natives are competing for a scare amount of available jobs with immigrants is empirically false. There are too many jobs for the natives to fill. Look it up. It is mathematically impossible that reducing the total labor supply is beneficial to the economy. It is truly mind-boggling that people who consider themselves intelligent spout such easily disproven nonsense.

      “Put bluntly, immigration turns out to be just another income redistribution program.”
      Immigration isn’t a program. Restricting immigration is a program. Research the history of the economic expansion of 19th century America, the biggest in world history, by far, which was driven first and foremost by immigration. People had the same complaints then, except that their arguments were usually blatantly racist. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are not racist, so I guess you are just incompetent.

      1. Define economy

  4. “The Trump administration has nearly shuttered the U.S. refugee program. In 2018, only 22,491 refugees were admitted, down from 84,994 in 2016. This was only half of the administration’s own low cap of 45,000 for 2018 and below the ceiling of 30,000 for 2019, a historic low that’s less than half of what President Barack Obama allowed.

    The administration is not just turning away Muslim refugees. Despite Trump’s pledge to help persecuted Christians, America admitted only about three dozen Christian refugees from the Middle East in 2018, a number that could comfortably fit in a school bus.”

    Since the travel ban, the argument has been that travel from those countries should be restricted on the basis that travelers from those countries represented a security threat–regardless of their religion.

    If administration policy isn’t discriminating on the basis of religion, then that’s a good thing. Three cheers for the First Amendment, right?

    1. For the first time in the entire history of the publication reason is now concerned about persecution of Christians in the middle east. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny.

      1. Yeah, don’t expect their concern for the rights of Christians to last.

      2. how many can there be?

        1. In most of those countries? Not many; They finished wiping out the Jews in most of them, and the Christians are now getting undivided attention from the genocides.

      3. I’m pretty sure fitting 35 Christians comfortably on a school bus is antithetic to Reason. Either the 35 passengers should be of mixed religious (and non-religious) denomination, the school bus should be privately or church owned, or the Christians would fit on the school bus but we’d all be damned if Reason would let anyone be comfortable with it.

        1. Was that supposed to be funny? It wasn’t.

    2. The Trump administration actually wanted to make an exception for persecuted Christians, but that opened it to charges of religious discrimination, so the fallback position was that nobody got in.

      1. Because that IS religious discrimination, by definition.

    3. I’m glad Trump was the first Western leader to speak of persecuted Christians. It’s been happening for decades with barely a word from the media.

  5. From the moment Donald Trump stepped into the Oval Office,

    Trump’s first major policy initiative to restrict immigration?the so-called Muslim travel ban?came within months of taking office.

    So forward-thinking and diabolical was his plan that he *almost* had the previous administration taking the same steps.

    6 more years of Trump Presidency and Putin will have retroactively started WWII.

  6. The president’s 2020 budget proposes to slash overseas assistance to refugees.

    Overseas refugees are certainly the responsibility of the US Taxpayer.

    1. Overseas refugees are certainly the responsibility of the US Taxpayer.

      I think it’s important for people who don’t agree with us about that to know that there are alternatives to bringing people here to live as permanent residents.

      Helping refugees is often presented as a false choice between leaving them to die of exposure and bringing them here to live among us to make them American citizens. That is not the case.

      There are refugee communities that have been brought here in the past that have proven to be hotbeds for recruitment to join ISIS, for instance . . .

      http://www.startribune.com/min…..329942131/

      http://www.fox9.com/news/minne…..mar-letter

      The legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights. We have police to protect our rights from criminals. We have courts to protect our rights from the police. We have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats. If our refugee policy has any other legitimate purpose, surely it’s also to protect our rights from whatever threats refugees might present to our security. Whatever our constitutionally ratified treaties require us to do for refugees, it should be remembered that we may be able to fulfill our obligations without subjecting ourselves to a security risk. This is part of putting America first–no, we don’t have to bring them here to save them.

      1. “Overseas refugees are certainly the responsibility of the US Taxpayer.”

        My sarcasm tags fell off.

      2. “I think it’s important for people who don’t agree with us about that to know that there are alternatives to bringing people here to live as permanent residents.”

        And one of those alternatives is just ignoring those people. I contribute a fair amount to charity, but I don’t think charity is a proper function of government, and still less charity to non-Americans.

        1. I think that democracy has a proper place, like declaring war and setting the rules for naturalization.

          I suspect that refugee policy may fall within that purview.

          Sometimes Congress may declare wars that I oppose. I can continue to oppose them, but that doesn’t mean the wars are illegitimate. Declaring war is within the proper purview of democracy, and if I want the war to end, I probably need to persuade my fellow Americans to oppose it.

          Sometimes, Congress may make rules for naturalization that I oppose. I may need to persuade my fellow Americans to have those rules changed. Not all of them may agree that we should just ignore refugees. I may need to persuade them that we can help those people without bringing them here before I can persuade them to just leave the situation alone. Certainly, if I don’t want to bring them here because they’re a security threat and pay for them, not bringing them here is a step in the right direction.

        2. And, this used to be the standard Libertarian position.

          But, of course, Reason isn’t really a libertarian publication anymore. It’s a sort of libertarianish left-wing publication, now, that just hasn’t gotten around to purging the last real libertarians on their staff.

          1. Even when I read their defenses of free trade anymore, it comes across like they’re not supportive of free trade so much as they’re against Donald Trump.

            It rings hollow as hell.

            1. Too sad, too true.
              The applies to the commentariat.

        3. “And one of those alternatives is just ignoring those people.”
          Yes, it is an alternative. But if you choose that one then you are a bad person, sorry.

          1. Based on your comments, valkanis, you’re a terrible person

  7. Biden in 1983: FDR’s Failed Court-Packing Scheme was a ‘Bone Head’ Plan and a ‘Terrible Mistake’

    Here’s Biden as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1983, explaining why FDR’s nakedly-political, power-hungry effort to overhaul SCOTUS was a disaster.

  8. This is completely unacceptable. We Koch / Reason libertarians must vote for literally any Democrat (except Tulsi Gabbard) as long as this alt-right white nationalism infects the GOP. Yes, even a democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders would be a massive improvement over Orange Hitler.

    #OpenBorders
    #NoBanNoWall
    #AbolishICE

    1. #ForeignersFirst

  9. The president’s 2020 budget proposes to slash overseas assistance to refugees.

    So instead of praising budget slashing, you’d rather complain about budget slashing. Your call, I guess.

    Uncle Sam is shutting out people whom American citizens want to marry or spend their lives with or just have come and visit.

    By ‘shuttling out’ do you mean ‘not paying their way’?

    1. By ‘shuttling out’ do you mean ‘not paying their way’?

      Careful! Nobody’s talking about importing immigrants around here except the nativist bigots who mean it unequivocally in the most literal of senses.

    2. Welfare is horrible, unless it is given in the service of mass migration.

      1. The education system, top to bottom, is overburdened, ineffectual, and costly but if we import enough foreign workers and diversify education requirements enough for their children, it should refocus public education and lean out the inefficiencies.

        Government control is bad unless everyone is too busy being shepherded around the globe equally to notice.

      2. immigrants use welfare and entitlement benefits at lower rates than native born citizens. They also commit less crime. If you think you should have the right to stop me from hiring Juan from Juarez because Juan might use public welfare services, should i have the right to stop you from reproducing because your child might use public services – and statistically speaking, is more likely to use them than Juan from Juarez?

        1. immigrants use welfare and entitlement benefits at lower rates than native born citizens. .

          This is a lie.

          1. i’m citing multiple Cato studies, using federal data. and my argument is not dependent on that premise either, although it helps.

            1. You’re not actually coting anything.

              1. *citing

            2. Where’s the fucking studies, shithead?!

              1. calm down, hold your breath.

                A 2017 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found immigration “has an overall positive impact on the long-run economic growth in the U.S.”

                How that breaks down is important.

                First-generation immigrants cost the government more than native-born Americans, according to the report ? about $1,600 per person annually. But second generation immigrants are “among the strongest fiscal and economic contributors in the U.S.,” the report found. They contribute about $1,700 per person per year. All other native-born Americans, including third generation immigrants, contribute $1,300 per year on average.

                  1. “The Economics and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration” – National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Immigration.

                    it’s not allowing me to post a URL here.

                    1. From your source

                      “Viewed over a long time horizon (75 years in our estimates), the
                      fiscal impacts of immigrants are generally positive at the federal
                      level and negative at the state and local levels. “

                    2. a.) so the net effect is ambiguous? b.) you keep focusing on the premise that immigrants cost us less than natives, but my argument is dependent on that.

                      I’m making an deontological argument, that i spruced up with empirical data. However, even if they cost us an eff ton, my argument still remains the same: if i have freedom to contract, i should be able to hire juan from juarez at my private business no questions asked.

                    3. a.) so the net effect is ambiguous?

                      No. Your source says exactly the opposite, I quoted it for you and will do so again.

                      Viewed over a long time horizon (75 years in our estimates), the
                      fiscal impacts of immigrants are generally positive at the federal
                      level and negative at the state and local levels.

                      However, if you choose to characterize it as ambiguous, then it definitively disproves your assertion that

                      immigrants use welfare and entitlement benefits at lower rates than native born citizens.

                    4. I’m making an deontological argument, that i spruced up with empirical data

                      Well NOW you are, but you weren’t originally and are only doing so now because someone actually went to the trouble of disproving your original point by reading your source, something it is obvious you failed to do.

                    5. This guy sounds like Pedo Jeffy.

                  2. It’s remarkable that it’s difficult to get accurate welfare statistics on the internet. It’s hard just to find numbers on anyone on welfare by state. There were numbers showing that 30% of all US welfare participants were in California but that was years ago. Do a search on “percent of Mexicans on Welfare”, let’s say, and you get plenty of gobbledygook in return and that doesn’t even clarify if it’s illegal or not.

                1. “First-generation immigrants cost the government more than native-born Americans, according to the report ? about $1,600 per person annually”

                  So by your own study immigrants cost more.

                  “But second generation immigrants are” not immigrants.

                  That is your proof? It appears to prove you wrong.

                2. First-generation immigrants cost the government more than native-born Americans,

                  LOL

                  1. yeah, i mean if you don’t want to consider any facts in proper context, the world would be a simpler place.

                    fortunately, if you read further you find that first generation immigrants produce second generation people who are large net contributors from a fiscal prospective.

                    I mean, we could take in no immigrants and deal with stagnating native birth rates, growing entitlements, while the tax base shrinks. That’s working out well for Japan.

                    1. I’d love to read further but you keep failing to link to the study.

                    2. Do you understand what a link is?

                    3. “The Economics and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration” – National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Immigration.

                      it’s not allowing me to post a URL here.

                      Citation’s don’t require a URL. The above is the original source text. Have fun.

                    4. immigrants use welfare and entitlement benefits at lower rates than native born citizens.

                      Give me the page number that substantiates this claim.

                    5. It’s a 634 page document, citations DO require page numbers.

                    6. “Immigrants are defined here as the foreign-born as identified by the nativity variable in the
                      CPS; the category thus includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, nonimmigrant
                      visa holders, refugees, asylees, and unauthorized immigrants.”

                      Pg 121 of your document in the footnote.

                    7. and?

                    8. And it disproves your original assertion. Do you seriously not see why? I’ve explained it several times now.

                    9. yeah, i mean if you don’t want to consider any facts in proper context, the world would be a simpler place.

                      You tell me.

                      fortunately, if you read further you find that first generation immigrants produce second generation people who are large net contributors from a fiscal prospective.

                      Yup totally not a pyramid scheme. Must be that magical US dirt they were born on.

                      I mean, we could take in no immigrants and deal with stagnating native birth rates, growing entitlements, while the tax base shrinks. That’s working out well for Japan.

                      You mean ‘deal with’ growing entitlements and a shrinking tax base in the sense that way Scandinavian countries ‘dealt with’ them by cutting back on them as the tax base shrank or ‘deal with’ in the sense that we won’t deal with them at all and just cram more bodies into the meat grinder?

                      Because I’m pretty sure you’d be lying no matter which option you chose and when you say ‘deal with’ you mean both logistically expand (e.g. with free education, guaranteed higher wages, universal pre-K care, more SNAP, etc.) from the top town as well as mechanistically (by covering more people) from the bottom up.

                    10. “just cram more bodies into the meat grinder?” – if that’s how you characterize immigration, i’m afraid i can’t take you seriously.

                      I’m not sure if Scandinavia has the same baby boomer demographic problem as the US. My understanding is that they have shrinking oil revenue and that has been the driving force behind market reforms. Scandinavia is a lot less socialist than we often think.

                      In the US, short of draconian cuts to senior citizens, the most powerful voting bloc historically, we need more revenue to pay our bills.

                      I would love to see entitlements cut to the point where they are truly only safety nets, but that’s about as likely as a global consensus on climate change action happening tomorrow. Therefore, because our native birth rates our declining, we need more immigrants.

                    11. Just as long as they come here legally right?

            3. You are citing CATO studies that use welfare rates of legal immigrants and then claim those are applicable to all immigrants legal or otherwise. Yes, fewer legal immigrants go on welfare. The fact that many of them would be deported if they lost their job has something to do with that.

              You are siting CATO lies as the truth. CATO’s claims on this subject have been debunked as the lies they are many times on this site.

              1. It’s Hihn. He has a weird CATO fetish.

            4. Cato studies that relied upon LEGAL immigrants. I don’t need a study to tell me Indians, Asians, and upper class Latinos do better than the average American. Easy to prove the point they wanted to make all along when they remove the people who are the point of the debate.

              1. cato has done multiple studies on this, so you’d have to be more specific.

                1. No you would. You’re the one making the claims.

                  1. was responding to laissez-ferret, who refers to “cato studies”

                    1. I was aware. It doesn’t change my point.

                    2. meh. i don’t really care.

                    3. Obviously, as shown by your total failure to actually support your point.

                    4. point was that first gen immigrants create second gen americans – leading to a net benefit in tax revenue that otherwise wouldn’t happen.

                      We’ve known since Ricardo that free trade is good for growth. Why is this even being contested on a free-market advocate comment board?

                      If you support free markets, you support the free movement of labor and capital. If you want to restrict immigration, to that extent, you don’t support free movement of labor, and to that extent you don’t support free markets.

                      If i want to hire Juan for my business, why should you as a non consenting third party have any say in this?

                    5. And our point is that your source conflated all categories of immigrant when that is not the discussion we are having.

                      Immigrants are defined here as the foreign-born as identified by the nativity variable in the
                      CPS; the category thus includes naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, nonimmigrant
                      visa holders, refugees, asylees, and unauthorized immigrants.

                      And that footnote on pg 121 proves we were correct.

                    6. point was that first gen immigrants create second gen americans – leading to a net benefit in tax revenue that otherwise wouldn’t happen.

                      No actually, your point was that

                      immigrants use welfare and entitlement benefits at lower rates than native born citizens

                      but when the pushback revealed that you never actually read your source, you moved the goalposts and started in with free association.

                    7. “immigrants use welfare and entitlement benefits at lower rates than native born citizens” – this is still true. The study i subsequently posted was speaking about total public cost – which includes more than just welfare and entitlement benefits.

                      I made free association implications in my first comment. You all just focused on the empirical data right away. That’s on you.

                      see the following: Immigrants and Their Children Use Less Welfare than Third-and-Higher Generation Americans by ALEX NOWRASTEH. Cato June 4, 2018

                    8. “immigrants use welfare and entitlement benefits at lower rates than native born citizens” – this is still true.

                      Please cite the page number of yoir that proves that. I read your source and saw nothing of the kind.

                    9. Immigrants and Their Children Use Less Welfare than Third-and-Higher Generation Americans by ALEX NOWRASTEH. Cato June 4, 2018

                      There’s only one page. How do others post URL links here? It won’t allow words > 50 characters, and removes any hyperlinks i try to create otherwise.

                    10. Href. I told you this already. Or use a link shortener but that is dubious and frowned upon.

                    11. i’m afraid i’m behind the times technology wise, apparently.

                    12. I’ll refrain from using this opportunity to remark on the things you appear to be behind on.

                      This isn’t a bar. We aren’t your friends and we don’t trust you. If you can’t have the courtesy to properly prepare yourself for the forum in which you are debating, simply ask for help, take some time off to prepare, and come back.

                      Here is a quick primer.

                      https://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_a_href.asp

                    13. i’m sorry, but i don’t recognize you as the arbiter of comment board decorum. could care less if it annoys you.

                    14. So that is not a study, it is a self referential blog post and it too conflates legal and illegal immigration.

                    15. “immigrants use welfare and entitlement benefits at lower rates than native born citizens” – original claim i made.

                      Yup, it’s a policy brief. Some think tanks do them, others don’t. It’s still sources the original data, so it’s brevity doesn’t make it less credible necessarily.

                      You still have not addressed the deontological part of my argument.

                    16. “It’s still sources the original data, ”

                      It’s own original data.

                      “so it’s brevity doesn’t make it less credible necessarily.”

                      No the fact that it is self-referential however does. It renders the blog superfluous for this discussion. Simply link to the original data the blog is discussing.

                    17. “No the fact that it is self-referential however does. ” – no, it doesn’t. the ultimate source is the sensus and CPS – which the post makes clear.

                    18. And my point is the blog post is extraneous when the original data is available.

                      Do you not understand this?

                    19. are you saying an blog post that further analyzes the original data is extraneous simply because someone else has published the source data on which the analysis was based?

                    20. Yes. The analysis is superfluous unless you’re too stupid to analyze it yourself.

                    21. well then, i’m gonna end this discussion. You seem more interested in pedantic details than substance. At first i thought you were willing to have a genuine discussion, but now i’m beginning to think you’re on the spectrum with the pedantry and whatnot. good luck.

                    22. I see we have reached the point where you blame me for you failure to support your argument.

                      Your deontological question has been beaten to death here for years. Feel free to peruse the comments on basically any immigration article.

                    23. oh, and then the classic self moderation of a debate to which you’re a principal party.

                      “Your deontological question has been beaten to death here for years.” – [citation missing]

                      “Feel free to peruse the comments on basically any immigration article.” – the irony here is incredible.

                    24. And now you have decided to be petulant.

                    25. If you can’t support your argument, don’t blame him. It sound slime you’re trying to pass off some phony non legitimate opinion piece as a ‘study’. This is disingenuous at best. Especially for a newcomer. If indeed you are.

                      I suspect you are actually Chemjeff, aka Pedo Jeffy. With a new sock.

                      Either way, you are clearly a pro illegals partisan, just like Pedo Jeffy.

                    26. “The U.S. Needs More Immigrants
                      Without young workers, the economy can’t grow.” – Reason Magazine Aug/Sept Issue

                      AFAIK, the aforementioned studies don’t fully account for the opportunity cost of foregone economic growth without immigrants.

                    27. You’ll have to source that claim too I’m afraid.

                    28. if none of the studies account for forgone economic growth, there’s nothing to cite. think about that for two seconds.

                    29. Then you can’t claim the effect even exists.

                      However, if you were as educated on the subject as you pretend at, you would know such calculations are quite common.

                    30. “where are the page numbers?”

                    31. [sarcasm]

                    32. “Then you can’t claim the effect even exists” – just because they don’t properly account for it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. that was just a stupid thing to say.

                      “However, if you were as educated on the subject as you pretend at, you would know such calculations are quite common.” – citation missing. What you’re talking about is a counterfactual. It’s certainly possible to come up with a regression model of economic growth with immigration as one of the independent variables – that’s something economists do all the time. What i’m saying, however, is that i believe the studies i referred to earlier didn’t do that. As such, there’s nothing to cite.

                      As i said before, gonna have to stop due to the level of pedantry.

                    33. “just because they don’t properly account for it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist”

                      I obviously didn’t say that. I said you can’t claim it exists using your own standard, which is correct.

                      You don’t seem to be able to understand what you are being told.

                    34. keep digging.

                    35. Ah you’ve reached full trolll then.

                    36. “Then you can’t claim the effect even exists”

                      It’s clear English and quite obviously not the same as

                      “just because they don’t properly account for it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist”

                      Can you debate without straw men?

                    37. Fuck you bitch stop acting like you made me look stupid.

          2. This is a lie.

            By their own tongue. They don’t add to welfare rolls and we should import more of them but, again by their own tongue, we’re failing the ones we have and need to invest more heavily to get them to perform like natives.

            The number of policy initiatives to bring non-native and non-white students into parity with white natives are numerous and openly advertised. Spend 5 min. listening to someone talk about education policy and you’ll hear how we need to invest to attract a greater diversity of teachers and need greater investment in ESL to help get poor brown kids perform like white ones.

            1. It really is amazing how they switch between “brown people are teh awesome. suck it, whitey” and “whitey’s keepin the brown man down.”

    3. Another market hatin’ commie.

    4. If I fell in love with a woman in mainland China, they would grant me citizenship in China if I marry her, right?

  10. We still pretending like this is about something other than race, like the slightly less drooling and agitated Stormfront? Yep, all seems to be normal. I’ll check back in later to make sure the commenters are still finding all sorts of weakly argued exceptions to human freedom on this one policy issue.

    1. the comment section on this website reads more like the daily stormer than a libertarian website. it boggles my mind how you can say your for freedom of contract between consenting parties as a libertarian, but then argue against illegal or legal immigration.

    2. It’s all so tiresome.

      1. lew rockwell doesn’t help.

        1. Lew Rockwell is great.

          1. he’s a great nationalist conservative if you’re into that conspiratoidal nonsense kinda stuff.

            1. Hey look it’s that idiot I kicked around and ran off yesterday.

    3. Tony I’m really impressed with your evolution on this issue. I remember at one point you used to ridicule the libertarian agenda as nothing more than “We want billionaires to be even richer!” It’s encouraging that you can admit you were wrong and acknowledge the Koch / Reason position on immigration is about doing what’s moral ? not about “One Percenter selfishness” or whatever.

      1. Meh he’s probably just lying again.

      2. Oh I don’t have a strong opinion on the matter. I find having strong opinions to be very middle class.

        1. I suspect you’re lying about that too.

          1. It’s not my fault nobody pays you any attention. Try being witty or interesting.

        2. Good point Tony. As you are strictly low class you should avoid having or expressing opinions of any kind, which includes voting.

    4. Heh. Is that a new thing among lefties? To claim people who disagree with them to be from Stormfront?

      I was told to go there the other day by the few imbeciles who lurk around here.

    5. Tony laying therace card because he has no real point or argument.

      Fuck off Tony.

    6. racebaiter commie gonna race bait

      1. Indeed.

  11. The think I find most odd about Reason’s open borders delusion is an inability to precisely define why this is a good idea.

    Due to automation, within the next 20 years the US is going to have a huge problem employing its low skilled labor as is. Inviting in any more low skilled labor will just increase welfare costs.

    Even with “highly skilled” applicants, what exactly do we need them to do that the current population cannot provide? I’m all for poaching the best and the brightest, but honestly how can this be any more than 5000-10000 people world wide year to year?

    When I hear about Disney replacing its IT department with overseas workers on H1B, this is not a matter of “we can’t find anyone to do it” more than “we don’t want to pay market rate” for the service.

    In what way does any of this benefit the citizens of the country living here right now?

    And as for refugees, as an increasingly advanced country how are we supposed to integrate non-Western technologically backward populations that have no hope of being productive in even the mid-term? Why isn’t it more cost effective, and fairer to the individual, to instead integrate them into nearby societies with similar education and developmental levels?

    1. “The think I find most odd about Reason’s open borders delusion is an inability to precisely define why this is a good idea.”

      Because muh deontological principles.

      Borders are bad, m’kay?

  12. “Denials and “Requests for Evidence” for H-1B visas have increased since Trump issued his Buy American and Hire American executive order. And employers expect the situation to worsen after an anticipated H-1B regulation will redefine terms like “specialty occupation.””

    Well, good. I strongly disapprove of the idea of H-1B visas. If somebody is going to be admitted to live here, it shouldn’t be in a modern version of serfdom, and the government shouldn’t be helping employers engage in the sort of H-1B visa abuse that so frequently makes the headlines.

    1. Open borders fans like racebaiterjeff want to build Liberrtopia out of an imported unenfranchised servant class.

  13. Let’s get a couple facts straight:

    Refugees/
    While it’s true Trump has reduced the cap, the US pretty much never actually hits the refugee cap, no matter what it is. Now, we’re also letting in fewer refugees than previous years, but since it didn’t even hit the cap, it’s unlikely the cap is the reason for it – the cap may well be an acknowledgement of the realities of US government limitations. Especially since admitting a refugee generally takes 18-24 months from when the State Department gives the go-ahead for consideration after referral by UNCHR, it’s unlikely that a policy change in a given calendar year materially affects the number of applicants being considered. (Indeed, the annual cap can be decided based upon the number of cases currently under review – as virtually all refugee resettlement applicants to be admitted that year will be in-process when the cap is decided).

    Specifically, there has been a dramatic increase in asylum claims over the last few years. The vetting of asylum and refugee applicants is nearly identical. And a late-term (iirc) obama-era decision repurposed significant personnel involved in the ‘credible fear’ investigation process to handling asylum claims to reduce the backlog. That necessarily means fewer refugees admitted.

    That trade-off between refugees and asylum seekers, while published on USCIS’s own website and its reports to congress, has received no attention from media. Shockingly bad journalism.

    1. H1Bs/
      The problem with ‘IT’ H1Bs is that companies were exploiting the program to keep salaries low for positions that could have been filled by workers already in the US if they’d raised the salary.

      For the government to approve an H1B, the company has to ‘prove’ that there are no workers available otherwise to fill that position. So they post a job at below-market wages, and when unsurprisingly no one takes that job, they go to the government and say that was proof that no one would do the job. Even though government does require minimal salary standards for H1B employees, most H1Bs are filed at the lowest compensation level, regardless of what the actual job is.

      Shortages are not mysterious economic phenomena – we know what shortages actually look like. In a real shortage, ‘prices’ (wages in terms of labor) climb rapidly because the ‘good’ cannot be had at any price. That’s not what the job market looks like. Wage growth has been non-existent for 40 years after accounting for inflation. November (iirc) was a *49-year high* in wage growth at the astoundingly low annualized 3.1%. That’s not a shortage – that’s business manipulating government to help them keep wages low.

      So it should be no surprise that the US actually graduates enough STEM-trained students for US tech jobs, it’s just that a whopping *75%* of them take jobs outside STEM fields, because they *pay better*. If there was a real shortage, the STEM jobs would pay more.

      1. +100

        But you appearently didn’t get the memo that the laws of supply and demand don’t apply to labor markets. This is what reason believes.

        1. Why should libertarians favor the government artificially restricting the supply of something?

          1. Do you think it’s sustainable if the average wage in the US dropped towards the global wage average, while business owners reap huge profits?

            Dial back the ideology and think practically. Libertarian policies should encourage a *sustainable* libertarian environment in the US. Pragmatically, that means immigration is a back-of-the-line issue where true libertarian alternatives have to wait until much of the world is significantly more prosperous, so it doesn’t destroy the US labor market.

            I think you’re also dramatically overestimating how ‘libertarian’ H1B visas are, when the worker is forced to accept any terms his employer dictates because his presence in the US depends on holding that job, and can’t even look for other work at better pay.

            Libertarianism should be about eliminating government handouts to businesses too, not plans which involve government action that dramatically favors businesses at the expense of others.

          2. Why should libertarians favor the government artificially restricting the supply of something?

            When you say “government artificially restricting the supply” do you mean via controlling immigration, controlling certification, or controlling education?

            1. In every other instance, libertarians seem to favor keeping labor as cheap as the untethered market would dictate.

              1. In every other instance, libertarians seem to favor keeping labor as cheap as the untethered market would dictate.

                You’re acting like you don’t understand libertarians, labor, or markets. Markets don’t intrinsically dictate cheap labor. Expensive labor and markets are explicitly compatible. Libertarians don’t exactly or necessarily favor *keeping* anything with regard to cheapness and labor. Kinda the opposite. What you’re trying to do is act like a labor market dominated by government education and certification (not to mention wage laws, income laws, cost of living mandates, etc.) somehow represents a free market so that you can act aloof or portray your conception of libertarians as inconsistent when it comes to what to do about a labor market that isn’t free.

                You want more people subject to the current and even likely greater controls of all stripes going forward. Libertarians aren’t at all inconsistent when calling you out on this by pointing out that more immigration will, on a myriad of fronts, lead to more government control at your own behest. Like you’re clever standing their with an Alfred E. Neuman grin saying “What, me worry?”

                1. But if you’re for strict immigration controls, you’re for government interference in labor supply, leaving everything else aside. You can’t argue for strict immigration controls on the grounds that it cheapens labor. Agreed? So what is the argument? That it drains the welfare state (which you’re against anyway)? Not true, as others and common sense point out. That it changes culture? Whose culture? “Ours”? Some individualists.

                  I am not under the illusion that markets can exist in a state of pure freedom without government influence. That’s supposed to be you guys,

                  1. Jesus Christ you cannot stop lying.

                    1. You’ve never had a single friend, including members of your own family.

                      Am I lying now?

                    2. Yes Tony, and projecting. It must be the mechanism you use to maintain any delusion of self esteem. The truth is you have no value, and should probably start harming yourself.

                      That Drano won’t drink itself.

                    3. You are terrible at this. I’m not a hard nut to crack. My self-esteem is impenetrable, mostly because I’m actually awesome. But I’m so glad that the wicked witch of the west has shown up (she’s worse than the other one was.) to defend her sister in a common bond of psychopathy.

                    4. Your ‘self esteem’ is impenetrable because you are a sociopath with no real feelings. This is also why you are a progressive. No moral standards or integrity.

                      You also have no soul and are just a thing.

          3. “Why should libertarians favor the government artificially restricting the supply of something?” —

            It couldn’t possibly be along the same lines as “restricting the supply” of nuclear intercontinental weapons aimed at destroying the U.S. /s

            Ya know kind of like implementing sanctions in order to not “help” those attacking / invading the U.S.

      2. I have seen these data before and there are a lot of problems with it.

        First of all, the vast majority of H1Bs go to engineering and hard health science fields. Computer Engineers, Aerospace Engineers, and Doctors and nurses. These fields have not had stagnant wages.

        When you use Census numbers, you need to understand that they lump a lot into STEM, including Psychology, Social Sciences, and Multidisciplinary Studies. These areas have very low STEM employment (like 10%) while Computer Science is north of 60%.

        Further, the Census study does not consider education or management of non-stem individuals (but in a Stem business) to be STEM employment. So, if I am a mechanical engineer and I eventually run the marketing department of a major manufacturer who sells to scientists, the Census would say I am not in a STEM field, even though the job requires that I have the mechanical engineering skills to sell my product.

        Finally, the census study looks at people over their entire lifetime. That is, it isn’t just saying “where do graduates end up right after school.” It is looking at all workers. And unsurprisingly, *very few* people end up in jobs directly associated with their degrees, no matter what their field. Check out the infographic on the Census website and you will see that even non-stem workers end up in all sorts of industries.

        1. But if, say, Engineering jobs really were in such high demand, why do over half of engineers in that infographic go to non-STEM fields? Surely engineering would pay enough that there’d be less incentive to get work not doing it. (The management is even marked Non-STEM, so they’re counting STEM management as STEM).

          Also, there’s no evidence computer science-related jobs are increasing at scarcity rates relative to other jobs.

          2017->2018 top 10 fields wage increases: https://tinyurl.com/y8xecokd

          Web Developer, Network Engineer, and Web Design all make the top 10 list, but they’re still all under 4% salary growth. Not what you’d expect if there was real scarcity.

          Nor have high-skill jobs as a group behaved differently than mid-skill or low skill jobs overall, historically. The pattern is still basically the same, and it’s only slightly better.
          https://tinyurl.com/okjqymy

          And we know H1Bs have historically suppressed employment and wage growth for technology sector jobs in the 90s boom (ie, computer engineering and programming).
          https://tinyurl.com/y32b3kwa

          So if you have computer-science specific data, let’s see it.

      3. Finally, your description of a field where there is scarcity is not accurate. Prices are set by both the buyer and seller of the labor. Economically speaking, a shortage of labor only impacts the Supply curve. Fewer employees are willing to work at the lesser price. However the Demand curve stays relatively the same. As with any demand curve, there is a certain quantity of labor that buyers are willing to purchase at a given price. As you get more expensive, there are fewer buyers.

        As a consequence, you will NOT always see prices just continue to go higher if there is a shortage of STEM people. While the tech industry is lucrative, it isn’t sitting on infinite cash (google notwithstanding). What we see happen is that at a certain price for labor, the companies either don’t expand or they hire jobs in more reasonable markets (offshoring).

        I have no doubt that a lot of companies acted in bad faith with the H1B program, but your numbers do not prove that there is a shortage in key STEM fields.

      4. Labor Shortage Requires Imported Labor = I want immigration policy to furnish me with indentured servants.

        “Libertarian” Moment

      5. One small correction. Except for the sliver that fall into the visa-dependent category, any requirements to prove a domestic worker was available were lobbied away in the late 90’s. Employment-based green cards have somewhat of a paper tiger proof still attached but that’s about it.

      6. It is not that the H1B ads offer low wages (they rarely mention wages), but the ads are tightly written parroting the resume/CV of the Visa seeker – mentioning every obscure software they have ever used as a “requirement”. People in IT know they are bogus jobs that don’t exist and most hiring is done through informal referrals or through third party contractors, no matter what the EEOC thinks about it.

  14. This was meant to be a response to some of the comments (mostly John) above but the ‘submit’ button fails in a reply thread for some reason.

    It’s fair to be skeptical of this position. I’ve seen and read stats that back you up or state otherwise. i’m pretty sure it’s hard to get reliable info on that.

    In any event, that it happens at all shouldn’t be tolerated. Especially if it can be prevented.

    Gillberand says SS should be extended to illegal aliens.

    Amazing.

    1. Gillberand says SS should be extended to illegal aliens.

      Amazing.

      The ACA didn’t work with the numbers we knew. Across the aisle it was understood that a younger *and* healthier pool of contributors was requisite. Indiscriminate increases to the size and composition of the pool with unknown contribution status would utterly destroy the plan. The penaltax is/was specifically for American citizens.

    2. Welfare State to the World
      Police State to the World

  15. Damn, the position being the one about how illegals consume less welfare and commit less crime.

  16. Well, I should be finding out about some of this shortly; My wife would like to have her mother over for a visit.

  17. Libertarians are ideologues. Every ideology is flawed when confronted to the reality of life. I lean libertarian because we need a counterweight to the socialist creep invading our society but that’s it. Now let’s say we give HB1 to every qualified third worlders willing to come here. Salaries are going to drop. What would be the libertarian reaction? It would be to go there because if our work is too expensive here, our capital can buy a lot there. Now what would happen there when whiteys start to buy everything available and price out the locals? I tell you; they will react sanely with machettes, which is the sane reaction to an invasion.

    1. I just sent this to Gab today in response to someone who wanted to look into libertarianism:

      As you look into libertarianism, I’ve got a distinction for you to keep in mind.

      There are two fundamentally different kinds of libertarians: deontologists and consequentialists.

      The deontologists are the clerico libertarians – libertarianism for them is a religion, with one great sin and therefore one commandment to avoid that sin – Thou Shalt Not Initiate Force. It’s a political puritanism.

      The consequentialists want a life and a world of maximal liberty, and tend to be focused on political rules to make that happen in the world we live in. The world where people don’t share values, don’t share political philosophies, and aren’t omniscient or all powerful. They’re focused on institutions and rules to *best* preserve and defend liberty. They’re prescriptive of rules that produce liberty, not proscriptive against the political sin of initiation of force.

      When they argue, they’re *literally* at cross purposes: “what is sin?” versus “what will work?”.

      1. Well said, buybuy

  18. Who buys this nonsense??

    1. The Koch Brothers

      I come her for my 2 Minutes hate and to read the commentariat.

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  20. That is why the nation made him president.

  21. “Trump Is Fighting to Dramatically Restrict Legal Immigration
    The president’s stance on immigration goes well beyond fighting illegal entry.”

    You trying to cheer me up?

    All I hear from Trump these days is how the Oligarchs need more human widgets, and all I see in this article are cherry picked numbers in low population categories.

    The invasion continues.
    Record 44.5 Million Immigrants in 2017
    https://bit.ly/2RHBis5

  22. Someone should check on Tulpa.

  23. Good. Any nation that intends to have both democratic elections and constitutional government must forcibly exclude people who do not believe in said institutions.

  24. “immigrant visas to Iranians fell from 7,727 in 2016 to 1,449 in 2018, a whopping 81 percent drop. Yemenis experienced a 91 percent drop.”

    Is there a burning need for more immigrants from Iran and Yemen?

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  27. Hey numnuts, it’s called DOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS, not “legal.”

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  29. Trump is MAGA!

  30. H-1B visas should be the ONLY ones issued to graduate students of US schools. But they should be virtually automatic.

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