Immigration

Are Democrats an Anti-Immigrant Party Too?

Recent articles by Tyler Cowen and Farhad Manjoo highlight anti-immigrant effects of many Democrats' policies on zoning and other issues. The party is not quite as bad as the Republicans. But that's damning with faint praise.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

In recent years, the Republican Party has increasingly become known for its hostility to immigration, both legal and illegal. The Democrats, by contrast, are generally seen as champions of immigrants. But recent articles by New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo and my George Mason University colleague economist Tyler Cowen suggest that reputation isn't deserved. They highlight the ways in which zoning and labor policies championed by Democrats have the effect of excluding immigrants from many of the nation's largest cities. Here's Manjoo:

To live in California at this time is to experience every day the cryptic phrase that George W. Bush once used to describe the invasion of Iraq: "Catastrophic success." The economy here is booming, but no one feels especially good about it. When the cost of living is taken into account, billionaire-brimming California ranks as the most poverty-stricken state, with a fifth of the population struggling to get by. Since 2010, migration out of California has surged….

And there is no end in sight to such crushing success. At every level of government, our representatives, nearly all of them Democrats, prove inadequate and unresponsive to the challenges at hand. Witness last week's embarrassment, when California lawmakers used a sketchy parliamentary maneuver to knife Senate Bill 50, an ambitious effort to undo restrictive local zoning rules and increase the supply of housing….

Reading opposition to SB 50 and other efforts at increasing density, I'm struck by an unsettling thought: What Republicans want to do with I.C.E. and border walls, wealthy progressive Democrats are doing with zoning and Nimbyism. Preserving "local character," maintaining "local control," keeping housing scarce and inaccessible — the goals of both sides are really the same: to keep people out.

"We're saying we welcome immigration, we welcome refugees, we welcome outsiders — but you've got to have a $2 million entrance fee to live here, otherwise you can use this part of a sidewalk for a tent," said Brian Hanlon, president of the pro-density group California Yimby. "That to me is not being very welcoming. It's not being very neighborly."

Cowen makes similar points:

State and local governments are making immigration policy all the time, mostly for the worse, and often Democrats are more restrictionist than Republicans…

Which leads me to what recently happened in California, which is controlled by Democrats. The state legislature last week shelved a bill known as SB 50, which would have partially deregulated building and led to much denser construction. It was an "anti-NIMBY" bill that would have lowered rents, or at least stopped them from rising so rapidly.  In essence, SB 50 was a pro-immigration bill. By turning it down, California lawmakers essentially engaged in restrictionist immigration policy, whether or not that was their intent….

There are striking parallels between the philosophies of Trump and NIMBY urbanists. Trump asserts that America is "full" and so wants to restrict the flow of immigrants. The urbanists, who tend to be Democratic and highly educated, assert that their cities are too crowded and so want to restrict the supply of housing. The cultural valence of the two views is quite different, but the practical implications have a lot in common — namely, a harder set of conditions for potential low-skilled migrants to the U.S.

As Cowen suggests, zoning and immigration restrictions both reflect zero-sum thinking, which often leads to harmful and unjust policies on both left and right. Advocates of both policies assume that we must exclude some people from opportunity in order to secure it for others. In reality, both cutting back on zoning and reducing immigration restrictions would create vast new wealth that can benefit not only migrants themselves, but the rest of the country.

Cowen also highlights the anti-immigrant impact of high minimum wage policies favored by many Democrats:

The minimum wage is another tool of anti-immigration policy, at least for less skilled immigrants. Say a city sets a minimum wage of $15 an hour. That means a potential migrant whose work is worth only $12 an hour won't be able to get a legal job in that city. That will deter migration, both legal and illegal. Furthermore, a worker in, say, Honduras may not find it possible to improve his or her skills to be worth $15 an hour, at least not without arriving in the U.S.

So higher minimum wages are also a restrictionist immigration policy, at least for the poorest class of migrants. This is one of those truths that is inconvenient for people at both ends of the political spectrum. Many Republicans want tighter immigration, but they are not so crazy about higher minimum wages. Many Democrats face this dilemma in reverse.

Research by economists confirms the prediction that high minimum wages deter immigrants from settling in jurisdictions that adopt them.

The restrictive NIMBY zoning policies favored by many Democrats don't just shut out many immigrants. They also close off housing and job opportunities to millions of native-born Americans, both the minority poor and working-class whites. While Republicans' zoning policies are far from perfect, Cowen is right to point out that conservative "red" jurisdictions are, on average, significantly better than liberal "blue" ones on this issue.

This is not just a matter of Democrats' failing to affirmatively help immigrants and the poor as much as they could. It is a case of their using the coercive power of government to actively  impede them. Zoning restrictions prevent willing developers from building housing for these people, willing landowners from renting to them, and willing employers from hiring them. The effect is similar to that which would happen if state or local governments passed laws directly restricting the number of international and domestic migrants allowed to live and work in a given area. It is a tragic irony that the party that claims to champion the interests of immigrants, minorities, and the poor also adopts policies that massively harm these very same groups.

Despite the parallels noted by Cowen and Manjoo, the Democrats' restrictionist policies are, on the whole, less awful than those of the Republicans. One key difference is that restrictive zoning merely bars migrants from particular areas, not the entire country. By contrast, Republicans' efforts to cut legal migration and deport undocumented migrants exclude people from living anywhere in the US, thereby in many cases condemning them to lifelong poverty and oppression. There is also no Democratic analogue to the cruelty of some of the more extreme GOP policies, such as Trump's family separation order (which continues to separate thousands of children from their parents even many months after its official end) and the 2018 Justice Department ruling denying refugee status to escaped slave laborers on the grounds that their forced labor amounts to providing "material support" for terrorists.

It is also important to recognize that Democrats are far from monolithic on zoning. Over the last few years, many on the left have begun to reconsider the policy, and point out the ways in which it harms the very groups progressives seek to help. In recent months, several liberal Democratic jurisdictions have enacted significant reforms loosening zoning restrictions, most notably the city of Minneapolis. Cowen and Manjoo justifiably point to the recent defeat of California Senate Bill 50—a bill that would have lifted restrictions on new construction in much of the state –  as an indictment of the Democrats. But SB 50 itself was a liberal Democratic initiative, sponsored by progressive state Sen. Scott Wiener. There is at least an active debate over zoning on the left, and Democratic opposition to exclusionary policies is gradually growing. Many liberals have come to recognize that exclusionary zoning is at odds with their principles.

At the state and local level,  many of the same Democratic jurisdictions that often exclude immigrants with their zoning and minimum wage policies also protect them by adopting "sanctuary city" restrictions on cooperation with federal deportation efforts. They deserve praise for the latter, as well as criticism for the former.

Meanwhile, the GOP is actually moving in the wrong direction on immigration, becoming more hostile to immigration rather than less so. Too many on the right simply ignore the contradictions between restrictionist policies and their professed commitment to liberty, free markets, and color-blindness.

But Democrats should not pat themselves on the back for being somewhat less lawful than Trump-era Republicans on these issues. A truly progressive party should have higher aspirations. When it comes to expanding opportunities for both domestic and international migration, both parties have a great deal of room for improvement.

 

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  1. This is really a terribly thought out false equivalence.

    There is a huge difference – of kind as well as degree – between policies, supported and relevant only in some places, that have collateral negative effects on immigrants, and national policies that are directly aimed at immigrants, and whose proponents openly demonize them.

    You make a very

    1. It’s so very typical of Democratic policies to say one thing, while doing the complete opposite though.

      1. There’s a useless comment.

      2. Understatement of the century. Party/ideology of the little guy. Like Bezos and Gates. Party of science, that believes you can change your sex by clicking your ruby slippers three times and wishing on a star and by golly you better believe it or else. The party that believes in judging you not by the color of your skin or your sex that does nothing but think about and judge and build college majors and major media publicans, and institutions dedicated to judging people and groups by sex and skin color all day.

        The ultimate party of Projection is more like it

        1. There’s a small possibility that you might not be an unbiased source on this subject.

    2. There’s also a huge difference – of kind as well as degree – between policies which are directly aimed at illegal immigrants, and being “anti-immigrant”.

      The continual conflating of legal and illegal immigration demonstrates an understanding among open borders advocates that they haven’t got a winning argument if they honestly characterize those who oppose them.

      And I would say that even legal immigration “restrictionism” can’t properly be characterized as “anti-immigrant”, as somebody who isn’t permitted to enter the country in the first place isn’t an immigrant to begin with. You can quite consistently favor reduced and/or selective immigration, without a lick of hostility towards the people who actually DO immigrate to this country.

      1. You also can start from the premise that immigration, taken as a whole, should be tailored to benefit America, with any benefit to the immigrant being a side effect, as opposed to the reverse. The vast majority of immigrants we are talking in today, legally or illegally, are detriments to America, not benefits.

        1. That’s exactly my position: The welfare of non-citizens is, at most, a side constraint on government action, which should be exclusively directed towards the welfare of existing citizens.

          This implies that immigration rules should be tailored to benefit the existing citizenry, and any benefit to those allowed to immigrate here is entirely incidental.

          This is the core of the difference between Trump’s view of the state, and the establishment’s: Trump expressly believes that everybody will be better off if governments all work for the benefit of their own citizens, not some lofty general good of mankind.

          1. Trump has no “view of the state.” He has only a view that he will do or say whatever gets his idiot base riled up.

            Nor does his bigotry distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants, no more than his businesses do in hiring.

            The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”

            You don’t think that’s demonization?

          2. What if the citizens are sympathetic to immigration, even believing that it is beneficial?

            What if it is, in fact, beneficial? Your side seems to take it as a given that it’s not. I don’t think that’s true.

            1. Depends on your definition of “beneficial”. If you’re talking about the country as a whole, generally immigration is beneficial. If you’re talking about specific classes of people, immigration can be pretty detrimental to them.

              1. But then you are saying immigration policy should be decided by a minority that may be harmed.

                My question is simple. Suppose the majority favors loose immigration laws. Why shouldn’t that prevail?

                1. No, it could be a majority that could be harmed. Gains could go to the immigrants and the owners, while the wages of the native laborers are lost.

                  In addition, the majority do not support higher immigration.

                  1. A minority of Americans want less immigration.

                  2. Non-responsive.

                2. The majority doesn’t favor loose immigration bernard. Signficant majorities, particularly among black and Hispanic Americans, want to reduce legal immigration and get the border secure and enforce immigration laws going forward.

                  Immigration isn’t beneficial to the “country as a whole” either. Importing unskilled cheap labor increases GDP, but lowers GDP per capita. It increases profits for employers, but lowers wages for employees. It increases identity politics and socialism, but decreases assimilation, liberty and Constitutional rights.

                  1. Not to mention that the increased profits for employers come at the expense of massive increases in social spending needed to pay for these people. An illiterate peasant from Latin America picking tomatoes for $8/hour is not contributing enough to GDP to make up for the amount of strain he and his children put on the education, health care, and general support (food stamps, EITC), and so forth.

                    1. Exactly right.

                  2. “…lowers GDP per capita…”

                    Do you have the empirical data to prove this? Historical per capita GDP increases doesn’t show any correlation with immigration policy over time. And where you have large portions of the population aging into retirement (and not working at all) you need younger workers to increase overall GDP, since the elderly (at that point) are dragging GDP, and GDP per capita. If you want a natural experiment, compare Japan (GDP per capita today lower than it was in 1994) versus US. Or Singapore.

                    “…but lowers wages for employees…”

                    Probably true, though likely overstated. But you’ve left off the benefit of lower costs of goods and services.

                    “It increases identity politics and socialism…”

                    Counter-intuitively, the former frustrates the latter. Racially/ethnically homogeneous countries trend more socialist because the voters all look the same. Social welfare spending decreases the more diverse a country becomes, because the majority voting interests view their diverse neighbors with suspicion and less empathy. That’s why the most socialist countries in the world (Europe) are all much more homogeneous than the United States, and they trend more conservative as the population diversifies. Identity politics (which is bad) decreases empathy resulting in fewer socialist policies. That’s why the relatively diverse United States has always embraced socialism less than its more racially/ethnically homogeneous cousins in Europe.

                    “…but decreases assimilation…”

                    I don’t know how you are defining or quantifying this, but isn’t that the point? I want more Thai restaurants, don’t you? American food sucks.

                    “…liberty…”

                    I don’t think you’ll find a correlation between low immigration and higher liberty on the State of the World Liberty Index.

                    “…and Constitutional rights…”

                    Why would the number of immigrants have anything to do with constitutional rights? In the US, we don’t decide constitutional rights based on immigration levels.

                    1. “Do you have the empirical data to prove this?”

                      What do you think the typical wage is for an unskilled third world illegal immigrant, in the context of our current practice of importing millions of people in this category? Do you think the the amount such an individual adds to GDP is above, or below the average American? Duh.

                      “you need younger workers to increase overall GDP”

                      That’s true. But under current immigration policy, the increase in GDP from immigration is unfortunately offset by an equal increase in government spending. Obviously, that could be improved, as our immigration policy is just an archaic outgrowth from 1965. If you want GDP through population growth, the real problem is anemic birth rates, which if improved would be much more effective, and could indeed be improved with policy reforms.

                      In any case, GDP growth through population growth certainly isn’t an objective to be prioritized above all else, especially with respect to immigration policy. Immigration policy has perhaps the most profound long term effects of any policy, among the few areas of traditional, accepted core functions of a limited government.

                      “That’s why the relatively diverse United States has always embraced socialism less than its more racially/ethnically homogeneous cousins in Europe.”

                      It’s quite reductive to say that “diversity” is the only reason that the land of the free and the home of the brave has always borne the light of liberty. Especially since you’re talking about race, as opposed to diversity or dynamism of thought or ideas.

                      In our current context, Democrats are self-admittedly playing for all the marbles, and they are within spitting distance of a permanent electoral majority. The actual number of illegal immigrants is likely more than 23 million. Democrats will amnesty all of them, and then abolish the electoral college and pack the Court.

                      “isn’t [decreasing assimilation] the point? I want more Thai restaurants, don’t you? American food sucks.”

                      No, decreasing assimilation is not “the point.” Really?

                      I do support a diversity of food (thank capitalism, and a modest amount of immigration). There are other things you wouldn’t necessarily want a wide diversity of (homicide rates, for example, or communism). When we talk about assimilation, that’s generally the idea that you want citizens who buy into the principles upon which our system of government was established (since for better or worse, the people are sovereign).

                    2. @Millennial Lawyer,

                      “Do you think the the amount such an individual adds to GDP is above, or below the average American?”

                      Wages aren’t GDP. If the worker produces more GDP than their wages, the increase in GDP (and GDP per capita) is greater than their wages.

                      “But under current immigration policy, the increase in GDP from immigration is unfortunately offset by an equal increase in government spending. ”

                      This isn’t true. Studies showing this fail to account for the increased GDP effect from the government spending itself.

                      “…which if improved would be much more effective, and could indeed be improved with policy reforms.”

                      This would be an attractive proposal only if you believed that governments had the omniscience and ability to institute a birth policy that addressed labor shortages throughout the entire country, approximately 18 years in the future. Alternatively, if you believe–like me–that Congress cannot centrally plan around the problem of national labor supplies today, it doesn’t make sense to believe they can do so decades in advance.

                      “Immigration policy has perhaps the most profound long term effects of any policy…”

                      Agree, but you aren’t making a persuasive case against immigration. Vague references to liberty and constitutional rights and assimilation aren’t selling me. So if I have GDP (measurable) versus a bunch of intangible stuff you’ve cooked up, I’m going with GDP. If you want to make it clearer what your fears are from illegal immigrants, I’ll hear you out.

                      “When we talk about assimilation…”

                      I’ll take my counsel from people who overcome immense economic, financial, and safety hurdles to come and live in this country with all its values, over people who take for granted values that they were simply born into by accident. Do you think RestoreWesternHegemony better represents American values than a Mexican who moves here and starts a lawn mowing business? Why?

                    3. “Wages aren’t GDP.”

                      Obviously. What do you think their individual productivity is? Wages are going to be generally reflective of that. You didn’t answer the question; is it too obvious that I was right?

                      “This isn’t true. Studies showing this fail to account for the increased GDP effect from the government spending itself.”

                      This isn’t true.

                      “This would be an attractive proposal only if you believed that governments had the omniscience and ability to institute a birth policy that addressed labor shortages”

                      Wrong. It’s an attractive policy if you believe that “you need younger workers to increase overall GDP” (those are your words).

                      “Congress cannot centrally plan around the problem of national labor supplies today”

                      I agree. Right now, they are engaging in central planning for very low wages (and huge welfare spending) through massive amounts of unskilled immigration. They should stop doing this. When it comes to immigration, the government makes the decisions one way or another about who is permitted to immigrate.

                      “Agree, but you aren’t making a persuasive case against immigration.”

                      I’m not trying to make a case against immigration. The question is how immigration should be done, who should be granted visas and citizenship, and how many.

                      I submit that national government is like a corporation, and each citizenship is like one share in the corporation. One aim of the corporation should be to maximize the value of its shares.

                      “If you want to make it clearer what your fears are from illegal immigrants, I’ll hear you out.”

                      Here is a link where you can learn just some of the valid concerns about illegal immigration.

                      “I’ll take my counsel from people who . . come and live in this country with all its values, over people who take for granted values that they were simply born into by accident.”

                      Great. Me too. But you’re not making a case for, or even really identifying, the immigration policy you favor. You’re just baselessly generalizing against Americans and in favor of immigrants, because that’s the peculiar prejudice you harbor.

                      So, I agree we should bring in people who are hardworking, accepting of our values (such as following the law and not immigrating illegally), and are a net benefit to Americans generally. Many meet this criteria; many do not. Many illegals commit crimes and then are aided and abetted by sanctuary cities to avoid deportation, because Democrats need to interfere in our elections by importing as many foreigners as possible for more votes, including illegals who can be amnestied (you’ll keep ignoring the reality of our political context because it’s inconvenient for you).

                      On the other side of your generalization, many born here don’t take things for granted–that’s supposed to be part and parcel of the very “values” we are talking about. One of the core aspects of assimilation is supposed to be living by the so-called “Protestant work ethic” which has been described as self-reliant, hardworking, and morally upright.

                      Another part is English. Pew indicates that only 34 percent of illegal immigrants are proficient in English. For those from Mexico, it’s 25 percent. From El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, it’s 22 percent. Even for legal immigrants, the rate of English proficiency is only 57 percent.

                      In 2019 we have record amounts of illegal border crossers pouring into the country. And it’s a direct result of deliberate policy. Senate Hearing: Obama’s DACA and Flores Orders Spiked Illegal Migration “The Flores decision “has been the essential driver, frankly, for the increase in family units,” said Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in a May 23 committee hearing. He continued: “That certainty, that knowledge, that they will be allowed to stay in the US. indefinitely, pending a court [asylum] proceeding that could be years away … is a huge draw. Smugglers have capitalized on that. They’re advertising that fact. We hear that routinely from our interviews with families.” .. Democrat legislators have refused to reform the border rules, ensuring that 100,000 migrants — including 40,000 children — walked over the border in April 2019, into the nation’s job sites and schools.”

                      Democrats have openly stated that because Americans reject their radical agenda, their greatest hope is to replace the American voter with new arrivals through legal immigration and “illegal” immigration with amnesty.

                    4. Democrats have openly stated that because Americans reject their radical agenda, their greatest hope is to replace the American voter with new arrivals through legal immigration and “illegal” immigration with amnesty.

                      Funny, I don’t see Americans rejecting the Democrats’ agenda. But I guess on your planet they do.

                      Or else you have a strange notion of who counts as an American.

                    5. @Millenial,

                      “What do you think their individual productivity is?”

                      If you’re asking what their GDP is, it’s private consumption, plus investment, plus government investment, plus government spending, plus (exports-imports). If a Mexican illegal immigrant mows a lawn that a lawyer would otherwise have mowed himself, freeing up the lawyer to bill a client at $500 an hour, and pays the Mexican $10 an hour, and then spends the $490 he earns in excess, that will have an upward effect on GDP well beyond the $10 that the Mexican earns for his services.

                      I don’t think much of your question. But I’ll answer it: Higher. In any event, from the employer’s perspective, the foreigner is more value than some native worker.

                      “It’s an attractive policy if you believe that “you need younger workers to increase overall GDP” (those are your words).”

                      Sure, if you believe that governments are competent at enacting policies that increase the pool of younger workers. I don’t, but maybe you do.

                      “…they are engaging in central planning for very low wages…”

                      Quite the opposite. Our national immigration policy is loose with respect to low-skilled illegal immigrants, which means employers/hirers are by-and-large deciding how many to take in. That seems preferable to me than Congressional quotas.

                      “You’re just baselessly generalizing…”

                      The base was provided. I have a person who overcame significant hurdles to come and work in a country, versus a person who was born here. If that’s all I know about them, why would I favor the person who was born here? Chauvinism is baseless.

                      “…(you’ll keep ignoring the reality of our political context because it’s inconvenient for you)…”

                      I’ve already pointed out why more immigrants leads to more conservative politics. As it happens, illegal immigrants happen to be more socially conservative than Americans, too. The people ignoring political reality are Republicans, who are split between big tent, chamber of commerce Republicans who want immigration (Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush), and populists who want to protect wages, and maybe a few racists. The Democrats have plenty in those baskets too (Bernie Sanders is a wage protector and has supported stricter immigration laws as well). Maybe Republicans should start focusing on winning Hispanic votes? But of course I’m the one ignoring the political context, not you, because certainly this is not (for you) about protecting Republican majorities at all.

                      Why don’t we save each other a lot of time and keep the political priors out of the discussion? Even if you believe this is about some secret Democratic conspiracy for me, that doesn’t rebut any arguments I make about GDP, political trends, etc. If you think the values I assert are important are disingenuous, that doesn’t mean somebody else out there genuinely supports those values. So just pretend I’m somebody else.

                      “…the so-called “Protestant work ethic”…”

                      Do you think the average illegal immigrant works harder than the average American?

                      “Another part is English.”

                      I’m from Texas so this is less important to me personally, but I will grant it is important to you and others.

                      I’ll address your policy stuff separately.

                  3. I didn’t ask for your ill-informed, Trumpist, opinion, ML.

                    I asked a hypothetical question, which you have not answered.

                    1. Oh. To answer your question, yes, what the majority prefers on immigration policy should prevail. That’s exactly my point.

                      For decades now, the majority opinion on immigration policy has not prevailed. That’s because open borders and maximum 3rd world immigration is the single most fiercely defended and zealously advocated objective of special interests and the entrenched bipartisan political establishment.

                      That’s why Trump was elected.

                  4. You still haven’t answered my question, M.L.

                    I’m unimpressed by your statements as to what the majority wants, and even less so by your economic and political analysis.

                  5. Importing unskilled cheap labor increases GDP, but lowers GDP per capita.

                    So what? Why does lowering per capita GDP matter?

                    Say the GDP per capita is $1000. Now an immigrant comes in and produces, let’s say, $750. Obviously, GDP per capita has gone down, but there is no harm from that. No individual’s income has gone down.

                    Immigration isn’t beneficial to the “country as a whole” either.

                    Are you saying that the nothing benefits the country as a whole unless it benefits absolutely everyone? Not much does that.

                    1. The actual number of illegal immigrants is likely more than 23 million. Democrats will amnesty all of them, and then abolish the electoral college and pack the Court.

                      OK. You’re a lunatic.

            2. First, most citizens are NOT sympathetic to mass third world immigration when polled. Second, many people form their opinions based on the lies of the media and people like you. If people were told the truth, that Hispanic immigrants will largely be a financial and cultural burden forever, they’d answer differently.

              1. many people form their opinions based on the lies of the media and people like you.

                Do you have any idea what a jackass you are?

                You single-handedly destroy any thread you participate in by your bigotry and stupidity.

                1. You must be looking in a mirror

                  1. STFU.

                    You are a toxic presence here, not to mention a bigot, liar, ignoramus, and all-round asshole.

              2. “If people were told the truth, that Hispanic immigrants will largely be a financial and cultural burden forever, they’d answer differently.”

                It cannot be the case that immigrants will both take our jobs and be a financial and cultural burden forever.

                1. You have identified what philospher’s refer to as Schrodinger’s Immigrant. Both too lazy to work and taking your job at the same time.

                  1. Excellent!

      2. “The continual conflating of legal and illegal immigration demonstrates an understanding among open borders advocates that they haven’t got a winning argument if they honestly characterize those who oppose them.”

        That’s bullshit.
        State and local policies that affect migration do not distinguish between legal and illegal immigration because they have to deal with whoever shows up… states don’t have the authority to exclude illegal immigrants; that’s a power reserved at the federal level.
        At the federal level, immigration policy includes differentiating those invited to come, and those not invited to come, and power to remove the unwanted. Discussions of immigration policy at the federal level can, and should, include questions of who and how many to allow in; and who to excluce, and how and how many to remove.
        State and local government don’t confront those issues. They may wish the feds would show up and remove all the illegals, but they can’t count on it or make it happen. They can set up signs on the border wishing visitors to enjoy their stay and then go on home (Oregon famously had a sign along these lines directed at Californians, back in the day.)

  2. This is actually a misrepresentation of what’s actually going on.

    Democrats have a rich-poor divide in mind here. The goal for Democrats is to establish a social community where you have the established rich and then the poor, with both depending on the Democratic party, and a large gap between the two populations that cannot be bridged outside of isolated communities. The encouragement of illegal immigration here is critical, as it brings in a source of cheap labor that effectively competes with poor and middle class Americans, keeping down labor costs. As a bonus, poor and middle class Americans can’t gain the skills to advance up the ladder, while illegal immigrants are held in a grey limbo, due to their status. Simultaneously, you have rich enclaves of rich Democrats, while the poor and illegals are kept by zoning laws into a quasi-illegal, enclave area. Couple this with public “schools” in poor performing areas, and Democrats insistence on banning charters that may help the poor and working class succeed.

    1. Exactly: The Democratic party’s goal here is a country consisting mostly of poor people who can’t get by without government assistance, and whose votes can thus be bought with it, and a minority of wealthy people who can be taxed to pay for that assistance, and who will submit to it and vote Democratic in return for not having the poor mobs sicced on them.

      The people in between, who can neither be cheaply bought nor afford the level of taxation necessary to buy the votes of others, are of no use to the Democratic party, which would just as soon they went away.

      1. Wonderful being told by A.L. and Brett what the “Democratic party’s goal” is.

        What an effing load of BS you guys are spewing.

        1. Nearly every policy advocated by the left produces results the opposite of what they claim to be trying to do. Eventually one has to conclude that some of them must know what they’re doing, and are getting the results they wanted.

  3. By contrast, the GOP is not “ant-immigrant” but is instead “pro-law”. They understand that massive numbers of illegal immigrants (the highest % of illegal immigrants in the 1st world) effectively keeps wages down. A moderation on this is needed, especially for wages for working class Americans to rise. Moreover policies like the current asylum catch-and-release policies (established due to a perverse coordination of laws and court decisions) just encourage more illegal immigration.

    Immigration isn’t wrong. But it needs to be limited, in order for the immigrant community to assimilate fully into the mainstream American culture. In addition, legal immigration should be heavily preferred over illegal immigration. Creating the incentives for illegal over legal immigration should be heavily discouraged.

    1. By contrast, the GOP is not “ant-immigrant” but is instead “pro-law”.

      If GOP policies are “pro-law” (your use of quotes – not mine) – why do you spend the rest of your statement discussing economic impacts?

      A moderation on this is needed, especially for wages for working class Americans to rise.

      Low skilled immigration has almost zero impact on wages. There are just not enough of them to make any real impact. And the data shows that when there are periods of high immigration – wages actually rose (this was also true as women entered the workforce). And other countries that have extreme limits on immigration has seen their wages fall (see Japan).

      But it needs to be limited, in order for the immigrant community to assimilate fully into the mainstream American culture.

      The data shows immigrants (undocumented or otherwise) are assimilating faster into American society than ever before.

      You are just using the same tired excuses used against my ancestors who immigrated from Ireland. They were wrong then – its wrong now.

      1. Do you actually believe the crap you just spewed?

      2. “And the data shows that when there are periods of high immigration – wages actually rose (this was also true as women entered the workforce). And other countries that have extreme limits on immigration has seen their wages fall (see Japan).”

        The problem with this is that you’re ignoring outside factors which render a binary choice meaningless. Women started entering the work force post-WW2 at a point when the US dominated the world economy by virtue of having the only survivinging manufacturing infrastructure. There was such demand for labor that wages rose regardless.

        As to Japan, feel free to show the mechanism for why their immigration policies depress wages as opposed to say, Abe’s financial policies, changes in international trade flows, etc. As with your first claim, it’s just not that simple.

        Cheers.

        1. Hit send too soon. Japan’s neighbor to the west has highly restrictive immigration policies, and yet their average salary has increased two and a half times in the last decade.

          https://tradingeconomics.com/china/wages

          This with population growth running half a percent yearly.

          Cheers.

          1. Maybe don’t look to Japan as having the best labor model?

            1. Not sure how that’s responsive to my point. Regexp tied Japan’s restrictive immigration policies to wages, and I’d like to see something beyond correlation.

        2. “The problem with this is that you’re ignoring outside factors which render a binary choice meaningless”

          Yeah. Economics is like that.

          If you restrict immigration to keep American wages high, all you get is jobs shipped overseas to where non-American wages are low.

          1. “Yeah. Economics is like that.”

            Indeed, which is why I took issue with Regexp’s binary scenario.

            “If you restrict immigration to keep American wages high, all you get is jobs shipped overseas to where non-American wages are low.”

            That ship sailed long ago, for the most part we’ve already off-shored everything except that which must be done locally. Issue now is whether the remaining jobs’ wages will be further depressed by continued enlargement the labor pool.

            Regexp also made the statement that, “Low skilled immigration has almost zero impact on wages. There are just not enough of them to make any real impact.” According to our Bureau of Labor, there are more than 28 million foreign born persons in the workforce, comprising 17.4% of the total. I submit that 17% is certainly enough to have an effect. Now to head off the pedants, that 28 million figure is all such persons whereas Regexp specified “low skilled.” The same report states that better educated foreign born workers also make less than similar native born workers, meaning that their presence still depresses wages.

            https://www.bls.gov/news.release/forbrn.nr0.htm/Labor-Force-Characteristics-of-Foreign-Born-Workers-Summary

      3. 1. Because legal immigration (IE, pro-law) is critical to immigrants being able to advance up the economic ladder. By encouraging illegal immigration, as Democrats do, they create an underclass that cannot advance.

        2. This is frankly, complete nonsense. Labor responds to the laws of supply and demand. There may be sticky wages, but a massive increase in the number of unskilled laborers have a massive effect on suppressing wage gains. It’s simple. If you can employ an illegal worker, you don’t need to raise wages to get more native workers. Recent studies have put it at over $500 Billion a year in lost wages for low skilled workers, due to illegal immigration.

        3. And what data is this? Link?

        1. Don’t hide behind that rule of law BS.
          The right is anti-immigrant because they think it’s good policy.

          When you ask them why they think it’s good policy things get quite a bit more dodgy.

          1. The right is not “anti-immigrant.” They favor limited, well-regulated immigration, like a vast majority of Americans.

            1. Not according to this blog – many want to close the border.

              But even those that want some immigration tend to want it dialed back.

              The ‘we’re just anti illegal immigration’ talking point went away like two years ago.

              1. If the border is a source of unregulated, illegal immigration, en masse, then tighter controls there are needed.

                Again, remember, there are 10 million to 20 million plus illegal immigrants currently in the country (depending on your source). If illegal immigration was dialed out, or reduced to levels on par with other western countries, there would be reasonable space for legal immigration.

                1. The border has always been that. Nothing has changed. In fact, we arguably need it.

                  Not to mention that targeting the illegals is a telling misapplication. They are the victims here – working unregulated jobs. But the right rages at them, and spares nary a thought to those that employ them.

                  If you spare a moment to read your compatriot commenters on this blog, you will see that you have become the outlier – nativist hostility is now the norm in your party. Or, it always was and Trump allows them to let their freak flag fly.

                  1. You people say “nativist” like it’s a bad thing. Favoring one’s own is a sign of patriotism.

                  2. The border has not always been that. In fact, during the heyday of American labor (the 50’s and 60’s) we did not have anywhere near the massive illegal immigration population we have now.

                    Furthermore, I don’t know what you mean by “unregulated”. However, if you’re interested in the employers, it’s interesting the states that enforce E-verify…and the states that actively prohibit or discourage its use where possible. I suggest you look it up.

                    1. E-Verify isn’t the solution to paying people under the table. Raids on employers to make sure they pay everyone what they are supposed to is.

                    2. I also note how you’ve switched away from your rule of law the moment you were pressed.

                    3. How did he switch away from the rule of law?

                    4. I responded to your questions. If your questions shifted away from a pro-law approach, the answers shifted in turn.

                      Perhaps I shouldn’t respond to your questions if they change the topic? Would you like me to remind you in the future?

                    5. Labor’s heyday began its decline due to anti-union forces, including the courts and often the NLRB. The slow shift of manufacturing out of the US was also a huge contributor.

                      I don’t believe immigration has anything to do with the decline.

        2. a massive increase in the number of unskilled laborers have a massive effect on suppressing wage gains.

          Too bad the evidence shows that the effect of immigration, legal or not, on wages is minimal. Don’t let facts bother you, though.

      4. Low skilled immigration has almost zero impact on wages. There are just not enough of them to make any real impact.

        Perhaps you have not set foot on a construction site in the past 30 years?

        1. “Perhaps you have not set foot on a construction site in the past 30 years?”

          I have. But why 30 years? There’ve been immigrants working in construction for more than 30 years.

    2. “…the GOP is not “ant-immigrant”…”

      We know that the Chamber of Commerce is pro immigrant.

      “…effectively keeps wages down…”

      If socialist Republicans want to govern wages through central planning, why not just do it with minimum wages? That will kill illegal immigrant labor on the demand side. And is much easier to enforce than the border.

  4. You are certifiably insane. Your proposed policies, if implemented, would lead to the destruction of the West. Is that your ultimate goal, or do you just not care?

    1. If by “west” you mean racist white men who pass laws treating women like property and attend Monster Jams – than destroy away.

      (actually – I like a good Monster Jam – but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make)

      1. Blah blah

  5. One side has mainstreamed dodgy theories about whites being purposefully replaced by those of other scarier skin tones.

    The other has the same NIMBY problems as have been going on for at least four decades.
    Also unsupported minimum wage theories.

    1. “One side has mainstreamed dodgy theories about whites being purposefully replaced by those of other scarier skin tones.”

      The other side has bragged about it’s impending and inevitable demographic victory, while relentlessly following policies to accelerate the demographic changes they brag will give them that victory. So it does look a bit purposeful from that perspective.

      1. Of course, the reason why such demographics support Democrats may be because of the hostility to them that Republicans proudly evince.
        Religious, family-oriented Latinos would seem an easy GOP match, but somehow have an issue with the party that can’t stop calling them low-IQ replacements for Real Americans.

        But don’t let real-world complications get in the way of your isolating two data points to make an unsupported causal connection seem clear!

        1. No, they support Democrats because they’re low skill, low IQ groups with high illegitimacy rates that rely on government for their upkeep. The fact that Hispanics are supposedly “religious” takes a back seat to their needing and desiring free stuff. Self reliance is also not a trait that is valued outside the West and East Asia.

        2. Rather, the Democratic party, which for generations pursued a model of buying loyalty by passing out racial preferences, swapped client races back in the 60’s and 70’s, and now buys the loyalty of non-whites by the same means.

          It works, regrettably. But refusing to support racial discrimination in favor of a group is NOT hostility.

          1. client races

            See, here is where the replacement thesis gets dodgy and white supremecisty.

            1. Define “white supremacy”

              1. White supremacy:

                The fantasy that having been the first to figure out the usefulness of gunpowder, and riding that advantage for four or five centuries, is related in any way to any other form of supremacy.

                1. Congratulations on the stupidest post of the month.

                  1. Since your posts are predictably idiotic there is no way anyone could crack the top 100, which is totally occupied by you.

                2. The Chinese had gunpowder first. And firearms. And rockets. And cannons.

                  1. And spaghetti.
                    Don’t forget that.

                  2. “The Chinese had gunpowder first.”

                    Duh. Did someone say otherwise?

                    1. You implied the Europeans figured out the “usefulness” of gunpowder first (IE weapons of war). Which is incorrect, and a white-centric view.

                    2. I implied that the white folks successfully used gunpowder to invade and subjugate parts of the world occupied at the time by by unwhite folks.

                      The Chinese had gunpowder for centuries, but didn’t use it to subjugate parts of the world occupied at the time by unChinese folks.

                      This might be a “white-centric view”, but it’s also accurate.

                    3. Sigh. It’s white-centric and it’s also inaccurate.

                      The Chinese have a history under the Ming dynasty of expansion outside of China, including conquering Vietnam, naval incursions into modern day Indonesia, and invasions of Sri Lanka. All of which they used gunpowder weapons for.

                      You might consider this a history lesson, and perhaps a chance to reexamine other mistakes and false assumptions you have made.

    2. Sarcastr0, cite to any quote (real not fabricated news quotes) by the President that even remotely approaches your perverse premise. But, if you want to talk about mainstreaming racism, how about the non-stop anti-Semitic crap coming out of Democrats and their media adjunct, the NY Times?

      1. MKE, quite the goalpost shifting in what I was saying and what you demand I provide.
        I was more in the Tucker Carlson who is all on board with this replacement thesis BS.

        But if you want to talk about the President retweeting white supremacists, that’s not hard. The Jayda Fransen hoax video springs to mind – she’s a full-on all Muslims are terrorists idiot.

        I don’t deny that the left has a problem with antisemitism that it is too slow to address. But your continued whattaboustism fails even on it’s own fallacious terms; when it comes to shooting up Holocaust memorials and temples, the right is a one-stop shop.

        1. What complete utter crap. A slate article about 4 retweets from 2016? Yeah, I’m convinced. Don’t know what you’re talking about regarding your Tucker Carlson rant. And don’t know anything about the “right” destroying holocaust memorials but it’s beyond obnoxious to try and equate your political opponents some deranged few fringe. Should we equate all Bernie Sanders supporters with the nut who shot Steve Scalise? But that’s the Democrat way. What a contemptible party.

          1. Whats with all the goalpost shifting? You asked for examples, I provided them. And I said shooting up which you switch to destroyed.

            As for turning a few examples into a general condemnation, you’re the one who is arguing the left is super antisemetic because of…I guess a dodgy NYT magazine cover? Maybe cut with your moral condemnation when you’re being so hypocritical. Tell you what, I’ll withdraw my counterpoint, if you withdraw your original accusation.

            As for Tucker Carlson being a replacement thesis guy, just look up Tucker Carlson white genocide to get a taste.

            1. “Goalpost shifting” That’s cute. Is that the leftist phrase of the day. It must be making the rounds on some sewer twitter threads. And I asked for some real quotes to substantiate your BS (“One side has mainstreamed dodgy theories about whites being purposefully replaced by those of other scarier skin tones”). You gave nothing but some crazy obsessive rants about Tucker Carlson and a Slate article. How could you have forgotten Rachel Maddow?

              1. Maybe you keep shifting goal posts is why you see it come up so much.

                I didn’t bring up the President, you demanded I rope him in. You repeatedly get what I say wrong while replying to it. You asked for real quotes – I pointed to where they are. You then just say my links are crazy.

                Not a great showing of argumentation.

                1. If you think Slate is a reliable source then that explains a lot. And you forgot to mention some crazy new theory about Tucker Carlson or Fox news. Maybe there’s something new on Slate? Maybe Vox?

                  1. Your ad hominem is extraordinarily weak.

                    Click through the links in the article to the twitter posts, dude.

                    You’re the one that dropped tucker. But here’s a choice quote. I’ll elide the source since you aren’t good at clicking:

                    “I’m not demonizing anybody. I’m not against the immigrants. I’m just, I’m for the Americans. Nobody cares about them. It’s like, shut up, you’re dying, we’re gonna replace you. And it’s deeply– Anyway we are out of time I hope you hope you will come back. I enjoyed that conversation.”

                    “Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys,”
                    “I just have zero sympathy for them or their culture,” Carlson said of Iraqis in 2006. “A culture where people just don’t use toilet paper or forks … they can just shut the fuck up and obey, is my view.”

                    He has opposed demographic changes in the United States, writing that the demographic change seen in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which saw Hispanics go from a small minority to a majority over a 15-year period, is “more change than human beings are designed to digest”.[58] In 2018, Carlson suggested that mass immigration makes the United States “dirtier”, “poorer” and “more divided”

                    These are from the wiki, btw. And they brought the citations as links to videos of his show or audio from his radio call-ins, if you can handle it.

                    1. What part of his statement about Hazleton is untrue? Have you been to LA? South Florida? Paterson, NJ? Any other place where Hispanics have become the majority? Their culture is rotten to the core, and their cities show it. Contempt for traffic laws and civility is common, as is drunk driving. Crime is high (not as high as among blacks, but much higher than whites and Asians). Illegitimacy is high. Welfare use is high.

                      There’s a reason why Hispanic societies are disasters. Part of it is genetic, and part of it is cultural. But we don’t need to replicate it here to show how “tolerant” we are.

    3. One side claims to be pro-minority, while sabotaging their future economic outlook. That’s the same side which is using NIMBY laws to push the minorities out of the areas they’ve been living in.

      1. NIMBYness sucks, to be sure, and the rich San Fran liberals should quit it. But it’s not in the same league as what you guys do and say.

        Pointing to it as the main anti-immigrant sentiment in America is laughable.

        1. “It’s not in the same league”

          Well, that’s true at least.

          It’s in a far more evil and insidious league, a set of policies designed to make poor minorities a permanent underclass while a selection of white rich liberals rule over the Democratic party.

          1. You seem destined to dislike the next half-century of American progress as much as you seem to disdain the most recent half-century of American progress.

            Perhaps the only thing that could stop your sadness would be the occasion of your replacement.

          2. Naw, the right’s actual hostility and performative cruelty of separating immigrant children into camps where some die, and the consistent rhetoric of lethally militarizing the border is more insidious.

            Noting how I concede flaws in my side whereas you never talk about your side and can’t stop deflecting shows who is the blind partisan here.

            1. They’re not “immigrant children.” They’re invaders that we DON’T WANT. Nobody asked for these people.

            2. Ah the Child Separation policy, what a wonderful discussion. Let’s talk about it, shall we?

              Let’s start with the series of Democratic decisions and laws that made it advantageous to choose to bring a child with you across the border illegally. If you’re an illegal immigrant, and you need to cross the border, if you do it alone and get caught, you can be held. BUT if you bring a child with you…you need to be let go by ICE. What ridiculous policy is this? Can you imagine? If you rob a bank, but you bring your kid with you…do you get let go? Or is your kid taken away, because you’ve exposed them to ridiculous danger?

              Hell, if you’re an American citizen, and you decide to expose your child to near starvation and dehydration while dragging them across the desert, child protective services will take away your kid, and may jail you for child endangerment. But…if you’re an illegal immigrant doing the same thing, whoops, gotta let you go?

              And now…surprise, up to 30% of illegal immigrants crossing the border with kids…they’re not their kids. Other illegal immigrants are “recycling children”. Sending them back to Mexico, so they can cross with someone not related, for a sweet cash payment.

              So, what do you think Sarcastro? Should we change the law? Or should we keep encouraging people to sell their children into dangerous situations, as a get out of jail free card when they get caught crossing the border? Because that’s what you’re doing now.

              1. Now, those dead kids Sarcastro…they’re on you and your party. You’re the ones who instituted the policies that encourage it.

                Now, if putting a wall on the border discourages this practice? If it makes it not worth illegal immigrants dragging kids with them to cross the border. Then I’m all for it. Because it saves lives. Don’t you want to save lives?

                1. Naw, it’s on the party that when they got in charge has been choosing to jail kids in conditions where they keep dying.

                  Your attempt to turn the death of children into a rhetorical trap is par for the course.

                  1. What’s the alternative? Just give citizenship to every migrant who crosses with a child?

                  2. You really don’t get it do you?
                    1. Democrat policies, policies you support, actively made if effective and efficient to drag kids across the border illegally, so that illegal immigrants would get leniency if caught.
                    2. That led to very sick children and child deaths
                    3. Democrats refuse to support any policies that might reduce the effect of these policies.
                    4. Democrats (and you) continue to support policies that end up with dead children.

                    Fix it. Fix it with us. Institute policies that reduce these incentives. Mandate very long jail sentences for those who would sell their children as a way to have others cross the border.

                    1. “1. Democrat policies, policies you support, actively made if effective and efficient to drag kids across the border illegally, so that illegal immigrants would get leniency if caught.
                      2. That led to very sick children and child deaths”

                      How does number 2 follow from number 1? Being brought across a border makes kids get sick? Don’t let the anti-vaxxers get ahold of THAT idea.

                      The obvious solution to resolving illegal immigration is to give people who might cross illegally a legal method of entry. Have them pay us instead of coyotes.

                    2. And get rid of the rule that children can’t be detained for more than three weeks. Democrats like to claim that “no one supports open borders,” but they support policies that, taken together, lead to de facto open borders.

                    3. 1. “How does 2 follow from 1”
                      It may surprise you, but dehydration, heat stroke, malnutrition and more from being dragged across miles of desert over a a week, with little to no supplies counts making children “very sick”

                      2. Here’s a crazy idea. They already have a legal method of entry. The legal immigration process. Take a number, and get in line. Don’t endanger children’s lives as a get-out-of-free jail card when you decide to skip the legal entry process because it takes too long.

                      3. Here’s another crazy idea. Encourage policies that discourage them from endangering their children’s lives.

                    4. They already have a legal method of entry

                      Like asking for asylum, say.

                    5. Except that most of them are not eligible for asylum, and 90% don’t bother to show up to their hearings. So once they’re admitted temporarily for their “asylum hearings,” they’re permanently here. And of course, they’ll pop out a citizen crotch dropping on our soil, and then you’ll say “You can’t deport the parents and leave the child here with no loving family!”

  6. Shorter Ilya: If you want to deport illegal aliens you are anti illegal immigration. If you are against open borders you are anti legal immigration. And something something zoning laws to make it appear to be an even handed post.

  7. If everybody suddenly discovered illegals voted Republican or would somehow turn the population more white, Dems and libs would be the first ones in line to install machine gun nests and minefields at the border. Just witness how they moved heaven and earth to prevent a few german homeschooling families from coming here.

    1. Exactly. If anything, we should be giving asylum to Afrikaners in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The Democrats reckless desire to fill America with low-IQ third worlders is to seize power permanently. Nothing more, nothing less.

    2. Hypthetical counterfactuals sure do make the other side look bad!

      1. It’s not much of a hypothetical, when you look at Democratic administrations’ changes in policy in regards to illegal immigrants from one specific country: Cuba.

        The one category of illegal immigrants who reliably voted Republican…

  8. It’s beyond dispute that Democrats are pining for unlimited third-world immigration for electoral advantage. Coupled with things like this, it’s clear that they want to change the people and the rules so that once they achieve total power, they never have to relinquish it.

  9. The urbanists, who tend to be Democratic and highly educated, assert that their cities are too crowded and so want to restrict the supply of housing.

    I suggest that is contrary to fact. For decades, urbanists—I think particularly the highly educated ones—have emphasized and prioritized increasing density, not reducing it. They don’t say cities are too crowded, they say they aren’t crowded enough—and among many of them, suburbs are anathema. What we seem to have in that quote above is an uncritical tendency to suppose you can deduce facts from ideological axioms.

    More generally, NIMBY is an acronym which should never be used by anyone, but especially not by libertarians. Make it a point to notice. In actual cases where NIMBY charges come into play, it is usually a term used in a dispute over which among various candidate venues will suffer an uncompensated loss, inflicted by policy—which neighborhoods will be overflown by aircraft departing the airport—where does the LNG compressor plant go—those sorts of things. And usually, folks putting the NIMBY charge in play are more politically powerful than the targets of the charge. It’s mostly a charge which relatively rich people deploy to shame organized resistance, when that threatens to obstruct the noxious externalities of some convenience which the better-off prefer to use, but not to host.

    1. They say that with respect to the portions of the city that ordinary people live in. They don’t say that with respect to their own neighborhoods.

    2. I completely disagree. Take Minneapolis (mentioned in the OP and where I live). There are two examples of politically powerful limousine liberals engaging in NIMBYism in this city.

      The first is the Minneapolis 2040 plan mentioned in the post. Among the most controversial aspects was to change zoning to allow additional living spaces in South Minneapolis areas (particularly the posh Linden Hills area). They bemoaned that allowing additional units in their fancy enclave would ruin the neighborhood, even claiming that they needed to stop new units from being built in the name of lower prices and affordable housing (I’ll never understand their logic).

      The second is the Southwest Light Rail. The line is going to run along an existing rail line, through a former train yard. In the 1980s or so, the yard had been removed and some scrub trees popped up. Eventually, the city put a bike trail through the area. When the light-rail plans were announced, nearby residents flipped out about it ruining this supposed “urban wilderness.” The end result was years of delay (dramatically increasing costs), including spending something like $40 million (and that might be conservative) extra so they could keep about a mile of bike lane and requiring the state to put the line in a trench so it would be quieter for residents. As a result of these efforts, the SWLRT cost ballooned from $1.3 billion to $2.1 billion (almost resulting in the line being cancelled – the original point of all this anyway).

      Both areas vote about 90% democrats, are filled with politically powerful people who will lecture people about how we need transit and affordable housing, and almost stopped projects because they meant affecting their little liberal enclaves. These people need to be called out on their NIMBYism and how their opposition ultimately cost taxpayers millions (or, in the case or SWLRT, almost $1 billion).

      1. David Bremer, what is wrong with making a rail line a quieter neighbor? Why should anyone assert a moral claim to silence others who object to railroad noise being inflicted without compensation? What would have been the cost if the folks adjoining the rail line had been paid cash damages for their loss? Maybe that would have been a less expensive way to go, maybe not. But what kind of libertarian thinks that kind of state-inflicted loss should go entirely uncompensated—or that resistance to that deserves moral opprobrium, using the deliberately shaming NIMBY label?

        1. It’s a benefit that isn’t given to poor people, exposes the liberal-policies-for-thee-but-not-for-me mentality, and isn’t something that you’d get if the line were run by a private company (rather than a political body). And it’s not about compensating loss; it’s about rent seeking.

          The rail corridor at issue is owned by the county rail authority. Imagine if it were instead owned by a private business. It pulls up the lines and allows bikers to use it for a while. If some years later, it wanted to put the rails back down and operate a light-rail line, it would be free to do so. The only get “compensated” because they are politically connected. And in the case of the 2040 re-zoning plan, there is no uncompensated cost on anybody. It’s simply neighbors using their political clout to enact laws that restrict supply and increase the value of their homes.

          Also note that this standard always runs one way. Nobody volunteered to pay the county for the increased home value they received when the county pulled up the tracks. Nor are the Linden Hills neighbors giving the city a cut of increased home prices caused by restricted supply.

        2. I cant’ tell if you’re a troll or an idiot. You know full well that every “progressive” idea has negative externalities on many people. That’s true for rail lines, bus routes, Section 8 “source of income” laws, forced bussing, mandatory cake baking laws, and so forth. In all those cases, liberals tell opponents to “suck it up and deal with it.” I don’t see any reason why wealthy liberals should get to make vague claims to deserving a “quiet, peaceful neighborhood” which is code for a neighborhood with no blacks for miles.

    3. “…it is usually a term used in a dispute over which among various candidate venues will suffer an uncompensated loss, inflicted by policy—which neighborhoods will be overflown by aircraft departing the airport—where does the LNG compressor plant go—those sorts of things.”

      You can make this argument only if the government is the one doing the interfering. But what if it’s private interference? If neighbors A and B get together and tell neighbor C he isn’t allowed to park vehicles on his lawn–they must stay in the driveway–C is the one suffering an “uncompensated loss” since he’s been told what he can’t do with his property by other people. If the “uncompensated loss” is A and B suffering because C uses his own private property the way he wants, how is this not just a case of A and B taking advantage of C?

  10. Now they need to take the last redpill and realize that the character we’re preserving is worth it while the character Democrats are preserving is not. The fact we’re both exclusionary is not an argument against either.

  11. Restricting immigration is not “bad” or “awful,” and it does not constitute “hostility” to immigrants or immigration.

    That’s just a dishonest smear, a braindead talking point.

    The reality is that almost everyone wants to restrict immigration. Leftist Democrats even go so far as to constantly (but falsely) claim that “NO ONE” is actually for open borders. It’s true that probably 95% or more don’t want “open borders.” But oddly enough, there is incredible outsized influence and entrenched interests favoring immigration maximalism, and de facto open borders through asylum loopholes and devious child detainment rules.

    So, almost everyone wants to restrict immigration, keep the numbers reasonable and within lawful process. That’s not awful, and not “hostile” to anything. What’s awful and hostile is the very people calling this common sense awful and hostile. The same category of people are routinely accusing their opponents of the very things they’re guilty of.

    Of course, there is disagreement and mostly lack of informed opinion on just exactly what the number of immigrants should be (lower, higher, same?). But even then, polls show large majorities favor reducing the amount of immigration which is currently extremely high and a global-historical anomaly. And reducing immigration most popular among black and Hispanic Americans.

    It’s no wonder that this is the case. Just looking at economic self-interest, the vast majority of Americans only stand to lose with very high levels of immigration like we have now. But perhaps even more importantly, very high levels of immigration can easily outpace the rate of assimilation. If that situation continues, the inevitable result is more cultural balkanization, obliteration of national social cohesion and unity, even more identity politics and professional racism mongers, a fast and slick slide into socialism and loss of rights such as freedom of speech, 2nd amendment, etc.

    1. “…cultural balkanization, obliteration of national social cohesion and unity, even more identity politics and professional racism mongers, a fast and slick slide into socialism and loss of rights such as freedom of speech, 2nd amendment, etc.”

      To liberals, this is a feature, not a bug.

  12. While it may be hypocritical for the Left to act in this way, there is a legitimate benefit to small suburban communities from single-family-only zoning:

    It keeps ‘big’ local government away.

    If you bring in a population – regardless of race, nationality, citizenship, whatever – that cannot afford the predominant lifestyle existing in that community (typically owner-occupied homes and single-occupant-car-commuting) … They are, generally, going to vote for an increasingly activist government to ‘help’ them exist in that community… At the tax-expense of the existing residents.

    So if you don’t want to have your taxes raised to fund public transportation, new municipal social programs, an increased police force, and all of the other things that making it easier for poor people to live in your community will require…

    You might want to maintain zoning practices that encourage them to live in the nearest large city (Which already has all of that) instead….

    1. All of this is true, but it’s also true on a national level. That’s why middle class whites are justified in not wanting their country overrun by illiterate, low IQ Hispanics. Because they’ll “vote for an increasingly activist government to help them exist in that community,” except that “community” here is America.

      1. Here is an interesting article:
        “Among rich kids, good opportunities for developing the relevant cognitive skills are plentiful, so IQ differences are driven primarily by genetic factors. For less advantaged kids, though, test scores say more about the environmental deficits they face than they do about native ability.”

        “Though the tests are good measures of skills relevant to success in American society, the scores are only a good indicator of relative intellectual ability for people who have been exposed to equivalent opportunities for developing those skills – and who actually have the motivation to try hard on the test. IQ tests are good measures of innate intelligence–if all other factors are held steady. But if IQ tests are being used to compare individuals of wildly different backgrounds, then the variable of innate intelligence is not being tested in isolation. Instead, the scores will reflect some impossible-to-sort-out combination of ability and differences in opportunities and motivations.”

        “More generally, IQ tests reward the possession of abstract theoretical knowledge and a facility for formal analytical rigor. But for most people throughout history, intelligence would have taken the form of concrete practical knowledge of the resources and dangers present in the local environment.”

        “The mass development of highly abstract thinking skills represents a cultural adaptation to the mind-boggling complexity of modern technological society. But the complexity of contemporary life is not evenly distributed, and neither is the demand for written language fluency or analytical dexterity. Such skills are used more intensively in the most advanced economies than they are in the rest of the world. And within advanced societies, they are put to much greater use by the managers and professionals of the socioeconomic elite than by everybody else. As a result, American kids generally will have better opportunities to develop these skills than kids in, say, Mexico or Guatemala. And in America, the children of college-educated parents will have much better opportunities than working-class kids.”

        “Among the strongest evidence that IQ tests are testing not just innate ability, but the extent to which that innate ability has been put to work developing specific skills, is the remarkable “Flynn effect”: In the United States and many other countries, raw IQ scores have been rising about three points a decade. This rise is far too rapid to have a genetic cause. The best explanation for what’s going on is that increasing social complexity is expanding the use of the cognitive skills in question – and thus improving the opportunities for honing those skills. The Flynn effect is acutely embarrassing to those who leap from IQ score differences to claims of genetic differences in intelligence.”

        “Yes, the hereditarian view lends aid and comfort to racists and nativists. But more importantly, it’s just plain wrong. Specifically, it is based on the ahistorical and ethnocentric assumption of a fixed relationship between the development of certain cognitive skills and raw mental ability. In truth, the skills associated with intelligence have changed over time–and unevenly through social space–as society evolves.”

        https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/05/why-people-keep-misunderstanding-the-connection-between-race-and-iq/275876/

      2. It has nothing at all to do with ethnicity or heredity.

        The argument is economic – and likewise concern over immigration should be strictly economic as well.

        A hispanic immigrant who can support himself without taking public aid should be welcomed… A white immigrant who cannot survive without public aid should be sent home.

  13. I’m not sure I follow the minimum wage argument at all unless it assumes an immigrant’s value as a worker is less than a non-immigrant citizen. After all, there’s no reason it would exclude one and not the other and, if an immigrant’s value is actually higher (maybe they’re a harder worker or needs to support both themselves and dependents elsewhere), then they wouldn’t be affected at all. On top of that, the general rule when it comes to non-immigrant workers and lawful permanent residents is that they have to be paid the “prevailing wage,” which may often be higher than the minimum wage (this is usually set by the Department of Labor, not by any locality).

  14. Most of the attorneys I work with are liberals. One of the older partners occasionally bemoans Trump and how he’s such a demagogue and a huuuuuge disaster.

    I told him: Just think. All they had to do was enforce immigration laws, and this whole mess would have never happened. It’s not even difficult. It’s just that politicians on both sides have been so over the top in their eagerness to sell out the US and squeeze in every last illegal immigrant.

    1. As one well known blog entrepreneur likes to say:
      All the Dems have to do is not be crazy, and they can’t even manage that.

  15. Illegal immigrants are no more than a political football. Cheap labor on one side, votes on the other. While politicians play games our country goes to ruin.

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