Immigration Politics Are Killing the Debate Over Immigration Policy

The latest crisis at America's southern border isn't the result of short-term policy changes but of long-term bureaucratic failures.


When it comes to immigration (legal or illegal), I still take cues from that radical social-justice warrior Ronald Reagan. "(I)t makes one wonder about the illegal alien fuss," the Gipper said in a 1977 radio address after a New England town restricted apple pickers to U.S. citizens and then couldn't find enough people to do the work.

"One thing is certain in this hungry world; no regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the field for lack of harvesters," he added. Reagan didn't even shy away from the A-word. "I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here even though sometime back they may have entered illegally," Reagan said in his 1984 presidential debate.

That adds a little context, now that the Republican Party has become the party of Donald Trump. Our recently departed president was devoted not just to building a border wall and clamping down on illegal immigration—but to dramatically reducing the number of immigrants and refugees who can come to the United States in a legal manner.

Trump's rhetoric, of course, was a far cry from Reagan's. It's perfectly legitimate to debate immigration policy, but when Republicans describe immigrants as killers and invaders, that's not a policy debate. It's the use of immigration as a dividing line in an obvious attempt to rally conservative base voters. The issue hasn't subsided with the new administration.

Joe Biden had promised a more humane policy, but so far the results aren't good. "Officials barred nonprofit lawyers who conduct oversight from entering a Border Patrol tent where thousands of children and teenagers are detained," AP reported. The new administration has "refused or ignored dozens of requests from the media for access to detention sites"— something even Trump didn't do.

The latest fracas at the border, with a recent surge of asylum seekers from Central America, has turned expectedly into yet another partisan grudge match. Conservatives claim that the new Democratic administration essentially is inviting refugees to the country because it has dropped plans for the wall and loosened up restrictions.

Yet the latest influx isn't the result of short-term change—but long-term bureaucratic failures. "The immigration system at the border, which was built up in the 1990s, with single, job-seeking adults from Mexico in mind, was not designed to handle a population seeking asylum on this scale," argued The New Yorker's Jonathan Blitzer. "(I)t takes almost two and a half years to resolve an asylum claim, and there's now a backlog of 1.3 million pending cases."

As I've argued repeatedly, most government policy has little to do with the nominal head of state—and more to do with the permanent bureaucracy. Conservatives rightly complain about the failure of every imaginable state and federal bureau, from California's Employment Development Department to the federal Department of Education. They refuse to acknowledge that our immigration and security bureaus aren't any better than those others.

Stopping illegal immigration is the equivalent of trying to stop water from flowing down a hill. Labor is like any other market, including illegal drugs or anything else for that matter. As long as there's plenty of supply and demand, there will always be a way around whatever regulatory barriers the government puts in the way. On an ethical note, it's hard to be too angry at people who are doing what we would do if we faced similar impoverished circumstances.

There's no solving the immigration mess in one short column, but it would be nice if politicians from both parties stopped using the issue to clobber one another and tried to work out reform proposals in a reasonable way. The bipartisan Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was signed into law—but it obviously didn't solve the ongoing problem.

No single piece of legislation—especially one filled with contradictions and compromises—will fix any long-running problem. That law created a path for citizenship for many illegal immigrants, but also ramped up enforcement against companies that hired people without legal status.

Still, there's got to be a better way than the GOP's enforcement-only approach—or California's progressive zeal to discard the meaning of citizenship. We could start by calming down debate and trying to pass reasonable measures rather than fight the same futile war on illegal immigration that we fight on illegal drugs, with similar inhumane and useless results.

We could create a process for people who want to come here to do so in a timely manner rather than force them to spend years mired in bureaucracy. We could legalize the dreamers. We could even develop a guest-worker program that lets people work the farms and go home, as Reagan had supported. Then again, the late president must have been a crazy radical who didn't understand a good wedge issue when he saw one.

This column was first published in The Orange County Register.

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  1. Idiots. There is no debate. Both sides are wrong. And both sides are right. They do not want to win. They only want a show on an abstract policy to distract us. It is in no politicians best interest to fix this.

    1. This 100%. It’s just like abortion. The goal is to pose and signal and create bifurcation in order to get votes. Solve the problem and can’t get any more votes.

      This is exactly where a third party could get traction and deal with the issue because the DeRps have no interest in anything but entrenching the problem. But the Reason/libertarian approach on this issue won’t ever be that third party because its pretty obvious they don’t give a rat’s damn about the interest of existing Americans re the issue. Plus it really demonstrates how corrupt libertarians really are.

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  2. Stopping illegal immigration is the equivalent of trying to stop water from flowing down a hill.

    And how do you stop that water? You build a dam. Or in other words, a type of wall.

    1. There is a possible way to get over the ‘dreamers’ issue: every undocumented immigrant that can prove residence in the US for, say, four years can apply for a special green card that allows that person to live and work in the country legally but one that precludes citizenship. They can’t ever vote, but also won’t be called to jury duty so that’s OK.
      According to the Mexican government the average Mexican has completed 7.2 years education. Mexican boys of about 13 are usually sent to work (not all, but probably almost all of those crossing illegally). Those crossing either alone or with parents between 13 and 18 years of age can join the military and then apply for citizenship. Those entering under 13 can apply when they reach 21.
      That addressed, those with less than 4 years residence can be deported. They have not set up roots here. The wall gaps can be closed. Applicants for asylum can be housed in Mexico and courts set up there to address claims.
      When I first went to Guatemala in the 1970s a person often had to travel to another town to get to a telephone. Now everyone has a cell phone. If we don’t get a handle on this, the limit on immigration will come when things here are messed enough that people see no point in coming.

      1. every undocumented immigrant that can prove residence in the US for, say, four years can apply for a special green card that allows that person to live and work in the country legally but one that precludes citizenship.

        Well, that is a step in the right direction. Better than mass deportations, which are never going to happen anyway.

        But why limit these “special green cards” (let’s call them “work permits”) to people who have been here for four years? Why not permit people to work here, again without citizenship, simply by showing up and passing a simple background check at the border?

        1. That simple background check of completely undocumented people is as simple as your fucking brain, retard.

          1. Wow, you really disputed his points with facts and logic. Impressive.

            1. Another fucking account? You are pathetic. Kill yourself today. It will spare us the trouble down the line.

    2. I am picturing giant turnstiles attached to turbines that will generate electricity with all of the people coming across the border

    3. Or you don’t try to stop the water, but channel and direct it.

      If you really want to push this analogy, typically a combination of dams and channeling is used. And maybe some turbines and some fish ladders, which are I’m not sure what in this analogy.

      1. Need alligators too. And cowbells.

        1. More cowbell.

    4. Building a dam in the middle of a wide flat plane will do nothing to stop the water. The water will backup for a bit but eventually it will flow around the dam.

      1. We have about 2000 miles of border with Mexico. We have a population of about 330M.

        That’s about 3/8 of an inch per person. I think we can afford a wall across the entire border.

        1. It’s another big waste of money. A wall is easily circumvented.

          1. Then why does anyone build walls? Let’s get rid of walls at military facilities, prisons, personal property, corporate campuses. They are all easily circumvented and a waste of money.

            1. “Then why does anyone build walls?”

              I wasn’t arguing against walls in general. I was arguing specifically against a U.S./Mexico border wall.

              1. So, why do walls work everywhere but at the US/Mexico border? A wall across the entire border may not be totally impenetrable, but it will greatly slow the rate of illegal crossings. Of course, if you want as many illegals as possible flooding into the country, you would not want one.

          2. Look up Israel’s wall w/ West Bank and tell me that was an easily circumvented waste of money.

            1. Great. Let’s have the same relationship with Mexico that Israel has with the West Bank.

              No thanks. Me and Ted Cruz enjoy friendly relations with Mexico, and our piña coladas.

        2. Well, based on what we can “afford”, if current spending is any guide, we can “afford” to dig a 2000-mile moat along the border and fill it with sharks with lasers.

          It’s not based on what we can “afford” or not, it’s based on whether or not it’s a good idea. It’s not.

          1. I would point out that using sharks would not be environmentally acceptable. We would have to use mutated sea bass with laser attached to their heads.

            1. What happened to my alligators?!

              1. If we took all the alligators for a border moat there would non left for the golf courses.

          2. Why is it not a good idea?

  3. No. The serious utterance of “borders are just a social construct, a figment of imagination” and “racist” combined with the outright and steadfast rejection to acknowledge that immigration affects other public policy killed the immigration debate. One side makes completely sensible arguments like “If we let anyone into the country, everyone from filthy Mexicans to supposedly evil Russians will be able to apply for welfare, use Facebook, and vote. If we have open borders, in order for those things to retain even the semblence of efficacy, we need to be more judicious about them.” and the other side’s retort is “Keeping children in cages is racist. Denying people the right to vote is racist. And, if anything, we need to keep more racists like you off of Facebook.” That’s not a debate.

    1. One side makes completely sensible arguments like

      “OMG MS-13 is invading the country!”
      “OMG did you see the cute blond coed killed by an illegal immigrant? That is what *those people* are REALLY like, you know! You can’t trust them!”
      “OMG all of those illegal invader wetbacks are both simultaneously stealing jobs AND laying about on welfare!”

      Both sides offer ridiculous hysterical arguments rooted in fear and demagoguery.

      1. Go live in a border town.

        1. Go live in the slums in Guatemala City.

          And thanks for confessing that the right-wing hysteria over immigration is motivated by anecdotal stories propagandized by right-wing media to push a false and bigoted narrative about immigration.

          1. Go live in a border town, fuck face. If not, shut your fucking mouth,

            1. This^

            2. chemcastratedjeff needs to try and grow a pair.

          2. Thanks for showing yet again that most liberal arguments now boil down to name calling arguments “if you don’t agree with me you’re a racist / sexist / transphobic , etc.” ist ist ist ist phobic phobic phobic phobic

          3. It’s not our country’s job to fix the slums of Guatemala or allow everyone to immigrate here who is having a tough time in their own country. Otherwise, we would have to allow maybe 2 billion people across the border.

      2. Thank you for proving that one side raises completely rational, objective points and the other side replies with “There can be no rational debate because racism!”

        1. You think bigoted demagogic appeals are “completely rational, objective points”?

        2. And let me just be really clear about it.

          There are absolutely rational arguments to be made both pro and con when it comes to immigration. And some on the right wing actually do make those.

          But there are a whole lot on the right wing who don’t, and their “arguments” are nothing but bigoted demagogic appeals.

          You don’t get to pull a motte-and-bailey switch by pretending that some academic analysis by a guy like Borjas on the economic impact of immigration justifies all of the bigoted crap out there. Like Breitbart *admitting* that in 2015-16, they deliberately decided to highlight and trumpet every story they could find of illegal immigrants behaving badly, in order to stoke fear and push a narrative that those people are trouble and therefore you should vote for Trump.

          And quite frankly, it’s not 2015 anymore either, we all know and understand that the right-wing “concern” for illegal immigration is just part of a much broader concern over immigration *generally*. That is why Tom Cotton’s bill to restrict *legal* immigration was also supported. That is why all of Trump’s efforts to restrict *legal* immigration and *legal* asylum was also met with support.

          1. Haha. Heard on the news this morning that some woman was being charged with a hate crime for driving past a house and yelling anti Asian slurs at the occupants. Yup, some idiot being rude is “news” now.

            Boy, talk about “deciding to highlight and trumpet every story they could find…..” that fits a narrative.

            P.S. no one was hurt in this story.

      3. Do you know where MS-13 is concentrated? Just south of DC, in Northern Virginia. I could hear the gunfire from my hot tub.

      4. “OMG! MS-13 has joined forces with nazis to form super predators!”

        “Oh wait, they’re all MS-13.”

    2. And what is with the obsession over being called racist? Why does that accusation suddenly cause right-wingers to reach for their fainting couches? Absolutely the accusation is used far too frequently and too sloppily, JUST LIKE all sorts of other invectives that are thrown out there on a daily basis. Why is “racist!” regarded as the worst of the worst of all insults and beyond the pale? How is it worse than being called a fascist or a traitor, which happens also on a daily basis?

      1. Racist.

      2. And what is with the obsession over being called racist?

        What makes you think I have a problem with being called racist any more than a tractor, a voting machine, or a wall does? More cogently, if you or I think a tractor, a voting machine, or a wall is broken or needs moved/torn down, what is it exactly that you think shouting ‘racist’ at it will achieve?

        1. Then so what? Some meanie called you a racist. Okay. Why does that forestall discussion from taking place, any more than you or anyone else calling people you don’t like traitors, or fascists, or Communists, or whatnot?

          This whole argument of “they called me a racist, THAT’S SO UNFAIR!!!”, just stinks of sour grapes.

          1. The discussion isn’t taking place because instead one side is just screaming “RACIST” over and over. Might as well have a discussion with a brick wall.

            1. There are completely legitimate ideas that are labeled racist and bigoted, just to shut down debate. That is true.

              On the other hand, there are ideas that really are racist and bigoted when it comes to immigration. It is completely justifiable to call those out for what they are.

              You don’t get to pull a motte-and-bailey when you yell about Mexicans “stealing jobs” or “mooching off welfare” or perpetuate some other gross stereotype based on nothing but superficial characteristics, and then when called out on the bigoted comment, scream “STOP CALLING ME RACIST! I JUST WANT TO ENFORCE THE LAW, OKAY???????” Maybe you all could advocate for enforcing the law without engaging in gross stereotypes. Sound good?

          2. It’s revealing the combination of assertions is now that calling some immigrants criminals prevents reasoned debate but calling people racist does not.

            Left wingers aren’t concerned with consistency or accuracy. They know calling their opponents racist works. It lets their own acolytes know when to disregard an argument without trying to understand it and intimidates the uncommitted from expressing support.

          3. This whole argument of “they called me a racist, THAT’S SO UNFAIR!!!”, just stinks of sour grapes.

            Who said anything about fair? Again, when it comes time to make toast, the toaster doesn’t care about whether you scream racist at it or not. If you want to substantially alter the way the toast is made, screaming “Racist!” is, at best, a distraction.

      3. Because “racist” is the big scarlet letter of modern McCarthyism – cancel culture. If you’re labelled a racist you can get banned from employment and banned from communicating. It’s a pretty big deal.

        1. And why is that? It is because people have forgotten that there is no law against being a racist. You can’t tell people who to like, you can’t tell people who to hate. That is the fact, Jack. I was forced to sit through ridiculous Equal Opportunity classes for 21 years, they always forgot to mention that it is not illegal, nor is it immoral, to be a racist. Every single year, we had to remind the mental misfit “EO rep” that he was omitting the most important part of the training. Racists have rights too. Isn’t freedom grand?
          I miss the days of Archie Bunker and Fred Sanford. Those two represented reality.

    3. “use Facebook”


      1. You may’ve heard that evil furreigners used Facebook to steal the 2016 election. I know it doesn’t conform to the narrow ‘immigration = Mexican racism’ debate, but if you’re going to assert that Facebook is out of control, stealing elections, and that Russians are behind it; you should expect the issue to come up in a debat about immigration unless you specifically lay out Mexican, but not Russian, immigration (You should probably expect it to apply to issues having little direct association with immigration, such as election security). You should also recognize that laying out such an argument renders the larger argument about open borders stupidly moot. A border that’s only open to Mexicans is still a border and still effectively closed/vetting everyone to confirm they aren’t Russian.

        1. “but if you’re going to assert that Facebook is out of control, stealing elections, and that Russians are behind it”

          First of all, that’s completely off topic. Second, I’ve never claimed any such thing. I always thought the Russian’s using Facebook to influence the 2016 election was a mountain made out of a molehill.

          But the statement I was referring to was odd: why wouldn’t foreigners be able to use Facebook. It was an odd thing for him to say.

          1. *I* said ‘use Facebook’. I said use Facebook because a good number of people who want open borders also claim that Russians stole the 2016 election. There were discussions about banning Russian-Americans and forcing a ‘nation of origin’ disclosure on Facebook/Twitter. Plenty of which was circumvented when FB/Twitter just, out of the blue, decided to ban many of their own accord.

            Even if you think Russians stealing the 2106 election is completely bogus, substitute any one of hundreds of ‘Foreign nationals meddled in domestic affairs’, incidents ranging from completely unsubstantiated to completely true and from legal and completely innocuous Facebook posts to illegal and harmful OPM hacking.

  4. The problem is not immigration per se but illegal border crossing !

    I doubt Reason has actually taken the time to conclude that ALL those that crossed the border did so for the purpose of immigration.

    Despite this, Reason continues to falsely tell its readers that all these people are illegal immigrants.

    1. Great then lets deal with immigration and not mix it with the border problems. I believe that was the point of the article.

  5. There are people in Afghanistan that need to be brought here right away.

    1. We turn away Syrian Christians. It isn’t as if they have any real claim to asylum, at least not as much as Somali Muslims.

      1. In illian Omar’s defence, her father was in real danger after the overthrowing of the socialist Gov there. You see he ran a Somali re-education camp and the presents were about to kill him.

  6. “but when Republicans describe immigrants illegals as killers and invaders, that’s not a policy debate”

    Fixed your propaganda for you Greenhut.

    1. The projection and hypocrisy in that sentence is truly outstanding.

  7. The sudden influx has nothing to do with recent policy changes? Okay the policy hasn’t changed, but the people coming now are saying that they came because Biden is president. I expect this level of retardation from sullum (which I haven’t clicked in 4 weeks), but please don’t look to being like him

  8. a recent surge of asylum seekers from Central America,

    My geography is not great but unless they are from Mexico there are any number of countries between the United States and “Central America” where they can seek asylum. Some of them are even Spanish speaking.

    Reagan didn’t even shy away from the A-word.

    The glory days of the 1980s when the welfare state wasn’t about to drive the country to insolvency. I remember them well.

    who are doing what we would do if we faced similar impoverished circumstances.

    With all due respect, and please, understand this is said with all due respect, fuck you. It would never cross my mind that the solution to an impoverished situation in my country of origin is to go break the laws in another country.

    1. It would never cross my mind that the solution to an impoverished situation in my country of origin is to go break the laws in another country.

      Oh bullshit. If things were bad enough, you absolutely would break their laws, or any laws, in order to provide for yourself and your family. So would anyone. It wouldn’t be your first choice, but it definitely would be your last choice before seeing your family starve in front of your eyes.

      It must make one wonder how bad things really are in Central America, if people are willing to take those kinds of risks in order to provide for their families.

      1. Go down there to help, white savior.

      2. Plenty of people on this side of the border have a pretty rough time. Would you want to discuss which laws we should waive for people under any given circumstance and how we deal with any consequences or would you prefer to just explain why you hate African Americans?

        1. And, of course, despite all the bluster about racism above, no reply except the crickets.

      3. If things were bad enough, you absolutely would break their laws

        You have a very in-depth understanding of my nature for someone who has never met me. Since I have worked my entire life to prevent things from ever getting “bad enough” that I would violate anyone’s individual or national sovereignty, I am curious what it is you think you know that permits your ego to make such an absolute statement?

        1. Because you’re a human being and you are not going to stand by and watch the people you love starve to death if there is something you can do about it.

          Since I have worked my entire life to prevent things from ever getting “bad enough”

          Good for you! Sometimes however, that’s not enough.

          1. you are not going to stand by and watch the people you love starve to death if there is something you can do about it.

            That’s an attractive straw man you have constructed but the illegal immigration conversation is not about starvation. It’s not about asylum either. How sad the only thing your 40-watt intellect can come up with for either is law breaking.

            1. the illegal immigration conversation is not about starvation. It’s not about asylum either.

              Gee, millions come claiming asylum, because they face utterly miserable conditions back home. But you “just know” that they are all lying, right?

              1. Asylum isn’t something that is granted just because your home country sucks.
                It is because you are escaping personal, individual, politically motivated danger from your government , and that is a very rare situation.
                That’s why more then 80% of asylum claims, once adjudicated, are rejected – and that is being generous.

                1. Spot on, retired.

      4. It’s understandable that those living in f-d up conditions would do what they feel is necessary to provide for themselves and their families.

        However that doesn’t mean we have a moral imperative as a nation to accept every unfortunate person from a f-d up nation.

        Emma Lazarus lived in an era when travel to America was much more difficult, unskilled labor much more valuable, and social programs (free education, medical care, etc) almost non-existent.

        1. We have a moral imperative to try to help as many as we can.

          1. No, “we” do not.

            But suppose we did. “As many as we can” is intentionally vague, and the argument that we have already stretched that capability too far is valid.

          2. So, maybe 2 billion people on the planet live in bad circumstances – do we have to accept all of them? Where is everyone going to go when the bubble pops and our already bankrupt country implodes from within?

      5. Things didn’t suddenly get “really bad” once Zhou Bai-din was elected.
        The mass rush to our border is purely because of a change of situation in this country, by the senile election thief, signaling that they would be allowed to stay.

  9. ” Reagan didn’t even shy away from the A-word.”

    Reagan agreed to a ‘grand bargain’ where a one-time amnesty would be coupled with serious enforcement going forward.

    The amnesty happened, the enforcement didn’t.

    And nobody is going to forget that, so stop trying to pull that same bait and switch over and over, you only get to do that once.

    1. And, as I indicated above. It’s like going to the deli counter, haggling for a price, taking the goods without paying, and then insisting that the guy behind the deli counter is getting political/obstructionist when he won’t haggle with you.

      Ideally, you’d wake up and find a way make good on all your debts before everyone recognizes you as a dishonest grifter and threatens to shoot you on sight, but not everyone possesses that level of personal responsibility or social awareness.

  10. “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here even though sometime back they may have entered illegally,” Reagan said in his 1984 presidential debate.

    I too favor amnesty for illegal immigrants who have been here since 1960. Unfortunately, we haven’t done a goddamn thing about the problem since 1984 other than kicking the can down the road and discussing the idea of discussing the idea. But thinking, wishing, and hoping that politicians are going to stop making a political issue about things is a retarded idea not even worthy of discussing.

  11. Swedish government proposes tightening immigration laws

    Sweden’s government has proposed making the country’s tougher immigration laws permanent to limit the intake of refugees.

    According to the bill, refugees in Sweden will now receive three-year residence permits.

    But these will only be converted into permanent residence rights if immigrants meet requirements such as knowledge of the Swedish language, Swedish society, or sufficient income.

    “With this draft, Sweden is no longer a magnet for asylum seekers as we were in 2014 [and] 2015,” said Social Democrat Migration Minister Morgan Johansson on Thursday.

    “These ground rules are in line with those of most other EU countries,” he told a press conference.

    Goddamned Trump-worshiping white nationalists!

    1. They could have avoided all the riots by learning from Norway’s mistakes. Norway opened it’s borders. They thought that they could share their wonderful country with a handful of African immigrants. When the immigrants all plopped down on to the welfare system and refused to work, the Norwegians had second thoughts. The immigrants realized that they could get paid, just to have babies! So, have babies they did! The men spent their time selling drugs and robbing Norwegians, just to pass the time.
      When the crime statistics came out, they realized that 85%+ of the rapes in Norway were committed by .02% of the population, they then shut down immigration. In Norway, statistics aren’t deemed racist yet.

  12. Debates, rational ones at least, are about determining the truth, reality, justice.

    Politics is about popularity while justice is about right over wrong.

    Popularity is nowhere in the definition of justice.

    Politics has no place in rational debate.

  13. the “debate” is used to pit the citizens against each other

  14. I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and who have lived here even though sometime back they may have entered illegally,” Reagan said in his 1984 presidential debate.

    Just to add to the excellent comments and historical qualifiers by commenters above…

    The question becomes how we define terms such as “sometime back” and “roots”.

  15. when Republicans describe immigrants as killers and invaders, that’s not a policy debate.

    I couldn’t have said it better. A real policy debate is creating strawmen and claiming everyone who disagrees with you is racist.

    Conservatives rightly complain about the failure of every imaginable state and federal bureau, from California’s Employment Development Department to the federal Department of Education. They refuse to acknowledge that our immigration and security bureaus aren’t any better than those others.

    Stupidly wrong and based on absolutely nothing. It goes to show anyone trying to fuse leftertarianism eventually adopts the left’s tactics to appeal to them.

    The bipartisan Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was signed into law—but it obviously didn’t solve the ongoing problem.

    Unmentioned: while we enacted the immigration skeptics concessions Dems used their control of bureaucracy and courts to ensure the open borders concessions were never implemented. It’s revealing Suderman cites this result as the path to follow.

    Still, there’s got to be a better way than the GOP’s enforcement-only approach

    We’re still waiting for the enforcement pieces of the 1986 amnesty and Suderman’s “solution” is trying to get more people here to take advantage of the next amnesty.

    The first step is the enforcement already agreed to but never enforced policies. The next step is to rework immigration privileging educated immigrants who can more easily integrate into our economy. As it is masses of uneducated immigrants create a base of resentment Dems exploit and which also skew the income inequality statistics which Dems use to push socialism.

    Immigration restriction on unskilled labor is the single best policy to help low income Americans. It’s revealing the left wants to benefit non-Americans instead.

    1. Great post. To follow up on your implication from your last paragraph:

      Lack of immigration restrictions on unskilled labor is the single best policy to benefit the Democratic Party.

  16. It’s always surprising to me that the socially stratified left is so enthusiastic about importing a bunch of upwardly mobile Catholics who hate socialism into the country and the right is so against it. It’s almost like the principles each is arguing about don’t matter.

    1. Who says they hate socialism?
      The majority of them vote for the socialists.
      That’s why the LieCheatSteal party wants them and one of the reasons the Republicans don’t.

  17. We can’t have any reasonable debate about immigration as long as the very idea of enforcement is considered politically incorrect. It should be a no-brainer that we should have physically barriers at the border, ICE should be allowed to go after suspected undocumented immigrants, and that local law enforcement should cooperate with ICE.

    1. We can’t have any reasonable debate about immigration as long as the very idea of enforcement is considered politically incorrect.

      No, that is not correct. The concept of border enforcement is a very mainstream idea. It is only fringe whacko lefties, and principled libertarians, who think that there should be completely open borders.

      The problem is, Team Red seems to think that “the very idea of border enforcement” includes deliberately creating orphans at the border in order to ‘send a message’. That is not mere enforcement, that is being deliberately cruel. Team Red is going to have to accept border enforcement that is *proportional to the crime*, not deliberately and purposefully cruel in order to create a deterrent.

      1. The concept of border enforcement is a very mainstream idea.

        It is only fringe whacko lefties, and principled libertarians, who think that there should be completely open borders.

        Both of these are true among normals but completely false among elites. Unfortunately the whacko lefties control just about every institution in America and through them expect to enforce policy.

        Left wingers like to pretend they oppose open borders because they know how unpopular their position is. Dalmia claimed letting anyone who comes here stay is different than open borders which shows how left wingers can parse that fine hair into meaningless distinctions. But anyone claiming any border enforcement is racist obviously supports open borders no matter what fantasy justification they invent. Lying about their beliefs is just what left wingers do.

    2. It is not a no-brained when it comes to interfering with people who are seeking a better life.

      1. If I move, uninvited, into some millionaire’s house, wouldn’t that be “seeking a better life”?
        Sure it would, but I would deserve to get my ass kicked out of there, and possibly jailed.
        Deportation is not punishment. It is returning the situation to what it was, before the law was broken, with no fine or jail time.
        It can only be considered punishment if one believes everyone, not living in the United States, as being punished.

  18. “On an ethical note, it’s hard to be too angry at people who are doing what we would do if we faced similar impoverished circumstances.”

    Love this line. It is so true. How many of us would stay, do nothing and starve to death? We would do what we can to make things better. We would do anything for our children, even if that meant sending them into the US alone, because that is the only way to help them.

    1. Not just what I would do, but what my grandfather did when life as a dirt poor farmer in Europe sucked.

      He was lucky and was able to immigrate legally, but if the butterfly’s wings had beat differently he would have been in an alternate timeline where he was in violation of U.S. immigration laws.

    2. So, we should pay for their kids? Why? We should just use them as slave labor, building the wall, until those the Mexicans stop sending their kids here for us to raise.
      Many of us grew up in dire situations and we worked our way up. My Grandfather came here legally and worked his way out of the ghetto. There are millions of citizens in this country that we could be helping, instead, we spent trillions on no-citizens from other countries.

      1. Trillions?

    3. We would do what we can to make things better.
      No, WE wouldn’t.
      Only those with a depraved concept of adhering to the laws of foreign nations would break them with no regard for the consequences.
      Shit, these ones, and you open borders assholes, are advocating no consequences, at all.

  19. I am calling bullshit on most of this. The only reason peons from South of the border are coming to the US is economic. They live in shit hole countries where the economy sucks and they want to make more money.

    As Ann Coulter suggested the easy solution is to pass a law that any illegal alien can demand a lawyer paid for by their employer to apply for citizenship. No need for everify or crap like that, just make the employer pay for the lawyer. In addition the first time a US citizen reports an illegal alien working the employer is fined $US1,000 and the US citizen get $US750. Second time the fine is $US10,000 and the US citizen gets $US7,500. Third time the fine is $US100,000 and the citizen gets $US750,000. There will not be a 4th time.

    1. Historically most immigrants have come to this country to be economically better off. What happening at the border is a mere continuation of what has always happened in this country.

      1. “Historically”, there wasn’t a large welfare system giving generous benefits to immigrants. Immigrants who came seeking a better economic life knew they were responsible for their own plight. Some European countries are now starting to see the light and severely limit immigration.

    2. When I lived near DC, all of my neighbors were high level government types. Most of them used illegals to do their landscaping and home improvements. The Secretary for the Sec Def made fun of me for cutting my own lawn. He said, “Screw that, get some f’n Mexcans”.
      If you pulled into Home Depot or Lowe’s in a pickup truck, they would just pile in the back. I always took them for a “D.C. Death Ride” and for a little “urban off-roading”. Ole’, Bitches!

  20. Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.
    If people are granted amnesty they will be immediately eligible for welfare benefits.
    A good number will claim them but still work under the table. The employers who hire illegals will not hire the new citizenry under current labor laws but will send out their agents to solicit more illegals.
    The current crop of illegals are mostly children. Unless Koch gets the child labor laws rescinded no one can hire them. Like the cuckoo bird they’ve laid their eggs in someone else’s nest. We’re on the hook for feeding, clothing, housing and educating them. I suspect in the future Mamita and Papi will show up claiming residency on behalf of their children. Rinse and repeat.

    1. But I think, if they are allowed to stay, while waiting for asylum claims to be adjudicated, they are allowed to get welfare, and schooling, and housing, and everything else a citizen does.
      That’s why so many of them, once entering illegally, immediately turn themselves in to the Border Patrol, yelling “asylum, asylum”.
      And those asylum claims are backlogged for years.

  21. The issue not addressed is the intentionally dysfunctional process to become a legal citizen. A physician going through residency in a NYC hospital, marrying an NYC school teacher, having a child, purchasing a home, starting his medical practice, employing workers, etc. still took over SIXTEEN YEARS to gain his citizenship.

    An immigrant with a green card had been sent back to Mexico numerous times because INS and now ICE kept screwing up his paperwork. Thousands spent on attorneys only to have the paperwork “misplaced.” He has one child out of college and he just finally received his permanent residency so he can apply for citizenship. He has worked consistently for over 20 years fighting through the dysfunction.

    Fixing the issues in the legal immigrant process should help to some extent with the illegal immigrant issues.

  22. Why do some countries put up refugee camps when people from neighboring countries flee violence? But other countries don’t?

    Some people are reluctant to call the gang problems in Central America an actual war. Why? I can think of two reasons. One, it sets an expectation that the war could be ended and should be ended. Two, it elevates the status of Central American “asylum seekers” to “refugees.” The world has procedures for helping refugees; the UN builds camps; there is no general expectation that other countries should absorb most of another society due to the war. Not all refugees return when the war is over but some do and work to rebuild the nation.
    Arguments about climate change, farmland loss, gang violence and poverty – which are all real issues – are patched together to obscure the issue of whether there’s a war. Instead the attempts to elevate mass economic migration to the status of asylum because the threats are all individual, but tens of thousands of individual threats looks like war by now to me. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel for working with refugees; we just can admit that some refugee status is temporary.

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