Immigration

This Indian Family Froze to Death Trying To Reach America. Our Immigration System Should Have Saved Them.

Visa pathways are limited for people like the Patels.

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On January 12, Jagdish and Vaishaliben Patel flew with their children, 3-year-old Dharmik and 11-year-old Vihangi, from India to Toronto, Canada. The family then journeyed westward to Emerson, Manitoba, a small border town just north of Minnesota and North Dakota.

A blizzard separated the Patels from the rest of their group, which was comprised of other Indian nationals and the American man who was reportedly transporting them. Temperatures dipped as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit. On January 19, one week after they arrived in Canada with the hopes of entering the United States, the Patels were found frozen and dead.

Their case is an unfortunate example of what some people resort to when their immigration options are limited. Often, they are willing to take on extremely risky journeys for the chance of a better life. The Patels' story is proof that an inaccessible immigration system won't deter migrants whose minds are made up but will instead push them toward unsafe passages.

Local media reported that the Patels, who had worked as schoolteachers in the west Indian state of Gujarat, hoped to create a "new life" in the U.S. Jagdish made just $120 per month working in a local factory, and his wife Vaishaliben dreamed of working in a beauty salon in America. NBC News noted in January that Jagdish "wanted a better education for his kids, as well as better job opportunities and higher pay for himself and his wife, none of which he felt he could find in India." He looked to one of many advertisements in his town marketing easy passage to the U.S. Thus began the journey that would prove fatal.

For people like the Patels, immigration pathways are limited. Most Indian legal permanent residents of the U.S. have received family-based or employment-based green cards—amounting to 98 percent of visa holders as of 2018. Employment-based channels largely bring in Indian migrants with higher skills and better education than the Patels, and the family did not seem to have relatives in the U.S. who could have sponsored them. Being Indian, they were ineligible for the Diversity Visa that caters to migrants in countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. They likely would not have been eligible for refugee or asylum pathways, given that their reasons for migrating were more rooted in economic reasons than safety concerns.

"These people effectively had no legal options that allowed them to safely travel to the U.S. and work," says Sam Peak, an immigration policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity, a free market think tank.

The lack of actionable immigration pathways becomes lethal when migrants decide to attempt to cross into the U.S. regardless of how risky the journey may be. When migrants are faced with a strong border, they attempt more dangerous crossings where Border Patrol policing is less likely, according to research from Princeton University sociologist Douglas Massey. For instance, between 1998 and 2016, the number of undocumented border crossers entering the U.S. from Mexico declined by 70 percent, despite migrant deaths rising by 20 percent.

Though these findings center on the U.S.-Mexico border, they also help explain why the Patels' journey turned deadly. "Even though unlawful migration to the U.S. is now more of a global phenomenon than just a regional one, the insights from Massey's findings remain exactly the same," says Peak. "Even if we see fewer people crossing in response to border enforcement, we see more dead bodies."

A few things could help prevent tragedies like this. First, the U.S. should improve visa pathways for Indians who do not fit neatly into existing categories. That might include increasing the number of EB-3 visas issued to Indians, which would allow more people "performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training, education, or experience" to come here on a nontemporary basis. Further, research from the Center for Global Development found that highlighting risks to migrants in public information campaigns was unlikely to minimize the number of risky journeys. American officials should instead focus on communicating alternatives, rather than solely focusing on risks as a method of deterrence.

Multiple factors prevented the Patels from reaching the better life they dreamed of having in the U.S. The American immigration system should welcome people who are seeking better opportunities and can improve the economies of their new communities. It may be too late for the Patels, but visa reforms can help prevent future migrant deaths on our borders.

NEXT: After Being Illegally Imprisoned for Almost a Year, Bobby Sneed Is Finally Free

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  1. There's no countries between India and the USA for them to make a good life?

    1. I mean is Canada that fucking awful they'd rather travel through a blizzard thab pursue a legal immigration path?

      At what point are families blamed for their own bad decisions and actions?

      1. It is not the responsibility of this country if you kill yourself trying to get here. It’s all on those idiot parents.

        1. I make 85 dollars each hour for working an online job at home. KLA I never thought I could do it but my best friend makes 10000 bucks every month working this job and she recommended me to learn more about it. The potential with this is endless.
          For more detail …. http://rb.gy/u603ti

      2. https://twitter.com/cp000100/status/1493355090769592325?t=cixMTyMowB07OMszDHlxzw&s=19

        BREAKING: under the Emergencies Act, Canadian banks can immediately freeze bank accounts of individuals suspected of supporting anti government protesters, without a court order and be protected from civil liability. Unbelievable

        1. Isn’t martial law awesome?

          1. "suspected of supporting"

            1. Hahahaha! You begged the universe for this. You played with the bull, the moose, and got the antlers. Accept the sexual anarchy your children will be vaxxed and sex changed. Hahahahaha!

              1. You're not going to breathe much longer.

              2. They invoked the successor of the War Measures Act and siezed authoritarian powers for bouncy castles and Ottawa hottubbing, you Nazi fuck.
                And you don't have a problem with it.

                Fuck you.

              3. Haven't seen many patently pro-fascism posters here. Good job, Sullum.

        2. Thus the hike in the blizzard.

          Maybe, being January, they should have tried the other fucking border. It's not half that cold down this way.

      3. Canada would have deported them back to India the moment they tried to get a job

        1. 20 years ago Canada was importing many Indians and Pakistanis. Apparently they are full now.

          1. Oh yeah. I used to have a Canadian work permit. It was hard to get, and while it was in process I traveled there often and got a lot of scrutiny. I saw many people who were turned away by immigration control at Toronto Airport (YYZ). They don't fuck around up there.

      4. By Reason? Never. Reason’s overarching narrative is ‘open borders at all costs’.

        1. FACT: Open borders are one of the things I strongly disagree with libertarians about.

          1. Fact: Not all libertarians support open boarders.

            1. Faux libertarians, for example.

              Carry on, clingers. But just so far as your betters permit.

            2. Used to be even the libertarians who wanted open borders agreed that they had to come last, after everything else, so we wouldn't be a welfare magnet.

          2. Like mathematics, order of operations is critical.

            Open borders before dismantling or, at the very least, scaling back the welfare state is a recipe for disaster. Too many Reason writers are so desperate for ANY pro-libertarian victory that they don't look at what sort of behaviors that victory would incentivize when other factors are taken into consideration.

          3. Libertarians who are more than bumper sticker types understand open borders in a welfare state dont work. It is generally the idiots only who support any and all migration.

          4. FACT: Open borders are one of the things I strongly disagree with libertarians about.

            Fact: Libertarians, being staunchly pri-private property are great supporters of strong borders. Leftists posing as 'libertarians' however, sre not and seek to undermine libertarianism by insisting on adherence to a borderless world state controlled by their fellow leftists

    2. You scared?

      1. You retarded?

  2. This Indian Family Froze to Death Trying To Reach America. Our Immigration System Should Have Saved Them.

    Wait, what? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THIS HEADLINE?

    They landed in Canadia, what were the failures in Canada that might have led to this? And isn't Canada the superior country for immigrants? Why on earth would these Black People have been trying to get to the Land of White Supremacy? Willing to even die for it?

    So very much to unpack here.

    1. Is Fiona Canadian? That’s the only way this story makes sense.

  3. Local media reported that the Patels, who had worked as schoolteachers in the west Indian state of Gujarat, hoped to create a "new life" in the U.S. Jagdish made just $120 per month working in a local factory, and his wife Vaishaliben dreamed of working in a beauty salon in America. NBC News noted in January that Jagdish "wanted a better education for his kids, as well as better job opportunities and higher pay for himself and his wife, none of which he felt he could find in India." He looked to one of many advertisements in his town marketing easy passage to the U.S. Thus began the journey that would prove fatal.

    And for fuck sakes, if you're going to leapfrog the immigration system, there's this very porous southern border that, despite the desert climate is probably safer than the arctic conditions at the northern border in January. If I had to choose one, I'm coming across the southern border.

    1. If I had to choose one, I'm coming across the southern border.

      Or wait 6 months before flying to Canada and trying to cross the Canadian border on foot. Still not the most hospitable of treks but FFS.

      1. Or, I dunno, if you were able to fly into Toronto, why not just fly into Atlanta in the first place? Or Los Angelos? Just claim you're there on vacation and then don't catch your flight home.

        1. Like Biden is going to do anything about it.

    2. if you're going to leapfrog the immigration system

      Let's also be deadly clear about this, they weren't just coming to the US to leapfrog the immigration system. They were explicitly coming to the US for jobs. Not fleeing political persecution. Not getting their kids away from being recruited into child armies or gangs. Jobs. And given their stupidity about -22 degree weather, likely jobs that wouldn't put their kids through school or afford them healthcare either. Imagine Reason writing, in earnest, that Americans should save Florida Man (and his family). Now imagine that Reason wouldn't write that article because Florida Man is native, and white and writing an article about saving him in such a fashion would be stupid.

      1. "They were explicitly coming to the US for jobs."

        The horror!

        1. It's not like we need workers or anything...

          1. We don’t.

        2. Do you have a point?

          1. Yeah, who cares if you drag your kids to their death in the Canadian winter as long as someone can disingenuously dunk on people who think doing so is stupid?

            I'm pretty callous as to the fate that befell these people but I'll be damned if there aren't big brains roaming these forums looking to make me seem like an upright citizen, if not bleeding heart, in comparison.

        3. The horror!

          Probably pretty close to what his wife and kids and maybe himself were thinking.

        4. Freezing to death sounds pretty horrible, yes.

          Although to be sure, you should try it and get back to us.

          1. I can only assume that mtrueman would be similarly mocking their horror if they had died trying to cross the border to get healthcare that Canada wouldn't provide. He just seems like that kind of guy.

            1. "be similarly mocking their horror"

              It's you I'm mocking. Read my comment again if you missed it the first time. It went something like this: "The horror!"

              1. >mad.casual February.14.2022 at 11:33 pm

                Yeah, who cares if you drag your kids to their death in the Canadian winter as long as someone can disingenuously dunk on people who think doing so is stupid?

                mtrueman February.15.2022 at 9:12 am

                It's you I'm mocking.

                Thanks for explaining what you were doing after I told you what you were doing.

          2. "Freezing to death sounds pretty horrible, yes. "

            Freezing to death while explicitly looking for a job is much worse, as mad.casual will surely explain.

            1. I did. Encouraging people to risk freezing to death rather than asking for a raise, finding a new job, starting a business, moving to a nearby city/county/province/state, or, FFS, even learning to code, is more horrible than encouraging people to risk freezing to death rather than being shot or have their kids taken by local cartels.

  4. Multiple factors prevented the Patels from reaching the better life they dreamed of having in the U.S. The American immigration system should welcome people who are seeking better opportunities and can improve the economies of their new communities. It may be too late for the Patels, but visa reforms can help prevent future migrant deaths on our borders.

    Mmmmaybe????

    1. Well they are dead so they can be enrolled to vote and if they were given documentation posthumously then they could be used by other immigrants of a similar nature for public benefits. See, it's not entirely too late for them if only our progressivebetters were to more fully embrace fraud and open borders at all costs

  5. Sounds like the "I will hold my breath and turn blue and die unless you buy that toy for me" legal principle. Sure, any person that might do something stupid is entitled to automatic citizenship.

    Dumb fuck.

    1. It really is kinda evil. Like, I get the arguments that we should hand out more Visas to well-educated immigrants and streamline the immigration process, but this article has nothing to do with any of that. It's pretty nakedly "The US should stop stupid people anywhere in the world with dreams about America from dying no matter how stupid they are because America or something."

      1. Yep. Reason regularly publishes garbage like this. Not as much since they at least had the sense to shitcan Shitty Shikha, but they still do it. Reason basically just wants open borders.

        Open borders don’t ever work.

  6. Why is it OUR immigration system that should have saved them? Please explain.

    1. Because according to Fiona, America is always at fault, no matter what. Also, Fiona won't be happy until the US is the most populated country on Earth, and I doubt even that would slow her down any. I am gonna guess that Fiona is the victim of a HS do-gooder field trip where her daddy spent $18K for her to go to a Caribbean island, paint a hut and play nursemaid hero to some village children. She got emotionally hooked and she's still trying to fix the world by bringing it to daddy's house so she can still play nursemaid. Fiona mostly needs a puppy.

      1. No, at some point the US will be so full of migrants from Latin America, Asia, and Africa that it will become a third world country. Then the migrants will no longer want to arrive.

  7. ^ The article you write when you're so blinded by your own ideology that you would accidentally suicide it by holding up Darwin Award candidates as needing more support.

    Seriously Fiona, you should've just titled it "The US Taxpayer Should Spend More Money To Pay Uneducated Immigrants To March To Death In Freezing Weather".

    1. The irony is she even points out the Indian advertisement saying how porous the border is to the US as the cause.

      1. Immigration ideas so terrific you have to use an entire family of corpsicles to support them.

    2. Beyond the stupidity of this family, the blame lies squarely on the democrats for encouraging this, and Reason too.

  8. Isn't the simplest way to have saved them to have made it abundantly clear that illegally immigrating here was futile, because you'd just be kicked back out?

    1. Won’t happen with democrats in charge.

  9. I believe that people ought to be able to come here and work. However laying these deaths at the foot of the US immigration system is overwrought emotionalism that is absolutely not based on Reason.

    "Often, they are willing to take on extremely risky journeys for the chance of a better life."

    Are we so sure about this? Does Ms Harrigan really know that the Patels chose to go traipsing across the border in a blizzard? Or is it possible that the fuckers who dragged them out into the Frozen North lied to them about the circumstances of their immigration process?

    But beyond that, are we sure that a better visa process would improve things? Because they were already in Canada. They could have stopped there. But they didn't. They chose not to stay in Canada, and to head into the US. Is it possible that they did so because Canada is much more restrictive in its visa process, and they knew they could never possibly reside there legally? If so, then the problem isn't our restrictive visa process, but the fact that we are not consistent in applying it- that the current administration has given an Open Boarders message to the world without actually doing anything to reform our laws.

    1. Or is it possible that the fuckers who dragged them out into the Frozen North lied to them about the circumstances of their immigration process?

      I presume the counter to this would be: If our immigration system weren't a byzantine process that took years of wading (and waiting) through bureaucratic red tape, then people wouldn't take these risky moves. Like people who mainline tainted Krokodil because legal weed wasn't available at Walgreens (an argument made here in these very pages).

      1. I think that is fair, but then she should make that argument. Instead she made the argument that they were willing to risk (and find) death to avoid our immigration laws. If she had said that our laws chase people into the hands of unscrupulous profiteers who don't tell them the risks, I'd agree. This doesn't put their deaths at the foot of our immigration system. It puts responsibility solely on the people who lied to them about the circumstances of their immigration.

        1. And, again, all this presupposes completely impeccable or virtuous decision making up front. That they were completely victims of circumstance that made their living conditions in India intolerable. AFAICT, it's quite the opposite or, at least, nowhere near the truly unlivable backstories that we're sold again and again for other immigrants from other parts of the world.

      2. 1 million a year come legally. The US can't support 6.7 billion. She actually labeled the issue with family chain migration taking up all spots from other immigration avenues. Canada actually uses investor visas heavily instead of family chain migration. Family migration encourages illegal immigration.

    2. Like how many people should be able to come here and work? You really don't have any concept of when or how that might end up in disaster if left alone in perpetuity. At some point, reality needs to set in and realize that the financial and physical resources of the US not only have no buffer anymore, we are at major risk for anything that goes the slightest wrong. Where I live and in my lifetime, we have twice been at the brink of "no more water if no rain in 30 days". I don't mean low water where you can't run a boat. I mean city water systems shut down because the water level falls below the intake. And now there are roughly 3 million more people on that same system than there was the last time.

  10. Reason has generally been for more immigration but man, this takes the cake for the more dumb takes on here. This wasn't the failure of US immigration or even Canada. People die all the time trying to immigrate somewhere.

    There are benefits to immigration but this is the most boneheaded (and wrong) take I've seen on it yet.

  11. A few things could help prevent tragedies like this. First, the U.S. should improve visa pathways for Indians who do not fit neatly into existing categories.

    There are easily a few hundred million desperate people around the world who would love nothing more than to come to the US. Even if you gave visas to millions of them, that would still leave a few hundred million people desperately wanting to come to the US but not being able to. So, "improving visa pathways" will not significantly reduce cases like the Patels. The only way to avoid cases like the Patels is to open US borders fully to anybody who wants to come, and that is economically, politically, and socially not possible.

    Often, they are willing to take on extremely risky journeys for the chance of a better life. The Patels' story is proof that an inaccessible immigration system won't deter migrants whose minds are made up but will instead push them toward unsafe passages.

    The Patels were trying to come to the US precisely because they knew that once they were in the country, they could stay.

    What would deter migrants like the Patels would be harsh penalties for illegal entry into the US, a permanent ban from the US, and harsh penalties for companies that employ illegal migrants. That is what US law actually provides for.

    That is both the morally and legally right thing to do, because it is the only way to prevent tragedies like those of the Patels. What you are proposing, on the other hand, is not just ineffective, it is morally reprehensible.

    1. While I completely agree with your opening premise, I think you are wrong about harsher penalties for illegal entry being at all useful. I do not believe this country would be able to stomach the kind of penalties that would be required to deter many of the people coming from the kinds poverty, corruption, crime, and environmental issues you find with a lot of 3rd world immigrants.

      Harsher penalties for companies, on the other hand, I believe is the answer.

      Let us take the handcuffs off the IRS and start going after companies for tax evasion (not paying FICO), money laundering (cooking the books to hide the use of illegal labor), and violating federal employment laws (.e.g. knowingly hiring illegals). While I am not a huge fan of the asset forfeiture, especially without due process, let the Feds start seizing the assets of businesses who employee illegals under the "ill gotten gains" theories we use for organized crime (hell... Rico too). Tighter controls on banking and loans within the US for those without federally recognized and currently legal identification. You could even go after housing, by charging short term (hotel) tax on any resident who could not provide the landlord with legal status, which would making housing much more expensive.

      Punishing those who are benefiting the most from illegal immigration and making this country much less appealing to those who want to bypass our legal immigration policies seems to me to be the best solution.

      1. "Punishing those who are benefiting the most from illegal immigration and making this country much less appealing to those who want to bypass our legal immigration policies seems to me to be the best solution."

        While I get your point that smugglers, employers, landlords, and a host of others benefit from illegal immigration that is only a by product of the presence of the illegal immigrant who at least thinks they are the greatly benefiting. In fact while those you mentioned may be getting some excess income it is nothing compared to the massive life changing benefit the illegal aliens get.

      2. "While I completely agree with your opening premise, I think you are wrong about harsher penalties for illegal entry being at all useful. I do not believe this country would be able to stomach the kind of penalties that would be required to deter many of the people coming from the kinds poverty, corruption, crime, and environmental issues you find with a lot of 3rd world immigrants."

        I think it is an open question.

        The Patels had made it to Canada. Why didn't they stay there? Canada may not be exactly like the US, but its standard living is so far north (hah) of India's that it might as well be. I think it is pretty likely that the reason they did not stay in Canada is that Canada is pretty consistent in kicking people out of the country.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/07/canada-immigration-success/564944/

        This may seem like a paradox, but Canada has a reputation for making it very difficult, almost impossible to be an illegal immigrant in the country. And this has made support for the LEGAL immigration system to remain quite high.

        The reason the Patels didn't just settle in Canada was that they knew they couldn't, and suspected that they could get away with it in the US, where a permissive party is looking the other way. The US has created the absolute worst possible mix of terrible law and enforcement.

      3. While I completely agree with your opening premise, I think you are wrong about harsher penalties for illegal entry being at all useful.

        It's not an either/or. And by "harsher penalties", I don't mean sticking people into prison in the US, I mean something like a large fine that will be enforceable against any assets they ever might ever hope to have in the US.

        But I agree with the rest of your points: banks, lenders, schools, universities, DMVs, hotels, landlords, insurance companies, car dealers, etc. should all be required to verify legal presence, and RealID should be enhanced as necessary to make that easier. That's how other nations prevent large numbers of illegals remaining in the country.

        1. I guess I don't believe that fines are really all that "harsher penalties", especially when you consider the living conditions many people are here running from.

          Years ago I had a neighbor who was here illegally from Mexico and who told me one day why he came to the US. He was a low level bureaucrat and one morning his kid was leaving for school and walked outside to find the head of a cop in his yard that a cartel had left to send a message. Message received: he gathered his family and everything they could carry and headed north that day. Now, what exactly do you think a fine is going to deter about that?

          Shooting people Berlin Wall style is not something the America public will stomach (or the UN, or the WTO, or just about any rational adult). Putting illegals in prison is not logistically or politically feasible. I just don't believe anything short of that harsh of a punishment is all that useful when you consider the history of so many of those who are coming here.

          And that is why we go after the pushers, not the users.

          1. Shooting people Berlin Wall style is not something the America public will stomach (or the UN, or the WTO, or just about any rational adult). Putting illegals in prison is not logistically or politically feasible. I just don't believe anything short of that harsh of a punishment is all that useful when you consider the history of so many of those who are coming here.

            And that is why we go after the pushers, not the users.

            And, once again, why *L*ibertarians need to be advocating for the rights of these people to bear all four boxes of liberty rather than just handing them a moving box.

            Reagan laid it out in '64:

            Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to." And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

            For true open borders, Earth should be the last place to stand for freedom on earth and, true to both sides, not just freedom from the violence and extortion of private cartels but freedom from both the violence and the extortion of cartels and governments.

  12. Let me put my previous message more succinctly:

    Fiona Harrigan, it is assholes like you that are responsible for the deaths of families like the Patels.

    Let's not even mention the harm you are causing to American citizens, since you obviously don't give a f*ck about that anyway.

  13. Personally, I am of the mindset that they are OUR immigration policies. Reform, no reform, too much red tape, arbitrariness, waiting lists, etc.... don't like the rules? Then stay the fuck home or go somewhere else.

    No matter how stupid our rules are, they are our rules. If you decide to break our rules, you are taking your chances. Why the hell should we care?

    Also, can somebody please explain the rationale that espoused Libertarians (or even LINO types) always seem to be pushing for open borders? I have never figured out why this seems to be such an issue for them.

    1. "Also, can somebody please explain the rationale that espoused Libertarians (or even LINO types) always seem to be pushing for open borders?"

      Fiona Harrigan and the rest of the Koch-funded libertarians at Reason.com promote open borders because their benefactor Charles Koch finds foreign-born labor more cost-effective than American-born labor. 🙂

      #CheapLaborAboveAll

      1. I get Reason and Koch, but I also see this as a prevailing theory in a lot of Libertarian circles and on a lot of Libertarian candidate platforms. I've just never understood why.

        1. As far as I can tell, big-L Libertarians are often just some kind of anarchists or utopian communists. That is, they dream of a world without rules, where everybody can do anything they want without the government interfering, where pot, sex, and other choices are consequence free.

          In reality, of course, libertarian societies tend to be highly socially conservative and limiting; the difference between a libertarian and a politically conservative society is that in a libertarian society, the limits are imposed by the real world and by private associations, while in a politically conservative society, they are imposed by government.

          As it turns out, reality doesn't have a liberal bias, nor a libertarian bias; reality has a conservative bias.

          1. I've been libertarian since the early 80s and always have believed in open borders.
            Those border pigs will hassle you whether you live here or not, so let's get rid of them (the borders AND pigs).

            1. I'm a libertarian too and I believe in open borders as well in a libertarian society. I also believe in free trade, meaning no tariffs between participants in free markets.

              Advocating open borders for a social welfare state, however, is not a libertarian position. Neither is no-tariff trading with communist regimes using slave labor.

              Whether a particular policy (open borders, no tariffs, etc.) is libertarian or not depends on context of all the other laws, taxes, rules, etc. that are in effect.

              1. I guess this illustrates my confusion. While I get the idea of free trade*, that has nothing to do with open borders. Why do the "L"s, big and little, tend to favor open boarders? Exactly what part of the political ideology does that stem from is my confusion?

                * Tariffs? That is the Big Bad in stopping free trade? Why not look at how governments really game the system? Like with government subsidies to producers (US preferred method), government subsidies to wholesalers (EU preferred method), price fixing to distributors (common Asian method... I may have Asia and EU backward), government min/max quotas to artificially inflate/deflate values, currency manipulation, various product barriers to entry (example might be additional safety requirement that in-country products do not require), government tax incentives to in-country made products, and the list goes on and on and on. Truly free trade in the modern world does not exist and would require undoing vast volumes of bureaucracies and treaties before you could even begin... and tariffs are not where I would start.

                1. While I get the idea of free trade*, that has nothing to do with open borders.

                  I just gave both as examples of positions libertarians like to hold unconditional, but that don't actually end up being libertarian in many situations. (They are actually related, but that's another matter.)

                  Why do the "L"s, big and little, tend to favor open boarders? Exactly what part of the political ideology does that stem from is my confusion?

                  Libertarians generally view border crossing restrictions as an unwarranted government intrusion into free association. And in the context of an otherwise libertarian society, that is arguably correct.

                  Another view, however, is that libertarianism as a political ideology necessarily only applies within a political entity and has nothing to say about "border crossings".

                  and tariffs are not where I would start

                  Neither would I. Yet, Reason, Cato, and big-L Libertarians think this is one of the most important topics in libertarianism, along with open borders, marijuana decriminalization, and a handful of other oddball topics, and they keep incessantly hammering away on those topics.

          2. As it turns out, reality doesn't have a liberal bias, nor a libertarian bias; reality has a conservative bias.

            I would also add 'blind' or 'naive' in front of the 'anarchists' or 'utopian'. Many would stroll through a real life episode of The Simpsons where world peace is achieved and everyone gets rid of guns, only to be conquered without conflict and be forced to have to reclaim their freedom with boards and nails. Many blindly parrot 'Open Borders!' without even the slightest recognition of how much the ideas and policies they advocate under the banner mirror the 'Borders for thee, but not for me' policies of Hitler, Stalin, Mao... Hong Kong's borders are now open!

            Maybe also reality has an economic bias and, through no real fault of their own, conservatives have been identified as the "I'm not going to pay for that. (Fucking NIMBYs!)" socio-political ideology but, yeah, well said.

      2. Foreign labor is the story of America.

        1. A leftist praising slavery?
          How unsurprising

          1. I'm a right-winger. Longlife Republican. In the periods of fastest economic growth like the Gilded Age, we basically had open borders — real open borders, as in, all you had to do was show up at a port of entry and you'd become American a few years later.

            1. In the periods of fastest economic growth like the Gilded Age, we basically had open borders — real open borders, as in, all you had to do was show up at a port of entry and you'd become American a few years later.

              Back then, the federal budget was less than 5% of GDP, there was no social safety net, and America had a massive labor shortage.

              The situation is entirely different now.

              I'm a right-winger. Longlife Republican.

              So you are a right wing authoritarian, like Bush and McCain, not a left wing authoritarian, like Obama and Clinton.

              1. America still has a labor shortage. And I voted for Trump twice.

                1. America still has a labor shortage.

                  It's ignorant, entitled voters like you that are destroying this country.

                  And I voted for Trump twice.

                  All sorts of people voted for Trump, everybody from neo-Nazis to libertarians. What's your point?

                  1. Yeah, yeah, "people whose policies I don't like are destroying this country!!" Come on, you can make better arguments.

                    By the way, we've had over 10 million unfilled jobs for months now. That's called a labor shortage.

                    And the Trump vote was in response to me being a McCain Republican. McCain Republicans don't like Trump.

                    1. By the way, we've had over 10 million unfilled jobs for months now. That's called a labor shortage.

                      No, it's called an imbecilic economic argument. Labor is always scarce; there is literally an infinity of things that people might want labor for.

                      What "10 million unfilled jobs" means is that there are preexisting businesses that can't operate given current market conditions. This is a temporary situation created by Biden's irresponsible policies. The way that situation resolves itself is by those businesses closing; after that, those jobs won't be unfilled anymore because they won't exist anymore.

                      And the Trump vote was in response to me being a McCain Republican. McCain Republicans don't like Trump.

                      You said you have been a lifelong Republican. That would seem to imply that you voted for both McCain and for Trump, right? Whether you like either of them is irrelevant.

          2. I'm all for population increase in developed countries. It means more great stuff produced.

            Another reason I like current immigration is that it keeps the black share of the population in check. Most of the immigrants we're currently receiving come from Asia and Latin America.

    2. No matter how stupid our rules are, they are our rules. If you decide to break our rules, you are taking your chances. Why the hell should we care?

      Unfortunately, we don't enforce our rules. If we did enforce our rules, the Patels wouldn't have made the journey because they would have been arrested and kicked out, with at least a 10 year ban on reentry.

      By not enforcing our rules, we are encouraging people like the Patels to take these risks.

      I agree with you that that isn't our problem.

      But assholes like Fiona not only ignore this fact, they actually make the ridiculous claim that by making it easier for people to come here we are helping people like the Patels, when, in fact, we are doing the exact opposite.

    3. You don't get why libertarians are for fewer governmental restrictions on people's movements?

      1. You don't get why libertarians are for fewer governmental restrictions on people's movements?

        I do, and I am for fewer governmental restrictions on people's movements myself. The US can open its borders after abolishing the welfare state and cutting the federal budget back to a few percent of GDP first.

        If you reverse the order of those two policies, you aren't a libertarian, you are simply someone who is lobbying to destroy the US and screw over Americans. But, hey, as you pointed out, you are a lifelong Republican, so how is that surprising: that's what you people do.

        1. The welfare state has always existed in some form, in the sense that poor and not-so-poor people received community help beyond the paychecks from their jobs. Back then, private charities — religious and secular — ruled the roost. Now, it's public bureaucracies dishing out the handouts.

          1. The distinction between "private charities" and "public bureaucracies dishing out the handouts" is the distinction between libertarianism/conservatism on the one hand and totalitarianism/socialism on the other.

            I mean, you may call yourself a "conservative", but you really know absolutely nothing about conservatism.

            1. I prefer private to public too. But if your main opposition comes from the fact that immigrants will get handouts, know that immigrants have always gotten handouts in some form. It's just that in the past, it was done through mutual-aid societies where the Jews helped the Jews and the Irish helped the Irish.

              1. I prefer private to public too.

                This is not a question of preference. You tried to misrepresent charity as being kind of the same thing as government welfare, when the two are diametrically opposed policies.

                But if your main opposition comes from the fact that immigrants will get handouts

                No, my main opposition comes from the fact that immigrants will get government handouts.

                I'm sorry, it's not my problem that you don't understand the fundamental difference between private charity and government welfare.

    4. Also, can somebody please explain the rationale that espoused Libertarians (or even LINO types) always seem to be pushing for open borders? I have never figured out why this seems to be such an issue for them.

      Robert Conquest's Second Law--

      Any organization not explicitly right wing will, over time, become left wing.

      Libertarianism, desperate to insist that it is a 'third way', has been so completely infiltrated and consumed by the left that those who actually espouse the love of liberty that is at it's heart are shunned and reviled.

  14. Breaking, I'm being told Neil Young's music has been quietly put back up on Spotify with no announcement. Can people confirm?

    1. I did find this article while looking for proof. Apparently Young has a bit of a habit of picking up his jacks and going home, only to quietly return some time later when the 2x4 of reality claps him in the forehead.

      However, it looks like Neil’s insistence on preserving the particularly golden tones of Harvest has given way to practicality: Today, almost all of that disappeared music popped back up on Spotify and Apple Music. Now, you can listen to albums like Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Zuma without a TIDAL subscription—convenient for listeners who stick with one subscribed listening option, rather than spreading their wealth.

      There’s no word on why Neil changed his mind, but we’ve reached out to his representatives, along with reps for Apple Music and Spotify, for comment.

      1. when the 2x4 of reality claps him in the forehead

        He should make a song about that. He can scream at the moon about how unfair it all is.

      2. Maybe he got a strong talking to from the people he sold his music to.

    2. IIRC, Neil sold off 50% of his music catalog a while back. He only controls the content he still owns. Is *all* of his music back, or just the part he doesn't own?

  15. They died from their own recklessness. End of story.

  16. The American Mid-West has been causing the death of immigrants for over 200 years. The difference being that the pioneers on the Oregon Trail were legal immigrants.

    A story like this diminishes the history of America.

    1. The difference being that the pioneers on the Oregon Trail were legal immigrants White and had papers.

      ftfy

        1. The various INS departments just housed the ones they caught until they could verify their identities and make arrangements to return them to their country of origin.

      1. And now sarc attributes racism to others. True leftist.

    2. The difference being that the pioneers on the Oregon Trail were legal immigrants White racists.

      Ohhhhhh, sorry. We're in agreement.

      1. The difference being that the pioneers on the Oregon Trail were legal immigrants White racists.

        Like you, Sarcasmic. An like the progressives who live in Portland, OR, today. You are white racists, the lot of you.

      2. Interesting claim. Stupid, but…. Nah I’m just kidding, not really interesting. Definitely stupid though.

    3. Fucking squirrels.

      1. They were 2 different wordings. It wasn't squirrels dummy. It was you fully adopting leftist tactics.

    4. Easy to be legal back then, since there were virtually no restrictions on Europeans coming here. And that's the author's point: if you make it easier to come, there'd be fewer illegals.

      1. Easy to be legal back then, since there were virtually no restrictions on Europeans coming here.

        Good! Let's go back to that: unrestricted European immigration and no immigrants from other parts of the world.

        And that's the author's point: if you make it easier to come, there'd be fewer illegals.

        No, the author's point is that you can eliminate the problem of people making dangerous illegal crossings into the US by making it "easier" to immigrate. But that argument is bogus because unless you let every single one of those desperate people immigrate to the US, whoever is left outside is still desperate to come here and will take the same risks.

      2. Get rid of the welfare state first and then we'll talk you ignorant leftist shill.

        1. Yeah, yeah, abolish the welfare state, make half of society left-handed, cure global warming, and THEN we'll enact the policy that you like but I don't. Sure thing.

          1. Your feeble attempt at sarcasm is rooted in your ignorance.

            The question isn't whether one likes open borders or likes the social welfare state, the question is whether one likes the consequences.

            The consequences of open borders in the absence of a social welfare state are generally good.

            The consequences of a social welfare state in the absence of open borders are less good but still livable.

            The consequences of adopting the policies of a social welfare state and open borders together are economic, social, and political chaos.

            Is that a consequence you like?

  17. Did somebody accidentally publish an Onion article? This has got to be the most inane argument for open borders, ever.

    What those people did to themselves and their kids is certainly tragic, but it certainly does not bolster the case for helping illegals into the country.

    Just a really dumb article.

  18. Firmly on the pro-immigration side of the question, but this is not a helping that cause.
    These people made some dumb decisions, none of which should have been the responsibility of the US government.
    Rely on the government to process forms, not save you from your really bad choices.

  19. Of course, the U.S. has the highest number of foreign-born immigrants (one in seven) already. maybe it's someone else's turn?

    https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/immigration-by-country

    1. In absolute numbers, yes. As a share of the population, it doesn't even make the top 10.

      1. Most countries in the top ten are Arab and East Asian countries where most of the "immigrants" are slaves.

        1. Plenty of willing slaves, it seems. The working conditions aren't that great, but since they keep flocking to those countries, it's probably better than the alternative back home. Better than shutting the door in their faces and pretending it's virtuous.

          1. Vernon is wrong. Most of those top-ten countries are European nations, nations that favor skilled immigrants, crack down sharply on illegal immigration, have less generous social safety nets, and balance their budgets. And yet, their experience with immigrants is horrific: a massive rise in neo-Nazi violence, hate crimes, and social problems.

            I really don't understand what you people want to accomplish by flooding the US with millions of low skill economic migrants. It certainly doesn't make life better in the US.

          2. But they still aren't immigrants - they are guest workers. They aren't staying, and there is no pathway to citizenship for them. You want to copy that model.

      2. What a great argument! If we were all more like The Vatican, Lichtenstein, the BVI, Monaco, St. Marten, and Turks and Caicos, we'd almost come to like 1/1000th of the immigrants currently living in the US currently.

        1. Counting proportionally is always a valid argument. If there are 10 Chinese people in a population of 100, you'll feel there are a lot of Chinese around; if there are 10 in a population of 1,000, they'll be very few and far between.

          1. I still don't understand what you are getting at. Have you had a f*cking look at what's going on in France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, or Australia? Those countries are turning into social powder kegs and economic basket cases. That's the path you want the US to take? Why?

            1. He also uses a redundantly spurious argument to ignore the other unstated issues as well. Who cares that the US donates more than 10X the amount in foreign aid that Sweden does, the important metric is that the US only donates like .2% of GNI while Sweden donates 1%, that's like 5X the relative amount that the US donates!!!

              I mean sure, the US does more in terms of absolute numbers to accept immigrants here and fix problems there than any other nation on earth but, you know, ratios! Perfect should *always* be the enemy of the good *and* the best.

              1. He seems to start with the assumption that each nation has an obligation to let in the maximum number of immigrants that it can. Then he reasons implicitly that since Luxembourg and Monaco can tolerate 30% foreign born population, the US should be able as well.

                The thing is, if we look at countries with high percentages of low skill foreign born workers, which is what he is arguing for for the US, they have massive problems as a result.

                In fact, the US effectively has open borders: if you are able to invest $900000 dollars in the US, you can get an EB-5 immigrant visa.

            2. If you're referring to my broader goal, it's to try and dilute black power and black demographics in America. It's poison. Currently, Africans make up only 10% of the immigrant population. So long as that's the case, I'm for as much immigration as possible. African population is pretty much the only one exploding right now. In a few decades, they'll make a greater share of the immigrant population. When that happens, I'll probably scale back my support for immigration.

              1. If you're referring to my broader goal, it's to try and dilute black power and black demographics in America. It's poison.

                Ah, so you're a racist too!

                Seriously, who do you think you're fooling? You're not a "conservative", you're some kind progressive faker.

                1. Always been racist against black America. They're worse a nuclear bomb dropped on a city. You oppose brown immigration because of the dysfunction it might bring, but nothing beats black dysfunction in terms of crime and corruption. Trump's travel ban on Nigeria was great, but opposed all the rest he did on this issue. Likewise, Biden's very limited deportations of Haitians were good but far from sufficient.

                  Here's the reality. The population of Africa is currently rising sharply, contrary to the rest of the world, which means that, in a few decades, blacks will make an even greater share of immigrants. So I'd rather fill out on the immigrants NOW so long as they're 90% non-blacks. Also helps dilute the domestic black population. The black share of Miami for example has been steadily declining, primarily thanks to massive non-black immigration to the city. That's been a good development.

                  1. You oppose brown immigration because of the dysfunction it might bring, but nothing beats black dysfunction in terms of crime and corruption.

                    I don't oppose brown immigration, nor do I oppose black immigration. Unlike you, I'm not a racist.

                    I oppose low skill immigration. I favor limited, skilled immigration regardless of race, ethnicity, or country of origin.

                    And by "limited" I don't mean anything particularly unusual, I simply mean the 500000 job based immigrant visas that the US already allocates, with strict enforcement against any and all illegals.

          2. I like how you ignore what I said, state an opinion as fact, and then explain proportions for anyone reading these forums who happens to be in elementary school. It really clarifies where your intellect and the intellect of your intended audience lies.

            Definitively, proportional arguments only make sense relative to their absolutes. Asserting them as valid simply because they're proportions pretty much affirms that your argument is bullshit on the precepts. You'd eat half a shit sandwich, not because it's better than eating a whole shit sandwich, but because you really like shit sandwiches cut in half.

            1. If you don't want immigrants around, then you're going to care more about their share of the population than their numbers. Low share means you're not going to see many of them even when there are millions of them. Not rocket science, but you obviously don't get it.

    2. "Of course, the U.S. has the highest number of foreign-born immigrants (one in seven) already. maybe it's someone else's turn?"

      Any reason why?

      1. Simple: it's a bad idea. If you look at countries with large numbers of low skill and third world immigrants, they are facing massive social and economic problems as a result.

  20. I'm sorry they are dead, but what was wrong with Canada?

    1. Too many Asians?

      1. Too many Canadians. Who wants to be surrounded by those people?

    2. They have much stricter immigration policies and enforcement and would have kicked them out.

    3. Not even worth thinking about the number of people who don't live in India. It's a shithole.

    4. Have you read the news recently? Their government doesn't even like Canadians so how is a poor illegal alien supposed to survive.

  21. Reason has generally been for more immigration but man, this takes the cake for the more dumb takes on here.

    Konveksi Surabaya

  22. Fiona is a refined and/or restrained Shika.

    Change my mind.

    1. They have different styles, but I prefer Shikha's. Only thing I couldn't stand about the latter were her frequent bouts of TDS.

      1. I will agree that the styles are different (that is what I meant by "refined and/or restrained"), but to me it appears that both editors(?) are firmly in the "no restrictions on immigration" camp.

      2. Seems like a "David Koresh, more refined/restrained Jim Jones. Change my mind." argument to me. Some of Shikha's absurdity was hard to disentangle from her TDS, but there were some pretty clear cases where it was pretty clear her professional "We brown people all look the same to you white people!" life and her personal "White husband, drive me into Canada so that we don't get stopped at the border." life were incongruous.

        I'm inclined to say that neither one has been nagged by their their spouse to the point that marching off into the Canadian winter seems like a good way to get some peace and quiet.

        1. I'm inclined to say that neither one has been nagged by their their spouse to the point that marching off into the Canadian winter seems like a good way to get some peace and quiet.

          I will say that Fiona's style strikes me as just naive. Very telling that Shikha's immigration stance is intellectually on par with what seems to be a 20-yr.-old.

  23. Jagdish made just $120 (~9000 INR) per month working in a local factory

    Though stipulated by law, it varies from 160 rupees ($2.27) per day in Bihar, Rs. 348/day ($4.94) in Mumbai (2017)[109] 750 rupees ($11) per day in Kerala. State governments set a separate minimum wage for agricultural workers.[10] The minimum wages are set according to Minimum Wages Act, 1948.[110]

    "Learn to code fly to Toronto and hike across the border in the dead of winter." - Reason Magazine

    1. It really is astounding the number of dimensions in which this article is abjectly retarded.

      Imagine, at pretty much any point in the 20th Century, factory workers in pretty much any Western Country looking at pretty average wages for their occupation/region and rather than asking for a raise, working harder, finding a new job, starting a business, protesting for better working conditions at the same pay, getting a job the next state over, etc., etc., etc. saying "Fuck this. I'm taking off for Shangri La."

      And a libertarian magazine's comment about the issue is "Shangri La really needs work harder to support immigrants."

  24. Alternate headline: Had it not been for a racist Trucker protest in Ottawa, the Black People wouldn't have had to run for their lives through a blizzard.

  25. Fix: remove the lure of "once you set foot inside the border, you can get rich".

  26. I wonder if the President saying that illegal immigrants should get free healthcare while campaigning had anything to do with it?

  27. "performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training, education, or experience"

    We're full-up with people already with these qualifications. And the US education system is minting millions more every year. So, nah.

  28. Regardless of how many visa's are available, America has not responsibility for people that go outside the system or people in other countries. To say they do is ridiculous.

  29. Thanks for sharing the post.

  30. I started reading this and thought I got redirected to Slate or the Huffington Post. Can a libertarian site and magazine not find any libertarian writers? This is woke and politically correct bullshit. Make every author read the Anti-Industrial Revolution by Miss Rand before they can publish anything.

    1. In what reality does Reason qualify as "a libertarian site and magazine"?

      1. 30 years ago, when I first subscribed. 🙂

        1. I agree, at one time this was a leading Libertarian site. It no longer is that. It is now a sorry excuse for woke liberalism.
          There are few libertarians left here. Mostly I see posts from frustrated conservatives and woke liberal trolls.
          Liberal sites like Yahoo shutting down their comment section have led people here, and Reason would rather capitalize on the revenue than remain true to libertarian values.

    2. Open borders is a libertarian concept. It's just the only one I disagree with.

  31. Never let a tragedy go to waste.

    Something tragic happened. Here is a completely unrelated issue that I will attribute to the tragedy.

    Seriously, as much as I would like to see our immigration policy and process streamlined, this is a poorly rationalized article. The Patels died due to their unwise choices. Period. Dot. The end.

    1. Oh, this tragedy is quite related.

      The Patels were encouraged to take those risks because of people who believe in more low skill immigration into the US and less immigration enforcement.

  32. 200 million probably want to come here. Yet the children who write for this site have concluded that if only we had a legal path for 10 million, the other 190 million would not risk their lives to come here and choose to stay home and remain dirt poor. How do you even converse with such logic? How can you think that way and keep your job?

  33. I suppose I can imagine circumstances where I would be desperate enough as to wish to flee to India in violation of Indian law. But I think I'll leave a will specifying that the Indian counterpart to Reason can't blame India if I die.

    (Assuming there's an Indian counterpart to Reason which wants India to have open borders and to culturally accommodate uninvited guests like myself.)

    1. For the benefit of Indian readers, let me specify that by "desperate enough" I don't mean "desperate enough to go to India," but "desperate enough to violate their law to do it."

  34. "He looked to one of many advertisements in his town marketing easy passage to the U.S. Thus began the journey that would prove fatal."

    The responsibility for this falls on US Immigration authorities, not the people who place such ads all over the world?
    How about the Jamaican-born human trafficker? does he get any blame?
    The family died in Canada, after being dropped off 1km north of the border.
    If 500,000,000 of India's poor were transported to the US, it would not materially improve conditions in India, but it would destroy the US.

  35. The border is wide open to our south. Perhaps the coyotes charge too much down there.

  36. Evicted individuals and homeless people found dead after a blizzard

    "See if rent and housing were free these people would be alive"

    I want to say a publication named "Reason" should know better, but why bother at this point.

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