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Free Minds & Free Markets

Steve King's Fear of Immigrants Is Ignorant of History

History shows a pattern of assimilation, not danger.

taco truckBob Haynes/MCT/NewscomDuring Cold War debates about the merits of capitalism and communism, Americans offered a simple gauge: the movement of people. "You have the Berlin Wall," the argument went. "We have the Statue of Liberty. If communism is a blessing, why do people flee Cuba for America, not the other way around?"

Ronald Reagan, the hero of modern Republicans, knew that immigrants were not a threat to our way of life but a reinforcement of it. He welcomed them as allies, self-selected for their attraction to democratic ideals. They came here not because they wanted to change America but because they admired it as it was.

"I have always believed there was some divine providence that placed this great land here between the two great oceans," he said in 1986, "to be found by a special kind of people from every corner of the world who had a special love for freedom and a special courage that enabled them to leave their own land, leave their friends and their countrymen, and come to this new and strange land to build a new world of peace and freedom and hope."

Imagine what Reagan would think of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who abhors foreigners like a deadly virus. On Monday, King tweeted, "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." Last year, he declared, "Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end." This week, King insisted that immigrants are "importing a different culture, a different civilization, and that culture and civilization, the imported one, rejects the host's culture."

King was talking about Middle Easterners, but his suspicions extend to undocumented immigrants, most of whom come from Latin America. He claims they are "refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization."

Among the alleged sins of Latino immigrants are that they drag down wages and give birth at public expense. But if there's anything worse than poor foreigners, it's rich ones. Steve Bannon, Donald Trump's chief White House strategist, has complained (inaccurately) that "two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia."

He sees their numbers as trouble because, he says, "a country is more than an economy. (It's) a civic society."

Yes, it is. And Silicon Valley is a proud product of ours, showcasing the wonders that intellectual and economic freedom can create. It's absurd to think immigration undermines our civic life. Immigration has always been inseparable from our civic life. What is it about high-achieving Asian-Americans that Bannon finds threatening to our way of life—aside, that is, from their race?

From the start, immigrants have elicited groundless panic. Bannon, a Catholic, forgets that Catholic immigrants were once seen as fundamentally hostile to democratic principles. The eminent 19th-century Presbyterian minister Lyman Beecher warned that "the subjects of the pope" would "subvert our free institutions." Beecher would be surprised that subjects of the pope now dominate that free institution called the Supreme Court.

The court also has three Jewish justices, which would offend supporters of the Immigration Act of 1924. It was designed to keep out Jews, among others, who were seen as genetically inferior and politically radical. Jews, however, confounded anti-Semites by succeeding and integrating into American society just as every previous immigrant group had.

There is no reason to think newcomers from Latin America or the Middle East will be any different. King and others believe Islam is irredeemably violent and hostile to freedom and democracy—hence his opinion that admitting Muslim refugees amounts to "cultural suicide."

But he underestimates the power of American culture. A 2011 Gallup poll found that 89 percent of American Muslims say there is never a justification for an individual or group to target and kill civilians—compared with only 71 percent of Protestants and Catholics. American Muslims are also more favorable to same-sex marriage than evangelical Christians are.

The fear that foreigners will poison our culture or destroy our government has no basis in experience. "Basic indicators of assimilation, from naturalization to English ability, are if anything stronger now than they were a century ago," University of Washington scholar Jacob Vigdor has written about Hispanics. "Muslim immigrants in the U.S. are highly assimilated, presenting a strong contrast with Muslims in most European countries," he told me.

The vast majority of today's immigrants, it's clear, can be expected to uphold our best political ideals and cultural traditions. King and Bannon? Not so much.

© Copyright 2017 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Photo Credit: Bob Haynes/MCT/Newscom

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  • BTS11||

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

  • buybuydandavis||

    Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

    So you'd like to go back to the immigration and naturalization laws of 1886, when only the white foreign huddled masses were eligible for citizenship?

    Big fan of the Chinese Exclusion Act?

    You are so racist!

  • Careless||

    carved directly into the Constitution, that is!

  • mpercy||

    A long-con plot by the French...

  • BTS11||

    How can any policy stop the terrorist from getting here? I know immigration from the mid east you could get a rotten apple but the majority of immigrants to the U.S.A have always been overall good, we cant allow fear to to dictate immigration

  • buybuydandavis||

    Such a non-argument.

    An accurate assessment of the political preference of foreigners for bigger government and less libertiry is called fear by those who have not got it.

  • Dan S.||

    The preference of "foreigners" in general? Or of those foreigners who choose to come to the United States? If it is only the former, and not the latter, then there is nothing to worry about. That Reagan quote about our country being "found by a special kind of people from every corner of the world who had a special love for freedom" strongly implies that is the case. Do you have evidence to the contrary?

  • Sam Haysom||

    So to be clear your argument is a historically inaccurate quote from a guy you hated who died almost two decades ago.

    Don't change a thing baby!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "You have the Berlin Wall," the argument went. "We have the Statue of Liberty. If communism is a blessing, why do people flee Cuba for America, not the other way around?"

    Similar argument still applies.

    If America is so horrible, why are so many people fighting to get in, and not out?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The USA is the beacon because of freedom of association because of the constitution, property rights because of the constitution, gun rights because of the constitution, freedom of speech because of the constitution....

    We don't want people that are just coming here to take or diminish the good life that we have. We only want those who want to make America better for Liberty.

    As yourself why normally constitution hating people love the constitution to get more and more immigrants here. Why are judges in 9th Circuit federal courts siding with states on the parade of horribles during this presidency but not during Obama's presidency?

    They are users. They use the constitution to get what they want and they try and destroy it. They will try and use our American generosity and then try and destroy us. We only want people up for the coming fight to save Liberty.

  • DanO.||

    "We" meaning the skinheads or the yokels?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We-Americans.

    But only skinheads and yokels question the ever-growing Nanny-State and the immigrant flood, ammirite?

    Just remember, the Democratic party is the party of slavery and jim crowe and now they don't want Americans saying who can come here to be part of this free(ish) nation.

  • DanO.||

    Don't you mean we white Americans?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I am not white, so are you implying that only white Americans want to keep America Liberty minded?

    Americans that value freedom, property rights, the constitution and Liberty is the magic dirt. Sprinkled in immigrants that want that same thing make up that magic dirt too.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hello? Dan O. where are you?

    I blew your ridiculous assumption to bits and you have nothing else?

  • buybuydandavis||

    There is no reason to think newcomers from Latin America or the Middle East will be any different.

    No reason except the facts.

    The US, and Anglosphere countries generally, are the *most* libertarian societies. It's a culture. An historical anomaly. And we don't have magic dirt to turn newcomers into liberty lovers.

    Countries are the way they are because of the people who live in them. Import people less interested in liberty, and you get a less free society. Not rocket science.

    PEW Research on Hispanic Americans

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fac.....democrats/
    Hispanics Lean Democratic over 3 to 1

    http://www.pewhispanic.org/201.....-religion/
    Hispanics Want Bigger Government Providing More Services over 3 to 1

  • eyeroller||

    Cato found something different. I don't know how to post the link, but you can search for "political assimilation" at cato.org.

  • Sam Haysom||

    CATO found the exact same data but because their entire job is to sell open borders to libertarians the spun what they had found.

  • Pan||

    I think the Koch brothers want CATO to be open borders to avoid appearing racist which would be bad PR for Koch Industries.

    I've also heard that they want to keep salaries down for their 100,000+ employee base but I'd bet the above is more likely.

    I follow the CATO "experts" Alex Nowrasteh and David Bier on twitter and can't figure out how they are getting these stats to support their outrageous claims.

  • ||

    There are lots of reasons why people vote for Democrats, and not all of them are "because they are inherently socialists who are incapable of appreciating and assimilating into a liberty loving society."

  • chemjeff||

    There are some people who hate the left more than they love *anything*, be it liberty or whatnot.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I hate people who want to enslave me with government (lefties). You dont?

  • Wizard4169||

    I hate all slavers, left, right and other.

  • John Titor||

    We call these people "people who have lived in communist countries."

  • ||

    Yes, "immigrants".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    yes, legal immigrants

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Democrats want the big Nanny-state to regulate life and control the means of production.

    Socialism and Liberty cannot coexist.

  • chemjeff||

    And we don't have magic dirt to turn newcomers into liberty lovers.

    So this includes the newcomers known as "native-born babies", right?

    I guess we're all doomed then. We're going to turn into Venezuela either way, borders or no borders.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We will almost certainly be doomed if America does not control its borders.

    I will go against the sure destruction of allowing all socialists into the USA every time.

  • chemjeff||

    But even if America does control its borders, according to you, we're doomed anyway. American culture has lost the ability to transform "newcomers" into liberty-lovers. Right? This includes native-born babies. They're going to vote for socialists, I suppose, because the arguments for liberty are so unappealing for them. So what is the point of having restrictive borders? We're going to turn into Venezuela anyway!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You know exactly what I said. Or maybe you are a victim of our government run public schools and cannot read.

    America is definitely doomed if it does not control borders.

    Reduce the welfare and Nanny State to tiny fraction of what it is now and fight for freedom, free market, the constitution and Liberty as much as you can against those like yourself who want to destroy freedom, free market, the constitution and Liberty.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The court also has three Jewish justices, which would offend supporters of the Immigration Act of 1924.

    *Really* bad example for your case.

    Who thinks that Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan actually uphold the constitution?

    They are the archtypes of the Judicial Authoritarians subverting Liberty in the US, the poster children for reviving the Immigration Act of 1924.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Not only that but it isn't clear to me how the Supreme Court which has exactly no protestants on it is a good example of proving wrong those who worried about the effect of non-Protestant immigration on American institutions. No one is saying that immigrants don't benefit- the argument is what is the effect on natives. At least on the Supreme Court mass immigration greatly curtailed opportunities for Protestants.

  • damikesc||

    Let's just ship the refugees to Hawaii. Seems like a lovely place and they are desperate for them.

    But the rest in the nicer parts of CA.

    Seems only fair.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Judge Derrick Watson, appointed by Obama, for a judicial district in Hawaii gets to stop Executive Order that affects all other 49 states. Hm...I wonder what would be said by the media if a conservative judge put a hold on Democrat EOs during Obama's presidency?

    I wonder why this jud.ge did not stop Obama EOs clearly violating the 4th amendment allowing the NSA/FBI to spy on Americans without warrants based upon probably cause? He must have been busy since being appointed in 2013.

  • Azathoth!!||

    They came here not because they wanted to change America but because they admired it as it was.

    And if this was actually happening, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.

  • DanO.||

    Ruby Ridge says hello.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Janet Reno, is that you?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I have no problem with legal immigrants from Mexico, I just suspect that having a large pool of people who are technically hiding from the law creates a subculture in which worse things can hide, so I have aproblem wil ILLEGAL immigrants. I read assurances that muslim immigrants are wholeheartedly assimilating, and I notice that in Europe there are neighborhoods of Muslim immigrants where this is emphatically not the case. And that worries me.

    I want our immigration laws to be changed to make legal immigration easier. I don't think ignoring illegal immigration is the way to accomplish this.

  • american socialist||

    This

  • Dizzle||

    I seriously hate bullshit articles and opinions like this. Do these idiots in congress say dumb shit about "immigrants"? Sure.

    But anyone with half a brain knows the majority of these recent comments, policies, and sentiment from our politicians are aimed directly at ILLEGAL immigrants.

    You can cherry pick some dumb comments from 2 stooges to be sure, but can people stop trying to broaden the immigration debate into something its not? Clearly the focus of this admin is ILLEGAL and UNDOCUMENTED immigrants. You can agree or disagree with that and there are debates worth having, but this "republicans hate all immigrants" strawman is total B.S.

    I mean seriously, a libertarian shouldn't have to defend republicans in the comments of a libertarian magazine site. I don't necessarily agree with all their ideas but its clear illegal is the immigration they're focused on. Trying to act like its not only baits more "republicans are racists" sentiment, which in the long run is very bad for libertarians. They won't win an election without us, but we certainly won't ever win one without them.

  • John Titor||

    It's Steve Chapman. He's not a libertarian, and he's not exactly what you'd call 'consistent' or 'logical'. He's going to play partisan bingo, as is his nature.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "O" 69

  • ||

    And then you hear from alt-right dipshits who explicitly state that they want to restrict legal immigration to only "European" countries.

    This is called the "motte and bailey" strategy. Spend a lot of time arguing against legal immigration of all kinds, and then when someone attacks you, retreat to the motte by saying it's "only about illegal immigration".

  • Sam Haysom||

    Ah look liddle Hazel picked up a term at Marginal Revolution and used it despite not really knowing what it means. The kind of people that support only immigration from European countries happily announce that fact. They aren't using the motte and bailey tactic because they are quite open about the fact they don't like the current legal immigration policies.

  • ||

    So stop pretending that it's all about illegal immigration and nobody out there is arguing against legal immigration.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Some of us are arguing against all illegal immigration and heavily reducing legal immigration.

    America is full. Come back in a few decades and ask us again.

  • DanO.||

    America is full.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. Freedom and standards of living are funny to people like you.

    It seems that you think China and India don't have nearly enough people for you.

    Hm... Why would some people want to flood a bustling USA of 330M will more people from 3rd world shit holes who don't value Liberty and property rights to fight for their own? Hm....

  • Rational Exuberance||

    I'm a legal immigrant. I argue against illegal immigration. I also argue against legal immigration of people with low skills, with an unwillingness to assimilate, or who are unlikely to make an above median income.

    That means that my views of immigration are pretty much consistent with those found in most developed and progressive nations. Only US progressives seem to hold different beliefs.

  • Careless||

    nobody out there is arguing against legal immigration.

    Sure, there are a non-zero number of white nationalists. But they're a rounding error. They're effectively "nobody"

  • Dizzle||

    How many people actually fit into this alt-right boogeyman that people created? Like what percentage do you think? I don't think it even exists based on my political understanding.

    What it is, is a nationalist perspective. Something history and any rational poli sci professor would tell you is a left leaning, often fascist leaning, point of view. Why you say? Because on a scale of true political definitions based on the amount of power and control the government has, more government control goes more left, less control right. With libertarianism being nearly farthest right and extreme communism near furthest left.

    In order to enact any of these truly nationalist policies the government would need to reach its tentacles into the regulation of nearly every industry, policy, law, etc to make these boogeyman changes you fear from the "alt-right", like religious or ethnic bans/removal, preferential treatment based on race, or restrictions of rights for specific groups etc. These changes equal more government control. Much the way the nationalist leaders have done in the past leading to great things like nazism and fascism.

    These aren't ideas that fall to the right of the true political spectrum, they're just being twisted that way by ignorant people who don't understand nationalism, and also used by people who are lumping themselves into the political party that has a policy (border security) that closest, however distant, resembles their point of view.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    This is called the "motte and bailey" strategy.

    No, what you are doing is called "putting words in people's mouths", "putting up a strawman", and plain "lying".

    What reasonable people want is immigrants who (1) comply with US laws, (2) bring skills to the table, (3) are familiar with US mainstream culture, and (4) don't become welfare dependent.

  • John Titor||

    "If I ignore people's arguments and just imply they're the alt-right and really against legal immigration, despite them specifically saying illegal immigration, I've won."

    -Hack argumentation technique.

  • ||

    It's plainly obvious that there are many people arguing against legal immigration. Failure to acknowledge that fact is an attempt to change the subject.

    You can say "ok other people are against legal immigration, but IM not." But you can't say "nobody is against legal immigration! We're only talking about illegal immigration!" Because that's bullshit.

  • John Titor||

    Except Dizzle didn't say that.

  • Careless||

    "there are many people arguing against legal immigration. "

    Name one.

  • granite state destroyer||

    Steve King is pretty clearly saying that America needs more white babies and fewer non-white babies. Go read what people at Taki or Unz or Chateau Heartiste have to say. They seem to understand the message loud and clear.

    E.g. "Steve King's shockingly uncontroversial assessment of the nexus between civilization, culture and demographics — that a nation is a culture and a culture is a people and a people are their genetic bloodlines, and that the fewer White people there are the more America will resemble an alien land — has bent the arc of the ad hominem universe toward his Twatter feed."

    These people support Trump, Bannon and King for a reason.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And unapologetic America-haters want more immigrants babies than American babies in the USA. If you cannot get Americans to support your leftist agendas, flood in the immigrants that will. The bonus is that immigrants from 3rd world shitholes have more babies on average than native-born Americans.

    Its demographics alright! Funny thing is that other races are being used as political cannon fodder against Americans that want America to not move socialist. Democrats don't give two shits about people of other races except who they will vote for. But they are not racist. They don't want those immigrants to live in their gated communities, but they are not racist.

  • DanO.||

    You clicked Stormfront and got Reason. I'd cancel my subscription and storm off.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You have been fuming about Libertarians on Reason for some time. I will just continue to soak up your tasty tears from your posts. Thanks!

  • Leo Kovalensky||

    "But anyone with half a brain knows the majority of these recent comments, policies, and sentiment from our politicians are aimed directly at ILLEGAL immigrants."

    How is Trump's latest EO aimed at illegal immigration? He's clearly restricting visas (read, legal immigration) based solely on a person's country of origin.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Because to a lefty: Down is up- wrong is right- illegal immigration is legal immigration- constitutions are evil- socialism has not been given enough time to work- America must be destroyed as the beacon of freedom....

  • Dizzle||

    The new ban doesn't restrict people with existing visas from entering, only the issuance of new ones to people from the six countries still on the list for 90 days. And I think Syria maybe indefinitely.

    Given what we know of the fake "real" passports and documentation coming out of Syria and Iraq from the coopted former governments stolen equipment im ok with this temporarily. These 6 countries have almost no verifiable identity, let alone criminal, records to compare any of the documents these people bring with them to, and if they did we have limited diplomatic relations to procure them, especially quickly.

    I think it's best to make sure we have accurate info before proceeding. Measure twice on these people, issue a visa only once.

  • Dan S.||

    I mean seriously, a libertarian shouldn't have to defend republicans in the comments of a libertarian magazine site.

    It shouldn't just be assumed that libertarians will support Republicans either. This is not a conservative magazine, it's a libertarian one. Gary Johnson was basically right when he described the general libertarian position as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal" (though he omitted saying that both positions were consequences of the same underlying Non-Aggression Principle). Since Republicans today are generally "conservative" on both sets of issues, there is going to be a lot of disagreement between libertarians and Republicans.

  • Dizzle||

    I get that, I just meant it more as there's plenty of real meat to debate on this issue without bringing up 2 goofs as representation of some greater population or potential policy.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ronald Reagan, the hero of modern Republicans, knew that immigrants were not a threat to our way of life but a reinforcement of it.

    We weren't quite the level of welfare state that we are now. That could just as much be the attraction as guaranteed liberty. But, I say always take refugees from communism. They at least usually see the devastation of central planning and speak against it here..Unfortunately bureaucrats don't want as much to open the door for those immigrants.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When America was a beacon of capitalism for immigrants from all over the world, it was different.

    From Vietnam to Cuba, people were coming to America to escape communism and embrace capitalism.

    If you wanted capitalism in 1984, you might flee Vietnam for New York. If you want capitalism today, you might flee New York for Singapore.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Also Reagan was unfortunately slipping into mental decline at the end of his administration so we don't really know what his impressions on the aftermath of his amnesty would be. Certainly he classed that amnesty among his deepest regrets.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think we're better off claiming that the transformations we see in the future may be welcomed by tomorrow's people rather than argue that immigration and demographics won't bring transformation. In regards to King's comments about the demographic transformation of Europe, for instance, the average age in the Netherlands is 42. The average age in Iraq is 20.

    If immigration from areas where the average age is 20 continues at its present pace, then 40 years from now, the average citizen of the Netherlands will have died of old age, Meanwhile, Iraq has a birth rate that is 300% higher than in the Netherlands--in all likelihood, the Netherlands 40 years from now will be a majority Muslim country.

    France will be a majority Muslim country in our lifetimes.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Sure, as Europe becomes more Muslim, Muslims will become more European, but the results of that demographic shift will still transform the culture--to argue otherwise would be to ignore reality. I guess it's important to understand that to the average Muslim European, the fact of that transformation won't be a horror movie like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Islam will be a fact of history, like the collapse of communism.

    Some Europeans will be nostalgic for a more secular Europe, but they'll be like those in eastern Europe today who are nostalgic for the good ol' days of communism. Note, I'm not saying that communism ans secularism are equivalent; I'm saying that regardless of whether going back is really desirable, there won't be any going back. People will rationalize their present situation, and the average person may be quite glad for the transformations of the past.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There comes a time when people need to fix their country. Americans need to fix our country. Syrians need to fix their country, Afghanis need to fix theirs and Germans need to fix theirs.

    Syrians are fleeing their country and America is sending troops to potentially die there. We have to fight for a place that Syrians don't want to stay and fight for?

  • ||

    Can we separate Muslim and Hispanic immigration?

    Muslims may be culturally quite different, but America does not get a whole hell of a lot of Muslim immigrants.
    We get Hispanic immigrants, but Hispanics are NOT culturally that different. They are Christians with a Western European cultural heritage, and Spanish isn't that far from French and English.

    Actually if we took the alt-right white nationalist line literally, we'd admit Spaniards, because they are from Western Europe and they are Christian. How does the attempt to make Hispanics from Mexico somehow different not descend into blatant racism?

  • Sam Haysom||

    Wait a second you just said that Mexican immigrants have a Western European culture so clearly there is absolutely no racism at work here at all. It's rare when someone gets to define the parameters of debate and still screws up a rhetorical flourish like this. You really aren't smart enough to be arguing for policies you support- you should come at it from the other direction discredit policies you don't like by arguing for them.

  • ||

    here's a hint: Mexicans have a Western European culture - a Spanish culture and Spain is a country in Western Europe. So what's difference between them and the Spanish? Answer: Race - Mexicans are not 100% genetically pure European. Hence, people who think Spanish immigration is OK, but Mexican immigration in NOT, are racist.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Having lived in Mexico for a couple of years, I'd say that Mexico's culture is influenced by Spanish culture, but it's older and more robust--going back to indigenous culture.

    Perhaps the greatest cultural difference I noticed is with the concept of greed. In tribal and indigenous societies, there is very little social stratification and people generally share what they have with others. Tribes are very egalitarian things.

    When Mexicans look at Americans and call them "greedy", they mean that Americans don't want to share what they have with others. It's a terrible insult.

    Growing up a WASP, my understanding of greed is different. "Greedy" is people who feel entitled to things they didn't earn. That's more in line with European thought.

    Prop 187 cut off all public services to illegal immigrants--including public education. When a Mexican looks at a Prop 187 supporter, they say those people are "greedy". People who supported Prop 187 thought illegal immigrants were "greedy", helping themselves to things that didn't properly belong to them. They both call each other "greedy", but they're talking about polar opposite things.

  • ||

    Lots of Europeans and Americans think of "greed" as "not sharing". I don't think this is something unique to Mexicans.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't say it was unique.

    I said it was different.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Spanish influenced countries are openly corrupt. Mexico is corrupt. Spain is corrupt.

    Something is different between how Mexicans run Mexico and how Americans run America. We are not going to corrupt America to fit into a leftist tyrannical mold.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Your views of corruption may be more influenced by culture than you think.

    In Catholic cultures (and countries) who you know is much more important than it is in the U.S. In protestant culture, nepotism is a bad thing. In a lot of Catholic countries, you may not hire anybody unless they're family. You certainly don't hire strangers.

    Your vision of corruption is probably influenced by the protestant work ethic and the idea that you should make it on your own--whether you realize it or not.

    I've had Filipinos, Mexicans, and Cubans all bring their families in to meet me as soon as I hired them, and they assumed that once I hired them, I would hire their other family members on their recommendation and that when they were in a position to hire or promote someone, they would hire and promote family first.

    Again, cultural transformation is real. It's just that people adapt to it. Same arguments as with global warming. Make sure the laws are sufficiently flexible so people can deal with change, and make sure the solutions offered to fix the "problem" aren't worse than the "problem".

    Scare quotes equals "may not be a real problem at all".

  • ||

    Ken, these practices - hiring family members, etc are incentivized by a lack of ability to enforce contracts with strangers. Again this is related to the political and legal institutions in the country. You see exactly the same thing in black markets and in other environments where you cannot enforce contracts effectively. People tend to do business with family when they can't enforce contracts with strangers, because they can trust their family and they can apply social sanctions against them. It gives people recourse to enforce agreement in an environment where other enforcement mechanisms are lacking.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There are cultural differences between predominately Catholic countries and predominately protestant ones. Comparative politics, cultural anthropology, and sociology all recognize them. Free from other constraints, Catholic countries would not revert to some norm free from the influence of Catholicism on culture.

    Incidentally, American culture isn't a vacuum free from cultural influence either. Our culture is dominated by protestant ideas and tendencies. Things like First Amendment religious freedom didn't spring from a void. It was the culmination Martin Luther's two kingdoms theology and the Peace of Westphalia. Protestant ideas brought to fruition through protestant wars.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sure Ken, you are right about those cultural differences. There is a lot more at play that just nepotism.

    Corruption is dishonest and fraudulent actions by those in power. It is rampant in many countries outside the USA and we have plenty here too. Nepotism is wrong because its picking people based on things other than ability. Ability is what helps make free market so good. Its another reason that other countries are stuck with stale economies that don't have much innovation.

    I have Filipinos in my family, so I am very aware of how the family first mentality works. The P.I. is a shithole and it will not change unless Filipinos change it.

    There is time and place for family and a time and place for work. Some countries just have other priorities than hard work, freedom and wealth. Cultural transformation does work but it is not a sure thing just like immigrants keeping their culture intact after coming to the USA.

    Cultures get overwhelmed by immigrants who do not want that culture. It has happened time immemorial. I question why it is so important to allow floods of immigrants who do not want to be Americans. They don't want small government. They don't want freedom of religion. They don't want freedom of speech. They don't want a right to bear arms.

  • ||

    Mexicans coming here aren't exactly agitating for more corruption, or the replacement of English common law with Spanish Civil Law. There is not any threat that any of America's political institutions are going to be replaced by Spanish institutions. The thing is that corruption is engendered in large part by the nature of the judiciary and the legal institutions in the country. Spanish countries derive their judicial principles from Spanish Civil Law, while American law comes from English common law. Interestingly, New Orleans has similar problems because Louisiana Law follows the Napoleonic Code (and everyone knows that Louisiana is one of the most corrupt places in America).
    Mexicans might vote for Democrats (along with 41% of white people), but they aren't voting to replace English common law with Spanish Civil Law, or any other traditionally Spanish civil institutions. We have institutions that do not incentivize corruption nearly as much and those institutions are not going to change.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Mexicans coming here aren't exactly agitating for more corruption, or the replacement of English common law with Spanish Civil Law. There is not any threat that any of America's political institutions are going to be replaced by Spanish institutions.

    Who the f*ck cares? The question is: why do you want to bring in millions of low-skilled workers who often don't speak the language, don't know the culture, need extra education, and increase inequality? We have enough low-skilled workers ourselves.

    We have institutions that do not incentivize corruption nearly as much and those institutions are not going to change.

    The US has already changed massively over the last 40 years, for the worse, due to the governance of the Democrats and massive third world immigration.

  • ||

    Don't change the subject. We're talking about whether Mexicans are culturally incapable of assimilating (moreso than Europeans).

    The argument has been made that Hispanics are culturally incompatible with a liberty-loving society. I see no evidence that America's foundational political institutions are changing as a result of that immigration. Nobody is agitating to rewrite the Constitution, or to repeal parts of the Bill of Rights, or to replace English Common Law with Spanish Civil Law. All you are talking about is local governments voting for more taxation and spending, which, let's face it, has been happening since the New Deal, so it is hardly something that is driven by Hispanics. White people have been voting for socialist policies since long before the Immigration Act of 1965.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Don't change the subject

    You keep changing the subject.

    The argument has been made that Hispanics are culturally incompatible with a liberty-loving society. I see no evidence that America's foundational political institutions are changing as a result of that immigration.

    Well, then you're a blind fool. Just looking at California politics is more than enough evidence of that.

    Nobody is agitating to rewrite the Constitution, or to repeal parts of the Bill of Rights, or to replace English Common Law with Spanish Civil Law.

    That's absolutely wrong. Hillary Clinton ran on a platform of rewriting both the First Amendment and the Second Amendment and received 66% of the Hispanic vote (vs 28% for Trump).

    White people have been voting for socialist policies since long before the Immigration Act of 1965.

    Every society has some percentage of fools, hangers-on, and extremists, but numbers matter. When the percentage of those people reaches a critical threshold, a country self-destructs. It has happened time and again throughout history (e.g. Weimar Republic, Venezuela, ...).

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The lefties know the part of history that demographics can cause nations to self-destruct. They have tried to make the USA a socialist paradise for years and it has not worked, so on too mass immigration.

    Damn that Electoral College!

    You mean rushing Taxifornia with millions of illegal aliens cannot guarantee running the US government...I guess they forgot that civic lesson.

  • ||

    You think the coastal liberal elite is Hispanic? Do I need to remind you that Hillary Clinton is an upper class white woman?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    You think the coastal liberal elite is Hispanic? Do I need to remind you that Hillary Clinton is an upper class white woman?

    Which part of "Hillary Clinton ran on a platform of rewriting both the First Amendment and the Second Amendment and received 66% of the Hispanic vote (vs 28% for Trump)." did you not understand? The Hispanic vote was important to her, and if you increase the Hispanic vote, you increase the chances of people like Hillary Clinton winning.

    The fact that Hillary Clinton is a liar, a fraud, and a hypocrite doesn't alter the demographics of the people who voted for her.

  • chemjeff||

    The Hispanic vote was important to her, and if you increase the Hispanic vote, you increase the chances of people like Hillary Clinton winning.

    Only if you believe in a static view of humanity, that a person can never ever ever change his mind, and only if you believe that people cannot be sold on the concept of liberty, or even an alternative to welfare-statism.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Only if you believe in a static view of humanity, that a person can never ever ever change his mind, and only if you believe that people cannot be sold on the concept of liberty, or even an alternative to welfare-statism

    It has nothing to do with what I believe. It is a simple demographic fact that Hispanic immigrant families vote for statism and Democrats for several generations. I don't know how to change that, and frankly, I don't care either, since there is a much simpler way of dealing with the problem: limit immigration.

  • ||

    Hillary Clinton ran on a platform of rewriting both the First Amendment and the Second Amendment

    Which part of "when did you stop beating your wife?" did you not understand?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    You wrote:

    Nobody is agitating to rewrite the Constitution, or to repeal parts of the Bill of Rights, or to replace English Common Law with Spanish Civil Law.

    You are wrong. This is exactly what Hispanic immigrants and their descendants are agitating for, by voting for politicians that try to implement these things.

    Your notion that there are no political consequences to open borders with Mexico, or even liberal immigration with Mexico, is therefore wrong.

    Furthermore, since the US has neither a legal nor a moral obligation to let anybody immigrate, there is a simple way of dealing with these political consequences, namely by restricting immigration from places whose people are likely to espouse such views.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hillary has no class- BOOM!

    I be all da week.

  • John Titor||

    Uh, half the alt-right specifically don't want the Spanish because they're a 'Mulatto' race. For someone who pulls the alt-right into the conversation a lot you seem to be quite ignorant of their actual positions.

  • ||

    Yes, well, then we move from the alt-right that tries to pretend it isn't racist to the alt-right that is completely open about being racist.

  • John Titor||

    Tell us more about your arbitrary notions of alt-right and how you know what they all secretly think.

  • american socialist||

    So whats up with the picture of the food truck?

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's demographic transformation.

    . . . about as dangerous as a taco truck.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Clearly you don't live in the Southwest were food truck borne listeria is basically a weekly occurence.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Actually, I do live in the Southwest.

    I suggest you stay away from that roach coach if you get sick.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Reason can't say we love mass unfettered immigration because we can't sell enough subscriptions to keep the magazine viable without huge donations from billionaires who lust for open borders. So they pretend they support open borders because of food trucks- like the US doesn't already have a food truck squatting on early corner and dumping oil illegally into the sewers.

  • Bearded Spock||

    So let me get this straight: Ronald Reagan, the man who said "A nation that loses control of its borders is no longer a nation" and signed a law which included draconian penalties for importing and hiring illegal immigrants, is now an advocate of open borders and unlimited immigration? Seriously?

    Reason has gone full retard. It must be the paraquat-tainted pot.

  • granite state destroyer||

    Yes, Ronald "Amnesty" Reagan was far to the left on immigration compared to Trump. How is that even controversial?

  • Sam Haysom||

    Well because Reagan continually expressed great regret about that amnesty and called it his biggest mistake.

  • granite state destroyer||

    Yes, Ronald "Amnesty" Reagan was far to the left on immigration compared to Trump. How is that even controversial?

  • american socialist||

    Yea steve is a moron. Didnt the dems not meet their end of the deal when it came to illegal immigration

  • ||

    Here's another raging irony:

    Western Europe is full of social democracies and socialist-loving politics. (After all, Europeans invented socialism and exported it to the rest of the world).
    So if we restricted our immigration to Europeans, we'd be importing a whole bunch of European social democrats,, who would likely proceed to vote for socialized medicine and generous welfare states.

    I thought that Republicans were generally against making America more like Europe. Or maybe socialism is ok, as long as it's white people you're being socialist with?

    The fact is that EVERYWHERE else is more socialist than America. Europe is not a bastion of freedom-living libertarian thought. And in some ways, Hispanic countries are more libertarian, as they have a lot more entrepreneurship and have extensive unregulated black/grey markets that the authorities look the other way about. And way fewer rules about the minutae of daily life for that matter. I don't think anyone down there gives a shit about seat belt or helmet laws. Or public drinking or what color you paint your house.

  • chemjeff||

    Here is another point:

    The two biggest expansions of socialism in this country - the New Deal and the Great Society - came when the country had the MOST restrictive immigration laws.

    It wasn't the dirty filthy foreigners who brought socialism to this country. It was the native-born citizens themselves, by voting for it.

    Besides, erecting walls and strict border security in order to try to keep out the clamoring hordes from corrupting the "purity of essence" of America (whatever that is) basically says that you have a losing argument. It says that you are unable to persuade people on the benefits of liberty, so you're going to just keep them all out for as long as you can and enjoy what you have while you still have time. This is a dead-end argument that won't work in the end.

  • ||

    Exactly. Those dipshits can't even convince the other 41% of white people that socialism is bad. We have to make a convincing case for liberty, and that means not being raging hypocrites on the subject of immigration.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    The two biggest expansions of socialism in this country - the New Deal and the Great Society - came when the country had the MOST restrictive immigration laws.

    That's a nice theory, but the causal relationship you imply doesn't hold up to closer scrutiny.

    It says that you are unable to persuade people on the benefits of liberty, so you're going to just keep them all out for as long as you can and enjoy what you have while you still have time.

    Quite correct: there are many people who you can't convince of the benefits of liberty, like the people in the country I emigrated from. They are devoted statists and socialists, and it would take generations of education and persuasion to change that.

    I do not want millions of those people to land in the US and turn it into the same kind of shithole, I want US immigration to be selective and only admit people who make way above median income, who contribute more than they take, and who assimilate and don't change US politics in the direction of socialism or progressivism.

  • chemjeff||

    They are devoted statists and socialists, and it would take generations of education and persuasion to change that.

    That's called assimilation. It usually does takes generations for it to occur successfully. That's how it is supposed to work. The "blood and soil" types are right on one part, assimilation doesn't just magically occur by stepping on American soil. But they are wrong by demanding it to occur in such a short time frame.

    I do not want millions of those people to land in the US and turn it into the same kind of shithole

    They won't turn the US into a shithole if you are confident in America's ability to assimilate newcomers - INCLUDING native-born babies - into individuals who - broadly speaking - favor liberty and tolerance over tyranny and oppression. But what you really seem to be arguing against, is not the qualities of the immigrants themselves, but America's ability to assimilate them. THAT'S the real problem. Instead of focusing on the dirty foreigners, why not focus on what you perceive to be our domestic problems of assimilating newcomers?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    That's called assimilation. It usually does takes generations for it to occur successfully. That's how it is supposed to work.

    Well, and logically, if you simultaneously have a high rate of immigration and a low speed of assimilation, then unassimilated immigrants will come to dominate the political system. Therefore, you have to limit the rate of immigration to the rate of assimilation.

    They won't turn the US into a shithole if you are confident in America's ability to assimilate newcomers

    I am not confident in America's ability to assimilate newcomers anymore. America hasn't even been able to assimilate its population of African Americans or single mothers.

    But what you really seem to be arguing against, is not the qualities of the immigrants themselves, but America's ability to assimilate them. THAT'S the real problem. Instead of focusing on the dirty foreigners, why not focus on what you perceive to be our domestic problems of assimilating newcomers?

    Our domestic problem of assimilating newcomers is the result of the massive welfare state we have created, which discourages self-selection of immigrants and assimilation. For now, that exists and is a given, and we need to match immigration to those conditions. That's not an indictment of "dirty foreigners", it's simple rational governance.

  • chemjeff||

    America hasn't even been able to assimilate its population of African Americans or single mothers.

    What do you even mean by this? I guess I would have to know what you mean by "assimilation".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You know what it means. It just goes against your lefty programming, so that your go to- wha dat mean?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    What do you even mean by this? I guess I would have to know what you mean by "assimilation".

    Well, at a minimum, it means doing economically and socially as well as median American. As SJWs like to point out, neither African Americans, nor American Indians, nor Hispanics meet those criteria.

  • Sam Haysom||

    Cough cough Immigration act cough cough of 1965 cough. Are you a liar or an ignoramous?

  • ||

    Strangely, white people were voting for the New Deal long before 1965. Social Security was passed in 1935.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Never let a national recession go to waste, ammirite?

    Progressives around the USA pushed government growth that stalled economic recovery and then when the recession turns into a depression, increase government to "save" people.

    Even the conservative supreme court could not stand up to FDR and the Democrat controlled Congress. Stack that court until the majority are progressives or play ball.

  • chemjeff||

    Cough cough Great Society programs in the very same year cough cough

  • Aloisius Kohalich||

    Cough Cough Sniff Sniff Fart Fart. The American people weren't voting for Great society Super Welfare state in 1964. The voted their fears of Nuclear Armageddon triggered by Goldwater. Instead they got Lyndon Butcher Johnson ,his stinking war and his hidden agenda. They weren't going to vote for him again and he dropped out.

    They voted for Nixon in 68 to end rioting in the street, instead they got the Super regulatory state, EPA.wage and price controls ,end of the gold standard.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Western Europe is full of social democracies and socialist-loving politics. (After all, Europeans invented socialism and exported it to the rest of the world). So if we restricted our immigration to Europeans, we'd be importing a whole bunch of European social democrat

    Yes, isn't that an odd contradiction? And that contradiction is easily resolved because it is rooted in your own incorrect assumption that people who want tighter US immigration limits want to "restrict immigration to Europeans".

    And, indeed, you are absolutely right that your average citizen of a European social democracy is a bad candidate for immigration, as is the average European academic.

    What people actually want is for immigrants to come to the US legally, be self-reliant, contribute more to the US economically than the average American, and assimilate. For that, the immigration requirements should be: (1) a documented history of employment, education, skills, and commitment to liberty, and (2) strong prohibitions on receiving any kind of government assistance, services, stipends, or jobs for about 10 years after coming to the US.

    Those two kinds of restrictions take care of excluding low-skill Mexicans, Yemeni terrorists, neo-Marxist academics, and European social welfare state devotees, no ethnic criteria needed.

  • chemjeff||

    For that, the immigration requirements should be: (1) a documented history of employment, education, skills, and commitment to liberty,

    What kind of documentation would possibly satisfy your last requirement? "I have a receipt verifying my purchase of a copy of Atlas Shrugged"?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Record of fighting against socialism.

    Get a Libertarian in a room with an immigrant and ask questions. One can clearly pick out the ramblings of a socialist or other lefty. Key words to listen for: Needs of the state, guns are bad, Americans are too free, regulation is good, government is good, politicians are heroes, etc.

  • ||

    Well, this will work great until the socialists take power and change the law so that ONLY socialists may be admitted. Which will happen in the next election cycle or two.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Democrats aren't interested in pushing socialism, they are interested in staying in power. And in order to do that, all they need to do is to open the borders to low skill workers. Immigrants who actually value liberty are so rare that specifically excluding them is not worth the hassle for Democrats; it's easier to just overwhelm their numbers with immigrants who favor statism.

    And, of course, those are exactly the policies Democrats have been pursuing.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    So you admit that socialists want to seize power in the USA?

    Democrats are toast dude. They won't see control of a branch of government for decades to come.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    What kind of documentation would possibly satisfy your last requirement?

    Historically, that requirement is met mainly by one of two criteria: (1) you immigrate from a country that has a fairly liberal government and you were not a member of communist/socialist/fascist parties, or (2) you fought against communism/socialism/fascism. That's, incidentally, how immigration tends to work in most fairly free places around the world.

  • ||

    : (1) a documented history of employment, education, skills, and commitment to liberty, and

    Most Americans don't meet those criterion.

    (2) strong prohibitions on receiving any kind of government assistance, services, stipends, or jobs for about 10 years after coming to the US

    We already have that.

    http://tiny.cc/k5ovjy

    Under Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), an individual seeking admission to the United States or seeking to adjust status to that of an individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence (green card) is inadmissible if the individual, "at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge." Public charge does not apply in naturalization proceedings. If an individual is inadmissible, admission to the United States or adjustment of status is not granted.

  • ||

    and ...
    http://tiny.cc/p7ovjy

    An affidavit of support is a document an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently. The person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the relative (or other individual) coming to live in the United States. The sponsor is usually the petitioner of an immigrant petition for a family member.

    An affidavit of support is legally enforceable; the sponsor's responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years).

  • loveconstitution1789||

    : (1) a documented history of employment, education, skills, and commitment to liberty, and
    Most Americans don't meet those criterion.


    There you go spouting non-facts again. Most Americans do have jobs. Most Americans are pro-Liberty. Most Americans have at least a 12th grade education (whatever that is worth).

  • ||

    Most Americans are pro-Liberty.

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
    Yeah, that's why the Libertarian Party can't break 3% of the vote in national elections.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    All those who didn't vote for Hillary, Bernie and Jill Stein are pro-liberty. That's about 260 million Americans.

  • John Titor||

    You might want to factor the children out of that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Oh yeah, John. I always forget to think about the C...h...i...l...d...r...e...n.
    ~70M under 18. ~190M Americans did not vote for Hillary.

  • chemjeff||

    All those who didn't vote for Hillary, Bernie and Jill Stein are pro-liberty.

    Does that include all of those Trump voters who voted for yuuuge border walls, banning Muslims, surveilling mosques, large increases in defense spending because "our military has been gutted", and absolutely no changes whatsoever to Medicare and Social Security because "keep your gubmint hands off my Medicare"?

  • ||

    chemjeff,
    We have to vote for a statist authoritarian to save liberty!
    Only HE can keep America's libertarian essence pure!

  • chemjeff||

    Most Americans are pro-Liberty.

    You are speaking about all of those individuals who voted for Hillary Clinton, right?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Most Americans don't meet those criterion.

    That's probably true, but so what? We are talking about immigration here, and the bar for immigrants should be set much higher than for average Americans.

    We already have that.

    No, we don't. Both legal and illegal immigrants receive massive amounts of public assistance and services. The paragraph you quote only applies to people "seeking admission" and "seeking adjustment of status", and the term "public charge" has a very limited meaning.

  • chemjeff||

    Both legal and illegal immigrants receive massive amounts of public assistance and services.

    The public assistance that immigrants may receive are, mostly, public health care and public education.

    Immigrants may receive publicly-funded health care because of EMTALA. I question the wisdom of EMTALA, but if we are going to have EMTALA, it should apply to everyone on basic humanitarian grounds. I have a hard time seeing the ethical argument in favor of the position that "the state should pay for poor sick people to get treated, because compassion, but only if they have the right papers". What, the compassion rationale turns off if the sick person has the wrong citizenship?

    Immigrants may receive publicly-funded education because of court rulings, and many state constitutions, that elevate education to the status of a right. Now I don't favor this. But once again if this is going to be the case, then it should apply to everyone.

    This image that immigrants are welfare leeches is simply false in the main. The public benefits that immigrants may get fall overwhelmingly in these two categories.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    This image that immigrants are welfare leeches is simply false in the main.

    You're putting up a straw man. I said:

    Both legal and illegal immigrants receive massive amounts of public assistance and services.

    Immigrants may receive publicly-funded health care because of EMTALA. Immigrants may receive publicly-funded education because of court rulings,

    Well, and in order to make that work out financially for the US, we need to make sure that the immigrants we let in, on average, pay a lot more in taxes than they receive in services from the government.

    It's a simple financial argument. You're trying to derail that argument by implying that there is some kind of animosity involved.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Don't forget racism involved too. And Americans must be generous to others under threat of violence.

  • chemjeff||

    You're putting up a straw man. I said:

    Both legal and illegal immigrants receive massive amounts of public assistance and services.

    I know that is not what you literally said. But it a common argument used by the restrictionists, to claim that immigrants are just welfare queens. And you hearken back to it by using the word "massive amounts".

    Well, and in order to make that work out financially for the US, we need to make sure that the immigrants we let in, on average, pay a lot more in taxes than they receive in services from the government.

    Okay, then, here is a proposal - more of a thought experiment really. Suppose we have wide-open borders, we allowed anyone in who wasn't an actual fugitive or a terrorist, but the government imposed an "immigrant tax" on all immigrants. It would be levied on all immigrants, rich and poor, new immigrants as well as current immigrants, it would be a progressive tax, and the rate would be set to match the amount of public services that all immigrants consume. Presuming such a taxation scheme would be legal and constitutional, would you favor open immigration under these conditions? My hunch is the answer is no. I think the financial arguments against open immigration - "we just can't afford it!" - are really just a stalking horse for the real argument, which is a cultural/nativist one against open immigration.

  • John Titor||

    My hunch is the answer is no. I think the financial arguments against open immigration - "we just can't afford it!" - are really just a stalking horse for the real argument, which is a cultural/nativist one against open immigration.

    "My emotions say you can't actually believe what you believe, and instead I'll just call you a nativist because it's easier to argue against that than people's actual positions."

  • chemjeff||

    Well, John, I have yet to meet a single immigration restrictionist whose opposition to immigration was solely based on financial considerations. The VAST majority of the hysteria and pearl-clutching about immigration is about how those swarthy brown people are going to corrupt the purity of America's essence.

  • John Titor||

    "My anecdotal experiences verify my position."

    The VAST majority of the hysteria and pearl-clutching about immigration is about how those swarthy brown people are going to corrupt the purity of America's essence.

    And the vast majority of the hysteria and pearl-clutching by people about anti-immigration positions seem to be more about screaming racist at their opponents and ignoring any evidence that contradicts their narrative. Somehow I find neither of you convincing.

  • chemjeff||

    I haven't called anyone a racist, John. But I'm also not going to be hoodwinked by fake arguments masking a genuine position. The "costs too much" position is - yes, in my experience - a 100% fake argument. Now maybe you are the person who will disprove that, I don't know. But there is an almost perfect overlap between the sets of people who claim "we can't have more immigration because they are too much of a financial drain" and "we can't have more immigration because they will transform America into a shithole". And the emotion and drama I see over the issue lends me to believe that the former argument is a respectable decent masquerade for the less elegant, less respectable latter argument. Because the latter argument, while not explicitly racist, does have racialist overtones to it.

    Besides, Democrats do it all the time, when they object to some Republican plan by claiming "it costs too much", when in reality, they object to the Republican plan no matter what, even if didn't cost anything. So it's not like it's a new tactic.

  • Rhywun||

    those swarthy brown people are going to corrupt the purity of America's essence

    And people wonder why we can't have a rational discussion of this issue around here.

  • chemjeff||

    So, John, are you in favor of the immigration tax idea? Open borders, but immigrants pay their own way?

  • John Titor||

    Nope, I'm points system until the welfare state is removed. Also until Mexico is an actual functional state, which people who favour 'open borders' are constantly trying to undermine. Your dream, chemjeff, is millions of immigrants living in near poverty in the United States and Mexico remaining a shithole. I'm more interested in a solution where people's lives actually substantially improve.

  • chemjeff||

    Nope, I'm points system until the welfare state is removed.

    I agree that elimination of the welfare state is the optimal solution. But since, for the foreseeable future, the welfare state isn't going to be removed, would you consider the immigration tax idea to be the next best thing?

    Your dream, chemjeff, is millions of immigrants living in near poverty in the United States and Mexico remaining a shithole.

    Okay, well you can't have it both ways though. According to the Trumpian narrative, Mexico sends its dregs here, who are busily transforming America into a shithole. If Mexico is sending its riffraff here, wouldn't that be an *improvement* from Mexico's POV?

    I'm more interested in a solution where people's lives actually substantially improve.

    So am I. Who do you think is relatively better off from a financial point of view, a Mexican day laborer in Mexico, or a Mexican day laborer in San Diego?

  • Rhywun||

    wouldn't that be an *improvement* from Mexico's POV?

    It's an improvement from the perspective of Mexico's president - which is why he supports it.

  • mpercy||

    "Nope, I'm points system until the welfare state is removed. Also until Mexico is an actual functional state, which people who favour 'open borders' are constantly trying to undermine.

    Note just the welfare state. Illegals benefit by conspiring with their employers to ignore labor laws, etc. that puts actual law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage (because they are disinclined to violate those laws). So minimum-wage, 40-hour work week, overtime pay, Family Leave, union protection, etc. all need to go too.

    When they work for cash off the books, they put tax-paying--or at least tax-filing compliant--citizens at a disadvantage. So those FICA taxes, income taxes, etc. need to go too.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Suppose we have wide-open borders, we allowed anyone in who wasn't an actual fugitive or a terrorist, but the government imposed an "immigrant tax" on all immigrants. It would be levied on all immigrants, rich and poor, new immigrants as well as current immigrants, it would be a progressive tax, and the rate would be set to match the amount of public services that all immigrants consume.

    When you say "it would be a progressive tax", you are saying that you want to let in people who consume more in government resources than they create in value, and you want skilled immigrants to subsidize those people. No, that makes no sense.

    My hunch is the answer is no. I think the financial arguments against open immigration - "we just can't afford it!" - are really just a stalking horse for the real argument, which is a cultural/nativist one against open immigration.

    I have no idea what a "cultural/nativist argument" is supposed to be. Since I'm an immigrant myself, I obviously don't advocate "nativism", whatever that means. But, yes, I do make a cultural argument: I don't want people whose culture favors welfare dependency, socialism, homophobia, theocracy, or fascism.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    This image that immigrants are welfare leeches is simply false in the main.

    When immigrants illegally and en masse cross the border (currently at 12 million or above) or are dumped in cities and towns by conniving government bureaucrats these people become parasitic by default- not because these people are inherently evil or leech-like in nature.

    Pretending that millions upon millions of people abnormally inserted into unprepared towns and cities ALL have access to high-paying jobs where their wages instantly cover health insurance, clothing, food, and housing expenses is about as fucking ludicrous as barbecuing puppy legs.

    The average American town or city is already edged with dangerous struggling ghettos and fucking rotting poverty hoods where folks are barely scraping by with many already living off the state, but somehow additional thousands or millions of unexpected people can readily be absorbed with no significant cost to the taxpayer?

    The fairy tale of the cost-less illegal or dumped immigrant operates with supernatural properties requiring a faith not even Jesus can conjure.

  • chemjeff||

    A person doesn't need to make a six-figure salary in order to not be a leech. Sheesh. How is your typical Mexican day-laborer a "parasite" in an economic sense?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    "A person doesn't need to make a six-figure salary in order to not be a leech."

    No, but being legal is a prerequisite in order to attempt avoidance of parasitism.

    "How is your typical Mexican day-laborer a "parasite" in an economic sense?"

    How is an illegal alien even typical in the first place, much less a long-term 'day-laborer' belonging to a millions-strong group that is consigned to the worst jobs in America- if and when they are available.

    Those employed at the lowest-paying jobs will require the greatest amount of public assistance- this is true for all workers, legal or not.

    As you know, these are jobs broadly marketed to illegals. Illegals will never make enough working at Farmer Bob's Super Shiny Red Tomato Orchard to cover healthcare and so on.

    Average Americans legal up to their armpits working at Walmart are often on the public dole- how is it that things are measurably different for millions of struggling illegal immigrants or dumped refugees?

    Trillions of seized taxpayer dollars spent on social programs yet somehow millions of illegals and untold thousands of dumped refugees siphon off not a penny. Cato's word sorcerers ply a clever craft if you believe this.

  • chemjeff||

    No, but being legal is a prerequisite in order to attempt avoidance of parasitism.

    Why? If I cross the border without the correct papers, and do nothing else but just stand there, how am I leeching off of anyone?

    Those employed at the lowest-paying jobs will require the greatest amount of public assistance- this is true for all workers, legal or not.

    I agree, as long as we have a welfare state, this is the case. But the need for the public assistance, in this case, is related to income level, not citizenship status. A Mexican day laborer who did not need or request the public assistance (which would be illegal anyway), despite his low income, wouldn't be a leech from this point of view just because of his citizenship status. Is it *more likely* that he might become a welfare leech? Well sure, probably. But his status as a Mexican doesn't suddenly turn him into one.

  • ||

    Apparently if you are a poor person who uses roads, you're a leech.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    A person doesn't need to make a six-figure salary in order to not be a leech.

    True, a six figure salary isn't necessary, but it's pretty much sufficient.

    Sheesh. How is your typical Mexican day-laborer a "parasite" in an economic sense?

    Given ACA, Medicare, and Social Security, he is almost certainly going to take more in entitlements alone than he is ever going to pay into the system. And that's assuming he doesn't hurt his back and goes on disability or knocks up some woman.

    Of course, we tolerate that for American citizens. But there is no reason to let in more people like that as immigrants, let alone tolerate their presence as illegal aliens.

  • Marissa||

    Yes, thank you. Just because the cost argument may also be conveniently used by those who want to limit immigration due to racism, that is not the same thing as saying the cost factor doesn't exist. A higher percentage of families with one or more immigrant memebers (legal or illegal) is on welfare compared to US citizens. That's a fact. Being from an immigrant family that pays much more than we get back in taxes, I hate to admit that this statistic makes immigrants look bad in the eyes of some Americans but, that's reality. I would love it if statistics showed all immigrants were as hardwroking and self sufficent as my husband but, they don't. Sorry to the people who think this is racist but, I'd rather fix problems by dealing with reality rather than avoiding it to be politically correct. Either reduce welfare spending or reduce immigration, you can't have it both ways.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The European socialists stay put and further drive their nations into bankruptcy.

    Its the Europeans fleeing that that the USA would welcome. It has always been that. Those seeking religious liberty, class freedom, economic freedom and political freedoms came to the USA. The kings, bureaucrats and all those happy with socialism stayed in Europe.

    If a socialist wants to come to the USA and embrace freedom and economic freedom from the Nanny-State then I question why they came here and I would suspect trying to destroy socialism's counterpart.

  • DanO.||

    The cockroaches are up early today.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Fascists and socialists as well, as you demonstrate by your presence.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Immigrants No Threat to American Way of Life: New at Reason
    History shows a pattern of assimilation.

    Legal immigrants immigrating immigrating from Europe before the massive expansion of the welfare state and before multiculturalism did indeed assimilate.

    Illegal aliens, third world immigrants, European neo-Marxist academics, etc. ... not so much.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    ... not so much.

    These 'not so much' are the blinders screwed to the temples of modern strain Libertarian Socialists- a group of blind fiends the which are currently ravaging the queenly broken corpse of Ayn Rand with their stone micro-dicks and fake open-society ice picks.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Not a syllable you posted touts a single benefit of refugee-dumps, corporation's H-1B visa chicanery, and mass illegal immigration- all of which will, and should, forever remain the logical apex of widespread citizen outrage.

    Spinning deceitful immigration mores promoted by pompous government bureaucracies and psychopathic multinationals is a job for fucking flunkees of which this site is fast becoming home to tragically.

  • John||

    Pretty much that.

  • ||

    The illegal immigration population has been stable for almost a decade. They stopped coming in 2008.
    Around 50% of the illegal immigrant population is now married to a US citizen or has US citizen children.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fac.....-a-decade/

    Your freaking out over a problem that has already resolved itself.

  • chemjeff||

    The illegal immigration population has been stable for almost a decade. They stopped coming in 2008.

    And why did they stop coming in 2008? Hmm I wonder what happened then... was it more draconian border enforcement? Was it a super-duper yuuge border wall that went up? Nope, it was the American economy going into the shitter. Which just points to another absurd reason to favor strict border controls. The state really has no clue on how to stop illegal immigration. By and large, it only waxes and wanes with the American economy itself. By giving the state more authority to erect bigger border walls and hiring more border guards, is there any reason to expect that they would be more effective than they have been in the past?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Around 50% of the illegal immigrant population is now married to a US citizen or has US citizen children. Your freaking out over a problem that has already resolved itself.

    Marrying an American or having US citizen children doesn't automatically legalize illegal aliens, nor should it. Illegal aliens with US spouses and/or children can still be deported, and arguably should be. After all, they can always take their spouse and/or children with them when they leave the country.

    In any case, legalizing illegal aliens is not a solution, it is a perpetuation of the problem: they are still low skill, low income populations that vote for statists and expropriation.

  • mtrueman||

    Since when is 'assimilation,' following and melting into the herd, something that Libertarians find praiseworthy? Libertarians typically value individualism and freedom, not values associated with following the herd.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I'm not an assimilation fan for the reason you post.

    However, when NON-assimilation equates to the insidious and dark insertion of anti-liberty concepts into law and culture concerned voices should activate the bellowing alarms of logic and deep appraisal.

    Cajoling societies into embracing cultures/philosophies proven to be harmful/destructive to precepts of freedom performs the chilling task of perpetuating liberty corrosion under the guise of charity.

  • ||

    Oh, do tell me about those insidious dark anti-liberty concepts that Hispanics are trying to insert into US law.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There are more illegals of Hispanic decent in Taxifornia than any other state. They have influenced how the laws of that state are created, implemented and enforced.
    Taxifornia codes
    Look at how many more laws there are on the books in that state, just since 1980.
    archived laws
    All states add laws, just not at the feverish pace of Taxifornia.

  • mtrueman||

    The fact is that illegals of Hispanic descent are greatly outnumbered by proper white people in every one of the 50 states. Proper white people also have more money and education than illegals. If they allow illegals more influence over lawmaking, they have only themselves to blame. It's not rocket science. You demonstrate, lobby, bribe, plead or threaten, and if you can get enough people to join you, you've got influence. If illegals understand these basics of democracy better than the native born, they probably deserve to have the chance to steer policy.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    Look at Hillary's political program.

  • Rhywun||

    Assimilation to me is pretty simple: learn English, join the current century, and practice non-aggression. It is not giving up individualism or freedom in any way.

    Non-assimilation is what led to us to "hate crimes" and seeing "racism" under every rock.

  • Careless||

    So you're ok with the fact that Hispanics remain low-skill/low-education/low-wealth, high crime citizens for an indefinite number of generations? Because those things aren't on your assimilation list.

  • mtrueman||

    "Non-assimilation is what led to us to "hate crimes" and seeing "racism" under every rock."

    I'd bet that non-assimilation has led to everything that you love and treasure about your country. Had the British who landed at Plymouth Harbour been as keen on assimilation as you are, you'd be squatting in some igloo gnawing on a heap-big mess of blubber.

  • mpercy||

    I think it's not too much to expect immigrants to actually integrate into our society. Not retreat into barrios and ethnic enclaves where they keep their languages, customs, etc. and essentially make Little Vietnam or Little Colombia sections of town.

    I always wonder: Who do they root for in the World Cup? It's fine to root for the old homeland, but if they are playing team USA--you gotta be rooting for team USA. Otherwise, you're not an American originally from Brazil, you're a Brazilian who happens to be living in the US.

    Immigration is somewhat like a divorce. Your ex-wife is the mother of your children and you may have some good memories about them and may be on good terms with your ex-in-laws. But if there's a situation where you have to chose between your new wife and your ex-wife...well, you don't put your ex-wife's favorite ornament on the top of the Christmas tree if you want your new marriage to be a good one. And you sure as hell don't take the ex's side in an argument between the two of them...

  • mtrueman||

    "I think it's not too much to expect immigrants to actually integrate into our society. "

    It seems too much to expect of America's African Americans. They have their own cigarettes, their own music, their own neighbourhoods, their own hair care products, even their own tables at college cafeterias. And they've kept it that way for hundreds of years instead of following in the path of normal Americans.

  • Marissa||

    Personally, I don't care too much if immigrants keep their languages, customs or favorite soccer teams (let's be honest the US team is not great) .... in ADDITION to learning American language customs but, not at the expense of. Historically, especially first generation immigrants congregate in tight knit communities and become more integrated into society with each new generation. The problem comes when there is a higher tolerance for people who don't ever assimilate as there seems to be in the current climate. Then more people will retreat to these enclaves and not bother to change. In the old days, if you didn't learn enough English you'd either beg or starve for lack of employment. These days if you're unemployable the Government will take care of you, so where is your incentive? It used to be socially unacceptable (both by the native born and other immigrants) for not to adapting. Now people go to great lengths to keep immigrants from even having to see a flag on the 4th of July lest they feel "marginalized". It's gotten ridiculous. As someone who like immigrants in general (I married one) I blame these attitudes for the anti-Immigrant backlash we are seeing as much as I blame divisive political rhetoric. Of course many immigrants don't have attitudes of separatism and entitlement but, you wouldn't know that by your average left-wing politician advocating on behalf of illegals.

  • Badger O Stripey One||

    Reagan didn't have three million muslims to worry about with millions more waiting.

  • BambiB||

    >> The vast majority of today's immigrants, it's clear, can be expected to uphold our best political ideals and cultural traditions

    If you're a Demoncraps on welfare.

  • Wildbill2u||

    I won't even bother to document all the violence and killing that has been done in the name of religion, even in our own history where some Protestants and Catholics brought over the same religious feuding they have continued in Ireland until very recently. It may have taken some years to assimilate as Americans first, but they had the advantage in that neither religion advocates killing of non-believers.

    I will point out that Mr. Chapman doesn't deal with the 11% of American Muslims in the poll that apparently take the most conservative beliefs of their religion seriously and think there is a justification... to target and kill civilians.." If there are 6 million Muslims in America, that means 600,000 or so think it is their religious duty to convert me and mine, enslave us or kill us. I submit that no othrel immigrant group in our history has that sort of commandment from their religion.

  • Marissa||

    I'm married to an immigrant (not white if it matters). All immigrants are not for open borders. Why should people who came here illegally be rewarded while legal immigrants wait in line? Legal immigrants who claim solidarity with those who break the law or who aren't willing to adapt to US culture exacerbates the problem of people with a negative view of all immigrants. When politicans and pundits act like all immigrants are against reasonable limits, what can you expect? The welfare state is out of control. Immigrants should come expecting an opportunity for a better life, not a guarantee of one, like many activists and politicans demand. I can't blame people who are against immigration when that is all they hear from people who are "pro-immigration".

    I'm not scared of Muslims. Muslims were always a large % of the population in my husband's country. Most Muslims from there wouldn't have a problem in the US. Not the case with another Muslim group in my state. After decades, they're still very insular and have been susceptible to radicalization. Particular Muslim countries have almost nothing in common with the the west. If you come from a Muslim country where killing people for blasphemy is law, it's not a stretch to imagine that you'll have a harder time accepting freedom of speech as the norm. It doesn't mean people from those countries shouldn't be allowed but, we need to have an understanding of the risks and challenges and proceed accordingly.

  • ||

  • Jr12||

    History "shows a pattern of assimilation" only when it is a necessary to enter a socio-economic realm in order to survive and thrive. If effortless tax dependency is an option, the interactive assimilation necessary to find and retain profitable work is no longer "necessary." Enforced racial favoritism aggravates both tax dependency and hostile separatism.

    While it adds to a positive self image to write from a perspective in which imagined circumstances completely obscure existing circumstances, using the perspective to claim that consequences will be as predicted, those fooled are not those noticing that warm and fuzzy predictions are opposite of expectations.

    Those people would be taxpayers...and despite Reason's efforts to separate the population into tribes, each tribal category claimed to share universal interests that clash, the divide is taxpayers vs. tax dependent. So no matter how much is written about "tolerance," the cause of America's social degeneration and lowering economic standards are TOO MUCH CONTROL AND TAXATION of working people, exploitation to which appearances are irrelevant, neither cause nor remedy.

    The unity Reason seeks, although not the unity they expect, is growing, despite physical differences. And there is a point in every country of overtaxed, over-regulated working people, when that unity coalesces into revolution. If Reason wants civil war, they are on the right track.

  • jbsnc||

    Steve, it also shows a history of some non assimilation, discrimination, ethnic isolation, revolution and mass murder. Japan after about 1,000 years of ethnic/racial exposure, vitally protection by oceans, remains largely Japan. The history of much of eastern Europe is loaded with death, destruction and changing authority. The dictator Tito died and within what 15 years Yugoslavia became how many different countries who still have a precarious 'peace' substantially required by outside influences and non residents.

  • ||

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