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How Immigration Crackdowns Screw Up Americans' Lives

The war on immigration has taken a great toll on unauthorized aliens, its targets. But it is also badly affecting Americans themselves, its intended beneficiaries.

On the eve of his release after serving a five-year sentence in El Paso, Texas, for assault, Lorenzo Palma got some bad news. Just as the 40-year-old was about to be paroled in 2014, immigration authorities whisked him away to yet another cell in Huntsville, Texas. This time he found himself in a detention center—a glorified term for a prison where immigrants, authorized and unauthorized, are warehoused pending deportation.

This turn of events took Palma by surprise. He is an American citizen who has lived his entire life in this country and has no accent. His mother went to Mexico for her delivery to be near her family, so he never acquired a U.S. birth certificate. But that hadn't been a problem until he was suddenly asked to provide proof of citizenship—from behind bars.

His late grandfather Lazaro Palma's U.S. birth certificate, the only thing he could get his hands on to back up his citizenship claim, wasn't enough. Apparently, Lorenzo also needed to prove that Lazaro had lived in the country for five years after Lazaro turned 17 in order to validate his own claim of citizenship. That proved virtually impossible for Palma to arrange while in detention, especially since he was not entitled to a court-appointed lawyer—immigration is considered a civil rather than criminal matter—and he was too poor to hire one himself.

Palma's case is not unique. Jacqueline Stevens, a political scientist at Northwestern University and an expert on deportation law, estimates that in 2010 alone, over 4,000 U.S. citizens were detained or deported as aliens. Between 2003 and 2010, more than 20,000 Americans suffered the same fate. At any given time, Stevens maintains, about 1 percent of the inmates in immigration detention nationwide are American citizens. That figure may sound unbelievable, but in fact it is a conservative estimate.

In principle, it is illegal for immigration authorities to detain U.S. citizens, much less deport them. But the reality is very different, Stevens says. Once someone is swept into the Kafkaesque nightmare of the immigration system, they are effectively assumed illegal until proven otherwise. What's more, the standard due process protections that are afforded to ordinary criminals aren't extended to suspected illegal immigrants. As Palma learned, people accused of a civil offense aren't entitled to court-appointed lawyers. Worse, suspected illegal immigrants aren't typically accorded individual trials. Instead, overworked immigration judges often hold mass hearings where they rubber-stamp the recommendations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorneys.

Deportation is arguably a more severe punishment than mere imprisonment since it lasts a lifetime. It is a kind of "legal death," Stevens argues, where Americans are stripped of their rights and exiled to another country. She has documented many cases where citizens, who have lives and loving families in the U.S., are forced to live as destitutes in foreign countries. In one instance, she discovered a homeless American in Mexico bathing in the Tijuana River and rummaging through garbage to feed himself. She tracked another American drifting among shelters in various Latin American countries. "In a surreal reversal," says Stevens, "there are even Americans trying to eke out a living as day laborers in Mexico."

Shikha DalmiaShikha DalmiaAlthough the U.S. has been illegally deporting citizens for over a century, the number started soaring when Congress eliminated the right to judicial review for criminal aliens in the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. The idea was to remove the barriers to ejecting immigrants who posed a danger to Americans. But the result was a general weakening of legal protections and the rise of an unaccountable immigration bureaucracy that itself has become a danger to Americans.

Lorenzo Palma got incredibly lucky. He was moved from the docket of Judge Richard Walton, known for his impatience with such cases, to that of Judge Saul Greenstein, who actually took Palma's claim of being an American citizen seriously. But what really changed his fate was that on the day he appeared before Greenstein, Stevens was in the courtroom watching the proceedings for research purposes. Greenstein asked if she'd be willing to help Lorenzo, and she did. She put him in touch with a pro bono immigration attorney who helped arrange the requisite paperwork. Two years after Lorenzo was put in detention, he finally became a free man.

"I'm blessed that I'm out," Palma told NPR. "I'm blessed for the people that helped me. I'm blessed, but I feel that the system is not on the right track. They just do whatever they want to do to you."

While the deportation of American citizens is the most egregious outcome of an overzealous immigration crackdown, millions of citizens are getting caught in the government's dragnet in other ways too. And things are likely to get worse before they get better. Indeed, if President Donald Trump keeps on his aggressive anti-immigration path, he will fundamentally shift the balance of power between the government and its citizens. He may not be able to overcome the economic forces that bring unauthorized aliens to America's shores. But he will erode the economic and civil liberties of ordinary Americans, leaving few immune from the long tentacles of the immigration enforcement regime.

Fear of Illegals

At the turn of this century, thanks partly to 9/11 and partly to an influx of migrants from Mexico, American anxieties crystallized around the threat allegedly posed by undocumented immigrants. This fear brought with it an increased willingness to tolerate incursions on the rights and liberties of Americans in the name of catching people who entered or remained in the country illegally.

The vast majority of these people did not come here to commit terrorist acts or even petty crimes. They came to work. The wave of immigration tapered off in 2008, almost entirely for economic reasons.

But the preoccupation with finding and deporting undocumented immigrants only intensified with the economic anxieties of the Great Recession. And then Donald Trump swept into the White House promising to escalate the war on illegal immigration to previously unimaginable levels. "Anyone who is in the United States illegally is subject to deportation," he declared during his campaign, pledging to restore the notorious Eisenhower-era program Operation Wetback, which rounded up Mexicans and ejected them from the country.

Since assuming office, Trump has doubled down on his calls to build a wall on the southern border. He has tried to ban travel from several Muslim-majority countries, backed a plan to slash family-based immigration, and demanded "extreme vetting" of all foreigners.

But the most insidious weapon in Trump's anti-immigration arsenal is "interior enforcement." It sounds innocuous, as if it's some kind of program aimed at conserving wildlife. But it actually involves cleansing the country of the 11 million unauthorized aliens settled inside America by targeting them wherever they live or work. Public opinion on the strategy is divided, but most Americans, especially white native-borns, don't imagine that it will have any impact on them.

They are wrong. There is no way for the government to conduct the policy equivalent of drone strikes and cleanly remove millions of immigrants from the midst of America without major collateral damage to everyone's rights. Interior enforcement is more like carpet bombing; its effectiveness depends on decimating Americans' liberties.

Nowhere is that clearer than in Arizona—ground zero for the war on immigration over the last decade. Thanks to both state and federal laws, interior enforcement has already affected Arizonans of all income levels, hues, and political persuasions, from archconservatives to ultra-progressives.

Arizona's 2010 "Your Papers, Please" law (S.B. 1070) is notorious for subjecting the state's Latino community to widespread racial profiling and harassment. Less well known is that this law—along with its 2007 predecessor, the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA)—also targeted American businesses.

Firms that "knowingly" hire undocumented workers face all kinds of consequences, including the loss of a license to operate at all, or what is dubbed the "business death penalty." The law mandated that all Arizona employers use E-Verify, a federal database to check prospective employees' work authorization status. Arizona was the first state in the country to require this.

Now some states want to go even further than Arizona. Texas has passed S.B. 4, which includes many of the same provisions as in the Arizona law along with some new twists of its own. Not only would it deny certain state funds to "sanctuary cities" that refuse to cooperate with ICE's requests to hold unauthorized aliens without a warrant; it would impose civil penalties on these jurisdictions to the tune of $1,000 for the first day and escalating to $25,000 per day per violation. The state would also be able to remove from office duly elected officials who fail to comply with federal demands. And officials elected to enforce immigration restrictions would be banned from "criticizing" these laws, basically outlawing dissent by sheriffs and other law enforcement officers chosen at the ballot box. (At the time of this writing, a federal judge in Texas had temporarily blocked the law from going into effect.)

Since Arizona has already gotten a small taste of what an aggressive interior enforcement regime involves, I traveled to the Sunset State over the summer to see what America may look like if the Trump administration keeps on its current course. I visited businesses that have been targeted for immigration violations. I visited humanitarians who fear finding themselves on the wrong side of the law. And I visited a border town where an ICE checkpoint has made residents feel like they're living under foreign occupation. Everywhere, I found native-born Americans suffering under an increasingly restrictive immigration regime and the expansive government powers required to enforce it.

The Businessman Driven to Bankruptcy

Jason LeVecke, a 46-year-old father of five and a former Marine, used to own 180 Hardee's and Carl's Jr. burger joints in the Midwest and Southwest. Carl's Jr. was actually founded by LeVecke's grandfather, Carl Karcher, a staunch Catholic and Reagan Republican. LeVecke is a free market conservative.

Although the restaurant industry is one of America's biggest employers and generates over $300 billion in annual sales, it is a very tough business, in no small part due to a perennial labor shortage. The fast food sector has an especially hard time, because most Americans aren't eager to put in long hours at physically demanding jobs for the low wages that the Carl's Jr.s of the world can afford to pay them. Restaurants face a turnover rate of 71.2 percent, compared to the private sector average of 45.9 percent. But the H-2B worker visas that restaurateurs need to hire foreigners are capped at 66,000 annually, about a quarter of the total demand.

The upshot, according to the Pew Research Center, is that 11 percent of all U.S. restaurant and bar employees are undocumented immigrants, including 17 percent of busboys, 19 percent of dishwashers, and 20 percent of cooks. In major cities, maybe 30 to 40 percent of all restaurant workers are undocumented, according to Saru Jayaraman, a labor activist and the founder of the group Restaurant Opportunities Center United. If they were forced to kick out their unauthorized workers, they'd simply shut down.

That's what happened to LeVecke.

His travails began in 2013. George W. Bush's administration had relied on SWAT-style ICE raids to ferret out illegal workers, but under Barack Obama the feds depended on audits. ICE would let government auditors loose on a company's books to pore over I-9 forms, looking for evidence of malfeasance and improprieties in hiring.

LeVecke's audit came at a particularly inopportune time. He was already overextended from a franchise buying spree when ICE asked him to hand over three years of employee records, which worked out to about 3,000 employees in restaurants spanning seven states. The agency gave him three days to get the paperwork together. After LeVecke scraped together funds to comply, he says there was complete radio silence from ICE for 10 months.

When he finally did hear back, the news wasn't good. ICE had flagged 1,200 employees—almost half of his workforce—as "suspect." That meant he was expected to file additional papers to verify their authorization status, this time on a deadline of 10 days.

LeVecke was devastated and furious. Devastated, because some of the workers on ICE's list had been with his company for a very long time. "They were good, hardworking people who had busted their asses to make the company what it was," he says. He had come to know them over the years, and the prospect of firing them was heart-wrenching.

There is no way for the government to conduct the policy equivalent of drone strikes and cleanly remove millions of immigrants without major collateral damage. Interior enforcement is more like carpet bombing; its effectiveness depends on decimating American's liberties.

Furious, because ICE's list included not just people who'd been with him since before LAWA mandated the use of E-Verify, but people he had hired later, after verifying their work status against the federal database. He had followed the rules, but the database was riddled with errors and so had mistakenly cleared them. Instead of giving him a reprieve and trying to fix its faulty system, ICE wanted to nail him.

Bad as E-Verify's false negative rate is now, it was downright horrendous when Arizona first mandated it. A Westat report commissioned by the federal government in 2009 concluded that about 54 percent of unauthorized workers submitted to E-Verify were incorrectly found to be authorized to work.

LeVecke estimates that in the end he coughed up $10 million in direct and indirect compliance costs for the audit. Meanwhile, given that there was no way to hire a totally new, equally experienced, ICE-authorized workforce, his choice, he maintains, was to stay within the law or stay in business. Many of the senior franchise managers ICE flagged were simply irreplaceable. "There is no way to overnight get rid of people who've been with your company for 10 years and know its operations like the back of their hand, and then replace them with rookies and expect things to not go wrong," LeVecke laments.

Almost 80 percent of Arizona's non-naturalized immigrants are undocumented. (The remainder, while not U.S. citizens, are authorized to be here.) The unauthorized population constitutes the vast majority of the workforce in the fast food, construction, and home health care industries. But hiring undocumented workers again would have exposed LeVecke to Arizona's business death penalty laws, where repeated infractions can trigger the revocation of your license. ICE also could have slapped him with federal criminal penalties. That's what it did to his friend Danny Hendon, who owned Danny's Family Car Wash Chain, after he was found rehiring some of the workers ICE had forced him to lay off. LeVecke's competitors who had not been audited had wiggle room; LeVecke didn't.

In March 2016, LeVecke declared bankruptcy. He sold his business to his equity partner after a nasty dispute with lots of finger pointing all around, and he moved to San Diego.

An odd thing about LeVecke's case is that ICE chose to target all his restaurants nationwide. His lawyer—Julie Pace, who counsels employers on I-9 audits and immigration law—believes that when ICE does that, as opposed to targeting specific affiliates, it is deliberately trying to drive a company out of business. She is convinced that ICE went after LeVecke because he was an outspoken critic of Arizona's anti-immigration laws, and of the harsh and inhumane enforcement tactics that the notorious Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio deployed to terrorize the Latino and business communities. (The week I was in Arizona, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt for defying a court order to stop his illegal profiling of Latinos. President Trump pardoned him before he could be sentenced to jail time.)

LeVecke was also working with D.C. groups to push comprehensive immigration reform. None of this sat well with Arpaio and his anti-immigrant comrades. Pace believes they orchestrated a campaign to flood his county hotline with tips about unauthorized workers in LeVecke's employ, which Arpaio then passed on—or encouraged others to pass on—to the ICE hotline. Once that agency gets a minimum number of complaints, it is obligated to launch a full-blown investigation.

Shikha DalmiaShikha DalmiaBut as bad as LeVecke's fate sounds, Pace notes, it pales in comparison to what could happen to businesses should the Trump administration decide to go after them to the fullest extent of the law. Both Bush and Obama ramped up enforcement against employers for their own reasons, in their own ways. But both, by and large, pressed only civil charges. The Trump administration could increase criminal prosecutions of employers that hire undocumented workers. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an indefatigable anti-immigration warrior. "The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch-and-release practices of old are over," he declared in April.

Pace is already seeing more aggressiveness toward employers in the kinds of inquiries ICE has been making of her clients under Sessions' leadership. For example, the Obama administration would conduct random audits of companies. Trump is doing more targeted audits of businesses based on tips from former employees. He also seems to be doing more repeat audits of companies with previous violations, which makes it easier to pursue criminal prosecutions, because getting caught more than once shows "intent."

But to really understand the reign of terror that could come, look at what Trump's hero Arpaio, armed with similar powers, did to another Arizona restaurant owner.

The Republican Restaurateur

Bret Frimmel, a burly 43-year-old with a shaved head, is the last businessman you'd expect to get nailed for hiring undocumented workers. He owns Uncle Sam's, a restaurant that serves pizza, wings, Caesar salad, and other classic American fare in two locations in the greater Phoenix area. The restaurant, which Frimmel took over from his father straight out of high school, is festooned with flashy red paint and big, bold white stars. Two statues in tall red-and-white striped top hats and matching trousers stand on either side of the front door, with a big sign in the window reading, "We Want You."

Subtle it is not. But it is exactly the kind of establishment one would expect to appeal to the local Republican club—which, indeed, used to hold its regular monthly meetings there.

But that was before Arpaio went after Frimmel and his general manager, Lisa Norton, making them the first employers to be criminally charged under Arizona's employer sanction laws in June 2014.

My information about Frimmel comes from court documents, local news reports, and conversations with his lawyer, Leon Silver, who could have been named after his hair color. Silver is a disheveled, uncombed go-getter. He wouldn't let me talk with Frimmel, not even about his personal biography; he seemed terrified that his client would inadvertently say something that might damage their civil lawsuit against Maricopa County and Arpaio.

When I showed up at the Uncle Sam's on Shea Street for what I mistakenly thought was a mutually agreed upon interview with Frimmel in Silver's presence, Silver turned white—or whiter—with rage. Barely had I greeted the restaurateur when his attorney escorted me to a table at the back of the restaurant and gave me an earful about how I did not understand Arpaio's grip on the town. I was out the door before my coffee could arrive.

But here is the information I've gathered: It started in July 2013, when Arpaio, eager to further solidify his tough-on-illegals reputation ahead of a re-election campaign, began raiding area establishments to sweep out unauthorized workers. Over the next year and a half, he invaded over 80 workplaces, including car washes, restaurants, and janitorial cleaning services, rounding up about 800 people.

Uncle Sam's was among them. Arpaio hauled away nine Latino waiters and busboys from the establishment.

But the real fun for Frimmel began the next year. That's when Arpaio's newly created "criminal employment squad" searched not just Frimmel's restaurant but also his home, looking for evidence of conspiracy to engage in identity theft, forgery, and, bizarrely, human and drug trafficking. Officers arrested both Frimmel and Norton, a 53-year-old grandmother, and eventually charged them with using false identity papers to hire undocumented workers, a criminal offense in the state after LAWA.

Thanks to negative local press coverage, Silver says, Uncle Sam's went overnight from one of Phoenix's most popular eateries to virtually empty. The restaurant's customers tended to be fierce Arpaio supporters—as were Frimmel and Norton, at one point. So when the sheriff marked out Uncle Sam's, that was all they needed to know. The lost customers were apparently untroubled that the sheriff had become nationally notorious for the concentration camp–like conditions that plagued the tent cities where he crammed unauthorized immigrants in blazing heat, or for incidents like the time he forced a pregnant woman to deliver her baby in shackles.

As it turns out, Arpaio's case against Frimmel was a fabrication. Arpaio's deputies told the judge issuing the warrant that interviews with the unauthorized workers caught at Uncle Sam's revealed that Frimmel would ask them to sign blank employment forms, which he later filled in with fraudulent Social Security numbers and identities. A later review of those interview tapes showed that they had said no such thing. In fact, the employees themselves pointed out that Frimmel never interviewed them—nor did Norton—and that the lower-level managers required them to fill out all the forms themselves and to provide identification. Some employees actually told Arpaio's deputies that Frimmel would fire managers who failed to obtain valid identification from a new hire, a fact that flew directly in the face of the case that Arpaio was trying to concoct.

After the 2014 raid, when Arpaio found unauthorized workers at Uncle Sam's, the Obama Department of Justice approached Frimmel to see if he'd cooperate with an investigation of Arpaio for racial profiling. It's unclear whether Frimmel consented, but Silver believes Arpaio got wind of the offer. Either way, the sheriff dusted off a 2-year-old tip he had received from the wife of a former Uncle Sam's employee whom Frimmel had fired for embezzlement, and used it to obtain a search warrant.

That ginned-up excuse wasn't enough. So egregious were Arpaio's lies that the presiding judge declared the evidence obtained from Frimmel's restaurant and residence inadmissible in court, prompting the county to drop the charges several months after the raid. But Frimmel's and Norton's lives had already been upended, and Uncle Sam's has never fully recovered, Silver claims. So they are suing Maricopa County, Arpaio, and many of his deputies in their official and personal capacities for civil damages.

You might think Arpaio is just a bad apple. But even in more scrupulous hands than Arpaio's, employer sanction laws are a far more draconian abrogation of employers' freedoms than the safety, sexual harassment, and other workplace regulations that drive the right insane. Yet few conservatives object to them.

Meanwhile, progressive outfits such as One Arizona, which commendably provides all kinds of valuable services to undocumented aliens, including legal do's and don'ts in the event of an ICE raid, offer nothing analogous to small businesses. To the contrary, One Arizona Executive Director Ian Danley feels it is unfair to crack down on undocumented workers without going after employers as well. "The workers get deported and employers are back in business," he complains. That is fundamentally unjust, in his view. The Washington Post's Dylan Matthews, a pro-immigration progressive, in 2013 approvingly cited the Migration Policy Institute's call for mandatory E-Verify to require employers to check the work status of all new hires—and for a bigger ICE budget so it can conduct more raids on employers who hire undocumented workers.

An employer crackdown could potentially become a rare point of bipartisan consensus on immigration policy. Democrats might go along with mandatory E-Verify and more funding for employer raids if Trump settles for something less than a full-blown border wall. But federal employer sanction laws would be far worse than similar laws at the state level, because once in place, they are less likely to go away.

Arizona's crackdown has wreaked havoc on its economy. The Cato Institute's Alex Nowrasteh estimates that 36 percent of the unauthorized population fled the state between 2008 and 2011. The Sunset State entered the Great Recession a year before the rest of the country, and it stayed there two years longer. Home prices dropped about 20 points more in Arizona than the rest of the country as the state's population shrank. And several immigrant-dependent industries—construction, agricultural, hospitality—experienced a huge retrenchment.

So big was the hit that the state actually stopped enforcing the bulk of its employer-sanction laws in late 2014, notes James Garcia, director of communications at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. But distant federal politicians who don't have to live with the consequences of such policies, and in fact can use them to rally their base, will be far less inclined to back off when their actions harm local economies.

"The state has barely dug itself out of S.B. 1070 and the Arpaio era," laments Garcia. "The last thing it needs right now is for the Trump administration to come along and kick it back in an economic hole."

The Sociable Retirees

About 11 miles north of the Mexican border lies Arivaca, an unincorporated hamlet of 700 souls at the foot of the San Luis Mountains. Apart from its gorgeous rolling hills and sprawling meadows, its most notable geographical feature is that it is located within the area the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has dubbed the "100-Mile Constitution-Free Zone."

This is the inland area along both borders and the U.S. coastline where, thanks to the Supreme Court's 1976 ruling in United States v. Martinez-Fuerte, immigration authorities enjoy almost all the same powers to stop and search people and property without warrants that they have at the actual border.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans live in this zone, although immigration authorities aren't doing much patrolling in the northern half, abutting Canada, or along the coasts. But since 9/11, the southwestern corridor where Arivaca sits has become a major nexus for interior enforcement.

LeVecke was devastated and furious. Devastated, because some of the workers the ICE audit flagged had been with his company for a very long time. Furious, because the list included people whose employment status he had verified against the federal database.

One of the oldest towns in the state, Arivaca's low cost of living has made it a particularly attractive destination for retirees looking for affordable natural beauty. The people drawn to the place range from cops to hippies; some of the original ranching and mining families still live there, too. It was majority Hispanic before World War II, but has slowly become majority white.

I talked to about a dozen of these white residents—conservative, liberal, independent, and every other political species—and not one of them wanted an uncontrolled border that simply gave free passage to drug smugglers, terrorists, or other criminals. But most of them strongly objected to the country's current path of ever more aggressive interior enforcement. It has already profoundly altered their way of life.

Even before America's post-9/11 enthusiasm for interior enforcement, patrol agents were known to behave, in some residents' words, "like cowboys." They would jeopardize public safety with high-speed chases of vehicles suspected of carrying illegal contraband down Arivaca Road, an undulating 23-mile route that twists around hills and canyons. They'd wait at blind turns and then "spike strip"—throw tire-shredding bands across the asphalt—to disable suspicious vehicles. Sometimes that would cause the car to flip and crash, maiming or killing the occupants.

But after Washington decided to move beyond merely deterring illegal flows to achieving "operational control" of the border, Arivaca became the object of even more special attention from the feds.

In addition to the routine patrols, Customs and Border Protection, flush with funds, decided to build physical infrastructure in the city. The agency installed ugly surveillance towers with swiveling cameras to scan for anyone scurrying in the ravines and slopes surrounding the town. It laid underground sensors to track suspicious movements. It sent armed agents and their dogs to snoop for migrants on private ranches, any time of the night or day, without homeowners' permission or a court order. Some fed-up residents took to posting prominent signs around their property warning the Border Patrol to stay out without a warrant.

Arivaca residents (from left) Leesa Jacobson, Les Rivett, Jay Rivett. Photo by Shikha Dalmia.Arivaca residents (from left) Leesa Jacobson, Les Rivett, Jay Rivett. Photo by Shikha Dalmia.Worst of all are the checkpoints planted on the two main access roads to the town, which mean no one can enter without being tracked or leave without being stopped. These were installed as "temporary" measures until the border was brought under control. That was 10 years ago.

It is impossible to tell whether the Arivaca checkpoints serve any useful purpose, because Arizona's Customs and Border Protection office won't provide data breaking down apprehensions between ports of entry and interior checkpoints. In the Tucson area overall, apprehensions have dropped 86 percent between 2000 and 2014, according to Todd Miller's Border Patrol Nation (City Lights Publishers). But none of the folks I talked to could remember a single instance when their checkpoints had actually thwarted a big drug shipment or apprehended a large truckload of unauthorized aliens.

This is partly because Arivaca, 25 percent of whose residents are retired cops, is a relatively safe town that simply isn't a major thoroughfare for illegal flows. And it is partly because, in order to maintain the fiction that the stations don't run afoul of a law forbidding permanent interior checkpoints, the Border Patrol occasionally shuts them down for "inclement weather." That's when any unauthorized immigrants in hiding on ranches or in hills nearby make a run for it.

But Arivaca residents don't have the luxury of coordinating their movements with checkpoint timings. The tiny hamlet has no school or hospital, and only one small grocery store and a little café. So most people make frequent out-of-town trips for routine errands. Yet every time they leave, they say they feel like they are going from the occupied West Bank to Israel.

"It is hard to believe that this is the United States of America," fumes Leesa Jacobson, a local activist. Most people do their best to minimize cross-town trips to avoid encounters with checkpoint agents.

As per the Martinez-Fuerte ruling, agents are not allowed to ask people anything beyond whether they are American citizens. If someone answers "yes," he or she is supposed to be waved through without any further questions, especially if the person is a resident—unless there are genuine grounds for "reasonable suspicion." But border officers routinely drive a patrol truck through this loophole.

Any number of things can raise their reasonable suspicion. Being Hispanic is definitely a trigger point. Jacobson's group, People Helping People, set up a makeshift monitoring station across from the checkpoint for a few months, until the Border Patrol pushed it to an unobservable distance (sparking a lawsuit). During that period it found that Latinos, who constitute about 20 percent of Arivaca's population, and some of whom go back many generations, are 26 times more likely than whites to be asked to show identification and 20 times more likely to have their vehicle inspected. So rampant is the racial profiling, says Arivaca resident Jay Rivett, that his daughter, who is married to a Latino man and lives a few hours away, no longer likes to visit them for fear of harassment. "We visit her now," he laments.

A more diverse Border Patrol isn't likely to help much, because Latino agents engage in racial profiling as much as anyone else. In fact, Arivaca citizens say, sometimes they harass their fellow Latinos even more. Perhaps they feel they have to prove something to their white colleagues.

But white residents get their share of abuse, too. If they drive a sedan with a closed trunk rather than an open pickup truck, that can raise "reasonable suspicion." If their truck has camping gear or heavy equipment, that can raise "reasonable suspicion." If they are leaving the checkpoint early in the morning or late at night, that can raise "reasonable suspicion." If they are in a hurry and don't make requisite small talk with checkpoint agents, that can raise "reasonable suspicion." And if they're too mouthy, that can raise "reasonable suspicion" as well.

That last item has been a particular problem for 64-year-old Arivaca native Ken Buchanan, a retired cement mason. He says his family's troubles with the Border Patrol date back more than three decades to when his wife, Deborah, a retired librarian, started exposing the agency's abuses of power in her column for Connections, the town's tiny monthly newspaper.

This incensed the local agents so much, Buchanan says, they started pulling him over routinely and telling him to "control his wife." The whole family fled the town in 1993 but returned five years ago—and immediately became targets again, Buchanan says. Although the Border Patrol rotates its field agents frequently to prevent drug cartels from bribing them, one senior agent was still around and recognized Buchanan' wife.

In the first few years after his return, Buchanan claims, he got stopped about 10 times at the checkpoint. The worst episode was on Christmas Eve about four years ago, when Buchanan, wearing a Santa suit, was driving to town for a gig. An agent asked him to step out and, without warning, let his dogs loose inside the car, a clearly illegal act. When Buchanan protested, the agent pointed his gun at him and peppered him with abusive comments. "I thought he was ready to shoot Santa," Buchanan says.

He complained, and this time both the Arizona Customs and Border Protection regional office and the D.C. headquarters followed up. They assured him he would never see that agent again—and he didn't. Buchanan says the officer investigating his complaint confided that they had hired too many agents too quickly because of congressional demands for more aggressive patrolling, and they simply couldn't follow the normal vetting procedures. That'll be a big problem with Trump's plans to add 10,000 border patrol agents, especially as he'll have to reach even deeper into the barrel to find people.

The agency declined to comment on Buchanan's claims beyond stating that it is committed to treating all residents with "professionalism, dignity, and respect." But such experiences have triggered protests in Arivaca. When Jacobson started a petition drive to dismantle the station, more than half the town signed it. Since then, the agents have been more polite to the residents and less likely to harass just for the heck of it. But that doesn't mean they'll let people who assert their constitutional right against unauthorized searches and seizures—say, by refusing to pop their trunks—simply pass through. Usually, that'll mean they'll be detained for up to an hour so a canine unit can come and do a sniff search. Most people choose to acquiesce rather than make a stand.

But even the most scrupulous supervision can't change the logic that pushes interior enforcement toward unconstitutional and draconian behavior. Just as border agents can be bought out by cartels, so can locals. You never know when some border dweller will start doing drug runs or stuffing illegals in his trunk for money. From the Border Patrol's point of view, residents are potential enemies.

There are currently about a dozen interior checkpoints along the Arizona border and about 100 nationwide. If the Trump administration gets more funds, we're likely to see many more.

The Humanitarian Helpers

Aggressive immigration enforcement isn't just truncating Arivaca residents' rights. It is truncating their humanity.

Jacobson, along with some other locals, volunteers with an outfit called No More Deaths. It was founded in 2004 by leaders of multiple faiths after a crackdown along the California border pushed more migrants into the harsh southern Arizona desert. The number of dead bodies retrieved from the blazing sand spiked from 14 per year in the 1990s to over 150 per year in the 2000s. Indeed, 10 times more people died each year in the dunes and canyons of Arizona from 1997 through 2007 than died trying to cross to West Germany during the entire existence of the Berlin Wall.

The organization has set up camps near a few border towns, including Arivaca, where its volunteers offer food and basic first aid to migrants in acute distress: bandaging their blistered feet, giving them ice packs for heat stroke, and so on. The migrants are expected to leave as soon as they recover a bit. This also helps to take the load off ICE, because if it picks up these migrants, it has to offer them medical care.

Under the Bush and Obama administrations, No More Deaths had an informal arrangement with ICE that, as per international Red Cross standards, the agency would treat the camp as a medical facility and leave it alone, conducting its patrolling activity elsewhere. The border patrol's Tucson Sector affirmed this agreement in April, three months after Trump assumed office.

But in June, border agents suddenly showed up at the camp and demanded that the migrants inside surrender. They complied. The agency returned a few weeks later with a warrant—along with a helicopter, 15 vehicles, and 30 armed agents—and raided the camp on the pretext that there were criminal aliens there. Some of the aliens did turn out to have criminal records. But that has long been a possibility, and the border patrol never chose to raid the camp before. The real purpose, Arizona ACLU Executive Director Alessandra Soler argues, was to send a signal that the border patrol means to up its game.

The camp has been abandoned for now: Some of the nurses and humanitarian aid workers are afraid that the Trump administration might use anti-harboring laws and other legislation to arrest them. Jacobson worries about that as well. She always carries water bottles and blankets in her car, to help desperate migrants wandering along roadsides or languishing in the brush. She leaves supplies strewn around her 10-acre property, too. But she now fears that if she tried to give someone a ride to a medical facility, she could be charged under federal laws against transporting illegals.

The Americans

The war on immigration has taken a great toll on unauthorized aliens, its targets. But it is also badly affecting Americans themselves, its intended beneficiaries. Those who think they can escape the crossfire because they are authorized, naturalized, or native-born, with American ancestors going back generations, are simply fooling themselves.

There are already many ways for American citizens to lose when the government can detain and deport citizens without due process, shut down and criminally penalize businesses that don't hire from a preapproved pool of workers, treat border towns like they are enemy territory, and raid humanitarian outfits for simply pursuing their missions. If the Trump administration keeps ramping up its crackdown, there will be even more. No one will be safe.

Photo Credit: Shikha Dalmia

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  • SQRLSY One||

    Illegal humans are the cause of my halitosis! They also cause automotive underbelly corrosion, sunspots, and the infirmities of old age. THAT is why illegal humans should be BANNED! Whether they are legal,or not!

  • ALWAYS RIGHT||

    I have to add that our country has too many brown people and that we would be better off without them.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    You would think after a lifetime of being called "racists" for opposing public accommodation laws and employment discrimination laws that Libertarians would be reluctant to accuse others of being racists just because they are on the other side of an issue.

    You'd like to think that, but you'd be wrong.

  • damikesc||

    As we've seen with their reporting. Reason has "come around" on their views of public accomodation law.

  • jogibew||

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  • HillTown Trader||

    Too many "brown," or too many brown folks who have not assimilated into American Culture?

    I don't care what color folks skin is; I care about their no bringing their dysfunctional culture with them and demanding that Americans bend to be like them.

  • Jimmy Bob "Bubba" BoDean||

    i gots no simputhees fer them spics get em all outta my fuckin cuntry. who cares if they livd heer thare hole lifes if they born in mexico they mexicun. dont get me rong i aint agen all imgrants as lon as they frum a wite cuntry like trumps wife. we need more wite peepol imgratin . im just agen all brown and black peepol imgratin here. like shika dalmia just a shit skin frum a raghead goat fuckin shit skin cuntry. get that cunt outta my america and get sum more wite peepol in here

  • Jimmy Bob "Bubba" BoDean||

    i gots no simputhees fer them spics get em all outta my fuckin cuntry. who cares if they livd heer thare hole lifes if they born in mexico they mexicun. dont get me rong i aint agen all imgrants as lon as they frum a wite cuntry like trumps wife. we need more wite peepol imgratin . im just agen all brown and black peepol imgratin here. like shika dalmia just a shit skin frum a raghead goat fuckin shit skin cuntry. get that cunt outta my america and get sum more wite peepol in here

  • Arturoman||

    It's Palma's own fault that he never took the time or effort to obtain the required documentation. I can't speak for any other cases, but for this example I fail to see how it is the government's fault that Palma couldn't be bothered to deal with the fact that his parents didn't bother to register him for a US birth certificate. And now somehow it's everyone else's fault that he can't prove he is a US citizen like everyone else can.

  • SQRLSY One||

    How would you feel if Mexico regarded the USA as dumping grounds for all of their "illegal humans" who cannot be bothered to keep all of their papers in line? Because that's what we're doing to Mexico... Regardless of whether the dumpees are Mexican citizens, or not.

    "Papers, please, you supposed-Mexican-might-be-a-Gringo... No papers? Gringo-land-you-a-go-go, Senior!"

  • Elias Fakaname||

    My sympathy for the concerns of the Mexican government is shockingly non existent. Fuck those assholes. They're shitty neighbors.

  • Rennata Wilson||

    If Mexicans don't like US immigration laws there are many, many other countries which they could consider as destinations.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I'm not sure whether the responses here are deliberately obtuse, or if people just don't get it.

    Dumping non-Mexicans onto Mexican soil is no way to maintain good relationships with Mexico, but this is what the USA Government Almighty is systematically doing to Mexico. If the Mexican Government Almighty starts doing that sort of thing right back to the USA (dumping non-USA citizens onto the USA as a matter of policy), are we ready to fight a war over it? OK, we have more weapons and soldiers, and we have nukes, and they don't? Might makes right? Are ye trolling, or do you not have an iota of conscience and decency?

  • Red Tony||

    Allow me to sum up what the majority of the U.S. thinks of Mexico:

    "Fuck 'em."

    And how much do they care about illegal immigrants being dumped on Mexico:

    "Fuck 'em off my lawn."

  • Mark22||

    WTF are you talking about? Mexico has been dumping millions of undocumented people on the US as a matter of policy. That is exactly why US voters are angry. US relations with Mexico are lousy because of Mexico.

    Fighting a war over it isn't necessary at this point, there are various other ways of punishing Mexico.

  • SQRLSY One||

    But we are NOT talking about "illegal immigrants being dumped on Mexico" in many-many of these instances... We are talking of USA citizens being dumped on Mexico! By the USA fed Government Almighty! For the "crime" of not having papers!

    This is NOT the same as Mexican citizens, acting as individuals, becoming "illegal humans" in the USA! I have NOT heard of Mexico Government Almighty rounding up paperless Mexicans ("Papers please") and exporting the paperless ones to the USA!

    You Mexican haters will hate, all day long, and will NOT listen to the actual facts on the ground! Feelings of hate rule your brains, and the facts simply do not matter! "Haters gonna hate".

  • damikesc||

    We are talking of USA citizens being dumped on Mexico!

    We have zero evidence of him being American. We have evidence of him being born in Mexico.

  • Mark22||

    I'm not talking about Mexicans walking across the border. I'm talking about Mexico telling refugees from Central and South American to GTFO of Mexico, because Mexico, unlike the US, takes a very dim view of illegal immigration. That is in addition to the Mexican government generally being supportive of their citizens coming to the US.

    And you better believe that I hate the Mexican government and its policies: it is a corrupt, oppressive government that has been failing the Mexican people since Mexico was established. That is why Mexicans live in poverty, fear for their lives, and flee to the US. WTF is wrong with that you actually like the Mexican government and its policies?

  • SQRLSY One||

    I actually agree with you that the Mexican Government Almighty actually sucks even more than the USA Government Almighty... And THAT is a tough thing to do!
    The "tight border" thing is counter-productive in SOOO many ways, though... As is usual for TOO MUCH Government Almighty! For one thing, with a more-open border, the "illegal humans" could be LEGAL, temporary-USA-humans, earn some money, then go back home. This is what MANY of them want to do. But with it being a HUUUUUGE risk to illegally cross the border... And legally crossing the border may take 20 years and endless reams and reams of paperwork... Once they have survived getting here, they can no longer risk going home for a visit to relatives, and re-risk coming back here to earn a few more dollars again. So they STAY here! To NOT risk dying in the Arizona desert, you know... Our policies are counter-productive and inhumane.

  • Ragoftag||

    Mexico HAS been dumping their unwanted population on America for decades. Let them take their people back. Nearly all this problem is caused by two decades of pandering to CRIMINAL ALIENS, not any racism. Mexico is a 'country', not a 'race'.

  • Mitsima||

    Mexico hasn't been dumping shit. People, individuals, make their way into the US. And no, while Mexican isn't a race, when all Latinos are ipso facto considered, "Mexicans" that's not country-specific, either.

    Collectivists gonna collectivize; whatcha gonna do, right?

  • HillTown Trader||

    The Mexican government issues transit visas to individuals from Central America who are heading to the US WITHOUT a US VISA, and funds transit centers along the way, so that the illegals do not bother Mexican citizens.

  • HillTown Trader||

    The Mexican government issues transit visas to individuals from Central America who are heading to the US WITHOUT a US VISA, and funds transit centers along the way, so that the illegals do not bother Mexican citizens.

  • Mitsima||

    "Mexico brutalizes illegals, maybe we should adopt their policies instead of offering welfare.", or not, as is convenient.

  • damikesc||

    How would you feel if Mexico regarded the USA as dumping grounds for all of their "illegal humans" who cannot be bothered to keep all of their papers in line?

    They're already doing that. They routinely export their poverty to us. And we have evidence of him being Mexican as opposed to zero of him being American, so it's not like he's being sent to Mexico for zero reason.

  • Jimmy Bob "Bubba" BoDean||

    mexico is alreddy sendin us all thare drug dealers and rapists. rapin all are wite women. sumtimes i rape a little spic cunt just to even the score fer are race. shoot a few spics to

  • TW||

    They pretty much do that already. The Mexican government has at most paid lip service to trying to stop their people from illegally entering into the United States while in practice providing them with supplies and maps to make the trip. They also lobby against efforts by the United States to enact and enforce laws that are far less draconian than the ones Mexico already has in place to to prevent their southern neighbors from having their people enter Mexico illegally. Which makes sense from the Mexican government's standpoint because of their dependency on remittances from Mexican nationals living in the United States (both legally and illegally). So for all intents and purposes, the Mexican government is complicit with their people illegally entering the United States.

  • retiredfire||

    That's just stupid.
    We deport people to the country of their citizenship, if it can be determined.
    In the case of Palma, he states he was born in Mexico. Absent any other evidence, that's where he was sent.
    I want just as strenuous enforcement of people coming from every corner of the planet, if they haven't followed the rules our government, under its Constitutional authority, has set down. ANY people.

  • Jerryskids||

    Lick that boot! How hard is it just to do as you're told and comply with the orders given to you by your masters? I suppose it's my fault that I was taught as a child that the way things are supposed to work is that if the government charges you with a crime it's up to them to prove their case, not up to me to prove that I'm not guilty of the charge.

  • Mitsima||

    Yay! You're finally getting it. Now, stand, put your hat over your heart, sing, "...o'er laaaaaaand of the Freeeee", then shaddup and siddown. We'll let you know when you have permission to express the proper opinion.

  • HillTown Trader||

    The government has to prove that he is not US citizenship or have a US birth Cerificate --- and so is in the US illegally. Their job is done.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen||

    Really. You aren't bothered in the least by the government's demand to "PRODUCE YOUR PAPERS" any moment of any day? You're fine with this becoming North Korea or East Germany or Cuba?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Well gosh, that comment isn't even slightly idiotic or hyperbolic. Not one bit. Shikia, is that you?

  • HillTown Trader||

    While often traveling in West Texas on business, I am asked for papers several times a day. A smile, flash my passport, a dog sniffs my car and I'm on my way.

    If border patrol was not doing its job, we would be over run by low skill illegal, making jobs for low skill Americans even harder to come by. They are stopping an invasion. For that I am happy to flash a passport and be sniffed.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Anyone sentenced to 5 yrs hard time is by definition a felon--especially if the "crime" had no victims. Trial attorneys will then argue against release on bond (moral turpitude, danger to the community, flight risk) and get that. Moral: the more idiotic laws, the more traps there are to trip up and deport perfectly legal foreigners, most of whom are abler and work a lot harder than soft-spoiled natives.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Oh fuck off with that 'more able to work' bullshit. You just want brown people mowing your lawn for five bucks an hour, too afraid of ICE to complain.

  • Paloma||

    As long as they agree to the five bucks an hour and do a good job, hell yes. You're stupid if you don't.

  • damikesc||

    But American CITIZENS do not have that right to accept that offer. Bullshit to let others do so. Pay what you have to pay and stop using de facto slave labor.

  • Fuck =><= sevo||

    "most of whom are abler and work a lot harder than soft-spoiled natives"

    This is almost always projection.

  • HillTown Trader||

    I travel rural west Texas regularly. I am stopped by most polite Border Agents often enough that I keep my passport tucked in a pocket in my purse, whipping it out, while chatting as the dogs sniff my car. On long drives its a not unpleasant break. The agents keep us safe.

    Anyone who lives near the border would rationally keep their papers straight; its not like Border Patrol only showed up yesterday. Given how obvious Border Enforcement is, anyone who whines "I forgot" is likely to be illegal.

    The author is being a bit hysterical.

  • Bra Ket||

    Sounds fishy. How do you make it to age 40 without a birth certificate?

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen||

    I'm well past that age - and even though I have one, I've never needed it. Not sure what your problem is.

  • Hunthjof||

    Then you are a rarity cause I have had to provide it or SS card multiple times.

  • ALWAYS RIGHT||

    It sounds like you live in one of those few states that doesn't issue real-ID drivers licenses. I needed my birth certificate to get my SS Card. That was a long time ago.

  • Agammamon||

    I got my drivers license a decade before RealID was even thought of and have never had to produce one to get it renewed.

    I needed a copy of it to

    a) Join the Navy

    You don't even need one to get an SSN - a religious or hospital record of birth is sufficient, though if one exists you're supposed to use that instead.

    You don't even need one to get a passport - there are several other ways to prove American citizenship.

    And in my life I've never had to produce an SSN *card*, only the number.

    So, that's four and a half decades with needing the birth certificate once. And if you don't leave the country there's not much call for documentation requiring you to prove your citizenship - I would have a hard time doing so right now.

  • Mark22||

    Well, anybody can take their chances if they like. However, for reasons that should now be obvious to you, it's a good idea to have documentation establishing your US citizenship, because if you don't, you may end up getting deported. Your choice.

  • Paloma||

    I have no clue where my birth certificate is. All it really proves is that someone with my name was born in the United States on such and such a date. It doesn't prove that that someone is me.

  • Bra Ket||

    You need it to get a SS card, which you need to get a job in this country.

    You might also need it to get a work permit as a teenager because of child labor laws. Or the SS card alone may suffice. No better of course.

    If you're just totally off the grid your entire life then you are somehow sidestepping rules that have been around for centuries. Yeah right.

    You may need it to get a marriage license too.

  • HillTown Trader||

    Have you registered to vote?

    Gotten a drivers License?

    Applied for any social service?

    Applied for a passport?

    How have you done any of that without a birth certificate?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Easier then you think. Don't get a driver's license, and you're 90% of the way there.

    That said, let's say you got to 20-something, and then your house burned down. If you made it out with your wallet (driver's license), then you'll probably be able to continue getting renewals on that till death, and never have to present a birth certificate again.

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    On the eve of his release after serving a five-year sentence in El Paso, Texas, for assault

    Sounds like a real gem. Pass me the hanky.

  • SQRLSY One||

    You're probably correct.

    On the other hand, it could have been trumped-up charges. I took just a very few law courses, and I learned that technically, any un-authorized body touching is "assault". If I pull the passed-out drunk out of the middle of the road, so that he won't get run over, then he didn't authorize my touching him. Some DA that flat-out simply doesn't like me, could have me charged with assault, for being a good Samaritan!

    There's also the issue of the USA using Mexico as a dumping grounds for people that we don't like. How do you feel about Mexico doing the same thing to the USA?

  • Dick Puller, Attorney at Law||

    How do I feel about it? Turnabout is fair play. That's how I feel about it.

  • ALWAYS RIGHT||

    There is no list of authorized touching. There is no such thing as "un-authorized touching". "Assault" is "unwanted and insulting touching". Try getting a refund for those law courses that you took.

  • TW||

    It sounds like SQRLSY One took course in criminal procedure where first year law students looked at the Model Penal Code. The MPC is designed to get students to think about how to apply the elements of a statute to a criminal case and the MPC is not actually a criminal code (it's basically a sample one that students use although some jurisdictions have adopted some of its provisions) so obviously SQRLSY One missed the point of the class if they think that "assault" is "any un-authorized body touching." If you want to know what's considered "assault" then you need to look at the actual statue in the applicable jurisdiction.

  • Fuck =><= sevo||

    That is one stupid fucking hylothetical

  • Fuck =><= sevo||

    *hypothetical

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Yeah, EVERYONE is an immigrant. And more importantly, EVERYONE is an American! Law and order is a disease.

  • vek||

    That's what some idiots literally believe... There are limits to the shit government should do, but unless you're one of the morons who believes in truly open borders world wide (which is stupid as fuck, we'd turn into a third world shit hole overnight, and anyone who thinks otherwise is dreamin') then enforcement of immigration laws is not outside the purview of legitimate government law enforcement.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    OK, anarchists (and one-worlders) aside, what is the significance of nationhood? And what differences in rights do citizens have vs. non-citizens? Finally, how do reason-able people administer borders?

  • shamrock||

    So, all it takes is for someone to declare you a non-citizen and you are stripped of your rights? Nice country.

  • Mark22||

    That's the way the law works everywhere: you only have the rights that you can legally demonstrate you are entitled to.

    If you can't prove you own a piece of land, you don't own it. If you can't prove you are employed by your employer, you can't force them to live up to an employment contract. And if you can't prove you're a US/French/Japanese/whatever citizen, you can ultimately not take advantage of the rights of citizens of that country.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Deport all illegals and lower immigration numbers to a trickle. Let the best and brightest in only.

  • Agammamon||

    Immigration numbers are already a trickle. Doesn't seem to be stopping them.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So they really were only coming for the welfare? What a shock.

  • retiredfire||

    More than a million each year is not a trickle.

  • vek||

    Seriously. This is the 21st century, and America is no longer a vast nearly unsettled land. We don't need random people to "fill the seats" anymore, and uneducated third worlders do not have the skills a 21st century 1st world economy needs... So why is any sane person in favor of low skilled immigration??? Especially with all the welfare cases we have here, and stagnant wages on the low end of the spectrum, and lowest labor force participation rate in eons, etc etc etc.

    It just makes ZERO practical sense to import more of an undesirable commodity when we're already overstocked as it is.

  • Juice||

    And yet, you are somehow allowed to remain within the borders.

  • vek||

    Yeah, because I'm an actual citizen. I am not a deadbeat, and have always made multiple times the average income in the country. I'm self employed, and have also employed many other people. I'm still young so not totally rolling in cash, but I will likely die worth some millions of dollars after having paid FAR more into the system than I ever took out.

    These people aren't citizens. They don't have skills useful in 21st century America. We already have millions of unemployed low skill people... So tell me the logic that makes it a good idea to allow unlimited third world immigration again? That's before we even bring up if they were made legal and allowed to vote, and the impact THAT would have on freedom and size of government in this country.

  • retiredfire||

    The logic is that they will vote for more socialism.
    The people who advocate this don't like America and the culture that has emerged, here.
    But, instead of seeking one more to their liking, they want to use any means, fair or foul, to change it for everyone else.
    It is as simple as that.

  • vek||

    Yup. This is the thing people who fight for mass immigration, but who are ostensibly conservative/libertarian refuse to get. There is one single demographic that doesn't vote left: white people. Specifically white males. Every single other ethnic group votes left, and even white women are far more left leaning than men, but still to the right of most other groups. That's just the way it is. All other civilizations on earth are basically to the left of us, so importing people from there will tilt things to the left here. This includes Europe too, it's not just "brown people."

    The left knows this, and that is their main motivation in increasing immigration. Conservatives/libertarians who refuse to realize this fact are idiots. I'm all for standing for principles and such, but there are times and places where you can either put the pedal to the metal, ooor maybe just let a certain issue coast for awhile. We don't need to be pedal to the metal on increasing immigration right now, even if you do think it's the right thing to do.

    I think more immigrants may shift away from the left if they have time to assimilate, but if we let it too many too quick it's game over and we're going to go hard left in this country, probably never to return.

  • EscherEnigma||

    [...] America is no longer a vast nearly unsettled land
    Have you seen Wyoming?

    That was rhetorical. Almost no one has seen Wyoming. Because it's a vast nearly unsettled land.

  • vek||

    Yes, there is in fact still plenty of empty. The reason it is empty is because people haven't seen much utility in settling there as things stand. It's not nearly the same as in the 1800s when even the primest of prime territory was sparsely populated. We're the third most populous country on earth, and you knew what I meant.

    From this angle though, the truth is we COULD cram hundreds of millions of more people into the USA... But that has consequences, and most people wouldn't prefer them to how it is now. Imagine how bad water shortages would be in half the country, since they can't even hardly get enough now. Imagine the amount of extra land that would have to be removed from nature to use for farming. Imagine the traffic. Are these people going to be settling the wilderness of Wyoming and turning it into a first world country, or will it be millions in shacks like Calcutta? On and on.

    No thanks. And most people would agree. A small number of immigrants is fine with most people, but true open borders would be national suicide as a first world nation. The real utility and need for low education labor is shrinking every year, so why import more? All you ever hear about is telling natives to get better educated, but it somehow makes sense to import ignorant people??? Idiocy.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    On the eve of his release after serving a five-year sentence in El Paso, Texas
    Lorenzo also needed to prove that Lazaro had lived in the country for five years after Lazaro turned 17 in order to validate his own claim of citizenship.

    Um....?

  • ||

    Lazaro is Lorenzo's ( the subject of the article) grandfather, which leaves me puzzled.

    Your grandfather's US citizenship status has nothing to do with your US citizenship status if you are a foreign born child, only your parents' US citizenship status does.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    This reads like a Futurama episode.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When you use words like "crackdown" and "war on immigration" to describe constitutional law, it really hurts your cause.

    Once again, the Constitution gives congress the enumerated power to set the rules of naturalization, which covers the entire process of coming to this country, becoming a legal resident, and becoming a citizen. The Constitution enumerates this power to congress in the same place that it enumerates the power to tax and the power to declare war, and it does so for the same reasons--because inflicting an unpopular immigration policy on the American people is like inflicting an unpopular tax or an unpopular war.

    In that way, by describing the rule of law as a "crackdown" or a "war on immigration", you're being anti-democratic. No, democracy has no place in making a popularity contest of our rights, but it does have a proper and constitutional place--and immigration policy, like taxes and declarations of war, is one of those places.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If she wants to change the law, that would be fine, but Dalmia, seems to be against democracy itself when it comes to immigration. This piece might not seem as bad as the time she compared deportation to enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, but at least that was making a moral case against the law as it stands--rather than making a case against democracy and the rule of law.

    Opposing the law as it stands is fundamentally different from opposing the power of congress to set the rules of naturalization. I opposed the Iraq War, but I never thought that congress shouldn't have the power to declare war--just because I disagreed with the war. The purpose of libertarianism is not to use the coercive power of government to force libertarianism on America from above. Oppose our current immigration laws if you like, Ms. Dalmia, but libertarian victories on properly democratic questions come through persuasion and democracy.

    I'm not sure you get that. If Trump's anti-immigration policies are popular with the American people, that is not an example of an authoritarian inflicting his will on the American people. That's a president enforcing a constitutional law duly passed by congress. If you want to persuade the American people to change the law, you might want to rethink your strategy if your strategy is to convince them that they shouldn't have any say in immigration and naturalization policy.

    And isn't that what we mean if we think that immigration is a right?

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    Re: Ken Shultz,

    If Trump's anti-immigration policies are popular with the American people, that is not an example of an authoritarian inflicting his will on the American people.


    Don't you think that the first step is to argue from principle rather than the supposed popularity of a policy, Ken? Or do you want to apply that same criticism on Dalmia's argument to other rights, like PROPERTY? After all, isn't it merely a question of convincing enough people not to steal your stuff? If that's the case, then what exactly are you defending? What FOUNDATIONAL moral norm are you applying?

    I'll wait....

  • SQRLSY One||

    Amen, Speedos!

    During the Middle Ages of Europe, had the peasants been able to vote, the WOULD have supported witch-burning and witch-hanging!

  • sarcasmic||

    What OM said. Democracy is mob rule. The purpose of the Constitution was to create a republic with enumerated powers. The whole point was to put chains on government. To limit it. To have the government tell the mob "No." You know, Separation of Powers and all that.
    Of course that is a pipe dream because it depends on government limiting itself. Instead we now have Deference instead of Checks and Balances, and virtually no limits on governmental power.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Democracy in its proper place is not mob rule.

    Our rights are not dependent on a popularity contest.

    So long as the immigration rules set by Congress are in harmony with our rights in the constitution, then immigrants, legal or otherwise, are not having their rights subject to a popularity contest.

    Locking people up in cages for arson doesn't violate their rights either--so long as their Fifth Amendment, etc. rights havne't been violated.

    If you want to argue that our present immigration system violates the rights of illegal immigrants in some way, I'll be happy to listen, and if you're right, I'll advocate changing those laws immediately.

    But telling me that congress has no business setting immigration and naturalization policy without a reference to how that violates someone's rights is like telling me that congress has no business approving taxes or declaring wars--just because you disagree with the law? No, you need to show that the government is violating an illegal immigrant's rights in some way.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Don't you think that the first step is to argue from principle rather than the supposed popularity of a policy, Ken? Or do you want to apply that same criticism on Dalmia's argument to other rights, like PROPERTY?"

    You seem to have ignored half of what I wrote. Here, I'll quote the heart of it for you:

    " No, democracy has no place in making a popularity contest of our rights, but it does have a proper and constitutional place--and immigration policy, like taxes and declarations of war, is one of those places.

    Property is a right, and rights are choices. Something being property means I get to make the choices about who gets to use it, how it's used, etc.

    It's the same thing with other rights. I have the right to choose my own religion, to choose what I say, to choose to remain silent when I'm arrested, etc., etc.

    We're all obligated to respect each other's rights, and they can't be alienated by way of a popularity contest.

    Declaring war isn't like that. Taxes aren't like that.

    These are government actions that require the American people's consent--because the government inflicting taxes or wars on the American people--without their consent--is by definition coercive and authoritarian. You know what else is like that? Immigration. The power to make the rules for that was given to congress for that reason.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The government is absolutely required to respect the First, Fifth, Eighth, Fourteenth, etc. amendment rights of illegal aliens--or anyone else inside or outside the country. But congress writes the immigration laws--in harmony with our constitutional rights and with the consent of the governed. That's the way it is, and that's the way it should be.

    If you want to advocate some authoritarian immigration policy and inflict it on the American people in the name of libertarianism, don't expect me to stand by and keep my mouth shut. It's bullshit.

    You can oppose a war and still concede that congress has the right to declare wars you oppose, and you can oppose an immigration policy--without arguing against democracy, even in its appropriate place.

  • Mark22||

    The right of every nation to exclude non-citizens from its territory is recognized both bey the US and all other nations. So, that is a right that the American people have.

    The right of individuals to private property is also recognized in the US, which is why the American people do not have the ability to deprive citizens arbitrarily of the right to property.

    Oddly enough, the two rights interact: by imposing the presence of illegal migrants on Americans against the wishes of the American people, you are also infringing on the property rights of American citizens. So you are morally in the wrong not just on one count, but two.

  • Ken Shultz||

    When we're talking about rights, we're talking about two things that are often conflated.

    1) There's a legal right, which is a pale shadow of the real thing, written into law, in order to protect our real rights from government. Legally, our congress is tasked with setting the rules of naturalization, and they're free to do so--so long as those rules don't violate the Bill of Rights, anyone's constitutional rights, etc.

    The question is whether illegal immigrants have rights, and the answer is "of course they do". They even have legal rights--because those rights are prohibitions against government violating people's rights. The First Amendment starts, "Congress shall make no law . . .". So, no, congress can't make a law to violate the First Amendment rights of illegal immigrants--or anyone else.

    2) There's the real thing when we're talking about rights--they exist separate from government, they arise naturally as an aspect of our agency, and so it shouldn't be surprising to find that they're actually choices. When I say I have a right to religious liberty, it means I have a right to choose my own religion. I've already talked about property meaning the owner gets to choose who uses it, how it's used, etc.

    Do governments have the "right" to exclude people from the country in that sense?

    Hell no. Governments possess no agency. How could they possess rights?

  • Mark22||

    Historically and in international usage of the term, the term "rights" is often used where US constitutionalists might use "powers". That usage isn't accidental either, since most foreign governments developed out of monarchies, where we are literally talking about the "rights" of an individual, namely the monarch.

    When people use the term "the right of government to do X", they generally refer to "the right of individuals to act collectively to do X". That is, Americans, like the citizens of any other nation, have the right to act collectively to exclude people they don't like from the country; they exercise that right via a governmental power.

    It's the same sense in which corporations have "free speech rights": it's not that some artificial entity has been granted agency and rights it didn't possess, it's that when we talk about the "right" of the artificial entity, it's a shorthand for the aggregate rights of the individuals making it up.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That isn't the sense in which we are using the word "right" in reference to the Constitution, and that use of the word "right" is confusing in reference to people who are contending that individuals have a right to cross our border without interference from the federal government just like they have a right to choose their own religion without interference from the government.

    The question is whether the government is violating an illegal alien's rights by refusing him entry or deporting him. The correct answer is "no", and it has nothing to do with some confusing way in which a nation can be said to posses a right. The only legitimate purpose of libertarian government is to protect our rights, and the rights of illegal aliens are respected in our laws and the legal process that excludes and deports them--just like the rights of violent criminals are respected when they're duly convicted and sent to prison.

    So long as the laws and process used to exclude and deport illegal aliens respect their rights, then their rights were not violated. Congress cannot pass immigration laws that violate their First or Fourteenth Amendment rights. Law enforcement cannot violate their Fourth Amendment rights. They have a right to a trial, to remain silent, etc., etc. Show me any instance where the government is violating the rights of illegal aliens either in law or in process, and I'll oppose it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    But saying that the government cannot enforce duly passed immigration law because it necessarily violates the rights of illegal aliens is like saying that the government cannot declare war or deploy troops because that necessarily violates the rights of enemy soldiers. The fact is that congress is enumerated the power to declare war and set the rules for immigration and naturalization--and it must do so, legally, without violating people's rights.

    No, soldiers cannot arbitrarily kill civilians. No, you cannot discriminate against immigrants on the basis of their religion. However, congress can declare war and set the rules of naturalization while respecting people's rights. That's their job.

    But the government does not possess rights.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That being said, if government has any legitimate responsibility at all, it's to protect our rights. We have police to protect our rights from criminals. We have courts to protect our rights from the police. We have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats, and if there's any legitimate responsibility of government associated with immigration, it's protecting our rights from those who might want to immigrate here. What does that mean? It means what congress says it means--so long as whatever congress comes up with doesn't violate anybody's legal rights.

    Notice, the question being asked, here, however isn't whether our policy should be expanisve, whether our current policy really protects our rights from criminals, gangs, terrorists, etc., whether immigration is good or bad for the country, etc.

    No, the question Dalmia and here fans are asking seems to be whether congress should have any say in who comes across our border at all. The Constitution says they should, and I think the Constitution gets it right. The government has no business violating anybody's rights, but they have a legitimate function in setting immigration policies that don't violate anybody's rights, and if somebody here is saying that the executive should override congress on immigration and ignore the congress, then they should stop calling themselves libertarians. I don't want an emperor--not even a libertarian one.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    You're right. The constitution absolutely gets it right.

  • Mark22||

    The right of every nation to exclude non-citizens from its territory is recognized both bey the US and all other nations. So, that is a right that the American people have.

    The right of individuals to private property is also recognized in the US, which is why the American people do not have the ability to deprive citizens arbitrarily of the right to property.

    Oddly enough, the two rights interact: by imposing the presence of illegal migrants on Americans against the wishes of the American people, you are also infringing on the property rights of American citizens. So you are morally in the wrong not just on one count, but two.

  • Mark22||

    The right of every nation to exclude non-citizens from its territory is recognized both bey the US and all other nations. So, that is a right that the American people have.

    The right of individuals to private property is also recognized in the US, which is why the American people do not have the ability to deprive citizens arbitrarily of the right to property.

    Oddly enough, the two rights interact: by imposing the presence of illegal migrants on Americans against the wishes of the American people, you are also infringing on the property rights of American citizens. So you are morally in the wrong not just on one count, but two.

  • Mark22||

    The right of every nation to exclude non-citizens from its territory is recognized both bey the US and all other nations. So, that is a right that the American people have.

    The right of individuals to private property is also recognized in the US, which is why the American people do not have the ability to deprive citizens arbitrarily of the right to property.

    Oddly enough, the two rights interact: by imposing the presence of illegal migrants on Americans against the wishes of the American people, you are also infringing on the property rights of American citizens. So you are morally in the wrong not just on one count, but two.

  • damikesc||

    Don't you think that the first step is to argue from principle rather than the supposed popularity of a policy, Ken?

    He did.

    Opposing the law as it stands is fundamentally different from opposing the power of congress to set the rules of naturalization.

  • Old Mexican's Speedos||

    "Papieren, bitte!"

    Those words send apoplectic-causing currents of pleasure throughout Trumpistas' bodies.

    What? You don't think so?

    "Deport all illegals and lower immigration numbers to a trickle..."

    How is such a thing possible without stormtroopers asking innocent civilians for their papers?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Stormtroopers ask me for papers all the time. Outside of These States you cannot buy a ticket or board an intercity bus without showing identification. I remember the bullying by thugs every time I see the LIB entry on a voting ballot. Other people perhaps need more reminders, like being stripped and intimately prodded, being stripped of cash via asset-forfeiture "sharing" programs or simply beaten and jailed for no reason. Gestapo goons are a big help for registering voters as libertarians.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Yeah, the guy at the ticket counter at Greyhound, or Southwest Airlines is a 'Stormttooper'. Just the sort of bizarre hyperbole I've come to expect from you. You must really keep the covmersation lively in the day room at whatever mental institution you currently reside.

  • EscherEnigma||

    I'm curious who you're defining as "Stormtroopers". In the last couple of months I think I've had to present my ID once at a bank when I was opening a new account, and once when I was meeting a new doctor. But seeing as failure to present wouldn't have resulted in my detainment, I'm not sure that really counts as "stormtroopers".

  • Hank Phillips||

    Stormtroopers ask me for papers all the time. Outside of These States you cannot buy a ticket or board an intercity bus without showing identification. I remember the bullying by thugs every time I see the LIB entry on a voting ballot. Other people perhaps need more reminders, like being stripped and intimately prodded, being stripped of cash via asset-forfeiture "sharing" programs or simply beaten and jailed for no reason. Gestapo goons are a big help for registering voters as libertarians.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    There aren't the dumbasses you're looking for. You might try Salon.com.

  • True Scottsman||

    Hank is here as a foil for Dalmia. She seems convincing in contrast.

  • Mark22||

    European countries generally don't require people to carry identification. They do require people to be able to establish their identity when legally necessary.

    Oddly enough, the US works pretty much the same way. This is nothing new. If your identity needs to be established for some legal proceedings, you can be detained in the US as well until your identity has been established.

    Everybody needs to have proof of citizenship in the US and abroad. If you don't, don't complain about bad legal consequences.

  • Mark22||

    European countries generally don't require people to carry identification. They do require people to be able to establish their identity when legally necessary.

    Oddly enough, the US works pretty much the same way. This is nothing new. If your identity needs to be established for some legal proceedings, you can be detained in the US as well until your identity has been established.

    Everybody needs to have proof of citizenship in the US and abroad. If you don't, don't complain about bad legal consequences.

  • vek||

    Seriously? Anybody COULD need to prove who they are at any time. I've needed to produce my ID about a million times in my life, my social security card a lot of times, and my birth certificate a few times. Cops can detain me right now for any number of legitimate reasons, and some illegitimate (pigs gonna be pigs!), and I would need to prove who I am. Illegal immigration is a crime just like many others, so whining about people needing to produce ID that all proper adults should be able to produce without much issue is not going to get any tears from me.

    I'm part Mexican, and I'm sooooooooo fucking sick and tired of the bleeding heart pussy whine fest about illegal immigration, it makes me sick. My home state of California has been turned into 10 times the shithole it probably would have ended up being, largely because of illegal immigrants, and the Reagan amnesty probably flipped the state permanently blue a decade or two before it would have too. No tears from me about illegal Mexicans, fuck those people, they need to go home and try to fix their own damn country.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Weird, don't seem to be able to reply to individual comments. Hit the reply link and nothing happens. Was trying to repremand SQRLSY for being pro-witch.

  • SQRLSY One||

    ...I do hang my head in shame and 'fess up to being pro-witch...

    (It is an interesting era of history... I have read up on it... Do NOT read up on it too much if you have a weak stomach!
    It doesn't say much of anything nice about humans and the extremes of human ideologicallly-driven cruelty).

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Pro witch? Only if they're sexy witches. D cups are a plus.

  • Eidde||

    Finally, Dalmia has written an article about actual abuses, not simply a screed filled with name-calling.

    One thing which worried me about "comprehensive immigration reform" is that an internal passport system (in the form of "employer verification") would be established as part of a "bipartisan compromise." In practice, any employer or employee who bypasses the federal database would be subject to governmental raids. In short, most jobs would be subject to a federal "papers please" regime - you're not on the federal database, you aren't allowed to work at all sorts of jobs.

    As Dalmia hints, the progs have a two-faced policy which is exactly backward - morbid sympathy for illegals (to the extent of not caring if they're illegal) combined with punitive action toward employers. I guess this is part of the progs' kneejerk reaction against "corporate exploiters."

    IIRC, until 1986 there were no employer sanctions for hiring illegals; these were added because fairness.

    I hadn't been aware of the problem of citizens being detained as illegals. At first blush, I'd suggest that prisoners claiming citizenship should avail themselves more broadly of the Great Writ of habeas corpus, and if the jailer, in replying to the writ, falsely denies the prisoner is a citizen, soak them personally for damages with an action for a false return (a good old common law remedy).

  • Eidde||

    Oh, and if this hasn't been done already, provide that the jailer will not ever be able to avoid paying damages by declaring bankruptcy.

  • Eidde||

    And if I were *forced* to choose between putting up with illegal immigration or becoming a police state, I'd choose the illegal immigration. I'm still not convinced that immigration enforcement will *necessarily* lead to a police state, but naturally it's for the would-be enforcers to persuade me of this.

  • sarcasmic||

    Dude, we already live in a police state.

  • Eidde||

    Oh, well...

  • Eidde||

    Seriously, I don't know if we're facing such a stark choice as Dalmia suggests, I'd like to believe otherwise.

  • sarcasmic||

    The difference between bad and worse.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Fortunately that isn't an actual binary choice.

  • Mark22||

    As a US citizen, you should have your birth certificate or naturalization certificate available. It's not a legal requirement in the US, but if you don't, you may face unpleasant consequences.

    Other nations deal with that by simply requiring you to own documents establishing your citizenship. Such a requirement doesn't turn a country into a "police state".

    Nor does the sensible precaution of having a copy of your birth certificate.

  • chemjeff||

    No no, just because the police has the legal power to detain you for lacking proper documentation doesn't make it a "police state" at all!

    We have the Fourth Amendment for a reason.

  • Mark22||

    They don't detain you "for lacking proper documentation", they detain you "for" some other legitimate reason that requires establishing your identity. That's the same in Europe and in the US, Fourth Amendment or not. It's logically impossible for any kind of law enforcement to operate otherwise.

  • Juice||

    They do a lot of things in Europe.

  • vek||

    Seriously, it would be easy to enforce immigration law without doing anything crazy. The only reason it is this bad is decades of the government intentionally not doing it's job. If they properly enforced the law most of these people never would have tried to come here because they'd know they'd be caught anyway. The few that still risked it would be caught and returned in moderate numbers of a regular basis. This is a fabricated problem thanks to the government itself. Big business Republicans liked the exploitative labor aspect, and progs and their bleeding hearts are willing to do anything that shows they care more about brown people than white people no matter the repercussions. So here we are.

    If we enforce laws going forward it will be a piece of cake. Just look up the figures for how much border crossings slowed down JUST BECAUSE TRUMP GOT ELECTED, before he even did anything. Half of it is the mind game alone of them knowing we will enforce the law.

  • Mark22||

    If you fail to have proper identification, police can retain you in many other circumstances as well.

    It is utterly foolish not to have proof of citizenship. It happens to be legal in the US, but that doesn't protect you from having your life wrecked.

    Get your birth certificate and keep it in a safe place.

  • Eidde||

    Federal employer verification means that a careless clerk can type the wrong digit into an employer database and make a citizen unemployable in many industries.

    Sure you should have a birth certificate handy, but that doesn't address the above concern.

  • damikesc||

    Federal employer verification means that a careless clerk can type the wrong digit into an employer database and make a citizen unemployable in many industries.

    Yup, it could.

    Of course, there isn't a system where something can be done to cause problems.

    So there's that.

  • Mark22||

    If we had a secure national ID card system, we wouldn't need employer verification or all the other privacy-invading federal databases.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Nah, we'd just condense a dozen privacy-invading federal databases into a single privacy-invading federal database.

    And then don't let Equifax run the security.

    Is that an improvement?

  • sarcasmic||

    Good article.

  • WSS||

    This won't bother the die-hard Trumpists. Their overarching goal is to stick it to Hispanics and other minorities and this accomplishes that. Trumpists think if a significant number of nonwhite American citizens get snatched up and deported, then there are that many fewer here. Just like when they snatch up the bread winner of a family and his dependants have to follow him out of the country even though they are citizens. That too is a win-win for Trumpists.

  • Eidde||

    Oh, give me a break, Trump was able to get votes on the immigration issue because of illegal immigration and the skewed priorities of legal immigration.

    I'm sure some racists voted for Trump just as some Communists voted for Hillary, but lord knows Hillary isn't a Communist, and Trump isn't acting like a racist. You can call him a xenophobe (though that would be a wild exaggeration), but let's not pretend that he only got votes because non-hispanics want to stick it to hispanic citizens.

  • Eidde||

    (and I would imagine Hillary got racist votes too, just not from *white* racists)

  • Eidde||

    (unless you count the soft bigotry of low expectations, which some would call racist)

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Hillary has no ideology. Clinical psychopaths never do.

  • retiredfire||

    HiLIARy represented the demoncrap party.
    Anyone who votes for a demoncrap candidate is a communist.
    The only difference between someone, who calls themselves a communist, and someone who calls themselves member of the demoncrap party, is that one is being honest about what they are.
    Anyone with half a brain knows which one.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think that most anti-immigrant sentiment come more from economic ignorance than racism. These people seem to believe there are a fixed number of jobs. So every job taken by an immigrant is a job stolen from an American. That immigrants use resources without creating any. That immigration drains the economy. All of these things are false.

    Immigration, even the illegal kind, grows the economy because immigrants create wealth as well as creating new demands, which create new jobs.

  • Eidde||

    Given the skewed priorities of our immigration system, which focuses on who's related to whom rather than on who has mad skillz for the economy, then you're got a point.

    But "immigrants" taken as a class are neither good nor bad. The supposed purpose of immigration policy is to distinguish between promising and non-promising immigrants. Predicting the future is hard, but in general, you're more likely to get good results by letting in hard-working and law-abiding individuals than individuals with criminal backgrounds, whose only qualification for admission is that their aunt is already here.

    Also, there are sometimes gains to be made by admitting bona fide refugees - whose experience with oppression will not only incentivize them to show gratitude to the country which shelters them, but will perhaps even put them on guard against signs of oppression in their new country.

  • Mark22||

    The primary question to ask about any immigrant is whether he is going to pay more in taxes than he gets in government benefits. Per capita government spending right now is about $25000/year. Any immigrant that doesn't pay that much in taxes per year is a net drain on the US tax system, meaning tax payers have to subsidize their immigration. In order to pay those kinds of taxes, they generally need to make way more than median income, and few illegals do that. Handwaving about "growing the US economy" doesn't change that basic fact.

    Now, tell me, are you just ignorant of basic math, or are you deliberately lying?

  • sarcasmic||

    Do you pay $25K in taxes? I highly doubt it. If you don't then you best leave the country or off yourself because you are, by your own definition, a net drain on the economy.

    Speaking of math, is that $25K a median or a mean? If it is a mean then it is meaningless. And I seriously doubt it is a median.

  • Mark22||

    I have paid more than $25k in taxes per year for the entire time that I have been in the US as an immigrant. In fact, I have paid more than $25k in income tax every year since coming to the US as an immigrant. Most immigrants like me who get visas based on skills (as opposed to walking across the border or family reunification) can easily command those kinds of salaries.

    The $25k isn't a median or a mean, it is per capita government spending. That's the relevant number to look at. If you pay less than that in taxes per year (to be sure, all taxes, not just income), you are a net drain on the government and someone else needs to make up the difference.

  • True Scottsman||

    Or... fuck you cut spending?

    Asking for a friend.

  • sarcasmic||

    Rather than asking me if I am ignorant of basic math, you should ask yourself if you are ignorant of basic statistics.

  • Mark22||

    We're talking about the fiscal impact of immigrants. In order to have no net negative fiscal impact, the average that immigrants pay in taxes needs to be no less than the average fiscal impact of immigrants. That's basic math and basic accounting; you cannot replace "average" by "median" there. It's the same reason we talk about "per capita GDP" and similar quantities when talking about the economy.

    The statistical question there is the average fiscal impact of immigrants. Fiscal impact isn't like income distribution; it isn't a very long-tailed distribution. If anything, the average fiscal impact of immigrants is likely higher than the fiscal impact of the average American, because many government programs are means tested in some form. That may be balanced to some degree by a few programs (most notably defense) where there are some economies of scale.

    On balance, using per capita government spending as a substitute for average fiscal impact of an immigrant is probably fairly close. In any case, as an American tax payer, I don't see why I should even take a significant risk that an immigrant pays less in taxes than they consume; $25k/year seems like a sensible minimal requirement.

  • vek||

    Yup, I've seen similar figures and arguments before too. The fact is that many segments of the legal population here don't support themselves... The thing is we're stuck with them anyway, but why in gods name would we import MORE people that essentially don't bring anything much to the table? Because in three or four generations their family might have moved up the latter? Fuck that. We're America, we can choose to only let in the best of the best right off the bat. The economy doesn't need an endless input of low skill labor like in 1900, and it is foolish for us to not tailor immigration to the new reality.

  • Hank Phillips||

    If you look at those bright Red Republican county-by-county election return maps, there were concentrations of Democratic voters in southeast Florida, South Texas' Rio Grande Valley area, and Southern California near the border with Mexico. God's Own Prohibitionists are keenly aware of those pockets of resistance and doubtless write it of to the pernicious influence of The Leaves of Satan that threaten to compete with the U.S. beer and coffee industries. Libertarians in those states need to push for legalization of medicinal coca leaf tea as a cure for carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Eidde||

    Interesting point.

    By "interesting" I don't mean "comprehensible."

  • True Scottsman||

    If only you were entertaining like Agile Cyborg.

  • Mark22||

    I couldn't care less whether you are Hispanic, Chinese, French, or Polish: if you are in the country illegally, you should get deported.

  • vek||

    I'm part Mexican, and if I could wave a magic wand I would deport every single one of those illegal immigrants, no matter how long they've been here, and I WOULD be glad if they took their kids with them. Fuck those people. Statistically speaking they're mostly all low wage and low education, in a country already flooded with too many of that sort already.

    IF we actually enforced things going forward I would be okay with ONE FINAL amnesty for those in situations where they do have kids that are citizens or something... But only if we actually enforce in the future, and frankly I'd still prefer they just left instead. Call me racist if you want, a self loathing Mexican if you will, but I don't think they have done shit all good for the country or are needed. the 21st century doesn't need people with 8th grade educations, which happens to be the average for an illegal immigrant from Mexico. If Mexican engineers or doctors or whatever want to move here legally that's fine with me, but 11 million bus boys and lawn guys (and their millions more anchor babies) we do not need.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Good article. Most people can't imagine what it's like to live in constant fear of being sent back to Puerto Rico.

  • DonHonda||

    This article is a thing of pure hyperbole. I don't know where to start to burst the many erroneous bubbles stated to provoke.

    Trump is not "anti-immigrant."

    There's plenty of money and pro bono to help Illegal Aliens to go through the legal "civil" process, some of it our own tax money. Why isn't this being used for "Americans?"

    E-Verify has an appeal process in case there's a "false" negative.

    This whole situation has been caused by the expectations of the 1986 Amnesty and the lack of enforcement thereafter. Now people are upset if enforcement is made a priority as Trump was elected upon. Illegal Aliens demanding otherwise don't have much of a leg to stand on.

    Employers of Illegal Aliens also have a false argument. They wanted to hire an indentured class that will accept low pay and less than ideal working conditions.

    Obama increased the non-enforcement of our Immigration Code (especially interior enforcement and employment enforcement) for the past 8 years to the point of being un-American, as in definitely not for the benefit of US Citizens. His numbers for "deportations" was also a trick of cooking the books.

    I will follow this will supporting links.

  • DonHonda||

    Google: familysecuritymatters dot org
    The Lessons of 9-11--We Were--And Still Are--Unserious

    "Unless and until we get serious and reform our immigration system, we will not significantly lessen future terror attacks in this country. That is one of the lessons of the attacks of 9-11. The other is we are apparently repeating history as it is obvious we were also not serious about stopping terrorism before 9-11.

    Google: santacruzsentinel
    More than 800 immigrants mistakenly granted citizenship

    "The U.S. government has mistakenly granted citizenship to at least 858 immigrants from countries of concern to national security or with high rates of immigration fraud who had pending deportation orders, according to an internal Homeland Security audit released Monday."

    Google: santacruzsentinel
    More migrants from around the world making way to US border

    "WASHINGTON >> An increasing number of people from far-flung corners of the world quietly have tried to sneak into the United States among the hundreds of thousands of other, mostly Latin American migrants caught at the Mexican border in the last year, according to arrest data from the Homeland Security Department."

  • Paloma||

    Scroll

  • DonHonda||

    Google: washingtontimes
    Agents say just 40 percent of U.S.-Mexico border under control
    20 percent of illegals caught at border have criminal records

    "Less than half of the U.S.-Mexico border is under "operational control," and one out of every five illegal immigrants caught there has a criminal record, the chief of Border Patrol agents' labor union told Congress Wednesday when detailing violence that increasingly spills over the international boundary."

    Google: oversight.house dot gov2015/09/9-9-2015 Full Committee Hearing on US Personnel Safety in Mexico Judd NBPC Testimony dot pdf

    "I want to be very clear on this especially given the recent incendiary comments about who is crossing the border and the assertions that the border is safer than it has ever been. In 2014 ICE deported 177,000 convicted criminals. Of this number, 91,000 were arrested by the Border Patrol trying to illegally re-enter this country. To put this figure in
    perspective, in 2014 the Border Patrol apprehended and arrested just under 500,000 illegal immigrants–meaning that one in every five arrests last year by the Border Patrol
    was a criminal alien."

  • Paloma||

    Scroll

  • DonHonda||

    Google: gao dot gov/assets/680/675522.pdf

    "We had previously testified in February 2011 that at the time this goal and measure was discontinued at the end of fiscal year 2010, Border Patrol reported achieving varying levels of operational control of 873 (44 percent) of the nearly 2,000 southwest border miles.

    Border Patrol officials attributed the uneven progress across sectors to multiple factors, including terrain,transportation infrastructure on both sides of the border, and a need to prioritize resource deployment to sectors deemed to have greater risk of illegal activity."

  • Paloma||

    Eyeroll and scroll

  • DonHonda||

    Google: politifact dot com truth o meter statements 2015 aug/23 ben carson ben carson most border not under our control

    "A 2011 Government Accountability Office report said U.S. Customs and Border Protection considered 873 miles of the almost 2,000-mile U.S. border with Mexico under "operational control" in fiscal year 2010.Those are areas they classified "as those in which it has the ability to detect, respond, and interdict illegal activity at the border or after entry into the United States."

    "Operational control was broken down into two definitions: "Controlled" areas had enough agents to either deter or detect and apprehend illegal entries immediately at the border. We must note this still doesn't mean a 100 percent apprehension rate, but controlled status accounted for 129 miles, or about 15 percent of those 873 miles
    under operational control. The other 85 percent were considered "managed" areas, where agents could still identify and apprehend most entries from as far as 100 miles away.

  • Paloma||

    Scroll and scroll

  • DonHonda||

    The other 1,120 miles of border — the 56 percent of the total border to which Carson is likely referring — fell under two other definitions. The report said nearly two-thirds was considered "monitored," meaning illegal entries were likely to be detected, but resources or accessibility could make responses difficult. The other third was labeled "low-level monitored," defined as regions where detection and interdiction were constrained by few resources or poor infrastructure.

    "Border Patrol reported that these two levels of control were not acceptable for border security," the GAO report said.


    http://www.usnews.com/news/was.....t-of-south

    "While they've made strides in arresting illegals and building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico line, the Border Patrol only has "operational control" of 44 percent of the southern border, and of that only 15 percent is air tight, according to new General Accountability Office report.

    The GAO said that the Mexican border with Texas has the most holes, especially between Fort Hancock and Brownsville, where 70 percent to 90 percent of the state line is at the two lowest levels of protection, "monitored" and "low-level monitored." The GAO said that efforts to detector stop illegal immigrants from crossing there were poor. "Border Patrol reported that these two levels of control were not acceptable for border security," said the GAO."

  • Paloma||

    More crap...scroll

  • DonHonda||

    The U.S. currently has eleven non immigrant guest worker visa programs.
    http://travel.state.gov/conten.....orary.html

    There is no cap on the number of workers allowed into the U.S. under the H-2A temporary agricultural guest worker visa program.

    Google: thehill dot com homenews/senate/263529 funding deal hits backlash over increase in worker-visas
    "The provision could more than triple the number of H-2B visas for foreign workers seeking jobs at hotels, theme parks, ski resorts, golf courses, landscaping businesses, restaurants and bars. The move is intended to boost the supply of non-agricultural seasonal workers."

    http://www.uscis.gov/sites/def...../Resources for Congress/Congressional Reports/2011 National Immigration & Consular Conference Presentations/H-2A_and_H-2B_Visas.pdf

    Alabama had to bite the bullet and hire LEGAL Immigrants for its AG Industry:

    Google: bloomberg dot com
    Africans Relocate to Alabama to Fill Jobs After Immigration Law

    "East Coast began calling Atlanta refugee agencies several months ago looking for legal immigrants to come to Alabama for a year, said Mbanfu, refugee employment director for Lutheran Services in Atlanta. He said the company would have taken as many refugees as he could refer. The agency connected East Coast with refugees who had been in the country three to five years, he said."

  • DonHonda||

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com.....ants_N.htm
    Immigration raids yield jobs for legal workers

    'When federal agents descended on six meatpacking plants owned by Swift & Co. in December 2006, they rounded up nearly 1,300 suspected illegal immigrants that made up about 10% of the labor force at the plants.

    But the raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents did not cripple the company or the plants. In fact, they were back up and running at full staff within months by replacing those removed with a significant number of native-born Americans, according to a report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

    "Whenever there's an immigration raid, you find white, black and legal immigrant labor lining up to do those jobs that Americans will supposedly not do," said Swain, who teaches law and political science."

    http://bangordailynews.com/201.....cal-labor/
    Amid foreign worker shortage, Bar Harbor businesses turn to local labor

  • DonHonda||

    An Atlantic Monthly article that shows that most economists' thinking that an increased influx of immigrants provides more jobs for Americans is FALSE and does harm jobs for US workers and the economy:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/bus.....ns/384060/

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/f.....A9609C8B63

    Google: krugman dot blogs dot nytimes dot com/2006/03/27 notes on immigration
    The Conscience Of A Liberal--Paul Krugman

    "First, the benefits of immigration to the population already here are small."
    " But as Mr. Hanson explains in his paper, reasonable calculations suggest that we're talking about very small numbers, perhaps as little as 0.1 percent of GDP.

    "My second negative point is that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That's just supply and demand...

    "Finally, the fiscal burden of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear. "

    Also, it is patently untrue that "immigrants" are the solution to low rate of start-ups:

    Google: smallbiztrends dot com/2015/01 immigration reform declining start rate dot html

  • Paloma||

    Scroll

  • DonHonda||

    NOTE & WARNING: The links provided below contain direct quotes from Obama and his officials.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....-illegals/
    Obama gives free pass to businesses that hire illegals
    Audits, fines drop for employers

    "President Obama took office vowing to go after unscrupulous employers who hire illegal immigrants, but work site audits have plunged over the last year and a half, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Immigration Studies, tumbling along with the rest of immigration enforcement."

    http://www.sandiegouniontribun.....story.html

    Workplace immigration enforcement could come roaring back under Trump

    "Efforts to crack down on employment of unauthorized workers ebbed and flowed under the Obama administration. The numbers of criminal arrests associated with worksite enforcement dropped to 239 nationwide in 2016 from a peak of 713 in 2011, according to data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

  • Paloma||

    Write a book already

  • DonHonda||

    Google: politifact dot com florida/statements/2013/jul/03 debbie wasserman schultz obama holds record cracking down employers who hir

    "But Obama doesn't hold a record on final orders against employers. The numbers of final orders hit higher numbers in the 1990s. Those 495 final orders under Obama were consistently exceeded between 1992 and 1998, with a peak 1,063 final orders in 1992, according to data from the government's Immigration Statistics yearbook."

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/.....z2xkzioeHR

    The Left-Leaning LA Times posted an article that shows that the Obama administration, the Illegal Alien lobby, and the major media outlets have been in collusion to depict the "high" deportation numbers. The exact opposite is true since the beginning of the current President's policy. Interior deportation has and will be lower than 1973 rates. This is leading towards more people overstaying their visas and currently, more Illegal Alien minors crossing the border. Obama has just recently instructed border patrol to not turn back those Illegal Aliens on record as having entered illegally as priors, but to let them pass IF they don't have a major criminal record. After the first Illegal Entry, it is a felony each time thereafter.

  • DonHonda||

    Even Obama in 2011, called the deportation numbers deceptive when talking to Hispanic voters. President Obama said statistics that show his administration is on track to deport more illegal immigrants than the Bush administration are misleading.

    "The statistics are a little deceptive," he said Wednesday in an online discussion aimed at Hispanic voters."

    "If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero — it's just highly unlikely to happen," John Sandweg, until recently the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Google: thehill dot com/policy/technology/184393 obama calls for pathway to citizenship in online talk

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....ay/?page=1

    Google: nationalreview dot com/article/346043/cooking-boo

    http://www.ibtimes.com/immigra.....nt-2021453
    Immigration Reform 2015: Obama's Priority Enforcement Program Protects 87 Percent Of Undocumented Immigrants, Report Finds

    "The refocus in law enforcement efforts has effectively protected 9.6 million of the United States' estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, the report found. In all, a full implementation of Obama's changes would reduce annual deportations to approximately 25,000..."

  • DonHonda||

    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....flux-kids/
    "The federal government's chief deportation agency has seen its success plummet under President Obama, and its chief, Sarah R. Saldana, will tell Congress on Tuesday that they've had trouble adapting to the changing face of illegal immigration and a lack of cooperation from both American cities and from foreign countries.

    Ms. Saldana, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), says in testimony prepared for the House Judiciary Committee that the dramatic drop in deportations is a reflection of a trickier set of circumstances and pressures from all sides.

    She said she had to pull agents off their regular duties during last summer's illegal immigrant surge at the border, which meant fewer people focusing on deporting the longtime illegal immigrants living in the interior of the U.S. And she said the lack of cooperation from states, counties and cities when agents ask them to hold an illegal immigrant for pickup has also hindered efforts."

  • Rennata Wilson||

    Having fewer illegal aliens in overcrowded hospitals, overcrowded classrooms, over-congested highways, overcrowded beaches, and drinking from over-tapped water sources is a blessing, not a screwing.

  • ||

    Do you really believe that it is illegal aliens doing all of those things?

  • vek||

    Well, it has contributed 10-11 million illegals themselves according to government figures, plus millions of their legal anchor babies... So yeah, it's added considerably to all of that stuff. We had to try to build out infrastructure for more than 10 million more people, most of whom are a net negative in terms of taxes paid because they're all low income, and many/most work under the table...

    I grew up in California, and am actually part Mexican. Every time a teacher would tell us to conserve glue or paper or whatever stupid shit I would look around at all the illegal Mexicans in the room and just go WTF. Keep in mind this is when I'm a friggin' teen ager. If you've never lived somewhere that has essentially been overrun by illegal immigrants you can't know what it's like. My entire home state has become NOT part of America because of their influence, and frankly it's a hell of a lot the worse for it.

  • chemjeff||

    Ahh I see now. You feel threatened by demographic change. Look. Places and neighborhoods change with time. The neighborhood I grew up in isn't the same as it is now. That is how the free migration of people works. Nothing stays static. If you have no migration then you wind up with places like Japan, which is old and dying. I support the right of free people to migrate to places where they aren't harming or causing a burden to anyone. And if they move to your neighborhood and you don't like it, for whatever reason, I support your right to migrate to a place which is more amenable to you. But in the absence of things like HOAs, you don't have the right to keep your neighborhood pristine and untouched forevermore. Because there is no way for you to exercise such a "right" without infringing on the rights of others - willing buyers and sellers trading property for money.

  • vek||

    First, I will freely admit that that is part of it. As a mixed Californian I think I can be objective here and honest. I'd probably say I'm 80% economic/practical 20% cultural. All of the many practical reasons are my main reasons, and I think they are logically sound. This is why I'm fine with a Mexican doctor legally coming here, but not millions of random 8th grade graduate bus boys.

    It sounds like you are one of the worldwide open borders types. I don't believe in this concept whatsoever. I think you types are insane, and ignorant of history and the negative effects mass migration has had countless times on civilizations. My ancestors, the barbarian Germans moving into Rome (legally and illegally at different times) destroyed their civilization. Europeans moving into the Americas destroyed the native civilizations. Neither was good for the original inhabitants, although I would argue Europeans moving to America created a superior civilization, it surely didn't for Romans.

    These are real world outcomes of mass migration, which you one worlders seem to want to ignore. You can be for XYZ, but you must acknowledge that actions have repercussions. True open borders would destroy our civilization in short order. I like my civilization as is, and wouldn't want that to happen to it, hence controlling migration to some degree is reasonable IMO. Then it's just arguing about what's reasonable. It doesn't have to be totally closed, but something between the two extremes.

  • chemjeff||

    Honest question to you. Do you believe "all men are created equal" as the Declaration of Independence says? Quite frankly, I think a lot of people on the right do not. They think Muslims, Mexicans, etc., are inherently inferior and not worthy of American citizenship, or even of being here, by virtue of their inferiority. I flatly reject that. But if you genuinely believe that all people are created equal on some fundamental level, then what reason is there for a coercive state to limit their migration to where they want to go? I can think of only a few - documented criminal, carrying some horrible disease. But beyond that, why? What is the rationale? The whole premise of individual liberty is that the burden of proof rests with the state on why it believes it should limit people's choices; the burden of proof should NOT rest with the individual to justify why he/she should want to exercise some free choice. So if a Mexican wants to go to America, or if an American wants to go to Mexico, then the individuals should start with the default presumption that their free choices should be respected, and only if the state meets a high burden of proof to stop that choice should they be prevented from exercising that choice. So what is that standard?

  • vek||

    1. The Declaration does not mean it in the way I think you think it means it. Jefferson meant in a very basic way. Like all people are people, and thus deserve a certain level of respect, dignity, and freedom. Like no people should be slaves, and there should be equality under the law etc.

    That I definitely believe in. If you mean are all people ACTUALLY equal, then the obvious answer is no. Everybody knows that's not true. A 70 IQ mentally handicapped person is NOT equal to Albert Einstein. That 70 IQ person shouldn't be a slave, or be gassed or anything... But they're not "as good" as one of the greatest minds in human history. Everybody knows this, but refuses to say it out loud.

    As far as different groups, 2 things.

    1. You don't actually have to believe any group is better/worse than another to realize there are reasons they shouldn't necessarily live together. I have no problem with Satanists doing their thing. I have no problems with Baptists doing their thing. Would it be a wise decision for a Satanist and a Baptist to be roommates in a house together? I think we all know the answer to that question... NO. It's a horrible idea. It's a recipe for constant conflict.

    Something I have only come to accept recently is that humans are biologically programmed to prefer being around people that are similar to themselves. Not to exclusion of all others 100%, but they simply feel more comfortable. This is why natural segregation occurs, even without state enforcement.

  • vek||

    In a political context people might all agree on X policy and Y policy across racial lines, but if Z policy, which is technically objective and not raced based, is perceived to effect a certain group over another, then said people will always side with their ethnic group over the other ethnic group... Even if policy Z is in fact the best for everybody overall. It's natural behavior. This type of thinking runs rampant in the USA today, and runs along racial lines.

    I used to think we could overcome it, but the last few years and watching how bat shit crazy minorities have gotten over non existent or minor issues, I simply don't think it is possible anymore. Can you EVER imagine blacks dropping their group mentality against white people in the USA? It is literally NEVER going to happen, because we're naturally tribal, and they feel the need to fight whites, even on issues where there isn't anything real to fight about. So if you accept this premise, which history shows to be almost certainly correct, then you have to consider that perhaps it is better to maintain a super majority of whatever ethnic group in any given nation state. Some minorities are fine, but not enough to ever cause too much trouble.

    I now think this is the ideal setup for a nation. Not NO minorities. And being very polite and tolerant of the minorities there are... But a super majority is key to maintaining harmony and effective rule over a nation.

  • vek||

    2. Do I think any groups are better worse on various counts? Maybe. I definitely believe that people who come from societies that are sufficiently backwards are not going to mesh well or assimilate, which is an issue. Especially if they intentionally don't want to integrate fully, which is how many groups seem to feel nowadays. Many foreign norms are wholly unacceptable in a nation such as ours. So I definitely believe there is a sliding scale that goes from "adapts to being American easily" to "will be very hard to Americanize."

    Most cultural things are theoretically changeable over time though... The question is do we want a bunch of pain in the ass immigrants for 3-4 generations while they slowly morph into decent westernized peoples? IF it ever happens that is.

    As far as biologically speaking, there is a tremendous amount of scientific evidence that there are differences in innate capabilities and tendencies. This is of course the least PC stuff in the universe, but literally not ONE intelligence test ever done has scored Africans as high as Europeans or Asians. It's not the way I'd have made things if I were God, but it seems to be the way evolution dished things out.

    See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_ intelligence#United_States_test_scores for basic info. Read that and some of the things it links to, google more. It's an interesting rabbit hole to go down if you have an open mind and don't knee jerk react because it doesn't fit your preconceived notions.

  • vek||

    Even PC scientists admit groups have different IQ scores, they only argue that most of the difference is environmental vs genetic... Problem is no combination of environmental factors has ever been able to eliminate the gaps, and genetic cause explains essentially all evidence ever collected perfectly. It's likely both, but genes more than environment. Again, not what I'd want to be the case, but it seems to be so.

    This DOES NOT mean we need to treat whole groups as animals, or do ANYTHING mean or negative against them... We definitely should not do those things. People are individuals and need to be treated as such. But one is a fool to not realize the real world repercussions of these facts. For instances African Americans actually mesh up perfectly in terms of income with the outcomes one would expect based on their average IQ score... Which is to say there is likely virtually nothing holding them back, other than not having the same IQ as other groups. Likewise Asians make more money than whites because they have higher average IQs. So programs designed to make blacks have equal outcomes with say whites/Asians are literally guaranteed to fail.

    It's just science and facts. What we do with the facts is what makes it evil/mean/immoral or not. I am fine with allowing people of any ethnic group to move here, provided they are quality people. I don't buy into open borders shit on any level, and would exclude idiot blow it case whites and Asians the same as idiot Mexicans etc.

  • vek||

    I know it can be hard to accept, it was for me too... But I researched it A LOT. Read all the PC refutations, and all the scientists on the non PC side who seemed to be non biased as well. My conclusion is that the above is all real, and has been suppressed because of the feelz of the everybody is EXACTLY the same left. There are other biological differences as well. Testosterone levels, actual brain size variation, etc. All hard science facts that are totally black balled from public discussion. But if you're intellectually honest, and want to know the truth it is worth reading into. Once you get all the facts it is impossible for an objective person to not think that the majority of IQ differences is genetic, and all that goes along with that implication.

    IMO to believe that we could be 100K years divergent from Africans, completely different physically in many measurable way, and that there wouldn't be ANY measurable difference in mental faculties is in fact the delusional idea to hold on to. I mean do we really think that evolution itself gave 2 shits about what would be politically correct 200K years after our species came into existence? Nature didn't care. It evolved us to survive best in various environments, which meant different changes in different places.

    Let me reiterate, the facts themselves do not make anything evil or wrong. It's only the actions taken from them, which we have control over as a society.

  • vek||

    The level of illegal immigration we have is not quite at civilization destroying level yet, but has had massive effects, many of which are negative IMO. Cali went socialist years before it would have sans Reagan amnesty. Texas is going to go Democrat in a few years as is (let alone if we do another amnesty), EXCLUSIVELY because of mass immigration. You think that's not something to be concerned about??? The Republicans are pieces of shit, but they're 1,000,000 better than having outright socialists running the country, which is what the Democrats have turned into in recent years. That's a real world outcome of immigration policy, okay? The socialists know this, and it's WHY they're pushing it. Can you accept that actions have consequences, and they won't always be desirable?

    Since I don't believe in the absolute right to migrate wherever anybody wants at any time, immigration then becomes a question of trying to have immigration policy that is good for the nation and its existing population. In the 21st century that should not include unlimited low skill immigration, which for us is mostly from down south. If we were being flooded with high school dropouts from Europe or China right now I'd be against that too!

    We don't need to be Japan, but we don't need to try to intentionally destroy ourselves a-la Roman style either. We need to import economically useful people, and in numbers that won't completely change the culture of the country in negative ways.

  • chemjeff||

    I'm sorry, but R/D tribalist scaremongering does not work with me. Both teams are equally shitty. I don't approve of the Democrats' socialist economics, but at least they are willing to expand some aspects of individual liberty on some level (gay marriage, pot legalization, criminal justice reform). Republicans have adopted most of the Democrats' socialist economics - you don't see them railing against entitlements anymore - and they are willing to lower tax rates and reduce regulations - good for economic liberty - but they seem intent on continuing their moral proselytizing and, as noted above, I think quite a lot of them reject the fundamental equality of humanity when it comes to liberty. Plus they have taken a turn for the worse with their paranoia and victimhood complex. I would not vote for either one of them at this point.

  • vek||

    Not saying the Republicans are great, they suck massive balls, and I've never voted R for president in my life. GayJay all the way brah! LOL But if you don't see that the Democrats are infinitely worse in this binary system we have... I dunno man.

    The Republicans also have softened on their idiot social things, which is something they should have done 20 years ago. So I'm less worried about their "bad" aspects compared to years past... But the Dems have only stepped up their economic insanity, as well as their general oppression of anyone who challenges the group think they put out.

    Here's how I've always thought about it though. Let's assume the Rs are as crazy extreme as they used to be on social stuff, even though they're not really... What is worse, weed staying illegal, or more restrictions on abortion (it's never going to be outright illegal again)... Or the complete destruction of the concept of limited government, and a move to a total socialist state? Because that's what the Dems want nowadays. I'm sorry but legal weed does not make up for that shit. The areas where the Rs are worse than Ds are simply things on the periphery, they're not an existential threat like the stuff the Ds want.

    I vote third party pretty much anytime I can, but between the two I'll take a horrible bible thumping R over a Communist Manifesto thumping D any day of the week.

  • vek||

    We're a big country and have room to import plenty of smart immigrants, but when assimilation stops as it has in California it's a recipe for guaranteed tribal warfare. My mom's dad's family moved to Cali from Mexico in the late 1800s/early 1900s, and became fully Americanized in short order, and just got lost in the mix. But that's not how it's working now, which is a sign that there are too many immigrants too damn fast. Look at the issues that has made for us as a country. That can all be avoided by simply having reasonable immigration laws, and properly enforcing them. Our whole country IS the HOA we're signed onto! That's how nation states have always worked.

    My bottom line is that we owe nothing to anyone else from anywhere else in the world. The ONLY reason anybody should be allowed to move here is if there is reason to believe they will be useful for the country and its people, and not have large negative repercussions. You can argue all day about what that means, but IMO it's pretty obvious millions of 8th grade educated people aren't needed in a 1st world economy in the 21st century. Anybody who says otherwise is clearly ignoring the obvious reality of the situation for political reasons.

  • chemjeff||

    Look, assimilation takes 2-3 generations before it is complete. That is how it works. We don't necessarily have "too many" immigrants. What we do have is a more rapid pace of change for everything in our society, making us more impatient.

    "The ONLY reason anybody should be allowed to move here is if there is reason to believe they will be useful for the country and its people, and not have large negative repercussions."

    No. That is not how liberty works.

    I have liberty to exercise my free choices, and the burden of proof is on the state to justify why it believes it should have the power to restrict my choices.

    Individuals do not have the burden of proof to justify why they believe they should be allowed to exercise their free choices, with the state's permission and blessing.

  • vek||

    I fundamentally do not believe in unlimited freedom of movement between nations. If that were allowed you might as well not have nation states... And I'm not an anarchist.

    I believe in starting from the position of individual liberty on issues... But open borders are suicide for a culture and for maintaining 1st world living standards. Period. THAT is response to the burden of proof for controlling immigration in some way. Then it's just arguing about the details.

    We do not need low skilled immigration. I've said it before, but I'm cool with Mexican doctors etc.

    ALL THAT SAID, I think with large scale immigration in short order, especially of people who don't blend in ethnically, you're likely to not get the melting pot of European Americans... But rather the chopped salad that blacks/whites have become. Distinct groups within a single nation.

    That seems to be the dynamic playing out with our new immigrant groups. Being a nation of 6 or 8 different, distinct, groups that constantly fight with each other is not a recipe for success. The melting pot thus far ONLY worked for different whites because everybody could mix in quick and easy. Similar underlying culture + ethnically close, easily assimilated. Blacks couldn't, hence never integrated. I think a lot of newer groups are going to end up more like blacks than say Italians or Irish. This would be a bad thing. We'll see where this progressive multicultural experiment goes, but I'm guessing it's going to be a disaster.

  • vek||

    I don't want to see the greatest experiment in self government in human history sink into darkness because we allowed in too many people too quick who didn't respect the ideals of this country and its founding documents. That's what we've clearly been doing, and it should stop. I'm open to more non citizen work visa situations, allowing more legal immigrants that have skills, and all kinds of stuff... But the way it works now is fucking broken.

  • retiredfire||

    But people, like chemjeff, want to see " the greatest experiment in self government in human history sink into darkness".
    They hate that America is as wealthy and powerful as she is.
    Do you ever see them advocate that they emigrate to somewhere that is more in accordance with what they want? No one is stopping them.
    No, the effort is always to bring those, who will, without a doubt, change this culture and form of government.
    They don't see that change as bad, but what we, American-loving citizens, deserve for having the most free and wealthy nation.

  • chemjeff||

    Oh screw you. That is the convenient lie you tell yourself - your opponents are all "anti-American traitors" and that permits you to skip analyzing the strength of my arguments and go directly into "he's a Nazi!!!" accusation mode. I don't hate America. I do love individual liberty. I wish I could say the same for the right generally speaking.

  • vek||

    Well, perhaps YOU don't... You're a "left libertarian" in your own head at least, right? You seem pretty bleeding heart, which I am not, but also actually coming from a freedom perspective at least. But the outright progressives in this country 100% DO hate America. They hate capitalism. They hate limited government. They hate free speech. They hate basically everything that makes America America.

    Whether you believe in it for reasons of liberty or not, the progressive establishment is pushing for low skill immigration from certain countries because they know statistically it is going to win them more elections and give them more power. In a different world I would possibly be in favor of international movement of people more freely... But in this world, and our nation, it is an existential threat to the survival of our civilization to allow 100% unchecked immigration. That's why I oppose it. Rules and principles are sweet, but there are always times to break rules now and again. I feel that this is one of them.

  • Sevo||

    Ignoring the hopes of those who are 'alright, Jack', let's discuss how your local Boss Tweed can conduct foreign policy:

    "U.S. cities, states pledge to preserve Paris deal"
    [...]
    ""It is important for the world to know, the American government may have pulled out of the Paris agreement, but the American people are committed to its goals, and there is nothing Washington can do to stop us," former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a global climate meeting in Bonn."
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/wor.....350140.php

    A "former mayor of NYC" presumes to speak for the American people? Fuck off, Tony.

  • Eidde||

    Did any of Don Honda's posts address the mistaken deportation of U. S. citizens, or the 4th Amendment problems with immigration searches - which were covered in the article?

  • ||

    Of course they didn't.

    I wouldn't expect anyone who could make the statement 'Trump is not "anti-immigrant"' to even consider any such thing.

    Any one who wants to halve the number of legal immigrants admitted is quite fairly called "anti-immigrant".

  • vek||

    You know what? Shit goes wrong sometimes. The government is good at being incompetent. That doesn't mean legitimate law enforcement should be stopped because they'll fuck up sometimes. Like no murderer should ever be arrested because they falsely accuse people sometimes? Come on. I doubt they were doing in on purpose, and there were reasons to be dubious of a story like his. If he wasn't such a moron I'm sure he could have sorted it out a lot quicker, like by having a birth certificate and shit like 99.9% of people do.

    I wouldn't say Trump is anti immigrant across the board, I think he is more pro a narrow set of immigrants. Like ones who are doing it legally, and ones that aren't from countries where sizable portions of the population want to kill us, and also probably ones that actually have job skills useful in a 1st world country in the 21st century. I don't think any of those things makes him a mad man... I'd say it's mostly all common sense. We have no obligation to let anyone in from anywhere. Anyone we do let in it should only be if it benefits the people or the country, otherwise why in gods name would we do it?

  • retiredfire||

    Not fair, at all.
    Maybe, if he advocated no immigration, you could say that, but it would only be true if he wanted it to never again be allowed.
    Deciding that we have enough immigrants, for now, doesn't make one anti-immigrant.
    For fuck's sake! He has even allowed the DACAsses to continue on their unconstitutional way, while suggesting that Congress reverse itself and repeal long-standing immigration law, to reward them for being law-breakers.
    That's not anti-immigrant.

  • Mark22||

    Here's what the proverbial "civilized" and "advanced" countries do:

    - They require every citizen to obtain an ID card.
    - This ID card is used for voting, financial transactions, obtaining governmment services, and jobs.
    - Without an ID card, you don't get any of the above.

    No, this does not mean "papers please": you're free not to carry the ID card. No, this does not main a big brother database: having an ID card is different from creating a national database.

    For some reason, American "liberals" refuse to require people to own proper identification, and then "complain" when people start worrying about voter fraud, illegal employment, and deportations. Of course, this isn't stupidity, it's strategy.

  • ||

    Sorry, but in France any police officer can stop you at any time and demand your Carte d'Identite and if you can't produce it you will be detained. Likewise in Germany or Italy for their equivalent document.

    In Italy everyone is required to register their new address within six days of its occurnece.

    For the most part it is only the English speaking countries (the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia) that do no require you to have identity papers and require police to have some kind of probable cause to approach you and detain you. That is not to say that in any of those countries there are not cops who will abuse their authority and make life miserable for you.

  • ||

    For some reason, American "liberals" refuse to require people to own proper identification...


    Sorry, but th fact is that the requirement to have "papers" is mostly a requirement of the modern liberal management state. It is necessary so that people can show that they are entitled to the benefits they are demanding and to manage the extent to which they are getting those benefits so that they don't get too much.

  • ||

    Which American "liberals" refuse to require people to own proper identification?

    As in, "who the fuck was it that every American had to have a Social Security Card with a nine-digit-identifying-number to make sure they were paying their taxes, not transferring money to offshore accounts and tracked where they worked and where they travelled etc?"

  • ||

    Sorry, "who the fuck was it that made it so that every American had to have a Social Security Card..."

  • ||

    Here's a clue, it wasn't anti-New Deal Republicans and it sure as hell wasn't libertarians.

  • ||

    Actually, YES, this does mean a big brother database, just as keeping a gun ownership registry means a big brother database and keeping a record of what charitable or religious or political organizations you belong to means a big brother database.

    Having an ID card is no different from creating any other national database.

  • chemjeff||

    Of course it does and anyone with two brain cells can see that.

    The restrictionists should just be honest and say what they really want, that they don't really care that much about the Fourth Amendment, that they WANT the police to be demanding papers of every person they come across accused of some petty crime. Especially the brown people! Because what if they are illegals???????

  • chemjeff||

    No, this does not mean "papers please": you're free not to carry the ID card. No, this does not main a big brother database: having an ID card is different from creating a national database.

    Yes it does, and yes it does.

    If you're a citizen, how do you prove you're a citizen when ICE raids your place of employment, if you don't have your papers? That very much is "papers please".

    If there's an ID card, how is the validity of the ID card verified without some central database?

    You cannot have it both ways. You cannot simply assert "oh everyone's Fourth Amendment's rights will be protected while the state demands everyone carries their papers all the time, just trust me".

    This is like the liberal's claim that we can have "sensible gun control" that also preserves everyone's Second Amendment rights. No, it doesn't. What they want in practice is to redefine the Second Amendment to mean "only those rights which we think you ought to have". And it is the same with the Fourth Amendment and illegal immigration. The restrictionists want to redefine the Fourth Amendment to mean "only those rights which we think you ought to have".

  • vek||

    Dude, the cops can already bust into your place of employment and demand your ID you tard! If your boss is selling illegal human organs on the side, and the feds raid you it's the exact same thing. And nobody is saying the cops can't ever arrest anybody for anything soooooo somehow enforcing this one particular set of laws is magically above all other situations???

    I'm NOT in favor of a national ID card system for many reasons. But using state IDs as they exist, and birth certificates etc I have zero problem with. And YES if 95% of your illegal immigrants fit a very obvious and identifiable group, I have no problem with them getting extra scrutiny. I think the non profiling laws are insane and ridiculous. My family is German, and in theory they would have received extra scrutiny during WWII if they had been up to anything fishy because they were fairly recent immigrants back then. I think that's perfectly reasonable, and any legal Hispanic (which I could consider myself to be since I'm part Mexican) should be okay with that. I don't think 100% indiscriminate stops are okay, but in certain situations it's okay to profile IMO.

  • chemjeff||

    I'm NOT in favor of a national ID card system for many reasons.

    I'm sorry, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. The logic of labor prohibition leads to things like registries and databases. You WILL wind up with a national ID card because the immigration prohibitionists who are more fervent than you will demand it in order to stop the "invasion" of illegals.

    And YES if 95% of your illegal immigrants fit a very obvious and identifiable group, I have no problem with them getting extra scrutiny.

    Well then. You think Black Lives Matter is bad now? Just wait until we enact your vision of immigration control and set the police loose to demand papers of every brown-skinned person. It will be "Hispanic Lives Matter" x 10 on steroids.

    and any legal Hispanic (which I could consider myself to be since I'm part Mexican) should be okay with that.

    Because they should have nothing to hide, amirite?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You don't need a national ID card and can can crack down on illegals.

  • chemjeff||

    There is no practical way to have a serious "crackdown" on illegals without a national ID card.

    State ID cards are sufficient? Well what about states that grant driver's licenses to illegals, like California? Can't use those.

    Birth certificates are sufficient? Well what about naturalized citizens?

    And besides, it was George W. Bush and the Republicans who enacted the current Real ID system, after spending all of the 90's complaining about Clinton's desire to enact a national ID system. Both teams are on board with it. It's only a matter of time, if you continue with the logic of labor prohibition.

  • vek||

    1. You can be in favor of having laws against rape (reasonable), without being in favor of a law mandating every woman wears a chastity belt (unreasonable). Same with using existing IDs to enforce immigration laws, versus creating a vastly larger and more sinister database of information. Not that the government snoop agencies don't have this kind of shit already anyway...

    2. Again, there's a difference between agents on every corner stopping every guy with a tan, and using common sense to profile likely criminals. I've never in my life seen the cops get out of line with anybody regarding immigration status. But if you're a Hispanic near the border, with an accent, who gets arrested for something else it should not be unreasonable to verify docs to prove you're legal. There are limits that would need to be adhered to of course, but the limit shouldn't be that you can't consider ethnicity at all. It's probably 1 million times less likely that a white guy with no accent is illegal (Canadian no doubt!), and with differentials like that it just makes sense for it to be ONE consideration of many a LEO should be allowed to use.

    3. They shouldn't have anything to hide, I sure don't. I can produce my documents. But again, there is a difference between reasonable levels of scrutiny and tyranny. It can't be every tan guy gets harassed, but to outlaw ever questioning anybody with a tan is equally ridiculous. As with many things one must watch out for that "fine line" and not cross it.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Not "every tan guy gets harassed." That's just BS.

    When I traveled in Scandinavia my hosts told me to be sure always to have my American ID and passport with me at all times. As it happened I was never stopped, but everyone accepted that it could happen and knew what it took to be prepared. I did not take it as an insult but a rational application of immigration laws. So be it. I would go back in a hot minute if I could afford the trip

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    If Palma was born in this country he is an American citizen. Period. The hospital would have issued a birth certificate to be signed by the parents which would then be registered. It ain't rocket surgery. And nowhere does it say that he was in fact born here. Rather, he is "American" because he has lived here for so long.

    A simple, inarguable point. A country must have laws, including immigration laws. We are probably the most lax country in the world when it comes to immigration laws. Just try going to Mexico not in compliance with their immigration laws. A spell in a U.S. Detention Center awaiting deportation proceedings is a cakewalk by comparison. Will it hurt business people who have maintained their fortunes through use of undocumented (and therefore underpaid) workers? Yes in many if not most cases, but so what? Hire people who are legally here and pay decent wages instead of exploiting those who are by definition incapable of defending themselves from predatory employment practices.

    And lest anyone assume I am exuding "white privilege", my father, cousins and uncles were all immigrants and all came here legally. I know and have worked with several people who came here from Africa ... legally. They all oppose illegal immigration for perhaps the simplest of reasons: they went through the process, so why should others get to jump the line?

    There is nothing worse for the long-term health of any society than to have laws that society does not enforce.

  • Bra Ket||

    If the guy has no birth certificate how do we know he is even related to the grandfather who's birth certificate he has? Especially since the guy is dead.

  • vek||

    You don't, but don't question it you racist!

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    It's a Shilha article so I ain't fucking reading it. That said, I found it interesting that immediately preceding this in my twitter feed was an article about how France is trying to lock down internal threats from first generation natives.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Shikha. Even my phone doesn't want to recognize her.

  • buybuydandavis||

    If we didn't have millions upon millions of illegal aliens, we're probably not bothering with any of these policies.

    Open Borders Uber Alles has consequences. Lack of a Wall has consequences. Lack of border security has consequences.

    Moral of the story - Adults should get birth certificates or other proof of citizenship status for themselves and their children. We live in a world of nation states, and your citizenship status matters in that world. Grow up.

  • chemjeff||

    Papers, please!

  • loveconstitution1789||

    At the border? Yup, show your passport.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Lack of a Wall has consequences. Lack of border security has consequences.


    Actually...

    Following stricter border enforcement and the fence, we saw illegal immigration spike. Why? Because prior to that, you had folks come in for seasonal labor and then return home to their families. But when you make it harder to go back and forth across the border, they stopped doing that as much and started just moving their families to the states.

  • vek||

    Yes, people from a crappy country wanted to come here and get paid better. Yes, farm owners wanted to lower their labor costs versus paying Americans enough to be willing to do the work. This all makes sense.

    Funny thing though is that we don't HAVE to have the above. Northeast farms never had cheap Mexican labor, yet managed to stay in business. Funny that, since we hear the claim that it's impossible to have a farm without cheap illegal labor now. Amusingly enough I saw in passing the other day an article about how California and southwest farms have actually not modernized the way farms in the midwest and northeast have... Specifically because of the cheap labor they have had versus the farms in areas without cheap foreign labor.

    So we don't NEED to have pseudo slave labor any which way, it's a choice. Farms elsewhere in the world where they don't have cheap illegal labor have survived, and I'm sure ours would too.

  • chemjeff||

    Maybe it would be instructive to review the history of the Fourth Amendment.

    http://law.justia.com/constitu.....izure.html

    Basically, the colonists were outraged by "writs of assistance", which were general search warrants, and moreover, didn't expire until the death of the King. Imagine if agents of the state could search your property any time merely on suspicion that you might have smuggled goods, and there was nothing you could do about it. The Fourth Amendment was put in place to stop those abuses, demanding specific allegations before a search warrant could be issued, not just general suspicions.

    Now, imagine if agents of the state could demand that you present your papers, merely on suspicion that you weren't a citizen, and there was nothing you could do about it...

  • vek||

    Most of the stuff cited in the article doesn't even apply, as they had warrants to raid places. I'd imagine it's pretty uncommon for ICE to just go stopping random people at Wal-Mart and demanding papers. If the police come into valid contact for another reason, it's not unreasonable to inquire about immigration status since we have 10 million plus law breakers in the country... It's kinda like checking for a warrant if you pull somebody over for speeding. There are lines that shouldn't be crossed with this stuff, but the progs and you open border libertarians aren't suggesting that, you're trying to say ANY attempt at enforcement is being LITERALLY HITLER. Just like the stupid fucking leftists. And it's fucking retarded. Cops fuck with people all the time for other crimes, it needs to be kept reasonable, but cops gotta enforce laws or you have anarchy. If you don't like the laws change them.

  • vek||

    First off, is it wrong that this article gave me a boner? Haha.

    Seriously though, this whine fest is ridiculous. The ONLY reason that anything might have to get overly hardcore here is because of all the previous asshole politicians who refused to enforce the law reasonably over a long period of time. If they'd just muddled along even half way trying to enforce the laws there wouldn't need to be any mass round ups, or kicking people out who lived here for decades, or any of the other shit progs usually whine about. The labor force will resort itself out once we've booted out all the illegals. There are millions of native slackers on welfare who already live here, and they need to be cut off and do a lot of these low level jobs. We don't need these people.

    Also, the crappy things mentioned in this article are mostly anomalies, and if we actually got the illegal immigrant thing under control would become way toned down even more.

    I'm part Mexican for fucks sake, but the shit that we let go on with illegal immigration is ridiculous. These people have no legal or moral right to be here. This is our country and we have a right to choose who comes through our borders. I'm against all low education immigration period. It's not the 1800s and a strong back and decent work ethic isn't enough to warrant entry into a 1st world country in the 21st century, sorry.

  • Bra Ket||

    "...any of the other shit progs usually whine about..."

    Well there's no avoiding that. The goalpost just gets moved to the next pandering opportunity.

  • vek||

    Very true. I'm positive that if the average income were 1 million a year, everybody owned a mansion, and had 50 mil in the bank for retirement that they would find something to complain about.

  • chemjeff||

    Prohibition does not work. It did not work with booze, it does not work with drugs, and it doesn't work with labor either.

    We know exactly what will happen if we ramp up the "War On Labor". We will get an increased police state, more surveillance, more erosion of our liberties, more spending, more waste, and still people will find a way to get around the law despite the state's best efforts.

  • Bra Ket||

    Seems like a strange perspective. Prohibition certainly can drive up the price though.

    But the real problem is it is easier politically to deport people than to prevent them from accessing the benefit of citizenship (and got knows it's easier than tearing down the welfare state in the first place). Some places aren't even allowed to demand ID when you vote.

  • vek||

    Personally, although I feel it's unnecessary, I would be okay with non citizen work visas under certain circumstances. We have zero shortage of low skill labor. We have a welfare state which allows citizens to mooch instead of take those low wage jobs that we do have. We need to change incentives by getting rid of negative incentives to working for the native slackers, and then we won't need to import 8th grade educated foreigners...

    Fundamentally keeping up our standard of living is in many ways the MAIN reason for border controls. Anyone who thinks we wouldn't have 10s of millions of poor/uneducated people move here if we had totally open borders is tripping... And if anybody thinks that adding 10s of millions of half illiterate people is going to IMPROVE our standard of living here, they're an idiot.

    If the cost of $3 an hour house help is turning the USA into a country that looks like India or Brazil I don't need that cheap labor! Even if you remain wealthy having to live behind gated walls to keep out the impoverished hoards is not a trade off 99% of people in this country would want to do. Those are the options. We don't need 100% closed borders as that can hinder things, but 100% open borders is suicide as a 1st world country... Therefore the best path lies somewhere in between.

  • vek||

    True, it can never be 100% solved. But there are different degrees of effects between different things. Labor AKA people has more implications than booze or drugs. Booze doesn't vote in elections or riot in the streets. They're just different things.

    We can't prevent every murder either, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't prosecute people who murder people.

    If we threw in the towel and legally created totally open borders I have zero doubt the standard of living would plummet as 10s of millions moved here over a shortish period of time. Therefore it's best to keep reasonable laws on the books and enforce the law.

    JUST with Trump being elected, not even doing anything, the number of people illegally moving here dropped bigly. If they knew we actually enforced the laws, the numbers would fall a ton more, and we wouldn't have to have a police state to enforce it. Illegal immigration spiked after the Reagan amnesty because people thought it was their free ticket to American citizenship, and the Democrats have been trying hard for exactly that for years!

    All we need to do is try to enforce the laws, and it will drop to within reason. We don't need to stop every driver on the road every day to prevent a lot of drunk driving, you just enforce the law as cops see drunks swerving on the road and it prevents many from even attempting it. Some people still drive tossed, but that's not a reason to completely abolish drunk driving laws.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Nice try at morphing "effective immigration law enforcement" into a "war on labor", which it is not.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Yes, yes, this is all very terrible.

    But the fact remains, that the US has a very poor system for tracking who is and isn't a citizen. Think about it... if you were stopped on the street and someone demanded that you proved your citizenship, could you do it? Most of us would have to go home, unlock a safe, pull out an old piece of paper that they've been carting around for the past forty years, and hope that the inquirer doesn't say "well, okay, but other then your name, what actually connects you to this piece of paper?"

    And if you ever had a house fire, flood, robbed, or just lost boxes while moving at some point and don't have or know where your certificate is? It can be surprisingly hard to prove that you're, well, you, and that you are a citizen.

    And here's the real fun part: while there are solutions to this problem, the US population is so scared of a national ID card that we've drafted Social Security Numbers into being a piss-poor stand-in for decades.

    So yeah. Terrible, absolutely terrible. But the US has no interest in a real system that tracks who is and isn't a citizen. Until that changes, then these stories will continue.

  • HillTown Trader||

    As I travel in West Texas, I am stopped all the time. I flash my US passport as the nice border patrol dog sniffs my car. Its not a big deal.

  • HillTown Trader||

    Dear Employer: If you hire illegals you are breaking the law.

    I have no sympathy for an employer whining that he has been employing an illegal for nearly a decade.

  • vek||

    I've employed dozens of people in my businesses over the years, and not one of them was an illegal. It's pretty easy to avoid really... It's not hard to hazard a guess at who is or isn't a citizen. And if you slip up on this then that's the breaks. If they give you false docs, then you shouldn't be on the hook, but if you didn't even try to comply with the law then that's a risk you took and should be willing to face the consequences.

  • HillTown Trader||

    "Some of the nurses and humanitarian aid workers are afraid that the Trump administration might use anti-harboring laws and other legislation to arrest them."

    Yes, you are violating 8 USC 1324 if you provide shelter, aid, employment to illegals or sheild their location from federal authorities. You are breaking the law.

  • PG23COLO||

    Immigrants have the same rights as native-born Americans because our rights come from the same source, our humanity.

    Governments exist to interfere with the exercise of our rights, despite wishful thinking to the contrary.

    The fact that the southern border states are turning into police state territories is horrifying.

    The fact that Reason attracts so many trolls who oppose liberty in their comments, as this article shows, is just sad.

  • ohdelilah||

    Our Constitution also guarantees everyone within a state's jurisdiction due process and equal protection of the law.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Which enforcement of immigration law does. It does not make exceptions for those here illegally, and gives all those here legally equal rights with Americans (native or naturalized).

  • tommhan||

    This article failed to convince me to feel bad for these people. They hire illegal aliens for years and now cry when they are caught. They knew what they were doing and did not care but now they cry about losing good experienced workers. Well you should have thought about that all along and hired people that were legal. The guy that never got a birth certificate has no one to blame but himself for that bit of procrastination. He knew he needed that but did not act and now he cries about it. Try to be responsibility or suffer the consequences.

  • Twiz123||

    I have mixed emotions on this one...on the one hand I, personally, have 3 or 4 ways to prove my citizenship despite being white. I have two copies (long and short form) of my birth certificates along with two US Passports (the ful passbook and the passport card though both are now expired). Plus I have a drivers license from a state that requires Proof of Citizenship/Lawful Permanent Residency to obtain said identification. On the other hand...and much to the point of this article...if I didn't have any of these on my person it would be tough to prove unless someone could go to my house and get them for me. Of course I never leave home without my drivers license and also usually carry my passport card...again...I am white yet I do this for my own protection and "convenience" of not being harassed if I am caught up in a police sting operation. It sucks that we live in this new world but c'est la vie...take precautions or suffer the consequences.

  • ohdelilah||

    "Its intended beneficiaries"? Sorry, no. Some Americans may believe that they are the intended beneficiaries of law enforcement, and certainly the government would like us to believe that, but law enforcement in this country has but ONE "intended beneficiary" -- themselves. Every law they enforce and every one they ignore, every politician they influence, every witness they threaten, every search warrant they obtain and every one they execute, every bit of evidence they suppress or tamper with, every lie they tell, every murderer they protect -- it's all for them.

  • Twiz123||

    Thats a rather cynical way of looking at things. That is to assume every police officer, in every police department, in every city, state and federal agency, is a corrupt thug. Thats a stretch to say the least. Do they cover for each other? Yeah they do...but they also have to deal with the dregs of society who often do not value their own lives much less those of the police so its a self-perpetuating problem. When you disrespect and attempt to kill officers they are going to be much more aggressive...which then causes society to further disrespect them and attack them...which then escalates them again. I would say the problem is anything but ALL on the police. Society today is simply not what it was 30 or 40 years ago and the police have adapted in much the same way society has...they have become more belligerent and more aggressive.

  • Liberty Lover||

    So we should just ignore the rule of law? What kind of country does that leave us? Maybe the US should just become a dictatorship?