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Free Minds & Free Markets

America Needs to Declare Zero Tolerance for Trump's Border Abuses

Ripping kids from migrant parents is both lawless and cruel.

Zero tolerance policies have been spreading throughout America for the past 40 years, wreaking havoc wherever and whenever Family SeparationG. Ronald Lopez/ZUMA Press/Newscomthey've been tried. That's because their fundamental premise is that the cause they aim to advance is so righteous that authorities have impunity to go after minor offenses with maximal force.

It should come as no surprise, then, that the results would be deeply ugly now that the world's most powerful leader has deployed a zero-tolerance policy against the world's most powerless people: fleeing migrants.

Zero tolerance became all the rage in the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan launched his War on Drugs, and the smallest drug offenses got treated like existential threats to the fabric of American society. This led to mandatory minimum sentencing laws that turned America into the incarceration capital of the world by stripping judges of any discretion in keeping sentences commensurate with the crime. The upshot has been that nonviolent drug offenders like Alice Johnson, whom President Trump granted clemency to this week after 20 years in jail, got a life-without-parole sentence. There are millions like her languishing in jail.

Meanwhile, civil asset forfeiture policies, the other gift of the zero tolerance approach to drugs, handed law enforcement officials the power to confiscate any physical asset they suspected of being used in a crime without bothering to obtain convictions. Despite a massive public outcry, forfeiture spread like wildfire and became a standard part of policing — no doubt because the seized assets are lucrative for law enforcement salaries and budgets.

Reagan, a Republican, invoked zero tolerance policies to fight drugs. A few years later, Bill Clinton, a Democrat, invoked them to fight guns in schools. Soon enough, schools used zero tolerance to fight every classroom ill from drugs to unruly behavior.

Stories of toddlers and teens suspended, expelled, and even prosecuted for the most trivial offenses — like bringing nail clippers and scissors to school — are legion. An eighth-grade girl was booted out for giving a Midol without prescription to a friend experiencing menstrual cramps. An 11-year-old autistic, black kid who kicked a can in anger was handcuffed, charged, and prosecuted for disorderly conduct. The worst hit are poor, minority kids who can't afford expensive lawyers to fight back when expelled or charged, prompting the ACLU to dub such zero tolerance policies for minors a "school-to-prison pipeline."

But none of this compares to the hideousness transpiring at the border, where this administration has unleashed zero tolerance policy against desperate migrants fleeing poverty and violence.

Unlike previous administrations, which handed first-time border-crossers to ICE for deportation, the Trump administration has pledged to criminally prosecute "100 percent of illegal southwest border crossings" before deporting them — despite the fact that immigration prosecutions already constitute half of all federal prosecutions. Even asylum seekers, a group protected by both domestic and international law, are not spared if they are caught between ports.

The point of prosecuting prior to deportation is to create a criminal record against these folks so that if they try and enter again, they can be charged with a felony and thrown in jail, ending so called "catch and release." Previous administrations handed prosecutorial discretion to border authorities so as to target prosecutions to violent criminals and drug smugglers rather than ordinary migrants searching for safe havens or jobs. That's because prosecution triggers the most horrific consequences — completely disproportionate to the offense. Under current law, for example, once someone is branded a criminal, he or she forfeits rights to their children. That's why, once this administration decided to prosecute everyone, it also had to embrace separation as its default policy rather than as a rare punishment aimed at genuine criminals, even if that meant tearing away 18-month-old infants from mothers and sending them off to detention facilities thousands of miles away. And make no mistake: The Trump administration relishes the deterrence value of such barbaric actions, as it has openly admitted. It is ripping about 65 kids from their parents daily.

In theory, criminal prosecution obliges Uncle Sam to extend due process to these migrants, including legal representation and a court hearing. But Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the architect of the zero tolerance policy, is making a mockery of that requirement.

He has scrapped the Legal Orientation Program that allowed nonprofit organizations to help migrants facing deportation understand the Kafka-esque immigration legal code on which their fate hangs. He also did away with the requirement that immigration judges hold hearings on each asylum case — which basically means that these judges have little information to make determinations independent of the recommendations of detaining agents. This hands these agents, usually no friends of the asylum seekers, even more power, inviting exploitation and abuse.

In addition, Sessions imposed a 700-deportation quota on immigration judges. And to help them fulfill it, he has doubled down on Operation Streamline, the horrendous Bush-era practice of holding mass trials that lump everyone—coyotes and asylum seekers alike—into a single court session.

A few hours before the session, a single attorney is introduced to some 40 handcuffed and shackled migrants whom he has to represent. He usually obtains the same plea deal from all of them to sign away their rights and agree to be deported — never mind that they are often confused and don't understand English, much less America's legal procedures, and have little idea what is happening to them. Then the judge asks them en masse if they plead guilty, they all say "si," and, lo and behold, their fate is sealed.

Such assembly-line justice has bumped prosecutions for illegal entry 448 percent from March 2017 to February 2018, even though border crossings are at an all-time low.

The human toll of all this is simply unimaginable. A reporter at The Intercept attended some of these post-zero tolerance trials in Brownsville, Texas, and describes a heart-wrenching scene in which the presiding magistrate, Judge Ronald G. Morgan, a Bush appointee, became so visibly distraught after a few days of mass trials, he couldn't do it anymore and started to individually question the migrants. Many of them wailed and asked him if their kids would be reunited with them in detention camps now that they had agreed to be deported. He gave them false assurances that they would. But he was so overcome that he told the detention officer in court that if he wanted to "imagine hell" then this is "probably what it looks like."

Zero tolerance policies represent the Trotskyite "by any means necessary" version of law enforcement in which authorities, in their zeal to throw the book at people, are allowed to throw out the rule book without regard to proportionality or due process. They are turning America's southern border into a house of horrors that if allowed to persist will rival the stain of the Japanese internment during World War II.

America can survive the transgressions that zero tolerance policies are designed to address. But it can't survive a government that plays by the rules of neither justice nor humanity.

This column originally appeared in The Week

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  • Citizen X||

    Migrants are even more powerless than toddlers?

  • Dillinger||

    the fleeing ones...totally

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Uh oh, the forecast calls for flurries of butthurt snowflakes.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Even in June?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    It's a Russian thing.

  • Just Say'n||

    And cheerleaders

  • Just Say'n||

    Get your pom poms ready

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    Irony.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Fuck off, Dalmia.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    [puts on a warm hat]

  • Just Say'n||

    "Give me an R..."

  • Just Say'n||

    Wait, what are we spelling here?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    "A rottweiler! A big fucking rottweiler, with a dick this big!" [spreads arms]

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm down with that. That rottweiler sounds pretty bad ass.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    "Rock hyrax" would have been better, damnit.

  • Citizen X||

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You voted for that thing once.

  • Just Say'n||

    Citizen voted for Governor Howard Dean before?

  • Aloysious||

    Please be Shikha, please be Shikha...Yes! I'm just glad this isn't Chapman or Suderman.

  • Headache||

    Please be Shikha, please be Shikha...Yes! I'm just glad this isn't Chapman or Suderman

    Dalmia is Chapman after sunset and Suderman leaves the boudoir at sunrise.

  • Just Say'n||

    These actions are unprecedented for those of us who were paying absolutely no attention during the last administration.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Yeah. People were passing photos of children in cages that were taken in 2014, but some how it's Trumps fault.

    However, I can say wrong is wrong no matter who does it, or started it. I don't know if Trump is the solution or Congress. I would like to see it end.

  • Just Say'n||

    I agree that separating parents from their children is wrong no matter who does it. I just find the selective outrage to be opportunistic and not beneficial to their cause here

  • I can't even||

    I repeat from yesterday - when they start tossing kids into the adult cages, reason will be screeching about how we support kiddie rape if we don't have open borders.

  • Ron||

    thats what I came here to say. there is a reason why they separate the kids from the adults.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Selective outrage indeed. It's an important tool for the partisan hack. Ignore the transgressions of your team, but bring the outrage when the other team does the exact same thing.

  • NashTiger||

    So, kids should be held in detention cells with dangerous adults?

    The local government here mandates that kids be taken from their parents for the majority of the day - most days of the year. They even send around a fleet of vehicles to collect all the kids in the county. If the parents don't comply and willfully give up their kids for mandatory temporary separation, they can get in even more trouble.

    I've heard tales this is a problem all over the nation

  • Just Say'n||

    "Trotskyite "by any means necessary" version of law enforcement"

    I just want to note that clearly Shikha has no idea who Trotsky was and clearly is attributing some bizarre quote to his followers. They believed so much in "by any means necessary" that they didn't want to use the means of the Soviet Union to accomplish their goals after Stalin seized power. None of that makes sense

  • damikesc||

    Trotsky didn't have the ability to use that power. Stalin maneuvered him out of any real actual power.

    If he had the power, yes, he would've used it against Stalin.

    He also would've been even more blood-thirsty than Stalin.

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm not defending Trotsky or his followers, I'm just not sure how this quote is associated with him or his followers.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    It's not.

  • DajjaI||

    Yes this is horrifying and needs to stop (and thank you for calling attention to these abuses) but I also think that existing immigrants (such as Dreamers) would really help their case if they supported free speech and gun rights and eschewed benefits. Because then I think Americans would be more willing to welcome them and I would do so enthusiastically. Also they need to start exporting these values back to their home countries. That after all would interrupt the cycle.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    ARGUMENT: The citizens collectively own the country, and therefore have the legitimate right to determine who may or may not use its collective resources, such as public land. As such, since the people have decided they do not want undocumented immigrants on public land, the government may justly deport them.

    RESPONSE: The citizens do not possess any real property ownership rights on public land. Individual citizens may not sell or bequest their public property interest, for instance. The correct way to view public property is property owned by the state, originally acquired via theft. Citizens begrudgingly tolerate this theft (along with the theft of taxes to pay for its maintenance) as long as the government is upholding its duty to preserve the liberty of all. This is after all the justification for why the state has the monopoly on the legal initiation of force in the first place. The state may not legitimately use its ownership of public land as a tool to deny liberties to anyone. If it could, it would lead to all sorts of illiberal results - the state could, for instance, declare that gun possession, or displays of religious piety, or even free speech itself, are illegal on public land provided a majority of the "owners" (citizens) agreed. As such, analogizing public land as collective property is not a compelling argument to justify deportations of undocumented immigrants.

  • Just Say'n||

    I love how the same people who compromise on literally every other issue from mandated speech to religious liberty to war go full ancap when it comes to immigration. It's so cute.

    If you want to play straw man than everyone else can too

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Link to where chemjeff allegedly compromised on free speech? Religious liberty is not a well defined concept from a libertarian perspective.

  • Just Say'n||

    Link to where the people who don't believe in open borders here are arguing that the citizens collectively own the country?

    He peddled a straw man and I responded with a straw man.

    Also, with regards to religious liberty, I'm not going to argue the point because I've made it so many times, but indeed all libertarians use to support the first clause to the First Amendment before it became unpopular with the Left and the ACLU dropped the issue at the turn of the 21st Century. Do we need to revisit the articles that were written during the time that the federal RFRA Act was passed? Hell, Welch wrote an article just a few weeks ago rightly denouncing attempts to ban burkas in Europe.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Link to where the people who don't believe in open borders here are arguing that the citizens collectively own the country?

    Read the comments to any prior Shikha immigration article. Are you really arguing that no one makes this claim?

  • Just Say'n||

    You are suggesting that everyone who opposes open borders are making an argument on the basis of state sovereignty. That is not true.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I am not saying EVERYONE who opposes open borders does so on the basis I outlined above. I only put forth this argument as one that is commonly made.

  • Just Say'n||

    "I am not saying EVERYONE who opposes open borders does so on the basis I outlined above. I only put forth this argument as one that is commonly made."

    Well, I agree that that argument is not strong. I'll grant you that.

  • Just Say'n||

    Open borders ensures disparate treatment of different immigrant groups. It's great for countries south of the US (well, mainly just Mexicans, as other immigrants who are caught in Mexico are deported back from where they came), but does absolutely nothing to benefit all other immigrants. And actually grants illegal immigrants greater access than legal immigrants who undergo the process.

  • Hail Rataxes||

    If you have open borders, there's no such thing as an illegal immigrant.

  • BYODB||

    There are these things called the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, you should look into their existence HR.

  • buybuydandavis||

    If you have open borders, there's no such thing as self government either

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    That looks like less of a "response" and more naked assertions about what you want and how things should be.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Bingo.

    There is only one true morality and chemjeff has found the solution. We are all heathens.

  • sarcasmic||

    The correct way to view public property is property owned by the state, originally acquired via theft.

    That's not necessarily true. Up my way there is a shitload of public land that was donated by people who wanted to be sure it never got developed.

    One thing to remember about "public" anything is that the public is everyone except you. You have no say. Everyone else does. You must consent because everyone else says so. Even if every single individual rose up and said "Fuck you!" it wouldn't matter. Because the public is everyone else.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    True enough. In my next iteration of this argument I will include that some of the public land was voluntarily donated. Thanks!

  • Ron||

    however that donated land was originally stolen by the government from the Natives and sold to the present holder.

  • Sigivald||

    I wanna know who the State "stole" the Nevada deserts from.

    (Under even e.g. Rothbard, "in a free society, any piece of nature that has never been used is unowned and is subject to a man's ownership through his first use or mixing of his labor with this resource."

    If the Shochone and Paiute weren't improving the land with labor or other human-action "use", they didn't have an ownership claim even under anarcho-capitalist theory, let alone e.g. a Hayekian property rights model.

    And unowned land can't be stolen per se, though Rothbard would doubtless say the State's claim to ownership is equally illegitimate in that it hasn't improved it with labor either.

    The State might have illegitimately prevented private use of the land and thus preempted possible ownership claims, but it can't have "stolen" unused land.

    Note also that this does not mean that no public land was stolen, just not all of it, arguably not even most of it.

    But then we also have the issue of detangling "theft" from "conquered fair and square"...)

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    If the Shochone and Paiute weren't improving the land with labor or other human-action "use", they didn't have an ownership claim even under anarcho-capitalist theory, let alone e.g. a Hayekian property rights mode.

    Living on the land qualifies as using the land. There is no libertarian requirement that the land be "improved."

  • Just Say'n||

    There is if you are a Georgist

  • Just Say'n||

    Embracing the single land tax to own the open borders crowd

  • Just Say'n||

    It should be noted that many early libertarians, including Albert Jay Nock, were Georgists or flirted with Georgism at some time. Which would explain why Rothbard made such allusions to the Georgist definition of property

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Rothbard was most definitely not a fan of Georgists.

  • Just Say'n||

    He was a fan of Albert Jay Nock, which was my point

  • Pepys||

    Counter response

    US citizenship is undoubtedly a commodity with value, so allowing people to acquire it through fraud, theft, or deception is both poor stewardship of a resource and wasteful in the extreme.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    This is not an argument about granting citizenship. This is only an argument about migration. Citizenship is a separate issue and Congress may rightly regulate the terms of naturalization as it so decides.

  • Pepys||

    That is irrelevant to my argument, and non-responsive.

    As a commodity, Congress has the power to regulate human movement based on the Commerce clause, irrespective of whether citizenship is involved.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    So Congress can prevent people from moving to a different state? I don't think so, Hoss.

  • Pepys||

    Ah, the "nu uh" defense again.

    You seem to be unaware of what the Commerce clause is, or what it allows and disallows, "hoss."

  • sarcasmic||

    You seem to be unaware of what the Commerce clause is, or what it allows and disallows, "hoss."

    Commerce clause is the federal government's Hulk. COMMERCE CLAUSE SMASH!

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    Sigh. The Commerce Clause had nothing to do with the movement of human beings. Its object was to prevent restrictions on trade among and between the states, because individual states were imposing tariffs and sometimes outright prohibiting trade from other states. Internal protectionism was running riot and the Commerce Clause was intended to halt it. Period. That the SCOTUS later used it as a pretext for other purposes only condemns SCOTUS not the Commerce Clause as such.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    All right, n00b, let me explain how things work around here. Reductio ad Constitution arguments do not carry much clout around here with hardcore libertarians such as myself.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You mentioned citizenship may be regarded as a commodity with value. I agree with that. But my argument isn't about whether Congress may or may not regulate naturalization. It plainly can and I don't dispute that.

  • Pepys||

    That doesn't address my argument at all, though.

  • Juice||

    Except that it totally does...

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well, you've moved the goalposts a bit.

    Your original statement was "US citizenship is undoubtedly a commodity with value, so allowing people to acquire it through fraud, theft, or deception is both poor stewardship of a resource and wasteful in the extreme." And my response was, and still is, that there is nothing in my argument that attempts to argue against Congress' power to regulate naturalization *at all*.

    THEN you changed your argument to "As a commodity, Congress has the power to regulate human movement based on the Commerce clause, irrespective of whether citizenship is involved." So your new claim seems to be twofold: first, that "human movement" is a commodity, and second, that such commodity may be properly regulated according to the Commerce Clause.

    In the *commercial sense* I think it is a big stretch to call "human movement" a commodity. If a migrant contracted with someone for transportation services, perhaps. But in that case the commodity would be the transportation service, not the movement per se. In what sense do you consider "human movement" to be a commodity in the commercial sense?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So you would be absolutely fine with a law which stated that unlimited migrants could come here with absolutely no path to citizenship for themselves or their offspring. Right? No problems at all with that? Or, you could be honest and admit that you're looking for the camel's nose under the tent.

    Cue righteous indignation.

  • Juice||

    Why would you need a law to say that humans are allowed to move about freely?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So you would be absolutely fine with a law which stated that unlimited migrants could come here with absolutely no path to ciftizenship for themselves or their offspring. Right?

    1. The migrants should have the ability to apply for citizenship on the same terms as everyone else on the planet. Would you agree?

    2. The children of migrants should not be *irreversibly* bound by the decisions of their parents. I would be mostly fine with getting rid of jus soli. But the children of migrants, just like the migrants themselves, should have some opportunity to apply for citizenship again on the same terms as everyone else.

  • lulz farmer||

    The problem with just allowing anyone is in that demography and democracy are intimately linked, and once brown people with a predilection for communism are the majority they will simply vote you into tax slavery.

    40+ years of trying and you haven't convinced very many people that any of this libertarian nonsense is consistent in any way. You have convinced even fewer brown people, who will simply vote to redistribute your stuff to them once they become the demographic majority.

  • lulz farmer||

    This is the reason by the way that Rothbard supported even David Duke near the end of his life, because he recognised these truths. Sad that in the current year you have libertarians who are willfully ignorant about demography and its effects.

  • BYODB||

    And here we have an example of Jeff unwittingly making the argument for indentured servitude to make a comeback in a township near you!

    After all, removing American labor protections on citizens and mandates like the minimum wage is just a bridge too far.

    You're arguing this from the wrong end, as always, but if you're unwilling to dismantle the regulatory state and social safety nets before unlimited immigration than my only reply is 'fuck you' since you're unwilling or unable to understand the subject.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I personally believe that the concept of indentured servitude falls in the grey area between actual chattel slavery, and an exploitative labor relationship. In any event, a labor contract in which the employee is not literally bound to service to the employer, is not indentured servitude in the strict meaning of the term. Literal indentured servitude is banned by the UNHCR as a form of slavery, and I think the Thirteenth Amendment would probably cover the case here in this country.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    As always unwilling to dismantle the welfare state first, but super serial about getting around to it. Eventually. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully?

  • BYODB||

    As always, people who are for unfettered immigration are fully aware that dismantling the regulatory state and welfare state is hugely unpopular, so they plan to functionally Trojan horse the entire nation.

    Of course, these types are really just useful idiots since the ultimate goal is to shore up social security and other welfare programs with dollars taken from ineligible workers. While that won't work unless we're advocating for lower than the current legal minimum wage for those people, that's apparently lost on the Jeff's the world since they don't understand what labor is valued in the United States. (Hint: It's not below-elementary school educated migrant fruit pickers.)

    People like Jeff don't really understand the subject, but they're more than willing to stand on 'principle' while arguing for American's to attain the same living standards as most of Mexico.

    One more reason to avoid rabid 'libertarians'.

    Now, if Jeff and his ilk approached the issue from the other end and advocated for the dismantling of social safety nets and the regulatory state they would, at least, be rational in terms of their stated goals.

  • BYODB||

    And yet, you fail to address the more pertinent issue of why you would advocate for a class of labor with functionally no labor protections whatsoever while leaving those in place for the citizenry. Additionally, you fail to explain how it could be considered ethical to have those people's wages diverted into the welfare state to support a non-working citizen population.

    If you want unfettered immigration into the U.S., at least be slightly less retarded and attack the regulatory state and welfare state first, because if you do it last you are functionally arguing for the dissolution of American society. This is a basic order of operations problem, but by all means continue to emote your way to a bad end.

    Perhaps 'indentured servitude' itself is a stretch, I don't think it is, but it most certainly would be a form of caste system. Hardly an improvement.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    why you would advocate for a class of labor with functionally no labor protections whatsoever while leaving those in place for the citizenry.

    That is because I do not advocate for this position.

    I believe most labor regulations should be scrapped, and the few that do remain, should be applied equally and uniformly to all workers, citizens or not.

    Additionally, you fail to explain how it could be considered ethical to have those people's wages diverted into the welfare state to support a non-working citizen population.

    There is very little ethical about the welfare state at all.

    If you want unfettered immigration into the U.S., at least be slightly less retarded and attack the regulatory state and welfare state first, because if you do it last you are functionally arguing for the dissolution of American society.

    While I disagree with your hyperbolic conclusion, I have in no way indicated any sort of preference for the order in which I would like things to occur. Frankly, there are so many needed reforms, it's practically a necessary to do many things at once. I am fine with an "everything at once" approach.

  • lulz farmer||

    You should be forced to live in the scab labour ghetto if you advocate for that, chemjeff. You shouldn't be allowed to externalise those costs onto the rest of us.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Migrants, unless passing though, are planning to setup a new home, at least temporarily.

    I don't think migrant is a useful term for the debate. Their intent is more important. If they plan to come here and expect to be treated like a citizen, then they need to naturalize. If they come here, want to stay, but not naturalize, then I expect they would be treated less than a second class citizen, because they are no citizen at all.

  • Paloma||

    About as many Mexicans leave the US to go back to Mexico each year, as enter the US from Mexico.

  • NashTiger||

    Under the Obama Economy, sure. When growth tops 2%, the inflow begins again

  • ||

    This is not an argument about granting citizenship. This is only an argument about migration.

    This is not and argument about assault. This is only an argument about a fist migrating onto someone's face.
    This is not an argument about rape. This is only an argument about a penis migrating into someone's vagina.
    This is not an argument about abortion. This is only an argument about the migration of a fetus.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Terrible analogies. Residency and citizenship are different concepts, and everyone knows this. You are just being obtuse.

  • Pepys||

    Ah, the "nu uh" defense. Impressive.

  • commentator||

    Are you saying residency is the same thing as citizenship somehow? Impressive.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Argument: There is one government, or hierarchy of governments, in a jurisdiction, because The Capitulations did not work well. The government consists of people selected directly and/or indirectly by the citizens of that jurisdiction above a certain age. Everyone born in that jurisdiction is a citizen of that jurisdiction to avoid stateless status. Immigrants can join the voting collective if there is mutual consent, because mutual consent is a key element of the right to assemble.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Nothing you wrote in your argument contradicts what I wrote in my response. I agree with every word of it.

    Non-citizens living in this country is not an example of a Turkish Capitulation. The non-citizens are still bound by the laws that govern all residents of the country, as they should be. (Whether some of the laws themselves ought to exist is a different question.)

  • sharmota4zeb||

    chemjeff radical individualist, call me when you start a collective in Central Park that New York City residents tolerate as well as the Roma encampments in Vacaresti Nature Park are tolerated.

  • Headache||

    The correct way to view public property is property owned by the state, originally acquired via theft.

    Except the southern borders of New Mexico and Arizona which were purchased from Mexico. That land purchase allowed the railway to be built on a favorable terrain.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "I am an anarchist"

  • JoeBlow123||

    Immigrants can join the club when they follow the rules. Get a visa.

  • lulz farmer||

    The "public land" held in trust by the state, which is made up of people with group belongings an allegiances is not a commons for any grubby vagrant to exploit. Yes, I get it, you want cheap labour. You should be forced to pay the costs associated and live next to MS-13 gang members, though, and not shuffle them onto the mere peasants you like to abuse so that you can externalise the costs associated with bringing in the absolute scum of the world.

  • Mark22||

    The citizens do not possess any real property ownership rights on public land. Individual citizens may not sell or bequest their public property interest, for instance.

    I cannot "sell or bequest" my common area interest in my HOA, yet it is private property and I get to vote on who to exclude.

    As such, analogizing public land as collective property is not a compelling argument to justify deportations of undocumented immigrants.

    Deporting undocumented immigrants is justified by the US Constitution and international human rights laws; that's good enough for me.

  • VinniUSMC||

    I declare Zero Tolerance... for Shikha Dalmia's incessant word vomit.

  • I can't even||

    America Needs to Declare...

    I don't think that's how our government works. Or maybe not how the English language works. Either way, it's a stupid headline for an article I'll never read.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I read someone of it, and find it funny that a writer who makes a case of how bad zero tolerance is, would actually suggest using it.

  • Headache||

    It is some kind of moron?

  • NashTiger||

    "I declare Bankruptcy!" - Michael Scott

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    ARGUMENT: The Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate immigration, and as such, Congress may use any criteria it wishes to decide who may enter the country legally or not.

    RESPONSE: The Constitution *explicitly* grants Congress the power to regulate naturalization. The Congressional power to regulate immigration derives from a 19th century Supreme Court case challenging the constitutionality of the explicitly racist Chinese Exclusion Act. In this case, SCOTUS found that this power was *implicitly* understood to be a part of the Constituion by invoking the concept of "inherent sovereign power". The rationale was that any sovereign nation needed to be able to determine who crossed its borders, otherwise it wasn't sovereign. That this power was explicitly left out of the original Constitution was a mere oversight, and SCOTUS helpfully clarified that it ought to be in there nonetheless. In other words, the federal government's power to regulate immigration derives solely from a SCOTUS invention used to justify an explicitly racist immigration law. For those who claim to be adherents to an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, justifying the power to regulate immigration on this basis is a flimsy reed indeed.

  • Pepys||

    This has been rebutted previously, many times.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1 deals with the slave trade. It is not a delegation of Congressional power to regulate immigration generally. Find me any court case whatsoever in which any court anywhere upheld Congress' power to regulate immigration based on Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1.

  • Pepys||

    How about I give you this instead

    scholars have cited the constitutionally "implied" power of the executive over foreign affairs to authorize federal control over immigration. In The Chinese Exclusion Case (Sup.Ct.1889) (see § 2-1.3, supra.), Justice Field stated that the Foreign Affairs Power is the foundation for all federal control over immigration. Moreover, this power has been cited as a basis for invalidating state statutes that attempt to regulate immigration. See, e.g., Chy Lung v. Freeman (Sup.Ct.1875).

    Today the source of the federal government's power to control international affairs generally, and immigration in particular, is accepted without question. For example, during the Iranian hostage ordeal of 1979B81, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Attorney General's authority to order all Iranian students in the United States to report to INS offices and demonstrate the lawfulness of their presence in the country. Narenji v. Civiletti (D.C.Cir.1979). Similarly, in 2001, Congress authorized the President to "use all necessary and appropriate force . . . in preventing future acts of international terrorism against the United States." 50 U.S.C.A. § 1541.

    The case you are presumably citing, which you didn't actually cite, you just referred to so I am guessing here, makes it clear that you are both wrong in your assertions and why you are wrong, as discussed there.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Could you provide a link for your quotation?

    The Constitution does not have a "Foreign Affairs Power" clause. It was invented by SCOTUS. That is my point.

    The source that I cited below has more details on the entire argument.

  • Pepys||

    You can't look it up based on the quote?

    Fine
    http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/immig.....pter2.html

  • Pepys||

    Oh wow, it's YOUR source!!!!

    That's hilarious, you asked me to cite your own source to you.

    Did you read your source? It certainly doesn't look like it now!

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I don't have committed to memory every word of that source, no. Thanks for pointing it out.
    But you still didn't answer my challenge. Cite me any decision which claims that the federal power to regulate immigration derives from Article 1 Section 9 Clause 1.

  • Pepys||

    Oh ok your "challenge" lol.

    How about you take the time you normally invest in trying to demonstrate how smart and correct you are and instead use it to read the sources you offer so you can recognize significant passages from them.

    Also, "I don't have committed to memory every word of that source, no" is a lame response, I quoted a significant passage that you didn't recognize enough to realize it was from your source. Memorizing it isn't necessary, you just need to be familiar enough for it to ring a bell, and you aren't.

    At this point, after seeing your attempts at arguments, and your lack of scholastic rigor, it is hard to see how continuing this discussion with you is of any value, at least until you are capable of intelligently discussing, or at least RECOGNIZING, the sources you offer for your argument.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    No I get it. You take the slightest excuse to take umbrage and leave the discussion without having the temerity to address the challenge that I laid out.

  • BYODB||

    Jeff, if the evidence you provide isn't what you claim than your argument was addressed. I take it you were never in debate, because if you were you'd know you just lost that point.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Actually what Pepys cited doesn't contradict what I wrote at all. I just didn't recognize it as coming from the source that I cited, that is all. He doesn't argue that there is an explicit constitutional basis for the power to regulate immigration, only the implied "Foreign Affairs Power" which appears nowhere in the text of the Constitution and was completely invented by SCOTUS. He just doesn't want to continue the argument and found a lame excuse to do so. Whatever, he is free to do whatever he wants. But he didn't actually disprove my claim.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So since abortion rights were completely invented by SCOTUS, you find them unconstitutional as well.

  • Juice||

    So since abortion rights were completely invented by SCOTUS, you find them unconstitutional as well.

    9th amendment much? Rights don't come from the government or the constitution.

  • BYODB||


    9th amendment much? Rights don't come from the government or the constitution.


    They come from god, but I thought logic and reason killed god...

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I think the constitutional reasoning is sketchy, yes.

    Incidentally, I am personally pro-life. Because the unborn child is also an individual whose liberty deserves protection.

  • Rat on a train||

    Can you cite a decision where Congress does not have the authority to regulate immigration?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    A SCOTUS decision? No, because the first opportunity they had to look at Congress' immigration power, they invented the "inherent sovereign power" to justify it, and every subsequent court has continued with this precedent. But if you're a textualist when it comes to the Constitution, you won't find an explicit grant of power to Congress to regulate immigration in there.

  • Rat on a train||

    Except Article I, Section 9, but we'll have to disagree on that.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

  • Rat on a train||

    It may be rooted in slavery, but the text does not mention slavery. Slaves where imported, not migrants. The text covers the migration or importation of persons, any persons.

  • Rat on a train||

    Article I, Section 9 does not state the limitation is only for slaves.

    The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.


    From 1808 Congress can prohibit the migration of persons regardless of the reasoning for allowing uncontrolled migration before 1808.

  • Juice||

    That's not what it says. Are you saying that the constitution implies a power to regulate immigration as it sees fit?

  • Rat on a train||

    It says Congress cannot prohibit the migration of people prior to 1808. That is not implied.

  • Juice||

    Ok, the part where it says they can't do X is explicit. Yes, you're on the right track.

    Now, point out the part where it explicitly says that Congress can do X.

  • Rat on a train||

    In English, when you say you can't do X until Y, it is the same as saying you can do X after Y.

  • Juice||

    In English, when you say you can't do X until Y, it is the same as saying you can do X after Y.

    Where the hell do you get that shit? Maybe most people would think that it is implied, but unless it explicitly stated, it's not the same as saying that it's ok.

    It sure seems like you're saying that the federal government has implied powers, at least when it comes to them doing things you like to people you don't like. It seems that way, but I can't be totally sure because so far, you've merely implied it.

  • Rat on a train||

    You may not like it, but that is the Constitution. You can always challenge it in the courts.

  • Juice||

    You may not like it, but that is the Constitution. You can always challenge it in the courts.

    I consider this a forfeit on your part. Good day.

  • Rat on a train||

    You consider a lot that is not true.

    Congress exercised its power under this clause in 1808 prohibiting the importation of slave, but how could they do that? The clause did not explicitly say they could do anything starting in 1808.

  • Juice||

    Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1 deals with the slave trade. It is not a delegation of Congressional power to regulate immigration generally.

    If it were, it would at best be an implied power. I wonder if the resident conservatives here believe that the federal government has implied powers.

  • BYODB||

    If something can't be prohibited before a certain date, what happens after that date has passed?

    It's the exception that proves the rule.

  • Juice||

    So, the constitution implies that the government has power to do X? Is that what you're saying? I mean you're implying it, but you haven't come out and said it explicitly.

  • Rat on a train||

    I get a feeling you aren't a fan of the 9th and 10th Amendments.

  • Juice||

    I get a feeling you aren't a fan of the 9th and 10th Amendments.

    The 10th amendment that says the federal government doesn't have a power unless it's spelled out in the constitution? Ok, it's not worded as strongly as I'd like, but it's better than nothing.

  • Rat on a train||

    Well, the 9th does not explicitly state the rights of the people, so it must mean that they don't exist.

  • Juice||

    Well, the 9th does not explicitly state the rights of the people, so it must mean that they don't exist.

    Rights do not come from the constitution or the government. The powers of the government (supposedly) DO come from the constitution and only the constitution. I guess to you the necessary and proper clause is like the 9th amendment for government power.

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain powers, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the government."

  • Rat on a train||

    Yep, and those rights are not explicit, but that does not render the amendment void.

  • BYODB||

    RE: Necessary and Proper clause. Yes, it is implied and yes implied powers exist.

  • Juice||

    RE: Necessary and Proper clause. Yes, it is implied and yes implied powers exist.

    Ok, just wanted to make sure that you, a rock-ribbed, red blooded American conservative, believe that the federal government has the constitutional power to do damned near anything it wants to do, like regulate the puddle in your back yard as wetlands, require that your business has at least two handicapped parking spaces and handrails at the correct height, or draft you into the military, etc. etc.

  • BYODB||

    Implied does not mean carte blanche, Juice. You're smart enough to realize that, and furthermore you're smart enough to know what 'the exception that proves the rule' means.

    You're wearing blinders to support a cause you believe in, but you're not arguing from a rational standpoint here.

    Even 'red blooded conservatives' recognize that implied powers exist, and furthermore they recognize that this fact is explicit in the constitution via the necessary and proper clause.

  • Juice||

    This has been rebutted previously, many times.

    Ah, the "nu uh" defense. Impressive.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

  • Sigivald||

    "Because racist!!!" is a great argument. Keep trying that.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I did not make some mythical "because racist!!" argument. I did however show how the federal government's power to regulate immigration arose from SCOTUS' defense of an explicitly racist immigration law from the 19th century.

  • Pepys||

    "Because racist!!!" is a great argument. Keep trying that.
    I did not make some mythical "because racist!!" argument. I did however show how the federal government's power to regulate immigration arose from SCOTUS' defense of an explicitly racist immigration law from the 19th century.

    I don't know if the best part of this response of yours is that you actually DID keep trying, or that you attempt to assert that you're not doing something while actively doing it.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I'm sorry if this offends your delicate sensibilities, but (1) the Chinese Exclusion Act was an unquestionably racist piece of legislation, and (2) SCOTUS's decision to uphold the constitutionality of this act was what originated the federal power to regulate immigration. Neither one of these points implies that you or any other border restrictionist is a racist. Pointing out the racist history of immigration restrictionism does not mean every border restrictionist is a racist.

    What would you prefer that I do, lie about the history of these things?

  • Pepys||

    "the Chinese Exclusion Act was an unquestionably racist piece of legislation,"

    Yeah. And he said "Because racist!!!" is a great argument. Keep trying that."

    And you did. Three times now. And still don't realize it apparently.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I am not calling you, or anyone else in this discussion, a racist. Pointing out that the Chinese Exclusion Act is racist is not equivalent to saying you are a racist, or even making an argument that immigration restrictionism *per se* is racist.

  • BYODB||


    Pointing out that the Chinese Exclusion Act is racist is not equivalent to saying you are a racist, or even making an argument that immigration [sic] restrictionism *per se* is racist.


    Wow, well that's one way to put a torpedo right through the middle of your own argument.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Are you arguing in favor of the Chinese Exclusion Act? Yes or no? If no, then what exactly is the racist implication here?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    It is entirely consistent to argue "the government should have the power to regulate immigration, but doing so in the way that the government did it in the form of the Chinese Exclusion Act was wrong because it is racist".

    But if the claim is "no instance of immigration restriction could ever be racist", then that is just a false claim.

  • BYODB||

    No, I'm pointing out that you're so stupid that you don't even know what an argument is because using the Chinese Exclusion Acts 'racist' origin is to functionally argue 'because racism' which is why everyone here is laughing at you. That is the underpinning of your claim, which you just shot down yourself.

    Maybe just say that the Chinese Exclusion Act was another act designed to limit foreign labor competition and benefit American labor instead of saying 'because it was racist', but maybe that wouldn't have the impact you were looking for since it's the exact same justification used since then.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    No, you don't even realize what my argument actually is. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. Let me try again:

    The federal government's power to regulate immigration derives solely from a SCOTUS decision in the 19th century upholding the constitutionality of the Chinese Exclusion Act. To do this, SCOTUS completely invented the "inherent sovereign power" doctrine and read it into the Constitution. There is no explicit Constitutional grant of power to Congress giving them the authority to regulate immigration. None. The fact that the Chinese Exclusion Act was unquestionably racist is just icing on the cake. My argument does not rely on the inherent racism of that act at all. My argument is that the basis for the constitutionality of Congress' power to regulate immigration is slim, based on a textual reading of the Constitution itself.

    Maybe just say that the Chinese Exclusion Act was another act designed to limit foreign labor competition and benefit American labor instead of saying 'because it was racist'

    But that is not entirely accurate. It was not a racially neutral act of labor protectionism. It was explicitly racist. I'm not going to whitewash its history.

  • BYODB||

    It doesn't have to be 'racially neutral', they were banning the cheapest labor carte blanche. Sure, they were also racist, so what?


    While the United States Constitution's First Amendment identifies the rights to assemble and to petition the government, the text of the First Amendment does not make specific mention of a right to association. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court held in NAACP v. Alabama (1958) that freedom of association is an essential part of freedom of speech because, in many cases, people can engage in effective speech only when they join with others.[3]


    Oops. Turns out freedom of association isn't in the constitution either, but even if it was one of the literal reasons why SCOTUS exists is to navigate conflicting natural rights.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    It doesn't have to be 'racially neutral', they were banning the cheapest labor carte blanche. Sure, they were also racist, so what?

    You have it backwards.

    They banned scapegoated foreigners for allegedly making their lives worse, and justified it as an act of labor protectionism.

    Why does pointing out that this act was very clearly racist bring out the vapors in people? I'm not calling you racist. I'm calling the authors of this act racist. They are all dead. And unless you are defending the act on racial grounds, then I don't think you're a racist either.

  • lulz farmer||

    The Chinese exclusion act as well as excluding lots of other foreign people unlike us is just common sense, because not everyone is an entitled boomer who doesn't care what happens after they die as long as they can live it large now and exteranlise the costs onto everyone else down the road.

    No one cares if you think it's "racist." Some of us would like our descendants to actually have a home and not be a brutalised minority on the fast-track for physical extinction via extermination and/or pressured/forced miscegenation in their own countries, because we're not hyperatomised autistic retards who think strip-mining our own countries to make short-term personal profits off of scab labour is somehow a good idea.

  • NashTiger||

    The Chinese Exclusion Act has zero bearing on this debate, except if you are trying to be deliberately obtuse, provocative, and demagogic

  • Mark22||

    I did however show how the federal government's power to regulate immigration arose from SCOTUS' defense of an explicitly racist immigration law from the 19th century.

    Correct: there is no equal protection clause for immigration purposes and US immigration laws can be as racist as we choose to make them. Immigration is a selectively granted privilege, not a right. If we wanted to write immigration laws that only allowed tall, blond, big-breasted Swedish women to immigrate to the US, we could do that.

  • Just Say'n||

    Not to sound combative, but do you not accept that the commerce clause grants the federal government authority over immigration?

    I understand that the commerce clause has long been manipulated to grant the federal government authority over a lot of areas beyond the scope of commerce, but it would seem that immigration is in fact commerce. Open borders advocates even frame it as a commerce issue. So, how does the federal government not have authority over immigration via the commerce clause?

  • Pepys||

    Interestingly, the people trying to counter this argument are at best, superficial scholars of the Constitution. Yes, the Commerce clause seems to cover human movement, and citizens are protected from it by the Privileges and Immunities clause, so the Commerce power to control movement would seem to only be valid for movement of non-citizens, or rather, those groups not afforded the Constitutional protection of citizens.

  • Headache||

    Similar to female reproductive rights?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "I'm still an anarchist"

  • Tamfang||

    "Implicit sovereign power" means "if other regimes do it it's okay," one of America's proudest founding principles.

  • Sigivald||

    Senior Analyst Sikha Dalmia.

    Analysis is not the word I'd use to describe her typical output at Reason, guys.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    ARGUMENT: The United States already has enough unskilled and low-skilled native-born citizens, and there is no need to 'import' any others from outside of the country.

    RESPONSE: The United States is not a single collective with a singular purpose. Individuals living in the US may wish to hire workers who are citizens, workers who are legal residents who are not citizens, or workers who are from outside the country, based on their own determination of what is best for them in their particular circumstances. Regardless if there is any macroeconomic 'need' or not, individuals should be free to exercise their property rights as they see fit. The idea that the exercise of liberty should be predicated only on whether the outcome of such exercise yields a net positive or negative economic benefit, is a profoundly unlibertarian approach. We would never accept the argument that free speech should only be legal if the speech is 'good' speech. Why would we accept the argument that employment decisions should only be legal if the decisions result in 'good' macroeconomic outcomes?

  • Just Say'n||

    The only fallacy that I see with this argument (and the argument that frames immigration as falling under "freedom of association") is that most immigrants to the US are not invited in by a company. So, I fail to see what immigration has to do with property rights.

    This may be a fair argument for why the US should not prosecute businesses for hiring illegal immigrants, but it doesn't really explain why open borders are necessary since the two are distinct issues.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    that most immigrants to the US are not invited in by a company.

    I agree, they are not, at least not initially. But once here, if an immigrant chooses to enter into a contract with a business here, then that is a type of freedom of association should be respected.

  • lulz farmer||

    Is the company going to be paying compensation for any damages caused by their import?

  • damikesc||

    Why would we accept the argument that employment decisions should only be legal if the decisions result in 'good' macroeconomic outcomes?

    Because there is no right to a job, for starters. Nor is there a right to employ people. If you own a private school, you cannot hire a pedophile, no matter how awesome they may be at teaching youngsters math.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Nor is there a right to employ people.

    I don't have a right to enter into an agreement with another willing person to exchange labor for money?

    If you own a private school, you cannot hire a pedophile

    Why not? It would be a profoundly stupid thing to do, but as far as I can tell, it isn't illegal.

  • BYODB||


    Why not? It would be a profoundly stupid thing to do, but as far as I can tell, it isn't illegal.


    Well, except for literally the laws that make that illegal.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Pedophilia is illegal, yes, and should be.
    Should it be illegal to hire a pedophile? That is a different question.

  • damikesc||

    For a school?

    Cannot figure out why libertarianism hasn't taken off.

  • BYODB||

    It might be a different question, but it was the answer to the question you actually asked. For someone that likes to accuse people of goal post moving, it seems to me that you might be projecting a bit.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    damikesc initially asserted that there is no right to hire a pedophile at a school.
    I disputed his assertion by noting that while sexual acts with children are illegal and rightly so, simply hiring a pedophile at a school, while profoundly stupid, isn't illegal, and IMO shouldn't be illegal.

  • damikesc||

    Again, with such a logical grounding, I cannot fathom why libertarianism is an electoral non-entity.

    "It shouldn't be illegal to have pedophiles hanging around kids".

    Yeah, good idea.

  • Juice||

    Pedophilia is illegal, yes, and should be.

    Sorry to be pedantic here, but it's not. Pedophilia is not an act, but a predilection.

  • sarcasmic||

    My main issue with that argument is that it assumes that the economy is a zero-sum game. That there are X number of jobs, and so when immigrants take jobs that means fewer opportunities for Americans. The truth is that the economy is not a zero-sum game, and that immigrants can and do grow the pie. They create value with their jobs, and they create demand as well. That's when they're not simultaneously doing nothing except leaching off the dole. The argument changes based upon convenience. What did Orwell call it? Doublethink? I call it intellectual dishonesty.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I agree completely.

  • lulz farmer||

    Immigrants from low IQ global south third world hellholes sadly take more from the pot than they put in. So the pie actually shrinks compared to the number of people. They aren't our equals in ability. I get that the cheap labour lobby just wants profit and doesn't care as long as they can continue to externalise the costs by not having to live near these savages or shuffling the financial costs off onto the national debt, but at least be honest about this.

  • commentator||

    sadly take more from the pot than they put in

    Are there numbers somewhere proving this?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Meh ... I met an African-American woman this year who complained about people moving to her town "as if they were Christopher Columbus discovering new land." Her attitude would make more sense if she really was Cherokee. Anyway, I hope you can combat the racism within the African-American community in New Jersey that causes some African-Americans to freak out when members outside their race move into town.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    There is plenty of racism to go around.

  • sarcasmic||

    Was she actually from Africa or was she just black?

  • sarcasmic||

    For instance Charliz Theron is an African-American. She is an American who was born in Africa.

  • lulz farmer||

    It's almost as if this mass movement of people causes dislocation which you don't care about since you're smugly insulated. When it is your daughter being trafficked by Muslim sex slavers like is happening to little white girls over in Europe, perhaps you'll care.

  • NashTiger||

    Cherokees have no claim on New Jersey

  • XM||

    This "response" is an argument for Utopia, or possibly anarchy.

    Libertarianism is an advocacy for limited government, not ZERO government. "Do whatever you in want that best fits you situation" works within certain confines of the law and common sense. No serious libertarian supports pedophilia, even if it involved two consenting people.

    If employers here just hired undocumented foreign nationals on faith alone, that would create some serious unintended consequences. CA is actually experiencing a net exodus in Latinos due to the housing shortage and skyrocketing cost of living.

    I'm an immigrant and worked for immigrants. There's no scenario in my head in which some of these employers deserve LESS oversight. If they want to hire workers via expanded guest worker visa worker program, that's fine. That's legal. If they want to hire 20 undocumented people from Korea with personal connection, no, i'm not down with that, knowing exactly how they'll be treated.

  • commentator||

    Unintended consequences have other solutions: in a functioning free market without NIMBY regulations in the way, a housing shortage and rising rents would cause developers to start building new housing. The problem isn't demand rising, it's the artificially constrained supply.

    How is mistreatment of workers completely inevitable? It seems like it's the current fear of deportation for undocumented workers that keeps them unable to go out and look for another, less exploitive employer. In this hypothetical free assocation "anarchy," employers shouldn't be able to have that kind of hold over anyone anymore.

  • lulz farmer||

    Land and carry capacity are limited, and since all human capital isn't equal then you're just going to turn our countries into cesspools of misery by populating our lands in the west with foreign people who can't create and maintain our living standards.

    Your purely supply and demand analysis where you intentionally discard any information contrary to your ideologue's belief system is just sad.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "I am still an anarchist"

  • Mark22||

    We would never accept the argument that free speech should only be legal if the speech is 'good' speech.

    I consider campaign finance laws to be 1A infringements. They are unlibertarian and I object to them. Nevertheless, as long as they are the law of the land, I expect them to be enforced equitably and uniformly. Ditto for immigration laws.

  • damikesc||

    Just checking, does Dalmia write the same column over and over and get paid for it regardless?

    I mean, good job if you got that job, but seems kinda lazy.

  • colorblindkid||

    Something we need to keep in mind is that there are 100,000s of migrants crossing the border every year. We simply can not process them fast enough. And the drug smugglers and gangs who shuttle these people know all the tricks and US laws, so everybody claims to be a refugee. Everybody claims to be a domestic violence victim. Adults try to pass off unaccompanied minors as their own kids. Last year, there were over 20,000 unaccompanied minors. Where are we supposed to put them?

    It is just an incredibly complicated problem. There is no humane way to treat them other than to have 100% open borders, which (I'm sorry Reason) simply isn't possible. It would be disastrous. Nobody on either side likes to talk about how much of a clusterfuck it will be no matter what we do.

  • Just Say'n||

    If we eliminated quotas on immigration per each country the problem would evaporate. The only people that would be crossing the border illegally would be people who cannot attain a green card due to a criminal past.

    That would allow for proper vetting of those who enter the country and would also meet demand for immigration.

  • colorblindkid||

    I 100% agree. Let anybody who wants to come here enter the country legally, for free, with a basic vetting process. Anybody who still chooses to come here illegally is deported. No questions.

  • lulz farmer||

    Or we could just use deadly force to prevent people from invading us. Seems pretty time-tested. The only "demand" from immigration is from people who want profit and want to externalise the costs of bringing in these grubby vagrant populations they use to line their pockets, and in my view such people are guilty of treason.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Seems artie poo and Hihn have a right wing, dead thread-fucking compatriot. Piss off, farmer...

  • sharmota4zeb||

    But he was so overcome that he told the detention officer in court that if he wanted to "imagine hell" then this is "probably what it looks like."

    I guess he's never heard of Aleppo or how the last Jews of Aleppo were evacuated after the Jewish community had lived there for thousands of years.

    In related news, some immigrants might not enjoy birthright citizenship in their host countries.

  • Dan S.||

    I don't know what's worse, Shikha's agitation over the fate of some of the migrants, or the agitation of some of the commentariat against her. After listing the evils of zero-tolerance policies in the drug war and against children at schools, it's hard to credit the statement that "none of this compares to the hideousness transpiring at the border". On the other hand, the policy of deliberately breaking up families IS quite ugly. And when applied to asylum seekers, it may be illegal. But complaining about it in a little less emotional language might actually be more effective.

  • Headache||

    And when applied to asylum seekers, it may be illegal.

    There are no asylum seekers crossing the Mexican/U.S. border, except for Mexicans. Asylum must be sought upon the first border, therefore Mexico rejected the application and is deporting them to the U.S. illegally.

  • Headache||

    When is Reason going to advocated open borders for Mexico? Seems to me Mexico needs the economic benefit more than the U.S.

    The U.S. could just herd the illegals northward into Canada, as Mexico does. Should this be part of NAFTA?

  • lulz farmer||

    Spoilers: Invaders, oligarchs and those who benefit from perverse incentives are the only ones for whom open borders is an economic benefit.

    The country itself and the overwhelming majority of people living within don't benefit.

  • NashTiger||

    Or any other country outside of Western Europe ?

    Maybe we could have reciprocal agreements with countries whose borders are open to Americans to come and go as they please and access services

  • sharmota4zeb||

    hey are turning America's southern border into a house of horrors that if allowed to persist will rival the stain of the Japanese internment during World War II.

    America can survive the transgressions that zero tolerance policies are designed to address. But it can't survive a government that plays by the rules of neither justice nor humanity.

    Democracy demands that the rules of justice and humanity are written by citizens. Yes, we need to provide due process and Trump is not doing that. Yes, we need to provide more immigration visas, perferably through expanding the diversity visa program and establishing reciprocity visas. However, preventing non-citizens from entering the country is no where near interning Japanese-Americans.

  • 45acp||

    What useless drivel. We separate people every day when they are incarcerated for committing crimes, and these are citizens to boot, so we should treat illegal invaders with leniency, as if they deserve better treatment than citizens. An idiotic arguement by moronic leftists looking to destroy the culture and turn us into a $hithole country like the homes of these invaders.

  • ranrod||

    this writer is just another open borders anarchist

  • Tamfang||

    You say that almost as if it's a bad thing.

  • lulz farmer||

    If you want a preview of what open borders, dysgenic breeding (miscegenation between high IQ/human capital and low) and such lead to I suggest you go move to a Brazilian favela in Rio and enjoy your future.

  • SF Pete||

    I guess according to Shikha we must now send children to prison with their parents.. so as not to separate them.

    How about an Article on How the Kennedy sponsored Immigration act of 1965, Fck'd up the entire immigration issue?

    or better yet, why thru countless congressional sessions it has not been changed except for 1 disastrous Amnesty, which encouraged more illegal immigration not less.???

    Or how's this: "Why other countries have tighter borders and immigration policies than ours"???

    Or: "Why America allows more Legal immigration than any other of the G7 nations, excepting refugees"??

  • buybuydandavis||

    Those articles wouldn't fit The Narrative

  • SF Pete||

    addenda to my comment::"Why did we create so many refugees in the Mid east"?

    Who's Fck'd up policy created that?

  • lulz farmer||

    AIPAC and the Israel lobby.

  • NashTiger||

    The Arab League

  • Spookk||

    I don't think invaders, or their kids (including anchor babies), should be granted any rights at all. Ship them all to Guantanamo.

    Or maybe just send them fleeing back to where they came from.

  • Pat001||

    If you're a parent and you rob a liquor store, you get sent to prison and get separated from your children. If you don't want to be separated from your children don't rob liquor stores.

  • Tionico||

    shaking tha ttired old rag doll again, eh?

    Invading this country with no permission is a crime... the normal punishment being sent back home. What is so hard to understand aobut this? YOU go and try to enter Canada or Mexico without going through the required hoops.... go ahead, let's see how far YOU get.
    second, the complaint that children are separated from their PARENTS is a shill.

    Yes, children ARE separated from adults they accompamy. Would you rather they be kept with all the adults, and sent off to the adult facilities that handle them? To be abused, molested, raped, enslaved, etc? Next, a goodly number of the children coming with adults are NOT related to those adtuls in any way. This is often learned early on after the encounter. Next, a goodly number of the "children" are not children at all, but are yong adults masquerading as underage minors and playing the game to get in at any cost and on any hook. Frighteing ly large numbers are in this class.

    You seem to think we must throw open our borders and let ANYONE come in at will. Fine.... look at what has happened in France, Germany, Sweden,England, as they have followed those policies. Those natioins are all being destroyed by the massive uncontrolled unvetted influx of illegal invaders. Congress have vested authority per our Constitutioin to regulate the ingress of all who enter this nation. Stop fighting against that. We do NOT need to become the newest Germany or Sweden or England.

  • Tamfang||

    A crime against whom?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    American majority.

  • lulz farmer||

    The American people as defined quite clearly by the founding fathers and their first immigration act in 1790 as to who those American people are.

  • commentator||

    A crime against white people? Even if a border-crosser is white?

    38% of the American people already aren't white, why would you go all the way back to the 1790 naturalization act that hasn't been the law in ages?

  • Mark22||

    A crime against whom?

    US tax payers.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Funny, where were you when Obama was doing exactly that (and when those famous pix were taken)?

  • tommhan||

    Sorry but most of us regular hard working citizens do NOT care if they are separated when illegally entering country. If not for the immigration issue the Libertarian party would be much stronger.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The open border issue just makes it easier to spot anarchists that hang with Libertarians.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Yes, children ARE separated from adults they accompany. Would you rather they be kept with all the adults, and sent off to the adult facilities that handle them? To be abused, molested, raped, enslaved, etc?"

    Buh buh buh ... muh feelz! Can't we have all we want for the price of wishing for it?

    The fact of the matter is that the world is full of shithole countries that make US detention facilities look like Shangri La.

    For nominally democratic countries, the shitholes are the shitholes they are because the people in them have values and beliefs that make them shitholes. When they immigrate, they bring those values and beliefs with them, making the place they come to a little bit more like the shithole they left. Bring them in by the tens of millions, and those little bits of shithole add up to feces in the streets of cities across CA.

    Countries are people, not places. The people establish the rule of their polity in places, because we don't live in Anarchotopia. Let other people in with other values, and you've now got a different polity with different values and different outcomes.

    Do people think that the peace, freedom, security, and prosperity of the US is guaranteed by magic dirt regardless of who lives here?

  • buybuydandavis||

    Not everyone in the world can live in America, because not everyone in the world is an American. Too many NotAmericans in America, and it becomes NotAmerica. Then *no one* can live in America.

    It's too bad that we can't have all we want for the price of wishing for it, and that human history is a history of shithole countries and tribes slowly clawing their through shit. It's a miracle that we have what we have. Thinking that it was inevitable and is indestructible now likely destroys that miracle, and sets freedom in the world back decades if not centuries.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    For nominally democratic countries, the shitholes are the shitholes they are because the people in them have values and beliefs that make them shitholes. When they immigrate, they bring those values and beliefs with them, making the place they come to a little bit more like the shithole they left. Bring them in by the tens of millions, and those little bits of shithole add up to feces in the streets of cities across CA.

    Suppose, in an alternate universe, just *after* the US had won its revolution, Britain had kidnapped and executed all of the Founding Fathers; then, demanded huge reparations from their former colonies, in order to repay them for all of their property 'stolen' from them, under threat of persistent blockade. Because the US struggled to pay back its enormous debt it owed Britain, it remained persistently poor and could not adequately develop and harness the resources of the continent. Consequently, Canada grew to be a very powerful neighbor, so powerful in fact that some time later, Canada invaded and occupied the US for a period of time on behalf of its mercantile interests - since the US could not afford to develop its own resources, Canadian interests would do it for them, to benefit Canada of course. When Canada finally left, the US was broke and depleted.

    This version of the US would not resemble the one in our reality. Do you think it would be because the Americans of that alternate reality are just terrible people with terrible values?

  • JoeBlow123||

    What is the point of this? What are you implying?

    You are very adept at arguing in bad faith and peddling utopian nonsense.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    What I've described, roughly, is the history of Haiti, in this universe. Which is the poster child for 'shithole countries' in the Western Hemisphere, as buybuydandavis would likely define the term.

    So yes, the people and the current and recent leaders of Haiti have made some poor decisions which have resulted in misery for their country. But it is also the case that they are the victims of their own history which is beyond the control of anyone currently alive. To blame Haiti's poor conditions exclusively on the people having 'shithole values' is insulting and ignorant.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Even after ALL the outside influences leave Haiti, its still someone else's fault that Haiti is a shithole.

    At what point are Haitians going to take personal responsibility for their action and country.

    The USA is not a shithole precisely because we value rule of law, fighting corruption, freedom, and free market. We still have lefties fighting us on these good things every day.

  • lulz farmer||

    Haiti is a shithole precisely because Haiti is populated by people who have an average IQ more than 2 standard deviations below the people who built America and Canada. Haiti is all these people are capable of. It's the same reason virtually all of central and south America are shitholes. All "human capital" isn't equal, and this is a consequence of the evolutionary processes that created population groups or "races" as we call them.

    The autistic libertarian of course is offended by anyone who has the moral courage to speak this truth and will sputter and let spittle fly as they screech at you for pointing this out. They will always claim that more people = better than even though some sub-Saharan African countries have tens or hundreds of millions of people but are still shitholes compared to little Iceland or Luxembourg.

  • Bob Mitchell||

    The only libertarians I respect nowadays are Republican. That shows you how far left Reason has gone.

  • lulz farmer||

    The only one I still respect in any way is Hoppe. This stuff is so sad to watch.

  • Marc St. Stephen||

    Some, apparently, take the position that we should let in immigrants willy-nilly because their countries of origin are shit-holes.

    Tell me, how are those shit-holes going to get any less shitty if all the people who see the shit leave them - and not fight to change them?

  • Tamfang||

    We ought to apply the same logic internally! No one should be allowed to leave shitty places in These United States for less shitty places, either, until they clean them up.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Maybe they will, maybe they won't. That shouldn't be our concern. We shouldn't concern ourselves with the health of the state, either our own or others'. We should concern ourselves with individual liberty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Under the Rule of Law. That law is the US Constitution.

    Maximum Individual liberty under the Constitution is what Libertarians are shooting for.

  • commentator||

    I guess you're living up to the username with the random mention but what does the Constitution have to do with anything? "Under the Constitution" completely goes without saying, since it's mandatory. That's not even an argument for or against open borders.

  • Tamfang||

    But dey BWOKE da WAAAW!!

  • Amir Najam Sethit||

    Russian are also same.

  • Longtobefree||

    Shikha, so I skip the article and other comments to mention I mis-read the headline as "America Needs to Declare Zero Tolerance for Trump's Border Abusers"

    It was better that way, but then I saw the byline.

  • Cloudbuster||

    America needs to declare zero tolerance for Dalmia's anti-American ravings.

  • Frank Thorn||

    Illegal immigration is border abuse.

  • DarrenM||

    That's because their fundamental premise is that the cause they aim to advance is so righteous that authorities have impunity to go after minor offenses with maximal force.

    Funny. I always thought the premise was that by tolerating the smaller infractions, you encourage the larger ones.

  • Mark22||

    I can't quite figure out what Shikha is trying to accomplish. Does she just enjoy wallowing in righteous indignation? Because she sure as hell isn't convincing anybody to change their mind.

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