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Free Minds & Free Markets

Kris Kobach's Primary Fight Shows a GOP Still Obsessed With Immigration Fantasies

The two major parties continue their sorting into democratic socialists on the left and Mercantilist nativists to the right.

If you want to know where a political party is heading, look at what's buoying the candidates who take on incumbents during primary season.

The long-shot victory of millennial heartthrob Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over 15-year Capitol Hill veteran Rep. Joe Crowley (D–N.Y.), for example, reveals a party barreling toward its democratic socialism moment. So what can we say about the temporally powerful yet electorally fragile GOP?

Its dystopian obsession with illegal immigration remains even more important, in some cases, than beating the hated Democrats.

Take a look at Tuesday's photo finish of a gubernatorial race in Kansas. As of this writing, incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer trails his primary challenger, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, by just 191 votes, basically ensuring a recount. This despite general-election polls showing Colyer with a 10-percentage-point advantage over Democratic nominee Laura Kelly, compared to just a 1-point margin for Kobach.

Pay close attention when a party's voters are willing to risk a loss in November to make a point in August. In 2010, Nevada Republicans took a flyer on Sharron Angle, knowing full well that her erratic temperament and paranoid rhetoric about terrorist immigrants and sharia law could jeopardize a winnable Senate seat in a swing state. Angle lost, but her ideas spread within the GOP, and now have a champion at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Kobach's career-making issue — illegal-immigrant voter fraud — is of paramount importance to a subset of conservatives, despite the problem's stubborn inability to manifest itself.

"The Court finds no credible evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote," Chief Judge Julie Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ruled in June while striking down as unconstitutional Kobach's toughest-in-the-country election law, which had required proof of citizenship before registering to vote.

Having asked Kobach to provide documentation of fraud, the judge deemed that a maximum number of 39 noncitizens were discovered to have successfully registered to vote in Kansas since 1999. "And several" of those, she determined, "show errors on the part of State employees, and/or confusion on the part of applicants. They do not evidence intentional fraud."

Like virtually all laws aimed at cracking down on immigrants in the country illegally, Kobach's voter registration system punished perfectly legal citizens. A reported 16,319 Kansans had their registrations canceled between the law's 2013 enactment and 2016 suspension, and 31,089 more were prevented from registering.

No amount of courtroom humiliation and professional failure seems to dim Kobach's allure in a Republican Party that for the past decade has taken a sharply nativist direction on immigration. ProPublica and the Kansas City Star last week documented how Kobach has built a lucrative legal practice talking cities into passing ordinances that punish landlords and employers who do business with undocumented immigrants, only to then lose in court when the laws are inevitably challenged.

So hamfisted has Kobach's lawyering been that Judge Robinson mandated the secretary of state take six hours of remedial legal classes after repeatedly bungling his own voter-registration case.

Even the moment that should have been his career peak—being named by Donald Trump as vice chairman and de facto head of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity—ended up in shambles. The president pulled the plug on the exercise just nine months later, after a series of increasingly bizarre missteps.

Kobach's resilience in the face of such defeats suggests that his factually untethered preoccupations meet a demonstrated market need among Republican voters.

This should give us all pause.

Years before Donald Trump was anything besides a political punchline, GOP politicians discovered there was electoral gold to mine in exaggerating the depredations of the undocumented. Mitt Romney used the issue like a club in the 2008 presidential campaign, knocking out former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani over "sanctuary cities," and nearly taking out Sen. John McCain for daring to propose immigration reform. Romney's infamous 2012 policy of "self-deportation"—which Trump after the election criticized as "maniacal"—was authored by none other than Kris Kobach.

Kobach may yet lose the gubernatorial primary, let alone the general election in November. And the near-term political prospects of such Trumpian nationalist candidates as Corey Stewart in Virginia look grim.

But unlike 2010, when the Sharron Angles of the world were also accompanied by a more interesting group of libertarian-leaning insurgents such as Mike Lee and Rand Paul—now Republican senators—the 2018 primary season shows little sign of producing healthy new ideas in the Grand Old Party.

Those of us who take comfort neither in democratic socialism nor mercantilist nativism will have to seek our electoral allies elsewhere.

This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Photo Credit: Shelly Yang/TNS/Newscom

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  • Don't look at me.||

    Why do I have to click on the "read the article " link to comment?

  • Agammamon||

    Why don't you click on the 'comments' link?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Is this a good time to point out that NYPD surveiled Wahhaj's mosque because its security force was suspected of engaging in illegal weapons trafficking and participating in paramilitary training? And that this surveillance was shutdown by the ACLU?

    I feel like... maybe in some alternate universe, this fact, and the fact that Wahhaj's son was arrested in an New Mexico desert compound while alleging training kids for jihad might make an interesting news story.

  • TLBD||

    No shit, right.

    Can you imagine if it was an NRA member training these kids?

    Wall to wall, and Reason would get in on it.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Wall to wall, and Reason would get in on it. On the wrong side
  • Jerryskids||

    There may be some democratic socialists on the left and some mercantilist nativists on the right, but the vast swath of the middle are political opportunists bending with the winds. They were for the war before they were against it. Republicans see Trump's success, Democrats see Bernie's success - they all want to be popular, too, so why not pretend you've got sincere principles on the matters the press says the voters give a shit about?

  • Microaggressor||

    And all this time, I thought I could trust politicians.

  • Trollificus||

    +1, power sarcasm

  • DenverJ||

    +1, nice handle

  • Robert||

    Can you trust voters? What Jerry's Kids wrote I think applies equally to them.

  • Alcibiades||

    Chief Judge Julie Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ruledin June while striking down as unconstitutional Kobach's toughest-in-the-country election law, which had required proof of citizenship before registering to vote.

    The nerve of requiring proof...

  • Happy Chandler||

    He had his chance to show the justification for a barrier to vote. He could not show that it was needed. Then he was forced to go to remedial education because he was such a bad lawyer.

    Didn't stop him from bilking Valley Park, Hazelton, and Farmer's Branch for literally millions of dollars while proceeding to lose the cases defending the laws that he convinced them to pass. It was quite a lucrative con, but he should have kept his head down. Now, it would take a really stupid town to rely on him for advice.

    It would take a stupid state to elect him.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    The question I'd have is if he was allowed to make any reasonable efforts to find it. Hard to prove non-citizens are voting under a system where you aren't permitted to require proof of citizenship. Barring rare accidents, it wouldn't be caught.

  • TLBD||

    The whole thing is like denying people microscopes and telling them they can't prove bacteria exist.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Brett Bellmore,

    The question I'd have is if he was allowed to make any reasonable efforts to find it. Hard to prove non-citizens are voting under a system where you aren't permitted to require proof of citizenship.


    I weep for all those Trumpistas who find it hard to prove that non-citizens vote. Poor, poor Trumpistas. See my tears? See? Yeah. They're there.

  • TLBD||

    When did Old Mexican turn into Rev Kirkland?

  • Azathoth!!||

    Whenever you mention 'immigration', he loses his fucking mind.

    He sounds like Dalmia.

  • Happy Chandler||

    He was Secretary of State. He had access to all the files.

    They gave a name and asked if it would raise flags. He said yes. The band was a judge in that courthouse.

    He got sent to remedial legal education. He's incompetent. You would think the nativists would want someone competent.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Kobach was specifically granted power to prosecute voter fraud in Kansas, even having the power to overrule local prosecutors if they declined to file charges.

    http://www.kansas.com/news/pol.....10259.html

    Since that time, he has obtained exactly 9 convictions. Only one of them was a non-citizen.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Yeah, but the whole thing is kind of like being empowered to prosecute speeding, but not being permitted to have a radar gun. You set up a system where people register and vote on the honor system, you're not allowed to demand proof that they're qualified to vote, or even are who they claim to be, and then, shockingly, you have trouble finding people who voted while not being who they claimed to be, or not being qualified.

    Of course when you're running an honor system you don't catch very many dishonorable people; The system doesn't allow you to find them!

    So you find a few people who voted then used not being qualified to vote as an excuse to get out of jury duty. And the courts assume that nobody else voted illegally, because you haven't got the evidence you weren't permitted to collect.

    I think absentee ballot fraud is likely a bigger problem than in person, but if only citizens are allowed to vote, then it is perfectly reasonable and logical for the state to ask for evidence of citizenship before they let you vote. If only Bob Smith is entitled to cast Bob Smith's vote, it's perfectly reasonable for the state to ask for evidence he's Bob Smith before they let him cast that vote.

    It's a deliberate catch-22 being set up by people who don't really think voting should have those perfectly legal requirements: You can collect the evidence after you've shown it to us!

  • retiredfire||

    Not to mention that this "judge" made up excuses as to why they were illegally registered, so that she could say there wasn't a single vote stolen, because one stolen vote is too many.
    A biased "judge" is no source to look to, for the truth.

  • Momo||

    Congenital Liberals that run "Reason" need these criminal trespasser's in America because they screwed up their countries of origin? Everywhere these criminals have settled are sh*t holes like their countries of origin.

    Why?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Because open borders no matter what! That's why!

  • TLBD||

    Follow the money.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: Momo,

    Congenital Liberals that run "Reason" need these criminal trespasser's in America because they screwed up their countries of origin?


    I know I may be wasting my time tying to get a Trumpista to think logically, but I am feeling a little bit masochistic tonight, so I will ask:

    If Donald's slogan is to Make America Grate Again, doesn't that mean the people inside - Americans - screwed up their country?

    Or are you willing to accept that perhaps you have NO FUCKING CLUE of what you talk about yet you go ahead and yap nonsense just to feel superior to people you don't know?

    You... Trumpista.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    That'll be "Great Again".

  • JFree||

    I think Grate Again worked

  • Mark22||

    If Donald's slogan is to Make America Grate Again, doesn't that mean the people inside - Americans - screwed up their country?

    No, it's mostly European academics and intellectuals who are responsible; the error Americans made was letting them in.

    Or are you willing to accept that perhaps you have NO FUCKING CLUE of what you talk about yet you go ahead and yap nonsense just to feel superior to people you don't know?

    Well, we certainly know you. But even I wouldn't assume that the average Mexican is as hate-filled, racist, and irrational as you are.

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    Look, he may be hate-filled, racist, and irrational, but he's mostly harmless. Chill out on the guy.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " doesn't that mean the people inside - Americans - screwed up their country?"

    Compared to what it was and would have been, yes.

    Compared to Mexico? No.
    Compared to most of the world? No.

    Mankind has always been screwing up the world. Some places have managed to screw it up less. The US is one of them.

  • retiredfire||

    The thirty million illegal aliens had a part in it, too.
    So do all the communists, who vote for the free-stuff party.
    The ones, who support Trump are the ones who want to make America great, again.
    The rest like turning it into a shithole

  • Rufus T. Firefly.||

    Not only that, Momo, but they are fucking ugly looking and all have low IQs.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Primary voters often have different agendas than general election lever-pullers. What I want to know is if right now we're broadly in favor of incumbent bums being tossed or pining for a bit of centrist status quo.

  • JFree||

    What I want to know is if right now we're broadly in favor of incumbent bums being tossed or pining for a bit of centrist status quo.

    Doesn't matter. The whole point of general elections in this country is to see which of the duops can put the best ad campaign together that stimulates the lizard brain amygdala in all of us. So the only thing that matters in Nov is whether we choose - fight, flee, feed, freeze, or fuck.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    If the two major parties are sorting themselves into democratic socialists versus white nationalists, the choice for libertarians is clear. Our fundamental, non-negotiable issue is immigration, and democratic socialists like Ocasio-Cortez are on the right side of history with their calls to #AbolishICE.

    Once the white nationalists have been permanently defeated and America's borders opened, only then should we libertarians highlight our policy differences with democratic socialists on issues like the minimum wage, billionaire tax rates, or government's role in health care. But now, with white nationalists controlling all 3 branches of government? We need to create alliances wherever we can. Don't let some misguided notion of libertarian purity prevent you from voting for candidates who are good on immigration, just because you suspect they would raise Charles Koch's taxes.

    #LibertariansForOcasioCortez
    #NoBanNoWall
    #OpenBorders

  • Mickey Rat||

    Vote for the pol who implied that single payer would prevent death permanently.

    Yeah, she probably did not mean that, but that only goes to show that her enthusiasms outpace what critical thinking skills she has.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Nationalism is the future of the world. Democratic Socialism is proving to be a utter disaster for civilization. Haven't you noticed that nationalism is on the rise? This is only the beginning.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    It looks like Kobach has Reason and the New York Times shitting in their pants.

    Life is good!

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    That's funny! A Trumpista is having hallucinations! Look!

    I'll bring popcorn. Hold on....

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    My, it aren't you just a silly little bitch?

  • Mark22||

    ts dystopian obsession with illegal immigration remains even more important,

    I'd rather have the dystopian obsession of the GOP with illegal immigration than the dystopian reality that Democrats are seeking to create with illegal immigration.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yay for police state over welfare state!

  • Mark22||

    I experienced a police state first hand growing up. Police states are miserable shitholes that keep track of every aspect of your life and use it to force you to comply to state policy. Enforcing immigration laws, protecting borders, and asking people to identify themselves as citizens when necessary doesn't make a country a "police state". Switzerland and Japan are not "police states".

    Of course, as a pampered, ignorant American who has never experienced any serious government abuse and oppression, you wouldn't know.

  • vek||

    Yup. There's a difference between being asked for ID or proof of citizenship at important times/places, like at the border, or when registering to vote... Versus being asked for your papers every 6 blocks, or having the Stasi watching your every move.

    All this nonsense about voter suppression is BS. Frankly if somebody is such a fuckup they don't have an ID, or can't even prove they're in the country legally, they are not responsible enough human beings to be voting in the first place. The founders didn't believe in universal suffrage for good reason... Idiots voting is what has destroyed this country. Their rules of being a white, male, landowner of good character (AKA not a criminal) perhaps weren't perfect OBVIOUSLY, but were surely a better idea than universal suffrage. If requiring ID keeps a few morons from voting I don't really have a problem with that personally.

  • JFree||

    All this nonsense about voter suppression is BS.

    No it isn't because it isn't just about producing ID at the polls. It is about the combo of:

    1. deleting infrequent voters from the voting rolls so that they don't get a mail-in ballot

    2. making sure that some precincts don't get enough voting machines so that in-person voting takes hours not minutes

    3. then adding to those lines in those precincts by forcing them to identify themselves as the person who was previously deleted from the voting roll - where one party has a pollwatcher lawyer type to challenge every single case of that.

    The consequence of that is to massively increase the cost of voting - and to make that cost regressive. It's honestly not much different in economic impact than the combo of the old poll tax (replace by wait in line forever) and literacy test (go up against our lawyers) during Jim Crow.

    That doesn't mean the old urban Dem machine strategy of vote early and often - esp if you're dead is better. They are both corrupt as hell. Personally I think the only honest county clerk or SecyState candidate is either a third-party or a League of Women Voters person. but that's the last person the duop voters want

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "where one party has a pollwatcher lawyer type to challenge every single case of that."

    Which party would that be? The Republican party only got out from under that consent decree this January. What you're complaining of is exactly what they weren't doing, and haven't been for decades.

    It's pretty much a given that most ballot fraud doesn't take place in the form of in person fraud, but rather is executed using absentee ballots the supposed "voter" never sees. This allows more of a mass manufacturing of votes, compared to in person fraud which is more labor intensive.

    What's the raw ingredient of absentee ballot fraud? People registered to vote who don't actually vote. The only way to really stop it, (Aside from not allowing absentee voting without proven need.) is to relentlessly police the voter rolls, to remove everybody you can't confirm is an actual voter.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Minorities have been practicing identity politics for decades. Now white Americans are realizing it's in their best interest to embrace identity politics. Congratulations Democrats and Libertarians, this is the world you've been working towards for decades and it's finally here!

  • Happy Chandler||

    Identity politics started when the government decided that people could be enslaved because of the color of their skin.

    They continued when government decided that people should be categorized and separated. That some jobs should be reserved for the favored race.

    White people for centuries of identity politics.

  • NashTiger||

    And, you think this is a good justification?

  • vek||

    Yeah, you do know that whites were also enslaved right? And Indians, etc. Africa just happened to be a conveniently located place where there were lots of slaves for sale, mostly being sold by other blacks or Muslims.

    This nonsense that whites are the only ones who ever did evil shit is tiring. Muslims were enslaving Africans en masse long before whites. They castrated EVERY SINGLE MALE SLAVE they brought to Arabia so they couldn't breed. They also continued slavery into the 20th century. Oh, did I forget to mention that there ARE STILL SLAVES IN AFRICA? Yeah. By some estimates up to 1/3 of the population of some African nations are PRESENTLY ENSLAVED by their fellow Africans.

    So fuck off.

    Identity politics is a fact of life. People who don't realize that are utopian fools. People have shared interests with people that are more similar to them, whether it is race, religion, class, etc. It's always been there and always will be, because interests simply align more between some people than others.

    Lower taxes and lower spending is good for me in the short term and the long term... But for black people it is bad in the short term (as they're net recipients), although I would obviously argue it is better for them long term. For people without principles it will always pull them to identity politics. I myself accept this, and in fact push what is best for me sometimes, even against principles, because some principled outcomes are too bad to be worth the practical trade offs.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Identity politics started when the government decided that people could be enslaved because of the color of their skin.


    This never happened.

    From it's inception, way back when humans came in one color, people enslaved other people because they could.

    It has always been intraracial as well as extraracial.

    The Atlantic part of the slave trade that existed as the US was forming is never mentioned in the Constitution.

    So the government never decided anything about it.

    They DID put in a clause stating that if you're not going to treat people as people, you don't get to use them to give yourself power though.

    Identity politics only exist in countries and cultures that are fighting racism--they're a measure of not succeeding. Everywhere else in the world, racism--i.e. 'taking care of your own' is standard practice UNLESS someone from the west shows up, then THEY brought 'racism' with them (though, to be fair, this accusation also comes from other western, white people)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yeah Democrats have been doing identity politics for centuries. Keeping those slaves in line and now the serfs.

  • DenverJ||

    True libertarians don't play identity politics.
    That said, the fact is that white Europeans stole this continent fair and square, and then started the greatest, freest, country on the planet. Lots of mistakes were made, lots of evil done. Also much good, and massive contributions to the welfare of all mankind.
    No other nation would be expected to import huge masses of people from different demographics, and keep doing so until the demographic that founded the nation would become a minority in their own country.
    And then, to be told that even the ones who immigrated illegally have a right to be here is insulting.
    Personally, I suspect that more dead people vote than do illegal immigrants, but you know how you take the issue off the table? Control the border and follow up with overstayed visas.

  • DenverJ||

    Also, deport all the dead people.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And then, to be told that even the ones who immigrated illegally have a right to be here is insulting.

    The only difference between a legal immigrant and an illegal immigrant is a permission slip from the state. That's it.

    Just like the only difference between a bootlegger and a distillery is a permission slip from the state.

    Just like the only difference between a pimp and a brothel owner is a permission slip from the state. (Nevada only)

    The insulting part is that the state requires these permission slips in the first place for consensual behavior.

  • DenverJ||

    Well Jeff, that's the difference between anarchy, the proposal that we have no government, and libertarianism, the proposal that we need some level of government, but it should be kept as small as possible. Personally, I think that for a government to exist, it needs a nation, and for a nation to exist it needs boundaries and control of who enters those boundaries.
    For instance, if a government can't keep hordes of Mongols from invading, then what's the point? Now, an army of hotel maids and lawnmowers aren't raping and pillaging their way across the land, but is that the line you want to set? As long as your horde doesn't rape and pillage you can invite yourself and your family, take advantage of the system set up for people who are citizens, ruin neighborhoods and schools, and destroy the earning potential of natives? Mexico has an official government policy of shipping their poor and uneducated peasant class to the US, and frankly, I think we grow enough poor and uneducated people ourselves without needing to import more.

  • DenverJ||

    Also, I don't where you live or what you do for a living, but as a guy who works construction in Denver and has provided temporary housing for many grade school children in the Denver School District (and for a few years did all those same things 30 miles east of Oklahoma City), I have personally witnessed the results of our defacto open borders policy. The results for working class families have been much worse than maybe you realize, at least in some parts of the country.
    Yes, we benefit from immigration, but we have several reasons, and every right, to control who immigrates and how many immigrate. We can discuss what levels and who, but you refuse to admit that we even have a say in the matter.

  • DenverJ||

    Whom?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    First, a nation is defined as an area of land over which a government has exclusive jurisdiction. There is no necessary condition that a nation must have some central authority deciding who comes and goes. For the first 100+ years of the US, there was no one keeping track of who was coming and going, and yet the US was a nation during that time. So I dispute that there is any necessary conflict between the existence of a nation and control over who comes and goes into or out of that nation. Historically, in this country, the idea that a nation cannot exist without some central authority deciding who comes and goes originates from the original SCOTUS decision on this matter, over the Chinese Exclusion Act, which stated basically what you said. In their decision, SCOTUS granted the federal government the power to control immigration, by ruling that even though the explicit power to regulate immigration is not in the Constitution, that nonetheless the power to control immigration must be an *implied* power, and SCOTUS will helpfully rewrite the Constitution to provide this power to the state. IMO, Constitutional originalists ought to treat this power with a fair amount of skepticism.

  • Mark22||

    There is no necessary condition that a nation must have some central authority deciding who comes and goes

    The decision not to impose restrictions is still an exercise of authority.

  • Uncle Adolf's Gas and Grill||

    First, a nation is defined as an area of land over which a government has exclusive jurisdiction.

    Um, no, that's a state. According to the dictionary a nation is:

    a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

    There is no necessary condition that a nation must have some central authority deciding who comes and goes.

    No, there isn't. That's why we have a state.

  • JFree||

    For the first 100+ years of the US, there was no one keeping track of who was coming and going, and yet the US was a nation during that time.

    You're wrong. You should do genealogy. The 'tracking' was simply not very centralized. When the US came into existence, feudal law (which existed everywhere incl US) was focused on emigration not immigration. The US negotiated consular treaties with most European states (incl 30+ in what became Germany) that allowed people to EMIGRATE from those places. The timing of those (just before 1848 revs) created the first wave of migrants from continental Europe and Scandinavia.

    On the US side, two types of records were kept. Starting in 1819 (and 1847, 1874) all docking ships were required to keep passenger lists and control their total number of passengers - hand them over to the customs officer at that port - who then sent it to SecyState. Those reqs are why so many Irish were able to emigrate. Immigrant ships docked in Cobh/Queenstown to 'fill up' before they crossed the ocean.

    Before Civil War and 14th amendment - migration and citizenship was a state-level issue. Some states were very hostile - some were very open. NY in particular was very open (and more than a bit corrupt) but kept records. Ellis Island was nothing but the Feds taking over that processing from NY state when post-Civil War resulted in far more immigrant movement west from NYC.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Well Jeff, you're wrong. This has been explained to you over and over, but those illegals pull on your widdle heart strings so you keep lurking up the same shitheaded worthless arguments no matter how many times they have been discredited.

    Get rid of the illegals.

    Build led the wall.

    MAGA baby!

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Second, a distinction ought to be made between a decision to cross a border, and all other decisions subsequent to that. If a migrant does nothing but cross a border, then that is all the migrant has done. Just by crossing the border, that migrant isn't a burden or benefit to anyone else. Now, that migrant *may* later decide to mooch off welfare, or rape children, or go to college and later win a Nobel Prize. Who knows. But all of those subsequent decisions are each independent and should be judged on their own terms. Because some migrants behave badly after crossing the border is not a reason to close up the border to all migrants.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No Jeff, they shouldn't, as they have already committed a fucking crime. That you don't believe in that makes no difference the rest of us who aren't soft headed idiots.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Third, open borders is not synonymous with anarchy. I favor open borders and I am by no means an anarchist. I absolutely want a government that protects liberty, including the liberties of free association and free migration. If it wasn't for some authority protecting liberty, then I fear we would have tribal communities restraining migrants instead of protecting their right to migrate and associate with whom they choose.

  • Mark22||

    I absolutely want a government that protects liberty

    What you want is no different from the old aristocracies, in which there were different laws for different people. You want a government that selectively enforces its laws selectively. That's not libertarian, it's tyrannical.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    " I absolutely want a government that protects liberty, including the liberties of free association and free migration."

    There's a very serious contradiction built into that set of desires. Most people in the world do not want that sort of government. So, free migration will pretty much inevitably guarantee that any given government has a population that doesn't want the sort of government that allowed those people in.

    The sort of government you want will thus self destruct, unless it isn't at all democratic. And it's very rare for non-democratic governments to protect liberty to any significant degree. The only real example I can think of was Hong Kong under Patten.

    A government has to be more than just ideal, you know. It has to be the sort of ideal that doesn't destroy itself.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jeff, yes, you are an anarchist. You don't want a nation of laws, you want a system of whatever gets your feelz going. Which is anarchy.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Fourth, TANSTAAFL. By granting the government the power to control who comes and goes, you are giving it an enormous amount of power over all of our lives. In particular it is hard to see how a regime of strict border security can ever be harmonious with a robust protection of the Fourth Amendment. After all, how can ICE know if I am legally allowed to be here if it doesn't have the authority to compel me to produce my papers upon demand? Now I think this is a legitimate fear, but you may not - if you don't, then please come up with a way to enforce borders, particularly with interior enforcement, that you think would be more effective than the status quo, while also robustly defending the Fourth Amendment.

  • Mark22||

    Fourth, TANSTAAFL. By granting the government the power to control who comes and goes, you are giving it an enormous amount of power over all of our lives.

    The US government has enormous amounts of power over my life. As long as it does, I am going to use it as intended. You're proposing that I unilaterally disavow using it for your pet causes. Not going to happen.

  • DenverJ||

    I already did "come up with a way to enforce borders, particularly with interior enforcement, that you think would be more effective than the status quo, while also robustly defending the Fourth Amendment."
    Protect the border and follow up on overstayed visas. It's really not complicated. If I don't pay a parking ticket, the government knows that, and has a bench warrant out for my arrest. Why can't we keep track of visa holders, and if they don't check out on time, then we put out a warrant?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Fifth, yes there will be negative consequences when people exercise their liberty. But treating liberty in a consequentalist fashion is rather anathema to the whole libertarian project, in my view. That is just being a fair-weather friend to liberty. It's easy for instance to be pro-free-speech when the speech is all happy and nice. But the real test of whether one is pro-free-speech is defending the right of a speaker to say vile horrible things. It's easy to be in favor of freedom of association when that association produces some tangible positive macroeconomic result. But it is much harder to be in favor of freedom of association when that association does not. It's safe to say that both Team Red and Team Blue are, at best, fair-weather friends of liberty. SOMEONE has to be unapologetically pro-liberty, and I would hope that would be libertarians. That doesn't mean that we can't be empathetic to those who do suffer negative results from the exercise of liberty. I do feel sorry for people who get hate speech shouted at them due to no fault of their own. I do feel sorry for people who have to compete harder for jobs when there is a larger labor pool due to migration. IMO we can and should empathize with them and validate their concerns. But this empathy alone is not reason enough to start cutting off people's liberties.

  • Mark22||

    Fifth, yes there will be negative consequences when people exercise their liberty. But treating liberty in a consequentalist fashion is rather anathema to the whole libertarian project

    Demanding equality under the law and compliance with the law is not "consequentialism". US law currently imposes requirements on immigrants, and those laws need to be enforced on everybody; selective enforcement is tyrannical and illiberal. Furthermore, I can't freely move to Mexico, so Mexicans shouldn't be able to freely move to the US.

  • vek||

    Jeff: I agree that being a fair weather friend to liberty is generally bad. But here's the thing, some problems are an existential threat. Mass immigration is an existential threat to our civilization. We can only take in, and HOPEFULLY convert people so fast. The fact is that all immigrant groups vote to the left of US born citizens, especially US born whites.

    White Americans are the most libertarian people on earth, for whatever that's worth! I would rather save America and all our other liberties than allow any asshole from some foreign country to move here. That's a pretty logical choice IMO.

    They vote wrong. Low skilled immigrants are a net tax drain. They DO commit more crimes than all but native born Blacks (the figures that show lower crime than natives includes blacks, but if you're using black criminality as the acceptable bar you're setting the bar too low). I could go on for days. So fuck unskilled immigrants. They can build up their own countries, because I'm not willing to ruin mine for their benefit, principles or not it's just too big a cost.

  • vek||

    In short, I will follow the NAP up to the point of it being suicidal.

    In a zombie apocalypse, I'm going to fucking shoot people first if they seem sketchy at all. Why? Because to do otherwise will get you killed. I don't like getting killed.

    Immigration and a few other BIG issues are my only exceptions to purist libertarian dogma, but they're exceptions that are worth it.

    True open borders would undoubtedly destroy the USA as a first world nation within short order. The small principle of international freedom of movement is simply not important enough to destroy the greatest country on earth. Sorry.

  • JFree||

    Furthermore, I can't freely move to Mexico, so Mexicans shouldn't be able to freely move to the US.

    There are roughly 1 million Americans living in Mexico. Most of them are, technically, illegal under Mexican law. Yes - the two groups have very different demographics - illegal Americans in Mexico are mostly old retirees on Social Security who mostly don't work (fulltime at least); illegal Mexicans in America are mostly young people who do work at lower pay jobs.

    I'm not saying any of that means anything re what our immigration policy should be. What I'm saying is that you are wrong.

    Our migration agreements with both Canada and Mexico (and maybe Caribbean) should be bilateral - and based on being physical neighbors. The problem is we now view immigration as purely some issue to be handled at a global level with no context for who we actually have borders with.

  • Azathoth!!||

    One does not have liberty to trespass.

    Not on individual property, not on state held property, not on nation held property

    That is fundamental to the idea of property and it predates multicellular life.

    Why is the idea that one should check, to see if a property is owned before advancing such an onerous burden to you?

  • JFree||

    One does not have liberty to trespass...That is fundamental to the idea of property and it predates multicellular life.

    That is simply nonsense and an attempt to put a claim to land on a natural law/rights basis. A lion may well have the liberty to claim territory - but NO OTHER LION need respect that claim at all. They are free to trespass - and to contest that claim. Even if Lion A wins the first contest against Lion B, that means nothing. Because Lion B is free to return later - and so is Lion C D E F G. Lion A has to personally contest every single claim - from now to forever. That is not an authority to be 'delegated'. It is not a claim that is secure enough for LionA to ever improve the land. And Lion A can't simply pass that on to heirs.

    If there is a natural freedom here - it is the freedom of B C D E F G to trespass on and to challenge A's claim. Now if Lion G is Mexican, I don't have a problem with A-F collectively enforcing a claim - but A has to pay for all of that and B-F still have natural rights to trespass on A. If A wants yet more 'collective action' against B-F, then A has to dig deeper.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jeff, you're not pro liberty, you're an anarchist.

  • Mark22||

    The only difference between a legal immigrant and an illegal immigrant is a permission slip from the state. That's it.

    Yes, just like the only difference between a property owner and a destitute pauper is permission slips from the state. Keeping track of permissions is the primary purpose of the state.

    The insulting part is that the state requires these permission slips in the first place for consensual behavior.

    Nothing insulting about it. I don't want you to run a brothel next door, and whether it is via the state or via private covenants and restrictions, I'm sure as hell going to make sure that you don't get permission to do so.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "basically ensuring a recount."

    A recount? Is that constitutional?

  • Mukesh Singh||

    No shit, its can't be true.

    Can you imagine if it was an NRA member training these kids?

  • buybuydandavis||

    ' "The Court finds no credible evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote," Chief Judge Julie Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ruledin June while striking down as unconstitutional Kobach's toughest-in-the-country election law, which had required proof of citizenship before registering to vote. '

    The absurdity is overwhelming. I bet there is no credible evidence that a substantial number of people robbed the Judge's house, yet the Judge is allowed locks and security cameras.

    Calling ID for voting unconstitutional gets it backwards - citizens have a right to reasonable precautions against voter fraud. It's a better argument to say that *lack* of voter ID is unconstitutional.

  • WJack||

    Nail it!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The two major parties continue their sorting into democratic socialists on the left and Mercantilist nativists to the right."

    Globalists on the Left, Nationalists on the Right.

    And can we cut the bs of calling socialists, or globalists, democratic? The whole point is to remove governance from electoral control.

  • crufus||

    The race in Kansas is choice between two bad candidates.

    Incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer is seen as the hand picked successor to former govenor Sam Brownback, current United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. Many in Kansas, including many Republicans, hated Brownback's policies (Massive tax cuts followed by massive budget deficits), so Colyer's association with Brownback is the major reason that he is in trouble.

    Kris Kobach has plenty of issues as noted in the article, but despite his apparent incompetence, it 's not really clear that he is a worse choice than Colyer.

  • Nuwanda||

    Reason's article list shows an organisation still obsessed with immigration fantasies.

  • ranrod||

    thats a lie

    youre an open borders anarchist

  • mpercy||

    "The Court finds no credible evidence that a substantial number of noncitizens registered to vote," Chief Judge Julie Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ruled in June while striking down as unconstitutional Kobach's toughest-in-the-country election law, which had required proof of citizenship before registering to vote.

    Umm, how can there be evidence of noncitizens registering to vote if proof of citizenship is not required? Did the Court examine to voter rolls and validate that they are all eligible citizens?

    Seriously, how did the Court make that determination?

    Also, what constitutes "a substantial number"?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    X+1, where X is however many the government manages to provide evidence of.

  • mpercy||

    Why is it OK to require proof of citizenship, multiple photo ID, fingerprints, intrusive questionnaire, criminal background check, and non-trivial fees, plus a significant investment of time and the whim of government overseers to be allowed to exercise a right the "shall not be infringed", but a crime against humanity to require ANY token effort to prevent ineligible voters from voting.

  • mpercy||

    'd just like the application process for welfare to mirror the application process for CCW.

    Around here, for CCW, you must show up in person at the courthouse, fill out an application that asks several invasive questions, present several forms of government-approved photo ID, get photographed for picture ID, take the application to the Sheriff's office, get fingerprinted, then have the application and prints submitted to the FBI for a background check. Of course you have to pay the fees as well.

    If you've have committed no crimes and are not deemed mentally unstable, if you're lucky your CCW will be approved and mailed to you in 60-90 days. You get to repeat the process every 5 years.

    Welfare application could waive the fee, but the fingerprinting, photo ID requirement and issuance,, plus a wants background check seem sensible and not intrusive relative to hoops needed to exercise 2nd rights with govt approval.

    As a bonus, the new photo ID would be acceptable for voting purposes!

  • HenryC||

    No the immigration issue is not as important as beating the leftist democrats. That is far more important for the country and its citizens. Currently the percentage of immigrants in the country legally is the highest it has ever been and that ignores the illegal. Even and expensive and useless fence is not as important as preventing socialism destroying the country.

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