Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump Is Building a Wall of Bureaucracy

On the heels of a draconian border crackdown and interior deportation raids, President Donald Trump has quietly opened another front in his war on immigration. This time, he's going after authorized immigrants.

After failing to get Congress to institute the 40 percent cut in legal immigration he sought, Trump is trying to achieve administratively what he couldn't legislatively—by wrapping each legal immigration category in red tape and handing his bureaucrats sweeping powers to deny applications for the flimsiest of reasons.

It's working. A recent Washington Post analysis found that the total number of people receiving visas to live in the country is on pace to drop 12 percent in just the first two years of the Trump presidency.

Trump got things rolling by targeting asylum seekers and refugees. To go after the first, he initiated his notorious policy of separating kids from parents fleeing violence in Latin America and holding them in separate detention camps. Widespread outrage forced him to back off, but he has now instructed immigration judges to consider anyone caught before he or she has a chance to surrender and formally request asylum as an illegal immigrant. This will deny many legitimate candidates a fair shot at obtaining asylum.

Meanwhile, thanks to "extreme vetting," refugee admissions are on track to fall by 75 percent from 2016 levels. This means the administration won't even meet its own 45,000 annual refugee cap, which is itself less than half of the Obama administration's 110,000 limit that Trump slashed upon assuming office.

Trump isn't just putting Muslim refugees through the wringer—he's also making life harder for American citizens' foreign family members. His administration is requiring consular officers to subject family-based applications to more aggressive scrutiny, slowing the approval process to a crawl.

The justification offered for slashing family-based immigration is that this category is not "merit-based." But new arrivals under this program are actually better educated on average than their native-born counterparts: More than half of immigrants admitted under this and the diversity visa categories—which Trump has also spoken against—have college degrees, compared to 29 percent of people born in the United States.

Trump has started treating conventional "merit-based" immigrants with suspicion, too. His administration is issuing more "Requests for Evidence" from employers sponsoring foreign workers. This means companies have to submit even more paperwork to prove to the government that they couldn't find a qualified American to do the job. And to advance his "America First" agenda, the departments of Labor and Justice are jointly launching an initiative to crack down on employers that "discriminate" against Americans and hire foreigners instead.

What's more, it used to be the case that once an H-1B was approved, renewing the visa was routine. But employers are now being required to resubmit all paperwork as if they were filing for the first time. This means that H-1Bs can no longer take it for granted that their work authorization will be re-upped. That policy change, combined with the decadeslong backlogs for obtaining green cards, will likely deter many immigrants with skills we badly need from staying or coming in the first place.

And now the administration is rolling out a policy that would allow certain visa renewal candidates to receive the dreaded "Notice to Appear" and be placed in removal proceedings if their legal status happens to expire while they're waiting for an answer on their applications. Currently, when immigrants fall out of status and their renewal petition is denied, they can just leave the country without jeopardy. That preserves their ability to reapply and return at some future date. This notice bars them from departing and requires instead that they appear before a judge to determine if they need to be deported. Why not let them exit voluntarily, especially if they are out of status and can't legally work? Because deporting them makes them ineligible to obtain another visa and return.

Finally, an impending rule change would prevent immigrants from obtaining green cards or citizenship (or otherwise upgrading their status) if their American-born children use any public benefit from an expanded list.

Congress wouldn't give Trump funds to build his physical wall, so instead he is erecting a bureaucratic fortress.

Photo Credit: PrettyVectors/iStock

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Frank White||

    Meanwhile, thanks to "extreme vetting," refugee admissions are on track to fall by 75 percent from 2016 levels. This means the administration won't even meet its own 45,000 annual refugee cap, which is itself less than half of the Obama administration's 110,000 limit that Trump slashed upon assuming office.

    Promises made. Promises kept.

  • Frank White||

    Congress wouldn't give Trump funds to build his physical wall, so instead he is erecting a bureaucratic fortress.

    Under budget and ahead of schedule.

  • Frank White||

    Trump isn't just putting Muslim refugees through the wringer—he's also making life harder for American citizens' foreign family members.

    Shikha Dalmia dismantles the left's "Muslim ban" rhetoric in just one sentence.

  • Frank White||

    ...[Trump] initiated his notorious policy of separating kids from parents fleeing violence in Latin America and holding them in separate detention camps.

    Clarification:Trump required criminals who participate in criminal acts to be tried as criminals, which forced law enforcement to follow the existing laws in place during the Obama administration.

  • Frank White||

    His administration is issuing more "Requests for Evidence" from employers sponsoring foreign workers.

    Drain the swamp.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    These bigots will have their hands removed from the levers of government power soon enough.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Good. We could use less leftist Democrats in positions of power in this country.

  • buybuydandavis||

    6 more years!
    6 more years!
    6 more years!

  • Hank Phillips||

    Gee... five-of-a-kind carpetbiting knee-jerk trumpista reactions. Shikha should at least get a raise for this one!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Don't you have a Kermit Gosnell Fan Club live blog to host?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Currently, when immigrants fall out of status and their renewal petition is denied, they can just leave the country without jeopardy. That preserves their ability to reapply and return at some future date. This notice bars them from departing and requires instead that they appear before a judge to determine if they need to be deported. Why not let them exit voluntarily, especially if they are out of status and can't legally work? Because deporting them makes them ineligible to obtain another visa and return.

    So they're deliberately creating illegal immigrants by forbidding them to leave legally and then letting their status expire. Wow.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes! You need a bureaucrat's blessings before you can leave! This is welfare for bureaucrats! "Drain the swamp" by creating ever-more opportunities for and ever-increasing army of bureaucrats!

    Didn't the GOP supposedly once stand for smaller Government Almighty?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Next on the hit parade:

    Trump will instruct His Army of bureaucrats to turn into illegal humans, not just legal immigrants, but native-born American opponents of Trump! We need to re-verify our expired birth certificates every year, and if we can't pay for this new service, or we are NOT Trump supporters, the bureaucrats will simply delay and delay and delay issuing us our newly-re-verified birth certificates, and WAAAALLAH!!! We are now illegal humans!!! They will do this to us right immediately after we start collecting Social Security! Social Security problems SOLVED!!!

  • Hank Phillips||

    This already happens. Court interpreters have to be fingerprinted over and over and over again at $35 a pop. Then in order to be paid you have to fill out forms for a DUNS number in SAM.gov bristling with fines and imprisonment for so much as a spelling error and larded with ambiguous questions worded as though a binary answer could possibly make sense. If a court interpreter cannot be found, it's slammerino for another couple of months and better luck next time, foreigner. But the District courts pay more to members of a foreign price-fixing association with no tests or examinations a higher rate than they pay degreed Americans who have passed multiple translation tests. Another brick in the Schutzwall... patterned after the one dividing Berlin.

  • JesseAz||

    They can leave at any time prior to Visa expiration. If they stay after expiration they are in violation. They can still leave prior to explaining why they are here without a valid visa, but they risk future applications for a visa. This is how laws work. It's the same way your driver's license works. You can stop driving prior to your license expiration without penalty. You don't get to keep driving after expiration while waiting for a renewal.

    Why is this so difficult for some people to understand? It's very very simple.

  • SQRLSY One||

    I fell deathly ill or my plane reservations got cancelled, so my departure got delayed a bit. Then Donald's army of bureaucrats jumps on the chance to turn me into an illegal human.

    Telling us what the law is doesn't help the fact that the law is an evil, inhumane ass, as enforced by Donald's army of bureaucrats! Being black and sitting in the front of the bus used to be illegal, too, you know!

  • damikesc||

    That qualifies as a you problem.

    If you know when your visa expires, delays are your problem.

  • SQRLSY One||

    You're black, and you're sitting in the front of the bus. That qualifies as a you problem!

    You're a witch or accused witch, and living in dark-ages Europe...

    I could go on...

  • JesseAz||

    Umm... They can leave before the Visa expires.....

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So what happens if the renewal petition is still pending while their visa expires?

    This is a little bit different than your DMV example. One normally doesn't have to wait months and months before knowing if one's driver's license is renewed.

    So if you apply in good faith to have your visa renewed, and the government drags its feet and doesn't let you know of its decision until after your visa has expired, then if the decision is an adverse one, you get deported as an illegal immigrant. How is that even remotely fair?

  • Hank Phillips||

    This happened to Ayn Rand in 1929. Her 1926 visa ran out so she crossed into Mexico and applied for an extension. Frank married her that same year and together they watched God's Own Prohibitionists use the communist income tax and the superstition Amendment to completely wreck the economy and shut down every bank in These States. She also watched Hoover's 1931 Moratorium on Brains stopped US and foreign creditors from collecting private loans or war reparations from Germany, thereby helping Hitler gain power and morph again into a weaponized Christian Altruria that lustily deported foreigners and citizens alike.

  • ThomasD||

    When a physician, or most anyone else with a license, "falls out of status" they call that practicing without a license.

    And yeah, that usually means you get to appear before some government official.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Did you get a free-speech license before writing that?!?!?

  • buybuydandavis||

    " Because deporting them makes them ineligible to obtain another visa and return."

    YAY!

  • Jerryskids||

    I saw Judge Nap commenting on the legality of turning back the caravan by pointing out that - by law - these people are entitled to make an individualized request for asylum and that they cannot be blocked from making the appeal.

    Sad to see Judge Nap now suffering from TDS and obstinately declaring the Our Lord and Savior Donald J Trump is bound by the Constitution and the laws of the United States and cannot simply declare His Will be done.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Oh come now, Jerry. All those asylum requests are bullshit. I know this because Reason's finest commenters told me so. Besides who cares if the government violates the due process rights of foreigners. They're foreigners after all! Who gives a shit about them? A real patriot would support turning away those foreigners en masse because otherwise they will come here and turn the US into Venezuela. Even if turning them away would violate the Constitution and treaties signed in good faith. That's what a Real Patriot would do!

  • Jerryskids||

    What concerns me is Trump and his supporters shitting their pants in terror over an invasion by a few thousand unarmed peasant men, women and children and the fear of them colonizing the United States - Rufus is taking notes and someday soon may realize that if Canada sent a few hundred armed soldiers they could take over the US in about 20 minutes as Trump and half the country would panic and start mass suiciding themselves. I haven't seen such a weak, whiny, pussified crybaby as Trump held up as a paragon of manly manliness since Michael Dukakis climbed into that tank.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yup, all it will take is Justin Bieber and his 'army' of groupies to 'invade' and turn the US into poutine-chewing Molsons-swilling hockey-watching canadians.

  • Raspberry243||

    But I like poutine, Molson and Hockey....

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So you're saying you're already one of the Bieber subversives...

  • Frank White||

    #BelieberAllWomen

  • Conchfritters||

    Me too - what's wrong with hockey, beer, and cheese curds with fries and gravy? Bieber not so much.

  • JesseAz||

    Hey dumbass, it's not a few thousand a year. It is into the millions at this point in total.

    Look, when you have to do dumb shit like blatantly lie about the size of the issue, you've lost the argument already and you know it.

  • vek||

    Ya know Jerry, if we didn't ALREADY have 10 million (maybe as high as 20 million!) illegals here, I wouldn't give a shit about letting in 7,000 central Americans. But the fact that we DO have 10-20 million illegals here already, makes me NOT want another 7,000.

    See, a bunch of Mexican economic migrants coming here from a country that is one of the wealthiest in the world, has effectively used up the amount of altruism I have to give in my heart... Since I'm not a bleeding heart pussy.

    I'm from California originally. I'm part Mexican on my moms side too! And we DO NOT need millions more half illiterate people from 3rd world countries in the USA. Sorry. It has destroyed California, and several other states. I don't want to see the rest of the country go that route too.

  • JesseAz||

    Jeff continuing his streak of ignorant posts. Never change Jeff. You're like a sincere version of OBL.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Uh huh. Please tell us all how you sincerely want every single asylum application treated thoroughly and soberly, with full attention paid to the letter of the law and the due process each individual is entitled to.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I don't. The only asylum applications that shouldn't be rejected out of hand are from Canada or Mexico. And neither of those normally qualify. And that's not me, it's the fucking UN treaty. As opposed to what pulls widdle Jeffy's heartstrings.

  • vek||

    As mentioned Jeff, they don't HAVE a legal right to even apply for asylum here. They should be applying in Mexico if anywhere.

    So there is no due process being violated. And as I have stated before, living in a shitty country with gangs does not qualify one for asylum under any reasonable standards anyway. By those standards people from Detroit should be applying for asylum in Canada!

    It's a joke.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to this: How much FORCED altruism should US citizens accept?

    Some on the left believe there should be no limits to our altruism.

    I don't believe that. If we'd not let in so many unskilled people from stable 3rd world countries over the last few decades, we would have a lot more "slots" left open for letting in people from actual fucked up places... But we let in 10s of millions from stable places already, and I'm just sick and tired of having my taxes jacked to pay for low wage foreigners moving in. So at this point, I say fuck 'em.

  • BillyG||

    Interesting that those individuals aren't requesting asylum in Mexico. After all, they're no longer in their country of origin, why not seek refuge there?

  • JesseAz||

    Because most of the open border idiots don't actually know the international norms for asylum applications.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    The rules for asylum says that the individual can request asylum in the first SAFE country that they come across. Because the writers of these treaties understood that thugs and oppressors don't normally stop at borders when committing their atrocities.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Under the treat definitions, México counts as safe. And most of these people aren't legit refugees to begin with. You're just looking for any bullshit excuse to let them in no matter what. So you're not debating in good faith.

    That makes you a stupid shitweasel.

  • vek||

    Yeah JEFF, Mexico is a safe country.

    Mexico is one of the most affluent countries IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. Go look up their economic stats. They're richer than a lot of countries in Europe for fucks sake!

    The ONLY reason these people want to come here is to make more money. Problem is, while they will be making more money by washing dishes here, it has a ton of ripple effects that fuck native born Americans. Suppressed wages, increased taxes, crime, etc. And I'm just sick and tired of it. I have no more altruism left to give to these fucking people. If Honduras is soooo awful, move to friggin' Mexico. They don't need to come here.

  • vek||

    Also, JEFF. If these people are so fucking AMAZING, why do you think it is that MEXICO doesn't WANT them to stay there???????? Every nation wants good, productive citizens added to its population right???

    It's because they're mostly NOT amazing. These people are almost entirely from the lowest of the low in their native countries. People who have useful skills apply legally to move here, through normal immigration channels, and usually get in legally too. These people are essentially the equivalent of the trailer park or the ghetto folks from down there. I'm sure many of them are decent people, just like there are plenty in trailer parks here, but they're not especially productive economically. But you start adding millions and millions of trailer park people EXCLUSIVELY to the demographics of an area, and the macro results are NOT desirable. See California NOW versus 40 years ago for example.

    If these people are so useless Mexico doesn't want them, why in gods name would we?

  • Conchfritters||

    Who the fuck would want asylum in Mexico? I always think it's funny when people complain how hard it is to immigrate to the US - Mexico is way harder to get in to. The Hondurans I know who crossed through there had to run the gauntlet just to get to the Texas border. They are usually arrested before they get there, and the arresting authorities usually hand them over to coyotes for a kick back, and then the coyotes flat out extort them for every cent they have, and worse if it's a female.

  • vek||

    Well, other than the fact that Mexico is smart enough to know they DON'T want illiterate Guatemalan peasants, so they don't let them in... IF they could get asylum in Mexico it is one of the wealthiest countries on earth... So that might be a reason they would want to move there.

    We talk shit about Mexico being a hell hole... Because it is compared to the US. But almost everywhere is compared to the US. Compared to most of the world, Mexicans are living like fucking kings! This is true compared to central America, and much of south America too.

    Problem is, Mexico knows they don't want these people, because they'd be a drag on their nation too... So they offload them on us knowing white liberal guilt will trick half the people into thinking it's a good idea to let in illiterate peasants...

  • Kivlor||

    I don't think you'll find many Trump supporters who think they can't make an appeal for refugee status. They're more than welcome to get the paperwork, fill it out, and go wait in a tent in Mexico until they get denied and are told to go home.

    Now that said, a 7,000 strong peasant levy marching on the border and demanding entrance to the US or they'll force their way in isn't exactly equivalent to someone coming to the border and asking for the paperwork to go through the admittance process.

    I do have to wonder though, if the Mexican Army shows up with 7,000 soldiers demanding they be allowed into the US, do we not have the right to turn them away? Do we have to ask them if they are here to fill out the paperwork for proper admittance?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yes we know Kivlor. Unarmed women and children are equivalent to an organized military force. I suppose unaccompanied minors are the Guatemalan version of Special Forces?

  • Frank White||

    Last report I heard said ~80% of those in the migrant caravan are men under the age of 35.

    OTOH, I don't discriminate based on gender or age, you racist!

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Jeff doesn't really know his ass from a hole in the ground so it's not surprising that he can't see beyond his own blinders here.

  • Kivlor||

    Judging by the Guatemalans I've known, unaccompanied minors are probably as competent as any "special forces" their government has.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Gosh Jeffy, you're always saying we have no right to keep anyone out ever. That applies to Mexican so,doers doesn't it? Or are you racist, like you accuse me and every other correct person here of being?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Same type argument tried to disarm us from SDI in 1986. The catch here is that when Mexico declared independence from th crool hand iv Spain in 1821, when there were one billion people, some designing skunk translated Jefferson's Declaration of Independence into Spanish. There must be a few of them marchers that can make out the part about immigration. According to Tom, George the Tyrant's crimes included:
    "El se ha esforzado á estobar los progresos de la poblacion en estos estados, obtruyendo á este fin las leyes para la naturalizacion de los estrangeros, reusando sancionar otras para promover su establecimiento en ellos, y prohibiéndoles adquirir nuevas propiedades en estos paises." According to HL Mencken, Jefferson meant:
    "He tried to scare people outen moving into these States, and made it so hard for a wop or one of these here kikes to get his papers that he would rather stay home and not try it, and then, when he come in, he wouldn't let him have no land, and so he either went home again or never come." Ghawd help the trumpista Americanermauer if Shikha or the Human Centipede marchers find out about that paragraph!

  • Rockabilly||

    Please make it Gold...

    ..shinny Gold and it will be the best, the very best!

    Isn't it grand or is it grande, that the progressives made this wonderful Wall of Bureaucracy Called the Federal Government?

    Yes!

    Now..Let's thank...Woodrow Wilson, and FDR and LBJ and Nixon and all the unelected bureaucrats who graduated from the Kennedy School of Biggly government and the Woodrow Wilson School of the Biggly Governments...

    Ommmmm....

  • Hank Phillips||

    Gold isotope 195 is an X-ray emitter feared by all rabidly antinuclear Luddites. Sam Cohen designed a number of radioactive barriers, and with gold the wall itself would not be needed. The gold barrier would screen entrants so as to admit only those bright enough to understand how to deal with the radiation. These immigrants are likely assets, highly motivated to escape the People's States of papal Altruria.

  • BillyG||

    A recent Washington Post analysis found that the total number of people receiving visas to live in the country is on pace to drop 12 percent in just the first two years of the Trump presidency.

    No link to the WaPo article for some odd reason. How much did applications drop?

    It is unclear whether part of the drop in immigrant visas reflects declining interest in immigrating to the United States, because the State Department did not release visa application data, saying it doesn't publish that information.

    So in short, you can't actually say if the reduced number of people receiving visas is due to beuracracy or reduced applications.

  • BillyG||

    Oh, and I'll provide the WaPo link since the author couldn't

  • Rich||

    prove to the government that they couldn't find a qualified American to do the job.

    #BelieveAllEmployers

  • buybuydandavis||

    Labor force participation rates are still at levels not seen since the 70s as women were just entering the work force.
    For men, at all time lows.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Imagine if we had had the same attitude during the Cold War as Trumpists have today with regards to asylum...

    "Well, Mr. Krzyzyzyz, it says here that you claim to be an immigrant fleeing socialist repression from Poland. Well, seems to me, your country is an economic shithole, ruled by a socialist dictator, and that you and your fellow citizens could stand to do a little more to fix up your own country before trying to flee to our country. What's that? You tried to overthrow your socialist dictator, but that you failed and your friends were executed, and that is why you are fleeing? Well, you should have tried harder, then! Furthermore, since you grew up in a cultural environment of Marxist Socialism, if we let you in, we are just certain that you will start agitating for Marxist Socialism here in this country, and then this country will be no better than Poland is today. So there is no way we can let you in. Your asylum claim is denied, and we are sending you back to the tender mercies of the Polish Secret Police. Bon voyage!"

  • JesseAz||

    Imagine if your arguments were so infantile you had to rely on strawman and whatifs.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Imagine if you could provide something of substance to Reason other than bitching and whining.

  • RoyMo||

    In this context "strawman [sic] qnd whatiifs " is pretty darn substantive.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "Imagine if you could provide something of substance to Reason other than bitching and whining."

    You. That's you Little Jeffy.

  • Hank Phillips||

    You left out the commando weapons we issue to help freedom-fighters with their nation-building efforts. Dutch freedom fighters were a major obstacle to National Socialism during The Big One.

  • vek||

    I would be more swayed by your argument if there weren't decades of evidence showing that all of these people DO vote for bigger government when they get to the US. Also, if these people were ACTUALLY applying for asylum here because they were rebels fighting for a Republican form of government there, and lost... Versus just being economic migrants who, unfortunately, have no economic benefits to bring to the table in the USA.

    If their grievances are their governments being too shitty, and being too poor... They can move to Mexico. It is one of the wealthiest nations on earth, and it's government is a big step up from central America. We don't need to let them into the US.

  • And you believe that why?||

    Big government you say. So you're saying they vote for Democrats or Republicans?

    I got news for you then. The domestic threat is far more severe.

  • vek||

    Actually, Republican voters VOTE for smaller government... Republican politicians just don't give it to them usually. Military is about the only thing the Republicans ever actively talk about spending more money on. Infrastructure sometimes, but that's a semi useful thing until Libertopia exists and all the roads are privatized.

    And, at the state and local level Republicans often actually DO cut the size, scope, and spending of government. The congress critters are not the whole party.

    So yeah, there's a difference between saaay white Americans who overwhelmingly say they want a smaller government that does less, and Hispanic immigrants who say they want a bigger government that does more. Anybody who isn't a mouth breather can look through the demographic shifts in California, the Southwest, Texas, etc and see how Hispanic immigrants have ruined those states politically. Texas is the next on the chopping block, likely within the next 10 years it will be blue. Imagine how much MORE fucked the national government will be then.

  • Benitacanova||

    Rather good news, no?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Oh it's terrific news! We can't Make America Great Again unless this greatness comes at the expense of penniless Guatemalans!

  • JesseAz||

    Holy shit what a dumb argument. America only benefits by keeping Guatemala poor, huh Jeff? Guatemala has no responsibility? It is today that if firmly believe you are on state welfare whih is why you want tog give it to everyone even other countries. When will you grow up and become an adult?

  • SQRLSY One||

    USA is partly to blame for Guatemala being a shithole! People down there suffer something horrible under all their gangster-thugs!

    All the criminal gangs down there learned their job skills of coercive violence, from the USA's criminal war on drugs, in USA gulags! THAT really IS where these thugs learned their thuggish ways!!! We brutalize them, for selling what (drugs) people want to buy, in USA prisons, then send them back, and, after brutalizing them, we are surprised when... They turn into brutes!!! And it is THE biggest contribution to the waves of refugees coming our way!!!

    Karma bros and bro-esses!!! "What comes around, goes around"!!!! And the likes of "John" sneer at my mystical, superstitious ways, when I talk of "karma". Shall we call it "blow-back" instead maybe?

  • sarcasmic||

    And the likes of "John" sneer at my mystical, superstitious ways, when I talk of "karma".

    If karma existed bad cops wouldn't retire fat and happy with bottomless pensions. Sorry but I don't believe in that nonsense.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Well yes, as far as we can see, karma doesn't always happen. I have personally seen it happen more often than I had expected. Sometimes it is enough to make me cringe something awful, even when it happens to assholes. I often think of an utter asshole of a boss at work way back when... Not my direct boss, but a boss of a nearby org. He was such an utter asshole that he drove his wife to suicide! I wouldn't want to wish that kind of thing on anyone! Not as a doer of the dirty deed, nor as a close friend or relative of the doer of the dirty deed!

    (I don't know what to think about suicide of the suffering terminally ill; I have not been in their shoes).

  • sarcasmic||

    In my experience cheaters always prosper while no good deed goes unpunished.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Well, I'm sorry to hear that, and I hope that things go better for you in the future. I have sometimes been punished for my own good deeds; I'm pretty sure of that. At other times, I have benefited from my deeds, both good and bad.

    But we have to hang tough! Hopefully you will see GOOD karma in your lifetime!

  • Social Justice is neither||

    because these places were utopian paradises prior to the war on drugs.

    Could you be dumber if you tried.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Sure they could. Never underestimate the capacity of. Rooms to be ever more moronic and obtuse.

  • vek||

    Funny how we fought a war against communism in Korea... Saved half the country... And they were a more or less right wing dictatorship for decades, but ALSO became an economic power house...

    Yet, for SOME REASON, in central America, it was the EXACT SAME set of actions that "destroyed" their countries, versus saved them.

    PERHAPS it is how they handled themselves after we saved them from communism?

    Not that I'm for the foreign adventuring anyway, but it surely does not explain why they're such shitholes now. That is their own doing, period.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Well by the Trumpian metric of making America great again, America's greatness is inversely proportional to the number of foreigners admitted to the country.

    And you should read up some time on how Big Brother America has meddled in Guatemala's affairs over time.

  • vek||

    As long as we're talking about illiterate peasant foreigners admitted, that's probably about right.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The US, its UN puppets and The Vatican tell Guatemalans what they may have permission to grow, eat, drink, smoke and import or export. Repression, altruism, mystical superstition, prohibitionism, redistribution and poverty head the list. This is not to way the locust swarm is anything other than fools being sacrificed by looters. But These States export altruist bullshit and prohibitionism that is as certain as communism to destroy their economies and breed terrified refugees.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    I'm liking Trump more and more. Now if only he could find a way to send Dalmia back then he'd be the greatest president of all time!

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    Now that is something I could get behind. Or at the very least, for Reason to go back to being an actual libertarian publication, because it would fire idiots like Dalmia and Soave. I'd be happy with that.

  • vek||

    We could always start a petition or something? She is basically trying to subvert the sovereignty of the US, there's gotta be something we can nail her on! LOL

  • sarcasmic||

    True libertarians are protectionist xenophobes who kiss Dear Leader's feet.

  • JesseAz||

    True libertarians are naive and understand the issues of uncontrolled, unverified, immigration and a welfare state. But you're just a hyperbolic child on open border discussions. You can actually intermingle issues when they have a crossroad of effect in each other. You don't have to be naive to keep an ideologicial purity of a child.

  • JesseAz||

    Aren't*

  • sarcasmic||

    I challenge you to find where I've actually stated what I think about immigration, as opposed to making fun of Trump's xenophobic sycophants.

  • ThomasD||

    Reasonable inferences, based not just upon what you have said, but also up[on what you have not said, are not unreasonable.

    Your schtick is not a shield.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Gotcha there sarc! Religious fanatic sycophants are really good at divining motives based on statements that you've not yet been compelled to make under torture. We'll see what actually gets blurted out once the knee-crushing wedges of the New Right Inquisition are unpacked, Urbain Grandier IV!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Hank, I'm an agnostic. But your anti religious bigotry almost makes me want to convert to Catholicism. You're a vile, disgusting excuse for a person.

  • buybuydandavis||

    True libertarians want to defend and preserve liberty.

    Turning the US into Central America is not the way to do it.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Indeed.

  • vek||

    So if you're not one of the "true believers" in open borders... What are your opinions?

    Do you think we should not have "official" open borders... But let in any illiterate peasant from anywhere in the world who happens to show up at our door? Or should be limit the number of illiterate peasants, but allow in unlimited numbers of doctors, engineers, etc?

    What is it?

    Because I am open to sane discussion... But I think anybody who thinks letting in 10s of millions of people with educations lower than HS level in the US, which we have in fact done over the last few decades, is a BAD IDEA economically in a post industrial economy. Not to mention the political, cultural, and other ramifications. But I'm all for the doctors and engineers coming over!

    So, pray tell fine sir, what ARE you positions?

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    All libertarians need to vote Democrat next month so we can have the biggest possible #BlueTsunami. No, the Democrats aren't perfect, but they're the clearly better choice considering they're much closer to the Koch / Reason immigration position than the literal white nationalist party the GOP has turned into.

    #OpenBorders
    #NoBanNoWall
    #AbolishICE

  • Hank Phillips||

    Problem there is that Libertarian spoiler votes pack roughly the law-changing clout of two dozen candy-ass votes surrendered in cowardly retreat from principled to equally cowardly looter soft machines. Altruist intimidation gave communist spoiler votes the same kind of clout before Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Ceausescu, Tito, Mao-the-Dung and Goebbels let the mask slip. Libertarian spoiler votes have moved us out of conscript-kidnapping, prohibitionist Comstock-law looter mercantilism. This is accomplished with twice the spoiler votes socialist and prohibitionist parasites ever panhandled. Libertarians are right now elected to over 100 times as many U.S. offices as socialists. So no, cowardly suicide is for looters and losers. I'll take law-changing spoiler vote clout at 20 times the over-the-counter dosage. Why on earth would I retreat from the other 19 votes' worth of looter tantrums and crybaby tears?

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    That's what happens when governments have control of anything -- a change in administration swings wildly. I bet almost everything going on is legal, and that's the problem. Trump's no dictator, but one thing all authoritarians have in common is the desire to cloak themselves in legality. They go out of their way to gin up regulations to make everything look legit, and everyone nods their heads and goes along with it. Grumble as they might, none is willing to mention first principles because that would cripple them when they come to power next cycle.

    Government is always the problem, but rather than admit that, people just give them more power next time.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Government isn't ALWAYS the problem, just more like 90+% of the time, government is the problem.

    The funny thing is, this is one area in which Republicans and Libertarians can agree - except when it comes to immigration. Then, Republicans LOVE big government and armies of bureaucrats to 'keep them safe' from the hordes of immigrants.

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    What your comments show is that you're a moron who can't understand the rule of law

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If Jeffy isn't a kid, he is most certainly a case of arrested development.

  • vek||

    Well Jeff, I'm sorry that I don't think 10s of millions of half illiterate peasants are a benefit to the country... I have actually lived in a place that was overrun by illegal immigrants, and have seen the effects first hand. They were NOT positive. I doubt you have ever had to LIVE in a place that was transformed like that though, which is why you don't get it.

    You do know that the people who are most against illegal immigration are the people that lives in the areas with more of it right? Don't you think it's a little funny that the people who have actually seen the problem first hand are EXACTLY the ones that dislike it? Versus arm chair critics talking about something they've never experienced in their life?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Trump following the law is proof that he is an authoritarian"

  • Moridin||

    The dems and FDR turned away ship loads of Jews fleeing the Nazis. It is their guilt over their long history of racist policies and attitudes that has made the modern left wingers so deranged and irrational when it comes to anything related to immigration. If their insane ideas weren't such a threat to our country, I would almost feel bad for them.

  • vek||

    The thing that I have already said elsewhere is this:

    How much altruism can our nation handle? These people are NOT adding anything to the country. They're just suppressing wages, and that's about it. They're lowering the GDP per capita, which is the true measure of a nations prosperity.

    If we had not allowed in 10s of millions of low skilled immigrants already, both legal and illegal... I would be a lot more open to taking people in from some shit hole like Honduras. The problem is, we've allowed 10-20 million illegal Mexicans in already... And they came here from one of the wealthiest countries on earth! They were doing fine by global standards. So that has simply worn out my ability to put up with altruism.

    If we had higher standards for legal immigration, and didn't tolerate illegals, we could have more room for letting in these super sob story types... But I just have no more bleeding left in my heart to give. There has to be a limit somewhere, and lots of people hit it years ago.

  • cecil1||

    Why not just stop all immigration for 25 years?

    Strange how leftists claim to want us to "unite" while simultaneously flooding us with foreigners and compelling us to "respect diversity." It's like asking someone to pick a card while throwing the whole deck at them.

    Trust is crucial in a society.

    Its related to economic activity, levels of happiness, health, harmony, and other beneficial aspects.
    Diversity destroys this, causing failed expectations, lack of trust, outright hostility, and eventual violence.
    https://tinyurl.com/y9nolnnw

  • Hank Phillips||

    Herbert Clark Hoover, the Quaker Republican before Nixon made it fashionable, literally reversed U.S. immigration. By 1931 all prisons were bulging with more being built while people cringed on parole or probation over beer or other recreation and banking panics collapsed the financial system. Emigrants outnumbered immigrants. Even AMERICANS couldn't stand it, and tens of thousands were living in France and elsewhere where many drugs were legal. George Holy War and his mentally-disadvantaged son Wehrmacht tried to match Hoover's accomplishment and nearly succeeded in 1992 and 2007. Now at least there's Canada...

  • vek||

    Yup. Multiculturalism is a failure, and always has been.

    Multi-ethnic is highly problematic too... BUT with TIME we might be able to assimilate people enough for it to work. But if there is a never ending flood of people, this process can never happen. That's basically all there is to it. We will have endless strife and infighting if we don't slow things down and assimilate the people that are already here.

  • VinniUSMC||

    "anyone caught before he or she has a chance to surrender and formally request asylum as an illegal immigrant."

    This implies being caught somewhere other than a border control checkpoint, so, they're illegal immigrants. Fucking duh.

    It's hard to be an illegal immigrant at a border checkpoint.

  • ThomasD||

    When they forced their way through the Mexican checkpoint that was different exactly how?

  • Hank Phillips||

    No it's not. They are classed with "arriving immigrant" status which means speedy deportation with a minimum of dissembling. Visitors, you see, have visas. Also the simple act of being present within These States without the papers or having been inspected is legal ground for expulsion. Only in recent months has the Libertarian platform on migration been mangled to where it is even worse than those of the Kleptocracy, and we ought to delete it and all mention of birth control. Both planks today cost more voters than they attract.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    I don't mind tighter controls. I think immigration should be limited to nuclear families (for bringing in family) and for merit, with maybe a 25% allowance for a general category for refugees and a lottery based system. However we could easily double our allowed in legal immigrants and quit being so stingy with it.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Nuclear families should apply *as* families. No chain migration.

    If the family as a whole benefits Americans, then can come. Otherwise no.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Nuclear families should apply *as* families. No chain migration.

    If the family as a whole benefits Americans, then can come. Otherwise no.

  • vek||

    I'm all for skills based, and keeping it to nuclear families... But double current numbers?

    I dunno man. We're already at around 15% foreign born. Imagine how fucked up this country would be if 1 in 3 people you ran into on the street was born abroad. There is NO WAY for a nation to maintain its culture, or its politics, under such circumstances. America, unfortunately, has already been basically destroyed by the current level of immigration. I have my doubts we'll ever properly assimilate the last crop into believing the ideals the nation was founded on, because so many came in so fast it changes the whole political dynamics of the nation. But if we do end up pulling it off, it certainly would not have been possible if the numbers had been DOUBLE what they are now.

    So, if you want America to become some fucked up country with no freedoms, like everywhere else on earth... That might work. But if you want America to be America, that will not be possible under those circumstances.

  • MikeP2||

    Review the data referenced WaPo article and it's readily apparent that the WaPo is being intentionally deceiptful. Not sure if Shikha is as well, or was just too lazy to dig into it.

    The data clearly shows a very large spike in visas in the last year of Obama's presidency, and the first two years of Trump have seen a return to numbers comparable to the bulk of the 2000s. There is no apparent regulatory hurdle inhibiting residency visas for indiviuals or families from the data.

    the whole article is handwaving BS.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Should have known.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Congress wouldn't give Trump funds to build his physical wall, so instead he is erecting a bureaucratic fortress."

    YAY!

    Build the Wall!
    Build the Wall!
    Build the Wall!

    I love the Shikha articles where she details Trump actually doing something good on immigration.

    Such salty goodness!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Trump can take it out of the defense budget. Which would enrage all the traitors, I mean democrats, even more.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Don came off better than Whutzername, the Climate Witch of the South, and current policy is not so different from when the other guy was prez, the one the Kenyan newspapers call their homeboy. The saracen berserker "terrist" issue was already important in September of 2001, and even England, France and Germany are waking up to notice the maugrabin jihadists shooting and crushing hundreds of their people (but not ours) at a time. But Republicans destroy the economy far worse than the Dems, and walls are better at keeping people in than out. Just look at prisons.

  • JFree||

    Well at least I think I see an end-game here. He's looking to make labor as immobile as land. Maybe the end-result is serfdom or maybe something else - idk.

    But the labor as immobile as land actually kind of makes sense given the only thing he likely knows about economics/markets is real estate development

  • vek||

    Yeah, cuz 1 million odd legal immigrants a year is TOTALLY like nothing and stuff. It's not like it's more than any other nation on earth or anything...

    Seriously. His proposals have roughly been: No more illegals, switch legal to basically 100% skills based. WTF is so crazy about that? NOTHING. We're not an industrial economy anymore, and we don't have endless jobs for unskilled people. We can't even fully employee the native born low skill population FFS.

    You people are too much. I know you WANT it to be a good idea to allow in endless numbers of random foreigners, and have it be nothing but an unmitigated good... But that's just not how reality is working out.

  • Lester224||

    Tech companies reliance on H1B visas would be greatly reduced if they let the law of supply and demand work.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Then they might have to pay market rates for labor.

  • cosMICjester||

    GOOD RIDDANCE

  • ||

    You fight with the tools you have.

    If Congress wont do its job, trump will do it for them.

    ....as usual

  • ||

    You fight with the tools you have.

    If Congress wont do its job, trump will do it for them.

    ....as usual

  • vek||

    Sooo some of those things are kind of dumb... But most of them are eminently sane small tweaks. Especially if you know the details behind them, not just the distorted cliff notes Shitma posts here.

    I'm sorry some people don't want to turn America into a 3rd world country through mass immigration...

    I guess I'm just a horrible person for not wanting to level out our standard of living with the rest of the world via open borders. I am an evil human being... I admit it! I want to live in a country where I can walk down the street without worrying about being kidnapped for ransom money, and I am willing to pay my lawn guy more cash to cut my grass in order to achieve this. I apologize for my unspeakably evil opinions!

  • emmanuel||

    For all these thousands of "asylum seekers".... seek asylum at the American Consulate in your home country. That's how it works.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    How high would you have to stack bureaucrats to provide an effective "wall"?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online