MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump's War on Immigration Will Reprise the War on Drugs

Reason policy analyst Shikha Dalmia on how the president-elect will make good on his worst threats.

Trump is setting the stage "for a full scale war on immigration [that will] reprise the war on drugs," says Shikha Dalmia, a policy analyst at the Reason Foundation and a columnist at The Week. She fears that the federal government will start "giving incentives to catch illegals" just as it does in the drug war. The mayors of so-called sanctuary cities like New York and Chicago have vowed to protect illegal immigrant residents from Trump, but with the right incentives, Dalmia say, they may "come to heel after all."

Nick Gillespie interviewed Dalmia in our latest podcast. Click below to listen to that conversation, or better yet subscribe to our podcast at iTunes.

Don't miss a single Reason podcast or video! Subscribe, rate, and review!

Follow us at Soundcloud.

Subscribe to our video channel at iTunes.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Like us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

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.

  • T.F.G.||

    As long as there are a lot wars with no clearly defined goals, I'm happy.

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    Thanks, but I'll pass.

  • Douchey defeats Trumpman, Jr.||

    Reason policy analyst Shikha Dalmia

    Boy, I sure can wait!

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    *Senior policy analyst, right?

    My feelings are still hurt from when she blamed whitey a few days ago.

  • T.F.G.||

    Is Shikha Dalmia a boy or a girl?

  • Pay up, Palin's Buttplug!||

  • T.F.G.||

    Is she hot?

  • Free Society||

    I won't comment on that, it would be unseemly. But I will say that she's into rough sex. So that's gotta count for something.

  • SIV||

    I'd hit it. I actually like Shikha. She knows how to troll.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Being a troll does not mean one knows how to troll.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    1000 comments, I feel it in my bones.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Nah, Shikha draws in some muttering about her hyperbole level and/or derp and it usually dies. Might get some bonus insults from DD or such.

  • Swiss Servator||

    See 3:41pm comment below, for example...

  • Ted S.||

    That depends on whether Robby is late with the lynx or not.

  • Free Society||

    1000 comments, I feel it in my bones.

    It's a crapshoot, sometimes her derp levels drive away the commentariat and she'll get only 20some comments. Other times her derp burns so bright that the commentarians are drawn in like a moth to a flame.

  • WTF||

    Trump will bring the sanctuary cities to heel just like he incited Indian Hindus to genocide against Muslims.

  • Aloisius Kohalich||

    Hey Shikha. Trump may not deport you if you have usable skills. Get your butt down to the TEX_MEX boarder. Those four arms will prove mighty handy in wall building.

  • Free Society||

    Is that a Krishna joke?

  • Aloisius Kohalich||

    No,Originally Shiva but Kali seems more appropriate.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Not to mention her Popeye-like forearms.

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    Reason policy analyst Shikha Dalmia ...

    I feel like Reason is trolling us with articles by Shreeka. Can anyone say "clickbait?"

  • Hail Rataxes||

    Where is the article by Shikha?

  • Tak Kak||

    I keep hearing about how many people Obama "deported" here, was it ever called a war then?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Obama didn't deport anyone. He turned people back at the border and counted each one as a deportation.

  • ||

    Fear will keep the local systems in line.

  • Swiss Servator||

    +1 battle station

  • Tundra||

  • KevinP||

    I understand that Shikha Dalmia is employed by The Weak, but why does she have to be employed at Reason?

  • KevinP||

    A wall or fence doesn't have to stop 100% to be effective. Israel implemented an effective border fence that has diminished its suicide bomber infiltration to almost zero.

    It is difficult to smuggle human beings compared to drugs, guns or other contraband. They require food, water, air to breathe, have to relieve themselves periodically, can't be kept in hidden compartments for days on end, weigh 130 lbs or more and take up a lot of space.

    If we can reduce the 500,00 illegal border crossers by 95% to (say) 25,000 per year, then the illegal immigration problem is greatly reduced. At that point, the public will be willing to be more generous with the illegals already in the country, especially if criminal aliens are deported.

  • T.F.G.||

    I think it's a terrible idea. How the hell am I going to keep sneaking into Mexico?

  • Free Society||

    Hungary's border fence seems to have paid for itself if you think of it in terms of welfare and resettlement payments the tax payers there aren't making.

  • KevinP||

    This is an interesting point you bring up. Just to consider one case: the cost of educating the children of illegals in public school at the median cost of $10,500 per child per year. If the wall prevents 1 million children of illegals from being educated in American schools at taxpayer expense, that is $10.5 billion per year. The wall would then pay for itself in less than three years.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    But what about the $3Trillion in taxes that illegals pay every year?

  • KevinP||

    LOL, 3 trillion dollars paid in taxes by 10 million illegals would amount to $300,000 in taxes per illegal alien per year.

  • SugarFree||

    If it was a word describing a sex act, what sex act would be described by the word: Gumfinger.

  • Citizen X||

    It's where the man's urethra is widened by having a finger shoved up it, and then the other person blows the peener up like a piece of bubble gum.

  • ||

    Something to do with gerontophilia, certainly.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I've only paid attention to Maddow twice in my life.

    Once when Gillespie made her self-identify as a hack, and last week when Chris Matthews exposed Maddow for being out of touch on immigration.

    I can't add much to Chris Matthews' on immigration in response to Maddow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXxGPDBRUzs

    Suffice it to say, how restrictive our immigration policy should be is an open question.

    Is whether there should be an immigration policy an open question--even among small state libertarians?

    My idea of open borders has it that we should have a treaty with Mexico so that any Mexican citizen who can prove their identity, that they haven't been convicted of a felony, and that they're immunized against certain diseases should be able to cross the border at will to find work go to work, come home, etc. But even I think that illegal aliens should be deported--for being illegal aliens.

    U.S. Citizenship may not legitimately confer a right to much beyond a right to vote and a right to be here--but not everyone in the world has a right to be here.

    There are rules for naturalization, and the making of those rules is granted to Congress in the Constitution. If you don't like the rules, fight to have them changed--but don't tell me that they shouldn't be enforced so long as they respect the rights of illegal immigrants.

    Ignoring Congress' rules of naturalization is like the President ignoring Congress' constitutional role in declaring war.

  • Cyto||

    I like that idea. A north American "Free labor market" that allowed visa free travel and work.

    That would certainly change all three countries. Probably for the better.

  • Bubba Jones||

    We don't even let Canadians work here freely. I have a Canadian employee that I can't send to Seattle to take care of business. Have to fly someone in from across the US.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just for the record, I got it from Cavanaugh.

  • Bubba Jones||

    WTF. 40 million unskilled laborers would flood us.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Labor is a resource.

    Having more of a resource is better.

    If cheap labor is bad for economic growth, then China must have had the slowest growing economy in the world over the past 15 years.

  • Douchey defeats Trumpman, Jr.||

    I thought it was pronounced "SHEEK-a"; Nick pronounces it SHIKa (I assume he's right) and runs Shikha and Dalmia together like it's one word.

  • KevinP||

    The correct pronunciation (in India) is Shi - Kha. She may have anglicized it here, as commonly happens to foreign names.

  • Douchey defeats Trumpman, Jr.||

    Shi as in "she", or "shy"? Or Shi as in "shin"?

    Which syllable gets the emphasis?

    I guess "Kha" is a soft k, closer to "(k)Ha"?

  • KevinP||

    Shi as in "shin".

    The kha is a soft k, with some emphasis, but not a huge amount.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    So, like Jim Carey in Ace Ventura 2?

    Shi-ka-ka

  • Cyto||

    OK Shikha, you just went full retard. You never go full retard.

    The war on drugs has the scope and reach it does because the demand for drugs has the scope and reach and inelasticity it does.

    Illegal immigrants are not the same. They do not have the scope of drug use. Every illegal immigrant is impacted by our policy toward illegal immigrants, but very few others are directly affected.

    They do not have the reach. There is demand in certain sectors - low wage manual labor jobs and certain skilled jobs like construction. Beyond that, there is not a high demand for illegal immigrant workers. The black market does not extend to low-cost accountancy, for example.

    And the demand is highly elastic. Drive up the cost and others will fill those jobs, or automation will.

    In certain border areas there is limited gang violence related to transporting people into the US. But there is no great turf war in Cleveland to control the distribution of Salvadoran migrants.

  • Cyto||

    The last time we did immigration reform, we solved this problem forever by closing off the supply of jobs to illegals. Remember that? Notice how you have to provide multiple forms of ID and proof of citizenship in order to get a job? That is because of the "all out war on illegal immigration" that was waged and permanently won by trading a broad amnesty for closing the boarder and strict employer enforcement.

    So why are we even talking about this? Because the demand for labor was still there, and because it couldn't otherwise be filled at a practical price, the government looked the other way for the farm industry, construction, poultry processing, etc. And with a source of jobs, the people came.

    So what to do. We already have the right laws in place. We just don't enforce them.

    And why not? Because we need the workers in jobs that have proven too difficult to fill with Americans.

    And how do we fix that? By increasing legal immigration of the type of laborers that these markets fill.

    Simple. Done and done.

    Which is exactly what G. W. Bush tried to do, and got roundly rejected by the Democrats and a large chunk of his own party.

    Which tells me and everyone else that nobody is interested in ending the exploitation of illegal immigrants. They just want the issue, and every now and again the Democrats are going to make a play for amnesty so they can increase their power base at the ballot box.

  • Swiss Servator||

    Cynic!

    ...

    and correct.

  • Cyto||

    So there isn't a new war on illegal immigrants. It isn't being ramped up. We have just reached the point where another amnesty fight is inevitable. And there are those who are not having it, whether because of "my word is my bond" promises that there would never, never, ever, never be another amnesty, or because they are in low skill jobs that would be directly impacted if there were to suddenly be another 10 or 20 million new citizens competing for those jobs.

    Immigration has never been a popular thing in the US - at least not when they come in large numbers from the same region. Just ask the Irish, Italians, Germans, Jews, Chinese, etc. who arrived in waves over the last 150 years.

    Anyone who doesn't advocate either increasing immigration quotas drastically or instituting a guest worker program (or both) isn't serious about solving the problem, they just want to use the issue.

    OK. Screed off.

  • The Hyperbole||

    Good Screed, well put. We could use more thoughtful Screeding, and less chicken puns.

  • Douchey defeats Trumpman, Jr.||

    Beak careful what you wish for.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    And that's just chicken-scratching the surface.

  • ||

    Yeah, but the Democrats have a high need for illegals. Who else is left to vote for them?

  • John||

    Illegal immigrants are not the same. They do not have the scope of drug use.

    Come on Cyto, everyone tried hiring an illegal immigrant in college. Be honest. Don't tell me you didn't inhale.

  • Cyto||

    That's grade-a funny, right there.

  • KevinP||

    Obligatory post:

    Text of Trump's immigration speech:
    http://dailycaller.com/2016/08.....mmigration

    Take a few minutes to read it directly without having the media, Reason or Shikha spin it for you.

    Excerpts:


    The time has come for a new immigration commission to develop a new set of reforms to our legal immigration system in order to achieve the following goals:

    To keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms.
    To select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society, and their ability to be financially self-sufficient. We need a system that serves our needs – remember, it's America First.
    To choose immigrants based on merit, skill and proficiency.
    And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.
    We want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally and properly-vetted, and in a manner that serves the national interest.
  • paranoid android||

    And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.

    So what you're saying is...Trump doesn't believe in freedom of association

  • KevinP||

    As do the majority of the US public.

  • See Double You||

    To select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society, and their ability to be financially self-sufficient.

    So, a sort of labor industrial policy of picking winners and losers?

    And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.

    From a utilitarian point of view, how would that work? Force employers to sign an affidavit that they offered the job to an American first?

    From a moral point of view, fuck off, slaver, I can hire who I want.

  • Lurk Diggler||

    It means if you're a deadbeat coming here to collect government benefits than we don't want you. If you're coming here to work, welcome.

  • See Double You||

    If you're coming here to work, welcome.

    The second quote contradicts you.

  • ||

    Aound 60% of Americans approve of cannabis legalization. I seriously doubt seeing Trump crack down on it. Not saying he won't double down in the drug war, but probably not weed.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Reprise? Funny how all the horrible things he's going to do is just a continuation of the status quo. I agree that's not good but should be mentioned at least.

  • John||

    It would be nice if someone would be honest about what "sanctuary city" actually means. No one is asking nor does anyone think local police have the authority to or should go out and round up people in the country illegally. Moreover, no one is saying the local police should be running immigration checks on everyone they meet.

    What we are talking about is jails. What sanctuary cities do is refuse to check the immigration status of the people they arrest and convict of crimes, even the most serious ones and turn them over to the feds for deportation. If anyone is making war on immigrant communities, it is people like Dalmia and other supporters of sanctuary cities. The illegals that sanctuary cities refuse to turn over to the feds won't be living in Dalmia's neighborhood or preying on her. They will go back to the immigrant communities where they came from and prey on them. Shika doesn't care about that because she doesn't care about immigrants. She is a moral narcissist who is unable to see other people as even human beings. Everyone is just a prop in the morality play she runs in her head and a tool for her to feel morally superior.

  • I can't even||

    ^ This

    Assholes on news talk shows and Reason make it sound like a big roundup is the alternative.

  • rfarrior||

    I did not listen to the podcast, but the title is certainly all wrong. Whatever happens with immigration, it will not "reprise" the war on drugs--the war on drugs has not ended, or even lessened, the recent victories in the war on marijuana notwithstanding!
    robertsrevolution.net

  • Bill Dalasio||

    The mayors of so-called sanctuary cities like New York and Chicago have vowed to protect illegal immigrant residents from Trump, but with the right incentives, Dalmia say, they may "come to heel after all."

    Of course they will. The truth is the battle against them was won by the Obama administration when they got the courts to conclude that "Arizona couldn't have its own immigration policy". I recall some of us, in the face of certain columnists' celebrations, noting that it was a precedent they might not prove too keen on seeing set.

  • Cyto||

    Not in today's jurisprudence.

    Remember, it is the policy that drives the decision these days, not the law.

    So if the proverbial shoe should happen to be on the other foot, then that goose sauce ain't gonna work for the gander. They'll just switch it up. Because reasons. If the last week has shown us anything, it is that the American people's memories are very short, and there is no limit to the speed with which people will make a 180 on even their most deeply held beliefs when the political winds shift.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Trump's War on Immigration Will Reprise the War on Drugs
    Reason policy analyst Shikha Dalmia on how the president-elect will make good on his worst threats.

    I was dumb enough to think at one time that limiting immigration to the USA was a good idea.
    I was wrong.
    All the immigrants want to do is embrace the free market, thrive, make a better world for their kids, and be left alone.
    If I can see that, why can't Trump and Company?

  • ||

    RE: Trump's War on Immigration Will Reprise the War on Drugs

    Let's put this argument into perspective. Shikha and the other totally open borders folks have not been able to convince most libertarians using the arguments they've been using. So here's the new try. That's all.

  • Pat (PM)||

    I'd imagine most of them will either leave voluntarily or die with the rest of us when Trump L-I-T-E-R-A-L-L-Y starts a nuclear war. I mean, Shikha Dalmia is a serious policy analyst and not a barely-conscious partisan sock puppet, so I fully expect her very serious analysis of the coming all-out nuclear war to materialize.

  • ||

    Wait. So Nick and Epstein now have to tell us what Dalmia said? Is she in her safe space?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Hell man, about the only way we could get through the war was with drugs. Nice, gummy Thai sticks got you stoked to really smack down some VC.

  • The Fusionist||

    Ooh, soon it will be 4:30, and unless someone SCREWS IT UP, there will be links.

  • ||

    I think the one way it could escalate the war on drugs, is this: A lot of American are crossing the border for healthcare. So now we have this wall and we've beefed up border security. So it won't really be the traditional drug war we're talking about, but people in the Southwest driving across the border to get cheap antiboitics and other prescription medication. What's not for a medical industry crony to love here?

    Grandma drives across the border to get her prescription for her arthritis meds at half price. She's been doing it for years. But on her way back this time she gets a thorough beatdown by the border agents and thrown in the pokey on drug trafficking charges?

    And if you don't think some assholes in government haven't already thought of this, you're naive. All you have to do is learn to think like those people and you can actually imagine their next move.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Nick Gillespie interviewed Dalmia in our latest podcast. Click below to listen to that conversation

    Not even if that were the only way to escape the ravenous bugblatter beast.

  • Longtobefree||

    I propose a journalistic requirement that all comments regarding clearly identify if the subject is legal immigration, or illegal immigration.
    There are two policy areas here, not one.
    Oh, wait, this is the internet! My mistake.

  • ||

    Out of order! They're is only pro-immigration or anti-immigration! You're one or the other! There's no gray areas here. What are you, one of them Trumpets?

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Libertarians need to look at history.

    Diversity + Proximity = War

  • Azathoth!!||

    Nick AND Shikha?

    Yeah, no way I'm watching a derpload of that magnitude.

  • Bruce Hall||

    We don't need laws or enforcement. America is the land of the free. Everything is free for the taking. Those mayors are correct: immigration laws try to make America un-free. If you have something, it is free for me to take it. Land of the free. Remember that. No stupid laws. No stupid feds. No stupid cops. And besides, everyone says immigration is a good thing. So get out of the way.

  • R C Dean||

    Here's one to ponder:

    Harboring an illegal alien is a federal offense

    (ii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, transports, or moves or attempts to transport or move such alien within the United States by means of transportation or otherwise, in furtherance of such violation of law;

    (iii) knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation;

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1324

    So, once the PD in a "sanctuary city" arrests an illegal, determines they are illegal, and then proceeds to knowingly transport them and/or conceals that fact from the feds, haven't they committed a federal crime?

  • Free Society||

    SILENCE PEASANT

  • John||

    Yes they have. The get around that by not asking them their status. So, they can plausibly claim they didn't know they were an illegal alien.

  • R C Dean||

    They get around that by not asking them their status.

    "Reckless disregard"?

  • John||

    Maybe but tough to prove. If you really want to make this a contact sport, make that law subject to civil action. Allow people who are later victimized by an alien the local police failed to turn over to the feds to sue the police for failing to follow the law. These cities want to turn criminals lose on the public instead of having them deported, let them pay to compensate the victims of crimes that are committed as a result of that.

  • A Cynic's Guide to Zen||

    1803: It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.
    2016: You know what, laws are like, dumb.

  • sarcasmic||

    Laws do not apply to those who enforce them.

  • Lowen||

    Ah, look very close at the wording of your very own article title and maybe, just maybe, you will find the logical answer.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

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