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Legal or Not, Trump Shouldn't Declare a 'National Emergency' To Build His Wall

He probably won't shut down the internet. But declaring a "national emergency" is a bad idea anyway.

Chris Kleponis/picture alliance / Consolidated/NewscomChris Kleponis/picture alliance / Consolidated/NewscomPresident Donald Trump has repeatedly suggested in recent days that he could declare a "national emergency" to get funding for his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Even if such a move is legal, it's a bad idea with some potentially scary ramifications.

"We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country. We can call a national emergency and build [the wall] very quickly," Trump said at a press conference on Friday. He doubled down yesterday, telling reporters that he "may declare a national emergency dependent on what's going to happen over the next few days."

So how would this work? In 1976, President Gerald Ford signed into law the National Emergencies Act, which authorizes the president to, well, declare national emergencies. According to a 2007 report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the president's authority during a national emergency could be broad.

"Federal law provides a variety of powers for the President to use in response to crisis, exigency, or emergency circumstances threatening the nation," the CRS report says. These include powers the president can use whenever he pleases, as well as "statutory delegations from Congress" that are only to be used during an official national emergency. "Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the President may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens," the report reads.

As Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, noted in The Atlantic, that's a heck of a lot of power for one man. Hypothetically, Trump could take control of the internet (or really any kind of electronic communications), freeze bank accounts, and use the military to keep order.

It's highly unlikely he'd actually do this. According to the CRS report, "the President must indicate…the powers and authorities being activated to respond to the exigency at hand." Trump says he's concerned with securing the border, so even if he did declare a national emergency, any actions he took would most likely be limited to funding and constructing his border wall.

There are other safeguards in place as well. Unless Trump were to renew it, his state of emergency would last only a year. Congress can pass a resolution to end the state of emergency before then. Such a resolution would easily make it through the Democrat-controlled House, and possibly even the Senate, where four Republicans could vote with Democrats to override the GOP's 53-47 majority.

But there are no guarantees these safeguards will work. There are already 30 states of emergency currently in effect, according to Goitein, and the Brennan Center suggests Trump has plenty of emergency powers thanks to more than 100 statutory provisions. "Most of the statutory powers available during a national emergency have never been used," Goitein wrote. "But what's to guarantee that this president, or a future one, will show the reticence of his predecessors?"

How would declaring a national emergency get Trump his wall? That's where Title 10 of the U.S. Code comes in. The law says

In the event of a declaration of war or the declaration by the President of a national emergency in accordance with the National Emergencies Act that requires use of the armed forces, the Secretary of Defense, without regard to any other provision of law, may undertake military construction projects, and may authorize the Secretaries of the military departments to undertake military construction projects, not otherwise authorized by law that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces.

Notably, such construction projects can be funded using only unallocated Department of Defense money. "DoD has a big pile of money for military construction," University of Texas School of Law Professor Stephen Vladeck told NBC News, so "the question is whether DoD would use that money and might even cancel other construction projects just to build the wall."

There are other legal questions regarding Trump's ability to use money from the Pentagon's budget to build his wall. According to Bruce Ackerman, a law professor at Yale: "Not only would such an action be illegal, but if members of the armed forces obeyed his command, they would be committing a federal crime." In a Saturday op-ed for The New York Times, Ackerman argued that using the military to enforce domestic immigration law is unconstitutional. He cited the example of former President Harry Truman, who tried to nationalize the steel mills in the midst of the Korean War in 1952, only to be rebuffed by the Supreme Court.

Of course, it's impossible to predict how things would play out if Trump did declare a national emergency. He would likely face a court challenge, as Rep. Adam Smith (D–Wash.) said yesterday on ABC's This Week.

It may technically be legal, as federal law does allow for the "military version of eminent domain" if it's "needed in the interest of national defense." But declaring a national emergency over border wall funding is a bad idea. The immigrants crossing the border into the U.S. do not represent a national emergency, and so building a wall to stop them is not an issue of national defense. The White House might claim that terrorists are pouring into the country, but as Fox News host Chris Wallace pointed out yesterday, the State Department has found "no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have… sent operatives via Mexico into the United States."

Photo Credit: Chris Kleponis/picture alliance / Consolidated/Newscom

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  • Sevo||

    "According to Bruce Ackerman, a law professor at Yale: "Not only would such an action be illegal, but if members of the armed forces obeyed his command, they would be committing a federal crime." In a Saturday op-ed for The New York Times, Ackerman argued that using the military to enforce domestic immigration law is unconstitutional. He cited the example of former President Harry Truman, who tried to nationalize the steel mills in the midst of the Korean War in 1952, only to be rebuffed by the Supreme Court."

    No fan of 'the wall', but this guy's got the reach of Rubberman to try to equate nationalizing steel mills to using DoD money to build it.
    Is this the guy who was claiming Pelosi's plastic surgeries were 'campaign contributions'? Oh, sorry, that was Trump's paying off a hooker.

  • Barnstormer||

    So, if a thousand boats full of unarmed Chinese people were trying to land on the beaches of California, it would be unconstitutional to use the military to repel them? And building a fortification at a national border is unlawful?

    Law professor, my ass....

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So, if a thousand boats full of unarmed Chinese people were trying to land on the beaches of California, it would be unconstitutional to use the military to repel them?

    Would you consider this to be an act of war? If so, by which government?

  • Sevo||

    Answers don't have question marks.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It would considered to be a national emergency.

  • Presskh||

    Yes, it would be. Unchecked attempted illegal immigration is a national emergency. It would be considered so in virtually every other country in the world, in addition to ours. Attempted illegal entry by several thousand should be considered an invasion.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Attempted illegal entry by several thousand should be considered an invasion.

    Would it constitute an act of war?

    And what is the threshold of the number of "invaders" that constitutes a proper invasion? Would just one migrant be enough to constitute an "invasion"?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Maybe. But it would definitely be a national emergency. So using the Mational Guard, Coat Buard, Navy, etc. would be an appropriate response to sort things out.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Why would it be a national emergency that would require military intervention?

    If there was, say, some sort of country-wide epidemic of some disease, that would not necessitate a military response. It would require a response from health care professionals.

    So even if I were to accept your premise that it was a national emergency, why should it be one that involves the military, and not civilian authorities?

  • Presskh||

    Doesn't have to be a direct threat of war. Mass attempted illegal breaching of our borders by foreign nationals is enough to call it an emergency. While one person attempting to illegally cross the border is not an attempted invasion, the massing of several thousand at our border with intentions to illegally enter is.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    While one person attempting to illegally cross the border is not an attempted invasion, the massing of several thousand at our border with intentions to illegally enter is.

    So what is the precise cutoff for the number of "invaders" that constitutes a proper invasion?

  • BambiB||

    Yes. One is enough. Shoot him as he crosses. Invasion thwarted. THE END.

  • Voice of reasonableness||

    chemjeff - you are baiting by asking for numbers to what constitutes an invasion. Illegal immigration is illegal immigration. I have a friend who is an ambassador and he is hardly a conservative Trumpet. He has worked in several countries now 15 or so years later and he sees many of the same people every day trying to get to the USA. Different story etc.

    He also says that without some form of deterrent, we would be overrun. I guess I would agree with others that say 20 million illegals here currently, borders out of control, immigration centers packed to the gills and courts overwhelmed for years to come would constitute some sort of emergency. Not sure a wall would be the answer, but at least I understand the sentiment of why Trump got elected and it isn't necessarily bigotry to be concerned about your own nation.

    You are being misleading and incomplete when you talk about "penniless immigrants to blame problems on". They come here and their children are then citizens who are entitled to all kinds of things with little on the books contributions (at least). (Google "The question of birthright citizenship" - I think that policy is totally wrong too). Read some other blogs. For example I work in a social agency. Illegal women tell me the father/husband "tried to cross" as if it is a routine thing.

    Don't act like everyone who is in favor of border controls is some kind of backwards hick.

  • BambiB||

    I think Trump should do it. It is a national emergency.

    About 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam - an average of about 3,000 per year.

    According to Fortune,

    in 2016, more than 63,000 people died from drugs, an average of 174 deaths daily. Nearly half of all overdoses in 2016 were associated with fentanyl

    So you have deaths at a rate that's 21 times higher than the death rate during the Vietnam War, and you think it's not a national emergency?

    That's human cost. What about dollars and sense?

    Criminal Invaders cost us over $100 billion a year. That's a drain of about $350 for every legal resident of America. Did you get your money's worth for the $350 you forked over for criminal invaders last year? Did your spouse? Did each of your kids mind that $350 of their college fund just went to fund criminal invaders? Aren't you glad you had absolutely no other use for that money but to give it to a bunch of criminals?

  • And you believe that why?||

    Do you know where your food comes from?

    $350 is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount virtually every American gives to the criminals who hire illegal immigrants.

    I have no clue what point you are trying to make by bringing in fentanyl. Most fentanyl comes from China, so unless you want to wall up our sea and air ports, your wall is worse than useless. That money would be far better spent actually solving problems.

  • CE||

    That money would be far better spent actually solving problems.

    And much better not spent at all.

  • CE||

    the federal government costs us 4 trillion dollars a year. let's start with the biggest problems first.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Thanks for perfectly illustrating the Trumpian mindset. Blaming illegal immigrants for why families don't have money in their college funds. As if it's penniless Guatemalans who steal from junior's college fund! Foreigners and immigrants are the source of America's problems. That is how Trump was able to win, by successfully scapegoating penniless immigrants. It's disgusting, quite frankly.

  • Nardz||

    "Muh noble savages!"
    "M-muh white man's burden!"

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Retarded hypothetical. If we had a school shooting every day, would you support a national gun confiscation program?

  • Zeb||

    What if we were being inundated by flying monkeys from outer space?

  • Dillinger||

    depends if our guns are worthless against their shields

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Retune our phasers into the upper EM band, or at the very least, reverse the polarity of the neutron flow.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    Space Force!

  • Presskh||

    No, you don't take away the constitutional rights of 99% of the people just because 1% misuse them. We need to start bringing about swift justice to those who commit these and other heinous acts. Confiscation of guns is a tried and true means of increasing the state's control over the populace - it was used very effectively by Adolph Hitler.

  • granite state destroyer||

    No, for the 10 millionth time, confiscation of guns was not used by Hitler. Not to take power, and not to consolidate power. Hitler actually encouraged gun ownership by German citizens and made the laws less restrictive. The Nazis did confiscate guns from French, Polish, Soviet citizens - but that is called "war". Just leave Hitler out of 2nd Amendment arguments, it really has no relevance and makes you look stupid.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    No, you don't take away the constitutional rights of 99% of the people just because 1% misuse them.

    Would that also be true of, say, a person's freedom of association?

  • Social Justice is neither||

    Thanks for the warning of what was to follow.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No, that would be unconstitutional. Using the military to defend the border from mass incursion, or erecting barriers to prevent such is completely constitutional, and in fact within the province of the executive branch.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Bigoted right-wing authoritarians are among my favorite faux libertarians.

    Mostly because they're so easy to mock, and because they are a valuable reminder of how important it was to win the culture war.

  • retiredfire||

    Anyone, who thinks what has happened to our culture is in any way "winning", is a truly demented person.
    Artie, that's you.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Notice how Arty went straight to his usual banal rhetoric and didn't address, let alone refute what I said?

  • granite state destroyer||

    1. Where are the "mass incursions"?

    2. We already have barriers. Please explain how a 1200 mile wall that requires stealing property from private citizens and walling off inhospitable desert is more effective than using mobile border patrol and fencing and barriers at strategic locations.

    3. Why isn't Trump more focused on penalizing people who employ illegals and encourage them to come?

    The wall is a monument to Trump's ego, it has nothing to do with border security.

  • BambiB||

    I would support arming the teachers so they could shoot back.

    Hey! There's an idea! Just declare "open season" on criminal invaders and let US citizens blow them away as they cross the border! Probably only have to kill a dozen and the rest would get the message.

  • Zeb||

    It might be. The Constitution is, after all, a suicide pact.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Assisted suicide?

  • Vernon Depner||

    boats full of unarmed Chinese people

    So what if they WERE armed. All of our Constitutional rights apply equally to foreigners, right? These new arrivals would have as much right to bear arms as we do, right?

  • BambiB||

    Not quite. US v. Verdugo-Urquidez

  • Echospinner||

    Boatloads of Chinese. Because it happened as we know from history. At one point Chinese immigrants were around 10% of the population in California which is still there for better or worse.

  • Agammamon||

    In order to build they're going to have to nationalize tens of thousands of private homes and businesses.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Trump has always been an eminent domain fan.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Really? Where are you getting that?

  • Vernon Depner||

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm sorry Vernon, I was actually replying to Aggy's claim about taking 'tens of thousands' of homes and businesses. I'm aware of the article you linked. Nor do I disagree. Eminent domain is not one of Trump's good subjects, sadly.

    I should have been clear on that.

  • BambiB||

    Not necessarily.
    Just take the land South of the border. That way, we'd be SURE that Mexico would pay for the wall.

  • Agammamon||

    That's still nationalizing.

  • retiredfire||

    No, just enough room to build a wall.
    I'll bet many would gladly allow such a use.

  • Agammamon||

    They haven't in the past. No one has 'volunteered' to have the walls that have been built, built across their land for any of the existing sections of wall.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Youse expoits really outght to check out the links to legal verbiage. When the economy was beginning to tank under the collapse of CMOs for marijuana-growing homes being confiscated under Waffen Bush faith-based asset forfeiture seizures with ku-klux state governments, they studied the "Act." It is a Christian National Socialist Enabling Act such that "the President may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens. Furthermore, Congress may modify, rescind, or render dormant such delegated emergency authority." The Don's party ordered the fence in its platfoim dedicated to "Foist Respondahs™," and the Carbon Tax anti-electricity econazis handed him the election "by engraved invitation."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I thought declaring emergencies with the go-to action for political leaders these days.

  • Brian||

    You know who else assumed power through national emergencies?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Chancellor Palpatine?

  • shortviking||

    +1 unlimited power

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And lightning....

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Captain Planet?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Alexander Hamilton?

  • Ray McKigney||

    Lincoln?

  • BambiB||

    Stalin... no, you just said that. Lincoln. I mean Stalin. I mean... were they the same person?

  • Harvard||

    FDR?

  • Vernon Depner||

    The Beatles?

  • Dillinger||

    Saddam.

  • Uncle Adolf’s Gas and Grill||

    Alexander Haig?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Cigarette Smoking Man?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Tulpa?

  • Mcgoo95||

    Kanye

  • Echospinner||

    Moses?

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "There are already 30 states of emergency currently in effect, according to Goitein,"

    Wait...what??? We're all just going about our routine daily business oblivious to the 30 emergencies that are raging around us? 30? How are any of us still alive?

    One of the 30 has to be the clown thing, right? Please tell me that one of them involves Clown Panic.

  • Vernon Depner||

    And straws. One has to be straws.

  • Sevo||

    OT: Pitchforks in Chandler, AZ:

    "Wielding Rocks and Knives, Arizonans Attack Self-Driving Cars"
    [...]
    "... In ways large and small, the city has had an early look at public misgivings over the rise of artificial intelligence, with city officials hearing complaints about everything from safety to possible job losses.
    Some people have pelted Waymo vans with rocks, according to police reports. Others have repeatedly tried to run the vehicles off the road. One woman screamed at one of the vans, telling it to get out of her suburban neighborhood. A man pulled up alongside a Waymo vehicle and threatened the employee riding inside with a piece of PVC pipe...."
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/31/
    us/waymo-self-driving-cars-arizona-
    attacks.html

  • Juice||

    Hypothetically, Trump could take control of the internet

    Um. I'd like to hear how that could even possible happen.

  • ||

    With a joy stick?

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Just unplug it!

  • Lurker Jack||

    Thanks, AOC.

  • ||

    For such a tyrant (as progressives assert), he sure is constrained it sounds like.

    Opening here....door there. Opening there.....window tight shut here.

    The President - even Trump! - has a heckuva lot less power than the Prime Minister with a majority government in a Parliamentary system.

  • Zeb||

    The President - even Trump! - has a heckuva lot less power than the Prime Minister with a majority government in a Parliamentary system.

    And I hope it stays that way. I'm not saying Trump wants to be a dictator, but using national emergencies as a tool to get what you want when your legislature won't give it to you is a real dictator kind of move. I don't want Trump or future presidents to see that as a legitimate move in the president's playbook.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    don't want Trump or future presidents to see that as a legitimate move in the president's playbook.

    No shit, especially if all of this is true:

    "Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the President may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens," the report reads.

    Christ, pretty much instant dictatorship. I suspect the only reason it hasn't been done already is because there really would be a revolt if any president tried it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yeah, no. No Constitution, and all bets are off.

    I agree with Rufus as far parliamentary systems go. We need a constitution as a bulwark. Without that, pretty anything can go.

  • John||

    A constitution is only as good as the country's willingness to live by it. As long as partisan judges are willing to torture the meaning of the document to achieve their desired result, we will have a partial constitution at best.

  • BYODB||

    Just call it a 'living constitution' like the good little Wilsonians...I mean Communists...I mean ANTIFA...I mean...ah fuck it. It's dead. They only parade it around a la 'Weekend at Bernie's' to remind people they're in charge because the founders gave them the keys.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Best to make communism illegal and dispose of those communists. Send them one way to Venezuela.

  • Mcgoo95||

    "Under the powers delegated by such statutes, the President may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens," the report reads.

    Why go all the way to Venezuela? The President already has the power to turn this country into Venezuela. Just wait until the pendulum swings the other way.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Not letting the country become Venezuela is the whole point of getting rid of the commie progtards. And sending them there is being kind. Far easier to send them one way to their local landfill, face down.

    I just want them gone. They can ride their horse out of town, or be slung over the back. It's up to them.

  • Uncle Adolf’s Gas and Grill||

    Constitutions are all well and good until some Frankenstein type brings it to life. You don't want to get in the way of no Living Constitution.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Sounds like an early 70's Marvel Comics villain.

    https://goo.gl/images/sncb23

  • Social Justice is neither||

    So FDR and Lincoln don't exist in your world?

    Sorry, it's been there for a while. The only reason it hasn't been used more is there are few issues that engulf the entire country and we've been relatively willing to live and let live. I think immigration failures of policy get to the first one and the perceived, if not actual, increase in partisanship makes the calculation toward the second less attractive.

    There are many better options but I'm not seeing where any of them are being put on the table and taken seriously by the folks in DC where it's win for the team or nothing.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    LOL they were in the middle of the biggest conflicts the USA had seen up to that point. That pretty much is a national emergency. However the lowest number of illegals ever attempting to cross the border in decades isn't a national emergency.

  • Lester224||

    All the MAGA hat people who want Trump to do this (declare a national emergency to secure funding to build his campaign promise) will be in hysterics when someone they didn't vote for does something similar.

  • Mcgoo95||

    If he actually does it, the precedent it sets will be disastrous eventually.

  • retiredfire||

    Not if it is done in a way that increases national security, which this undisputedly does.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    It will get stopped immediately by the judiciary. That way Trump can drop this wall business and say "well I tried guys"

  • granite state destroyer||

    Fortunately Trump is incompetent, lazy and old. When Tucker Carlson becomes President progressives will really shit themselves.

  • ||

    "Even if such a move is legal, it's a bad idea with some potentially scary ramifications."

    Didn't Obama pass Obamacare without a single GOP vote? What were the rammys there? If any.

    They all ram something through if they want it bad enough.

    Policy of Dreams if you will.

  • Jgalt1975||

    You realize there's a difference between a law being passed by majority vote of both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President as compared to the President unilaterally announcing things, right?

  • John||

    Okay, Obama did DACA which is the open borders equivelent of this.

  • ||

    Yes, but isn't the 'spirit' of such laws supposed to be 'bipartisan'? It wasn't.

    Unless I missed something.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    There are already 30 states of emergency currently in effect, according to Goitein, and the Brennan Center suggests Trump has plenty of emergency powers thanks to more than 100 statutory provisions. "Most of the statutory powers available during a national emergency have never been used," Goitein wrote. "But what's to guarantee that this president, or a future one, will show the reticence of his predecessors?"

    Just how our founders would have wanted.

  • John||

    Actually yes they would. See e.g. the Whiskey Rebellion.

  • Ray McKigney||

    The way some pundits talk about what Trump says, it's almost as if they've never negotiated anything in their lives. They must walk into car dealerships and plunk down the sticker price.

  • Vernon Depner||

    If you think you actually negotiate deals at a car lot, you're naïve. They know exactly how much they're going to sell each car for before you get there. The sales staff are trained to create the illusion that you're making a deal.

  • Csaba||

    Absurd.

  • Echospinner||

    Yup it is an act. You still have to play along to get at least close to the bottom line but it is a schtick.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Well, sure, if you just say "I'll take that one" and write them a check for the sticker price, they'll take your money, but if you do the dance with them you'll get the same price as anyone else.

  • Echospinner||

    That works because you want to buy the car and the dealer wants to sell it.

    Trump is trying to sell something the Dems do not want to buy.

    The great genius deal maker has been pretty unimpressive thus far. The rest of us are paying the price for his demands.

    He needed to sell the idea to the voters. In making it a symbol and campaign slogan he narrowed support to his base. He did not need to do that. Now he wants to go on TV to sell the idea. Well let's see how that works.

    I am actually more worried about China. I think they know something about real negotiation. Best outcome is there are some superficial changes, Trump declares victory, the markets stabilize, and we all go on with our lives.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "The immigrants crossing the border into the U.S. do not represent a national emergency, and so building a wall to stop them is not an issue of national defense."

    I'm pretty sure that deciding what is and isn't an issue of national defense isn't assigned to assistant editors at Reason. We might have a Commander in Chief to make calls like that.

    On the merits, I'd agree it's not an existential emergency. In the sense of needing immediate action, yeah, it's an emergency.

  • Don't look at me!||

    What about the other 30 emergencies? Never hear a peep about them.

  • John||

    If the need to defend the borders from incursion is not an Article II power, then nothing is.

    Ackerman is such a hack he thinks that the Obama had the power to unilaterally wage war against Libya but Trump doesn't have the power to actually secure the country's borders.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Ackerman IS just such a hack.

  • Kenneth Kelly||

    I don't know where you got the idea that Ackerman believed Obama had the power to unilaterally wage war against Libya. He strongly argued the opposite at the time.
    Obama's Unconstitutional War

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "In the sense of needing immediate action, yeah, it's an emergency."

    I moved to Texas in 1974 when I was in high school, and it was the first time I was personally aware of the situation regarding the border. Ever since then, and almost certainly before, there have been arguments and consternation regarding illegal immigration. And people have been crossing that border every day since that time - hell, it used to be more open than it is now.

    Meanwhile, the USA has continued to prosper and grow.

    Does some stuff need to be cleaned up? Yeah. But to call something an emergency that needs immediate action when it's been going on for more than half a century with little to no detrimental effect is a dramatic overstatement.

  • Uncle Adolf’s Gas and Grill||

    Let me introduce you to the concept of the "inflection point". It kind of explains why didn't need traffic lights in 1910, but we do now. Not withstanding the fact that we've had cars for over 100 years, and been mostly prosperous during that period.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Actually the trend in traffic management these days is to reduce the number of traffic lights. Engineers are figuring out that intersections are safer when drivers pay attention to each other rather than to signals and signs.

  • MJBinAL||

    Actually .... you are full of shit. There are more traffic lights going in every day.

  • Vernon Depner||

    And there are traffic lights being removed and replaced with traffic circles, continuous-flow intersections, and other innovations that reduce the need for signs and signals.

  • Voice of reasonableness||

    Vernon - Traffic circles can only go in where there is room, so they aren't really replacing many traffic lights. The few that are around here, really aren't big enough. They seem to work well only when there is small to modest amount of traffic. The only real advantage I see is in places where there would be a large quantity of left turns.

  • Echospinner||

    Those new traffic lights are connected with cameras and other devices.

  • BYODB||

    'Little to no detrimental effect' is a matter of opinion and social standing, one might think.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yes, it's easy to think illegal aliens are no problem when you only see them when they're fixing your roof or cleaning your pool and you don't have to live next door to them.

  • BYODB||

    I halfway agree, but only in the sense that you'd probably have an issue with them if your job is fixing roofs or pool cleaning. If your pool cleaning business does something wrong, you can be thrown in prison. If their pool cleaning business does something wrong, which they are pretty much by default, they get deported.

    Tell me this, can I choose deportation instead of Federal prison as a punishment? I know which one I would choose. Especially if I know I can come back to the U.S. and work without paying taxes with no possible jail time.

    I'd expatriate, but for some reason the open borders crowd never mention how other countries are racist for not letting me in whenever I want. Curious, then, that they would want so many of those racists to come to the U.S. to block future immigrants, no?

    The logic gives me headaches. Mostly because it's not logic at all, it's emoting built like a deck of fucking cards.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    People also have an issue when being robbed, raped, and murdered by them.

  • BYODB||

    That's true regardless of nationality or immigration status, and I haven't seen anything conclusive that says that any immigrant group that comes to the U.S. is particularly bad in terms of violent crime. I can say that if you force people into black markets you are going to get increased crime stats as a matter of course. RE: Eric Garner.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm not talking about immigrants, I'm talking about illegals.

  • Voice of reasonableness||

    BYODB - conclusive data is only found when it is looked for. The data we do have, a great deal of it is terribly misleading based on definitions. Like 100% beef hot dogs can have a Tbsp of milk powder by law (definition) in some states. The fact that so much media calls illegal aliens "undocumented workers" ought to give you pause even if you are much more liberal than me.

  • MJBinAL||

    They don't even get deported. They just skip town and do again in a new location.

  • ShotgunJimbo||

    The fact that their pool cleaning business is doing a better job than others (read: low skill americans), faster, and at a lower price is the problem (for the low skillers). Same with lawn care, most landscaping and basic building.

    The threat of federal prison vs deportation is a silly hypothetical, neither of those happen frequently, most people hire the cheap/better/appreciative workers to cut on costs where they can.

    #free market

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Free market my ass. One group has to pay taxes and obey the rules, the other doesn't, but is a de facto slave class.

    Fucking slaver.

  • TLBD||

    This.

    Libertarians have this nasty, self-defeating habit of advocating policy based on a theoretical utopia rather than reality.

    It makes them allies of the anti-free market statists, and they're just too goddamned stupid to realize it.

    I've lost so much respect for libertarians since Trump got elected I hate to call myself one anymore. He is really making libertarians show their ass by being better at everything we claim to be for by simply being a pragmatist, without a real understanding of the ideology.

  • granite state destroyer||

    I grew up among lots of illegal aliens - and all of them were Irish living in the greater Boston area. The Irish still come and overstay their visas. For some reason the Trumpists don't seem to consider that an "emergency".

    Irish are just as likely to engage in criminal behavior as Mexicans too, and their food is a lot shittier.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Grow? Yeah. Prosper? Less and less.

    Will the US cease to exist tomorrow if we don't stop illegal immigration today? No.

    But the US is ceasing to exist in the sense of being the US it used to be, increment by increment, and we may have already passed the realistic point of no return, due to admitting millions upon millions of people who don't share our values. You can see that happening in one country after another in Europe; A hundred years from now, there will still be countries in Europe called "France", "Italy", and so forth, but they won't be recognizable.

    If we don't want that here, we're running out of time to stop it.

    As I keep saying, "You are what you eat" applies to countries, too, and immigration. Just as immigrants are assimilated by the US, the US is assimilated by immigrants.

    In what way do we want to become more like Honduras? I can't think of any.

  • granite state destroyer||

    I agree with restricting immigration, but how does a wall help? What about birthright citizenship and chain migration? Start there. Then crack down on illegals overstaying their visas.

    The wall is a band-aid, and a mighty expensive and stupid one.

  • Voice of reasonableness||

    Great points granite. A note - chain migration can take 20 years so I don't think that is quite as urgent but birthright citizenship drives me nuts. In Wong Vs. Ark even though the parents were not citizens, they WERE here LEGALLY which is why their son was a citizen. NOT simply because he was born here.

    Everyone should read "The question of birthright citizenship" on the internet, free, by Shuck and Smith.

  • John||

    If reason had objected to DACA, they would have a lot more credibility appealing to the rule of law and the institutions of government. If it was okay for Obama to torture the concept of "prosecutorial descretion" to get what he wanted, and reason whole heartedly agreed that it was, then I see no reason why it is not equally okay for Trump to torture the definition of "National Emergency" to get what he wants.

    Maybe Reason will use this moment to learn that being opportunistic hacks is a fool's errend, though that is probably a bit optimistic on my part.

  • Ray McKigney||

    He who pays the piper calls the tune, IYKWIM.

  • retiredfire||

    Reason is most likely against the declaration of an emergency because it would mean a win for the bad orange man.

  • Don't look at me!||

    meesa propose that the senate give immediately emergency powers to the supreme chancellor.

  • Dillinger||

    agreed not emergency but what number of peeps would tip the scale?

  • John||

    There is no amount of border crossing up to and including hostile foreign armies that would cause reason to think securing the border is necessary. They are absolute fanatics on the issue.

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "There is no amount of border crossing up to and including hostile foreign armies that would cause reason to think securing the border is necessary."

    Jesus Christ. You're being a shrill and hysterical as the identarian left. If an armed foreign power invaded the United States, Reason would not support it. Take a chill pill, dude.

  • John||

    I can't see it. I think they would immediately start writing about "America's futile war in Texas" and demanding the government make peace and end the war at any price.

  • Harvard||

    So then, those MS 13ers sneak across unarmed? Who knew?

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    I got nothing. Discussion with irrational people is not possible.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Why is John unreasonable? Have you read the batshit insane crap that Shikha writes? John might be just a tad hyperbolic, but he isn't far off the mark.

  • MJBinAL||

    No, I agree, Reason wants no borders at all, under any circumstances, no matter what.

  • Mcgoo95||

    I could've missed it, but I don't remember ever reading an article opposing securing the borders, it seems to me most of the writers just don't want a stupid wall. Neither do I. But go ahead and move the goalposts from being anti-wall to anti-border if you must.

  • retiredfire||

    There is nothing closer to a permanent way to "secure the border" than a wall.
    All the other ways, the open borders crowd claims to want, can be removed, or turned off.
    As lasting as a fart in the wind.
    Anti-wall IS open borders.

  • Mcgoo95||

    bull. shit.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Don't foreigners have the same right to bear arms that we do?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No.

  • MJBinAL||

    Regardless of what you think of natural rights, or rights provided by God, the reality is you have the rights that the government in your nation allows. So no, most foreigners do not have the same right to bear arms that we do.

  • BYODB||

    An open borders theology precludes border defense as it declares that national sovereignty doesn't exist along with those borders. Of course, such a philosophy generally falls apart upon contact with any other nation but for five full minutes the open borders people would be in nirvana. (Note: Ever wonder why globalists love them some immigration and support open borders? Of course not!)

    I do not find that a bunch of migrants constitute a crisis, but notably Democrats have themselves been declaring the migrants a human crisis for some time now so one might rightfully think this is Donny taking their high road away from them and beating them about the head and neck with it.

    Now we get to watch Democrats talk about how immigration is not, in fact, a crisis.

  • Vernon Depner||

    How big is a "bunch"? If we ceased our efforts to make immigration difficult, the numbers arriving here would certainly soon swell to the point of crisis or even existential threat.

  • BYODB||

    I don't know, how big is a "bunch"? It's a subjective non-amount. If you have a number in mind, feel free to say it. A thousand people in a caravan ain't national news, nor do I give fucks unless one of them has a backpack nuke. If they can't find work, they'll go home.

    Of course, U.S. minimum wage law means they'll always find a job.

  • Vernon Depner||

    The point is that it is because of our efforts to make illegal entry difficult that the numbers entering are relatively small. Those who assert that because the numbers are relatively small and harmless, we should therefore just let them in and let them stay and stop imposing controls, are not recognizing that without our attempts to stop illegal entry, the numbers would quickly swell.

  • BYODB||

    Not that I necessarily disagree, but I will offer another point which is that there is no effective means of combating it without ceding virtually every civil liberty OR by tearing down a century of progressive government architecture that is it's own antithesis. I don't think that shape of government is going away, but I do think people are pretty ready to get rid of their own civil liberties in the name of all sorts of stupid things.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Not true. Yes, if you wanted to insure 100% effective border control so that not one single person entered the country without permission, then we would have to cede all our civil liberties. Nothing anywhere near that is necessary to keep immigration at a manageable level. As I said earlier here, simply making an effort at immigration control keeps vast numbers from making the attempt. We could greatly improve border security and do a lot more to discourage those who enter from staying permanently without significantly impacting citizens and legal residents. It's not a choice between East Germany and Libertopia.

  • BYODB||

    It's already a huge imposition on civil liberties with E-Verify, but that's just my opinion I suppose. The Fed's just devolved responsibility for immigration onto businesses, dusted their hands, and said 'fuck it, that looks done'.

  • Vernon Depner||

    E-Verify is just one of many hoops you have to jump through to get a job these days. I would prefer that there be fewer hoops, but I don't see how E-Verify stands out as the murderer of civil liberty.

  • MJBinAL||

    How about 5 caravans of 5000 each? Or a million a year?

    Of course, both of those are REALITY.

    Looks like a crisis to me.

  • BYODB||

    I'm fine with those numbers. Legal immigration is something like a million a year, so...yeah. Then again, my 'solution' has always been hack away at our own government if anyone wants open immigration. That virtually no one wants to hack away at government means people must not want open immigration at the expense of their pay checks. Revealed vs. stated preference my dude.

  • BYODB||

    Here's a list of the 28 active national emergencies:
    1. Blocking Iranian Government Property
    2. Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
    3. Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process
    4. Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources
    5. Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers
    6. Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba
    7. Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan
    8. Blocking Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans
    9. Continuation of Export Control Regulations
    10. Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks
    11. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism
    12. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe
    13. Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq has an Interest
    14. Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria

  • BYODB||

    15. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus
    16. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    17. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or Its Democratic Processes and Institutions
    18. Continuing Certain Restrictions with Respect to North Korea and North Korean Nationals
    19. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia
    20. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya
    21. Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations
    22. Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen
    23. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine
    24. Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan
    25. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic
    26. Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela
    27. Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities
    28. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi

  • bevis the lumberjack||

    "27. Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities"

    This one could be employed against 99.6% of Political Twitter, including but certainly not limited to our First Tweeter. Probably worth doing if it would shut all those motherfuckers up.

  • SQRLSY One||

    You forgot...

    29. Blowing on certain "dangerous medical devices" (AKA cheap plastic flutes) without the permission of a Master-Race-Certified (AKA certified by the Collective Hive) Doctor of Doctorology.

    That's why I will now perform my self-chosen pubic duty...

    To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

  • BYODB||

    So, which one's are less absurd and which one's are more absurd? From what I see, it doesn't look particularly strange to declare something on our own national border an emergency when there's a lot on this list that is either entirely moot or involving the Middle East on the other side of the planet.

  • Dillinger||

    omg not Burundi!!!

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    1. Blocking Iranian Government Property

    Obama gave them billions of dollars. Can we arrest him?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I'm a big booster for the arrest, prosecution, and permanent incarceration of Obama.

  • BYODB||

    ...Well there was some talk of that being actual honest-to-god treason even at the time but apparently only white men can read the law (or knows that it's a bullet point on a national emergencies list) so everyone just shrugged and laughed about it. In fairness to Obama, that point in particular is a leftover from I think the 1970's so...yeah. It's an outdated fucking list.

  • granite state destroyer||

    It was their money. Are you saying Obama should have stolen from Iran?

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    By "they" do you mean terrorist funding dictators? Yea I give zero fucks about whose money it was

  • And you believe that why?||

    If we'd only apologize for 1953 ending #1 and #4 should be easy enough.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This is a negotiation tactic at this point. He's trying to tell the Democrats to cave on their refusal not to give him $5 billion for the wall. He's telling them that if he's building it with or without them anyway, then they should just give in.

  • Ray McKigney||

    The press has never gotten this about Trump. (Or at least they've never let on that they've gotten this about Trump.)

  • Echospinner||

    Not sure why he is doing that. It removes all of his leverage.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Unless Trump were to renew it, his state of emergency would last only a year.

    So let him spend $5B on a wall, and then tear it down for $30B?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If a penniless, unarmed Guatemalan, freely crosses the border, of his own free will and not at the direction of a foreign government, but lacks the proper government papers, is this an act of war? Is this an "invasion"?

    The answer is no. AT MOST it is an act of trespassing and should be dealt with as a civil matter.

  • Dillinger||

    all trespassers will be shot.

  • MJBinAL||

    YES, I favor shooting them at the border and leaving the bodies lay. Eventually the pile of bleached bones will be a barrier of sort.

    We could even get a head start by shooting a bunch of progressives and dumping the bodies there. A win-win, fewer progressives and fewer illegal immigrants.

  • Vernon Depner||

    What if it's a thousand penniless unarmed immigrants? A hundred thousand? A million? A hundred million? At some point it becomes a threat. At some point it becomes an existential threat. The reason it's not so out control now is our efforts to make it more difficult and dangerous to enter our country and remain here.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    At some point it becomes a threat.

    Why? What rights of yours, specifically, are they violating? I'm NOT talking about "what if they come here AND vote for socialism", I'm NOT talking about "what if they come here AND mooch on welfare", I'm NOT talking about "what if they come here AND murder 100 babies", I'm talking about "what if they come here" full stop, with no other "AND" hypothetical. How do they threaten you? How do they violate your rights? And not some imaginary 'collective rights', but specific, individual rights of yours?

  • BYODB||

    Do you honestly not understand how a few hundred million people crossing the border could be a threat? No, really, that's outside your imagination? Wow, you are really unimaginative.

    Sure, there's only like 120 million people living in Mexico (estimated, of course, since their government is incompetent in all things) but even an actual idiot could probably imagine how it would be an issue if they all decided they wanted to live in the United States en masse, right? Frankly I'm pretty sure there are even works of fiction centered around that 'what if'.

    Vernon's point is obvious: there is a breaking point, even if we don't know what that point is. Yet you fail to make any connection with that point. So you lack imagination and critical thinking? Ouch, Jeff. Very ouch.

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    It's very clear, based on multiple attempts to understand Jeff, that he would be perfectly fine turning America into Venezuela

    To him, America is just a made up boundary filled with too many prosperous white people

  • Vernon Depner||

    I'm talking about "what if they come here" full stop, with no other "AND"

    And that is why your position makes no sense. To think that letting in everyone in the world who wants to come the United States would have no effect on our way of life is retarded to the point of being bizarre.

  • MJBinAL||

    Oh goody, chemjeff has arisen from his drug addled stupor to rant at us.

  • Hank Phillips||

    This is a good question and one that dumbfounded the Brits, French and Germans. SO they conducted the experiment and imported rafts of penniless mohammedan starvelings. By the most amazing coincidence their night clubs became scenes of carnage, pedestrians were mowed down en masse on Bastille day, Jews fled ALL of France as they had before fled Vichy France, and Americans too were surprised as heck when airplanes began bomfing into skyscrapers and military-industrial-complex nesting areas. So the answer is the same as to why don't people live to 150. There is no particular reason anyone can't live to 150, but observations show that it doesn't happen just as observations show that importing brainwashees of amok superstitious brutality in every case led to the streets running with blood--just as in their countries of origin. The exact technical term is logical induction, the source of the generalizations we eventually use as premises known to be true.

  • BYODB||

    I suppose it depends: does the penniless unarmed Guatemalan die in the street or do they live a life of crime? Those are the options, which do they choose?

    Start with deregulation and immigration will eventually solve itself, although your pay and the pay of most everyone else in the United States will predictably fall precipitously as a result.

    Are you OK with being paid half as much, at least, for these people to come work in the U.S.? Honest question, because virtually no one I ask this question of answers 'yes', and most fail to even understand the logic of why reality works this way.

    Perhaps most amusingly of all, the party that believes in strong labor protection, increasing the minimum wage, and a host of other programs that must as a matter of course impede immigration are also for open borders. Curiouser and curiouser.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I suppose it depends: does the penniless unarmed Guatemalan die in the street or do they live a life of crime?

    This is stupid. I didn't say anything at all about what this hypothetical Guatemalan did after migrating. Sure, suppose he came here and then murdered 100 babies. Then he should be punished for murder. But another migrant may not murder any babies at all, and he shouldn't be treated as if he is some potential baby-murderer.

    All the time I try to point out that migration ITSELF is a victimless crime. And then when I point this out, everyone else wants to keep appending conditionals on that. "but what if the migrant comes here and mooches on welfare/kills babies/lives a life of crime/etc.?" NONE OF THAT MATTERS.

    So there is no "it depends", when it comes to the act of migration itself.

  • BYODB||

    You're a retard if you think that migration is what people have problems with. Sort of like how you'd be retarded to think that people shoot trespassers just because they're trespassing. Spoiler Alert: It's because they're worried about what you might do once you're on their property.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    If you don't have a problem with the migration, then why do you want to restrict it?

    If you are worried that a migrant might commit some violent crime, then punish the violent crime. Why do you want to restrict the migration of all in order to try to prevent the criminal behavior of a few?

  • BYODB||


    If you don't have a problem with the migration, then why do you want to restrict it?

    It's not me, you see, but unfortunately I'm smarter than you are and paid attention in history and economics courses. It's to inflate the American income, stupid, and notably minimum wage hikes and other labor protections were literally sold to American's as a way to limit the effects of foreign labor competition while inflating American wages.

    Or...wait...did you think people were just anti-Mexican or something? Boy, you sure have some egg on your face! By all means continue to use the five racist people in the South as your sounding board for what everyone else is talking about though. I'm sure that's necessary for you to maintain your outrage hard on.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yes I do think there are a lot of racists and bigots hiding (and in plain sight) among the closed-border crowd. But I have never accused you of that, and I have never claimed that the *only* reason to be opposed to open borders is simple bigotry.

    Yes, immigration restrictionism is a form of labor protectionism. I've said so many times here. The war on illegal immigration is in many ways a war on undocumented labor.

  • BYODB||

    You are mentally incapable of addressing labor protectionism as a facet, which is why you keep trying to hit the racist ball. At least, it's what you call 'racism' even while none of the people saying 'bad things' about Mexicans are saying that they're inferior because they're brown, or that they're genetically incapable of higher learning. Weird, it's almost as if you take people literally when they're being figurative.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You are mentally incapable of addressing labor protectionism as a facet

    I have said many times that border restrictionism is a type of labor prohibition.

    Once again, I have never said that all opposition to open borders is based on racism.

    But I am also not going to pretend that racism has nothing at all to do with it either.

    There is a caricature on the left that imagines that everyone opposed to open borders is a racist.
    There is also a caricature on the right that imagines that everyone opposed to restricted borders just imagines racism everywhere.

    Neither caricature is correct, but neither is it that they are both completely incorrect either.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Jeffy, the problem with these discussions is that you're not very bright, and you appear to have no learning curve, or the ability to form very many new memories.

    Have your parents taken you to a neurologist lately? It would be advisable.

  • BYODB||

    You only ever talk about the racism angle, therefore by inference it is the only facet you care about or the only one you have the mental ability to even attempt to refute. While it's also possible that angle makes you the most angry, any mention of those underlying points aside from racism causes you to gibber like a gibbon so I think it's a pretty safe bet that you rely on talking heads for your arguments.

    That's not a caricature, that's a reasoned point of view.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You only ever talk about the racism angle

    That's not even remotely true.

    You only ever SEE the racism angle, because that is what you want to see. I talk about all of the reasons why immigration restrictions are wrongheaded: they are a prohibition, just like every other prohibition, doomed to fail; they have a dubious Constitutional foundation; they decrease everyone's liberty, citizens AND non-citizens, etc., etc. And yes I do believe there is a not-insignificant component of bigotry emanating from the closed border side.

    You WANT to believe all of the "open border fanatics" are just preoccupied and infatuated with racism racism racism so as to conduct strawmen you can blow down, and feel better about your own arguments. In this instance you are the right-wing caricature that I describe.

  • Voice of reasonableness||

    Jeff did say a "war on undocumented labor." What about that?

  • MJBinAL||

    Yeah, but those 5 racist people are up north now.

  • BYODB||

    Nah, they exist in small pockets everywhere. I live in Texas and I see it sometimes, but more commonly it's because of things like shoddy houses built by shady Mexican contractors or specific instances of things that only happened because, well, these types don't really answer to anyone. The irony, to me, is that being an illegal immigrant in the United States is probably superior to being a citizen in quite a few ways.

    That said, 'racism' isn't the word we're really looking for since 'racism' is an irrational belief in inferiority or superiority based on racial characteristics. This is more of a nationalism thing, although the irony isn't lost on me that Jeff mentions 'ethnocentric' states when he himself is guilty of making that very generalization. Sort of like the morons who call Trump's EO a 'muslim ban' when the vast, vast majority of Muslims don't fall within the ban.

    You can tell from Jeff's writing that this is the very sort of linguistic game that he's fully bought into, and that he honestly doesn't understand why it's funny to people who have thought about the subject.

  • lap83||

    The "penniless" migrant of course opens a food truck as soon as he comes here, duh

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I don't know what that penniless migrant does. Maybe he moves in with relatives. Maybe he does open up a food truck. Maybe he does turn to a life of crime. Maybe he's a horrible person, maybe he's a great person. I don't know. Those are all incidental to the migration itself. That is my point.

    If a migrant comes here and then does something bad, that is not an argument to restrict migration, but to punish the bad behavior.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It isn't incidental to the migration itself.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    I fucking love food trucks, this might even convert me to open borders if I knew it was true.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And yes I do think there are some people who DO have problems with the migration itself. A lot of them just don't want more foreigners here, even if they don't commit any crimes or don't mooch on welfare or don't vote for socialism. I'm not saying that's you, I am saying that there are some people who do believe that.

  • BYODB||

    Who has problems with the migration itself? I haven't seen any articles, ever, that simply decry migration. No, literally all the one's I've ever read talk about the repercussions and consequences.

    The only articles I've read that decry people as a race, at least in recent memory, are articles that tell us how evil white people are. Where do you read all these articles that say that migration itself is evil? Do you get the Ku Klux Klan newsletter and extrapolate?

    There's plenty of hyperbole and bullshit to go around on the right and the left, but choosing the address the salient arguments instead of the batshit insane arguments is a skill you appear to lack.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You are twisting what I said. I never said that those people who complain about the migration itself are in the majority or significant, just that they exist. I'm speaking mainly of the alt-right people who want ethnostates.

  • BYODB||

    So you're talking about an insignificant group that's dead or dying and using that as an example because...you're an idiot?

    Or is it because you really think there's a large body of racists out there that want to restrict immigration because of racism? Like, in secret with some kind of mysterious handshake?

    You're an idiot. You're an even bigger idiot for buying into such an expansive view of natural rights when you don't even believe in a god. Last I checked, innate human rights don't actually exist we just like to pretend they do. The irony, which is lost on you, is that a nation that believed in those natural human rights to the extent that you seem to would promptly be destroyed by them.

    China wouldn't even need to bring guns to invade. They could simply all move here and vote themselves a communist dictatorship. Whoops, there go natural rights. You might want to look at comparative population sizes some day.

    Amusingly, this is one reason why America is one of the few nations on Planet Earth that allows non-citizens to buy property too. Oops, did you just say something about a housing shortage? Nah, nevermind! Second order consequences are hard, amiright, and you probably don't know any realtors. That would mean they have a job.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You emphatically declared that "no one" has a problem with the migration itself. Let me quote: "You're a retard if you think that migration is what people have problems with." I corrected you by pointing out that this is not true, wherein you decided to shift the goalposts and then call me more names. Are you Tulpa? You sure are arguing like him. I never said that there was some huge number of people who bought into this ethnostate idea. That was you shifting the goalposts.

    And then you lecture me about having too expansive of a view of natural rights. Oh wait above you thought the only thing I cared about is racism and that I just repeat whatever Rachel Maddow is saying or whatever. Last I checked, left-wing talking heads generally aren't neo-Lockeans on the subject of natural rights. You don't like being proved wrong and you really don't like having to confront a non-caricature of a real person to have a real discussion with.

    They could simply all move here and vote themselves a communist dictatorship

    The problem with this absurd hypothetical, even if there were any chance that it might happen, is NOT the migration, but the exercise of force that accompanies enforcing any such vote to create any dictatorship, communist or otherwise. Once again, the problem is not the migration itself! It's the consequences that may flow from SOME people making "bad" choices after they migrate, and that alone is not reason enough to restrict migration from ALL.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    But hey, maybe I'm entirely wrong. Prove me wrong, with actual arguments, instead of calling me names. You want border restrictions. Okay fine. What kind of border restrictions? What should be the requirements for simply *migrating* here, independent of naturalization? Who should decide, and why? And how would any of these restrictions be coherent with libertarian ideas of liberty, particularly private property rights and freedom of association?

  • Vernon Depner||

    So, basically your argument is that jumping off a 100 foot cliff is completely harmless; it's only hitting the ground that will harm you.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    This is a poor analogy, because jumping off a cliff only leads to a fall downward due to an immutable law of gravity, and therefore likely negative consequences. Migration across a border is not governed by some immutable law like gravity that *necessarily* leads to likely negative consequences. There is no physical law which dictates that IF a migrant crosses a border, THEN that migrant will necessary "vote for socialism" or "mooch on welfare" or "murder 100 babies" or whathaveyou. Furthermore, unlike the case with gravity, there are two separate choices involved with migration: the decision to cross the border, and then the decision to do whatever it is the migrant is going to do after migrating. When jumping off a cliff, there is no separate subsequent choice of "oh, now I will freely choose to fall downward instead of upward".

    However, many people here seem utterly convinced that it is an absolute certainty, like the law of gravity, that if migrants come here, they will make America worse. I reject that as an a priori assumption. But even if that ended up being true, it would only be due to the choices made AFTER migrating, and not due to the migration itself.

  • Vernon Depner||

    There you go again, completely missing the point by focusing on "A migrant" when the conversation is not about what an individual might do, but rather the effects of receiving a tidal wave of immigration should we open the borders to anyone who wants to come to the US. Yes, the net effect of receiving ONE migrant could be either positive or negative, and we don't know which for sure until after he's here (although, with proper vetting, we could make a good guess). The effects of being stormed by tens or hundreds of millions of immigrants admitted without discrimination are very easy to predict and would be catastrophic for our way of life. Yes, that would follow as inevitably as hitting the ground after jumping off a cliff.

    it would only be due to the choices made AFTER migrating, and not due to the migration itself.

    In other words, dying from jumping off a cliff is not due to the jump, but only to hitting the ground.

    Wide-open immigration would be devastating to our country. It would not make any difference that some portion of the wave of immigrants would make positive life choices. That this is not obvious to you shows an extraordinary lack of imagination. reasoning ability, and lack of knowledge about the world's peoples human relations.

  • ||

    Why don't we just follow the example of the Roman Republic and give the president the authority to become a dictator for a year?

  • Rockabilly||

    Please Trumps don't shut down the internets!!!

    Where will I get my porns!!!

  • Uncle Jay||

    Declaring a national emergency is a great idea!
    You can suspend civil liberties and rights.
    You can declare martial law.
    You can wipe your butt with that evil and burdensome US Constitution.
    You can confiscate guns.
    You can shut down the press.
    You can confiscate private property.
    Think of all the wonderful possibilities

  • Ryan (formally HFTO)||

    Why can't we call the deficit an emergency and stop sending money to shithole countries?

  • Lester224||

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has her own tab on Reason? Wow, mentioning her in a story must get a lot of clicks.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    If she wasn't cute with nice tits she wouldn't matter.

  • Echospinner||

    She is sure getting a lot of attention.

    Some of that is what I think of as the Walking Dead effect. Having killed off so many of the main characters in the show they need to bring in new ones and she fits the bill.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Someday Joe will read the God's Own Prohibitionist platform and learn that the "fence" was what they demanded, and The Don won the audition as the candidate most likely to deliver. He's doing the job they hired him for. Ever since customs agents ambushed Henry Virkula's flivver, killing the man from behind in a hail of buckshot near the border with Godless Canada in Herbert Hoover's 1929, Republicans have adopted this new blood sport. Their exportation of the very prohibitionism that destroyed the economy in 1929, 1933, 1987 and 2008 to impoverished dictatorships has served the same purpose as native beaters frightening animals into the gunsights of pukka Sahib hunters perched on elephants. To Republicans, the fence is a deer blind for shooting at poor brown people, much like the Antifa Wall in Berlin.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    I'm pretty sure his speech tomorrow will be exactly this, to get his wall.

    1. it ends the government shutdown which is causing issues with his core supporters, core rednecks needing their government checks and retirees on social security afraid their checks will be cut.

    2. it gets him his wall and then no one can say shit about it. the only thing the dems can do is tie it up in court.

    All evidence points at "national emergency" to get his pet project started.

  • HenryC||

    You really don't know red necks. Most would die before admitting they need welfare, even as they use it.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Yawn

  • Wise Old Fool||

    getting sleepy

  • CE||

    Well if he's literally worse than Hitler, he'll have to assume permanent absolute power somehow.

  • HenryC||

    There are a bunch of stupid people that do think illegal immigration is a national emergency. I don't but maybe the President does. If he really does, then he would be justified in trying it. Who really knows what goes on in that screwy head.

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