MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

This Border Patrol Agent Resigned After Changing His Mind About Immigration

"They just want a better life. I think most people in their shoes would do the same. And I stopped being able to reconcile that."

Joshua Childress, 37, spent seven years as a U.S. Border Patrol agent out of Arizona's Yuma Station, tracking footprints to catch crossers. He resigned last month after changing his mind about illegal immigration.

Though Border Patrol wouldn't confirm or deny the circumstances leading to Childress' departure, Reason obtained documentation showing that the resignation was filed for "personal" reasons.

Childress says that when he began at Border Patrol, he believed in the agency's mission and thought he could apply useful skills he'd acquired while serving in the military.

"It seemed like something that needed [to be] done," says Childress of his decision to join. "My understanding of the laws at the time was that there were proper ways to get into this country legally, and that the people that were coming across were just shirking those laws."

He says that in one memorable incident, he witnessed lash marks on a man's back. Upon further questioning, the man revealed that the scars resulted from a whipping that a drug trafficker gave him for refusing to carry drugs over the border.

"I didn't feel good about sending that guy back," says Childress. "But there are countless others that don't have a dramatic story like that. They just want a better life. I think most people in their shoes would do the same. And I stopped being able to reconcile that."

What also changed his mind was listening to podcasts while driving around the border 8 to 10 hours a day, specifically a show called Unregistered, hosted by historian and Reason contributor Thaddeus Russell.

He says one particular episode featuring author and sex worker Maggie McNeill made him re-examine his fundamental beliefs.

Watch the video above to find out more about Childress' experiences in the Border Patrol and to hear why he changed his mind about immigration and walked away from the job.

Listen to Russell's podcast interview with Childress.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Paul Detrick and Weissmueller.

"Marimba on the Hunt" by Daniel Birch is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 License: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) Source: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Daniel_Birch/Minimal_Bells_From_The_Deep/Marimba_On_The_Hunt Artist: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Daniel_Birch

Photo Credit: "Immigration activists hold signs against family separation." Joshua Roberts/REUTERS/Newscom

Photo Credit: "Estanislao Perez huge his son." Stringer/REUTERS/Newscom

Photo Credit: "Members of activist group Rise and Resist." Erik McGregor/ZUMA Press/Newscom

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.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And hundreds of Americans changed their minds and joined the Border Patrol. Big whoop.

    The sooner you recognize that American Silent Majority wants our border and immigration laws enforced, the easier it will be on your shit stained pants.

  • DajjaI||

    The sooner you recognize the American 'Silent Majority' is actually very shrill and exhaling its last desperate gasps (thanks for the demonstration) the sooner you will slide back under your rock.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump being elected tips all the evidence to my side.

  • DajjaI||

    Trump being impeached tips all the evidence to my side.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Trump being impeached tips all the evidence to my side."

    Only if the Senate actually votes to remove him from office. A third failed bill of impeachment would be meaningless.

    It should be noted, that even under the best case for the Democrats for this November, the votes to remove Trump won't be there until 2021 at the earliest. Of the 35 (two special elections) Senate seats up for reelection this November, only 9 have Republican incumbents.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Since that has not happened and will not happen: evidence my side.

  • Careless||

    Your imagination is noot evidence

  • snowhawk||

    Another media brainwashed squatter of a lower intelligence. One of those who's family migrated here to take advantage of what the American People had already built. Let's just invite the whole fucking world to live here so that We the Real American People can find a large empty space to start over. Walls first!!!!

  • Wise Old Fool||

    It serves no point to impeach Trump, Pence is waiting in the wings to carry the torch, he just won't be frothing at the mouth on Twitter as he is a calculating politician through and through.

  • Conchfritters||

    I fucking hope not. I would fight to the bitter end to prevent Pence from making it to the Oval Office.

  • Mark22||

    Trump being impeached tips all the evidence to my side.

    How would the removal of a president for partisan political reasons reflect the will of the American people?

  • SwampBoy||

    You sound like a fucking fascist. How about you keep your laws to yourself? shithead.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    YOU are a fascist, dipshit.

    MAGA wins again.

  • SwampBoy||

    I'm not a fascist, I'm not trying to enforce retarded laws based on my retarded prejudices. So kindly FUCK OFF.

    and MAGA aint shit but the Republican's Obama campaign. Except now, it's some "consitution-lover's" turn to get a hard dick off the news. get bent, retard.

  • sarcasmic||

    You'd have better luck discussing particle physics with a goldfish.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Says the goldfish poo.

  • Raspberry243||

    "I'm not a fascist, I'm not trying to enforce retarded laws based on my retarded prejudices. So kindly FUCK OFF."

    At long last, a truly Libertarian comment in the Reason comment section. If there was an upvote button, I would push it....

  • Moo Cow||

    +1

  • loveconstitution1789||

    swampboy troll/sock with the gibberish word salad.

  • snowhawk||

    Graduated third grade yet? Or is it Sixth that the Nation of your citizenship feels you've had enough education?

  • Exsqueezeyou||

    "...enforce retarded laws based on my retarded prejudices."

    Right, just retarded sense of reality.

  • What's the frequency, Kenneth?||

    Your reality is what we live in. It's dogshit.

  • Mark22||

    I'm not trying to enforce retarded laws based on my retarded prejudices.

    No, you want something much worse: you want to enforce unjust laws that violate the rights of Americans because of your greedy, selfish desires.

    I'm not a fascist,

    That's exactly what you are.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    MAGA is the war cry of mental low information voters.

  • ||

    The term 'low information voters' was first used by conservatives (I believe Limbaugh?) to described uninformed progressives. Just like 'snowflakes' were used by sane people described sensitive students on campus crying about micro aggressions.

    Let's keep it real.

    Regardless, I bet you the average MAGA voter is more civil discussing the issues than the average progressive.

  • Fancylad||

    "You sound like a fucking fascist"
    Yeah, remember back in 1942 how all the Jews were trying to sneak illegally into Germany, and the Fascists built a wall to keep them out.

  • What's the frequency, Kenneth?||

    NO, but I remember when the Jews escaped Germany, and were denied entrance into the United States.

  • Mark22||

    Yes, FDR was a racist and a fascist, like progressives generally are. What's your point?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Swampboy, YOU sound like a traitor to MY country.

  • Agammamon||

    Then why don't we just split up - you get to patrol your borders, including the internal ones you'll need to set up, get rid of warrant requirements - because you'll need that to do the block sweeps, get your mandatory Identification.

    And the rest of us can enjoy some freedom.

    Then we can see how it all works out.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    We have that. The USA. Since you hate it: Change the Constitution (which you clearly cannot get the support for), leave and form Anarchy-land or whatever, or complain and be ignored.

  • What's the frequency, Kenneth?||

    The Constitution is toilet paper. Your "decider" was right.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    I hear Somalia is nice this time of year for the anarchists trying to get away from it all.

  • damikesc||

    As has been noted, we have to demand a wall because the Left (and Reason) refuse to permit us to have a border.

  • Fancylad||

    Why are libertarians supposed to be big on sneaking illegally into a country anyway?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They're not. It's the progtards and the anarchists that have a tiny chinee chubby for open borders no matter what.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    The wall is a big fucking waste of money, put up drones, more satellites, and sensors. No wall is going to stop these guys you have to have the whole burder under drone surveillance to have any chance at all, and enough border patrol to reach the illegals within 10 minutes of being spotted.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    The proposed design for the wall will stop almost all of it.

  • MoreFreedom||

    I feel the same way this guy does, but the answer isn't to ignore the law, the answer is to change it.

    Trump is willing to negotiate - apparently he's willing to trade off elimination of the visa lottery and chain migration for more skilled and productive immigrants, and to protect Dreamers. And he's making changes to interpretations whereby those who aren't self-sufficient and use a lot of government welfare get deported which I'm 100% behind (as a libertarian preferring that we eliminate government welfare because it immorally takes from some for the benefit of others). The Democrats, led by sneaky, snarky and obnoxious Schumer, have walked away from the table because they don't want to change the law. Too many in DC seem to like the laws as they are, which facilitate abuse of illegals.

    IMHO, Trump's position on immigration has moderated considerably from his campaign rhetoric, showing some heart. As a libertarian, I'd like to have more productive immigrants immigrating. It's probably the only way the government will keep it's socialist promises on Social Security and Medicare (which I'd also like to see phased out even though I'm very close to retirement).

  • Jeff77042||

    Agreed.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Good. Now do the hundreds of border patrol agents that support their agency's mission.

    I can pay this guy one compliment -- at least he resigned rather than stay on and try to undermine the border patrol from the inside.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    How did a guy with a conscience ever get hired by the Border Patrol?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He didnt get to kill people like he thought, so he quit.

    Mere deportations and enforcing immigration law? I quit!

  • SQRLSY One||

    HOOORAY for Joshua Childress!!!!

    More of us need to develop a rational, pro-freedom mind, and, dare I say it, compassion!

  • I can't even||

    Then what? We compassionately open the borders to "refugees" who elected Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega and we live happily ever after?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Socialists can come over here from foreign nations and ruin our nation, yes! So can native-born Americans!

    Whatever bad things you can say about the illegal humans, you can also say about the native-born.

    The honest statistics have repeatedly shown that the native-born are more actually likely to commit crimes than the natives. Illegal humans have more to fear from breaking laws and being caught, after all.

    To be fair, then, we need to forbid any more making of native-born babies, to make things consistent here!

  • ||

    Illegal humans have more to fear from breaking laws and being caught, after all.

    1. You're arguing that this not be the case.

    2. You don't and can't possibly know any of this for anything remotely approaching a fact. You're pulling factoids out of your ass about unknown unknowns and acting like their irrefutable truth.

  • SQRLSY One||

    And if I pulled endless citations about the illegal humans being less criminal-actions-inclined than the native-borns, you would change your mind about less than diddly squat. I know a fossilized mind when I see one! So I will not waste my time on the likes of you.

  • ||

    Chicago's homicide clearance rate is 18%. Nationwide homicide clearance rate is 59%. 41% of the time someone is killed we don't definitively know who did it, but you're absolutely certain that they weren't an foreign national*.

    *This is not an indictment of immigrants as much as evidence that you don't know fuck all what you're talking about.

  • SQRLSY One||

    OK, so then if I don't know everything, I know nothing. Sampling a "mere" subset of the data is not a valid method of reaching conclusions that we don't like. Gotcha...

  • ||

    OK, so then if I don't know everything, I know nothing.

    This isn't some sophisticated argument. Murder consistently has the highest clearance rate of any crime. The overwhelming majority of crime, violent and property, goes unsolved. You aren't quoting and the data about all crimes, all immigrants, or all natives. What you're quoting is that when a crime happens, it's easier and more productive to arrest a native than it is a foreign national.

    Again, I'm not saying the overwhelming majority of crimes are committed by illegal immigrants. I'm just saying that the narrow margins by which illegal immigrants *sometimes* beat out natives is overwhelmingly eclipsed by the number of times when we have no clue.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Exactly mad.casual One could make the argument that crimes against illegals no causing trouble are never reported since that would involved being exposed as an illegal and potentially getting deported.

  • XM||

    Parts of Latin America has some of the highest murder rate in the world. If you think open borders won't lead to some increase in crime in this country, you're just fooling yourself. Even Obama stopped and deported tons of people near the border. The INS and border patrol can't regulate flow of movement of natives in crime ridden American cities.

    At the top of my head, there are probably way more criminal urban native youth in cities like Chicago than MS13 gangs or non American gangs. That's probably the more accurate comparison of native crime vs. immigrant. Only a fraction of either side commits violent crimes. I could move to the whitest state and that place is probably safer than LA. Conversely Irvine is almost 50% Asian and it's one of the best cities.

    Only fraction of people commit violent crime in any demo. So if only 300 violent criminals snuck across the border (out of thousands who only seek a better life), immigrant crime level would start inching up. In any case, low crime level for immigrants isn't a argument for open borders.

  • SwampBoy||

    No, it's about increasing the total output of the economy and raising the standard of living.

    https://www.cato.org/research/immigration

    Jesus, just read up on the internet.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    No, it's about increasing the total output of the economy and raising the standard of living.

    Yeah, that's working out great in California, which is basically Norteno Mexico now and has one of the worst rates of income disparity in the nation, along with the most progressive politics.

    If you think a bunch of socialist mestizos and indios are natural libertarians, you're even dumber than you seem.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Native-borns have not turned the USA into a Socialist shithole, yet.

    Hence, the immediate need to import socialists who we know allowed Socialism to take over latin shitholes.

  • SwampBoy||

    loveconstitution1789:

    www.cato.org/publications/econ.....mainstream

    FUCK your republican mindset.

  • TLBD||

    It is hard to trust Cato on this, when they are so obviously biased.

    Contemporary immigrants settle predominantly in seven states, California, New York, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Illinois.

    LC is not very tactful, but there is an obvious pattern forming.

  • SwampBoy||

    The Cato Institute, literally with the mission statement of Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace. I understand why you dismiss the studies, slaver.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Cato Institute does not support American sovereignty via secure borders.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its Swampboy! I have a new hater-fan to sniff my butt and cite biased opinion.

  • Mcgoo95||

    You're starting to sound like Hihn. Careful...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    YOU are hihn. Its too late.

  • SwampBoy||

    Did Breitbart news get too boring for you?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    What's Breibart? Is that were you got banned from and decided to troll Reason?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    For a moment I thought it might have been Arty using a sock, but now I don't think it's likely.

  • Mark22||

    www.cato.org/publications/econ.....mainstream

    The Cato publication talks about immigration, not illegal immigration. Even for legal immigration, its reasoning is full of holes and the article is clearly tendentious.

    FUCK your republican mindset.

    Actually, I'm a gay libertarian immigrant.

  • SwampBoy||

    Why are you peddling such an old myth?

    www.cato.org/blog/14-most-comm.....eyre-wrong

    Get bent.

  • ||

    In 2015 in Texas, there were 1,794 convictions against natives per 100,000 natives, 782 convictions of illegal immigrants for every 100,000 illegal immigrants, and only 262 convictions of legal immigrants per 100,000 of them.

    Wow. Sounds like the legal immigration system deters crime or something. Maybe it's just easier to apprehend, try, and convict documented natives than it is to arrest, try, and convict foreign nationals.

  • SwampBoy||

    No, it's just that you're wrong. foh

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hi SwampBoy,

    A hearty "Amen" to you and your posts, and citing CATO, which I support with $$$ from time to time!

    Sad to say, your posting-name-link to http://www.graveyardofthegods.org/ or some such is not working for me...

    Keep on keeping on, in The Good Fight, but... As they say... WHERE do I subscribe to your newsletter?

  • Mark22||

    The fact that you can't figure out in what ways that list of "points" is misleading propaganda is merely a testament to your gullibility and ignorance.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    We live in the world we choose. I, personally, would not choose a world where Europe could decide to deny entry to people based on, say, a voting record European bureaucrats and hoi polloi don't like.

    Be careful what one wishes for. Me today; you tomorrow.

  • Mark22||

    More of us need to develop a rational, pro-freedom mind

    If you think that letting millions of uneducated, low skilled third world migrants results in freedom in the US, you're certainly not rational.

    and, dare I say it, compassion!

    "Let them into the country and let someone else pay for them" is not compassion, it's destructive, self-serving virtue signalling.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Fascinating interview.

    "The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions."

    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    Like your mom's vagina after the trucker rally?

  • Nardz||

    Now that's funny.

    Chipper, you could learn something from this guy

  • Wise Old Fool||

    What a fucking retarded retort. 5th grade level, if that.

  • SIV||

    Dragging used tires down fencelines and then coming back later to check for footprints has to be a pretty boring job.

    I wish every government employee would quit his job.

  • ||

    Dragging used tires down fencelines and then coming back later to check for footprints has to be a pretty boring job.

    Sounds like boredom is the reason he left. /sarc

  • Dillinger||

    patrolling imaginary lines.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    It's expensive, futile, creates jobs, and appeals to both bases endlessly. It is the perfect government program. It may be the closest humanity ever comes to a perpetual motion machine.

  • Dillinger||

    word.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "He says that in one memorable incident, he witnessed lash marks on a man's back. Upon further questioning, the man revealed that the scars resulted from a whipping that a drug trafficker gave him for refusing to carry drugs over the border."

    Open them borders so the drug traffickers can carry their own damn drugs.

  • Cathy L||

    Well, yeah. Free trade in drugs is just as important as free movement of people.

  • ||

    Well, yeah. Free trade in drugs is just as important as free movement of people.

    I'm sure the cartels will just fold up shop and call it a day. You know, the way native organized crime vanished after prohibition ended.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    They Mafia switched to other illegal vices.

    One could make the decent argument that if all vice was not illegal, there would be nothing for organized crime to make money off of. Maybe protection rackets but that doesnt bring in serious dollars like drugs and other black market activities.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Amd it's difficult to shake down some businesses........

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gsz7Gu6agA

  • TxJack 112||

    Although you comment is sarcasm, there is one truth in it. Until this government accepts and acknowledges that the Mexican government is corrupt and in the pocket of the cartels, illegal immigration will never be solved. Mexico is run by elitists who enrich themselves by oppressing the people and protecting the cartels who put millions into their pockets every year.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Fantastic news. Within a few years the progressive / libertarian alliance will succeed in dismantling all border enforcement in this country. But until that happens, the best we can hope for is that people will develop a conscience and refuse to work for these evil agencies.

    #AbolishICE
    #NoBanNoWall
    #OpenBorders

  • DajjaI||

    I agree they just want a good life and I think that's great. My problem with immigration is not about crime, but about the fact that they don't appreciate American values of freedom of speech or religion, etc. In fact they will say things like, "I support free speech 100%, but not hate speech of course." Part of the problem is that the public schools where their kids are educated are run by Marxists. Which of course means we have only ourselves to blame. The end result is that you get people like Ocasio who can run under the radar to get the recent immigrant vote for socialism. And of course they would gladly strip us of gun rights and thereby repeat all the same mistakes of the governments they escaped from. Honestly if a few would go back to their home countries and teach them a few things they learned here I'd feel much better about the whole thing.

  • SwampBoy||

    Everything you brought up are campaigns that were started by Native born citizens.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    And illegals.

  • Benitacanova||

    I changed my mind about auto theft being a crime. Everyone needs wheels. These poor people are just trying to get around.

  • ||

    Enforcing imaginary lines around cars would be costly and ineffective. You'll invariably end up with a police state. Also, all the polls say, and everybody knows, that car thieves maintain vehicles better and are a greater boon for the economy than legitimate owners.

  • damikesc||

    Car thieves are less criminally inclined than natives. Look at the stats. How many car thieves murder people v how many natives murder people?

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    Just wait till an illegal swipes some Reason writer's weed stash. It'll be fucking armageddon up in here.

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    Amen!

  • Juice||

    Damn. I didn't think conservatives were as ignorant as progressives and socialists about the concept of consent, but here we are.

  • TLBD||

    I follow Thadeus Russel on Twitter. He is a post-modernist. Often good for getting you to think, terrible for coming to any reasonable conclusion.

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    Fucking retard quits law enforcement. Film at 11:00.

    Does someone who breaks into your house just want a better life? How about the guy who steals your wallet? Or your car? Does he just want a better life?

    How about the assholes crossing the border with meth? Or the ones engaged in sexual trafficking? They just trying to make ends meet.

    Fuck, this guy is stupid. It's one thing to say that laws could be improved, systems could be streamlined, quotas could be expanded. It's another to just quit enforcing the mediocre laws because Jose wants a better life. Fix your fucking country, Jose. Make it better THERE.

  • Walk_on_Walter||

    Property, too. I mean, what is "ownership" really? Right, Childress? Hoping some "struggling" illegal steals -- uh, I mean, temporarily possesses -- everything this POS owns. And then kills his fucking kids and wife. And then butt fucks him to death.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Engages in the myth that the nation is the collective property of the people. Check!
    Assumes undocumented immigrants are rapists and murderers and sex traffickers and methheads. Check!
    We've got a real winner here!

  • Nardz||

    Nations exist, CJ.
    Grow up

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Therefore, illegals are sex traffickers. Right? And you have some legitimate claim to my private property because we share the same citizenship. Right?

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Hardly, they are breaking the law by crossing the border via illegal means though and need to be deported back to their country post haste.

  • Mark22||

    Therefore, illegals are sex traffickers. Right?

    Most of them are criminals and thieves, simply by virtue of living and working in the US.

    And you have some legitimate claim to my private property because we share the same citizenship. Right?

    You don't really "own" land in the US anymore at all: you have to pay an annual rent to the government to keep it, you can't build on it without government permission, you can't harvest trees from it without government permission, you can't alter the water flow on it without government permission, you can't shelter or feed people on it without government permission. So, yes, Americans have a massive claim on my so-called private property already.

    Of course, none of that matters to you because you don't even own private property.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You will never get anarchists like Chemjeff to admit the USA should even be around.

    They cannot have Anarchy-land if the USA is here.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Narrative, our Little Jeffy will NEVER grow up. Kind of like a retarded Peter Pan.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    We don't assume any of that. I personally assume that 95% of them are probably decent hard working people. However, our system isn't set up to support unlimited individuals so they have to go back and fix their own countries. Sure we can up our allowed in number of immigrants, a mix of merit and lottery is fine. We cannot just let chain immigration happen though, that policy needs to ends. I have no problem with wives, husbands, children. The nuclear family. After that it ends; no fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, siblings, etc; let them put in an application like everyone else to be fair.

  • Mark22||

    Engages in the myth that the nation is the collective property of the people. Check!

    Like it or not, under the Constitution and international law, people have a right to

    (1) return to the nation they are a citizen of
    (2) determine who gets to enter and who to exclude from their nation

  • Brandybuck||

    There are certain jobs where eventually someone has to throw away their morality or quit. And they tend to be government jobs where coercion is in the job description itself. One example is a prison guard. Eventually you have to either quit or succumb to the inherent sadism. Because it's against the rules to treat prisoners are human beings. The modern Border Patrol is another. The new Border Patrol has the official mandate to treat all brown skinned people within a certain distance from the border as potential murderers and rapists.

    Not joking. Reading this story reminds me of prison guards I've talked to who quit the system with their morality intact. I used to be a "tough on crime" libertarian but after talking with these people I've changed my mind. The very act of being a prison guard in the modern prison system is damaging to the soul.

  • al-saulinsky||

    Yeah, you're going to have to prove where the official job description says "treat all brown skinned people within a certain distance from the border as potential murderers and rapists".
    Reading hyperbolic and stupidly shrill comments such as yours makes me weep for the ongoing degradation of reason inherent in education today.

  • Juice||

    "tough on crime" libertarian

    lol

  • SQRLSY One||

    Good for you Brandybuck!!!

    Sad to say, your posting-name-link leads me nowhere...

    As they say, WHERE do I subscribe to your newsletter?

  • Mark22||

    There are certain jobs where eventually someone has to throw away their morality or quit. One example is a prison guard. The very act of being a prison guard in the modern prison system is damaging to the soul.

    Yes, one of the great achievements of civilization is that we managed to put one group of psychopaths (prison guards) in charge of another group of psychopaths (prisoners). Ditto for soldiers and police.

    What problem do you have with that arrangement? Would you rather have the psychopaths work as dentists and teachers?

  • al-saulinsky||

    Well, I certainly have to give him credit for following his convictions; completely illogical, unreasoned and asinine that they may be.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Who brought this to the attention of the press?

  • Ron||

    probably himself so that he can run for office on an open borders ticket

  • Sigivald||

    Will the next argument Reason presents us for totally open borders be just a painting of a sad puppy?

    Because that's about the fscking level of analysis we see here.

  • Mark22||

  • Rockabilly||

    Thanks man, now I can burn my passport and travel wherever I want !!!

  • Juice||

    Reason lets just anyone cross their commenting border and now the comments section is completely overrun by conservative Republicans who ruin it for the people who were there before them. This might sound racist, but those types can never appreciate libertarian culture and must be kept out.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Indeed. Those people must have their liberties taken away because their liberty to come here and infect this place with their filth drags down my quality of life. Besides, I have a registered account here. I have some degree of collective ownership rights to decide who should comment here and who shouldn't. And it's high time that my ownership rights over these forums were protected and see those deplorable Republicans kept out.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Little Jeffy, such an idiot.

  • Qsl||

    It does raise an interesting point about the boundaries of freedom though. Like could I have a (voluntary) socialist collective and be a libertatarian in good standing? Suppose a member of the collective died and their spot was inherited by some Randian going on about "muh rights"; should the collective be disbanded just to accommodate this one person? It is an imposition either way.

    Essentially, is it "libertarian" to stop change? Tyranny of the majority aside, if the mainstay of the nation wants universal healthcare or stringent enforcement of the borders, short of moving, exactly how much accommodation should the society have?

    Freedom means nothing without the freedom of contradiction.

  • Exsqueezeyou||

    "... but those types can never appreciate libertarian culture and must be kept out."

    Borders for thee, not for me. Got it. You are outta juice.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    Nope, I'm 90% for traditional Libertarian values, free trade, free markets, no tarriffs, low or no taxes (but enough to balance a budget for limited government), constitutional originalist, individual rights, legalization. However, we don't live in that environment and have to be pragmatic. Our welfare system as it exists cannot support unlimited numbers of immigrants who don't pay taxes back into that system. Hence we need a closed border and improved merit based immigration. Until there is no welfare system, we cannot afford open borders, it's a simple numbers game.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    And fuckoff I buy the paper magazine every year to support the Reason bottom line. Do you?

  • ddavel||

    Enjoy that unemployment, dummy!

  • Frank Thorn||

    "There's always barber college" :Dalton

  • k2000k||

    Libertarians who are for open borders are being terribly short sighted as the influx of those illegals, who eventually, either themselves or their posterity, will vote and they overwhelmingly vote for policies that go against the aims of achieving a libertarian society. How is this so hard for others to grok?

    No one disputes that the exodus of Californians from their blue hell hole has turned red states like Colorado purple and mildly blue states like Washington midnight blue. California itself was once a red state but look what happened after the amnesty act of 1986? California is now essentially lost to a being a republican managed government, much less a libertarian one, for generations to come. The nation at large will be no different.

    Libertarians, we are our own worst enemy.

  • SwampBoy||

    Dude, this is like the oldest statist argument for increased border enforcement you can bring up.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Old and still good Swampy. Gotta put an end to progressivism. So keeping out future democrat voters who skulk in here illegally is the right thing to do.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Those are mostly anarchists advocating for open borders that hide here among Libertarians.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Don't be ridiculous. I support open borders and I'm not an "anarchist" — I absolutely want government to exist and provide essential services, like roads and schools and Planned Parenthood funding.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    The welfare state is going no where anytime soon so we can't afford unlimited illegal immigrants coming here for that, so border control needs to stay intact.

  • TxJack 112||

    You support open borders? I have to ask, how far from either border do you live? Do you live in a state that is forced to pay for all these people illegally entering the US? Does you city struggle with building schools because everyone that is built is filled to capacity within a year? Do you hospitals carry millions in unpaid bills for services rendered who are here illegally but hospitals are required to treat anyway so they use ERs like clinics? The concept sounds great unless you live in a state where the reality of the issue is clear and the outcomes much different.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    OBL is a parody acccount.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    You talk about California being dominated by Democrats like it's a bad thing?

    We libertarians should hope the entire country becomes effectively a one-party state like California is now. The Democratic Party is great on the issues we care most about (immigration, abortion), and has the advantage of not being taken over by Russian intelligence assets.

    #BlueWave

  • TxJack 112||

    You are not a Libertarian, you are a Democrat. California is a mess for one reason, the denial of rights. Democrats in California have stripped away many rights of individuals and businesses in deference to those of the state. That is not Libertarian in any sense of the world. Libertarians believe in a government that adheres to the Constitution , laws passed by Congress with deference given to the states. Congress established laws that control immigration therefore, they should be followed, Democrats seek Single payer healthcare, restrictions/banning of guns, limitations on speech none of which is "Libertarian" in any manner.

  • M.L.||

    I was going to stop the guy breaking and entering my house but then I realized he just wanted a better life i.e. to get some free stuff illegally.

    Hey, here's an idea -- maybe we could encourage people to improve their own countries? Instead of the ludicrous fantasy that the answer is just to have millions of them come here? That will only worsen both countries. Get real.

  • Brian||

    TREASON!

  • posmoo||

    "They just want a better life."

    so do bank robbers, welfare fraudsters, ponzi scheme operators, etc.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    That serial rapist? He just wants to get laid! Nothin' wrong there.

  • Longtobefree||

    One opinion.
    Not a real story, is it?
    Oh, wait. The pay is per click. I forgot.

  • MaxBlancke||

    Most of us have empathy for people who are suffering. But there are hundreds of millions of them. It just is not possible to apply the blanket solution of "move them to the US" to everyone.
    And not everyone crossing the border wants to embrace American values, or even "seek a better life". Some people cross only because we present softer and more desirable targets.
    A close friend of mine in college was abducted, raped, murdered, and dumped in a marsh by someone who had been crossing the border for that reason repeatedly. Is it immoral to stop that guy?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Instead of moving here, maybe they could try and make their own country more like the US.

  • Presskh||

    Open borders and a generous welfare system are a sure-fire recipe for bankruptcy. I'm sorry for these people but the US cannot take in everyone having problems in their own country. We have no legal or moral obligation to take in any person from any other country.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    You really need to educate yourself on the fundamental principles of libertarianism. I recommend starting with the Shikha Dalmia article linked in my username.

  • Presskh||

    I'm familiar with these principles - I just think some of them are not practical in the real world we live in. If two countries are roughly equivalent in living standards, such as the US and Canada, then open borders could possibly work. If not, there will always be a great migration from the poorer country. While many do, indeed, move for work, many also come to take advantage of government services. I think the US should be more selective about who enters our country, just like most other countries (including Mexico) do.

  • Wise Old Fool||

    I agree. Some traditional Libertarians just want anarchy and survival of the fittest evidently. They think that people are good at heart and will just trade fairly. They've never met a hard core psychopath who will shoot you and take what he wants.

  • rano del||

    I really like this. I've always been restless, looking for something amazing and that would take me out of this mundane world. Always looking for the people to whom I belong. I'm always moving to somewhere else…….

    paket pulau tidung
    harga ke pulau tidung
    camping ke pulau tidung
    travel pulau tidung

  • Wise Old Fool||

    This is one place i part ways with traditional Libertarians. Go look at what is happening in Europe with uncontrolled immigration. I do believe that we should expand legal immigration, but that doesn't mean I believe in an open border where anyone can just come and go. There is something in between what Republicans want (0 immigration) and what Democrats want (completely open immigration and welfare checks for all) . Individuals can be smarter than that. We can have merit based immigration and expanded numbers quite easily.

  • Mark22||

    This is one place i part ways with traditional Libertarians.

    Traditional libertarians are not for open borders.

  • TxJack 112||

    No one argues that many who come her just want a better life. Mexico is the most corrupt government in the western hemisphere. The government is in bed with the cartels and in the past 10 years, over 50,000 people have been murdered by the drug cartels. When your choice is to remain in Mexico and face being killed by the cartels for any reason every day, the US looks very appealing. The issue is not wanting a better life, the issue is people ignoring the law, crossing illegally and then demanding special treatment for doing it. Ours system is based on being fair. How exactly is it fair to all those who apply for legal resident status, follow all the rules, pay all the fees that people who have done none of this are given special treatment and status just because they are already here? What I find ironic, is Democrat who are obsessed with "fairness" and equality totally abandon that concept when the issue is this one. Why? Because they see these people as potential Democrat voters to replace the blue collar workers they have abandoned because they refuse to embrace socialism.

  • vek||

    Jeebus. This guy is certainly no intellectual giant, but he clearly just got a bad case of the feelz.

    Here's the thing: It's not personal. I am fully aware that most low skill immigrants just want to come here so they can make more money, drive fancier cars, buy iPads for their kids, etc. I can't blame them. And frankly a single family coming here doing that is a non issue. The problem is that if you stack up 10 million +++ people, all of a sudden it starts to have real effects. That's just illegals. Add in the low skilled legal immigrants and it's a shit ton higher than that.

    If we had taken in 10 million PHDs from all over the world instead of 10 million mostly low skilled illegal Mexicans, do you know what a MASSIVE difference in outcomes we would have had? Every $10K a year income differential is 100 billion in annual GDP. Skilled professionals make something like $40-50K a year more than low skilled labor jobs easily. So maybe $500 BILLION a year in GDP difference, just by changing what type of immigrants we let in. Throw in the low skilled legal immigrants, and what, maybe a trillion a year GDP difference? That's NOT small potatoes.

    I grew up in California, AND am part Mexican on my moms side! The fact is I watched entire cities go to shit as a lot of low skilled, low income, don't speak-ey the English people moved in. IT WAS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT.

  • vek||

    Allowing in low skilled laborers from countries with even weaker educational standards than we have in the US is a horrible idea. It's basically a policy akin to importing only people from trailer parks and ghettos, and we know how functional THOSE communities are in the US. We view those communities as problems to be solved in the native population, yet we should scramble to import millions more that fall into that same category??? Not knocking trailer parks or ghettos too bad, but those people are mostly not high achievers.

    That's just the poverty of it, not to mention the tax burdens. All my classes in school were overfilled, with a lot of kids who didn't speak English and needed extra services, and not a one of their parents made enough money to pay enough taxes to cover that burden. I was friends with some of them of course, because they were nice people... Again a single case doesn't matter, but 10 million starts to add up.

    Then there is their bad voting habits for the anchor babies that end up being able to vote, Hispanic crime rates being the 2nd highest after black Americans, racial tensions it all stirs up (much of which is coming from THEIR end), and a lot of other shit. It's just a pain in the ass, and a train wreck. WHY should Americans tolerate the annoyance of it all? The practical downsides? It's just not worth it.

  • vek||

    So just as illegals want to break the law to provide a better life for their family, is it not right for native born Americans to want to provide a better life for THEIR family? Why is improving the lives of foreigners more important than maintaining a better life for native born people?

    The NAP can go fuck itself on this one. There is simply no MORAL obligation for me to slit my own throat, and the throat of future generations of Americans, for the benefit of foreigners. And nobody will ever convince me otherwise. This is ESPECIALLY the case because of all our socialized costs. In practice it amounts to FORCED altruism on the part of every native born American who is a net positive tax contributor already. Fuck that.

    High skilled immigration is the only way to fly. There is going to be less and less low/no skill work to do as the 21st century wears on. We aren't even employing many millions of low skill people NOW, let alone after decades more automation comes into play. So unless we want to turn the country into a total pyramid shaped income distribution, or at best hour glass shaped, and have every upper middle class person having 4 servants like in the good ol' days in Europe, it's just a dumb shit idea to bring in hordes of uneducated people.

    As a practical matter we should be forcing native born slackers off of welfare, and getting the labor force participation rate back up before we even consider continuing to flood the unskilled labor market even more.

  • vek||

    I'm no commie, but I would prefer to live in a nation that doesn't have EXTREME poverty, where I don't HAVE to live in a gated community, where there aren't shanty towns in every major city, etc. THAT is the best case scenario for true open borders, and the sooner open border advocates can wrap their head around that reality the better... Because I think many delude themselves into thinking that outcome is not the obvious conclusion to truly opening the borders.

    The ONLY thing keeping up living standards in the 1st world nations are all the restrictions on the flow of labor, especially since we've opened up the flow of goods. If there were no restrictions, the world would equalize out... Which would be good for MOST of the world... And horrible for 1st world countries. This is an obvious outcome, I don't know why some people deny it so hard.

    IMO it is no surprise that the period of lowest income disparity, greatest social harmony and cohesion, and some of our greatest achievements all came about during the period where the USA had the lowest immigration ever. Everybody had got here, settled in, and assimilated into the culture. There wasn't ethnic tension, social issues, etc caused by mass immigration as had happened earlier with even different varieties of whites. The labor market wasn't flooded. It was a good time for all. I think we CAN integrate most of the folks here now, IF we stop endlessly flooding in more.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I'm no commie, but I would prefer to live in a nation that doesn't have EXTREME poverty, where I don't HAVE to live in a gated community, where there aren't shanty towns in every major city, etc. THAT is the best case scenario for true open borders, and the sooner open border advocates can wrap their head around that reality the better...

    That's already happening in much of California, which is increasingly starting to resemble the same socially and economically stratified shitholes that these Central Americans migrated from.

    Simply repealing Hart-Cellar would be good first step to resolving some of this, but realistically it's probably too late anyway. Most white-bread libertarians (and most progressives, for that matter) don't actually live near barrios and don't send their kids to majority-minority schools. For them, mass immigration is just an abstract event that provides them with more places to go out to eat. They're too autistic to fathom what happens when a community is flooded over time with low-skill, low-income immigrants who are barely literate in their native language, never mind English, and their kids become indoctrinated in radical left-wing school curriculums that emphasize how oppressive the country they migrated to really is, while encouraging them to retain their own ethnocentric prejudices.

  • vek||

    Big fat YUP on all that.

    If we switched to a better immigration policy, strictly high skilled and perhaps slightly lower than total levels now, it would STILL be a rough time while everything settled down. It would likely take decades. And some damage that has already been done is probably permanent. The racial tensions will probably never go away, but perhaps might lessen as people become more Americanized.

    But it'd be better than doubling down on a failed policy. I still say the best way to save the original ideals of America, and give the commies what they want too, is to split the country in at least two parts. Give the commies California, Oregon, and Washington up to Seattle. Save northern Washington for the USA so we can build a west coast port. All the commies in the rest of the US can move there, and the conservatives/libertarians in those areas could bail to the original US. After self sorting both would be getting a LOT more of what they want.

    I suspect the commie portion would collapse before too long, but the rest of the country would be doing awesome.

  • Presskh||

    Great posts, Vek!

  • ||

    This highly paid US "worker" sucks our tax money and thinks its OK for these people to illegally enter the USA.
    We the USA has always accepted immigrate willing to work and not become welfare slave like the lost "African-American=?Slaves?"
    We have these illegals entering and end up pay 16,000 to 80,000 dollars a year in welfare cost.
    Who pays these cost. the working American, not the illegal bums.

    Send them back to their own country

  • Jeff77042||

    There might be ~5-billion people in the world who would like a better life in America. How many of them do we need? Because it should be based on our needs, not what they want. America hasn't needed a large pool of unskilled labor that doesn't speak English since 1929. If Kathryn Steinle or Mollie Tibbetts had been Joshua Childress' daughter I suspect he'd be singing a different tune.

    Victims of illegal aliens: http://www.ojjpac.org/memorial.asp

  • Presskh||

    Totally agree, Jeff.

  • Jeff77042||

    Thank you. The immigration debate is usually expressed in terms of what the two parties want and the economic impact, pro & con. What's missing from the debate is what do the American *people* want and how many people can America support at the traditional American lifestyle. If China and India can each support upwards of a billion people then the argument can be made that America can too---but at what standard-of-living? An America with 200,000,000 at the current lifestyle and another 800,000,000 living in shanties and on three bowls of beans-and-rice a day--exaggeration for effect--would be a dystopia.

    Some years ago I read an article the thesis of which was that *long* *term* America can support ~200,000,000 people at the traditional American lifestyle. Among the stats, facts and figures the author cited was that for each net-increase of one person an average of one acre of arable land is paved over. How true any of it was/is I don't know but I think the question of how many people America is able to support long term should be included in the debate.

  • vek||

    Yup. Every person crowds out the country. While we have lots of so so land to cram people into, the good spots are already horribly overcrowded. LA wasn't a shit hole when 1/4 the number of people lived there. It wasn't nearly as expensive either. I know a school teacher who bought his home in the Pacific Palisades on his teachers salary in the 60s. That is now a multi million dollar home, because the area is so gorgeous. Cramming people in there is what did that to the prices, amongst other things.

    Any which way there is no doubt that the more people we have, the more strain it puts on everything, and the lower the quality of life will end up. What you want is high per capita income, not a higher GDP overall.

  • Jeff77042||

    Vek, thank you for commenting. Agreed, new arrivals don't head to the mostly empty desert & mountain states, they head to the already crowded areas.

    I would add that societies that are homogeneous tend to be harmonious and have high levels of social trust & cohesion. Examples include Japan and the Scandinavian countries. (Less and less true of Sweden with each passing day). Societies that are heterogeneous, i.e. diverse, tend to be chaotic and have low levels of social trust & cohesion. Examples include the Balkans at different times in history, Rwanda in 1994, Darfur in the 2000s, much of the Middle East and parts of Africa today and increasingly the U.K., the U.S. and parts of Europe.

  • vek||

    Yup on all fronts. Unfortunately the 1965 immigration act basically did America in already. Barring splitting the country up, which I am actually in favor of, or tons of people leaving... We're doomed to be non cohesive forever. Thankfully Europe is still European enough to change their policies in the next few years and save themselves the nightmare the USA is stuck with.

  • John Rohan||

    "He says that in one memorable incident, he witnessed lash marks on a man's back. Upon further questioning, the man revealed that the scars resulted from a whipping that a drug trafficker gave him for refusing to carry drugs over the border"

    So.... the solution is to open the borders and let more guys like those drug traffickers come here?

  • JonFrum||

    I'd have a better life if I were able to take your stuff. And have sex with the models of my choice. I do neither - at least in part because, you know, it's illegal. No, you can't squat in my house because it would allow you a better life. I may invite you in, but I owe you nothing.

  • RCCA||

    What a waste of time! In the name of curiosity and open-mindedness I listened.

    The guy is a moron. OK that he didn't want to do that job, but his reasons for quiting and his lack of understanding of the impact of illegal immigration were stunning. The Border Patrol is better off without him, as well as is the American people's security. Thank you for removing yourself.

  • Thor||

    What a pansy!

  • D.E. Plorable||

    I'm waiting for the article where the other 62,459 customs and border patrol agents didn't resign.

  • R. K. Phillips||

    There is a difference between "open immigration", where all non-criminals can enter, and "open borders", which is what happens due to our limited immigration.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

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