A Simple Way for Biden to Begin to Mend Fences with Cuban-Americans—and Right an Injustice at the Same Time

Biden's underperformance among Cuban-American voters likely cost Democrats Florida. He can begin to heal the breach by reversing the Obama administration's cruel policy (continued by Trump) of barring most Cuban refugees.


Refugees fleeing Cuba by boat. 1994.


At this point, it is clear that Joe Biden will almost certainly be the next president of the United States. While I have many reservations about both him and the Democratic Party more generally, on balance I certainly prefer his victory to a second term for Trump. But it is also clear that Biden's victory was a much closer call than expected. One of the biggest reasons for that was his defeat in the key swing state of Florida, which—analysts believe—was  in large part caused by his underperformance with Cuban-American voters, many of whom were spooked by the perception that Democrats are "socialists" and sympathetic to Fidel Castro's dictatorship, which those Cubans (or, in many cases, their parents or grandparents) fled.

Political predictions are always chancy. But I think it's fairly safe to assume that Florida—with its 29 electoral votes—will continue to be an important swing state in presidential and congressional elections for some time to come. And Cuban-Americans will continue to be an important constituency in that state. Thus, it is in the Democrats' interest to try to heal the breach with the Cuban-American community.

And there is a way that soon-to-be President Biden can begin to do so, while simultaneously undoing a grave injustice—and without sacrificing any principles important to liberals. He can do so by undoing President Obama's cruel January 2017 policy reversal on Cuban refugees. I described the issue in a 2017 post written soon after this decision, which was one of the last Obama implemented before leaving office:

For some fifty years, the US has had a policy of welcoming refugees fleeing the brutal communist dictatorship in Cuba. In the 1990s, the policy was changed to "wetfoot, dryfoot," under which Cubans who succeeded in reaching the United States would be allowed to stay, but those unfortunate enough to be caught at sea were barred. On Thursday, President Obama ended the wetfoot, dryfoot policy and made Cuban refugees "subject to removal," like undocumented migrants from other countries. They might still gain official refugee or asylum status and be allowed to stay by proving that they have been personally targeted by the government on the basis of their political speech, religion or some other characteristics. But that is extremely difficult in most cases. For most Cubans, like other victims of communist governments, the main injustice they suffer is the everyday oppression meted out to all the regime's subjects.

There is absolutely no justification for Obama's new policy. It is gratuitously cruel towards Cuban refugees, without creating any meaningful benefits. Despite some modest economic reforms, Cuba remains a repressive communist dictatorship whose people suffer massive oppression and poverty brought on by over fifty years of totalitarianism. Indeed, repression of dissent has actually increased since President Obama began to normalize relations with Cuba in December 2014.

If anything, the United States would have done better to end the "wetfoot" portion of the policy and stop turning back Cuban refugees who have the misfortune to be caught at sea. Where a refugee happens to be found by US authorities is a morally arbitrary characteristic that in no way changes their status as victims of brutal tyranny.

The main victims of Obama's new policy will be Cubans denied the chance to seek freedom and opportunity. But native-born Americans will lose out as well. The hundreds of thousands of Cuban refugees who came to the US fleeing communism have made major contributions to our economy and society. As President Obama himself said just a few months ago: "In the United States, we have a clear monument to what the Cuban people can build: it's called Miami."

President Obama and the US government are not responsible for the oppression that Cuban refugees are fleeing. But they are responsible for using force to compel refugees to return to a nation where further oppression is likely to be their lot. Such action makes the US government partially complicit in the injustice perpetrated by the Cuban regime.

Despite its rhetorical hostility to the Cuban regime and communism generally, the Trump administration has perpetuated the new Obama policy, probably because of Trump's own hostility to immigration of almost every kind. If Biden were to reverse the Obama policy, and do so in a highly visible way, he could draw a contrast with Trump, begin to make amends with Cubans, and also send a strong signal that the Democrats are not a bunch of socialists eager to serve the interests of the Cuban  communist dictatorship. And, as noted above, doing so would both benefit the US economy and society, and help save thousands of people from poverty and oppression. He could send a still stronger signal—and do still more good—by eliminating the "wetfoot/dryfoot" distinction and extending refuge to all Cuban migrants, regardless of whether Us authorities find them on land or at sea.

The principal justification for  the Obama policy is the idea that it is unfair to give Cuban refugees more favorable treatment than those fleeing other oppressive regimes. I address that partly legitimate concern in my 2017 piece:

The main rationale for the policy change is that it is unfair to treat Cuban refugees differently from those fleeing other oppressive governments. As President Obama put it, we should treat them "the same way we treat migrants from other countries." Ideally, we should welcome all who flee oppression, regardless of whether their oppressors are regimes of the left or the right, or radical Islamists.

But the right way to remedy this inequality is not to treat Cuban refugees worse, but to treat other refugees better. And if the latter is not politically feasible, we should at least refrain from exacerbating the evil by facilitating the oppression of Cubans. It is better to protect Cuban refugees from the risk of deportation than none at all.


If a police force disproportionately abuses blacks, it would be unjust to "fix" the inequality by inflicting similar abuse on whites or Asians. Inflicting abuse on other groups is both unjust in itself and unlikely to help blacks. Similarly, the injustice inflicted on refugees from other oppressive regimes cannot and should not be corrected by imposing similar injustices on Cubans.

In a world where it is not politically feasible to let in all refugees, beginning with those fleeing Cuba is defensible because that regime is the most oppressive of any within a close distance of the US. I elaborate on the relevance of that kind of consideration in greater detail in Chapter 8 of my recent book Free to Move: Foot Voting, Migration, and Political Freedom. And reopening the door to Cubans would not actually have the effect of excluding anyone else who can get in under current law.

I would add that any perception of favoritism can be mitigated by the fact that Biden also plans to take action to make immigration easier for a variety of other groups, including refugees fleeing various types of right-wing dictatorships. That's one of the main reasons why I voted for him!

There are other things Democrats could potentially do to improve their standing with Cuban-Americans, and others who have fled socialist despotisms, such as Venezuelan immigrants. For example, they could take a tougher foreign policy line against these regimes, and marginalize the "democratic socialist" wing of their own party. But those steps (which I also favor) might be politically difficult, and potentially cause conflict within the Democratic Party. Opening the door to Cuban refugees is unlikely to cause Biden any such political trouble.

By advocating this idea,  I realize I have become the umpteenth person to say that something they favor anyway is politically advantageous.  For what it is worth, I am well aware that I advocate many unpopular views, including on immigration issues. A candidate or party that espoused everything I support would be highly unlikely to win any elections, at least for a long time to come. In this case, however, the expedient and the just actually overlap.

UPDATE: I have made a few minor additions to this post.

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  1. ” Biden’s underperformance among Cuban-American voters likely cost Democrats Florida. ”

    We didn’t need Florida. We could have lost Florida twice and Trump likely would still be Pres.-eject, watching Joe Biden move into the presidency. And the best way to handle Florida Republicans is to watch them die off and be replaced by better Americans in that electorate.

    Texas, not Florida, is most likely to be primary target next time

    I hope Pres. Biden considers Prof. Somin’s points about immigration.

    1. Pretend lawyer and fake reverend said “Texas, not Florida, is most likely to be primary target next time around”

      They are both targets, except Republicans will run a conservative Latino and you can say goodbye to winning.

      1. Enjoying the election returns, bigot?

        I am.

        1. Please bathe. You smell of death and catpiss.

        2. I like that all the dead votes were for Biden. Perhaps, they thought he was half dead.

    2. I hope you get a tumor.

      1. Of course you do. You’re a bigoted Volokh Conspiracy fan.

        1. Reducing your external bacterial population would contribute toward reducing your stench, although I do understand that as you have ‘personal issues’ with anything resembling soap, this is a faint hope for those around you. Be better.

    3. Right, you didn’t need Florida. Course, I guarantee you don’t have Michigan anymore till there’s a hand recount given the latest ‘software glitch’ that shifted 6000 votes from Trump to Biden. Georgia is going to a forced recount. There’s a video out there of a PA poll worker filling out ballots after marking them valid. Arizona is gonna be a squeaker and will probably get a hand recount. Wisconsin is getting a recount. You don’t have anything yet, so I’d be shutting my trap were I you.

      1. Biden waxed Trump by roughly 140,000 votes in Michigan. Good luck with that in the reality-based world, such as the court that threw the Republicans out already.

        Georgia should be recounted. But 4,000 and counting means that recount is unlikely to change the result.

        Trump is going to lose Pennsylvania by 50,000 to 70,000 votes. I doubt praying on that is going to do the clingers any good.

        Wisconsin? 20,000 votes. Recounts in that range are for desperate and delusional losers.

        Come back when you have some evidence, clinger. Or maybe try to work on your character and ditch the bigotry.

        1. All 140,000 votes found in a single 4am tranche that went 100% for Sleepy Joe and had no down ballot votes.


          1. You should be part of the Trump campaign’s legal team.

            Trump 2020 Litigation — just as successful as Trump Casinos, Trump Steaks, Trump Shuttle, Trump Foundation, and Trump University!

            1. You’re as delusional as Dementia Joe or Crazy Nancy. Senile old childsniffer and drunk Nan’ were out there claiming some sort of mandate last night when his lead is only generated by thousands of dead people votes (as been verified in MI and PA) or illegally cast out of state votes (as been verified in NV and WI) and she still might lose her majority in the House.

              1. I’m too busy enjoying wiping my political shoes on your bigoted tongue to care much about what you are whining about, clinger.

                Open wider, loser.

                1. How’d that Blue Wave go?

                2. Perhaps a walk through a car wash with your clothes on would help, but let the brushes bite deep to make sure that at least the top layer of filth would be removed. Please, please bathe!

              2. You’re deranged.

              3. “You’re as delusional as Dementia Joe or Crazy Nancy.”

                Says the guy who sees the conspiracy to steal Trump’s election victory.

  2. I think he should do it whether it’s politically advantageous or not. He should also rescind Trump’s restrictions on remittances and travel to Cuba.

    These both make conditions on the island worse and give the Cuban government a scapegoat.

    1. I disagree. Puerto Rico has an underperforming tourist sector and opening up Cuba would harm Puerto Rico…and I say that as someone who has always supported opening up Cuba. Here is what I would demand from Cuba—democratic elections AND returning all of the companies and property to the capitalists forced to flee the country.

      1. Good. Set Puerto Rico free, repeal the 1917 law that gave them citizenship, and send all of the people who are of Puerto Rican descent back.

        1. It wouldn’t be the Volokh Conspiracy without the racists and xenophobes.

          Does this blog generate bigots or merely attract them?

          1. Halitosis too! Is it a coprophagic hobby that generates the miasma that clings to each odious appearance inflicted on an innocent population? Egads!

      2. So should we ban travel to all non-US Caribbean islands?

        1. No, there is just no reason to change the status quo in light of Puerto Rico needing help. So Caribbean tourism is very much a zero sum game and I just prefer to see the Bahamas (which was hit very hard by a hurricane) and PR get investment and US tourist dollars. Now if Cuba goes big with democracy and returning stolen businesses then we should open them up, but otherwise I prefer the Bahamas and PR to get tourist dollars.

          1. Caribbean Tourism is not a zero-sum game. There are other places to go.

            If we want to help Puerto Rico there are plenty of ways to do it without inflicting more misery on Cubans and restricting Americans’ rights to travel as they please.

            1. Caribbean tourism is all about the “new new”—an island gets investment and becomes hot for a few years and then another island gets investment and hot. Cuba had its hot moment in the 1950s and squandered it.

              1. Betting on tourism in 2021 seems like a poor investment. Sure, a lot of people would love to go somewhere, anywhere… but will the airlines be alive to take them there? All those 737’s are still grounded, and packing people shoulder-to-shoulder and nose to nose isn’t going to be tolerated in a post-pandemic world. The airline industry is due for some changes.

  3. First we need to make absolutely certain this election was legitimate and not stolen. There can be no effective government with such shadows lingering over the beginning of this presidency without doing so. We should all unite behind this movement. It is time we show our strengths and have an American Moment, No a Partisan Moment behind the push to make sure our elections are sacred.

    1. No shadows, Jimmy.

      1. Yes there are way too many. We cannot have almost half the electorate denied their right to a fair election just because the other half “likes” the result. If there was anything untoward going on then it must be brought to light or an intense investigation should come out with the finding there was no fraud. Of course, this will probably take several years to achieve, but we did it with Russia so there is precedent.

        And I have to remind everyone again, this is not a partisan moment, but an American moment. We have the chance to unite everyone behind this drive to ensure legitimate, free election which are the backbone of our democracy.

        1. If we had legitimate elections, the Democrats would never win again.

          They are immoral cheaters and always have been.

          1. If you have evidence of cheating, take it to the Conspirators. They are dutiful Republican mouthpieces.

            1. There are atleast two USPS workers on the record being ordered to backdate late ballots.

        2. And don’t waste your breath appealing to their sense of patriotism.

          They hate this country as much as they hate our freedom. They believe when humans are free that they make the wrong decisions and that humans in government should control the rest of the humans so wrong decisions aren’t made.

    2. “First we need to make absolutely certain this election was legitimate and not stolen.”

      Team Trump tried their best to steal it, but as it turns out, their best just isn’t very good. Your boy lost by over 4,000,000 votes (are we going to float the theory that all those votes came from illegal immigrants, like we claimed in 2016? fine. He lost by 3,000,000 back then, so he let 1,000,000 illegal immigrants in on his watch if we want to stick with this story.)

      1. Ah, the Rubber vs. Glue gambit! There is no means of piercing this defense, give up clingers.

  4. You are a one trick pony, and a coward at that.

    1. Funny, I’d have said that about you.

  5. Jonah Goldberg, in yesterday’s podcast, said Trump should give all the Cuban and Venezuelan refugees a path to citizenship, almost as a reward for the way they vote.

    1. How does he know which way they vote if they haven’t yet got citizenship?

      1. According to the Democrat’s Spectrum of Responsibilty, they are distinctly purple. Thus, as a semi-treasonous identity group they must be punished. It’s the only way forward for the cause of Truth and Reconcilation.

  6. Actually based on all of the Latino votes it appears that Latinos are somewhat supportive of Trump’s border/immigration policies. So not only did AOC’s irresponsible rhetoric cost Democrats in South Florida but it also appears to have cost Democrats with Latinos in Texas and other regions. Biden would be wise to continue Trump’s border/immigration policies obviously without creating orphans…and the “wall” is also obviously asinine.

    1. Right after the election dust settles, Biden should declare himself in favor of immediate naturalization, by congressional decree, for all the dreamers. The House should pass a bill to do it. Then let’s see the Senate block it, just before the Georgia senatorial runoffs.

      1. “Dreamers,” not “dreamers.”

        1. 70% of Americans probably support making Dreamers citizens…which once again shows McConnell and other Republicans have been the problem all along and not Trump.

        2. Illegals not “Dreamers”.

      2. Cool. Maybe we will hear reports of more screaming between prominent House Democrats on conference calls about suicidal policy positions.

  7. I’m all in favor of treating Cuban immigrants fairly and having a generous asylum policy, but there’s a big problem with giving them special treatment and pretending that anyone who arrives here from a country with a left-wing government is a victim of persecution.

    We had a stupid Cuba policy for 50 years. Obama tried to make it slightly more sane. It may have cost the Democrats some votes in Florida, but it was still the right thing to do.

    1. Do you remember 2 Live Crew?? The main guy in that group is now a respectable member of South Florida society (that might be an oxymoron) and is an advocate for Haitian refugees on those very grounds.

      1. Haitian refuges from what? A poorly run country? That’s not a valid reason for asylum.

    2. there’s a big problem with giving them special treatment and pretending that anyone who arrives here from a country with a left-wing government is a victim of persecution.

      There are two solutions to the problem.

  8. Nothing against Cubans but why are they any more entitled to asylum than people fleeing bad conditions in, say, Guatemala or El Salvador? Yes, conditions are miserable in Cuba, as they are in much of the third world. Other than the politics of it, why is Cuba a special case?

    1. Iirc, the simple answer is Cubans in America successfully lobbied to get a law passed that gave Cuban asylum seekers citizenship after 1 year living in America. I assume under Reagan and HW Bush Cubans that made it to America illegally were simply not treated as illegal immigrants and then Clinton issued an executive order that made it official that Cubans that made it to American soil would be given legal status in America and then citizenship after a year while Cubans caught at sea would be shipped back to Cuba…and that is the climate that Elian Gonzales happened in with Republicans and Democrats both doing a “180” from 2000 to 2020.

      So Kamala Harris made a remark in the Democratic primary that a child whose parent died irresponsibly trying to get to America then the child should get citizenship for the parent’s sacrifice. In 2000 Republicans like ACB believed Elian’s mother was correct to kidnap him and once in America Elian’s father had no parental rights to his child and Elian should remain in America with nutty relatives…oh, and a few years later ACB was getting hard nipples during shock and awe as Bush slaughtered Iraqi babies.

    2. Because most of the Cubans who immigrate here have been entire of Spanish descent, while most Guatemalans and Salvadorians are Mayans.

      1. Is this guy a troll – or is his mind really this broken?

        1. Ahh, another one who has never read the Bell Curve.

          1. Being from the low end of the bell curve doesn’t excuse you.

      2. Doesn’t that strongly imply we should be more solicitous towards the Guatemalans?

    3. Krychek,

      Sebastian has it partially correct. The initial Cuban Adjustment Act (passed in 1966) was primarily because of the Communist Cuban Revolution, and the fairly close ties Cuba and the US shared before that time. Keep in mind, Cuba was a US military protectorate for 3 years.

      “Until Castro, the U.S. was so overwhelmingly influential in Cuba that the American ambassador was the second most important man, sometimes even more important than the Cuban president.”

      — Earl E. T. Smith, former American Ambassador to Cuba, during 1960 testimony to the U.S. Senate[37]

      It wasn’t necessarily “just” that conditions were horrible, it’s that there was a political communist revolution that stripped many of their land, large scale government executions, of what was a close US ally. That prompted a special law.

      It would be like if…Canada suddenly went Communist, and started killing its citizens. The US would allow special exemptions to immigration there.

      1. Once again, iirc, the president has fairly extensive power to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to groups of asylum seekers. So Ilhan Omar came to America under TPS ordered by HW Bush for Somalia and that power was granted by Immigration Act of 1990.

        1. Not quite. Omar was granted Asylum, which is different from TPS. Asylum is individualized, and looks at specific persecution of the individual involved. It can also lead to green card status and eventual naturalization.

          TPS is a generalized category to a group of people who are already in the country. Basically it says “There’s a natural (or other) disaster in the your country, you’re here, we’re not going to deport you now, we’ll wait until that disaster has ended, but you don’t have permanent residency, and no road to citizenship.

          1. I remember after Katrina college students from New Orleans were given the college equivalent of TPS at some very good colleges and then were told that they are just taking classes here so don’t get too comfortable because you aren’t really a degree track student here…the students Stanford took in got very comfortable and didn’t want to leave. 😉

    4. Cuba was a special case because legally emigrating from Cuba was essentially impossible, and Cuba being an extremely oppressive totalitarian state, basically everybody who escaped had a valid asylum claim.

      Even after Cuba nominally legalized emigration, it wasn’t really freely permitted.

      You can say, “conditions are miserable in Cuba, as they are in much of the third world”, but most nations aren’t so miserable that they find it necessary to become prison camps in order to avoid having practically everybody leave.

      1. It’s not just that conditions are miserable. It’s that:

        1. US policy has made them worse.
        2. US policy has given the Cuban government a scapegoat for those conditions.

        1. These points effectively ignore the history of the situation. The PRIMARY reason the conditions are miserable is Cuba’s communist government.

          In 1953, Cuba was one if the richest countries in Latin America.
          “The results show that Cuba during the 1950’s was a middle income economy. We find that Cuban income per capita (PPP) was fifty to sixty percent of European
          levels. It was close to the highest in Latin America and was about thirty percent of the US”

          Today, Cuba’s GDP per capita (PPP) is 103rd in the world, which is at best middle of the pack for Latin America, and really in the lower half. The reason for that is the Communist revolution, and the massive damage it did (and continues in many respects to do) to the Cuban economy.

          You may argue “US Policy made it worse”….but keep in mind, the Cuban government “Nationalized” what would today be BILLIONS of dollars of investment from US Companies. Not to mention the Cuban government executing many of its own citizens as “revolutionaries.” What would you have the US Government do instead? A major military invasion? An Embargo was a reasonable diplomatic response to such actions by the Cuban government.

          1. The PRIMARY reason the conditions are miserable is Cuba’s communist government.

            No doubt.

            Which is why I said we have made it worse, not that we are responsible for making it bad.

            Cuba’s economy, FWIW, was beginning to loosen up a little until Trump imposed his travel restrictions. There was significant individual/family-scale entrepreneurship around tourism – people opening small restaurants, or setting up to rent out bedrooms, etc. Trump pulled the rug out from under all that. Cubans who spent what were to them significant sums on dishes, tableware, and so on found their investments fruitless.

            Nor is any of what you wrote relevant to the scapegoat issue.

            1. The other side of that coin (keeping pressure on Cuba) is designed both to…

              1. Have the Communist government give up its hold on power.
              –This would have FAR more profound effects on the economy and the freedoms of the people in Cuba. Economic pressure is real, and has had dramatic effects worldwide, as a peaceful way to help turnover Communist governments. By giving the Communist government a “lifeline” of trade, the US would be helping to perpetuate the suffering of the people.

              2. It also helps ensure other countries don’t fall down the Communist path / nationalize all the US property path. Sad to say, but real world examples of what happens are useful here to other countries.

              Re: Scapegoating.

              Countries and regimes like these don’t need a real reason to scapegoat the US. They’ll find something, someone else to blame. The US is big and powerful and rich, so it’s easy to blame no matter what. If the US wasn’t scapegoated, it would be someone else. It’s always “someone else’s” fault for the problems in the countries. That’s how it works.

              1. The push to drive the Commies out of Cuba comes partly out of protecting US businesses that had their property expropriated, but largely on the “domino theory” that has proven to be wholly fallacy in the decades since 1960. The threat of international communism just isn’t scary anymore. St. Ronnie got his panties all in a bunch because Nicaragua had commies in it back in the 1980’s, but how is having commies in central America worse for us than the corrupt narco-states that are there now?

  9. Any type of border is cruel to Somin.

  10. No sane person would rather bring their children up in Haiti than in Cuba. Sure, Cubans are economically deprived by the policies of the state, but so are Salvadorans and Guatemalans. There is no real justification in 2020 to have a separate immigration policy for Cubans (who do not have to prove any personal threat to their lives) than those seeking asylum from other Central American and Caribbean nations.

  11. It’s hard to taken Somin seriously. His list of 17 reasons why he thinks Biden would be a better President includes 16 about immigration. Currently, the Democratic party is in the midst of an orgy of censorship being enforced by their big tech supporters. I guess since Somin’s preferred candidate won (or is about to) he’s just fine with the suppression of conservative voices on social media.

    Where exactly does free speech rank on your list of liberty priorities? It should be number 1, but it appears to be way, way, down your list. How else can you explain your failure to even mention it in your rundown of the two candidates?

    No serious libertarian can possibly view a victory by this leftist, authoritarian Democratic party with anything but fear.

    1. So libertarians aren’t in favor of letting individuals travel wherever they like?

      1. Over international borders? No. Are you an idiot or just a troll?

        1. Bernard asked about libertarians, not neo-nazis.

          1. Wow, what a zinger!

        2. There’s no reason he can’t be both, but I think he’s neither, just misinformed about libertarian ideology from too much exposure to liberalitarians at Reason.

          1. I guess I am misinformed then.

            I thought the proposition, “The US government should not interfere with its citizens’ ability to travel abroad as they like,” wouldn’t be objected to by libertarians.

            1. Now, that’s not what you said above: “So libertarians aren’t in favor of letting individuals travel wherever they like?”

              Indeed, libertarians ARE in favor of the US government permitting citizens to travel abroad as they like. This isn’t he same thing as letting non-citizens travel to the US, as your statement implied.

              1. OK. I was unclear. I was talking specifically about restrictions on travel to Cuba.

                Do you or do you not approve of those restrictions?

                Do you or do you not approve of limits on how much money Americans can remit to Cuba?

                Do you or do you not approve of restrictions on selling goods (let’s say non-military goods) to Cubans and buying from them?

                1. I think that, as a general matter, once a US citizen is outside the US, our government should have no say over where they go or what they do.

                  Commerce between the US and Cuba clearly falls under the interstate commerce clause, as well as the traditional powers of states to conduct foreign policy, and I think would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

                  After all, do you think libertarians are committed to free trade during wars?

                  1. “I think that, as a general matter, once a US citizen is outside the US, our government should have no say over where they go or what they do.”

                    Not if they want to come back, ever. so our government can keep the foreign corrupt practices act and continue fighting pedophilia tourism, because they involve people who will want to call on the US for assistance if they run afoul of a foreign government.

                2. So, that’s an interesting question about libertarian ideals in the large scheme and smaller scheme.

                  Let’s say you support all those things. No limits on sending money to Cuba, no limits on travel, no limits on purchases.

                  As a result, the communist government in Cuba stays in power longer, and people there suffer longer, and there is less freedom for them.

                  Is that a good trade off?

        3. “Are you an idiot or just a troll?”

          Why can’t he be both at the same time, same as you?”

    2. Hey, look — Polk is calling a meeting of Libertarians For Authoritarian, Bigoted, Cruel Immigration Policies And Practices.

      At the Volokh Conspiracy, of course, it’s the “Often Libertarians For Authoritarian, Bigoted, Cruel Immigration Policies And Practices.

      Racist faux libertarians are among my favorite culture war casualties.

    3. ” I guess since Somin’s preferred candidate won (or is about to) he’s just fine with the suppression of conservative voices on social media. ”

      Help! Help! I’m being oppressed!
      If you don’t like a social media companies policies, don’t use their stuff. Hire an ISP and a hosting company, and build your own platform and run it the way you see fit.

  12. Once again, iirc, the president has fairly extensive power to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to groups of asylum seekers. So Ilhan Omar came to America under TPS ordered by HW Bush for Somalia and that power was granted by Immigration Act of 1990.

  13. Somin wrote:

    “well aware that I advocate many unpopular views”

    Characterizing national suicide as an “unpopular view” may be the understatement of the year, if not the past decade.

    1. His views are unpopular among the xenophobes, bigots, and knuckle-draggers the Volokh Conspiracy tends to attract.

      Among successful, educated, mainstream, reasoning Americans, not nearly so much.,

  14. Seriously, are you not aware that the reason Democrats advocate increased immigration isn’t because they are your ideological allies, but instead because they AREN’T?

    They want those immigrants because they’ll make US culture LESS libertarian!

    For that reason, Cubans will remain an exception, as the only significant group of Hispanic immigrants hostile to left wing politics.

    1. I think the results this week show otherwise — Latinos that moved to Texas seem to have broadly assimilated to the local (conservative) values to a much higher extent than Dems had vainly hoped for.

      Reagan said Hispanics are natural republicans they just don’t know it yet, I tend to think it’s more than Latinos that move to blue urban cores (e.g. in CA) adopt that set of culture/values and those that move to red rural areas (e.g. Texas border counties) adopt that corresponding set of culture/values.

      1. “Reagan said Hispanics are natural republicans they just don’t know it yet”

        Reagan had Alzheimer’s Disease, so what he said may or may not have any relation to anything else.

    2. Seriously, are you not aware that the reason Democrats advocate increased immigration isn’t because they are your ideological allies, but instead because they AREN’T?

      They want those immigrants because they’ll make US culture LESS libertarian!

      I don’t think you have a hope of understanding people who disagree with you, so long as you’re committed to a Manichean worldview in which everybody who disagrees with you does so from horrific motives.

      Isn’t it possible that Democrats like immigration because:

      1. They believe immigrants enrich our culture.
      2. The believe immigrants are economically productive, law-abiding individuals.
      3. They believe allowing more immigration is humanitarian policy.

      So we get to be nice guys, plus there are benefits.

      You might disagree with those reasons, but can’t you admit that, however misguided you think they are, there are plenty of people who favor immigration because of them, and not as part of some deep political plot?

      And please don’t come up with a random quote from some Democrat to “prove” your point.

      1. It’s also possible Democrats like it because…

        1. It gets cheap labor for rich American Corporations
        2. It suppresses wages for working class native Americans, increasing the money gain for the rich corporate owners.
        3. Policies that effectively keep illegal immigrants “illegal” or “temporary” (but in the country) also suppress wages, and make them dependent on corporate rich Americans for jobs (without rights to vote).

        It’s no surprise that California has one of the highest divides between rich and poor, and one of the highest illegal immigrant populations in the country.

        1. “It’s also possible Democrats like it because…”

          You misspelled “Republicans”.

    3. “Seriously, are you not aware that the reason Democrats advocate increased immigration isn’t because they are your ideological allies, but instead because they AREN’T?


      “Seriously, are you not aware that the reason Democrats advocate increased immigration isn’t because they are your ideological allies, but instead because they AREN’T?

      They want those immigrants because they’ll make US culture LESS libertarian!”

      Seriously, are you intending to be taken seriously?
      People who are pro-immigration are pro-immigration because they think immigration benefits both this country and the immigrants.

  15. Whatever “Biden” would do is irrelevant. The Communists will be in charge in January. They will not allow Communist dissidents to remain in this country.

    Somin recognizes “victims of communism day” on the same day that communism returns for it’s next batch of victims.

    1. Cry louder, clinger. I’m laughing so hard it’s difficult to hear your lame whimpering.

    2. ” The Communists will be in charge in January.”

      I’m sure someone will miss you. I don’t know who, but there’s probably somebody who will.

  16. Wondering if the “Americans” will peaceably tolerate the demise of the greatest country ever?

    1. We survived 3 and half years of President Twit-for-brains. I think we’ll be fine.

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