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Libertarians and Immigration
Posted by: Dale Franks on Friday, January 05, 2007

Unlike a lot of more doctrinaire libertarians, I don't count myself as part of the open-borders crowd. I don't have any particular animus towards legal immigration, but I have quite a lot for the de facto unrestricted immigration we currently allow. Now that the Democrats have taken over the legislative branch, and the president is evidently opposed to almost any efforts to significantly cut down on illegal immigration, a fundamental rethinking of immigration on the part of libertarians is in order.

The open borders lobby is really quite diverse. It includes liberals who are more than happy to accept immigrants who will, in the fullness of time, produce voters who are amendable to the idea of activist government, mainly because they come from political traditions that have conditioned them to be that way. It includes big-business conservatives who are ready to jump to the defense of more or less unrestricted immigration because it provides a large pool of low-cost labor, that keeps wages in general lower than they would otherwise be. And, of course, it includes libertarians who believe, as a matter of principle, in the free movement of people and capital.

As National Review's John Derbyshire, himself a naturalized citizen, pointed out a month ago, the libertarian fascination with open borders is a little puzzling.

It's relatively easy to understand why liberals and big-business conservatives support open borders. In both cases, they derive discernible benefits from such support. For libertarians, however, it's difficult to see what benefits accrue from unrestricted immigration, because ultimately, such support is self-defeating.
As to why I think libertarians are nuts to favor mass uncontrolled immigration from the third world: I think they are nuts because their enthusiasm on this matter is suicidal to their cause. Their ideological passion is blinding them to a rather obvious fact: that libertarianism is a peculiarly American doctrine, with very little appeal to the huddled masses of the third world. If libertarianism implies mass third-world immigration, then it is self-destroying. Libertarianism is simply not attractive either to illiterate peasants from mercantilist Latin American states, or to East Asians with traditions of imperial-bureaucratic paternalism, or to the products of Middle Eastern Muslim theocracies.

There are a number of responses a libertarian might make to that. Not included in those responses, I think, given the current state of our national affairs, is the argument that Providence has inscribed a yearning for liberty on every human heart.

A libertarian might, though, say that while libertarianism could indeed be a hard sell to immigrants from very illiberal political traditions, it will appeal to their Americanized children, to the second generation. Possibly so. Even setting aside the great strengthening of the welfare state caused by the preferences of that first generation, though, to sell libertarianism to the second generation would need a tremendous missionary effort. According to Brink Lindsey, only 13 percent of Americans currently lean libertarian. If decades of libertarian proselytizing have only achieved that much success with a population rooted in the traditions of Pericles and Magna Carta, of the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment, of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, how well should libertarians expect to do with the political descendants of emperors and caliphs, of Toussaint L’Ouverture and Mao Tse-tung?
That, it seems to me strikes to the heart of the matter.

Even more, is the fundamental tension between having a welfare state and open immigration. You can, if you like, have a welfare state. If so, you cannot have unrestricted immigration without bankrupting that state. Conversely, you may have unrestricted immigration, if you wish to forego having a welfare state.

The reason for this tension, of course, is that people respond to incentives. If one has a choice between being a penniless, starving campesino in Chiapas, or being a penniless immigrant in San Diego with access to free medical care in the emergency room, free education for one's children, and access to a variety of social services, the choice is pretty clear.

Of course, a libertarian will respond that libertarians wish to dismantle the welfare state. And that's all well and good. But you will never dismantle the welfare state if, in the interim, you allow unrestricted entry of immigrants who have a vested interest in maintaining the welfare state. The politicians who cater to the illegal immigrant community, in fact, will use the rising number of immigrants as the justification for expanding the welfare state.

As such, if your ultimate goal is to eradicate the welfare state at some time in the future, allowing unrestricted immigration in the present is self-defeating. If you wish to create a more libertarian state in the US, then you must prioritize immigration accordingly.

The first concern should be to vigorously enforce our current immmigration laws, to prevent the entry of immigrants who, once incorporated into our polity, will resist the libertarianization of society. Once society is appropriately libertarian, then immigration can be addressed in a more...uh...liberal manner. Before you can have open borders, you must eliminate the ability of immigrants to seek rent from the state. Once you have done that, you can open up immigration substantially, with some reasonable assurance that the type of immigrants that are drawn to the country will not try to capitalize on government largess that no longer exists.

Of course, more will have to be done.

Immigrants inevitably bring with them a lifetime of political attitudes that have been fostered in authoritarian, theocratic, or mercantilist traditions that are alien to the American ideal. This implies that some concerted effort at assimilating immigrants will have to be undertaken, to ensure that immigrants do not begin to bring political pressure to bear to reconstitute the welfare state.

Many libertarians seem to assume—wrongly—that immigrants are homo economicus, motivated solely by financial concerns, divorced from the political or cultural traditions of their home countries. Of course, this is completely untrue. Immigrants bring with them a fair amount of political and cultural baggage from which they must be weaned through assimilation into American traditions. One only has to look at the almost nightly depredations of unassimilated Muslim immigrants in France to see what the eventual results are of failing to appropriately assimilate immigrants into the host society.

Immigrants are not simply fungible, predictable economic units. They are people, who bring to the table far more than a simple desire to find work. Failure to recognize that leads, it seems to me, to libertarians assuming that any potential cultural or political inclinations among immigrants are irrelevant. That is most certainly not the case. If it were, the La Raza types who call for the return of "Aztlan" to Mexico wouldn't exist.

The fact that they do exist should prompt libertarians to think more carefully about the consequences of unrestricted immigration, in an environment where political rent-seeking is possible, and where concerted efforts to assimilate immigrants are looked down upon. Failure to do so will almost certainly raise obstacles—perhaps insurmountable ones—to creating a more libertarian society.
 
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Even though I’m a life long libertarian (at least I can’t remember subscribing to any other political philosophy), I never bought the open borders idea. Why? Because the extreme cases are so clear. To take one example - what would stop any country in the world from just sending their worst criminals over on a transport and dumping them here?

I think many libertarians, especially young ones, discount the importance of culture. They fail to understand that an open society such as ours is built on a "web of trust", as Bill Whittle says. When too large a percentage of the population no longer believes in the underlying assumptions that enable the trust to work, it rapidly breaks down for everyone.

A strong system of property rights is more important to an open society than universal suffrage, by a long measure. If a large enough percentage of the population believes it’s perfectly moral to take whatever they can get their hands on if they don’t get caught, then it’s impossible to enforce decent property rights. Most cultures around the world don’t have the attitude towards property rights that we do because those people grow up in a world where those in power take whatever they want. It takes a long time to acquire a different, intuitive understanding of property rights, as the folks in Russia are proving to us right now.

How could we possibly expect to have immigration of, say, one hundred million folks with no understanding of Western property rights, and still have a stable, workable society? No way. Even if that number were spread out over ten years, it would cripple our society’s ability to work on a daily basis.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Completely throwing open our borders is a policy that is embraced by few people outside of the libertarian purist pinhead fringe. The open border advocates have no political power, and no influence within the national debate over immigration, so attacking this position amounts to whacking away at a straw man.

Aside from the open border advocates, the next most unrealistic position is that of the anti-immigration demagogues. Their snake-oil remedies ignore the fact that there are already somewhere between 10 and 12 million "illegal" people in this country, many of whom have established families and deep roots here, and many of whom are members of families (even nuclear families) that include US citizens.

There is no way to cherry-pick these people out without committing civil liberty violations. We have tried, at different times and in different places, to make life so miserable for them that the will go home, but that hasn’t worked, because the poverty in the immigrants’ home countries is often so profound that we can never succeed in making life here more miserable than the life they fled.

What we have succeeded in doing is driving these people underground, and tightening the border just enough that no one who makes it illegally here dares to return, as they used to do routinely, but not tightening it enough to stop anyone who is desperate to get here. Once they are driven underground, the immigrants develop survival habits that endanger and undermine the whole fabric of our society.

It would be much wiser to recognize the natural and historical migration patterns between Mexico and the US, regulate them, and provide a process that allows and incentivizes the decent hard-working people to eventually formalize their stakes in this country and become citizens.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
"It would be much wiser to recognize the natural and historical migration patterns between Mexico and the US, regulate them, and provide a process that allows and incentivizes the decent hard-working people to eventually formalize their stakes in this country and become citizens"

Or, in other words, open borders.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Immigrants inevitably bring with them a lifetime of political attitudes that have been fostered in authoritarian, theocratic, or mercantilist traditions that are alien to the American ideal.

The opposite is probably true. Because they have experienced such attitudes, and DECIDED TO LEAVE THEIR COUNTRY FOR AMERICA, means they do not support such attitudes.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
A good example for your argument might be the Russian jews coming to Israel and being more "secular" but I don’t think they are voting in communists or advocating 5 year plans.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
A good example for your argument might be the Russian jews coming to Israel and being more "secular" but I don’t think they are voting in communists or advocating 5 year plans.
or that might not be such a good example because Israel is a socialist state.
Their snake-oil remedies ignore the fact that there are already somewhere between 10 and 12 million "illegal" people in this country,
How about starting with just stopping the flow?
We have tried, at different times and in different places, to make life so miserable for them that the will go home, but that hasn’t worked,
Really? where and when was that? Because here in my state being an illegal is a pretty sweet deal. We give them free schooling, free health care, food stamps. They have completely taken over whole industries where black and white Americans dare not even seek a job. they are not held to any standards whatsoever on our roads. They can drive any old piece of crap burning blue smoke, they need no license nor insurance. No cop will pull them over because he fears the paperwork involved in processing an illegal.

And if anything does intrude into their life they can call on all the advocacy groups or the Mexican consulate to intervene in their behalf.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
The opposite is probably true. Because they have experienced such attitudes, and DECIDED TO LEAVE THEIR COUNTRY FOR AMERICA, means they do not support such attitudes.
I’d argue the vast majority come here for the economic opportunity and are more likely to tolerate creeping authoritarianism (if that was the nature of their previous political culture) here than would a native American.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And, of course, it includes libertarians who believe, as a matter of principle, in the free movement of people and capital.
Correct, unfortunately it goes off the tracks from here.
Libertarianism is simply not attractive either to illiterate peasants from mercantilist Latin American states, or to East Asians with traditions of imperial-bureaucratic paternalism, or to the products of Middle Eastern Muslim theocracies.
...because they loved those policies that they were oppressed under so much that they stayed in their home countries to enjoy the fruits of those systems??? NO.

If you want to go somewhere with a large welfare state and highly bureaucratic paternalistic institutions, America would not be yuour first choice (how come Mexicans don’t keep going on to Canada?). Now if you want the opportunity to live and work without restriction and be compensated based on the free market, then immigrating illegally to America is your dream. This is the system that illegal immigrants have CHOSEN to enter VOLUNTARILY: no minimum wage or employment restrictions restrict their labor (other than threat of temporary deportation), they don’t have to pay extra for social security, medicare, they aren’t registered with the government in any way (no SS#) etc, etc, etc.

Illegal immigrants are living in an anarchic libertarian "paradise" with essentially no government, other than the threat of being deported, after which they will turn around and come back after a short exile.
If decades of libertarian proselytizing have only achieved that much success with a population rooted in the traditions of Pericles and Magna Carta, of the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment, of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, how well should libertarians expect to do with the political descendants of emperors and caliphs, of Toussaint L’Ouverture and Mao Tse-tung?
First of all, the "libertarian" positions taken on any issue are not formulated by first looking at the likelihood that those policies would be "popular" with any group of people. That’s something that the whores in the 2 major parties worry about, since they have no base principals or ideological soul, just a yearning for raw power.

I can say with great confidence that a libertarian would not and should not base their opinion of some subject based on the amount of new converts available, and then possibly decide that "illegal immigrants aren’t likely to vote libertarian so lets violate every principal we have in order to keep our percentage of the voting population up". That’s pure prostitution, we leave that to Republicrat and Demoplican whores.
But you will never dismantle the welfare state if, in the interim, you allow unrestricted entry of immigrants who have a vested interest in maintaining the welfare state. The politicians who cater to the illegal immigrant community, in fact, will use the rising number of immigrants as the justification for expanding the welfare state.
So eliminating illegal immigration will bring about the dismantling of the welfare state? I must have missed the grand plan. Do tell....

So because we have bad, unlibertarian policies we should accept more bad, unlibertarian policies to mitigate the effects of the original bad, unlibertarian policies? Nice circular argument.

If anything you could argue that illegal immigration, because it is almost impossible to eliminate, will bring down the welfare state and illustrate the fact that it is a house of cards.

Of course you can’t give benefits of the welfare state to illegal aliens, the fact that California does this and a state like Texas doesn’t can be illustrated in how big of an issue illegal immigration is in those respective states.

On the flip side:

But at least illegal aliens are working and contributing to the economy that funds the welfare state, unlike most of its current recipients. Even if they aren’t paying taxes directly, ultimately the government taxes the overall income of a state or country, of which the illegals are contributing to. This is NOT an argument for giving welfare benefits to illegals, just that they probably are less of a drain per person than the incumbent recipients.

Either way, the existence of one bad policy should NEVER be used as the reason to institute another bad policy. That’s just dumb. Isn’t that how we got here in the first place, piling bad policy on top of bad policy?
Before you can have open borders, you must eliminate the ability of immigrants to seek rent from the state.
People who are here legally attempt to seek rent every day. Can we deport them too? Why not do something about those people, they are by far the biggest problem and have been for a long time? Why should being born in America make you immune to be deported for rent-seeking? I think I like this idea, tell me more.

You are already arbitrarily deciding who can be here and who can’t, if I get that choice then I have a lot more rent-seeking parasites I’d like to send off to somewhere else. In fact, I’d like to replace those who have been perpetually living off the state with some good hard working illegal immigrants who come to America because they want to work. All of the people who complain about being here should be sent away to live in Mexico or Honduras and replaced with aspirant Americans who WANT to be here.

Of course it sounds more absurd but it shouldn’t. Nothing could be more un-libertarian than having somebody or some group arbitrarily decide who is fit to live in America and who isn’t.


To sum up: If libertarians want to control the power of government in America in order to force others to live as they think best (a very un-libertarian idea) we must first embrace very un-libertarian ideas so that we can exclude, by force, all people who potentially do not share our vision (an odd assertion that has not been proven in any way). This is starting to sound more and more like a mid-20th century German government who will remain nameless.....

We may destroy every principal we have, but in return we can have the power of the state so that we can push people around and get our way. Cool!

You just don’t "get it", do you?
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
they are not held to any standards whatsoever on our roads. They can drive any old piece of crap burning blue smoke, they need no license nor insurance. No cop will pull them over because he fears the paperwork involved in processing an illegal.
Here in California there in no extra paperwork involved in "processing" an illegal alien for a traffic stop. The police do not even inquire into a driver’s immigration status.

Here, police officers are much more likely to pull over someone who looks like an illegal immigrant for a minor infraction like a cracked windshield, because they know that illegal immigrants cannot obtain a driver license, and a car can be impounded for thirty days if the driver is unlicensed. The results of this policy support my point about how making life difficult for illegals has only made life worse for the general population:

Up until the 1990’s it used to be possible to obtain a drivers license here in California by presenting solid identification, and passing tests to prove that one is a competent driver. Then, in an attempt to deny illegals the benefits of driving, the law was changed to require proof of citizenship as well. At first there was a big problem with forged identification, but the DMV clerks quickly became adept at spotting bogus papers, and now the law is having its intended effect of denying drivers licenses to illegals.

Illegal immigrants did not leave. They began driving without licenses, since it is almost impossible to commute to and from work here in Southern California without a car, and illegals had to work.

So, partially as a result of this phenomenon, the state began impounding the cars of unlicensed drivers for thirty days. After 30 days, the cost to retrieve the car from the tow yard was usually more than the car was worth, so illegals began losing their cars. Still, they did not leave.

The illegals began buying junky "disposable cars" from tow auctions or private sellers to use for the commute back and forth for work. These cars were usually not registered in the buyer’s name, so when they were eventually, inevitably, impounded for 30 days the owners would simply go buy another.

The problem for California is that many of these disposable cars are not even safe to be on the road. They usually have bald tires, bad brakes, sometimes no power steering even though the car was designed for it, etc. Obviously, these cars are rarely insured. As a result, there is now an epidemic of hit and run collisions, and uinsured motorist collisions.

Furthermore, the driver has no license for a police officer to run, and every time that the driver is stopped by the police he gives a different variation of his name.

Most of the illegals who use this technique are quite capable of buying reliable cars, and insuring them. In fact, many of them HAVE nicer cars which they use to take the family out on the weekends.

If we allowed them to obtain drivers licenses the illegals could be finger-printed and photographed, and issued a license under a consistent name that would begin accumulating a driving record and criminal history. I believe that the disposable cars would disappear, and there would be far fewer unlicensed drivers.


 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Aldo says:
Completely throwing open our borders is a policy that is embraced by few people outside of the libertarian purist pinhead fringe. The open border advocates have no political power, and no influence within the national debate over immigration, so attacking this position amounts to whacking away at a straw man.
The "open border advocates" include ReasonMagazine (top choice of Playboy, as well as many bloggers and others as well).

And, they also include a little nobody by the name of DanielGriswold. He inspired or wrote parts of Bush’s initial GuestWorker scheme. Since I’m banned, you’ll need to remove the underscores from the following:

lonewa____cko.com/blog/archives/000943.html

Obviously, the open borders nuts do have a great deal of political influence.
 
Written By: Yeah Right
URL: http://example.com
Maybe the point of open borders is to bankrupt the welfare state so that there can be serious discussion about the limits of government?
 
Written By: Richard
URL: http://soslies.blogspot.com
I have always been opposed to the open borders doctrine, and it’s interesting to see libertarians discuss this topic.

It seems a barrier has been reached in the purist application of your theory, and then you do what people of every political persuasion do: you bend your rules to adjust to reality.

My opposition is simple: absorbing so many low-skill newcomers is disruptibe, and in this day of security worries, I’d like to know who it is that’s arriving.

The reasoning in the post was disturbing, however,
based on the fact that they are the ’wrong’ people. Are you saying that if they all swore to join the libertarian movement, your abjections would be removed?
What’s next? They have to go the ’right’ church?

For this kind of thinking, you need your own private country, unencumbered by opposition to anything you proclaim. Doesn’t sound like the US to me.




 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
You might want to take a look at my post on the influence of immigrants on American political thought. The historical record is that immigrants bring the attitudes they had in the old country with them.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
Aldo, you left off the obvious next steps:

Well, Juan, you just won a 1 way trip back to Mexico. Oh, you bought this from an auto auction? Hello, Mr. Auctioneer? You sold this car to an illegal. We don’t care if you claim to have checked ID. The DMV spots them you can too. Fine $1,000,000 per car. Can’t pay it? 10 years in jail, per car.

Oh, you won’t say where you bought it? Well, let’s look at the VIN. Hmmm, says here that the last known legal owner was some guy named Aldo. Aldo, we’re going to apply the same logic that eco-liberals like for Superfund sites: you’re the last known legal owner, you must have sold it to Juan, the legal liability is all yours.

Now, where do you work again? Same deal for your employer. All of a sudden, there isn’t any more economic incentive to come.

 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
"Because they have experienced such attitudes, and DECIDED TO LEAVE THEIR COUNTRY FOR AMERICA, means they do not support such attitudes."

Some do, some don’t. Some don’t really mind authoritarian governments, they just want to be the authoritarians, and it is easier to compete with non-authoritarians.

"A good example for your argument might be the Russian jews"

And a example against your argument is the Muslim extremists who infest the Netherlands, etc.

*******************

"If anything you could argue that illegal immigration, because it is almost impossible to eliminate, will bring down the welfare state and illustrate the fact that it is a house of cards."

This sentence contradicts at least two of your other statements.

"But at least illegal aliens are working and contributing to the economy that funds the welfare state,"

What is their NET contribution? They pay few, if any, taxes, send billions of dollars out of the country, and consume medical, educational, police, and fire services. Tourists contribute more to our economy.

*********************************
"Furthermore, the driver has no license for a police officer to run, and every time that the driver is stopped by the police he gives a different variation of his name."

Just a suggestion, but why not lock up the DRIVER for 30 days, instead of the car? Do these drivers have fingerprints for the police to run?


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Aldo, you left off the obvious next steps:

Well, Juan, you just won a 1 way trip back to Mexico.
Like this?

Barney Fife: "Good afternoon sir! Do you know why I pulled you over?"

Motorist: "uh, no.."

Barney Fife: "You have a brake light out. I’m going to have to issue you a citation for that. By the way, can you prove that you are an American citizen?"

Motorist: "Gee, I seem to have left my birth certificate at home this morning."

Barney Fife: "In that case, you are under arrest for suspicion of violating Federal immigration laws. You have the right to remain silent..."

By the way, don’t fool yourself that the cops would be able to have these conversations only with people who have latino names or who "look" illegal. In order to pass Constitutional muster the police would either have to possess some probable cause to believe that "Juan" was in the US illegally (beyond the fact that his name is Juan), or they will have to routinely investigate the citizenship status of everyone they contact. Do you really think that local cops have this kind of time or expertise? As a libertarian, I prefer to accept some level of illegal immigration rather than empowering local cops to begin checking papers like they once did in Eastern Europe.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Just a suggestion, but why not lock up the DRIVER for 30 days, instead of the car? Do these drivers have fingerprints for the police to run?
The jails are so overcrowded here that even people who commit crimes of violence do not serve 30 days. Are you really suggesting that the solution to the illegal immigration problem is to send people to jail for a month for driving without a license?

Here are two typical cases:

"Juan" came to the US illegally 15 years ago and began working as a laborer. After 15 years of hard work and responsible behavior he is now a construction foreman. He owns a home that he bought jointly with his brother, who is US citizen as a result of the 1986 amnesty. He and his wife are raising two sons, who are both US citizens, having been born here.

"Chuy" came to the US illegally 15 years ago. He has a lonng criminal record for minor offenses, and is currently serving a jail sentence for car theft.

If you can find a card-carrying "open borders" advocate, he will tell you that Juan and Chuy both have a perfect right to be in the US, since people should be free to wander the planet without any interference, regulation, or tracking by any government.

An anti-immigration activist would say that both Juan and Chuy broke the law by illegally entering the country, so they should both be identified as criminals and deported.

My position is that this country needs good people like Juan, and so there should be some process that he could follow to formalize the de facto commitment that he has already made to this country and become a citizen. This process could certainly include paying some kind of penalty for having entered the country illegally and some kind of basic class about the principles underlying our political system. Since our legal system has already found that Chuy has not been a good-faith member of our society, and has already deprived him of his liberty to wander anywhere, it would certainly be appropriate to investigate his immigration status and deport him after he serves his jail sentence.

In other words, we could ameliorate a lot of the illegal immigration problems if we were allowed to see a distinction between people like Juan and Chuy, and to give the Juans a chance to openly join our society while focusing our resources on keeping out the Chuy’s.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
Some do, some don’t. Some don’t really mind authoritarian governments, they just want to be the authoritarians, and it is easier to compete with non-authoritarians.
You’ve taklked to them? I’m not aware of too many opinion polls of illegal aliens and their basic political beliefs.

Regardless, whether its the 85% of the US population who believe in big, authoritarian government or new immigrants (is this a litmus test we apply to people legally becoming citizens?) the only way to make them more libertarian is to persuade them through facts and logic.

Sorry that’s not an easy answer, but who said it was easy? You can’t force people to beleive like you, all you can do is try and show them the error of their ways.

If you want to achieve small government by limiting the population to only people who agree with you (sounds a lot like the long list of murderous dictators of the 20th century) you have about 200 million people you will have to deport first.
What is their NET contribution? They pay few, if any, taxes, send billions of dollars out of the country, and consume medical, educational, police, and fire services. Tourists contribute more to our economy.
Their net contribution is higher than the legal citizens who are currently recipients of those services.

Just curious, how much money will have I have to contribute in taxes in order to fund an all-out war on illegal immigrants? Will it cost more than the "war on drugs", another failed attempt at herding cats? 700 mile walls are expensive, so is paying the manpower to monitor every inch to make sure that illegals don’t come up with some new technology (like the ladder) in order to breach this wall. Are we going to start launching raids into other countries to intradict illegals before they even get to the border?

Sounds like a big drain on the taxpayer as well, and if its like every new big government program, multiply the initial cost estimate by a factor of 10 and that’s what it will cost. Sounds like we will need a whole new department in the government to manage this as well....it just keeps getting better and better.

"If anything you could argue that illegal immigration, because it is almost impossible to eliminate, will bring down the welfare state and illustrate the fact that it is a house of cards."

This sentence contradicts at least two of your other statements.
Its not contradictory, it simply shows that you can argue from many different angles and still come to the same result: trying to stop illegal immigration is futile (since people will always try to come here as long as they can make a better living than in their impoverished homeland), foolish, counter-productive and a violation of all libertarian principles of liberty and free trade.

 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
"In order to pass Constitutional muster the police would either have to possess some probable cause to believe that "Juan" was in the US illegally (beyond the fact that his name is Juan), or they will have to routinely investigate the citizenship status of everyone they contact"

This kind of invalidates your example, don’t you think?
****************************************


"The jails are so overcrowded here that even people who commit crimes of violence do not serve 30 days."

I think the sheriff of Mariposa county has solved that particular problem.

"Are you really suggesting that the solution to the illegal immigration problem is to send people to jail for a month for driving without a license?"

No, the solution to driving without a license is to send people to jail. That was what you are worried about, isn’t it?

"An anti-immigration activist would say that both Juan and Chuy broke the law by illegally entering the country, so they should both be identified as criminals and deported."

And the anti-immigration activist would be correct. In addition, pro-immigration activists who say the same would also be correct. I suspect you are trying to accuse anyone who favours enforcing immigration laws of being anti-immigration. This is at best inaccurate, and possibly dishonest.

"My position is that this country needs good people like Juan,"

True, but we can get all we need legally.

"formalize the de facto commitment that he has already made to this country and become a citizen"

What committment would that be? Obeying the laws? What makes you think he wants to become a citizen rather than a legal resident? There is a difference. I think it is more than a little obvious that illegals come here for economic reasons, not because they wish to become a citizen. They will, of course become one if it means they can stay, but do they really "bear true faith and allegiance" to the US and foreswear all loyalty to their native land? Get real.

**********************************
"You’ve taklked to them? I’m not aware of too many opinion polls of illegal aliens and their basic political beliefs."

No, all I know is what I read in the papers, which supports what I said. I also operate on the assumption that they are not unlike the rest of humanity, which also has varied political beliefs.


"Their net contribution is higher than the legal citizens who are currently recipients of those services."

Do you have any proof of that?

libertarian principles of liberty and free trade.


"Sounds like a big drain on the taxpayer as well,"

I am sure the taxpayers of the states where illegal immigration is costing them a bundle would be willing to bear that burden.

"trying to stop illegal immigration is futile"

So is trying to stop murder, rape, arson, etc. Yet we keep trying.

"and a violation of all libertarian principles of liberty and free trade."

Screw Libertarian principles. It may be true, but that explains why libertarians are now, and will remain, a tiny, ineffectual, slightly ridiculous minority.



 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Screw Libertarian principles. It may be true, but that explains why libertarians are now, and will remain, a tiny, ineffectual, slightly ridiculous minority.
Amen.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
"Their net contribution is higher than the legal citizens who are currently recipients of those services."

Do you have any proof of that?
Apparently I have as much proof as you do, although I didn’t "read it in the papers", so half a point for you!
"Sounds like a big drain on the taxpayer as well,"

I am sure the taxpayers of the states where illegal immigration is costing them a bundle would be willing to bear that burden.
How are you sure, did you "read it in the papers"? If you have no idea how much it would cost how would you know whether anybody would be in favor of it? Come back with a reasonable cost estimate then we can debate.
"trying to stop illegal immigration is futile"

So is trying to stop murder, rape, arson, etc. Yet we keep trying.
1) illegal immigration is hardly the on the same plane as murder, rape, and arson (something I hope you know) and 2) you forgot to add littering and speeding to your list. We also continue to try and stop illegal drugs which costs billions of dollars and has killed a lot more people than drugs ever did, even though it is futile.
Screw Libertarian principles. It may be true, but that explains why libertarians are now, and will remain, a tiny, ineffectual, slightly ridiculous minority.
Tiny: yes, ineffectual: maybe, minority: definitely, ridiculous: you’ve got a long way to go to prove that (hint: you won’t find the answer "in the papers").

Come back when you have facts and logic to present and we can begin an actual debate.
 
Written By: DS
URL: http://
"2) you forgot to add littering and speeding to your list."

That is what "etc." is for.

"Come back when you have facts and logic to present"

I might say the same.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Excerpts about Arizona from-
http://www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=136&languageId=1&contentId=51473

." Jim Dickson, who runs a hospital five miles from the Mexican border, says emergency room care for illegal immigrants has risen from $30,000 to more than $350,000 in only four years.

"We’re in a war down here to preserve the health system," Dickson told Stateline.org"

"Law enforcement officials and lawmakers such as Pearce also contend that crime follows illegal immigrants across the border. The state prison system spent $77 million last year detaining more than 4,000 illegal immigrants."

"But the sentiment driving Arizona’s backlash can be found even within the Hispanic community. Prop 200 exit polls showed that 47 percent of Hispanics who voted supported the measure."
*************************************
Excerpt from
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/columnists/guests/print_199848.html

"The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Arizonans" shows a nearly nine-fold increase in costs during the past decade. The burden on the state’s taxpayers continues to grow rapidly.

The average native-born-headed household in Arizona now bears more than $700 a year in additional costs to provide education to illegal aliens and their children, an estimated $810 million a year.

Health care for illegal immigrants, which threatens to bankrupt many Arizona hospitals and clinics, adds $400 million a year to the tab. Incarcerating illegal aliens costs Arizona taxpayers $80 million annually. Only a small fraction of these and other costs incurred by the state are offset by an estimated $257 million a year that illegal aliens pay in taxes to the state.

The costs are even higher than the total of these three cost areas, because there are a number of other expensive benefits received by illegal aliens that are not included in this calculation.
********************************************
Excerpt from
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/10/us/10smuggle.html?ex=1304913600&en=d28539b33576bf6b&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

"Smuggling illegal immigrants is a federal crime. Arizona adopted its law last year out of frustration that Washington had not done enough to control illegal crossings. In recent years, central Arizona has emerged as a prime crossing point."

******************************************
Published on January 5, 2007, Washington Times, The (DC){PUBLICATION2}
Herndon picked for ICE program
Feedback sought on immigration law enforcement

Herndon Police Department Chief Toussaint E. Summers Jr. says the town has been accepted into a federal program that trains officers to enforce immigration laws, including deportation proceedings for illegal aliens.


The Town Council has voted in favor of the plan but will hold a hearing to get public comment before signing a final agreement with the Department of Homeland Security.

Herndon spokeswoman Anne Curtis said comments from residents are "a priority for the mayor and

*********************************

Article 19 of 270{FOUNDITEMS:-0}, Article ID: 5200612190314590020011
Published on December 19, 2006, Washington Times, The (DC){PUBLICATION2}
Ex-workers sue Swift for wages
18 cite harm from illegals hiring

A $23 million lawsuit by 18 former employees at Swift & Co., which was targeted last week in raids by the government over its hiring of illegal aliens, says the meat-processing company conspired to keep down wages by hiring the illegal workers.


The former workers, all legal U.S. residents who worked at a Swift processing plant in Cactus, Texas, said they were the "victims in a longstanding scheme" by the company to "depress and artificially

Complete Article, 558 words ( )
*****************************************

Just a sample of some of the articles I have read upon which I base my opinions and claims. I could of course list more, but I am too lazy to spend more than ten minutes on this.

My use of "All I know is what I read in the papers" was an allusion to the famous Will Rogers quote. Sorry to be so obscure. On the other hand, newspapers are a useful source of information and I try to read at least one a day. Where do you get your information?


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Also, see this link on the economic damage of illegal immigrants. Notice the key point :
Based on Census Bureau data, this study finds that, when all taxes paid (direct and indirect) and all costs are considered, illegal households created a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than $10 billion in 2002. We also estimate that, if there was an amnesty for illegal aliens, the net fiscal deficit would grow to nearly $29 billion.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
...because they loved those policies that they were oppressed under so much that they stayed in their home countries to enjoy the fruits of those systems??? NO.

If you want to go somewhere with a large welfare state and highly bureaucratic paternalistic institutions, America would not be yuour first choice (how come Mexicans don’t keep going on to Canada?). Now if you want the opportunity to live and work without restriction and be compensated based on the free market, then immigrating illegally to America is your dream. This is the system that illegal immigrants have CHOSEN to enter VOLUNTARILY: no minimum wage or employment restrictions restrict their labor (other than threat of temporary deportation), they don’t have to pay extra for social security, medicare, they aren’t registered with the government in any way (no SS#) etc, etc, etc.

Illegal immigrants are living in an anarchic libertarian "paradise" with essentially no government, other than the threat of being deported, after which they will turn around and come back after a short exile.
I know quite a bit about both legal and illegal immigrants from Latin America, having inlaws of both types as well as having grown up on the border. Their political beliefs tend towards socialism, and this includes the hardworking productive ones.
The opposite is probably true. Because they have experienced such attitudes, and DECIDED TO LEAVE THEIR COUNTRY FOR AMERICA, means they do not support such attitudes.
No, Dale got it right the first time, no "probably" about it.
A good example for your argument might be the Russian jews coming to Israel and being more "secular" but I don’t think they are voting in communists or advocating 5 year plans.
No, not a good example. The Russian jews may have lived under communism, but they and their specific culture didn’t create it. And, if we were to seed an island with a bunch of random Russians who would be allowed to develope their own system, I wouldn’t expect them to clone communism although they might borrow some concepts. I wouldn’t expect their colony to "flurish", at least when compared to an Anglo-Saxon or Scottish or German colony, but I would’nt expect it to become a mini-USSR, either.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
An anti-immigration activist would say that both Juan and Chuy broke the law by illegally entering the country, so they should both be identified as criminals and deported.
I thought they would say that:

1) We should work to keep the next batch of Juan’s and Chuy’s from coming in illegally.

2) If we happen to catch Juan or Chuy, we should send them back.

3) We should try to prevent Juan and Chuy from voting or benifiting from social security, etc.

I don’t think anyone really thinks we should hunt down and deport every last illegal, with the possible exception of a few cranks.
You’ve taklked to them? I’m not aware of too many opinion polls of illegal aliens and their basic political beliefs.
I’ve talked to some of them.
Regardless, whether its the 85% of the US population who believe in big, authoritarian government or new immigrants (is this a litmus test we apply to people legally becoming citizens?) the only way to make them more libertarian is to persuade them through facts and logic.
Uh, sorry, facts and logic tend to fail. Or I should say, facts and logic that go against their existing opinions are ignored out of hand. It is much more an "our team vs their team" emotion driven belief system.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://

 
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