Category Archive 'Illegal Immigration'
30 Jan 2017

Trump’s Wall

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“Fixed fortifications are monuments to man’s stupidity. If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, anything made by man can be overcome.” –George Patton.

01 Sep 2016

Joe Scarborough’s “Amnesty Don”

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AmnestyDon

Joe Scarborough scored a big hit in his feud with Donald Trump by releasing this Country-Western song, mocking Trump’s softening his stance on deporting illegal immigrants.

2:48 video

26 Aug 2016

Oh, Well!

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InTrumpWeTrust

Tweet191

25 Aug 2016

Trump Flipflops on Immigration

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TrumpWarning

Personally, I prefer Trump’s position on immigration now that he has flipflopped, but Ann Coulter, poor girl!, is having kittens over it, and just two days after her very own pro-Trump campaign book was released.

InTrumpWeTrust

What do you suppose all the Trumpkins who stay on board are going to say when Trump starts revising his position on Gun Control? and when he announces his new and thoroughly-revised list of potential Supreme Court appointees?

23 Nov 2014

SNL Mocks Obama’s Executive Order

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21 Nov 2014

Obama Divides Rather Than Leads… Again

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Barack Obama piously quoted Scripture and posed as a great idealist going out on a limb to do the right thing for poor Hispanic immigrants but, in reality, he was playing ruthless partisan politics, setting aside due process and overreaching his own authority in order to set a trap for Republicans and permanently lock in the Hispanic vote for democrats.

Something needs to be done to bring American immigration policy into line with America’s economic needs, and something needs to be done to regularize the status of people living here and doing most of the country’s worst-paying and most disagreeable jobs, but before that can be done, we need to win the national debate and properly form a consensus.

What Barack Obama just did was the precise opposite of building a consensus. He divided the country further and inflamed passions over an issue on which the country is not thinking rationally and in which we were already excessively divided. And he did it cynically for political gain.

Peter Suderman makes the same point at Reason:

[U]nilateral executive action could poison support for broader, more stable reform. There’s no question that the immediate political consequence would be to further outrage Republicans, and turn a party that has long had a mix of views about the virtues of expanding immigration into one dominated by opposition. In fact, this seems to be part of what the administration wants—to provoke Republicans into a frothing rage, in hopes that they will do something politically stupid as a result. (They might oblige.)

But the backlash might not just be the immediate consequence, and it might not just be limited to the congressional GOP and its core supporters; unilateral action might result in a deepened long-term opposition to greater immigration as well.

One only need to look at the political dynamic in the years since the passage of Obamacare, another ambitious policy passed with no opposition party support and a wary public. Democrats hoped it would provide a path to political victory, but the actual result was a deep and enduring public opposition that has cost Democrats in multiple elections.

Similar to Obamacare, about 48 percent of the public disapproves of Obama’s proposed action, while just 38 percent say they support the move. And similar to Obamacare, the president’s actions are making some Democrats nervous too. And just as before, supporters are arguing that opposition will blow over quickly.

I wouldn’t bet on it. Unprecedented, unpopular, large-scale, unilateral policy changes are nearly certain to produce a backlash—against the president, against his party, and against the ideas at the heart of the policy change itself.

To me, this is the most significant risk of Obama’s plan—that it will create a backlash, not only amongst congressional Republicans, but within the public at large, a backlash that makes it more difficult to achieve a stable, legal, and politically viable system of expanded and simplified immigration, one that is not dependent on a sympathetic executive or enforcement discretion, but that is codified in law and agreed upon by enough of the country’s residents and legislators.

This is not to simply condemn Obama’s plan, but instead to warn enthusiastic supporters that the choice to act at this time, in this way, without legislative backing or public support, might be satisfying in the moment, but also stands a real chance of closing off opportunities for a better, more lasting solution at some point in the future. Consensus is hard, and sometimes it seems impossible, but in politics, it’s also important.

18 Jun 2014

More Immigration Arguments

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It’s not strictly fair. I responded to Chris’s previous comments before, but his arguments are representative of that school of thought, and this comment just came in and provokes rejoinder.

Chris writes:


[L]ets dissect those three arguments:

Law breaking: SO because there are really two sides to the law breaking issue (employers and illegals) we should just give it a mulligan? C’mon. That’s not addressing the issue. That’s ignoring it. What would you say to the immigrant from Taiwan that has stood in line and waited for an available immigration slot? Too bad, you don’t swim as well? How is it Conservative, how is it JUST or fair to those that followed the rules? Put it in terms of jumping the line at Disneyland. If we just sayscrew it, there won’t be a queue…it’ll simply look like anarchy.

Actually, I have responded to the law-and-order and the (Michelle Malkin) standing-in-line arguments repeatedly and at length. See the malum-in-se versus malum-prohibitum discussion in some earlier posts.

Our immigration laws do not, in fact, embody any real principle of Natural Law or American political philosophy. Neither do they reflect any kind of substantive consensus resulting from a national debate. They are mere semi-random regulations evolved over time from earlier regulatory schemes modified by reflexive kinds of political compromise within the legislature.

Our immigration regs are ill-conceived. They fail to reflect our traditions, our values, or to respond to our economic needs, and they get produced by occult political processes remote from the views of real American voters on either side of the issue.

Breaking these kinds of rules is a victimless crime. If some Mexican laborer crosses the border, comes here and goes out and picks strawberries for Farmer Jones, he is not doing anybody any harm at all. I’ll happily go along with you guys on the other side in supporting deportation of illegal immigrants who do commit crimes or who try signing up for welfare.

As to standing-in-line, we have currently a dysfunctional system. There is no line for the poor Mexican who wants a better life to stand in. The quotas have no room for him at all. Michelle Malkin is a pretty girl and she is a ferocious little fighter for the conservative side. I’m happy that she came to America, but personally I don’t care a plug nickel how she did it. Michelle’s filling out the proper forms and standing in the proper lines benefited me not in the slightest. On the other hand, I have frequently benefited from affordable labor services from Hispanic gentlemen who did my yard work in California, repaired the roof on my Virginia house, painted my lawn furniture, and bussed my table and washed my dishes in restaurants all over America.

Economic impact: They tackle jobs most Americans won’t. Try to understand this, if you give them amnesty, guess what, they won’t take those jobs either!!! The reason they take them is because the jobs paying $20 an hour actually check their legal status. If they are legal, they have no incentive to cut lawns, pick fruit or do any of the other stuff you insist that they should do. So who’s going to cut your lawn? Well the flood of mexicans that will follow…. because remember, you STILL HAVE NOT GOT CONTROL OF YOUR BORDER.

That’s an inventive argument. I think legalizing the status of illegal immigrants will very likely gradually move them out of the off-the-books black market economy and eventually make nearly all of them formally-employed tax-payers, but I don’t think that that means they will suddenly be displacing people with better skills, grander educational credentials, and more extensive indigenous connections. The process of upward mobility only in rare cases favors the first generation arrivee. The general rule is that the second or the third generation become fully assimilated and moves up and out of the immigrant neighborhood and the laboring classes. When they do, decades down the road, yes, we will be needing more immigrants. Trading citizenship and a better life for one’s descendants by doing the rotten jobs at low pay has always been the American way.

And you are never going to have control of thousands and thousands of miles of sea coast and wilderness border without paying some immense army to stand there 24-hours-a-day. It will never be economically feasible to really control the border.

The way to control the border with respect to illegal immigration is to arrange to have our labor needs met domestically by allowing enough legal immigration to meet them.

Threat to American Culture: Assimilation preserves American values… That’s a great platitude, one that we all like to think is true, but the reality is, Hispanic immigrants ARE NOT ASSIMILATING. PERIOD. One only has to live in the Southwest to understand this. You might think that this is some Darwinian process, and to a certain extent it is… But your advocating cultural suicide as a conservative value? How is that Conservative?

As I’ve jocularly noted, a few conspicuous cases of non-assimilation (the Amish) go back to colonial times and work out tolerably enough when they do.

The American Southwest is a peculiar case, and one not affecting most of us (who don’t live there) directly. The Mexicans, one is obliged to note, were actually there first. There have always been Spanish-speaking Mexican communities in the Southwest. You also have some Indians, living on reservations and not completely assimilating. It’s that kind of stuff, beyond the cactuses, gila monsters, and rattlesnakes, that gives your part of the country its special regional flavor, its local color. Take away the cactuses, the Indians, and the Mexicans, and Tucson could be Harrisburg.

The truth is that we have a long record of successfully digesting and assimilating all sorts of exotic undesirables, including types who make today’s Mexicans seem harmless. I believe the Mexicans and other Hispanics will assimilate. It’s true that in LA and other urban barrios, you are going to have politically poisonous radicals and gangsters. All waves of immigration inevitably include a certain percentage of drunks, whores, political agitators, and criminals. They used to publish Socialist newspapers in Polish and Lithuanian back where I grew up during the immigration era. The grandchildren of their readers cannot read Polish or Lithuanian, don’t live there anymore, and commonly vote Republican.

Today’s Hispanic immigrants typically work hard, save their money, and live lives of sacrifice to better their family’s future. I feel quite certain that they feel about taxes and welfare exactly the way I do. People who work hard and have family values are natural born Republican voters. We just need to make it clear that there are lots of Republicans, like myself, who sympathize with their efforts and who admire their sacrifices. If they could be persuaded that not all Republicans hate their guts, we could get plenty of their votes.

You want an end to lawlessness? Get rid of the number system. Go back to the law of 1906. Erect Ellis Airport and Bus Station. Anybody capable of self-support, and not a criminal, diseased, or Islamic, or otherwise subscribing to a noxious ideology favoring war against Capitalism and/or Western society should be free to come there, stand in line, fill out the forms, get examined by a doctor, and enter the US provisionally. After several years of satisfactory residence, he can start applying for naturalization.

11 Aug 2013

Etiology of Large-Scale Illegal Immigration

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Ezra Klein explains that Princeton Professsor Doug Massey identifies the recent decades’ great influx of Hispanic illegal immigration as a classic case of unintended consequences. However, if you don’t like Hispanic immigration, Massey also points out, you can cheer up: that period of immigration is also basically over.

[T]he rise of America’s large undocumented population is a direct result of the militarization of the border. While undocumented workers once traveled back and forth from Mexico with relative ease, after the border was garrisoned, immigrants from Mexico crossed the border and stayed.

“Migrants quite rationally responded to the increased costs and risks by minimizing the number of times they crossed the border,” Massey wrote in his 2007 paper “Understanding America’s Immigration ‘Crisis.’” “But they achieved this goal not by remaining in Mexico and abandoning their intention to migrate to the U.S., but by hunkering down and staying once they had run the gauntlet at the border and made it to their final destination.”

The data support Massey’s thesis: In 1980, 46 percent of undocumented Mexican migrants returned to Mexico within 12 months. By 2007, that was down to 7 percent. As a result, the permanent undocumented population exploded.

The militarization also had another unintended consequence: It dispersed the undocumented population. Prior to 1986, about 85 percent of Mexicans who entered the U.S. settled in California, Texas or Illinois, and more than two-thirds entered through either the San Diego-Tijuana entry point or the El Paso-Juarez entry point. As the U.S. blockaded those areas, undocumented migrants found new ways in — and new places to settle. By 2002, two-thirds of undocumented migrants were entering at a non-San Diego/El Paso entry point and settling in a “nontraditional” state.

In recent years, the net inflow of new undocumented immigrants arriving from Mexico has fallen to zero. Some of the decline is due to the U.S. recession and a falloff in construction, which employed a lot of migrant workers. But some is due to an improving economy in Mexico, where unemployment is 5 percent and wages have been rising. “I personally think the huge boom in Mexican immigration is over,” Massey said.

Read the whole thing.

I think Massey is right.

02 Aug 2013

Good Arguments

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Pretty Naomi Broadwell looks at immigration the way I do.

Hat tip to John Hinderaker.

21 Jun 2013

The “Law-and-Order” Argument

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The Immigration debate has a tendency to turn red-blooded conservatives into censorious old ladies, who are shocked, shocked and indignant and offended that Hispanic immigrant laborers would have the temerity to violate THE LAW.

Sophisticated people realize that there are laws and there are laws. During first year of law school, the distinction is universally explained between Malum in se, actions, like murder and theft, which are genuinely wrong and violative of Natural Law, and Malum prohibitum, things, like overtime parking, which are illegal only because of some arbitrary regulatory enactment.

Entering the United States in order to improve one’s condition through honest work is obviously merely Malum prohibitum, the violation of a regulation, not something evil in and of itself.

As I remarked in a previous posting, a lot of freedom-loving Americans (and even conservatives) are notorious for their lack of respect for mere regulation. They had to repeal Prohibition because so many Americans ignored the law. The 55 mph speed limit is nearly universally flouted by American motorists. Americans commonly violate current drug laws in much the same way they used to violate liquor laws. What percentage of graduates of elite universities have never smoked pot? The number must be very very small.

It is just plain silly, and not especially manly or becoming, to go around striking sanctimonious poses and ranting about “enforcing the law.” The philosopher Robert Paul Wolff wrote a small monograph in 1970, titled In Defense of Anarchism, in which he demonstrated that, really, everyone has some point of independent moral judgement at which he will cease to obey the edicts of the State. TYPICAL EXAMPLE: The Gestapo Standartenführer demands that you reveal the hiding place of some Jews.

Sometimes “the law is an ass,” sometimes the law is immoral, sometimes the law is simply obtrusive and inconvenient, and we ignore it.

When our sclerotic, unprincipled, and embodying-no-useful-purposes contemporary immigration regulations provide no opportunity for desperate people to enter the country, and some, determined to support themselves and their families and to better their condition, ignore those regulations and enter anyway, my sympathies are with them. America was founded by, and for, the enterprising, the daring, and the rebellious. The country came into being as the result of a general inclination toward resistance to arbitrary regulation and authority.

I’ve read indignant editorial after indignant editorial complaining about illegal immigrants “jumping ahead in the line” and “not playing by the rules.” Frankly, I think those arguments represent nothing more than opportunistic poses. Why do we even need a line? People come here to work because we need their services and we hire them. The market is a self-correcting mechanism. If we do not need more low-skilled Hispanic laborers, jobs will not exist, and they won’t come here. We do not need a quota system and a line to keep someone from mowing my lawn. I do not care if Jose Jimenez violated some pointless federal regulations, which as far as I am concerned do not need to exist. If he stands up, sits down, turns around, says “Simon says,” and goes through all the rigmarole required, none of that benefits me or anybody else at all. What benefits me and the country generally is the availability of affordable labor. I don’t need some federal form filled in. I need yard work and some roof shingling done.

Real morality is on the side of the illegal immigrants. Spouting law-and-order-ism and demanding that everyone follow pointless and arbitrary rules is the function of busybodies and old ladies and Statists.

21 Jun 2013

I’m Right, and Rush Limbaugh and the Others Are Wrong

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In 1905, we had gold money, like this $20 Double Eagle.

I’m right about Immigration, and unfortunately much of the rest of the Right, El Rushbo, Michelle Malkin, Victor Davis Hanson, Charles Krauthammer, John Hinderaker, and so on ad inifinitum are wrong, and I’m prepared to prove it.

Lights on in your heads, so-called conservatives, and pay attention. I’m going to deliver a series of arguments, and I’m going to demolish the nativist arguments one by one.

Let’s start off by properly identifying what kind of policy on immigration is the authentic American traditional policy and what is the nature and etiology of our current immigration laws.

One common rubric in my own thinking on American politics and public policy consists of asking myself: How did we used to do things?

I am firmly persuaded that, in all sorts of areas, Americans used to do things right, but along came Progressivism, small-l liberalism, socialism, crankery, and Modernism, and today we go around living under dysfunctional institutions, operated commonly on the basis of illusions and bad ideas, and we live buried under a colossal pile of taxes and regulations which our ancestors would never have put up with.

What is the correct policy on the currency? We ought to have the kind of currency we had back in 1905, real money minted in gold and silver or paper certificates immediately exchangeable for real money, ideally with images of Indians, Liberty, and Big Game animals on all our coins.

So, tell me, nativists, how did we used to handle immigration in the good old days when America was America and the country was free and ruled by common sense?

The answer is that, before 1900, immigration (with the exception of non-European racial groups believed in the period to be unassimilable) was unregulated. If you weren’t Chinese or Japanese and you wanted to come to the USA to get ahead, the door was wide open. In 1903, the kind of terrorism afflicting Europe and America at the time produced the Anarchist Exclusion Act. That act prohibited immigration to the United States by Anarchists, epileptics, beggars, and pimps.

We didn’t even have standard Naturalization forms and procedures until the passage of the Naturalization Act of 1906, which for the first time required some knowledge of English for Naturalization and which formalized and federalized the Naturalization process.

So, federal administration of immigration really began in 1906. And the really meaningful restrictions on Immigration were passed, out of panic inspired by the rise of Bolshevism and the Russian Revolution, in 1921 (the Emergency Quota Act) and in 1924 (the Johnson Act). It was these laws which set annual limits on the numbers of people who could enter, which limits were originally small percentages of the numbers of persons from particular countries already resident in the United States.

Here’s a major news flash, fellow conservatives. The 1920s laws placed no quotas on immigration from the Western Hemisphere. All the Mexicans and Salvadorans who wanted to come here could do so, until the Hart-Callar Act of 1965, which repealed the old racial exclusions and the 1920s quota system. Limiting immigration racially and on the basis of current representation in the US population was, in the Civil Rights era, deemed politically incorrect and “an embarrassment.” The new law opened the door to immigration from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

So, what is the real status of our respective positions?

I favor going back to the old, traditional American virtually-unregulated pre-1906 regime. I’d favor going back farther, but I think we have a need to exclude Muslims resembling the need in the early 1900s to exclude Anarchists. I support the real historical, traditional American open door immigration policy.

The rest of you folks are jumping up and down, supporting federally-managed population engineering, federal interference with the free movement of labor, and federal violation of the basic right to offer and accept employment, and government coercive resistance to organic and voluntary economic processes, all on behalf of some kind of half-baked notions of preserving an imaginary and impossible-to-preserve point of population and cultural stasis. You are enthusiastically supporting Progressive Era Statism and, even worse, the policies of a really bad 1960s democrat-passed immigration law, while I want to go right back to 1905. Obviously, I’m the real conservative, and the rest of you fellows, even poor old Rush, have gotten yourselves muddled and confused about what the real conservative position actually is.

This is long enough for now. I’ll discuss some of the anti-immigration arguments, like the “law-and-order” argument, in later postings.

21 Jun 2013

“I Don’t Want To Live In A Country That Has A Fence Around It”

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Apart from the fact that it would be tremendously costly and wouldn’t work, Kirsten Powers is right: the most important reason not to build a border fence would be its symbolism.

Powers was about to say more, when another talking head cut her off unfortunately, but watch the Fox News video anyway at Real Clear Politics.

17 Jun 2013

Conservatives Commonly Wrong on Immigration

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Conservatives are overwhelmingly right on our political and cultural issues, but the Immigration issue stands out as the rara avis example of a particular case in which most of the political right is wrong.

Even Rush Limbaugh (who is right 99.something % of the time) is wrong on this one.

When conservatives talk about immigration, they sound to me like liberals, because they insist on talking in slogans and have lost touch completely with practical reality.

Illegal immigration to the United States, overwhelmingly by poor Hispanic laborers, has occurred over a long period of time on a massive scale. The number of illegal immigrants in residence today can only be estimated, but the conventional estimate is more than 11 million persons.

Liberals want to ban private possession of firearms, tra la! and fail to reflect on inconvenient realities: that countless millions of guns exist in private hands, that large numbers of Americans have the technical ability to manufacture guns in basements and garages and that the point at which you can produce the essential components of the most advanced firearms using a 3D printer has already arrived. In the event of a national firearms ban, there would additionally be in the United States massive-scale non-compliance. (I, for instance, would never surrender all of my guns.) So the only way such a ban could actually be made effective would be to turn the country into a police state, and knock down doors, searching house by house for privately-held guns. And we are never going to do that. It would be too expensive. It might provoke armed resistance. And it would be both alien and repugnant to our national culture and laws.

Deporting 11+ million poor laborers and their wives and children is really equivalently far-fetched. We aren’t going to do it, because we are not that kind of country. Americans would never have the heart to do it. And, personally, I think people who indulge in fantasies of that kind need to consult their consciences and think again.

Why are there enormous numbers of illegal immigrants?

There are so many illegal immigrants because we have ill-conceived, unenforceable, sclerotic immigration rules which make legal immigration impossible, while we also have a national need for cheap low-skilled labor for which we typically lack a domestic supply.

The vast majority of Hispanic immigrants come here for precisely the same reason our own ancestors did: to seek better opportunity through hard work for themselves and their posterity.

The United States is a nation of immigrants, and American history is a long story always featuring the same kind of need for cheap labor and the arrival of wave after wave of humble people of backgrounds dissimilar to their predecessors to supply that need. And American history is also a long story of complaints from established residents about the alien and exotic recently-arrived riffraff cluttering up the landscape and spoiling old school Americans’ views, some of whom additionally go around causing trouble and committing crimes, while many refuse to speak English and assimilate.

Benjamin Franklin, in the 18th century, was bitching about all the fringe-group religious heretics from Central Europe coming to Pennsylvania to practice weird religious cultisms, then insisting on hanging out in their own communities, not assimilating, and often never even learning English, forsooth! And he was right. The damned Amish, Mennonites, Dunkards, and Schwenkfelders are still to be found in Pennsylvania, often still living in their own bizarre communities, and some of ’em still, by God, have not learned proper English, over two centuries later. Of course, we tend to look upon this sort of thing today as a quaint bit of surviving Americana and a great tourist attraction rather than, as Franklin did, a cultural menace and a political threat.

We must face it, too, that fond as we all are of John Ford movies, Jimmy Cagney, and St. Patrick’s Day, not all Americans were completely overjoyed when, in the late 1840s, large numbers of poor, illiterate, vulgar, rowdy, and (shudder!) Roman Catholic Irish primitives poured into the United States, grabbing up all the low end jobs and producing massive waves of drunkenness, violence, and crime, and finally corrupting the political culture of every major city with machine politics, graft, patronage, and downright plunder.

It got even worse around the turn of the last century, when instead of basically Aryan German peasants and Irishmen speaking something resembling English, still more bizarre and exotic Roman Catholics from Eastern and Southern Europe, and Jews (Heavens to Betsy!) as well, poured into America in a truly massive wave. None of them spoke English properly. They all settled in ethnic ghettos of their own kind, shopping at the own stores, attending their own churches, and even reading their own newspapers.

Long-resident Americans were commonly horrified. If you want to learn how they felt, I can recommend the letters of H. P. Lovecraft, who was totally revolted by the pollution and adulteration of the American race and culture by Slavs and Wops and Jews. The early 20th century Ku Klux Klan that we hear so much about was actually a lot more exercised at all the immigration by representatives of inferior European races and followers of the Roman Antichrist than they were about the Negroes.

(My own grandparents, of course, were Lithuanian members of that particular wave of immigration.)

The last negative reaction was, in fact, to that same turn-of-the-last-century massive immigration. The US got its first seriously restrictive (if you were not East Asian) immigration laws in 1921 which were tightened up further in 1924. It was those Progressive Era laws which ended the United States previous essentially wide open (if you weren’t Chinese or Japanese) immigration policies. We have monkeyed with them since, but only in the interests of political correctness (Let’s let in Muslims and Africans!) or special interests.

When conservatives talk about “enforcing the law” anent illegal immigration, that kind of talk doesn’t move me in the slightest. I had no hand in writing any of the existing regs and they certainly in no way embody my personal ideals, sentiments, or opinions. If somebody violates existing US Immigration Law, it is no skin off my nose, and I couldn’t care less. Hell, I’m not all that law-abiding myself. When I was underage, I gleefully drank illegally. I often trafficked in my youth in illegal fireworks. I smoked pot and experimented with other illegal drugs when I was in college. I burned my draft card. And I still drive faster than the speed limit all the time.

Obviously, we ought to revisit our immigration laws. I have no confidence myself that today’s American society can conduct a rational debate on any issue. We certainly can’t conduct one on immigration. So, I propose doing the sensible and fair thing and just rolling the whole immigration regulatory system back to 1905 (with very minor updates). What was fair for my grandparents, I think would be fair for Hispanic immigrants today. They can arrive and enter, as long as they are not diseased, criminals, polygamists, and let’s substitute Muslims for the 1900-era exclusion of Anarchists. They fill out a Declaration of Intent at the local courthouse after a few years, and they can then be naturalized a few years later.

My grandparents supplied three sons and one daughter to the US Armed Forces during WWII. I’d say the country did well by itself to have let them in. The next time the US has another major war, this country will be damned glad that we admitted all those riffraff Hispanic immigrants, because then it will very commonly be their sons and daughters serving in the ranks.

Immigration is necessary because we have a natural dynamic of social progress and increased affluence in this country. All Americans (excluding a residuum of criminals, bums, and idiots who will not work) typically move up and out of the laboring classes. So there are now no native-born Americans in most of the country who are going to dig your ditches, pick your tomatoes, carry your bricks, hang your sheetrock, and mow your lawn. We need those Hispanic guys for that. Their presence here is a blessing to us and we conservatives and Republicans ought to have the good sense to recognize that. We should sympathize with the struggles and hardships today’s immigrants endure and we should recognize in them the contemporary equivalents of our own ancestors.

No great wave of immigration has ever come without the accompaniment of social flotsam and jetsam. Most immigrants were always decent and hard-working people, but they were always accompanied on the way by some recognizable constituent of bums, thieves, whores, and radicals. That’s how life is. There is always a certain negative inevitably attached to any positive. When political commentators stigmatize the whole 11+ million Hispanic immigrants by identifying all of them as welfare spongers, La Raza agitators, and LA gangbangers, I think they are wrong and unfair. For years and years, in different parts of the country, whenever I looked around and saw the day’s work getting done, I have seen a poor Hispanic immigrant holding the tool or lifting the load. I have hired them myself from time to time, and I’ve been amazed at how the ethic of industry, skill, and integrity is so commonly found among these humble people at a time in which that ethic is practically extinct among Americans.

Nobody is more rightwing or more Republican or less politically correct than I am, but I’m on the side of the illegal immigrants. I’d be glad personally to trade ten community of fashion liberals for any one of them. If I were running some branch of the GOP, I’d let the Hispanics know how I feel. I’d throw the biggest Cinco de Mayo party in town. I’d go to church now and then at the Latino Catholic Church, and I’d be running Republican Hispanic voter registration drives. I do not believe that a hard-working Roman Catholic population with strong family values is destined in perpetuity to be a democrat party fiefdom. We don’t have ’em at the moment because we have all these airhead nativists and because we don’t go after them.

28 Nov 2011

Bachmann Wants 11 Million People Deported… In Steps

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The Hill says Michele Bachmann was trying to distinguish her candidacy from Newt Gingrich’s by offering this proposal.

She did. I’d say that she proved something very important about herself and her candidacy by advocating a policy so economically disastrous, so historically philistine, so morally repugnant, and so practically impossible.

Even in times of political adversity, even in times of defeat, it is usually agreeable to be conservative and Republican, because we have the better arguments on our side. We know that we are right. Our opponents are fools and knaves, who enjoy whatever successes they achieve by placing themselves on the side of entropy, on the side of water flowing downhill, who appeal to selfishness, self-entitlement, to group and class prejudices, to all the worst aspects of Human Nature.

Illegal Immigration as a political issue has successfully turned American politics on its head, making some Republicans and some conservatives on that particular issue into dangerous crazies, every bit as intellectually derisory, every bit as deluded, every bit as self-entitled as liberals.

What kind of person can endorse the rounding up, the arrest, the forcible transportation, and the involuntary exile of millions upon millions of men, women, and children? I’d say someone willing to contemplate violence and coercion on such a scale as an exercise in pure regulatory enforcement would be a moral monster.

Nativist conservatives attempt to justify their extravagant levels of outrage over illegal immigration and their embrace of fantasies of force and violence on an immense scale in two ways. They try pointing to the relatively modest real association between actual crime and illegal immigrants, and since the reality is not adequate to their purposes they then systematically confuse violent crimes associated with illegal drug importation and trafficking with illegal immigration. They also appeal to the rule of law and demand that our laws be enforced.

It is true that any unskilled laboring community originating from a poorer and more primitive foreign society is always going to include some real percentage of petty criminals, undesirables, and political agitators, and its ordinary members are, more frequently than the native born, going to litter, get drunk, and stand around outside playing salsa music. But it is perfectly obvious that the overwhelming majority of today’s wave of immigration, just as in the 1900s and 1850s, has come here to do work that needs to be done which native born Americans are typically unwilling to do.

Conservatives are right that it is important to maintain the rule of law, but when you find that decades go by and the law isn’t really being enforced, it is time to recognize that we are dealing with a case of laws which Americans demonstrably do not desire to be enforced.

America is culturally at root a Northern European, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon, and outside certain exotic indigenous subcultures, a decidedly law-abiding society. A lot of Americans don’t lock their doors when they go out even today. In a lot of parts of this country, if you drop your wallet on the street, someone will try to return it.

We do have a cultural problem, though, with laws produced by special interests and by ideologues and with laws expressive of our dreams and fantasies and wishful thinking, which get passed without proper thought for the consequences or intellectual scrutiny. Current immigration laws have no real relationship to our important principles, identity, or ideals, and even less to our national economic needs and requirements. They came about by compromises, by accretion, and by ideological politics. There was no grand national debate in which Americans as a whole thought the matter over, debated alternatives, and finally took a democratically arrived at position. Like Topsy, our current regulations just grew.

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