I Saw a Lot of Arguments Against Immigration on Twitter Yesterday, But Most of Them Are Poor

Against my recent personal resolutions, I spent the last 24 hours active on Twitter.  My memory of the platform turned out to be largely correct -- it took only a little while on Twitter before I became a worse person, abandoning rational argumentation in favor of clever "gotcha" zings at people whose minds aren't going to be changed anyway. So I am going to respond to some of the things I saw here on the blog, rather than on Twitter.

Much of the traffic in my feed, the day after the President's State of the Union speech, centered around immigration.  As many of you know, I grew up an immigration restrictionist, but morphed over time into a largely open immigration supporter because I simply cannot come up with a moral justification for a free society restricting anyone's freedom of movement and association.  I became convinced (more on this in a second) that not only did immigration restrictions limit the rights of those trying to immigrate, but despite being native born, they limited my property and association rights.

Yes I have concerns and I think there are some valid arguments out there.  It is, for example, really hard to square open immigration with our current definitions of citizenship and various government benefit programs.  In addition, I am frequently concerned that we libertarians are being suckers on immigration, justifying immigration on the grounds of individual liberty and then having waves of immigrants who vote for things that limit personal liberty.  I see that already with "immigrants" moving from California to Arizona, who leave California because of the effects of the crazy regulation regime there and then come to Arizona and vote for all the same crazy stuff that ruined California.

But I actually saw neither of these arguments made all day.  Instead, I saw one form or another of these four arguments:

1.  There are individual examples of immigrants who did bad things. Trump's invocation of the MS-13 gang certainly set the tone for this, but I saw it all day.   This is a classic Conservative civilization-barbarism argument and tends to have immense appeal in that community.  But here is what is funny to me.  Conservatives (rightly in my opinion) oppose using tail-of-the-distribution individual weather events to "prove" climate change.  But those same Conservatives sure like to use rare individual acts of criminal behavior to "prove" immigration is dangerous.  Tied in with this is an observer bias -- the media only presents us with the extreme examples.  When the media only puts the weather on the news when it is extreme, it leads to a false impression that the weather is becoming more extreme.  When Fox News fills the news with crimes committed by immigrants, rather than say crimes committed by natives or acts of kindness committed by immigrants, it leads to a false impression that immigrants are all criminal barbarians making us less safe.  Which leads to #2:

2.  Immigrant crime is 100% preventable because we could just have kept them out.  This is a variation of the Skittles immigration meme that went around before the election, asking if one would voluntarily eat from a bowl of 1000 Skittles if one knew 2 or 3 were poisonous.  An example I saw of this yesterday was this:

I suppose this is correct on its face.  Because in any group of 10,000 randomly-selected human beings some will be criminals, such that banning any group from the country would also ban some criminals.  But the problem is that you could make this argument for any group.  Heck, you could use this equally well as an advertisement for abortion, because every 10,000 births you prevent will likely eliminate some criminals.  Because this argument is equally valid for any group one might ban from the country, it is not a valid argument against immigration.  You still have to say why you want to pick on immigrants vs. some other group.  The first thing Conservatives would say is, "Because they are illegal!" and I will deal with the rule of law argument below in #4.  But the other thing they might say is that immigrants commit crimes at a higher rate than natives, an impression formed by wall-to-wall Fox News coverage over every alleged immigrant crime (see #1 above).  But this impression is simply not the case.  Study after study shows that immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than native born Americans.  If you really care about crime, immigrants are the last group you want to send away.  Here is one such study from Cato, but there are many.

3.  You lock the front door of your house, don't you?  An example of this argument is here:

The first problem with this argument is that it is fundamentally socialist.  Only in a socialist country is the entire country one entire single block of property.

I really hate the house analogy but if you simply have to use it, then don't think of the country as a house, think of it as a giant apartment building with 100 million apartments.   Each apartment has its own door and then there is a door into the building itself.  When people talk about immigration restrictions, they are talking about limiting who I can and cannot buzz into the front door to come up and visit me.

Bad analogy?  Well, I wasn't the one who started the whole stupid building analogy. Anyway, the correct way to put it is that if I want to hire someone from Mexico in my business, and I want to rent that person a place to live on my property, why do you get to lock the door barring that person from doing these things with me?  That is why I said above that immigration restrictions don't just limit the rights of immigrants, they limit my association and property rights as a native-born American.  I can't hire anyone I want.  I can't have anyone I want come visit me.  I can't rent my property to anyone I like.  I can only do all those things with a person who has been licensed by the Federal government to be able to interact with me in this country.  And those licenses are very scarce and hard to get.

4.  They're illegal!

I will admit the rule of law argument is seductive, but I have a couple of thoughts on it.

First, do you file and pay state use tax whenever you buy things over the Internet that have not had sales tax applied?  Do you pay all the proper employment taxes for your household help, or if they are contractors, file 1090's for what you paid them each year?  Do you always stay under the speed limit and come to a full and complete stop at every red light and stop sign?  Do you always have your dog on a leash in public areas that require it?  If the answer is "no", then stop lecturing me on the rule of law.

I know that the answer to the queries above is typically that those things are all trivial sh*t compared to breaking immigration laws.  Hmm, maybe or maybe not -- they are all basically victim-less, often paperwork crimes.  But here is another way to think of it.  You are breaking the law for some trivial reason, because you want to get to work 30 seconds faster or can't be bothered with an hour of paperwork.  Illegal immigrants are often breaking the law for life and death reasons.  Which of you is more admirable?  More than anything else about the immigration system, I hate that it takes people with qualities we generally admire -- they are trying to improve themselves, trying to make a better life for their kids, trying to find better jobs and schools -- and we turn them into criminals.  Trump is right about one thing -- many of these countries have been turned into sh*tholes by their governments.  I would like to think that if I were born in one, I would be doing everything I could to get out, laws or no laws.

Finally, I would observe that the statement "I am not against immigration, just illegal immigration" is just a cover for most people who say it.  If that were really true, we could fix it in a second -- just make it legal.  But few on the Conservative side are suggesting any such thing.

  • Chris

    The problem I have with immigration is the tax burden it places on citizens for the myriad of socialist programs we have in the US. Ideally socialist programs should cease, but that isn't realistic. Perhaps a tax on money sent back to their home countries, or an annual fee levied on each green card to pay for immigrant welfare would be a more realistic solution.

  • mlouis

    One of my issues is on fairness grounds. Seems to me that most people want to live near people similar to themselves culturally. The wealthy self-sort into expensive neighborhoods and erect various barriers to entry to keep it that way (all the while championing lower barriers for others). This then means that others are more likely to have to live near people they don't share a culture with. I think that is part of the backlash. Immigration is fine - but cultures want to be kept somewhat separate (at least at first...cultures will blur over time). If we could randomly assign immigrants to neighborhoods i'd be more inclined to support it.

  • johnson85

    I think you're being a little unfair to the "I am not against immigration, just illegal immigration " argument. I'm sure some people use it as a cover, but I think it's a defensible argument to want some order over immigration. I understand the arguments aren't persuasive to you, but "well just make all immigration legal" is not a good faith response to the argument. Granted, the "I am not against immigration, just illegal immigration" response by itself does not give you any info to exactly what they envision as guidelines for what immigration should be legal, but I think the minimum good faith response is to assume that they think the current legal immigration system, if illegal immigration was stopped, would provide a near optimal amount of immigration.

    I personally am in favor of more legal immigration and virtually no illegal immigration.

    Even though I think immigration (even by illegal immigrants) is mostly a good thing, I think we are doing serious harm to our political order by having a multi-decade farce where politicians on both sides of the aisle pretend to be against illegal immigration while actually being in favor of it, either because of liking the cheap labor or votes.

    I also think adds to the corrosiveness to have the affluent who are shielded by housing costs and government licensing schemes from the impacts of immigration (other than benefiting from cheap labor) looking down on the less affluent as being xenophobic when they are the ones who's neighborhood changes around them, who do deal with violence and property crimes committed by "latin" gangs filled with immigrants (or more likely, second or third generation americans), and
    do have to compete with them for jobs. Even if their perception of the impact of immigrants on crime and/or their job prospects is overblown or even wrong, that doesn't change the corrosiveness.

    I think a short period of declining immigration by low skill immigrants with much more immigration would by skilled immigrants (along with relaxations in licensing schemes that actually allow them to put their skills on the market) would provide a little more credibility to the political system in the eyes of those who feel ignored, would give them the benefits of immigration while shielding them from some of the negatives (just like the affluent have enjoyed for decades), and arguably would be more beneficial to the U.S. than the status quo by increasing the skilled workers available.

    That's probably an inferior result to increased skilled immigration along with the same or even increased low skill immigration (but all legal), but I think the more our political class sticks their collective thumb in the eye of voters, the more politicians like Trump we are going to get, and eventually we will get one close to what all the hysterical people in the media and on the left think Donald Trump is like.

  • C078342

    Never understood your acceptance of law-breakers entering the country. No one will or can explain to me how this lawlessness is acceptable. Is it acceptable to ignore paying taxes, is it acceptable run a red light, is it acceptable to drink and drive? How do you cross the line? No one will answer why illegally entering the country is not breaking the law.

  • Tim Broberg

    The load on the education system is pretty large also.

  • Steve-O

    I think you're conflating "the rule of law" (which to me, speaks more to questions like, "Are we a country of laws or men?") with "law and order," which speaks more to strict respect for statutes as written with harsh penalties for violations. Maybe it's splitting hairs, but I've seen discussions related to Trump/politics in the last 18 months in which it seemed to stand in stark relief.

  • Chris

    Like I said - socialist programs. Expecting others to pay for the education of your children is socialism.

  • bigmaq1980

    @Warren - on #4 and rule of law, how about this:

    Is illegal immigration worse than murder, rape, or terrorism?

    Why ask this?

    Statute of limitations.

    In Federal Criminal law, there are NO statute limits for death penalty crimes, sex offenses with minors, and terrorism causing death, but for everything else there IS. ( https://www.wklaw.com/statute-of-limitations-for-federal-crimes/ )

    Most other crimes, at the Federal (and State levels), the limitations typically fall into a 5 to 10 year range (with some unique exceptions in some states https://resources.lawinfo.com/criminal-defense/criminal-statute-limitations-time-limits.html ).

    Interestingly, per U.S. Code 18 Section 1423, specifically for using false or fraudulent citizenship papers, the limitation is 10 years.

    And a good case could be made that it should be shorter - e.g. non-violent terrorism statute of limitation is 8 years!

    Why should these cases be any different than that standard, at the least?

    Aside from the arguments for open immigration, assuming we should have immigration laws, like it or not, this county's failure to enforce those laws in a timely manner should be a significant consideration in how these cases are handled.

    To take it up as a "rule of law" issue, it seems we ought to recognize that the laws should be proportionate to the crime.

    A good many (a majority?) of the illegal immigrants might well get to stay if we follow a consistent and proportionate standard.

    Seems to me, considering all this, if one is still arguing that they all should be deported, regardless, reveals that their argument of "rule of law" really isn't much about the law at all.

  • johnson85

    I suspect but don't know that entering the country illegally is not only a criminal act, but that being in the country after entering illegally (or overstaying a visa) is illegal. So the SOL argument is irrelevant, as they haven't stopped the illegal act and therefore the SOL hasn't started to run yet.

  • Hal_10000

    Illegals aren't eligible for most public services. It's not clear what the net fiscal impact is but estimates that it's costing, say, $116 billion, are based on incredibly biased assumption.

  • bigmaq1980

    @mlouis:disqus - I think you are in the strike zone on your point, but I think it is more than culture.

    If the last election cycle showed us anything it was that many of the arguments a great many people make are more of a "tribal" signal than an actual position. Seen a great many, both near and far, advocate things that they were seemingly dead set against only months before. Cultural issues play big in "tribal" demagoguery.

    It seems simply arguing the theoretical along won't sway people, at least not in great numbers.

    If one wants to convince a majority, there has to be some kind of picture in their mind about how we get from here to there, and a stronger argument about what is in it for them that can combat the "tribal" appeals.

    In absence of that picture is fear.

    If we had open borders tomorrow, what would that look like?

    Would the US be swamped as it's population balloons to 1-2 Billion people in 12 months? If not 1+ Billion, what is a reasonable expectation?
    Where would they all go and live? How would they be accommodated?
    Would people see poverty in our streets like they've never seen before, or would everyone find gainful employment right away?
    What would be the near term impact to the current citizen? Quality of life, culture, economic, political.

    Is there any concern about citizens from rogue states and the potential for security or disruption? How do we handle this?

    What else besides open borders has to change to resolve these problems?

    If people are free to come and go, what is the meaning of citizenship? Does it change? Is a path to citizenship even worth anything?

    I don't have easy answers for those, and plenty more questions.

    I'd rather argue that we test this idea with, say, Canada. Not much cultural difference. Hardly a rogue state. They are nearly as prosperous, so not likely to see a debilitating sudden rush (even if 100% of Canadians came south, that is still only 35 Million, 11% of the US), but still, probably ought to be a phased in approach.

    If successful, the program can be replicated with other countries.

    I bet there'd be as much objection to this idea from Canadians (if it were bilateral) as there would be from Americans. BUT, I think it is more sell-able as it is more manageable and culturally "palatable".

    Like the arguments for free trade, I see the similar arguments for open borders, but I doubt we are culturally or structurally ready for it - and we haven't been very successful at convincing enough people on free trade, let alone open borders, as they seem highly susceptible to demagoguery.

  • me

    The entire "it's the law" argument is specious also on the grounds that there are plenty of laws that get conveniently ignored or outright broken when it's in the partisan interest. Just look to recent news for a few pretty flagrant examples.

    Laws can be bad, and US immigration law is particularly egregious in that respect.

    It's not surprising - after all, by definition the people impacted by bad immigration law aren't participating in the US lawmaking process.

    The other interesting line of through to pursue is the lack of negative direct impact by illegal immigration. Someone crosses the border from Mexico to the US illegally? Your life in this moment has not become a shred worse.

    There are absolutely valid arguments surrounding the indirect impact of illegal immigration (do illegals commit more crimes? No, but if they did, something should be done about that directly). The most interesting aspect here is resource allocation, and in essence, this is what people are actually worried about: do illegals take jobs that are no longer available to Americans? Do they stress the social systems and what amount of damage do they do? These are valid topics of debate and topics for which facts discovered and argued.

  • Dmon

    All right. In order:
    -Living in LA, I can assure you that MS-13 is not a tail of the curve phenomenon.
    -Your graph does not account for the fact that 2nd and 3rd generation children of immigrants count as natives. Also, as I have mentioned on this site in the past, black crime massively inflates the native rate.
    -Suppose you live in the apartment next door to me, and I invite 30 friends and relatives to move in with me? Pretty soon, you can't sleep from the constant noise, and they're pissing in your doorway, and your bike gets stolen and your cat has disappeared. Oh, by the way, a couple of them are pregnant, and their kids get preferential treatment over your kids for college admission and minority set asides because their name ends in the letter z. What's your beef? In case you didn't notice, the freedom of association ship sailed a while ago. Try turning down a black applicant to one of your job openings, and write on the rejection "do not wish to associate with blacks".
    -And finally (this one is going to be kind of long):
    In any society, there are two options for maintaining some sort of stability and cohesion : voluntary conformance with behavioral norms, or force. Most of the time, people self enforce norms, and force is used as a secondary resort. In smaller groups, everybody is likely to be inculcated with pretty much the same set of values, and has a powerful incentive to conform to group mores. People with a radically different view of things either get shunned, killed, or split off. In any of those cases, the remaining group members are pretty much going to be in agreement on what the rules are. Given the size of modern societies, lots of people with disparate ideas of what constitutes appropriate behavior are forced into proximity with each other. The societies we inhabit developed, over hundreds of years of sometimes painful trial and error, a set of behavioral norms known as "laws". Some of these are based on long held custom, some of them are a result of direct experience of the writers. Most of them are very empirical. Some of the newer ones are kind of theoretical. As a body though, they are generally accepted by all concerned, because they constitute a fairly workable behavioral rule book which prevents society from either deteriorating into anarchy or lurching into totaltarianism. We are no longer ruled by our religious beliefs, so that avenue of self enforcement is no longer viable. And we have all seen the nightmare that occurs when people no longer voluntarily conform to the rules, and governments have to resort to the force option for literally everything. It is understood that there are some laws I don't like, and some laws you don't like, but that is the price we pay to inhabit a modern, complex society.
    So now we come to illegal immigration. We have a perfectly good empirical set of immigration rules (or at least we had them). It wasn't particularly a problem until people like you decided that they could save labor costs. So you pulled on that string that was sewed into the fabric of society. And guess what - the fabric's a little frayed, and now the whole thing is ripping. For basically selfish reasons, you decided that the historically agreed upon concept called "citizenship" didn't have to be observed any more. Well, fine. Maybe I don't think that the historically agreed upon concept called "property rights" applies any more. Let's just confiscate your house and business - there are billions of people in the third world (far more desperate than Mexicans) who need them. On what grounds are you going to object? You unilaterally decided to change the rules, and to bypass the rules committee. OK. Where does that end? The Libertarian ethos : Fracturing society for 10 cents a head off the price of lettuce.

  • Joseph Hertzlinger

    Laws against bank robbery are discriminatory because only the rich can afford getaway cars.

  • Joseph Hertzlinger

    A the population density of Nassau County, NY (where I live), we could fit the entire world population inside the US with room to spare.

  • bigmaq1980

    @josephhertzlinger:disqus - well, if that were the key point being made, ok, but then we could just point to China with it's 1.4B population on approximately same sqaure miles as the US' 3.7 million.

    Think about housing that surge of people. We have enough trouble letting market forces address existing housing needs (check out the Bay area for one example - Warren has written about the barriers Californians face), let alone address a surge.

    I asked the question "What else besides open borders has to change to resolve these problems?" because there seems to be a chain of consequences that ripple from the proposition of a one time change to open borders.

    Unless, of course, we argue that open borders are the ideal, but we need a path towards that end vs a sudden change.

    Which comes to the overarching point that in order to make the case, it cannot just be a theoretical rationale, it has to be put into a picture that people can understand, about how we get from here to there.

    Without that, we leave the field open to FUD to be sown by politicians and others who will exaggerate and cherry pick the facts with illegal immigration for their own benefit.

  • bigmaq1980

    Sorry, that reads like a circular argument. It is illegal, but it is irrelevant as they haven't stopped the illegality.

    For anyone to call these people "illegal aliens" means there must be a law against it. If that is the case, then there ought to be a SOL that gets applied.

    That there seemingly isn't is precisely what I'm talking about.

    If we have a SOL of eight years on "non-violent participation in terrorism", it seems to me that any individual who stayed here illegally falls well below that in terms of impact on our society, therefore, an eight year SOL on that should be an upper limit.

    If we want to make the case that it the law was broken and must be enforced, then we ought to apply that law in a similar, consistent and proportionate fashion across the board. If we cannot abide by that, then the enforcement argument seems rather arbitrary.

  • Joshua

    Generous immigration or generous welfare. Pick one. (or none, but I kinda like immigration)

  • Joshua

    I think it's two different crimes. Entering, and staying. I'd support SOL for entering, and some kind of fine or something for staying, but I do think we should prioritize green cards for people who are already here and starting to assimilate.

  • Swami

    If you want an honest and open debate with a true classical liberal who is opposed to rampant illegal immigration, then I am your man. And for the record I am strongly, indeed very strongly, in favor of large increases in legal migration.

    First, it is not true that illegal aliens have lower crime rates.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3099992

    The summary lays it out nicely:

    "Using newly released detailed data on all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison from January 1985 through June 2017, we are able to separate non-U.S. citizens by whether they are illegal or legal residents. Unlike other studies, these data do not rely on self-reporting of criminal backgrounds. Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens. "

    Next allow me to respond to your dismissal of the rule of law argument. My position is that the basic makeup of society is determined by the definitions of how citizens are defined. I believe having major laws which are established and then waived en masse by the whims of politicians, bureaucrats and police is an absolutely terrible foundation for a free and representative liberal society. We should have clear laws on who is a citizen and on entrance and exit. Creating a class of tens of millions of people who are managed based on the rule of man rather than the rule of law is a dangerous precedent.

    As started at the offset, I strongly endorse abundant legal migration for the benefit of the migrant and the receiving nation. I would be fascinated to watch what happens if a rich developed nation allows UNLIMITED legal migration as libertarians and anarchists often recommend. Personally I would give ten to one odds on a thousand dollar bet that it would lead to absolute unmitigated disaster. But I could be wrong and we would learn a lot via the experiment if we kept it contained to one (stupid) state.

    My basic concerns with unlimited legal migration (as opposed to liberal but orderly migration) is that it would flood the receiving developed state with people of incompatible values, mindsets and shared frameworks. I believe these are the hidden foundations of successful liberal institutions. Allowing a millions of people within a year or two into a tiny nation like Switzerland or city like El Paso, would result in the end of Switzerland and El Paso. Each would cease to exist and become something totally different, and yes, dysfunctional.

  • Donald

    With many things restricted in society, an underworld market emerges. Coyotes (I still can’t get that goofy way George bush used to say coyotes out of my head), drug runners, gun runners, joe Kennedy, all perform a supply side economics that government limits. We make that lawless system profitable. We make all the other honest hard working people, 95% (I made that number up) run the same playing field as the bad 5%. If we had a clear honest immigration and visa system, that allowed guest workers to live and work legally, without voting or using up socialism dollars, the illegal immigration would not occur. Less people crossing the border. Or l to be honest. The only people crossing the border at that point would be people we do not want here or are trafficking something we don’t want here.

    We could deport the few people on work visas that violate our laws with felonies. But without a strong or effective defense against illegal immigration what does that do. Nothing. They will be back next week. Deportation fear would probably be much more effective than any prison if illegal immigration were hunted down and prevented at the border. Legal guest workers wouldn’t want to mess up the best thing in their lives. They’d wait their turn to get citizenship while building by a new life. They’d get drivers licenses. Library cards. And yes. Their own kids may even have to go to school and learn to read. That btw is typically paid for by property taxes. Nobody gets out of paying for that no matter where you come from.

    Anyway. Point is let good honest people in the front door. Build a system to keep out illegal border crossings. without a way to lock out the few bad, you take em all. Legal or illegally.

  • ErikTheRed

    Fairness arguments, the bread and butter of socialism. Life ain't fair.

  • ErikTheRed

    That always seems to be a GOP-ish response. Some questions back:

    1) The GOP hasn't done jack shit about entitlements. In fact, prior to Obamacare, the last time the GOP controlled congress and the white house they passed the largest new entitlement (Medicare Part D) since LBJ's War on Poverty. The GOP is the party for people that talk one way and act another - socialists who are afraid to admit their socialists. If I see meaningful action to the contrary, I will happily change my tune. In the meantime, I laugh at the cowardly hypocrisy.

    2) Assuming entitlements are always going to exist (seeing as how the GOP loves them just as much as the Dems, based on actions not words), what's the moral purpose of basing eligibility on the latitude and longitude of the location the recipient exited their mother's vagina at? Let's be blunt - American-born welfare recipients don't pay any meaningful quantity of taxes either, and are less eager and willing to work than illegal immigrants.

    3) Speaking of consuming entitlements, the GOP seems to scream like toddlers with skinned knees about illegal immigrant entitlement consumption, while at the same time trying to lock down the employment market to prevent them from working. I'd ask you to make up your minds, but it's very clear that no thinking is occurring anyway. The notion that jobs are a finite resource to be allocated is quite Marxian.

    4) Which goes back to the GOP being a bunch of socialists, believing that The Proletariat collectively have at least partial ownership of all jobs, and therefore have the right to tell business owners who they can and cannot hire.

    5) Not to mention the socialist schools. I don't have kids, nor do I want them. Why should I want to pay for your little shitheads any more than some other person's little shitheads? The GOP socialists sure are all proprietary about their socialist schools where their kids are turned into a fresh new generation of socialist social justice warriors. In fact, the GOP has shit fits (and fines / jail sentences) for when kids don't attend school....

    So my real question is - why don't you people quit kidding yourselves and just admit you're socialists? You're even to the left of the Democratic Party! Go vote for Bernie Sanders. After all, he shares your views on immigration and jobs (and - again judging by actions not works - most other economic issues).

  • ErikTheRed

    Lots of GOP-ish responses. Some questions back:

    1) The GOP hasn't done jack shit about entitlements. In fact, prior to Obamacare, the last time the GOP controlled congress and the white house they passed the largest new entitlement (Medicare Part D) since LBJ's War on Poverty. The GOP is the party for people that talk one way and act another - socialists who are afraid to admit their socialists. If I see meaningful action to the contrary, I will happily change my tune. In the meantime, I laugh at the cowardly hypocrisy. Why on earth should we take complaints about entitlement consumption seriously?

    2) Assuming entitlements are always going to exist (seeing as how the GOP loves them just as much as the Dems, based on actions not words), what's the moral purpose of basing eligibility on the latitude and longitude of the location the recipient exited their mother's vagina at? Let's be blunt - American-born welfare recipients don't pay any meaningful quantity of taxes either, and are less eager and willing to work than illegal immigrants.

    3) Speaking of consuming entitlements, the GOP seems to scream like toddlers with skinned knees about illegal immigrant entitlement consumption, while at the same time trying to lock down the employment market to prevent them from working. I'd ask you to make up your minds, but it's very clear that no thinking is occurring anyway. The notion that jobs are a finite resource to be allocated is quite Marxian. Or do you have some explanation for this very strange and obvious contradiction?

    4) Which goes back to the GOP being a bunch of socialists, believing that The Proletariat collectively have at least partial ownership of all jobs, and therefore have the right to tell business owners who they can and cannot hire. Just how much ownership of the means of production do you claim?

    5) Not to mention the socialist schools. I don't have kids, nor do I want them. The GOP socialists sure are all proprietary about their socialist schools where their kids are turned into a fresh new generation of socialist social justice warriors. In fact, the GOP has shit fits (and fines / jail sentences) for when kids don't attend school.... Why should I want to pay for your little shitheads any more than some other person's little shitheads?

    So my real question is - why don't you people quit kidding yourselves and just admit you're socialists? You're even to the left of the Democratic Party! Go vote for Bernie Sanders. After all, he shares your views on immigration and jobs (and - again judging by actions not works - most other economic issues).

  • AudreyA

    I would urge you to look at the current situation in Europe and read the book "the Strange Death of Europe." We are of course complacent here because our Latin American illegal immigrants, while they are almost 100% socialist in their political views, are Christian in their social norms. So they allow the education of their daughters, they understand that an unescorted woman is not an acceptable sexual target, they tolerate sexual minorities, etc. But European countries faced with overwhelming illegal immigration from Middle Eastern and African nations are having to cope with a surging population that has very different views on the idea of tolerance, education of women, etc. When large groups of people come in, they create change--European women are adjusting their behavior in response to the treatment they are getting from new arrivals. The Europe we've known is changing. (and not for the better if you are a woman or a gay). Our new immigrants are socialist to the bone and completely ignorant of how a free market society works. How long before the new arrivals you envision demand the vote and elect socialist leaders? We need to restrict immigration so they assimilate into our nation, not change it to what they left.

  • ErikTheRed

    First of all, I think it's important to distinguish between belief systems that people are raised with and go along with, versus belief systems that they've studied and have a solid epistemological foundation in. People from poor countries tend to go along with whatever are told will keep them fed, clothed, and sheltered (have better lives) - it's not like they're carrying around their Little Red Books for study sessions every day. If you asked them to explain, say, the labor theory of value you're very seldom going to get anything more than a blank stare in return. People who live in socialist countries have to pay lip service to socialism - otherwise they often face social and financial consequences.

    In other words, most of these immigrants are about as truly socialist as your average Republican is truly Christian (judging this strictly by Republican remarks about socialist immigrants, and maybe the occasional megachurch).

  • johnson85

    It's not circular. That's the way statute of limitations work. There are lots of "continuing offenses". You can't stockpile cocaine in your house and keep it hidden for whatever the length of the SOL is can claim you can no longer be prosecuted for it because the SOL ran. The SOL never started to run because you never stopped the offense.

    Same thing with being in the country after entering illegally or overstaying a visa. If it's only illegal to enter the country illegally (or stay in the country past a visa expiration) but not to be in the country after entering illegally (or after staying past the visa expiration), then maybe the SOL starts to run as soon as person steps on U.S. soil (or the moment the visa expires). But if it's actually illegal to be in the country after entering illegally (or staying past a visa expiration), then the SOL doesn't start to run until they are no longer engaged in the illegal behavior.

    I also think there probably is a SOL. At least on the civil side, there is always a catch-all that applies to any claims that don't have a specific SOL set. I'm guessing the federal criminal law has something similar, and that's why I suspect you don't hear any SOL claims by illegal immigrants, because it's actually illegal to be in the country after entering illegally or overstaying a visa.

  • mlouis

    Well it's not so much fairness per se. I agree almost nothing is "fair." But it's more about pushing a policy, while knowing that others will have to deal with the negative externalities, but not yourself. I think that's morally wrong and shouldn't be done. And yet that is exactly what I see among a lot of the "more immigration" crowd. Reminds me of how Congress likes to rush into wars knowing full well that few of their children will be involved. I think it makes for bad policy when there is no skin in the game. Immigration is such an issue: policy-makers and influencers are basically insulated from the negative effects while they benefit from the positive.

  • C078342

    "Anyway. Point is let good honest people in the front door. Build a system to keep out illegal border crossings. without a way to lock out the few bad, you take em all. Legal or illegally." You do realize this statement is contradictory and makes no common sense?

  • J K Brown

    You are correct. The rule of law is that none are above the law and all are equal before the law. The undermining of the rule of law is happening in DC. But also in that many jurisdictions apply the law differently to illegal immigrants than citizens, as in favoring the illegals in not enforcing broken-window crime.

    I recently heard this on a Free Thoughts podcast which is why rule of law is important.

    But the World Bank gives this information in their book and they never put it on one page, if scholars will note, I had to site two sources to put it together. Here’s the short of it, the biggest source of wealth in the world according to the World Bank is the rule of law. 44% of the wealth in the world, the single largest source of wealth in the world is the rule of law.

    https://www.libertarianism.org/media/free-thoughts/choose-your-government

  • bigmaq1980

    In the Bill Cosby case we have what we seem to be able to call a criminal act at some time in the distant past. He took action to hide that act for the vast majority of time since then.

    I'm not a legal expert by any means, but it seems to me that a person could never claim a SOL, as they would just as well be charged with their subsequent actions to hide it up to the time it becomes uncovered.

    It seems a form of double jeopardy. Confess right away and we find you guilty. Hide it and we find out, we still find you guilty, notwithstanding a SOL on the original crime.

    Not what we see in Cosby's case.

    Maybe there is some legal and philosophical theory that applies like you say, but I don't see it, and it strikes me as ripe for abuse.

  • texasjimbo

    Yes, the concept of national borders and nationality is arbitrary and restrictive. So? It is also necessary to maintaining a stable, wealthy, orderly society. And BTW, yammer on about socialism and talk about apartment complexes all you like, the concept of private property is equally arbitrary and restrictive. If you seek to destroy one, you have no moral basis for defending the other. You haven't made a case for disregarding one while respecting the other besides the fact that it is your preference. Aside from virtue signaling progressives, subversive lefties who view mass low skill immigration as a valuable political tool, and a few dozen hard core uncompromising libertarian types (who frequently also have the same smug self righteousness as the progressives and thus are easily confused with them), there are very few US citizens who share your view. And we are *supposed* to have a representative government.
    Further, culture matters. If you think importing a few million or more Muslims who mostly view our culture as inferior, and are uninterested in assimilating into a country where most of the left also believes that our country and culture are inferior and that is actively opposed to immigrants assimilating into the population is going to turn out well for us, then you have gone completely around the bend. The same holds true for some other cultures, to a lesser extent. If the immigrant's culture is one that has produced poverty and political and social dysfunction, then it is unreasonable to assume that mass immigration from those places that is not selective, and not followed by full assimilation is going to be a net benefit.
    Also, you asserted in your subsequent post that mass low skill immigration did not lower the employment rate of low skill citizens. That is so counter intuitive that I'd really like to see something accessible to a lay person supporting that assertion. I might tentatively accept that it did not reduce, or only marginally reduced of the employment rate of citizens who *looked* for employment with good evidence. But that isn't the same thing.

  • stevewfromford

    How many is enough? If you are in favor of open borders, as you seem to be, is there any number of immigrants that might make you change your mind? If 10,000,000 Chinese decided to move here next year and every year after would that be Jim Dandy with you? How about 100,000,000? 1,000,000,000? Is there any limit on how many we should "welcome" here before we are no longer the same country?
    And please don't cop out by saying that so many would never come. You are the one in favor of removing all barriers to entry so you can't presume to know how many poor people might flood in here under those conditions or how many adversary countries would, in effect, ship in all the poor people they don't want.
    Do you not remember the Mariel boat lift when Castro emptied his prisons on S Florida? Do you believe no countries would emulate this if given the chance?Your position seems very naive to me and not very well thought out.
    If there is some sort of upper limit that even you would acknowledge then aren't we just arguing about numbers not principle?

  • John Moore

    No, it is not specious. II is incorrect logic to assert that if not all laws are enforced, we should not enforce some particular one.

    Resource allocation is not the only problem. Illegal immigrants get illegal jobs for which they are paid peanuts, while American workers end up on welfare as a result.

    We need an immigration policy that is for the benefit of American citizens - and not just some company that wants to fire Americans and hire cheap immigrants.

    Here in AZ, there are a number of occupations that have been taken over by immigrants in the last 30 years: barbers (my barber is an Uzbeck Jew), landscapers, care home workers, motel ownership. Some of these are jobs where Americans were displaced. One can argue that this is just the free market in action, but it is not - the immigrants come from a place where the free market doesn't work, and are used to both being treated poorly (in comparison to Americans) and having the government work based on graft, not law. I see little benefit in allowing in as many of these people as want to come. Yes, this is not saying that these are bad people, and I personally know a lot of them who are fine and are friends. But the impact on American employment is significant. And, if you don't believe there is a negative impact on American culture, spend some time in the West Phoenix barrios.

  • me

    That was not the argument I made. My argument was that if we do not consistently enforce many laws, arguing that this one is special and should be cause for drastic consequences (lose all your life and be deported to a country where you never lived, worst case) in all cases is highly specious. Consider that case of the established doctor who legally immigrated into and lived in the US for more than 30 years, paid taxes and ended up deported because of a childhood felony that would be completely ignored for any American.

    You continue to mention a specific concern - some immigrants take jobs that should in your opinion be limited to Americans. That's a completely valid concern, and, as I point out above, is something very worthy of discussion.

    Note that you have options today - you can choose to pay more for a haircut, you can sue the owner or report the specific worker you are concerned with to ICE. Nowhere do you make the argument that illegal immigration per se is bad.

    There is the argument that foreigners working for cheap - in the country or outside - net an immense benefit to Americans: the money has higher purchasing power and Americans are free to do higher paying jobs.

    I suspect that cars costing at a minimum 120k a piece, food that would cost 200% more than today and haircuts that start at a cheap 80 USD for the bottom line men's cut will make folks reconsider immigration law and trade wars, but it'll be a little late at that point.

    But let's assume that we decide that we don't want that, then there's an easy way to ensure that Americans are competitive: tax working illegal immigrants higher. It's easy to do - the only reason that this is not common today is that the penalty for a working illegal immigrant is so drastically high that these people go to extreme lengths to protect their status.

    So: fixing immigration law in the US is in the best interest of promoting the agenda of reducing competition for Americans in the workforce. Let's get to it?

  • bigmaq1980

    Don't want to go down a rabbit hole but let's get apples to apples comparison. Arizona does not = United States.

    Looks like your argument is close to what I've been saying on other posts here. The theoretical argument gets lost on the assumption that it all happens in one big switch. Today, limited migration. Tomorrow, open borders.

    Libertarians will lose the argument and, worse, close down minds as they don't take that next step and filling in the full story, with what the path from here to there looks like. That gap is a chasm of FUD, ripe for demagoguery.

  • billyjoerob

    Why does there need to be a moral justification? "It would lower my quality of life" is not a moral justification but it's a 100% perfectly good justification. How about a cost benefit analysis? Immigration provides little or no benefit to me and the risks far outweigh the costs. It's strange that people who looks at costs and benefits all day long as businesspeople suddenly become moral philosophers when it comes to things that will affect their children and grandchildren.

  • bigmaq1980

    Right, "fairness" is a rather vague term that can mean anything one wants it to mean, and can be a rhetorical abuse of both the right and left.

    Perhaps there are a couple of angles to consider:

    1) Setting and applying the law consistently and proportionately to the crime.
    2) Cherry picking which laws we are concerned about while ignoring others (or our own defiance of them - large and small).

    Taken in a larger context, the "enforce the law" argument often seems to be cover for some other motives for a great many, rather than a strict, well reasoned philosophical position.

    I prefer to judge arguments on the merits, but, too many times, have run into some who make other statements on another matter(s) wholly inconsistent with the foundation of the first argument.

  • bigmaq1980

    To clarify, "what else has to change?", is primarily about our government and the existing policies and laws that encumber our ability to deal with issues.

  • Mercury

    "I Saw a Lot of Arguments Against Immigration on Twitter Yesterday, But Most of Them Are Poor"
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If it turns out that the vast majority of American citizens simply don't want open borders or mass immigration from underdeveloped countries - would that be a good enough reason for you?

    You should entertain the idea that life would be a lot easier for the ruling/political class if this country developed a permanent, majority bloc of voters who were politically docile by traditional American standards, had low expectations in terms of personal liberty and negative civil rights (things the state can't do to you) and were net-dependents of government social programs. It's just possible that the ruling/political class has this figured out already and is trying to arrange for this outcome which, BTW, is a perfectly rational strategy in a one-person-one-vote system.

    The kinds of people that the ruling/political class wants to "Dream" into citizenship have thus far not shown the kind of socio/economic upward mobility that other immigrant groups have shown in the past. They see this as a feature, not a bug. Sure, lots of them work very hard but too many of them don't develop themselves via education (or whatever) and come Monday morning they are right back to working very hard again....generation after generation (and/or spawning net-government dependents along the way).

    If Barack Obama (for instance) thought for one minute that any significant portion of 'Dreamers' -or their progeny-would grow up to be wealthy, property owning, non-identity group focused, pain-in-the-ass individualists like so many legacy citizens are - he'd have built THE WALL himself in 2010.

  • Swami

    Agreed. So we have one valid study but it is limited to a single state and needs to be expanded and on the other side we have studies which combine and conflate legal and illegal immigration (which have contradictory crime rates) and that use self reported status on something with a strong incentive to lie.

    Yes my argument is strongly based upon the threat of huge surges of people moving suddenly to a small fraction of the planet (those parts with liberal institutions and cultures). As I stated I am extremely pro legal methodical migration (my family includes first generation Hispanics). I would also look into charter cities in non liberal lands, perhaps requiring them as a condition for allowing immigration. Along with migration we need to reform taxation, benefit eligibility, citizenship requirements, voting verification and so on.

    I have no idea what a chasm of FUD is, so I cannot respond. Sounds daunting.

    "Hercules first quest was to cross the chasm of FUD."

  • Swami

    Just read your above explanation of the chasm. I agree with your recommendation of trying it with someplace like Vermont or Vancouver or Denmark. I am almost positive it would lead to the worst disaster imaginable. I am in general very much for small scale experimentation, and I would revise my arguments based upon the outcomes and findings.

    By the way, where is Warren? I thought he was interested in an actual discussion of the issue rather than a tribal twitter fiasco.

    There are a significant number of pro liberty classical liberals who start with similar assumptions and are coming to diametrically opposing conclusions.

  • bigmaq1980

    "I am almost positive it would lead to the worst disaster imaginable." - Not sure your assumptions behind that to make such a conclusion.

    Europe already has fairly free movement within the EU, which (despite Greece's either lack of will to manage its borders, or conscious decision to let a surge of Syrians in viaTurkey) has worked reasonably well. Before that, there were many who foresaw certain "disaster" as well.

    Perhaps there are tweaks that can be added to address some of the problem areas, over the short term, but it might be a model to borrow from.

    Not sure how an experiment can be limited to Vermont or Vancouver (Canada, or Washington State?), without additional great expense, since there is free flow of people to/from those locations with the rest of their respective countries.

    As it stands right now, there is significant openness between Canada and the US already. Maybe all that is needed is to scale it up over time, based on some outline of criteria.

    BTW, FUD = Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt

  • Swami

    I don’t foresee any disaster whatsoever in free movement between US states or between well developed European nations. Nor do I see any in free movement between Canada and the US, GB, Germany, France, Scandinavia or Australia. Non issue. agreed, open it up and expand from there!

    I see a serious issue with unlimited migration with people with significantly different cultural backgrounds, frameworks and moral systems. This can include tens of millions of uneducated adults, or people without liberal ideals of individualism and the rule of law. The concern is that if too many enter at one time they will change the foundational mindset and shared beliefs upon which the liberal institutions are built upon.

    The recipe is pretty simple. Institutions are absolutely essential to properly functioning and thriving societies. And institutions are made up of shared beliefs and mindsets, informal rules and rewards, and formal rules and organizations. I refer to the as PRISMs (ptotocols, rewards, institutions and shared mindsets).

    Every society is determined by and composed of these elements which need to work together. You cannot export formal institutions to clan based, or low trust or non liberal mindset cultures and expect to get the same formal institution. It is like building on swampland. Similarly if too many people without the underlying mindset come to a developed nation, they undermine the foundation both in what they bring and how others react to the influx (voting dynamics of clan-based societies has been well studied, and is truly frightening).

    The key to larger scale immigration is to allow it at a pace which doesn’t overwhelm the PRISMs of the receiving state. This can be done by bringing in a large diversity of different people who are effectively "forced" (by circumstances) to adapt to the new conditions and the mindsets of their new home.

    And just to clarify, I am quite familiar with life along the Mexican border. In general I think Hispanic migration has been a good thing and can continue to be so with a bit of common sense and rule of law. In excess, it can lead to the creation and development of long term barrio slums which trap inhabitants in dysfunctional sub cultures.

    Good places to start are people with job offers. Or people with college education, or in-demand skills. Certainly we can experiment with the rules and the size of the flow. I would be pro large numbers. Millions annually.

  • mcmanon

    And, let's remember, all of those folks who are sounding off about illegal immigration had grandparents who would not have been able to pass todays immigration laws: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/02/05/your-grandma-was-a-chain-migrant?mbid=social_twitter

    Not to mention that from the point of native Americans, y'all are illegals.

  • Kurt Droffe

    Just (and too late) a few thoughts (a can’t write at full length here) from a german point of view.
    1. The problem you mentioned is not solved yet indeed: As long as we have generous welfare states in Europe we will attract millions of (mostly unqualified) immigrants who have few incentives to work their way up the ladder. We are literally importing people into our welfare states to whom we are then paying billions in hard earned taxes - this is madness. Just keep in mind that, say the annual per capita income in, say, Burkina Faso is 449 $, a sum you get as an asylum seeker in germany in two months (in cash). As some scholar put it, a welfare state with open borders is like heating a flat with the windows open.
    2. Imagine the reaction of the electorate to the situation: Told over years that there is no public money for roads and schools etc., suddenly we literally build new homes for “refugees” who never paid a dime in our systems. Imagine people struggling to get by seeing their rents rise by tax paid competition for living space or seeing built brand new houses in their neighbourhood especially coming with the restriction of not being available for “indigenous” poor (I do not kid, e. g.: http://www.nw.de/lokal/bielefeld/mitte/22039090_Das-sind-die-ersten-Fluechtlingshaeuser-der-Stadt-Bielefeld.html). This in a country with an already extraordinary high level of taxation.
    3. I have always argued that in the US you are in a quite comfortable situation for taking a pro immigration stance: quite secure borders and immigration from culturally more similar countries. Not so here: Our immigration consists of people with completely different backgrounds, from dysfunctional states, often with a deep ignorance and, worse, contempt for our liberal values and ways of living (believe me, I live in Berlin, I see this every day). Not being into identity politics I nonetheless always thought that libertarians underestimate the importance of cultural identity in respect of immigration: a massive influx from foreign cultures in dense countries of Europe will not lead to an harmonious peaceful system of voluntary exchanges and transactions of a libertarian society but to bitter cultural and economical squarrels bordering to civil war. Look at the eruptions in the banlieus of Paris, Calais or Malmö to see what I mean.
    4. And yes, crime has risen in consequence of the immigration of the last years, pure and simple. There is no way of denying it; it is long past a mere “tail end” symptom or media hysteria. In fact there is a massive effort on behalf of the publicly financed media to not talk about this. What we got is in exchange is a law about a de facto censorship in the social media.
    5. What leads me to a last point: What irks many people is the stance of politicians and media. We don’t even have an honest public discussion about immigration, its pros and cons, because even having a discussion is labelled as racist. Instead people ar fed the story of “white guilt”, of atonement for colonialism, of “paying back” for capitalistic exploitation, of “climate refugees” – “Keep your mouth shut and pay, you white capitalist imperialist racist pig” (in Germany often combined with a decidedly anti-german stance: “Die, Germany!”). Combined with a left who lost its cherished “proletariat” and is all too happy to use immigration as a means for redistribution and “class warfare”. And keep in mind that the same politicians and media preaching the moral imperative of immigration are the ones who don’t feel its consequences: Living in posh suburbs, earning nice salaries, sending their kids (if they have any) to the best schools available.

  • Kurt Droffe

    Just (and too late) a few thoughts (a can’t write at full length here) from a german point of view.
    1. The problem you mentioned is not solved yet indeed: As long as we have generous welfare states in Europe we will attract millions of (mostly unqualified) immigrants who have few incentives to work their way up the ladder. We are literally importing people into our welfare states to whom we are then paying billions in hard earned taxes - this is madness. Just keep in mind that the annual per capita income in, say, Burkina Faso is 449 $, a sum you get as an asylum seeker in germany in two months (in cash). As some scholar put it, a welfare state with open borders is like heating a flat with the windows open.
    2. Imagine the reaction of the electorate to the situation: Told over years that there is no public money for roads and schools etc., suddenly we literally build new homes for “refugees” who never paid a dime in our systems. Imagine people struggling to get by seeing their rents rise by tax paid competition for living space or seeing built brand new houses in their neighbourhood especially coming with the restriction of not being available for “indigenous” poor (I do not kid, e. g.: http://www.nw.de/lokal/biel.... This in a country with an already extraordinary high level of taxation.
    3. I have always argued that in the US you are in a quite comfortable situation for taking a pro immigration stance: quite secure borders and immigration from culturally more similar countries. Not so here: Our immigration consists of people with completely different backgrounds, from dysfunctional states, often with a deep ignorance and, worse, contempt for our judicial systems, our liberal values and ways of living (believe me, I live in Berlin, I see this every day). Not being into identity politics I nonetheless always thought that libertarians underestimate the importance of cultural identity in respect of immigration: a massive influx from foreign cultures in dense countries of Europe will not lead to an harmonious peaceful system of voluntary exchanges and transactions of a libertarian society but to bitter cultural and economical quarrels bordering to civil war. Look at the eruptions in the banlieus of Paris, Calais or Malmö, not to mention even mino german cities, to see what I mean.
    4. And yes, crime has risen in consequence of the immigration of the last years, pure and simple. There is no way of denying it; it is long past a mere “tail end” symptom or media hysteria. In fact there is a massive effort on behalf of the publicly financed media to not talk about this. What we got is in exchange is a law about a de facto censorship in the social media (so called "Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz").
    5. What leads me to a last point: What irks many people is the stance of politicians and media. We don’t even have an honest public discussion about immigration, its pros and cons, because even having a discussion is labelled as racist. Instead people ar fed the story of “white guilt”, of atonement for colonialism, of “paying back” for capitalistic exploitation, of “climate refugees” – “Keep your mouth shut and pay, you white capitalist imperialist racist pig” (in Germany often combined with a decidedly anti-german stance: “Die, Germany!”). Combined with a left who lost its cherished “proletariat” and is all too happy to use immigration as a means for redistribution and “class warfare”. And keep in mind that the same politicians and media preaching the moral imperative of immigration are the ones who don’t feel its consequences: Living in posh suburbs, earning nice salaries, sending their kids (if they have any) to the best schools available.

  • Kurt Droffe

    (I keep trying to post this, don't know, why it gets deleted all the time).

    Just (and too late) a few thoughts (a can’t write at full length here) from a german point of view.
    1. The problem you mentioned is not solved yet indeed: As long as we have generous welfare states in Europe we will attract millions of (mostly unqualified) immigrants who have few incentives to work their way up the ladder. We are literally importing people into our welfare states to whom we are then paying billions in hard earned taxes - this is madness. Just keep in mind that the annual per capita income in, say, Burkina Faso is 449 $, a sum you get as an asylum seeker in germany in two months (in cash). As some scholar put it, a welfare state with open borders is like heating a flat with the windows open.
    2. Imagine the reaction of the electorate to the situation: Told over years that there is no public money for roads and schools etc., suddenly we literally build new homes for “refugees” who never paid a dime in our systems. Imagine people struggling to get by seeing their rents rise by tax paid competition for living space or seeing built brand new houses in their neighbourhood especially coming with the restriction of not being available for “indigenous” poor (I do not kid, e. g.: http://www.nw.de/lokal/biel.... This in a country with an already extraordinary high level of taxation.
    3. I have always argued that in the US you are in a quite comfortable situation for taking a pro immigration stance: quite secure borders and immigration from culturally more similar countries. Not so here: Our immigration consists of people with completely different backgrounds, from dysfunctional states, often with a deep ignorance and, worse, contempt for our judicial systems, our liberal values and ways of living (believe me, I live in Berlin, I see this every day). Not being into identity politics I nonetheless always thought that libertarians underestimate the importance of cultural identity in respect of immigration: a massive influx from foreign cultures in dense countries of Europe will not lead to an harmonious peaceful system of voluntary exchanges and transactions of a libertarian society but to bitter cultural and economical quarrels bordering to civil war. Look at the eruptions in the banlieus of Paris, Calais or Malmö, not to mention even mino german cities, to see what I mean.
    4. And yes, crime has risen in consequence of the immigration of the last years, pure and simple. There is no way of denying it; it is long past a mere “tail end” symptom or media hysteria. In fact there is a massive effort on behalf of the publicly financed media to not talk about this. What we got is in exchange is a law about a de facto censorship in the social media (so called "Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz").
    5. What leads me to a last point: What irks many people is the stance of politicians and media. We don’t even have an honest public discussion about immigration, its pros and cons, because even having a discussion is labelled as racist. Instead people ar fed the story of “white guilt”, of atonement for colonialism, of “paying back” for capitalistic exploitation, of “climate refugees” – “Keep your mouth shut and pay, you white capitalist imperialist racist pig” (in Germany often combined with a decidedly anti-german stance: “Die, Germany!”). Combined with a left who lost its cherished “proletariat” and is all too happy to use immigration as a means for redistribution and “class warfare”. And keep in mind that the same politicians and media preaching the moral imperative of immigration are the ones who don’t feel its consequences: Living in posh suburbs, earning nice salaries, sending their kids (if they have any) to the best schools available.

  • AudreyA

    I think a poorly (if at all) educated immigrant from Latin America would believe that it is the job of the government to provide all the necessities of life (food, housing, medical care) and this is, of course, what Bernie Sanders, Warren, and the rest of them all preach. They would see their move as from a poor socialist country to a rich socialist one; that is, they don't know their poverty is caused by socialism itself. By the way, the average Republican I know is quite supporting of legal immigration and very supportive of guest worker programs. Open borders would be, in effect, giving all we have to a massive flood of very poor people. While Christ said we should give all we have to the poor and follow Him, He didn't say that was required for salvation. It is a little disappointing that you brought this to the conversation. People are always saying that Republicans aren't Christian because they don't support the government taking care of everyone. Isn't it possible that Republicans have seen that the government does a lousy job at almost every thing it touches (and at an insane price!) and that people are happier, healthier, and more successful when they have the economic freedom to provide for themselves?

  • bigmaq1980

    I think the PRISMs argument is somewhat true but overrated.

    Why?

    We have a hard enough time even getting people to agree to these things in our own country. Yet, we survive.

    Assuming PRISMs is the overriding concern... Then the issue is really about volume.

    We then could have "open borders" with much smaller countries, say, the Bahamas - no fear of dramatic change there.

    If we can can manage that, then rolling it out to progressively bigger countries over time might work too.

    Yes, open up to more educated and business investment class of people too. But that is already underway - though maybe not in the numbers you are perhaps suggesting?

    So far, looks like three scenarios for allowing more immigration we've discussed:

    1) Experiment with open borders with Canada and roll out to other countries with political and cultural similarities.
    2) Experiment with open borders with small countries that may not share such similarities, but are small enough to not pose a threat to our PRISMs.
    3) Greatly expand for classes of people more likely to buy into and/or already share our PRISMs.