The Immigration Debate and Racism

Exclusionist Conservatives in Arizona are quick to defend themselves against charges of racism.  While I tend to be an pro-immigration hawk, I accept that there are issues, such as the conflict of immigration and the welfare state, where reasonable people can disagree as to solutions without any hint of racism charging the debate.  I really, really resist playing the race card on anyone.

However, if Conservatives really want to discourage charges of racism, they need to  stop playing on fears of immigrant crime as a main argument in their case (example from Expresso Pundit).  Such fears of minority group violence are part and parcel of every racist position in history.   The out-group is always vilified as criminal, whether it be blacks in the 60's or Italians and Eastern Europeans earlier in the century or the Irish in the 19th century.

There is no evidence either recently or throughout history of immigrant-led crime waves, and in fact as I wrote the other day crime rates in Arizona are improving throughout this "invasion" at a faster rate than the US average. So when Conservatives grab a single example, such as the Pinal County shooting  (for which no suspects have been identified) as "proof" we need immigration reform, they are no different than Al Sharpton grandstanding based on the Tawana Brawley case  (and possibly these cases could be even more similar, update: or perhaps not).

Stop trying to manufacture a crime spree that does not exist.  Sure, illegal immigrants commit some murders.  So do every other group.  There is no evidence they commit such murders at a disproportionate rate.  And yes, I understand there are violent, paramilitary gangs roving Northern Mexico, which currently is in a state of chaos, that we really don't want to spill over into Arizona.  But this has been a threat for years, and for all the fear, there is no evidence that they are somehow increasing their activities here.  And even if they were, laws that give Joe Arpaio additional power to harass day laborers in Phoenix are sure as hell not going to scare them off.


  1. John S:

    I rarely praise Victor Hanson, but at the Corner a few days ago he did a good job of putting in true perspective the liberals' charge of "racial profiling" under the Arizona law. The piece also includes the most concise and insightful explanation of Mexico's human export policy that I have seen.
    Deconstructing the Outrage [Victor Davis Hanson]
    I have been trying to collate all the furor over the Arizona law, much of it written by those who do not live in locales that have been transformed by illegal immigration. These writers are more likely to show solidarity from a distance than to visit or live in the areas that have been so radically changed by the phenomenon.

    On the unfortunate matter of "presenting papers": I have done that numerous times this year--boarding airplanes, purchasing things on a credit card, checking into a hotel, showing a doorman an I.D. when locked out, going to the DMV, and, in one case, pulling off a rural road to use my cell phone in a way that alarmed a chance highway patrolman. An I.D. check to allay "reasonable suspicion" or "probable cause" is very American.

    On the matter of racial profiling: No one wishes to harass citizens by race or gender, but, again unfortunately, we already profile constantly. When I had top classics students, I quite bluntly explained to graduating seniors that those who were Mexican American and African American had very good chances of entering Ivy League or other top graduate schools from Fresno, those who were women and Asians so-so chances, and those who were white males with CSUF BAs very little chance, despite straight A's and top GRE scores. The students themselves knew all that better than I--and, except the latter category, had packaged and self-profiled themselves for years in applying for grants, admissions, fellowships, and awards. I can remember being told by a dean in 1989 exactly the gender and racial profile of the person I was to hire before the search had even started, and not even to "waste my time" by interviewing a white male candidate. Again, the modern university works on the principle that faculty, staff, and students are constantly identified by racial and gender status. These were not minor matters, but questions that affected hundreds of lives for many decades to come. (As a postscript I can also remember calling frantically to an Ivy League chair to explain that our top student that he had accepted had just confessed to me that in fact he was an illegal alien, and remember him "being delighted" at the news, as if it were an added bonus.)

    On the matter of equality, fairness, and compassion, it is even more problematic. Literally thousands of highly skilled would-be legal immigrants from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe wait patiently while others cut in front and illegally obtain what others legally wait for--residence in the U.S. Meanwhile, millions of Mexican-American, African-American, and poor white citizens have seen their wages fall because of competition from illegal aliens who will work for far less compensation. It is a bit strange that those of the upper classes are outraged over Arizona without empathy for entry-level U.S. workers or lower-middle-class taxpayers who end up paying the most for illegal immigration. But then, those who express the most moral outrage often are the least sensitive to the moral questions involved (see next).

    On matters of Mexico's outrage: The Mexican government has a deliberate policy of exporting human capital on a win/win/win/win logic: Dissidents leave central Mexico in a safety-valve fashion; Mexico saves on social services; remittances come back as the second largest source of foreign exchange; and a growing expatriate, lobbying community becomes nostalgic and fonder of Mexico the longer it is absent from it. To hide all this, the Mexican government usually plays the racial prejudice card, although most arrivals from Oaxaca will tell you that racism is more perncious in Mexican society than north of the border. This is a government, after all, that cannot provide the security, legal framework, or social services for indigenous peoples in its central interior but has no such problems when it is a question of attracting affluent North Americans to live in second homes along its picturesque coasts.

    There is plenty of cynicism involved--not on the part of the exasperated voters of Arizona, but rather from domestic political, religious, ideological, and ethnic interests that in patronizing fashion seek new dependent constituents; from Mexico that in amoral fashion censures others for the sins it commits; and from a strange nexus between corporate employers and ethnic lobbyists who see their own particular profit and influence enhanced through the ordeal of millions of poor aliens, and the subsidies of the strapped and now to be demonized taxpayer.

    [end of Hanson column]

    The most important point is the first one: liberals across the land are directing the most extreme invective against Arizona for a law that simply enforces immigration law on illegal aliens, a law that is not about race, but about violation of the law. They call the people who passed this necessary, non-racial law white racists and Nazis and threaten to use economic and other warfare to beat them to their knees. .
    At the same time, those same liberals have put in place and enforced throughout the land the systematic discrimination against white men on the basis of their race and their sex.

    So, according to the liberals, race blind immigration laws that are being violated by nonwhite lawbreakers cannot be enforced, because that is racist. But race conscious employment practices that bar qualified whites from jobs and give them to less qualified nonwhites are the essence of virtue and cannot be challenged, because that is racist.

    How can we make sense of the contradiction between these two positions? By understanding that it is not a contradiction, but the expression of a consistent agenda: to raise up nonwhites and bring down whites.

    And this is why conservatives cannot effectively fight back against liberalism unless they identify its racial, anti-white dimension. Only by naming the true nature of liberalism can conservatives put liberals on the defensive and strip them of their claim to moral superiority.

  2. Rick:

    So one article in one little known blog becomes "conservatives" somehow?

    I think we all get the big picture now. You're an open borders guy and apparently the rest of us aren't. You really need to give it a rest, I don't see any level of support for your position on illegals.

  3. perlhaqr:

    I'm sorry, maybe I misread your comment, Rick, but did you seriously just tell Warren what to write about in his own blog?

  4. Nate:

    A criminal released early from prison that commits another crime is an outrage because they should have still been in prison. It is the same with illegal immigration, it has nothing to do with the percent of a certain race that commits crime, its the fact if they were not here illegally the crime never would have been committed in the first place.

  5. morganovich:


    i'm with you. what are you trying to do rick, vote warren off the island? get a grip.

    i agree with the open borders position. open the border, make it legal for immigrants to work and own property, exclude them from welfare and educational systems until they reach a specific threshold of paying taxes and having lived peaceably in the US, get rid of automatic citizenship for those born within our borders, and you pretty much there.

    basing access to services and possible citizenship on taxes gives immigrants strong incentive to pay them. we should welcome workers and entrepreneurs. in the early stages, we can sell them healthcare and education. we should go back to being the best place on earth to get rich and attracting the best and brightest instead of kicking them out once they get graduate degrees. if you think i'm kidding, you have not seen how much more difficult it is for tech companies to get visas to hire the expertise they need.

    the US used to have exactly the right immigration policy: c'mon in. no safety net, but lots of opportunity. work hard, get ahead, raise kids better off than you were. immigration is good for growth, not something we need to hide from. warren is correct that these screams of hordes of filthy foreigners coming to take our jobs have gone on for centuries. the irish, chinese, and everybody else have settled in just fine and done the country good. time to get back to our roots.

  6. Che is dead:

    Another straw man. "Conservatives" are not grabbing a single example of a crime committed by an illegal as the sole basis for their opposition to illegal immigration and you know it. They may point to the Pinal County shooting as an example of the needless violence associated with illegal immigration, but their argument is much deeper than the real or potential crime.

    As for the "out-group" being vilified, when was the last time you watched a government press conference, a Hollywood or made-for-TV movie or simply watched a news report about a Tea Party or a immigration rally. I'm curious, when are you actually going to engage conservative arguments instead of simply screaming racist and attempting to impugn the character of those who disagree with you? You are certainly entitled to your opinions, and I agree with many of them, but name calling is hardly going to win you any converts.

  7. morganovich:


    alternately, if someone were allowed to be in the country to live and work legally, might they be less prone to commit crimes?

    people with economic prospects tend to behave a bit better. people in a country legally actually report crimes.

    i'm not sure this is as cut and dry ans you seem to thing.

  8. Che is dead:

    .... basing access to services and possible citizenship on taxes gives immigrants strong incentive to pay them ...

    Nearly 47 percent of Americans already pay no taxes. Illegals, once naturalized, will fall overwhelmingly into this category thus increasing our already bloated welfare state and further entrenching the entitlement class.

    ... we should go back to being the best place on earth to get rich ...

    If the presence of 12 million, mostly uneducated, Latin Americans is what we require to "go back to being the best place on earth to get rich", then why isn't Mexico rich right now? Past waves of immigrants were actually more skilled than our native population so their coming added to our talent set and served to increase the nations wealth. That is not true with the current wave of mostly-third world immigration.

    ... you have not seen how much more difficult it is for tech companies to get visas to hire the expertise they need ...

    We can and should increase the number of visas for talented, highly skilled immigrants. And we should make it easier for their families to immigrate. That is not an argument for open borders or illegal immigration.

    ... the US used to have exactly the right immigration policy: c’mon in. no safety net, but lots of opportunity. work hard, get ahead, raise kids better off than you were. immigration is good for growth, not something we need to hide from.

    The U.S. never had a "c'mon in" immigration policy. And we do not hide from immigration. The U.S. already takes in, without regard to race, more legal immigrants than the rest of the world combined. How can anyone call such generosity racist or anti-immigrant?

    If you are so passionate and committed to "open borders", why not work on changing the immigration policies of countries like Mexico which are far more draconian than ours. If they are reluctant to reform, just start calling them "racist", "bigot" and "Nazi".

  9. astonerii:

    Say a person lives in a house, they have 5 children, and some of those children are pretty reckless and destructive. Say out of a year they cause 12 in home accidents and 8 in home injuries requiring medical care. Say for whatever reason I refused to control the entry into and out of my home and people just randomly entered my home; they would take my food, but maybe do my dishes, steal my money, but wash my clothes, injure my children, but mowed the lawn. Say the number of migrants using my home doubles to total number of people available in my house. So now my home has effectively 14 resident where 7 are legally there, me, my wife and 5 children and 7 people who come and go as they like. Instead of keeping my house kept up with food for a cost of $5,000 a year, it now costs me $7,200. Instead of my children's allowance costing me $600 a year with the thefts it comes to around $900 a year. My in home accidents increase to 15 and Injuries increase to 10. How exactly is the fact that the % of accidents based on the number of people in the home a benefit to me?

    Lets move into a larger population. A small town with 1200 legal residents. 600 Illegal residents start to move in. Instead of classes having 18 pupils per teacher per class, it is moved up to 27 pupils per teacher per class. The 9 new pupils require special teaching because they do not speak the language very well and cannot be helped by their illegal parents who do not speak very good english if any at all. The number of houses does not increase as quickly as the illegals move into the town, so the number of people in each house increases, mostly illegals renting a house and piling in up to 8 residents per bedroom. The amount of trash to be picked up increases, these costs are typically shared through the community at a rate based on total cost divided by number of houses, basically a flat rate, but the illegal households create 5 to 10 times the garbage every other house creates. The number of murders, assaults, robberies, rapes all increase only 40% which is less than the 50% increase in population. The cars on the roads are in far inferior conditions than those the town had before on average. The value of the homes in neighborhoods where the illegals move into go down due to increased crime, inferior lawn and exterior home care, the number of cars littering the side of the road due to not enough parking because there are 24 illegals living in a 3 bedroom home. Are the residents of this community better off?

    Then you can go into larger cities, states, the whole country. It does not matter if they commit less crime or not, they are a general destructive force and lower the living standards of everyone around them. I think that in general the population of illegals has to increase crime, because every single one of them is guilty of at least two crimes automatically, entering this nation illegally and identification theft/fraud.

    I lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa back in the 1990s, and that was when the crime stricken families from Chicago started moving to Iowa to escape the gang violence. They were legal, they were upper class in general, they were good families, at least for Chicago standards. They destroyed the South West side of Cedar Rapids first. Gunshots became commonplace, cops shot, students shot, houses burned, schools vandalized, robberies increased, drugs ended up becoming far more commonplace, particularly those more destructive than marijuana. House prices collapsed, school performance dropped, upkeep of lawns deteriorated, house painting became optional, police forces had to increase significantly. These were Americans with American standards, but their standards were not the community's standards and they destroyed the neighborhoods. You cannot even remotely expect an American to have any faith at all in your avid assertions that these third world law breaking illegal aliens could move into a community in large numbers and not have a negative impact on that community. It just is not possible, they bring their third world standards, their countries corruption, start out by breaking the laws of this country, stay underground, by pass most of the taxation system (cash) and frequently come with nefarious plans, such as gangs, drugs, extortion rings, human trafficking and murder. Even those who come with the best of intentions send large proportions of the community money back to their corrupted countries for their families, draining the economy of any place that they happen to decide to stay.

  10. morganovich:


    you are dead wrong about the US historical policy toward immigration. our borders were wide open for a long time. you have any idea how many uninvited citizens emerged from ellis island?

    ever been to the statue of liberty?

    "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    ' With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    my great grandparents were unskilled Lithuanian laborers who didn't speak the language. my family turned out fine, started numerous businesses, and voila, the american dream. we've paid in a helluva lot more than we ever took out, so will many new immigrants. you cannot possibly claim to be able to tell which immigrants are going to do the same. you have to wait and see. my great grandparents are not so different from today's mexicans as you might suppose. there was one major difference though: my great grandparents signed their names and were here legally, able to work, rent and own property. they were not shut out from the system, therefore they could participate and contribute. they opened bars, joined the fire department, etc. illegal status makes it impossible to start a legitimate business.

    it is the very fact that we prevent this sort of legal participation that is causing most of the immigration problems. the rest are caused by flawed entitlement policy that is too inclusive. if you're so worried about the poor swamping us, then isn't "so stop giving them money" a better solution that "ban them all because a few take advantage"? isn' t it better to get the good immigrants and not pay the bad ones rather than keep them all out and loose the good to avoid a few spongers? your argument about 47% of americans not paying taxes is an argument to reform the welfare state, not immigration. fix the former, and the latter ceases to be a problem and instead becomes a benefit.

    you completely misunderstand my argument about being the best place to get rich. my point is that we are no longer attracting the best and brightest of the world. if they come here at all, they do it to learn, then go home. THAT is a disaster and a direct result of our immigration policy as well as horribly misguided tax and regulatory policy. we legislate ourselves uncompetitive, then cry about jobs going offshore. we cut off our supply of skilled workers then bitch about costs and limits to development.

    i'm not going to even wade in to your ludicrous racism rants, as i'm not making any sort of racial argument here at all. i'm arguing that it is our best interest to have open borders, legal guest workers who are not granted access to entitlements and need to pay for the use of public services, and a clear path to citizen-hood if a guest worker learns the language and is a productive individual who pays taxes.

    this way, we get the dynamism but don't shell out nor incentive those seeking to sponge off the system.

  11. RJP:

    @Che: Bravo and well said.

    @perl and morg: Not to speak for Rick, but I think he is saying that Warren's arguments do not support his (Warren's) position on illegal immigration. Using this post as an example, Warren links to his own previous posts to support his own position. Color me unimpressed, especially how Warren does not answer a single point raised in the comments on those posts. Also, the Espresso Pundit article he links to really doesn't have much at all to do with illegals. Read it. The main topic was how the AZ Republic uses the front page as their editorial page. Also, linking to the Phoenix New Times...again, color me unconvinced.

    Warren is very good on topics like climate change and park privatization but on illegal immigration, not so much.


  12. morganovich:


    that exact same argument has been made over and over from before america was even a country. this was the exact response to the irish migration in the 1740's due to the potato famine.

    it didn't hold true then, nor will it now.

    new immigrants provide benefits as well is problems. they buy groceries, clothing, entertainment, and all manner of goods. if you let them, they start businesses. most of the consistent poverty these illegals has to do with their not being allowed to do the things that create wealth, not some flaw of immigrants.

  13. Dr. T:

    "... as I wrote the other day crime rates in Arizona are improving throughout this “invasion” at a faster rate than the US average...."

    You should look at my comment to that post. The crime rates have been falling in Arizona because of a massive influx of people (mostly retirees) from other states. The absolute numbers of violent crimes in Arizona rose 5.5% from 2000 to 2008. I don't blame that increase on just the illegal immigrants, but your argument that crimes are decreasing despite illegal immigration does not hold up when you adjust for population changes.

    I sympathize with the plight of poor Mexicans who lack the opportunities to better themselves in the corrupt cesspool that is Mexico. However, I also sympathize with the legal residents of Arizona who have grown tired of paying for illegal immigrant education, health care, and other social services. I sympathize with legal residents who have longer emergency room waits because the ERs are packed with illegal immigrants seeking care for not-so-urgent problems. I sympathize with legal residents of cities such as Tucson whose schools have gone down in quality and up in costs because of the influx of non-English speaking, poorly educated children of illegal immigrants.

    Therefore, I understand why the majority of Arizonans like the new law. Our immigration "system" is a mess, and the presence of more than ten million illegal immigrants creates a severe dilemma that needs to be addressed nationally. Arizona on its own cannot fix the mess, but this law might shine enough light on the problem to trigger a nationwide attempt to change immigration policies. Unfortunately, almost all our politicians are characterized more by their greed and power-lust than their wisdom, so their changes probably will worsen the problem. Meanwhile, potential illegal immigrants from Mexico will avoid Arizona and head to California, New Mexico, or Texas. In that respect, Arizonans will have achieved a small improvement.

  14. Dr. T:

    Che is dead said: "... Nearly 47 percent of Americans already pay no taxes."

    That is incorrect. 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes. Many of those people work and pay Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes. Those in that group who own homes pay property taxes. In some states, those who own vehicles pay vehicle property taxes.

    I agree with some of your points, but citing incorrect statistics won't win arguments.

  15. Che is dead:

    ... you have any idea how many uninvited citizens emerged from ellis island?

    Yes, I do. NONE. Ellis Island was a federal facility, operated by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration. From Wikipedia:

    The federal immigration station opened on January 1, 1892 and was closed on November 12, 1954, with 12 million immigrants processed there by the US Bureau of Immigration. After the Immigration Act of 1924 was passed, which greatly restricted immigration and allowed processing at overseas embassies, the only immigrants to pass through the station were displaced persons or war refugees.

    It's clear that you have no idea what you're talking about.

    ... it is the very fact that we prevent this sort of legal participation that is causing most of the immigration problems.

    Again, slowly, we do not prevent "legal participation", WE ACCEPT MORE LEGAL IMMIGRANTS THAN ALL THE REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED. Got it?

    ... i’m not going to even wade in to your ludicrous racism rants ...

    Funny, how the people on your side of the argument are quick to scream racist at those of us who believe that the most generous legal immigration system in the world is good enough, and yet, when you're called out on it you immediately claim that racism arguments are "ludicrous". Stuff it.

  16. Che is dead:

    That is incorrect. 47% of Americans pay no federal income taxes.

    Yeah, yeah, just one problem, everyone pays the taxes you're talking about and payroll or FICA taxes are returned to you in the form of entitlements. Get back to me when they start funding federal transfer payments, like the earned income tax credit, out of sales taxes.

  17. Gil:

    Coyote seems to be missing the fact that no one is objecting to legal immigration. The mere fact that an illegal migrant has already committed a crime seems to be lost on him. Why not imagine himself, as an employer, finding the new guy lied to get the job? Suppose his excuse is "the better applicants were single and childless, I lied to get the job because I need the job for my family", does this make it okay? What of the "utilitarian" moral approach to crime? If someone thinks it's okay to commit a crime to because you think it's for a higher purpose then what's stopping the person committing more crimes when they think it's deemed 'worth it'?

  18. morganovich:


    and what did you have to do to enter through ellis island? answer a few questions and walk in. 98% of applicants were accepted. you didn't need to be invited, you just had to come. get your facts straight.

    i know we accept lots of legal immigrants. my argument is that we should accept more. you seem to be arguing that if our neighbors do stupid things, so should we.

    you also seem unable to grasp the simple fact that it's the entitlement system that makes immigrants a burden rather than a help.

    comments like this "Funny, how the people on your side of the argument are quick to scream racist at those of us who believe that the most generous legal immigration system in the world is good enough" are called straw man arguments. you assign a position to me that i have never argued, then argue against it.

    they are a sign of poor comprehension and often a weak argument.

    my only mention of racism was to note your comment of: "If you are so passionate and committed to “open borders”, why not work on changing the immigration policies of countries like Mexico which are far more draconian than ours. If they are reluctant to reform, just start calling them “racist”, “bigot” and “Nazi”." which was another unhelpful straw man argument that again completely misses what i'm talking about. not only have i not argued this is a racial issue, but i have actually argued that it shouldn't be, instead framing it as an issue of self interest. you are the one who keeps framing it as a racial issue. i think it's an issue of self interest and that your argument about other countries is equivalent to arguing that if my neighbor makes stupid career choices, so should i. this is not some ideological issue in my mind as it seems to be in yours, it's simple cost benefit analysis.

    you need to actually read what people are saying and respond to that, not some race laden fantasy going on in your head. see if you can actually grasp my arguments and respond to them instead of mischaracterizing them and arguing with yourself while indulging in delusions of intellectual adequacy.

  19. markm:

    Che is Dead: "The U.S. never had a “c’mon in” immigration policy." You certainly have a funny idea of "never".

    Ellis Island opened in 1892. What was the immigration policy for the 100+ years before then? AFAIK, immigrants just got off the ship, no paperwork required unless and until they applied for citizenship. Then Ellis Island was set up to get some paperwork and medical checkups done as the immigrants debarked - but you yourself say that there were few restrictions except for felons and carriers of communicable diseases until 1924.

  20. Bill:

    The main questions here are (1) what is best for Americans because it is, after all, our country and (2) do we really wish to be submerged into Latin America?

    It is not our problem or fault that Mexico and Mexicans are poor. They have had centuries to foul things up there. They should take steps to clean their own house rather than come here. And, we are not doing them any favors by giving the Mexican ruling classes an outlet for their discontented citizenry. Mexico is unfortunately a failed state for a variety of reasons and we should instead be helping Mexicans in Mexico to improve things.

    We have the right to only allow in those people who will improve our nation. By choosing to allow in anyone, we are de facto accepting the bottom of the barrel willing to break the law to come here. We should instead be far more selective and permit only high income, English proficient, well education people of all races to immigrate. Who will have a greater impact on the economy - a peasant or an engineer?

    Finally, you open borders people must ask yourselves if you really wish to live in a Latin American nation and all that entails? I hope so because it will happen as surely as night follows day if your policy preferences prevail.

  21. Highway:

    Re: Rick from above: A lot of people who support Coyote's position on this topic don't bother to post comments, because we get ill at the xenophobic attitudes of the other people posting on these topics.

  22. astonerii:

    Please explain who you are talking about. The conversation is about illegal immigrants. Irish were legally allowed to enter this nation, and while people complained, the government and society as a whole along with the immigrants did their part and assimilated the new immigrants into the nation quite nicely. If you want to talk about legal immigrants keep your ignorant rants off my name. I have no issue at all with any legal immigrants, with the exception of those who turn around and wage war against this nation. The probable suspect that is a citizen which migrated from Pakistan would be one of those people I have issue with.

    Stay on target and stop throwing out straw men, you are not dealing with an 8th grade drop here, so do not try your pathetic excuse for an argument with me. The Irish have not one thing to do with the current situation which we are discussing, other than the fact that could have taught the current wave of immigrants a lesson about how to treat the United States of America.

  23. allan:

    So, if we think the crimes committed by illegal aliens is unacceptable, particularly when those crimes could have been avoided had the illegals not entered our country, we are racist? You seem to take the position that as long as illegal aliens commit crimes at no greater rate than citizens, then we should ignore the fact that they commit crimes (and it deserves repeating those crimes would have not been committed had the illegals not been in our country). Rate? Think man, think! The number of deaths, rapes, robberies, beatings, etc, would be lower without the illegals. Fact.

  24. ParatrooperJJ:

    You should talk to people living on the border. They are being overrun by the illegals. They also don't bother reporting the crimes because local law enforcement is already overwhelmed.

  25. caseyboy:

    Typical ruse. Brand anyone against illegal immigration as being against immigrants. My paternal grandparents came over here legally from Sweden. My maternal great grandmother immigrated legally from Ireland. Legally, does not mean anything to anyone anymore? We have laws passed by Congress and signed by Presidents regarding how non-citizens can enter the US. Now if we want to debate whether or not we should change those laws or eliminate them altogether that is fine by me. However, in the mean time lets enforce the law. What a concept! We'd actually be doing the Mexican people a favor because they would be forced to reform their own country in order to create more economic opportunities at home.

  26. morganovich:


    the issue you are missing is that given our current rules, the immigrants you mention would be illegal. the fact that there were legal then was a important part of their success. what i'm saying is we should move our immigration rules back to what they were and make many of the current illegals legal. this is not branding those against illegals as against immigration as casey claims, but rather an argument that more immigration ought to be legal. it is it's very illegality that causes many of the problems.

    if they had been treated as we treat immigrants today, they would have failed as well. it's a bit of a self fulfilling prophesy. if you prevent people from being able to hold legitimate jobs, start businesses, open bank accounts, etc, that's a monstrous disadvantage. it makes it impossible to get ahead and accumulate wealth.

    we have made sorts of immigration that would be beneficial to us harmful by opposing their success to defend an overgenerous entitlement system. the answer is to change the way entitlements work.

    this is not some sweeping kum-bay-yah all borders should be open argument. it's one based on economic self interest. the key is to attract and allow immigrants. citizenship should not be immediate, but rights to work and own property ought to be. if we do not pay out benefits and have a separate "guest worker" tax system to cover services they need, we get the dynamism of immigrants without paying for the ones who might try to take advantage of the system, and we get them all paying taxes. further, each new immigrant is also a consumer and provides growth through purchases. give them a path to citizenship that allows the successful ones to stay, and you get a better economy.

    if we change our entitlement programs, then immigration can go back to being a benefit, not a drag.

    and casey, your arguments about "enforce the law" sound a great deal like the arguments for more "war on drugs" enforcement. they make the problem worse, not better. if we enforce harsher laws, it drives the immigrants further underground and exacerbates all the issues just as illegal drugs give rise to gangs.

    the first step in getting out of a hole is to stop digging.

  27. Dr. T:

    Che is dead replied: "Yeah, yeah, just one problem, everyone pays the taxes you’re talking about and payroll or FICA taxes are returned to you in the form of entitlements."

    You keep screwing up your arguments by making incorrect assertions.

    People who aren't working don't pay Social Security or Medicare taxes. Most of them get federal and state benefits such as welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and "earned income" credits.

    Your FICA taxes are immediately paid out to current retirees. (There is no "Trust Fund.") Unless you are close to retirement age or are a low-income worker, you will not get back anything close to the value of your FICA taxes. Congress can change Social Security rules at any time. I expect to receive no Social Security payments (despite having maximum FICA taxes for years) because a means test probably will be implemented before I retire. With a means test, the people who saved for their retirements will be get nothing; those who saved nothing will get full Social Security payouts.

  28. Bill:

    markm: Regarding federal immigration laws prior to Ellis Island, the laws basically stated that you could only become a US citizen if you were "white". Also, the children of illegals were never conferred US citizenship until an erroneous Supreme Court decision later ruled that birthright citizenship existed in the US.

  29. perlhaqr:

    If the presence of 12 million, mostly uneducated, Latin Americans is what we require to “go back to being the best place on earth to get rich”, then why isn’t Mexico rich right now?

    Because your query is totally orthogonal to the actual reason? If Mexico had a classically liberal (Locke, Jefferson, etc) legal system, they probably would be rich. And that's what we, here in America, need to go back to. Trying to blame our current problems on "illegal immigration" completely misses the reasons we're no longer as great here as we used to be.

  30. astonerii:


    I and 70% to 80% of the legal and voting population of this country disagree with you. We do not want to go back to the days where any tom dick or marry can just arbitrarily decide to walk across our border. There is no argument you can come up with that will change any more than a tiny fraction of a single percent of us, none at all, so long as the border is unsecured, the government does not enforce the laws, and so much as one single murder is caused by an illegal alien. The answer is to show us how bad our lives will be without the illegal aliens. Close the border, raid the employers of illegals, stop the illegal day laborers, get the largest part of the low hanging fruit of the illegal aliens, arrest and deport the illegal alien gangs. Once that is done, which will probably take at most 10 years, you will find much more open minds to talk about increasing the legal alien visa programs. Until that time, people are not going to be even remotely interested in a damned thing you have to say about how good and wonderful the illegal alien people are, because we have already witnessed the bad, in person, up close, personally and we want the government to do the job for which there is a federal government for, to defend our borders. We, as individuals, cannot do this job, so we granted a federal government the power to do it for us, we pay a federal government to do this for us, and we demand that the government do this for us.

    Or do everyone in this nation a favor and find yourself another place to live, institute your own rules, and show us first hand how an open borders nation prospers so wonderfully in the 21st century.

  31. astonerii:

    "Trying to blame our current problems on “illegal immigration” completely misses the reasons we’re no longer as great here as we used to be."

    And trying to ignore the problems caused by illegal aliens, along with the fact that the vast majority of the illegal aliens, if given citizenship, would vote for the opposite of classically liberal government, completely misses the reasons we're no longer as great here as we used to be. The fact is the whole mindset that you espouse that unlimited immigration would be good for our country is flawed and worn. The single point where you get any traction is the well worn and pathetic racism charges and that only gains traction on the progressive side of the aisle.

  32. morganovich:


    having an opinion not susceptible to argument or facts ("There is no argument you can come up with that will change any more than a tiny fraction of a single percent of us") and then purporting to speak for 70-80% of america sounds an awful lot like fanaticism to me. are you proud of being insusceptible to reason and too parochial to consider the viewpoints of others? i have yet to see you make single valid argument that the issue is immigration and not entitlement programs.

    arguing that "there are a lot of us therefore we are right" is just foolish. it's the sign of a weak argument that can't be won on the merits. sure, the majority can vote to enact law and that's democracy, but it doesn't make them right. this would hardly be the first time the demos voted against its own best interest.

    you also seem to miss the thrust of my argument: it is the fact that they are illegal that causes the problems. is there some other way that you feel current immigrants differ from say, the Chinese immigrants in the 1800's? my contention is that if we made immigration legal but shut off the flow of food stamps and medicare, we'd get enormous benefit from immigration and guest workers, just like we used to, while avoiding the costs in the current system.

    is it so hard for you to conceive that it may be the change in immigration law and entitlement policy that has caused the problem, not some sinister change is the quality of our immigrants?

    the correct solution for a bad law is to change it, not to ratchet up enforcement.

    would you also argue that the correct answer to the war on drugs in more jails, more DEA, more cops and intensified enforcement?

    if not, why do you think these two situations are different? both have bad laws that are imposable to enforce, widespread flouting of the law, and negative social effects from the law where the "cure" is worse than the "disease" or may even be causing it.

    oh, and leave the "so do us a favor and move if you don't like it" out. it makes you look like a child.

    if you can't argue your position on its merits, then why are you here?

  33. ColoComment:

    "my contention is that if we made immigration legal but shut off the flow of food stamps and medicare, we’d get enormous benefit from immigration and guest workers, just like we used to, while avoiding the costs in the current system."

    What is the likelihood that congress will ever, ever, vote to abolish our welfare system, i.e., food stamps and medicare? Your contention is right economically: take away the freebies, and we avoid those [non crime-related] economic costs. As a practical matter? Won't. Ever. Happen.

    One more point: we now live in a highly technological age. Correct me if my assumption is wrong, but I believe the illegal immigrants flowing over our Southern borders that we're talking about are typically monolingual Spanish, lower socio-economic stratum, and low-skilled. Assimilation for these folks is a whole lot harder today than it used to be when, for example, carpentry, mule-driving, and mining with a shovel were common examples of employment.

  34. morganovich:


    they don't to get rid of the entitlements entirely, merely create a class of "guest worker" who can legally live, work, and own property here but are not given access to entitlements. it's not necessary to alter the programs for citizens. (it may be desirable, but that's a whole different conversation) voting to cut these programs for all non citizens would actually decrease the rolls as lots of illegals get them now. further, taxes would be paid by the guest workers. income up, costs down, more workers and consumers to drive the economy. everybody wins.

    the same argument about unskilled immigrants that cannot assimilate has been made for centuries. it was said about the irish (especially the Catholics) and the chinese as well. why is it that we see a pool of cheap, willing labor to be an asset for china and india but a problem at home? what's wrong with cheap labor here? it should encourage business formation, manufacturing, and export growth. it seems to me that to simultaneously fret about all our manufacturing jobs going overseas to low cost producers and to oppose immigration to keep low wage workers out is a bit inconsistent. either we want the manufacturing or we don't, but if we do, we need the sort of low cost labor traditionally supplied by new immigrants.

    if they are so unskilled, they are no threat to any job i suspect you'd want.

    so what's the problem?

    why not make them legal taxpayers and workers that contribute to the economy instead of illegal drains upon it?

  35. ADiff:

    It seems pretty clear to me that racism is the 'brand' that's being sold by the politicians touting SB2070 as some kind of effective measure to address the problems associated with the Federal Government's unwillingness to control the border.

    It's a badly flawed bill, creates divisions in our community, deprives law enforcement of information sources it badly needs to address the real issues created by drug smuggling and human smuggling and 'for profit' kidnapping, all created by that same Federal failure.

    I tend to like the commentator who remarked they were going to wear a T-shirt saying "I'm an Illegal Immigrant" and file a law suit against any public official who failed to ask them for their ID.

    The problems are real, but this law is stupid. Not only does it not help solve the problems, it makes them worse and becomes part of the problem itself.

    Way to go, ya' morons.

  36. perlhaqr:

    And trying to ignore the problems caused by illegal aliens, along with the fact that the vast majority of the illegal aliens, if given citizenship, would vote for the opposite of classically liberal government, completely misses the reasons we’re no longer as great here as we used to be.

    Why do you presume they'd be permitted to vote?

  37. astonerii:


    Actually not one of my recent arguments against illegals is about entitlements. Maybe you should go back to school and see if they can offer you an English for Dummies lesson for you with lots and lots of special education time.

    As for changing my mind, I know enough of the facts to make a fully informed decision and my mind is made, there is no argument to allow unlimited unregulated border crossings, none at all.

    Other things you could not convince me of:

    Nationalized health care is a good thing.
    America would be better off with no nuclear weapons.
    America would be better off with no standing army.
    That taking away the 2nd Amendment would reduce violence.
    That solar power is the energy of the future.
    That wind power is a good source of electricity.

    You want to tell me that I am wrong on any of these? That there are valid arguments out there that should force me to change my mind?

    They just want a better life.
    They have a right to make a living.
    Past immigrants did not cause any problems.
    They have no chance in their own country.
    You cannot expect them to live in a third world nation after having been in the great United States of America.
    When you add in all the growth, the 25% increase in population of elderly retiring citizens, and the illegal aliens the crime rates per 100,000 has gone down.
    They are just doing jobs Americans do not want.
    Do you really want to pay more for your groceries?
    They are not hurting me, and I can get my lawn work, laundry, housekeeping done cheap, so I like them.
    If you do not support unlimited immigration from Mexico you are a racist.
    They are harder workers than the lazy good for nothing slovenly Americans who demand more money.
    If you make them legal they will pay taxes.
    Who will do our farm work?
    Who will clean the toilets?

    What other arguments you got mate? List every last argument you have, I will review it and see if it overwhelms my reasons why unlimited unregulated open borders is bad stance.

  38. Ben:

    Posts have beeen deleted. Fuck You Warren, You scoundrel.

  39. morganovich:


    that is one of the most rambling, illogical responses i've ever seen.

    you seem to be arguing that because you hold opinions in other areas, it somehow validates this opinion. it seems to me that you're just trying to change the subject because you have no argument and your mind is made up.

    your claims that others need remedial english would be a great deal more persuasive if you did not follow them up immediately with a sentence fragment like "As for changing my mind, I know enough of the facts to make a fully informed decision and my mind is made" perhaps you are not such a talented linguist as you suspect? you certainly appear to have no reading comprehension to speak of.

    it would also seem that we should add economics to the list of subject you should bone up on. you throw out a whole laundry list of philosophical reasoning and straw men on immigration, but leave out the glaringly obvious fact that immigration if in our own economic best interest. it makes our labor more competitive, increases our internal market, grows the tax base, and solves labor shortage issues where our internal markets are failing. (there is currently an acute nursing shortage in the US, and a glut in india, but unless we let them come, we'll continue to be short handed.)

    what's your argument? seriously, you have never stated why you oppose immigration except as some kind of "law and order" issue related to enforcing existing laws. you have never identified even one net issue from guest workers not caused by entitlement programs.

    do you support greater enforcement of drug laws?

    you never answered the question.

    i'll repeat it for you:

    "the correct solution for a bad law is to change it, not to ratchet up enforcement.

    would you also argue that the correct answer to the war on drugs in more jails, more DEA, more cops and intensified enforcement?

    if not, why do you think these two situations are different? both have bad laws that are imposable to enforce, widespread flouting of the law, and negative social effects from the law where the “cure” is worse than the “disease” or may even be causing it. "

    so, what's your opinion?

  40. Che is dead:

    You keep screwing up your arguments by making incorrect assertions ... People who aren’t working don’t pay Social Security or Medicare taxes.

    Uh, perhaps you should go back and read your own posts. You were the one who asserted that they paid FICA taxes:

    Many of those people work and pay Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes.

    And many of them do, through the use of fraudulent SS#'s. My point was that paying FICA, sales, property and other taxes was irrelevant since those taxes do not fund federal welfare programs and other transfer payments, like the earned income tax credit. Even if these people were "legalized" they would, for the most part, fall into the 47% of Americans that do not pay federal taxes and who instead are eligible for transfer payments.

    I am fully aware that there is no "lock box". I was simply pointing out that people pay FICA taxes with the expectation that they will have this money returned to them in the form of entitlements.

    Far from "screwing up my arguments", I think that this actually strengthens them. As these entitlements run into deficits and are increasingly funded out of general revenue, federal taxpayers will have to shoulder that burden. This makes federal welfare and other costs associated with the legalization of millions of illegal immigrants that much harder to bear.

  41. ADiff:

    No solution to the immigration issue is possible until, and if, the border is secured and illegal entry reduced to the rare exceptional event. Until then the issue is intractable (unless one advocates drastically curtailing constitutional rights and probably creating a fundamentally racist legal system and society). Once the border is secured, the rest of the issues become rather easy to solve. Whatever that solution, I think it's a fair bet that no matter what happens, the millions of undocumented immigrants here now will, for the most part, stay, and our decision will be whether or not we prefer to maintain an official underclass for a generation.

    So I'd recommend those of you who's blood pressure spikes when you hear the word "Amnesty" start looking for another term for pretty much the same thing that doesn't get you all in a tizzy...because it's almost certain you're going to need it sooner or later.

    Of course if the government fails to ultimately secure the borders, then 'all bets are off' and this whole argument's going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

  42. astonerii:

    Your right it is rambling, but is not illogical. It is perfectly logical, you just are unable to see the nuances in my position, if you had taken my advice and gotten that education I said you still need, you would be able to follow it quite well.

    I did not say that because I have opinions on other issues it validates this one. I stated that because I have opinions on things, that I can be 100% certain of for which you could come up with not a single argument that would conceivably be expected to change my mind on these issues, that my having a similarly unchanging position on illegal aliens is not a bad thing. Of course, you already knew this, cause you are smart, you just chose to reframe it, the way the a progressive liberal would do in order to try and make it seem like my argument is flawed and unworthy for others to find worthy. I understand your desire to do this, because when you have no real argument, you make the case that the opponent in your debate is bad and should not be listened to. You should really find yourself a therapist, the cognitive dissonance you project is not going to be healthy for you if you do not get it taken care of.

    You are obviously a very progressive person, I can sense this because I never stated that I do not support immigration and I do not support increasing the population of this country. I also never proposed to price our nation out of competing with other nations for exports. You have assumed these things, you have altered the conversation, as I have said previously, from illegal aliens to invited guests of the nation. You act as if the two can be interchangeable, but they cannot, a very liberal progressive method of arguing you must admit. Invited guests are desirable, we invite them for many reasons. Illegal Aliens on the other hand are people we have not requested to come to our nation to help us out, we do not want them for many reasons. We separate these two cases just as we separate good fresh produce and old rotten produce. One is desired and sought after, the other is to be removed and separated from the good. One bad apple spoils the bunch and all. Now, the argument once again is about illegal aliens coming to our country, if you want to continue arguing about immigration, be my guest, but it is you who end up looking the fool, as you are talking about the wrong subject. Again, if you just got some education, and perhaps therapy, this argument would be productive. When you want to talk about the subject at hand, feel free to try and persuade me, but if all your arguments are going to be about legal guest aliens, then how can you expect to persuade me about illegal uninvited alien criminals? I would not talk about automobile engines when discussing with someone about how we get our space program on track to get a person onto Mars, it is completely off subject. I am sure you can understand this little bit, so try and put your progressiveness down for a bit and come back and actually make a case for illegal alien criminals being good for this country. I doubt anything you have to say about those particular people would in any way sway my position that I do not want them in this country, but I will read what you have to say and add that to the overall information I have about them. Once again, legally invited aliens who follow the rules of the land are good, you do not have to convince me of that.

    You truly must be mistaking my writings for another person's because you keep saying "entitlement programs" but I barely even touched on entitlement programs.
    Reasons to oppose illegal alien criminals:
    1) They do not come to become Americans, the come to make money. They are not here to help us, they are here to help themselves.
    2) They break our laws in the very act of entering the country, or by overstaying their invited status of holding a visa.
    3) Because they do not come to become Americans, they do not assimilate into the nation by not learning the language, learning the culture, acting similarly to our culture.
    4) They break the law in obtaining work, either though illegally using some other person's identification or by working underground.
    5) They bring their nation's corruption with them.
    6) Many come for nefarious reasons. Human smuggling, sex slavery, drug smuggling, arms smuggling and more.
    7) They reduce the value of homes and property in areas where they decide to live.
    8) They increase the crimes in the areas they chose to live. Think of the broken windows theory, it is absolutely a truth, when a neighborhood looks bad, bad things start to happen.
    9) They damage the schooling system.
    10) They damage the health care system.
    11) They drive the value of low skill labor down.
    12) They take jobs that children and young adults would normally do in order to gain job skills.
    13) Numbers 11 and 12 actually keep our nation from competing well in the world market by allowing perpetually low efficiency methods of doing work to continue, instead of improving the productivity of certain jobs they just throw low cost workers at it.

    There is 13 reasons, not a single one of them has a damned thing to do with entitlements at all, and in fact, that has pretty much been the case for all of my side of the argument.

    A) Changing the law by making all of these illegal aliens American citizens or legally allowing them to work in the country for unlimited duration would do nothing more than spur a new wave of illegal aliens into coming to this country illegally, as did the first Amnesty in 1986 did.
    B) This nation has had experience with previous waves of immigration, the Irish, the Germans, The Chinese and so forth. The people did not like the effects of the rapid changes that these large immigration movements caused. So we made laws that restrict the speed at which aliens are allowed to enter the nation in order to give them time to assimilate and become functioning American Citizens. While there may be possible changes to the laws, Americans, me included, have decided that before we make those changes, what we want to do is stop the illegal aliens from entering the country, get as many illegal aliens as possible out of the country, and get the current large number of legal aliens assimilated into the nation.
    C) Once we have a handle on the nation's border, once the number of illegals has declined enough, once the current group of aliens has assimilated into the culture, then we will look at arguments about increasing the flow of visas and to which aliens we want to give those visas to.

    So, what is your argument FOR illegal aliens?

  43. astonerii:


    That is a large part of what I have been trying to say. Volokh has a pretty good argument there. But I have to stress that I really am against any level of legalizing any who have come to this nation illegally. Rewarding illegal behavior will only ensure more of that bad behavior. I think that once the illegal population has been reduced by 80% or so and the border much more solidly secured, Americans will be much more open about increasing the visas allowed each year, except when we are in recession, as we are today.

  44. morganovich:


    you ignore my drug war question for a second time? is that because you have no answer?

    so your argument is that because you are pig headed and intransigent on lots of issues i should believe you on a specific one? you seem to be bragging that you are not susceptible to data and never change you mind therefore you are informed. that's idiocy.

    i am not a "progressive" person. in fact, i agree with you on all the other opinions you raise (except maybe solar but only because i've seen some new technology that looks promising over the next decade). you seem unable to grasp that i am not making some kum bah yah argument, but one of pure economic self interest. dude, i'm a hedge fund manager and have multiple degrees in economics. trust me, my capitalist credentials are pretty solid. i'm likely far more anti tax and national health care than you are. i have no idea where you are getting this notion that i'm some bleeding hard. this is a cold hard economic argument for me. i am a pretty hard core libertarian.

    you don't make a single valid argument that is not a direct result of either the actual illegality itself of access to an entitlement program apart from maybe your 12th one. these "they don't come to be americans, they come to make money" arguments don't make any sense and are historically inaccurate. i wasn't born to be an american either. i was born in america to be me. i'm interesting in making money and bettering my life, not some ideal you hold. you impugn them for having the same motives the rest of us have. integration takes time. are you telling me that immigrants and their families have not learned the language and settled in over time? ever been to new york have you?

    5-8 are pure supposition and you could hake the same argument about inner city minorities moving to the suburbs. 9-10 are only true of we grant them entitlement access.

    11 is a benefit. 13 is just insane. productivity drives wages. from a standpoint of production and competitiveness, low wages and productivity are substitutes. how is it that we see low wages in china and india as a competitive threat, but see them as a problem here?

    the only answer is 12, that low skilled workers depress unskilled wages. do they threaten your job or wages? then get some skills. are you afraid to compete? this notion that unskilled and semi skilled labor deserves to be well compensated is a tired hold over from the 50's when the world was so desperate for our manufactured goods (as we had the only industrial base left). it's a damaging notion and a relic of a world that no longer exists. low wage competition is real, and their productivity is rising. to compete, we either need massive productivity gains that are impossible given that the developing world has access tot he same technology we do, or we need low wages. without that, production shifts over seas. you think you are arguing for high wage jobs, but what you are really arguing for are no jobs. keeping those wages high destroys them or sends them overseas. this is not a fact open to negotiation. it's a law of economics. you can pretend it isn't so, but the fact is that high paid manufacturing jobs making things that are made more cheaply overseas are going the way of the dodo. adapt or die. do you want the factory in the US or china?

    go back and read my posts - i'm in favor of allowing guest workers who can work and own property. we should make it incredibly easy to do this. guest workers do not get entitlements like food stamps, medicaid, or even access to schools (though that one is a bit trickier). children born here do not automatically become citizens. document them as guest workers and check documentation. if they commit a crime, revoke the status. create a path to citizenship so that the ones that are successful are encouraged to stay.

    the key is to attract and allow immigrants. citizenship should not be immediate, but rights to work and own property ought to be. if we do not pay out benefits and have a separate “guest worker” tax system to cover services they need, we get the dynamism of immigrants without paying for the ones who might try to take advantage of the system, and we get them all paying taxes. further, each new immigrant is also a consumer and provides growth through purchases. give them a path to citizenship that allows the successful ones to stay, and you get a better economy.

    if we change our entitlement programs, then immigration can go back to being a benefit, not a drag.

    like the war on drugs, nothing is going to stop the flow of opportunity seekers. this is a cold hard fact. we're not going to be able to build a wall and keep them out, nor stop an underground economy and more than we can stop the flow of cocaine and heroin. demand begets supply.

    what we can do is make the trend a benefit instead of a problem.

    your world of "send them all home and keep them out" is a pure fantasy. it's simply not possible in an open society even if it were desirable (which i don't think it is). time to live in the real world.

  45. Mark:

    I wonder if the crime level is dissipating due to the efforts of law enforcement people like Joe Arpaio, who has really kicked up law enforcement in Maricopa county.

    I know he is the subject of ridicule on this page. But it is kind of a joke that progressives tend to decry that "There are more and more people in jail even as crime falls" Wonder why that happens?

    I think the drug running and kidnappings in Arizona are still pretty serious, and Joe hasn't been able to cut down on those much yet.

  46. ADiff:

    I'd contend Joe's a lot less concerned with being tough on crime than with appearing to be tough on crime.

  47. astonerii:

    What my position on drug enforcement only has a tertiary effect on my position of illegal alien criminals being allowed unfettered access to this nation. Thus is is not worth talking about. Ask Coyote politely if he wants to make a thread to discuss drugs and I will most certainly be willing to debate you on it. I am quite certain that our positions on it will be almost identical and for absolutely diametrically opposed reasons.

    As for solar, if it is perfectly capable of fitting within a defined space to supply the power needed by our country as well as cost effective, I will completely support it by actually going out and buying my own for my own home with my own money. As long as the drive though is to cover millions of square miles of land with solar panels no matter what the cost is so long as it is at the expense of the tax payer, then I will never support it. I will not support it at tax payers expense and I will not support it if the ratio of land used to the amount of energy produced is any higher than 20 times that of other sources of energy.

    You can support unlimited access to America all you want, I and the majority of Americans will never do likewise and you can remain an upset person. I will push my representatives to do like Arizona has done and clamp down on illegal aliens. We need a tall double walled fence with a roadway between along with seismic sensors and quick response times to capture infiltrators. We also should a tax at some rate for any and all remittances from guest workers to their home country with periods of time occurring when the number of said country's guest workers have significant numbers of visa holders who remain past the time limit of their visa having that tax rate multiplied.

  48. morganovich:

    do you not see the inconsistency with arguing for the enforcement of one set of laws but not another?

    you seem to be all for heavy enforcement of a law you like, but not one you don't. that makes it relevant as it makes it clear you are not using any set of basic principles to argue your position, but rather varying your ethics to suit your views on individual issues. that's not a defensible position without resorting to: "this is just the way i like it" which is not rigorously defensible morally, logically, or otherwise.

    all i'm saying is you cannot use a "we need to follow the law" argument selectively.

    FWIW, i don't think any energy should be subsidized. it only leads to bad outcomes. current solar is nowhere near being able to compete even if you have extremist views on externalities (which i don't). but, betting against technology in the long run is tough. there's a ton of very interesting work going on with micro-organisms doped with things like iridium to form self organizing structures that are suspended in a gel matrix that is beginning to be able to mimic photosynthesis and split hydrogen from water molecules.

    it's a good decade out, but the rewards to solving this issue will cause progress to be made.

    your last augment sounds a lot like "i've lost this argument, but i'm not changing my mind" you sound a great deal more upset than i am. i just think we're missing an opportunity. you seem to feel like your way of life and livelihood are threatened.

    you wall would never work even if we could build it. there are too many other ways in. they go to canada and come from the north. they'll use boats or hide in freight or any number of a zillion other methods. there is too much demand from them to be here for us to shut off the flow while remaining open society. you have about as much chance of shutting off the flow of immigrants as the flow of drugs.