Saturday, January 18, 2014

An Immigration Reply, and Replies to the Reply

Yesterday I reprinted Bob Wallace's excellent proposal that we charge immigrants for U.S. citizenship. He made perfect sense, as he always does, and like the Jonathan Swift that I compared him to, he was immediately misunderstood by a professional point-misser, who wrote:

Great idea, because all illegal aliens are flush with cash and could easily pay to come here. What a completely ridiculous idea and one that is completely counter to the ideals on which this country was founded.

This is an interesting reply, because on the one hand it completely misses Bob's point that we should permit immigration when we conclude that it's good for us. The commenter is, of course, only concerned about what is good for the immigrants, most particularly illegal immigrants, for whom he seems to have a special affection. And he's disingenuous also, because he implies that Bob is wanting immigrants so they can pay the fee, when of course the whole point is to discourage immigrants who can't or won't pay the fee.  Finally, if you read our founding documents, you won't find that we were founded on giving freebies to illegal immigrants.  That's the Ellis-Island crap that we've been bombarded with for the last few decades, and it has zero roots in our foundation.

And, on the same forum, Stephen W. Browne made this excellent reply to the first commenter:

I used to be an open-borders libertarian, until libertarian friends in the Baltic states disabused me of that notion.
If you are serious about preserving what liberty we have left and regaining lost ground, one might think about the wisdom of importing an awful lot of future client/voters who are generally hostile to the ideas of liberty.
Some time back that right-wing think tank "Freedom House" founded by that right-wing ideologue Eleanor Roosevelt, noted that of the countries they labeled "free" almost all had one ethnic group that constituted at least 2/3 of the population.


  1. I've always been amused by those who say the Founding Fathers supported this or that when they clearly did no such thing.

    1. What? You mean they didn't support universal health care and affirmative action?

  2. The "founding fathers" wrote a clear an unambiguous ban on any federal control of immigration whatsoever into the Constitution (Article I, Section 9), and even forbade that ban from being amended out for 20 years (Article V).

    What does that tell us about what they "supported?" Well, really only that they supported getting the Constitution ratified, which wouldn't have happened had there been a federal power to regulate immigration in it (the southern states were afraid regulation immigration would be used to stop the slave trade; Pennsylvania was afraid it would be used to slow down the immigration that was powering the beginnings of industrialization).

    So maybe they would have supported a federal power to regulate immigration if they could have done so and also got their Constitution. Guess we'll never know. Congress rigorously observed the prohibition against them regulating immigration until the late 19th century, when an activist Supreme Court fantasized that prohibition out of existence and the forbidden power into existence.

  3. I am in favor of open immigration for people who come to the US who wish to become Americanized and who are here to work. I am less willing to tolerate people who feel an urge to remake America into the hellhole they fled here from or to tap into welfare bennies. I am also concerned that we need to do a better job of taking in people who fought for us in our foreign adventures or who's lives are endangered as a result of our butting in in their countries (E.g,. Iraqi and Syrrian Christians, translators all over the place, Hmong, Binar, Rhade and other 'yards).