$3.7 Billion for E-Verify

 

President Obama is in desperate need of congressional action on the border crisis. Specifically, he is seeking $3.7 billion in emergency funding to accelerate the care for, and processing of, unaccompanied minors and single mothers with children crossing our southern border illegally from Central America via Mexico. The question that we, as conservatives, as taxpayers, and as Americans should be asking ourselves is this: what should we try to buy with our $3.7 billion? The answer, I think, is breathtakingly clear: we should demand E-Verify.

It is frequently said among our politicians and pundits that our immigration system is “broken.” The claim is especially heard from the left, but even conservatives – who think that the problem is simply that the law is not being enforced – are likely to admit that something is not working correctly. It is a curious fact that little attention seems to be paid to how exactly the immigration system is broken.

By this I don’t even necessarily mean, “how did the immigration system come to be broken?” (though an account of the relevant history could be helpful as well). I merely mean what precisely is not working.

It is in the nature of broken things – like the car in my driveway, for instance – that they are very difficult to fix if you don’t know which part is not functioning properly. By contrast, if you have a clear knowledge of the symptoms, at the very least you tend to waste less time on things that are not entirely germane. Since I know, in the case of my car, that all of the lights except the headlights refuse to turn on, I have not tried to remedy the situation by changing the oil or by looking behind the wheels.

In the immigration problem, as we will see, we are often trying to fix the wrong thing.

The root problem with our immigration system is quite easy to state in detail. The fact that it is not stated more often is clear evidence of the “will to obfuscation” among those with vested interests in keeping the system broken. This is what’s wrong:

The number of illegal aliens in America has been growing since the Reagan amnesty of 1986. At first, these aliens were limited both geographically and, more to the point, by the jobs that they could hold. They necessarily took employment where cash changed hands or where, for other reasons, the authorities were not involved. Over time, certain employers – especially those who could get away with resorting to the black market – found a competitive advantage in hiring illegal aliens.

The “career choice” of illegal aliens (and, at the same time, the geographic range) increased as consequences for failing to obey the law became weaker and weaker. That choice expanded dramatically as illegal aliens began providing fake Social Security cards to obtain employment – despite the fact that the employee’s name and Social Security number did not match.

The Social Security Administration sent out “no-match” letters in these cases and some employers did (and some still do) purge their employee bases of such individuals. These letters, which actually ceased altogether from 2008 until 2011, have been diluted in their legal import to employers by virtue of immigration-related litigation. An interesting discussion on no-match letters can be found here.

At the same time as the legal ramifications for hiring illegal aliens evaporated, the moral consequences of doing so dissolved as well.

First of all, every Man Jack and Woman Jill employer in America who employees illegal aliens knows damn well that they are doing so. Meg Whitman lost her race for governor of California because no one believed that a former eBay CEO who employed a maid in her house for nine years (whom she described as like a member of her family) was so stupid as to not actually know that that employee was here illegally.

So it is with the savvy businessmen across America. The Social Security card that they take does not prove, to them or anyone else, that their employee is legally allowed to work in America. Rather, it merely gives them plausible deniability that they were aware that their employee was illegal.

It is on this sea of plausible deniability that we have floated the illegal alien ark. And the employers, and their dishonest defenders in the Chamber of Commerce, are frankly terrified that the ark might someday sink…that they themselves might yet end up in jail — because they know full well that they are breaking the law and that they are foisting the social and economic costs of their “business practices” onto their neighbors.

Believe me, if you give the average employer a way out — especially one that allows a gradual ratcheting down of his illegal alien worker base — he will grasp at it in a heartbeat.

So the point is this: The 12-20 million illegal aliens in the U.S.; the swamping of our emergency rooms and the invasion of our state parks; the weight on our welfare services and the heart-wrenching unemployment in American ghettos; the countless cases of hit-and-run accidents; the lawlessness that accompanies any criminal underground whose members fear the police more than the drug dealers, rapists and murderers in their midst; the enormously expensive and utterly useless fence; the mad rush of children and pregnant mothers across 1,000 miles of badlands and deserts; and the babies floating in the Rio Grande: they all exist because employers do not have sufficient incentive or morality to proactively determine if the person handing them that Social Security card is legally allowed to work in the United States.

It’s that simple.

But there is an equally simple, technological solution to this problem. It is called E-Verify. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services webpage:

E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify is fast, free and easy to use – and it’s the best way employers can ensure a legal workforce.

If E-Verify became the law of the land, McDonald’s, Hyatt, Dunkin’ Donuts and dozens of other large companies would simply call in their lawyers and say: “Ok, how do we implement this?” Half of the illegal aliens in America would instantly find themselves unemployable. Gradually, even restaurants, liquor stores, and cleaning services would be purged as well. No other single law would be as devastating to the illegal alien cancer in America.

Of course, it would be ideal if the law were retroactive, but it does not need to be. Over time, the natural turnover of employees will result in illegal aliens going home. And yes, this is nothing more than Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation.” It may take time, but it will work.

Additionally, it will help to stop the flow across the border. Of course, children and mothers who already have a working family member to support them in America will still come. But they will be coming specifically and solely as burdens.

I can prove mathematically that if we do not find a way to send illegal aliens who are here already back to their home countries, then it makes no difference how big a fence we build. Interrupting the illegal work chain is the key to getting illegal aliens to go home.

The whole partisan debate over immigration in Washington has been presented in terms of a “comprehensive” solution to our immigration problem versus the pejoratively-termed “piecemeal” approach, which principally seeks to obtain border security first and foremost. Border security can only be achieved by sending illegal aliens who are already in the country back to their homes. We are at our Rahm Emanuel moment in the immigration fight: the president is now demanding a piecemeal piece of legislation!

I say, let’s give it to him. Give him the money. And attach a clause making E-Verify mandatory for all employers in America.

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What say you, Ricochetti?

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  1. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Fred Cole:

    Michael Stopa:

    Okay, so lets call that two children? You could make the charge about anybody whose children are in a government funded school.

    Frankly, they come here to work (and do) because there are jobs available for them. That means that some of those unemployed people passed on those jobs for whatever reason.

    You have a willing employee and a willing employer. What’s the problem?

     Have you ever run anything?  Do you get the point made by the founders about why governments are instituted among men, and why men in those government have limits placed upon them?  We have nations, and governments for a reason.  Not because it’s perfect, but because it beats the alternative.  It beats your alternative.

    Do you find fault with the Constitution?  Do you value your citizenship?  Do you think that being an American is a gift, if not from God, then at least from those who fought and died to make it so for us?

    Would you characterize your stance as other than open-borders anti-Constitutionalism?

    • #31
  2. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mike H:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Mike H:

    No other single law would be as devastating to the illegal alien cancer in America.

    Cancer? People contributing to the economy is a cancer?! You have a funny idea of a cancer, sir. Legal blessings make people think and speak in strange ways, but lets keep collectively pretending this isn’t contrived hogwash because people in Washington cast the proper incantation.

    Cancer is actually very good analogy, as these people are not subject to the laws that we are, and are allowed to bring in ever more with flimsier justifications. It is malignant, spreading, and accelerating.

    …Or the laws are the cancer.

     So is that a table for two with a bottle of Chateau sans Murs?

    • #32
  3. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

     …Or the laws are the cancer. 

    Ball Diamond Ball: So is that a table for two with a bottle of Chateau sans Murs?

     There are many bad laws that are a cancer on the economy, I don’t think that’s controversial.

    • #33
  4. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Michael Stopa: You don’t have “a willing employee.” In fact, you have several *billion* willing employees. The problem is something called “the rule of law” … or “sovereignty.”

     I regret that I have but one like to give.

    • #34
  5. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Ball Diamond Ball: Do you find fault with the Constitution? 

    I know you didn’t ask me, but my biggest fault with the Constitution is it’s largely unenforceable. The branches of government don’t have any incentive to protect the people besides benevolence, and the people are rationally ignorant. It is literally impossible to be informed enough to vote properly and people hold systematic biases even with perfect information.

    • #35
  6. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mike H:

    …Or the laws are the cancer.

    Ball Diamond Ball: So is that a table for two with a bottle of Chateau sans Murs?

    There are many bad laws that are a cancer on the economy, I don’t think that’s controversial.

     That’s not the point and you know it.  If this were better done, it would be sophistry.

    • #36
  7. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mike H:

    Ball Diamond Ball: Do you find fault with the Constitution?

    I know you didn’t ask me, but my biggest fault with the Constitution is it’s largely unenforceable. The branches of government don’t have any incentive to protect the people besides benevolence, and the people are rationally ignorant. It is literally impossible to be informed enough to vote properly and people hold systematic biases even with perfect information.

     You are insisting upon perfection and disparaging excellence.  One does not “enforce” the Constitution.  It’s not a set of laws, it’s a framework for generating laws, and more.  Study up.

    • #37
  8. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Michael Stopa:

    You don’t have “a willing employee.” In fact, you have several *billion* willing employees. The problem is something called “the rule of law” … or “sovereignty.” It’s okay to just decide which laws you want to follow and ignore the others? Hmmm. Liberal notion, that.

    Not several billion.  Gallup estimates 150 million adults worldwide.  

    But, if its as easy as you claim it is, why aren’t they here already?

    Because its very expensive to come to the United States.  If you live in squalor on a dollar a day, then you’re not buying a ticket to get to the US.  There are lots of Mexicans here because you can walk here.

    So no, not several billion.

    As far as the rule of law, I am under no moral requirement to abide by a law I do not believe in.  If that’s liberal, then its classically liberal and I’ll accept the compliment.

    I’m the side arguing for freedom and you’re the one arguing for a multi billion dollar government program and imposition on businesses.  “Hmmm.  Liberal notion, that.”

    • #38
  9. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Michael Stopa:

    Or, are illegal aliens only doing the jobs that Americans won’t do?

    “Won’t” isn’t the only issue and is an oversimplification. “Can’t” is the other issue – or at least, “can’t legally”.

    You mentioned the black market in labor. It does not exist solely because people are immoral (people have always been immoral), but because of the high price of hiring people legally. Besides the minimum wage, mandatory employer contributions, regulatory burdens, and so forth, drive up the minimum price an employer can expect to pay for legal labor.

    At one point, we had a government that recognized citizens’ right to freely contract for their labor. These days, not so much.

    At a certain point, I don’t blame people for laboring off the books. I did once, and I’m a well-educated white girl. It happened when I was really sick and desperately needed the money – pretty much any amount of money above $0 – to help my parents pay my medical bills.

    • #39
  10. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mike H:

    And then their children each make money, pay taxes, and their kids become indistinguishable from the rest of America. How is your scenario any different than many citizens? Everyone seems to believe it’s wrong to eject a true citizen cancer, but is permissible to eject a non-cancer from improper origins because… collective delusion+anti-foreign bias.

    If enough people agree we’re allowed to, then we’re allowed to, so immoral acts become rights… but it’s just not how anyone acts in real life.

     You are soaking in the “Living Document” dishsoap, and it has pruned your brain.  Why do you feel that the idea of sovereignty, and its implications, relies upon “collective delusion + anti-foreign bias”?  What strain of conservatism is this?
    You seem to feel that Americans do not have a right to America.  This is a problem.

    • #40
  11. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Mike H:

    Ball Diamond Ball: Do you find fault with the Constitution?

    I know you didn’t ask me, but my biggest fault with the Constitution is it’s largely unenforceable. The branches of government don’t have any incentive to protect the people besides benevolence, and the people are rationally ignorant. It is literally impossible to be informed enough to vote properly and people hold systematic biases even with perfect information.

    You are insisting upon perfection and disparaging excellence. One does not “enforce” the Constitution. It’s not a set of laws, it’s a framework for generating laws, and more. Study up.

     And you should stop conflating disagreement with lack of knowledge or investigation.

    • #41
  12. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Ball Diamond Ball:

     You seem to feel that Americans do not have a right to America. This is a problem.

     Excuse me, but I need to call you out on this.  This is utter gibberish.
    Americans do not have a right to America?  I’m sorry, but what the [expletive] does that even mean?

    • #42
  13. BuckeyeSam Inactive
    BuckeyeSam
    @BuckeyeSam

    Michael Stopa:

    40% of illegal aliens in America came here by airplane. They don’t build fences 37,000 feet high.

     I’m veering off of your E-verify subject, but I want an informed debate on all aspects of immigration. In doing that, I’ve never understood why illegal immigrants are not carved up in groups and addressed separately. Criminals? Apprehend them, take pictures, fingerprints, DNA, whatever else. House that information in a national database. Then deport them. If found once or twice more on US soil, summary execution.

    To the group you’re alluding to–visa overstayers–how doesn’t the US have a system to track and find these people? They have a time limit and a purpose don’t they? If they’re here for school or for employment, the schools and the employers ought to report if they go AWOL or be heavily fined. Indeed, forbid them from admitting or employing visa users for a long time. What puzzles me most is that entering the country, don’t we have information that enables us to eventually catch them? Whenever caught, out they go.

    • #43
  14. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Study up.

     This is unnecessarily patronizing.  If I was going to be patronizing back at you, I’d suggest you “study up” on this history of people crossing borders.  Study up on the history of passports, for example.  Ubiquitous passport requirements are a 20th century innovation. 

    But, I’m not a jerk like that, so as much as you need to “study up,”  I would never be so patronizing.

    • #44
  15. Michael Stopa Contributor
    Michael Stopa
    @MichaelStopa

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    $3.7 Billion will buy a lot of ammo. Fences are big, expensive, and useless if they are not manned. Nobody has any business coming across the fence outside of a checkpoint. Either this is a nation or it is not, and nations have borders that they defend. Otherwise (Fred Cole), there is no difference between a citizen who works on this side of the fence, or that, and an illegal who works here or there. We cannot regulate a system of laws through magic. At some point it comes down to findings of fact and actions. A fence with guards is both a signal and an obstacle; it makes the act of crossing a clear act of intent, and it gives a point beyond which a border guard is in his duties to press an attack. Well, either we will defend our borders or not. For those who say “But it’s not *that* sort of ‘invasion’, you kook!”, the fact is this is going to wipe out this country.

    To be, or not to be?

     I did not on first reading grasp the point here. I read it as a suggestion that guarding the border could be used *in place* of interior enforcement. My bad.

    • #45
  16. Michael Stopa Contributor
    Michael Stopa
    @MichaelStopa

    BuckeyeSam:

    To the group you’re alluding to–visa overstayers–how doesn’t the US have a system to track and find these people? They have a time limit and a purpose don’t they? If they’re here for school or for employment, the schools and the employers ought to report if they go AWOL or be heavily fined. Indeed, forbid them from admitting or employing visa users for a long time. What puzzles me most is that entering the country, don’t we have information that enables us to eventually catch them? Whenever caught, out they go.

     I guess that overstaying a visa is no harder than sneaking across the border. Generally you provide an address to immigration authorities when you enter with a visa. But they can’t check the address of every visitor (with multiple stops, hotels, etc.). Once in with a visa you are no easier to dislodge than someone who swam the Rio Grande I suppose.

    • #46
  17. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Michael Stopa: The answer, I think, is breathtakingly clear: we should demand E-Verify.

     OK, now I’m a bit mystified.  E-Verify is already up and running, and used by employers to verify immigration status.

    “U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This diverse workforce contributes greatly to the vibrancy and strength of our economy, but that same strength also attracts unauthorized employment.

    “E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify is fast, free and easy to use – and it’s the best way employers can ensure a legal workforce.”

    E-Verify performance report.  24 million verifications processed.

    Status report from 2010 [PDF].  It’s a Federal IT project.  What do you expect?

    So what exactly are we going to get for our $3.7 B?  We’ve already demanded and gotten E-Verify…

    Having E-Verify (started in 1997) or mandatory immigration status check (1986!) doesn’t seem to have done a thing to slow the rate of illegal immigration, as a point of fact.

    • #47
  18. Britanicus Member
    Britanicus
    @Britanicus

    Fred Cole: Also, what your numbers don’t include are the wealth created by their labor.

     Fred, I’ve heard this statement pop up in many a immigration conversation, but I’ve never actually seen a figure of how much wealth is generated by illegals–can you point me in the right direction?

    I grant your point that most of the illegals do contribute at least some amount to the economy, but I’m still curious as to the net contribution, if any.

    Thanks!

    • #48
  19. Britanicus Member
    Britanicus
    @Britanicus

    Tuck:

    Michael Stopa: The answer, I think, is breathtakingly clear: we should demand E-Verify.

    OK, now I’m a bit mystified. E-Verify is already up and running, and used by employers to verify immigration status.

    ___

    It’s up and running, sure, but it’s not mandatory. Unless I’m mistaken, as is often the case, the link shown above only states that employers must only hire legal workers. It then goes on to describe what E-verify is and how it works.

    However, it doesn’t suggest that E-verify is mandatory.

    • #49
  20. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Britanicus: However, it doesn’t suggest that E-verify is mandatory.

     E-verify is just a mechanism to confirm immigration status.  Confirming immigration status has been mandatory since 1986.  (As I stated later in that comment.)

    Apparently E-verify is not mandatory because it’s too easy to file fraudulent documents, and the system is inaccurate:

    “Year 2008 data reveals that 54% of unauthorized workers are incorrectly found to be work authorized.”

    • #50
  21. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Britanicus:

    Fred Cole: Also, what your numbers don’t include are the wealth created by their labor.

    Fred, I’ve heard this statement pop up in many a immigration conversation, but I’ve never actually seen a figure of how much wealth is generated by illegals–can you point me in the right direction?

     Wikipedia has a page on this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_impact_of_illegal_immigrants_in_the_United_States

    The problem is that when it comes to immigration, the debate is tainted with bad information on both sides.  So I could point to some study, and somebody else could point to a different study.

    We’re talking about a labor market that is forced to exist in the shadows because of poor public policy.  Additionally there are second and third order effect that are not easily calculated.

    I suspect that it is not something that can be reliably calculated.   Let it stand that the economic productivity of an illegal immigrant in the work force is greater than zero.

    • #51
  22. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Britanicus:

    I grant your point that most of the illegals do contribute at least some amount to the economy, but I’m still curious as to the net contribution, if any.

    Thanks!

     I went looking. Here’s what I found. 

    Dr. William F. Ford, of Middle Tennessee State University, said a majority of economists agree that illegal immigrants are a net benefit for the U.S. economy.

    He said the tax contributions from illegal immigrants, including sales taxes, property taxes and excise taxes (such as the gas tax), are significant.

    He calculates that illegal immigrants contributed $428 billion dollars to the nation’s $13.6 trillion gross domestic product in 2006. That number assumes illegal immigrants are 30% less productive than other workers.

    Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.

    That represented 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund’s total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

    • #52
  23. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    Fred Cole:

    The problem is that when it comes to immigration, the debate is tainted with bad information on both sides. So I could point to some study, and somebody else could point to a different study.

    … I suspect that it is not something that can be reliably calculated. Let it stand that the economic productivity of an illegal immigrant in the work force is greater than zero.

    Fred, I’m certain you didn’t intend to, but it seems that you’ve just said:  “No one can actually provide conclusive evidence, so just trust me.”  (?!?!?!?!!!)

    • #53
  24. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    TG:

    Fred Cole:

    The problem is that when it comes to immigration, the debate is tainted with bad information on both sides. So I could point to some study, and somebody else could point to a different study.

    … I suspect that it is not something that can be reliably calculated. Let it stand that the economic productivity of an illegal immigrant in the work force is greater than zero.

    Fred, I’m certain you didn’t intend to, but it seems that you’ve just said: “No one can actually provide conclusive evidence, so just trust me.” (?!?!?!?!!!)

    It’s hard to discover the magnitude, but all signs point to a positive integer, perhaps a large one.

    • #54
  25. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    Mike H:

    Britanicus:

    I grant your point that most of the illegals do contribute at least some amount to the economy, but I’m still curious as to the net contribution, if any.

    Thanks!

    I went looking. Here’s what I found.

    Dr. William F. Ford, of Middle Tennessee State University, said a majority of economists agree that illegal immigrants are a net benefit for the U.S. economy.

    He said the tax contributions from illegal immigrants, including sales taxes, property taxes and excise taxes (such as the gas tax), are significant.

    He calculates that illegal immigrants contributed $428 billion dollars to the nation’s $13.6 trillion gross domestic product in 2006. That number assumes illegal immigrants are 30% less productive than other workers.

    Stephen C. Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration said that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from unauthorized immigrants.

    That represented 5.4 percent to 10.7 percent of the trust fund’s total assets of $2.24 trillion that year. Unauthorized immigrants paid a net contribution of $12 billion in 2007 alone, Goss said.

    Questions (to which I do not know the answer, and I don’t know if anyone has a convincing answer):  If illegal immigrants were not performing certain jobs, what would happen?  Would those jobs not get done at all?  Would those markets adjust so that fewer of those jobs were being performed, but at higher compensations for those who *were* doing those jobs?  Given that there are certain requirements to be pursuing work opportunities in many (all?  I admit I’m not well-informed on this) states’ welfare programs … what effect does the presence of a quantity of illegal immigrant workers have on the number of people remaining on welfare, and how long they remain on welfare?   I’m fairly certain that those question weren’t considered by Stephen C. Goss – no real reason they should have been, he is concerned about the effect on Social Security.

    • #55
  26. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    TG:

    Fred Cole:

    The problem is that when it comes to immigration, the debate is tainted with bad information on both sides. So I could point to some study, and somebody else could point to a different study.

    … I suspect that it is not something that can be reliably calculated. Let it stand that the economic productivity of an illegal immigrant in the work force is greater than zero.

    Fred, I’m certain you didn’t intend to, but it seems that you’ve just said: “No one can actually provide conclusive evidence, so just trust me.” (?!?!?!?!!!)

     Let’s recap:
    I said his numbers didn’t include wealth created from the productivity of working immigrants.
    Britanicus asked for numbers.
    I said its difficult to calculate, but let it stand that its non-zero.

    Do you think that a working illegal immigrant has zero productivity?  Of course not.  But I can’t calculate it, thats why I said non-zero.

    • #56
  27. TG Thatcher
    TG
    @TG

    Mike H:

    TG:

    Fred Cole:

    The problem is that when it comes to immigration, the debate is tainted with bad information on both sides. So I could point to some study, and somebody else could point to a different study.

    … I suspect that it is not something that can be reliably calculated. Let it stand that the economic productivity of an illegal immigrant in the work force is greater than zero.

    Fred, I’m certain you didn’t intend to, but it seems that you’ve just said: “No one can actually provide conclusive evidence, so just trust me.” (?!?!?!?!!!)

    It’s hard to discover the magnitude, but all signs point to a positive integer, perhaps a large one.

    Mike (and I’m sorry to say this):  You’re making an assertion.  “All signs.”  *What* signs? 

    • #57
  28. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mike H:

     

    And then their children each make money, pay taxes, and their kids become indistinguishable from the rest of America. How is your scenario any different than many citizens? Everyone seems to believe it’s wrong to eject a true citizen cancer, but is permissible to eject a non-cancer from improper origins because… collective delusion+anti-foreign bias.

    If enough people agree we’re allowed to, then we’re allowed to, so immoral acts become rights… but it’s just not how anyone acts in real life.

    Fred Cole, you asked.  This is the statement of Mike H’s which I referred to and quoted.  In this brief passage, he disparages the difference between citizens and non-citizens, derides as insane the preference to govern ourselves as a sovereign nation, and posits the tyranny of democracy as the basis of rights.

    I’ll ask you directly, Mike H, since there seems to be a question: do you feel that American citizens have a right to America which non-citizens do not have?  I’ll suggest that a re-phrasing (at your option) would be Do citizens have a property in the nation?

    I assert that we do.

    • #58
  29. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Fred Cole: Let it stand that the economic productivity of an illegal immigrant in the work force is greater than zero.

     So let it be written that this may be true, but only in a narrowly defined metric: those who are productive, and only without reference to the overhead borne not by the criminal but by the innocent of society. 

    • #59
  30. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    TG:

    If illegal immigrants were not performing certain jobs, what would happen?  Would those jobs not get done at all?  Would those markets adjust so that fewer of those jobs were being performed, but at higher compensations for those who *were* doing those jobs? 

     Many would be done by people who would be better suited for more productive jobs. Someone has to take out the trash, even if the country is full of academics.

    And if the jobs could be done at a higher wage that was cheaper that automation they would be done at a higher wage. And if we didn’t allow imports of Japanese cars, American cars would be more expensive and lower quality. Which means everyone would drive a less nice car, but a couple more people would make a little more money.

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