No, I Don’t Have An Immigration Limit In Mind And Neither Should You

 

I am an unashamed, unabashed “open borders type.” I’m not a communitarian, so I don’t see the issue in utilitarian terms (although if I did, I’d still be an “open borders type”). I am an individualist, so I see things through the lens of the rights of the individual: an individual’s right to engage in non-violent actions, including to move without restriction, and my right to associate freely with whomever I damn well please.

In another thread, the question was put to me what, if any, maximum number of immigrants would be acceptable. The implied alternative to a numerical limit would be an infinite number. I don’t have a specific number in mind, nor should I. 

We’re talking about people who come to America to work and live in freedom and peace and be productive. They leave their homes and travel to another nation because their home country is so terrible and America is awesome.

But why does there have to be a number? Frankly, any number would be arbitrary.

And no, it’s not infinite. It couldn’t possibly be infinite. As pointed out in that other thread, 40% of illegal immigrants come here by plane and hundreds of millions of people would come to America if they could.

Well then, why haven’t they? If the borders are as open as immigration hawks claim they are, why hasn’t everyone else in the world come here already?

The answer is that magic doesn’t exist. There are costs involved in immigrating to the United States. If you live in some terrible third world country on a dollar a day or less, you can’t afford a ticket to LaGuardia. It’s obvious, but I guess it needs to be said, that the number of people who immigrate to the United States in a given year is constrained by reality.

But even the idea of a specific arbitrary number is statist nonsense. In any other context, if we weren’t talking about illegal immigration, an arbitrary numerical limit would be seen for what it is. Andrew Cuomo think that six is enough rounds in a magazine. Barack Obama thinks that at a certain point you have enough money. There are plenty of liberals who think that people who own more than one gun are terrifying. Each of those is an arbitrary numerical limit on freedom.

People want to come to America. It’s awesome here and we all know it. A man can say and believe anything he wants. He can work at a trade and be prosperous. Anybody can own a plot of land with a house on it.

The whole seasteading movement is really a way to get around limits on visas for high tech work. Think about that: It’s the policy of the United States to keep people out who:

1. Want to come here

2. Want to work

3. Possess labor so valuable that there’s a movement to create artificial islands to get them here.

People are going to come to America. We can make it easy for them or we can impose arbitrary limits and keep out people who we actually want to come here.

I get it. Freedom is scary to people. They want the government to come in and limit things. I understand the psychology behind it. Just don’t expect me to agree with it or to participate in applying your statist shackles to freedom.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Fred, you are doing a lot of mind reading with this statement. Instead of acknowledging valid points on immigration, you are casting those whom you disagree as simply responding out of fear. Kind of like calling people “bitter clingers”. 

    A dozen paragraphs to say Conservatives are afraid of Freedom? 

    And you write for the Federalist?

    • #1
  2. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    I have an immigration number in mind, and that number is zero.

    Know why?

    Because I live in the real world. As I type the open borders maniac in the White House is openly defying the law to import more voters for his party, at great expense to the public, whose consent he does not have.

    If he could get that consent, he would not have to ignore the law. But he cannot. Nor could George Bush.

    If you want open borders, form a political party and run on that premise. Make your case, win that election, eliminate those borders.

    But you can’t, because the electorate is not on your side. Yet, at least.

    Maybe after a few more years of illegal immigration, but not yet.

    Hence I set my number at zero.

    Maybe after a few decades at zero, we can afford some more immigration.

    But not yet. We’ll talk then, and maybe we can come up with a good compromise number.

    • #2
  3. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    People aren’t machines that poop.

    • #3
  4. chorton65@comcast.net Inactive
    chorton65@comcast.net
    @GoldwatersRevenge

    This has to be the most vapid proposal I have heard in a long time. Why is it wrong for a freedom loving nation wanting to limit its immigration to those persons who will benfit it. Remember many Eurpoeans were turned back at Ellis Island because they were deemed unfit to enter this country.

    Ponder this question. Had the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California remained as part of Mexico would they be as prosperous as they are today? Not a chance. Call me racist but look at the world stage. English speaking peoples populated the US, Canada, Australis and New Zealand, all prosperous, freedom loving nations. Can any nation in Central and South America populated largely by the Spanish compare favorably with those populated by the English? 

    I have no problems accepting people from any nation into this country so long as they meet certain standards. Does it make sense to allow hordes of immigrants who still hold allegiance to the failed governments from which they came to repopulate our country? You are proposing a means to make America what Obama wants, a nation no better or worse than any other, exceptional only in destroying itself.

    • #4
  5. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Instead of acknowledging valid points on immigration, you are casting those whom you disagree as simply responding out of fear.

     But the valid points are convincing because they imply bad results, which are scary if true, no?

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

    Charles Horton: Can any nation in Central and South America populated largely by the Spanish compare favorably with those populated by the English? 

     The best example is Chile, it’s rated more free than America by the Heritage Foundation.

    • #6
  7. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Fred, you are doing a lot of mind reading with this statement. Instead of acknowledging valid points on immigration, you are casting those whom you disagree as simply responding out of fear. Kind of like calling people “bitter clingers”.

    A dozen paragraphs to say Conservatives are afraid of Freedom?

    And you write for the Federalist?

     Conservative and immigration restrictionist are not synonyms. 

    • #7
  8. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Fred’s having trouble posting, so this is from him:

    And yeah, not for nothing, but some conservatives are afraid of freedom.

    • #8
  9. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Mike H:

    Charles Horton: Can any nation in Central and South America populated largely by the Spanish compare favorably with those populated by the English?

    The best example is Chile, it’s rated more free than America by the Heritage Foundation.

     Yeah, ok. Anyone want to move to Chile? No?

    • #9
  10. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Albert Arthur:

    Mike H:

    Charles Horton: Can any nation in Central and South America populated largely by the Spanish compare favorably with those populated by the English?

    The best example is Chile, it’s rated more free than America by the Heritage Foundation.

    Yeah, ok. Anyone want to move to Chile? No?

    Doesn’t mean Chile isn’t comparable to many English speaking countries. I don’t want to move to practically any other English speaking countries either.

    • #10
  11. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Fred, you are adopting the classic tactic of conflating immigration with the illegal act of crossing our border. Breaking into our country is not immigration. It is a crime. I don’t know any conservatives who are opposed to legal immigration.

    Fred Cole: 1. Want to come here 2. Want to work 3. Whose labor is so valuable that there’s a movement to create artificial islands to get them here.

     Well, #1 is true, otherwise they wouldn’t be breaking our laws to sneak into the country. #2 is not true for the majority, who end up on wellfare. #3 is just you being silly. Pregnant 17-year-old Honduran girls are not sneaking into Texas by the thousands because they want to work in the high tech industry.

    It’s not surprising to me that you don’t believe in borders. After all, you said that the only possible way you might “maybe” support military action against Russia would be if Russian tanks showed up on the Hudson.

    • #11
  12. Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Albert Arthur
    @AlbertArthur

    Mike H: Doesn’t mean Chile isn’t comparable to many English speaking countries. I don’t want to move to practically any other English speaking countries either.

     Good point:-)

    • #12
  13. user_7742 Inactive
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    “We’re talking about people who come to America to work and live in freedom and peace and be productive. They leave their homes and travel to another nation because their home country is so terrible and America is awesome.”

    Is that what we’re talking about? What of the gang members, murderers, rapists, drug dealers, and terrorists who cross the border? Is that their intent to work and live in freedom and peace and be productive? Productive at what exactly? Just how open is your open borders policy? We do have an obligation to our children and our communities to block entry into this country from some of the more vile members of the human race, don’t we? Or is it your intent to toss up this very generalized proposition to get everyone excited and then insert qualifiers later?

    • #13
  14. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    Working illegals is taking a lot for granted . Yes there are many hard working immigrants but many are about to crash our safety net.

    • #14
  15. CandE Inactive
    CandE
    @CandE

    Based on what you’ve written here, you don’t seem to value state sovereignty at all.

    Fred Cole: An individual’s right to engage in non-violent actions, including to move without restriction, and my right to associate freely with whomever I damn well please.

     You talk about their right to move and associate, yet you ignore the right to not have our property violated and the right of the American people to not associate with every disease-ridden, poverty-stricken, unskilled individual that wants to travel to the US. 

    -E

    • #15
  16. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Albert Arthur:

    Fred, you are adopting the classic tactic of conflating immigration with the illegal act of crossing our border. Breaking into our country is not immigration. It is a crime. I don’t know any conservatives who are opposed to legal immigration.

    I’m actually not.  Please read my entire post.

    Albert Arthur:

    Pregnant 17-year-old Honduran girls are not sneaking into Texas by the thousands because they want to work in the high tech industry.

    Right.  And if you read the portion immediately before the portion you selectively quoted out of context, you’ll understand that pregnant 17 year old Honduran girls are not who I was talking about.

    • #16
  17. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Fred Cole: We’re talking about people who come to America to work and live in freedom and peace and be productive. They leave their homes and travel to another nation because their home country is so terrible and America is awesome.

     We are also talking about criminals, gang members, pedophiles and according to the 9-11 commission possibly terrorists.  America is awesome, but not all people trying to come to America are awesome. For a true “open boarder” if they can find a way all these “bad guys” get to come too. Are you advocating the right of criminals and terrorists to enter our country? 

    If you say no then we have left “open borders” behind and are now discussing closing the border to some people. Your argument becomes not  whether there should be a line but where the line should be drawn. This is a political issue not a “rights” issue. 

    • #17
  18. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Fred Cole: We’re talking about people who come to America to work and live in freedom and peace and be productive. They leave their homes and travel to another nation because their home country is so terrible and America is awesome.

    Such people should be welcomed in.

    What you’re not addressing, is how do we identify such people and separate them from from criminals or those who are either uninterested in or incapable of being productive?  It’s much better — for reasons that go beyond the welfare state, though that contributes mightily — to be a indignant person in the United States than in Nicaragua.  Why should we allow such a person who lacks the skills and/or ambition to succeed to immigrate, or be brought here by a hard-working relative?

    • #18
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Mike H:

    Bryan G. Stephens:

    Instead of acknowledging valid points on immigration, you are casting those whom you disagree as simply responding out of fear.

    But the valid points are convincing because they imply bad results, which are scary if true, no?

     There is a difference with avoiding something because you rationally thought it out, and just responding out of unthinking fear. Clearly here, Fred is implying the latter. 

    • #19
  20. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    CandE:

    You talk about their right to move and associate, yet you ignore the right to not have our property violated and the right of the American people to not associate with every disease-ridden, poverty-stricken, unskilled individual that wants to travel to the US.

    You speak of your rights, in the plural, as if you represent everyone.  You don’t.  If you don’t want to associate with them, then don’t.  I’m not forcing you to and I would resist any attempt to force you to.*

    And your right not to be offended by the mere presence of the stereotypes of people in your comments does not and should not interfere with my right to freely associate with who I please.

    NOTE: A person’s presence is not considered forcing you to associate with someone.  America was built on people of different backgrounds, religions, philosophies, world views, ets., peacefully associating with one another.

    • #20
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Albert Arthur:

    Fred, you are adopting the classic tactic of conflating immigration with the illegal act of crossing our border. Breaking into our country is not immigration. It is a crime. I don’t know any conservatives who are opposed to legal immigration.

    Fred Cole: 1. Want to come here 2. Want to work 3. Whose labor is so valuable that there’s a movement to create artificial islands to get them here.

    Well, #1 is true, otherwise they wouldn’t be breaking our laws to sneak into the country. #2 is not true for the majority, who end up on wellfare. #3 is just you being silly. Pregnant 17-year-old Honduran girls are not sneaking into Texas by the thousands because they want to work in the high tech industry.

    It’s not surprising to me that you don’t believe in borders. After all, you said that the only possible way you might “maybe” support military action against Russia would be if Russian tanks showed up on the Hudson.

     Even then, he is against the draft, because Freedom is so precious that there never any time people should be forced to fight to defend it. 

    • #21
  22. Franco Inactive
    Franco
    @Franco

    The only reason our country is a prosperous is because it is free. Economic freedom requires other freedoms to support it. There are people inside and outside our borders who don’t believe in economic freedom and individual rights. These people are tribalists and socialists and are seeking to undermine freedom here by importing, en masse, an underclass vulnerable to their propaganda. The end result will be that Fred Cole and Franco and everyone else will lose their freedom as a result. 

    And Fred, as a libertarian, do you really want to tell me what I “should” do, or not do?

    • #22
  23. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Tom Meyer:

    What you’re not addressing, is how do we identify such people and separate them from from criminals 

    Won’t criminals make themselves known through criminal actions?  A bank robber comes in and robs a bank, we catch him.  If he comes in and stops robbing banks, he’s not a problem.  The percentage of criminals is so tiny (and so disproportionately reported by a sensationalist media, btw), that it’s not really worth presuming the guilt of all. 

    • #23
  24. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Mike H:

    Fred’s having trouble posting, so this is from him:

    And yeah, not for nothing, but some conservatives are afraid of freedom.

     I figure if I love Liberty, and then I give the vote to a whole bunch of people that don’t Love Liberty, then my Liberty will be voted away. 

    That is not “fear” of anything, Fred, it is looking at the facts. 

    • #24
  25. user_7742 Inactive
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    Fred Cole:

    Tom Meyer:

    What you’re not addressing, is how do we identify such people and separate them from from criminals

    Won’t criminals make themselves known through criminal actions? A bank robber comes in and robs a bank, we catch him. If he comes in and stops robbing banks, he’s not a problem. The percentage of criminals is so tiny (and so disproportionately reported by a sensationalist media, btw), that it’s not really worth presuming the guilt of all.

    “If he comes in and stops robbing banks, he’s not a problem.”

    This is ludicrous. If we screen them at the border and find that they are criminals to begin with then we needn’t wait for them to perpetrate a criminal act on innocent Americans after they’ve entered the country. 

    So, you would grant everyone a free pass on the hopes that they would behave. That sort of thinking is naive and dangerous. 

    • #25
  26. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Fred Cole:

    Tom Meyer:

    What you’re not addressing, is how do we identify such people and separate them from from criminals

    Won’t criminals make themselves known through criminal actions? A bank robber comes in and robs a bank, we catch him. If he comes in and stops robbing banks, he’s not a problem. The percentage of criminals is so tiny (and so disproportionately reported by a sensationalist media, btw), that it’s not really worth presuming the guilt of all.

     None of that matters in the face of importing non-Freedom loving people into a free society in large numbers. People who do not believe in the freedom and liberty of others, once the get the power of the vote, will vote away freedom and liberty. It is just math. 

    The Libertarian Utopia you imagine cannot exist without a Freedom loving people. 

    • #26
  27. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Fred Cole:

    Tom Meyer:

    What you’re not addressing, is how do we identify such people and separate them from from criminals

    Won’t criminals make themselves known through criminal actions? A bank robber comes in and robs a bank, we catch him. If he comes in and stops robbing banks, he’s not a problem. The percentage of criminals is so tiny (and so disproportionately reported by a sensationalist media, btw), that it’s not really worth presuming the guilt of all.

    I actually originally didn’t include criminals because I didn’t want them to distract from my larger point: that allowing anyone to immigrate will allow not just the kind of productive people you want but also a lot of people either incapable of or uninterested in working.

    As for how such people would get here, you’re forgetting that even hard-working people are sentimental about their lazy and unskilled relatives.  Even if the hardworking relatives intend to support their families, things don’t always work out right.

    • #27
  28. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Bryan G. Stephens:  None of that matters in the face of importing non-Freedom loving people into a free society in large numbers. People who do not believe in the freedom and liberty of others, once the get the power of the vote, will vote away freedom and liberty. It is just math. 

    Seconded.

    Obviously, there’s a risk of being overly determinative: just because someone is from a country with lousy values doesn’t mean he or she shares those values; indeed, the fact that they want to come here may signal the opposite.  That said, it’s also foolish to assume that just because someone wants to be here, that they automatically share the values regarding freedom and individualism that make our society work.

    They may just want to come here because it’s a nicer place to be what they already are.

    • #28
  29. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Fred Cole: Won’t criminals make themselves known through criminal actions?  A bank robber comes in and robs a bank, we catch him.  If he comes in and stops robbing banks, he’s not a problem.  The percentage of criminals is so tiny (and so disproportionately reported by a sensationalist media, btw), that it’s not really worth presuming the guilt of all. 

    So you’re okay with someone who’s a serial felon from another country immigrating and … just seeing how things how things go?

    Fred, you’re smarter than this.

    • #29
  30. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Tom Meyer: that allowing anyone to immigrate will allow not just the kind of productive people you want but also a lot of people either incapable of or uninterested in working.

     Well, then shouldn’t we start deporting unproductive citizens for purely practical reasons?

    Tom Meyer: As for how such people would get here, you’re forgetting that even hard-working people are sentimental about their lazy and unskilled relatives and loved ones.  Even if the hardworking relatives intend to support their families, things don’t always work out right.

    People are sentimental about the place they grew up too, which explains why I’m still in the Midwest when I’d probably do better many other places in the country. Even if the financial incentive is there, it takes a special type of person to uproot themselves, especially until there’s a critical mass of similar people at their destination.

    • #30
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