Children, ‘Animals,’ and Immigrants

 

Maybe you’ve seen the video of the hero the French have dubbed “Spiderman.” When he saw a toddler dangling off a fourth story balcony, he scaled the exterior of the Paris building in about 30 seconds to save the child. Turns out Mamoudou Gassama was a newly-arrived illegal immigrant from Mali. A grateful President Emmanuel Macron made him a French citizen a day later.

Or consider the story of Jesus Manuel Cordova. He illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona and came upon a damaged car. Inside was a dead mother and an injured nine-year-old boy. Cordova stayed with the child for hours until help arrived.

So, does that mean all illegal immigrants are heroes? Obviously not, no more than the crimes of MS-13 or the murder of Kate Steinle prove that all immigrants are criminals.

Both parties are resorting to stereotypes and incitement. The Democrats, intent upon portraying the utter depravity of the Trump Administration’s approach to immigration, seized upon a story that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had “lost” 1,475 illegal immigrant minors who were separated from their parents. A widely-cited story alleged that federal officials could not find these kids. Several pointed to a Frontline account alleging that at least some of the kids had been released to human traffickers.

But within a couple of days, the corrections flowed in. It wasn’t, the New York Times and others advised, that the kids were lost. Rather, these were among the “unaccompanied minors” who crossed the border in 2014. They were placed with adults. The Times quoted Ephrat Livni of Quartz, who explained: “It certainly sounds bad,” but “many of those missing kids may well be with their parents or families, and they may have gone off the grid deliberately to avoid Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities.” As for the Frontline story, it referenced a government report from 2016, i.e., before the current administration could be held accountable.

But here’s the irony: The Trump Administration’s position amounts to saying “We weren’t responsible for separating children from their parents, but going forward, we will be.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that separating even very young children from their parents will now be policy – as deterrence. “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” he said. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

Well, if deterrence of illegal immigration justifies visiting the sins (if that’s what they are) of the parents upon the children, why stop there? Why not confine the children in cages, feed them only bread and water, and confiscate their teddy bears? After all, the current policy is indifferent to the suffering the children will experience in the name of punishing the parents, so why not ramp it up? Surely that would be an even better deterrent.

The president and his advisors routinely recommend harsh immigration measures on the grounds of national security and crime, as if our borders are being overrun by terrorists and rapists. An RNC campaign spot shows Nancy Pelosi criticizing President Trump’s use of the term “animals” regarding gang members. Her comments are juxtaposed against a gruesome story of a Satanic murder committed by a “Guatemalan native,” and other stories of crimes committed by MS-13. The tagline: “Democrats’ midterm message: MS-13 killers . . . they aren’t so bad.” At his Tennessee rally, President Trump, with characteristic judiciousness, told the crowd that Pelosi “loves MS-13.”

But it’s flatly false to say that immigrants are disproportionately represented among offenders. The CATO Institute has published several studies showing that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native born, and illegal immigrants are the most law-abiding of all. Overall crime rates in the United States, despite an uptick in murders in certain cities since 2014, have declined by 64 percent since 1990, while immigration rates spiked (immigration rates have declined since 2005). A study by four universities found that the ten regions that had largest increases in immigrants all had lower levels of crime in 2016 than in 1980.

Of course there are awful cases. But the plural of anecdote is not data, and the appeal to fear is contemptible. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirsten Nielson expressed alarm that 300,000 would-be border crossers are apprehended yearly. But this is a stark drop from just 18 years ago, when more than 1.6 million were stopped. At the same time, more people are now leaving the US to return to Mexico than arriving from Mexico.

The dueling anecdote game can be played endlessly. ICE has arrested an illegal alien adult with Down Syndrome, whose three siblings and father live in the US. An armed ICE agent was videotaped using a crowbar to enter a home. When the occupants demanded a warrant, he said “You’ve been watching too many movies.”

Most ICE agents doubtless follow the law and shouldn’t be tarred by the bad acts of a few. The same can be said of immigrants.

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  1. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Mona Charen: Most ICE agents doubtless follow the law and shouldn’t be tarred by the bad acts of a few. The same can be said of immigrants.

    Legal immigrants.

    • #1
  2. PJ Inactive
    PJ
    @PJ

    Mona Charen:

    “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” he said. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

    If you commit burglary, we will prosecute you, and you will be separated from your child.  If you don’t like that, don’t commit burglary.  Why should an immigration violation be any different?  In fact, per this piece by Rich Lowry, if you are a first timer, it’s a misdemeanor, and you typically just get time served and can go home with your children (unless you choose to challenge the deportation, which can prolong the process).  If you are illegally entering the country a second time, it’s a felony and will be prosecuted as such, resulting in further separation.  So don’t do that.

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: Most ICE agents doubtless follow the law and shouldn’t be tarred by the bad acts of a few. The same can be said of immigrants.

    Legal immigrants.

    Here’s another muddying things:

    Obviously not, no more than the crimes of MS-13 or the murder of Kate Steinle prove that all immigrants are criminals.

    • #3
  4. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: Most ICE agents doubtless follow the law and shouldn’t be tarred by the bad acts of a few. The same can be said of immigrants.

    Legal immigrants.

    Here’s another:

    Obviously not, no more than the crimes of MS-13 or the murder of Kate Steinle prove that all immigrants are criminals.

    Leave it to Mona to justify Samantha Bee’s rhetoric.

    • #4
  5. Hank Rhody, Loitering Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Loitering
    @HankRhody

    Mona Charen: But it’s flatly false to say that immigrants are disproportionately represented among offenders.

    Why am I worried about disproportionate representation among offenders? If you tell me that illegal immigrants commit less murders per capita than people who ought to be in this country then you’re still telling me that some number of murders have happened. I can’t kick native born murderers out of the country, but I can import less from elsewhere. If the price is I don’t get all the other illegal immigrants too, I think I can accept that.

    Mona Charen: Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that separating even very young children from their parents will now be policy – as deterrence. “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” he said.

    This is “as required by law”? It would be a terrible thing if we expected agencies to align their policies according to the laws passed by Congress. Sarcasm aside, are you going to tell me that wink-and-a-nod enforcement practices don’t encourage illegal immigration?

    My main problem with illegal immigration isn’t the occasional MS-13 member or the wholesale importation of Democrat voters. It isn’t even the way that the whole thing weakens the rule of law. My problem is that, no matter how many times we vote to get rid of it, DC never seems willing to actually get rid of it. It’s the politicians who say “build the dang fence!” on the campaign trail and then anything but that after the election. It’s the bureaucrats who run their agency the way they want to regardless of the laws put down by Congress. With apologies to the present author, it’s the condescending column after column about how really we ought to want the illegals. In the end the country is either run by the voters or by the politicians and their minions. If the people keep voting to stop illegal immigration than at some point the government can actually try to stop illegal immigration or we’re living under an oligarchy by another name.

    • #5
  6. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Mona Charen:

    An RNC campaign spot shows Nancy Pelosi criticizing President Trump’s use of the term “animals” regarding gang members. Her comments are juxtaposed against a gruesome story of a Satanic murder committed by a “Guatemalan native,” and other stories of crimes committed by MS-13. The tagline: “Democrats’ midterm message: MS-13 killers . . . they aren’t so bad.” At his Tennessee rally, President Trump, with characteristic judiciousness, told the crowd that Pelosi “loves MS-13.”

    But it’s flatly false to say that immigrants are disproportionately represented among offenders. [emphasis added]

    Ms. Charen conflates the animals characterization of MS-13 with immigrants in general. It is generally agreed, even by the left-leaning media, that Mr. Trump’s comment was specifically about MS-13, yet Ms. Charen uses it as a launching-off point for a critique of the connection between immigrants in general and criminality.  Clearly, everything before the word “but” is irrelevant to her point, yet Ms. Charen somehow wants it to be. I wonder why.

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

    PJ (View Comment):

    Mona Charen:

    “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” he said. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

    If you commit burglary, we will prosecute you, and you will be separated from your child. If you don’t like that, don’t commit burglary. Why should an immigration violation be any different?

    Because burglary is a taking that directly harms another person. Illegal immigration is a statutory law that in itself doesn’t violate anyone else’s actual rights.

    • #7
  8. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Mike H (View Comment):
    Illegal immigration is a statutory law

    Statutory laws are the worst kind.

    • #8
  9. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Mona Charen: The CATO Institute has published several studies showing that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native born, and illegal immigrants are the most law-abiding of all.

    The link in this quote does not show any such thing, as anyone can readily verify. It is primarily a critique of other work that contradicts the thesis. The article does link to a publication by the same author that does attempt to make a similar case. However, Ms. Charen has mis-characterized the results of the study. As Fig. 1 shows, illegal immigrants are not “the most law-abiding of all.” They come in second.

    However, that is not the most troublesome aspect. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. The raw incarceration rate does not control for any demographic factors besides age. More important, it does not account for the fact that natives have likely lived in the US longer than immigrants, especially illegal immigrants. A person who has been in the US for five minutes counts just as much in the denominator of the calculation of incarceration rate as someone who has lived in the US for decades.* Clearly, the five-minute resident has a much lower likelihood of having been jailed.

    A well-constructed study would account for this difference by computing the quotient of prisoners divided by the number of resident-years of each sub-population. The larger point is that this one study or any few studies need to be critiqued in the same way the Mr. Nowrasteh does in the piece linked in the OP. I don’t have time to do such a detailed critique but I’m sure someone has. Ms. Charen is suffering from extreme confirmation bias.

    *Incarceration rate is defined as the number of individuals imprisoned divided by the total population.

    • #9
  10. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Mona Charen: illegal immigrants are the most law-abiding of all.

    Here’s news, Mona: 100% of illegal immigrants are law breakers.

    Good grief.

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

    Hank Rhody, Loitering (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: But it’s flatly false to say that immigrants are disproportionately represented among offenders.

    Why am I worried about disproportionate representation among offenders? If you tell me that illegal immigrants commit less murders per capita than people who ought to be in this country then you’re still telling me that some number of murders have happened. I can’t kick native born murderers out of the country, but I can import less from elsewhere. If the price is I don’t get all the other illegal immigrants too, I think I can accept that.

    Sure, you can do one, but that doesn’t mean it’s moral and correct to do so. It would be perfectly find to deport murderers, even if you aren’t able to do it, but it’s wrong to commit collective punishment against people who have not actually committed real crime against another just because a couple of them might potentially be murderers. You can feel free to deport immigrant murderers, you’re just not free to keep everyone out on some fallacious argument that by virtue of there being less people there will be less criminals. I mean, if everyone ceased to exist, we will eliminate all murder for the rest of eternity.

    Mona Charen: Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that separating even very young children from their parents will now be policy – as deterrence. “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” he said.

    This is “as required by law”? It would be a terrible thing if we expected agencies to align their policies according to the laws passed by Congress. Sarcasm aside, are you going to tell me that wink-and-a-nod enforcement practices don’t encourage illegal immigration?

    My main problem with illegal immigration isn’t the occasional MS-13 member or the wholesale importation of Democrat voters. It isn’t even the way that the whole thing weakens the rule of law. My problem is that, no matter how many times we vote to get rid of it, DC never seems willing to actually get rid of it. It’s the politicians who say “build the dang fence!” on the campaign trail and then anything but that after the election. It’s the bureaucrats who run their agency the way they want to regardless of the laws put down by Congress. With apologies to the present author, it’s the condescending column after column about how really we ought to want the illegals. In the end the country is either run by the voters or by the politicians and their minions. If the people keep voting to stop illegal immigration than at some point the government can actually try to stop illegal immigration or we’re living under an oligarchy by another name.

    Similarly to how some countries work better under a dictator than if given the vote, it’s entirely possible an oligarchy gets you a better result than a democracy. Often the people are wrong.

    • #11
  12. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Mona Charen: and illegal immigrants are the most law-abiding of all

    Except when they broke the law in the first place.

    The term illegal immigrants is nonsensical. There are immigrants and there are criminals who entered our country illegally.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    Illegal immigration is a statutory law that in itself doesn’t violate anyone else’s actual rights.

    Really? Does our country not have the right to define and defend our borders. Those who enter illegally violate my rights to insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare of my country.

    Certainly as a rich and prosperous nation, we have the duty to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.

    Yet, our political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

    • #12
  13. Hank Rhody, Loitering Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Loitering
    @HankRhody

    Mike H (View Comment):
    It would be perfectly find to deport murderers, even if you aren’t able to do it, but it’s wrong to commit collective punishment against people who have not actually committed real crime against another just because a couple of them might potentially be murderers.

    Collective punishment? Not being allowed into the country isn’t a punishment. I’m not going to assume as a default position that all people ought to be admitted unless we can provide a good reason why this particular one shouldn’t be.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    You can feel free to deport immigrant murderers, you’re just not free to keep everyone out on some fallacious argument that by virtue of there being less people there will be less criminals.

    I’m talking about illegal immigrants here, despite the conflation in the original quote. “Free to keep everyone out” is pretty much the definition of illegal immigrants.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    Similarly to how some countries work better under a dictator than if given the vote, it’s entirely possible an oligarchy gets you a better result than a democracy. Often the people are wrong.

    How are you defining “a better result”? I can think of several measures that an oligarchy might do better on than a republic, but being more free isn’t one of them.

    • #13
  14. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: The CATO Institute has published several studies showing that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native born, and illegal immigrants are the most law-abiding of all.

    The link in this quote does not show any such thing, as anyone can readily verify. It is primarily a critique of other work that contradicts the thesis. The article does link to a publication by the same author that does attempt to make a similar case. However, Ms. Charen has mis-characterized the results of the study. As Fig. 1 shows, illegal immigrants are not “the most law-abiding of all.” They come in second.

    However, that is not the most troublesome aspect. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. The raw incarceration rate control for any demographic factors besides age. More important, it does not account for the fact that natives have likely lived in the US longer than immigrants, especially illegal immigrants. A person who has been in the US for five minutes counts just as much in the denominator of the calculation of incarceration rate as someone who has lived in the US for decades.* Clearly, the five-minute resident has a much lower likelihood of having been jailed.

    A well-constructed study would account for this difference by computing the quotient of prisoners divided by the number of resident-years of each sub-population. The larger point is that this one study or any few studies need to be critiqued in the same way the Mr. Nowrasteh does in the piece linked in the OP. I don’t have time to do such a detailed critique but I’m sure someone has. Ms. Charen is suffering from extreme confirmation bias.

    *Incarceration rate is defined as the number of individuals imprisoned divided by the total population.

    Incarceration rate is not the same as crime rate, or likelihood of committing a crime (other than illegal immigration and the likely identity theft and resulting fraud involved). I would have expected illegal aliens to be incarcerated the least.

    • #14
  15. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

     “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” he said. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

    Well, if deterrence of illegal immigration justifies visiting the sins (if that’s what they are) of the parents upon the children, why stop there? Why not confine the children in cages, feed them only bread and water, and confiscate their teddy bears? After all, the current policy is indifferent to the suffering the children will experience in the name of punishing the parents, so why not ramp it up? Surely that would be an even better deterrent.

    What’s that rhetorical fallacy that goes “If you’re in favor of N, then you must also be in favor of N x 1,000.”

    You know, like “If you’re in favor of dental work, then you must be in favor of drilling holes in people’s heads to let out the evil spirits.” Same thing, right? Same implements used.

    Anyway, the above is a good example of that fallacy.

    • #15
  16. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: The CATO Institute has published several studies showing that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native born, and illegal immigrants are the most law-abiding of all.

    The link in this quote does not show any such thing, as anyone can readily verify. It is primarily a critique of other work that contradicts the thesis. The article does link to a publication by the same author that does attempt to make a similar case. However, Ms. Charen has mis-characterized the results of the study. As Fig. 1 shows, illegal immigrants are not “the most law-abiding of all.” They come in second.

    However, that is not the most troublesome aspect. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. The raw incarceration rate control for any demographic factors besides age. More important, it does not account for the fact that natives have likely lived in the US longer than immigrants, especially illegal immigrants. A person who has been in the US for five minutes counts just as much in the denominator of the calculation of incarceration rate as someone who has lived in the US for decades.* Clearly, the five-minute resident has a much lower likelihood of having been jailed.

    Excellent points. Also, illegal immigrants have extra incentive to stay out of the legal system. In any case, if illegal immigrants are more law-abiding than legal immigrants, isn’t that an argument for keeping them “in the shadows”, as they say?

    • #16
  17. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Mona Charen: Most ICE agents doubtless follow the law and shouldn’t be tarred by the bad acts of a few. The same can be said of immigrants.

    Illegal immigrants aren’t following the law by definition.

    • #17
  18. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Mona Charen: Most ICE agents doubtless follow the law and shouldn’t be tarred by the bad acts of a few. The same can be said of immigrants.

    Illegal immigrants aren’t following the law by definition.

    I suspect that’s why she only said “immigrants.”  It’s a bait and switch tactic we used to only see on the left.

    • #18
  19. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Mike H (View Comment):
    Illegal immigration is a statutory law that in itself doesn’t violate anyone else’s actual rights.

    Really? Does our country not have the right to define and defend our borders. Those who enter illegally violate my rights to insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare of my country.

    Immigration laws have nothing to do with defining and defending borders. You can let people come over and you can still enforce all the other legitimate laws on them. Someone who simply crosses the boarder to take a job or rent an apartment are doing nothing to affect your “domestic tranquility,” (whatever that is) would help fund defense, (since they pay taxes without needing additional solders or nuclear weapons), and there’s no reason why having another law abiding resident would do anything to affect your “general welfare.”

    Certainly as a rich and prosperous nation, we have the duty to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.

    No argument there.

    Yet, our political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

    Yes, all legitimate laws. A law that says they are essentially never allowed to exist in the country, no matter how hard they try, is oxymoronic. A law that says one must wait an inordinate amount of time to take a job from a willing employer is the violation of both people’s rights.

    • #19
  20. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Hank Rhody, Loitering (View Comment):

    Mike H (View Comment):
    It would be perfectly find to deport murderers, even if you aren’t able to do it, but it’s wrong to commit collective punishment against people who have not actually committed real crime against another just because a couple of them might potentially be murderers.

    Collective punishment? Not being allowed into the country isn’t a punishment. I’m not going to assume as a default position that all people ought to be admitted unless we can provide a good reason why this particular one shouldn’t be.

    Within reason. People should at least be let in if they could conceivably be of net benefit to the country, and most immigrants meet this threshold.  Collective punishment was in reference to saying letting in more people would let in more murderers. A better example would be not letting in most Muslims because most terrorists are Muslim.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    You can feel free to deport immigrant murderers, you’re just not free to keep everyone out on some fallacious argument that by virtue of there being less people there will be less criminals.

    I’m talking about illegal immigrants here, despite the conflation in the original quote. “Free to keep everyone out” is pretty much the definition of illegal immigrants.

    One problem is legal immigration is too restrictive, and again this was a response to the claim that we can prevent immigration simply because letting in more people would let in more murderers.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    Similarly to how some countries work better under a dictator than if given the vote, it’s entirely possible an oligarchy gets you a better result than a democracy. Often the people are wrong.

    How are you defining “a better result”? I can think of several measures that an oligarchy might do better on than a republic, but being more free isn’t one of them.

    It depends what you mean by “freedom.” I’d rather live in a secular dictatorship/oligarchy with good observation of individual rights and the free market where you couldn’t complain about the government, than an oppressive religious democracy where you are free to vote them out but are never successful.

    • #20
  21. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    But it’s flatly false to say that immigrants are disproportionately represented among offenders.

    I agree.  If we had some indication of who is saying this, we could start to question them.

    . . . amounts to saying . . .

    Shouldn’t we expect more from a respected columnist than this phraseology?  It’s right up there with “critics say.”

    Well, if deterrence of illegal immigration justifies visiting the sins (if that’s what they are) of the parents upon the children, why stop there? Why not confine the children in cages, feed them only bread and water, and confiscate their teddy bears? After all, the current policy is indifferent to the suffering the children will experience in the name of punishing the parents, so why not ramp it up? Surely that would be an even better deterrent.

    This reductio ad absurdum almost made me miss the “if that’s what they are” comment designed to excuse the parents of responsibility.  In any event, maybe it’s time for Ms. Charen’s defenders to step in and rationalize this attempt to draw a comparison with non-existent occurrences.

    There’s more, but I’m tired.

    • #21
  22. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    This reduction ad absurdum . . .

    Thank you. I think that works.

     

    • #22
  23. Hank Rhody, Loitering Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Loitering
    @HankRhody

    Mike H (View Comment):

    Collective punishment? Not being allowed into the country isn’t a punishment. I’m not going to assume as a default position that all people ought to be admitted unless we can provide a good reason why this particular one shouldn’t be.

    Within reason. People should at least be let in if they could conceivably be of net benefit to the country, and most immigrants meet this threshold.

    No, that’s precisely what I’m not going to assume. Are most immigrants conceivably of net benefit? Sure. It doesn’t therefore follow that we should let them in. I’m reading you as saying that we should default to letting people in. I’m saying that’s incorrect, and that not letting non-citizens in isn’t an abrogation of their fundamental rights because they aren’t citizens.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    A better example would be not letting in most Muslims because most terrorists are Muslim.

    And?

    Any number of murders is bad. You’re going to have a certain amount in any given population because people are people. That doesn’t excuse you from preventing the murders which can be prevented (consonant with the fundamental liberties of the population). Arguing that illegals don’t commit many crimes is like arguing that a puppy doesn’t often piddle on the floor. That isn’t sufficient justification for bringing him inside. Now, you can say that there are other reasons for why we ought to bring him inside, but that’s not the argument from the original post.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    One problem is legal immigration is too restrictive

    Got no problem with that. I’ll be perfectly happy to lower the legal barriers to immigration. I’m just not going to do it ‘first’. I’ve got exactly zero trust that if we fix legal immigration today we’ll get around to illegal immigration tomorrow.

    The problem isn’t whether or not illegal immigration benefits us. I’m objecting to the idea that we have to bring them in, and that we’re bad people if we don’t.

    • #23
  24. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Are Mona Charen, David French, Jen Rubin, Bill Kristol, Erick Erickson on some type of rotation to antagonize the base?

    Pretend Mona, that our borders and enforcement should be like Israel’s. Yeah, I went there

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

    Hank Rhody, Loitering (View Comment):

    Mike H (View Comment):

    Collective punishment? Not being allowed into the country isn’t a punishment. I’m not going to assume as a default position that all people ought to be admitted unless we can provide a good reason why this particular one shouldn’t be.

    Within reason. People should at least be let in if they could conceivably be of net benefit to the country, and most immigrants meet this threshold.

    No, that’s precisely what I’m not going to assume. Are most immigrants conceivably of net benefit? Sure. It doesn’t therefore follow that we should let them in. I’m reading you as saying that we should default to letting people in. I’m saying that’s incorrect, and that not letting non-citizens in isn’t an abrogation of their fundamental rights because they aren’t citizens.

    I thought humans have rights, not only citizens. Rights do not derive from governments, and everyone, including governments (because they are made of people) are required to respect the rights of other people.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    A better example would be not letting in most Muslims because most terrorists are Muslim.

    And?

    Any number of murders is bad. You’re going to have a certain amount in any given population because people are people. That doesn’t excuse you from preventing the murders which can be prevented (consonant with the fundamental liberties of the population). Arguing that illegals don’t commit many crimes is like arguing that a puppy doesn’t often piddle on the floor. That isn’t sufficient justification for bringing him inside. Now, you can say that there are other reasons for why we ought to bring him inside, but that’s not the argument from the original post.

    Mike H (View Comment):
    One problem is legal immigration is too restrictive

    Got no problem with that. I’ll be perfectly happy to lower the legal barriers to immigration. I’m just not going to do it ‘first’. I’ve got exactly zero trust that if we fix legal immigration today we’ll get around to illegal immigration tomorrow.

    The problem isn’t whether or not illegal immigration benefits us. I’m objecting to the idea that we have to bring them in, and that we’re bad people if we don’t.

    Yeah, most people object to that idea. I don’t know what else to do but point out that you’re not letting them in, but refraining from keeping them out, and stopping someone from freely interacting with other people is usually believed to be wrong under typical circumstances when it doesn’t involve the concept of citizenship and countries.

    • #25
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    But it’s flatly false to say that immigrants are disproportionately represented among offenders.

    I agree. If we had some indication of who is saying this, we could start to question them.

    . . . amounts to saying . . .

    Shouldn’t we expect more from a respected columnist than this phraseology? It’s right up there with “critics say.”

    Well, if deterrence of illegal immigration justifies visiting the sins (if that’s what they are) of the parents upon the children, why stop there? Why not confine the children in cages, feed them only bread and water, and confiscate their teddy bears? After all, the current policy is indifferent to the suffering the children will experience in the name of punishing the parents, so why not ramp it up? Surely that would be an even better deterrent.

    This reduction ad absurdum almost made me miss the “if that’s what they are” comment designed to excuse the parents of responsibility. In any event, maybe it’s time for Ms. Charen’s defenders to step in and rationalize this attempt to draw a comparison with non-existent occurrences.

    There’s more, but I’m tired.

    She’s neither swift nor Swiftian. 

    • #26
  27. J Climacus Member
    J Climacus
    @JClimacus

    Mike H (View Comment):

     

    The problem isn’t whether or not illegal immigration benefits us. I’m objecting to the idea that we have to bring them in, and that we’re bad people if we don’t.

    Yeah, most people object to that idea. I don’t know what else to do but point out that you’re not letting them in, but refraining from keeping them out, and stopping someone from freely interacting with other people is usually believed to be wrong under typical circumstances when it doesn’t involve the concept of citizenship and countries.

    I assume this is why you never lock your front door. Because doing so would violate someone’s human right to freely enter your house and interact with you.

    • #27
  28. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Perhaps some context would help

     Mike H has claimed anarchocapitalism or close to it in the past. I’m not sure if he still does. In any case the disagreement over immigration is probably more fundamental than what’s being discussed. It’s differences over the legitimacy of nations and borders at all, as I recall. Though Mike’s positions may have changed since I last discussed this with him.

    • #28
  29. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Let’s try to keep it simple.  Like other countries we have borders and  borders require rules for crossing  but unlike other countries recently we have failed to  enforce those rules or to make the rules more easily enforced.  A lot of the reason for this is we live in a place where many millions want to come so it is difficult to manage the infinite variety of ways people find to come here and stay.  The other reason is that Democrats and other conspiracies against borders don’t want us to  enforce our border.  

    In the old days when we had  enforceable borders, congressmen would accumulate hardship cases among their constituents and pass a log rolled amnesty bill with individual names on it.   The numbers were modest, the cases had to be compelling enough for the congressman to trade their list with a straight face.  What this meant was that we didn’t get hung up on every inevitable hardship that immigration gives rise to.  We enforced the border.  

    The Democrats are simply not serious and to call it racism is silly.  Of course there are anti Mexicans among us, and anti everything else you can think of but that’s irrelevant.  Are hispanics and indigenous Americans from down south on average more likely to commit crime or take advantage of free stuff and questionable opportunities?  Of course they are and anyone who has spent years there, or law enforcement officials here,  including every Latino I know, knows that to be the case, but it changes with assimilation, or used to.   That’s also irrelevant.  Do we have a border?  We used to and they’re good things to have in a world where hundreds of millions would come here if they could.  Open borders is an interesting idea but a  separate debate and requires the elimination of free stuff, the end of the drug war and other things we couldn’t continue doing with open borders.  In the mean time, lets keep it simple. 

    • #29
  30. Gromrus Member
    Gromrus
    @Gromrus

    “If you save one life you save the world,” the adage goes.

    If Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had not been living in San Francisco illegally, Kate Steinle would be alive.  Simple as that. That is “an N of 1,” as we say in medicine. I do not think he is a representative sample.  I do not think it requires extrapolating his murderousness to the entire illegal immigrant community to be frustrated that if Garcia Zarate had been stopped at the border and not allowed to return multiple times, that is,  if a functional border existed, then a young woman would be alive. 

    I continue to be perplexed with the greater angst among Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger for their view that the illegal immigrant community is being branded as murderers and rapists than for the Americans murdered at the hands of illegals immigrants. 

    • #30

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