Tag: Immigration

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In the mid 70′s I had my Godfather II experience. Dad had made a little money selling his business, so he said ‘F-off Guv’ to the pre-Thatcher socialist British mindset and dragged his young wife and 4 very English kids (of which I’m the oldest) to America. Preview Open

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Private Security to Seal the Border?


US-Mexico-Border-StnsThe fundamental problem with every immigration reform proposal is that most of us don’t trust politicians, Republicans or Democrats, to enforce the border. In principle, this is one of a government’s primary duties. But, assuming the Feds want no part of it, perhaps there is a private alternative.

Might it be feasible for a private security firm, funded by donors interested in border enforcement, to set up along the Mexican border with the permission of individual land owners?

A 24/7 presence of armed men not restrained by bureaucratic policies and politics could be an intimidating presence that would deter trespassers. Legally, it would be no different than any business protecting its own property with security guards.

Of Lost Causes and the Reagan Coalition


WalkerScott Walker has joined the Light Side of the Force. And judging by the howls of derision and scorn that have erupted from the left, center, and even some provinces on the right, the Death Star of amnesty for illegal aliens and unrestricted cheap labor for small and large businesses across America might – just might – have a critical vulnerability.

By now the news is widespread, especially among those of us who have been begging and pleading with our elected officials to enforce the immigration laws for a generation. But if you missed it, Walker, admitting that his position has evolved from his earlier support for some kind of “pathway to citizenship,” has come down firmly and unequivocally on the side of secure borders, interior enforcement, and (be still my beating heart) E-Verify.

There is no substitute for a somewhat lengthy quotation from Walker, who unveiled his immigration plan on Glenn Beck this past week (apologies to those who have read this several times already):

Two First Steps for Immigration Reform


shutterstock_229697668At the outset of any discussion, one needs to identify the problem. The Democratic Party is heavily invested in a lawless immigration policy. For ideological reasons, many Democrats are inclined to favor illegal immigrants as a “victim” class. But their political goal is even more important: eventual citizenship for 10-12 million illegals, who they believe will then become a Democratic constituency strongly tilting the electoral playing field in their advantage.

The GOP is split on immigration. Many business interests like the low-cost labor provided by illegals, and many good people on the Right deplore the plight of illegals. On the other hand, the Conservative base is absolutely fed up with both the lawlessness of the Democrats on this issue, and the GOP’s enabling of that lawlessness.

There are also practical concerns. Actual deportation of 10-12 million illegals would be very expensive, and would cause severe economic dislocation in many parts of the US. Like it or not, the illegal immigrant community makes a sizeable economic contribution, and heavy deportation (whether of the “official” or “self-” variety) would lead to large drops in property values (especially in the low-income apartment market) and loss of business for many companies (ranging from grocery stores to hairdressers).

Living Among Terrorists


For me, one of the most galling aspects of the Tsarnaevs’ story is how they came to live in this country: by requesting asylum. They gained entry to the US with a claim that returning to their homeland would be physically dangerous for them. And then they went back and forth repeatedly, clearly without being subject to any persecution. Now, Mrs. Tsarnaeva has a message for us:

Minutes after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted of the Boston Marathon bombing his mother took to the internet to describe her son as “the best of the best” and Americans as “terrorists”.

Why I Vote Republican


I am not arguing that all of you should vote Republican.  I am (1) giving an explanation of why I do, and (2) asking those who don’t why they don’t.

The Explanation: I could put it this way: on life, marriage, religious liberty, the meaning of the Constitution, rule of law, separation of powers, the national debt, health insurance, and economic growth I do not trust the Republicans to be correct; but on these things I do trust the Democrats to be wrong. As such, I vote for the least bad option in the generals, and I vote for the best option in the primaries.

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In an excess of enthusiasm for the man after his performance at CPAC, I rashly contributed $100 to Scott Walker. For the following reasons, it does not now appear to me that this money was spent wisely. Ethanol: Going against what I am sure are his core beliefs, Walker has abased himself before the corn […]

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The Perverse Logic of Immigration Politics


254375359_f6b69dab13_zPresident Obama supports amnesty for foreigners who are in the United States illegally, as well as their prompt re-categorization as legal permanent residents with access to the full gamut of valuable benefits: Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Obamacare subsidies, in-state college tuition, earned income tax credit payouts, Daylight Saving Time (to bring them out of the shadows), etc. The President selectively refuses to enforce existing immigration laws, and sues the border states to stop them enforcing laws that he will not. He establishes a program of expedited resettlement for minors from the poorest and most dysfunctional states of Central America into U.S. communities. The President does all this administratively, thwarting Congressional oversight, and frustrating state and congressional attempts to ascertain where migrants are being held and resettled. He loudly advertises these policies to our southern neighbors, directly precipitating a massive humanitarian border crisis and ensuring its chronic repetition. Meanwhile, his nominee for Attorney General states in her confirmation hearing that she supports the right of illegal immigrants to freely compete with Americans in the labor market. This is not Alice in Wonderland – it’s the United States in 2015. Or, in the words of one David Mamet character, “the United States of Kiss My [Expletive].”

These executive actions amount to a de facto open borders immigration policy, specifically favoring the lowest of low-skill populations in the hemisphere. Yet this policy enjoys nearly unanimous support from the president’s party. It’s almost as though the Democrats see political advantage in deliberately ginning up an immigration catastrophe.

Why are Democrats unanimously bending over backwards in support of a policy that is unpopular, unlawful, and manifestly harmful to one of its core constituencies? Given that the party pretends to champion those most at risk from this policy, the degree of unanimity is surprising. But in fact the strategy makes sense for a number of reasons.

The Case For Libertarian Nationalism, Part I: Immigration


416PwkXMKaLLibertarianism is often associated with cosmopolitan and dovish attitudes toward foreign policy and immigration. This is wholly understandable — indeed, justified — in that libertarians and libertarian organizations are disproportionally allergic to military intervention and state-imposed restriction of immigration, albeit not as much as their more vociferous critics often allege. That said, libertarians with these positions have misapplied their principles, and fail to account for both the practical need for a healthy nationalism and its consonance with liberty.

As a matter of principle, American political society — as well as that of other liberty-minded countries — is based on a social contract between the state and its citizens, in which the former provides the latter with some degree of safety from coercion and force. As such, the United States government exists for the benefit of its citizens, not those of other countries, and consequentially owes them a wholly different set of duties. Libertarianism does not speak directly to the relationship between the government of one sovereign people and those of another nation, other than that one should not unjustly harm the other. Foreigners have no more claim on our domestic policy than we have on theirs, and control over our borders and admittance into our polity are core responsibilities of that government.

While US immigration policy has a great many problems, the greatest is the matter of illegal immigration from third-world countries, particularly those of Latin America. The reason we have this problem is not simply that we have a porous border and poor enforcement of our laws, as the same applies to Canada. The third, equally important, factor is that the United States offers a degree of opportunity, safety, and liberty that vastly exceeds that available in Mexico, Guatemala, or the Caribbean in a way that cannot be compared to the (relatively) minor differences between the United States and Canada or Western Europe.

Why the Export-Import Bank Was My Deal-Breaker


Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 2.54.09 PMOur last poll here at Ricochet asked our members what policy position would be most likely to be a deal-breaker for them if held by a Republican presidential candidate. Despite the fact that there were 10 options, supporting citizenship for illegal aliens nearly commanded a majority (49 percent), with a pro-choice stance on abortion coming in a distant second (24 percent). All of the other options were in the single digits, with support for NSA surveillance or raising the federal minimum wage tied for third at 6 percent.

I’m apparently way outside of the Ricochet mainstream on this one, as my choice — supporting the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank — garnered only one percent of the vote, tying with marijuana legalization and sending U.S. troops to fight ISIS for dead last. Now, I can anticipate the response that some of you will have, because I heard it in a few private conversations about this survey: how on earth could you prioritize Ex-Im over the life of the unborn or combatting terrorism? Well, I don’t. But let me offer you a theory: which issue is most important to you shouldn’t necessarily be the same as which one is most disqualifying.

Let me explain: I knocked four of the 10 issues out of contention from the start because they don’t bother me. As a Republican with a conservatarian bent, I’m basically fine with marijuana legalization and gay marriage, although I wish both would be handled at the state level rather than through the non-enforcement of federal law or activism from the federal judiciary, respectively. I’m also largely (though not entirely) unbothered by NSA surveillance and pretty set on the idea that dealing effectively with ISIS will eventually necessitate some sort of American presence on the ground.

Curb Your Enthusiasm for Immigration Decision


Opponents of President Obama’s immigration policy may want to temper their praise of federal Judge Andrew Hanen’s decision this week, which blocked the administration’s unilateral policy of refusing to pursue the deportation of millions of illegal aliens. Unfortunately, I think it is likely that an appeals court will reverse Judge Hanen’s decision because it tried — too cleverly — to avoid the fundamental issue of the President’s duty to enforce the law by relying instead on a technical aspect of the law governing administrative agencies. But when the case returns to the trial court, the judge will have to face the critical conflict between the Obama policy and the executive’s constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Judge Hanen, who sits in Brownsville, Texas, issued a 123-page opinion explaining why Texas and 25 other states had the right to challenge the Department of Homeland Security. That part of the decision, which showed why the states were harmed by the federal policy, and so had “standing” to sue in federal court, is likely to be upheld on appeal. As I’ve argued before, the same logic that allowed Massachusetts to sue the EPA for failing to regulate greenhouse gases — on the speculative possibility that gases would lead to global warming, which would lead to rising seas, which would reduce the land mass of the state — would more powerfully support states who had to provide services to illegal aliens allowed to remain in the United States by the Obama Administration. Judge Hanen pointed out that Texas would suffer a sufficient harm to sue because it would have to bear expenses to provide illegal aliens with driver’s licenses. Hanen’s opinion straightforwardly rebuts the weak claims of Obama supporters who believed that states had no right to sue in court.

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Here is a link to the first in a series of Vice videos about Europe’s immigration problems.  I found all four episodes quite interesting.  The lady who hosts the show seems to have left-wing values – she mentions climate change as a significant reason that people are displaced, for example – but don’t let that […]

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The European Union is Imperilled by Elites Who Ignore Legitimate Problems


shutterstock_55503436Both the Euro Crisis (brought to the fore again by the recent Greek elections) and the anti-Islamic marches (originating in Germany but now moving around Europe) highlight two key problems facing Europe today: currency woes and immigration.

Let’s take the monetary crisis first. There are two competing narratives about who is to blame. One is that it’s Northern Europe’s (most conspicuously, Germany’s) fault for being too hard-working, productive, and thrifty. They keep their government spending in check and the people work hard enough to afford their social spending. In contrast, the Southern European countries—most conspicuously, Greece—are lazy, unproductive, and profligate. They produce very little but enjoy extravagant social programs courtesy of the German taxpayers. In order to fix their own predicament, the Greeks need to work harder and start living within their means.

The other narrative is that the Eurozone is a currency scheme set up for the benefit of the Germans. Germany is an export machine that needs to keep its currency down in order to maximize exports. By shackling its money to that of its weaker neighbours, it ensures that its own currency is weaker than it would be if it still had the deutsche mark, enabling it to export more. Moreover, because the currency of weaker economies is higher than it would otherwise be, Southern Europeans can buy more German goods than they could if all they had were liras and drachmas. So now the Greeks are told to cut government spending by the Germans because they bought too many Audis.

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So Scott Walker is playing coy about immigration. While many of the Wisconsin governor’s potential 2016 rivals have put forward concrete plans in recent years to fix what everyone now acknowledges is a broken immigration system, Walker has been conspicuously vague when asked for his own views on the issue. Preview Open

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Judge Rules Obama’s Immigration Action Unconstitutional


I sympathize with Judge Schwab on the merits, but disagree with his effort to reach out and decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s immigration order. Judge Schwab is right that President Obama’s order crosses the line from legitimate prosecutorial discretion (choosing where to allocate limited law-enforcement resources) in enforcing the laws into Congress’s power over legislation.

But I don’t think the question was properly raised. In this case, the executive branch is prosecuting the defendant, Elionardo Juarez-Escobar, for violating the immigration laws (he illegally re-entered the country after a deportation in 2005). This is not a case where the executive order applies, because the Obama administration is not allowing an illegal alien to remain in the country; rather, it is enforcing Congress’s laws here as written (for once). The executive order only applies to civil removal proceedings, while this case is a criminal one. There is no real dispute over the law, because regardless of whether the executive order is constitutional or not, it would make no difference in Juarez-Escobar’s case (in fact, the defendant here pled guilty).

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Let’s talk about the Louisiana Purchase! No doubt, everyone else fed up with modern politics has taken up the same topic… perhaps around some good cognac or fried alligator, as the case may be.  The half of modern Americans who don’t hate themselves for living under the stars and stripes sometimes cite the Louisiana Purchase as an example […]

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Washington – Following last month’s Executive Action regarding undocumented workers living the United States, President Barack Obama today unveiled a surprising addendum to his sweeping Executive Action.  The new order, in little more than two paragraphs, mandates that  all undocumented males living in the United States must undergo compulsory circumcision for any employment or consideration […]

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Open Markets Are Better Than Destroyed Borders


shutterstock_168752339The situation within Europe is alarming. The so-called Arab Spring — particularly the civil war in Syria — has displaced millions of people and further undermined the traditional system of working nation states in Europe. While not the original cause of Europe’s immigration problem, current events are accelerating them: after a dangerous crossing across the Mediterranean, these refugees are overburdening the European welfare system while leaving their own countries bereft of development.

There can be no doubt that immigration has played an important role in every era of human history. A developing culture depends on exchange: exchange of ideas, exchange of of markets, and exchange of people. Without the Roman invasions, Northern Europe would never have developed civilization. The founding of the United States — closer to our time — was essentially the product of unbounded ideas, a societal tabula rasa created by diligence and hope that lacked the burden of medieval Europe, but preserved the best of its thinkers from Cato, to Cicero, to Saint Augustine, to John Locke. Immigration is the driver of a flourishing culture.

But Europe’s open borders do not represent real exchange, and the problems faced by underdeveloped countries in North Africa and the Middle East cannot be solved by uncontrolled immigration into European welfare states. Indeed, even a short and superficial analysis of the European supranational state must concede that the European Union’s policy of a closed, internal market essentially causes the problems its underdeveloped neighbors face.

The “Broken System” Cliche


From Monday’s “Best of the Web Today” column by James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal:

“Our immigration system has been broken for decades,” press secretary Josh Earnest declared in a statement previewing the president’s speech, “and every minute we fail to act, millions of people who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to live right by the law and contribute to our country. So tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system.”