Immigration for Republicans

by | Aug 24, 2014

Keith Weiner examines the monstrous injustice of anti-immigration policy and the arguments used to justify it.

This essay is not intended to address a crisis that may be occurring on the border at this time. I make no comment on that. Nor does it discuss the issues around war, such as how to deal with citizens of enemy nations. This essay is not a policy proposal, it does not set out, for example, when an immigrant can become a citizen and attain the vote or what to do to immigrants who commit crimes. It has but one purpose: to enumerate and respond to the common arguments used in favor of an impenetrable and guarded border fence to shut down immigration.

 

Suppose you were born in a country that outlawed normal life. North Korea comes to mind. Venezuela is a slightly less extreme example, and there are many other examples which are slightly less bad than that socialist worker’s paradise.

I phrase it in these terms, because this is the essence of the issue. People are rightfully fleeing places where they cannot live.

Anyway, suppose you are in a place where life is a living hell. Every day, you are forced to beg and steal scraps of food to somehow stay alive. The best you can hope for is to subsist, one day at a time. You must avoid the gangs and the secret police.

If you could somehow scrape together the money to escape to America, would you?

You would take a job paying minimum wage—or less—doing long days of unskilled manual labor, if necessary. At least in America, you can work and you can begin to build a better life for yourself and your family.

But you notice that people call you “illegal.” They don’t refer to any crime you commit, because you are no criminal. You never steal from anyone, hurt anyone, and or do anything else that could objectively be called a crime. You work hard for every penny you earn. But they call you “illegal” anyway.

You come to realize that when they say illegal, they refer to you, not your actions. Your very existence so utterly offends them that they think you are crime incarnate.

You notice that most of them drive faster than the posted speed limit. Many don’t register their old handguns or refuse to pay tax when they sell a gold coin. They traffic in old toilets, which flush more than 1.6 gallons. They break the law in numerous ways.

On Facebook, there is a common meme that laughs at the statistic that everyone commits three felonies per day. Their crimes don’t bother them in the slightest, because they aren’t hurting anyone. They do get the concept of victimless crime, at least when they themselves are made into criminals by nonobjective law.

However, for you, amigo, none of that matters. “The law is the law,” they assert. “The law must be obeyed,” and they don’t mean the speed limit law here. They mean the law that does not allow you to live.

Obviously, you are not going to oblige them by dying. This is the issue for you. Going back to hell may well be your death, or the death of your family.

This is the monstrous injustice of anti-immigration policy. Now let’s look at the arguments used to justify it.

 

“Immigrants bring bad ideas with them”

The most intellectual argument is that immigrants bring bad ideas with them. Though I have not seen it phrased this way, this implies that we could build a Great Wall (or a Berlin Wall) to keep out socialism, fascism, cronyism, corruption, and the ideas of Kant and Marx. Surely, there would be no Che t-shirts if the wall were tall enough.

I find this argument unconvincing. In this era of radio, television, and the Internet, it’s the policy equivalent of locking the barn doors after the horses are not only out, but sold to the Saudis, and earning big purses racing in Abu Dhabi. Rotten ideas are not only here in America, but they have predominated for decades in our universities, media, and popular culture.

A lame duck president said, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.” When our current president was a candidate he said, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” We have a pejorative term for the wealthiest percentile of people, and one for bankers. Hollywood celebrities pose for pictures with socialist thugs like Hugo Chavez. These ideas are mainstream. Even conservatives will defend half a dozen of Marx’ ten planks.

If rational ideas prevailed in our culture and most people held to a rational philosophy, then evil ideas would find no fertile ground here. Proud people of healthy self-esteem who understand liberty, find nothing attractive about socialist utopias, death cults, thieving parasites, or paralyzing bureaucracy.

If you are un-persuaded, and you still believe that we have to keep out people with bad ideas, then you have to answer the following question. Are bad ideas intrinsically compelling?

Suppose a Marxist chants slogans on a street corner, or finds a willing American newspaper to publish his letter. Is this a threat to Western Civilization? Are reality and reason and liberty so weak and so un-compelling, that they are blown away by mindless communist propaganda?

At best, I think this argument reduces to another one that’s much more common. This argument does not address ideas, but voters.

 

“Immigrants vote socialist”

Immigrants vote socialist, opponents of immigration tell us. But do they? I rather doubt that it’s nearly so prevalent as we’re told, though I don’t have the statistic. It doesn’t make any sense to me. These are people who have scrimped and saved to go to a foreign country. Many have risked their lives, and most of them are not fluent in the language. What motivates them to do this? I doubt it’s typically a desire to bring to the US the same socialism that forced them to flee.

What if immigrants are not voting for Democrats for their socialist policies, but for their pro-immigration stance? That would be a tragic irony to this argument. If the Republican Party stakes out the anti-immigrant position, then no one should be surprised when immigrants vote Democrat, along with their extended families, friends, and supporters.

The presumption that immigrants vote Democrat leads Republicans to oppose immigration, which leads immigrants to vote Democrat. Mr. Foot, meet Mr. Gun. Blam!

Incidentally, while I am criticizing the Republican Party, this very same issue is hurting them elsewhere too. Do gays all want socialism? Or do they want legalized marriage? Do women all want socialism? Or do they want legalized control over their own reproduction? Do biologists and other scientists want socialism? Or do they want legalized stem cell research and other scientific inquiry? Many members of these groups turn to the party that promises what they want.

 

“Immigrants are like a trespassers who break into your house”

Moving on to the next argument, I hear often that an immigrant is like a trespasser or a burglar who breaks into your house. Think about what this argument says.

It says that the nation is owned collectively. If you are in the group, then you are part owner. If not, then you are a threat to the tribe. Today, it’s phrased in terms of criminal trespass, but it’s a primitive view of belongers vs. outsiders.

Of course the country as a whole is not owned, and certainly no collective has a right to violate anyone’s rights. Rights are neither a group benefit, nor a grant made by the government.

 

“Immigrants are taking our jobs”

A related argument is that immigrants are taking our jobs. This argument is thoroughly Marxist. Thus, it’s ironic that it so often comes from conservatives, Republicans, and even some libertarians.

Our jobs? A job is a contract with an employer, not a birthright for an individual or a group privilege. If someone else is hired, but you are not, there is no injustice. If members of one group get hired and members of another group do not, then there is no cause for the government to interfere.

Jobs are not zero-sum. Under certain conditions, jobs are created and wages are rising. Under other conditions, jobs are stagnant or even destroyed. What conditions? Left free from coercion, people find ever more ways of coordinating their productive activities. Increasing production means hiring more people and paying them better wages.

However, when the government intrudes it reduces coordination, which means it reduces productivity, employment, wages, and quality of life. I proved this in my dissertation. One form of government intrusion is to block people, goods, or capital from crossing the border.

It may have taken a genius like Adam Smith or Frederic Bastiat to provide the original arguments to debunk state control, central planning, and government favoritism for cronies. However, today, a smart 8th grader can understand and make a cogent argument against this nonsense.

I don’t think anyone believes in bad economics for the sake of bad economics. No, there are two reasons people support junk economics. One is they want to get something they couldn’t earn in a free market. They seek protectionist measures to keep out competition. The other is they can see that the economy isn’t working properly. It is a fact that employment is far below its prior level. Such jobs as do exist pay lower real wages. Most people feel it at some level, and they’re angry.

They should be angry, but we should place the blame where it belongs. Taxes, regulations, litigation, and especially the Fed are the cause.

Please don’t take out your anger on poor immigrants.

The idea that the economy is zero-sum is a Marxist idea. Lovers of America, the Constitution, and liberty should have nothing to do with it.

 

Immigrants come to benefit from America’s socialist institutions (“welfare”)

The next argument is that immigrants come here to collect. We should not allow immigrants because they will only end up on welfare.

Compensation is when you deliberately and knowingly do the wrong thing, supposedly to fix a problem elsewhere that you cannot or do not wish to fix. My example is to let the air out of three tires if you have a flat. Shutting down immigration is compensation for the welfare state. We who don’t want to see the taxpayer bankrupted will do better to fight welfare, than to fight immigration.

This leads to a question I have asked several times, and received no answer. Why does Immigration and Customs Enforcement go after employers?

We’re told that immigrants are here to sell drugs and commit crimes. However, it’s obvious that you won’t find drug dealers, welfare queens, pimps, and bank robbers working at or below minimum wage in the hot sun. So why go after employers? There is only one reason.

It is to protect us belongers from losing our scarce jobs to those outsiders.

Can any of these arguments be applied to block immigration between the states? On Facebook recently, I saw someone post (half) jokingly that Texas should pass a law to keep out anyone from California who voted for its welfare schemes or high-speed rail boondoggle.

Logically, there is no reason they couldn’t be applied to interstate immigration. North Dakota has low unemployment. If they continue to allow open immigration, then pretty soon their unemployment will rise to the unfortunate heights of the rest of the country (maybe they should thank their harsh weather for putting the brakes on this).

The next step is to apply it to immigration within a state, from city to city. We wouldn’t want all of those Tucson people coming here to take our Phoenix jobs, would we? The end game is the socialist dictatorship, which clamps down on the right of people to move as they wish.

The elephant in the room that must be named is some people of the anti-immigrant persuasion are motivated by racism. I don’t believe this is the majority, but it exists. They don’t dare openly declare their feelings, at least not in any forum I read. Instead, they couch it in another argument.

 

***

One reason I started this essay off with a story was to establish the context and put the reader into the shoes of a recent immigrant. I had another reason as well: to illustrate the problems in the anti-immigration position. No one who fled a living hell will go back willingly. So what will be accomplished by demonstrating one’s resentment by slinging the name “illegal” at a man? He will react. He will feel like he is in a no-win situation. He may himself become resentful, and in that state he may adopt bad ideas that he did not originally hold.

What will happen if the law attacks his employer and renders him unable to keep a job? What would you do if you were permanently rendered unemployable by law? He will take welfare if he can get it. The only alternatives are to starve, to go back to hell, steal cars, or sell drugs. Nothing good can come from forcing someone to make that kind of choice.

Though it’s not my purpose in writing this essay, if your concern is whether the GOP will win elections, it’s hard to think of a more effective way to repulse a large voting bloc. However, I think there’s something much more important at stake. It is the theme of most of my writing on the gold standard. We need to rediscover and return to the principle on which America was founded. It is the principle that everyone has the individual rights of life, liberty, and property. Let’s fight for those rights. Let’s fight to repeal welfare and to restore the Constitution and the Republic that was built on it.

It’s the right thing to do, and it also works.

Keither Weiner is the founder of the Gold Standard Institute USA in Phoenix, Arizona, and CEO of precious metals fund manager Monetary Metals. He created DiamondWare, a technology company which he sold to Nortel Networks in 2008. He writes about money, credit and gold. Visit his site at monetary-metals.com

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

111 Comments

  1. I am deeply appreciative for this article. Having waged my own campaign in defense of immigrants and against our horrible polices with respect to them, even my libertarian friends look at me like I have three heads. I am sharing this article with as many people as possible. I hope you will repost it from time to time. It is a timeless article (relative to the speed of information flow these days) and we need to continue to teach and explain and champion both the people and the ideas. Huge thanks to you, Keith Weiner!! I would so dearly love to stop the suffering we are inflicting on immigrants!

  2. Bravo, Mr. Weiner, bravo.

  3. This is one of the silliest, most delusional, and non sequitur-riddled arguments for “open borders” I’ve ever read, anywhere. It doesn’t even account for the fact that Islamic jihadists are infiltrating the U.S. (and ISIS is determined to damage this country somehow, some time) posing as Latinos. I have no idea how Weiner would deal with that very real and perilous problem. He denies that our welfare state is a magnet to welfare state mentalities from failed welfare states to the south who come here to partake in the looting of the productive segment of the economy. That’s similar to the phenomenon of liberals and leftists, unable or unwilling to endure the consequences of their statist policies, moving from the failed states of California and New York to relatively stable and productive states like Colorado and Nevada with the express purpose of turning them into failed states, as well, or with the hope that “this time our policies will work” — but which never do. I’m not going to get into an argument with Weiner, but other readers should take seriously: caveat emptor.

  4. Ed, Keith is not against screening for jihadists. Why do you assume this?

  5. As for the welfare state it doesn’t matter much if the moocher is a citizen or foreigner — they are a moocher.

  6. Thank you Kathy — please share it with others.

  7. Because if you’re screening for jihadists or anyone carrying a communicable disease or who advocates of overthrowing the government, how can that be “open borders”? Also, I guess we’re just supposed to overwhelm an already costly welfare state with countless non-citizen moochers, who won’t even be bothered to study for citizenship, and won’t be encouraged to because that would be “racist” or “discriminatory”? I really wish people would look at the bigger picture and think things through.

  8. Agreed. This is nuts. My grandparents were immigrants. Nobody has a problem with immigrants. They have a problem with *illegal* immigrants. They have a problem with welfare statists pouring into the country for the express purpose of sucking the teats of the productive class, enabled by RINOs and leftists who want to remain in power by expanding the dependent class. They have a problem with porous borders, especially in the context of ascendant Islam that would like to kill us all. The question is not whether we should allow immigrants into America. The question is what kind of immigrants we’re going to allow. When the orderly immigration of law-abiding professionals is blocked and delayed while the influx of criminals and the unemployable is facilitated and continues unabated, then there’s a problem. What kind of people we allow in should absolutely be a consideration: Open borders means welcoming ISIS in along with the poor, misunderstood, hard-working, blameless fence-jumpers who get so upset by my resentment that they start committing crimes out of spite, apparently. You cannot introduce the topic of immigration and then context drop so determinedly that you refuse to address the risk of allowing our literal destroyers in. Well, you obviously can do that, but you can’t do it in reason. I’ve read things on this site that I’ve disagreed with before, but I’ve never read anything so thoroughly ridiculous and context-free.

  9. I wrote this essay because I felt I needed to say something. I thought I would publish it on my own blog and one economics site, where I am a regular contributor. I did not expect that it would “go viral” as it did. Nor did I expect to be so polarizing.

    I will just say thank you to writeby and Kathy, thank you for your kind words!

  10. At what point would the author stop a “Camp of the Saints”-like non-stop flow of people into America? If there were no borders, and instead of 10 (or whatever) million Latino-americans, it was 100 million coming non-stop from all over the world?

    Clearly, every nation would consider this an invasion to be repelled by force, and rightly so.

    Thanks, CapMag for reminding me why I left the LP.

  11. I also agree totally with DogmaelJones1 and Paula Douglas above. The article is a collection of straw man arguments in the service of rationalizing floating abstractions divorced from all real-world consideration of context or consequences. One only has to look to Europe to see how even relatively unchecked, indiscriminate immigration works in practice.

    Mr. Weiner seems to be very altruistically concerned with the welfare of would-be immigrants, as opposed to the survival of his own civilization. His argument amounts to a “delusional, non sequitur-riddled” plea for intrinsicism: “it’s the right thing to do in and of itself, regardless of consequences or context,” but somehow it will all work out in the end. Tell that to the native citizens of Norway, Finland and Sweden, who are being engulfed and overwhelmed by a Muslim invasion.

    Open borders today would be a disaster and only someone lost in a rationalist haze can fail to see that. That Cap Mag published this very poorly reasoned article is disturbing. Is Objectivism becoming indistinguishable from Libertarianism?

  12. It matters in that moochers can be imported much faster and in much greater numbers than they can be bred. If you want to overwhelm the welfare state in order to bring about the collapse of what’s left of capitalism, immigration is definitely the most expedient method. The combination of a welfare state, multiculturalism and open borders is a recipe for economic and cultural suicide.

  13. Keith uses the term open *immigration* — not to be confused with “open
    borders.” “Open immigration” as used here — and by Keith — means open
    to non-criminals and open to non-jidhadists. It does not exclude
    screening.

    Dr. Brook explicitly states this in his definition:
    http://openimmigration.net/category/video/

    This
    is how Yaron Brook and Craig Biddle use the term as well. (I believe
    Binswanger is for “open borders” eventually — so I am not sure how he
    will handle jihadists). So people careful when you paint with your
    overly large brush when demonizing and imagined enemy. :)

    Those
    who paint Brook and Biddle and Keith as leaving borders open with no
    screening (for jihadists and diseases) are dishonest.

  14. “Open immigration” in the context of capitalism means open to non-criminals and open to non-jidhadists. It does not exclude screening for criminals (those who violate rights), those with contagious diseases, and terrorists.

    This is how Yaron Brook and Craig Biddle use the term. (I believe Binswanger is for “open borders” eventually — so I am not sure how he
    will handle jihadists).

    Those who paint advocates of open immigration, such as Brook, Biddle and Weiner as leaving borders open with no screening (for jihadists and diseases, etc.) are dishonest.

    Dr. Brook explicitly states screening is required in his definition of open immigration in his video. Link is here:
    http://openimmigration.net/category/video/

    Biddle states in his essay on open immigration and individual rights:

    “Open immigration does not mean that anyone may enter the country at any location or in any manner he chooses; it is not unchecked or unmonitored immigration. Nor does it mean that anyone who immigrates to America should be eligible for U.S. citizenship–the proper requirements of which are a separate matter. Open immigration means that anyone is free to enter and reside in America–providing that he enters at a designated checkpoint and passes an objective screening process, the purpose of which is to keep out criminals, enemies of America, and people with certain kinds of contagious diseases.2 Such a policy is not only politically right; it is morally right.”

    http://capitalismmagazine.com/2008/03/immigration-and-individual-rights/

    There are many differing arguments for open immigration — each with their different nuances — many of those arguments for open (and closed) immigration are wrong. So be careful when you lump them all together.

    Don’t get caught up in the open to everyone vs. closed to everyone dichotomy on this issue. So people be careful when you paint with your overly large brush when demonizing an imagined enemy.

  15. To those who accuse me of non-sequitor or worse, may I suggest that you re-read what I actually wrote? I welcome substantive arguments. However, putting words into my mouth is not an argument, but a straw man.

    Merely repeating one of the anti-immigration arguments that I just debunked is also unhelpful.

  16. Import producers and end the welfare state.

  17. The most expedient method is what is going on without immigrants. America’s most dangerous enemies are the American citizens destroying America one vote at a time.

  18. First off, capitalism publishes views which are not full consistent with Objectivism, i.e., Thomas Sowell, John Stossel and Walter Williams.

  19. While I agree with many of your particular points (eg: I am completely sympathethic to those who wish only to live a better life; I also absolutely would try to come to America, even illegally, under the circumstances many of them face; I don’t say “they take ‘our’ jobs,”; I don’t blame *them* for the fact that social welfare benefits are offfered to them [I blame our domestic altruists who force it]), I am opposed to the “open borders” policy put forth by Harry Binswanger, Craig Biddle, and other prominant Objectivists (which essentially advises allowing entry to anyone, so long as they are not a known criminal/terrorist, or carrying certain communicable diseases, or are from an identifiable enemy nation).

    I believe such a policy will ulimately be a complete disaster for Freedom in America.

    I do not accept the oft asserted “natural right” for any individual to cross any national border as an absolute, contra a nations’ right (more specifically, the individual rights of all the individuals within a nation, materially put into action via their institution of government) to protect and to preserve the very Republic that is meant to protect and preserve *their* hard-won rights (not those of the whole rest of the world).

    Yes, everyone is vested, by their nature as a human, with certain inalienable rights, but I disagree with the notion that everyone is automatically vested with an *entitlement* to have their rights materially defended/protected/preserved at the expense of others. In exactly the same way that a right to protect and preserve one’s own life does not imply an ‘entitlement’ to health care, there is no natural/inherent ‘entitlement’ to be a participant in a particular society that has (at great cost) *materially* secured a geographic region against tyranny.

    Am I saying “close the borders?” Certainly not. Am I a racist, a xenophobe, a bigot (all accusations that have unthinkingly and despicably hurled at me)? I’ll leave that for intellectually honest people to judge, in response to my actual words here and elsewhere.

    My opposition to the completely open borders policy (advocated by many Objectivists) is that, similar to Libertarianism’s out-of-context treatment of the ‘non-agression-principle’, it seems to fiercely cling to a certain notion of Individual Rights as a platonic ideal that cannot ever be questioned, regardless of the obvious ways that adherence to that ideal (in some particular fashion) actually undermines the foundations necessary to sustain the American Republic.

    Our Republic, our institution of government which is meant to preserve and protect our individual rights, is not some kind of disembodied entity that naturally/spontaneously came into existence as the default option or whose continued existence is unconditional. Moral men took a principled stand against tyranny, and pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor to the project. They conscientiously enunciated the moral and philosophical case for freedom, and they *materially* acted to secure this land for freedom, for themselves and for their posterity. In subsequent generations, hundreds of thousands of men died in battle to fend off the threats to our Republic. Americans paid a dear price to secure this land.

    While it is true that the geographic region of a nation is not exactly the same thing as “private property” (and cannot automatically be regarded as such in argumentation on the immigration issue), it is not exactly the opposite thing in all respects, either. Just because there are some ineffective and ill-conceived arguments coming from the Right that equate the nation to “private property” (and speak of trespass), this does not invalidate all notion of the rightful determination of a nation to secure it’s borders and control who may enter, in the interests of preserving the Republic.

    As Objectivists, we understand that what justifies the notion of private property is the fact that an individual, through his own intellectual and *material* effort, *increased* the value of some natural resource. We understand that one’s rightful claim to dominion over certain material objects or a plot of land is that *he* acted to create those objects or to secure that land for his own life-serving purposes.

    In a similar vein: moral, decent, life-loving, rights-respecting men pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor, and *materially* acted to secure this land for themselves and their posterity. Against all odds and against all the forces opposing them, they created something that had not existed before, something that was not the default, something that would never ‘naturally’ occur on it’s own in a thousand generations. They loved life. They wanted to live. They objectively assessed the requirements for life – a proper life for man, and they acted to gain and to keep that life.

    Once they have materially secured this land, they have dominion over it. But not in the collectivized sense of “all land is ‘public'” but rather in the sense that the individuals who morally and materially support the preservation of Individual Rights for themselves are righteously entitled to *keep* it secure.

    But how?

    By moral and material support of the American Republic.

    Our Republic is an institution for the *material* preservation and defense of our lives and our rights against the *incessant* forces *against* it (which are the ‘default’ option, judging by all human history).

    This institution can only be created by individuals who understand and respect the moral foundations of Individual Rights. This institution can only be *preserved* by individuals who understand and respect the moral foundations of Individual Rights and who actively, conscientiously, morally and *materially* act to preserve those rights.

    Can such a Republic exist in the middle east, given the actual dominant cultural notions there? Did America succeed in changing Iraq into a rights-respecting Republic by force of logic and reason? Was there a critical mass of individuals in that country that had an intellectual understanding of individual rights and “yearned to be free” and *acted* to create a rights-respecting Republic?

    Obviously not.

    Can the American Republic withstand the utterly *indiscriminate* injection of many millions of individuals from all over the world — anyone with the wherewithal to physically make it here? What will the character of America be? What effects would it have on our culture, at large? Will we *still* have the necessary critical mass of individuals who morally and materially support the essential principles upon which America was founded and which our Republic is meant to protect, defend, and preserve?

    Honestly, it seems completely delusional and detached from reality to think so.

    So, what does this mean for immigration policy?

    Peter Schwartz wrote “The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America,” where he advocates a policy under which a nation’s interests are measured by only one standard: the individual liberty of its citizens. I say we need an “Immigration Policy of Self-Interest” for exactly the same reason. Note that it’s not the individual liberty of the citizens of *other* nations that is the standard. It is the individual liberty of American citizens that our institution of government should *primarily* be concerned with. If this means controlling who is admitted into our nation (for the reasons I gave above), then it is both practical and moral.

    Yes, it is despicable and disgusting that so many individuals live in horrible conditions throughout much of the rest of the world, but we are under no moral obligation to altruistically offer safe haven *if* that ultimately means the obliteration (or gradual withering away) of our hard-won Republic.

    Note: the above is not quite as organized as it would be if I intended it as an official publishable response, it was mostly an off-the-cuff presentation of points I’ve made elsewhere on the matter. I certainly expect people to object to some of my points and welcome the debate, but I expect intellectually honest people to discount any attacks on the basic style of my writing. Also, I will regard *any* insinuation of racism, xenophobia, or bigotry as some kind of projection cast by anyone who would go there. I’m not necessarily saying that they are secretly racist xenophobic bigots, but rather that they may be projecting their own tendency to see all opposition on this issue (no matter how principled) as necessarily rooted in bigotry.

  20. Where do Biddle and Brook argue for “open borders”, i.e., no screening? (Binswanger does).

  21. Fine, replace the words “open borders” in everything I wrote above with “open immigration” (as you elsewhere suggested was their actual position), and let me know whether it invalidates any point I made.

  22. Was that accusation of dishonesty aimed at me? Fine, I acknowledge that “open borders” is not the same thing as “open immigration.” So feel free to replace the words “open borders” with “open immigration” in anything I wrote above, or elsewhere, and then let me know if that invalidates any essential point I made.

  23. PS. Dr. Binswanger argues against screenings, with which I respectfully disagree.

    “This is a defense of a policy of absolutely open immigration,
    without border patrols, border police, border checks, or passports” (http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm).

    As for the negative comments here, speaking for myself, I never assumed the author was calling for open borders, just as he never called for automatic citizenship, this last an entirely different issue.

    As for Islamics infiltrating the U.S.–when they aren’t just walking in the front door–the easiest, surest way to put a stop to that, as Ed Cline mentions in one of his essays, is to declare war on Saudi Arabia and Iran and nuke Mecca.

    Until then, though, open immigration as implied by this author and as described by myself in my CapMag article (http://capitalismmagazine.com/2005/12/america-open-up-that-golden-gate/) poses no threat to the security of the United States. Indeed, Bush’s failure to do the above, as well as past actions by CBP, the DEA and recent actions by other federal agencies regarding immigrants and American citizens poses the actual threat.

  24. Where does the author call for open borders in the context of no screenings? He calls for open immigration–as do I:

    http://capitalismmagazine.com/2005/12/america-open-up-that-golden-gate/

    The straw man here is the erroneous assumption Mr. Weiner is calling for, essentially, the elimination of borders, rather than the elimination of non-open immigration.

  25. Bingo, Mark.

  26. See my article, Ed: http://capitalismmagazine.com/2005/12/america-open-up-that-golden-gate/

    He’s not calling for the elimination of borders (open borders essentially being that). And immigrants make up a very small percentage of moochers. Moreover, to actually get some of the loot requires being “legal” and waiting five years.

    LPRs [Legal Permanent Residents] entering after Aug. 22, 1996 are not
    eligible for food stamps or SSI [Social Security]. However, they can
    apply for Medicaid and TANF [Temporary Aid to Needy Families] benefits five years after entering the country legally … [emphasis added] (Sources: Richardson and Wassem 2002, National Conference of State Legislators).

    Let’s get our facts straight before we quick draw our criticism.

    PS. You also may want to respond on HBL to Harry’s position:

    “This is a defense of a policy of absolutely open immigration, without border patrols, border police, border checks, or passports.”

    http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm

  27. Seems so.

  28. Open borders is not the same as open immigration. The first is essentially the elimination of borders; the second, of abolishing restrictions other than criminal/public health.

    The only Objectivist theoretician/intellectual I know of who advocates anything close to that is Dr. Harry Binswanger:

    “This is a defense of a policy of absolutely open immigration,
    without border patrols, border police, border checks, or passports.

    “After a phase-in period, entry into the U.S. would be unrestricted,
    unregulated, and unscreened, exactly as is entry into Connecticut from New York.

    “(Note: I am defending freedom of entry and residency, not the
    granting of voting rights, not even after decades of residency.) …”

    http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm

  29. Deleted.

  30. I agree. My eyes about popped out of their sockets when I read the author’s “disclaimer” stating what his essay is _not_ about. Essentially, the author in advance drops all context, to be able to argue that his point is valid or true. Hmm… I know this type of behavior has a name in Objectivism.

  31. Open borders versus open immigration is distinction without much difference. Both mean that there would be virtually unlimited immigration into the United States. Any warm body without rabies or a criminal record (and we all know how accurate third-world records are in that regard) would be accorded the “right” to cross the border by the standards of open immigration. How the American people judge their own national self-interest on immigration policy is dismissed as irrelevant. The open borders types would forgo even this very limited screening. But, both hold that same premise that there is a “right” to cross an international frontier and that the fundamental nature and requirements of the nation-state are in violation of this “right.”
    P.S. Disqus seriously blows and is annoying.

  32. For the record, I am just as opposed to “open immigration” as I am to “open borders” if it means that *everyone* who doesn’t happen to be a known criminal, terrorist, or carrier of a communicable disease must otherwise be admitted. I give my reasons in the lengthy post I made here in the comments, earlier today.

  33. Wow. Really? You’re all for the *indiscriminate* injection of millions of individuals from the world over, and you will simultaneously label the bulk of American citizens America’s *most-dangerous* enemies?

  34. For anyone who got this far, I will ask you to read the lengthy post I made earlier today, here in the main list of comments. And please tell me how anything that *I* said on the matter is invalidated by the article posted by “writeby” just above.

  35. Writeby, you are doing nothing more that parroting the same old repetitious arguments given by Binswanger/Biddle, et al in the past. I politely request that anyone who got this far in the conversation to please read my lengthy post in the main comments section here. I reject the oft-asserted notion of an inherent right for anyone to cross a national border and to immigrate, contra the rights of the individuals who paid a dear price to materially *secure* this land for freedom.

  36. And how many times do I have to point out that my case applies equally well against “open immigration” as it does against “open borders?” People, please don’t discount the lengthy post I made on the main thread here today as essentially only an argument against “open borders” and somehow not equally an argument against the kind of “open immigration” policies advocated by Binswanger/Biddle, and now CapMag. Please read it for yourself.

  37. While the owner/moderator of this site has the right to exclude any commenters from posting in the comments section, I’m wondering why my very good points and reference to another article arguing an opposing viewpoint has not been allowed to post here….?

  38. Tony, you are spot on. Search for Ed Mazlich’s essay titled, “Yearning to Breathe Free: The Foundations of a Rational Immigration Policy” It’s on the “Rule
    of Reason” blogspot but my two attempts to post the link here have been
    blocked.

  39. But he states in the beginning what his essay is about:

    This essay … has but one purpose: to enumerate and respond to the common arguments used in favor of an impenetrable and guarded border fence to shut down immigration.

    From that, some have assumed the man supports open borders, with no criminal and health screenings. How does one make the jump from the above to that??

    And those who think that some sort of wall or armed guards will somehow protect against Islamic proxy soldiers this nation’s 15,000+ miles of border are whistling past the graveyard.

    As Patton put it when asked about the oceans being America’s best defense: any defense may and eventually will be compromised. The best defense in the case of the Islamics is a declaration of war and a nuclear offense.

  40. “… to shut down immigration.” Such a shameless strawman. Nobody is advocating ending immigration. Just as those who argue for limits on immigration and/or argue that immigration policy should be based on the national interest are not “anti-immigrant.” The last is a particularly disgraceful smear.

  41. Then I guess Harry Binswanger must be a Libertarian, right?

  42. In reply to Ed: The man states plainly his context:

    This essay … has but one purpose: to enumerate and respond to the common arguments used in favor of an impenetrable and guarded border fence to shut down immigration.

  43. Lost my temper. Deleted comments.

  44. Deleted

  45. Dr. Binswanger argues against screenings, with which I respectfully disagree.

    “This is a defense of a policy of absolutely open immigration,
    without border patrols, border police, border checks, or passports.” http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm

  46. Here’s the link: http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/2014/08/yearning-to-breathe-free-foundations-of.html

    And with all due respect to Mr. Mazlich, what he’s essentially advocating is making people criminals because of their ideas.

    Talk about upending Ayn Rand’s principles.

    And Mr. Palmeri’s argument is collectivist at its base: “…contra a nations’ right (more specifically, the individual rights of all the individuals within a nation, materially put into action via their institution of government) …

    A) nations do not have rights
    B) governments do not have rights
    C) and 325 million individuals do not posses more rights than one individual; put into math terms 1 x 1 x1 etc. = 1.

    See Jefferson’s writings on this very issue.

    “…but we are under no moral obligation to altruistically offer safe haven *if* that ultimately means the obliteration (or gradual withering away) of our hard-won Republic….”

    As if the collective of individual Americans owns the republic. Man, this isn’t Objectivism; this is 100 proof nationalism, served up straight.

  47. Your collectivist grounded diatribe? I was trying to be polite. Clearly, that was a mistake. Rant on, dude, rant on.

  48. Yes, and nationalist fervor is the very best way to shut down–i.e., restrict–immigration.

  49. Sorry, I missed your argument from collectivism. Your succinctness is only surpassed by the astuteness of your premises.

  50. They aren’t being given a right they don’t already have: the right to freedom.

  51. It’s automated — not sure why your post was excluded. DISQUS probably thought you were SPAMMING.

  52. Arguments claimed objective that are based on nationalism, on outright xenophobia (100s of millions of mooching socialists flooding the nation), on the “dangerous” ideas held by potential immigrants and, shockingly, on the notion of a collective “self-interest” consisting of the total individual rights of a nation’s citizens derive from erroneous premises or are the gossamer of outright rationalism or naked empiricism uninterpreted by principled reasoning–fact divorced from value.

    Others, such as open immigration creating a nation that is a moocher magnet, merely reveal an ignorance both of facts and of law. That the current administration is ignoring such laws cannot be denied; but they exist, nonetheless; and if those are not enforced, then neither will be restricted immigration. Perhaps it is one’s frustration with the current demagogue in power, rather than with open immigration, that leads one to oppose an open immigration policy with criminal and health screenings.

    Then there’s the argument about Islamic killers sashaying into the country unhindered. However, Islam–as was the CPUSA–is a criminal organization. Thus, Muslims–under open immigration with criminal and health screenings– would be barred (as would members of the Communist Party, Mafia, any cartel, etc.) from entering the country. That Muslims will continue to gain adherents among Americans, as well as sneak their foreign proxy soldiers across the border, is not an issue to be addressed through immigration. You cannot build a wall high enough, long enough or man it with enough guards and machine guns to stop them. All you will do is entomb yourselves in a national prison camp, with citizens closely watched, with checkpoints and roadblocks, with rules of law suspended and–well, pretty much what we have already–while failing to stop such infiltrators.

    (As aside: Compare the numbers of immigrants circumventing the process pre-2000 with those post 2000–after the construction of fences along the Mexican border. View the surveillance camera footage of the same border area before and after. Then draw your own conclusions.)

    Such things as enemy spies, combatants, etc., fall under the guise of national defense, requiring a declaration of war and the annihilation of nations who rely on such proxy soldiers to make war on the United States. All restricted immigration will do is lull people into a false sense of security, for which they will trade dearly their freedoms.

    I support open immigration for one reason: it profits my life. As history demonstrates, the U.S. has benefited greatly from such a policy. That is a fact. That is the reality of the melting pot. Of course, one could take the tack: that was then, this is now. The same pragmatic tack taken by pols today regarding the limits placed on government by the Constitution.

    So may I politely recommend Thomas Sowell’s book, Ethnic America: A History http://www.amazon.com/Ethnic-America-History-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465020755 for a substantive and thoroughly well-researched history of open immigration in America, which existed in the main until the FDR administration. Perhaps that may give one pause for further thought on the matter.

  53. A declaration of war against Islam may be fine for the USA, who don’t have a large Muslim presence in their population. For my nation, the UK, that does have a large and ever growing Muslim presence, this is simply not an option. If the USA were to start bombing Iran, nuking Mecca etc., then what do you think the millions upon millions of Muslims in the UK and the rest of Europe are going to do? Sit back and say, “okay, the game’s up”? No, they will turn on their host nations and it’s game over for Western Europe.

    And why will this happen? Because the UK and Europe have pursed exactly the same policy of open immigration that you’re proposing! Believe me, it doesn’t work. Asking a Muslim at
    the border, “Are you a terrorist?” is futile because as Europe’s found out, it’s not the first generation that are militant, its the
    generations that come after them. The problem is that there are now millions of these people who are sympathetic to terrorism in Europe and their numbers are rising both ideologically and demographically. Add to this the West’s obsession with multiculturalism and thus a timidity in championing Western freedoms and it’s a recipe for disaster.

    If nothing chances in their immigration policy, Europe will become majority Muslim. Do you think this is a good idea? It is enough to say, “ah well, at least we stuck to our principles on immigration. Well yes, Europe now has no liberty, no capitalism, no individual rights, no property rights and their pursuit of happiness has obviously been compromised by Islam, but hey, their adherence to open immigration was very moral.”

    Open immigration may work in a future Objectivist
    society, but to propose it now, with massive welfare statism,
    multiculturalism and the rise of Islam, is rationalism and context
    dropping on a ridiculous scale. It’s advocating for the cast iron
    certainty that an Objectivist society will never see fruition and its exact opposite will come to power, possibly permanently.

  54. Really? The message that came up was that it was “awaiting approval.”

  55. Salient points from Ed Mazlich’s essay:

    1. “But what of the claim that the people fleeing dictatorships – such as Ayn Rand herself – need a landing place to escape the evil of their home countries? At the outset, notice the appeal to altruism – the need of those trapped in dictatorships to have a place to go is treated as superior to the right of Americans.

    2. ”As sad as individual cases may be, the plight of oppressed refugees of dictatorships is the fault of their own statist governments. They are not America’s responsibility, moral or otherwise.”

    3. “The fact that objective standards for immigration policy must be crafted and implemented by actual persons in government is not a valid reason to dispense with standards altogether, nor is it a reason to allow virtually indiscriminate entry to anyone not having a communicable disease.”

    4. “Moreover, foreigners can and do impact the culture in myriad ways even without voting.”

    5. “Ayn Rand noted that capitalism is a derivative issue of secondary
    importance to more fundamental issues. Or as Mark Steyn writes, “culture trumps economics” when it comes to the immigration debate.”

    6. “The true justification for immigration restrictions is the need to protect those who respect individual freedom from those who are cultural collectivists- not the need to protect the welfare state from overload or even the need to protect innocent Americans from jihad. Even if the welfare state were repealed today and all jihadists were terminated tomorrow, the ideological requirement to protect a free, democratic, and rights respecting society from masses of incompatible cultural collectivists would still remain”

    7. “An immigration policy proper to an island of freedom in a worldwide sea of collectivism must recognize the power and importance of ideas. It must acknowledge that cultural morality drives the world, and that the cultural morality of the people who comprise a society determines its future.”

  56. Having a right to freedom does not entitle them to entering a sovereign country.

  57. Excellent post, Tony.

    I think this is the crux of the matter:

    “Yes, everyone is vested, by their nature as a human, with certain
    inalienable rights, but I disagree with the notion that everyone is
    automatically vested with an *entitlement* to have their rights
    materially defended/protected/preserved at the expense of others. In
    exactly the same way that a right to protect and preserve one’s own life
    does not imply an ‘entitlement’ to health care, there is no
    natural/inherent ‘entitlement’ to be a participant in a particular
    society that has (at great cost) *materially* secured a geographic
    region against tyranny.”

  58. Since when is believing in freedom, responsibility, and individualism nationalism?

  59. He does no such thing. This is what he argues, “An immigration policy proper to an island of freedom in a worldwide sea of collectivism must recognize the power and importance of ideas. It must acknowledge that cultural morality drives the world, and that the cultural morality of the people who comprise a society
    determines its future.”

  60. By dropping all relevant context? If so, then it’s called evasion.

  61. Is it nationalism to believe in freedom, responsibility, and individualism?

    It does not profit my life to allow mass immigration of people whose values and ideas oppose mine or who are empty enough to be easily led into joining and supporting the group whose ideas oppose mine.

  62. Absolutely right, Lee. At this point, I can only say that some “Objectivists” are willfully evading what has become perceptively obvious. Objectivism, in my view, is a philosophy for living life on Earth, and not a philosophy for dogmatic adherence to (and sacrificing to) any platonic ideals. There is one particular premise which must be checked: The oft-asserted inherent “right” for anyone (who is not a terrorist with rabies) to enter and immigrate into a nation, contra the right of the individuals who *acted* to secure this land for freedom to preserve the Republic. Objectivists, at some level, understand that a free society has certain cultural requirements. What I mean, specifically, is that it cannot *come* into existence or *stay* in existence without the express moral and material support of a critical mass of people within the population. That support has already been diluted to a dangerously low level domestically. Injecting millions of individuals *indiscriminately* from the whole world (or at least any of those who have the wherewithal to get here) will spell the end of the Republic.

  63. Writeby, I think reasonable people can see that I used the phrase “nation’s right” as a shortcut for the rights of the individuals within the nation (which I made clear in my parenthetical note). You are being absolutely absurd in all three of your bullet points above. I never implied any of those three things (in particular, the bizarre notion that I would imply that rights are mathematically additive).
    To any intellectually honest person who’s made it this far, I would respectfully request that you read my lengthy post in the main comments section and judge for yourself, rather than discounting it wholesale based on writeby’s screed.

  64. I invite every intellectually honest person to read what I actually wrote in my lengthy post in the main comments section, and judge for themselves. Writeby, quite frankly, you appear to have a naïve conception of “collectivism” and you are hurling that word around too loosely. “CollectivISM” doesn’t mean *anything* that happens to apply to a group. Nor is it “collectivistic” (merely) to treat all members of a class in a certain way. [Roughly speaking]: CollectivISM is regarding a group of individuals as some kind of super-entity (discounting the nature of all the individuals involved, and having primary concern/regard only for the super-entity).

  65. So, it has come to this. You evade all the essentials of everything I wrote in my lengthy post, and resort to insults. This is what CapMag is about?

  66. “nationalist fervor,” yet another mischaracterization and smear. Patriotism is not the same thing as “nationalist fervor.” Nor is recognizing the cultural superiority of American exceptionalism. Assimilation takes time and requires some limits on immigration in order to best function. It seems some people’s main problem is with the existence and requirements of the nation-state.

  67. Yet more mischaracterizations of what your opponents are actually saying. But, at least get your facts right. “Open immigration” ended with the beginning of World War One and officially ended in 1924. “Open immigration” never existed during this period on the southern border, which was patrolled by the U.S. Army. You might also try reading all of Sowell’s work on immigration, particularly his “culture” trilogy and his recent commentary on the current mess.

  68. You have a toddler’s view of “freedom.” A government that respects individual rights is the rarest thing in all of human history. Such a government requires a very specific culture in order to exist. Flooding the southwest with Mexicans will transform the region into Mexico. This process in already occurring in many areas of the country. Mexico is a failed state because that is the social expression of its people’s culture, and not because of the drug war. If you open immigration types were interested in looking at reality and deriving your principles inductively, you would understand this. By “government” it is usually assumed that such government functions under the broader category of “nation-state.” The nation-state in an objective, necessary (but not sufficient) requirement for anyone having any rights. The premise is that for such a type of government to function secure borders are required. Also, the purpose of the American government is to secure the rights and liberties of the American people. The rights of foreign nationals are not its problem or concern.

    The Founders stated the purpose of the government they formed thus: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    The logical implication is that the Founders subscribed to the principle of the Westphalian nation-state. They clearly stated that the purpose of the government was to secure the liberty of the American people. They did not say that the entire excess population of the planet had a “right” to move to the USA. Nor did the say that the rights or interests of foreign nationals were the problem of the American people or their government. Nor did they say that the interests of the American people should be subordinated to the alleged “rights” of foreigners. The “right” to cross an international frontier is one of these new made-up leftist “rights” designed to obliterate fundamental values. In this case American exceptionalism and sense of life.

  69. It’s funny, I too was thinking last night about the Ayn Rand quote on Objectivism being “a philosophy for living on Earth.” It struck me that according to open immigration advocates, we now have to change the wording as follows: “Objectivism is a philosophy whereby you act to promote said philosophy’s irrevocable demise and thus any chance of possible implementation in the cause of dogmatically adhering to an out of context abstraction.”

    Not quite as snappy as Ayn Rand’s original words, admittedly, but this is what open immigration would actually boil down to.

  70. Declaring war on Iran, Saudi et al may work for the US, which doesn’t have a large Muslim population. You bomb these countries, that’s it, game over. It’s a good strategy for the USA.

    It’s one that Europe should be taking as well. It is, however, not quite so feasible for us over here because we have a sizeable and growing population of Muslims.

    And why have we reached this state of affairs, where we can’t take the necessary steps to defend ourselves from Islamic aggression?

    For fear of the reaction of these millions of Muslims who are in our country in the first place thanks to the very system of immigration that you’re championing!

  71. Yes “really”! Probably means it is/was flagged as SPAM.

  72. I would add it’s also loaded with numerous “Straw Man” arguments.

    A nation without border, or open borders, is NOT a sovereign nation. A nation without border guards is like a home without locks on the doors.

    My home has a poster on the front door stating “No solicitors at any time, of any kind”. It also states that restriction includes leaving fliers on my door (I’m not here to pick up after you like your mother).

    The point being, a nation has the right to pick whatever restrictions they want on the “national front door”.

  73. How can you tell if they ARE a producer?

  74. No, it doesn’t; neither does it distinguish productive from non-productive, nor any of the other distinction Ed Cline makes.

  75. LPRs [Legal Permanent Residents] entering after Aug. 22, 1996 are not
    eligible for food stamps or SSI [Social Security]. However, they can
    apply
    for Medicaid and TANF [Temporary Aid to Needy Families] benefits five
    years after entering the country legally … [emphasis added] (Sources:
    Richardson and Wassem 2002, National Conference of State Legislators).

    Well, guess what! Guess what fell apart circa 2009 when the ObamaFuhrer took office.

  76. You didn’t debunk anything but a bunch of cheap strawmen.

  77. This debate is not about immigration at all; it’s about work visas. It’s about 10,000 white construction workers using government power to protect themselves from competition of foreigners at the expense of 70 million American home owners and other consumers of foreign labor. Control of crime, disease, terrorism, you name it would all be easier if we ditched the jobs protectionism part of our visa policy.

  78. It took courage, Keith. Thanks for speaking truth on a subject that produces so much religious passion.

  79. Sharpshooter: This is all true. However, the immigration service had the job of vetting immigrants for over a century and weeding out those with communicable diseases and who came here ready to riot and bomb in the name of their various ideologies: communism, socialism, anarchism, and even Nazism. And when Pancho Villa and his “revolutionaries” crossed the Mexican border into the U.S., and killed U.S. citizens, we sent the Army after them.

  80. “Nationalist fervor.” Yes, writeby, we all *know* what you just insinuated there. It is baseless and disgusting.

  81. So, do you *fully* retract your accusation that I am “just a conservative xenophobic”? (Yes, I received your comments in email, though you deleted them here).

  82. If America were a laizzes-faire economy (ie: had people in it’s government, with serious power, who were profoundly, philosophically capitalist), the “picking” of who knocked on the “national front door” would virtually take care of itself. Those from other countries with “moocher mentalities” would not bother, since it would impossible to mooch. The only issue, then, would be screening for those who we would consider criminals (had they done in our country what they instead did in theirs), people infected with communicable diseases, terrorists, and agents of foreign governments.

  83. You are taking one person’s out-of-the-solar-system opinion (Harry Binswanger’s) and treating it like it represents a legitimate position held by a significant intellectual minority bloc. You are doing this in order to represent Biddle’s and Brook’s as some sort of moderate position. It is not a moderate position. Biddle’s and Brook’s position is the open borders position. It is the position that is being argued about by virtually everyone. Trying to quibble over something as small as screenings or no screenings, which might affect 5% of the immigrants, is unbecoming and dishonest.

  84. There is no rational difference between “open borders” and “open immigration.” They are the same thing. You cannot create a separate concept for one person’s (rejected by everybody) opinion.

  85. They are the same thing. This is quibbling.

  86. They are the same thing. These people are trying to pull a fast one: Take one person’s (Harry Binswanger’s) bizarre and universally rejected opinion on the subject and create a concept out of it. Violates the rules of epistemology.

  87. That’s what open borders people are about.

  88. “Immigrants vote socialist, opponents of immigration tell us. But do they?
    I rather doubt that it’s nearly so prevalent as we’re told, though I
    don’t have the statistic.”

    Then stop talking. Objectivists are supposed to know their subject matter before forming an opinion, not vice versa, and that means being able to quantitate what you are talking about. Cf Lord Kelvin. The numbers are out there. You are basically willing to put the country’s future at risk on ungrounded speculation.

  89. The claim that Hispanics are voting Democrat because of the perceived anti-immigration position of the Republicans is a myth. Poll after poll shows Hispanics are to the left on economic issues.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/333525/amnesty-fantasy-rich-lowry

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/332916/why-hispanics-dont-vote-republicans-heather-mac-donald

    In 2012 there was a referendum to raise the sales tax and income tax on the rich. It passed because of overwhelming Hispanic support.

    I’d like the author to name one part of Europe or the US that has become more free market oriented as a result of immigration.

  90. Can anyone tell me how Biddle, et al. would “screen” for those who are terrorists, terrorist sympathisers, or criminals.

    Some guy calling himself “Juan Sosa” shows up at the designated check-point in Texas. He has papers saying that a “Juan Sosa” born in Mexico City doesn’t have a criminal record. Let ’em in, yeah let him in.

    Or what if 100,000 men from the Boko Harum region want to come to the US. Binswagner says no screen is permitted. How would Biddle keep the bad guys out?

  91. Actually, if you took the idea of screening seriously, you would probably end up with limited immigration and quotas. Presumably the burden would be on the person coming to the country to show he’s not a threat. And investigating people would take some time. There are only so many government employees who could do that.

    And I don’t know of a single third would country that I would trust to provide adequate arrest and criminal conviction records. Indeed, it would be in the country’s interest to get rid of its criminals by giving them clean rap sheets. I believe Castro with the Mariel boat lift emptied out his prisons and mental asylums.

  92. I want to comment on the claim that Hispanics are voting Democratic because of the perceived anti-immigration position of the Republicans.

    This is a myth that has been exploded dozens of times. Poll after poll shows that Hispanics are to the left on most economic issues. They support Obamacare, the ysupport higher taxes on the rich, they support affirmative action, etc.

    The Republicans did worse with Hispanics after Reagan signed an amnesty in 86.

    Hispanics have high levels of broken homes, welfare dependency and crime. Not exactly a group of people that are going to vote for less government.

  93. Open immigration is distinct from open borders. The latter allows anyone entry; the former is established within the context of protecting individual rights by screening before entry for infectious disease (e.g., Ebola, etc.) and for criminal acts or membership in a criminal organization.

    This last would apply to any criminal organization engaged in coordinated or isolated murder, rape, sabotage, espionage, extortion, etc., etc., etc.–whether these orgs called themselves political (e.g., CPUSA, IRA, PLO, Hamas, etc.), environmental (e.g., Earth Liberation Front, Green Peace, etc.) or religious (e.g., Islam, etc.).

    Given the ubiquitous surveillance and intel gathering by NSA, CIA, etc.,–as well as international agencies, intel or otherwise (Mossad; Interpol; MI-6; BND; legit human rights groups; etc.)–such screenings could be made highly accurate. If Wiesenthal could track down Nazis concentration camp guards a half century after WWII, these organizations can be organized to spot a Muslim, Mafioso & Manchurian candidate a mile away.

    It’s pragmatism choosing security over liberty by suggesting that “current times and the state of America” prohibit open immigration. There is never a “bad time” for protecting freedom and the individual rights that are requisite to the establishment and maintenance of a nation’s liberty.

    If there is a threat to a free nation from open immigration because of war mongering foreign nations, a free nation doesn’t build a bunker and hunker down; a free nation obliterates the nation(s) that is the source of the threat.

    If there is a threat to a nation’s prosperity from open immigration because of a looting government, one doesn’t engage in economic protectionism; one replaces the government(s) that is the source of the threat. (Indeed, many of the arguments I’ve read against open immigration rely on the same errors in reasoning that American steel and automobile manufacturing companies relied on in the 1960s, 70s & even the 80s to support tariffs against German and Japanese steel and auto makers.)

    Both of these, though, require more than the quick, pragmatic fix of erecting border walls and manning them with machine gunning guards; of creating heavily armed TSA gatekeepers at all other points of entry; of establishing micromanaged, bureaucratic INS standards; or of closing the borders altogether, which I assume most who are opposed to open immigration do *not* suggest (just as advocates of open immigration do *not* suggest immigrants be granted citizenship until they’ve earned it through the establish & arduous two-year process.)

    To act otherwise is to simultaneously shoot Peter for the actions of Paul while creating for Americans a concentration camp of a country, capable of establishing a national ID card–or, at the least, requiring ID docs for Americans traveling *inside* the States–as those along the Texas & AZ borders (& even 100 miles inland) have already experienced; capable of requiring passports to travel to formerly open border nations (for Americans) like Canada & Mexico; capable of arming foreign criminal organizations to find a pretense to outlaw the 2nd Amendment; capable even of reaching beyond its borders to slap its own citizens with tax bills or to place their foreign bank accounts under an IRS microscope.

    Once such a prison nations is established, one becomes its inmate. And once an inmate of such a prison nation, always an inmate.

    The immigration gate, folks, swings both ways.

  94. The maybe we ought deport–or impeach–Obama, rather than punish immigrants. See my comments about shooting Peter because of the actions of Paul.

  95. Yes, my word choice was poor; I ought to have written: pragmatism.

    It’s pragmatism choosing security over liberty by suggesting that “current times and the state of America” prohibit open immigration. There is never a “bad time” for protecting freedom and the individual rights that are requisite to the establishment and maintenance of a nation’s liberty.

    If there is a threat to a free nation from open immigration because of war mongering foreign nations, a free nation doesn’t build a bunker and hunker down; a free nation obliterates the nation(s) that is the source of the threat.

    If there is a threat to a nation’s prosperity from open immigration because of a looting government, one doesn’t engage in economic protectionism; one replaces the government(s) that is the source of the threat. (Indeed, many of the arguments I’ve read against open immigration rely on the same errors in reasoning that American steel and automobile manufacturing companies relied on in the 1960s, 70s & even the 80s to support tariffs against German and Japanese steel and auto makers.)

    Both of these, though, require more than the quick, pragmatic fix of erecting border walls and manning them with machine gunning guards; of creating heavily armed TSA gatekeepers at all other points of entry; of establishing micromanaged, bureaucratic INS standards; or of closing the borders altogether, which I assume most who are opposed to open immigration do *not* suggest (just as advocates of open immigration do *not* suggest immigrants be granted citizenship until they’ve earned it through the establish & arduous two-year process.)

    To act otherwise is to simultaneously shoot Peter for the actions of Paul while creating for Americans a concentration camp of a country, capable of establishing a national ID card–or, at the least, requiring ID docs for Americans traveling *inside* the States–as those along the Texas & AZ borders (& even 100 miles inland) have already experienced; capable of requiring passports to travel to formerly open border nations (for Americans) like Canada & Mexico; capable of arming foreign criminal organizations to find a pretense to outlaw the 2nd Amendment; capable even of reaching beyond its borders to slap its own citizens with tax bills or to place their foreign bank accounts under an IRS microscope.

    Once such a prison nations is established, one becomes its inmate. And once an inmate of such a prison nation, always an inmate.

    The immigration gate, folks, swings both ways.

  96. Sorry, Hilda; what he suggests amounts to a loyalty oath to certain “approved” ideas. AR stressed that it wasn’t the ideas of communism that prompted her to testify in 1947 before HUAC . It was the criminal actions of the CPUSA, which made it a criminal organization, that so prompted her.

    And “cultural morality of the people” is about as collectivist a concept as one can utter. It smacks of a kind of legal orthodoxy. Indeed, this concept is startling similar to the goals of Mao’s cultural revolution:

    “The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution[‘s] … stated goal was to enforce communism in the country by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society, and to impose Maoist orthodoxy within the Party. …

    “… Mao alleged that bourgeois elements were infiltrating the government and society at large, aiming to restore capitalism. He insisted that these “revisionists” be removed through violent class struggle. …”

    Just reverse the goals above to: enforce capitalism by denying entry to those who hold opposing ideas and/or who support cultural elements at odds with an individualist culture.

    I don’t think you’d like the result of a United States, Hilda, which laws were defined by and based on “the cultural morality of the people,” rather than on the rights of the individual and their foundation: property rights.

  97. The solution for the UK is to deport all Muslims as members of a criminal organization.

  98. Go ahead and impeach, see how far that goes.

  99. Thanks I finally left the Republican Party in part because of their anti immigration stance goes against everything I believe in form individual liberty and my Christian beliefs.

  100. White people are like race horses. Non-whites are like donkeys. You can’t let them mix or else you get mules and the end of horse-racing. Parting the races is good for whites. Why are we obligated to save the Jews? The Jews have to bear their own problems instead of make us their saviors who they resent and exploit. When will Israel pay American taxpayers for the thousands of lives killed in Iraq? Or the millions killed under Soviet communism?

  101. Debunked? Keith, you didn’t have the stats on voting.
    What data there exists (and you did not provide) on “illegal” immigrant use of the countless government handout programs is very very unlikely to be accurate, for obvious reasons. Further none look at either health care cost through increased prices to paying consumers due to government forced “free care” at emergency rooms and hospitals, nor, more importantly the effect on our already failing (and high per student costs) government school systems.
    Keith, I share the wish to help people living in tyranny, but I disagree about the order of proceedings, and even if immigration is the best action we can take (for them, as well as for each of us). If we don’t fix our interventionist – entitlement – fed – fiddling – mess first, there will be no freedom for anyone to flee to, and those who came may as well have not bothered.
    Recovering capitalism and ejecting government force from all markets (including ‘money’) except those directly related to defense, can not be a second priority, or even a parallel priority if the other policy move is to drastically increase the load on the interventionist fiat fabrication and tax funded redistribution system.
    We are sitting on a rotted branch, dangling over monetary breakdown and social unrest. Our interventionist policies continue to drill holes in and add weight to the branch. Frankly, to serve our own best rational interests and everyone else’s as well, means fixing the branch first. To add weight before the corrections are accomplished will mean the fall of the branch altogether.

  102. If I had written this article, I’d want to bury it. Pure rationalist BS, but that’s what you expect from Objectivists.

  103. Over at Amy Peikoff’s blog (dont let it go) Ed Powell had this post :

    *****

    I have evolved over the years on this issue, going from an advocate
    of open borders to an advocate of, essentially, closed borders, based on
    the facts on the ground. A good overview of the facts can be found in
    Ann Coulter’s new book, “Adios America.” Now Ann is a marginally
    successful political humorist, but she’s a lawyer and knows how to do
    research. The book comes with roughly 200 pages of footnotes detailing
    the sources for the facts she presents. Instead of reiterating these
    facts, I will try to sum up what I think the principles are that arise
    from these facts:

    1) Open Borders is incompatible with the welfare state. 50% of
    immigrant families take advantage of welfare benefits, compared to 25%
    of native-born families (and something like 15% of non-black native born
    families). Details on these figures are in the book, plus the obvious
    discussion about which of the 127 different welfare programs in the US
    are open to and exploited by immigrants of all kinds. The conclusion
    that follows from this fact is that the prerequisite for allowing more
    immigration (not to mention open borders) is to end the welfare state
    entirely. Not “end it for immigrants”–that has been tried and
    failed–end it entirely. “Welfare reform” banned immigrants from
    collecting from roughly 5 of the 127 welfare programs, and this ban
    lasted until Obama essentially rescinded it by executive fiat in 2009.
    No selective ban will last when up against the lawlessness of the Left.
    So, if you want open immigration, argue for it as a follow-on to the
    end of the welfare state, rather than as something that is desirable
    now. And in the interim, support the wall.

    2) Open borders is incompatible with democracy. Now I know the US is
    not intended to be a democracy, but a rights-respecting constitutional
    republic. I have news for you: it isn’t. Not today, not in fact, not
    in reality. I wish it were. I want it to be again. I know it used to
    be. But it isn’t. That’s simply a fact that you can see by looking
    around. One does not need 200 pages of footnotes to understand that the
    US is a representative democracy. Immigrants vote 80%/20% in favor of
    socialism, of more government handouts, of more government control, more
    government spending. They do so while almost entirely evading the
    government rules and regulations they vote for. (See the articles of
    Victor Davis Hanson for more details on the two-society state in
    California). None of our freedoms will last under a constant assault of
    2 million pro-government people being imported every year, not to
    mention the legalization and granting the franchise to the ~30 million
    that are already here. Voter fraud committed by ineligible voters is
    now a significant element in many elections. With open borders and amnesty, the would-be totalitarians will no longer even need to use
    voter fraud, they will get their socialist utopia for free. “One man,
    one vote, once,” as they say in Africa.

    3) Mass immigration from the third world is incompatible with
    American culture. This is the principle point of Ann’s book. Many
    Objectivists look to America in the 19th century, when we had mass
    immigration with limited restrictions, and no welfare, and everything
    worked out great. This is not quite true–everything did not work out
    great in the end (see below)–but it is mostly true. So why not repeat
    the formula today? The reason is that our 19th century immigrants were
    almost entirely from countries that embraced Western Civilization:
    Ireland, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, etc. There is a huge
    difference between importing 2 million Irishmen and 2 million Somalis.

    This is not a thought experiment, this actually is happening. Our
    Dear Leader, under pressure from that most enlightened of
    pro-immigration institutions, the United Nations, imported 100,000
    Somalian refugees to Minneapolis. Now Somalia is a country of chaos,
    misogyny, child rape, crime, gangsterism and jihad. Tell me this: when
    importing 100,000 Somalians to Minneapolis, are we going to get 100,000
    new productive Americans or are we going to turn Minneapolis into a
    center of chaos, misogyny, chid rape, crime, gangsterism, and jihad?
    Read Ann’s book and you’ll find out, though this should not be a hard
    question to guess the answer to.

    It’s not just Somalia, of course, all third world cultures have
    similar characteristics. Mexico is a country filled with corruption,
    gangsterism, misogyny, and child rape. Now, so is Southern California,
    Arizona, and Southern Texas. Why are people surprised at this? Sure,
    if *one* Mexican family comes into the US, they will adapt quite
    quickly. Even ten or 50 Mexican families will do so. But we have
    imported ONE QUARTER OF THE POPULATION OF MEXICO. You did not read that
    wrong. Third world countries are third world countries FOR A REASON.
    Individuals from those countries, seeking work and a better world, can
    and do improve the United States. But you can’t simply import a
    substantial fraction of the population of a third world country into the
    United States and expect anything other than turning the United States
    into a third world hell-hole, which you can visit if you drive around
    the generally nastier areas of Southern and Central California, Arizona,
    and Texas, which I have done personally. Why would you believe
    otherwise?

    While philosophy drives history, it drives it, as Leonard Peikoff has
    shown in his book “The DIM Hypothesis”, through CULTURE. Most
    individuals don’t know the first thing about Rousseau or Kant or Marx,
    but they understand their own culture (which is derived from these
    philosophers and others). American culture, the sense-of-life created
    by 300 years of reason, individualism, and freedom, though diminished
    repeatedly by bad philosophy, stands as a beacon of hope in the world,
    as long as it is not drowned out by an influx of cultures totally
    inimical to it. Immigrants must be willing to reject their own previous
    cultures in the strongest possible intellectual terms (ignoring the
    inessentials like food preference) before they can accept American
    culture (and the philosophy that underlies it) and become fully
    American. This CANNOT HAPPEN if when they come to American they are
    surrounded by 20 million of their own former comrades and no actual
    Americans. Why is this statement controversial?

    Harry Binswanger has for years advocated no borders at all, no border
    checkpoints, no passports, no screening, nothing. Just free movement
    like between Virginia and Maryland. This has a theoretical
    attractiveness to it. We love being able to travel back and forth
    between Virginia and Maryland without restriction or passports, why
    shouldn’t the US be like that with all other countries, he asks? This
    is complete RATIONALISM. It ignores or evades the central facts in this
    discussion: the effects of the welfare state, the effects of the
    current political system, the toxic effects of the myriad third world
    cultures on the United States if mass immigration were allowed. It is
    an idea floating in the sky, unconnected to the actual effects or facts
    on the ground. When I asked Dr. Binswanger about applying his open
    borders scheme to, for example, Israel (they’ve been at peace with
    Jordan for a long time, why not allow open borders with Jordan?) he
    banned the topic from discussion. Indeed, it was an open borders policy
    instituted by Lebanon in the 1970s that caused the destruction of that
    once prosperous country (ask me for the reference to this). Open
    borders destroys civilizations, from the fall of the Roman Empire in the
    West, to Lebanon today, to England and France with their extensive
    “no-go” zones, and it will destroy the United States as well.

    Yaron Brooke (himself an immigrant) and Craig Biddle advocate some
    sort of “background checks” on immigrants. This is pure fantasy. How
    do you background check 100,000 Somalians? My concealed carry permit
    background check here in Virginia–where there are computerized law
    enforcement records–took 45 DAYS. There is no background check system
    in the world that could work AT ALL at the point of entry for 100,000
    Somalians or 20 million Mexicans or 5 million Guatemalans, etc. The
    idea is ludicrous. Certainly, if a business wanted to hire a foreigner,
    and itself pay for and conduct a background check on the person (under
    penalty of perjury and assuming liability for the person’s actions once
    in the United States) then sure, bring him in. But the idea that some
    random third world immigrant can show up (usually without a passport) at
    one of our border checkpoints and we are going to to do a background
    check on him right there is preposterous.

    Finally, both Binswanger and Brooke advocate delaying citizenship for
    immigrants or making it harder to acquire. Certainly I agree with
    this. But they say this because I believe they understand that the
    whole issue of “immigration reform” now being discussed in the media
    comes down to one and only one issue: the Democrats desperately want
    these new third world immigrants as legal voters (as opposed to the
    illegal voters many of them are now) and are calling the American people
    racists because they sensibly oppose this idea. Almost every
    Objectivist I have talked to of the open borders persuasion doesn’t
    understand or admit that the only reason ANYONE is talking about this
    issue is because the Democrats want new voters. If the Republicans
    offered the Democrats EVERYTHING they wanted on immigration reform
    EXCEPT a “path to citizenship” the Democrats would oppose it
    vocifereously (as they have, in rare moments of candor, admitted). A
    “path to citizenship” is the ONLY thing that is being discussed in the
    public debate. Any Objectivist advocating “immigration reform” must
    LEAD with “no citizenship” before any other details or they are not in
    fact participating in the coversation, they are simply supporting the
    socialists and their Democrat water-bearers. No open borders
    Objectivist does so.

    The great immigration wave of the late 19th century caused a huge
    xenophobic backlash in the United States, culminating in a ban on
    immigration in 1924 lasting for 40 years. This ban was in a lot of ways
    very harmful to the United States. This type of ban is EXACTLY waht
    Ann Coulter proposesas the solution to the problem of immigration, and
    this sort of ban is now supported openly by 24% of Americans polled.
    You watch, this position will become stronger and stronger over the
    years if mass immigration (legal and illegal) is continued to run
    rampant. Eventually, Ann will get her wish. Advocating for open
    borders ISN’T HELPING, in fact it is playing into the hands of the
    immigration restrictionists.

    The solution to the problem in my view is to seal the border from
    illegal immigrants, ban immigration based on family reunification (the
    single biggest cause of our current problems), and renew the quota
    system for immigrants such that large numbers of immigrants are allowed
    from countries that have a culture of freedom and rule of law (Western
    Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Korea, Japan, Taiwan,
    Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel), and VERY LIMITED
    immigration from any other country, essentially zero unless a company
    will stand up and sponsor the person and his family and assume liability
    for his actions if they do so. People from freedom-respecting
    countries get to come fairly freely. People from non-freedom-respecting
    countries don’t unless someone stands as a guarantor for their
    behavior. Other than Ann Coulter’s complete ban on immigration for 40
    years, this is the only scheme that can save America from complete
    collapse into third world status, as Europe is in the process of doing
    (see Mark Stein’s book, “America Alone”). As for current immigrants:
    they get to stay or be deported according to the policy described above,
    no exceptions.
    Help save the United States, oppose open borders

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