Immigration and The Welfare State

by | Sep 9, 2014 | Immigration, Welfare

Most immigrants recognize that America is the land of opportunity. If we let enough in, perhaps their number will offset the growing number of the native born who simper that America is the land of entitlement.

Open immigration is both morally right and economically beneficial.

Morally, it is the inalienable right of an honest individual to reside in any country he chooses. He is an upstanding person; he does good, not ill. His right to choose a country of residence must be upheld.

Related, the government of a free country must, as a strictly logical point, in order to be the government of a free country, protect the right of honest persons to choose their country of residence. Just as law-abiding citizens are free to emigrate from a free nation, so they must be free to immigrate to it.

Moral virtue has practical gains.

Both historically and currently, immigrants have immensely enriched America.

Historically, remember, Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish immigrant; John Roebling, a German one; Nikola Tesla, a Serb who emigrated from Croatia; Albert Einstein was a German immigrant who became a U.S. citizen in 1940; the great economist, Ludwig von Mises, was an Austrian immigrant; and Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, a Russian one. The list could be indefinitely extended.

In our day, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, emigrated to the U.S. from the Soviet Union. Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, emigrated to America from Taiwan. Vinod Khosla, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, is an Indian immigrant; Andreas Bechtolsheim, another of Sun’s founders, a German one. This list, too, could be greatly extended.

In the terms of economics, such brilliant minds represent immense human capital, and create vast sums of intellectual and material wealth.

Related, immigrants, whether high-or-low-skilled, tend to have a strong work ethic. In 2005, for example, immigrants composed but twelve percent of the U.S. population—but fifteen percent of the work force. Linda Chavez, publishing in 1993, wrote that Haitians, Jamaicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Peruvians, and Filipinos had “labor force participation rates at least ten points higher than those of the native born.” Wall Street Journal editor, Jason Riley, points out: “We know from labor force participation rates that low-skilled immigrants are society’s hardest workers.”

Should America become a country denying admission to humanity’s hardest workers? Or—recognizing that men working productively, including at menial tasks, thereby create goods or services, i.e., wealth—should it open its magnanimous arms and clasp such workers to its bosom?

Such immigrant willingness to work at jobs often scorned by the native born is a universal win. The immigrants get to live and work in America, with greater freedom and higher living standards than in the nation they abandoned—and their children and grandchildren tend to outstrip them both educationally and economically. American employers get a supply of cheap labor, willing to perform any task, no matter how menial. American consumers enjoy the lower prices resulting from a cheap labor supply. Low-skilled native born workers, enjoying immense advantages in linguistic fluency and cultural knowledge, should be incentivized to upgrade their skills.

In addition to the economic gain, there is an important security benefit to an open immigration policy. Since it is a great boon to an immigrant to be in the country legally rather than illegally, the overwhelming majority, given the choice, will walk in through the front door, thereby initiating the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. The flood of migrant workers seeking to illegally sneak across the Mexican border will reduce to a trickle. The money and manpower currently deployed to keep Mexican workers out of the country can then be used to keep Middle Eastern Islamic terrorists out of the country.

Regarding both American prosperity and security, respecting the rights of honest immigrants to become U.S. citizens lead to significant practical benefits.

Some argue that because of America’s current welfare state, the country cannot afford an open immigration policy. This is false for two reasons. One is that a welfare state is pernicious to both those funding it and those parasitical off of it; the former, because they’re robbed—the latter because its perverse financial incentives support men’s most indolent premises, and seduce onto the dole many who could otherwise gain minimum wage employment. From purely humanitarian considerations, the welfare state must be irrevocably dismantled, regardless of America’s immigration policy.

Second, most persons who ship out of the only society they’ve known are rationally ambitious individuals. The U.S. is the favored destination of such rationally ambitious persons because they recognize that America is the greatest country on earth—and is so, not because it has welfare programs, but because its mixed economy contains more elements of capitalism and fewer of statism than any other nation.

Most immigrants recognize that America is the land of opportunity. If we let enough in, perhaps their number will offset the growing number of the native born who simper that America is the land of entitlement.

57 Comments

  1. Since almost everyone has told a lie, there is no such thing as an honest immigrant. How do we measure honesty? Present honesty? Past honesty? Future honesty? This cannot be measured.

    Do only honest people have rights or productive ability? Honesty seems to be a poor test for immigration. Wealth creation is correlated with intelligence, but any NBA star refutes the need for intelligence when inborn leaping ability, reflexes, and speed, talent in a word, has more to do with it. Nor does wealth make good citizens out of sports stars either.

    “f we let enough in, perhaps their number will offset the growing number of the native born who simper that America is the land of entitlement.”

    If we bang our head against the wall enough, we might figure that non-white immigration is the death of the Western world. Brazil and South Africa are not world powers; they are going down the drain. England with its Rotherham rapists is in the hunt for third.

  2. No doubt that the majority of immigrants to America have the correct sense of life… but, as America’s decent from virtual laizzes-faire to a mixed economy demonstrates, a sense of life isn’t enough to ensure the long-term preservation of a civilized society. THERE IS NO REASON TO THINK THAT THE CONSCIOUS CONVICTIONS OF RECENT IMMIGRANTS IS ANY BETTER THAN THOSE OF CURRENT AMERICANS.

    America has an illegal immigrant problem precisely because it is a mixed-economy. That is, it is just capitalist enough to still be attractive to those with the only sense of life that could survive and flourish in a capitalist society – and yet it is also just socialist enough to also appeal to those is a… different sense of life. The country attracts both! …and as a result, the resources devoted to an orderly (ie: legal) immigration process are strained. Would-be immigrants of both stripes become impatient, and jump the border. The issue of illegal immigration will never be fixed unless and until America decides what type of country it wishes to be, embraces that identity fully and excludes the opposite.

    Allowing in immigrants who have the same (or worse) conscious convictions of the very Americans who – despite their “capitalist sense of life” – turned America into a mixed economy will only ensure that it is CAPITALISM that is excluded and socialism that is embraced (any short-term boon to the economy such immigrants would provide notwithstanding). As a purely strategic measure, in the short and/or medium-term, the borders should be strongly guarded and immigration should be severely restricted. The economic downturn which will result will, ironically, cause Americans to examine their conscious convictions, seek to justify their sense of life (before it’s too late and it changes), and restore America to the virtually laizzes-faire economy which gave it it’s greatness.

  3. I ain’t no expert on the subject, so I ask, howdya tell the difference ‘tween an honest immigrant & a dishonest one, if you’re a border agent culling thru the endless line of those wanting to come here? How’d they do it 100 yrs. ago? Did they? Could they? Can we, now? If so, how? As then, we can tell about diseases, but how ’bout crooks, meaning those who committed ACTS construable as crimes under our laws? If we can’t tell, and if they haven’t done anything, can we keep ’em out for what they think, even though they’ve DONE nothing?

    No matter what they think, we must take then in if they ain’t done nothing, and we must assume they’ll work and earn their living, even if they never had any such intention. And if our welfare or entitlement state offers easier pickings than working, they’ll go for the handout, & maybe supplement that with a little work here & there. Welfare & entitlements will dumb down immigrants as it’s done those born here, as welfare & entitlements entice those abroad, who are looking for greener pastures and who will not help but see welfare & entitlements, in the U.S., vice work. And all this just plays into the hands or terrorists who’ll then gobble EVERYBODY up, along with the H-bombs.

    Open immigration works only for a rights recognizing, respecting & enforcing country which can keep out the chaff, meaning crooks. If the country ain’t rights respecting, it can’t & won’t. If it IS rights respecting, it can & it might.
    The U.S., formally, is the land of rights, but factually, it AIN’T, no more. Thus, we have the ‘immigration’ ‘crisis’. We’ll attract evermore crooks (‘immigrants’) vice the honest (actual immigrants), as absolute numbers as well as percentages, which is what our ‘political’ ‘leaders’ wish (crisis).

    We have lots of in-house cleaning up, starting with our crook ‘leaders’. WE, private individuals, gotta do it. Where do we start? Guess. If that don’t work, where do we go and what do we DO then? Guess. I got my answers.

    Give me your answers if you got ’em, and just ask me what my answers are, if ya ain’t chicken. Mike Kevitt

  4. This is unrigorous in the extreme.

  5. Mr. Bernstein,

    Do you have any evidence to support your claim
    that the crop of immigrants we would likely get from open immigration
    (central Americans and third world immigrants, mostly Moslems) will have
    the values needed to sustain America? There is already massive Islamic
    immigration in Europe, and what has that produced except riots and
    sexual exploitation of children such as the Rothertham scandal.

    There
    are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and they have produced all of 2
    Nobel Prizes in the hard sciences. That’s the same as Luxemborg,
    population 540,000.

    Compare the intellectual and cultural
    achievements of Hungarians in the last 500 years with Mexicans. There
    isn’t any. And Hungary is less than a tenth of the population of
    Mexico.

    57% of Mexicans Americans are on some form of welfare, compared 6% of people from the U.k.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/06/senator_rand_pauls_imaginary_libertarian_immigrants.html

    I
    would ask you Mr. Bernstein, do you believe Islamic immigration to
    Europe has been good? Do you believe Europe will be a better place when
    it becomes majority Islamic?

  6. One thing that Mr. Bernstein hasn’t considered is that under US law, the government can’t deny a free education to illegals. There is also a law that says emergency rooms can’t deny anyone care. And US law (at least as interpreted by the courts) says if you are born in the US, you are a citizen and can vote.

    There are around 120 million people in Mexico. There was a poll that said 30% would come to the US. So we would have a flood of poor people who would turn state after state leftist, as they did to California. Texas does not have an income tax. How long will that last when Mexicans become the majority?

    And immigration has been great for London. The natives are afraid to leave their houses because all of the “rationally ambitious individuals” who’ve arrived in the UK.

    Mr. Bernstein cherry picks a few immigrants who have been a great benefit to America. A list should also include the Tsarneav brothers and the 9/11 terrorists.

  7. Mr. Bernstein,

    Do you have any evidence to support your claim that the crop of immigrants we would likely get from open immigration (central Americans and third world immigrants, mostly Moslems) will have the values needed to sustain America? There is already massive
    Islamic immigration in Europe, and what has that produced except riots and sexual exploitation of children such as the Rothertham rape scandal.

    There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world and they have produced all of 2 Nobel Prizes in the hard sciences. That’s the same as Luxemborg, population 540,000.

    Compare the intellectual and cultural achievements of Hungarians in the last 500 years with Mexicans. There isn’t any. And Hungary is less than a tenth of the population of
    Mexico.

    57% of Mexicans Americans are on some form of welfare, compared 6% of people from the U.K.

    I would ask you Mr. Bernstein, do you believe Islamic immigration to Europe has been good? Do you believe Europe will be a better place when it becomes majority Islamic?

  8. You know what else might work, ABORTIONS! I’m thinking abortions and legalized marijuana would fix the wellfare state. That’s the ticket, then we could throw in some prostitutes and gay marriage then no one would would ever be on wellfare again.

  9. Just give them copies of Human Action and Atlas Shrugged at the border.

  10. ____

    The immigrants get to live and work in America, with greater freedom and
    higher living standards than in the nation they abandoned—and their
    children and grandchildren tend to outstrip them both educationally and
    economically.
    ____

    Bernstein is apparently unaware of the studies that indicate that 2d and 3d generation Mexican Americans are doing worse than the first.

  11. Just a note: 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 (all Muslims, not select Muslims, e.g., only the “terrorist one; THEY. ARE. ALL. TERRORISTS.), 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 geared 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.

    To act otherwise is to simultaneously shoot Peter for the actions of Paul while creating for Americans a concentration camp of a country, as those along the Texas borders (& even 100 miles from such) have already witnessed, 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.

  12. Let’s just take a snippet and walk through it. “If we let enough in, perhaps their number will offset the growing number of the native born who simper that America is the land of entitlement.”

    Who exactly are the simperers to be offset? Is it just leftists? The 48% of the population on government checks? Or does he really mean, as I suspect, his opponents, mostly identified with the Tea Party, whom he imagines to be motivated by job entitlement? (If so, let him explain the contents of his soul that would prompt him to empower left-leaning illegal immigrants over some of the few people in this country who work to generally roll back government).

    And what exactly does he mean by “offset?” Offset what? Tax dollars? Does he mean to say that things are fine as long as the money is still rolling in? Well, illegal immigrants on net consume far more government services than they pay in taxes. That is a fact, we have the numbers, it is not subject to philosophizing. It also cancels out their net economic productivity over native-born.

    Surely he cannot possibly mean votes. We have the numbers on that, too, and immigrants are overwhelmingly socialist and vote Democrat. All but the most intellectually dishonest acknowledge this fact.

    Even if he does not mean votes, that is the central argument of the anti-open immigration position. So why the mass evasion of it by the open immigration people? Why not simply address it head-on? If we are wrong, and they have reality on their side, it should be a simple matter for them to show us the data showing how we are wrong, at least over the long term. At the very least, they should be able to elucidate the clear and testable mechanism by which open immigration will result in less statism in the U.S., as opposed to more.

    Well, they can’t make the case because there is no case. Immigrants move the country left, and that is just a fact. So they repeatedly pretend that the Tea Party is just motivated by job entitlement (or racism, etc.) so they can evade the fact that they have no answer to the core argument. After all, their whole paradigm collapses if immigrants do move the country left and open immigration would move the country past an electoral breaking point.

    FYI, Gallup reports that an estimated 150 million people would move to the U.S. if they could. For comparison, 125 million people voted in the 2012 Presidential election.

  13. “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.”

    And who, exactly, is going to do that? It’s already difficult enough (read: failing) when the country is populated by people with bad ideas and an American sense of life. It’s going to be even more difficult (read: impossible) if there are more people with EVEN WORSE ideas and an American sense of life. Restricting immigration isn’t about violating principles. It’s about strategy. It’s recognizing that the solution to the illegal immigration problem lies in it’s source – a looting government – and then figuring out the best way to deal with that (since, once done, the illegal immigration issue will work itself out naturally). Restricting immigration now would do two things. First, it would prevent the further intellectual and spiritual degredation of the country (because, as was said, most recent immigrants have ideas that are just as bad, if not worse, than American citizens – their good sense of life notwithstanding) – and second, it would cause just the sort of economic pain that Americans need to experience in order to actually examine their bad ideas, and change them, in order to save the American sense of life before it’s gone forever (and this economic pain would be the result of immigrants not being able to work – which they indisputably do in exceptional numbers because of their American sense of life; their unAmerican conscious ideas notwithstanding).

    Now, in this (short-term, strategic, ad hoc) process will innocent people from other countries have their rights violated (ie: will they be prevented from escaping tyranny and pursuing happiness in America?)? Yes – but just as in war, America doesn’t owe anything to anyone else. If innocent, decent foreigners die in a war where America is protecting itself, Objectivists (correctly) have no problem saying that that’s no one’s fault but America’s enemies. Why, then, would it be a violation of such people’s rights – BY AMERICA – if we to (temporarily) severely restrict immigration in order to take some time to fix our own country? I wasn’t aware that the purpose of America was to be a place where foreigners can enjoy relative freedom, even at the expense of making it impossible for people who are already here to save their own (from their own corrupt countrymen, and by any means necessary). That’s just altruism.

  14. “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.”

    What about if there are war-mongering foreign people who have come from a country that is not war-mongering?

    The vast majority of the UK’s Muslims come from Pakistan. Pakistan itself, whilst hardly a bastion of individual rights, is not in the league of Iran, ISIS etc. So there is not feasible grounds for attacking them.

    What there are feasible grounds for is the very real threat that these Pakistani Muslims who now live in the UK, by their millions, pose to the safety and security of Great Britain. Demographic trends show that if immigration and birth rates continue as they are, the UK will become majority Muslim. And it’s a similar story all throughout Europe.

    And this is WITH immigration controls! Well, officially anyway, the truth is that anyone and his dog is allowed into the UK. So all open immigration would do is speed up the Muslim takeover of Britain.

    You’re lucky in the USA that you have no sizeable Muslim population. Believe you me, if you lived in the UK, you would not be arguing for such an insane policy as open immigration because you’d be able to see for yourself with your own eyes why it’s such a ridiculous and indeed dangerous idea.

    So thanks for promoting the destruction of my country and the slaughter of myself and other Britons, but this particular Objectivist is going to take a pass on “open immigration”, ta very much!

  15. “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.”

    So you’re saying that the unconstitutional spying, invasion of privacy and riding roughshod over people’s individual rights carried out by the NSA et al was actually a good thing as it can aid your open immigration program?

    Which kind of negates your next statement:

    “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.”

  16. There are 3 million Muslims in the US. Consider all the snooping, spying and invasive TSA searches we have to endure to keep us relatively free of Muslim terrorism.

    Now imagine that we have open immigration and there are tens of millions of Moslems in the US. We would need a police state to keep us safe. And if Europe and Israel adopt open immigration and become Muslim, what would be the quality of the intelligence they give us?

    Once the west becomes 30% Islamic, there is no way any nation could take action against Saudi Arabia and Iran. If we attacked these nations, the Moslems in the West would set Europe’s and America’s cities on fire.

  17. Quite. Would it really be a good idea for an open immigration pursuing UK to ask the Pakistan security services as to the Islamist leanings of their citizens prior to coming to Britain?

    Let’s not forget that this is the same Pakistani security service that didn’t notice that Osama bin Laden was living loud and proud in their country for almost a decade…

  18. “If we let enough in, perhaps their number will offset the growing number of the native born who simper that America is the land of entitlement.” Ding, Ding, Ding! Scratch an open borders type and you will find much contempt for the American people. Yes, the illiterate Mexican hordes who have trashed large sections of California (see the works of Victor Davis Hanson for the FACTS) and overwhelming support socialism are better people than the Americans they are demographically replacing. Obama and pragmatic, modern businessmen couldn’t agree more.

  19. Take Harry Binswanger:

    _______

    Contrary to “accepted wisdom,” the data show that immigrants are less
    prone to crime than are native Americans.

    Immigrants are the kind of people who refresh the American spirit. They are
    ambitious, courageous, and value freedom.
    _______

    What Binswanger says about crime is misleading, to say the least.

  20. “Just a note: 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.”

    Under open borders, 100% of Muslims would be let in to the UK and it would become Islamic some time next year. Under open immigration, 99% of Moslems would be let in over time and the UK would be Islamic by 2020.

  21. The latest crop of immigrants we are getting are “Latinos” from such rural areas of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras that they don’t even speak Spanish. They are flooding schools who have to give them not just education, but free lunches and hire Mayan interpreters.

    Again, this is all under a system of immigration that is only partly open. Imagine what would happen under open immigration

    If America and the West had open immigration on 1/1/2015 what would it look like in 1/1/2025. Would we have more or fewer Rotherhams, more or less terrorism, higher or lower taxes, etc.?

    Brook, Bernstein, Biddle and Binswager are so locked up in their rationalistic conceit that they haven’t even thought of these questions, from what I can tell.

  22. Islam is a criminal organization, as was the CPUSA, as is EDF. Did I not make myself clear that these would be denied entry? Indeed, those here would be deported.

  23. All of that is the result of a) failing to destroy Islamic nations responsible for 911 (Iran; Saudi Arabia, etc.); b) allowing Muslims–members of a criminal organization–entry into the country to begin with; and c) increasing restrictions on immigration.

    It’s become a vicious cycle.

    Intel agencies such as the CIA & NSA were established to gather intel on foreigners, not on American citizens. My suggestion is that, under that mission statement, we/they have the capability to accurately screen foreigners seeking entry into the country. I do not suggest that such intel agencies be used to spy on Americans or those living here. The FBI handles investigation of criminals within the U.S.

  24. It’s not hard to screen for Muslims. And if they try to hide the fact, a required bite of kosher pork at the entry port would quickly “out” them. Those in-country Muslims would be deported.

    And, yeah, having already let in the Muslim hordes would result in violence once deportations began (or once we began wiping out Iran, etc.). The correct response would be 1) to shoot the rioters; and 2) nuke Mecca & Medina. This last would prove their faith a sham. Many would renounce Islam. Those that didn’t and continued to riot–see #1.

    However, the incorrect response is to turn the nation into a kind of East Berlin. Indeed, that would suit the Muslims to a “T,” establishing the political “infrastructure” of despotism so when they took over, little would need be done.

  25. You don’t let in the Muslims. Islam is a criminal org. And you deport those already here. Period.

  26. Having given the subject more thought, I now believe that “open borders” is an anti-concept designed to obliterate the concept of open immigration. All nation-states have closed borders or are supposed to. The existence of Harry Binswanger’s sole opinion was used as a foil to adopt this anti-concept in order to obfuscate the meaning of open immigration. Whereas Harry Binswanger would let in 99%, the open immigration people would let in 95%+. Meaningless, not meriting of a concept. You all need to stop quibbling.

  27. You’re building a prison for yourself.

    “…we (temporarily) severely restrict immigration in order to take some time to fix our own country…”

    You won’t “fix” the country–if by that you mean restore individual rights–by abrogating the individual rights of immigrants. Temporary restrictions on freedom–whether in the name of restricted immigration or regulating the economy–set the precedent for further restrictions. There’s nothing temporary about despotism.

    The irony lies in what restrictions will be implemented to restrict immigration: 1) national ID cards come to mind first; 2) then, when counterfeit IDs pop up, there’ll come restrictions in travel state-to-state; 3) warrantless searches–or those absent probable cause–of automobiles will come next & later be extended to homes & businesses; 4) gun purchases will require proof of citizenship–and be recorded in a national db; 5) restrictions on passports & foreign travel will follow; 6) border walls & the (continued) militarization of CBP, followed by build ups of all fed agencies; 7) INS will be folded into DHS, which itself will become a genuine Gestapo.

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

    Don’t you see, the tactic to (temporarily) severely restrict immigration will–already has in many ways–turn this country into a prison camp. The bad ideas of which you speak will proliferate because to enforce restrictions on immigrants the government must enforce restrictions on all Americans.

    And such restrictions are never temporary.

  28. 1. There is no such thing as an individual right to jump borders.
    2. Visa programs allow people who secure a job here to work here. Contrary to the propaganda you are hearing by bored businessmen who are scanning for ways to be a modern human/civil rights hero, there is not a mass of jobs out there going unfilled because there aren’t enough visas. That’s a flat-out lie by the bored businessmen. 70-80% of the job postings in my Fortune 500 company are for high level positions being vacated by retiring baby boomers (have words like “senior,” “principal,” “executive” in it). There are few lower jobs, and they get filled quickly by Millenials. So I question the extent of the supposed “rights violation” you are claiming anyway.
    3. Straw man alert: We are not for national ID’s, etc., and only in your mind are they necessitated. Operation Wetback is the historical disproof of your claim. Border walls and enforcement are effective and not in any way a violation of American rights. It doesn’t make the country a concentration camp – that is ridiculous.
    4. If open immigration moves the country left over time, and it does, then it is impractical, which makes it immoral, which means there is an error in your moral reasoning because the moral is the practical.
    5. And why do you keep evading the historical fact that large-scale immigration in the wake of the 1965 law has moved the country left?

  29. Sorry, it’s still not crystal clear. Do you mean:

    A) Muslims who have been terrorists or can be found to support terrorism would be denied entry into a country under open immigration but any other Muslim, who isn’t a terrorist or doesn’t support terrorism, is free to come into the country.

    or

    B) ANY and ALL Muslims, irrespective or whether they are terrorists or support terrorists, are banned from entry. A total ban on Muslim immigration from anywhere in the world.

    And when you say that all “those here would be deported,” do you mean those who fit into type A category or Type B, a mass deportation of Muslims?

    This really is the crux of the matter because when you say “Islam is a criminal organisation” this would suggest that you mean option B but from what I’ve read by open immigration advocates, it sounds like they’re only suggesting option A in regards to Muslims, as people like Yaron Brook say you can’t discriminate on grounds of ideology alone.

    I really would appreciate a final clarification on this, obviously, important matter.

  30. One last note: If you think it a challenge to move the nation to make war on the Islamic nations or to change the direction of the nation from socialism to capitalism, wait till you see how difficult it will be to maintain freedom of speech, gun ownership, Habeas Corpus, document free travel within the country and the like–not to mention a moderately free economy & profits from such–after the government implements severely restricted immigration policies.

    Just wait & see how your individual rights are linked to those of the immigrant. Or just peruse the immigration policies of totalitarian Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Freedom is not piecemeal–i.e., protecting the individual rights of Americans by abrogating those of immigrants–but of whole cloth, a tapestry of rights interwoven, whether those rights are John Smith’s of Reading, PA or Juan Carlos, late of Venezuela.

    Just wait and see.

  31. B. Any Muslim. Islam is a criminal org. Those who belong to that religion–as those who belonged to the Communist Party–are part of a criminal org. engaging in criminal acts. Their Qu’ran is a blueprint for murder, rape, sabotage, etc. Islam is more than a religion; its an ideology that requires of any member wholehearted support–if not in action in tacit silence–of conversion by force.

    Please see Ed Cline’s brilliant dissection of Islam in his essays here at CapMag.

  32. So to confirm, you mean all 1.6 billion Muslims, or 23% of the world population, should be forbidden entry into the U.S.? That is not an insubstantial qualifier. In fact, it is far closer to our position than the open immigration position (and even I wouldn’t go so far as to keep out ALL Muslims).

    I am wondering how you reconcile this with your apparent position that all Mexicans should be freely allowed in. A large percent of them are motivated by or sympathetic to the ideas of the Reconquista ideology, the goal of which is to make the U.S. into a cleft country in the near term where large portions of the U.S. are effectively ungovernable by existing “Anglo” government bodies.

  33. To clarify:

    “Obviously not all [Muslims] are secret jihadist sympathizers and would-be terrorists like Abdo…”

    Actually, they are.

    Would you say, during WWII: “Obviously not all Nazis are secret German sympathizers and would-be enemies like Adolf”?

    Islam is no different than Nazism.

    I say we round up all Muslims–including those who are (so called) citizens–and ship them to the Mideast.

    Ship ’em back to the Dark Age locales where they belong.

    End of story.

    =========================================

    Islam is a conversion-by-conquest religion.

    Much like Judaism was thousand of years ago.

    Much like Christianity was during the Dark Ages.

    Religion, in any guise, must rely on converts; however, because religion relies on faith, rather than on reason, those converts many times must be conquered. Must be coerced. Must be forced–or frightened or shamed–into believing.

    And when two religions meet, there is no room for discussion, because no discussion can occur where the emotionalism of faith trumps the objectivity of reason.

    The only reason that Judaism and Christianity are no longer conversion-by-conquest religions is because of _Summa Theologica_ (thanks to an Aristotelian Aquinas), its product, the Renaissance and the subsequent progression of human thought that became the Enlightenment. This centuries long advancement tempered both religions, leaving them only to rely on fear or guilt to proselytize. (Indeed, if Christians and Jews actually *lived* their faiths as was done, respectively, in the Dark Ages and thousands of years ago, they’d all be living lives that would be nasty, brutish and short.)

    Islam, though, has had no such eras. No Aquinas. No Renaissance. No Enlightenment. And thus Muslims–and the Mideast (with the exception being Israel)–still live in the Dark Ages.

    With automatic weapons, RPGs, jet fighters and atom bombs at their disposal, thanks to the West–particularly the U.S. presidents Truman and Eisenhower–allowing Mideast tribalists to nationalize Western companies’ oil drilling and production facilities, a wealth that reaped these tribalist lords and princes billions, if not trillions, of dollars.

    Conservatives, in the main, because they believe Christianity the source of the Declaration of Independence and the concept of rights (and all that followed, apparently, from invention and industrialization to scientific discovery and artistic achievement) have a vested, even if, perhaps, subconscious motivation to view Islam a “good faith hijacked by primitives.” But the fact is, *all* religions are primitive (philosophies (and, no, socialism is no more advanced, substituting State (or proletariat) for God and “brother love” (or some sort of supernatural conditioning of workers by machines (means of production) for faith)).

    Unless and until the Mideast (with Islam) goes through the fire (nuclear or intellectual) of a Renaissance and an Enlightenment (ironically, something like that having begun in the Arab world while Europe groveled on its belly during the Dark Ages, but which was shut down by Islamic religious leaders), we shall continue to see nothing but holy wars against the West follow in that religion’s wake (with the so called ‘moderate’ Muslims tacitly approving by remaining silent).

  34. Yes, there is a difference of course between individual rights and civil rights. I as a Briton have no civil rights in the US but as the astounding Snowden revelations have shown, US intelligence agencies are vastly overstepping the mark with their gathering remit. I should not have to fear being spied on by the US. If they are, they are invading my individual rights.

    But in the same vein, responding to a comment you made in another post, as I don’t have civil rights in the US, I should not to force my individual rights on any American’s civil rights should I want to become an immigrant. Governments are set up with the express purpose of safeguarding their citizens individual rights. Governments aren’t set up to protect the individual rights of foreigners, so the civil rights trump any individual rights of a foreigner trying to enter that country.

    So if immigration is found to be damaging to that country, as people are suggesting it is, then the individual rights of any immigrant is irrelevant.

  35. I wonder if any of them care about the consequences. I now wonder about the basic loyalties of the open immigration side. Their evasion of the Democrat problem and its historical reality is too stubborn and ongoing. It’s impossible to avoid concluding that they are aware of the problem but just don’t care to know, or just don’t care at all about the consequences and maybe even want it. I sincerely hope they prove me wrong.

  36. If the organization commits criminal acts, as did the CPUSA & as does Islam, and the Mexican is a member of that org, then, yes, he’s out in the cold.

    It’s like asking if Lucky Lucinano or Al Capone seek entry, ought they be denied? Or, as a citizen, ought they be deported? To the first, yes; to the second, in the case of Luciano, he was.

    If we’re talking about ideas, then no.

    Unless you wish it required that your own ideas meet some “All American” ideological litmus test.

  37. The flood of “illegals” was prompted by severely restricting immigration (lotteries and quotas) over the past ten or so years. ‘Illegal” immigration is a relatively recent issue.

    Now the Dems want to pardon wholesale all. The current problem would be corrected by repealing those restrictions, screening the “illegals” in country and sending them on their way; and by deporting those who are diseased and who members of a criminal org.

  38. Then soon after, yours will become irrelevant also.

  39. I’m not saying you are for national IDs. I’m saying that’s in your future if you severely restrict immigration, that one links with the other. Come travel the TX/AZ border towns to see the result on Americans of restricting the illegals.

    Post 1965-2008: four Republican presidents (Nixon/Ford; Reagan, Bush & Bush) to two Dems (Carter, Clinton). Pre-1965: JFK? FDR? Truman?

    Then the nation ought to have turned left back during the great immigrant waves of the 19th century.

  40. Cites?

  41. ” I’m saying that’s in your future if you severely restrict immigration…”

    But again, Operation Wetback disproves that.

    “Post 1965-2008:”
    Nice arbitrary cutoff.

    “Then the nation ought to have turned left back during the great immigrant waves of the 19th century.”

    It did turn left, as you just demonstrated. William Jennings Bryan was a wholly new phenomenon, and many or most of the subsequent Presidents of both parties were socialists or Prussian-type technocrats, including Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, and FDR.

    Since 1965, despite the significant (homegrown) free market intellectual revival in the early 1970s, all our Republican administrations have been Straussian, so there goes that argument. FYI, Leo Strauss was an immigrant and most of the Straussians were immigrants or second-generation.

  42. Okay, thanks for the clarification.

    However, I’m still puzzled because from what I’ve read of other open immigration advocates, like Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger and Craig Biddle, what you’ve said, option B, is not what they seem to be suggesting. They very much seem to imply option A, only barring terrorists and their supporters. I’ve heard Yaron Brook say that you cannot bar people solely due their ideology, only if they are are terrorists or criminals and all Harry Binswanger’s writing on open borders seem to imply this also.

    So can I ask if this is just your personal opinion on the matter, or choosing option B is the general “official” open immigration stance, and Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger etc. would also chose option B, a total ban on Islamic immigration as well.

  43. “If we’re talking about ideas, then no.”

    But Islam isn’t a “criminal organisation”, it’s a religion. It’s very much about “ideas.” If you’re banning ALL Muslims from entry, you’re doing so BECAUSE they have bad and dangerous ideas, because they follow the religion of Islam, not because they are part of any organisation. So you are in fact barring people because of ideas.

    Which is why I asked you if barring ALL Islamic religion from entry was just your personal take because if I recall correctly, Yaron Brook specifically said that you can’t bar people simply because of ideology, because of ideas.

  44. I don’t know what restrictions in the past ten years or so you are talking about, but there were 4.5 to 5 million illegal immigrants in the early 1990s, so the flood has been happening for a while.

    Your “solution” would add 2.2 million Democrat voters on net by my calculations. For comparison purposes, the margin of victory in the 2012 Presidential election was 5 million votes.

  45. Are you sure that Andrew Bernstein, the writer of this piece, would agree with your zero immigration policy for ALL Muslims? Or Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger, Craig Biddle and other prominent open immigration advocates? I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t…

  46. “Conservatives, . . .. have a vested, even if,
    perhaps, subconscious motivation to view Islam a ‘good faith hijacked by
    primitives.'”

    There are relatively few conservative Christians whom I’m familar with who think this about Islam. The harshest critics I know of Islam are conservative Christians such as Robert Spencer.

  47. That’s like arguing that we can do away with murder by legalizing murder.

  48. I have it on good authority that Brook does not believe in open immigration for Israel. I and others have asked via email Bernstein, Biddle and Binswanger and they have not even acknowledged our emails.

    I can only assume that Bernstein, Biddle and Binswanger believe it is so self-evident that Israel should have open immigration that a response is not needed.

  49. My, you have quite a negative view of the soul of Americans. You honestly don’t believe that at some point in this cascade of tyranny (which, I agree, will happen), Americans would subconsciously sense a profound danger and revolt against what they’ve been explicitly asking for (making them “temporary” after all)? If you don’t, then it’s already too late for this country anyway. Oh, wait, sorry: it’s not too late – because we have the REAL Americans on their way from Morocco and Guatemala to save the day.

    It’s funny how you’re willing to damn most of the American population as having a “European sense of life” – and yet you’re not willing to damn most of the people from Nicaragua or Pakistan who want to immigrate to America with the same thing. Just because someone would rather scrub toilets than fight for a war lord doesn’t necessarily make him a Rearden (instead of a Jim Taggart). Similarly, just because someone would rather write code instead of scrub toilets (ie: an American), that doesn’t necessarily make him the opposite (could it be that maybe – just maybe – such a person is honestly, even if mistakenly, under the impression that his inability to write code in “Obama’s economy” is a grave injustice – and he would rather suffer the pains of unemployment than concede to the notion that toilet scrubbing is his lot in life?).

    I just don’t buy the idea that a large enough portion of contemporary immigrants to this country DON’T regard toilet scrubbing as their natural lot in life (ie: have a “European sense of life”). I think too large of a portion do, and that they only come to America to do it because they’d rather scrub toilets in a land where they can also get free ER visits and bus fare is cheap (read: subsidized). Even though it has certainly slid in recent generations, if you don’t regard the fact that America remains the wealthiest and most peaceful nation on the planet as proof of the “American sense of life” of it’s people, then what – exactly – are you expecting these “great” immigrants to save? Even if 100% of the 150 million people who say they would come to America if they could were Reardens through and through, it still wouldn’t be enough (because, apparently, 310 million Americans already have their souls cooked). Or, if I’m putting words in your mouth – if only something like 150 million Americans have cooked souls – and if immigration to America is still just what it has always been (the process of pulling strictly the best people from the rest of the world), then why haven’t things in America IMPROVED ALREADY (or at least not continued to get worse)? Why haven’t such people inspired the portion of the native population that is still fundamentally American, and allied with it to outnumber and overtake the unAmerican parts of the native population (ie: the liberals and the nihilists, etc)?

  50. This is the sort of thing I hear day in day out from the far-left in Great Britain, about how we “lazy” Brits are so lucky to be enriched by hardworking Muslims and Africans.

    You really don’t expect to see the same racist, socialist lies coming out of the mouth of an Objectivist.

  51. Again, you really need to clarify if your views on Islamic immigration/deportation and open borders are your personal views and not that of Harry Binswanger, Andrew Bernstein, Yaron Brook etc.

    If you think their views are the same, please provide links to where either of them explicitly promotes a total ban on ALL Islamic immigration and the mass deportation of ALL Muslims.

    I think you’ll have a hard job because in every instance I’ve ever seen they only limit Islamic immigration to Jihadists. And there is absolutely NO talk of mass deportations.

    I really do think they’d be horrified that you’re linking open immigration to such measures as they seem to be arguing for the complete opposite.

  52. Instead of arguments against “open immigration” or aspects of “open immigration,” have any of those who are against it presented a comprehensive argument as to just what they advocate, and why, and just what they think should be done, with enough detail to give some idea of what it would require and what it would be like in practice?

  53. Yes. See my comments below.

  54. Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I’m looking for an essay, something relatively thorough in the manner of Harry Binswanger’s essay in support of open immigration (not a book in other words), but an essay (or a few) arguing for whatever it is that the opponents to open immigration support and why they support it, etc., not just comments in the back and forth comment section for an article, such as here.

    I’ll read your comments (and others again), but again I’m looking for a self-contained, well-reasoned and structured presentation for the anti-open-immigration position, argued for a positive position, as opposed to primarily criticizing the open immigration position, and one that spells out exactly what the opponents of open immigration are for and why, an essay that is addressed to a general audience in an attempt to explain the issue, the principles involved, etc., and convince them of the positive, again whatever that position is.

  55. That is not something that is within the province of philosophy, and because there are no Objectivists with any real policy-making power (and thus no personal incentive to create such a detailed thing), your search will probably be in vane. It should be created, however – if for no other reason than to take away the ability of those who would like to impeach their opponents through what pointing out the lack of such an essay insinuates.

  56. Thank you. Yes, I agree, it – such an essay – should be created, and it would be very helpful, just to have a whole argument, as opposed to piecemeal arguments, mostly in criticism of the open immigration position, in support of a position. Why you say that such is not within the province of philosophy, however, I do not understand. It would certainly be helpful to have data on immigration, but the foundation of any argument relating to what should be our immigration policy would be rooted and dependent on philosophy. But perhaps I misunderstand your point.

    I, for one, will not take the lack of such an essay or presentation as an insinuation against the anti-open-immigration position, but it will require that I read more of the comments (here for example) criticizing open immigration to get a better idea of just what that position is and what the arguments are.

  57. Yes, you misunderstand my point – but that’s entirely my fault. I wasn’t precise enough with my language. You are absolutely correct that literally everything is the province of philosophy, but what I meant was that philosophy alone will not give you the answer to every question (and thus “not every question is a philosophical one”, to put it in common parlance). I regard what America should do about immigration – today, in 2014, with so much deviation from the country’s founding principles – to be just such a question. Yes, of course such a question should have REFERENCE to philosophical principles (ie: the service of such principles should be any answer’s ultimate purpose), but that doesn’t mean that the PRINCIPLES ALONE will give you the answer. So, to put it succinctly: I seek the exact same state of affairs that the “open borders Objectivists” advocate, I simply disagree with them about how to achieve it (ie: I don’t regard simply saying “this is how it should be” as sufficient).

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Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the City University of New York. He lectures all over the world. He is a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute. He has written numerous books, including his novel, A Dearth of Eagles, recently published and available from Amazon.

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