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A little bit legal

The decision reached today on US immigration policy (as a compromise on Bush’s guest worker scheme) sounds… confusing. Not to mention expensive. Three categories of illegal immigrant, each slighly more illegal than the last…. What does it mean to be a little bit legal? Is that logically similar to being a little bit pregnant?

I tend to agree with Coyote in Arizona, who is tired of defending his borders:

To answer my premise that “immigration should be legal for everyone” with the statement that “it is illegal” certainly seems to miss the point (it kind of reminds me of the king of swamp castle giving instructions to his guards in Monty Python and the Holy Grail) The marginally more sophisticated statement that “it is illegal and making it legal would only reward lawbreakers” would seem to preclude any future relaxation of any government regulation.

A lot of attention is being paid to the question of whether or not allowing immigrants in the US to seek legal status after arriving illegally constitutes an amnesty program. Seems to me of little import what one calls it. Of far more concern to me is the fact that institutionalizing a drawn-out state of official limbo as an added feature of an already drawn-out immigration process is just a bureaucratic nightmare waiting to happen.

Shall we play “name that unintended consequence”? In this case, my guess is that, just like social welfare programs, this program could create a separate class of pre-citizens working into a de facto state of indentured servitude, having bartered rights for opportunity.

Any government that creates a legally sanctioned secondary class of citizen, even if that status is temporary, is headed for trouble. By definition, you cannot make a market of ‘inalienable’ rights. And a scheme that trades citizenship for labor is nothing but a fancy breed of feudalism.

The black market in labor, where individuals strike illegal deals over gardening, harvesting, sewing or childcare, may or may not be ethical, depending on your personal philosophy, but it is voluntary in a way that government-created and government-regulated secondary labor markets cannot be.

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36 comments to A little bit legal

  • TLB

    A few data points:

    According the GAO, the USCIS – which would administer the program – is unable to deal with fraud until 2010.

    At least one past terrorist (WTC1) was almost given an amnesty under a previous program.

    How voluntary is it for those who must foot the bill for all those deals you mention? California is spending $12 billion to build new schools and many of those attending are citizens of Mexico and the children of illegal aliens. Those who employ those illegal aliens get “cheap” labor, and everyone else in CA pays for the services their workers need.

    The Georgia illegal alien march was organized by a former Mexican Consul General. Did the government of Mexico order or allow him to do that? Was the Mexican government directly or indirectly involved in other marches?

  • guy herbert

    …it is voluntary in a way that government-created and government-regulated secondary labor markets cannot be.

    And flexible. The ‘black economy’ is mortar in the wall of state-corporatism. Without it the officially regular pieces wouldn’t fit and the whole thing would be in danger of collapse.

  • jon

    Stop! Or we shall ask you to stop again.

    Immigrants to the US know that these amnesty programs are like trains. If you miss this one, you can hop on board the next which will inevitibly come.

    America needs to slow the rate of immigration. The spontaneous demonstrations in the streets of LA with 500,000 holding Mexican banners, etc. should illustrate that they are not assimilated into American culture.

  • Julian Taylor

    The ‘black economy’ is mortar in the wall of state-corporatism. Without it the officially regular pieces wouldn’t fit and the whole thing would be in danger of collapse.

    May I suggest that as a Quote Of The Day? An excellent statement.

  • Mike Lorrey

    The claim by immigration proponents that illegals “pay taxes” is most certainly false. You don’t pay taxes without a SSN, which you can’t get if you are an illegal. Illegals work illegally because they believe that the US government took the western US from Mexico and doesn’t deserve the reward.

    While I normally applaud anyone who avoids paying taxes, I don’t if they avoid taxes and then turn around and parasitize on the system for free health care, education, etc. Screw them, they are the reason MY taxes are so high.

  • foreign devil

    One word: Unenforceable.

    It will be far too complex sorting out the categories or degrees of illegalness and the cop on the job will get fed up trying to determine who belongs where. It will clog up the courts with similar ambiguity leading to litigation (anything to drag it out, doncha know). But that’s just MHO.

  • Henry Hotspur

    Anyone who is so determined to get into a country they cling to the bottom of a train, paddle holding onto an oil drum or dodge countless pot shots from minuteman patrols can have a share of my tax dollar any time.

    It’s the pioneer spirit. They are detemined to start a new life for themselves. Free from the oppression of communism, fascism or plain old bad government that holds them in a state of poverty.

    With that attitude, they won’t be staying on benefit very long. Legal or illegal they will hustle out a living and make themselves independent of the state.

    Now while we are all paying taxes it makes sense to me that they do too – legalising these immigrants is the only pragmatic aproach.

  • Midwesterner

    Having cops enforce immigration rules is a terrible idea in any case.

    While I was in Phoenix a few months back there was a case on the news in which the point was made that the police (at least in one community) specifically avoid knowing someone’s immigration status. This way while investigating cases, they are able to get evidence from people that would otherwise be hiding from them.

    To do otherwise would make witnesses disappear, crimes not be reported, cause unnecessary chases for simple safety infractions, etc.

    Immigration must come exclusively under a separate agency, not the police or health or any other community policing department. It would make even a simple thing like restaurant safety inspections difficult guesswork.

  • veryretired

    It was an axiom of modern liberal welfare theory that there was no way to reform the myriad programs that made up the overall welfare culture without adopting such draconian measures that people would literally be dying in the streets of starvation and deprivation.

    Instead, a very successful reform program was based, partly, on verifying who the applicant was by taking their fingerprints, and requiring a photo identification.

    The welfare rolls mysteriously dropped significantly, in some areas by as much as 20-25%. The professional welfare bureaucrats were baffled, and various welfare advocates were reduced to sputtering that the demand for identification “frightened” many people away from applying.

    A friend of mine who had worked as a street police officer for many years laughed when we talked about this. He had never dealt with a street walker, or any of the shadowy underworld characters that police routinely have contact with, that didn’t have three or more wlefare cards from different jurisdictions, different states, in different names, all with duplicated benefits for child support, food, rent, medical care, etc.

    His explanation was simplicity itself—fingerprints and photo ID’s meant that the same person couldn’t have multiple identities, and therefore couldn’t collect several benefit checks each month from different welfare programs in different areas.

    A similar program needs to be instituted for anyone attempting to access any government benefits, of any kind. Identify yourself by fingerprints and photo identification or you get nothing. If you are found to be in this country illegally, back you go, no if’s, appeals, or legal stalling.

    If I can stop at some rural gas station on a cross country trip and swipe my Visa card for payment, and be accepted within a minute by the computer system that reads it, then there is ample computer capability available to monitor the identity and status of anyone attempting to take a sip off the public teat.

    The real difficulty that the political class is having designing a realistic program for dealing with the massive numbers of illegals coming across our southern border is the same, essentially, that they are having dealing with violent Islamic fascism—political correctness demands that no one actually say anything critical or offensive about a minority group, regardless of the actual situation.

    Thus, militant hispanic groups and militant moslem groups both immediately brand as racist any proposal which might actually have some real impact on their activities.

    In the case of the Mexican border, a proposal to fence it off to keep people out, and control our border, is immediately attacked as a violation of the rights of people to come into the US at will, similar to the Berlin wall, ignoring that the purpose of that edifice was entirely the opposite, i.e., keeping slaves from escaping the plantation.

    As I have said in another context, the next few generations of Americans will have several extremely complex ethical and legal issues to resolve. How to control our borders will certainly be one of them.

    My fundamental belief about this issue is that the only real solution is to be found in reforming the corrupt, statist, moribund societies that so many people are fleeing from, not by devising more and more repressive solutions here in the US.

  • Verity

    veryretired. It think that’s part of what NAFTA is for – reforming a moribund economy. It has made a great difference. There are plenty of handwritten signs in shop and restaurant windows saying “Help wanted”. Even things like American fast food not only hire people to make the pizzas, but lots of people who have their own motorcycles get work as deliverers. Even stores like WalMart have raised the level of customer service, which used to be a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. Now Mexican supermarkets are operating that compete at WalMart’s level of customer service. In other words, NAFTA has elevated people’s standard of living and expectations.

    I think that’s the way to go about it. Also, President Fox has been good for Mexico – partly because he’s conservative and charismatic and looks good on the world stage. (In other words, doesn’t look like a Third World thug.)

  • Quenton

    Everyone’s fears about NAFTA were that American bussineses would flow to Mexico for it’s lower labor costs. The problem is that no one forsaw the side effect of NAFTA.

    Most of Mexico’s high-end bussinesses fled Mexico for the US because of Mexico’s massive corruption and practice of only “leasing” land as opposed to full ownership. There were no longer any incentives to stay in Mexico since the trade restrictions were greatly diminished by NAFTA. Essentially, the free market prevailed, people just underestimated the value of a stable legal system and overestimated the value of cheap labor.

    Any bussiness that became even moderately successful packed up shop for greener pastures, giving Americans the high-end jobs and leaving the Mexicans with no high-end job prospects. An economist will tell you what happens when all of the top capital holders leave an economy. Total economic collapse has been the result.

    NAFTA opponents were correct that it would harm America, they were just wrong as to HOW it would do so. Illegal immigration has skyrocketed in the past decade. No one cared about the border 10 years ago when the Mexican economy was considered more stable and illegal immigration was relatively low.

    Now we have a veritable flood of immigrants who don’t assimilate and are activley engaged in advocating “taking back” all of the SouthWest to form their own country. This is will end up being the straw that turns American public opinion agains immigration.

    The sad part is that since the government keeps insisting that no problem exists despite the overwhelming outcry from citizens. When action is taken it will likely be very “extreme” because the problem has been un-addressed for so long. I hope it doesn’t come to that and our leaders actually grow some balls and quit dickering over the definition of “illegal” before things get that far out of hand.

  • Hank Scorpio

    The solution to illegal immigration isn’t to build fences, put the troops on the border, or any of the other measures touted by the idiots on the 24 hour cable news channels.

    Why focus on the workers when clamping down on the employers will do the trick just as well? Right now we’ve got a system where an employer can check on social security numbers fairly easily, only in it’s current state it’s voluntary. Make it obligatory, and enforce a 5 year prison sentence for any employer who circumvents this check and knowingly employs illegals. You’ll see illegal immigration dry up overnight and the false surplus in labor evaporate as well.

    We’ve seen real rates of pay trend downward for over 20 years now, which indicates an oversupply of labor, and not a shortage. You eliminate those people who are forcing those wages down and all of a sudden the jobs that illegal immigrants are currently taking will pay quite a bit more. Sure, it means that you’ll pay $.25 more for that head of lettuce, but it also means that the lowest skilled AMERICAN workers will start making more.

  • ResidentAlien

    Anything that “works” in the sense of stopping or substantially reducing the numbers of illegal immigrants will have a substantial negative effect on the economy. Firstly, whatever method is employed will cost a lot of taxpayer money. Secondly, if the illegal workforce is no longer available then total US economic output will be markedly lower.

  • veryretired

    The key to reforming Mexico’s social ills, and others’ also, is the creation of a solid, wide spread middle class. As I commented in another thread, foreign aid programs did nothing but encourage corruption.

    Private investment by ordinary, profit seeking businesses, run by normal people looking to produce a product in a legal manner, however, begins the process of allowing people to work, earn a dependable and reasonably fair wage, seek promotion, purchase numerous normal goods and services that previously were out of their reach, educate their children, and start thinking about their life as a process of development and improvement, instead of a hopeless repetition of their ancestors’ hardscabble existence.

    For all the lofty disdain by those high minded anti-business types, who have never wondered where their families’ next meal was coming from, the jobs being offered by NAFTA businesses are highly desireable in a society which has little domestic business development.

    So, yes, Verity, that is exactly what I’m talking about. The parallel development of a consciousness of being a productive citizen who has a right to demand non-corrupt governmental processes, of a property owner who expects to have routine services provided as per taxes paid, of a parent who expects the local school to be adequate and medical clinic to provide modern services.

    All these and more are the results of joining the middle class and acquiring that most bedrock of self identities: that of an honest, hard-working man or woman who pays their taxes and has a right to demand they be treated with respect.

    For over a century we have heard the endless rhetoric about “revolution” this and “revolutionary” that, always referring to some collectivist dream world in which the oppressed peasantry would be led to a promised land if only they surrendered all to the demands of the vanguard. And it was all hooey, and deadly hooey at that.

    The real revolution has been, and will be, the quiet development of large numbers of people who realize they have rights, especially a right to the fruits of their own honest labor.

    The middle class, much maligned by all the avant garde types, is, in fact, the cornerstone upon which a free, prosperous society can be built. Not utopia. Just a place for real people to live and work.

  • Verity

    veryretired – You are right. There are now Mexican construction workers – working for money that is sickeningly low – but are getting social security payments paid into their accounts. This is new. Because such is the explosion of the industry that the small construction/renovation companies worry about getting skilled labour. So they offer them full-time employment plus social security. God knows, it’s not much; but it’s an advance. When I write “It’s not much”, I mean it. But the skilled ones aren’t sitting outside the labour exchanges waiting to be picked up for any kind of day work, anything to put food on their table, so much any more.

    The people who have been working in my house will go on, as a team, to their next job, employed full time by the contractor. Work guaranteed. This is a huge step forward. It’s just so fine. Because Mexico is coming along, contractors are hanging onto their talented and knowledgable workers, as full-time crews.

    I love it! More wealth! Give humans everywhere free rein!

  • Some interesting questions you might like to reflect on (courtesy of VDARE):

    Dr. John Tanton, founder of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), has put together twenty-four questions about any guest worker program that need answering by guest worker advocates:

    1. Will spouses and children be able to accompany the guest worker? Just minor children, or adult ones as well?

    2. Will any or all of the above be able to demand government services in the language of their choice, per President Clinton’s Executive Order 13166? Will the workers be required to have at least a minimal working knowledge of English?

    3. Will the children be eligible to attend school, and if so, at whose expense? In what language(s) will they be educated?

    4. How will health care services – including birth control – be provided and paid for?

    5. Will any children born in the United States, automatically become U.S. citizens?

    6. Will the workers be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit? Will children remaining in the home country count as deductions when calculating the EITC benefit? How will the number of dependents claimed be verified?

    7. Will IRS and Social Security charges be deducted from their wages? Will they be eligible for Social Security benefits, either here, or later in their home country? How many quarters of work will be required for eligibility? (Six years equals 24 quarters, less than the 40 quarters required for U.S. citizens.)

    8. Will workers be permitted to marry? Will those who marry a U.S. citizen, or have a child while here, be able to stay beyond the six-year period? Would a man who fathers an “illegitimate” child qualify for citizenship on petition by the child when it reaches legal majority?

    9. How about Worker’s Compensation and unemployment?

    10. If the job for which the worker came to the United States evaporates or otherwise disappears, will workers be required to take a different job, or returned home? If relocation is required, who will pay the expense? Will they be eligible for unemployment? If so, who pays the premium?

    11. Will child labor laws apply, especially in the fields?

    12. Will the workers be able to purchase a car, and obtain a U.S. drivers license? If so, will they be required to purchase automobile insurance, and will this be available to them at a cost they can likely afford?

    13. Will children be eligible to attend college? If so, at what tuition rate: in-state or out-of-state?

    14. Will minimum wage laws apply? How about the Davis-Bacon Act?

    15. Will the workers be free to unionize to demand improved wages and conditions?

    16. Will there be requirements for immunizations, and initial and periodic health clearances? On what schedule? Who pays?

    17. Will workers come under any contract? If so, enforceable in what courts? Will public defenders be provided? At whose expense?

    18. What system of identification documents will be required?

    19. If conditions have not improved in the home country after six years, what are the chances that the guest workers will go home? Did the guest workers imported from Europe after World War II go home when they were no longer needed, or did they stay and send for their families to join them?

    20. Will workers and their adult spouses be able to vote in local elections?

    21. How will the workers (and families) be housed and fed?

    22. Will workers be permitted to travel home at will?

    23. Given these difficulties, won’t most employers of the illegal aliens still prefer illegals?

    24 Taken as a whole, isn’t this really just a system of Indentured Servitude?

    Discuss

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Anyone who is so determined to get into a country they cling to the bottom of a train, paddle holding onto an oil drum or dodge countless pot shots from minuteman patrols can have a share of my tax dollar any time.

    Nicely put. I recall Ed Crane, of the CATO Institute, said much the same thing, in a remark quoted in one of PJ O’Rourke’s books.

  • Anyone who is so determined to get into a country they cling to the bottom of a train, paddle holding onto an oil drum or dodge countless pot shots from minuteman patrols can have a share of my tax dollar any time.

    Henry Hotspur — the awful thing is that (despite my anti-immigrationism, and despite the fact that Johnathan agrees with you) you have a point. Even I myself cannot imagine ‘shopping’ some unfortunate, destitute, third world creature to the nearest customs official.

    But it costs nothing to play Mother Theresa, to make oneself a ‘better person’ by preaching compassion. Some day we will have to bite the bullet and steel our hearts and recognise that every country is also a collectively owned gated community. It is tragic, but the world is a tragic place.

    All of us will draw the line somewhere in our over-crowded world — even you, even Johnathan.

    Read Garrett Hardin’s classic article on the subject entitled Lifeboat Ethics: the Case against Helping the Poor, initially published in 1974.

    I would be delighted if any of you could convincingly refute his grim thesis — I mean refute it, not indulge in name-calling (shameful, abhorrent, repulsive . etc.. ). Or refer me at least to some author who has done so.

    P.S. Johnathan: like me, you seem to be somewhat sympathetic to Israel. Do you support that country’s immigration policies? That is, restricting entry to the Jewish people only, excluding other races and ethnies?

    Or should Israel set the example and open its borders, as many of the country’s sympathisers abroad advocate for their host country (e.g. USA, France, UK, Germany)?

    To ask that question is to answer it.

    I think we can all imagine the fate of a shipful of half-starving African refugees if their captain were foolish enough to head towards Tel Aviv — their vessel would either be towed off to the coast of the Gaza Strip, or they would end up at the receiving end of some accidental-on purpose Exocet rocket (followed by a sincere apology from the Israeli defence ministry).

    Would you blame the Israelis for doing so, as many of us would blame the Italians or Spanish in a similar case?

    Read the Hardin essay anyhow — it will at least provide food for thought!

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Eurostat, I think it is time you took your own advice and left. I really cannot be bothered to go through all the tortuous, patronising bs you come out with. Shove it.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    One final point I cannot resist: the Hardin “lifeboat ethics” piece reads like classic zero-sum economics to me, ie, bunk. One could have made exactly his argument 200 years ago (and no doubt people did). I don’t buy it. Of course Britain and other small countries have limited capacity for population growth — which is why I favour free markets to foster growth in the Third World.

  • Uain

    Well Johnathan, that was rather inhospitable!

    I just came back from San Jose, California last week and unless you have seen the chaos out there, you can’t appreciate it. There are those few people that want to become Americans and there are all the others who are here to suck off our welfare, hospital emergency rooms, schools, basically any government service they can glom onto.
    These types come to make money to send back to Mexico to keep that sorry place afloat and ameliorate the incompetence and corruption of Vincente Fox and his Kleptocracy. Mexico is a failed state minus the terrorism …. for now…. and our tolerence will only make the clean up of their corrupt government more painful and probably violent.
    In the end, the indentured class costs much more than we get back. The only real winners are the corrupt businesses that pay subpar wages and avoid taxes, and the corrupt politicians they own.

  • Uain

    Well Johnathan, that was rather inhospitable!

    I just came back from San Jose, California last week and unless you have seen the chaos out there, you can’t appreciate it. There are those few people that want to become Americans and there are all the others who are here to suck off our welfare, hospital emergency rooms, schools, basically any government service they can glom onto.
    These types come to make money to send back to Mexico to keep that sorry place afloat and ameliorate the incompetence and corruption of Vincente Fox and his Kleptocracy. Mexico is a failed state minus the terrorism …. for now…. and our tolerence will only make the clean up of their corrupt government more painful and probably violent.
    In the end, the indentured class costs much more than we get back. The only real winners are the corrupt businesses that pay subpar wages and avoid taxes, and the corrupt politicians they own.

  • Uain

    Well Johnathan, that was rather inhospitable!

    I just came back from San Jose, California last week and unless you have seen the chaos out there, you can’t appreciate it. There are those few people that want to become Americans and there are all the others who are here to suck off our welfare, hospital emergency rooms, schools, basically any government service they can glom onto.
    These types come to make money to send back to Mexico to keep that sorry place afloat and ameliorate the incompetence and corruption of Vincente Fox and his Kleptocracy. Mexico is a failed state minus the terrorism …. for now…. and our tolerence will only make the clean up of their corrupt government more painful and probably violent.
    In the end, the indentured class costs much more than we get back. The only real winners are the corrupt businesses that pay subpar wages and avoid taxes, and the corrupt politicians they own.

  • Uain

    Well Johnathan, that was rather inhospitable!

    I just came back from San Jose, California last week and unless you have seen the chaos out there, you can’t appreciate it. There are those few people that want to become Americans and there are all the others who are here to suck off our welfare, hospital emergency rooms, schools, basically any government service they can glom onto.
    These types come to make money to send back to Mexico to keep that sorry place afloat and ameliorate the incompetence and corruption of Vincente Fox and his Kleptocracy. Mexico is a failed state minus the terrorism …. for now…. and our tolerence will only make the clean up of their corrupt government more painful and probably violent.
    In the end, the indentured class costs much more than we get back. The only real winners are the corrupt businesses that pay subpar wages and avoid taxes, and the corrupt politicians they own.

  • Uain

    Sorry about that … problems witht the web.

  • Yes, Eurostat – despite your constant moaning about the perceived lack of intellectual acuity of some Samizdatistas and members of the commentariat – as well as the bizarre, pathological dislike of Johnathan Pearce you seem to have acquired – prosecuting an argument by saying “read this book, stupid” is going to earn you very little credibility around these parts. Can you please attempt to post a cogent rationale and stop wasting our time and Perry’s bandwidth? Thanks.

  • Matt O'Halloran

    “prosecuting an argument by saying ‘read this book, stupid’ is going to earn you very little credibility around these parts.”

    That I CAN believe. Libboes are frozen in a 1950s mindset, theorising in a vacuum about the sort of hard realities Uain reports about above. Very little has disturbed their cherished principles since ‘Atlas Shrugged’ came out.

    Pearce gives no indication amid his multifarious ruderies of ever having read a serious book all the way through. Nor does Pope Perry. They tout ‘The Open Society’ on their front page, but Popper was a social democrat and believer in ‘piecemeal social engineering’ by the State. Burke was praised here the other day, but he would have found the libboes’ attempt to float free of Man’s natural limitations most objectionable.

    The whole ambiance of this site is ahistorical, uncultured and unscholarly– another aspect of its permanent adolescence. Overgrown teen boys don’t go in for the hard slog of reading, and they do lack the sense of how the past governs the present whch comes with the enforced wisdom of parenthood. All they care about is crying up windy abstractions such as the Individual and the Marketplace: rationalising a wish to do whatever they like without being trammelled by big bad biology or tradition or society, picking and choosing their loyalties in a deracinated ‘metacontext’.

    This approach to politics is guaranteed to fail. Like all reductiones ad absurdum, libertarianism is for impotent, sidelined grousers.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Matt, where have I denied the existence of genetic, climatic, environmental, cultural, economic or other influences on how human beings think and behave? Where? Pretty much any great liberal thinker around would fully accept those influences, but — and this is the crucial bit — deny that these things completely undermine the notion that people are able to act consciously and take decisions based on their own free will. That is the point that needs to be driven home.

    Take genetics. It is a fascinating subject, but I utterly dispute the idea that somehow the understanding of our genetic makeup means we are predestined, as the Calvinists used to think, to live a certain way. Knowledge is power, and the more we know about the world and our place in it, the more we can shape our own lives as we want. So greater knowledge can be liberating.

    Edmund Burke was one of the greatest denouncers of the abuse of government power in history, and I very much doubt he would have had a lot of time for people using science for oppressive ends.

    Uain, use the comments properly please. Making a point 4 times does not make it more credible.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The whole ambiance of this site is ahistorical, uncultured and unscholarly– another aspect of its permanent adolescence. Overgrown teen boys don’t go in for the hard slog of reading, and they do lack the sense of how the past governs the present whch comes with the enforced wisdom of parenthood.

    Patronising claptrap. I very much doubt you have a clue as to my reading habits or the level of erudition of people who write here. Sneering is not an argument.

  • Yes. I’ve noted it before – surely O’Halloran has better things to do with his time.

  • The American and Mexican economies are integrating.

    It is a fact that the children of immigrants are being taught the American Constitution. Which in my opinion is a good idea.

    In fact I’d make knowledge of the American Constitution a requirement for work visas and even regular visitors.

    Put them on the road to citizenship before they even cross the border.

  • Genetics is not a blueprint. It is more a set of guidelines.

    How the body and brain develop is greatly influenced by environment. Pre-bith as well as post birth.

    Smoke the right amount of pot and the body creates new brain cells as a result. The adaptation is continuous.

  • AFAIK, the Minutemen have never fired a shot at anyone on the US/Mexican border. Mexican drug smugglers, coyotes and even Mexican army patrols have. Isn’t it a bit better to congratulate those who show their commitment to the rule of law by going through the legal steps to get into the USA than to gush about the adventurousness and pluck of those who break the law? And, as Verity points out, the Mexican economy is not as bad as everyone thinks. And it’s getting much better. The illegals come to the US to get free services and easy money. How is that admirable?

  • Henry Hotspur

    I got round to reading Hardin’s pamphlet. By trying to phrase everything as a metaphor his argument lacks the credibility of the realistic situation. “Imagine the rich countries are a lifeboat” – do me a favour! Or “sometimes liberals mix up the spaceship metaphor with the lifeboat metaphor” – trust me there is only one person mixing metaphors here – and doesn’t it make Mr Hardin sound ridiculous.

    It is basically a non academic, emotional rant (words like swamped / drowning / sunk) dressed up with non evidence based pseudo statistics and a liberal dose of scaremongering. The generalisations about the populations of certain countries are truly ignorant and xenophobic.

    The plain economics of the situation 2006 is that the more developed nations require mass immigration in order to maintain growth. Letting people into the ‘lifeboat’ is not the issue – ‘sinking’ is not the danger – not having sufficient willing workforce to ‘row’ (i’m sorry) is the problem.

    The thing that pisses everyone off to the point they feel so desperate they go prowling with a shotgun (STOP IT – you are as barking as the dopey environmental lobby who think the end is nigh) is that the whole system is a mess.

    This is because politicians are too afraid to openly admit we need immigrants, which is stopping them from getting to the important, more practical question of the criteria for entry.

    Potential immigrants are going to wait for politiciansd to sort out the problem – they are going to get on with it and try and improve their lives.

    Once they arrive my above point stands – legalisation is the only pragmatic approach.

  • Millard Foolmore

    29pc of US prison inmates are illegal aliens. They’re not inside for that, but for what they’ve done since invading.

    Hotspur: “The plain economics of the situation 2006 is that the more developed nations require mass immigration in order to maintain growth.”

    Tell that to the Japanese. You don’t maintain growth by ‘replacing’ retiring educated white Boomers with Mexican Indians who can’t and often won’t speak English.

    Immigration as a panacea for economic slowdown is like mainlining heroin to cheer yourself up. The incomer beckons to his brood and in total they cost more in welfare over his sojourn than they inject into the economy. Next to oil, dollar remittances are Mexico’s second highest category of import earner. Vicente Fox has his nerve lecturing America about open borders while fortifying his own to stop incursions by other Central Americans.

    Besides, most white people would glady trade GDP growth (which seems to stick to the rich’s fingers more and more) for social tranquility. Most whites don’t need nannies or lawn sprayers either. A lot of blue collar guys sure need the jobs that are being outsourced overseas or stolen by immigrants who work for pennies.

    90pc of Americans oppose amnesties for lawbreakers and their freeloading relations, and that was why even the bought and cowardly Senate had to give El Presidente Jorge notice to drop it. On top of the mounting disillusionment with the war, this issue is the dealbreaker between Bush II and his heartland GOP constituency. The MSM did such a good job of keeping La Raza off the radar that the big rally in LA was the first time Flyover Country grasped what it’s up against: armies of disaffected Mexicans who think the South West belongs to them.

  • Henry Hotspur

    WOW! You’ve out Hardin-ed Hardin on 1) crappy metaphors 2) xenophobia (you’ve gone ‘out the park’ racist) 3) making up your own statistics.

    Heroin metaphor – emotional and wrong. Because of our demographics (too many old people not enough offspring) without immigration labour shortages increase the cost of labour which cranks inflation. Asides the financial cost many manual low skill positions can’t be filled without immigrant labour as the local workforce feel these jobs are below them.

    You can’t replace an educated boomer (regardless of their skin colour – as you seem to imply only white people are educated) with someone who doesn’t have the necessary skills. No one would advocate any different, but there are plenty of low skill positions that add value to the community and the economy. Legal immigrants who work in these sectors are a plus to any country – they contribute just as much as US born employee.

    “Most whites don’t need nannies or lawn sprayers” – again your use of “whites” is annoying and betrays your belief that the US is a white country, where whites should get priority over other ethnic groups. Wake up man! It’s 2006.

    And who the hell are you to decide what domestic staff people choose to employ? So long as they employ people legally it’s none of your god damn business you interfering fascist.

    29pc of prison inmates are illegal aliens. That’s a whopper. The last data showed that the highest figure for illegal aliens incarcerated was in California where they made up 17% of the prison population. This is still massively high as illegal aliens make up only 3% of the population (as far as we know – of course we’ll never know) in California.

    That in itself is a big argument for legalising these people. Legal citizens can be monitored. Get them working, contributing to the economy. Encourage them to become property owners – the biggest crime deterrent there is. By socially excluding these people (which is basically what you’re advocating) they are more likely to resort to crime and the black economy – no wonder they end up in prison, where they a certainly a net loss to society. In fact keeping them in jail is more daft than having immigrants on welfare.