It’s time for Democrats to get smart on immigration

UPDATE: QED, a tweet from this morning: (h/t Grania)

 

As a caravan of several thousand people moves north from Central America through Mexico, aiming to enter the United States, we—and I mean Democrats and liberals—need to reassess our stand on immigration. Trump’s policy, of course, is unconscionable, as he uses the fear of immigrants to whip up nativism, and the way our Republican government treats many immigrants (including having their children taken away) is reprehensible.

But all too often Democrats seem to favor what looks like fully open borders—a stand that, while looking empathic, is unsustainable. To see this, imagine if the U.S. didn’t stop anyone who wanted to enter, and then gave everyone a path to citizenship.  This holds not just for the U.S., but for other countries as well, all of whom have regulations about who should be admitted and who should be given citizenship.

I’ve discussed this with my liberal friends: not extreme Leftists but good, lifelong liberals, some of whom teach English to immigrants or work for immigrants’ rights. When I ask some of them what kind of immigration policy they want, and if they want fully open borders, they’re stymied or they waffle. This is true of many Democrats as well.

Among those who are marching north to the U.S. are those truly fleeing violence. Others seeking entry to America, like dissidents, are afraid of what will happen to them if they return to their home countries. We need to have provisions to accept these people, as America has historically been a refuge for those politically oppressed, and part of the greatness of our country is its status as a melting pot. I can’t even begin to describe the contributions immigrants have made to our culture.

But (and you may disagree) I don’t think it’s fair to equate these people with those who seek entry into America simply because they want a better material life and more opportunities. And there are many of these, as you can see here. It would be lovely if we could accommodate them all, but I don’t think any rational person thinks that is possible.

There may be ways to allow some of those in who are simply seeking more opportunities—a lottery comes to mind—but we simply can’t let them all in, or much of the impoverished world will simply empty out into the U.S. No nation can sustain that kind of burden, structurally or financially.

Yet how often have you seen Democrats, or the progressive media, propose meaningful and substantive immigration regulations? I see tons of articles and people decrying Trump, rightfully, for his draconian stand on immigration and his deploying the “fear of immigrants” to mobilize political support. I may have missed “reform” articles in the liberal media, but my own impression, which I get from reading the liberal media and from talking to my liberal friends, is that the Left isn’t keen to talk about how we can regulate the flow of immigrants into the U.S. Such discussion looks illiberal. Indeed, one gets the impression that they simply want open borders. (n.b.: I’m sure I’m missing some proposed Democratic reforms here!)

One thing is for sure: if the Left doesn’t propose humane, substantive, and meaningful immigration reform, even if they can’t enact it in the face of Republican intransigence, Trump will not only control the narrative, but he and his Republican running dogs will make more gains. Trump is already whipping up fear about the big caravan now marching north.  So long as Democrats and the Left sweep the problem of immigration—and Americans’ concern about it—under the table, then Trump will make hay from the issue.

I really don’t know how to reform immigration: that’s above my pay grade. But I welcome readers’ comments.

(From the New York Times): Migrants heading from Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, to Tapachula on Sunday. Credit: Pedro Pardo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

355 Comments

  1. Chuck Schuler
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I hope for a future with no borders. Likely though now is not the time. I see this only getting worse with global warming induced human habitat loss. To me most of the current issues with south and Central America are fallout from our continued war on drugs. The black markets and corruptions created by the massive profits kill real democratic growth. These are our war refugees. half the country doesn’t see it that way. So that’s a problem and you are right it’s likely a gop winning platform. Longer term Prevention is cheaper than reaction. To get ahead of this we need to stop the war on drugs and move to regulation, get better and more free trade and encourage development of infrastructure with our knowledge of climate controls in place. Short term we should help create refugee camps along the way and encourage immigration into other neighboring countries. All of us only have one planet to be on.

    • Zaphod
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Do you not think that a world without borders would end up widening the gulf between poor and wealthy geographical locations as people flock to the most affluent areas?

      Open borders/globalism is the wet dream of corporations, driving down wages and eradicating pesky national identities and the accompanying resistance. Maintaining national identity and control of population demographics is one of the best bulwarks against the reduction of the masses to cheap, unprotected labour units.

      I suspect that the Democrats will not want to stop mass immigration because it serves them politically. If you can’t persuade the people to vote for you, bring in lots of people who will. Cynical, but it works. It has already worked in parts of Europe, particularly London.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        Coming from Corporate America, I dispute this “wet dream” meme. Same with Dems wanting immigrants so they can become Dem voters. Yes, the Dems will welcome voting by legal immigrants but the idea that they want open borders for this purpose is just ludicrous and a right-wing fantasy.

        • Rita
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Posted November 2, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Here on this very site, I have myself read no less than 30 comments (submitted by various pro-Democrat readers) about “Trump’s white base shrinking” and how good this is.

          • Posted November 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

            Yes, that’s true. But that’s different than Dems attempting to rig the immigration system for that purpose. First, illegal immigrants can’t (and don’t) vote, so we are only talking about legal immigrants. It is hard to imagine how the Dems could game the legal immigration policy to favor future Democrat voters. That would be the kind of cheating (gerrymandering, voter suppression) that the Republicans usually indulge in.

            • Posted November 2, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

              Many legal immigrants are pardoned illegal ones, or children or other family members of illegal immigrants. By refusint to take a stand against illegal immigration, the Democrats secure their votes today and guarantee an inflow of future votes.

            • Diane G
              Posted November 3, 2018 at 12:22 am | Permalink

              +1

      • Christopher
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        “Let me tell you all about the evils of globalism after I finish my cup of Sumatran-grown coffee and my Honduran-grown banana…”

        Globalization, baring some horrific prolonged global catastrophe, is here to stay. And I for one am I’m with that. I like my French wine, Belgian ale, Dutch cheese, Japanese automobile, Central American out-of-season fruit, African/Asian/Central American coffee, Asian/Indian tea, British books (thank you eBay and Amazon)… hey, that doesn’t mean we don’t have room for improvement, I mean, I love my southeast Asian or Indonesian affordable clothing, Chinese shoes and iPhone, but I also love unions (here and abroad) and all the workers’ rights they can bring with them. No amount of reactionary anti-capitalism from the leftistas or xenophobia from the alt right will stop globalism or bring back those mythical golden days of yore. If it’s broke, fix it, don’t trash it completely. I’m with you, Chuck. Cosmopolitanism is the way forward. ✌️

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it is a big win in my book. When we let in immigrants and travel the world ourselves, cultures get exchanged (appropriated?). This increases connections between people, companies, governments, etc. which helps to prevent wars, increases markets (especially for the US which exports so much of its culture and technology).

          Sigh. If only we had a smart president. They wouldn’t go far wrong doing the opposite of Trump.

          • Eric Grobler
            Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            ” This increases connections between people, companies, governments, etc. which helps to prevent wars”

            Europe was pretty connected in 1914.

            • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

              Not anywhere near as integrated as it is today, It is very unlikely an EU country will go to war with another one. World economic integration has doubled since just 1970:

              http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/trade/tables/exports2.htm

              It’s no guarantee of course. Even would-be dictators like Trump avoid rocking the boat if it is perceived as bad for business.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

                Ok, another try,
                * Serbs and Croats were interconnected in yugoslavia.
                * Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda.

                I can also argue that if the Serbs were an independant nation in 1914 the war would not have started.

                Many African countries are unstable because the colonial powers did not respect ethnic borders.

              • Brit
                Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

                How do you know he is a “would-be dictator”?

              • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

                Based on his love for other dictators and hints that he drops, such as his “maybe we’ll try that here” referring to China’s raising Xi Jinping to “President for Life”.

              • Brit
                Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

                The Chinese thing was a joke.
                The praise of dictators is just part of his style of doing deals. He insults them when they are insulting and/or generally not cooperating, then praises them when its looks like they might comply. Seems to be working with the North Korean dictator for Instance.
                It is basically banter, which is a very effective way of becoming quickly familiar with people that one needs to get on with for the purpose of doing deals. Trump seems to be an expert at it.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 24, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

                What deals has Trump expertly closed during his presidency? Are any of them beneficial rather than say the smoke & mirrors double talk, of his dealings with Kim Jong-un [which isn’t a deal yet given there’s no framework, dates, commonality of definitions etc]?

              • Brit
                Posted October 25, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

                I was referring to his expertise at banter.
                I don’t think the apparent good progress of the Korean negotiation is “smoke and mirrors”…am I right in thinking there has been no missile testing since Trump began bantering with Kim Jong-un? If I am correct then that’s pretty concrete isn’t it?

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

                It’s following the pattern of all previous negotiations. NK strings everyone along, pauses missile testing and other detectable signs of aggression for a little while, fooling everyone into thinking that they’re making progress. All the while they are still working on their nukes. The difference with Trump is that he’s actually ok being fooled and is willing to go along with the ruse. As are you, evidently.

              • Brit
                Posted October 25, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

                Other positives from the Korean negotiation are release of prisoners, return of the remains of the American dead (Don’t Know if this one is just a prospect or an actuality yet)and the allowance of a short reunion between some of the Korean relatives separated by the war.

              • Posted November 2, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

                Indeed, a war between any two EU member states is unlikely, but I wouldn’t be much surprised if, as a result of uncontrolled immigration, a civil war breaks in a EU country.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

              @Brit:

              “I don’t think the apparent good progress of the Korean negotiation is “smoke and mirrors”…am I right in thinking there has been no missile testing since Trump began bantering with Kim Jong-un? If I am correct then that’s pretty concrete isn’t it?”

              The last weapons test was 13 months ago – the weapons test site displayed signs of being beyond further use after six detonations there. Kim Jong-un parleyed the closure of a useless site [no cost to his weapons program] into concessions from the Americans. You may recall western journalists were transported to the site to observe entry tunnels being blown up. All smoke & mirrors Brit. I believe that there are other tunnels on the other side of the site anyway by which NK can extract their site equipment [huge site]

              A real convo with the king of banter & his colleagues would involve discussions about the date NK allows hundreds of international weapons inspectors into the country to audit the nuclear facilities & systems. Never happening.

              A real convo with the king of banter would involve the sharing of a complete list of sites, weapons etc. This will never happen – if anything is produced it will be a partial list that can’t possibly be audited. But Trump doesn’t need it to happen – there only has to be an impression of progress so that Trump can brag about his statesmanship to the World – a “denuclearisation” of NK & SK [Kim Jong-un wants all non-Korean military out of SK] is a 30 year project & will cost high billions or trillions of dollars mostly paid by the USA. Trump is saying nothing about that of course – very little banter in fact.

              A real convo with the king of banter would hit on the topic of the continuing NK weapons program – the IAEA reported recently that activity is unabated & construction of facilities at other known sites continues.

              A real convo with the king of banter would be me asking the Orange Pumpkinhead why the blockade is being allowed to fail. The at sea transfer of oil, coal, technology & luxury goods to NK merchant ships swerves around the blockade & nobody seems to care.

              The real action is SK & NK changing their status which will almost certainly lead to an official declaration of peace. Then Kim Jong-un will be having private chats with SK about how to get the Americans out of SK – something that both China & Russia want too. That is the real game being played & the king of banter isn’t a party to any of that.

              Trump is being expertly played by multiple nations who are aware of his ego & his business need for cash flow. It’s really that simple.

      • Steve Pollard
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Evidence for your comment about London, please.

      • Posted November 2, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        I agree.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      “I hope for a future with no borders. ”

      I hope for a future without crime, hate, jealousy, poverty, and pollution!

      Most of all I hope for a planet with fewer upright apes!

    • max blancke
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Because people are people, we will always have borders.
      The need for them has been apparent to people for many thousands of years. It has taken a great deal of social progress to get to where the borders are mostly far away, and we rarely need to fortify our homes or towns.
      Most people who share your “no borders” optimism live in a high trust society, and believe that is a normal default human condition.
      It is not, and not because of imperialism or the war on drugs. Those same places were just as messed up before.
      War refugees travel to a safe country. There are lots of safe countries in the Americas. Why does the solution to all global problems seem to be relocation to the US or Western Europe? Why no caravan to Argentina or Chile?

      • Brit
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Really good points. Thank you.

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    “I can’t even begin to describe the contributions immigrants have made to our culture.”

    This – to me – conjures the argument against abortion- something like “what if Beethoven had been aborted.” Obviously that’s bogus reasoning.

    In this immigration case then, I don’t think anyone can dispute that immigrants have become heroes in the US. Sadly then, I think it has to be set aside – for not every immigrant will become a hero.

    And with that, I drown myself because I’m not going to be able to go to the mat over it.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      I see your point but I think it is mistaken. You are right, the Beethoven/abortion reasoning is definitely bogus. The “immigrants have made great contributions” argument is based on fact with rational arguments behind it. First, it takes great determination and self-sacrifice to give up one’s birth country and move to a strange country. Therefore, immigration is a selection process that tends to pick the kind of people that succeed in starting businesses, etc. They also tend to be more educated and intelligent in order to see the value of being in the US. Of course, our selecting only the best immigrants would be part of that. Then there’s the case of people who send their kids to US universities for an education. This is a huge win for the US. There should be a path for graduates to stay in the US. US economic strength going forward will rely on a smart, educated population. We need to foster education for our own citizens and work to keep those that come here for an education.

      • Adam M.
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        For immigrants as a whole, and those who pass our legal immigration process, this definitely seems to be true. But it doesn’t seem to me that illegal immigrants are especially well-educated or intelligent, or make great contributions to the nation. They also commit crime at an elevated rate (unlike legal immigrants who commit less crime than the average American).

        • JohnE
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          Yes, illegal aliens commit crimes at rates higher than legal aliens, but at a rate far less than citizens.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/19/two-charts-demolish-the-notion-that-immigrants-here-illegally-commit-more-crime/?utm_term=.97e584bbe46e

          also

          https://www.cato.org/blog/murder-mollie-tibbetts-illegal-immigrant-crime-facts

          This means that, statistically, if you were worried about crime, you could do more to reduce it by kicking out 100 citizens than you would by kicking out 100 illegal aliens.

          That said, I’m not condoning illegal immigration. People should obey the law and I’m certainly not in favor of open borders. I’m just trying to dial down the irrational “fear factor” that the GOP uses to manipulate its credulous followers.

          • Eric Grobler
            Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            “This means that, statistically, if you were worried about crime, you could do more to reduce it by kicking out 100 citizens than you would by kicking out 100 illegal aliens.”

            That is of course not feasible, thus I see no argument for illegal immigration.

            • JohnE
              Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

              I’m not sure what you saw in my comment that looked like an argument “for illegal immigration.” Were you just put off by my suggestion that illegal immigration wasn’t quite the harbinger of death and destruction that Trump makes it out to be.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

                “Were you just put off by my suggestion that illegal immigration wasn’t quite the harbinger of death and destruction that Trump makes it out to be.”

                I am put off by having Trump’s shadow in every thread.

                Can’t we dicuss the pros/cons of immigration like social scientists?

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          That’s why we need a migrant worker program.

          BTW, I believe there is research that says illegal immigrants actually commit less crime than the population as a whole, presumably because they want to keep their heads down to avoid deportation.

          • max blancke
            Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            It is about methods of reporting.
            According to DOJ, in 2017, 26% of inmates in federal prisons are aliens.
            It is hard to compare that with percentages of foreign citizens residing in the US, because those numbers are not known with any level of confidence.

            • JohnE
              Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

              I think I found the website where you saw the 26% figure — something that calls itself the “Center for Immigration Studies.” I thought it was interesting that although the headline refers to 26%, that figure then appears nowhere in the article. Instead, it starts with the statement that 21% of the prison population is “alien,” but then starts paring that figure down by saying only 2/3 of those are illegal aliens, and some portion of that 2/3 is in just for immigration offenses, and then it gets even foggier.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        “I see your point but I think it is mistaken. You are right, the Beethoven/abortion reasoning is definitely bogus. The “immigrants have made great contributions” argument is based on fact with rational arguments behind it.”

        I apologize but I am hooked on finding parallels in different topics – “it helps me” :

        What is abortion for? Abortion relieves families and societies from costs they cannot afford. There are no predictions – or, more to the point, prophesies (thank you David Deutsch) of the outcomes for births that anyone can get in writing.

        What is immigration for? I don’t know. As you argue, and as I don’t think anyone seriously disputes, it is worth supporting immigration. It is valuable. but there’s got to be some limit to how many individuals a country can absorb. And as with births/abortions, any speculation as to the outcome is prophesy, not prediction. We simply have no idea. This is Steve Ballmer’s latest thing – enormous amounts of data does not a prediction make.

        Obviously I’m in deep water here.

    • Posted November 2, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Immigrants are not just added individuals to the country. They bring elements of their old culture. When immigration is controlled, this is beneficial, because it can help the host nation get rid of the excesses of its own culture. E.g. a very dutiful culture may benefit from a few easy-going immigrants with a taste for life’s pleasures, while a culture with little work ethics may benefit from hard-working immigrants to set up businesses.

      When my country was liberated from Ottoman rule in 1878-1885, we had very little capital and quite a backward culture. Immigrants from more advanced countries were invited as investors and experts. They were few, but they made an enormous difference.

  3. Historian
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    It is likely that the Democratic Party’s waffling on the immigration issue will result in a net loss of votes as Trump stokes up white fears. Because the Democratic Party is composed of a coalition of different identity groups, as opposed to the Republican Party being composed of one big white identity group, it can’t risk offending any one of its constituent groups. In my view, the Democratic Party would be better off acknowledging that those in the party who advocate for “open borders” are in a minority and that it repudiates such a policy while calling for a sensible policy that allows enough immigration that the country could absorb while recent immigrants are encouraged to assimilate. Again, the Party must be prepared that certain of its elements will be aghast at something so sensible, but so be it.

    In 2017, Peter Beinart, a liberal, published an extensive article in The Atlantic, which criticizes the Democratic Party on the immigration issue and offers recommendations for a sensible immigration policy.

    He concludes with these remarks:

    “In 2014, the University of California listed melting pot as a term it considered a “microaggression.” What if Hillary Clinton had traveled to one of its campuses and called that absurd? What if she had challenged elite universities to celebrate not merely multiculturalism and globalization but Americanness? What if she had said more boldly that the slowing rate of English-language acquisition was a problem she was determined to solve? What if she had acknowledged the challenges that mass immigration brings, and then insisted that Americans could overcome those challenges by focusing not on what makes them different but on what makes them the same?”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/the-democrats-immigration-mistake/528678/

    I do not believe that Republicans resist primarily immigration from south of the border because of economic reasons, such as that these immigrants would take jobs away from Americans. They oppose such immigration because of cultural and racial reasons. They view brown people as inherently incapable of become “true” Americans. This view of the dominant majority towards “different” people is American as apple pie. In the 19th century, the Protestant majority viewed Catholics from Europe as inherently incapable of becoming Americans. The Catholics proved them wrong and their white skins eased their path to acceptance by the majority. Since brown people cannot change their skin color, they have a tougher task. This is why rapid assimilation is the best strategy for acceptance. Democrats made a mistake by emphasizing multi-culturalism as something inherently good. It is not. As is the situation now in the United States and other countries, the presence of groups with very different cultures create instability and open the path to violence and authoritarianism. Ultimately, a country where must people believe in the same shared values is necessary for its stability and the prosperity of all its citizens. The Democratic Party’s failure to acknowledge this opened the door for Trump and the far right wing. It may cost them dearly in this election since it could mobilize the Republican base. White, conservative America is fighting a losing battle against demographics. But, they are fighting tooth and nail to retain power. Only through assimilation can this country hope to have social peace restored.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Personally, I’ve never heard a leading Democrat actually advocate for complete “open borders.” That’s a myth, largely perpetuated by Donald Trump, who whipped the crowd at one of his rallies a couple weeks ago into a lather by making the completely bogus claim that every Democratic senator had signed onto (the non-existent) “Open Borders Bill” drafted by California senator Diane Feinstein.

      It was all gibberish, of course, but his crowd ate it up, and nary anyone called him on it, since it got lost in the avalanche of all his other lies.

      • Historian
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        I think you’re right that no leading Democrat has called for open borders if by that you mean anybody can enter the country at any time for any reason. The right wing has attempted to pin such a position on retiring Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez, although I haven’t been able to find where he advocated such a thing.

        There are probably some fringe elements on the left that support open borders, but interestingly I have found that some on the right support it. See this article by Jeffrey Miron. I assume he is on the right (I could be wrong) since he is affiliated with the libertarian Cato Institute.

        https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/07/31/open-borders-help-economy-combat-illegal-immigration-column/862185002/

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        You are right, Dems politicians don’t advocate for open borders but they allow the meme to stick from lack of a coordinated response. They know they don’t want open borders but seem to not know what they want in its place.

        • Mark R.
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

          I wish America could come together and at least fall back on a position of compassion. Compassion is the biggest loser in this Trump administration. “Let’s create hate for political power” is the Trump mantra and there’s the strategy. How low will this country go to follow their corrupt, lying, thieving, naked leader? Republicans lead the way, Mitch the gravedigger still sleeps at night. There is no shining hill under the hill, but there will be a reckoning.

          • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

            I agree. It still amazes me the number of followers Trump still has. They must be listening to a different Trump than I am or live in a very different world.

            I believe the main reasons Trump voters get called racists and/or xenophobes is that they really have no other reasons for following such a stupid liar. Pretty much all of them seem to avoid clearly saying what they see in him. They simply give him cover for his bad behavior. Saying that they can ignore his bad behavior, callousness, etc. still leaves the question open as to why they voted for him.

            • Brit
              Posted October 26, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

              How about: people voted against Clinton rather than for Trump. She displayed her totalitarian tendencies when she scapegoated the Islam critic for her Benghazi incompetence. Also, when she promised to use “good old fashioned shaming” to silence Islam critics because she was hamstrung by the 1st Amendment. Her “deplorables” comment just sealed it for Trump. People need to learn that “racist” and “bigot” just don’t work anymore. Too over-used.

              • Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

                Talk about scapegoating, Repugs tried very hard to scapegoat Clinton on Benghazi but none of it stuck after several investigations. Besides the terrorists, Congress was most at fault for not funding security improvements at our embassies.

                I didn’t like Clinton either but it was for fairly minor things compared to the bombast that is Trump. While some may have voted out of Trump ignorance or Hillary hate, many voted for Trump because they like a fiery strongman that promises to make white people great again.

              • Brit
                Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

                Obviously it did stick. Benghazi was a big issue in the election. Im glad there was an attempt at publicly questioning her but unfortunately she was very evasive during the questioning. As I remember at one point she had the gall to say something like “What does it matter?”
                The big mistake she made though was blaming the you tube video for the terrorist attack and then cravenly paying for adverts in Islamic countries apologising for the video, then getting the video maker imprisoned.
                You seem to be making the same mistake as her in assuming that Islam critics are motivated by evil intentions.

              • Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

                Her “What does it matter” sounds bad when taken out of context. I don’t follow your statement about Islam critics. I am no fan of religions. Regardless, there’s absolutely no point in pursuing the Benghazi affair any further. She was cleared of wrongdoing several times. Somehow that is not enough for Republicans who continue to chant “Lock her up.” They seem to concoct conspiracy theories and then repeat them until they forget that they created themselves.

              • Brit
                Posted October 26, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

                It’s not about “not liking religions”. Too bring our conversation back on topic, it’s about the danger of importing large amounts of Muslims and then being naive about the political power a very significant small portion of them will exert. Hopefully your 1st Amendment will stand up to the pressure, but too many people especially college students, seem to have bought into the canard that criticism of Islam is anti-Muslim bigotry, for that to be at all certain.

              • Diane G
                Posted October 27, 2018 at 4:14 am | Permalink

                Not exactly apropos the current discussion, but I hope no one missed this meme that came out after the Kavanaugh hearings:

                https://knowyourmeme.com/photos/1415388-brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-nomination

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 27, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

                +1

              • Brit
                Posted October 27, 2018 at 5:10 am | Permalink

                I looked at it. As illustrated by the 100% negative comments underneath, not persuasive at all I’m afraid. I liked Hulk’s comment the best. Why did you want everyone to see it?

              • Diane G
                Posted October 27, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

                I looked at it. As illustrated by the 100% negative comments underneath, not persuasive at all I’m afraid.

                I grabbed the first url that that turned up in a search. I can assure you that many other venues found it right on the money.

                Why did you want everyone to see it?

                Oh, maybe because I’m fairly sure a significant portion of the posters here might appreciate it? We exist, whether you like it or not.

              • Brit
                Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

                “We exist , whether you like it or not”
                Why the nastiness? What have I done wrong?

              • Diane G
                Posted October 28, 2018 at 12:20 am | Permalink

                @ Brit

                Sorry. Guess I just get tired of all the Hillary bashing. (She did win, after all…)

              • Brit
                Posted October 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

                Thank you. Good of you to apologize.

            • Brit
              Posted October 26, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

              Sorry, I got the quote wrong but I hope you won’t mind because the meaning of what I have written is the same.

            • Brit
              Posted October 27, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

              “we exist, whether you like it or not”.
              Why the nastiness? What have I done wrong?

              • Posted October 27, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

                “We exist …” was Diane G, not me.

              • Brit
                Posted October 27, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

                Yes, I pressed the wrong reply button again. I realized straight away and posted it again under her comment. Sorry if it confused you.

  4. Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    USA is 3rd largest in population of all world nations, after China and India. China and India. Just sayin’.

    • phil brown
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Population density is the more interesting stat. For India it is 1055 people per square mile, China 375, USA only 86 — 191st in the world for population density. Seems like there’s plenty of room for more!

      • jpetts
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        I can’t REALLY see Nebraska, Alaska, the Dakotas, etc., as places (a) that immigrants would want to flock to; and (b) being particularly welcoming…

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Seriously? Have you spent much time in those low density areas?

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:08 am | Permalink

        Yeah, then send all the rest to Australia.
        Make 1055 people per square mile compulsory.

        Enjoy.

        Baked people.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted October 23, 2018 at 3:23 am | Permalink

        Phil,

        “India it is 1055 China 375,”

        So China can increase their population two-fold and then be on par with India????
        Who cares about the Gobi desert?

        “Seems like there’s plenty of room for more!”
        Yes let’s immitate banglades, +2800 per sq mile.
        china can improve 7 times!

      • Posted November 2, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think it would be good for the environment.

  5. Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Years ago I decided to move to France so I mailed the French Consolate asking them what I would need to make that happen. They sent me back a big fat book that outlined everything imaginable. To make a long story short I needed to prove that I had enough cash or income to live for several years and that I could purchase a medical insurance plan. On every page it was stressed in big bold letters that, if I’m moving from the US, I would receive no benefits of any kind not could I hold a job in France. I know this is different for French community citizens and don’t what the picture looks like now. Seattle looked pretty good from that point.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Is your experience a special case Dennis? Or are you saying no US citizens were allowed to take a paid job with a French employer in France? When was this?

      US citizens living/working in France are double taxed. The IRS insisted [& still insists] non-resident US citizens STILL pay US taxes** on foreign earnings & the French tax authorities take their share [0% to 45%] as well from your French employer before you get a sniff at your pay. I think the IRS says the first $100k is non-taxable today from their POV so it should be financially feasible to work in France [although not economic for very high earners].

      Another problem with France is your foreign qualifications are not automatically recognised there – the legal principle of academic or professional equivalence with other countries does not exist, you have to fill in forms to get around this oddity & France has an ingrained bureaucracy more complex & slower than India 🙂

      ** exemptions for students, lecturers & others apply.

      • Caldwell
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Along with a five other Americans, I worked in France for several months in the late 1980s, when the EU was just getting started.

        — French employer had to convince the French gov’t that no French people could do our jobs.

        — We had to pass a French government physical exam.

        — I did not pay US or French income taxes; dunno about the other guys.

  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    You are correct, the U.S. needs a policy that makes sense. For years they have not been able to agree to anything, only verifying that our congress is pretty much useless. Another major action that should be taken is at the source. What is wrong in Honduras that is causing this and attempt to fix it. Our current administration is not interested in fixing anything and any form of real foreign policy work is not available. Maybe, in the mean time, work out something with Mexico to keep them there, also out of the question with our current administration. Everything is simply America first.

    • Mike Cracraft
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Yeah and not only that. The screw-up in chief is now threatening to take away foreign aid to Honduras and El Salvador as punishment for their problems. Now that’ll really help the situation.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Yes, just the opposite of what should be done. If anything it will just increase the numbers getting out. Eliminating the causes for this exit should be a priority but we do nothing or just make it worse.

        • Caldwell
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Econ 101: Paying their governments to create emigrants will lead to more emigrants.

          Eliminating the causes for this exit should be a priority but we do nothing or just make it worse.

          What exactly are you, personally, doing to eliminate the causes of emigration?

          • Posted November 2, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            The latter is beyond the ability of an individual. But during our toughest time in the 1990s, the USA gave us some corn as humanitarian help. For some, including me, this was a reassurance that the civilized world would not let us starve.

    • Caldwell
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      You are correct, the U.S. needs a policy that makes sense.

      That’s rather like saying “Everyone should be sensible, like me.”

      So, which specific policies that makes sense should the US adopt?

      Everything is simply America first.

      If not the US, which country should come first?

  7. ladyatheist
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    “one gets the impression that they simply want open borders.”

    This is a Republican talking point. It’s absolutely not true for the majority of Democrats.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I said one gets the impression, and that’s the impression I’ve gotten talking to my friends, who I admit are on the more leftist side of the Left.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I have heard that too. They don’t actually say “open borders” but they seem to imagine and seek a world in which everyone is free to live wherever they want. Perhaps in the Star Trek future that might be possible but not any time soon.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          In the Star Trek future everyone seems to share the same values about human rights and equality and there is no money or inequality so not really something that I think we will ever get to and probably why we will need to select carefully those we let into our borders for a very long time to come.

      • Rita
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I agree a small minority of leftists do favor open borders, but as you pointed out in your article, the majority Democrats have yet to articulate a clear position on the immigration issue, and the result is the Republicans (once again) control the discussion.

        • Taz
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

          Partly because they fear being called “racist”.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      I know many germans who are for open borders.
      I suspect it is mainly a reaction against the afd/rightwing types.

      Most people take positions just on group identity. Most democrats are pro gay marriage today but as little as 20 years ago they would have been against it.

      Nuanced positions are not a group thing!

  8. Pierluigi Ballabeni
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    ” What is wrong in Honduras that is causing this and attempt to fix it. Our current administration is not interested in fixing anything and any form of real foreign policy work is not available.”

    Don’t the USA already have a pretty negative history of interventions abroad that broke things rather than fixing them?

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      I am not an American, but that’s what’s missing in the conversation a lot the way I see it too. C. Powell’s “pottery barn doctrine” applies.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      There have surely been failures but I think there have been lots of successes that go unacknowledged. I don’t have any links to research on this but my guess is that the worldwide gains Pinker reports in his books have been at least partly because of foreign aid from rich countries.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:14 am | Permalink

      Yes, they ‘fix’ regimes that don’t adhere to the right political philosophy.

    • Posted November 2, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      I think this is how these interventions are portrayed; in reality, the results are more mixed and sometimes even beneficial. The Rwanda genocide and the Syrian civil war showed the results of US non-intervention.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted November 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Not just the US. The UN was largely to blame for Rwanda because they refused to do anything. Many Canadian UN troops have PTSD about it because they witnessed a genocide and their pleas to interfere were ignored.

        • Posted November 2, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          The UN is useless, except for immunization campaigns and some humanitarian efforts. Long ago, the Srebrenica massacre taught me all I needed to know about UN forces as peacekeepers.

  9. Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The statement that those right of center see democrats as wanting unlimited immigration is correct. That was the source of a lot of republican and libertarian votes in 2016. I know democrats who hold that position. They want citizenship for all who cross the border with no questions asked. I am not making this up.

    Hillary’s stated goal was a global society with no borders. She was the candidate which made it difficult to argue with the democrats who do want open borders and to argue with the republishing thought that was what they wanted.

    For the record, the prior administration, which was headed by a democrat, also separated children from their parents. Not on the scale this current one did. Arguing that they did not is not being honest and not being honest is not helpful.

    I have already seen posts on Facebook reposted by my republican friends concerning the oncoming caravan. The original post is written by Newt and it is pretty bad. That is not surprising but the post will be effective. He is opposes to letting the caravan enter the country and accusing democrats of wanting them in do they can vote Democratic. .

  10. Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    FYI, open borders are more defensible than you seem to think, and the data does not, in fact, suggest that an open-borders policy would result in a vast flood of immigration. Economist Bryan Caplan has written and spoken quite a bit on this topic; Google should give you lots of hits, including video of debates between him and opponents, etc. I am an open-borders advocate, personally; I think it is a matter of basic human rights and freedom. But at the same time, I agree that the Democratic Party, which clearly does not want open borders to be part of its platform (for better or worse) could be much smarter about their messaging in this area. Open borders is certainly not a politically winning position right now, so from a political perspective, the Democrats should clearly and forcefully repudiate it to take the wind out of the Republicans’ sails.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Caplan is an interesting fellow, in a forensic way at least. He argues that only Libertarians are really moral for instance. Attacked by colleagues for being closed minded, he decided his level of closed mindedness was just exactly the correct one.

      But readers should be aware that in technical discussions in the economic literature, “open borders” does not mean unrestricted immigration. Hence some of the arguments presented by economists do not actually apply directly to the question at hand.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        “Open borders” does mean unrestricted immigration to me. If someone intends that label to mean something else, then they should choose a better label.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and libertarians like Caplan have so many examples of successful anarchist societies to point to as evidence.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      ” I am an open-borders advocate, personally; I think it is a matter of basic human rights and freedom.”

      The compassionate border policy of liberals seems to apply in a south->north direction only.

      If 10 million Germans decide to move to Zimbabwe and dominate the indigenous population you will be ok with it?

      Surely you must agree that many cultures were destroyed throughout history because they could not protect their borders!

      • Posted November 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Actually, more cultures were destroyed by this than by any other known factor.

    • Posted November 2, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      We in Europe saw it in 2015, and it definitely resulted in a vast flood of immigration, and mostly “uneasy” immigration.

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Yet how often have you seen Democrats, or the progressive media, propose meaningful and substantive immigration regulations?

    The Gang of Eight proposal by four Democratic and four Republican senators in 2013, and the proposal put forward by Democratic senator Dick Durbin and Republican Lindsey Graham just last January, come readily to mind. The latter fell apart amid Donald Trump’s “shithole countries” rant.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes, there have been several bipartisan attempts since 2000 that intended to make progress on the immigration issue. It is as if there are political factions that don’t want agreement and progress, Trump being one.

  12. yazikus
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I think it is meaningful in discussions like this to differentiate between refugees (whether they be political, economic or what have you) and immigrants. My personal thought is that a caravan like the one we are reading about would likely be made up of a majority of refugees. I heard the audio of them trying to cross the bridge into Mexico and it was heartbreaking. Who would attempt a journey like this except for a person with no other options?

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the two groups are usually conflated, both in discussion and in treatment — that is, refugees are considered permanent immigrants.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      The tragedy of human existence is that you cannot help everyone.

      Most of us live with the moral dilemma that we give our children a comfortable home while many other children are homeless.

      Leaders of a country should not make sentimental emotional decisions – they have a mandate to look after the long term welfare of their citizens.

      The answer to the third world problems is not for the west to open their borders and destabilizing their own societies.

      There are many things the west can do to help the third world – for example eliminating unfair trade deals and stop stealing the brightest minds from around the world!

    • Posted November 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      A person living in a pro-emigration culture where those who remain and try to make their lives better by hard work are regarded as losers.

  13. Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I don’t know the fix either, but any fix has to recognize that immigration must be subject to laws. There is a difference between opposing immigration and opposing *illegal* immigration. The Democrats, in general, persistently ignore this.

    • Martin X
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      “There is a difference between opposing immigration and opposing *illegal* immigration. ”

      In practice, there isn’t. Most people who are upset about “illegal immigration” are really upset about “immigration”. The “illegal” part is a fig leaf to make them feel righteous.

      This is similar to why “law and order” is often considered a dog whistle used by the right, because it’s used as a weapon to keep minorities under control.

      And Dems, in fact, do not ignore the difference between illegal and legal immigration. It’s the GOP that doesn’t really care.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Thank you for illustrating my point.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I think Martin’s point was that the Right is ignoring this distinction too, though most of their politicians won’t admit it. They don’t like immigrants, even the legal ones.

  14. Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I am curious about the timing of this “caravan”, just before the congessional election.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      You think they are trying to meddle in our election?

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      The timing is bad for the Dems as it allows Trump and the GOP to raise the alarm just before mid-terms. The meme that the Dems want them to enter the US to vote is too silly to take seriously.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Is there anyone dumb enough to believe that?

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          I suspect so. Trump followers are beyond requiring proof or rationality. Memes such as this one merely get added to the list they recite at club meetings.

          • Eric Grobler
            Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            To be fair, as a neutral observer I think many on the left are insane as well.

            Some of the academic intellectuals appear even more bonkers than the evangelical types.

            • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

              Please give us some examples.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 2:10 am | Permalink

                You cannot be serious – you have not followed the news the last 10 years?

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

                So you have nothing?

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

                Well, identity culture/politics for a start.
                The idea that the group you belong to defines your identity or character.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

                I was looking for examples of “academic intellectuals [that] appear even more bonkers than the evangelical types.” I’m sure there are some but wonder who you are talking about.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

                “I was looking for examples of “academic intellectuals [that] appear even more bonkers than the evangelical types.” ”

                I cannot give you any names on top of my head. I listended to some onine lectures seen reports in the media etc. The types that deny that humans are biological creatures (gender is a social construct, differences between boys and girls purely sociallly determined etc, men and women do not differ on average in interests and aptitude)
                Another popular theme is deconstruction of western culture.

                Anyway I feel I am wasting my time, surely you are aware of all of this.
                Just listen to any “Gender studies” professor.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

                I think we are on the same page when it comes to gender studies and its ilk. I could almost defect to the Right if that were the only issue. (It isn’t by a long chalk.) We on the Left have to fight this stuff with all the energy we can bring.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

                “We on the Left have to fight this stuff with all the energy we can bring.”

                Please do, we cannot afford crazies on the right AND the left 🙂

            • Michael Waterhouse
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:20 am | Permalink

              Yes, countless Post Modernist dominated humanities and soft/pseudo science departments galore.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      It’s too timely to be chance.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Well, coincidence happens, but the cynic in me sympathizes.

  15. Martin X
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Very few Dems want open borders.

    Dems cannot make conservatives happy by moving right. Being unhappy is merely a ploy to generate political power, so conservatives will never be satisfied with whatever Dems agree to.

    Dems have been made fools of again and again by failing to realize this.

    • Barney
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      That seems true to me. I’d like some concrete examples of prominent Democrats (eg those who have run for office at state or national level) advocating completely open borders. It’s not as if the borders were open in 2009 and 2010, when the Democrats had the presidency and majorities in both parts of Congress.

      • a-non
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        I think the point PCC is making is that, regardless of what they actually want, they take positions indistinguishable from those which would be taken by someone wanting complete openness:

        When asked directly, they umm and ahh & refuse to say. And whenever any concrete question is on the table, they are reliably in favor of the high side (or silent). Regardless of whether the question involves legal or illegal arrivals, or even deporting criminals.

        Perhaps in all cases they feel these are the right strategies to keep their coalition together? Avoid squabbling between “just left of centre” and “way off stage”? But whatever the reason, it’s a bad look.

      • Posted November 2, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        If a politician is:
        – against border reinforcements;
        – against vigorous patrolling of the border;
        – against deportation of illegal aliens;
        – for amnesty of those same aliens, and then another amnesty, and then another one;
        – for sanctuary cities;
        – for calling the illegal aliens “undocumented immigrants” or another euphemism;
        – for giving them access to universities…

        In a word, if this politician is against every single measure to enforce immigration laws, and then tells me that he wants only controlled legal immigration, then I’ll regard him as adding insult to injury by considering me a fool.

        • Posted November 2, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think we have any politicians in the US that match that description.

          • Posted November 2, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            Did sanctuary cities appear spontaneously, like galaxies? Don’t Democratic politicians and candidates talk about “undocumented immigrants”?

  16. W.T. Effingham
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    “Caravan” rubs me the wrong way. I hear that word and think of a narrow line with approximately the same number of camels as people. Also, they are a function of commerce usually moving surplus items of trade. This conglomeration of refugees has as more reasons than can be processed in short order.Trump’s trauma drama rhetoric is off 180 degrees. HE (dRUMPf)is not sustainable.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      I hear “Caravan,” I think Van Morrison and Duke Ellington. 🙂

      • W.T. Effingham
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        That’s much better than hearing “caravan” and seeing a Dodge minivan.👈

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

          I thought it was a truck load of people.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        … and Santana’s first album.

        I have only one thing to say about US immigration,
        good luck with sorting that out.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      “Caravan” is a drinking game.

  17. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    … but he [Trump] and his Republican running dogs …

    Good to see you goin’ old-school, boss. Gotta get medieval on their asses (figuratively speakin’) in the midterms two weeks from the morrow.

  18. KD33
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Well stated. This is the hard conversation that must be had. And it’s very hard to have it when most of the energy goes into one extreme reacting to the other.

    • Diane G
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:11 am | Permalink

      It may not, however, be the conversation that must be had right now, given how divided the liberal/left/progressive population is on the subject. Let’s restore some balance in Congress first by harping on the issues we can (sort of) agree on–health care, tax reform, safety nets, diplomacy, equal opportunity, etc., and leave the internecine warfare till later.

  19. Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    But all too often Democrats seem to favor what looks like fully open borders—a stand that, while looking empathic, is unsustainable. To see this, imagine if the U.S. didn’t stop anyone who wanted to enter, and then gave everyone a path to citizenship.

    So what are the downsides of allowing unlimited immigration? The only arguments I can see for any kind of control is that infrastructure and services need to expand to cope with the extra people.

    I don’t think it’s fair to equate these people with those who seek entry into America simply because they want a better material life and more opportunities.

    Is it so terrible that people want something of what we have already got?

    The UK is facing similar immigration questions but we decided to answer them by systematically destroying our country so that nobody will want to come here.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Nativists on this continent have been tryin’ to pull the ladder up behind them ever since the first Pilgrim off the Mayflower pivoted on Plymouth Rock, kicked the gangway out from under the second Pilgrim, and said “Not so fast, foreigner.”

    • Adam M.
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Consider the recent mass African migration to Germany. Over 90% have no education or marketable skills, and when offered free education, about 95% had no interest, preferring to live on welfare. Already, working Germans are having to increase their retirement age to pay for the migrants. Crime is also endemic among the migrant population.

      Why would we want a large population of people who do not contribute positively to society?

      Thankfully, illegal immigrants from Mexico have a somewhat better track record than the recent migrants to Germany, but the principle is the same.

      I’m all for immigration, but why not insist on people who, at the very least, won’t be a drain on society? Or even better, who are likely to make a positive contribution?

      In the US, the African-American population is suffering from the effects of slavery from hundreds of years ago. Supposedly this is why violent crime and poverty are such a problem in that community. (They commit the majority of murders, robberies, and other serious violent crimes despite being a small fraction of the population.) Clearly, then, it’s important for a population to have a base of education and skills to pass down to their descendants to keep them out of poverty and crime. We should ensure any immigrant community has this.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      It’s that zero-sum mode of thinking once again. If immigrants don’t bring anything with them (money, education, etc.) and require services (jobs, health, etc.) then we lose. That’s not completely wrong, of course, but it is much more complicated than that. Take Japan, for example, which is hurting economically partly because their population is falling.

    • a-non
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      “So what are the downsides of allowing unlimited immigration? The only arguments I can see for any kind of control is that infrastructure …”

      Countries are different: to pick two numbers, the GDP and murder rate differences between (say) Canada and Guatemala + Honduras (which together have a comparable population) are enormous. And have been for generations.

      If you amalgamated them, the naive guess is surely you’d end up somewhere in the middle: the new country would be much poorer and much more violent than Canada. Isn’t it obvious why Canadians might not want that?

      You can tell me that this wouldn’t happen, that somehow everyone would merge upwards… but I think the onus is on you to prove that. I mean, if it were so simple to fix Guatemala, why hasn’t it happened yet?

      Or if you are sure you know how, why don’t you do it there? If you succeed then the outcome will be as good as the best-case scenario for the merged country.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      “So what are the downsides of allowing unlimited immigration?”

      Unless you do not care, a brain drain for the third world.

      And of course, you suppress the wages for your local citizens.

      “Is it so terrible that people want something of what we have already got?”
      Surely their is such a thing as optimal immigration, too little causes stagnation, too much causes a multitude of problems.

      What size population do you think the UK can support while a reasonable quality of live is maintained?

  20. J Cook
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Human population. How is it that there is no serious conversation about our numbers? Any other species with out of control population growth would be called an infestation.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Given that birthrate goes down as women’s education and rights goes up and that birthrate goes down when the average standards of living go up it could be argued that allowing refugees and immigrants from poorer countries into the US is a net benefit for controlling population increase overall.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        You clearly haven’t thought that one out.

        • darrelle
          Posted October 23, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

          So you think immigration in, for example, the US has stifled our growth? Kept the average standard of living down? You think immigrants have been dragging us down to their level rather than being raised up to ours? That’s clearly not the case.

          • Eric Grobler
            Posted October 23, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

            It does not follow that if immigration was a net positive in the 60’s it will be today as well.

            • darrelle
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

              It doesn’t necessarily follow, sure. It does demonstrate that it can be a net positive.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

                “It does demonstrate that it can be a net positive.”
                I agree, and there are many success stories, but it seems most people just take a good/bad stance and is not willing to debate a optimal immigration policy.

                Also note that immigration can also negatively effect countries that are the source. Many african countries for example loose their doctors/engineers/programmers nurses etc.

          • Posted October 23, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            It should go without saying that the mean, median and mode of any population will be altered by the addition of a block of individuals who deviate from the previous averages.

            Birthrate among immigrants is significantly higher than natives (c. 3 children per woman vs. 2). Interestingly, birthrate among immigrants is higher than in the nation of origin. I’m unaware of any longitudinal studies on whether immigrant birthrates decrease over time, but the impact is nevertheless significant.

            Even if your assumption that relocating immigrants to the US will sooner or later reduce their birthrate to US levels is valid, it does nothing to reduce the birthrates in the countries of origin. Indeed, the partial relief of population pressure by emigration will most likely only spur birthrate.

            • darrelle
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

              I think it has already been demonstrated that the birthrate of immigrants reduces over generations with increased standard of living. According to the CDC birthrates in the US, a nation of immigrants, has “generally” been below replacement since 1971 and has decreased significantly in more recent years. My grand parents on one side and great-grand parents on the other were immigrants and my parents were down to replacement rate and I’m below it. Sure, first generation immigrants have a higher birthrate, but I think the evidence pretty well supports that assimilation into a society with higher average standard of living leads to lower birth rates. Assuming, of course, you don’t overwhelm the host society.

              Regarding birthrates increasing where the immigrants came from, possible, but evidence? Poverty has been greatly reduced worldwide and standard of living has greatly increased, and population increase has slowed. There are many ways to contribute to raising the average standard of living worldwide, and thereby reducing birthrates. That assimilation of immigrants from poor regions into wealthier societies contributes to that doesn’t seem controversial to me.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

                Hi darrelle,
                please note that not all immigrants are equal.
                You will have to agree that 1 million Jewish immigrants will most likely be more successful that 1 million australian aborigines.

              • darrelle
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

                Yes, in the short term I can easily agree. Not as sure about long term, for example a few generations down the road. Please note, I am not a proponent of open borders or uncontrolled immigration.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

                “Not as sure about long term, for example a few generations down the road”

                I think the sad reality is that some human populations have a lower genetic iq.
                How large this is of course unknowable at this moment and environmental factors like nutrition, parasites, pollution all play a role.

                And regarding culture – Thomas Sowell convinced me that culture/attitude also play a huge role in the success of immigrant groups.

                Recent West Afican immigrants do significantly better than African Americans (even better than average whites) in the US because they have not been poisoned by the victim narrative espoused by liberals.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

                While I am not in favor of the liberal “victim narrative”, let’s not forget slavery and its continuing effects. While it is not helpful for them to wallow in victimhood, they are still victims.

              • Eric Grobler
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

                “While I am not in favor of the liberal “victim narrative”, let’s not forget slavery and its continuing effects.”

                I agree but ‘continuing effects’ sounds like the victim narative will continue.

                B.t.w, have you read any of thomas sowell books? I highly recommend it.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

                There’s a difference between recognizing that slavery has a continuing effect on the country and treating black people as victims. Is that really in dispute?

                I don’t know Thomas Sowell but, after glancing at his Wikipedia page, I would agree with some of his points (against affirmative action and for decriminalization of drug offenses) but disagree with others (gun control).

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

                I think it has already been demonstrated that the birthrate of immigrants reduces over generations with increased standard of living.

                The birthrate of each annual immigrant cadre has steadily declined in the past decade, due primarily to a greater proportion of Asians. I’m unaware of any data showing Total Fertility Rate (TFR) within each cadre declines over time thanks to exposure to The American Way.

                On the contrary, TFR increases among immigrants relative to their country of origin — 3.5 vs. 2.3 for Mexicans, for example.
                https://cis.org/Report/Birth-Rates-Among-Immigrants-America

                According to the CDC birthrates in the US, a nation of immigrants, has “generally” been below replacement since 1971 and has decreased significantly in more recent years.

                Calling the US “a nation of immigrants” is quite specious, when only 13% of the US population is foreign born.

                Total annual births have steadily increased since 1970, “driven entirely by births to immigrant mothers.”
                http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/26/5-facts-about-immigrant-mothers-and-u-s-fertility-trends/

                Regarding birthrates increasing where the immigrants came from, possible, but evidence?

                Copious data exist. The classic example is Rwanda, where total births and TFR rose after the genocide, only steadily tailing off in recent years as carrying capacity is again exceeded.

                Poverty has been greatly reduced worldwide and standard of living has greatly increased, and population increase has slowed. There are many ways to contribute to raising the average standard of living worldwide, and thereby reducing birthrates. That assimilation of immigrants from poor regions into wealthier societies contributes to that doesn’t seem controversial to me.

                You proposed reducing world population growth by permanently relocating tens of millions of women to the US, where exposure to our culture would lower their birthrate. I have shown conclusively the opposite effect, with a net increase to the US population.

                You failed to provide any explanation as to how this mass assimilation would reduce birthrates in the countries of origin. I have shown the effect is more likely an increase in birthrate. Your highly disruptive proposal fails at both ends. The only rational response is to intervene in places like Honduras to remedy the societal ills that drive emigration.

              • darrelle
                Posted October 26, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

                “You proposed reducing world population growth by permanently relocating tens of millions of women to the US, where exposure to our culture would lower their birthrate.”

                No, I didn’t. You’ve built that windmill and decided to tilt at it, not me. I merely made a counter-argument to J Cook’s statement that human population growth is out of control, and since immigration is the topic I included that. I never, at any point, suggested that large scale immigration, or immigration at any scale, of people from poor nations to wealthy nations would be a good tactic to use to reduce population growth. You invented that. Have at it, tilt away.

                “The only rational response is to intervene in places like Honduras to remedy the societal ills that drive emigration.”

                Remedying places like Honduras is kind of a no shit solution. Sure, that would be the most effective and direct way. It also isn’t the only way, rational or otherwise, to positively affect the problem.

              • Posted October 31, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

                I never, at any point, suggested that large scale immigration, or immigration at any scale, of people from poor nations to wealthy nations would be a good tactic to use to reduce population growth.

                Oh yes you did:

                … it could be argued that allowing refugees and immigrants from poorer countries into the US is a net benefit for controlling population increase overall.

            • Posted November 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

              I find it paradoxical that the same people (leftists) who insist how urgent it is to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions at the same time advocate immigration policies that increase overpopulation and, hence, these emissions.

              • Posted November 2, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

                It requires a fair amount of dissociation to advocate for both.

      • Eric Grobler
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        How much more resources do an american women consume vs a third-world women?

        • darrelle
          Posted October 23, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          But then isn’t a trend that contributes to decreasing population growth a plus?

          To clarify, I’m not in favor of anything remotely like unlimited immigration.

          • Eric Grobler
            Posted October 23, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            I agree with you, women have less children when they have a higher standard of living – but it also has it’s own environmental cost.

            10 million people today pollute and consume much more resources than the same number even 50 years ago.

  21. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    “Every time you see” _____ “think of and blame” ______.

    Does anyone see a pattern here?

  22. Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The fact that immigrants still want to come to America makes me think Trump’s effect on them can be overlooked by the potential prosperity. On that bittersweet note, it’s nice to see people do stuff with no concern to our orange president.

    What’s wrong with Central America? It should be like Hawaii but times 1000. Some of the most beautiful places on the planet, some of the most amazing animals and plants.

    One start would be: convert all of the churches into public libraries and schools. Get the people (especially women) educated and within a generation or two Central America will be a place everyone wants to migrate to instead of away.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      And, *stop meddling* (to the US political establishment in both parties).

      • Posted November 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think Central America has much potential for spontaneous progress.

    • dani
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      “What’s wrong with Central America?”..I would also add South America. Considering the similar story with the US, colonization/slavery, that is a question I too ask. I would say the problems are drugs and corruption. I think the main difference is that in those countries power is too central, politicians have too much power, they steal money and don’t invest in education. That leads to the chain of poverty and drugs, which leads to violence. It’s all very complex of course.
      https://thehill.com/opinion/international/380482-latin-american-democracy-is-crumbling-under-corruption

      • Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        But one has to ask *why* – and one of the causes is American interventionism.

        Francis Fukuyama does the same thing – he mentions that Haiti (for example) suffers horribly from a lack of institutions and good governance – yet fails to mention the US, French and Canadian screwing around there.

        • Posted November 2, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

          Haitians screw themselves well enough even without anyone’s help. Haiti is 4 times smaller than my country yet has a larger population, and it continues to grow (the TFR is still above 3.5). Maltus anyone?

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted November 2, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            TFR / Pop [millions] / Area [sq km]
            Bulgaria: 1.5 / 7.1 & falling / 110,994
            Haiti: 2.7 / 10.8 / 27,750

            Malthus? Your Total Fertility Rate for Haiti is from the 2005-10 era, but it’s trending down. According to the World Factbook [CIA] & other sources the figure for 2017 is around 2.7 which is half what it was 50 years ago.

            Comparing Haiti to Bulgaria isn’t sensible – your country [Bulgaria] has a population figure “falling off a cliff” [BBC last year] because young people are leaving in droves to work in other EU countries & not enough are returning to start families & you have the highest EU death rate [FT]

            SOURCE

            • Posted November 2, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

              True, we have the opposite problem. But to me, increasing our population density just twice would be a disaster. Even as it is, we haven’t enough wildlife reserves, and our water resources are strained.

  23. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The 2013 bipartisan Gang-of-Eight common-sense immigration reform bill passed the US senate 68-32, with the votes of all 54 Dems and 14 Republicans. But Speaker John Boehner couldn’t even bring to to the House floor for a vote because of the red-hot, far-right immigration crazies in the Republican caucus. It was the constant agita of dealing with the wingut wing of his own Party that drove Boehner to seek a second career playing golf, drinking gin, and getting rich off legalized pot.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Exactly so. And once we got Mr. Anti immigration in office, the idea of any reasonable policy flew out the window. I do find it very interesting this large caravan suddenly gets going just on cue with the up coming elections. Perfect for Trump and a little hard to believe.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Enforcing the law is not an unreasonable policy.
        That is what the government is supposed to do.
        Don’t like to see the law enforced, get the law changed.

        • darrelle
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Frankly I’ve always thought that is a bad argument for at least a couple of reasons.

          1) How the law is enforced matters a hell of a lot. Humans are messy. We sometimes make laws with the expressed intention of not perfectly enforcing them in every instance. A police officer that follows just about anyone for more than 5 minutes could find something to charge them with per the law. But they usually don’t. And most judges would let their displeasure be known to any officer who made a habit of operating like that. One administration makes a law with certain intentions and then eventually another administration with different intentions comes along and abuses it.

          2) If a law is bad why the heck should we not expect law enforcement authorities to not use it? You think it is better in any way to keep using a bad law to justify morally reprehensible behavior that is also not even effective until such time as our legislative and or justice system changes it? How are bad laws supposed to be changed? Why isn’t pressure from the public not an appropriate part of that process of change? Would anyone really want to live in a society that enforces the letter of the law all the time in all circumstances? Besides the fact that no such society could function, who’d want to live there?

          • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            I have always thought it was a bad argument also. But it was always used against my position before.

            I understand there are blue laws no longer enforced that should be taken of form the books.

            I would not like getting a ticket for going 71 on a posted 70 mph speed zone. But I should have been going 65 to be safe.

            I think society would do very well enforcing the letter of the law. I have no problem with that. It would force the legislature to keep the laws updated to conform to the norms of society.

            • Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

              I suspect you wouldn’t really like a world in which every rule was enforced to the letter. I was reminded of this recently when I had to pull around a truck blocking the road even though I probably broke some law doing it. I suspect there are many laws like this that get broken all the time for practical reasons.

              On the other hand, we have the GOP and Trump showing us all the unwritten rules on which smooth operation of our government has been depending (eg, Merritt Garland).

          • a-non
            Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            Enforcement indeed has some gray areas, and these matter for the smooth functioning of society.

            But “abolish ICE” is quite a long way from “forgive 71mph”.

            If both sides come to the table agreeing that guys doing 100mph drunk should go to jail, and that convicted felons should be permanently deported, then they can have an adult discussion of the gray areas, and ideally of making the laws clearer.

            • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

              I’m guessing that many who call “Abolish ICE” are not against immigration control in general but feel that this particular implementation is broken beyond repair and needs to be replaced wholesale.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

                Exactly. And there’s a good argument that ICE itself has become radicalized under Donald Trump.

              • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

                Yes, but Dems allow the Right to take advantage of them by purposely treating phrases like “open borders” and “abolish ICE” literally and without nuance or context.

            • darrelle
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

              Who are the ones refusing to come to the table and have an adult conversation about immigration reform? Despite all the Republican Party and Trump administration propaganda it sure as hell hasn’t been the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party has helped write and supported more than one bipartisan immigration reform bill in recent history only to have it shot down by Republicans and or Trump. And not a single one of them included anything remotely like open borders or any other such nonsense.

              Seems like even many of the people that oppose Trump actually believe all these false Republican / Trump propaganda points about liberals and immigration. How in the fuck did we get to this point? It’s pure bullshit. Do some liberal citizens and a small number of Democratic politicians talk about things like open borders and abolish ICE? Sure. Has the Democratic Party or a Democratic president ever proposed anything remotely like that? No. This is pure bullshit. Is immigration in recent years exploded to new heights never before seen? No, it hasn’t. It has actually gone down. In that sense this is a completely fabricated crisis. Yes, we sure as hell need to improve our immigration policies. No, we are not in the midst of an existential threat to our country due to immigration.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        The difference between 2013 and now is that there are no longer 14 Republicans in the senate with the cojones to vote for commonsense immigration reform. Donald Trump has the rabble roused on this issue, and congressional Republicans are deathly afraid, should they support anything less than deport-them-all, that they’ll be labelled RINOs and draw primary opponents from the hard right.

        The irony of the situation is that Donald Trump doesn’t really give a shit about immigration reform himself. Sure, he’d generally like everyone permitted to enter this country to be white — Norwegian supermodels, if he had his druthers — but immigration policy isn’t something he’s ever thought seriously about. That much was made clear when he had his televised meeting at the White House with Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham and the rest of the congressional delegation last January and told them he’d sign anything they could agree on regarding DACA and the Dreamers and other immigration issues.

        Trump walked that back a couple days later, of course, after the Freedom Caucus crazies jumped all over it. But it goes to show that his tough-on-immigration posturing was merely a branding exercise for his 2016 campaign, all about exciting his base’s biases with demagoguery over “Build a Wall!” and the intentional infliction of cruelty on newcomers.

        • Historian
          Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          Yes, in terms of policy Trump doesn’t give a shit about immigration or anything else except his financial interests. He is so insecure that more than anything else he craves to be adored. By pandering to the base, his dream is realized.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

            We have a US president who has never in his life given serious thought to public policy or the operation of government. Indeed, he lacks any language with which to think seriously about these topics seriously. That’s made painfully obvious every time he’s called upon to answer substantive questions in an interview or at a press spray.

            The only language Donald Trump knows is product promotion, learned during his days in the New York real-estate game and reality tv. It’s a language where everything Trump is “fantastic” and “the best,” and everything not-Trump, a “disaster” and “sad” and “weak.”

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

              Got an otiose “seriously” in there somehow.

  24. Mark Reaume
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I think America’s original need to populate a continent required a very open boarder policy. These days I think they would be better served to have a more prudent approach to immigration. One that includes a merit based approach to satisfy economic conditions – similar to what Canada does.

    Refugees are a separate concern that doesn’t have to have this merit based approach.

  25. jpetts
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    +

  26. Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    What we’re looking at here is a turning point event. Most people don’t see the trickles or lines of people coming into the country legally or otherwise, but this migration can’t be ignored or swept under a rug. When that mass of people hits the border, Trump is going to be tested on his rhetoric and we are going to be tested as a country. Given the nature of our sociopath in chief, I doubt this Grinch is going to find his heart, and I greatly fear that this might turn into a tragedy.

    How will Trump stop them from entering?
    To what lengths will Trump go to stop them from entering?
    Who will follow orders, and who will excuse atrocity?
    Will this become the American equivalent of the Massacre of Amritsar?
    Trump is already calling these people “hardened criminals”, will that be enough to kill all available humanity in those under his sway?

    In a stalemate situation, we’ll probably see a kind of refugee camp rise up along the border with lots of tension as some make a run for it under the rifle scopes of border patrol agents. How many months or years could such a shanty-town sustain itself, what humanitarian relief efforts will be made?

    How do you disperse thousands of people who have nowhere else to go?

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I don’t know but that is Mexico’s problem since they are in Mexico, not in the U S. And they should not be allowed into the US.
      We have laws that should be enforced. Until the laws are changed they should be enforced.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        No exceptions, even for the ones with legitimate asylum claims?

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          My understanding of the law is that to file for aslyum the person has to be inside an US embassy or inside the borders of the country.
          It cannot be done from Mexico.

          I do not believe anyone in the caravan has a legitimate claim for asylum. The filing would result in years of litigation before being rejected. That is my opinion based on my understanding of the requirements. Escaping gangs and bad governments is not sufficient.

          The people know they have no legal right to enter. Walking to the desert is third choice.

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          Those with Legitimate asylum claims would be allowed in under the law. Asylum claims are part of the law.

  27. Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Hillary made it very clear that she was in favor of open borders (“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders”) which is one of the reasons (there are too many others to count) why I couldn’t hold my nose and vote for her.

    Among my liberal friends (and living in Portlandia, that’s the only kind I have), their views on immigration regularly astound me. They not only don’t use the word “illegal,” they don’t seem to understand the concept (if I hear the argument “No human being is illegal” one more time I may scream). When I try to explain the difference between someone being invited into your home (or even welcomed, as should be the case with refugees) and someone breaking into your house, their eyes glaze over. And these are intelligent people.

    There’s no question that this is not an easy issue and that we need serious immigration reform. But until then, we need to either ditch the laws altogether or enforce them.

    • Historian
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Hillary’s comment regarding open borders was for trade, not people. There is a big difference. You are mimicking a false Republican talking point.

      https://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-presidential-debate-fact-check/2016/10/trump-misrepresents-clintons-position-on-open-borders-230045

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Hillary quickly tried to explain away her comment, once it surfaced, as having to do with energy—no doubt after consulting one of her focus groups—and Politico, founded by two refugees from the Washington Post, funded by a trustee of the LBJ Library, and CEO’d by an eight-year veteran of the Clinton White House,is not at all biased.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Miranda’s was correct about Hillary.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        I spelled the name right but software changed it and sent it before I could override it.

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          No problem. My last name is, in fact, Miranda–like the rights. I have the right to remain silent, but you’ll notice that I don’t often exercise it.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Everybody gotta have a dream, Gary, just ask Martin.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        I assume it’s safe to say that you mean Martin Short. It’s probably not—oh, wait, I already used that one. 😊

    • Diane G
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      “…why I couldn’t hold my nose and vote for her.”

      I hope you would not have been so (questionably) principled had you lived in a “battleground state.” Such proclamations, though, might very well have swayed some battleground state voters. You know what they say about the perfect being the enemy of the good…

      • Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        “You know what they say about the perfect being the enemy of the good…”

        I hope your not suggesting that either Trump or Hlllary qualifies as “perfect” or even “good.” Trump is unquestionably the worst president we’ve ever had. For sheer entertainment value, however, he has Hillary beat hands-down.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Mirandaga, you wrote:

          “Hillary […] in favor of open borders which is one of the reasons […] why I couldn’t hold my nose and vote for her”

          Diane G.’s replies by using the aphorism “the best is the enemy of the good” – this merely means it’s an error to seek perfection in a candidate because you’ll end up never, ever using your vote, you’ll starve from not eating or you’ll have no friends/lovers. At some point you have to pick an option & live with it. 🙂

        • Diane G
          Posted October 24, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          When your choices are quite obviously limited to Hillary or Trump, there is a clear distinction as to which choice is the only good one. Perhaps “better” and “worse” would be more acceptable to you. Tolerable vs. appalling. Choose your own adjectives.

  28. Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree that this is a big issue. The Dems have no coordinated response (and often no response at all) to the “Dems want open borders” challenge. This is terrible for all the reasons you give here.

    One of the biggest problems, IMHO, is the lack of rational discussion by politicians on both sides. My guess is that they really aren’t that far apart but never really get to an agreement because of partisan bickering or Trump simply blowing it up.

    What is really needed is a migrant worker program. It has been shown my many studies that there are many jobs in the US that its citizens don’t want. We should make it possible for workers to come over the border to do these jobs. Such workers should be on a short leash and not be considered US citizens or permanent residents. The path to true immigration should be a separate one where we only let in those we really want to let in. I suspect there would be arguments about so-called “chain migration” but surely some compromise could be reached. Similarly for political and economic refugees.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Work visas are part of what academic economists define as “open borders”. It is useful to remember this when discussing arguments based on market efficiency.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        Do you have proof of that? IMHO, any program where someone has to apply for entry and, even if allowed, has length-of-stay and other restrictions, does not deserve the “open border” label. Open means open!

        • Posted November 2, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          Length of stay and other restrictions are dead letters if the government will not enforce them, particularly in a country with a birth citizenship law. In Germany, Turks were also initially invited as guest workers but turned into a permanent minority that not all native Germans wanted.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Paul, I have my doubts about a ‘migrant worker program’ not being an immigration program. You want them to be kept on ‘a short leash’, like what, denying them the right of movement, meeting those they want to, take action for better working conditions etc, or what? Treatingthem like convict labourers?
      Are they going to be sent back after, say, 10 or 20 years as ‘migrant worker’? When their children were born and grew up in the ‘host’ -or should I say ’employer’- country? That is not going to happen, methnks.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        I would consider a “migrant worker program” to be an immigration program, assuming we take “immigration” to cover human entry at our borders. If we don’t want to call it that, it makes no difference to me.

        As far as the “short leash” is concerned, that has to be figured out. I imagine it to be like an education visa. Entry for a specific purpose with conditions that ensure the purpose is still valid during the stay. Everything else is details to be worked out. Certainly we don’t want them treated like convicts. I don’t think they should vote. They need access to health care so some kind of universal care program makes sense. Failing that, perhaps the cost of their health care needs to be borne by their employer. As to the length of their stay, I was thinking it was for a growing or picking season, not years. Obviously this wouldn’t work for gardeners and nannies. There should be a path to permanent resident status. I have no problem with rules that allow us to keep the good ones and send back the ones we don’t like. I know it is complicated because of families but I have to think there’s a solution.

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          It is apartheid.

          • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            A migrant worker program is equal to apartheid and something we do not want. Apartheid is not the solution. Just to be clear.

          • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            After googling a little on this, I can see where you are getting the apartheid/migrant worker idea. Evidently, this was a big part of South Africa’s problem. More recently, this connection has been made for Canada’s migrant worker program:

            https://www.straight.com/news/363841/temporary-foreign-workers-program-leading-apartheid-says-professor

            I am sure this professor is using “apartheid” for its shock value. As the article points out at its end:

            “In separate interviews, Otero and Elmore suggested that the solution is to create pathways for temporary foreign workers to become citizens or permanent residents.”

            “That would eliminate a lot of the discrimination and exploitation and difficulties that these individuals experience,” Elmore said.”

            I am sure we could avoid these problems by learning from Canada and others.

            • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

              Jimmy Carter wrote a book, Peace or Apartheid, concerning Israel and Palestine. He got in a llot of trouble with Israel with that. But that was the main genius for my thoughts.

              • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

                The fear of making a new class of oppressed people is reasonable but we have lots of classes already: citizen, permanent resident; adult, child; employer, employee; man, woman; first/business/economy on airlines to name just a few. They all have a reason to exist and the potential for abuse. We must fight hard to prevent such abuse.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      A migrant worked program is nothing but apartheid. If we want people to work here they and their family should be admitted legally and become citizens.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        How is it “apartheid”? We’re not talking about segregation here. They can go back home at any time. They should also be able to apply for legal, permanent immigration as you suggest. You are arguing that giving them an additional option somehow hurts them. Or you are imagining that we’d treat them as second class citizens in hurtful ways, which I would never favor.

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          My understanding was that they would not have the option to become legal. Sldo, the whole program sounds to me to be just a way to get their labor without having to give them the benefits a citizen would have. Including living with their families while they are working. Just does not pass the smell test.
          Plus we eould become dependent on the labor on people who are not allowed to live here and become citizens. lol That does not sound like good policy to me.

          • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            You are erecting straw men here. Please stop inventing bad things we could do to migrant workers only to support your obvious objection to migrant worker programs. If you have a REAL basis for your objection, please state it and we can have a rational discussion.

            • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

              I was having a rational discussion. You don’t like my valid objections yo migrant worker programs. That does not mean my objections and predictions are not correct.

              Don’t put words in my mouth or opinions in my head . I am not opposed to letting farm workers into our country as workers as citizens with their families.

              • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

                And I never suggested otherwise. That’s my objection to your line of thinking.

                Actually, I would be ok with a worker coming alone for, say, a growing season if those were the conditions of the agreement. The worker can choose whether they want to come or not. After all, a student visa doesn’t allow the student to bring his/her whole family. It might not give farming concerns the number of workers they desire. If not, they can adjust the rules or the pay.

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Also, I believe they would live in separate housing while they were lhere working. De facto segregation.

          They would be treated worse than second rate citizens. They eould not even be citizens. You seem to trust the companies that employ them more than I do. I am basing my opiniouon how immigrant labors are treated now. I have no reason to believe lmigrant workers would be treated better.

          • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            We would be in a much better position to fix those things if the program operated legally. As it is now, it is easy to abuse illegals because few laws protect them and they have no recourse to complain about their treatment.

            One motivation for having a migrant worker program is that we don’t have non-immigrants who want those jobs. It’s in our economic interest to allow migrant workers to do these jobs. Still, that’s no justification for treating them badly.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        “Temporary Worker Programs” have been a staple of Republican Party border policy going back to … I dunno, probably Calvin Coolidge. Dubya was big on making such a program part of his proposed comprehensive immigration reform package.

        It’s not a hobby-horse of mine, but, given that there’s a whole lotta fruit and vegetables that will go unpicked without temporary labor, it’s probably better to give them visas and a legal status then to leave undocumented workers to the mercy of the agriculture industry.

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          If those were our only two choices I would agree.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      It has been shown my many studies that there are many jobs in the US that its citizens don’t want.

      … at the current wages offered. Increase wages.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Yes but it would have to be quite high. I believe the experiments found it would need to be ridiculously high. And the price of produce would go up accordingly. I’m sure it would all sort itself out and reach a new equilibrium but would that make it a good thing? Are you actually in favor of that or just rocking the boat?

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          I find it stunning that progressives are so strongly in favor of importing an underpaid underclass for the expressed purpose of underwriting their grocery shopping.

          As I asserted last time this came up, our agricultural sector is fatally flawed and urgently needs a restructuring. Stop-gap measures to prop it up, such as importing below-market labor, are not sustainable.

          • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

            A true capitalist wouldn’t consider them underpaid. Let the market determine the price. That price should be greater than the minimum wage, of course.

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 2:30 am | Permalink

              Paul,
              are you a laissez-faire capitalist?

              Most noisy open border types are upper middle class whites – they just pretend to care about the poor (working class).

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

                No, I’m not a laissez-faire capitalist but I am an upper-middle-class white person and I do care about the poor. Not pretending. I think helping the poor even makes economic sense. Republicans pretend that keeping everything lean and mean maximizes US competitiveness in the world. Instead, they are just trying to keep all the money and power for themselves and rich people like them. Maximizing US competitiveness would be better achieved by better leveraging the human capital, resource, geographical, and cultural advantages the US enjoys by educating everyone, providing health care, and generally making it easier for the entire population to survive, prosper, and participate in the economy.

            • Posted October 23, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

              Wouldn’t a purist capitalist think the market should determine the minimum wage?

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

              “but I am an upper-middle-class white person and I do care about the poor.”

              That does not mean you understand the poor.

              Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have policies that helps the poor.

              And globalization and modernization is destroying the poor.

              There is no future for men with an IQ below 120.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

                That’s a bunch of nonsense that I am not going to take seriously.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

                Thus spake Zarathustra?

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

              “That’s a bunch of nonsense…”

              Perhaps, so you do not think that modern technology and AI will threaten many jobs traditionally done by working class men?

              And you do not think that millions of Aficans will struggle to compete/survive in a modern globalized world?

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

                AI has been tremendously oversold. If past history is a guide, it will be like other technology changes: some jobs will be lost others will be created. Intelligence and education are limiting factors but they have always been so.

                Africans’ biggest problem is poor government in many countries, but some countries are doing better than others in this regard. We should support them. A la Pinker, I suspect the long view is that things are improving but that we need to keep helping.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

                I think self driving cars will displace many truck drivers in the near future. This part of technology advances is I think pretty accurate.

                I agree it is governments in developing countries that are going to make it much worse or at least aren’t going to stop it from getting much worse for the people they govern. In the developed world, governments can at least help us out.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

                My impression of truck driving as a profession is that it is a terrible one. Generally, loss of jobs in a particular profession is bad for those that have the jobs but good for the world as a whole. It is necessary for progress to occur. Instead of focusing on jobs lost, our government should make losing a job less of a pain.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

                The issue is mass job loss and unemployment that will happen fairly quickly for all jobs that require driving now. That’s a fair chunk of jobs and our governments have to figure out a way to handle unemployed people. Nothing good comes of massive amounts of people with a lot of time on their hands.

                In addition, I think you’ll see increased automation in a lot of unsafe jobs. Sure, they may be undesirable but there are people who can do nothing else. I find this article convincing…an excerpt:

                While some dispute the dire predictions on grounds new positions will be created to offset the job losses, the fact that all these major studies report significant workforce disruptions should be taken seriously. If the employment impact falls at the 38 percent mean of these forecasts, Western democracies likely could resort to authoritarianism as happened in some countries during the Great Depression of the 1930s in order to keep their restive populations in check. If that happened, wealthy elites would require armed guards, security details, and gated communities to protect themselves, as is the case in poor countries today with high income inequality. The United States would look like Syria or Iraq, with armed bands of young men with few employment prospects other than war, violence, or theft.

                Yet even if the job ramifications lie more at the low end of disruption, the political consequences still will be severe. Relatively small increases in unemployment or underemployment have an outsized political impact. We saw that a decade ago when 10 percent unemployment during the Great Recession spawned the Tea party and eventually helped to make Donald Trump president.

                I’ve found similar articles on the Economist. I think Sam Harris had a guest that echoed the same concern and mentioned that it is difficult to look to history for this level of disruption. I forget who that was. I want to say it was Eliezer Yudkowsky but I could be mistaken.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

                I know there are plenty of naysayers but they seem to be all “ifs”. I’m sure it should all be studied but unemployment is currently very low. I know that’s a flawed measure but I don’t know of any measures that reliably predict an employment apocalypse. We have many real problems to solve without inventing new ones.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

                I don’t think this problem is pure fantasy. Governments need to be prepared for this.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

                Certainly “pure fantasy” is too strong. Job loss due to automation is very real. But what about job gain due to automation? It seems like government would be better focusing their energy on people switching jobs, not just putting them on welfare because they’ve lot their jobs. Free college education would be a good start.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

                I never suggested anything about welfare. I did suggests governments should have a plan and that developed countries tend to have governments that will plan for such things where developing countries have governments that don’t. Therefore, the effect of this will be felt most strongly in the developing world.

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

                My impression of truck driving as a profession is that it is a terrible one.

                My grandfather delivered bread, my uncle drove big rigs, and my GF is a FedEx driver. They all love(d) their job.

                Geez, Paul, I do appreciate your thoughtful contributions here, but that was damned elitist of you.

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

                Of course some truck drivers like their jobs. I was commenting on the fact that many don’t get to go home very often and it strains family relationships. I think it is pretty well known that it is a hard profession and life. While I am not going to cop to being an elitist, I will admit to being glad that I am not a truck driver. If that makes me an elitist, then so be it.

                Glad you think my comments are thoughtful at least some of the time. 😉

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

              “AI has been tremendously oversold”
              I agree to some extend – since the 1960’s

              However in the medium term the danger is domain AI – self driving cars for example.

              I think you are far too blase about this.

              “If past history is a guide, ”
              Sometimes history does not repeat.
              Imagine the narrative – humans always had wars, civilization will survive.
              Then the narrative ends with a full scale nuclear war.

              It is highly irresponsible to compare AI with technological advances in the past.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

                Ok but we should wait at least until AI is really here and causing net jobs to be lost. The future is notoriously hard to predict when it comes to the economy and jobs.

                Since you bring up automated cars, they will be wonderful in many ways if they ever arrive. They will put some people out of their jobs but change always does that. Unless someone can predict ALL the effects of the arrival of automated cars, it won’t convince me of anything. It is way too easy to predict doom by focusing on the easiest analysis and ignoring all the hard stuff. Most change is resisted exactly that way.

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

              “Africans’ biggest problem is poor government in many countries, but some countries are doing better than others in this regard.”

              True, but there are many reasons why African states of poor governance.
              Have you been to to Africa?

              Population growth and globalization are making matters worse in my estimation.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

                No, I haven’t been to Africa. My impression is that most areas have too many people. However, raising their economies will like deal with that problem eventually as people who do well want fewer kids. As far as globalization is concerned, why can’t Africa become the next big cheap labor pool for the world? While we have to watch for abuses, most countries (eg, Thailand) welcome the transformation. A low-paying job is better than no job at all.

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

                why can’t Africa become the next big cheap labor pool for the world?

                The very concept of a ‘cheap labor pool for the world’ is fatally flawed and disastrous — for starters because no one’s yet figured out what happens to the existing not-cheap labor pool.

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

                I know what happens to the existing cheap labor pool. It gets its standard of living raised to the point where it no longer wants to do those jobs for cheap. At the same time, they find the wherewithal to get educated (or their kids do) and many find they have the skills to do higher paying jobs or become entrepreneurs.

              • Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

                That’s the global economists’ wet dream, but it don’t happen that way at all.

              • Posted October 26, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

                Seems to me it mostly has already happened that way. All I am doing is expecting the trend to continue. Nothing in the real world is simple, of course, but give us a little more to go on. Calling it a “wet dream” really says nothing.

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

              “There’s a difference between recognizing that slavery has a continuing effect on the country and treating black people as victims. Is that really in dispute?”

              Philosophically and morally I agree with your statement – but it can psychologically harmful for a black child to be raised in a culture that emphasizes the past all the time.

              “I don’t know Thomas Sowell”
              His opinions are much more sophisticated than a wiki page can reveal.
              Read his comparitive studies on immigrant groups, like the Irish in the US, Chinese in Malaysia etc.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

                Raising a black child to worry about his race’s past is the kind of victimhood I deplore. It works against their self-confidence.

                I’ll admit that it is difficult to maintain the separation. However, some are easy. Black people treating themselves as a separate society is an obvious bad move. We should always move in the direction of increased integration.

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

              “The future is notoriously hard to predict when it comes to the economy and jobs”

              Unfortunately I have to agree with you 🙂

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

              “As far as globalization is concerned, why can’t Africa become the next big cheap labor pool for the world? ”

              Yes that might happens as labot get more expensive in countries like China.

              However because African governments are weak, many countries take advantage of that – poor trade deals and other forms of economic exploitation (EU is also guilty of that)

              There is also a lot of concern about China’s role in Africa – they seem to have a lot of control over many african countries.

              • Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

                Yes, I worry too about China’s role in these countries. So far, they don’t seem to be interested in getting them to adopt the Chinese governmental scheme. That might change in the future but China doesn’t seem interested in exporting their way of governing or taking over other countries. I suspect they see it as their advantage in globalization and want to keep it for themselves. Of course, there are many other ways they can abuse Africans.

              • jpetts
                Posted October 23, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

                “However because African governments are weak, many countries take advantage of that – poor trade deals and other forms of economic exploitation (EU is also guilty of that).”

                Umm, in many African countries the main exploiter is the Big Man. Look up the career of Mobutu Sese Seko for a good example.

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

              “We should always move in the direction of increased integration”

              B.t.w. I am a huge fan of Jazz artists of the 50’s/60’s like Ellington, Davis, Coltrane, Mingus etc.

              It was confident and creative music.
              Now we have decadent rap music – that illustrates the decline of black culture in the US.

              Anyway, I enjoyed our debate Paul, I have to run – all the best.

    • Diane G
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:39 am | Permalink

      IIANM, one of the biggest problems is that the Republicans look the other way at illegal migrant labor. By enacting severely punitive consequences for anyone caught employing illegal immigrants the problem could be solved right away. (And, because such labor would still be necessary, legislation admitting as much and requiring/enforcing decent wage and living standards for migrant workers would suddenly become a priority.)

  29. mfdempsey1946
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    No genuinely serious conversation about immigration, one that truly wrestles with this issue’s complexities and sincerely strives for the best possible outcome, can even begin to take place as long as the Trump creature squats in the White House and his brain-dead enablers continue to dominate the rest of the federal government.

    The forthcoming election will tell us whether this kind of conversation can become a much-needed possibility during the present crisis or remain just another fantasy that will never become a reality.

    • Posted November 2, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary, I think that such a debate could begin only under Trump. Before him, the message coming from the political elite was that massive immigration would continue, both legal and illegal, and those citizens who had another opinion could stick it where the sun does not shine.

  30. Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    I have the feeling the reason establishment Democrats do not like the subject is that it quickly (ought to) become(s) one about the horrific, bipartisan foreign policy of the US in this area.

  31. Jon Gallant
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    As others have pointed out, serious immigration reform WAS discussed and drawn up by the bipartisan “gang of eight” Senators in 2013, and it passed the Senate as
    the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. The Tea Party troglodytes in the House prevented it from even being considered.

    Worth noticing that the Danes, including the Social Democrats, have imposed practical controls on immigration to Denmark. Rational Democrats, including authors of the Senate bill above, follow similar pragmatic policy. Sentimental Leftists of the Portland variety, mentioned by one poster, represent a common, thoughtless reaction to their opposites on the Tea Party/Trumpy Right—in accordance, for the millionth time, with the political version of Newton’s Third Law of motion.

    • Posted November 2, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      After an immigrant community in Denmark betrayed harshly its host country in 2006, it may be difficult to sell to the Danes the idea that all diversity is strength.

  32. gluonspring
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s a big political liability for Democrats because so many people are xenophobic and easily panicked about immigration. That’s a real political problem and likely to cost Dems dearly. I agree also that Democrats are sort of incoherent in their policy positions here.

    But aside from the political risks, what is the evidence that there is some huge practical problem at hand? Obviously, we can’t handle the whole world immigrating here, but what evidence is there that they want to? Most people want to live where they were born, and resist change. My understanding is that immigration is actually down, which suggests that fewer people are trying to come here than some people fear. I also don’t see a lot of evidence that the people who do come are causing us any problems. Or, rather, I suspect the biggest problem illegal immigration brings is simply that there are significant numbers of people who have to live in the shadows and can’t fully participate in American civic life.

    All that said, I wouldn’t care if we managed to seal the borders and let only exactly the people we want in, so long as we don’t mistreat people or engage in scapegoating entire groups of people.

    A useful thread on immigration

    • gluonspring
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Gah. I linked to the end of the thread.

      Beginning of useful thread on immigration

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      I agree. The assumption by most people on both sides is that immigration would be a huge problem if borders were wide open. I doubt it for the reasons you state. But with open borders I would worry about it being too easy for gangs and drug cartels to set up shop in the US. Unlike regular folk, they really do have interest in expansion.

    • gluonspring
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      On resisting change…

      About 20 years ago my wife taught at a public school in a fairly poor town 30 minutes from one of the two biggest state universities in TX. I was attending the university and my wife commuted the 30 minutes every day. My wife would often ask promising students if they were going to try to apply to this big prestigious university that was, in her mind, so nearby. She was startled by the frequency with which they demurred, saying the university was too far away from their family and friends. She was like, “I commute there every single day!” Their response just boggled her mind.

      The experience really stuck in my mind as an example of the power that familiar environments have on a lot of people. This was inconceivable to my wife and I, but then we are the kind of people who travel all across the country pursuing degrees and job opportunities. We are not normal in that respect!

      • XCellKen
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        Hearne Texas is about thirty minutes from College Station, Texas. And last time I was there, it was pretty poor

  33. Adam M.
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I note that everybody wants strictly enforced borders to keep ‘undocumented immigrants’ out when it comes to their own property… 😛

  34. Posted October 22, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Open borders mean more pressure on the poorer rungs of society, the workers and low-skilled people, who get more competition.

    As everything else, Democrats and Republicans are in stark contrast to one-another, because a Law of Nature demands it. Every “reasoning” is rationalization.

    One could argue that Republicans are open borders, because of profits for the rich, to undermine demands for minimum wage. The Republicans have, however, found out that illegals are even cheaper to have. Conversely, Democrats could be for high fences to protect workers and help enforce minimum standards in the markets.

    So the reason for this polarisation is pure hyper-partisan histrionics (because ultimately, US Americans delude themselves, you’re not a Democracy anyway*

    ———————
    Gilens & Page, Princeton, 2014

  35. CJColucci
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    In a sane world, immigration would be a wonky, technical issue about how many immigrants, under what conditions, with a reasonable amount of border security and occasional concessions to reality when, inevitably, a significant number of people come here illegally and contribute to society for a long time, and, understandably, want legal status.This can be complicated and boring, and doesn’t lend itself to political sound bites.
    But it isn’t that kind of issue. We know why it isn’t and who is responsible.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes, wouldn’t that be nice. I would think trade would also be such an issue.

      • slandermonkey
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        You mean like in most countries in the west except the USA and Germany.

        Germany has a very open immigration policy due to guilt and not bordering the Mediterranean. The USA has crazy immigration policy because big corporations like cheap labor.

        Good, liberal, polite Canada has reasonable, and compared to the USA, very STRICT immigration laws. One of the biggest differences is that any company hiring illegals is fined into oblivion. Next, if you are illegal you cannot attend school, or use pretty much ANY government resources or programs. Not many illegal economic immigrants if you can’t work.

        Canada’s population, like many western countries would barely grow without immigration. So we set a number that will keep the economy ticking over, and that we can assimilate easily. Immigrants are chosen by a point system that values youth, language skills and economically valuable skills.

        We also set a number for refugees who generally need more help adjusting to their new country. They’ll need language classes, skills training, help with housing etc… that regular immigrants do not need.

        No open borders. Reasonable numbers, strictly enforced labor laws. Don’t need a wall.

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

          As with health care, a rational discussion of immigration in the US should include a thorough analysis of what works in other countries. Our politicians, GOP especially, seem to think that other countries’ solutions either won’t work here or aren’t worth taking seriously. That’s just stupid.

        • Posted November 2, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          “Germany has a very open immigration policy due to guilt and not bordering the Mediterranean.”

          This open immigration policy is a very new phenomenon. In the 1990s, people from my Eastern European country could immigrate to Germany only by marriage of if a German employer certified that he had a job for the immigrant for which he could find no German employee.

  36. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I will try to review comments above when I get the chance. But a big problem is the sheer numbers who are now seeking to cross into the U.S.
    We can have fairly liberal policies when the numbers are manageable, but they have increased tremendously, and that does require a different policy.

    • Kathleen Vincent
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      It goes up and down. My impression was that it was pretty low in the last decade, notwithstanding today’s Central American caravan. Generally, I believe the “huge numbers wanting to enter the US” is part of the Right’s attempt to scare us.

    • darrelle
      Posted October 23, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      That does not seem to be correct. Going by the statics immigration into the US has gone down in recent years, not up. There are seasonal spikes but overall numbers are down. Doesn’t mean they’ll stay down of course. They’ve always fluctuated.

  37. dani
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    “Among those who are marching north to the U.S. are those truly fleeing violence. Others seeking entry to America, like dissidents, are afraid of what will happen to them if they return to their home countries.”
    “But (and you may disagree) I don’t think it’s fair to equate these people with those who seek entry into America simply because they want a better material life and more opportunities.”
    I disagree with you here, Jerry. First, basically all people from Latin America are truly fleeing violence. The continent is completely taken by drug traffecking and you never know if you will return home alive. Add to that the willing to work so they can give food and a better life to their childrern and you have a perfectly good reason for immigration. Both situations are really despairing. Second, if fleeying direct violence is the only reason for you to be accepted in another country, then they will start to lie about it and say that they are indeeed directly threaten. We have some real examples of immigrants that lied when apllying. So that wouldn’t be a practical criteria.
    And although I understand their despair, I do believe some control is needed. The situation is really sad. And some not well intetioned people also take advantage.
    I think one of the reasons immigration is so scary is because of the people coming are not educated. At least for me. When you have a country where most people are well educated, if a lot of uneducated people come, it looks like a step back. For instance, the rate of atheism is rising in the US, when all this religious people come in, then you get more far away from a more secular population where people believe evolution instead of creationism. And so on.
    But then, this is the only way their children will get closer to more education. Unfotunately, it is a long process that may take lots and lots of generations.
    I volunteered as an english teacher for immigrants and I believe controled immigration together with more education and cultural (maybe mandatory?) programs would be the best option. But that would involve more government investment. For a tricky situation, there is no easy solution.
    (I’m from Latin America, not from USA)

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      I respectfully offer that you are repeating the scary story. The numbers of immigrants even with open borders and all of them religious wouldn’t make much of a dent in our overall atheism statistics.

      A statistic that is often quoted is that there are 11 million illegal immigrants in the US. That sounds like a lot but it’s less than 4% of the population. It also represents a number that has accumulated over decades. If we had sane immigration law, a chunk of those would probably be legal immigrants and another chunk would not have come to the US in the first place. It is just not the massive problem that some make it out to be. That said, I would like to see the laws fixed too.

  38. Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Regarding the fact that USA has the 3rd largest population of all nations, exceeded only by China and India, Phil said, “Population density is the more interesting stat. For India it is 1055 people per square mile, China 375, USA only 86 — 191st in the world for population density. Seems like there’s plenty of room for more.”
    Should we, then, continue to pack more humans into USA in order to catch up? With ecosystems and infrastructure already rraying, must we pump in more people?
    It is often noted that the “caravans” are made up of “desperate people seeking asylum” The Spanish-speaking population have a word for such people: desperados. Is USA to become an asylum for desperados?

  39. eric
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    When I ask some of them what kind of immigration policy they want, and if they want fully open borders, they’re stymied or they waffle. This is true of many Democrats as well.

    I think one positive change would be significantly expanded seasonal or temporary work visas. We know Mexican immigrants send huge amounts of money home to family; I have little doubt many of them would happily live in Mexico with their families and work in the US seasonally, as long as they knew crossing the border wasn’t a legal risk (as well as physical risk and costly to deal with coyotes). One of the factors driving people to stay in the US illegally is that they can’t freely go home when they want.

    Second, the obvious, known, and long-term (but not short-term) solution of development; create more jobs and better living conditions in Central America, and the immigration ‘push’ will go down. This is why practically everyone except Trump understand that his cutting off support for these nations is a bad idea; because it will have exactly the opposite effect of the one he claims he wants.

    Third, double or triple the resources spent on asylum courts, judges, and lawyers. Both sides have good points to make about the system being broken; the GOP is correct in that we don’t want people using the asylum system as an excuse to disappear illegally into the country, but the Dems are right that we ought not treat asylum seekers as criminals. The solution to both problems is to significantly speed up the asylum process, to days or maybe a week at most. This would greatly reduce the need for detention, would allow the US to provide reasonable (non-punitive) accommodation for asylum seekers within a reasonable budget, but would also help prevent economic migrants from using the system as an illegal gateway into the country.

    How’s that for non-stymied and non-waffling? 🙂

    • Diane G
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:49 am | Permalink

      Makes sense to me!

  40. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Odd. Seems to me US is a party to all of the Geneva conventions, so it has to look into each asylum application.

    Here in EU the Dublin convention clarifies where the application can be done, usually at the destination nation. But AFAIU asylum is routinely only granted if the situation of the applicant would mean death et cetera if he or she is returned to the nation of origin.

  41. Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Not too many years ago democrats were against legal and illegal immigration. The unions wanted to keep their wages up. Republicans wanted illegal immigration do their labor costs would be lower.

    Now the unions are weaker and the parties have flopped their positions. Reasons for the present positions depends on who is speaking. Reasons and motives vary depending on who is talking.

    • Diane G
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 4:53 am | Permalink

      Oh, the Republicans still want illegal immigration for the reason you state. The current situation is perfect–they get the labor they need absent any need to protect the workers whatsoever, and can still claim to be tough on immigration. We need to go after the employers, not the employees.

      • Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        My state passed a tough law on illegals s few years ago. They stayed away. Our farmers could not get workers to work in the fields. Crops were untended, weeds were choking them and they were dying in the fields. The policy was changed. Agriculture is one of our largest sources of income for the state.

      • Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        When you say “employers”, I think you mean farming corporations, right? AFAIK, regular corporations are restricted from hiring illegal workers. I know my company had to comply with laws on this. Outside of farms, it is the informal hiring of gardeners, maids, and such. The hiring of illegals in these jobs would be hard to enforce. I suppose ICE is attempting to do it.

        Rather than go after the employers, I would like to see an immigrants legal options be look better than their illegal ones.

  42. Stuart Hurlbert
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Opening line is enough to show you are not well-informed on these matters, Jerry.

    Trump’s “unconscionable policies” on immigration (as opposed to his week to week tactics and strategies) are essentially identical to those recommended by the 1972 Rockefeller Commission on Population and the
    American Future and by the 1996 Jordan Commission on Immigration Reform.

    They are indeed to superior to those of any president of the past several decades.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Comment is enough to show that you didn’t grasp what I was and have been talking about. Note that in my first sentence I used the “week to week tactics and strategies” as one of his policies. To wit:

      Trump’s policy, of course, is unconscionable, as he uses the fear of immigrants to whip up nativism, and the way our Republican government treats many immigrants (including having their children taken away) is reprehensible.

      And ;what about that Big Mexican Wall? That’s a policy too.

      Finally, you’re rude as well as ignorant.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I truly hate it when someone tries to make readers look up some obscure bit of history without making any point whatsoever within the comment itself. I for one won’t be looking these things up.

  43. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    “So unfair to those who come in legally”

    This patronizing statement is the No True Scotsman fallacy disguised by using the word “legally”

    That is, “legally” for immigrants means not that they filled out forms correctly- and could read them in the first place, or pay the fees – but means they are not a true immigrant because they’re not my kind of immigrant.

    Marvel also at the circular nature of the whole statement by the President- legal immigrants are here legally because of laws … that … we have to change … so that immigrants can arrive legally… unless they are illegal.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Follow up for this ^^^^

      There is nothing to convince me that these nebulous “laws” will be changed so that as-of-now-legal immigrants will not be faced with “legal” problems.

      That is, for any “legal” immigrants who think they’ll be fine – _this_ President will do the same $#|^ to them because that’s the kind of guy he is.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Yes, our discussion of rational solutions to the country’s immigration problems will have to remain just talk until Trump is history.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Yes, there’s a lot of that going on. Rational consideration of the problem would first decide what immigration laws the country should have going forward and then consider what to do with the various groups of people (legals, illegals, and whatever) that are already in the country, the immigration system, or otherwise not in compliance with the new laws. Unfortunately, there’s so much game playing.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think you understand the concept of national sovereignty.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        So what

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        I apologize if that phrase came across as rude, but what is your point?

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

          Oh, let’s not worry about rudeness, shall we? Your Wortspiel with ‘legal’ is but shallow sophistry. Every sovereign nation has the right to determine who may cross its borders, and who may set up residence within. That is, who is legally in the nation and who is not. Further, the concepts of jus soli & jus sanguinis are intrinsically legal ones.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted October 23, 2018 at 4:49 am | Permalink

            The word play – if that’s what it is – isn’t “mine”. I didn’t invent or promulgate it, or attempt to trick anyone by it.

  44. Steve Pollard
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Europe is currently having to try to manage a serious would-be migrant problem, one that is much larger than the Central American march. These people are trying to get to Europe for a variety of reasons, but mostly war (Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya), or economics (much of Africa), abetted by what is now the huge business of people-trafficking and slavery.

    European countries are not making a very good job of handling even the present situation. The issue that I fear we all face in the future is that of catastrophic climate change, which threatens to put millions on the march instead of merely a few thousand.

    One of the many disturbing images in Orwell’s ‘1984’ is Winston’s diary entry, early in the book, about watching a newsreel that included a film of RAF aircraft machine-gunning a life-raft full of refugees. I have always thought that this was merely a piece of novelist’s licence. Now I’m not so sure.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that worries me too. With the lastest dire warning about climate change, what we are seeing now with people seeking a better (and safer) life elsewhere will only get worse. When there is no way to get the basic necessities of life, populations will, of course, try to get to where they think things are better. We ain’t seen nothing yet, I fear.

    • Diane G
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:00 am | Permalink

      I fear this pressure will ultimately further the dissolution of the European Union, which would be ineffably grievous.

      • Posted November 2, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        If the European Union continues to force unwanted third-country migrants on its member states, then good riddance! When we were applying to join it, nobody warned us about this.

  45. jpetts
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    BTW, among all the words pumped out here, I have yet to see anyone point out the fact that there IS a visa available for temporary agricultural workers, videlecit, the H-2A. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-2A_visa.

    Of course, given that “H-2A employers are the only group of employers who are required to pay inbound and outbound transportation, free housing, and provide meals for their workers.” it’s unlikely that the broad-bottoms who currently employed EWI workers would want to have them on H-2A visas instead.

    And there is, by the way, no cap on H-2A visa numbers.

  46. Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    No meaningful discussion on immigration can occur until the nation’s carrying capacity is quantified.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      So we’ll quantify it. What’s the big deal? Reminds me of “The beatings shall continue until morale improves.” I like the saying but it shouldn’t become policy.

      • Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Paul, how many residents can the USA support sustainably?

        • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know but then I don’t profess to know everything. I feel that a number can be reached.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Excellent point!

  47. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Sure hope they make it to the border in time to vote for Nancy Pelosi, especially all the Arab terrorists and the MS-13 gang members the Donald says are hiding out in the middle of the caravan.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      I assume you are sarcastic and are not in favor of allowing non-citizens to vote!

      Are there many democrats that advocate for extending the vote to illegals?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        No, none.

        Only US citizens may vote. And only immigrants who have first become permanent legal US residents (i.e., “green-card holders”) may apply for citizenship, and then only after a five year wait.

        Claims that Democrats want undocumented immigrants to vote is nothing but a right-wing scare tactic.

        • Adam M.
          Posted October 23, 2018 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

          That’s true in federal elections, but there does seem to be a small stream of municipalities in the past decade or so allowing aliens (including, in some cases, illegal aliens) to vote and a number of others attempting to extend the vote to our undocumented friends. That’s what I remember from reading the news headlines, and this Wikipedia page lists some, including 10 cities within Maryland…

          Overall, not much, though.

  48. Hempenstein
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Suspect that this caravan is funded by GOP operatives. Just more dirty tricks from the cabal that can only get votes by such tactics.

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      It’s Cersei Lannister-level diabolical brilliance.

  49. FB
    Posted October 22, 2018 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    A wall would probably save hundreds of lives annually.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migrant_deaths_along_the_Mexico–United_States_border

    • Posted October 22, 2018 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      Is that Trump’s real reason for wanting The Wall?

      • FB
        Posted October 23, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        No, he’s racist and xenophobic. But a wall can save thousands of lives (and American democracy).

        • Posted October 23, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          How would a wall save lives and democracy? By appeasing Trump? I think we know by now that if you give Trump anything, he’ll take the rest of it in a flash. He is constantly testing the various limits of his power, seeing what he can get away with.

    • Diane G
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 5:04 am | Permalink

      Human deaths–perhaps, but not clear. Meanwhile it would wreak havoc on biological communities.

  50. Bruce Cochrane
    Posted October 23, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    The diversity of comments made in response to Jerry’s prompt shows how hard it is to synthesize a straightforward and effective response to Trump’s simplistic rhetoric. Since the focus in the news right now is on migration from the “Northern triangle” of Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras), I think it behooves us to take a close look at the issues involved. I have found the writings of Stephanie Leutert, Director of the Mexico Security Initiative at the University of Texas at Austin. See her “on the ground” writing about the situation at
    https://www.lawfareblog.com/topic/beyond-border.

  51. David Duncan
    Posted October 24, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Once solution I’ve heard advocated is open borders combined with zero welfare for non-citizens. And no access to hospitals or the ER. None.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted October 24, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      “One solution I’ve heard” sounds a lot like Orange Pumpkinhead’s “Some people say” as a way of greasing himself up so he can’t be pinned down on what he thinks for himself. What do YOU think David & do you see any problems with that policy morally & practically? What’s your view on gas ovens? That’s a Final Solution, I’ve heard.

      • David Duncan
        Posted October 24, 2018 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

        “Once solution I’ve heard…” was from a US libertarian acquaintance.

        Any country has the right to choose who is allowed in.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted October 25, 2018 at 1:32 am | Permalink

          I’ll Compare your two statements:
          [1]

          Once solution I’ve heard advocated is open borders combined with zero welfare for non-citizens. And no access to hospitals or the ER. None.

          [2]

          “Once solution I’ve heard…” was from a US libertarian acquaintance. Any country has the right to choose who is allowed in.

          ** You are seemingly in agreement with your libertarian friend – tough to tell, but why else post this crap?
          ** you think open borders somehow is the same thing as a nation having the right to choose who enters their borders – that’s very confusing to read
          ** And you think [or your friend thinks] that if a holiday maker or a businesswoman [both non-US citizens] are robbed & shot or have a heart attack or are hit by a truck they should not be allowed treatment & they’ll have to fund their own emergency airlift to somewhere outside the US for treatment. Right?

          Utterly incoherent & wacky comments from a mature person & probable Brit. Mind blown.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted October 25, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

            For visitors to the US it’s like that now with funding for hospitals. I always carry insurance when travelling as there are two many stores of Canadians getting sick and losing their entire life savings because they couldn’t be treated in Canada.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

              “…because they couldn’t be treated in USA.” did you mean? I’ve had some weird online conversations with “libertarians” – they’re as out of the World as flat Earthers. A lot of them regard taxation as theft & yet expect their communal services [fire brigade, hospitals, clean water, sewage, schools to be there when required] – Libertarians tend to be young males who haven’t yet been smacked with a dose of fate ~ the piano on the head only happens to others so tough shit bro.

              • Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

                I saw someone yesterday wearing a “Taxation is Theft!” tee-shirt. You have to wonder about the thinking process that brings them to such a conclusion. Do they drive? If so, who maintains the roads they use? Who picks up their trash? Do they imagine a world in which everything is pay-as-you-go? What about the military? I chose not to engage the fellow.

              • Michael Fisher
                Posted October 25, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

                Yup. A perfect vacuum twixt the ears.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted October 25, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

                No, I think I actually meant to say “sent to Canada for treatment” as in they couldn’t be taken home and had to stay in the US for treatment (like an extended hospital stay).

  52. Posted November 2, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    My region, Eastern Europe, has no history of colonialism or recent slavery. Slavery existed millenia ago and affected people as white as the slaveholders and often of the same population. Hence, having brown people around to do menial work for peanuts is alien to Eastern European experience and psyche. I despise the very idea of cheap labor. To me, it belongs together with high childhood mortality and “barefoot & pregnant” – to the opposite of progress.

    I do not understand why nativism has become a bad word. Wikipedia defines it as “promoting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants”. To me, this is the most basic duty of any government.

    I find the immigration rhetoric and practice of today’s West scary. Ideologues of massive immigration say that most people from any country (including failed states and Islamic theocracies) are good people, and if they want to come to the West because their countries are miserable (which of course is always the West’s fault), then the West is obliged to let them in, no matter what problems previous immigrants have caused. If citizens object against this policy, the elected governments, instead of listening to their voters, call the voters names and implement measures to reform them. The white nativists are proclaimed the only group of people in the world that is inherently bad, and turning them into a minority is considered another benefit of mass immigration.

  53. Merilee
    Posted November 3, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Sub


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