Can Someone Please Explain

…in short, sweet, straight-forward detail, the “conservative” position on immigration?  I’ve heard vitriolic disagreement and angry attacks toward any policy proposal that even remotely smacks of “amnesty” and I’ve heard demands for building a wall around the country (like that ever works) but I’ve never heard what the attacker actually wants, exactly.

For the record (and I know this is off-subject as it doesn’t answer the question, because I have no idea as to the answer, which is the point of the post after all); In principle, I believe it should be easy to get into this country, and to become a citizen.  The problem as I see it is the socialism – the goodies – people coming here for a share of the loot.  Turn off that loot spigot and the problem, such as it is, evaporates overnight.  “Heal the World – Outlaw Socialism” would be my bumper sticker if I ever got ’round to putting one on my vehicle, which I probably won’t.

Outlawing socialism would include doing away with labor laws, minimum wage being a big one at play here.  The other loot spigot in play was also manufactured by our government– the “War On Drugs” and we all know for certain that Prohibition failed the first time due to human nature, and that human nature dictates that it will fail just as catastrophically every time, which is what we’re seeing every day.  But we can’t separate it from imigration policy.  Because we’re sniveling cowards.

“They’re takin’ Our Jobs!” (Der Derkin’ Er Jerrrbs!”) is an idiotic assertion.  So forget it.  When the Europeans first started coming here in the late 1400s and early 1500s, they took all the jobs from the “Indians” very quickly, so there haven’t been any jobs here since then anyway, right?  I mean, if you figure that the “Der Derkin’ Er Jerrrbs!” argument has any validity whatsoever.  IF people coming here from other places “takes jobs away” then the peak in the number of available jobs in North America would have taken place before Columbus’ voyage (or much earlier – before the migration out of Siberia during the last Ice Age) and as the Euros et al started coming in, the number of jobs available would have been shrinking constantly ever since.  QED.  So there.

Anyhow;  What, exactly, is the “conservative” policy on immigration – the one that won’t get the pundits, the self appointed Representatives of Modern American Conservatism (the RMACs) all pissed off?  I maintain that there is no such thing, which is why I brought it up.

I figure Newt has a four thousand page preliminary proposal, submitted by his Provisional Committee on Immigration Policy Proposal Research Exploratory Studies, complete with thousands of cross-references and cross-cross-references to the cross-references, which means he doesn’t have a clue and is desperate to avoid clues as it would mean standing for something meaningful and concrete which is to be avoided at all cost.

My explanation for the absurdity is that the Republicans believe in the all the negative stereotypes that the Democrats have created for conservatives– racist, sexist, bigoted homophobes….ad infinitum, thumpin’ a Bible and cryin’ ’bout Jeezus! and so the Republicans are trying, like frightened little kids faced with putting out a house fire, to pander to the Saturday Night Live stereotype “conservative”.  They have no idea how to please us stereotype bigot buffoons without getting into trouble.  They’re scared and frustrated, but they know they have to at least pretend to try, because that’s on the list of things to do to get elected.  So it’s a contest to see who can come up with the most plauseablely meaningless proposal that will offend the least people and will never get enforced anyway.  It makes for good theater all ’round I suppose.

We know for certain that outlawing socialism would be among the most frightening prospects ever presented to a Republican.  Right?  The planet being wiped out by an asteroid would be bad, but at least it wouldn’t leave them blinking in the lights in front of a camera babbling like idiots, knowing they’d have to face the criticism for it the next day– they could die right along with the rest of us and that would be much more comfortable as it wouldn’t require any acts of courage or any application of principles.  It would let them entirely off the hook.

16 thoughts on “Can Someone Please Explain

  1. Exactly my sentiments! I was surprised to learn that the entire tone of the poem, of which a small portion is engraved on the Statue of Liberty, is that we’ll take the world’s poor, wretched masses, and then we’ll give them the opportunity to succeed, and become something better than they would have been in their home country. Who is really more poor than those refugees from Mexican socialism and the drug war? We should embrace these people, and teach them what it means to be free!

    And whenever I hear about people complaining about illegal immigrants stealing identity (as if we should let government “identify” us), or taking jobs (what, only Americans have the right to support their families?) or going on welfare (as if American citizens on welfare aren’t a problem), I want to ask them: are you any better than them? Don’t they have as much of a right to be free as us?

    And when people complain about how difficult the “legal” line is, I want to shake them and say “Wake up! Immigration shouldn’t be *that difficult*!”

    As far as I’m concerned, there’s only *one* thing *anyone* needs to do to be “assimilated” into this country: to understand that one is free to succeed or fail, and to thus go and be responsible for your own actions. Anyone who understands this–no matter where that person is in the world, or even in history–is a true American; anyone who doesn’t understand this–no matter how many generations of citizenship that person has–is not.

  2. Well, I don’t speak for all of conservatism, but… My personal conservative immigration philosophy preference has been, “Lots of immigration, none of it illegal, and none legal for purposes of being a parasite on the domestic safety net systems.”

    But what policies encourage that implementation with no serious side effects? Jailing CEO’s and such that hire illegals, jailing fake document makers, streamlining Visa and Green Card application, and curtailing of the welfare state socialist policies with deep reductions? Yeah, like that’ll happen and be painless. Or even be that effective to realize the ideal.

  3. Four Thousand Pages on immigration policy? Mine can be put on a cocktail napkin.

    1. Control the border. There are dangerous people out there sneaking in, hiding among the poor workers much like Odysseus and his men sneaked out hiding among the Cyclops’s sheep, and the interest of the populace requires we find these bad people at minimum impact on the good. It is unseemly for people in America who are not robbing and raping and murdering to fear the knock on the door in the middle of the night.
    2. Triple the quotas for immigrants. We know that when the economy is going we can integrate a lot of immigrants, and it isn’t what people are paid but what they can buy with what they are paid that is key.
    3. Now that we have bigger quotas, give resident alien status first to the people who have applied for it through the legal process. After that, admit illegal aliens who do not have criminal records of violent crime, gang membership, or dealing drugs. Anybody else here illegally, deport.

    Immigration should benefit both the immigrant and the nation.
    It wouldn’t then be such a loaded question to ask immigration status in order to get welfare or other state.

  4. Immigrants need to assimilate, otherwise they remain outsiders forever. Our government has removed the incentives to assimilate. My problem isn’t with illegal immigration per se; if I were living in similar conditions I hope I’d have the courage to take my family to a better, safer place. I feel sorry for these folks. But when they get here I want them to become Americans. Some path to citizenship is necessary for the illegals.

  5. “3…. admit illegal aliens who do not have criminal records of violent crime, gang membership, or dealing drugs. Anybody else here illegally, deport.”

    “Admit illegal aliens”. Are you sure you’re not conflating immigration with illegal immigration?
    “Everybody else here illegally, deport.”

    If we’re going to “admit illegal aliens” i.e. let more of them in, knowing they’re coming in illegally, i.e. officially sanction, i.e. legalize illegality, then who are these “anybody else here illegally” you want deported?

    Sorry, but than makes no sense on its surface. – the words themselves do not fit together.

    We’ve been set up. There is no way out of this that doesn’t piss off a lot of people. There is an effective way out, but no one wants to face it; Get rid of redistribution programs (but that’s 90+% of what government does anymore) and end the WOD (take the incentive for organized crime that is the WOD and that magnet is turned off, virtually overnight).

    We got by in this country just fine and dandy for 200 years without any big problems on the borders (except for a little thing about Texas and the Southwest, but that was an altogether different issue) and most of that time anyone could waltz back and forth over the borders, north and south, with barely so much as a blink. Any major problems we now have, we manufactured ourselves.

    Tear down the manufactured problems (redistribution and the WOD) and then tear down the problem-manufacturing machine (Progressivism/socialism/Marxism/Fascism or whatever you want to call it this week to make yourself feel better about it) and grind it into the dust, and there is no more big problem. No one has any incentive, at that point, to come here unless they simply want the opportunity, which is what this country is all about.

    But all the “solutions” I’ve heard so far involve keeping the electro-magnets turned on, attracting the freeloaders and the criminals on one hand, while offering irrational, discombobulated proposals for keeping them out on the other hand. Can’t have it both ways, so which is it?

  6. @Lyle, You didn’t explicitly say this but the minimum wage and high taxes on labor both have to go as well. Those create job opportunities for people willing to work “under the table”. Just like high taxes on cigarettes or alcohol the government has create black markets that contribute the problem.

  7. “So…. you guys support open borders and more immigration? No minimum wage? No taxes? ”
    I can only speak for myself, but yes.

    “How do Libertarians stop cybercriminals?”
    I have a good answer for this, but I’m not going to bother, because the question has nothing to do with the issue at hand. The whole idea behind “cybercrime” is that it can be done across borders, so immigration policy is irrelevant.

  8. Chrispy; Don’t fall for ubu’s IARs.

    Joe; Yes I did;
    “Outlawing socialism would include doing away with labor laws, minimum wage being a big one at play here.”

    It’s all in there. A ban on coercive redistribution may not reduce taxes drastically, but you’re right in implying that it implies it, and it does so very strongly So OK; I do hereby declare that I believe taxes should be as close to zero as practiceable, so much so that I would support a constitutional amendment that eliminates the 16th amendment and limits a citizen’s combined total taxation on income to less than 5%, or taxation on spending to less than 5%, but that income and spending may never be taxed at the same time. It would slao eliminate corporate taxes, inheritence taxes, et all, and of coursde there would have to be death penalties for any and all who seek to violate this measure. (Don’t want to die by firing squad? Great, then don’t fuck with American’s property rights. Simple as that) m Oh; and the 5% would only be for dire emergencies, like a giant asteroid intersecting Earth’s orbit, or the need to produce a thousand more nukes to point at some communist country’s government. I’d limit it to those two scenarios actually. In other times it should be no more than 2 or 3%, either income or spending, but never both. For all other emergencies we need the government out of our way so we can deal with them properly.

    This relates to immigration in the same way eliminating labor laws and drug laws relate to immigration and border issues– it sets up the natural conditions of incentive (liberty) for humans, and the goodness in humans, to flourish. If someone can get a job by ingnoring labor laws and taxation, where they otherwise could not get a job (and that is in fact the case) then labor laws and taxation are to blame. Stuff them and the problem is gone. Not tweaked or made better, but gone.

  9. Lyle, perhaps my three step, cocktail napkin position paper is a bit inartfully expressed.
    Step three occurs AFTER step two, which is to admit as legal residents all those who have applied but not taken the step of arriving and staying illegally. After the backlog is admitted, the “amnesty” (or whatever it is called that the illegal alien lobby is calling for now before anything else occurs) can take place. I want the process to reward people who have been here as productive members of the community(obeying SOME of the laws), but only AFTER we reward people who have shown they obey ALL the laws, and at that time deport the people who have trouble obeying ANY laws except the law of the jungle.

  10. I don’t claim to be a conservative, but here is what I grok as the “conservative” position based upon the attacks on pro-amnesty Republican candidates:

    Legal immigration = good
    Illegal immigration = bad:
    – it’s nice to have the option of deportation and exclusion for non-citizens who turn out to be a dangerous or scammers
    – those with bad intentions get in as easily as the economic migrants

    Pathway to legal residence for people who entered the country without passing passport control or who overstayed = Bad:
    – because the past amnesties have lead to expectations of future amnesties which encourages illegal immigration

    Expanding legal immigration with more people/new categories of people accepted = Bad:
    – not so much because it costs “American’s” jobs, but because that is the perception they feel that the electorate has — they feel it is to their political advantage to be “with the common man” much like politicians from both parties will embrace protectionism for the same reason.

    Enforcement of current immigration laws = good:
    – because where we have allowed discretion in the enforcement of laws we often end up with discriminatory enforcement

    Lack of enforcement of current immigration laws = bad:
    – it encourages illegal acts
    – it has had the effect of making a class that is exempt from laws unrelated to international immigration:
    — laws restricting who qualifies for “in-state’ tuition
    — laws relating to who needs liability insurance
    — etc.

    My question is the opposite: why are so many on both sides of the political spectrum so intent on keeping the status quo? What we have created is a vast underclass that is employed at below the prevailing wage, and who has no confidence that they can have any legal recourse for abuse or crimes against them, such as employers who refuse to pay them after the work is done or landlords who will not return security deposits. Why is it so important to some politicians that we keep such a caste system in place? Are they being payed off by the agribusiness and canners?

    Of course, all of these points are debatable and have both data and anecdotes that support both sides of the questions. And no one candidate speaks fully from one side of his mouth on the issue.

  11. OT, but since it’s been brought up by the host: we need minimum wage laws for the same reason we had to pass child labor laws to protect children from being used as sweathouse labor. There are too many people who are willing to use immoral means to accrue profit for themselves while abusing other citizens (or immigrants) and these people will have the money and power to co-opt local LEOs, judges, etc. to back up their foul behaviour. Getting rid of the minimum wage is one of those ideas that fails the transition from theory to reality.

  12. It sounds like you want it explained in isolation from the socialist incentives that you say drive people here. That’s a bit like explaining wind in isolation from air…
    This is largely the topic that made a friend of mine libertarian rather then Libertarian (they were once part of the LPWS State Central Committee back when… nevermind). People move here in order to benefit from tax run social programs, yes we -should- end that. But saying that that means we can’t enforce current immigration law iss like arguing that clotting factor should eventually end the nasty hemorrhaging your stump has. Systemic answers don’t obviate band aids if you can’t get the systemic answer adopted. IMHO

  13. Having a son-in-law who is now a citizen after being brought here as an infant, this topic has been a frequent discussion in our home.

    I know 3 things:
    1) Faced with the current situation in Mexico, I would do anything that didn’t harm someone else to bring my family here to the United States.
    2) I would work my butt off to make my children assimilate into US society. (My son in laws parents would not teach him Spanish, they made him learn English, though his mother still has difficulty in conversational English.)
    3) My family would understand the difference in freedom here and freedom as defined elsewhere in the World.

    The problem with defining the “conservative” viewpoint on the issue is that there ISN’T a “conservative” viewpoint!

    MOST immigrants here are hard working people who want only to support their families. How many US citizens would walk for 7 days across a desert in 100 degree heat to work an $9/hour job? Heck, most unemployed Americans won’t bother to show up at the unemployment office weekly and check the listings!

    We had major WOD issues long before there was a flood of Mexican immigration, and we will have WOD issues long after we finally resolve this issue. We lost the WOD so long ago that we can’t even remember the date. We need to accept it, and put all the money being spent there into training and educating people for the future. Drug addiction is a self limiting problem. Let people use them how they like, penalize them heavily for endangering others while using them, (IE. DUI equals GO Directly TO JAIL, period!) and move on. (Why is the penalty for discharge of a firearm within city limits more severe than the penalty for DUI?)

    These immigrants, illegal or otherwise, aren’t going back south of the border. Make immigration laws consistent with the Stature of Liberty’s promise again, and lets rebuild America the Beautiful!

  14. “We need minimum wage laws for the same reason we had to pass child labor laws to protect children from being used as sweathouse labor. There are too many people who are willing to use immoral means to accrue profit for themselves while abusing other citizens (or immigrants) and these people will have the money and power to co-opt local LEOs, judges, etc. to back up their foul behaviour. Getting rid of the minimum wage is one of those ideas that fails the transition from theory to reality.”

    This is something that I’ve learned in school, but haven’t yet researched enough to adequately challenge, myself. I have learned too much since leaving school, however, to trust any “obvious” reason why we need this law or that, that was taught in school.

    The problem with minimum wage laws is they destroy jobs that could be done by able-bodied people who need a leg-up in a time of crisis, or who aren’t in crisis, but simply need a few extra dollars of spending money. In other words, they create a false “scarcity”.

    And it also annoys me greatly that the Government is so willing to step into the private communications of me and my employer, in determining how many hours I wish to work, and the rate I’m willing be paid for those hours–to protect myself from, oh, I don’t know what. Exploitation?

    About three years ago, I took a job as a computer programmer, several months after completing my doctorate in math, part-time at $8.50/hr. With a wife and two kids to support. And my wife working part-time for another job, at $11/hr if I remember correctly. Should the Government have stepped in and said, “Nope, you can’t take that job! You have a family to support!” Well, shortly afterwards, I got a raise to $11/hr; then, about a year later, I started work part-time at another company for $17/hr; I then moved to full-time, and then to salaried, and then to another company plus part-time for the second company at $22/hr. (I’m choosing to work extra hours, to pay down debts.)

    I still hate what I do. Oh, how I yearn for mathematical work! If only I could figure out how to do that, and still provide for my family! But even so, I am *very* thankful for that $8.50/hr job that was offered to me–and in my efforts to figure out how I can make more money, I couldn’t help but feel that the Government had stacked the deck against me almost every step of the way!

    I have no personal stories about child labor, though, except that I probably should have done a lot more, personally, than I did. I have, however, recently read an article about how child labor laws makes children an expense, rather than an asset, and that (along with the socialization of elderly care, aka Social “Security”) has damaged the family…and the article presented the Amish, of all people, as an example of how being exempt from child labor and social security results in thriving families.

    In any case, I have come to realize that everything taught in school ought to be treated with the utmost skepticism; the sooner that you could learn to do that, the better off you’ll be.

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