TCS Daily


Living the Creed

By Nathan Smith - May 16, 2006 12:00 AM

Like many of President Bush's speeches, his immigration address last night was awkward, yet quite moving. His core beliefs -- hope for the future, the dignity of every individual, a love of freedom -- shine through every time Bush speaks. They are profound and noble convictions, made all the more poignant by their contrast, both with Bush's personal demeanor -- his everyman drawl, never quite at home amidst the grandiloquence he is uttering -- and with the black legend that surrounds his name throughout the world.

Politically, though, there are just two critical questions here. Can Bush heal the growing rift within the GOP? And has Bush come up with a way to "fix" our "broken" immigration system? Answers: no, and no.

Bush won't reunite the GOP, because many people on the right are foaming at the mouth that these swarthy Spanish speakers who mow their lawns and clean the restrooms at the office may soon be their fellow-citizens, their equals. It is this same kind of visceral opposition that Lyndon Johnson evoked when he demanded that white Americans relinquish their claims to superiority over black Americans. Immigration benefits us economically. Immigrant workers fill gaps in the labor market and are a key ingredient in low-inflation economic growth. They make native-born American citizens a bit richer. But that's less important than keeping the club exclusive.

Nor has Bush come up with a smart, sustainable "solution" to the "problem" of immigration, because there isn't one.

"First, the United States must secure its borders," Bush began. "This is a basic responsibility of a sovereign nation." That wasn't what our forefathers thought. Before 1918, the term "illegal immigrant" had no meaning, for the US did not require passports. But then came the first half of the 20th century, those dark times for liberty, when collectivist ideologies ravaged Europe, while milder forms of social engineering began to be practiced in America. A legacy of those times is that an archipelago of US consulates around the world now have arbitrary authority to admit, or not, the millions of people who wish to come here.

Bush's former economic adviser Larry Lindsay, in a recent article in the Weekly Standard, threw a bit of light on the grotesque unfairness and inefficiency of this system, an ongoing national disgrace of which most Americans are totally unaware. Illegal immigration is caused by the laws that make some kinds of migration illegal, and it will continue as long as they do. No matter how much we militarize or fortify the southern border, there will be visa over-stayers, and Canada, and boats, and planes. Yet every politician has to claim that illegal immigration can and will be stopped. Including Bush.

Next, Bush advocated a temporary worker program. "The reality is that there are many people on the other side of our border who will do anything to come to America to work and build a better life," he said. "They walk across miles of desert in the summer heat, or hide in the back of 18-wheelers to reach our country. This creates enormous pressure on our border that walls and patrols alone will not stop." What's his point? Is he saying that anyone who is that determined to come here should have the chance? But how do we know -- unless they do it? Then he adds that "temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay." But a person willing to cross the desert in the summer heat would be unlikely to go home voluntarily, whatever the law said. Most of them will stay on, as illegal immigrants. And we'll have to legalize them eventually, for the same reason we have to legalize the immigrants who are here today. Bush is perfectly right that that if we want to "secure the border" without igniting inflation, we need a guest-worker program. But he's giving his guest workers an incentive to break the law.

With respect to illegal immigrants who are already here, the semantic dance about the word "amnesty" is beside the point. People oppose amnesty because they want to make it so that illegal immigrants won't have benefited from breaking the law. But there's no way to do that, short of, perhaps, mass deportation, which would be a hideous evil. Even if we never pass any amnesty, even if illegal immigrants live and die "in the shadows," they'll be better off than they were in their home countries. We can't restructure the incentives so that immigrating illegally is a bad idea.

With luck, Bush's immigration reform passes. It will be a big improvement, even if ultimately the country needs something more hard-headed. And I think Bush is a hero for raising the issue and standing up to his base to do (sort of) the right thing, especially at the cost of wrecking his approval rating.

That's the difference between Bush and Clinton. Clinton, the Eisenhower Republican, was a feel-good president. He radiated complacency. Iraqis starved in the stranglehold of US-led sanctions; we didn't have to know or care. Illegal immigrants filtered in, helped us prosper, but stayed conveniently invisible. Clinton kept the divisive issues below the radar, and reaped a huge harvest of popularity for it.

Not Bush. Bush thinks Iraqis deserve to liberated, undocumented workers legalized. Why? His arguments that it serves US self-interest (war on terror, border security) never quite make sense. His real reason is that he believes in "the dignity of every individual." That's what's so subversive about Bush. We all mutter that "all men are created equal." Bush really believes it and tries to live by it, and his push for a better world is making a lot of people upset.

The sequel to the complacent 1950s was the volatile, angst-ridden 1960s, when idealists took center stage and ripped the national consensus apart. It's happening again.

The author is a TCS contributing writer.

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118 Comments

fill in the blanks
It bugs me when conservatives say as fact things they could not possibly know. (Maybe liberals do it too but I don't notice?) Bush looked into Putin's soul and saw a man committed to democratic reforms. George Bush Jr. has "core beliefs" that "shine through" his bumbling attempt to read the teleprompter.

Why should we believe "Bush thinks Iraqis deserve to liberated, undocumented workers legalized."? All evidence points to the Iraq invasion being vengence against Saddam. If Bush were concerned for the Iraqi people, he would have made sure there were enough troops to keep the peace, as Clinton did in Bosnia.

If Bush had concerns about the fate if Mexican border crossers, he might have taken less than six years to figure it out. And, Nathan Smith points out, even now Bush proposed essentially nothing. His bold compassion was not to engage in massive deportations so unpopular that they would have kept Republicans out of office for a generation.

the author is seeing through his bias
I have never met a conservative who foams at the mouth that swarthy people are going to become their equals.

That's a myth perpetrated by liberals who just can't believe that conservatives are not evil.

that LG finds it hard to believe there is anything good in a conservative
is hardly surprising.

Mass deportations hideously evil???
Ok, I want a show of hands of everyone who thinks mass deportations of illegals is hideously evil.

I'm all for opening the floodgates of immigration. I'm waiting with baited breath to hire a Phillipino maid if they open a guest worker program.

I'm also anxiously awaiting the deportation of every last illegal in the country.

If we don't enforce our laws we are destroying the rule of law. If that's hideously evil, folks, then I'm it.

You had me...
..up to here:
'If Bush were concerned for the Iraqi people, he would have made sure there were enough troops to keep the peace, as Clinton did in Bosnia.'

Then I had to laugh.



Do you obey all laws? Do you think all law worthy of obedience? eom

Immigration has always been controlled one way or another.
Maybe it's true that the US didn't require passports before 1918, but so what? They checked people when they arrived at our shores, at facilities such as Ellis Island, and denied entry - sometimes just as arbitrarily as the consular officials at which the author sneers - to various "undesirables."

If Mr. Smith can't get such a basic fact correct, what does that say about the rest of his thesis?

Ellis Island and contemporary US consulates-- no comparison whatsoever
Ellis Island tried to spot a few anarchists, and they had public health concerns. That was a rational, moral immigration policy, which let the vast majority of people in, while protecting a basic public safety. Today people wait for years, have to produce reams and reams of documents, and the vast majority of them are denied.

Maybe the commenter would accept the Ellis Island method as a compromise?

What if it turned out that mass deportation involved killing a lot of people?
It surely would, after all. You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. If you try to rip millions of people from their homes, some will resist, for their families' sake. Others will go home to their countries with nowhere to go, and succumb to starvation.

"The rule of law" is almost always part of the rationale given for ethnic cleansing and genocide.

It's all political
While I'd rather have Bush in office than either of those two mindless idiots Gore or Kerry, he's pissing me off. It's all just a political football to republicans and Democrats.

I would guess that most of you don't know who Ambrose Bierce was. He was one of 19th-century America's most renowned satirists. He was a popular columnist and writer, producing many short stories, essays, poems, etc.

In the early 1880s, he wrote something called "The Devil's Dictionary," which, in dictionary format, lambastes almost everything and everybody.

Going through it the other night, I found something interesting. Now, from his other writings, it is obvious that Bierce did not think of black Americans as "niggers." (Sorry I didn't say "the N-word" but I think THAT is hypocritical.) However, he wrote the following to illustrate the hypocrisy of the politicians of his day:

"African, n. A ****** that votes our way."

Has anything changed?

In light of the more recent events over illegal aliens in this country, one might also add to the dictionary:

"Mexican, n. A beaner that votes our way."

Politicians will never change.

Just for another truism from Bierce:

"Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others."

We must go after employers of illegal aliens
George W. Bush
President
United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington D.C. 20500
Dear President Bush:
Twice you took an oath of office to uphold and defend our constitution. As incredible as it seems, we have abandoned the rule of law for an entire category of people (illegal aliens) by allowing them to remain in our country outside the enforcement of our laws. As chief executive of the USA, responsibility ultimately rests with you.
Here's my personal story: I recently learned from my father (who lives in Indiana) that all through the state it is implicitly recognized that illegal aliens ARE ALLOWED TO VOTE; they simply commit felony perjury by claiming to be U.S. citizens. No proof of citizenship is even requested! I couldn't believe him, so I confirmed this by calling government officials in South Bend and Indianapolis. This situation is intolerable and must be stopped now! (Just think how many fewer Democrat votes there could be).
With so many illegal aliens already here, what can be done now? I recommend going after the source of the problem. In my opinion, the worst culprits are those who hire illegal aliens. I'm sure you can see the temptations: sub-minimum wages, terrible working conditions, dispensable workers.
I propose that we establish a clearinghouse (online and via every employment office) for employers who are having difficulty finding legal workers domestically. After a short amount of time (if there are no challenges by competing domestic applicants), the employer may hire anyone in the world. The employer brings in the worker, spouse, and immediate children, and becomes responsible for them until they become legal citizens or leave the USA. In the meantime, they earn at least minimum wage and pay taxes.
To prevent continued use of illegal aliens, I also propose that we fine employers $100,000 per illegal alien employee, and offer a $500 reward for turning in those employers.

The obvious answer to you both is...
change the law!

Don't ignore a law you feel is unjust. You are setting up a prime selective enforcement situation because you haven't the heart to enforce the current law.

It's all political, very true.
The republicans being like the democrats big believers in big government socialism need some issue to run on to differentiate them from the democrats thus the immigration debate.


The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and thus clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." -- H.L. Mencken




At least Lefty Goody Two Shoes diudn't cite Haiti or Somilia
But he is good for a laugh.

You gotta protetc those maids and gardners
Mark:
The Left and the RINOs just want cheap l;abor and if in 20 years there are 100 million new aliens isn't this truly humane? Bush is a raging idiot who has failed to uphold the laws and demonstrates just how isolated the elites of this nation are. The author demopnstrates not only his biases but that his blinders are firmly in place.

What would Mexico do?
Ask any Central American. By the way your comment made me weep, sob. Perhaps they'd fight because half of all felons in California prisons are illegal aliens. 90 per cent of all outstanding warrants for murder in LA county are for illegal aliens.

Weep for them.

What crap! How many applicants are denied entry?
It is rare that anyone who follows immigration procedures is denied entry unless he has major health or criminal problems. They US accepts more immigrants than the rest of the world put together.

How about this as a compromise we accept anyone who can get to Ellis Island. In the meantime seal off the borders, place all illegal aliens guilty of criminal activity in penal colonies outside the US, say Guam, and leave them there, deny all welfare, educational, and other public services to these law breakers.

In fact we should deal with them as Mexico deals with its legal aliens.

I stopped at "Swarthy Spanish Speakers."
You used those words, not me, amigo.

Under those premises I don't think you respect me or my point of view. You assume you know what I'm thinking.

Truth is, I battle with myself over whether this is racism on my part, or something else.

You've already decided about me. According to you I'm xenophobically terrified of La Raza. I don't have my Aryan pride to defend me anymore, so I won't be starting up a ghetto or a death camp real soon, though you may think so. so what's the point in me reading what you have to say?

On the Lighter Side --- Don't Write Me Back Bitching
BIG EARTHQUAKE IN MEXICO

A big earthquake with the strength of 8.1 on the Richter scale has hit Mexico.

Two million Mexicans have died and over a million are injured. The country is totally ruined and the government doesn't know where to start with providing help to rebuild.

The rest of the world is in shock.

Canada is sending troopers to help the Mexican army control the riots.

Saudi Arabia is sending oil.

Other Latin American countries are sending supplies.

The European community (except France) is sending food and money.

The United States, not to be outdone, is sending two million replacement Mexicans.

God Bless America

Steaming pile of rubbish
Who is Nathan Smith and why is his steaming pile of rubbish polluting my TCS ?

As odd as this may sound, I have to agree (slightly) with 'liberal good man' (which is an oxymoron, I know) - in that I also hate it when people state as fact things which are mere opinion.

Bush gives an important speech to the nation on prime-time national television last night, and this mess by smith is the best TCS comes up with the next day?

Come ON, TCS, you're asleep at the wheel today!

This guy has written something so filled with wrong-headedness, error, and just plain stupidity, it borders on satire.

'Conservatives don't want amnesty because we don't want the guys mowing our lawns to be our equals'?? What bumper-sticker did this guy get THAT howler from? 'Illegals benefit our society, make us all richer'?? Right. Tell that to the collapsing school districts being buried under the weight of 'ESL/EDS' (that's 'English as Second Language/Economically Disadvantaged Students' for those of you with public educations - meaning: free lunches, free breakfasts, and the mandatory hiring of bilingual instructors, as well as mandatory hiring of remedial instructors to teach these children of illegals). Tell that to the employees of the closed and empty Emergency Rooms. Tell that to those people who work with the prison system, and the legal system, both being buried under mountains of illegals both committing crimes, being punished, and incarcerated on the taxpayer's dime, as well as the illegals who are bogging down our civil legal system with an avalanche of frivolous lawsuits. That's the new 'path to economic prosperity for illegal mexicans', by the way: come here, take some dangerous job, hurt yourself on said job, find some ambulance-chaser to sue for you, collect your settlement, rinse, repeat.

Tcs, what a collossal blunder, putting this guy's 'whatever-it-is' up on your site. On the other hand, this will probably enter the lexicon, along the lines of FUBAR: "Well, you guys really Nathan-Smith'ed that one!" or "Let's make sure this new guy knows what he's talking about - we don't want to pull another Nathan-Smith!"

Reasonable Immigration
While I agree in principal -- we must be careful to distinguish rational support for tight immigration restriction from cultural protectionism (and the rare outright racism).

Bush's Border Buffoonery
by Nick Gillespie, (Editor-in-Chief)
Reason, May 16, 2006

...As FOX News stalwart Tony Snow wrote just a couple of months before becoming Bush's press secretary, "IMMIGRATION IS NOT THE POX NEO-KNOW NOTHINGS MAKE IT OUT TO BE" (here's hoping he brings that POV to bear in the White House). Far from it. Unemployment is low and crime is down everywhere, but especially in areas teeming with immigrants. Those who worry for whatever reason about languages other than English being spoken in America can rest easy knowing that MOST LATINOS ARE SPANISH-FREE BY THE THIRD GENERATION.

Immigration restrictionists argue, not without some merit, that illegal immigrants don't fully pay into social-welfare system from which they benefit. Restrictionists tend to overstate the effect of illegal immigrants on American wages and they understate the amount of taxes even illegals pay...

But the most efficient way to address these concerns is by MAKING IT EASIER FOR ILLEGALS TO FUNCTION IN THE LIGHT OF DAY, where they would have every reason to pay all the taxes the rest of us do. And to enter the country through official checkpoints (and to leave the country through the same gates)...

http://www.reason.com/links/links051606.shtml

The law made it illegal? - Give me a break
"Illegal immigration is caused by the laws that make some kinds of migration illegal, and it will continue as long as they do."

No, illegal immigration is caused by people breaking the law. Freedom is a wonderful thing, but it is anarchy when it is used to justify breaking a law.

It is just for a country to have rules regarding those who may enter the country. A country has a right to control its culture and the economic benefits and burdens of its citizens -- all of which are affected by illicit immigration.

libel is "hideously evil."
Please tell us who the conservatives are who are advocating mass deportations. I've been watching the news every day for two years steady MSNBC, Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC. And I haven't heard a one!

While I do think that Putin is Stalin in an Italian silk suit,and this president has made mistakes, so what! He didn't get as many troops killed as Roosevelt at Kaserine Pass, Anzio, Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Saipan, Normandy, Okinawa, The Bulge etc. I know of no Republicans who called for his impeachment over it.

Who Owns the USA?
The US government does not own the United States. Individuals own property and, were this a free society, it would be up to them, and to them only, to decide who can or cannot enter upon their property.

Also, were this a free society, the government could not dictate who can travel, where they can go or whether or not they can enter or leave the territory.

The immigration problem is government-created and is due to the belief that government power should override individual rights to travel or move his residence. The solution is to take power back from the government and to rely on individual property rights and individual decisions to control immigration.

Benefits whom?
Sure business benefits from cheap labor, but what about the tax payers that effectively fit much of the bill for the illegals compensation? In an ealier time in our history, before the "great society", FDR, etc, immigration of low skilled workers made much more sense. What we have now are people taking adavantage of the broken system for the gain of a select few at the expense of everyone else. The illegals are just the pawns in this sad game.

We should give preference for immigration to people that haven't broken our laws. If we catch you here illegally, you get finger printed and DNA sampled. When you apply for citizane ship, if you're in the database, you go to the back of the line.

We don't have to deport millions of people, they'll deport themselves at their own expense if they can't get a job, can't go to the hospital, and can't put their kids in school. Why should we pay, diesel is $3/gallon! The real tragedy in the long run is to reward people that game the system, and punish those that want to play by the rules.

You hear the excuse from businesses that use this labor that how can they tell? This is what you call in spook parlance "plausable deniability". Its like a guy comes up to you on the street with a car stereo for $20. "How was I to know it was stolen?" you tell the police. Should be the same deal for businesses.

One of the big issues that I haven't heard discussed much is why Mexico is so screwed up. One of the things is that we subsidize our agriculture to the point that it doesn't make sense to buy food from Mexico. So our taxes are high, and food is cheaper. So the people that would have been picking lettuce in Mexico have to come here to perform their chosen livelyhood- picking lettuce. Also, we let agriculeture trade association write BS laws that restrict trade with Mexico. So in So. Cal, an Avocado is $2 each, but is North Mexico their $.10.

Also, Neuvo Lerado and elsewhere, our drug policy is making criminals into millionares. You can buy a lot of public officials for that kind of money anywhere, let alone Mexico. So this disruption of infrastructure further dislocates people.

So the laws of unintended consequences and good old fashioned corruption lead us to playing whak-a-mole window dressing at the boarder.

Read the Constitution
The Constitution grants the US government the authority to control immigration. So its not a matter of individual property rights. It is about the states having granted the power to the federal government to control this aspect of the federation.

The government can dictate travel across its borders by the grant of this power.

Maybe you don't understand what a written constitution is.

Constitution and Immigration
And maybe you understand what a written constitution is, but you can't read it.

First of all, the Constitution does not mention the word immigration anywhere.

The Congress has assumed the power to regulate immigration by interpreting the "necessary and proper" clause to mean that, under its enumerated power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, it can therefore regulate immigration. In short, people = commerce.

Then there's the Migration or Importation clause meant to apply to slaves who are hardly "immigrants".

Finally, you might want to read, say, Randy Barnett, on the improper use of the necessary and proper clause. But wait ... you can't read, so that's not much help.

good grief
Congress has the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization Article I, Section 8, clause 4. This gives Congress plenary power over the admission, exclusion, and deportation of aliens.

How can you even discuss this when you can't even get off the ground?

Damn you, Mr. Smith
I appreciate your homage to the courage of Bush. I think that history will judge Bush the same way, that he was at heart truly above politics; that he believed in the equality of man. But please, your insulting remarks about those of us who want to secure the border are "foaming at the mouth...that these Spanish speakers...may soon be our fellow citizens, our equals." Damn you!! How can we have any reasonable discussion about this if think we're foaming at the mouth because we don't want "swarthy" people to be our equals. It's bad enough when it comes from Democrats, but from a libertarian who should know better, who has probably had the same unjust epithets thrown at him... Shame on you!!

No Subject
Those people foaming at the mouth are not foaming about whether the illegals are equal. We are foaming because they are illegals, they have invaded sovereign territory without proper documentation and they have trespassed on private property without an invitation. That is two laws they have broken. Immigration does not benefit us economically. We are foaming because they are burdening our infrastucture. They don't pay taxes, have no loyalty to our country, and send their funds back to their homeland for the benefit of their country. Immigrant workers take away jobs for lower wages. There is no job that Americans won't do if the pay is commensurate with the work they perform and feeds, clothes, houses the family.

No hope
Congress has the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization Article I, Section 8, clause 4. This gives Congress plenary power over the admission, exclusion, and deportation of aliens.

Wrong. Admission and expulsion differ from naturalization. I'd refer you to the dictionary but we've already established your inability to read. Now we learn that you can't understand the differences between the meanings of words. There's just no hope for you.

Can't Believe IT
The Supreme Court has establised the interpretation of this power and there has never been a dispute about its interpretation. See Kliendienst v. Mandel 408 US 753 (1972) and Knauff v. Shaughnessy, 338 US 537 (1950) The point is beyond debate.

I stopped at swarthy Spanish speakers, too.
great post lisaAA. Please don't fret about being racist. It's not racist to want borders. Without borders, there is no country for illegals to aspire to. I don't know how the editors of TCS let this guy anywhere near their blogotron. He belongs over at Daily Kos or Common Dreams or Democrat Underground.

Bold Fellow! Bring in more swarthies!!
The dear Mr. Smith has such a broad mind and a generous heart. Such delightful multiculturalism and anti-nationalism!

Let's take it further. But since too many non-English speakers do pose somewhat of a problem coming at one time. Therefore I propose that we let in only about 3,000 immigrants a day (a million a year, only ten 747s full, one daily at our country's biggest ten airports) from only the following countries where enough willing English-speakers could be found for the next five years or so: Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, India, Pakistan, BanglaDesh, Ceylon, Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Phillipines, Korea, Russia, and perhaps a dozen more. Only a foaming at the mouth xenophobe and racist would object to this plan.

ILLEGAL ALIENS = CHEAP LABOR FOR THE RIGHT + FUTURE NON-WHITE VOTES FOR THE LEFT
This is the simple nuts and bolts of it....

Agree with jond908 - Mr Smith you insult some TCS readers - writing a letter of complaint to the edi
I agree with President Bush on many issues and disagree on some. The one I am most in disagreement with is his ideas on how to deal with illegal immigrants.

What kind of lazy mind would thereby insinuate that I am "foaming at the mouth" cause I am allegedly afraid of "swarthy spanish-speakers" to be my neighbors.

And then to go further and accuse me of racism by comparing my opposition to ILLEGAL immigration to the real discrimination against AMERICANS in the 1960's that were black is again lazy thinking.

Again, I agree with jond908 when he(she) says that we can't have a reasonable discussion if you start by insulting those who might disagree with you.

Mr. Smith you did not do that in your previous article arguing for countries without borders on a moral ground (something I disagree with as I do think it is moral to protect our borders).

I am writing a letter of complaint to the TCS editor based on your insulting words as I always enjoyed TCS as a place that has intelligent, reasoned writing (and I don't need to agree with it).

If you are man enough, you will apologize to the readers.

The impeachment issue
You offer that Bush "didn't get as many troops killed as Roosevelt at Kaserine Pass, Anzio, Iwo Jima, Tarawa, Saipan, Normandy, Okinawa, The Bulge etc. I know of no Republicans who called for his impeachment over it."

The distinction to be made is that Japan attacked the United States. The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team attacked a country that had no plans to attack us and no capability for attacking us, in the service of a philosophy that wanted to create an American base in the heart of the Middle East, both for profit and for politics.

This is certainly an impeachable offense. Starting a war without provocation should be at least as significant a presidential faux pas as getting a BJ from an intern and equivocating about it.

how many times are these lies going to have to be shot down?

Iraq was supporting and aiding terrorists
I believe what Christopher Hitchens says about this all.

Remember Roy calling for Clinton's impeachment?
When he started wars in Haiti and Bosnia? I can't, but apparently Lefties have different standards.

We'd get more restaurant choices.
I love this idea. I just tried Ethiopian food and loved it. Bring in the swarthy Ethiopians! 3,000 a day! If they can get here, they're in! I mean, that's the criterion--if you can drag, haul or drive yourself in, go ahead and claim your stake. Nobody will stop you, lest they be accused of something.

Yes, rubbish!
Wesley,

You've got it exactly right. I thought TCS had dumped Nathan Smith after his first two (sappy & stupid) pro-immigration essays. Not so, apparently.

To your own points in response to Mr Smith's rediculous work, I like to add a quick remark. In his piece (of crap), Smith proffers this: "We can't restructure the incentives so that immigrating illegally is a bad idea."

I beleive it goes to show just what a shallow and simple thinker Smith is. Of course we can do a number of things to remove the insentives - many far short of jail or deportation.

We can cut of ALL public assitence to illegal's, saving our government the $2700/yr negative net difference between what each illegal household pays in tax vs what they recieve in benefits.

We can aggresively track-down and prosecute those who hire them, pay them below minimun wage salaries, and who do not pay for workman's comp insurance for such workers (all three of these acts are illegal). Fines would easily pay for the cost of this.

We can enforce housing codes so that they are not permitted to live with multiple families (nor 20+ men) in a single small home.

We can end the practice of automatic citizenship for "anchor" babies. If they want to have children, let them pay for those children - not taxpayers.

Just four relatively inexpensive approaches to reducing the incentive that I can think of right off the top of my head.

And beyond these, we can change deportation priorities for illegals such that those convicted of driving under the influence, those convicted of domestic violence, and those convicted of committing property crimes would be subject to manditory deportation after completing any sentence. In most cases, these crimes do not now lead to deportation, and illegal immigrants have shown a high propensity to engage in all three. And, those sentenced for higher order felonies would also face manditory deportation after their sentences (unfortunately, this is not always the case as it is now).

Even though Smiths mind cannot grasp the obvious, we can indeed act to reduce the incentives to illegal immigration; and, in dooing so, act in our own self interest. Just my two cents.

nathyns
Nathan Smith,

Doesn't TCS have a prohibition on you posting comments to the disscussion threads your own work?

Bravo
Your recommendations are plain common sense. I'd like to see a Constitutional amendment put into effect on these immediately.

fill in the blanks
"All evidence points to the Iraq invasion being vengence against Saddam"

What an idiotically false statement. Is "LiberalGoodman" really so ignorant and berefit of reasoning skills that he thinks he can get away with this nonsense?

He is as big a fool as "stephen" if he thinks leftist group-think and political correctness is a substitute for facts.

The impeachment issue
"The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team attacked a country that had no plans to attack us"

Tell us "roy_bean", are you so willfully ignorant that you are one of Lenin's "Usefull Idiots", or are you just another hate filled liar of the far left?

Saddam's attacks on Americans, his support of international terrorist organizations who attacked American and Americans, his history of using WMDs, his WMD programs, and his blatent violation of 17 UN resolutions make your statement a pathetic lie.

What next, going to tell us the Moon landings were faked because the aliens who abducted you told you so?

The impeachment issue
Make that "Useful Idiots"...

Although Roy could fit both spellings into his worldview.

"foaming at the mouth ... [about] swarthy Spanish speakers"? *EXCUSE* me?!!?
"... many people on the right are foaming at the mouth that these swarthy Spanish speakers who mow their lawns and clean the restrooms at the office may soon be their fellow-citizens, their equals."

Excuse me? Did I just read what I think I read? Did he really just say that?

The above -- that arrogant, presumptuous pre-emptive accusation of racism -- should be enough to discredit Mr. Smith's entire article right there. I stopped taking him seriously when I read the above sentence.

But I'll rebut. Has Mr. Smith noticed that the greatest dangers facing illegal immigrants stem directly from their illegal status? They can't complain about abuses by their employer (because they'll be deported), so they get exploited. They get victimized by border smugglers who charge them insane amounts of money to get into the U.S. (Something that, if they were immigrating legally, would cost them no more than a bus ticket). And they live with the fear that they'll be found and deported.

Now, what's the solution to all those problems? *LEGAL* immigration. I don't hear a clamor of voices on the Right saying "Close the borders, don't let anyone in!" No, what I hear is a clamor of voices saying "Our society can only assimilate so many people at once, and the *illegal* immigrants are stressing the system. Stop the *illegal* immigration, and keep letting *legal* immigrants in."

I don't know how many times this message has to be repeated before the other side will "get it". It's not about skin color, dammit! It's about following the rules vs. breaking the rules.

Conservatives have never forgotten that we are a nation of immigrants. That's why we're arguing for *LEGAL* immigration, which removes all the problems I listed above. It gives the immigrants power to complain about employer abuses -- thereby guaranteeing them better working conditions, and probably higher wages. It means they won't die of exposure in the desert when a border-smuggler deserts them. And it means the numbers of immigrants will be *KNOWN*, and services can be provided accordingly.

Stopping illegal immigration, and setting up better channels for *LEGAL* immigration, is the compassionate solution.

Beg to differ
No one, including Christopher Hitchens, has offered the slightest evidence that Iraq offered aid to Al Qaeda or any group active in the United States. The alleged meeting in Prague, much ballyhooed in the aftermath of 9/11, was never substantiated.

If you have information that has escaped the 9/11 Commission, please post the web address.

Think it through a little better
The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team attacked a country that had no plans to attack us.

The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld team attacked a country that had no plans to attack us.

If you can produce proof that Saddam was colluding with any Al Qaeda type group in the run-up to 9/11 you know something not even **** Cheney is willing to suggest. There was no operational collusion between Saddam and any terror group targeting the United States-- not since 1991. We know that.

And before 1991 the guy was our client. As Mark Russell famously said, "We know Saddam has WMD's. We have the receipts."

Seriously, you need to look at the sequence of events. We had very strong intel that Iraq's WMD's had been destroyed by 1995 or 96. In light of that, a continuing regume of random inspections would have continued to work just fine. And no war would ever have been needed.

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