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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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Real Libertarians (not the faux-Libertarians like some of the Tea Party candidates making a lot of noise) have some pretty good things to say about immigration. Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle released a statement this week saying the best way to end illegal immigration is to re-legalize immigration:

In debate after debate, Democratic and Republican politicians have decried the problem of illegal immigration, called for more border security and employer sanctions, and eagerly searched for evidence that their rivals employed undocumented help. The Obama administration proudly touts the fact that it is deporting more undocumented aliens than George W. Bush, while many of the families they support remain stranded in the United States, and most of whom were guilty of nothing more than the inability to satisfy a nightmarish bureaucracy.


For most of American history, immigrants streamed into this country, found jobs, and either stayed to build a life or returned to their native country if they couldn't. America was admired by the world and proudly displayed an ode to immigration on the Statue of Liberty, within sight of the major processing center at Ellis Island. We can and should return to that tradition.

"Every significant problem blamed on immigration in this country is either imaginary or caused by government. In Arizona, where illegal immigrants are being blamed for an increase in violent crime, violent crime has actually been declining for a decade, and declining much faster than the national average. Immigrants (both legal and illegal) commit crimes at lower rates than natives. If you're worried about gangs, then end the War on Drugs which funds them, just as it did the gangsters under alcohol prohibition.

"Immigrants are often accused of overloading the welfare system. This is again the fault of a government program. But the idea that welfare is a magnet for immigrants is a myth. In an ingeniously designed study by University of Hawaii Professor Ken Schoolland, patterns of migration within the 50 states, which have no travel restrictions between them, were studied. Schoolland found that were was, in fact, a very strong correlation between welfare and immigration: it was strongly negative. All of the states with the highest levels of government welfare benefits experienced net emigration to other states, and all of the states with the lowest levels of welfare experienced net immigration. Arizona, the current focus of anti-immigrant fears, ranks 46th in welfare benefits.

"Immigrants come here to work. Anyone who works and produces makes others better off. And unemployment and immigration actually are another two factors with a negative correlation. There has only been one decade in American history in which we did not have net immigration: the 1930s. If that is your idea of a great decade, you can have it.

"One unintended side effect of border crackdowns is to increase the number of undocumented aliens who remain because of the difficulty and cost of leaving and returning. Another is to create an 'underground railroad' that makes it easier for terrorists to enter without detection. The overwhelming majority of immigrants would love to come in through the front door. It is our bad immigration policy that has constructed the back door.

"It is time we stopped scapegoating the people who represent what is most admired about America. When the Libertarian Party was formed in 1971, we selected the Statue of Liberty as our symbol. We're the only political party that deserves it."

The Libertarian Party platform includes the following:

"3.4 Free Trade and Migration
"We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property."


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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    When it comes to borders people like Rand Paul, Sharon Angle and Joe Miller sound like East German commies!
  2. Jack's Avatar
    "some pretty good things to say about immigration":

    "Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property."

    So, basically, Greg and these libertarians are for unlimited immigration except for subversives, people with certain transmissible diseases, and known thieves? If an ex-Nazi isn't a credible threat, they get in too I guess. Greg's not for that so I guess he's not quite as pure in ideology as these extremists. That's an immoral, arbitrary exclusion based on this "economic freedom" ethical premise. I know libertarians are strongly for drug legalization and I don't see any exception for junkies so I assume they get in too. The frustration with trying to reason with an ideologue is that even when you inform them of impractical consequences of their position, they don't care about that, just their belief.
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    If you are a libertarian you should be for free markets..end of story, including free global markets..especially a country nose deep in debt. I have one way to deal with the national debt. Perhaps China should send the unemployable and unemployed to the US as partial repayment of the debt. Perhaps other Asian countries owed money by the US can also join in the program!
  4. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Gotta love the real conservatives. It is really refreshing that there are conservatives out there who like to look at the facts. Jack, it really does not matter how many times you are shown facts - your cognitive bias will never let you understand or accept them. That's a scientific fact, too.
  5. anon's Avatar
    I think this article about welfare being a magnet is a joke.
    There is alot of people taking advantage of the welfare health
    program. How do you prove that they aren't taking advantage of
    it if you have no way to track them? They are using bogus ss#.
    The government doesn't check. They don't verify ss# for employment. Your assuming that govt is in control of the situation and your assuming wrong. This recession is the only proof of how large the problem is and how long we've looked away. If this assumption is true the europe would have no problem in legalizing their immigrants and drawing enough funds to support their govt. Now, they are chaos because they were liberal with immigrants and now they can't afford their own govt. They assumed that taxation of immigrants would pay their debt but, in fact immigrants were not making much and therefore they are eligible for welfare which they never paid into. Also
    how can you prove their stay in the country when they have lied about everything to get into a country. It leads to such a mess. This recession will allow govt to look in the mirror and find that they must work under a budget. Taxation will not lead them out of their uncontrollable urge to overspend.
  6. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Anon, of course, there is a bunch of people abusing welfare programs. Almost all of them are Americans. Wake up, the government does not care if you have a bogus SSnumber only when you pay THEM, when they pay you, you'd better have a real one, and have proof it is yours, and have proof you are eligible. The article is based on facts.
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