Immigration Policy Redux: A Blast from the Past with an Intro

I was getting frustrated by people of a supposed libertarian bent objecting to any kind of border enforcement (I’ve already spoken on my rather mixed feelings on “the wall”) because people should be free to move as they wish.  Well, in an ideal world that would be true, but we live so far from an ideal world that it’s not even funny.   The problem is that you cannot keep importing people who are opposed to the very idea of Freedom and expect to build a free country.

Look, in most of the world revolution isn’t about creating a free(er) society.  Revolution is about removing one set of tyrants and replacing it with another.  It was once popular, during the Cold War in particular, to complain about the US supporting various dictatorships around the world “merely” because they opposed the Soviet Union.  This wasn’t because we had some perverse preference for these dictatorships over free governments.  It was because there really weren’t any viable liberty-supporting organizations to support.  This is why Reagan, in his “A Time for Choosing” speech at the 1964 Republican National Convention said “If we lose freedom here there’s no place to escape to.  This is the last stand on Earth.”

So, that said, let’s proceed with the “blast from the past”:

Immigration policy is a perennial subject on social media and in politics.  I, of course, have my own views.  Specifically, I support legal immigration while not supporting illegal immigration.  The question often arises of what to do about the children of illegal aliens, brought here through no fault of their own.

In the case of these kids there are two options as I see it. First, either they are still kids in which case the only realistic thing to do with them is send them back with their parent(s). Second, if they are not still kids, then as an adult they chose to stay here illegally and that’s on them.

The above options are for children brought here from out of country. In the case of children born here to illegal alien parents, there are two different options because of “birth citizenship.” The first is that the parents may choose to retain their parental rights, in which case the child goes back with them (As far as I’m concerned amnesty followed by promises of future border enforcement* is a non-starter.  “Fool me once….”) but, as a citizen, they may return on reaching adulthood. The second is that the parents may, at their option, give up their parental rights and allow the child to be taken into foster care and possibly adopted by an American family. In neither case do the illegal aliens remain in the US.

“But!” someone will say. “It’s not the child’s fault!”

No.  It’s not.  But the child does not get to benefit from the illegal actions of the parent any more than a child who, innocent of theft, would be allowed to keep stolen property given to them by a thief parent.  The child being deprived of that is on the parents who provided it illegally in the first place.

“But you’re breaking up families!” Someone else says. “You can’t do that.”

It could be if the parents choose that option.  But how is that different from any other crime?  Entering the US illegally is a crime. (Kind of implicit in that word “illegally”.) Overstaying a VISA is a crime.  Working in the US without being here legally with proper authorization to work is a crime.  Collecting government benefits without being here legally is a crime.  Those latter two illustrate that it’s not just the illegal entry that’s at issue, but that unless they’re independently wealthy and therefore self-supporting (in which case, they should have no problem entering legally) they continue to break the law as they continue to remain here illegally.

So, no, if I had my way, illegal immigrants would not get to stay.

Now, while that would be the base policy I would also agitate for a bit of flexibility to deal with innocent mistakes, paperwork errors, or being misled in procedures that lead to someone through no intent of their own being here illegally. I’ve known people who’ve had that happen, My wife had that happen. (We filled out my wife’s paperwork after our marriage. I sent it off. Only between the time the paperwork sent to us was printed and the time we sent it back, the location to which it was supposed to go changed. After a period of no response, no response, no response, we ended up hiring an attorney who helped us resolve things.  And I checked.  Our copy of the forms said “send here”.  Lawyer said, “No, send there”. And the “there” is what finally got things straightened out.)

Some people do make a good faith effort but, through no fault of their own, things go bad.  Judicious people with the ability to make exceptions can handle that when it happens.

Oh, and I would bend. over. backward. to encourage people I think of as “Americans who just happen to be born elsewhere” to come here, people who could read the Constitution (the Bill of Rights in particular) and the Declaration of Independence, and basically say “Duh” (Or call it, oh, say, 85% or more agreement), people like Darryl Hadfield and Sarah A. Hoyt. I don’t much care how they get here, so long as they do get here to counteract the “we’re going to come to America and turn it into a replica of the place we just came from” folk.

That’s the thing.  I want people to come to the US.  While the lines on the Statue of Liberty are a poem and not US policy (and never have been) the line is “yearning to breath free” not “yearning to bring our tyranny here”.

Which brings up another issue.  We could handle quite a few of the latter, immigrants who don’t believe in the American Ideal as laid out in our founding documents.  They might not, but their children would–or their children would if we didn’t have educational and media establishments that are actively hostile to those ideals and deliberately work to turn people against them.  Instead of focusing on the ideals, on the value of freedom, self-reliance, and the dignity of the individual they focus on the flaws of those individuals and use their shortcomings to denigrate the very ideals themselves.  No, we are not, and haven’t been, perfect.  But they use that imperfection to tear down the very core ideals of the nation.

And they teach that to the young.

Without that deliberate effort, I would have little concern over immigration even by people who despise everything America stands for.  They might hate us, but their children wouldn’t.

And with that, I leave you with this musical interlude:
 

*There is one form of “amnesty” that I might be willing to buy into.  Not a “you get to stay” amnesty but an “if you leave now, without a fuss, we won’t hold your former illegal status here as a mark against you should you apply to enter the US legally in the future.” “You have to go, but you can get in line to come in legally if you wish.”  There isn’t any logical reason to allow that.  Basically, I’m just soft hearted.
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3 thoughts on “Immigration Policy Redux: A Blast from the Past with an Intro”

  1. The /most/ I’m willing to offer in terms of amnesty is thus:
    – Illegal aliens granted ‘amnesty’ (because we can’t be arsed removing them) are to be given green cards, not full citizenship. Moreover, they are /not/ permitted to sponsor the entry of additional family members, attempts to do wo will result in revocation of the green card and removal from the country.
    And I think I’m being generous, here, because I think the only think you’re actually ENTITLED to is a ticket home (or to Tierra del Fuego, depending on how I feel that day.) Not just “drive you over the border and drop you off in TJ.” The minimum would be dropping you off in the capital city of your home country with a bill for housing, feeding, security, and other services rendered to be given to your government to cover your stay in our country. A like copy will be delivered by Registered Post, /and/ by diplomatic courier. Don’t worry, your government /will/ get the bill. And they /will/ be expected to pay. Rates will be fair market rates – but even those add up.
    Don’t like being billed for your illegals coming up here? Do something to make them not want to leave, then!

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  2. I’d be in favor of Open Borders IF there were no gov’t funded welfare, i.e. only voluntary charity and what the immigrants make by working.
    Because of gov’t welfare / social safety net, which are nice civilization benefits, neither the USA nor any OECD (developed) country can accept all the economic migrants that want to come and enjoy high benefits without working.

    AOC’s Green New Deal included cash to all, working and non-working. Universal Basic Income. For the whole world.

    Had the Dems made a much greater effort to have immigrants more fully integrate into US society, and become non-hyphenated Americans, like Trump often talks about (“all Americans”), their arguments about the benefits of immigrants would be stronger.

    The key question concerns Open Borders, or a restricted border. If we have a restricted border, the Wall is obviously useful. Penalties on employers would also be effective, (but too many of them are Reps, not just Dems) — but such gov’t penalties are even more contrary to allowing responsible people the freedom to make their own lives better.

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