Solving the Immigration Problem – Abandoning Both Rights and Xenophobia
For whatever reason, the mainstream media has been promoting “immigration” as a problem in search of a solution. It puzzles me a bit why this “smoke and mirrors” issue is being pushed so hard, in light of the passage of MORE comprehensive legislation by the 111th Congress, such as the Dodd-Frank bill. The solution to immigration seems to be obvious; simply allow any foreigner, without a criminal record, who is actively looking for work to stay here.
Now keep in mind that I am advocating freedom of entry and residence, not “amnesty” or the granting of US citizenship. Anyone who works here, who is producing or otherwise contributing to the economy at large, should be able to do so freely.
If we didn’t have a welfare state, there would be little valid argument against opening our borders, assuming foreign nationals couldn’t vote and didn’t have violent or fraudulent criminal histories. However, if foreign nationals are allowed to vote, take food stamps, Social Security, “free” health care, and “free” education, then there are some very serious conflicts of interest.
Immigration is really a secondary issue. End welfare, Social Security, Medicare, progressive income tax, minimum wage, public education, and the War on Drugs, and you’ll end the enmity toward immigrants (assuming they aren’t violent criminals). Keep those institutions and you will create bad incentives.
We are subsidizing illegal immigration with our policies, and as Ron Paul says, “When you subsidize something, you get more.” Now, in practical terms, the application of the laws that dictate the deportation of the 8 to 12 million illegals is impossible anyway, but let’s look at some of the arguments commonly raised against immigrants:
one) “Immigrants take advantage of welfare and social services.”
SIMPLE SOLUTION: Make them ineligible for benefits and then continue to phase out these unsustainable benefits for natives as well.
two) “An influx of immigrants can influence entire elections.”
SIMPLE SOLUTION: Do not allow immigrants to vote until they have naturalized. Sure, let non-criminal immigrants in as guest workers who can participate in the economy, but don’t let them vote.
3) “Immigrants take our jobs.”
SIMPLE SOLUTION: Understand whose jobs really are; that of the employer. The works belong to the person who carries out the hiring. If the employer can find someone willing to do the same or better quality work for less, can you blame them for hiring you? You don’t want someone telling you to pay a higher price for something you could find cheaper (or even free), right?
4) “Immigrants comprise the majority of the population growth in the US, and this conflicts with the American dream of ‘affordable housing’ (ie creates shortages).”
SIMPLE SOLUTION: Well, hire cheap labor (possibly those legal foreign workers) to build more houses. Heck, you’ll also be able to sell them the very houses they’ve helped build, creating additional demand and jobs. By the way, the dream of affordable housing has only proven to be a nightmare when quasi-government bureaucracies like HUD, Fannie, Freddie, or the Federal Reserve try to solve the “affordable housing” problem.
5) “Terrorists can pass themselves off as immigrants to attack us from within” or “With immigrants crime increases”
SIMPLE SOLUTION: Pursue secure borders as an alternative to costly and wasteful overseas military bases that serve only to create “backlash.” In addition to saving incredible sums of money by closing foreign military bases, a truly secure border would make it easier to enforce immigration laws. Regarding immigrants causing an increase in crime, that is a myth. If you want to end border violence and crime, end the illegal War on Drugs (remember Prohibition? It required a constitutional amendment, which was repealed because it just didn’t work and only created more crime).
I am against Arizona-style legislation as any move to require less testing from law enforcement is a move in the wrong direction in the fight against tyranny. Arizona law reduces the burden of probable cause to mere reasonable suspicion. This goes against my goal of eliminating all discriminatory policies based on race or any other arbitrary grouping (ie racial profiling) as the only “suspicious” people will appear to be from Mexico, whether they are US citizens or not. This is not fair to US citizens who may or may not appear illegal due to some whim of a very humane and therefore fallible police officer.
Incumbent Representative Jason Chaffetz’s bipartisan immigration reform through the definition of a good enforcement resolution (HR 1026), or BRIDGE resolution, mandates the use of E-Verify by business owners, placing the burden of Immigration law enforcement not where it belongs, but on employers. This goes against business and shifts the responsibility from the federal government to former business owners.
He much preferred the idea in HR 4321 of legalizing undocumented immigrants if they learn English, pay a $500 fine, pass background checks and register with the federal government. However, since there are no provisions to keep immigrants off the job or force new immigrants to complete the same naturalization process as previous immigrants, I would not vote in favor (plus, I’m sure there are other problems with the legislation that I did not see).
Green cards are issued to only 140,000 skilled workers per year, why? Why not allow entry to all skilled workers? It would only serve to strengthen our economy and strengthen our foreign relations. I would mention the additional tax revenue that could be received, but I seek to repeal the 16th amendment and abolish the IRS.
I would also vote to increase the number of temporary visas given to highly skilled workers.
I would vote to allow some immigrants to remain in the country while they seek legal residency.
I would support legislation that requires hospitals to report illegal immigrants if the hospital seeks state reimbursement for treating them. Also, it would not require hospitals to provide care to undocumented aliens IF they can be safely sent back to their home country without a significant chance of their condition worsening.
On these issues, I tend to agree with Ron Paul and would vote for them the same way he did. Where I differ from Ron Paul is on the “anchor baby” issue and birthright citizenship. I am in favor of the American tradition of jus soli (law of law) over jus sanguinis (right of blood) as I am a staunch individualist and do not believe that one’s lineage, race or language should be used for OR against anyone and that people are by nature good from birth.
I would not support legislation that ends our current “jus solis” or birthright citizenship in favor of “jus sanguinis” laws applied almost everywhere. America is almost unique in our heritage of “jus solis” and, in my opinion, is a strong expression of individualism. It is an opportunity to free yourself from the chains of blood, race, language. I see the problems with the “anchor baby” issue (such an ugly term), but I feel the answer lies in ending welfare, not pursuing jus sanguinis.
There are obscure arguments to debate whether or not the United States adopted the ‘jus solis’ of the English common law tradition or not. I have heard many of these arguments and personally find them unsatisfactory or convincing, especially counterfactuals such as Calvin More’s Case, 77 Eng. Reps. 377 (1608) which held that:
“the oldest and most influential theoretical articulation by an English court of what came to be the common law ‘rule’ that a person’s status was conferred at birth and based on place of birth.”
Consequently, in 1866, in the United States c. Rhodes, Supreme Court Justice Swayne said:
“All persons born under the allegiance of the King are natural subjects, and all persons born under the allegiance of the United States are natural citizens. Birth and allegiance go together. Such is the rule of common law, and it is the common law of this country, as well as that of England… We find no warrant for the opinion that this great principle of common law has ever been modified in the United States, and subject only to the same exceptions, since before the Revolution”.
Either way, the United States Supreme Court is following up on previous good luck by changing over 110 years of jus solis without an amendment (now, if you’re going to go through all the work to create a constitutional amendment, wouldn’t this be our time? MUCH better spent trying to repeal 16?).
Border security is a GREAT idea, but some sort of American version of the Berlin Wall certainly isn’t. Eliminate all of our wasteful military foreign affairs entanglements and work for a sound military solution that protects our borders from terrorism, criminal immigrants, all foreign and domestic enemies, etc., without compromising our freedoms. If those here illegally refuse to apply for a residence or work visa, or have criminal records that include violence or fraudulent behavior, then they should be deported.
If they are not criminals and have applied for residency or a visa and are not receiving welfare, then there is no deportation. In fact, I would even be in favor of allowing illegals to stay while their residency or visa applications are being processed (if they passed a criminal background check, were unable to participate in welfare, and had private insurance so hospitals would not I have to treat them for free). Failing to pass a criminal background check or having your green card or visa application denied (under reasonable circumstances) would be grounds for deportation.
Shouldn’t we eliminate all discriminatory policies based on race or any other arbitrary grouping and let people stand on their own individual merits? Shouldn’t we encourage the free movement of labor and capital across borders, especially in a financial crisis like the one we find ourselves in?
Shouldn’t we start doing away with welfare and entitlement programs, removing whatever bad incentive someone might have to emigrate and sidetrack the system, and put charity back where it belongs; in the hands of churches, fraternal organizations and mutual aid societies?
Have we forgotten that the Founding Fathers of the United States of America were immigrants? Shouldn’t we always welcome refugees and those seeking political asylum from totalitarian regimes? Have we forgotten that some of the greatest Americans of all time were immigrants (eg Albert Einstein and Nicola Tesla come immediately to mind)?
Let’s drop our unfounded fears on those people who just want to enjoy the same freedoms as us. Let’s support the free movement of labor and capital across borders!
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Libertarian for US Congress
Utah’s 3rd congressional district