April 21, 2005

Unacceptable illegal immigration

There is no excuse not to control the border, she said. Im a liberal with a capital L, she said, but Im sick of it.

I think that's probably the first time I've ever agreed with Maxine Waters. The Republican party has a big problem if wacky Maxine Waters is right on this issue but our president is not. Heather MacDonald has more on Michelle Malkin's immigration blog.

Posted by Karol at April 21, 2005 10:49 AM | TrackBack
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When has the president ever said he doesn't want to control the border?

You're delving into disingenuous Malkin territory with a comment like that. He may have a different view of illegals than you (or Waters or Malkin) but he has never said he wants a free flow of illegal immigrants crossing our borders.

He has only said he wants a more efficient system than the one proposed by the Minutement people or Congress.

Posted by: Dave at April 21, 2005 11:17 AM

Dave, in my opinion Amnesty, or whatever Bush wants to call his 'legalize the illegals' plan is an invitation for more illegal immigration. He may 'want' to control the border but it really isn't being done. Also, once illegal immigrants cross the border, I want them sent back if caught. Does the president?

Posted by: Karol at April 21, 2005 11:21 AM

If people are really serious about controlling the borders (and I don't think Malkin et al are) then the only solution is to effect economic and political reform in Mexico that fosters economic growth there.

If people have no incentive to come into the US because there are jobs available here that are unavailable in Mexico, then illegal immigration will dwindle. If, on the other hand, Mexico continues to be a kleptocratic oligarchy then poor Mexicans (and Latin Americans going through Mexico) will continue to stream across our borders, no matter how many Minutemen there are.

I've spent a lot of time along the US-Mexico border in Arizon, NM, and TX (though not in CA). It is extremely easy to go back and forth, especially over the Rio Grande. I did it many times, and though I am a US citizen, and therefore did not have to worry about getting caught, it occurred to me that our border is simply too long to staff sufficiently. We'd have to deploy tens of thousands of border guards twenty-four hours a day along the border. Recall that this a border that is mainly desolate desert, with little in the way of civilization for miles around (except for the El Paso metropolitan area).

These are not exactly plum assignments.

Arguing that the solution to illegal immigration is "more enforcement" is naive and simplistic. It neither addresses the economic realities of Mexico, which induce illegals to come to the States, nor does it address the geographic reality of trying to secure a thousand-mile long border with Mexico.

Posted by: Dave at April 21, 2005 11:40 AM

More on my perspective on illegal immigration here.

In a nutshell: "more enforcement" of our immigration laws does not work, for the same reasons that "more enforcement" of our drug laws has not won us the "drug war."

Mexico needs to fix its economy to kill off the incentive for poor Mexicans to risk life and limb coming here to the States for better opportunity. Until that happens, all the enforcement in the world will achieve nothing but waste tax dollars. Malkin et al need to approach the problem from a far more sophisticated perspective, which, so far, they have been unwilling to do.

Posted by: Dave at April 21, 2005 12:16 PM

Ah yes, what she really doesn't like is not being the majority minority.

There is always a catch when it comes to Democrats.

The minutemen have shown what needs to be done.

Posted by: bill at April 21, 2005 12:22 PM

We must get control of borders before we can even think about a rational guest worker program. Bush does not seem to realize this.

Posted by: Jake at April 21, 2005 12:37 PM

Barbara Boxer made a similar statement not too long ago.

The world is upside down.

Posted by: Gib at April 21, 2005 12:53 PM

There should be unlimited immigration.

Posted by: Downtown Lad at April 21, 2005 03:51 PM

Even the illegal kind?

Posted by: zetetic at April 21, 2005 04:04 PM

There should be unlimited immigration.

My biggest worry about illegal immigration is how long before an Al-Qaeda or other Wahhabist Terroist sneaks across our sieve of a southern border?

Posted by: Shawn at April 21, 2005 04:22 PM

There's really nothing at all strange about a liberal saying something like this. In reality, both the right and the left are completely split on immigration. Witness, for instance, the Wall Street Journal/Rupert Murdoch versus Sam Huntington split, among countless others. It's going to be a few years before one party/political coalition defines itself as being the "tough on immigration" one. My guess at this point will be that it's the Democrats actually.

I think my fellow "open borders fanatics" will continue to be in charge of the Republican Party while the Democrats will turn increasingly to Huntingtonian nativism once they realize that they can fire up working class whites already worried about "outsourcing", "globalization" etc. Nativism and protectionism usually go together.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at April 21, 2005 09:48 PM

Karol, you're a RUSSIAN. What right do you have to deny other people the opportunity of a better life in the USA?
You have your better life, stop being an hypocritical racist.

Now assuming you arent racist, then what is your motive to deny immigration?
1 - economic? America's population has doubled in the past 50 years and it still has 3-4pc GDP growth a year, it is the number 1 overal economic power (well except the EU), and is in the top 5 for GDP/capita
2 - terrorism? pure scaremongering that terrorists will walk over the mexican border. if they want to get in, they *will* get in
3 - latinos more likely to vote democrat? that would scare a republican - anyway as illegals they dont get to vote
4 - I cant think of further concerns, there isnt racial or religious homogenity in the US anyway, maybe language could be an issue, but the US has never made English its official language, so you cant go imposing it as a condition of entry.

Posted by: Monjo at April 22, 2005 08:32 AM

Actually, Monjo, I'm an American. And throwing around baseless accusations of racism isn't going to get you anywhere. If there's any group I think we have enough of in America, it's Russians. I'm not against immigration, just illegal immigration. I'm very pro-gun but I'm not for illegal gun ownership. See?

Posted by: Karol at April 22, 2005 09:32 AM


Karol is a legal immigrant. Her family respected the laws of the United States. That is quite different than the illegal aliens who pour into the United States without respect for this country's laws.

Illegal immigrants have lower human capital on average than Americans. This has the effect of lowering wages here and putting strains on our local, state and federal budgets.

Some terrorists may still get through with tighter borders, but fewer terrorists are better than more terrorists.

Illegals have kids and according to US law, they become US citizens. Adding new ethnic blocs to our political system will have political repercussions that may not be good for the people already here.

America may not be homogenous, but more immigrants will further balkanize America. This is made more problematic by the concentration of illegal immigrants from just one country.

Personally, I think America needs to take a breather from mass immigration and work on assimilating the people already here.

Posted by: Dan at April 22, 2005 09:41 AM

1 - economic? America's population has doubled in the past 50 years and it still has 3-4pc GDP growth a year, it is the number 1 overal economic power (well except the EU)

Most things I've read is that the EU is roughly 20 years behind the United States in economic development.

2 - terrorism? pure scaremongering that terrorists will walk over the mexican border. if they want to get in, they *will* get in

And like Dan said, fewer are better than more. Locking down the southern border would be a big help. Of course, an even bigger help would be to welcome Latin America's help in the GWOT.

Posted by: Shawn at April 22, 2005 10:29 AM

Karol: you're Russian. I say you are. You say you're American. I say those illegals are American. You say they aren't. Isn't it upto them to decide? Did not your friend marry someone so they could stay? Is she not a better citizen than you - Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson would say she is.
A good citizen helps illegal immigrants enter, you should marry one.

Shawn: Pointless figures. US GDP is superficially high as US companies and banks dominate the world's stock markets and valuation of labour. Why is an American's time worth $30/hr but a Sierre Leone's $30 a week? Because elitists in the US say so.
When the capitalism imbalances are addressed we shall see what happens. Secondly theres two measure of GDP: PPP and ERM, the US does especially well in PPP because foreign money at the rate of $2bil/day buys surplus US dollars. This also bolsters your ERM. Guess what happens when China and Japan decide they want to switch their $1.3 trillion spare USD for other currencies? The dollar slides.. a lot.

Total EU GDP is ahead of total US GDP. Also the EU includes countries like Latvia and Poland. Imagine if Mexico became part of the US tomorrow, that is the equivalent impact. West Germany is still struggling to address its unification with East Germany - 15 years on, at a cost of well over a trillion dollars to the German economy.

Next up: GDP is a measure of spending, not a measure of wealth, social parity, happiness, life expectancy, health or anything else. 99pc of US wealth is with just 1pc of its people. Everyone else suffers from high costs for services, which means working long hours. Yeah terrific.

There's no such thing as a war on terror. Its Government propaganda. And if someone wants to blow something up you cant stop them no matter how hard you try.

Posted by: Monjo at April 25, 2005 08:15 AM

Monjo, there are so many dumb statements in that one comment that I don't know where to begin.

First, I'm American. My passport says I'm American. Also, the USSR stripped you of your Russian citizenship upon your leaving. I'm most definitely an American.

Second, illegal immigrants are not Americans. Actually, legal immigrants aren't even Americans until they obtain their citizenship.

Third, we've stopped plenty of people from blowing us up already. How about you guys stop trying to stop them and we'll see how well that works out for you.

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