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Illegal Immigration

January 31st, 2013

In recent news, some senators are proposing some immigration reforms, which may include some form of amnesty for current illegal immigrants. This post is partially a response to some commentary I’ve read so therefore it is a two part series. The first part will paint the picture of an illegal immigrant’s life choices and put it in perspective. The second will outline why I think

So, imagine a situation where you can move to a new city and provide a life for your family orders of magnitudes better than your current situation. Your job pays better. Your neighborhood is safer. Your food is better quality. Your kid’s schools are better. Your home is nicer. Everything is better. The only difference is you have to cross state lines, i.e. Kentucky to Oklahoma. But Oklahoma doesn’t want you. They put up fences to keep you out. Even if you have skills in high demand in Oklahoma, it doesn’t matter. To make matters worse, Oklahoma pays lip service to wanting you to enter its boundaries. They say, “just get in line” or “wait your turn”. But time is money, money is your future, and even more so your kids’ future. You’d gladly pay a year’s salary to get to Oklahoma, because you know you can make it back in 3 months once you get inside. But, they won’t take it. Then you realize, that for a crime equivalent to a speeding ticket, you can sneak into Oklahoma. You wouldn’t be hurting anyone. Its a petty civil violation anyways, so why not? Hell, you’ll probably speed on the highway to get to Oklahoma anyways, so it really doesn’t matter.

Redraw the line as the Mexican border and magnify the poor living conditions in Kentucky 100x and magnify the great living conditions in Oklahoma 100x and you have illegal immigration. If you break the law and enter illegally, you don’t have to worry about your kids attending a school where the librarian is raped,  murdered, and hung from a freeway overpass by local drug lord to keep the community in check. You get opportunities that were only silly dreams, at the cost of a speeding ticket. You hurt nobody. You work hard, you’d pay taxes if you could. By all measures except one, you’d make an outstanding U.S. citizen. You find me a U. S. citizen that wouldn’t make the same decision for his or her family. Remember that the next time you hear someone demonizing illegal immigration. You are no better than them, you just got lucky and were born on the right side of an imaginary line.

Now, irrespective of the blight of the illegal immigrant, immigration reform will have some sort of amnesty in it. If it doesn’t, the reform is probably not worth enacting anyways because it would address the real problem. The real problem of immigration is that it is too hard to immigrate legally. As points out, immigration is a ridiculous set of hurdles, regulations, red tape, and bureaucracy.

Now, for the moment, lets assume that immigration is properly reformed. To assume that the millions of people here would leave for 10 years to immigrate back is just ridiculous. That’s like saying that all of the blacks in jail for sit-ins should remain in jail even after Jim Crow laws were abolished. Liberty should always be retro-active. Its just common sense. The easy thing to do is grant permanent residency to anyone who can pass a background check, much like the background checks the FBI forces all gun purchasers to submit. Pass the test, get a green card. Pay taxes. Work hard. Make a better life for your family. Its that simple.

What thoughts do you have on the subject? Philosophy only please – there is no room for politics here.



Illegal Immigration

January 23rd, 2010

Many of my Republican friends are very concerned with illegal immigration. They consider it an assault on what I assume to be their American culture. I hear two excuses over and over regarding immigration. The first one is,

“they are breaking the law. If they came here legally, it wouldn’t be a problem.”

First of all, its a civil offense, like speeding. Lets keep the scope of the offense within reality. We don’t like it when our government spends millions of dollars on photo radar cameras, regardless of their reason. Yet, Republicans demand we spend millions to stop illegal immigration. Republicans think if we throw more money at the problem, it will fix it. Republicans have real trouble understanding the demand-side economics of immigration, but we will get into that soon. The second excuse I hear is:

“They only come for free healthcare and welfare.”

While that may be true for some individuals, that is hardly the case generally speaking. The overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants recognize that their home country, Mexico for instance, offer no means to improve their lives, or more importantly, their children’s lives. Mexico is an awful place to live, work, or just plain survive. The wages are pathetic, the government steals what little you earn, and good luck innovating in an environment where bribes speak volumes. These people spend the first half of their lifetime saving up enough money to pay “coyotes” to sneak them into the country. They spend the next half of their lifetimes saving up enough to get their families across the border. Imagine this scenario:

Life is so bad where you live, you leave your family on the chance you will be more prosperous in another country. You risk your life, your life savings, and your family’s future on the sheer chance of achieving American poverty, orders of magnitude better than Mexican poverty.

I can’t imagine leaving my son for a month on a business trip, let alone paying violent drug runners to sneak me into a country for me to mow lawns or wash dishes. Since we mention drug runners here, lets discuss their business model. Illegal immigrants pay thousands of dollars, often offering their lives as collateral, to be smuggled into the United States. These smugglers offer no guarantee of a successful trip. Their cargo, these people’s lives, will be dropped a the first sign of American authorities, abandoned in the middle of the desert. Don’t forget, this is considered orders of magnitude better than life in Mexico.

I do offer a solution. I have mentioned it before. I will mention it again. We need to open the borders and legalize drugs. Here is why. I will discuss drug legalization first. By criminalizing specific activities, you automatically attract unsavory characters to these new black markets. You attract people willing to murder others for thousands of dollars. Then, you give them markets worth millions of dollars. Its simple math at that point – thousands will die because of an arbitrary law. If that market grows to billions of dollars, that’s millions that will die. If you legalize a product of a black market, you immediately crush those black markets, making it no longer worth it to murder of illegal product distribution (drug dealing). Legalizing drugs won’t stop illegal immigration, but it will stop the violence associated with illegal immigration, which is very important to the innocent people surrounded by this mayhem. The next step is to open the border.

Now, I don’t mean kick down the fences and let anyone with a pulse through the revolving doors. My recommendation is to open an office at all major border crossings. Allow individuals to fill out a form (The Feds are great at making forms!) where they provide a thumb print. The form’s information and thumb print are sent through law enforcement databases, and the person gets a Go/No Go designation. A Go designation leads to a tax ID card and the door to the United States. A No Go designation goes to a jail cell which leads to a trial, you know those things mentioned by the Constitution that all men have (you know, rights). Simple.

Liberty is the foundation on which this country was built. Liberty knows no nationality. It knows no political party. It knows only its own morality, natural laws.

Edit: While this is an opinion piece – here are some links related my ideas.