Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
MisterSwig

Immigration restrictions

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

You do not have the right to impose any prior restraint on whom I invite into my house unless it is a known wanted fugitive.

I did not base my argument on that.

I see immigration laws and border control as public safety measures, intended to protect individual rights.

Let's imagine that there were no government, and we lived in a small frontier settlement. We would have to worry much more about our general safety. Thus, it would be appropriate and right for us to organize like-minded folk and to initiate security patrols of the settlement's boundaries. We'd want to stop and question strangers before permitting them to get close to the heart of our community.

Extend that scenario to a nation with a government, and we get a large security agency devoted to controlling the entire border. Its mandate is not based on violating your rights. On the contrary, it's based on protecting them.

All rights are held within a context. The right to free association is held within the context of the society or nation which protects that right for you. Our government therefore has no obligation to protect or respect your desire to associate with someone from another country. It must first determine whether that foreigner represents an objective threat to the general welfare of the citizens it protects. And only after some vetting at the border can such a determination be made.

Edited by MisterSwig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

It must first determine whether that foreigner represents an objective threat to the general welfare of the citizens it protects. 

The only disagreement was what counts as an objective threat. Actually, I'm not even sure if that was a disagreement, you haven't completely explained what these threats would be.

The original question was if black people by nature are an objective threat, which is kind of ridiculous, but Azrael hasn't taken two steps from his argument to see that this is an implication of his viewpoint.

The weird thing is that lack of homogeneity is a threat to him. It's the same as the leftist arguing that inequality is a threat to society. Instead of equalizing everybody, the difference is that by keeping people out, you can keep everything equalized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

The only disagreement was what counts as an objective threat. Actually, I'm not even sure if that was a disagreement, you haven't completely explained what these threats would be.

The original question was if black people by nature are an objective threat, which is kind of ridiculous, but Azrael hasn't taken two steps from his argument to see that this is an implication of his viewpoint.

Here's the thing: an objective threat is not an intrinsic threat. So it would have to be identified in whatever context applied to your particular situation. In our current situation, I think we should screen immigrants for at least contagious diseases, criminal history, and anti-American beliefs. Given our conflict with Islamic terrorists, it might also be proper to keep out Muslims from certain nations, or investigate them more closely than non-Muslims. As for Mexicans, I don't see a reason for special scrutiny, except maybe checking for ties with violent drug cartels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

You didn't mention letting people stay here indefinitely without granting them citizenship.  In fact, anyone should be permitted not only to enter the country but to stay here a long as they see fit, as long as they are not convicted of a felony.  This is entirely different from citizenship and voting 

We have to be careful here. Many (most?) felonies shouldn't exist as crimes, and some of the proper one's aren't that big of a deal as the person has aged and doesn't participate in the criminal activity anymore. I.e., things like fights or thefts in their youth. Obviously we shouldn't bar people from potential citizenship because of crimes that shouldn't be crimes or a few mistakes as a youth.

Edited by EC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Here's the thing: an objective threat is not  I think we should screen immigrants for at least contagious diseases, criminal history, and anti-American beliefs. 

What about domestic citizens that have anti-American beliefs? Shall we afford them the opportunity to attend our reeducation camps or shall we just deport them with the migrants? And what if I live in California, but only have anti-Nevadan beliefs, shall I be permitted residence in California, but not travel to Nevada? And surely childbirth must be permitted only to loyal pro-American families, for we must ensure that these newcomers also do not entertain anti-American beliefs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, 2046 said:

What about domestic citizens that have anti-American beliefs? 

There are sedition laws. I believe it's still illegal to advocate overthrowing the government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

There are sedition laws. I believe it's still illegal to advocate overthrowing the government.

The fact that there is a law about X says nothing about why there ought to be a law about X.

I'm not trying to be snarky, by the way, but my comments are designed to show you that your arguments are greatly underdeveloped. You haven't really done anything other than state your opinion that those with "anti-American beliefs" (whatever that means) ought to be banned. An argument is something with a major and minor premise connected by necessity to a conclusion. You've given us a raw statement. 

Suppose I gave the following argument:

In my view an objective impoliteness is not an intrinsic impoliteness. So it would have to be identified in whatever context applied to your particular situation. In our current situation, I think we should screen immigrants moving from Brooklyn to Queens for objective impoliteness, to be determined if their are holding rude-beliefs. 

I abstract away from your notions of "threat" and "distress" and "anti-American" to help you focus on the structure of the above argument. Notice how the premises are not supported at any point by argument? Notice too how the conclusion doesn't follow from the premises? Adding "contextual" and "objective" in front of certain words doesn't help either, it doesn't actually add or modify any content.

Moreover it has many additional problems. It endorses prior restraint theory. Now before I can take an action, I have to prove to the government that I don't hold certain beliefs. This breaks the principle that the government has to prove that I acted wrongly before subjecting me to state action. Additionally who is the one to decide what beliefs count as anti-American? You and your gang? How are they to provide this "screening?" A standardized test? Can't the subject just answer "I love America" even if they held anti-American beliefs? What could your test accomplish? Would you then ban groups based on perceived identity? Again, then eugenics and propaganda, or childbirth must be controlled too, on those grounds. It's great that you recognize essentially "I want to ban people that hold beliefs that I don't like" but your viewpoint has a lot to answer for. And adding "they are objective threats" or "they cause me objective distress" doesn't to the reason-giving work you seem to think that it does.

Edited by 2046

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Moreover it has many additional problems. It endorses prior restraint theory. Now before I can take an action, I have to prove to the government that I don't hold certain beliefs. This breaks the principle that the government has to prove that I acted wrongly before subjecting me to state action. Additionally who is the one to decide what beliefs count as anti-American? You and your gang? How are they to provide this "screening?" A standardized test? Can't the subject just answer "I love America" even if they held anti-American beliefs? What could your test accomplish? Would you then ban groups based on perceived identity? Again, then eugenics and propaganda, or childbirth must be controlled too, on those grounds. It's great that you recognize essentially "I want to ban people that hold beliefs that I don't like" but your viewpoint has a lot to answer for.

We could have some sort of test that's purpose was just to see if the person seeking citizenship believes in the principle of individual rights and that they will never violate another persons rights. This could be verified via use of AI lie detection software that is almost guaranteed to be valid. I think this would be moral and proper.

Edit: This AI lie "test" could also fully replace "background checks" so that we don't get the "false positives" I spoke about above that was bar people with "felonies" on their records that are the result of non-objective laws or mistakes that were made in their youth which they would no longer do as full competent adults.

Edited by EC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, EC said:

We could have some sort of test that's purpose was just to see if the person seeking citizen believes in the principle of individual rights and that they will never violate another persons rights. This could be verified via use of AI lie detection software that is almost guaranteed to be valid. I think this would be moral and proper.

Polygraphy is widely criticized.[15][16][17] Despite claims of 90% validity by polygraph advocates, the National Research Council has found no evidence of effectiveness.[16][18] The utility among sex offenders is also poor, with insufficient evidence to support accuracy or improved outcomes in this population.[19][20]

But let us suppose your test is perfect and infallible. 

Suppose I go to your house and ask you "Are you going to leave me alone?" You respond that you're not going to answer me and tell me to begone. I then go to your workplace and again pester you "Sir, are you or are you not going to leave me alone?!" Again you dismiss me. I go to your church, your kid's school, your wife while she's shopping. "If you don't answer me, I'll arrest you and deport you! Now are you or are you not going to leave me alone?!"

There's something odd about this behavior I'm exibiting. I'm subjecting you to harassment in the name of making sure there's no harassment. You don't owe me an answer, you don't owe me anything, under a negative rights conception. You only owe me not to interfere with my life and property, which you are not, even when you are not answering my repeated questions. If I am to force you to answer me, I am thrusting a positive obligation onto you. This is not compatible with basic negative individual rights. 

I refuse your test and your request for positive action on my behalf for your ends. What now? If your answer is to subject me to government force, then your demand has some problems. And it is a "demand" not an argument. "I think this is moral and proper" is an assertion, not an argument.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Polygraphy is widely criticized.[15][16][17] Despite claims of 90% validity by polygraph advocates, the National Research Council has found no evidence of effectiveness.[16][18] The utility among sex offenders is also poor, with insufficient evidence to support accuracy or improved outcomes in this population.[19][20]

But let us suppose your test is perfect and infallible.

I refuse your test and your request for positive action on my behalf for your ends. What now? If your answer is to subject me to government force, then your demand has some problems. And it is a "demand" not an argument. "I think this is moral and proper" is an assertion, not an argument.

Not talking about about a polygragh test. I'm thinking of an advanced lie detecting AI algorithm that would be/is nearly infallible. I'm sure we are close to this level of technology or we probably have it now.

This test wouldn't be for current citizens's of the US. It would be used for immigrants seeking entry into the country. If they refuse to answer they are barred from gaining entry. The purpose is to find out if they intend to violate the rights of our current citizens. A refusal to answer means a bar to entry until they answer. 

Edited by EC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EC said:

Not talking about about a polygragh test. I'm thinking of an advanced lie detecting AI algorithm that would be/is nearly infallible. I'm sure we are close to this level of technology or we probably have it now.

This test wouldn't be for current citizens's of the US. It would be used for immigrants seeking entry into the country. If they refuse to answer they are barred from gaining entry. The purpose is to find out if they intend to violate the rights of our current citizens. A refusal to answer means a bar to entry until they answer. 

But you realize this hasn't solved or even attempted to solve any of the issues raised in the previous post. This does not solve the positive-negative rights tension.

Nor does it explain why, if you're justified in demanding one set group submit themselves to be scanned by your technology, why does the other group get to be exempt? They might violate rights just as well, better scan them too.

And childbirthing also. Suppose the foetus can be scanned to see if it will violate rights and commit crimes against currently living citizens in the future. If so, then it must be barred form entry, ie., forcibly aborted, on the same grounds. If your argument against immigrants works, as newcomers, then it works for foetus scanning on the same grounds. If the mother refuses to be scanned, then police activity must take place.

You guys really have not thought through your positions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another thought experiment that I hypothesize to explain why all of these arguments (to the extent that they are mostly raw assertions) are so unthoughtful and easy to shoot down. They are not complex philosophies. They are not made by reference to some standard by which we can judge the moral worth of an action, or by reference to one principle or norm for living in a human community (even a non-national one.)

Just like most "Marxists" don't even know Marx' mature theoretical metaphysics and philosophy of historical materialism and reason themselves into socialism, they start out with ressentiment and look for rationalizations. The cause, as is here is primarily psychological motivation. Whether in this case be racism or fear of the other, or some foggy fear of losing cultural identity, I don't know. And so the immigration restrictionists don't start out with some principle tied into an integrated political philosophy that leads to restrictions on movement, like conservative or communitarian thinkers. They start with the need to restrict and then post hoc look for fuzzy and vague notions to paper it over.

To experiment with this I suppose the following scenario. Suppose some wealthy landowner in Texas offers for rent some land, and receives 1 billion Zulus, Hindus, Ibos (Nigerians), Albanians, and Bangladeshis (ZHIABs.) Posit that all 1 billion ZHIABs are, at the time of entry, totally free of contagious pathogens, non-criminal and non-terrorist, 100% peaceful and non-rights-abrogating individuals. But the ZHIABs all carry with them their cultures and will import that into the US.

Would then, we imagine any of our immigration restrictionists saying, "well okay, I'm fine with the ZHIABs living here then. They've passed the test. Welcome to America, ZHIABs!" No of course not. Something tells me, for some reason or another, some new criteria will be concocted. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Posit that all 1 billion ZHIABs are, at the time of entry, totally free of contagious pathogens, non-criminal and non-terrorist, 100% peaceful and non-rights-abrogating individuals. But the ZHIABs all carry with them their cultures and will import that into the US.

Would then, we imagine any of our immigration restrictionists saying, "well okay, I'm fine with the ZHIABs living here then. They've passed the test. Welcome to America, ZHIABs!" No of course not. Something tells me, for some reason or another, some new criteria will be concocted. 

 

I know I wouldn't fwiw. But I'm not really a "restrictionist"; I don't even like the idea of background checks much, but accept they are okay with the restrictions of present technology. 

Truthfully I have thought through it and wouldn't mind a "scan" of everyone and deportation of even natural born citizens that aren't capitalists to a region created for that, say California. Which could expelled from the Union, completely disarmed, and become a holding area for all the collectivist/statist/altruists until they re-educate themselves and can pass the rights respecting AI test/scan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I can see it now.

Welcome to California, the Gulag of the US!

Was half-trolling half-serious fwiw lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, 2046 said:

I'm not trying to be snarky, by the way, but my comments are designed to show you that your arguments are greatly underdeveloped. You haven't really done anything other than state your opinion that those with "anti-American beliefs" (whatever that means) ought to be banned. An argument is something with a major and minor premise connected by necessity to a conclusion. You've given us a raw statement. 

No, I gave Eiuol an explanation of what I mean by "objective threat." You completely ignored my argument prior to that post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, 2046 said:

How are they to provide this "screening?" A standardized test? Can't the subject just answer "I love America" even if they held anti-American beliefs? What could your test accomplish?

You seem to think it's my job to figure out the technical details of the screening process. That is the job of politicians and security professionals tasked with solving the problem.

In general, though, the purpose of screening would be to identify the clear and obvious threats. We especially want to know if some sworn enemy is trying to cross the border with weapons.

Also, if someone lies during their interview, for example, then maybe they escape detection. Just because the system isn't perfectly ideal, that's not an argument against trying your best to keep out the threats. But in this particular case we can take additional measures to control for the possibility of liars. If we are at war (or in a conflict) with a certain group of people and expect some of them to lie to us, then perhaps we should subject them to additional levels of security, such as psychological examinations, lie detector tests, a search of their social media activity, etc. But, again, these technical details are best left to professionals. In my prior posts I only tried to provide the philosophical justification for such a security system as border control.

Edited by MisterSwig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/9/2019 at 12:47 PM, StrictlyLogical said:

As for emigration... clearly no Objectivist would support any restraints on a person's freedom to leave, unless they are trying to escape justice... they are trying to avoid private obligations or a prison sentence or fine...

I would also include spies. If there is a valid concern (circumstantial or direct evidence) that someone is trying to take state secrets to another country, I believe they should be held and investigated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

You seem to think it's my job to figure out the technical details of the screening process. That is the job of politicians and security professionals tasked with solving the problem.

If you don't have the faintest idea how it would be done because you aren't a professional in that area, then how can you claim that it is actually a good idea? If you're talking about criminals on the run, or internationally wanted terrorists, it makes sense to check for those people, but "screening" isn't a way to catch them. There are no psychological examinations or lie detector tests that can reveal objective threats. If you need to search social media activity, you are proposing monitoring people, and if you want to be consistent with this, you would need to monitor people within the country.

The thing about screening people from the outside is that it requires screening people from the inside. It's the same thing as Azrael. He didn't want to admit that his racial controls to people from the outside also requires racial controls from the inside. 

Edited by Eiuol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

You seem to think it's my job to figure out the technical details of the screening process. That is the job of politicians and security professionals tasked with solving the problem.

 

My point wasn't to demand an exact blueprint, but to point out, to echo Eiuol's comments, that in advocating end X, you have to know what it is about the means to X that makes it good or choiceworthy.

Social phenomena takes places on multiple different and conceptually distinct levels of varying degrees of generality and specificity (the ethical, the psychological, the linguistic, the economic, the political, the legal, the constitutional, the strategic etc.) to be sure. But those levels are always systematically interrelated (such was a great point of Ayn Rand's cultural criticism.) In analyzing social phenomena, the analyst can certainly focus on one of these levels while shifting the others into the background but never treating them as separate from each other or completely ignoring them. If you don't know anything about the means to political end X, you can't sufficiently explain or justify X. Echos of this are in criticisms of, eg., Chomsky's advocacy of anarchism with his refusal to explain what it is his system would include or how to achieve it.

Moreover, even in endorsing a set of philosophical principles regarding X as an end, the logic of those principles does lead somewhere, whether you want to think about those means or not. If you endorse screening immigrants for thoughtcrime, whether you personally wish to acknowledge it, the logic of your position will lead one to endorse screening natives for thoughtcrime, eugenics for childbirthing and thoughtcrime, internal propaganda for thought control, and the doctrine of prior restraint as a legal policy. Even if you explicitly make an exception to refuse these consequences, you can see due to the consequences of accepting the original principles, that does not matter. Followers won't have to be committed to those exceptions.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/11/2019 at 4:11 PM, EC said:

We have to be careful here. Many (most?) felonies shouldn't exist as crimes, and some of the proper one's aren't that big of a deal as the person has aged and doesn't participate in the criminal activity anymore. I.e., things like fights or thefts in their youth. Obviously we shouldn't bar people from potential citizenship because of crimes that shouldn't be crimes or a few mistakes as a youth.

Agreed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 2046 said:

My point wasn't to demand an exact blueprint, but to point out, to echo Eiuol's comments, that in advocating end X, you have to know what it is about the means to X that makes it good or choiceworthy.

And to echo myself, you again have completely ignored the prior arguments I have already made in favor of border security and immigration control. I can't force you to consider them. But I can claim to have made an argument, because I did.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I would also include spies. If there is a valid concern (circumstantial or direct evidence) that someone is trying to take state secrets to another country, I believe they should be held and investigated.

Certainly!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

And to echo myself, you again have completely ignored the prior arguments I have already made in favor of border security and immigration control. I can't force you to consider them. But I can claim to have made an argument, because I did.

 

Let's start over because I already responded to that post. That post doesn't qualify as an argument. An argument has a major and minor premise connected by necessity to a conclusion. In that post you establish "public safety measures" which leads to "objective threat" which leads to "barring anti-American beliefs." You see the problem here? The conclusion is unconnected to the premises, and the premises contain no reason for their support. It is as if I said "my government policy is intended to be a species of public decorum measures. The government must first, before you can act freely, determine if you represent and objective threat to politeness. Therefore it follows that you must submit to screening for rude beliefs. Then you can move about after such a determination has been made." 

Nor are matters made better if I shift the scope of the society to a western frontier. "It is as if, in a small Western frontier, the town were to establish politeness protocols. After all, don't want folks going around being rude. Now extrapolate that onto a fully modern society."  You see how this example adds nothing in the form of reason-giving work to the bad argument?

Why don't you try to reformulate your own thoughts more clearly and distinctly. You start off with what you think the task of government is trying to solve, what principles you think will solve this task at the political level, and how belief-control policies necessarily follow from those principles. Try to put it in logic book or syllogistic format.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 2046 said:

Nor are matters made better if I shift the scope of the society to a western frontier. "It is as if, in a small Western frontier, the town were to establish politeness protocols. After all, don't want folks going around being rude. Now extrapolate that onto a fully modern society."  You see how this example adds nothing in the form of reason-giving work to the bad argument?

Why do you keep straw-manning my position? I said nothing about making laws for the townsfolk. You keep going on about how I lack a logical argument, yet you can't even grasp my basic position. Instead of starting over, let's just call it quits for now. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×