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Immigration Law in Arizona

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TheEgoist
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According to whom?

The right question is "According to what?" The answer is according to the principle of universal, inalienable, individual rights. Rights are violated by drug laws and immigration restrictions. Both were originally motivated by a racist desire to control undesired people.

You might be counting a regard for rights as an element of American culture, and people who come here neither knowing or caring to learn about America and rights as a long term threat. Disregarding rights with immigration and drug laws discard rights in the short term, those laws do not save anything. Rights are also part of the law of the land, not just another culture in a multicultural landscape.

Do you really think an influx of cocaine and heroin would be beneficial to our society? Remember, we do not have the moral/philosophical base required for the majority of people to make rational choices, so we would end up with a very high rate of ODs, deaths and ruined families and lives.
This is nanny-state paternalism, and it is an assertion that people are not rational. The country would be better off if it were more rational, but the stupid will always be with us. Making freedom wait until everyone is rational is equivalent to saying we will never be free.

If an individual is free to act as he chooses, without regard for restraint, would that not constitute anarchy?
No. The government is not restraint. It is not true that people largely refrain from murdering the neighbors because of fear of the law. The fact that such murders happen anyway despite the laws that exist show that deterrence is not the basis for civil society.
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No, it's not. You have the right to do it, I never advocated doing it.

Okay. If you say so.

Only if you own the entire country and everything in it.

A non-citizen surely does not.

There is a potentially unlimited amount of work to be done. The unemployment problem is caused by government actions.

Yes, we can agree on this point.

You are asking if it would be prudent to protect individual rights before we can consider protecting individual rights.

No, I said it would be prudent to get our economy back on track before allowing an influx of immigration to occur. Do you think jobs are magically going to appear to cover these hypothetical immigrants?

Strawman.

So, no answer.

These are really poor arguments man. You cannot force someone to be rational at the point of a gun.

No just extrapolations based on observation of human nature for 50 years.

You did, you said:

"Did you know there have been incursions inside the borders of the US by members of the Mexican Army?"

Followed by:

"Do they have the "right" to engage in these activities?"

and the earlier argument you tried to make that (paraphrasing) 'We can't allow free immigration because then we have to let the Islamofascists in!"

The "invading army" argument has been an old tried and true strawman for opposing free immigration by suggesting that if a country has open immigration to whoever is free to come in, then that means agents of foreign governments will have to be allowed in for some idiotic reason and take over the country with military force. It's obviously a bad argument for not respecting individual rights and can be applied in any context from the Mexian Army to Islamists to Soviet spies, etc.

I didn't say the mexican Army was invading the US, I said that certain elements were providing security for the drug cartels and had made incursions inside our border, our Border patrol agents having even been fired upon. There have been news reports of such easily found by a simple google search. You seem to be under the impression that all foreign governments are benign, and wouldn't possibly sent agents in, and aren't doing so now. That's kind of naive. The fact is that Islamists have utilized the southern border to enter this country, verified by evidence left on the routes and found by the US Border Patrol and admitted to by Homeland Security. Oh, the Soviet Union no longer exists - but the Russians are not our friends.

So? Again, what does an immigrant take away from you? How does an immigrant speaking Spanish for example take your culture away from you? How does an immigrant that does not want to "assimilate" take anything away from you? How does an immigrant not wanting to "contribute" take anything away from you? How does an immigrant's educational level take anything away from you? What does an immigrant's "willingess to declare their allegiance" take from you which you are otherwise entitled, by right, to defend? Are you going to send armed agents of the State to kick down my door and force me to declare my "allegiance" to the nation-state or be sent to the gas chamber? Who are you to tell me what to do with my life and my property?

What the hell are you smoking? Agents kicking down your door? Nowhere in my statement is such implied. If you walk into a McDonalds in the middle of Iowa and order in Spanish, you are likely going to get a blank stare. English is the language spoken in the US, and is the language of international business. It would behoove one to learn to be fluent in it if one expects to communicate with the majority of the population.

It would be, if that's what I said. However, if you go back and read the sentence, you'll notice I did not say that and individual is free to act without regard for restraint, and you'll have learned what I actually said was: "...individual being free to act as he chooses, without being subject to force by others or by the government..." and this is what "rights" are.

And as long as his actions do not violate the rights of another.

Obviously not, and that's where your problem is.

Thank you for your analysis of my problem, Dr. Phil.

Not really.

Oh, so I just imagined all that sand in my underwear and weapon then? :)

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On one hand: Harry Binswanger's extremely well-articulated argument on immigration.

On the other hand: A paternalistic argument that has now been reduced to demagoguery worthy of the best conservative alarmist. Bravo!

Honestly, Maximus, to quote your reply to Grames what the hell are you smoking? Your visceral and irrational aversion to open principled immigration and your almost Platonic stance by which you try to justify your stance on homosexuality being immoral makes me wonder if you never made the transition out of tribalistic Republican ideology. It's almost like talking to Anne Coulter with testosterone.

And I'm sorry, but

"The majority of Mexicans and Central and South Americans here are poorly educated?"

Really, Maximus? That's the best you can come up with? The majority of AMERICANS here are poorly educated, don't pin this one on the immigrants, buddy. This 'poorly educated' immigrant has to correct several Americans on serious grammatical errors every day.

No just extrapolations based on observation of human nature for 50 years.

Oh yes, because this worked so well for Thomas Hobbes. :) lFor the next 50 years, try thinking on principle instead.

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As I am currently strapped for time, I'll have to defer a longer reply for now. But from a principled standpoint, I was under the impression that a sovereign nation can and should define its borders. If those advocating the most open interpretation of open borders would be willing to comment on the implications for the borders of sovereign nations, I would vastly appreciate it.

Now then, as to the specifics of immigration, I understand it that a person should be free to move to any country of their choosing, as this is their personal prerogative. However, this freedom doesn't extend to casually ignoring the procedures setup by the sovereign nation to which you intend to move. If America wants you to check in at Ellis Island upon entry, I would say that it's a personal responsibility to respect the law as such. However, and this is key, this respect for law doesn't apply in other cases, such as those that existed in Rand's time, as there were communist regimes that instituted laws making it illegal to escape (and of course, occasionally building a wall or two to accomplish such). I perceive there to be a great distinction between cases of the two types, though there may be those who disagree with me.

Honestly, from just the above I'd imagine there is plenty of fodder for discussion, without even beginning to get into the specifics of denying entry to those who have previously and continue to engage in violent crime, the other folk who cross borders to escape prosecution, and everything inbetween.

Edit: And a quick edit for you Kainscallia, while I too don't agree with Maxmimus' rationale in this case, I do believe it would be prudent for you to tone down the "holier than thou" attitude. Berating someone in that tone is not at all conducive to rational debate. I'd imagine most of us are here to engage in the sharing and critical analysis of ideas, not to make someone feel small for having a viewpoint we've judged to be erroneous. Thanks :|

Edited by Markoso
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No worries, Markoso, I expect no less from Kainscalia. I knew I would be excoriated here for daring to suggest that we need a border in order to maintain a country. Such prejoratives as "National Socialist," and even *gasp* Republican have been bandied about. For people who claim to be rational, some Objectivists refuse to consider reality. We have, in the present, to deal with things as they are. In an undetermined future time, when all men are moral and ethical, when other countries act in good faith rather than operating against our best interests, we may be able to shape things as we would that they were. But that time is not now.

Edited by Maximus
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Jesus H. Christ, what happened to thinking around here? So an attempt at finding a solution is worthy of being praised when its fundamental philosophy is not only flawed but it directly contradicts the principles that objectivism recognizes comprise the rights of an individual? I don't know what you're smoking, but I want none of it.

Hmmm, that sounds familiar. :lol:

And calling on the baby Jeebus when frustrated? Really.

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If Arizonans wanted to do something about illegal immigration, they should be up in arms asking for more legal immigration. The more one makes it legal, the less it will be illegal. The less it is illegal, the less it has to live below the surface, and become a breeding ground for sundry other illegals.

Using that logic, my friend, one could as well argue that legalizing *insert crime here* would suddenly make it less illegal. :lol: Of course is something is made legal it is no longer illegal.

Edited by Maximus
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Using that logic, my friend, one could as well argue that legalizing *insert crime here* would suddenly make it less illegal. :lol: Of course is something is made legal it is no longer illegal.
Yes, so the moral question is whether a certain activity should be illegal in the first place. A large part of drug-sales should be legalized rather than waging a money-wasting and rights-violating war against drugs which draws in people who would be lesser criminals and non-criminals under a drug-legal regime and gives them what appears to be a criminal career.

On immigration, the question of whether the U.S. should have a border that allows all comers free entry is a bit of a straw-man objection. The real problem today is not that the law is too open, but that it is too closed. From where we are today, we need to head toward more legal immigration. A good start will be to legalize all those who entered the country to find work, and who actually do work. I know a few people on these very forums who would love to come to the U.S. if only the immigration laws were more open.

I will say that immigration to the U.S. is very open by world standards, but it needs to move toward being more so not less. Similarly, for all the government regulation, the U.S. is still far more free than most other nations, and yet it needs to move toward being more so not less.

Today, the poor law on immigration is counteracted by the fact that it is not enforced as written. This is analogous to the black-market in some countries: where the black-market is a boon that allows people to get around bad laws. People in such countries vilify black-marketeers as law-breakers; instead they should change their laws. It is the same here. To the extent that this Arizona law will increase the effectiveness of bad Federal law, it is bad.

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I agree that the immigration process should be reformed, not that the borders should be thrown wide open to all and sundry though, as some seem to arguing. I am all for letting more people come here that would be contributing members of society. That being said, it still needs to be a controlled process, to insure we do not allow in people with infectious diseases, the criminal element and those who would wish us harm. The naive view that all who would come here are hard working entrepreneurs and free market capitalists is unrealistic, in my opinion.

But what do I know? I'm just a conservative Republican National Socialist named Thomas Hobbes! :lol:

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Maximus:

If I am a landowner, do I have the right to allow someone to buy or rent space on my land to live? Does it matter whether that person currently lives next door or across the world?

If I am a business owner, do I have a right to offer a job to someone? Does it matter if that someone has to commute from across the street, or across the border, to get to the workplace?

Those are the questions you have to answer. I don't think anyone here is advocating that immigrants be allowed to come in and steal a place to live, or take welfare money, or live on the streets. Many immigrants live in places with the permission of the owner and work jobs with the permission of the employer. That is the kind of immigration that Objectivism claims should be open. Yes, there are criminals and scum across the border, but there are also criminals and scum across the street. The way to deal with those is to prosecute crimes when they happen. If the police have a reason to suspect that a given person is a criminal, they should take investigative action and punish them accordingly, regardless of whether or not the person is an immigrant or a local (the only difference here may be that IF a person is determined to be a criminal, the local should be put in local jails whereas it might be legitimate to send the immigrant back home). The question of whether or not there should be border checks is a logistical one that is secondary to the fact that those who have not yet committed any crime have every right to engage in a contractual transaction in order to purchase a home, rent an apartment, sleep on someone's couch, mow someone's lawn, etc. The fact that they may be uneducated is irrelevant: me letting an uneducated jerk sleep on my couch and eat my food is none of your business, legally. The fact that they speak a different language is irrelevant: if they want to hamper their lives here by not learning the dominant language, that is their choice. If they can find interactions that they like in the language they prefer, more power to them.

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We have, in the present, to deal with things as they are. In an undetermined future time, when all men are moral and ethical, when other countries act in good faith rather than operating against our best interests, we may be able to shape things as we would that they were. But that time is not now.

Translation: Objectivism only works when all men are moral, until then let us all be Pragmatists.

I expected no less from you.

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Maximus:

If I am a landowner, do I have the right to allow someone to buy or rent space on my land to live? Does it matter whether that person currently lives next door or across the world?

If I am a business owner, do I have a right to offer a job to someone? Does it matter if that someone has to commute from across the street, or across the border, to get to the workplace?

Those are the questions you have to answer.

I don't have to answer them, as they are irrelevant regarding the question of legal entry. I will do so as a courtesy:

1) Yes. Irrelevant as to legal entry.

2) Yes. Again, irrelevant as to legal entry.

Now I'll ask you, do we have the right, as a nation, to ensure that we do not allow individuals with communicable diseases into the country? People with criminal backgrounds? Known terrorists?

Edited by Maximus
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Now I'll ask you, do we have the right, as a nation, to ensure that we do not allow individuals with communicable diseases into the country? People with criminal backgrounds? Known terrorists?
In general, yes: as long as these are not being used in a way that genuinely keeps harmful elements out, without being overkill in keeping others out as well. If we were to open up immigration substantially, it would make it far easier to focus on those who should really be kept out. As the system stands today, the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants are being denied immigration in a violation of their individual rights. The Arizona law strengthens this violation of rights.
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"A police state is what is required effectively to stop substantial illegal immigration that has become a major burden because of the Welfare State."

"Of course, ending the Welfare State is much easier said than done, and it is almost certainly not going to be eliminated even in order to avoid the environment of a police state." George Reisman, "Immigration Plus Welfare State Equal Police State"

Step by logical step, on the basis of flawed fundamentals, we are moving towards a totalitarian state. Every step will make sense, to even a majority perhaps, all the way to the logical end. Until and unless the principle of individual rights is recognized and consistently respected, the direction will remain the same. That's reality.

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I live in Arizona, about thirty miles from the border. I am very close to several drug smuggling routes, and coyotes with large groups of immigrants pass through the area somewhat frequently as well. The barbed wire fence around my property is frequently damaged by groups of people bending it down to cross over. In the past four years, only three groups of people have come to my door asking for food or water, but judging by footprints and the number of times the fence has been damaged, hundreds have passed through my property.

In the past year, nearly every one of my neighbors in a several mile radius has had their house broken into and robbed by people going south to the border. That fact, coupled with the fact that Border Patrol has captured a few of them before they made it back to Mexico, has indicated that the robberies are almost always being done by drug smugglers and coyotes who, having dropped off their loads of drugs or people, are returning to Mexico and want to steal valuables along the way to sell back home.

More recently, about a month ago, a rancher about ten miles from where I live was murdered on his ranch by what the Sherrif's department suspects was a Mexican drug cartel scout—this has been in the news of late and was unfortunately used by Arizona politicians to push this immigration law into place.

I have no issue with great numbers of immigrants entering the country, but the majority of those who are doing so now do it in a way that violates the property rights of those living in border regions. In order to avoid Border Patrol, they avoid roads with public access and instead cut through private property, often causing damage and leaving trash all around. Allowing much easier access via official ports of entry would remove the need for people to sneak in and trespass. Similarly, legalization of all drugs in the U.S. would almost immediately cut the flow of drug smugglers through the area.

There are likely to still be some people bypassing the official ports of entry—human traffickers and other criminals who may have been denied legal entry—but with the greatly reduced load, Border Patrol would be able to handle those smaller numbers of entrants more easily.

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I don't have to answer them, as they are irrelevant regarding the question of legal entry. I will do so as a courtesy:

1) Yes. Irrelevant as to legal entry.

2) Yes. Again, irrelevant as to legal entry.

Ok, let's take a real-life example. My good friend Rory wants to immigrate to the US. The airlines are willing to sell him a ticket, I am willing to pick him up from the airport, I am willing to allow him to sleep on my couch and share my food, my boss is willing to offer him a job, I am willing to drive him to and from work, the bank is willing to allow him to open an account, and my apartment complex is willing to rent him an apartment once he has enough money. Should he be stopped from doing all of these? Under current immigration law, he cannot. At what point in the above chain would Rory be violating someone's rights?

This case is similar to a large portion of immigrants (legal or illegal) and would-be immigrants. People come across the Mexican border, find somewhere to stay, find someone willing to hire them, save up money and spend it in open, willing transactions. By what right do you claim you can stop them from doing so? Do you own the United States?

Now I'll ask you, do we have the right, as a nation, to ensure that we do not allow individuals with communicable diseases into the country? People with criminal backgrounds? Known terrorists?

Nations qua groups do not have rights. People have rights. You have a right not to have to interact with people with communicable diseases, so if someone's disease is threatening you you have a right to have them held away from you, possibly in quarantine if the disease is bad enough. It doesn't matter if that person was born in Mexico or in Wisconsin. Similarly, those with criminal backgrounds legitimately have limited rights, and one of those restrictions might legitimately include limited movement across borders. Such people should be stopped, but it should not be assumed that everyone crossing a border is a criminal. Again, there are criminals in the state next to you just as there are criminals in the country next to you, and it doesn't matter where they come from. Finally, known terrorists should be targeted militarily regardless of where they live or come from. No one is saying we should let criminals run roughshod over us.

Let's apply your argument to states: Does the people of New Jersey have a right to avoid people with communicable diseases, criminals, and terrorists? Yes, absolutely. Are there criminals, people with communicable diseases, and terrorists in New York? Absolutely. Do there need to be quotas, lengthy screening processes, border guards, etc. making entry from NY to NJ harder? No. Those with diseases can be quarantined, criminals and terrorists can be pursued, and in many cases people can be extradited back to their original states. The same can apply to countries. But I'll even grant you that it might make sense to have a border check, due to the scale of crime/illness abroad. That check would properly only screen for illnesses and known criminals, and let all else in, though.

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Individual rights does not mean you are able to violate the legitimate laws of the US. If the borders were completely open, we would have the better part of six billion people trying to move here, we simply could not sustain a large influx of people. Freedom and individual rights only have meaning within the context of the Rule of Law.

I am confused as to what you exactly are arguing here. From the first sentence, we have that individual rights cannot conflict with legitimate national laws. Presumably, individual rights would trump illegitimate national law (as when Jews emigrated from Germany during the rise of National Socialism; this would be an example of a moral action, breaking an illegitimate immigration law). Individual rights therefore define which laws are legitimate and which are not, correct?

But the statement "Freedom and individual rights only have meaning within the context of the Rule of Law..." seems to conflict with this. Do individual rights determine the legitimacy of laws, or are laws capable of restricting individual rights? On my understanding, rights are principles which arise from the nature of man in a social context. Thus, they apply whether or not they are institutionalized in the form of laws, although laws enforced by a central government are the only way to bring about respect for these principles.

Allowing unrestricted immigration would allow anyone in, including Islamic terrorists and communist insurgents. Do you really want those people here?

Speaking only for myself, this is not what I mean when I say that I support open borders. A borderless nation would pose a danger to all residents of that nation. Those wishing to immigrate should be screened for criminal history, terrorist affiliations, communicable diseases, etc. However, an "open border" means, in my interpretation, that once someone has cleared all these checks, there is no longer a legitimate reason to restrict their entry into the country. The only legitimate reasons for keeping people out stem from the government's obligation to protect the individual rights of citizens. Once it is determined that potential immigrants do not pose a forseeable threat to the legitimate rights of citizens, it is illegitimate to bar them entry.

Is anyone in this thread advocating a different position than this? The Binswanger article quoted here by the "open borders" side certainly takes this view.

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How would an economy in recession, with an unemployment rate of 10% (lowball) benefit by having an influx of people when we do not have jobs for the ones already here? Wouldn't it be prudent to fix our economic problems first before even considering such?

I would just like to point out that it is an economic fallacy to regard the number of "jobs" as a static quantity unaffected by an increase in the population. Politicians, academics, and the media often treat things like wealth and jobs similarly to the stock of a natural resource, but the fact is that the number of potential jobs is virtually limitless, in the same way that the amount of wealth that could potentially exist is limited only by our knowledge of how to use natural resources.

There might be an argument for fixing our welfare state before allowing the immigration of any non-dangerous people, but without the welfare state in the equation, the effect of increased immigration on the economic well-being of a nation is ambiguous.

Free immigration does not necessarily imply trespass, but it does imply letting anyone come on in, regardless of their ability to contribute, their educational level, their willingness to assimilate or their willingness to declare their allegiance to this country.

Once it is determined that there is no reason to suspect that a potential immigrant is likely to violate the individual rights of citizens, are any of these things legitimate reasons for barring entry into the country? It is certainly in the immigrant's best interests to be educated, to be able to contribute, to assimilate at least to a certain extent, etc... but the coercive apparatus of government cannot be used to assist people in their pursuit of self-interest. It is for protecting individual rights only.

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What I am getting out of this:

According to Objectivism, America should greatly ease (but not completely remove) restrictions on immigration--allowing anyone not a criminal, contagious, or terrorist in. But this implies enacting border security to keep those still-illegal elements out. It also implies requiring everyone who wants to enter to at least check in and let a background check and bloodwork be run, to make sure he isn't a criminal, contagious, or a terrorist. Failing to check in as one crosses the border would then have to be a crime, and.... voila, there is still such a thing as illegal immigration--failing to check in (i.e., sneaking in) or being one of those classes that everyone here seems to agree should not be allowed in. Even in the ideal Objectivist state.

Now on to the situation as it exists today. We have relatively high quotas based on irrational criteria (relationship to those already here, rather than ability to be productive), and an array of state-provided "services" like welfare, etc., that are available to immigrants (be they legal or illegal). Simply removing all immoral restrictions on immigration in this context would, I think be a disaster, for reasons that Maximus is actually correct in citing (amongst some of his more objectionable comments). Unfortunately in the current political environment it is far likelier that we will ease restrictions on immigration without doing a THING about the "drug war" or the easy availability of welfare to non-citizens (let alone doing what really needs to be done, which is ending it completely).

Believe me, I'd rather get rid of welfare and be able to open the gates to anyone not a criminal--but welfare isn't going away any time soon, and neither is the fact that you don't have to be here legally to collect it, much less be a citizen. (Simply requiring showing a photo ID to VOTE is tantamount, in many peoples' minds, to anti-Hispanic racism.) Opening the US to nearly unrestricted immigration in this context basically amounts to an invitation to people outside of the US to jump on our welfare rolls and therefore should not be done.

PS on a only distantly related note--I hear a lot of "anti immigration" people demanding that states stop issuing driver's licenses to people who are "not citizens" and the like--they forget the category of people who are here legally (under current law) but not citizens--immigrants aspiring to citizenship someday. They have every right under current law to a driver's license, but I believe the fear here is that they would manage to vote with the license as an ID. That problem could be easily taken care of by putting "RESIDENT ALIEN" or even "LEGALLY RESIDENT ALIEN" on the license quite prominently. (And this issue would exist even in the ideal Objectivist context.)

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What I am getting out of this:

According to Objectivism, America should greatly ease (but not completely remove) restrictions on immigration--allowing anyone not a criminal, contagious, or terrorist in. But this implies enacting border security to keep those still-illegal elements out. It also implies requiring everyone who wants to enter to at least check in and let a background check and bloodwork be run, to make sure he isn't a criminal, contagious, or a terrorist. Failing to check in as one crosses the border would then have to be a crime, and.... voila, there is still such a thing as illegal immigration--failing to check in (i.e., sneaking in) or being one of those classes that everyone here seems to agree should not be allowed in. Even in the ideal Objectivist state.

I'm not sure this is necessarily the case. All of these issues apply to inter-state boundaries (criminals, contagious folks, and terrorists are bad and should be kept out), but a border patrol isn't necessary. If there was a particluarly crime-ridden area, like some claim is the case for Mexico, I could see an argument being made for having a border patrol around it, but there's no need for a border guard along, for example, the Canada-US border. Not everyone would need to check in.

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Once it is determined that there is no reason to suspect that a potential immigrant is likely to violate the individual rights of citizens, are any of these things legitimate reasons for barring entry into the country?

I think that Maximus' major fallacy is that he falls into the typical conservative ideology concerning nationality. As it currently stands, the status of citizenship is granted in accordance to two congenital factors: geographic location and the citizenship status of one’s parents. Later it can be acquired through heterosexual marriage (gays and lesbians are denied the rights to be sponsored by their partners, as their unions are not approved by the federal government) or through the daunting process of work visas and other similar processes.

Those who would claim that American residence should be birth-bound or controlled by some status (where a crime-free individual immigrant may still have to wait up to eighteen years to become a citizen, IF he manages to immigrate into the country legally AT ALL) are, in fact, the ones who understand America the least. The ideology of this country was founded upon the rejection of monarchy, tyranny and oppression, discarding all notions that some mystical, authoritarian element was carried over through bloodlines and down family lineage and embracing individual rights and the ability of the individual to determine his own destiny. It sought to uphold the ideal of achievement, that those who were willing to work, diligent, honest and with integrity, would someday reap the fruits of their labor, and be free of all oppression, to seek ultimate contentment and fulfillment within the goals they have established.

It is under this desire that immigrants have forged their paths, whether they achieve little or a great deal isn't important. Shouldn't immigration be granted to those who strive to live by the principles and ideology of this land, entering into an ideological commitment that is reflected in a lifestyle of achievement and freedom, rather than only selectively reserve the status of resident and citizen for a new breed of genetic aristocracy, who will not necessarily work towards preserving these ideals?

Maximus, among other things, shows very little understanding in the difference between an immigrant and a criminal- criminality is not unique to immigrants, and to tie them together is extremely faulty thinking. He is incapable of seeing that the system which he boasts is, in fact, the cause of this problem: By restricting something which has no right to be restricted by the government (immigration of non-criminal individuals), you create an artificially large number of criminals (an illegal immigrant is not a legitimate criminal) and now you have an entire branch of the INS and the border patrol hunting for people who are not legitimate criminals, and who also have to worry about the criminals. For a system Maximus likes, it is incredibly inefficient and in fact causes a great division of the task force which weakens what should be its primary function (hunting for real criminals trying to get into the country) by burdening it with secondary issues that are irrelevant (hunting for any immigrant that crosses the border). Sun-Tzu strategy, this is not.

So, in short, Maximus? In order to take logical steps towards fixing the situation, what you must do is in fact dismantle the INS immigration system, instate open immigration with background checks and criminal screening, and voilá-- suddenly all you have to worry about are the people who will try to jump the border because they are criminals, gangsters and evildoers. When you no longer have to pay over eleven to twelve thousand dollars for the possibility of maybe being allowed to perchance stay here, and are no longer faced with a system that, from the get-go, will look for unprincipled reasons to keep you out (such as "Intent To Remain" or getting a girlfriend as opposed to, oh, I don't know, actual criminal activity or terrorist affiliation?) , then you will have many more people willing to go through a background check to immigrate here if that's all it takes. With the exception of the aforementioned criminals, of course. THAT is how you take logical steps towards a solution. You, on the other hand, are just piggybacking on a broken system and you're trying to stop the leaks with your fingers, shouting over the din that you are "taking reality into account" when it is plain to see that your reality checks have bounced.

Edited by kainscalia
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You could conceive of a system in multiple different ways that would be consistent with rights. I agree that that isn't necessarily the case that "check ins" or blood tests or such things would be required, perhaps only the immigrant need present records proving he has no criminal history or sickness and is not an agent of an aggressive government accompanied with a ticket proving that he is either a property owner, or has permission to be on a legal resident's property. I'm going to invoke the "I'm not a government planner, but just outlining the principles involved" argument here. I think there still need be border patrol agents where applicable to protect property owners from trespass and invasion by external threats.

This is the kind of area where I would like to see Objectivists debating on, rather than rehashing again the open immigration vs restricted immigration argument, beating a dead horse to death. Most of us know the reasons for these things already, but there is a lot we don't know. We know where we are, we know where we want to go, but how to get from here to there, and what specific concrete processes should a system be comprised of?

Edited by 2046
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Now on to the situation as it exists today. We have relatively high quotas based on irrational criteria (relationship to those already here, rather than ability to be productive), and an array of state-provided "services" like welfare, etc., that are available to immigrants (be they legal or illegal). Simply removing all immoral restrictions on immigration in this context would, I think be a disaster, for reasons that Maximus is actually correct in citing (amongst some of his more objectionable comments). Unfortunately in the current political environment it is far likelier that we will ease restrictions on immigration without doing a THING about the "drug war" or the easy availability of welfare to non-citizens (let alone doing what really needs to be done, which is ending it completely).

This argument is flawed on three grounds:

1. Laws enacted under Clinton restrict the type of welfare available to immigrants.

2. It punishes all would-be immigrants for the potential future actions of a sub-set thereof.

3. Nothing about it is limited to immigrants. By your logic, we should limit childbirth too since some of those children could end up on welfare. We should limit inter-state migration because some migrants might end up on welfare programs. If we have a right to limit the movement, living conditions, and working conditions of foreigners because they might take illegitimate money, then we have a right to limit the movement, living conditions, and working conditions of locals as well.

You have every right to be angry at immigrants who come here and end up on welfare, but only for the same reasons you have a right to be angry at citizens who end up on welfare. The solution is to end welfare, not restrict immigration.

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