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Immigration Law in Arizona

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TheEgoist
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So either way you look at it, George Reisman's observation “Welfare State Plus Immigration Equals Police State” is quite succinct, because that is the only thing that can come of it, until and unless total laissez-faire and free, unrestricted immigration (including the abolition of all welfare and all public and tax-funded goods) is recognized as the only just, peaceful, and practical system.

I think possible the least coercive thing that can be done to reduce the rights violations and focus on the property rights of domestic residents under the current matrix of mixed economy + welfare state + public goods is abolishing all the current quotas and restrictions on immigration and instituting a policy in which the government acts as sort of a gatekeeper and demands the migrant show a ticket of invitation from a domestic property owner, or proof that they do own property in the country, and otherwise having the inland inviter assume a certain liability for any damages done or costs imposed by the invited immigrant. Maybe it would be possible to get the left and right to agree on something like that, but that is still impractical, maybe just less so than the current restrictions. There isn't much you can do since the big thing (exclude all immigrants from welfare entitlements) has been taken off the table by the Supreme Court.

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The question is, how do you justify violating my rights, by enabling more people to make demands on the "services" that my taxes pay for?

Under Objectivism it is perfectly justified for a hardworking immigrant to take advantage of government services - see "The Question of Scholarships" in "The Voice of Reason". He is NOT violating your rights by taking advantage of the system in this way. He did not create the system and is innocent.

You do not have any rights to government "services" that your taxes pay for; if a government steals your money to pay for the immigrants services that is not the immigrants fault!

The issue is, how do you justify violating the immigrants right to come to America?

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The same way you justify increasing the theft of money from me.

That's the point though - I don't justify the increasing theft from you. Neither does the immigrant.

And it is not my fault if the government prevents people from coming to participate in the looting of my personal wealth.

It is partly your fault if you advocate it. Also the immigrant is not participating in looting. See "The Question of Scholarships".

Edited by Ryan1985
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That's the point though - I don't justify the increasing theft from you. Neither does the immigrant.

So you see no problem with knowingly receiving stolen goods?

As to your multiple referencing of The Question of Scholorships, I have read The Voice of Reason as well.

Would you mind quoting the exact part you think justifies people coming into the country illegally and receiving social services

for which they have never contributed a dime at the expense of people who are here legally and are paying taxes?

I ask this sincerely because my mind is coming up blank when I try to picture what part you are talking about.

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So you see no problem with knowingly receiving stolen goods?

A consistent Objectivist, in this specific context, should see no problem with receiving stolen goods as long as the immigrant works and pays taxes and does not ideologically support the welfare system itself.

As to your multiple referencing of The Question of Scholorships, I have read The Voice of Reason as well.

Would you mind quoting the exact part you think justifies people coming into the country illegally and receiving social services

for which they have never contributed a dime at the expense of people who are here legally and are paying taxes?

Sure, this is taken from "The Voice of Reason" by Ayn Rand where she is speaking of accepting government scholarships:

It does not matter, in this context, whether a given individual has or has not paid an amount of taxes equal to the amount of the scholarship he accepts.

The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance, or other payments of that kind.
Edited by Ryan1985
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It is partly your fault if you advocate it.
However, since I do not advocate limiting legal immigration, then it is in fact not my fault. I have no duty to advocate the elimination of immigration restrictions, when doing so would in fact be contrary to my interests, either because it would result in higher taxes for me, or because it would distract from the vastly more important work of eliminating the welfare state.
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Sure, this is taken from "The Voice of Reason" by Ayn Rand where she is speaking of accepting government scholarships:

I'm sorry but you still haven't answered the question.

This was what I said: "Would you mind quoting the exact part you think justifies people coming into the country illegally and receiving social services

for which they have never contributed a dime"

What part of that says anything about the rights of people who broke the law to be here illegally and do not pay any taxes to the goods and services this nation provides?

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What part of that says anything about the rights of people who broke the law to be here illegally and do not pay any taxes to the goods and services this nation provides?

This part:

It does not matter, in this context, whether a given individual has or has not paid an amount of taxes equal to the amount of the scholarship he accepts.

Breaking an unobjective law is irrelevent. The immigrant is completely innocent and has the right to enter and leave America as he chooses.

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  • 1 month later...

However, since I do not advocate limiting legal immigration, then it is in fact not my fault. I have no duty to advocate the elimination of immigration restrictions, when doing so would in fact be contrary to my interests, either because it would result in higher taxes for me, or because it would distract from the vastly more important work of eliminating the welfare state.

Do we know for a fact that more immigrants means higher taxes, even under current welfare state conditions? Doesn't that depend on the empirical question of whether or not the immigrants create more wealth than they consume from welfare state? Isn't it possible that open immigration might lead to lower taxes for everyone, in short? (Or has someone already done the math?)

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*** Mod's note: Merged with an existing topic on Arizona's immigration law. - sN ***

In a broad sense, this is a question pertaining to very nature of laws enforcing immigration law under National Sovereignty. This because SB1070 was created, I contest, in response to what is thought to be the failure of the US Government to secure the borders of this country. Or, more accurately, what is thought to be the Reagan and Bush Administration's incremental steps toward amnesty. Yet, in a narrower sense, the qustion also applies to the abilties of states to invoke the Tenth Amendment to secure their own borders against foreign countries.

Do Objectivists believe in the notion of a world with borders and clear lines of distinction between countries-- not based on racism or xenophobia--but on the belief that a prudent country should seek to restrict and control the flow of illegal and legal immigration in order to allow to promote assimilation? Or do you believe that so long as an illegal alien wants to work he ought to be able to live in the country?

Secondly, if Objectvists do believe that a country ought to have borders and ought to be able to control those borders, to whom does the responsibilty of border enforcement fall? That is, does the responsibility include only the federal government, or the state government, or local government, or some mix of the three?

Edited by softwareNerd
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Do Objectivists believe in the notion of a world with borders and clear lines of distinction between countries-- not based on racism or xenophobia--but on the belief that a prudent country should seek to restrict and control the flow of illegal and legal immigration in order to allow to promote assimilation? Or do you believe that so long as an illegal alien wants to work he ought to be able to live in the country?

Secondly, if Objectvists do believe that a country ought to have borders and ought to be able to control those borders, to whom does the responsibilty of border enforcement fall? That is, does the responsibility include only the federal government, or the state government, or local government, or some mix of the three?

That is a false alternative. There is more than one way to have a border. You can for instance have one without putting the government in charge of socially engineering "assimilation", and instead have it control the border only to fulfill its proper role: protection of rights from initiation of force (in this case by foreign enemies).

Objectivism holds, unequivocally, that protection of rights, from initiation of force, is the sole role of the government, restricting immigration to alleviate someone's fears of non-assimilated newcomers is most certainly the sign of government run amok.

In the view of many of us, illegal immigrants are the victims of an abusive government, not criminals. Others, for reasons I do not understand, think that immigrants should respect the abusive immigration laws (even though all Objectivists admit the laws are abusive).

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Do Objectivists believe in the notion of a world with borders ...

The term “open borders” is a smear term invented and used by Bill Buckley and the neoconservatives throughout the 60's and 70's against Ayn Rand and others.

We have identified a border under a proper government as two things: (1) the representation of the private property area of individual property owners and (2) the representation of the area of jurisdiction in which private property owners are under the protection of a government.

(1) is your private border, in which you control who is excluded or included and on what terms, (2) is the “national border” or “international boundary,” e.g. “The US-Mexico border,” in which the government protects those inside of it against the initiation of force.

Re: "open borders" + "What is a border for?" + "Without borders, the country ceases to exist." etc., see from this thread here and here.

Since the proper function of a government is to protect individual rights, a government may not initiate force. Since excluding peaceful (that is, non rights-violating) individuals from dealing and trading with one another is an initiation of force, the government may not exclude peaceful foreigners from immigrating. Therefore, only individual private property owners have a right to decide who they wish to include or exclude, deal with or not deal with, so long as it does not represent an initiation of force, and they may not through the power of government, morally force others to be excluded from associating and dealing with a willing trader.

There's a lot of good information on the Objectivist position in this thread, but, in short, the government does not have the right to forcibly exclude (immigration restrictions) or forcibly include (welfare state, public property, taxes, etc.) immigrants or anyone else. Ideally, there would be as much immigration or non-immigration, inclusion or exclusion, as individual property owners or owners associations desire. Some areas might be easy to immigrate to and welcoming of foreigners, other areas might be more exclusive and difficult to get in to. The government's task is to protect individual rights, so they may objectively, upon probable cause, exclude those who represent force-initiators (such as criminals, terrorists, trespassers, fugitives, people emanating contagious diseases, etc) but they may not arbitrarily exclude anyone (quotas, visas, temporary work permits, fees, the drug war, etc.)

Democracy and the welfare state has short circuited that right through forcibly externalizing the costs of immigration on tax-payers, which leads to the disagreement in this thread (and in society) about “what to do about them.” If we respect their rights, those costs will continue to be forcibly externalized and democracy will aggravate the continued crisis of interventionism. If violate them, it alleviates citizens but then we get a police state and peaceful foreigners and citizens that want to trade are expropriated. In short, the government's gun has interposed this dilemma and there is no answer except: respect individual rights.

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The term “open borders” is a smear term invented and used by Bill Buckley and the neoconservatives throughout the 60's and 70's against Ayn Rand and others.

We have identified a border under a proper government as two things: (1) the representation of the private property area of individual property owners and (2) the representation of the area of jurisdiction in which private property owners are under the protection of a government.

(1) is your private border, in which you control who is excluded or included and on what terms, (2) is the “national border” or “international boundary,” e.g. “The US-Mexico border,” in which the government protects those inside of it against the initiation of force.

Re: "open borders" + "What is a border for?" + "Without borders, the country ceases to exist." etc., see from this thread here and here.

Since the proper function of a government is to protect individual rights, a government may not initiate force. Since excluding peaceful (that is, non rights-violating) individuals from dealing and trading with one another is an initiation of force, the government may not exclude peaceful foreigners from immigrating. Therefore, only individual private property owners have a right to decide who they wish to include or exclude, deal with or not deal with, so long as it does not represent an initiation of force, and they may not through the power of government, morally force others to be excluded from associating and dealing with a willing trader.

There's a lot of good information on the Objectivist position in this thread, but, in short, the government does not have the right to forcibly exclude (immigration restrictions) or forcibly include (welfare state, public property, taxes, etc.) immigrants or anyone else. Ideally, there would be as much immigration or non-immigration, inclusion or exclusion, as individual property owners or owners associations desire. Some areas might be easy to immigrate to and welcoming of foreigners, other areas might be more exclusive and difficult to get in to. The government's task is to protect individual rights, so they may objectively, upon probable cause, exclude those who represent force-initiators (such as criminals, terrorists, trespassers, fugitives, people emanating contagious diseases, etc) but they may not arbitrarily exclude anyone (quotas, visas, temporary work permits, fees, the drug war, etc.)

Democracy and the welfare state has short circuited that right through forcibly externalizing the costs of immigration on tax-payers, which leads to the disagreement in this thread (and in society) about “what to do about them.” If we respect their rights, those costs will continue to be forcibly externalized and democracy will aggravate the continued crisis of interventionism. If violate them, it alleviates citizens but then we get a police state and peaceful foreigners and citizens that want to trade are expropriated. In short, the government's gun has interposed this dilemma and there is no answer except: respect individual rights.

Never have I encountered such a precise, brief response to the issue of borders. Your view strikes as different only by degrees from conservations I've had with my Right LIbertarian allies. I see that you and I disagree in many areas. But I'll tell you what I tell my Right Libertarian friends. If I had to choose an immigration policy other than my own, if I had a choice between attempting to implent your personal policy and that of an American Progressivist and Collectivist models, I would choose yours. Realizing the differences between us, I still see more in common between us than with the socialist forces at work here and abroad. We are all of us champions of the Individual, yet our methods and beliefs about the proper roles of the Individual and the State are somewhat different.

Yet if I did not have the opportunity to try and forge my own vision of a Conservative society, I would like to aid you in creating an Objectivist one--for fear of the other alternatives. Just reading many of these posts gives a much needed breath of fresh air and fresh thinking compared that of the Left rhetoric of amnesty and "internationalism for internationalism's sake." I see that you preach a particularly coherent idea--and in theory, a very sensible idea. But I must politely disagree with it nonetheless. A person not born in a foreign country in which he wishes to live, while he is welcome to trade there, is not necessarily welcome to live there. He may or may not be.

The mere fact that a person labors cannot be the deciding factor in determining whether or not he can remain within a country. He must show his intention, not only to labor, but to be a citizen, and what's more, to be a good citizen who respects the laws, general customs, and general traditions of the country in which he wishes to dwell (so long as the laws are just and the traditions and customs, while different than his own, are not unreasonable. In such cases as laws are unjust, such as in totalitarian countries, the thing becomes much more complicated.)

This person, regardless of which country he is from, is course entitled to his rights, that is, his life, liberty, and the retainment of his personal property, for they are his unalienable rights. But he does not have the right to dwell in a country not his own and share in the fruits of the labors of a people not his own. That is not a right, but a privilege, which is given to him by that country via the decisions of a representative government whom individuals elect to carry out their general wishes in matters of immigration.

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The mere fact that a person labors cannot be the deciding factor in determining whether or not he can remain within a country. He must show his intention, not only to labor, but to be a citizen, and what's more, to be a good citizen who respects the laws, general customs, and general traditions of the country in which he wishes to dwell (so long as the laws are just and the traditions and customs, while different than his own, are not unreasonable. In such cases as laws are unjust, such as in totalitarian countries, the thing becomes much more complicated.)

This person, regardless of which country he is from, is course entitled to his rights, that is, his life, liberty, and the retainment of his personal property, for they are his unalienable rights. But he does not have the right to dwell in a country not his own and share in the fruits of the labors of a people not his own. That is not a right, but a privilege, which is given to him by that country via the decisions of a representative government whom individuals elect to carry out their general wishes in matters of immigration.

I would argue that by his actions in labouring to produce goods and services to trade with others an immigrant is in fact trying to be a good citizen that respects the laws and general customs of that country. Forcing him to sing a song and dance a jig to fit in culturally aren't going to change his actions or motivations in increasing the general wealth of himself and the country.

Saying he has certain inalienable rights and then saying that he can't exercise those rights (through choosing where to live and trading and sharing with other citizens) is a contradiction. He either has rights and can peaceably exercise them or he doesn't and can't due to government interference (elected or not).

Rights extend to all men. Protection of rights is limited to a specific geographic area by the individuals in that area. That some groups choose to try and vote away those rights is wrong and would not happen if they really thought that all men have certain inalienable rights.

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I would argue ...

Thanks for the reply! I'm pretty new to this site, but I like it so far. I'd love nothing more than to continue this conversation, but alas, I have to go to class. I'll be happy to pick it up later, though.

You and I would appear to differ in what we view as rights versus privileges. The aformentioned things, life, liberty, and property are rights of men, and they cannot be taken away--for such action is a violation of the contract by government. But as I said, and still hold, one does not have the right to be in a country which is not his own. He may have the privilege, if allowed, but not the right. This is not a contradiction and cannot see why you see it as so. Nonetheless, I recongize your command of the written word and look forward to more discussions.

Edited by softwareNerd
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You and I would appear to differ in what we view as rights versus privileges. The aformentioned things, life, liberty, and property are rights of men, and they cannot be taken away--for such action is a violation of the contract by government. But as I said, and still hold, one does not have the right to be in a country which is not his own. He may have the privilege, if allowed, but not the right. This is not a contradiction and cannot see why you see it as so. Nonetheless, I recongize your command of the written word and look forward to more discussions.
This is a bit of an aside, but what is this contract? Who are the parties to it? Do the parties get any reasonable opportunity to choose to sign up or to say no? Do the parties get to negotiate and set any terms of this contract?

Now, back on topic... if we assume rights come through some type of contract, how do visiting foreigners get them anyway?

Also, how do we decide what is a right and what is a privilege? Is there an objective guiding principle, or is socially subjective (i.e. up to voters)?

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  • 8 months later...

The Supreme Court has issued a decision on a related Arizona immigration statute, the Legal Arizona Workers Act. This is not the same law as triggered the OP of this thread but the legal strategy behind attacking both was the same, the "Federal Law pre-empts state law" argument.

Supreme Court Opinion No. 09–115

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court, except as to Parts II–B and III–B.*

Federal immigration law expressly preempts “any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ . . . unauthorized aliens.” 8 U. S. C. §1324a(h)(2).

A recently enacted Arizona statute—the Legal Arizona Workers Act—provides that the licenses of state employers that knowingly or intentionally employ unauthorized aliens may be, and in certain circumstances must be, suspended or revoked. The law also requires that all Arizona employers use a federal electronic verification system to confirm that the workers they employ are

legally authorized workers. The question presented is whether federal immigration law preempts those provisions of Arizona law. Because we conclude that the State’s licensing provisions fall squarely within the federal statute’s savings clause and that the Arizona regulation does not otherwise conflict with federal law, we hold that the Arizona law is not preempted.

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I guess the decision was to be expected: i.e., the republican judges voted their anti-immigrant party line.

Or equivalently, the dissenting judges voted their self-hating anti-American democratic party line.

That is no form of reasoning at all. Please don't do it.

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Or equivalently, the dissenting judges voted their self-hating anti-American democratic party line.
Yes, the other judges voted their Democratic party line. Whether it is anti-American depends on the specific case. I would not call it anti-American in this case.

The SCOTUS is basically just a little better than a super-senate, where both parties have a certain representation. The reason it is actually a "little better" is that the judges do try to move a little more slowly than public opinion, and do try to justify their decisions to themselves.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Yes, the other judges voted their Democratic party line. Whether it is anti-American depends on the specific case. I would not call it anti-American in this case.

The SCOTUS is basically just a little better than a super-senate, where both parties have a certain representation. The reason it is actually a "little better" is that the judges do try to move a little more slowly than public opinion, and do try to justify their decisions to themselves.

Read the opinion. They did not merely try to justify their position, they succeeded in justifying their position. The decision was logical, consistent with the law and correct. It was simply impossible to come to the opposite conclusion without indulging in wildly subjective redefinitions of words, and abrogations of common sense.

Immigration policy is determined by the Congress. Even if all nine justices were Objectivists and advocated open immigration they could not make that policy happen without asserting an unconstitutional judicial authority over immigration policy.

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Read the opinion. They did not merely try to justify their position, they succeeded in justifying their position. The decision was logical, consistent with the law and correct. It was simply impossible to come to the opposite conclusion without indulging in wildly subjective redefinitions of words, and abrogations of common sense.

Immigration policy is determined by the Congress. Even if all nine justices were Objectivists and advocated open immigration they could not make that policy happen without asserting an unconstitutional judicial authority over immigration policy.

It is after reading a few SCOTUS opinions, looking for the logic, that I realized that the judges basically have a certain political philosophy; and they usually rationalize their way from the law to the outcome that they're inclined to based on their political philosophy. I don't intend to read this particular opinion, because I now understand their nature as a super-senate, and expect little else from them. Understanding their political philosophy is far more important when it comes to predicting the outcomes of a majority of cases.

In this case, the state is using licencing law for something that is outside the bounds of the state's purview. The Arizona law should have been overturned. If the judges were Objectivists they could also argue that the whole notion of business licencing is unconstitutional except in certain specified narrowest of circumstances.

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