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Immigration Law in Arizona

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TheEgoist
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I'm confused by the Objectivists here wanting free access to immigration or complaining about the expense associated with immigration.

Since when do Objectivists demand that anything be free?

Immigration is handled by the government and is a very costly process involving many levels of criminal, background , medical & credit checks. Now the system, being a government system is of course not as effivient as it should be but you also need to factor into the cost of each reasonable, elegible entrant that the costs of all the others who cause stress on a system w/ fake identification, phony marriages and the like.

Just as a store passes on the costs incurred by shoplifters on to the honest consumer so must immigration pass on the cost of all its bullshit.

Because we do not live in a capitalist society we are unfortunately in the position of having no one able to have their rights fully respected in this matter.

Should immigration for hard working, honest, healthy, non criminal individuals be easier? Of course it should.

But at the same time we live in a nation where a great deal of each working person's income is taken by force to provide social programs that attract illegals and which the illegals take from disproportionately. This situation is aggravated by the fact that current immigration law has made having "anchor children" an attractive option to immigrants who cannot afford to have children and cannot properly look after them.

As an Objectivist one must also note that many of the illegals from south of the border gain access to their destinations by trespassing private property.

So while you may argue that the individual sneaking into the US is not behaving immorally in sneaking into the US because the current immigration set up is unjust you may not rightly ignore the fact that many of them are violating individual's property rights as a means to their ends.

I argue that anyone willing to trespass my private property to sneak into the US is not someone that should be in this country.

Edited by QuoVadis
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I'm confused by the Objectivists here wanting free access to immigration or complaining about the expense associated with immigration.

Since when do Objectivists demand that anything be free?

No one is claiming that it needs to be financially free. Immigrants who fly here should have to pay the airlines, etc. We're claiming that it should be free of government intervention, which is a very separate issue.

Immigration is handled by the government and is a very costly process involving many levels of criminal, background , medical & credit checks. Now the system, being a government system is of course not as effivient as it should be but you also need to factor into the cost of each reasonable, elegible entrant that the costs of all the others who cause stress on a system w/ fake identification, phony marriages and the like.

Yes, it is currently handled by the government and it is currently very costly. That's our problem! It doesn't need to be! At the very most (and I'm not convinced even this is necessary), immigration would involve a border check running names and faces against databases of known criminals and a blood test screening for known diseases. I can see an argument that the immigrant should pay for such a screening, but that's far different from the ridiculous quota systems and legal barriers in place today.

Just as a store passes on the costs incurred by shoplifters on to the honest consumer so must immigration pass on the cost of all its bullshit.

Because we do not live in a capitalist society we are unfortunately in the position of having no one able to have their rights fully respected in this matter.

The solution is to fight to have everyone's rights fully protected, not to violate the rights of foreigners just because ours are being violated as well.

Should immigration for hard working, honest, healthy, non criminal individuals be easier? Of course it should.

But at the same time we live in a nation where a great deal of each working person's income is taken by force to provide social programs attract illegals and which the illegals take from disproportionately. This situation is aggravated by the fact that current immigration law has made having "anchor children" an attractive option to immigrants who cannot afford to have children and cannot properly look after them.

See my previous post in this thread for a discussion of this type of claim.

As an Objectivist one must also note that many of the illegals from south of the border gain access to their destinations by trespassing private property.

So while you may argue that the individual sneaking into the US is not behaving immorally in sneaking into the US because the current immigration set up is unjust you may not rightly ignore the fact that many of them are violating individual's property rights as a means to their ends.

I argue that anyone willing to trespass my private property to sneak into the US is not someone that should be in this country.

I'm fairly certain that no one here is claiming that immigrants should have a right to trespass on private property. Those that do so should be properly punished. But many immigrants do not trespass to come cross the border. Those who pay for flights to the US are not trespassing. Those who hide in the back of trucks with the permission of the truck owner are not trespassing.

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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.

... I knew I would be excoriated here for daring to suggest that we need a border in order to maintain a country. ...

Okay, since this is an oft-repeated canard, I will address the "what is a border for" argument.

Again, none of us are using the term "open borders" but both of you have. It's just a smear term invented in the 60's and 70's by neoconservatives, in the same way "isolationist" was invented by the Old Left to smear America Firsters.

No one says that we should do away with national borders, or that anyone should be allowed to walk across any place he pleases regardless of whose property it is. What we are saying is that only individual property owners have the right to keep people off their property. The job of the government is only to protect rights, so specifically in this issue, to crack down on people who do not know how to "keep off!" from an external field, that is to prevent both forced integration and forced exclusion. That and only that is the goal of a proper immigration policy. This means a border is required, as the representation of the jurisdiction in which private property owners are under the protection of a given government. That is all.

To argue that the State has the power to decide who can deal with whom is the in effect declare that the State is the owner of all property and/or that the government has the power to forcibly exclude, that is, to keep other people away without regard to their right to integrate voluntarily with willing residents. By the same token, we reject all welfare or so-called "civil rights" legislation that effects forcible integration among people who do not wish to deal with or include one another.

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Quick distinction:

For a governmental entity, a border defines jurisdiction: The area over which that particular governmental entity has the right to use retaliatory force in order to protect individual rights.

For a private entity, a border defines ownership: The area over which the property owner has the right to set all terms of behaviour, interaction, etc.

I think this issue stems from a conflation of these two types of borders.

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As long as foreigners don't come here to be 'American-haters' and to preach racist/discriminatory doctrines I don't see anything wrong with immigration.

And if the foreigners do wish to preach racist/discriminatory doctrines? By what right do you get to decide what ideas a man has to accept before being unhindered in his travel over land that is not yours?

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As long as foreigners don't come here to be 'American-haters' and to preach racist/discriminatory doctrines I don't see anything wrong with immigration.

I can see how someone doing that would piss you off; it would piss me off, too. However, there's a difference between being righteously angry at someone and having the authority to restrict their freedom. It's the same distinction drawn with KKK hate speech; its infuriating, and rightfully so, but it shouldn't be illegal.

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Excuse me for not clarifying...

I didn't say anything about taking away their rights, I merely stated that it would be wrong in my book.

Ok, fair enough. This is a political discussion, so I assumed you meant "wrong" in the sense of "shouldn't be allowed". Sorry for jumping to conclusions.

Edit:

Given the fact that your post was about moral, and not legal, issues, I would take it a step further. For rational, productive folks, it's more than just "nothing wrong" for them to immigrate to a freer place: It is heroic and commendable.

Edited by Cogito
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No one is claiming that it needs to be financially free. Immigrants who fly here should have to pay the airlines, etc. We're claiming that it should be free of government intervention, which is a very separate issue.

I would say that anyone who believes it should be free of govt intervention is mistaken. One of the only rightful duties of the govt is protection of the lives and rights of its citizens. Background checks on all entrants into the US is part of that. As the govt is the only entity authorized to use force it is necessary for the govt to be the agency to do this.

Yes, it is currently handled by the government and it is currently very costly. That's our problem! It doesn't need to be! At the very most (and I'm not convinced even this is necessary), immigration would involve a border check running names and faces against databases of known criminals and a blood test screening for known diseases. I can see an argument that the immigrant should pay for such a screening, but that's far different from the ridiculous quota systems and legal barriers in place today.

So you don't believe it is necessary for the govt to keep out criminals and terrorists?

I don't believe anyone here has argued that the current set up of bizarre quotas is ok.. even the much and oft reviled Maximus! :thumbsup:

The solution is to fight to have everyone's rights fully protected, not to violate the rights of foreigners just because ours are being violated as well.

Well, everyone's rights aren't fully protected. And they certainly aren't being protected by allowing criminals to run rampant... have you seen footage of the protests? See all those communists flags, signs w/socialist slogans... oh yeah... and all the vandalism? Arizona is currently in the middle of a huge crisis of rampant crime-much of the crime being tied in with their immigration situation.

Don't mistake me- I find the bill in Arizona to be flawed. But doing nothing isn't an option either. I am for much tighter borders but also for a complete overhaul of what qualifies one to gain entrance.

See my previous post in this thread for a discussion of this type of claim.

I'm fairly certain that no one here is claiming that immigrants should have a right to trespass on private property. Those that do so should be properly punished. But many immigrants do not trespass to come cross the border. Those who pay for flights to the US are not trespassing. Those who hide in the back of trucks with the permission of the truck owner are not trespassing.

"Those who hide in the back of trucks with the permission of the truck owner are not trespassing."

That is a faulty logic. The fact that they are in a truck does not stop them from driving across stretches of private property in their trucks.

What is at issue is- unless we wake up tomorrow in a whole new Galt's Gulch America someone's rights ARE being violated every time illegals come into this country.

They place disproportionate demands on state and locals services which they do not contribute to in violation of the rights of the people who are taxed to provide these services.

Of course it is relevent that these services shouldn't exist to begin with. But they do. And they aren't going away anytime soon.

And they certainly aren't going away if we give the right to vote to millions of people getting a free ride on them.

This is a lose/lose situation in which there is no ratioanl self interest that does not violate someone's rights.

If it is in the rational self interest of people to sneak across the border, work under the table paying no taxes. It is also in their rational self interest to have an "anchor child" which most likely they cannot afford. They will then clog up emergency rooms (don't tell me this isn't factually accurate when we lived in an agricultural town with a huge illegal population my wife's job involved tracking services usage) clog up the public schools, cause additional costs be demanding services provided specially to them (again something it was my wife's job to track).

Then:

It is in MY rational self interest to support govt controls to prevent this. It is in MY rational self interest to prefer their "right" to free movement being violated to my own rights being further violated.

There is no option currently on the table (in the real world of our policy-makers, not online Objectivist wrangling) that does not involve the violation of someone's rights.

It's very animal kingdom really. What is "fair" to the lion is "unfair" to the gazelle. But that is the nature of a collectivist society- it brings us to the level of animals.

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Okay, since this is an oft-repeated canard, I will address the "what is a border for" argument.

Again, none of us are using the term "open borders" but both of you have. It's just a smear term invented in the 60's and 70's by neoconservatives, in the same way "isolationist" was invented by the Old Left to smear America Firsters.

No one says that we should do away with national borders, or that anyone should be allowed to walk across any place he pleases regardless of whose property it is. What we are saying is that only individual property owners have the right to keep people off their property. The job of the government is only to protect rights, so specifically in this issue, to crack down on people who do not know how to "keep off!" from an external field, that is to prevent both forced integration and forced exclusion. That and only that is the goal of a proper immigration policy. This means a border is required, as the representation of the jurisdiction in which private property owners are under the protection of a given government. That is all.

To argue that the State has the power to decide who can deal with whom is the in effect declare that the State is the owner of all property and/or that the government has the power to forcibly exclude, that is, to keep other people away without regard to their right to integrate voluntarily with willing residents. By the same token, we reject all welfare or so-called "civil rights" legislation that effects forcible integration among people who do not wish to deal with or include one another.

I assure you, I am well aware of this particular definition of borders (I'm not exactly new to Objectivism here, so when I say an open border, I assure you I mean it in the most benign possible sense). What I suppose I am is in some level of disagreement with this stance, as there are a great many situations where countries are placed next to incredibly hostile neighbors (not to say the concrete situation of America is such, but we're debating principles as so many have already stated). I assume we're all familiar with the idea that a country that doesn't respect the rights of it's people is unlikely to respect the rights of it's neighboring countries. So moving from that potentiality, it in my mind seems pretty clear that some type of border zone enforcement, whether that be fencing, a checkpoint, or whatever level of security is deemed "necessary" is quite well justified philisophically, and SHOULD include some kind of screening, theoretically justifiable as being within the perview of the governments necessity for a military force. We don't live in a world of rational people, and we can't accurately predict when or if a neighboring country will suddenly turn belligerent, or if some other well documented hostile attempts to gain access (ala Operation Pastorius)

I am purposefully limiting my analysis to these types of scenarios. As far as who should be let in, well, I'm pretty much in line with the typical Objectivist viewpoint, and do believe more people should be let in legally. However, those who are already here, do need to be properly screened/documented/brought up to speed to eliminate a large number of instances of identity theft (usually SSNs). Further, I think a lot of people skirt the issue of how to tackle problems that exist in our current mixed economy/cluster of public&private ownership. It's incredibly obvious to me what the ideal situation is (it's in the lexicon!), but as was stated earlier, how do we get there.

So I suppose I am left having to ask a series of questions now:

1. Would some of you say things like border patrol and the like are within the domain of government action? I would say this is one of many parts of the protection of a citizenry's rights (though done at a higher level than the local governments), however I'm sure some here will disagree.

2. Though a border is a representation of a given nation's jurisdiction, I would say this doesn't preclude a number of the activities the US currently performs as far as border enforcement goes. If you disagree and believe such institutions should be dismantled in their entirety, what then do you do about cross border crime? A cooperative neighbor it is easy, but what of an uncooperative neighbor? Or perhaps openly belligerent and supporting these actions; do we build a fence then, unilateral rendition, or if the scenario is pervasive enough, maybe some other action? (I do believe Rand alludes to such a scenario in one of her essays)

3. A broader question not entirely related to the specifics of immigration, but one that some responses are making me wonder. What, if anything, would you define as an incursion upon a sovereign nation's territory?

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I would say that anyone who believes it should be free of govt intervention is mistaken. One of the only rightful duties of the govt is protection of the lives and rights of its citizens. Background checks on all entrants into the US is part of that. As the govt is the only entity authorized to use force it is necessary for the govt to be the agency to do this.

So you don't believe it is necessary for the govt to keep out criminals and terrorists?

This is what happens when you either just don't pay attention to anything we've been saying, or don't consider what the concept "interventionism" consists of, wihch is to say, you are failing to make a distinction between the initiation and the defensive/retaliatory use of force.

The government's use of defensive and retaliatory force does not represent interventionism. In such cases, the government is simply doing its entirely proper, strictly limited job of protecting individual rights from the initiation of physical force. The concept of interventionism applies only to instances in which the government uses physical force not in a defensive or retaliatory capacity, but as an aggressor, that is, uses physical force against people who have not initiated its use.

This is what the government does every time it forbids any voluntary, contractual relationship, such as the offer and acceptance of a price or wage, or products or working conditions, that the parties judge to be in their respective self-interest to offer and accept. George Reisman "What is Interventionism?"

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This is what happens when you either just don't pay attention to anything we've been saying, or don't consider what the concept "interventionism" consists of, wihch is to say, you are failing to make a distinction between the initiation and the defensive/retaliatory use of force.

The government's use of defensive and retaliatory force does not represent interventionism. In such cases, the government is simply doing its entirely proper, strictly limited job of protecting individual rights from the initiation of physical force. The concept of interventionism applies only to instances in which the government uses physical force not in a defensive or retaliatory capacity, but as an aggressor, that is, uses physical force against people who have not initiated its use.

This is what the government does every time it forbids any voluntary, contractual relationship, such as the offer and acceptance of a price or wage, or products or working conditions, that the parties judge to be in their respective self-interest to offer and accept. George Reisman "What is Interventionism?"

I would based up this say then that QuoVadis erred in calling that particular scenario intervention. I would have characterized it as a right and proper defensive action (building of fortifications). In any case, as fun as arguing semantics are (though precision is quite paramount), with that particular distinction made, would you classify those activities as a defensive action, as I have?

Edited by Markoso
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I would say that anyone who believes it should be free of govt intervention is mistaken. One of the only rightful duties of the govt is protection of the lives and rights of its citizens. Background checks on all entrants into the US is part of that. As the govt is the only entity authorized to use force it is necessary for the govt to be the agency to do this.

So why isn't a background check of all entrants into New Jersey from New York necessary? There are criminals and diseased folks in New York. I've already conceded that it may be necessary in certain particularly bad areas to have such a border check, but why everywhere?

"Those who hide in the back of trucks with the permission of the truck owner are not trespassing."

That is a faulty logic. The fact that they are in a truck does not stop them from driving across stretches of private property in their trucks.

Yes, but those trucks are often driven over public roads. Now, if the roads were privately owned then you could call that trespass, but as it is it's just a driver using the "public" resource (owned by everyone and therefore no one). Moreover, this ignores the fact that many immigrants come over by plane and are still subject to absurd controls.

What is at issue is- unless we wake up tomorrow in a whole new Galt's Gulch America someone's rights ARE being violated every time illegals come into this country.

They place disproportionate demands on state and locals services which they do not contribute to in violation of the rights of the people who are taxed to provide these services.

It is not true that someone's rights are violated every time immigrants come to this country. It is true that every time ANYONE, immigrant or not, goes on welfare they are violating rights. See my post here: previous post

Of course it is relevent that these services shouldn't exist to begin with. But they do. And they aren't going away anytime soon.

And they certainly aren't going away if we give the right to vote to millions of people getting a free ride on them.

This is a lose/lose situation in which there is no ratioanl self interest that does not violate someone's rights.

If it is in the rational self interest of people to sneak across the border, work under the table paying no taxes. It is also in their rational self interest to have an "anchor child" which most likely they cannot afford. They will then clog up emergency rooms (don't tell me this isn't factually accurate when we lived in an agricultural town with a huge illegal population my wife's job involved tracking services usage) clog up the public schools, cause additional costs be demanding services provided specially to them (again something it was my wife's job to track).

Then:

It is in MY rational self interest to support govt controls to prevent this. It is in MY rational self interest to prefer their "right" to free movement being violated to my own rights being further violated.

There is no option currently on the table (in the real world of our policy-makers, not online Objectivist wrangling) that does not involve the violation of someone's rights.

It's very animal kingdom really. What is "fair" to the lion is "unfair" to the gazelle. But that is the nature of a collectivist society- it brings us to the level of animals.

This argument justifies nearly any action. Hey, you have a right to go down to the welfare office and open fire on everyone there, since, hey, what's "fair" for them is "unfair" for you, and it is your self-interest to do so since they're participating in a situation which involves violation of your rights. If you can violate the rights of someone because they MIGHT join a welfare program, then you certainly can because they HAVE already done so, right?

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This is what happens when you either just don't pay attention to anything we've been saying, or don't consider what the concept "interventionism" consists of, wihch is to say, you are failing to make a distinction between the initiation and the defensive/retaliatory use of force.

I'm aware of the various terminologies but I was responding to a direct statement by Cogito and chose to go with his/her term for both brevity and clarity.

Cogito seems to believe that the defensive measure of doing background checks on persons entering the country is an unnecessary intervention.

Or at least that is how I took this statement to mean:

"We're claiming that it should be free of government intervention, which is a very separate issue."

"At the very most (and I'm not convinced even this is necessary), immigration would involve a border check running names and faces against databases of known criminals and a blood test screening for known diseases"

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1. Would some of you say things like border patrol and the like are within the domain of government action? I would say this is one of many parts of the protection of a citizenry's rights (though done at a higher level than the local governments), however I'm sure some here will disagree.

Yes, but I don't think it's always necessary. I grant that, in some cases (maybe the Mexican border is such a case), criminal activity is so rampant (or a disease is so widespread) that mandatory screening could be enforced. But such a system wouldn't be necessary at, say, the Canada-US border.

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Yes, but I don't think it's always necessary. I grant that, in some cases (maybe the Mexican border is such a case), criminal activity is so rampant (or a disease is so widespread) that mandatory screening could be enforced. But such a system wouldn't be necessary at, say, the Canada-US border.

Upon this point I agree It's simply a matter of limiting the requirements to those that directly relate to a Governments proper function in protecting the rights of it's citizenry (and the corollary of actually enforcing those laws, amongst them cases in which offenders would seek to escape punishment by crossing borders, etc).

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Cogito seems to believe that the defensive measure of doing background checks on persons entering the country is an unnecessary intervention.

Sorry if I haven't been clear here. To state my position clearly:

The government has a right to set up border checks if they are deemed necessary for the protection of individual rights. If a particular area (let's say Mexico, though I don't know the specifics to say if it's a good example) is overridden with crime and disease, then the government could make a determination that it's necessary to screen those coming in for diseases or known criminal status. However, if those screens don't catch anything, people should be let through. Moreover, such a border check isn't always necessary: the Canada-US border would probably not require pre-emptive checks.

The determination of whether or not a particular area needs border checks is highly contextual, particularly dependent on how much work the government would have to do to catch all the criminals it doesn't screen. In the case of Canada, I'd be shocked to hear the claim that criminal Canadians would stream into the US. In the case of Mexico, perhaps such a border is needed.

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I would based up this say then that QuoVadis erred in calling that particular scenario intervention. I would have characterized it as a right and proper defensive action (building of fortifications). In any case, as fun as arguing semantics are (though precision is quite paramount), with that particular distinction made, would you classify those activities as a defensive action, as I have?

Only in regards to preventing force-initiators from entering (criminals, trespassers, terrorists, communicable diseases, agents of hostile governments, etc.)

As far as background checks go, I could perhaps be persuaded by a system presenting border agents with documents showing the person isn't belonging to any of these groups and has permission to travel the way and has permission or ownership of property in his destination, but this goes back to my previous post in regards to what specific concrete processes should a system be comprised of (and the answer is, there are many suggestions, but Objectivists haven't really been focused on proper government planning rather than the principles involved.)

Edited by 2046
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"It is not true that someone's rights are violated every time immigrants come to this country"

I never said that.

We are discussing people illegally in this country.

As already stated an illegal doesn't have to go on welfare to be a drain on resources that are provided by taxes taken from people who are here legally. Morally the equivelent of receiving stolen goods.

I have already stated that I am for complete overhaul of eligibility requirements.

If you are going to make absurd claims I don't have any further responses for you.

If a house is rotten-such as both our socialized system of entitlements AND our immigration system are then one must start somewhere to fix it.

I simply don't believe the correct place to start is by giving citizenship to millions of people who are here illegally.

If one of the the great problems of our society is that our services are too many and improperly/immorally funded it simply makes sense to temporarily stop a huge influx of people making demands on those services.

We have some of the least restrictive immigration policies in the world. I know this, I've been an immigrant.

New Zealand's laws, despite many, many flaws politically are pretty common sense.

You must prove you have enough money to support yourself or have someone sign on to take legal responsibility for you.

Criminal background check

Basic health check up entrance to be denied based on certain communicable illnesses.

Then you must provide a full work history proving that you have skills to support yourself with.

Your entrance is fast-tracked by employer sponsorship.

Can you truly say that having these common sense rules in place violate someone's rights?

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I'd be shocked to hear the claim that criminal Canadians would stream into the US.

Um, I believe that there have been a fair number of cases of criminals streaming into the US via the border between Canada & the US. Just not Candian criminals. It is easier for someone with a sketchy background from overseas to fly into Canada and try to drive through to the US than it is to fly into the US.

I have to get back to work now. If I get another break I'll try to track down some concrete info on that- or you may find it interesting enough to check it out on your own.

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"It is not true that someone's rights are violated every time immigrants come to this country"

I never said that.

We are discussing people illegally in this country.

As already stated an illegal doesn't have to go on welfare to be a drain on resources that are provided by taxes taken from people who are here legally. Morally the equivelent of receiving stolen goods.

How do "illegals" (a term I don't like to use) drain resources without being on welfare?

If a house is rotten-such as both our socialized system of entitlements AND our immigration system are then one must start somewhere to fix it.

I simply don't believe the correct place to start is by giving citizenship to millions of people who are here illegally.

No one has said anything about citizenship, at least not that I've seen. Refraining from impeding movement and allowing people to vote are very different things.

If one of the the great problems of our society is that our services are too many and improperly/immorally funded it simply makes sense to temporarily stop a huge influx of people making demands on those services.

We have a huge influx of people making demands on those services without immigration: birth. Does it make sense to use force to stop that particular influx?

We have some of the least restrictive immigration policies in the world. I know this, I've been an immigrant.

New Zealand's laws, despite many, many flaws politically are pretty common sense.

You must prove you have enough money to support yourself or have someone sign on to take legal responsibility for you.

Criminal background check

Basic health check up entrance to be denied based on certain communicable illnesses.

Then you must provide a full work history proving that you have skills to support yourself with.

Your entrance is fast-tracked by employer sponsorship.

Can you truly say that having these common sense rules in place violate someone's rights?

You shouldn't have to prove anything about supporting yourself to immigrate. If someone is willing to let you stay on their property or willing to sell you property, you should be allowed to go to that property. I've already stipulated that criminal/health checks might be necessary.

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... in regards to what specific concrete processes should a system be comprised of (and the answer is, there are many suggestions, but Objectivists haven't really been focused on proper government planning rather than the principles involved.)
The fundamental problem in immigration is the belief among a large segment of the population (across party lines) that they have the right to keep out peaceful immigrants who want to come to the U.S. to work. If a large segment did not hold this view, but instead believed that such folks should be welcomed and even encouraged to come to the U.S., the rest would be relatively easy. It would be simple enough to come up with procedures that weed out at least known criminals, with procedures to check for certain diseases, and so on. It would also be rather simple to work out a transition regime where one goes in steps from the current tight-control to a more open system, in a way that allows voters to feel comfortable about their change of heart.

Most proposed approaches to so-called "comprehensive immigration reform" include a mix of allowing some legalization while adding some more checks. The main stumbling block to such reform (which would be far from ideal anyway), are those who keep insisting that we need to clamp down on the border first, not as part of any legalization-process.

Quo Vadis talks about a system where immigrants are asked to show that they have the means to support themselves, at some basic level. Either they already have assets, or they have a firm job-offer. They do not figure in any criminal database that is accessible to the U.S. Such a system would be light-years better than what is in place today and I would gladly vote for such a system. Unfortunately, it is light years away from what the American voter will accept.

BTW: I assume this whole debate is about legal residency, NOT about citizenship.

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As already stated an illegal doesn't have to go on welfare to be a drain on resources that are provided by taxes taken from people who are here legally. Morally the equivelent of receiving stolen goods.

I have already stated that I am for complete overhaul of eligibility requirements.

If you are going to make absurd claims I don't have any further responses for you.

If a house is rotten-such as both our socialized system of entitlements AND our immigration system are then one must start somewhere to fix it.

I simply don't believe the correct place to start is by giving citizenship to millions of people who are here illegally.

If one of the the great problems of our society is that our services are too many and improperly/immorally funded it simply makes sense to temporarily stop a huge influx of people making demands on those services.

This is the actual absurd claim: that immigrants are stealing from you just by being here. You don't argue for a later intervention due to a prior intervention. If both welfarism and restricted immigration constitute interventionism, then they should both be repealed. Otherwise, as Cogito indicated, pandora's box is open and anything can be justified.

The argument being that we should restrict immigration, because sometime in the future, an immigrant might go on welfare. It cannot be denied that any children born today might, some years into the future, avail themselves of the State's welfare programs. But if we can preclude the entry of immigrants on this ground, this goes as well for having babies. Becoming pregnant ought to be a crime, on these grounds. At least the Chinese Communists limited people to one child per couple. If opponents of open immigration on the ground that they might become welfare recipients are logically consistent, they would have to oppose any childbearing, whatever.

Nobody has said all illegals should be declared citizens either. It is important to make a distinction between "citizen" and "resident alien" and if you actually want to pass a helpful law, pass one exluding the latter from all welfare entitlements in addition to open immigration.

Edited by 2046
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Nobody has said all illegals should be declared citizens either

Actually it has come up frequently in current political debate regarding "amnesty" and I do believe I've seen someone on here using that term.

While amnesty doesn't equal citizenship it is important to note that many of its supporters do want just that.

Edited by QuoVadis
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