More on immigration, terrorism, and Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is tirelessly beating the anti-immigrant drums, digging up photos of socialists, anti-Americans, Mexican reconquista zealots, Che Guevara cultists and the like on the fringes of the pro-immigration rally in Washington; making fun of a protest organizer who leads a Pledge of Allegiance rehearsal and says “One nation, undivisible (sic)“; and pointing to the fact that supporters of more open borders include Muslim activists. In this post, she uses the arrest of Department of Homeland Security spokesman Brian J. Doyle on charges of sexually soliciting what he thought was a 14-year-old girl on the Internet to score an anti-immigration point and inveigh against amnesty for illegal aliens. How exactly is that leap of logic accomplished? Well, the Doyle debacle is another example of incompetence and disarray at DHS, and “I don’t let new guests into my house until it’s in order.”

All this prompted me to dig up my 2003 Reason column on anti-immigrant rhetoric on the right, and specifically on attempts to cash in on legitimate concerns about terrorism to stoke anti-immigrant hysteria; it deals in part with Michelle Malkin’s 2002 book, Invasion: How America Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. A few excerpts from that, I believe, are relevant to this discussion.

It’s understandable, of course, that a terrorist act committed by foreign nationals should raise concerns about national security and border control. But that doesn’t mean the problem of terrorism should be conflated with that of illegal immigration.

The 19 hijackers who struck on September 11 all entered the U.S. legally as tourists or business travelers, although three of them had overstayed their visas. At the same time, not one of the millions of illegals who cross the border from Mexico or get smuggled in on cargo vessels from China has been implicated in terrorism. The most Malkin can muster for a terrorist connection is that two illegal immigrants, along with one legal permanent resident from El Salvador, helped four of the hijackers get the phony driver’s licenses they used to get on the airplanes.

“It’s true that the system is broken,” says Tamar Jacoby, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. “But the people who are exploiting these legitimate fears to cut back on immigration are going in the wrong direction. It sounds logical at first, but it’s not realistic, it’s not going to be enforceable, and ultimately it’s not going to give us better security.”

Indeed, a wholesale crackdown on illegal immigration could, by consuming scarce resources, hinder rather than help the effort to keep potential terrorists out of this country. “By some estimates,” says [the Cato Institute's Dan] Griswold, “we spend $3 billion a year trying to keep Mexican workers out of the United States. I’d much rather spend that money trying to keep out Middle Eastern terrorists.”

Given the realities of the global economy and the U.S. labor market, the flow of migrants into this country will be a fact for the foreseeable future. Making legal entry easier for people who want to better their lot in life is a much more feasible solution than making entry “a fiercely guarded privilege,” as Malkin suggests in Invasion. It is also, of course, far more feasible than the fantasy of deporting the 9 million to 11 million illegal immigrants who are already here.

Besides freeing up resources to target terrorists, such legalization would severely diminish the document fraud and smuggling that can in fact assist terrorists. An amnesty for illegal immigrants would bring people out of the shadows in which terror cells can lurk and make it safe for people with useful information about possible terrorists to cooperate with law enforcement. (Oddly, for all her concern about threats to national security, Malkin deplores Attorney General John Ashcroft’s offer to grant U.S. citizenship to any alien, legal or illegal, who comes forward with tips that aid the investigation into the 9/11 attacks.)

Four years later, more of the same.

As I note in the column, Jacoby, Griswold, and other immigration supporters do not oppose security measures to intercept potential terrorists trying to enter the U.S. (including some degree of ethnic/national profiling). But there’s a far cry from that prudent stance to turning our backs on America’s cherished ideals and embracing the darker aspects of our heritage.

More: Along the same lines: pardon me, but does Mickey Kaus have any idea what he’s talking about?

I can see where the immigration issue is killing Bush. (Which genius decided, when Bush was down to his most loyal 40%, to promote a policy that pisses them off? Why not go for a clean zero and get a good draft pick?) But Bush isn’t running again. And I still don’t see why House Republicans won’t benefit in 2006 from pushing a tough enforcement policy that pleases their base, and that in general is popular. Are they incapable of communicating their views to their constituents? … Plus, it’s highly unpopular for the Democrats to oppose the House approach, no? Robo-pollerr Scott Rasmussen notes that as the immigration debate has proceeded the GOPs have opened up a 6 point lead on this issue, up from one point–entirely because support for the Democrats has declined.

Yet if you follow Kaus’s link to the Rasmussen Report, you will see that things are not that simple at all. Americans are evently divided on immigration, with 41% favoring measures to allow illegal immigrants to move toward legalization and 40% in favor of deporting them. In the Washington Post/ABC News poll, three out of five support legalization. And only one in five support the House bill, which makes it a felony to reside in the U.S. illegally and features no guest worker provisions.

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “More on immigration, terrorism, and Michelle Malkin

  1. MP

    At the same time, not one of the millions of illegals who cross the border from Mexico or get smuggled in on cargo vessels from China has been implicated in terrorism.

    do you know about this:

    Three Salvadoran immigrants living in Virginia, two illegally and one as a lawful permanent resident, were found guilty of helping four September 11 operatives use fraudulent documentation to obtain Virginia identification documents. In all, the five hijackers based their Virginia identification documents on the residency information of one bribed Salvadoran.

    See http://www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/911_TerrTrav_Ch2.pdf

  2. AprilPNW

    mp brings up an important point: with so many undocumented individuals in the US, how do we know which ones are contributing to the economy in their “underground” way, and how many are a drain on law enforcement resources? Back in my more idealistic, “let’s help everybody” days, I became acquainted with someone who worked for the enforcement arm of what was then INS, now ICE. The first thing I asked her, upon learning what she did for a living, was “how can you sleep at night rounding up those poor folks and shipping them back to the hellholes they came from?” She rolled her eyes, then said: “Let me tell you about some of those ‘poor folks’”, and then proceeded to tell me story after story about the rapists, armed robbers and pedophiles she had a hand in deporting.

    So that is the crux of what bothers me about those here illegally – everybody else applying for any kind of immigration benefit has to go through a background check – which ensures (at least I HOPE) that the folks we do let in are not career criminals or those that habitually flaunt the law.

    All in all, it strains the already strained resources of ICE simply to get the bad apples out of here.

  3. Lori Heine

    I find Michelle Malkin generally pretty hard to take. She’s short on reason and long on hysteria — sort of like Ann Coulter, without the humor.

    The notion that we’re going to round up every illegal alien and ship ‘em all back where they came from really is a crackpipe-induced dream. Our immigration laws are crappy, and that’s why they’re here. I guess this is what we get for having immigration laws that don’t work.

    There certainly is a world of difference, culturally, between terrorists from the Middle East and workers streaming over the border from Mexico trying to find jobs. For all of her incessant blabbering about our Judeo-Christian, Western cultural heritage, Malkin seems incapable of understanding this.

    Hispanic immigrants ARE a part of our culture. They share the same basic values, and if anything, they tend to be MORE family-oriented. How many of the beer-bellied Anglo brutes shouting “Wetback, go home” at the protestors have been perfectly willing to let young Hispanic kids go over to Iraq and get blown up in their place?

    The problem is that “discriminate” is now always seen as a bad word instead of a potentially-helpful one. If our immigration laws allowed us to be pickier about who came in and who didn’t, we could maybe find a means of screening out gangs, and criminals in general, and letting peaceable families in.

    Every nation has to be able to determine who they let into their country and who they keep out. If they can’t determine a way to let in those who would help build the country up and keep out those who would tear it down, they won’t very long have a nation.

  4. Revenant

    How many of the beer-bellied Anglo brutes shouting “Wetback, go home” at the protestors have been perfectly willing to let young Hispanic kids go over to Iraq and get blown up in their place?

    It seems worth noting that the percentage of US casualties in Iraq who are Hispanic is actually slightly *lower* than the percentage of US citizens who are Hispanic. Ditto for blacks. Red-state whites are actually overrepresented among the casualties. The major reason for this is that while Hispanics and blacks do enlist at higher rates than whites, they are more likely to aim for non-combat roles that give them useful civilian job training. The military often serves as a sort of alternative college for poor minorities.

    So while he may be a racist jackass, the “beer-bellied Anglo brute” yelling “wetback go home” is probably more likely to have lost a family member in Iraq than the guy he’s yelling at is. For that matter, inasmuch as the people he’s yelling at are illegal immigrants and therefore unlikely to have ANY family members in the US military, he’s probably a *lot* more likely to have lost someone.

    Anyway — Cathy, I think Kaus has the better argument here. The poll indicates that a supermajority of Americans believe enforcing the existing immigration laws should be the top priority. Clear majorities also favor building a border fence and denying illegal immigrants access to state assistance. There is no majority support for helping illegal immigrants achieve a better position in American society.

    40% of those surveyed favor forcible expulsion, while 44% oppose it. Let’s assume that the 16% undecided would all, if push comes to shove, oppose expulsion. Well, 60% opposition to forcibly shoving 11 million people back into Mexico doesn’t translate to 60% support for illegal immigrant rights. The rest of the poll suggest that much of that 60% still wants to prevent *new* illegal immigration, and much of that 60% favors reducing those rights which illegal immigrants currently possess.

    So I think Kaus is right. If the Republicans put forth a bill calling for a border fence, more money for immigration enforcement, and reduced access by illegals to US government services, the polls suggest that public support for the bill would be very high indeed.

  5. Revenant

    Something else worth noting is that while it is true that the 9/11 terrorists entered the country through legal channels, the channels they enetered through have since been tightened. Prior to 9/11 it was easier for a Muslim with radical/terrorist ties to come here as a student than it was to sneak across the border. I suspect that the reverse is true today.

    Also, the type of attack probably plays a part, too. The 9/11 attacks required prolonged stays in the US to attend flight schools. A different type of attack (such as one in which required bombs, fully automatic weapons, or WMDs) might be more easily carried out if the materials were smuggled over the border rather than snuck through customs or bought/assembled within the USA.

  6. Mark B.

    It doesn’t really matter whether there’s any broad “public support” for a border fence/draconian enforcement bill or not, as they won’t be the ones calling the shots here. The moment such a bill looked like it had any chance of passing both houses of Congress, agribusiness, casino industry and other lobbyists would be hammering on it since they’d be seeing their chief source of cheap benefit-free labor disappearing. The bill would inevitably be gutted in conference committee.

    I suppose the Republicans could claim that evil “Democratic” interests wrecked their great intentions, but the process would be ugly and divisive enough that I see much more harm than good come from it for the GOP.

  7. AprilPNW

    Prior to 9/11, an individual applying for a visa could do so through a travel agent or other type of agent. You would show up at the agents office, fill out the paperwork, leave your passport, and they would do the rest. NO interview with a consular officer. The State Department’s emphasis was on customer service.

    After 9/11, this system was quickly abandoned. Now everyone has to show up for an interview. Further, I believe they also did away with “drop box” type applications also. Bottom line is that now everyone has to deal with a consular officer in person.

    To respond to Lori – I don’t know if it is our immigration laws that are so crappy, but the gov’t simply will not put enough $$$$ into enforcement. For example, I think there are only 12 ICE officers that cover the region of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska (a little hazy on the EXACT number, but I do believe I’m pretty close – it is a shockingly low number for the area they have to cover).

    Further, when it comes to Dept. of Labor enforcing immigration-related labor laws – well, don’t hold your breath. I have been involved in work that requires some relationship with the Dept. of Labor for 20 years – and they have been cutting back staff in that agency for the entire 20 years – and they just made more cutbacks.

  8. Luke

    I know this is a highly emotional issue, but several points:

    One does not have to be a conservative to favor an end to illegal immigration and a sharp reduction in legal immigration from Mexico and Central America. For several reasons:

    First — and let me say that I have made my living my whole life in the field of physical labor — because letting tens of millions of poor and uneducated Mexicans into the labor market hurts the weakest and most disadvantaged segments of our citizenry the most, including a disproportionate number of African Americans.

    As a liberal I care about the general welfare of our society as a whole, not just the top half, and it angers me to see highly educated people ignore the impact on those who have the misfortune of being born on the left-hand side of the Bell Curve. The Cuban fellow at Harvard, a well-known economist, has documented this impact at length.

    Second, large scale immigration from Mexico hurts Mexico itself, including those left behind. Although admittedly the data is hard to find, you will see that real per capita GDP stagnated rather suddenly in Mexico in the mid-1960′s, when our immigration barriers came down; this was after growing at a rapid pace in the two decades preceeding. The explanation — and here I am only guessing — is that the most energetic and ambitious working-class Mexicans are the ones who actually get up and leave, which means the least energetic and ambitious are left behind. A society cannot develop under those circumstances — which means that, again, the weakest and most unfortunate are the ones hurt most. Where is the pity in that?

    Thirdly, by introducing a large new racial minority into this country in a relatively short time who are competing in the same markets as our African American population, we almost assure a future of ethnic division in the lower-classes of our society, which those in the upper classes will certainly exploit to their own advantage come election time, in order to maintain the advantages which the influx of low-skilled workers gives them in the first place (namely, a higher return on capital, including the human capital of their higher intelligence and superior educations).

    Note I have said nothing about the white majority of working-class Americans, the absolute majority in this country the last time I looked; these are people who used to think — and may they think it again — that they are living in a democracy of the common man.

    As for the issue of legal immigration, we need time to digest the enormous numbers who have already been admitted into the United States. For all our sakes we need to assimilate and integrate them into the rest of the population, and that takes time.

    I therefore favor a national ID with biometric markers and a magnetic strip — a cross between a credit card and a social security card — without which one could not cash a check, sign a lease, open a bank account etc., NOT THAT THESE LIMITATIONS SHOULD BE APPLIED SUDDENLY AND IN A DRACONIAN MANNER, BUT RATHER GRADUALLY AND WITH DUE WARNING, which would give those here illegally several years to plan and prepare for their return to Mexico and other Central American countries.

    Those who are old enough will remember that we already had an amnesty in the mid-1980′s, which basically legalized most illegals with the express understanding that in the future illegal immigration would no longer be tolerated. To repeat the gesture today is like a parent saying, “…and THIS TIME I REALLY MEAN IT.”

    You know, it all goes back to Lincoln’s words on the battlefield at Gettysburg: what our ancestors fought for is – indeed must be – a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” That’s what democracy is. For those who are smart, rich, and educated — even if many of them are first, second and third generation immigrants – for them to forget this is, well, it’s not only ungrateful, but it’s a betrayal of the nature of our society. They are making me sick and angry, and you would feel the same yourself if you were standing in my shoes.

    thanks for listening

  9. Luke

    I know this is a highly emotional issue, but several points:

    One does not have to be a conservative to favor an end to illegal immigration and a sharp reduction in legal immigration from Mexico and Central America. For several reasons:

    First — and let me say that I have made my living my whole life in the field of physical labor — because letting tens of millions of poor and uneducated Mexicans into the labor market hurts the weakest and most disadvantaged segments of our citizenry the most, including a disproportionate number of African Americans.

    As a liberal I care about the general welfare of our society as a whole, not just the top half, and it angers me to see highly educated people ignore the impact on those who have the misfortune of being born on the left-hand side of the Bell Curve. The Cuban fellow at Harvard, a well-known economist, has documented this impact at length.

    Second, large scale immigration from Mexico hurts Mexico itself, including those left behind. Although admittedly the data is hard to find, you will see that real per capita GDP stagnated rather suddenly in Mexico in the mid-1960′s, when our immigration barriers came down; this was after growing at a rapid pace in the two decades preceeding. The explanation — and here I am only guessing — is that the most energetic and ambitious working-class Mexicans are the ones who actually get up and leave, which means the least energetic and ambitious are left behind. A society cannot develop under those circumstances — which means that, again, the weakest and most unfortunate are the ones hurt most. Where is the pity in that?

    Thirdly, by introducing a large new racial minority into this country in a relatively short time who are competing in the same markets as our African American population, we almost assure a future of ethnic division in the lower-classes of our society, which those in the upper classes will certainly exploit to their own advantage come election time, in order to maintain the advantages which the influx of low-skilled workers gives them in the first place (namely, a higher return on capital, including the human capital of their higher intelligence and superior educations).

    Note I have said nothing about the white majority of working-class Americans, the absolute majority in this country the last time I looked; these are people who used to think — and may they think it again — that they are living in a democracy of the common man.

    As for the issue of legal immigration, we need time to digest the enormous numbers who have already been admitted into the United States. For all our sakes we need to assimilate and integrate them into the rest of the population, and that takes time.

    I therefore favor a national ID with biometric markers and a magnetic strip — a cross between a credit card and a social security card — without which one could not cash a check, sign a lease, open a bank account etc., NOT THAT THESE LIMITATIONS SHOULD BE APPLIED SUDDENLY AND IN A DRACONIAN MANNER, BUT RATHER GRADUALLY AND WITH DUE WARNING, which would give those here illegally several years to plan and prepare for their return to Mexico and other Central American countries.

    Those who are old enough will remember that we already had an amnesty in the mid-1980′s, which basically legalized most illegals with the express understanding that in the future illegal immigration would no longer be tolerated. To repeat the gesture today is like a parent saying, “…and THIS TIME I REALLY MEAN IT.”

    You know, it all goes back to Lincoln’s words on the battlefield at Gettysburg: what our ancestors fought for is – indeed must be – a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” That’s what democracy is. For those who are smart, rich, and educated — even if many of them are first, second and third generation immigrants – for them to forget this is, well, it’s not only ungrateful, but it’s a betrayal of the nature of our society. They are making me sick and angry, and you would feel the same yourself if you were standing in my shoes.

    thanks for listening

  10. Rainsborough

    Kevin Drum today makes the point that Americans when surveyed seem to favor just about any proposal on immigration, kind or gentle or punitive and harsh, just so long as the question is worded properly. For instance, in today’s LAT poll, they favor putting undocumented immigrants who’ve worked here a while on the path the citizenship 66-18. But no doubt if instead of referring to undocumented immigrants the term had been “illegal immigrants” the response would have been less favorable.
    The same poll showed much more support for a combined guest- worker/stop-them-at-the-border proposal than for just stop-them.
    And don’t forget the don’t-feed-the-hungry-children provision the Democrats rather cynically kept in the House bill. That leads even archbishops to call for civil disobedience. The House Judiciary chairman well understood that’s something only to run away from, but half the House Republicans regard it as simple justice.
    This is not the issue that will raise the odds of Republicans retaining control of the House above 50-50. Best trot out the terrorist menace and see if she’ll still run.

  11. Anonymous

    I therefore favor a national ID with biometric markers and a magnetic strip — a cross between a credit card and a social security card — without which one could not cash a check, sign a lease, open a bank account etc.,

    Of course, as technology advances we can all just be implanted with RFID chips at birth.

  12. Revenant

    Of course, as technology advances we can all just be implanted with RFID chips at birth.

    Oh, please.

    The current situation in America is that being a contributing member of American society — holding a job, paying taxes, carrying car insurance, etc — requires government-issued ID. The only people who DON’T need ID are the freeloaders — the people who don’t hold legal jobs, don’t pay taxes, drive without license or insurance, etc.

    Support for a national ID doesn’t represent a slippery slope towards the government being able to track its citizens. The government can ALREADY track the responsible and productive members of society. It just can’t track the criminals and deadbeats. And as a member of the former group I see no reason not to correct this situation, especially since it will reduce a variety of different forms of fraud, voter fraud chief among them.

    Maybe you see some crucial difference between having a national ID card and having a drivers’ license and social security number. If so, please explain what the difference is.

  13. Anonymous

    This is a very emotional issue, but the existence of anti-immigrant bigots does not invalidate well-reasoned arguments against high levels of unskilled immigration (legal or illegal) any more than racists negate thoughtful critiques of affirmative action.

    I would argue that the “realities of the global economy and the US labor market” favor LESS unskilled immigration rather than more. Unskilled labor, like the manufacturing industries that employed my Ellis Island ancestors, is a fast-receding part of our economy. Many of the low-level service positions that most illegals take can be automated and many already have.

    I also dispute that massive deportations would be necessary to send illegal immigrants home. Step on the companies and industries that illegally employ them, and most will go home on their own. When the pool of unskilled labor diminishes, wages will rise and native-born workers will once again take “the jobs Americans won’t do”.

    I sympathize with illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration is in no way comparable to murder and other felonies, and they were unlucky enough to be born into corrupt societies where earning a living is nearly impossible. They are only doing what I would do in that situation, but whatever the suffering of people around the world our primary responsibility is to our own citizens.

    Personally, I think all the money we’re pouring into Iraq would be better used helping to modernize Mexico. Let’s create a Marshall plan for Mexico, and base our greatly expanded aid on the condition that Mexican authorities fully cooperate with us in enforcing our immigration laws.

  14. Revenant

    Let’s create a Marshall plan for Mexico

    That wouldn’t work. The Marshall Plan aided countries that had functional governments (or governments under our control) but damaged economic infrastructure. Mexico’s problem is exactly the opposite — it is resource-rich and poised to be an industrial powerhouse, but is saddled with a completely corrupt government.

    Mexico doesn’t need money. Mexico needs a “goverment-ectomy”.

  15. Anonymous

    If it made Mexican authorities cooperate with the US border patrol in curtailing illegal immigration it wouldn’t be a total waste. Yes, Mexico has an awful government and I just hope that Mexican immigrants don’t feel compelled to recreate that part of their culture here. But Sicilians did bring the Mafia with them, so I see little reason to be overly optimistic about that.

  16. Jim

    “Yes, Mexico has an awful government and I just hope that Mexican immigrants don’t feel compelled to recreate that part of their culture here.”

    Amen. So far the closest they have come is with prison and street gangs, and even those are nbot the shadow governments that the Mafia fucntioned as in Sicilian neighborhoods. In fact what may be happening is that Mexican returnees are importing our style of government back to Mexico, These days it is all the wrong kind of people in Mexico who have money – peons and Indians returning from up north.

    As for Mexican authorites cooperating – “the situation is complex”. There are authorities and there are authorities. There is pressure building in Mexico to get rid of the whoel corrupt class that has run the country for so long, and the whole web of connections, but things klike that don’t happen overnight.Most of the arnmy units on the northen border are tied to, infiltrated, whatever, to drug cartels in those northern states. These army units often make incursions into the US. Ohmigod, the Mexican Artmy is invading!! well, not really….Rrecently there was an incursion involving alien smugling. Big deal in Texas, the BP was all over it and then nothing….Cover up? Not really. It is just that there is nothing we can say to the Mexican governmemt that they don’t alredy know about their army units on the border. They may have already quietly taken care of that immediate problem. I hope so. The governmet has decent people in it, and like I said, there is pressure for improvement. Making a big humiliating deal out of an incident is not the way to get results.

  17. Karol

    I don’t get it, Cathy. You’re, I assume, a legal immigrant to this country. How can you be ok with illegal immigration when you know what it takes to get here the right way? As a legal immigrant to this country, I just can’t accept illegal immigration as a fact of life. I don’t need to hate or demonize anyone to say that.

  18. Lori Heine

    Perhaps the best way of handling the situation is to cut off the “freebies” to illegals. Many will head home under their own steam when they see the free ride is over.

    I don’t think this is a “racial” issue — all efforts of the Left to the contrary. Americans don’t like being taken advantage of, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way. It doesn’t make Anglo-Americans racist because they don’t want to support a lot of dead weight. Nor are poor citizens helped when illegals are draining the services available to them.

    If Mexican citizens had to squarely face the problems in their own country, instead of simply being able to run away from them, THEN the situation might begin to change. Mexico is a land about as rich in natural resources as are the United States; the only reason these are so under-utilized is that their government is a mess.

    It is laughable when those bearing Mexican flags and upside-down American flags bawl about us being the “invaders.” We are not the ones who’ve made a total hash out of our country, or who tolerate the crooks that run theirs. Seeing what they’ve allowed their own nation to become does not fill me with confidence that they would make good citizens of the U.S.

  19. Revenant

    It is laughable when those bearing Mexican flags and upside-down American flags bawl about us being the “invaders.”

    Its especially ridiculous when you consider that they’re they’re condemning us from taking “their” land by force when *their* ancestors took it from its previous owners by force, too. And the previous owners — what is generally known as the Aztec empire — had seized the land THEY controlled by conquering the original owners, too.

    And yes, I know many Mexicans have native ancestors. But not, with few exceptions, ancestors from the tribes that lived in what is now North America. So the notion that this was “their” land is fairly ridiculous.

  20. Cathy Young

    Karol, you ask:

    I don’t get it, Cathy. You’re, I assume, a legal immigrant to this country. How can you be ok with illegal immigration when you know what it takes to get here the right way? As a legal immigrant to this country, I just can’t accept illegal immigration as a fact of life. I don’t need to hate or demonize anyone to say that.

    You can find my answer in my previous post on immigration.

  21. LonewackoDotCom

    1. The first comment is refering to the case described in much detail here.

    2. The 9/11 C0mmission Staff Rep0rt goes into a great deal of detail on how past terrorists have gamed our immigration system. On a related note, the GAO says the agency that would administer any “guest” worker schemes won’t have fraud management until 2010.

    3. I haven’t heard MM beating any “anti-immigrant” drums. That’s understandable, as apparently some of her relatives are still waiting in line. Meanwhile millions of others have cut in front of that line.

    4. Dan Griswold’s views are a bit “out there” (“The problem with illegal immigration is not the immigration; it’s that it’s illegal…”). He was also the author or inspiration for Bush’s original “guest” worker scheme. That scheme was to include *any* type of worker in *any* industry, and they specifically mentioned nurses and teachers. And, *no* wage floor was provided, meaning that if we could find nurses for minimum wage companies could import them. I’ve heard of few things more un-American.

    On the other thread, I also proposed a question for our host:

    If we were absolutely forced to deport a million illegal aliens over the next six months, how would we do it, and what might happen?

    Since she promotes illegal immigration, I think she owes it to her readers to think in some depth about what might go wrong.

  22. Anonymous

    Cathy,
    Do you have any responses to posts from luke, revenant and me?

  23. beenaround


    How many of the beer-bellied Anglo brutes shouting “Wetback, go home” at the protestors have been perfectly willing to let young Hispanic kids go over to Iraq and get blown up in their place?

    Hmmm, well, this analysis would suggest that more whites are dying in Iraq than others, and that those that the forces accept reaches deaper into white ranks than others:

    Whites over-represented in Iraq fatalities.

  24. mythago

    How can you be ok with illegal immigration when you know what it takes to get here the right way?

    Cathy can speak for herself, but anybody who has ever tried to enter this country “the right way” does not share the naive hallucinations of nativists about how easy it is to immigrate legally.

    When I brought my then-fiancé (now ex-husband into the US, we got to the point where we half-seriously said that the INS was obviously a Cold War attempt to replicate a Soviet bureaucracy, gone wrong. My own feeling was that if somebody found a way to get around those bastards, more power to them.

    As for our sterotypical guy with the beer belly, I don’t know what he’d be thinking about Iraq, but I can well imagine what he’d say if he had to buy produce, a restaurant meal or a new house at the prices those things would command had the labor involved been 100% legal.

  25. declick72

    The California prison system alone houses approximately 15,000 illegal alien inmates.

    That constitutes a cost of $464 MILLION/year to the taxpayers.

    Please stop with the idea in the cost/benefit ratio that illegals HELP America.

    Oh. Cool. Everyone outside of the American Southwest can have a bit cheaper lettuce and strawberries while ranchers along the AZ and TX border are shot at by Mexican “military” to cover smugglers and parts of So Cal are struggling with increased TB and whooping cough, closing down ER’s and trying not to become an extension of TJ.

    Granted, many of the illegals steal into the country because they are practically forced out by a corrupt Mexican government. Illegals here send back so much money in “remittances” it represents the second largest revenue rivaling that from oil.

    Illegals have American bank accounts, own American land (only Mexicans can own land in Mexico. If you die you cannot will your property to family members if they don’t hold Mexican citizenship).

    NO word of “amnesty” or even a “guest worker program” until

    1)border is secure (WALL plus anything else

    2)crack down on employers… criminally prosecute them- fine, jail or even confiscation of the business. Make employers pay and pay HARD for employing illegals and those underground cash jobs will shrink.

    I’m tired that so much of the country outside of the Southwest pretty much shrugs its shoulders and says “screw you, ain’t my problem.”

  26. Revenant

    That constitutes a cost of $464 MILLION/year to the taxpayers.

    Please stop with the idea in the cost/benefit ratio that illegals HELP America

    Er, you’ve missed the point of the whole idea of a cost/benefit analysis — which is to look at both the costs AND benefits of having illegal immigrants here.

    You can’t just say “keeping illegal immigrant felons in jail costs $464 million a year!” and leave it at that. That’s no more honest than just citing the benefits (e.g., billions in savings on wages for unskilled labor) without accounting for the costs.

    Also, conflating the activities of drug smugglers and their Mexican army flunkies with “illegal immigration” isn’t too helpful either. Even if we somehow managed to kick every illegal immigrant out of the country, the problems with violence along the border would continue so long as there is a market for cocaine and marijuana in the United States.

  27. mythago

    The California prison system alone houses approximately 15,000 illegal alien inmates.

    And if we make it a felony to be in the US illegally, how much do you think the prison system will cost us then?

  28. Cathy Young

    mp: actually, the incident you mention is one that I refer to in my Reason article. IMO, the threat of illegal immigrants engaging in potentially dangerous activities would be considerably lessened if more immigration were legalized.

    As for concerns about terrorists crossing the Mexican border: one thing that suggests to me that concern about terrorism is not the real motive of those who want to build a wall on the border is the fact that there are no suggestions to build a wall along the Canadian border. Yet Canadian laws regulating entry into the country are notoriously lax, and it would not be particularly difficult for a Middle Eastern terrorist to get into Canada and then enter the U.S.

  29. Revenant

    one thing that suggests to me that concern about terrorism is not the real motive of those who want to build a wall on the border is the fact that there are no suggestions to build a wall along the Canadian border.

    There are some pretty significant differences between the two borders, though. For starters, while Canadian security may be lacking, Mexico’s security forces are corrupt and openly for sale to the highest bidder. I’m skeptical that “police” who cheerfully pocket payouts from kidnappers and drug kingpins would suddenly discover their consciences when offered bribes by, say, Syrians or Iranians.

    Secondly, there are countless and extensive networks for smuggling people out of Mexico and into just about any other part of the United States. To the best of my knowledge, nothing like that exists for the Canadian border, at least not nearly on that scale.

    Thirdly, I don’t think anyone is advocating building a wall *solely* to combat terrorism. I haven’t heard anyone say anything along the lines of “we need a wall to keep out terrorists; that it would keep out millions of illegal Hispanic immigrants is purely coincidental”.

    Finally, Canada is closely tied to the United States in a way that Mexico isn’t, historically, culturally, economically and militarily. I’m fairly certain the Canadian Army hasn’t made a habit of shooting at American law enforcement officials since sometime in the early 19th century, for example. Building a wall separating us represents something of a betrayal of that; we should be working with Canada to keep terrorists out of BOTH nations, in my opinion.

  30. LonewackoDotCom

    Cathy Young writes: IMO, the threat of illegal immigrants engaging in potentially dangerous activities would be considerably lessened if more immigration were legalized.

    That would result in millions more legal immigrants and millions more illegal aliens. And, all of them would be foreign citizens, not U.S. citizens.

    What happens if we have an economic downturn?

    How exactly would we deport a million of those no-longer-needed workers, and what are your plans for dealing with contingencies?

    If someone is going to try to sell us on massive illegal or legal immigration, they need to answer objections. That’s just one of mine. That fact that those who promote massive immigration hand wave away serious downsides to their proposals should not give anyone any great confidence in their proposals.

  31. Cathy Young

    We’ve survived economic downturns before, with high levels of immigration.

    With a shortage of jobs, presumably a lot of non-citizen, non-permanent resident aliens would go home. (As many have done before.)

  32. LonewackoDotCom

    That didn’t answer my question.

    Maybe the reader could go to public appearances by politicians and ask them that question and try as hard as they can to get an answer.

  33. Revenant

    How exactly would we deport a million of those no-longer-needed workers

    Under what theory of the economy does deporting a large chunk of your workforce ever cause the economy to improve?

    That didn’t answer my question

    You might as well ask “have you stopped beating your wife?”. Your question carries with it unspoken and unproven assumptions, specifically that (a) in an economic downturn, deporting illegal immigrants would be good for Americans and (b) that the government can and should determine when those conditions exist.

    The best answers available to your two questions are “Nothing unusual” and “We don’t”.

  34. Whoop_PC

    ms. young said
    “And only one in five support the House bill, which makes it a felony to reside in the U.S. illegally and features no guest worker provisions”

    well, this is more spin….the overwhelming majority of Americans support immediate closure of the borders for protection from Al-Qaida too, not just Hispanics.

    We Americans are tired of allowing Marxist anti-white anti-Christian bigots who promote homosexual lifestyles onto children while our nation is being overrun by international illegals and non-conforming Hispanics.

    The facts are simple numbers game Ms. Young; if America does not immediately stop all immigration we as a nation will no longer exist in 20 years. If Ms. Young gets her way the US will have aver 500 millions persons by the end of this century.

    By 2050 the Hispanic population will be sufficient to seceed from the US into Mexico, leaving a 3rd world soup of criminals to pick whatever is left of America. Believe me, you dont want to live in Ms. Young’s world of 2050 in America.

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