Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Upsidedown Luddism: The Case of Immigration

"Cox's grasp of rights theory is all the shakier in the following quotation:"

The fact that your grandmother, or great-grandmother, or you yourself, originated in some foreign clime … what exactly is this supposed to establish — that there should be unlimited immigration for all time to come? When I moved into my present neighborhood, the population was scant and prices were low; that's why I moved in. Then the population increased, prices went up, and it became very difficult for people like me to do what I did in 1986. Is that a moral problem? Should I try to pass a law guaranteeing that people like me should always be able to move in here?
"The confusion here is simply shocking. Cox is right that there is nothing immoral about the situation in his neighborhood, but it accords perfectly with the stance of his opponents. Open borders libertarians don't want to pass a law that foreigners should be able to move in; they simply oppose laws preventing people from moving in."

"So to go back to Cox's anecdote, it would be as if he moved in back in 1986, and then didn't like the people that moved in afterwards and so got his city council to pass a law preventing further newcomers, even though they could afford the rents and weren't violating any of the contractual provisions signed by the previous owners. And yes, if that's why people weren't moving in to his neighborhood, it would indeed be immoral."

"All the open border libertarians are claiming is that the politicians shouldn't be able to overturn the voluntary arrangements reached between foreigners and particular land owners (and employers) in the United States."

When Congress Checks Out

When Congress Checks Out

"Foreign policy has dominated the attention of Americans since 9/11, and especially since the Iraq war began. Major issues have included the formulation and execution of terrorism policy, the invasion of Afghanistan, prewar intelligence, the invasion of Iraq, the conduct of the Iraq war and its aftermath, the NSA's surveillance program, reform of the intelligence apparatus, homeland security, the treatment of detainees, and U.S. borders and immigration. And yet, Congress has failed to ask how policies in these areas have been carried out, how faithfully laws have been executed, how reasonably taxpayer dollars have been spent, how well the executive branch has stayed within its constitutional bounds, and how vigorously malfeasance or nonfeasance by public agencies and private contractors has been handled."

"Congress' failure to oversee the Department of Homeland Security has been crushing. Realistically, only Congress can prod such a massive department and determine whether when mad cow disease strikes or self-initiated Minutemen patrol the border, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or the Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service), both part of the DHS, are able to manage the problems. The same is true of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which lost its robust independent status when it was subsumed in the DHS; it has been roiling with confusion ever since."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Crackdown on Newborns

A Crackdown on Newborns - New York Times

"[I]f building new barriers to basic care ends up filling emergency rooms with ever-sicker immigrants — and their citizen children — then the effort will have been a sorry example of self-defeating spite."

Monday, November 06, 2006

We may be Arabizing the Latin American children of illegal immigrants in the United States

Q: Depending on what happens on Nov. 7, what do you think is going to happen with the immigration debate, the whole spring mobilization?

A: At the very least, what we saw in the spring was a unification of the Mexican migrant family. My worry has been that children born in the United States of parents who are illegally here end up with a confusion of identities. Their parents are not settled in the United States, they do not vote here, they do not participate in a full way in the United States. Their children are born here but they hear about their parents every sort of negative chorus -- that their parents are freeloaders, that their parents are indeed illegal. No other children in America hear about their parents what the children of illegal immigrants hear.

One of the darkest conclusions I have is that we may be creating the very thing we say we are afraid of. We may be Arabizing the Latin American children of illegal immigrants in the United States, making them rather like the Arab children of France, that while they may have citizenship in the United States, they are not part of the United States. And within that anger we may be creating the very violence that we built a fence to forestall.


The Not-So-Great Wall

The Not-So-Great Wall (2 Letters) - New York Times

"So now we will have the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor and a fence along the border with Mexico."

"Which best represents the United States?"


"Mr. Bush, tear down this fence."