This is insane. Everything that is happening right now is pure insanity. On the one hand, you had people who have a legal right to be here being barred from entry because they are from nations that have never produced a terrorist act on US soil, but because we have a vile racist twit as president, are being targeted. On the other hand, we are being threatened with a wall that will cost a fortune and not do anything to prevent illegal immigration and economic sanctions that will only further hurt us and quite possibly, like previous misguided acts of economic terrorism known as tariffs, drive us back into a recession or worse.
So, everything this idiot is doing is wrong. No shock there, it’s something that happens on days ending in “y.”
But despite the fact that Trump is an idiot surrounded by idiots, there are actual problems here with immigration. Very broadly they can be separated into two categories: immigration related to security issues (mainly immigration from the Middle East) and immigration related to economic issues (mainly related to immigration from everywhere else).
Non-terrorist related immigration
Let’s start with economic issues, as they’re actually a bigger problem for the average person.
This is the immigration from nations south of the border where people who want to listen to hype and not facts think are stealing our jobs. They’re not. They’re taking jobs that it is relatively difficult to find enough native born employees do this kind of work for wages low enough to remain economically viable. So, they’re not stealing jobs, because 99 times out of 100 they’re the only ones willing to do the jobs at the wage offered.
But there are actual financial problems caused by illegal immigrants. Mainly in the form of illegal immigrants costing the taxpayer due to their use of social services and entitlement programs. While work in low wage, low skill jobs is a benefit to the nation’s economy it is out done by this groups use of public education, medical and entitlement programs.
You want a plan that will actually end the high cost of illegal immigration (the costs are primarily in medical and education), then pass a constitutional amendment so that no school is required to educate the children of non-legal residents free of charge–and it does have to be an amendment because this whole mess was created when the Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v. Doe. If free education is not available what illegal immigration exists will not include children, which means it will not include spouses, which means the only people coming over will be here to get a job. Medical costs will drop significantly as most medical costs are incurred by children and the elderly (and they’re not bringing the family anymore). Welfare programs are mostly designed for families, so the costs drop there as well. So, all you have is people coming to earn money, I have no problem with people earning money. If they are taking jobs because they’re willing to work for less, good for them, that’s capitalism and I will always defend anyone’s right to offer a better or cheaper service. I just don’t want to pay for entitlements.
Even crime rates drop as the criminals from illegal populations will have much smaller groups to hide within and thus be more easily caught.
Certainly this will not solve the problem in every state as there will still be states that choose to provide free education for the children of illegal immigrants and thus start the whole cycle of them taking advantage of every other service (California will probably be the worst violator here), federal education funding given to the state will be based only on the number of students who are children of legal residents meaning only the taxpayers of that state are bearing the burden—if they don’t like that they can vote in new policies or move, either way the entire nation is now no longer bearing the cost.
However, any concern about this group taking jobs is greatly unfounded for another reason. That reason being that most low skill jobs are going to be mechanized within the next generation. There are already machines to replace a good portion of fast food and cashier jobs. Manufacturing is being mechanized both in the factory and soon to be by 3D printing. A lot of food production is soon going to no longer need low skill labor, but some parts of food production are safe for now. The fact of the matter is that if you’re worried about immigrants stealing your job, stop worrying, machines were going to take those jobs anyway. Your choice is get an education in a trade or higher level, or be prepared to live on the beneficence of others…and just a reminder trying to get rid of those workers is only going to mean that the machines will be put in to replace jobs even faster.
The only problem that still might remain that is associated with this type of immigration (although certainly not a direct effect of it) is the crime aspect that stems more from the cartels that deal in the drug and human trafficking trade across the border.
Now while I might just want to crack open a copy of Clear and Present Danger and declare a real war on drugs on the drug cartels but that even in the best of cases it would require a strong bond between all the governments involved and a level head in every executive department to oversee such a project. As that’s not likely (as the current occupant is a racist bag of offal, and the next two people in line while possibly more intelligent don’t have the moral fiber needed to control such a project), let’s deal with what should be done as a pragmatic effect (not that this administration will do anything near this intelligent).
The first step would be that we need to make free trade even stronger between ourselves and all the nations of Latin America. The better that the economies of Latin America are doing, the harder it will be for the cartels to find people to work in organizations dedicated to less than legal forms of profit. Second as we encourage economic liberty and prosperity through free trade we need to work more closely with law enforcement in these other nations, a hindrance at all time, exacerbated now by an administration that is out to alienate all the nations that could and should be our allies. Finally, while we can all admit the criminal prosecution method of the war on drugs has been anything but a success, I think it’s also fair to say legalization and treating addiction as a disease is not the panacea that libertarians and liberals claim them to be. There is probably a mix between these three ideas that will yield the best results and communities in conjunction with think tanks, NGO’s, charities and research centers need to be encouraged to experiment to find the right balance to find the social structures that yield the greatest results for society at the least cost to society. As to the human trafficking aspect of the cartels—laws need to be changed so that anyone caught involved in this crime at any level bear the full brunt of the law and be thrown into the darkest whole imaginable for the course of their natural life. With these two focal points of crime that is related to routes of immigration dealt with, all secondary crime from immigrants should drop to levels commiserate with the native-born population.
Yes, an intelligent system of fences, drones, and patrols creating an electronic wall at the border, coupled with an efficient guest worker program and entry/exit system for all visa and green card holders will make this system work even more effectively. Much more effectively. But without the above reforms to entitlement expenditures you could build a wall twice as big as the one Trump is promising (a promise he can’t possibly deliver on, ever, under any circumstances) and actually have Trump’s promised Gestapo Deportation Force (even though Paul Ryan has made it clear it will never happen) and it still wouldn’t do anything. Without actual entitlement reform, which has to be at a Constitutional level, you’re not going to fix the root of this problem. So, unless you want to push for that you’re not being serious about the issue and rather just looking to meaninglessly vent your infantile frustrations on people different than you.
Immigration from terrorist heavy nations
There are real concerns here, we will admit that Trump’s actions have dealt with none of them.
Let’s start with the origins of this ban. These seven countries were picked actually by the Obama administration, as defenders of Trump’s actions are so keen to point out. The fact that this started as an Obama decision should have people going, “wait a minute, that already means we should question it,” but for some reason the fact that it was a policy started by one of the worst presidents in history suddenly is justification to a group of people who only a month ago would have called such things unconstitutional. So much for consistency.
But then let’s look at the pragmatics of this order. The seven countries in question are an interesting choice. No deaths have resulted from people who have come from these countries. Yes, there are three incidents where people from these countries attempted and failed at violent acts, but that is hardly a justification when sources of real terror (like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or Russia) have not been singled out for heightened scrutiny. So there seems not justifiable reason in past behavior to justify this action. Nor does current efforts by terrorists seem to be the justification for this as nations that are home to terrorist networks like Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Nigeria on the list. So while Obama came up with this list, it seems just as arbitrary now as it did then, if not more so. Certainly, one could argue that there was some actionable intelligence behind these moves but as it’s the same list that Obama came up with years ago it doesn’t seem this was based on up to date intelligence—further given this president’s distaste for the intelligence community I’m not sure if he’d actually listen to actual intelligence reports, when he clearly knows so much more than anyone around him.
Then, of course, there are the legal problems with this document. They are numerous. I could go over them, but if you want to really know everything wrong with the details of the document and how it was put together with no real intent of actual progress on national security I suggest you read “Malevolence Tempered by Incompetence: Trump’s Horrifying Executive Order on Refugees and Visas”. Really that article, while a little long is a must read.
Of course, as of Sunday night, the new Secretary of Homeland Security has said that those with valid visas and green cards may come in without any further hindrance. Of course, that still doesn’t forgive the fact that the EO was worded so poorly as to cause this problem, that the order to let them in should have come from the President who started this mess. But what has come out of this is continuing a long string of problems that need to be addressed.
As anyone who stops to think about it, the problem is not that we have a mentally challenged sociopathic man-child in the most powerful office in the world, it’s that there was an electorate that actually put him in power. And some of the reasons they are the problem is clearly coming out. One is the assumption that just because someone in government says we need more vetting we just believe it without taking the time to find out what is already involved. They say “do you want to be like Europe,” without understanding there are already key differences between us and Europe, and even understanding our process for vetting at present. Let’s look at what we already do, and please don’t listen to me, listen to someone who actually knows the system:
So where exactly are the holes we need to plug up? Certainly, I’m sure you could make the case that this could be improved, anything can be improved, but as the objections to the legality of the EO show, this administration has no intention of finding out the truth or practicality of anything. So, if there is no desire to understand how the system even works in the first place how can you possibly improve it?
The second bad assumption here is that as these are people who are not citizens they have no right to enter this country. The problem with this is that this attitude guts the Constitution. Why? Because the Constitution is very clear that it’s rights of due process and rule of law apply not just to citizens but to all persons within the jurisdiction (that includes people who have been through a vetting process) of the United States. Everyone. Not just citizens. To deny that is to start chipping away at the Constitution. And claims of
The second problem is of course, this order does nothing but appease the part of his base that prefers flashy actions to real progress. From the care that went into the EO we know that there will be little substantive change, and thus the safety of the American people will not be improved.
So, what to do about this cluster of a situation.
The first thing to realize is that you’re never going to stop it. Never. There will always be psychotic people out there as long as humanity exists. And as long as humanity exists there will be people out there who want to harm the innocent for no viable reason. Shut down the borders, build a wall, get rid of all the undesirables…you’ll still have threats from lone wolves, in that case I think the government might be more dangerous. Liberty comes with a price, and that price is that your life is uncertain. Freedom comes with the price that you will fail in life, interaction with humans comes with the price that some of them will be terrible people. Liberty is dangerous. And it has to be, because free-will is a double-edged sword that to be capable of astounding feats and saintly compassion must also be capable of unspeakable evil. And to be clear, it’s worth the price. So just accept that there is no way to stop all of this. Further let us remember that The Troubles in Britain killed more people in the UK than Islamic terrorism has killed on US shores. And the UK has one fifth our population. To lose what the UK lost 15,000 Americans would have to have been killed on US soil to be comparable. But they were able to ride out that terrible time in history without destroying the civil rights of their entire population. I think we can do better than the UK…I seem to recall that being the mission statement of the whole endeavor, “We can be more free than Britain, and better, bye.”
So, with it said that we can’t stop every problem, what can we do? Well, as we’ve previously discussed, the first thing we need to do is stop this problem in Syria. That involves taking all the able-bodied men who are seeking asylum and training them to take back their nation. It’s their home, they want to fight for it, they just need help.
And again, we need to set up way to take in the refugees we do bring in and teach them the basics of American life, of civic virtue, of the responsibilities of liberty, how the culture works and how to succeed in it. We’ve done it before. We took in waves of Vietnamese refugee and were able to show them how to survive and thrive in American life. That this one group learned has nothing to with race or religion, just the willingness to admit civic virtue isn’t something that comes prepackaged at birth and needs to be taught. And if you take the time to teach these lessons not just to incoming refugees, but to all immigrants you will find that America will be the stronger for it.
But yes, lunatics will still find a way through. The best course of action is through traditional police and intelligence work? Not that half-hearted excuse in the Obama years and certainly not to violate every right they can, the policy this administration seems to have started off with. Two years ago Congress had some reforms for the vetting process, but when you read the bill you find it’s just adding more rubber stamps onto the process listed above, so I’m not sure how much that will do to find people trying to come into the country to do harm (not to mention that many of the recent attacks have been homegrown so one wonders if having the FBI focus even more on refugees and not on leads within the country really is the best course of action). Perhaps more intelligence officers could help, but again given this president’s clear hostility to the intelligence community I don’t see this happening.
To sum up, pass an amendment to end public education of the children of illegal residents, actually deal with the problems Syria, and educate all immigrants and refugees in how to good Americans. You don’t have to deny anyone the ability to come here, you don’t have to build huge structures. These simple, ethical, and necessary things hit to the heart of the problems. And while no solution can solve everything wrong with humanity, these three things will solver 90% of issues surrounding these segments of society.