The big sales pitch for amnesty was that we already had “De Facto Amnesty” because we weren’t enforcing the law, so to fix that they would finally begin enforcing the law, securing the borders and ending employment as a magnet for illegal aliens… after a SuperAmnesty of legalizing 12 million illegal aliens.
Then legalization cut in line ahead of border security. McCain declared that we don’t need 20,000 border security agents, just “technology” and a path to citizenship.
And the Wall Street Journal has a high-profile editorial from a Cato Institute person attacking E-Verify. He spends paragraph after paragraph warning about how intrusive E-Verify is, which like most government programs, it certainly is. But like the drug war and gang association laws, it’s needed because politicians refuse to provide border and immigration security and instead manage the symptoms.
“Every tyranny silences opponents by controlling their ability to earn a living. How is it that so many supposedly freedom-loving, small-government Republicans want to arm our nation’s politicized bureaucracy—fresh from the scandals at the IRS and elsewhere—with the power to do just that? Why are we so afraid of immigrants that we would jeopardize this most basic guarantee of our political liberties?” Cochrane writes.
It’s a cynical argument because we have a politicized leftist bureaucracy thanks to an inflow of immigrants carefully selected, in both legal and illegal forms, to bulk up the liberal state.
It’s why the libertarian amnesty argument is really a suicide pact.
You can’t have freedom or small government and open borders. And Cato and other pro-amnesty libertarians seem completely unwilling to deal with that.
“Many opponents of immigration worry that immigrants will overuse expensive social services. The fear is misplaced. The Congressional Budget Office estimates more than $100 billion of net fiscal benefit from the limited expansion of immigration that’s allowed by the Senate bill,” Cochrane writes.
The CBO analysis falls apart once we look past the benefits wall. Push it forward 20-30 years and the picture changes dramatically. And that’s even assuming that the wall holds. I don’t believe it will. No one who follows Obama Inc.’s track records believes that.
There is no net fiscal benefit from dumping 12 million low-skilled crime-prone people during a time of high unemployment who find ways to collect benefits even now when they are officially illegal.
There is a giant net loss.
Perhaps some Republicans worry that immigrants will vote Democratic. But then limiting entrepreneurs and workers makes even less sense. These Republicans should have confidence that their ideas on freedom will attract ambitious, hard-working migrants.
Worry? They will vote Democrat. They do vote Democrat. But who are you going to believe, wishful thinking or your lying eyes?
If Republican ideas have yet to attract legal Mexican immigrants in any great number, what exactly is Cochrane’s basis for believing that ideas about not receiving social benefits because it makes the country fiscally healthier will attract 12 million illegal aliens to vote for Paul Ryan?
Others say they want to protect the wages of American workers. Like all protectionism, that is demonstrably ineffective. Migrants come for jobs Americans won’t or can’t do, and businesses build factories abroad if workers can’t come here.
The Senate bill promises higher caps for “guest workers.” Ponder what “guest worker” really means. Come to America, pick our vegetables, clean our bathrooms and tend our gardens at the invitation of a powerful employer. Pay taxes. And when your visa runs out, go back where you came from—there is no place for you here. This is how Middle East sheikdoms treat Filipino maids and Palestinian construction workers. Is this America?
I presume Cochrane would like to trash most protections for American workers so that foreign workers can move here. Is reducing a large portion of America to unsubsidized poverty so that Mexicans can earn 2 dollars an hour really more American than a guest worker program?
And that too isn’t on the table.
We can try to work with American workers or we can give up and flood the country with permanent Democratic voters for a permanent D majority.
Those are the only two options on the table.
In the current vision of immigration reform, millions will still be trying to sneak in, and millions more will remain here working illegally. E-Verify and the border security wall prove it.
So we have an argument for the futility of amnesty. Cochrane concedes it. But his alternative to SuperAmnesty is SuperDuperAmnesty.
If people could work legally, there would be no need for a system that endangers everyone’s liberty to “verify” them.
People can work here legally. What Cochrane means is that we should dismantle any barriers, including borders and immigration laws, to do that.
And that is to say that America shouldn’t be a country, it shouldn’t be a people, but some sort of free trade zone, full of the world’s workers willing to work for the least.
And once this has been accomplished, some way needs to be found to keep them from voting themselves free money. Oh it’s called a guest worker program. And those don’t work either. Just ask Germany.
Here is the crucial question for genuine immigration reform: How do we respond when someone says, I have heard of your freedom. I am tired of the corrupt police in my country, the bought-off courts, the oppression of rulers, the tyranny of the religious or ethnic majority. I want to join the one country on earth defined by an idea, not by conquest, religion or ethnic identity. No, I don’t have a special skill or a strong back useful to your politically connected employers. I want to come, drive a cab, open a convenience store in a poor neighborhood, work long hours, pay taxes, send my children to school and, eventually, vote.
That’s a nice story. Here’s a more realistic one.
How does Cochrane respond when someone says, “My country is corrupt and poor because of American oppression. I have heard your country is rich. I despise it, but I want to come and live here in my own enclave where I will speak my language and not learn yours, where I will support those of your politicians who promise to give me everything for free, and then I will support those of the left who turn it into the same wreck as the country I came from.”
“I will work at any job, but I will report as little of my income as possible, cheating the government at every turn, while collecting maximum benefits. I will fake divorce my wife. I will bring in family members to work below minimum wage, not report their income and put them on benefits as well, undercutting American businesses while using their tax money to subsidize my little crime family.”
“My sons will be directionless, trapped between two worlds, turning to crime. Also some of my sons may end up blowing up a few of your buildings in the name of the theocracy I came from.”