Saturday, February 4, 2017

Immigration Policy: Trailhead of the Road to Serfdom

The issue of immigration is really separating libertarians from the conservatives. Libertarians are no white race nationalists; they are opposed to the Trump/Kane/Bannon/Miller/Sessions anti-Muslim (we are a Christian nation) program on immigration.

Listen to this pointed panel at the Reason Foundation, below. Tim Kane is an Air Force Academy grad and fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution think tank. Ilya Somin is a professor of law at George Mason University, also a locus of conservative thought as evidenced by the recent renaming of the law school after Antonin Scalia. Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at The Reason Foundation. Together they come out guns blazing. . . .

They make the case for a liberal immigration policy: it's good for the economy, it promotes liberty and freedom, it's consistent with our values as a race neutral nation of immigrants, it's the decent thing to do (with respect to refugees), and there are no significant downsides. Contrary to the vile and dishonorable Trump rhetoric that 46% of our fellow voters apparently bought into, immigrants are more law abiding, more hard working, and more entrepreneurial than the norm.

Tim Kane is willing to suspend judgment on the administration's "evil intent." Somin thinks Kane is  too optimistic.

Shikha Dalmia points out how in the wake of the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01, Congress greatly expanded the definition of what constitutes a "criminal alien." Each year Congress allocates hundreds of millions of dollars to fund a Criminal Alien Program (CAP). During the Obama administration Congress increased funding to CAP from $194 million/year to $322 million/year. CAP was statutorily obligated to exhaust those funds, says Dalmia. In addition, says Dalmia, Congress established a metric that required CAP to fill 34,000 detention beds every night.  See report by American Immigration Council. It is this Congressional action that largely accounts for the high deportation levels on Obama's watch.

As more and more people were deported CAP has cast a wider and wider net, disrupting law abiding families who have been in this country for many years. CAP has encountered millions and removed hundreds of thousands of people in the last few years, and in the process it has established an "enormous web," says Dalmia. Most of those removed have had no criminal convictions nor have they committed serious crimes.

9/11 has set us on the road to serfdom . . .  "Trump may well make life a living hell for immigrants," says Dalmia, "but anyone who thinks that this dragnet will leave American themselves unscathed is living in a fools paradise . . . . "

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