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February 15, 2007

Anne Frank — Killed By US Immigration Policy

by Brad Warbiany

I saw this and was immediately saddened…

Anne Frank’s father tried to get to U.S. (emphasis added)

Anne Frank’s father tried to arrange U.S. visas for his family before they went into hiding, but his efforts were hampered when Allied and Axis countries tightened immigration policies, according to papers released Wednesday.

Otto Frank also sent desperate letters to friends and family in the U.S. pleading for help with immigration costs as the family tried to escape the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

“I would not ask if conditions here would not force me to do all I can in time to be able to avoid worse,” Otto Frank wrote to his college friend Nathan Straus in April 1941. “It is for the sake of the children mainly that we have to care for. Our own fate is of less importance.”

The documents show how Frank tried to arrange for his family — wife Edith, daughters Margot and Anne and mother-in-law Rosa Hollander — to go to the U.S. or Cuba. He wrote to relatives, friends and officials between April 30, 1941, and Dec. 11, 1941, when Germany declared war on the U.S.

But immigration rules were changing under the Nazi regime and in the U.S. There were nearly 300,000 people on a waiting list for a U.S. immigration visa. Besides, since Frank had living relatives in Germany, he would have been unable to immigrate under U.S. policy at the time.

As you know, I’m in favor of almost completely open immigration. I don’t object to having some knowledge of who is coming in, but don’t think our current immigration quotas are very realistic. One of the cases I point out is that often people in other countries are desperately trying to get out of their home countries to avoid persecution, and it is flatly cruel to refuse them.

This puts that opinion into sharper perspective. Almost everyone in my generation read The Diary of Anne Frank as a requirement in school. As young children, we could barely begin to imagine the sheer terror of living in hiding, knowing that capture by the authorities meant death. At most, we were impressed with the idea “never again”. We made a promise to ourselves that we had learned our lesson.

But I don’t think our current immigration policies live up to that promise. Anne Frank could be alive today, if America hadn’t shut our doors. How many people now are desperately trying to get out from under the thumb of autocratic despots, only to be told by the United States that “we’re full”?

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141 Comments

  1. Sadly, this is but one example among many of Jewish refugees from Europe who the U.S. (and, to be fair, the rest of the world) ignored.

    Prior to the start of the war, there was an entire shipload of German Jewish refugees who tried to come to the US to escape the Nazis, they were denied permission to come.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — February 15, 2007 @ 12:46 pm
  2. [...] This puts that opinion into sharper perspective. Almost everyone in my generation read The Diary of Anne Frank as a requirement in school. As young children, we could barely begin to imagine the sheer terror of living in hiding, knowing that capture by the authorities meant death. At most, we were impressed with the idea “never again”. We made a promise to ourselves that we had learned our lesson. [...]

    Pingback by The Voice » Anne Frank — Killed By US Immigration Policy — February 15, 2007 @ 7:51 pm
  3. This is an example of a common libertarian fallacy; that is, this absurd notion that the United States should put the interests and safety of foreigners above its own citizens. Numerous Americans lose their lives every year due to the actions of both illegal and poorly selected legal immigrants. The shooting in Utah would be one notable example from the last few days. You can thank an all-too-libertarian immigration policy for that disaster.

    I guess too many libertarians are still too misty-eyed about Ellis Island at the turn of the 20th century to clearly see the unpleasant realities of modern immigration from Third World countries.

    Hispanics have three times the white incarceration rate for murder.

    How many people have died at the hands of Hispanic illegals and their gang-banger children in our country? Rubenstein, at VDARE, has attempted to extrapolate how many lives we are losing per day due to illegal immigration.

    If you want to get an idea as to the direction our current tolerance for illegal immigration is sending our country, here are two other articles worth reading:

    http://www.parapundit.com/archives/002109.html
    http://acrossdifficultcountry.blogspot.com/2007/02/we-cant-even-spell-our-own-gangs-right.html

    Comment by tommy — February 15, 2007 @ 10:21 pm
  4. All articles from right wing groups or racist groups such as VDare

    Comment by G. Chell — February 15, 2007 @ 10:45 pm
  5. Tommy:

    This is an example of a common libertarian fallacy; that is, this absurd notion that the United States should put the interests and safety of foreigners above its own citizens.

    Of course, the Constitution says not a word about “citizens”, nor does it distinguish whose rights are protected, whose aren’t or any difference between any given person in terms of nationality. The sole exception to that is that the President has to be born in this country. And, at one point, a distinction was made for Indians and black slaves. That distinction is gone now. So, the idea that the Constitution, and the ideals of this country, only apply to “US Citizens”, a construct of lower level law than the Constitution, is baloney.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 15, 2007 @ 11:55 pm
  6. Adam Selene

    Of course, the Constitution says not a word about “citizens”, nor does it distinguish whose rights are protected

    Perhaps you’ve never read the Constitution. The word “citizen” is, in fact, used multiple times in the Constitution. The claim that the Founding Fathers were out to guarantee the freedom and safety of everyone in the world (except US citizens, of course) is a patently false proposition.

    And, at one point, a distinction was made for Indians and black slaves. That distinction is gone now.

    Well, good for that. I don’t think that is much of an argument for erasing our borders or neglecting the safety and well-being of American citizens.

    I notice your argument seems to rely on two contradictory notions. Our founders did not draw any distinctions, therefore we shouldn’t. On the other hand, our founders drew the wrong distinctions, therefore we shouldn’t.

    G Chell

    All articles from right wing groups or racist groups such as VDare

    As VDARE’s Peter Brimelow likes to say “a racist is anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal.” I guess we can throw many neo-conservatives and libertarians into that pile also. Do you have any factual criticisms of the articles in question or is crying racism the best argument you can manage?

    Comment by tommy — February 16, 2007 @ 1:13 am
  7. Brad,

    I don’t agree that Anne Frank and her family were “killed” by US immigration laws. But (without making a distinction without a difference) I would say that the US government could have saved her with a more open immigration policy.

    Either way, I support having a much more open immigration policy (with restrictions on health and national security). Open borders with the requirement that everyone must sign the guest book.

    CJL

    Comment by cjl — February 16, 2007 @ 6:04 am
  8. CJL,

    The title was a bit of hyperbole, in order to catch attention…

    I don’t think our immigration policy killed Anne Frank, it was nazis who did that. But we had a chance to keep her alive, and it wouldn’t have cost us a penny. All we had to do was give the Frank family permission to come here (or even to Cuba). We didn’t.

    These weren’t even “tired, poor, huddled masses, yearning to be free.” It was a well-to-do, educated family, but we shut the doors. I just thought it might make the tangible effects of our immigration policies hit home for readers. Judging by a couple of these comments, though, I was wrong.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 16, 2007 @ 8:56 am
  9. Officer Rodney Johnson – Killed by Open Borders Policy

    Houston Police Ofiicer Rodney Johnson, was murdered by Juan Leonardo Quintero, an illegal immigrant.

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=2487004&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312

    We had a chance to keep Office Johnson alive, but those that advocate open borders, and oppose the deportation of illegal immigrants, are by your argument, the ones we should blame.

    So by your argument, the Nazi’s didn’t kill Anne Frank, and Juan didn’t kill Officer Rodney Johnson.

    Comment by Chris — February 16, 2007 @ 12:43 pm
  10. Chris,

    Did you see this portion of my post?

    “I don’t object to having some knowledge of who is coming in, but don’t think our current immigration quotas are very realistic.”

    I clicked over to your story. Juan was previously deported for criminal activity. If we had a way to allow people to come here legally, it would make it a lot easier to find the people, like Juan, that shouldn’t be allowed back in after they’ve already shown they don’t belong in a free society.

    When nearly every immigrant is illegal, how do you differentiate between the good folks who just want to work and support their families, from guys like Juan? Create a realistic LEGAL path for the good ones to come here, and it’ll make it a lot easier to find the few Juan Quintero’s in the bunch.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 16, 2007 @ 1:31 pm
  11. Tommy, the information you posted is false. Take a look at something from the website you think is so great:

    We also publish on VDARE.COM a few writers, for example Jared Taylor, whom I would regard as “white nationalist,” in the sense that they aim to defend the interests of American whites.

    Comment by free rider — February 16, 2007 @ 1:46 pm
  12. Rodney, far more Americans have killed cops, considering the ratio of Americans to foreign nationals.

    The statistics are often flawed to begin with and then blurred by people like “tommy”, who consider Hispanic and illegal immigrant to be one and the same.

    Comment by free rider — February 16, 2007 @ 1:57 pm
  13. “When nearly every immigrant is illegal, how do you differentiate between the good folks who just want to work and support their families, from guys like Juan? Create a realistic LEGAL path for the good ones to come here, and it’ll make it a lot easier to find the few Juan Quintero’s in the bunch.” quote from Brad Warbiany

    It’s real simple when you come into the country illegaly, you have broken the law, you shouldn’t be here.

    We will never end illegal immigration, or control/fix legal immigration until the borders can be secured.

    A open border is isanity, plain and simple, but ceartain folks cry foul and racism when you try to secure the border.

    Comment by Chris — February 16, 2007 @ 4:32 pm
  14. “Rodney, far more Americans have killed cops, considering the ratio of Americans to foreign nationals.” quote by free rider

    Really? Wow,no kidding?

    So even if it’s just that one cop killed by an illegal immigrant, that’s ok. So just tell me how many lifes can illegal immigrants who are criminals have to take before you should cosider it as a problem? OR how many US citizens are effected negatively (in any manner)for it to be a problem for you?

    Once again illegal immigrants shouldn’t be here in the first place, and US companies shouldn’t hire them.

    Comment by Chris — February 16, 2007 @ 4:38 pm
  15. Wow, I’ve always loved that argument… “It’s illegal, therefore it’s wrong.”

    You realize that legality and morality are two different things. The fact that they came here illegally proves they’re desparate and broke the law, not that they’re bad people.

    Illegal != Immoral.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 16, 2007 @ 6:01 pm
  16. “As VDARE’s Peter Brimelow likes to say “a racist is anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal.” I guess we can throw many neo-conservatives and libertarians into that pile also. Do you have any factual criticisms of the articles in question or is crying racism the best argument you can manage?”

    Anti-black and anti-Jewish organization..this VDARE. If they only opposed illegals no problem. But, Samuel Francis who wrote for VDARE wrote bigoted stuff about blacks, Asians, Asian women marrying white men, etc. Since Brimelow authorized those articles he is a racist…call me what you want..a liberal, neo-con or a libertarian. Brimelow is a racist and you can throw Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute into that pile..she is as racist as Samuel Francis and VDare may well consider hiring her to add a white female voice to racism.

    Comment by G. Chell — February 16, 2007 @ 6:24 pm
  17. “Wow, I’ve always loved that argument… “It’s illegal, therefore it’s wrong.”

    You realize that legality and morality are two different things. The fact that they came here illegally proves they’re desparate and broke the law, not that they’re bad people.

    Illegal != Immoral.” QUOTE BY Brad Warbiany
    ————————————————

    Is it moral to allow illegal immigrants to depress wages in this country?

    Is it moral to force US citizens out of work, by undercutting their wages?

    Is it moral to let illegal immigration hurt the average US citizen?

    Is it moral that after deportation many illegal
    immigrants come back to the US and commit crimes?

    How about the morality of the Mexican government taking care of their citizens, and not burdening the tax payers of the US…

    After all Mexico has the tenth largest economy in the world. The third richest man in the world is a Mexican (Carlos Slim) Maybe it would be moral for Mexico to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in their country, and not depend on the US to care fot their poor.

    Intersting article on Mexica’s wealthy families:
    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/0816grupos.html

    Comment by Chris — February 16, 2007 @ 6:55 pm
  18. Brad,

    I agree with you about illegal=immoral.

    Here’s something from professor Walter E. Williams:

    “Legality alone is no guide for a moral people. There are many things in this world that have been, or are, legal but clearly immoral. Slavery was legal. Did that make it moral? South Africa’s apartheid, Nazi persecution of Jews, and Stalinist and Maoist purges were all legal, but did that make them moral?”
    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=3814

    Whenever I hear the argument that immigration is “illegal” and therefore needs to be enforced, I’m reminded of something Strom Thurmond said: “As I grew up, segregation was the policy and I followed the law. That was the custom. We all followed that policy.”

    No, thankfully, not everyone followed that policy.

    CJL

    Comment by cjl — February 16, 2007 @ 10:17 pm
  19. CJL your comparing segregation, Slavery, apartheid, Nazi persecution of Jews, Stalinist and Maoist purges to ILLEGAL immigration?

    You are CRAZY !

    Comment by Chris — February 16, 2007 @ 10:52 pm
  20. Brilliant! So every time a group of peoples lives are threatened – even remotely threatened – by some other group of people, the US has a moral obligation to let them in. I can see our population hitting one billion by, ohh, Tuesday. Really.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    In other words, this country is first about WE, THE PEOPLE who live here, and OUR children. Immigration is not a right. First and foremost, the obligation of our government is to serve the interests of the people who live here, and no one else. Too many immigrant children means that my children have to live in that much more crowded a country.

    When I was a kid, 20 years ago, the valley I live in was about half full. Today it is almost completely full. What will 20 years bring? Overcrowded roads, overcrowded schools, strained-to-the breaking-point water resources. All thanks to the 2 million people a year our immigration policies are bringing in.

    Don’t blame me for Anne Frank’s death. Don’t even pretend to blame me. My grandfather’s both risked their lives to defeat Germany.

    And keep your bizarre open-border fantasies to yourself. In the real world, they just plain damn don’t work.

    Comment by Craig — February 17, 2007 @ 12:29 am
  21. When I was a kid, 20 years ago, the valley I live in was about half full. Today it is almost completely full. What will 20 years bring? Overcrowded roads, overcrowded schools, strained-to-the breaking-point water resources. All thanks to the 2 million people a year our immigration policies are bringing in.

    You’re Mayflower material, I presume?

    This is another one of those arguments that really shows more about the person making it than anything else. “My ancestors came over before the US tightened their immigration over the last 50 years. Therefore, I’ve got mine, and the rest of you can go screw.”

    Or, put more simply, “I’ve already got some freedom, so I’m going to restrict yours so I don’t have to talk to people who speak Spanish.”

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 17, 2007 @ 8:41 am
  22. Brad I can tell a lot about you, by you simply stating opposing immigration is immoral.

    Since facts don’t rest on your side, just call people who oppose your opinions immoral and racist.

    Nice to have you as our moral arbitrator.

    Once again:
    Is it moral to allow illegal immigrants to depress wages in this country?

    Is it moral to force US citizens out of work, by undercutting their wages?

    Is it moral to let illegal immigration hurt the average US citizen?

    Is it moral that after deportation many illegal
    immigrants come back to the US and commit crimes?

    How about the morality of the Mexican government taking care of their citizens, and not burdening the tax payers of the US…

    After all Mexico has the tenth largest economy in the world. The third richest man in the world is a Mexican (Carlos Slim) Maybe it would be moral for Mexico to bridge the gap between the rich and poor in their country, and not depend on the US to care fot their poor.

    Comment by Chris — February 17, 2007 @ 9:48 pm
  23. Well, Chris, I’ll give you your answers. And I’m afraid you’ll like me even less (if that’s possible) afterwards.

    Is it moral to allow illegal immigrants to depress wages in this country?

    Yep. People can freely contract for labor. If we’re unable to compete properly, we need to start looking at why we’re unable to compete.

    Is it moral to force US citizens out of work, by undercutting their wages?

    “Force”? What are you talking about, force? Who’s exerting force on whom? The immigrants who want a job and are willing to do it for slightly less than a native citizen, or the native citizen who wants to force the immigrant to go back home so he can continue to live under the farce that he’s worth what he’s being paid?

    Is it moral to let illegal immigration hurt the average US citizen?

    If the illegal immigrant is violating the rights of the US citizen, yes. If the immigrant is simply outcompeting the US citizen in a free market, they’re not violating that citizen’s rights and thus should be allowed to continue.

    Is it moral that after deportation many illegal immigrants come back to the US and commit crimes?

    It’s immoral for anyone, citizen or otherwise, to violate the rights of others. If the immigrant commits a crime which violates the rights of others (and coming here illegally does not) and is deported, yes, it is immoral that we allow him back in the country to commit more crimes.

    How about the morality of the Mexican government taking care of their citizens, and not burdening the tax payers of the US…

    Sorry, when my ancestors were coming over from Eastern Europe a little over a century ago, due to lack of opportunity in their home country, nobody claimed that we should keep them out because those home countries didn’t “take care of them”. Why has the situation changed?

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 17, 2007 @ 10:07 pm
  24. You know, there’s something further to point out:

    Is it moral to allow illegal immigrants to depress wages in this country?

    Is it moral to force US citizens out of work, by undercutting their wages?

    You realize this is a false choice, right? If you really think that the result of enforcing our immigration laws will be that American workers magically start making more money, you’re fooling yourself.

    We’re in a global economy, and for a lot of these jobs, if they’re not done by the illegal immigrants here, we’ll just move the jobs to their home countries. I realize at that point, you’ll be outraged at our trade deficit and clamoring for import tariffs and restrictions, but perhaps I’m ahead of myself here.

    Why don’t you point your finger where it really should go? Not at the immigrants, but at the draconian regulations our federal government puts onto businesses, forcing them to be unable to compete unless they hire immigrants?

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 17, 2007 @ 10:18 pm
  25. Brian you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried!

    Do you really think US citizens and Illegal immigrants operate on the same playing field in the US?

    Sure a illegal immigrants will work for less, they don’t pay taxes, don’t pay for medical insurance, and don’t pay any govt. fees.

    And when a federal agency does enforce laws, guys like you complain because it is immoral.

    LOL , yeah they are going to export all those lawn care, construction,fruit picking, and even those drive through window jobs to their home countries! A lot of those jobs will always be right here in the US, might as well be filled by US citizens.

    I like your point that the Mexican govt. doesn’t have any responsibilty, but we should go ahead and step up to the plate. I’M SURE THE WORLD IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS WHEN YOUR ANCESTORS CAME OVER.

    LOL, your actually funny, in a sad sort of way.

    Draconian regulations? LOL, we don’t enforce the laws we have now. Beside the open borders policy you advocate is insanity.

    BTW. I don’t just blame illegal immgrants, but the companies/people that hire them for cheap labor. The political groups that use them to increase their numbers, and the Open border maniacs who don’t live in reality.( for instance someone who would use the line: Anne Frank — Killed By US Immigration Policy )

    Anyway I’m done with this thread, nobody here is going to change their minds about anything.

    Later -

    Comment by Chris — February 17, 2007 @ 10:50 pm
  26. Do you really think US citizens and Illegal immigrants operate on the same playing field in the US?

    Of course not. Which is why I want to give them a legal way to come here! I would like to see them come here legally, not just shut the borders to them.

    Sure a illegal immigrants will work for less, they don’t pay taxes, don’t pay for medical insurance, and don’t pay any govt. fees.

    They typically pay taxes, pay plenty of fees, etc. Most of the ones who use fraudulent ID end up paying taxes on income and social security for which they receive absolutely no benefit, because they’re kept illegal. In many cases, they can’t buy insurance and the like because it’s illegal for them to do so. Again, give them a legal path to get here and work, and most of these issues go away.

    And when a federal agency does enforce laws, guys like you complain because it is immoral.

    When they’re enforcing moral laws, I have no problem with it. When they come after someone because thier toilet might use too much water when it flushes, I consider it immoral. When they try to keep good, hard-working people out of this country, I consider it an attack on freedom, and yes, I consider it to be immoral.

    LOL , yeah they are going to export all those lawn care, construction,fruit picking, and even those drive through window jobs to their home countries! A lot of those jobs will always be right here in the US, might as well be filled by US citizens.

    When it used to cost you $50 a week to get your lawn tended to, and now it will cost $100, what will you do? Pony up $100 a week, or do it yourself? To some extent the wages in these industries will rise, but at the same time, employment in those industries will decrease.

    I like your point that the Mexican govt. doesn’t have any responsibilty, but we should go ahead and step up to the plate.

    I’m not saying we should “take care of them”. All I’m offering them is the freedom to compete. I want to see an end to all the public subsidies and federal wealth-transfer programs that they could possibly benefit from on the public dole. So I don’t for a moment ask that we take care of them, only that we give them a chance to live freely.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 17, 2007 @ 11:05 pm
  27. It seems like the debate over immigration too often turns to a big squabble over history. One sees that here quite starkly: the argument is made that because stricter immigration laws in the past cut off one avenue of escape for the Frank family, we must have open borders forevermore to make up for this past failing.

    The debate turns into a Battle of the Ancestors, with proponents of more immigration generally being people of recent stock (especially Jews), and opponents of more immigration being people of older American stock (especially white Protestants).

    I don’t think this is a good way to formulate public policy. The debate should address what immigration policy is best for the United States today and in the future. We can’t remedy past injustices by opening the borders today. Loyalty to the sacrifices of our ancestors, no matter when they came here, demands that we focus on the present, not the past.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 12:34 am
  28. Heifan, excellent points!

    Brad, I am an immigration restrictionist, and yes I can trace my ancestry to the United States’ founding generation. How about you? If you wish to transform our nation by mass migration, you should produce proof of your bona-fides!

    Comment by Brian — February 18, 2007 @ 3:23 am
  29. Re: Original subject: Anyone who does not live on the border of starvation while donating all surplus production to those more needy and / or oppressed than themselves are “killing” people every day. It’s a fact of life – live with it. The same goes for limiting donation of limited national resources such as citizenship.

    As for the extended argument RE: immigration.

    “I want to see an end to all the public subsidies and federal wealth-transfer programs that they could possibly benefit from on the public dole. So I don’t for a moment ask that we take care of them, only that we give them a chance to live freely.”

    - Federal aid programs won’t go away – ever. The welfare state is popular virtually everywhere, and it is even more popular among non-anglo-saxons. Basing your support for immigration on political developments that have virtually zero chance of actually happening is unwise.

    In addition, importing the Mexican underclass is a surefire way of growing the welfare state, together with the system of race-based spoils and racial preferences. This is assured by the lack of convergence in Mexican-american social variables. Ironically, Libertarians are thus helping out in digging the grave of the (comparatively) libertarian US social model.

    - Many externalities brought on from importing the mexican underclass are impossible or difficult to contain. This includes increased crime and other assorted anti-social behavior.

    Comment by Dobeln — February 18, 2007 @ 8:28 am
  30. Heifan,

    You’re right that no amount of immigration now will make up for the Frank family. My question is how many Frank families are out there right now, that want nothing more than to live, and live in freedom? Making mistakes is inevitable. But should we be repeating them? America was born as the land of opportunity. The immigration restrictionists would have you believe that we’re all out of opportunity here, so we should stop letting people in.

    Brian,

    No, I’m not here from our founding generation (or before). I’ve never claimed otherwise. My apologies for my ancestors invading your country 100 years ago.

    Dobeln,

    Throughout all of America’s history, there have been periods where we see poor, enterprising immigrants; who have learned that there is no opportunity in their home country and come here to stake their claim. On the front end of every one of those waves, when they’re coming here working twice as hard for half as much as a native-born citizen, we look at them as “invaders” who are here “stealing” from us.

    Right now we’re on the front end, but recent data is showing that a) immigrants are becoming richer and b) Mexican demographics forces are cutting the potential future immigrant population. This means that we’re starting to transition from the front end (a large influx in the number of immigrants) to the back end (when those immigrants and their families integrate into wider American society).

    When my Polish ancestors settled here 3 generations ago, they went (like many Poles) to Chicago, a city that was known for a time as “little Warsaw”. They probably didn’t speak English, they lived on the south side of Chicago amongst other Polish immigrants, and were simple working-class folk. They weren’t rich— my grandfather was one in a family of 9 kids— but each generation since has become more and more successful. My father was the first in his family to graduate from college, followed by all four of his children.

    This problem, like many others, can work itself out over time. But it certainly won’t be helped (as no problem ever is) by increased government control.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 9:37 am
  31. my grandfather was one in a family of 9 kids— but each generation since has become more and more successful. My father was the first in his family to graduate from college, followed by all four of his children.

    This problem, like many others, can work itself out over time. But it certainly won’t be helped (as no problem ever is) by increased government control.

    Why should immigration policy be based on nostalgia for someones Polish ancestors? This seems to be a sort of identity politics.

    Moreover the problem was worked out by government control, the 1924 immigration act which reduced overall immigration and made sure that immigration would reflect the ethnic balance of the country. The reduction in immigration (first reduced by WWI ) led to the building of the great American middle class.

    Your theory only works if we seriously restrict immigration now. Otherwise there is no ‘front end’ of the wave. And if, (a big if) Mexican demographics there are about 100 countries waiting to take over Mexico’s role.

    Comment by Mitchell Young — February 18, 2007 @ 11:43 am
  32. “These weren’t even ‘tired, poor, huddled masses, yearning to be free.’ It was a well-to-do, educated family, but we shut the doors.”

    And with good reason. Look at all the mischief caused by similar “well-to-do, educated” folks (such as this blog’s proprietor) who would deny Americans ownership of the country they built!

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 12:36 pm
  33. Brad writes: “My question is how many Frank families are out there right now, that want nothing more than to live, and live in freedom? Making mistakes is inevitable. But should we be repeating them?”

    I’m not sure if the events that befell the Frank family vis-a-vis United States immigration policy were a ‘mistake’ or instead a tragedy. In other words, we could not have allowed everyone persecuted by the Nazis to come here, and the Frank family’s circumstances are only notable because of Anne Frank’s famous book. There were no doubt many, many others, but defeating the Nazis in Europe was the way to solve this — not evacuating the persons disfavored by the Nazis to America (which would have been a victory for Hitler anyway, in that he wanted to rid Europe of Jews, Gypsies, etc.). But more to the point, there is no direct analogy between the Frank family’s circumstances and present immigration policy, and we can’t base public policy decisions on past anecdotes.

    Brad continues: “America was born as the land of opportunity. The immigration restrictionists would have you believe that we’re all out of opportunity here, so we should stop letting people in.”

    This is a commonly expressed vision of the United States. In this vision, the country was “born” with a purpose, as a “land of opportunity.” The allure of this vision is that it allows one to express loyalty both to an ideology (“freedom”) and to one’s ancestors (who were fortunate enough to benefit from that “freedom”). It honors their sacrifices by perpetuating the vision that one supposes them to have held.

    Again, though, I don’t think it is a very good way to look at these issues. Public policy has to be about what works for us now, not what worked (or should have worked) for us 50 or 100 years ago. The core question is not whether we could or should have saved Anne Frank; the core question is what policy, if enacted today, would best serve OUR interests.

    The restrictionists often use numbers and the application of economic principles to make their points. Like many Americans, I’m certainly open to the other side’s arguments. But if the point of immigration policy is to demonstrate loyalty to one’s ancestors, or to redeem what are viewed as past mistakes like the case of the Frank family, well, that’s just not very convincing. Certainly not at any level other than an emotional one.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 12:45 pm
  34. “CJL your comparing segregation, Slavery, apartheid, Nazi persecution of Jews, Stalinist and Maoist purges to ILLEGAL immigration?

    “You are CRAZY !”

    I have to disagree with part of that. Keeping uninvited humans out of our space is not “like” segregation. It *is* segregation. It segregates “us” from “them” so that we can go about our business without their interference.

    And there’s nothing wrong with that. Segregation & discrimination are fundamental principles of life. Ever heard of the immune system, whose basic function is to discriminate between self and non-self?

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 12:53 pm
  35. “This is another one of those arguments that really shows more about the person making it than anything else. ‘My ancestors came over before the US tightened their immigration over the last 50 years. Therefore, I’ve got mine, and the rest of you can go screw.’”

    It’s an argument for a principle that libertarians are supposed to be able to recognize: property. This country belongs to the people who built it, and we may include or exclude whomever we wish.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 12:59 pm
  36. Mitchell,

    Why should immigration policy be based on nostalgia for someones Polish ancestors? This seems to be a sort of identity politics.

    The policy isn’t based on my anecdote. It’s based on my fundamental belief that all humans should live in freedom, and my desire to see America, even if countries like Mexico do not, allow people to do that.

    Moreover the problem was worked out by government control, the 1924 immigration act which reduced overall immigration and made sure that immigration would reflect the ethnic balance of the country. The reduction in immigration (first reduced by WWI ) led to the building of the great American middle class.

    Post hoc, ergo proctor hoc?

    I could just as easily argue that that the Great Depression was caused by the 1924 immigration act. How do you arrive at the conclusion that it was a restriction of immigration that led to the rise of the middle class, and not the effects of the industrial revolution and capitalism?

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 1:18 pm
  37. If your ancestors made it here 100 years ago, they were probably legal, and equally relevant, not revanchist ot irredentist. So yes, it is valid for those of us who make no claim to another national home, meaning nearly all white citizens, to consider would-be compatriots in light of their group’s past behavior and present motives regarding national loyalty.

    As for the Frank’s, even the pioneer fund, now considered racist, spoke for allowing Jews to immigrate into this country, noting their tendency to become productive, albeit somewhat clannish, citizens.

    Comment by Brian — February 18, 2007 @ 1:25 pm
  38. Brad writes: “The policy isn’t based on my anecdote. It’s based on my fundamental belief that all humans should live in freedom, and my desire to see America, even if countries like Mexico do not, allow people to do that.”

    All six billion? All six billion humans should ‘live in freedom’ here in the United States?

    If your answer is “no, we have to pick and choose,” then we’re on our way to formulating an immigration policy.

    If your answer is “yes,” well, I don’t see how we could possibly absorb all of the people in the world who would love to come here and ‘live in freedom.’ Remember, to many millions of people in Africa, Mexico is a rich country.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 1:27 pm
  39. Heifan: Public policy has to be about what works for us now, not what worked (or should have worked) for us 50 or 100 years ago. The core question is not whether we could or should have saved Anne Frank; the core question is what policy, if enacted today, would best serve OUR interests.

    Ben: It’s an argument for a principle that libertarians are supposed to be able to recognize: property. This country belongs to the people who built it, and we may include or exclude whomever we wish.

    I suppose I’m tilting at windmills. You both believe that it is completely justifiable to restrict the liberty of others, because they’re not US. After all, you voted on it, right?

    Perhaps I’m simply naive, but to me, there is no WE. “The country” doesn’t belong to me, you, or “us”. The country is a collection of individuals, each choosing to use our own private property as we see fit.

    I was under the impression that I had the freedom to sell my property to whomever I see fit, citizen or otherwise. I was under the impression that I had the freedom to hire who I wish to work in my business, or to provide a service, paid for with my money, regardless of whether they are a citizen or not. But I see I was wrong. There is no I, only WE. Since that property isn’t mine, but rather OURS, I suppose I have to consult you guys before I use it?

    I think I see how it works. Heifan believes that his view of public policy trumps individual liberty. Ben doesn’t seem to care about individual liberty, because he’s already got his.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 1:29 pm
  40. Brad writes: “I think I see how it works. Heifan believes that his view of public policy trumps individual liberty. Ben doesn’t seem to care about individual liberty, because he’s already got his.”

    Um, this is a bit of an odd view, Brad. Do you think that ‘individual liberty’ comes from a higher power? If so, then that’s great, but it’s a religious view, not a policy one.

    In reality, ‘individual liberty’ is a right we enjoy because we are constituted, under a Constitution, as a political grouping. The rights expressed in our Constitution extend to our fellow citizens, and (in more limited ways) to non-citizens physically present here.

    The rights and obligations of U.S. citizenship do not extend to, say, Mexicans or Belgians. The extent of their ‘individual liberty’ is determined by their political processes. One can certainly think that they deserve more ‘freedom,’ but immigration to the United States to find such ‘freedom’ is not a right — it’s a privilege that current U.S. citizens can either grant or withhold, as they see fit.

    That’s the way the world actually works.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 1:34 pm
  41. Heifan,

    All six billion? All six billion humans should ‘live in freedom’ here in the United States?

    As if it would happen? For someone to leave his/her family, travel across continents or across oceans, is a major choice. And it’s a major choice even for those with the resources to do it. I know people from college who would have greatly better employment prospects if they got out of Indiana, but don’t do it because of family. So to assume that we’d have 6 billion people in this country if we relaxed our immigration laws is pointless.

    After all, I could point out that we really don’t enforce many immigration laws as it is, and yet we only have about 11-12 million illegal immigrants in this country anyway.

    But yes, I believe if someone has the resources to get here, and the desire to live here peacefully, we should not deny them. At 300 million people, this country is still far from “full”. The greater threat to our prosperity is our government, taking up to 50% of our income in taxes, and forcing our kids into pathetically failing public schools.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 1:42 pm
  42. Brad,

    As I mentioned in a different thread, I am now reading Radicals for Capitalism by Brian Doherty.

    Doherty mentions Henry Maine (1822-1888), who in 1861 pointed out that an important shift in Western civilization and Western liberty is that interactions have gone from status to contract.

    Instead of your life being determined by who you were at birth, you would be able to live, work, do what you wish, deal with others as you please, based on mutually binding contracts.

    I’ve heard references to this point when people compared America to other countries, but I was unaware of the source of the observation.

    But where are we now? We’ve got so many Americans (Congressmen, intellectuals, union reps) who want to block mutually binding contracts when they don’t approve of them.

    One example is free trade.

    What is it anyone else’s business (or Congress’s business) if Kia Motors wants to “dump” its products by selling me a car for $28? We’ve got so many self-interested people who want to block free trade so they can protect their own jobs or because they are busybodies.

    Immigration

    What is it anyone’s business if I want to hire a Swede, a Mexican, or a Taiwanese person to come work for me? When Maine wrote about the move from “status to contract,” America was still a country with open borders. But now we’ve got people demanding that “illegals” be rounded up and sent back (or shot as they try to cross the border), and some of those same people as well as others want employers punished when they come to a mutual agreement with someone seeking a job.

    Minimum Wage

    What is it anyone’s business if an unskilled person agrees to work for me for $4.50 an hour? Obviously we would both we better off (or more satisfied with that agreement) than with available alternatives. Why should an uninvited third party have anything to do with it, as long as neither one of us is claiming fraud or any other type of violation?

    As we used to say when I was young, “this is an ‘A’ and ‘B’ conversation, so ‘C’ your way out of it.”

    It seems that we are in the stage of the freedom to contract, as long as we get government permission to do so…

    CJL
    http://caseylartigue.blogspot.com/2007/02/aint-nobodys-business-if-i-do.html

    Comment by cjl — February 18, 2007 @ 1:43 pm
  43. Heifan,

    I see we’re working off different first principles here. I believe in a theory of natural rights (from a logical, not a religious, perspective), and that the most our government should ever be doing is helping us to protect those rights. You see those rights as being provided to us by our government and Constitution.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 1:45 pm
  44. Tillman wrote:

    This country belongs to the people who built it, and we may include or exclude whomever we wish.

    That’s a twisted understanding of libertarian values. Libertarians believe that the individual has an inherent and indisputable right to their property. They don’t believe in collective rights like you are talking about here. Any individual, in that view, can come to any location in the world (freedom of movement), freely interact with the people there (freedom of association), and acquire property through any ethical means (right to property). In the event that they were to violate someone else’s right through theft (i.e. right of property) or assault (i.e. right to life), then they should be dealt with by society accordingly. Until then, they have a right to liberty as much as the next person.

    Please note that the Constitution does not distinguish between “Americans” and others in application of rights. Read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Pay special attention the declarations of rights in the Declaration and the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Look for anything that appears to say that only “American citizens” have those rights. Or that the Bill of Rights is denied to non-citizens ……… this line of thought, by the way, is applicable to Guantanamo, for example.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 1:46 pm
  45. Casey,

    You should check out “The Radicalism of the American Revolution” by Gordon S. Wood (available on Amazon). A lot of what Maine was talking about was beginning to occur even sooner, and was one of the driving forces behind the Revolution.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 1:47 pm
  46. Brad writes: “But yes, I believe if someone has the resources to get here, and the desire to live here peacefully, we should not deny them. At 300 million people, this country is still far from “full”.”

    Let’s say I disagree with you — I think it is full. How can we determine who is right and who is wrong?

    If a majority of Americans disagree with you and decide that 300 million is enough, and decide to close the borders, would you view this decision as legitimate? Not correct or fair, but legitimate? If not, then you seem to be at war with the most fundamental aspects of our political system.

    You can have utopian views about ‘freedom’ and believe that we all walk around with these natural rights to do, say, sell, etc what we please. But that’s just not realistic. It isn’t the way the world really works. It’s more like a religion than a practical viewpoint.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 1:49 pm
  47. Heifan:

    You can have utopian views about ‘freedom’ and believe that we all walk around with these natural rights to do, say, sell, etc what we please. But that’s just not realistic. It isn’t the way the world really works. It’s more like a religion than a practical viewpoint.

    Assuming you are somehow correct (I can demonstrate you are wrong, but we’ll leave that because it is a pointless argument right now). So, assuming you are correct, then you are saying that our Founders were acting from something akin to religion, not a practical viewpoint. In fact, you are saying that you don’t hold the same set of beliefs and values that our Founders did. Interesting. I wonder if you understand the implications to your system of beliefs?

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 1:54 pm
  48. Adam writes: “So, assuming you are correct, then you are saying that our Founders were acting from something akin to religion, not a practical viewpoint. In fact, you are saying that you don’t hold the same set of beliefs and values that our Founders did. Interesting. I wonder if you understand the implications to your system of beliefs?”

    Hmm. This is a bit difficult for me to follow because the paragraph is so filled with assumptions that I’m not able to tease out (since I’m (surprise!) not a fellow traveller here, I don’t get the shorthand).

    The Founders established a country united under a Constitution. The Constitution permitted quite a bit of freedom, in exchange for loyalty and the other obligations of citizenship. My view on immigration is that the citizens of the United States have a right (and duty) to figure out which policy is best for the nation, and then to enact it. This is consistent with the system set up by the Founders and refined over many generations.

    So what is your point, again?

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 2:01 pm
  49. No, no, you really don’t get it at all, nor even understand the Founders perspectives. The Constitution was not a document that “permitted quite a bit of freedom, in exchange for loyalty and the other obligations of citizenship”. That starting point is so radically different from the views of the Founders that you cannot possibly understand what the Constitution or Declaration of Independence are actually saying.

    My point is, obviously, that you are so out of alignment with the principles that this country’s governing documents were based on that you cannot grasp what they mean. That you are, when you accuse Brad of acting from a view akin to religion, making the same accusation about Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Adams, Paine, Henry and the rest.

    Let me try to explain this as simply as I can, maybe you’ll get it.

    The Constitution is a document of enumerated powers that are granted to the government, nothing more and nothing less. It does NOT establish the freedoms or rights of the citizens. Rather, it establishes how the citizens have chosen to limit their rights in order to establish a national government. I would highly suggest reading the Ninth and Tenth amendments in order to grasp this point more fully.

    I’m afraid, though, that your perspective is so fully that of a statist that it is impossible that you will understand this. You really shouldn’t bother to venerate the American Revolutionary leaders, you don’t hold the same principles as them at all.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 2:07 pm
  50. Ah. I begin to see.

    The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu wrote about the relationship between holy books and religion, and he found that control of the texts is control of the religion.

    So Adam, in saying that I “cannot grasp” what the Constitution means, and in implicitly saying that you *can* grasp what it means, you are trying to exclude me from the interpretation of the holy texts of our civic religion.

    I’m not buying it. Your desire to exclude suggests that your worldview is threatened by my presence.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 2:12 pm
  51. Maybe this point will get through to you Heifan. The political principles you hold would have made you a loyalist during the American Revolutionary War, not a Revolutionary.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 2:13 pm
  52. Heifan wrote:

    Your desire to exclude suggests that your worldview is threatened by my presence.

    Not at all.

    Why don’t you read the Federalist Papers and then come back and discuss the Constitution? They are the foundation of all Constitutional scholarship, but it is clear that either you haven’t read them, or you have read them and dismissed them. Just on the off chance you have not read them, think about this quote from Madison in Federalist Paper No. 45: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.”

    What do you suppose that means?

    I’m also curious how old you are, whether you went to a public high school, what sort of college education you received and where you live. I think those would all be interesting things to know when I take into consideration your perspective on government.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 2:15 pm
  53. Well, I am Episcopalian, so maybe I’ll go to church this evening and pray that the head of the Anglican Communion, Queen Elizabeth II, is restored to her rightful place as ruler of America….

    Anyway, y’all are an interesting bunch, and I admire your veneration and study of our founding documents, etc. I think your views are utopian and unrealistic (and inconsistent with mainstream Constitutional analysis), but there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Best of luck to you all. I’m out of here.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 2:18 pm
  54. Chuckles, you really don’t understand, so let’s try again. There are two sorts of people in the world, those who wish to be left alone and leave everyone else alone, and those who don’t. Which group are you in?

    By the way, Catholics and Episcopalians, in my experience, tend to hold the sort of view you do, that the government grants us freedoms in return for us living up to our obligations. Both are “state religions”. Interesting, don’t you think, that state religions would wish to enforce such a point of view?

    Of course, rather than trying to understand what I’m getting at, you simply quit the discussion. You accuse me of making this religious, you use silly quips about the Queen of England to try and turn the discussion away from the main point. The main point is that you believe that we are all subjects, granted freedoms by our loving government so long as we live up to our obligations to that government. This is diametrically opposed to what the men who founded this country believed, and when you are called on it, you resort to name calling and subtle personal attacks. When that won’t divert me, you then quit the discussion. Brilliant.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 2:20 pm
  55. Adam writes: “The main point is that you believe that we are all subjects, granted freedoms by our loving government so long as we live up to our obligations to that government.”

    Well, that’s the main point to you. The main point to me was to discuss immigration policy and how it is too often driven by nostalgia. I thought the Anne Frank anecdote was an interesting example of that phenomenon.

    I quit b/c you were excessively aggressive (including asking about ‘what sort of college education I received’ and directing me to go off and read the Federalist Papers before I continued the debate). You were both pushing me away, and simultaneously pushing me to enter into a debate about what the Founders were thinking when they wrote the Constitution, and frankly that’s just not what I was interested in.

    So I tried to exit gracefully. And to wish you luck in your undertakings. And to lighten the mood with an attempt at humor. Why wasn’t that enough for you?

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 2:37 pm
  56. So, why do you continue the conversation? Am I aggressive? Yes, because your beliefs would have me living in servitude and are directly contradictory to my political beliefs. Why should I not be aggressive about that?

    Did you try to exit gracefully? It came across more as a “you’re wrong, I’m taking my ball and going home” exit.

    I think it would be interesting to know how old you are and what sort of education you have, because I find a reasonable consistency in those things and certain beliefs about politics. Why is it unreasonable to ask someone who is claiming that constitutional scholarship doesn’t agree with me to read the primary documents related to the Constitution? The documents that constitutional scholars, in fact, consider foundational to understanding the Constitution? You are busy telling me what the Constitution is all about, but as far as I can tell have not read the document itself or the primary documents discussing it’s principles and meaning.

    Hmmmmm, interesting that you don’t like me telling you what to do, but think that it’s perfectly fine to tell me that I only get my freedoms if I fulfill my obligations. That sounds more like privileges than freedoms, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 2:44 pm
  57. Oh, and I’m very interested in immigration, as well as the constitution. Let’s frame this debate in a different fashion. The US Government has no enumerated powers in the Constitution to regulate immigration. The only power the government was ever granted around immigration was related to slaves. Given that, why do you believe the federal government has any power to determine who may, or may not, enter the United States?

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 2:48 pm
  58. “Why is it unreasonable to ask someone who is claiming that constitutional scholarship doesn’t agree with me to read the primary documents related to the Constitution? The documents that constitutional scholars, in fact, consider foundational to understanding the Constitution? You are busy telling me what the Constitution is all about, but as far as I can tell have not read the document itself or the primary documents discussing it’s principles and meaning.”

    Again, I was here to discuss immigration policy but I see I’m getting a glimpse of libertarians, as a prickly bunch.

    Are you setting out to prove that: (1) I’m not an expert on constitutional law, and/or (2) I’ve been indoctrinated by some misguided institutions along the way? That seems to be moving towards the fallacy of authority.

    Fine, I’ll play along. I’m a lawyer who has done contitutional litigation at the appellate and Supreme Court level, the latter at both the certiorari stage and on the merits. I was educated in both public schools and in two Ivy League universities. I’m from the South. I’m in my 30s.

    So? Are you going to track me down or profile me now or something? I thought you libertarians were against that sort of thing.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 2:53 pm
  59. Why would I track you down and profile you? I never said any such thing, why would you bring it up?

    I do find it truly interesting that an attorney who has done constitutional litigation would not view the document as one that limits the government’s powers. Although, public school education and Ivy League education is rather telling.

    As far as being libertarian goes, I’m not, although I hold similar beliefs. As far as being prickly, why shouldn’t I be prickly when you tell me that I only get the privileges that my government graciously decides to give me?

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 2:56 pm
  60. “why do you believe the federal government has any power to determine who may, or may not, enter the United States?”

    Because any other view is inconsistent with the way the Federal Government functions on a daily basis, and inconsistent with the way the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens expect it to function. That ship has sailed.

    As I said before, utopian views are great. I’m just not interested in debating them.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 2:57 pm
  61. Ben,
    Most of the people who built this country were excluded 85% of this country’s existence.

    No country wanted the Jews during the 30′s and 40′s,
    immigration laws were just an excuse to keep them out of this country. I notice someone mentioned Albert Einstein’s admission, I think of that as the same as letting in the Nazi rocket scientist in the 50′s.

    Comment by VRB — February 18, 2007 @ 2:58 pm
  62. “Although, public school education and Ivy League education is rather telling.”

    You view these as two sides of the same coin? In my experience, they were very different.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 2:59 pm
  63. Heifan:

    Because any other view is inconsistent with the way the Federal Government functions on a daily basis, and inconsistent with the way the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens expect it to function.

    So, if the majority of the people that are party to a contract no longer agree with the contract, they can simply ignore what it says? Not very attorney like of you.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:00 pm
  64. public school education emphasizes the collective over the individual, in my experience. Ivy League education de-emphasizes Classic Liberalism. Both, today, are based on the German system rather than the Scottish system, which emphasize organization and obligation. Yes, I find it telling.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:01 pm
  65. The world is more than contract law. Besides, the majority of the people do agree with the contract, they just think it says something different than what you think it says.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 3:02 pm
  66. Interesting, since it’s written in pretty plain language. And it was then further explained, again in fairly plain language. Why do you suppose those words, with such clear meanings, are interpreted so differently from the way that the men who wrote them intended?

    Actually, I would say that all human interaction is governed by the concept of contract, at root. And I would say the majority of people don’t actually know what the contract says, based on my conversations with them.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:07 pm
  67. Convenience. And a desire to make the words fit into certain a priori solutions to problems that have arisen over the past 200+ years.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 3:08 pm
  68. Or, perhaps, the desire of attorneys, corporate owners and politicians to take the power that was denied them by the original contract?

    You are essentially saying that it is okay to ignore the plain meaning of a contract between two, or more, people if it is convenient to do so.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:09 pm
  69. Possibly. I suppose there are many reasons.

    It’s an interesting topic, but I don’t find that it has much relevance to day-to-day life, or even to constitutional litigation. Take, for example, some precedent that you think totally misinterprets or improperly ignores a Constitutional provision. 999 times out of 1,000, it just won’t matter — the precedent is there, and you have to work around it. You can try to say that they got it wrong, but that will nearly always fail. So you work around the precedent as best you can. And thusly, things get more and more complicated, convoluted, and doctrinal.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 3:13 pm
  70. Perhaps Doug, who is this site’s resident attorney will chime in. He doesn’t, by the way, agree with you about the Constitution.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:13 pm
  71. “You are essentially saying that it is okay to ignore the plain meaning of a contract between two, or more, people if it is convenient to do so.”

    No, I’m essentially saying that ‘plain meaning’ can differ from one person to another, and that, as a practical matter, it’s usually the majority (or the powerful) who determine in the end what the ‘plain meaning’ of something is.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 3:15 pm
  72. I doubt if anyone on this site agrees with much of what I’ve written, on the Constitution or anything else.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 3:16 pm
  73. By the way, you are now saying that if something is traditionally done in a certain way, then it is de facto right, even if it is not de jure right. Classic conservative principle, but not a classic liberal principle. This, then, is the heart of the problem. Conservative and Liberal (and by that I do not mean mild socialism, I mean 19th century Liberalism) principles are in direct contradiction with each other on this point. It is, in fact, a key issue preventing conservatives and libertarians from a fusion of any sort.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:17 pm
  74. Actually, constitutional litigation is horribly tortured and convoluted, as I suspect you know, in order to achieve a different outcome than the ‘plain meaning’ of the words.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:19 pm
  75. Oh, and precedent can be overturned. Brown v. Board of Education would be a perfect example of a wrong, enshrined by precedent, being corrected. Your essential argument, it would appear, is that we little people ought to be glad that we get some crumbs from those with power. We should think it’s perfectly fine that the majority dictate to the minority. And that historical legacy is more important than values, morals and “what is right”? Did I understand you correctly?

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:22 pm
  76. A more forgiving way to say that would be that constitutional litigation is tortured in order to determine what the ‘plain meaning’ of the words actually is, since cases that get that far are usually in gray areas that aren’t directly addressed by the text.

    But I know what you mean. It’s a difficult thing to synthesize the document with the decisions interpreting the document.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 3:22 pm
  77. Yep. Like I said, 999 times out of 1,000, it doesn’t matter. Brown was a rare case. But you certainly aren’t going to see the Court rule, for instance, that the Federal Government has no authority over immigration policy.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 3:23 pm
  78. And on that note, I really am out of here. I enjoyed the debate, and wish you all luck.

    Comment by Heifan — February 18, 2007 @ 3:32 pm
  79. Just imagine if people like Thomas Paine and George Washington had relied on precedent and tradition. Or people like Ghandi and MLK Jr. for that matter.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:33 pm
  80. Heifan:

    A more forgiving way to say that would be that constitutional litigation is tortured in order to determine what the ‘plain meaning’ of the words actually is, since cases that get that far are usually in gray areas that aren’t directly addressed by the text.

    Except that Amendments 9 and 10 should mean that such gray areas don’t exist. Perhaps we need a “gray area” amendment that states that if the Constitution doesn’t explicitly say something then the power resides with the people or the states. Oh. Yeah. We have that.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:35 pm
  81. Heifan:

    But you certainly aren’t going to see the Court rule, for instance, that the Federal Government has no authority over immigration policy.

    I bet that in the 1920′s and 1930′s people thought that “separate, but equal” was a matter of settled constitutional law as well and couldn’t imagine something like Brown either.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 3:43 pm
  82. Wow… Looks like I step away for a little while, and I’ve missed quite a lot…

    I would agree, Heifan, that for the most part the Court has used precedent to stray far, far away from what the plain meaning of the Constitution was 200+ years ago. For example, the Kelo ruling would likely have caused outright riots 100 years ago. The idea that the government can simply take your property, give it to a developer, and do so for “higher taxes”, is insane. Instead, it was only a mild outrage to most people, and to many people, not even that.

    That doesn’t change the plain meaning of the words, it means that large portions of the document are routinely ignored. If you’re a constitutional lawyer, have you read Randy Barnett’s “Restoring the Lost Constitution”? It explains how crucial portions of the document are ignored, going against what anyone would have understood the words to mean in 1787, including information from the ratification debates to show exactly how those words were interpreted at the time.

    Unfortunately, I think you might be right that it’s unrealistic to expect that we might return to the days of small government. I think we’re headed towards tyranny instead…

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 4:01 pm
  83. Tyranny in the name of precedent and tradition, words used by those who wish to hold more power to make it sound good.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 4:06 pm
  84. Brad,
    No one was ever outraged when it was urban renewal. Not 100 years ago, but over 60. It amazes me that what becomes an issue when it affects the dominant culture. The libertarians were forming their party when eminent domain was still being used as a ruse for building highways and expanding land grant colleges. It displaced colored people, poor, working class, middle class and rich; then replaced with the gentry, as if they were more suitable. Didn’t cause riots when they flooded out poor whites for TVA. Maybe its not far back in history, but the well to do were hardly effected and it didn’t matter what happened to blacks or poor whites. This nation has never been the ideal, the ideal has only been an aspiration.

    Comment by VRB — February 18, 2007 @ 4:53 pm
  85. “Any individual, in [the libertarian] view, can come to any location in the world (freedom of movement), freely interact with the people there (freedom of association), and acquire property through any ethical means (right to property).”

    That can’t be the libertarian viewpoint because it’s internally inconsistent: freedom of movement negates freedom of association and the right to property, and vice versa.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 5:42 pm
  86. “What is it anyone’s business if I want to hire a Swede, a Mexican, or a Taiwanese person to come work for me?”

    It’s not the “work” part, it’s the “come” part. You need permission from everyone whose land or airspace the Swede would need to pass through to get to his new place of employment. And you don’t have that permission.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 5:58 pm
  87. VRB,

    There are two issues here. As far as building highways, or even the TVA, you can make the argument that it’s truly public use. It still might be politically motivated, but it won’t raise constitutional ire like doing it for tax purposes.

    However, two particular cases were pivotal in expanding the precedent before Kelo. The first was in Hawaii, where the government said that since too few families owned about 98% of the land on the islands, the government had a compelling interest in seizing that land to break their power over the citizens. The second was an urban blight case, where local government said that allowing the property to remain with its owners caused a public threat.

    Those two cases opened the door to seizing property for “social” causes, which then led to Kelo.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 6:03 pm
  88. Ben Tillman:

    That can’t be the libertarian viewpoint because it’s internally inconsistent: freedom of movement negates freedom of association and the right to property, and vice versa.

    Since you just made no sense, perhaps you would care to explain how freedom of movement and freedom of association are internally inconsistent?

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 6:11 pm
  89. I could just as easily argue that that the Great Depression was caused by the 1924 immigration act. How do you arrive at the conclusion that it was a restriction of immigration that led to the rise of the middle class, and not the effects of the industrial revolution and capitalism?

    Well, because the industrial revolution and capitalism developed in this country long before the 1924 immigration cut off. And because labor leaders advocated the 1924 cut off. And because states with fewer immigrants have more income equality. And because high immigrant counties have huges amounts of poverty. Moreover we know the processes by which immigration undercuts wages. A cursory look at the meat packing industry, the construction industry, any industry with high immigrant impact will tell you that.

    The greater threat to our prosperity is our government, taking up to 50% of our income in taxes, and forcing our kids into pathetically failing public schools.

    Well, here in California we have failing schools for which we pay an arm and a leg, and a large part of that is that they are ‘educating’ not our kids, but the kids of Mexican peasants.

    Comment by Mitchell Young — February 18, 2007 @ 6:19 pm
  90. Well Mitchell, I would argue that the problem in California’s school system is the poor teachers, poor curriculum, and insane bureaucratic overhead (about 3 out of every 10 dollars are spent on overhead in CA). But, you can, of course, continue to blame it on immigrants and continue to sound like you belong in Germany in 1935.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 6:23 pm
  91. Adam,

    If I build a house, and you are free to move into it, then it is not my property because I do not have the right to control its use.

    If I build a house and it is my property, you are not free to move into it. You need my permission. That’s what property is.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 6:38 pm
  92. Ben,

    If you build a house on your property, of course you have every right to determine who is on that property. However, you don’t have any right to say who can be on other people’s property.

    And while you may think that you have some claim to “public” property, it is not your property and it is not something you built.

    So like Adam said, please try to make some sense. I have no idea where you’re going with this.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 7:56 pm
  93. “If you build a house on your property, of course you have every right to determine who is on that property. However, you don’t have any right to say who can be on other people’s property.”

    And I’m not saying that, obviously. I’m saying there can’t be property and a right of movement. They’re mutually exclusive. Property includes the right to exclude.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 8:22 pm
  94. “And while you may think that you have some claim to ‘public’ property, it is not your property and it is not something you built.”

    I am part of the public, and I most certainly do have a property interest in public property. If public property doesn’t belong to the public, whom does it belong to?

    And, of course, it *is* something that I contributed to building, but that hardly matters. Those who did the bulk of the building bequeathed what they built to their descendants. And it is rightfully ours.

    “So like Adam said, please try to make some sense. I have no idea where you’re going with this.”

    It couldn’t be more straightforward. It’s called “property”, and you are trying to frustrate the property rights of other Americans.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 8:36 pm
  95. Brad,
    How come all the highways and university expansions had to come through black neighborhoods? I was not saying that this was the same as Kelo, but eminent domain was always used to displace black people and their businesses. The developers were just waiting on the edge of 100ft of highway to develop a few square miles of property. It pisses me off because, because it was very destructive and there was no way to fight it. Now, I am told we needed that highway etc. BS!!! But, that couple there, they have a case…

    Comment by VRB — February 18, 2007 @ 8:43 pm
  96. Brad,
    To respond to your comment about outrage. I am outraged. I only see outrage now, not in the past. I was only describing why I am outraged. It just seems that justice, liberty and freedom is dependent on whose ox is being gored.

    Comment by VRB — February 18, 2007 @ 8:55 pm
  97. VRB,

    I know what you mean… I try not to fall victim to that bias, which is one of the reasons I spoke out against the Riviera Beach takings in late 2005.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 9:13 pm
  98. Ben,

    It’s never really been “public” property. It’s government property. They set the rules, and because the rule-making process runs through the political process, it ends up that what the rich want, the rich get. Why do you think politicians won’t really put any effort behind solving this illegal immigration problem that you and so many other Americans– quite possibly a majority– are railing against?

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 18, 2007 @ 9:49 pm
  99. Well Mitchell, I would argue that the problem in California’s school system is the poor teachers, poor curriculum, and insane bureaucratic overhead (about 3 out of every 10 dollars are spent on overhead in CA)

    Ever heard of Occam’s Razor? Teachers are good and bad all over — it randomizes out. But immigration impacts certain communities hard. Also, that ‘overhead’ is in large part construction costs for ever more schools to ‘educate’ immigrants’ (legal and illegal) children.

    The Germany 1935 remark is beneath contempt. If you can’t tell the difference between not allowing your country to be flooded with immigrants and deliberately rooting out a lost standing population, you really have lost all sense of proportion.

    I will agree with Mr Warblany, that most politicians won’t put any effort into solving the problem, but there is a slow sure movement building thanks to Tom Tancredo.

    Comment by Mitchell Young — February 18, 2007 @ 10:05 pm
  100. 1. Most politicians won’t put any effort into solving the problem for a wide variety of reasons.
    2. Fascism and Socialism use the idea of the dangerous outsider to mobilize the will of the people.
    3. Add up one and two and see what you get.

    As far as the bureaucratic overhead, sorry, but the majority of it has nothing to do with building new schools. It has to do with the realities of a government monopoly. The problem with schools is not the immigrants. It is that they are a government monopoly. You want to solve education problems, get rid of the government monopoly.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 10:08 pm
  101. Ben Tillman, Liberty (which includes freedom of movement and association) and Property are not mutually exclusive. You are basing your idea on another false construct, the idea of “public property”. There is no such thing, as a moment’s thought would indicate that the term is, itself, completely contradictory.

    Please, if you are going to try and argue this from a perspective of Individual Rights, at least be consistent in your argument. Don’t use collectivist ideas when it suits you and individualist ideas when it suits you.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 10:16 pm
  102. I find it interesting that VDARE, so obnoxiously willing to take nasty potshots at other sites, doesn’t allow for comments or trackbacks. Ah well, pretty par for the course.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 10:22 pm
  103. Here is a link to the self described “largest and longest-running study of children of immigrants yet conducted”. The researchers are Alejandro Portes of Princeton and Rubén Rumbaut of UC Irvine.
    http://today.uci.edu/news/release_detail.asp?key=1529

    Comment by pjgoober — February 18, 2007 @ 11:05 pm
  104. pjgoober,

    So what are you proposing, banning Mexican, Haitian, and West Indian immigrants?

    Yes while we must control our nation’s borders to keep out criminals, terrorists, and those with infectious communicable diseases; this nation should not turn away anyone who wants to work and build a brighter future for their families, regardless of race or religion. Also, good people can disagree about what to do with those here illegally already. Hell, I don’t even know what I want to do with them.

    White nationalists like those who write on VDARE use economic nationalist arguements to hide their racist agenda and the economic nationalists and environmentalist wackos spout their zero-sum game economics to oppose immigration. Immigration is a benefit to all Americans as it lowers the price of goods, eases labor shortages, brings new talents to the labor pool, and it enriches American culture by introducing new ingredients to our melting pot.

    Comment by Kevin — February 18, 2007 @ 11:26 pm
  105. “Ben Tillman, Liberty (which includes freedom of movement and association) and Property are not mutually exclusive.”

    Freedom of movement conflicts with property because property includes the right to stop the movement of others. It couldn’t be simpler.

    Are you saying that people have the freedom to move around within their own property? If so, that’s not a separate right – that’s just a part of the concept of property. Are you saying that people have the freedom to move around within the property of others with their permission? Again, that’s just a recognition of property. Are you saying that people have the right to move around in common areas? That’s fine as long as you’re in the middle of the ocean, but that’s not waht you were arguing for previously.

    “You are basing your idea on another false construct, the idea of ‘public property’. There is no such thing….”

    Of course, there is. There is more than one “public” in the world, and each “public” has things that belong to it.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 11:33 pm
  106. “So what are you proposing, banning Mexican, Haitian, and West Indian immigrants?”

    You act like there’s something wrong with that. How do you figure that?

    Comment by ben tillman — February 18, 2007 @ 11:39 pm
  107. I really don’t care about the whole collectivist/individualist thing , or the alleged fascism, socialism or whatnot. I think its pretty obvious that individual property rights are secured only by the consent of society. Without a general, if tacit, societal agreement, property rights would break down in a flash. Surely they are good instrumentally, and maybe even morally. But libertarians are kidding themselves if they believe that most people see them as sacrosanct. Which leads into a more practical point

    The fact is that immigration is bad for libertarian policies. Let’s take the recent rise in the minimum wage here in California. It was supported by the Latino legislators — quite naturally, as their constituents stand to benefit. It was supported by Democrats, the ‘pro-immigrant’ party. It was opposed by the Repubs, who represent largely non-immigrant districts. That is, the more poor ‘Latinos’ you get in this country, the more practical damage the libertarian agenda is going to suffer. Its no accident that the Free State Project chose New Hampshire as its target state — its is very non-immigrant and very white. California is very socialist and very immigrant saturated. So you guys go on being ‘pure’ , and watch as political reality sinks any chance of scaling back government in the new United States.

    I’m out.

    Comment by Mitchell Young — February 18, 2007 @ 11:40 pm
  108. Ben Tillman:

    Of course, there is. There is more than one “public” in the world, and each “public” has things that belong to it.

    “Public Property”, the idea that a collective group owns the property, is a socialist construct. The property you refer to as “public” is owned by the government, either federal, state or local. Preventing the free movement of individuals on government owned property is limiting the individual right of liberty. There are certain, very small, instances where this is reasonable to do, such as on military bases. The government of the United States does not have, other than those very narrow, limited instances, an enumerated power allowing it to limit freedom of movement or association. In fact, the very opposite is true, as the overall Bill of Rights makes clear. Which, by the way, says nothing about citizenship or nationality. That is, the Bill of Rights does not say, nor does any other part of the Constitution, that it only applies to “American citizens”. That’s fairly interesting.

    So is the fact that you willingly mix collectivist and individualist philosophy as it suits your tastes.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 11:44 pm
  109. Mitchell:

    I really don’t care about the whole collectivist/individualist thing , or the alleged fascism, socialism or whatnot.

    You’re anti-immigrant position supports a fascist agenda, maybe you should care about it.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 18, 2007 @ 11:49 pm
  110. “‘Public Property’, the idea that a collective group owns the property, is a socialist construct.”

    Sure. Tell it to Exxon stockholders.

    “The property you refer to as ‘public’ is owned by the government, either federal, state or local.”

    Wrong.

    In ninth-grade civics class, they tell us that the people own the government, and thus we would own what anything that the government would purport to own. Of course, we’ve lost control of the government, so it’s not really true in practice, but we still have a moral right to what the State claims as its own.

    But the notion that the people can’t own anything apart from the State is preposterous. Go read your A.J. Nock, Our Enemy the State, Chapter 1.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 19, 2007 @ 12:00 am
  111. Tillman, the Exxon stockholders don’t collectively own something. They each own individual shares of Exxon. You’re working from a flawed concept of property.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 19, 2007 @ 12:07 am
  112. You,ve got to be kidding, Adam. That’s what collective ownership is.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 19, 2007 @ 12:12 am
  113. No, Ben, it’s not. Each individual share of Exxon stock is a piece of property, uniquely, in and of itself. Collective ownership refers to the idea that a group owns the property, but no individual does. That is not the case with stock of a publicly held company. In fact, English and American Common Law doesn’t really allow for such a concept. The group must become an entity, such as a corporation, and that entity then owns the property. But, this is still individual ownership, because such legal entities have legal status as a unique entity, not a group.

    Comment by Adam Selene — February 19, 2007 @ 12:18 am
  114. You act like there’s something wrong with that. How do you figure that?

    It’s denying people the right to immigrate here based on someone’s national origin. It’s white nationalism at its worst and it’s illegal under the 14th Amendment.

    Comment by Kevin — February 19, 2007 @ 12:25 am
  115. I’ve noticed the anti-immigration posters have been revealing their true agenda. It’s not about national security or even “protecting American jobs”; it’s pure racism.

    Comment by Kevin — February 19, 2007 @ 12:26 am
  116. I’ve noticed the anti-immigration posters have been revealing their true agenda. It’s not about national security or even “protecting American jobs”; it’s pure racism.

    If you want an immigration policy that selects for the most skilled individuals, regardless of country, I would be in favor of that. I would be happy to have more Mexican oncologists in our country, for example. But given the fact that our immigration policy does not select for individuals, but rather entire national groups, we Americans are entitled to ask the question: how well will the descendants of this group fare in the future? In many cases, we have evidence in front of us now that libertarians simply refuse to take into account:

    http://www.parapundit.com/archives/002109.html

    The fact is that some ethnic or racial groups do have low IQ scores and those that have low IQ scores tend to have children who fail academically and economically one generation after another. That there are currently differences in IQ scores is beyond debate. Only the causes are open for debate. Whether or not the cause of low IQ scores among some ethnic groups is nature or nurture is, from a pragmatic point of view, almost irrelevant if we do not see substantial improvements over the course of generations. My link to ParaPundit points out that even fourth generation Mexicans are nowhere near American norms in terms of academic success and they show little sign of progressing to American educational norms even given another four generations.

    The libertarian recipe for immigration is a recipe for reducing the United States to the status of a Third World country.

    Comment by tommy — February 19, 2007 @ 3:35 am
  117. Tommy,
    Lets trot out the “Bell Curve” and see where you are. You know if every body you didn’t like didn’t exist, you would still not be any better off. It sounds like you are looking for a scapegoat for your ignorance and failures. That how racist are, deflect the argument and maybe someone will not notice I stupid I am.

    Comment by VRB — February 19, 2007 @ 7:54 am
  118. To clarify my error
    “notice how stupid I am.”

    Comment by VRB — February 19, 2007 @ 7:57 am
  119. Ben,

    Where is my share of public property? Can I sell it? Can I store anything on it? What rights do I have with respect to that property?

    Frankly, I don’t really want the property, I’d like the money… Do you want to buy my share?

    Oh wait, I have exactly zero individual rights to that property… The government has those rights.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 19, 2007 @ 8:29 am
  120. If you want an immigration policy that selects for the most skilled individuals, regardless of country, I would be in favor of that. I would be happy to have more Mexican oncologists in our country, for example.

    Too bad the AMA cartel controls medical school accreditation. So the only Mexican oncologists allowed to practice here would have had to go to medical school here.

    Just another “benefit” of government regulation…

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — February 19, 2007 @ 8:31 am
  121. “It’s denying people the right to immigrate here based on someone’s national origin. It’s white nationalism at its worst and it’s illegal under the 14th Amendment.”

    1. There is no right to immigrate.

    2. Who cares about the 14th Amendment?

    3. The 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to the national government anyway. And it doesn’t apply to people not present in the U.S.

    4. “White nationalism” is perfectly moral. It’s an expression of the principle of freedom of association and self-ownership. When you oppose “white nationalism”, you are saying that the white race belongs to other races. Sorry, you can’t make that work under any moral system.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 19, 2007 @ 9:59 am
  122. “I’ve noticed the anti-immigration posters have been revealing their true agenda. It’s not about national security or even protecting American jobs’; it’s pure racism.”

    No, you have it exactly backwards.

    If “racism” is to have a pejorative meaning, it can’t refer to racial self-defense because self-defense isn’t wrong. Instead, if “racism” is bad, it has to refer to instances of racial aggression. And that’s what the current immigration policy is — racial aggression against the traditional white majority and the traditional black minority in the U.S.

    No — it is you who are revealing your true agenda, and it is a very ugly one. You think it’s wrong for whites to engage in self-defense. Well, people and groups that don’t or can’t defend themselves don’t last very long. In other words, you are arguing for the genocide of the white race.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 19, 2007 @ 10:10 am
  123. “No, Ben, it’s not. Each individual share of Exxon stock is a piece of property, uniquely, in and of itself. Collective ownership refers to the idea that a group owns the property, but no individual does. That is not the case with stock of a publicly held company. In fact, English and American Common Law doesn’t really allow for such a concept.”

    I never said a group owns anything in the way you interpret it, so the “collective ownership” argument isn’t apposite. However, a group obviously can own property, as in the case of corporate ownership. As for your refernce to common law, you might want to look into the concept of tenancy in common.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 19, 2007 @ 10:19 am
  124. As well as joint tenancy.

    Comment by ben tillman — February 19, 2007 @ 10:20 am
  125. Ben,
    In a few years you will have to apply the one drop rule to define the “white race.”

    Comment by VRB — February 19, 2007 @ 12:14 pm
  126. Would that make you happy, VRB?

    Comment by ben tillman — February 19, 2007 @ 12:49 pm
  127. If you build a house on your property, of course you have every right to determine who is on that property. However, you don’t have any right to say who can be on other people’s property.

    And while you may think that you have some claim to “public” property, it is not your property and it is not something you built.

    No, it is not something I “built.” Who in the hell “builds” land, besides the Dutch?

    The point is that government property – all of it – was either purchased (Alaska, the Gadsden Purchase, & the Louisiana Purchase) or killed for (most of the Southwest). People bled for that land – American people. Who owns it now? Well, in many cases the federal government. I don’t recall exact figures, but it owns something like 80% of Nevada, 60% of Utah, etc.

    That land has value, as does everything else we pay for with our taxes – trillions of dollars in roads, public parks, mineral rights, government offices, schools, military hardware, prisons, ad infinitum. Even though I do not hold a proper title to that land, it is part of my estate, and part of the estate I will bequeath to my children. Immigration reduces the value of that estate just as surely as your net worth would decline if you had to divide your home between 3 other families who never paid for it.

    I find it ironic that you probably consider it sinful and appalling that we tax the estate of someone who made millions running casinos or selling porn but think its perfectly OK to tax the largest part of most Americans’ estates – their citizenship.

    I’m sure that in your self-righteous thoughtlessness and ideological fanaticism you’re laughing at that argument. Laugh away. You’ll have plenty of time to do so while commuting two hours to work.

    Comment by Craig — February 19, 2007 @ 1:44 pm
  128. Herr Tillman,

    There is no right to immigrate.

    Yes there is. As an individual, I have the right to go whereever I please, as long as I do not violate the private property rights of another person. In addition, I have the right to contract with another person in order to provide my labor for a price we agree upon. These rights do not end at abstract concepts like national boundaries. The state must demonstrate a harm to the individual rights of its citizens whenever it choosing to infringe upon the rights to freely move and freely associate with whomever I please.

    Who cares about the 14th Amendment?

    Because it’s in the Constitution.

    “White nationalism” is perfectly moral. It’s an expression of the principle of freedom of association and self-ownership.

    But the United States is a multi-racial nation. White nationalists have the right to set up their own communities on their own compounds, but they do not have the right to infringe upon the rights of members of other races. Basing an immigration policy based upon race is a violation of the rights of those who wish to immigrate here.

    Comment by Kevin — February 19, 2007 @ 1:49 pm
  129. And to wade into the whole race debate: I don’t think Americans, no matter their color, should have to apologize for wanting to keep from being overrun culturally o politically.

    Neither India, Japan, Mexico, Israel, nor any other country have to apologize for their immigration policies. The USA shouldn’t have to apologize for ours.

    Assuming that all cultures are equally compatible is like assuming that you could randomly pick a woman’s name off a list and be happy with her in marriage. You certainly wouldn’t pick your wife that way, why would you pick your fellow countrymen that way? Even dating websites allow you to specify your preferences in a mate.

    Comment by Craig — February 19, 2007 @ 1:54 pm
  130. Herr Craig,

    The point is that government property – all of it – was either purchased (Alaska, the Gadsden Purchase, & the Louisiana Purchase) or killed for (most of the Southwest). People bled for that land – American people. Who owns it now? Well, in many cases the federal government. I don’t recall exact figures, but it owns something like 80% of Nevada, 60% of Utah, etc.

    That land has value, as does everything else we pay for with our taxes – trillions of dollars in roads, public parks, mineral rights, government offices, schools, military hardware, prisons, ad infinitum. Even though I do not hold a proper title to that land, it is part of my estate, and part of the estate I will bequeath to my children. Immigration reduces the value of that estate just as surely as your net worth would decline if you had to divide your home between 3 other families who never paid for it.

    I would like to buy your stake in that public property.

    I find it ironic that you probably consider it sinful and appalling that we tax the estate of someone who made millions running casinos or selling porn but think its perfectly OK to tax the largest part of most Americans’ estates – their citizenship.

    Just like the Irish, German, Jewish, Russian, Italilan, Eastern European, Japanese, and Chinese immigrants did in the 19th century.

    Comment by Kevin — February 19, 2007 @ 1:57 pm
  131. As an individual, I have the right to go whereever I please, as long as I do not violate the private property rights of another person.

    Then go, Kevin, please.

    I invite you to try that one out. Assuming you’re American, there is a pleasant little Spanish speaking country to our south that is easily accessible. Go there illegally and tell me how it works out.

    It would be nice to think that we could in fact go wherever we please. History has not been kind to such assumptions, however. That’s we we have nations – to at least guarantee our rights within certain boundaries. The truth is that Americans don’t have that right to go wherever we please, so we must ensure that we retain that right for us somewhere.

    Just because we grant the right for everyone to come here doesn’t mean we’ll have the right to go everywhere. In fact, I can assure you that would not happen. And the results would be bad for us.

    Comment by Craig — February 19, 2007 @ 2:00 pm
  132. Assuming that all cultures are equally compatible is like assuming that you could randomly pick a woman’s name off a list and be happy with her in marriage.

    The immigrants that have come to this country, while keeping their separate cultural idenities in their communities, have assimilated into American culture and we have taken from them as well. American culture is the one culture that transcends race and national origin. The Italians, Irish, Germans, Jews, Africans, Chinese, Japanese, Eastern Europeans, and Vietmanese assimilated eventually into our culture. The Hispanics are assimilating just fine, the only ones who aren’t assimilating are the radical agitators who were mostly born here anyway.

    Comment by Kevin — February 19, 2007 @ 2:02 pm
  133. It’s not a matter of assimilation. What’s meant by assimilation anyway?

    It’s a matter of self-determination. There were political consequences to the last great wave of immigration. Things that once were legal are no longer.

    It was once perfectly legal, for example (and Constitutional) to teach Christian beliefs (more specifically Protestant beliefs) in public schools. Now it is no longer. The biggest reason for that was the wave of immigration that brought millions of immigrants to America who weren’t Protestant.

    I’m not commenting on whether I’d like to return to that day. That’s irrelevant. The point is that mass immigration has political consequences. If the Americans of 1880 could look into the future and see the results of the next 40 years of immigration, would they agree or would they alter the course of history?

    (And don’t argue that because you agree with the political ramifications then that therfore the political ramifications 40 years hence will be fine, too.)

    Comment by Craig — February 19, 2007 @ 2:13 pm
  134. What’s meant by assimilation anyway?

    Speaking English in the public square, participating in the American economy, embracing aspects of American culture, and building a better life for their children and grandchildren, among other things.

    There were political consequences to the last great wave of immigration. Things that once were legal are no longer.

    It was once perfectly legal, for example (and Constitutional) to teach Christian beliefs (more specifically Protestant beliefs) in public schools. Now it is no longer. The biggest reason for that was the wave of immigration that brought millions of immigrants to America who weren’t Protestant.

    Those damn Papists and Jews demaning that tax money not be used to indoctrinate their children in government schools to accept a religion they don’t believe in. What a tragedy.

    The point is that mass immigration has political consequences.

    Which are mostly good. The urban immigrants revitalized our cities, which the Hispanic immigrants are doing today. The rural immigrants have revolutionalized agriculture historically; however, I’ll grant a downside that the availability of cheap Mexican farm workers are preventing the development of new technologies in the long term to reduce the cost of growing truck crops, however they keep the price of produce down in the short term.

    Comment by Kevin — February 19, 2007 @ 2:27 pm
  135. Yep, I’m a Nazi who hates papists and Jews. You got me there, Kevin.

    Because you can’t argue with valid points you call people names. You’ll make a great politician after finishing your studies at Southeastern Louisiana University.

    While you’re there, try to find out why it is that libertarians. election after election, manage only to win all of 1% in the polls. I’m sure you think you’re a bold adventurer on the vanguard of truth. You’re ahead of all the rest of us – and maybe one day society will catch up with you.

    Or maybe it’s just the fact that everyone knows that libertarians are frickin’ cuckoo.

    So tell me, then: our society grants the vote equally to all citizens. What if 100 million jihadists moved their families to the United States and set up shop? Would the political impact be good or bad?

    Please, elaborate. And don’t tell me I’m just a guy who hates Mohammedans, papists, and Jews.

    Comment by Craig — February 19, 2007 @ 2:35 pm
  136. What if 100 million jihadists moved their families to the United States and set up shop?

    They would have to do a very good job of concealing their identity because most Americans would make them welcome here. See, part of the success of the American experiment is that we’ve made those immigrants who came here and expoused anti-American ideologies very unwelcome. Just ask those Germans who came expousing Nazism or Eastern Europeans or Jews who came expousing Communism. They ostracized by American society at large who refused to employ them, associate with them, or welcome them into American society. The Nazis and Communists either changed their views or went home.

    So my arguement is the jihadists won’t be able to take hold in this country.

    Comment by Kevin — February 19, 2007 @ 2:46 pm
  137. So my arguement is the jihadists won’t be able to take hold in this country.

    Well, you’re argument stinks. Americans didn’t make those 19 hijackers feel ostracized to the point of going home. They didn’t assimilate them, either.

    And your open immigration scheme would mean they could overrun us in a week.

    Here’s your problem, Kevin: you’re majoring in history and pol sci – what those of us who majored in REAL science called the soft sciences. To you a law is simply a construct that can easily be altered by the will of man.

    In science and engineering a law is no construct, no choice. Like the God of Moses, it booms down from the heavens “I AM.” It can’t be altered because we don’t like the results.

    There are facts in this world, Kevin, that won’t be altered by your ideals. Step out of your social science ghetto and see that.

    Comment by Craig — February 19, 2007 @ 3:09 pm
  138. Americans didn’t make those 19 hijackers feel ostracized to the point of going home. They didn’t assimilate them, either.

    Because they were here as visitors and on various visitor visas and they concealed their jihadist sympathies and identities. Hell, they even went to stripclubs, gambled, and drank alcohol. When they overstayed their tourist and student visas, law enforcement had every right to pick them up and deport them. They would have gotten in here anyway, regardless of any changes in immigration policy.

    See Craig, I don’t believe in 100% open borders, that’s absurd and unrealistic. We need to have a screening process and border entry points (like Ellis Island in the 19th century) to screen out those with dangerous diseases, terrorists, criminals, and nationals of countries the U.S. is at war with. We also need to have a visa program for those who want to just visit and work here for a limited amount of time and strictly enforce the program’s rules, requirements, and expiration periods.

    What I am opposed to are quotas or any other limits based on geography on legal immigration. So yes, while I am opposed to very few restrictions on legal immigration and entry into the United States, I do recognize that some modest limits of freedom of movement are necessary in order to protect life and liberty of Americans.

    Comment by Kevin — February 19, 2007 @ 3:27 pm
  139. Actually, reverting to the original Anne Frank topic, I’m gunna propose an alternate possibility to save her life: what if the great wave of immigration, 1880-1924, had never occurred? With more Jews still in Eastern Europe, maybe they would’ve had more political influence. Maybe they could’ve defended themselves. Either way, the course of history would’ve been altered irrevocably. Jewish persecution in Europe was never rare, but it never reached the level of the Holocaust until the 1940s – after the great wave.

    To blame Americans for Frank’s death is cruel and absurd on so many levels. It is not funny. First, we fought Germany. 400,000 Americans died in World War II, and countless families were devastated. Second, Jews have never been persecuted in America. Occassional inconvenience (“my grandpa couldn’t go to Harvard, WAAAAH!”) is not the same thing. Third, the 1924 act that reduced immigration was a result of an America fed up with being overrun by excessive immigration. Then as now, a lot of the support for immigration was about greed, as when John D Rockefeller imported thousands of Eastern Europeans to break strikes at mines. Our desires to keep the doors closed wasn’t about anti-Semitism, it was about not re-opening the flood gates.

    The world is a miserable place. At any point in time – even right now – there are millions of people whose lives are threatened. With every single one of them you could say: “See, if we had let them come here they could live.” But if we do that, where does it stop? Who do we not let in, and why?

    It’s not callousness that keeps me from agreeing – it’s simple logic.

    Comment by Craig — February 19, 2007 @ 3:43 pm
  140. So yes, while I am opposed to very few restrictions on legal immigration and entry into the United States, I do recognize that some modest limits of freedom of movement are necessary in order to protect life and liberty of Americans.

    So all it is, then, is a matter of degree. That’s what all your Nazi namecalling was about?

    It’s a short – and reasonable – step from concerns about “life and liberty” to concerns about “quality of life.”

    Immigration policy is first about serving the best interests of Americans. It needs to serve those interests environmentally, culturally, politically, and economically.

    Comment by Craig — February 19, 2007 @ 4:22 pm
  141. I’m a recent American immigrant and new citizen from the Netherlands with jewish family background.

    A large part of my family died in the Nazi camps or had to endure unseakable torture for many years in the Nazi and Jap camps.

    Most Jews at the time had their hopes up to be allowed to flee to te USA, the only moral country in the world. They expected that the Americans would live what they preach: that the right to one’s life and one’s property, so freedom from government intervention, is a natural right of any human being. Instead the US citizens slammed teh door in their faces with their anti-immigration laws and fundamentally denied them the right to travel and reside freely where they wanted.

    Then as today many Americans depicted such immigrants as undesirable for they would be expected to bring crime and sickness. Nothing was further from the truth.

    If any of you know of someone who wrote (a book?) about these infamous 1924 anti-immigration laws, I would be interested to learn about it. It is high time that someone told about this obfuscation of such an important historical fact so it never happens again (it seems many Americans are trying once more).

    Comment by Peter — February 27, 2007 @ 12:37 am

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