Libertarians on the loose

The Cato Institute's Daniel Griswold has a column in Reason Magazine supporting Bush's "guest" worker plan (reason . com/hod/dg120304.shtml) "Beyond the Barbed Wire: Bush won a mandate for immigration reform".

In their Hit & Run post (reason . com/hitandrun/2004/12/new_at_reason_298.shtml) about this article, I left the following comment:

If you have the time, I'd very strongly suggest you watch this video (cato . org/events/040116pf.html). It's 80 Megs, but you can download it first using something like Offline Explorer Pro.

The video features the author of this piece, together with an administration representative discussing Bush's plan.

Of particular note are the statements from the administration rep that Bush's plan:

"...would be open to any type of employee and any type of employer, such as nurses, teachers, high-tech workers, low-skilled workers. This is a concept that can apply broadly"

In other words, they want to invite the world to come to the U.S. to take American jobs. A wet dream for libertarians, a nightmare for everyone else.

On the video, you'll also see Griswold asked whether those "guest" workers will want to vote. He says something similar to: "they'll be too tired working for a few years to think about voting."

At what point in time do other people finally realize that "immigration reformers" just don't seem to get this "American" thing? Or, perhaps their concept of "America" is rooted a couple centuries in the past.

From the article:

Immigration reform is popular with Hispanics

Indeed it is. 47% of Arizona Hispanics voted for Prop. 200. On the other hand, the Open Borders Lobby strongly opposed 200.

Simply throwing more money and manpower at the problem hasn't worked. Since the early 1990s, we've quintupled spending and tripled personnel at the Mexican border. We've built three-tiered walls for 60 miles into the desert. We've imposed sanctions on employers for the first time in U.S. history.

We have? The numbers show that employer sanctions are lower under Bush than even under Clinton. Could those publicly available numbers be lying?

Our existing immigration system is out of step with the realities of American life. Our economy continues to produce opportunities for low-skilled workers in important sectors of our economy such as retail, services, construction, and tourism.

Yes, indeed. Powerful people seem to want to build something akin to manoralism.

Opponents of immigration demand more of the same failed policies: more walls and barbed wire, entire divisions of troops at the border, the massive deportation of undocumented workers at great economic and human cost.

Two - I repeat two - strawmen for the price of one! Someone who wants to restrict legal immigration and/or sharply reduce illegal immigration is not an "opponent of immigration." And, as pointed out by Steven Camarota of CIS at the video referenced above, mass deportations are not necessary: simply follow the existing laws and many illegal immigrants will self-deport and those who intend to come here won't.

The response then was to dramatically increase temporary worker visas under the Bracero program; the result was an equally dramatic decline in illegal immigration.

Illegal immigration rose during and after the Bracero program. That program created an infrastructure and those who couldn't get into the program came anyway.

Legalization would not equal "amnesty." Under the president's plan, legalized workers would not get automatic citizenship or even permanent residency.

Please. As pointed out in the Big Show on the Border, those "guest" workers will have U.S.-citizen children. They'll be here to stay and eventually they'll have to be given rights. Nanci Pelosi and Teddy Kennedy and other "liberals" will see to that.

They would have to pay a fine for having lived here illegally that would not be chump change for low-skilled workers.

That's a relief. Meanwhile, all those thousands of companies that have made billions employing illegal workers will have gotten off scot-free.

Legalization would also enhance our national security.

"Legalization" would give a foreign government even more power over our immigration system than they have now. That's the opposite of "national security." And, as pointed out in Chapter 3 of the 9/11 Commission Staff Report, at least one WTC 1 terrorist tried to take advantage of an earlier amnesty program.

Also see my comments on this other Reason thread (reason . com/hitandrun/2004/11/immigration_in.shtml).

There's more on Griswold's plans here and in Dogmatic Libertarians: Over the edge.