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Why Ed Krayewski isn't credible or patriotic (Reason, immigration)

In this post, I'll show why Ed Krayewski - an associate editor at Reason Magazine's "Reason 24/7" - isn't credible and isn't patriotic. The last is a serious charge, but keep reading because I'll make it stick.

Krayewski offers "5 Reasons to Grant Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants/It's time to get serious and implement the only immigration reform that will work" [1].

One of his reasons is this:

4. Immigration Is a Natural Right

Last week, Judge Andrew Napolitano explained here at Reason.com that immigration is a natural right. What does that mean? A natural right is a right inherent to our humanity, and the freedom of movement is such a right. The idea that immigration needs to be “authorized” by the government flies in the face of that freedom. Immigrants who come to America seeking the opportunity to work and pursue happiness, or those brought here at too young an age to have any say in the matter, ought to be able to stay to pursue those opportunities. Conversely, employers ought to be able to enter into contracts with any would-be employees they please. The government doesn’t own the country and political borders are just lines on maps. Treating law-abiding people like criminals simply because they didn’t meet the bureaucratic requirements of migration abrogates their natural right to travel and Americans’ natural right to freely associate and make contracts.

"The government" is a political entity representing the joint interests of all Americans, it isn't a separate entity that's been imposed externally. "The government" is us. Saying that "[t]he government doesn’t own the country" is the same as saying that U.S. citizens don't collectively own the U.S. Krayewski is saying that U.S. citizens have no right to decide what they want to do, which includes restricting immigration. Krayewski is denying the sovereignty of the United States, saying that the lines demarcating us from other countries shouldn't exist. None of Krayewski's ideas are consistent with being a patriot (unless it's a patriot of some other country).

As for Krayewski not being credible, the part about "freely... make contracts" has huge potential downsides that Krayewski can't fathom or doesn't discuss. As discussed on people vs workers, people aren't just work units as libertarians think. The illegal alien who makes the contract with the American is going to do other things too that will have an impact on other people. For instance, others who were given no say in the original transaction will be required to pay a part of the amount to educate the illegal alien's children. The American who made the contract won't be paying all the costs of the illegal alien, he'll be "privatizing the profits and socializing the costs". Doing that is contrary to libertarian principles (such as they are).

Another of his reasons is:

1. Immigration Is Good for the Economy

For all the rhetoric about immigrants stealing jobs, immigration actually provides a benefit to the national economy, whether those immigrants crossed the border legally or not. Why? Because of what economists call the specialization of labor. As Jonathan Hoenig, proprietor of the Capitalist Pig blog, explains: “The fact that foreigners are eager to pick crops, clean houses, bus tables and produce allows more of us to afford cheaper food and better services, affording us even more wealth to enjoy and invest. It’s not the immigrants, but the taxes, spending and entitlements (most of which immigrants don’t even receive) that have drained the economy dry.”

Importing foreign serf labor to do a country's dirty jobs tends not to work too very well, as history shows. The jobs foreign serfs do would be better done by unemployed Americans. That would increase social cohesion and decrease the disastrous social impacts of high unemployment. It would also help correct problems with our corrupt elites and their helpers: if Ed Krayewski (or Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Chris Hayes, etc.) spent a year or two doing grunt work they would probably promote better policies rather than the policies of those who are walled off from the rest of America.

Another of his reasons is "Illegal Immigrants Already Pay Taxes"; Krayewski fails to note that when illegal aliens give the federal government money, that gives the federal government an incentive to increase the money flow which would mean turning a blind eye to its own laws. In other words, an $11 billion moral hazard.

Another of his reasons is "Most Illegal Immigrants Are Otherwise Law-Abiding" with the absurd claim that "[illegal aliens] may help drive crime down". While a study made the claim that illegal aliens drove the crime rate down, that's different from the number of crimes. While many illegal aliens might want to keep out of trouble to avoid being deported, Krayewski wants to make them legal, removing any such incentive. Krayewski also doesn't take into account the second and beyond generations. The crime rate of legalized former illegal aliens and their children might be far different from the rosy picture that Krayewski presents.

Finally:

5. There Are Too Many Illegal Immigrants To Do Anything Else

According to the latest estimates, there are about 11 million illegal immigrants in America. That’s a lot of people. It would be exceedingly difficult to deport them all—if not totally impossible. Indeed, even attempting to do so would require a massive expansion of government bureaucracy, particularly in the form of new government workers to round up illegal immigrants, process them, and deport them. The inhumanity of this approach goes without saying: Individuals would be ripped away from their families and communities. And there would also be dire economic consequences from removing millions of hard-working residents from the domestic labor pool.

It's time to face the facts: The millions of illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States are overwhelmingly law-abiding, tax-paying, and hard-working. Grant them amnesty and let them continue to make America a better place.

First, that's a textbook example of the deportations false choice; see that link for the alternative Krayewski won't tell you.

Even more importantly, Krayewski is unwittingly admitting that the U.S. has been "settled": millions of foreign citizens have moved here against the wishes of the great majority of Americans, and we can't expel them as we have every right to do. Instead of being concerned, Krayewski wants us to just abandon ourselves to our fate. That would be a Quisling position, if he were capable of figuring it out.

Please take a moment and write @EdKrayewski and @NickGillespie with your thoughts.

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[1] reason . com/archives/2013/02/07/5-reasons-for-amnesty-for-illegal-immigr

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 11:36 · Importance: 4