"Note to conservatives: Most immigrants aren't terrorists"

The Reason Magazine article "Guilty by Association: Note to conservatives: Most immigrants aren't terrorists" is at [1]. I posted an excerpt from the article here [2], in the hopes of perhaps a letter or two being sent to Reasononline letting them know where they're wrong.

The author of the article, Cathy Young, is a columnist for the Boston Globe, and I assume she lives in the Northeast. She also appears not to have written any articles specifically about immigration in the past, or at least I couldn't find them.

Now, certainly, anyone can write an article about anything and Reason could even print it. But, since I lack civil engineering experience, and since I don't live in Boston, I'm not too very qualified to write an article about the engineering challenges of The Big Dig.

Perhaps if Ms. Young moved to the Southwest, and did a bit more research, she might be able to discuss this matter as more than just an abstract concept, to be discussed in simplified, mainly economically-oriented terms.

In the article, she states:

Writing in National Review [3], the syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin... charged that such "catch and release" decisions [as the one that let Malvo loose] have "cost scores of American lives," now including the victims of the snipers.

However, Malkin's point was a bit different than her argument as presented in Young's article. Malkin actually said: "these countless "catch and release" cases have demoralized rank-and-file INS agents and cost scores of American lives - from cops gunned down by fugitive deportees to victims of illegal border-crossing murderers, and now, quite possibly, to the innocents slaughtered in the Washington, D.C.-area sniping spree."

In other words, Malkin was referring to the "countless" cases, not just the Malvo case. Malkin concentrated on the Malvo case in her article, perhaps because it's a vivid illustration of the problem of an illegal alien being released, only to then commit one or more crimes. Certainly, most illegal aliens don't commit crimes (other than the "non-crime" of illegal entry and residence), and one can't predict who is going to commit a crime. So, perhaps instead of concentrating on Malvo, Malkin and others should concentrate on the countless cases of "catch and release," and their effects. The next time, perhaps Young could address the issue of the social and economic costs of crimes committed by illegal aliens in general, as discussed at [4], [5], and [6].

Young makes the point that the 9/11 hijackers entered legally, and that no illegal aliens have so far been involved in terrorism. The key phrase is "so far." Due to our heightened concern over legal entrants, if any terrorists wish to enter the U.S. they will probably do so illegally, and they will probably use the same smuggling infrastructure that has been enabled by those who favor illegal immigration. Young admits that this infrastructure can be used, however her solution is to grant amnesty, which I'll cover below. (The point whether the 9/11 hijackers should have been allowed to enter is different, and is covered at [7], [8], and [9].)


Indeed, a wholesale crackdown on illegal immigration could, by consuming scarce resources, hinder rather than help the effort to keep potential terrorists out of this country.

For the sake of argument, let's assume Young is correct. Perhaps then we should do something somewhere between a wholesale crackdown and the amnesty Young favors. This middle-ground is not covered in her piece. That middle-ground might be populated by measures designed to disincentivize illegal immigration rather than the current policy of some to incentivize it. For instance, in California, illegal alien college students pay tuition at the in-state rate. In other words, we give a better deal to illegal aliens than to U.S. citizens. And there's the whole issue of Matricula Consular cards. And, there's the issue of the INS rarely sanctioning companies that employ illegal aliens.


Given the realities of the global economy and the U.S. labor market, the flow of migrants into this country will be a fact for the foreseeable future...

Perhaps, instead of just throwing up our hands and accepting it as a foregone conclusion, we could think "outside the box" for a bit. Does it really have to be this way, and is this really what's best for all concerned? Are there alternatives to importing serfs?

She goes on to support amnesty; she might want to read 'Why Amnesty For Illegal Aliens Is A Bad Idea' [10]. Perhaps the solution to the problem of illegal aliens, smuggling networks, and the rest is not simply to throw up our hands and regulate illegal aliens, but the middle-ground discussed above.


Immigration hard-liners lament that businesses and local politicians oppose tough measures against illegal aliens, but they rarely stop to wonder if there are good reasons for this opposition. "Polls show that the public opinion is squeamish about immigration," says Jacoby, "but people are squeamish in the abstract. When it comes to their own lives and their local economy, they're not so squeamish."

In other words, businesspeople and politicians know what's best, and the poor deluded hoi polloi can be bought off with promises of cheap vegetables. As this poll [11] shows, 60% of those polled are opposed to amnesty, even of a limited form. I'd hardly call that "squeamish." Do businesses and politicians always do what's best for the rest of us? Could there, perhaps be another story here? Say, about corporate welfare, and those businesses receiving a subsidy for employing serfs and the politicians being not just part of that but also being interested in illegal alien votes? Perhaps Young's next immigration piece could look into that.

Finally, she ends with this heartwarming note:

The openness, freedom, and plenitude that lead radical Islamists to hate America are precisely what draw so many people from around the world to live here. Among them, do not forget, were the hundreds of foreign nationals who were among those killed in the World Trade Center.

Hey, I'm all in favor of "openness, freedom, and plenitude." I'm also in favor of a sane immigration policy that does what's in the best interest of the U.S.

There are literally billions of people around the world who would no doubt love to live in the U.S. Does that mean we should let them all in?

As for the foreigners killed in the WTC, what exactly does that have to do with this issue? Is this a bit of a smear, similar to her use of the phrase "the anti-immigrant agenda," attempting to call those who are in favor of a sane immigration policy xenophobes? Is Young attempting to even further blur the line between legal and illegal immigration? I don't know.

Nowhere in her article does Young discuss the social costs of immigration, or its potential threat to U.S. sovereignty. So, let me suggest a few items for her bookshelf:

'Can we still afford to be a nation of immigrants?' [12]: "The possibility looms that in the next generation or so we will see a kind of Chicano Quebec take shape in the American Southwest..."

"MULTICULTURALISM, IMMIGRATION AND AZTLAN" [13] (is enabling separatism a libertarian precept?)

58% of Mexicans AGREED with this question: "the territory of the United States' Southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico."

"Mexico to begin "propagating militant activities" in the U.S."

"La comunidad hispana tiene un aliado en Presidente Bush"

Matricula Consular cards: [14]

Nancy Pelosi's "constituents" [15]

scarrry sound clips

Aztlan propaganda

The U.S. Code section concerning harboring illegal aliens

"They were here first."

"Mexico declares war on U.S.; no one cares"

Mexican incremetalism

Who's behind illegal immigration? See the comments [16]

I could, of course, go on.

UPDATE: There's another commentary on her article at rightwingnews . com [17].

[1] reason . com/0303/co.cy.guilty.shtml
[2] freerepublic . com/focus/news/847409/posts
[3] nationalreview . com/comment/comment-malkin102502.asp
[4] fairus . org/html/04110608.htm
[5] fairus . org/html/04111604.htm
[6] ilw . com/lawyers/immigdaily/congress_news/2001,0514-Statements.shtm
[7] nationalreview . com/mowbray/mowbray100902.asp
[8] nationalreview . com/mowbray/mowbray101002.asp
[9] weeklystandard . com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/031khzlw.asp
[10] fairus . org/html/04134705.htm
[11] fairus . org/html/07469108.htm
[12] theatlantic . com/issues/96nov/immigrat/kennedy.htm
[13] diversityalliance org/docs/Chang-aztlan.html
[14] cis . org/articles/2003/back303.html
[15] 216 . 239 . 37 . 100 /search?q=cache:enC5A-Ppa7cC:www.siliconvalley.com/mld/bayarea/news/local/4873437.htm+pelosi+constituents+matricula&hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=UTF-8
[16] polstate . com/archives/001452.html#001452
[17] rightwingnews . com/archives/week_2003_02_16.PHP


I don't agree with amnesty or automatic citizenship. I may not necessarily agree with a pardon.

What I'd propose is a guest-worker program (as opposed to "importing serfs"). Possibly one wherein the worker must identify himself, voluntarily leave the country to an established place to register as a guest worker, and return. This will call for a higher level of trust in INS than exists today.

In exchange, the guest worker does not contribute to our Sosh Scurty, but pays the usual income taxes. The cost of goods to people like me will rise (I live in a house built by Mexican laborers, buy groceries harvested by them, but drive on road s alongside uninsured illegals). I can accept that if these people are shown respect as human beings and the true and measurable costs of having them work here are flowing back into the economy. That won't happen under the current system, and it is more feasible, politically and practically, than simply sealing the borders and rounding them up for deportation. What say you?