Tuesday, January 16, 2018

A Question Worth Pondering...

The following short excerpt from the L.A. Times was posted by Silverfiddle over at the Always on Watch weblog. His question at is an interesting one and deserving of honest consideration.

“Everyone has the Right to Be Here”

From the El Lay Times...
"Federal immigration agents targeted nearly 100 7-Eleven stores across the nation for audits and inspections Wednesday, including several locations in Los Angeles, as the Trump administration ramps up workplace raids to punish employers hiring people who are in the country illegally."
Here’s the money quote, provided by “Imelda Vargas, who works for the dry cleaner across the street,” and “said it wasn’t right for immigration agents to target the store’s workers.”

“Everyone has the right to be here, to work,” she said in Spanish.

Why would this woman believe and espouse such an absurd statement that has no basis in law or fact?

I answered the question over at AOW with an admittedly flippant reply, Because she can? This is obviously the truth, but the reasons why she can, and why she believes it reasonable, is laying at the root of the nation's quandary over immigration policy.

The real answer to Silverfiddle's closing question of course is, because the US government for years has managed to botch immigration policy and management. The way our government has managed immigration, or mismanaged it depending on your viewpoint, has resulted in certain beliefs being held by some Americans as well as immigrants such as Vargas.

Crying over spilt milk is futile. Just as kicking the immigration problem we face down the road ad infinitum is foolish and ultimately dangerous to our economic security and national well being. Therefore we must arrive at a sane and ultimately fair immigration policy.

Before going further I note that, 1) immigrants that are currently here, many with children that were born here, should be given the easiest possible reasonable pathway to permanent US citizenship. 2) Immigrants that have broken the laws of the US and have a criminal record ought to be deported. 3) Temporary immigration permits intended for temporary relief must end and the recipient sent back to their country of origin when the circumstances for which he permit was given have been resolved. 4) A border wall is not needed, is an unnecessary cost, and is nothing more than a rallying cry for conservatives.

Illegal, or undocumented aliens do not have a guaranteed  right to live and work in the USA, or, in any other country for that matter. Rights of that nature generally have to be earned and there is a process by which a person earns that right. It is called successfully applying for and receiving US citizenship.

Perhaps it is time to return to quotas and sponsorships, or similar mechanisms following a temporary freeze on all immigration. There is no easy solution to resolving our immigration dilemma or it would have been done by now. But resolve it we must. The first step should be getting the goddamn stain of politics and political gamesmanship out of the process. Given the state of our nation at this juncture that is likely impossible.

Silverfiddle is the owner of the now inactive libertarian weblog Western Hero. 


  1. RN... here's the rub. Your number 2 say this...

    2) Immigrants that have broken the laws of the US and have a criminal record ought to be deported.

    General conservative thought is that by coming, immigrants are breaking the law "if they come without permission."

    How do we get past that? Isn't that a criminal act? Should we say felony?

    1. “The act of being present in the United States in violation of the immigration laws is not, standing alone, a crime. While federal immigration law does criminalize some actions that may be related to undocumented presence in the United States, undocumented presence alone is not a violation of federal criminal law.”

    2. Hey Dave Miller STFU

    3. Anonymous, it is the person who has nothing constructive to say who should STFU. So, in this instance that would be YOU.

  2. And no! Not everyone has a right to be here. Every country has a sovereign right to determine their own immigration policy and enforce it. Period.

    But, as they say... the devil is always in the details.

  3. I thought #1 took care of that. We simply cannot, nor should we rectify an undesirable immigration circumstance that was largely caused by mismanagement over many years and by multiple administrations and congresses.

    Perhaps felony is the more appropriate word.

  4. I believe that American jobs should be for Americans only (and people with work visas, of which we issue too many). On the other hand, I don't believe in punishing people for coming here to work when it's what we've been allowing for a very long time.

    1. There is little doubt bUt what our immigration system is broke, and yes, it has been for years. Both democrat and republican politicians, consevative and lliberal alike have been complicit in allowing the circumstances to exist.

      It may very well be time to get tough, but, deaw the line now and going forward maintain and enforce it. Punishing folks for that which our government has allowed, often with a wink and a nod, is not the right thing to do. IMNHO.

  5. Every country has a right to impose rules on immigration and enforce them. This is an inherent property of a sovereign state. It's essentially part of the definition of a country.

    (This, by the way, is a big part of why the UK voted to leave the European Union. EU ruled on movement of people mean that member nations no longer have control over immigration -- a big issue in a country smaller than Oregon which already has 63 million people.)

    Even if a law is legitimate, the question is how much enforcement is worth how much cost in the form of resources and human suffering. Roads need speed limits, but if everybody who drove even one mile per hour faster than the speed limit were sentenced to ten years in prison, the costs would vastly exceed the benefits.

    We can't tolerate endless illegal immigration indefinitely, and we do need to enforce rules against illegal entry. That doesn't mean spending billions of dollars to build a 1,900-mile-long permanent standing insult to our second-biggest export market. It wouldn't even solve the problem since so many illegals enter legally on short-term visas and then simply don't go home when they're supposed to. Mandatory E-Verify, well-publicized in the countries which are the main sources of illegal migration, would work better.

    What to do with the illegals who are already here (11 million and decreasing, not increasing, over time) is a separate issue. A country of 320 million should be able to absorb that number, and in most cases the costs of deportation -- in manpower, human suffering, and damage to our national image -- would exceed the benefits.

    So, yes, a statement like "everyone has the right to be here" is absurd from a legal standpoint. 7-11 employees are probably one of the few cases in which there's some justification for strict enforcement, since those are jobs that American citizens could be found to do. But carrying out similar raid on a scale to round up and deport 11 million people, as Trump's base is braying for, doesn't pass the costs-vs-benefits test.

    1. All good points Infidel. Sometimes it just makes good sense to swallow your past errors in injudgenment, institute effective policy and proceedures to control a situation as you move forward, and simply al;low the problem to shrink over time.

      Trump ran on an agenda that appeals to his base as well as many others, and, he no doubt will continue to push for its realization.

  6. Refreshing to see the term "illegals" used instead of the clumsy and inaccurate "undocumented".

    Clumsy word games don't solve these issues.

    1. Good point. I hate euphemisms too.

    2. I don't find it "refreshing". As Jerry pointed out "the act of being present in the United States in violation of the immigration laws is not, standing alone, a crime". "Undocumented" is the accurate term and it would be refreshing, IMO, to see it used exclusively and the hateful "illegals" term jettisoned. Hateful because, instead of saying someone did something illegal, it says YOU ARE an "illegal".

    3. Your over sensitivity Dervish is puzzling. Well, Maybe not.

      It is part the politically correct revolution on steroids IMNHO. Immigrants who arrived illegally were, for years identified as (called) illegal immigrants. They were considered illegal because they were not proceeded according to immigration policy and preceedures. Thus lacking proper documentation an subsequent right to live and work in the USA.

      Frankly Dervish I view the two words, illegal or undocumented as interchangeable and carry the same meaning, or implication, with respect to immigration.

    4. Dervish: The term being used is "illegal alien". Your objection would only apply if the term were "criminal alien". Being "in violation of the immigration laws" is indeed illegal (in violation of a law), therefore "illegal alien" is accurate.

      I object to "undocumented" because it implies there is no meaningful problem with legal status at all, merely some missing paperwork.

    5. "Undocumented" is the accurate term.

      We know how many illegals there are in the US. Oops, oh well, they have been documented.

      Even Dave and Infidel, in their comments here, have used the term "illegal". Do you honestly think these two individuals are "hateful"???


      Also, RN, I don't view the terms "undocumented" (As defined by those who defend its use) and "illegal" as being interchangable....

      a) Someone who arrived with a passport but stayed here permanently is "illegal" AND "documented": there are documents of this person coming here.

      b) Someone who came on a work visa and overstayed its expiration is also "illegal" and has "documents". Even if the documents have expired.

      c) Someone who was born in the US and never got a birth certificate or anything like that is truly "undocumented" (just like someone who enters the country illegally) but also happens to be "legal".

      Infidel has an excellent point about "undocumented" implying "merely some missing paperwork". As my two examples point out, it can be having some paperwork but not other paperwork.

    6. True, Infidel, it is not a violation of criminal law. It is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor. It is a civil law violation and, however, can result in deportation.

  7. Les,

    Thank you for publishing this. I expected more pushback from those on the left, but it just confirms how close most Americans are on this issue: Allow the law-abiding (exclude the fact they entered illegally) to stay, but put some real immigration reform in place.

    Unfortunately, both DemonCraps and Repubelicons need this for political kabuki and fundraising.

    Here is where I stand:

    Grant permanent legal status to productive, law-abiding illegal immigrants in exchange for:

    * End chain migration
    * Nation-wide worker verification system
    * Verification system for all forms of public assistance
    * Five year moratorium on immigration
    * Build the damned wall! (Beefed up border security, pay Mexico "security assistance" to help on their side, and walls where it makes sense).

    1. When I first read your post I hesitated only for a minute when the thought of posting at RN USA hit me. I quickly decided to run your post here. The way you framed the larger story and followed with your question begged for an expanded audience.

      I have been convinced that a large majority of Americans indeed want immigration reform. They also want to treat those illegals who are already here fairly. In light of the fact we (US govt. & business) helped create the problems we ae facing it is the right thing to do.

      When political parties use issue of this magnitude for "political kabuki and fund raising" the reasonable and rational Americans realize they have a problem. Unfortunately political parties, both democrat and republican tend to put party interests (getting candidates elected to push their special interests) before the best interest of our nation. However, at this stage of my now 66 year life I must say the republicans at present are more guilty of this than the other. IMNHO anyway.

      I have given considerable thought to your 6 points, and, I have no problem with any, except the five years moratorium and the border wall. I believe a moratorium is reasonable, however five years is too long. Two or three years would be my preference. As to the wall, too costly, and, it likely does not solve the problem. See Infidel's comment.

      This problem is solvable, if we have the will to compromise. My many years in management taught me that when differing views on how to a solve a problem ae discussed and argued intelligently, without raw emotion, the synergistic effect of the give and take generally results in the best solution. That's not to say that later adjustments can't be made.

      I appreciate you stopping in and commenting Silverfiddle. You add to a discussion rather than detracting or sabotaging it. Thanks...

    2. After all these years of blogging, I went from a rock-ribbed conservative to a crabby libertarian. I ended up with more questions than answers.

      I also want to say I am against workplace raids that drag off illegal immigrant workers.

      I am for raids of businesses, auditing their hiring records, and dragging off owners and management to jail.

    3. Silver... that would be nice to see. Texas tried that and exempted private people, deciding "it would wreck the Texas economy" to stop Mom and Pop from hiring illegal labor to clean their homes and do gardening.

      That told me all I needed to know about resolve.

      Neither party wants to solve this because doing so would take away the cudgel used against the other.

    4. Why do we need a five year moratorium on immigration?

      As for the wall, we don't need it and it will NOT be built. Even Trump is backtracking on the issue. I've been saying all along that there will NEVER be a contiguous wall built. That is what Trump promised. Now he's saying no wall needed where there are natural barriers. At most we'll get some more fencing in places. Don't know about (more expensive) walls. Mexico won't pay in any form.

      BTW, I have to say that I agree with "I am for raids of businesses, auditing their hiring records, and dragging off owners and management to jail". 100 percent agreement, in fact.

  8. Also, finally, I do not fault the woman in the article. She is working and she is simply operating in the environment our zombie cyclopes government has created. How can any human being criticize a fellow human being for wanting to improver her life, especially when de facto US policy leaves so many avenues wide open?

    My own answer to my question is, she believes and espouses such a belief because that is what agendaists in this country have told her, and no one in the government has disabused her of the notion. I wish her and all law-abiding illegal immigrant well.

    1. We are much closer than we are apart Silver. Your views, with the differences I noted in my prior comment, are indeed very close.

      We all seem to evolve as we grow and age. Well, at least most of us do, I think. I replied to one of your comments over at AOW on your post. It touches on this.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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