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« Dutton on Evo-Crit | Main | Energy Facts for the Day »

August 13, 2005

Ron Paul on Immigration

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Texas's libertarian congressman Ron Paul suspects that immigration (as in illegal-Mexican immigration) may turn out to be the sleeper issue of 2008. Sample passage:

We can start by recognizing that the overwhelming majority of Americans – including immigrants – want immigration reduced, not expanded.

Amnesty for illegal immigrants is not the answer. Millions of people who broke the law by entering, staying, and working in our country illegally should not be rewarded with a visa. Why should lawbreakers obtain a free pass, while those seeking to immigrate legally face years of paperwork and long waits for a visa?

We must end welfare state subsidies for illegal immigrants. Some illegal immigrants ... receive housing subsidies, food stamps, free medical care, and other forms of welfare. This alienates taxpayers and breeds suspicion of immigrants, even though the majority of them work very hard. Without a welfare state, we would know that everyone coming to America wanted to work hard and support himself.

Our current welfare system also encourages illegal immigration by discouraging American citizens from taking low-wage jobs. This creates greater demand for illegal foreign labor ...

Our most important task is to focus on effectively patrolling our borders. With our virtually unguarded borders, almost any determined individual – including a potential terrorist – can enter the United States. Unfortunately, the federal government seems more intent upon guarding the borders of other nations than our own. We are still patrolling Korea’s border after some 50 years, yet ours are more porous than ever.

Could the illegal-immigration issue be starting to make its way onto the agenda? Have we gotten near the point when it will be able to be spoken about in respectable company?



posted by Michael at August 13, 2005


These are what reporters call politics-as-a-horse-race questions. But I'll bite. Yes and yes. Lou Dobbs has been hammering this issue every night for what, a year? Wrote a book too. Q.E.D.

Posted by: Chris on August 13, 2005 7:44 PM

Immigration is an unusual issue because both the more extreme liberals and conservatives tend to favor our open-door policy. Their reasons are different, of course. Liberals appreciate the fact that most immigrants are nonwhite and hence can be expected to gravitate toward the Democratic party if and when they gain citizenship. Conservatives, at least those of a pro-business orientation, see immigrants as a source of cheap labor, a weapon to wield against the unions. It's the Americans in the middle who seem most concerned about immigration, and for that reason I do see it as being an appropriate subject for "polite" discussion.

Posted by: Peter on August 13, 2005 8:40 PM

Ron Paul is a very principled congressman. I don't always agree with his take on things, but he is a common-sense kind of legislator who seems above the muck of the more common variety politican.

The border question has been problematic for states such as Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California for many years. It doesn't take rocket science to connect the dots and see what a very frightening portal it is for terrorists, not to mention the drug highway.

The economic issue is totally different but no less serious. Could Texas businesses survive a loss of plentiful cheap labor? Would Wal-Mart survive the loss of half of their paying customers? It would be a painful withdrawal, but one whose time has come.

Do the Mexican people deserve to feed their families and have a better life? Certainly. Are the border states obligated to insure that they have this opportunity; obliged to foot the bill for education, health, and housing for these poor, tired and hungry citizens of Mexico? It appears so, with the worn-out mantra that the immigrants do jobs no American citizen would stoop to do.

I can't blame the Mexicans who strive with their lives every day to get into the United States. But, I do blame their government and my own for turning away from the sad situation and adopting a three monkey philosophy:

“If we do not hear, see, or speak evil, we ourselves shall be spared all evil.”

The evil not being the Mexican poor, but that of bureucratic governments who have failed both countries' citizens.

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on August 13, 2005 10:03 PM

Could any economic system survive without a lot of cheap labor? I don't think so. I certainly don't know the answer. It seems the dialogue has been irreparably distored by the red herring of Marxism.

I will say that it is not immigrants who are discouraging me from taking a below minimum wage job picking crops.


Posted by: Yvonne on August 15, 2005 12:24 PM

Could any economic system survive without a lot of cheap labor?

No. And I would go one further and state plainly that all healthy economic systems require a gigantic pool of slaves in the labor market. Currently, those slaves are called machines. Nearly every peasant in the field could be replaced by a machine, and should be--to the extreme advantage of us all.

Posted by: onetwothree on August 15, 2005 10:52 PM

"I will say that it is not immigrants who are discouraging me from taking a below minimum wage job picking crops."

Except most don't take jobs picking crops. In fact, a recent article in either the LATimes or the NYTimes discussed how there's a real shortage in farm workers. So despite literally millions of illegals flooding the US since 911, there's a shortage where the argument for their labor is most logical. Clearly, they're not stupid and we both know their labor could be replaced with machines.

Here's a funny article about a visit to Wisconsin from a Texan who was shocked to find white people doing all the jobs we're told white people won't do.

Posted by: lindenen on August 16, 2005 3:14 AM

Dear Michael,

It is difficult to believe people think Mexicans do jobs Americans won’t do. Americans did these jobs for almost 200 hundred years before Teddy (the dastardly coward) Kennedy sponsored a devastating immigration bill in 1965 knowing full well it was an invite to the Democratic Party, which would now be a local party without immigration from Third World countries.

The thinking is understandable though because of all the propaganda and virtual blackout of discussion of the issue by the mainstream media for over 40 years. People do not realize a network is slanting when it fails to mention an issue but instead focuses on the travails of illegal laborers instead of on the damage to American culture and the failure of a government that allows big and small businessmen to exploit America out of greed.

Moreover, some thinking people do not consider that the more low income laborers there are, the lower the wages of everyone else. An honest American roofing contractor cannot support his nuclear family by refusing to pay the low wages an illegal is willing to take. The illegal is one person living in a hole with other men and sending the balance of his wages to his family in Mexico. The honest roofing contractor cannot compete, so he goes out of business and enters the unskilled labor market selling tires at Wal-Mart for whatever he can get. He cannot afford an accountant or a nice home or an attorney. So he feels helpless and in need of government help or a thuggish union. The accountant and attorney lose clients.

The vicious circle continues when the office worker, attorney, or accountant needs his wife to enter the labor market at reduced wages so as to keep their children in a good neighborhood and school and church. The white and blue collar worker therefore just shake their heads in frustration when they see their roof being repaired by obvious illegals.

All the Best,


Posted by: Paul Henrí on August 17, 2005 12:32 AM

Whenever I hear statements like "low-skilled immigrants take the jobs that native-born Americans/Canadians won't do," I mentally add the missing qualifier "at the wages offered."

Posted by: Chris on August 17, 2005 2:58 PM

The level of poverty in Mexico is greatly exaggerated. Mexico's per capita GDP is about a quarter of America's. Well, that makes Mexicans wealthier than most Arab countries, Africans, many Latin American countries, most of South Asia, and basically most of the world's population. A quarter of America's per capita GDP is extreme poverty.

Mexicans come to America to get even higher living standards, not to escape extreme privations.

Posted by: Randall Parker on August 18, 2005 12:51 AM

That was supposed to be:

A quarter of America's per capita GDP is not extreme poverty.

Posted by: Randall Parker on August 18, 2005 3:27 AM

"The level of poverty in Mexico is greatly exaggerated. Mexico's per capita GDP is about a quarter of America's. Well, that makes Mexicans wealthier than most Arab countries, Africans, many Latin American countries, most of South Asia, and basically most of the world's population. A quarter of America's per capita GDP is not extreme poverty."

Remember that Mexico's GDP isn't evenly distributed. The per capita figure is an average of a few very rich people and a lot of very poor people. The average income for Bill Gates' neighborhood is going to be high, but it's not going to be very useful information.

The median income (half of all Mexicans make more than this, half make less) is $8 a day. The very poorest unskilled laborers make about half of that.

Posted by: Ken Hechtman on August 18, 2005 10:25 AM

Assuming Mexican's make $8.00 a day, we should prefer Mexican illegals to African illegals who are being starved or murdered at hundreds and maybe thousands a day or to India's illegals who die in hoards yearly from starvation and disease. It seems the loving and generous George Bush has priorities skewed for reasons no rational person can articulate.

Where is his compassion for American troops who lack sufficient troop backup and state-of-the-art bullet-resistant vests and for Americans who lack flu vaccine and protection against illegal alien criminals? He ain't got it, and "nah gah do." He has his personal agenda. All the facial histrionics are getting more sickening as time goes by.

Posted by: Paul Henri on August 19, 2005 12:56 AM

The 1965 Immigration Reform Act was by itself, enough to permanently change America for the worse. Why was it messed with in the first place? Why do you think America became the most powerful Nation in the History of the World? Not because of its geographically blessed Third World Neighbors or the Far East impoverished. Every statement that came out of both Teddy and Robert Kennedy's mouths concerning this bill in 1965, have proved to be assumptions and miscalculations of Epic Proportions. But the real American way of life death blow was from our Great Communicator Prez Ronald Reagan, in 1987. To legalize 2.7 Million ILLEGAL aliens in this country
because you didn't want to deal with this problem or understand its ramifications,turned out to be the greatest blunder toward the American way of life in History.Its main purpose was to penalize employers from any FUTURE hiring of Illegals with stiff penalties. When was the last time you heard of INS doing raids on supposed Companies hiring Illegals. .Within a couple of years, the illegal population doubled because of all the new job openings created from legalizing the previous Illegals.Why didn't they just round up those 2.7 Million illegals, boot them out and fine the violators THEN. The extended family clause in this bill is what turned both legal and illegal immigration into Hyper-drive. So you legalize 2.7 ILLEGALS and allow them to bring their entire extended family here, and pop babies out like PEZ. That doesn't include the 20 million Illegals currently crossing and having their bambinos, compliments of the generous American taxpayers. Bush, because of his total unwillingness to do what he was elected to do and Protect the American People,{Oh thats right,we're SAFER because were protecting IRAQ's borders} has allowed this last 5 year wave to multiply out of control, and does nothing but continue to suck up to the North American Emperor Vicente Fox. Remember Bush's famous line" The search for a better life doesn't end at the Rio Grande", If he signs a future Immigration bill allowing Amnesty for these 20 Million, with them allowed to bring their extended families, we will become a Third World Sesspool {Which some cities are already becoming}so fast it will make your head spin off its axis.My only question is Why? Why has administration after administration{Including Clinton, who helped speed up citizenship for 1 Million mostly Illegals,to gain their vote supposedly in 1996} continue to go against the overwhelming majority of Americans on this issue.Oh yeah, that's the Bush 41 New World Order thing, thats right. Sorry America, but the fun is just starting. Middle Class America will be no more. It will be the elite and the broke. Hell, how many Poor underdeveloped nations are there in the World for us to import? Bring 'em over... We have room for a few billion of ya. Welfare for All! Theres a lot of Jobs Us Americans just won't do, Huh Jorge... Ah, I mean George.

Posted by: Michael Norton on August 28, 2005 5:28 PM

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