Morning Ed: Immigration {2018.03.12.M}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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38 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Im7: Another reason for me to loathe our immigration system.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Im6: Another reason for me to loathe our immigration system.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine says:

        IM6 – Obviously I don’t know the woman, but given how often I’ve played “Spot the Vegan”, I can imagine that, like many overzealous activists, messaging to win the hearts and minds of the heretics and pagans is not her strong suit.

        One would hope that after being denied citizenship the first time for being so profoundly annoying to the community, she’d have bought a clue.Report

  2. Avatar Damon says:

    [Im1] Maybe but it’s not without serious privacy concerns.

    [Im2] “ice to investigate cases of immigrants who may have paid smugglers to bring their children or relatives into the country. ice considers these family members guilty of placing children “directly in harm’s way,” ” Well, hell yes they are as we saw with the whole Container truck smuggling even a while back and the number of people that die in the crossing each year, they definitely are. And going after parents who do this might just discourage the practice.

    [Im6] Damn right. I read about this a while ago. The Swiss were right to deny her.

    [Im7] I have no problem with granting citizenship to immigrants who serve in the military, but not after basic training–after they serve some minimum hitch, whatever the minimum enlistment is depending upon enlisted or officer.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Damon says:

      On Im1 we can’t have it both ways. If we aren’t going to have effective enforcement of the law we need to accept that a consequence of that is larger levels of illegal labor.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

        One reason why Americans aren’t going to have social democracy anytime soon is that most Americans included the most left-leaning are going to get freaked out about the amount of data collecting government needs to do for effective social democracy.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

          I think there’s a chicken or the egg aspect to that. People who care about these things are wary because our government in particular can’t ever seem to stop itself from going all Orwellian. That plus our federal system leaves everything open to competing centers of power with lots of room for corruption and incompetence. I don’t think it has to be that way but something about our culture and government seems to make it inevitable.

          One of the weird things about visiting other advanced countries is that people don’t have quite the level of skepticism towards the state. Some of that is culture, and some of it may be naivete. Maybe I’m way off base, but I think part of it also comes from the administrative state functioning a hech of a lot better than it does here and, at least as far as anyone knows, less proclivity to use every little thing as a backdoor for law enforcement and military intelligence.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to InMD says:

            Other countries do seem to have more trust in the state than at least some Americans. I think this is partially because a strong state proceeded democracy in many countries and that this strong state always had some welfare functions.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

              Europe seems to have gotten over it’s impulse to find any excuse to subject people to the criminal justice system. I suspect they had enough of that through the various regimes that used the vast power of the state to weed out anyone who displeased TPTB (up to and including Nazi Germany).

              America seems to have one population that is eager to use the state to weed out the undesirables, and another that is rightly terrified of the idea. What makes it difficult for us is that a significant percentage of both populations changes their attitudes toward the exercise of state power depending on who is in the White House.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                The legacy of the 20th century weighs much more heavily over there. I know the opening of the Stasi archives has had a major impact on how people look at privacy in Germany.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Damon says:

      I’m fine with waiting to grant citizenship until the first enlistment is up (4-years), but expedite spouse and child green cards. Men and women are not as effective in service if they are constantly stressed about the status of their family.

      IMHO, your DOD ID should serve as your green card until a more permanent status is determined.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        “Insufficient vetting.” Vetted well enough to be issued a weapon and allowed to touch military equipment unsupervised in a conflict zone, but not well enough for citizenship. Crazy.

        Your proposal seems reasonable. You’re automatically a green card holder through your first enlistment and given citizenship as long as you complete it, no questions asked. And your family should be totally untouchable during that period.

        Nothing bothers me more than employers who make vague promises for work up front and then don’t follow through because nothing was firm. And that’s when the stakes are low. When we’re talking about citizenship, everything should be spelled out with no surprises.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Troublesome Frog says:


          What is really irksome is that the promise of citizenship is probably in their enlistment contract. I don’t know this for certain, but I’m betting it is, and if so, the government is reneging on part of it’s contractual obligation, but the enlistee is expected to uphold their end of the deal to the letter.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Im4: You mean immigrants bring more than restaurants and cheap labor?Report

  4. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The New York Times covers the fate of Cambodian-Americans sent back to Cambodia for committing aggravated felonies.” These are people who came to the United States as babies or very young children but never naturalized because their parents or themselves didn’t know their right to, because of poverty. While most Asian-American immigrants are seen as middle class or middle class in the making, Cambodian-American and Hmong-Americans lived on the margins of American life.Report

  5. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Im3: It isn’t surprising though. ICE tends to really believe that they are above the law in the pursuit of their mission. This means that they also think that they can also take advantage of aliens like this because aliens deserve it or something in their eyes. The Trial Attorneys, ICE lawyers who work in the Immigration Courts, tend to be better but not always. There was an ICE lawyer in Seattle Immigration that purposefully submitted fake evidence so an alien could not apply for relief that would give him a green card. It was eventually discovered and the ICE lawyer disbarred. The alien eventually got his green card but years after the fact. The ICE lawyer only did this so the alien could not get a green card.

    In the tougher, more anti-alien Immigration Courts, ICE lawyers tended to be bold in bad ways. On a remanded case from the BIA that I covered, I had ICE lie on the record about what was said in the first hearing and their own evidence. These were bold outright lies and not mere fact fudging. I pointed exactly where ICE was wrong in the transcript and they still lied and lied and lied. Private bar attorneys get permanently disbarred for much less.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Josh Barro talks about immigration and other things in a Slate interview:

    Basically you created the situation where it was unreasonable to send all these people back. So you had no choice but to admit them to the United States and give some sort of amnesty.
    The logic of that makes a certain amount of sense, except whose fault is it that there was no choice? It’s the people who were running the government in the 1990s who chose not to enforce immigration policy in the first place, so that you didn’t have all these individual family situations created.
    There’s reasonably suspicion that this was done on purpose, because people wanted a more lax immigration policy that they couldn’t get passed through Congress, and there’s reasonable suspicion that it will happen again if you do some sort of comprehensive immigration reform. You’ll have a new immigration policy, and then there will continue to be illegal immigration, and then we will come back and have to do this again in 25 years because you will have a lot of sympathetic cases for people where there’s no reasonable choice other than to bend the rules for them again and allow them to immigrate as well.
    You’ve seen that on a scale in Europe also, where because of the rules that bind the entire EU, you’ve had a number of policy areas, including immigration, where things have been forced on people in ways that feel anti-democratic. People have freaked out about this. They have punished the establishment. Basically, if responsible political parties won’t offer the public choices on some of these issues, then they will vote for irresponsible political parties. It’s been a disaster largely of the making of the technocrats.


    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      It’s been a disaster largely of the making of the technocrats.

      Maybe that’s the case in Europe, but not here in the US. Lax immigration enforcement was driven by the investor and business classes and not technocrats despite nominal opposition in both political parties (and real opposition in their bases). Also, since an enforcement policy which effectively encouraged illegal immigration for decades is being actively rejected and restructured I think he’s wrong to conclude the dreamer cycle will necessarily recur in the same scope and scale 25 years from now. Too soon to tell.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater says:

        Spot on. It sucks but holding dreamers and similarly situated people hostage, morally complicated as that is, might be the only way to have a chance of breaking the cycle. This is already round 2 after amnesty was given in the 80s without any real enforcement protocol to keep it from happening again.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:

        @stillwater @inmd

        Unsurprisingly, I don’t fully agree!!! Pete Wilson tried his immigrant (specifically Spanish-speaking immigrant) gamble in 1994 and it worked well enough to get him reelected as governor. But it was a short-lived victory of the California GOP. Younger voters and people of color in California did not vote for Wilson’s immigrant bashing. Now the Wilson voters are dead or outnumbered and the CA GOP is a minority with few ways forward.

        The Democratic Party has also been moving left on immigration since Bush II, if not the last days of the Clinton admin.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:

        Also a lot of polling shows that most Americans support immigration and being nice to dreamers:

        What we have is a small but very loud vocal group of hardliners against immigration (for largely racist reasons) and another group of Bernie types taking a more xenophobic than required stance because they don’t want to be seen as aligned with business interestsReport

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          There’s the politics aspect and there’s the policy aspect. Yes, there is a segment of society that wants to be abusive towards illegal aliens for racist and/or xenophobic reasons or just because they’re law and order hardliners. That doesn’t change the fact that allowing large levels of totally un-regulated entry, including into the labor market, which is de facto where the Democratic party is going, is good for the country. It’s bad policy and its feeding the backlash.

          When the Republicans come up with stupid domestic policy around health care or financial regulation I say so. This is stupid policy, and its such stupid policy that few Democrats will even articulate it because they know just how stupid it is. What I’m saying is right in line with what the Obama administration practiced, even if they didn’t preach it.Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to InMD says:

            Let’s not blame this solely on business. The repubs and their business backers took advantage of the easy immigration policies and so did the Dems. Each for reasons of their own.

            I don’t give a damn if you come to this country–just do it legally. You know which immigrants are pissed about this? The ones who waited in line for their turn only to see people jump the line. The ONLY people who get to decide who comes into a country are the citizens in that country. No one else. And if the politicians aren’t listening, like they haven’t been for decades, well, this is what you get. Color me unsympathetic.Report

  7. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    If we really want to control illegal immigration, we could start by adjusting the number of visas to a more enforceable level.

    At the moment, the visas system is like the 55 MPH speed limit, where it is artificially low, and wholly unenforceable.
    By raising the number of visas to more closely approximate demand, we could actually have an enforcement mechanism that doesn’t require Hunger Games style government apparatus.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

      Many people want to reduce legal immigration and end illegal immigration, so suggesting that we increase the numbers of visas available by a lot will be a non-starter with them.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Some people say we should have more immigrants from Norway, and fewer from Mexico.

        But oddly enough, they don’t say exactly why.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to Chip Daniels says:

          Why does it matter? I’m sure there are people who belong to certain ethnic groups that think immigration policy should favor their group. I’m sure that a lot of folks of Syrian descent think we should let in more folks from Syria..maybe even folks they know. I’m sure that there are folks of Afgani descent that think the US should admit more of their kind. And I’m sure that there’s a lot of white south african folks who think we should allow them to come to America so the have a place to go after their land is confiscated by the gov’t without compensation.Report

  8. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Here is an interesting article from the Washington Post via LGM on Trump-supporters and deportation:

    They are sad that a beloved community member was deported but still call immigration a “theoretical” issue. I don’t know how to even begin addressing this because I can’t tell if using the word is trolling or honestly not knowing what theoretical means.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’m sad that my favorite restaurant closed due to a fire and the death of the owner. He made some kick ass kebabs.

      Did you expect these guys to raid the ICE office and take this guy from their custody? Beristain hit the radar scope when he got caught at a border check point near Niagara Falls. I’m sure if that would not have happened, he’d still be in this country. Crappy luck, but there’s nothing the locals can do.

      I really don’t think that Trump had a bunch of names on a list and “decided” that Beeristain had to go.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Also can we get an open thread to discuss Ex Rex?Report

  10. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    What do you gain for this affect Damon?

    This isn’t about ICE. ICE is going to ICE. This is about people calling immigration a theoretical issue when it really isn’t. Their alleged remorse and sadness sounds more like crocodile tears. The point is that this is not a theoretical issue and it takes a large amount of privilege to see it that way.Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I don’t understand the use of the word in the context it was used. I assumed the speaker meant another word and confused the two, like hypothetical.

      That being said, I don’t think it’s crocodile tears. I think it’s “well that bad thing happened and I can’t do anything about it, so I’m moving on.” On, upon further consideration, maybe “theoretical” was meant to mean that “we want to reduce illegal immigration” as a concept but we don’t like it when what we want impacts people we know and like”. But neither of us really know what was meant do we, and our comments are just projections of our own biases and viewpoints.Report