Patterico's Pontifications

6/20/2007

“Deport the Criminals First” — Part Eleven of an Ongoing Series: An Illegal Alien Drunk Driver Snuffs Out Three Human Lives in Texas

Filed under: Crime,Deport the Criminals First,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 12:03 am

[“Deport the Criminals First” is a recurring feature on this blog, highlighting crimes committed by illegal immigrants — with a special focus on repeat offenders. I argue that, instead of arresting illegal immigrants who work hard for a living, we should use our limited immigration enforcement resources to target illegal immigrants who commit crimes in this country — especially violent crimes.]

Today’s edition of “Deport the Criminals First” is posted at Hot Air, at this link. It is about three lives snuffed out by a drunk driver illegal alien with three previous DWIs on his record — but no deportations.

62 Responses to ““Deport the Criminals First” — Part Eleven of an Ongoing Series: An Illegal Alien Drunk Driver Snuffs Out Three Human Lives in Texas”

  1. As I mentioned in one of your other threads the problem is weak laws regarding DWI first, the fact that this person was illegal is a secondary fact. Had he been put in jail for a year for the first offense, and then 5 for the second and ten for the third he would have never been on the road. Property or bodily injury would be a minimum 5 year sentence, death 10 years minimum.

    While you are talking about deportation perhaps you could consider the story about the handicapped kid (American citizen)who was deported and can’t be located now. Showed up on the fox site in the last few days but is notably underreported by all blogs and media.

    voiceofreason63 (cfae0f)

  2. Congrats on the HA gig. I think your Deport the Criminals First series was an excellent place to start. Perhaps you could aggregate the earlier 10 entries into one link-filled post just to get the HA crowd up to speed. vof63: a 1 year sentence (served) for first offense – without injury? Loss of job/home applied only to those without connections/high powered law firms? Yeah – that’s reasonable. No doubt the expected Bloomberg run has you slightly aroused.

    rhodeymark (4f2403)

  3. I am so upset about this story…we are having the same problem here in SWFlorida. Every time you turn on the tv there is an accident involving a drunk driver and/or an illegal alien. I don’t get it, why won’t our government wake up?

    Michele Hampton (4340c2)

  4. Excellent work here and at Hot Air. Your posts are eye-openers.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  5. And there are some who want to give drivers liscesnes to illegal aliens. I say this illegal alien crinmals should face the same as all crinmals in america GIVE HIM THE ELCTRIC CHAR AND SCREW MEXICO

    krazy kagu (10add8)

  6. They are working on the problem in SWFL Michele. Sheriff Hunter has a PLAN for Collier Co. This will work until the ACLU sticks their noses in!

    Cindy (f9dbb8)

  7. Patterico,

    Isn’t there a blog, a website somewhere that document all news report of crashes like this one detailing drunk/drugged illegal aliens operating without a license (of course, duh) who mave managed to main and kill legal citizens of the United States with their cars?

    We gotta somehow make a list of these things and I’m sure Geraldo will find a way to defend these drunk driving illegal aliens.

    mcconnell (f0f089)

  8. Jorge Boosh tells us that we should roll out the red carpet and welcome the “newcommers”. He lectures us everyday about playing nice with these law breaking ilegal immigrants. Never to mention that we are country made of laws and that it is every citizen’s duty to follow our laws. Oh..silly me that only applys to legal citizens. Well there is an exception…Teddy Kennedy. Jorge and the rest of the boob republicans in the Senate love sucking on Teddy’s teats. Will they ever ween themselves off the liberal teat? Yes, when we throw the bums out! FIX THE BORDER FIRST!

    Sparky (4c5ee4)

  9. Unfortunately I have another incident you may not be aware that occurred in Salem Oregon. This time the driver crossed the center line of a state highway striking a patrol car driven by a Deputy Sheriff – the car had its lights and siren on – killing the Deputy Sheriff:

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070618/UPDATE/70618009

    Speed_King (eace7b)

  10. rhodey mark,

    There are thousands of deaths caused each year by drunk drivers. Rigid laws will deter people. I don’t think you are suggesting that it is only a tragedy because an illegal was involved or that it is okay if a person is legal. Are you? Had there been tougher laws he would have been in jail instead of on the road.
    What are your suggestions to reduce the senseless loss of life due to this. See http://www.madd.org/stats/3726 for the sobering statistics.
    If people want to argue the merits of illegal immigration that is great but this is one of the weaker arguments that is out there in regards to the problem of illegal immigration. Over 16,000 other deaths annually don’t even get a mention because thank god they were legal citizens?!

    voiceofreason63 (cfae0f)

  11. Any death resulting from a DUI is tragic. It’s when we find out the driver is an ilegal immigrant and has had several DUIs in the past…that fact really upsets us. That our lame government won’t kick these law braking idiots back to their own country is simply nuts. Instead, these drunk drivers are allowed back into our population to drink, drive and kill another victim. Hey, why should they obey any laws here? We don’t enforce the laws that allowed them to enter here in the first place.

    Sparky (4c5ee4)

  12. #11
    Being upset is understandable — have been personally touched by the loss of a loved one due to drunk driving (hit by a drunk driver). I’m just saying let’s tighten up our DWI laws to better deter the thousands of unnecessary deaths. Had they been in place this person would have been in jail and never met the victims of this one specific incident.
    Should we enforce laws about illegals? Of course no disagreement from me.

    voiceofreason63 (cfae0f)

  13. #13, I tried pointing out on this blog previously that there are more than 15,000 deaths per year from drunk driving — way more than 9/11 each year — and so cherrypicking out illegal aliens involved in such tragedies is kinda goofy.

    If I were racist, I could have a field day calling for deportation of, say, Italians, and then soberly listing all of the drunk driving deaths caused by Italians every week. That would be stupid, but no more stupid than the line of reasoning being followed in these “another drunk illegal alien kills someone” posts.

    It’s also ironic that one of the justifications for deporting illegal aliens is that these aliens might be terrorists. Yet all the terrorist attacks on American soil combined haven’t caused nearly as many deaths as drunk driving did just last year.

    But do these stories raise outrage about drunk driving? Nope . . . drunk driving is a very popular activity in the U.S., and we’ll be damned if we give it up just to save 15,000 lives per year.

    It’s a sharp contrast to all the money being spent fighting terrorism — now trillions of dollars — when that threat kills far fewer people each year.

    Phil (427875)

  14. Hey, here’s a question for everybody who thinks that these illegal-alien drunk driver killings could be prevented by deportation:

    What about deporting everyone who gets a DUI? You get a DUI, you get kicked out of America.

    That way, nobody would ever be killed by a drunk driver with a previous DUI. If you want evidence that this policy would save thousands of lives, just ask; the data is there. Repeat-offender drunk drivers kill people all the time.

    And every person killed by a drunk driver with a previous DUI would still be alive if that drunk driver had been deported after his first DUI. Including every drunk-driving fatality listed in this story.

    Any takers? Anyone?

    Phil (427875)

  15. SUV driver charged in fatality

    http://www.gadsdentimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070620/NEWS/706200364/1017/NEWS

    Someone stupid enough to cross Train Tracks against the lights is being held responsible for their actions!

    On a side note –

    A friend of mine whose buddy works at the Sherriffs office told him the guy’s an ILLEGAL ALIEN, so medical bills for the survivors, reimbursement to the RR, etc. are out of the window!

    mcconnell (f0f089)

  16. Phil, if you hadn’t noticed it’s about repeat offenders of those illegl aliens. Once they book the drunk guy and realize he/she is an illegal alien, then deportation should take place immediately rather than releasing him/her back on to America’s streets.

    mcconnell (f0f089)

  17. Speaking of causal connections: Do you think the recent focus on illegal aliens in auto accidents caused this innocent man’s death? He wasn’t even the driver, but he was beaten to death by an angry mob after a car accident.

    Be careful what you wish for, Patterico . . .

    http://www.kxan.com/Global/story.asp?S=6685739&nav=menu73_2_6

    Phil (427875)

  18. I’m quite confident that short of an illegal, driving under the influence, and causing the death of some Liberal Icon, VOR63 and his campadres will never be convinced of the seriousness of this problem, and the desire of a great majority of the public to stop it.

    Another Drew (4d2fc0)

  19. OK, I think registered Republicans in this country are a huge problem. They spend way to much money, and make the government way too big. They should be kicked out of the country.

    In support of my argument, I intend to produce many stories of the thousands of registered Republicans who have driven drunk and killed people this year. I will wring my hands and claim “these poor victims would still be alive if we would just deport all the Republicans!”

    Who’s going to back me up on this?

    Phil (427875)

  20. Phil,

    You may have missed it but Patterico started this series to provide a counterpoint to the numerous articles that extol the virtues of illegal immigrants. There are positive aspects to some illegal immigrants, especially those who take advantage of educational opportunities. But that’s not a complete picture because it’s a fact that some illegal immigrants commit multiple crimes. If it’s fair to use anecdotal reports to show the positive side of specific illegal immigrants, it’s also fair to use anecdotal reports to show the negative side of specific illegal immigrants.

    Patterico’s limited point is that we should deport those illegal immigrants who come to America and commit serious criminal offenses. He has given us several examples of illegal immigrants that law enforcement could and should have deported, but didn’t, as well as real people who have suffered and died because these illegal immigrants weren’t deported.

    I honestly can’t understand why you object to Patterico’s point. It’s not a slippery slope to internment camps. It’s common sense to deport criminal aliens who threaten us all, especially since criminal illegal immigrants do most of their damage to the poor and other illegals. If you don’t care about rich Republicans, at least care about those who live with and fear criminal illegal immigrants.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  21. Good point DRJ. Too many times those who parade around as defenders of the poor and innocent forget their charges.

    And, it was Thomas Sowell I believe, who said that poverty does not cause crime, it is crime that causes poverty.

    Another Drew (4d2fc0)

  22. Phil,

    The law provides that illegal aliens may be deported, but that citizens may not.

    You understand that, right?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  23. Deporting this criminal will not bring the victims back to life, nor will it do anything to prevent future victims.

    A real solution would start with throwing the employers ( enabler ) in prison and transferring the employers’ assets into the hands of the victims’ families.

    J Curtis (ecc9cc)

  24. “It’s common sense to deport criminal aliens who threaten us all, especially since illegal immigrants do most of their damage to the poor and other illegals.”

    Actually, I don’t see that as “common sense.” Is it “common sense” because they’ve committed crimes, or because they’re illegal aliens?

    If it’s common sense to deport them because they’ve committed crimes, then why not deport everyone who commits crimes?

    If it’s common sense to deport illegal aliens, then I have to assume you believe it’s common sense to deport all illegal aliens as soon as they’re discovered. Otherwise, we’re back to it being common sense to deport criminals, which we don’t do generally.

    Me, I don’t believe it’s common sense to deport illegal aliens. The primary problem with illegal aliens is not their crimes (that’s a criminal law issue, not an immigration issue). The primary problem with illegal aliens is that we have no way of regulating the volume of consumers of public goods and entitlements.

    The most efficent way to solve this problem in the near-term is to work on our delivery of public goods an entitlements. Find ways to limit delivery of entitlements to illegal aliens as much as possible. For example, a voucher system for public education would ensure that illegal aliens didn’t get the full benefit of public schools. Obviously, social security, food stamps, etc., can be limited in the same way.

    Just sending them all back across the border strikes me as xenophobic. The deport-the-aliens crowd wants to get rid of them altogether, rather then work on the real problem.

    The real problem, obviously, is that our government hands out tons of free stuff paid for by taxpayers, which creates perverse incentives for the lower class. The real problem is not that industrious people with little opportunity are making dangerous, hardship-filled journeys into our country in order to get a tiny peice of all the free stuff we’re extravagantly throwing around on our side of the border. So sending those industrious people back across the border doesn’t fix the real problem.

    Ultimately, this whole movement to blame the people who are just coming to get a little bit of all the wealth we throw around in our country is a huge scapegoating effort, and nothing more.

    Phil (427875)

  25. The law provides that illegal aliens may be deported, but that citizens may not.

    You understand that, right?

    I’m starting to wonder whether you do.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  26. #18
    Another Drew:
    Please point me to where I said this is some rebuttal to the deportation of illegals. Yes if they had been deported and stayed deported they wouldn’t have come back but in one case he came back to get two more DWIs before killing the victims. So the law was enforced wasn’t it, just as it was enforced for the drunk driving statutes.
    In case you are too lazy to read I SAID that had the laws been stiffer the men who were drunk when they killed the victims would have been in prison.

    You are being totally myopic about what I said. You make it sound like “Only god fearing legal citizens have the right to drink and drive and suffer minimal consequences for the carnage left behind”….. Geez you just can’t open your eyes.

    voiceofreason63 (cfae0f)

  27. Phil,

    Ultimately, this whole movement to blame the people who are just coming to get a little bit of all the wealth we throw around in our country is a huge scapegoating effort, and nothing more.

    Ah, so Gomez-Gutierrez is an innocent victim of a smear campaign. What does that make Maria, Vanessa and Nathaniel Ortiz, other than dead?

    Pablo (99243e)

  28. I see,

    The problem is not controling our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. The problem lies with the legal citizens of the United States. We must blame ourselves for this mess. We did it, the tax payers. Thanks for that great information. I’m going to punish myself for a huge nasty mess that I made. I hope the government locks me up soon before this crisis gets worse…stop me before I screw up again..PLEASE!

    Sparky (4c5ee4)

  29. The law provides that illegal aliens may be deported

    The key words here being “may be deported.”

    Patterico, you are presenting your various stories of criminal illegal aliens as support for a different assertion: That these criminal aliens should be deported. That is different from arguing that they may be deported. Obviously aliens may be deported.

    Committing a crime does not, by itself, justify deportation. If it did, we’d deport everyone who committed crimes.

    So the fact that these people have committed crimes does not, by itself, say anything about whether or not they should be deported.

    Sure, they may be deported under the law. But so may illegal aliens who don’t commit such crimes. You’re arguing they should be deported. I’m disagreeing. The fact that they may be deported is no support at all for your position.

    Phil (427875)

  30. Phil,

    I am looking at a pool of people who may be deported and making a recommendation as to who should be deported.

    You, on the other hand, bizarrely continue to argue that, if my logic is accepted, we should deport people from a group that may not be deported.

    This is why your analogy makes no sense.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  31. And that’s why I keep asking you whether you understand that citizens can’t be deported.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  32. In response to Phil #24:

    DRJ said: It’s common sense to deport criminal aliens who threaten us all, especially since illegal immigrants do most of their damage to the poor and other illegals. Phil responded: Actually, I don’t see that as “common sense.” Is it “common sense” because they’ve committed crimes, or because they’re illegal aliens?

    It’s legal to deport them because they are illegal aliens and American law provides they can be deported – unlike citizens who the law provides cannot be deported. It’s common sense to deport them because they are criminals and have shown a willingness and ability to commit dangerous crimes.

    Phil said: If it’s common sense to deport them because they’ve committed crimes, then why not deport everyone who commits crimes?

    Because you cannot legally deport US citizens. It’s like asking “Why don’t we send them to Mars?” Because you can’t.

    Phil said: If it’s common sense to deport illegal aliens, then I have to assume you believe it’s common sense to deport all illegal aliens as soon as they’re discovered. Otherwise, we’re back to it being common sense to deport criminals, which we don’t do generally.

    It’s a question of priorities. Even if it’s common sense to deport people who are illegally in this country, it’s low on our list of priorities. It should be high on our list to deport known criminals because they have shown a willingness and ability to commit crimes and endanger others.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  33. Phil, you have 3 logical choices here:

    1. We should never deport illegal immigrants no matter what because they are human beings and it offends my concept of (civil rights/fill in the blank).
    2. We should deport all illegal immigrants no matter what because their presence is illegal and it offends my concept of (law and order/fill in the blank).
    3. We should deport illegal immigrants who fall into specific categories and/or circumstances.

    Patterico has defined a class of illegal immigrants he thinks should be deported under category 3: Illegal immigrants who have been convicted in the US of serious crimes. It makes sense to me. The only logical reason it doesn’t make sense is if you advocate no one should ever be deported as provided in category 1 or if you have a better idea of who should be deported under category 3. Do you?

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  34. He’s already said he doesn’t believe in deporting illegals.

    What I’m trying to get him to see is that his repeated arguments that “by Patterico’s logic, we should deport all drunk drivers!” is nonsensical.

    Because, Phil, we can’t deport citizens.

    You understand that, right?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  35. Both Patterico and DRJ are assuming their conclusion before they begin.

    Patterico and DRJ’s argument can be logically expressed like this:

    We can deport illegal aliens.
    Therefore, we should deport illegal aliens who commit crimes.

    Does this argument actually support its conclusion at all? I don’t think so. Do you see the disconnect? It’s effectively saying “we can deport illegal aliens who commit crimes. Therefor, we should deport illegal aliens who commit crimes.”

    Patterico, you don’t understand why I keep referring to criminals who can’t be deported.

    I do that because we have plenty of ways of dealing with criminals who cannot be deported. Are those ways less effective than deporting them? If they are, then we should in fact be working to deport all criminals, rather than put them in jail. After all, it’s more effective to deport them than to put them in jail.

    If, on the other hand, jailing criminals is more effective e than deporting them is, why should we deport criminal illegal aliens? Why not deal with them the way we deal with any other person who commits crimes?

    Phil (427875)

  36. Patterico, my flawed logic example is an attempt to demonstrate the flaw in your logic.

    You say “we should deport illegal aliens who commit crimes, because we can deport illegal aliens who commit crimes.”

    I believe this logic is effectively “we should deport illegal aliens who commit crimes, because we can.”

    So I say “we should deport all drunk drivers.”

    Your response: “Phil, we can’t deport citizens.”

    Effectively, your response is “we don’t deport all drunk drivers because we can’t.”

    Which is, in fact, the reverse of “we should deport illegal alien drunk drivers, because we can.”

    Phil (427875)

  37. I do that because we have plenty of ways of dealing with criminals who cannot be deported. Are those ways less effective than deporting them? If they are, then we should in fact be working to deport all criminals, rather than put them in jail. After all, it’s more effective to deport them than to put them in jail.

    Phil, you realize that you’re arguing against the possible by insisting on the impossible, right?

    Do you really think that we ought to keep this guy in America? Why?

    Pablo (99243e)

  38. My logic is nothing like the way you portray it, Phil.

    Here is my logic:

    We are legally authorized to deport all illegal aliens.

    What’s more, I personally wish we could. The law says that they shouldn’t be here, and I don’t want them here. Any of them.

    But we can’t deport them all.

    But we can start somewhere, and so we should prioritize. If you agree that we should deport illegal aliens — and I realize you don’t, Phil, but most Americans, and the law, disagree with you — then we should start with those who contribute the least and hurt us the most: criminals.

    Phil apparently a) likes having illegal aliens here, and b) doesn’t particularly mind having criminals around as a part of our society.

    I don’t like either. But we can’t deport all criminals, and can’t deport all illegal aliens.

    Therefore, we should deport illegal aliens who commit crimes.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  39. I do that because we have plenty of ways of dealing with criminals who cannot be deported. Are those ways less effective than deporting them? If they are, then we should in fact be working to deport all criminals, rather than put them in jail. After all, it’s more effective to deport them than to put them in jail.

    It’s not either/or. You do both. They serve their sentences, and then we deport them, if we’re legally entitled to. If we’re not, then we don’t.

    Would it be even better punishment to send all criminals out of the country? Sure. But we can’t do that, we never will do that, and so it’s completely pointless to pose it as a hypothetical.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  40. Here’s my own hypo:

    A traffic judge looks out at the sea of people contesting their traffic tickets.

    He resolves to give them all the benefit of traffic school, unless they contest their tickets and (in his opinion) lie on the stand, in which case he will deny them traffic school, and fine them instead. This will leave a blotch on their driving record.

    He could deny traffic school to all of them, but he will reserve the worse punishment for those who lie.

    Phil watches the judge doing this and says: “Well, judge, why don’t you just go in the hallway and fine everyone you see lying?”

    The answer is: because you can’t do that. You can only fine people who broke the traffic laws.

    Could you deter more lying by passing a law that says anyone who lies can be fined and given points on their DMV record, regardless of whether they broke traffic laws?

    I suppose you could. But such a law will never pass, and so it’s stupid to talk about it, and your comment to the judge is pointless.

    Patterico (2a65a5)


  41. Phil apparently a) likes having illegal aliens here, and b) doesn’t particularly mind having criminals around as a part of our society.

    At least you’re honest enough to admit that your only basis for “deporting the criminals first” is that you really want to deport all illegals, and if you have to choose between them, you like the criminals the least. That’s understandable, although it’s not a rational argument for deportation in general.

    You might as well say “I’d like to kill all illegal aliens; lets start with the criminals.” Is that a rational argument for killing illegal aliens? No. It’s simply a preference for where to start. Do we need repeated reminders of how offensive criminals are to garner support for this position? Of course not.

    The truth is, you are setting a rhetorical trap. You say “deport the criminals first.” If someone says “why deportation?” you say, “what, you like criminals?” That rhetorical cheap shot is the whole basis for this series of posts on deporting the criminals first.

    And then, of course, you spring the trap. You say that I “don’t particularly mind having criminals around as a part of our society,” (i.e. “what, you like criminals?”) You have no reason to think that just because we disagree on how to deal with criminals I am somehow less opposed to crime in general than you are.

    This little rhetorical game is an utter fallacy. I keep arguing with you about it because, frankly, I think you’re smarter than that.

    phil (b355f6)

  42. At least you’re honest enough to admit that your only basis for “deporting the criminals first” is that you really want to deport all illegals, and if you have to choose between them, you like the criminals the least. That’s understandable, although it’s not a rational argument for deportation in general.

    Rational argument #1: it’s the law. Illegals are illegal and should not be here.

    Rational argument #2: there is good reason for the law. We already have too many people in the country. If we choose to bring in more, we have the right to decide who we let in — to make sure that they are not diseased, or criminals, or possessed of other undesirable characteristics.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  43. In May 2006, Britain’s Tony Blair unveiled a plan to automatically deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  44. My mistake. Blair’s plan was/is to deport all foreigners who commit crimes whether they are legal or not.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  45. VOR63, you said: “…I’m just saying let’s tighten up our DWI laws to better deter the thousands of unnecessary deaths…”

    This is akin to demanding “comprehensive immigration reform” instead of doing the simple task of securing the border. This desire for the “package” v the doable, is what irratates the …. out of me. People of your orientation let the perfect be the enemy of the good; and, we all suffer for it.

    If Hadrian could build a wall 2,000 years ago, why can’t we? Hint: It’s not for a lack of technology

    Another Drew (4d2fc0)

  46. Another Drew,

    “People of my orientation”?? How on earth do you have any clue as to who I am? You don’t – you’d rather act hysterical and paint your brush over those that don’t agree with you 100% of the time.

    It is pointless – you seem to be incapable of separating this into two distinctly different issues.

    voiceofreason63 (cfae0f)

  47. Rational argument #1: it’s the law. Illegals are illegal and should not be here.

    “It’s the law” is not a rational argument, it’s a statement of fact. Yes, illegal aliens are in violation of a law we made. We cannot defend that the rationality of that law by saying “it’s the law.” So let’s move on to the second argument.

    Rational argument #2: there is good reason for the law.

    OK, you’re getting me all warmed up here . . . this might be good . . .

    We already have too many people in the country. If we choose to bring in more, we have the right to decide who we let in — to make sure that they are not diseased, or criminals, or possessed of other undesirable characteristics.

    Your “we have too many people here already” statement does rationally support securing the border. And while I don’t consider border security to be a partularly practical goal, at least it’s rational — it’s sort of like universial health care. A warm fuzzy idea that’ll never work, but OK, give it a shot.

    But your recommended policy of deportation is about people who are already here, not people who are coming in. You’re talking about scooping up people who are already here and moving them back across the border. Physically moving people, permanently. That’s a huge act that will disrupt families, social networks, not to mention the effect on Mexico of dropping people across the border.

    One more thing: This idea some people have (I’mnot sure if you have it or not) that illegal aliens are somehow all comitting immoral acts because they didn’t follow proper procedure: Immigration law makes people choose between being poor and breaking the law. The law is immoral. What if we made a law that required you to move to Mexico, lose your U.S. citizenship, and give up your law degree, getting nothing in return, for the benefit of those who stay in America? Would you be immoral if you delayed and struggled to stay in the U.S. for as long as possible?

    That’s what illegal immigrants are doing — the best they can in the face of laws stacked against them. From their perspective, our immigration laws are worthy of no respect beyond the respect you pay a mad dictator.

    Illegal immigrants have no chance to participate in the making of the laws that make them “illegal”, get no benefit from these laws, and no one making the laws is looking out for their interest. In effect, illegal immigrants are doing the best they can in the the face of a huge bully that is trying to prevent them from acheiving wealth.

    Acting like that makes them immoral is pathetic scapegoating.

    Phil (b355f6)

  48. Your “we have too many people here already” statement does rationally support securing the border. And while I don’t consider border security to be a partularly practical goal, at least it’s rational — it’s sort of like universial health care. A warm fuzzy idea that’ll never work, but OK, give it a shot.

    But your recommended policy of deportation is about people who are already here, not people who are coming in. You’re talking about scooping up people who are already here and moving them back across the border. Physically moving people, permanently. That’s a huge act that will disrupt families, social networks, not to mention the effect on Mexico of dropping people across the border.

    One more thing: This idea some people have (I’mnot sure if you have it or not) that illegal aliens are somehow all comitting immoral acts because they didn’t follow proper procedure: Immigration law makes people choose between being poor and breaking the law. The law is immoral. What if we made a law that required you to move to Mexico, lose your U.S. citizenship, and give up your law degree, getting nothing in return, for the benefit of those who stay in America? Would you be immoral if you delayed and struggled to stay in the U.S. for as long as possible?

    That’s what illegal immigrants are doing — the best they can in the face of laws stacked against them. From their perspective, our immigration laws are worthy of no respect beyond the respect you pay a mad dictator.

    Illegal immigrants have no chance to participate in the making of the laws that make them “illegal”, get no benefit from these laws, and no one making the laws is looking out for their interest. In effect, illegal immigrants are doing the best they can in the the face of a huge bully that is trying to prevent them from acheiving wealth.

    Acting like that makes them immoral is pathetic scapegoating.

    You are really out there if you’re asking us to worry about the effect on Mexico of dropping people across the border. You don’t seem to give a good goddamn about the effect on the U.S. of Mexico dropping its own citizens across the border.

    Phil, I know a family living in desperate circumstances. I’m sending them to your house tonight for food and shelter, and I frankly don’t give a damn whether it’s convenient for you or not.

    Now, let’s look at the situation where they have broken into your house, eaten your food, and settled in. You now come home to find them there.

    Once they’re there, don’t even think about calling the police. Your recommended policy of having them arrested for burglary is about people who are already in your house, not people who are coming in. You’re talking about scooping up people who are already in your house and moving them back to theirs. Physically moving people, permanently.

    The burglary law makes people choose between being poor and breaking the law. The law is immoral. What if we made a law that required you to move to the poor house that this family currently lives in, getting nothing in return, for your own benefit? Would you be immoral if you broke into someone’s house?

    In effect, the members of this family of burglars are doing the best they can in the the face of a huge bully that is trying to prevent them from acheiving wealth.

    (That’s you, Phil — the man of white male privilege making too much money and trying to keep this family from living in a style that approaches your own.)

    Acting like that makes them immoral is pathetic scapegoating.

    And if you say you’d gladly take that family in — great. I’ve got ten more I know about. I’m sending them too.

    “It’s the law” is not a rational argument, it’s a statement of fact. Yes, illegal aliens are in violation of a law we made. We cannot defend that the rationality of that law by saying “it’s the law.” So let’s move on to the second argument.

    We cannot defend the rationality of a law by saying “it’s the law,” but that’s not what we were talking about. You moved the goalposts. We were talking about the rationality of *enforcing* a law.

    I believe that one rational argument in favor of enforcing a law is that “it’s the law.” It may not be an *independently sufficient* argument, and in many cases, there are countervailing rational arguments that outweigh it.

    But to assign absolutely no value to a law’s status as law, as support for enforcing it, is anarchy. To say it is *irrational* — irrational! — to argue for enforcement of laws because they are laws, is to assign no value whatsoever to the rule of law.

    The fact that you might be able to make a reductio ad absurdum argument about a law in a particular case does not mean that we must have police re-evaluate anew the rationality of every law they enforce before taking action. They should show discretion, and believe me, they do — far more than the public realizes. But they needn’t be paralyzed by indecision before enforcing a clear law that is clearly being broken, and it is not *irrational* for them to enforce a law because it is the law.

    Phil, we have a whole system in place where we have a government that governs by general consent of the governed. Thus duly authorized, legislatures pass laws by virtue of the authority vested in them by We the People. That means something, Phil, and it is not irrational to argue for enforcement of a law thus duly passed *in part* because it was indeed duly passed and is the law.

    Now, do me a favor and make sure your refrigerator is stocked up before you leave the house.

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  49. You are really out there if you’re asking us to worry about the effect on Mexico of dropping people across the border. You don’t seem to give a good goddamn about the effect on the U.S. of Mexico dropping its own citizens across the border.

    Total distortion of what I’m saying — another rhetorical trap. “Agree with me or you hate America.”

    The rest of your post clearly demonstrates that you firmly believe that there is something morally “right” about your entitlement to U.S. privilege and wealth, and that there is something morally “wrong” to those who have been arbitrarily deprived of that same privilege by birth.

    You are essentially arguing the same thing that the king of England argued before he got his ass handed to him by the colonies — that some people have a divine moral right superior to those born in different circumstances, and should be able to control the less fortunate to benefit themselves.

    You will get you ass handed to you by the “illegal immigrants” in the same way the king of England did – unless you recognize that “illegal immigrants” have the same right as human beings to pursue happiness that you do, and the natural right to disregard laws that attempt to take their right to pursue happiness away from them.

    Of course an irrational part of me would like to lock out all the poor people in Mexico and preserve my entitlement birthright as a U.S. citizen for as long as possible. But I see the writing on the wall — anti-immigration policies are unsustainable, because they are unnatural. They go against natural law. Better deal with the underlying problems now then let them fester and eventually come back to haunt us in a far worse form.

    Phil (427875)

  50. You claim I distort what you’re saying but don’t explain how. You had the nerve to wring your hands over the effect on Mexico of dumping illegals there, but you show no concern whatsoever about the effect on our country. That’s not a distortion. It’s the truth.

    Your only possible argument is that we can better absorb them because of our wealth.

    Which brings us to your house.

    By not addressing my argument about your house, you are arguing that you have some white male privilege to live in it and exclude others.

    You are going to have your ass handed to you by my family of burglars, which I am sending over right now.

    How *dare* you claim the right to exclude them?

    Patterico (2a65a5)

  51. You had the nerve to wring your hands over the effect on Mexico of dumping illegals there, but you show no concern whatsoever about the effect on our country. That’s not a distortion. It’s the truth.

    If it takes “nerve” to consider the overall effect of an action, then I guess I have “nerve.” Oh well. In fact, I feel like I’m the one who’s actually concerned about fixing the real problem, as opposed to just a knee-jerk quick-fix.

    These illegal immigrants are coming here from Mexico. If them coming here is a problem, then dumping them back there, without fixing the problem that is causing them to come here, is just going to create more of a problem.

    Now, these people who didn’t want to be in Mexico in the first place are back there, but this time their family and social connections have been cut, and any semblance of structure to their lives has been removed. So, is that going to help solve our overall illegal immigration problem?

    As I’ve said before, it’s like trying to fix an overflowing dam by collecting the overflowing water and trucking it back upstream. You’re just creating more pressure on the dam itself, by having the same water overflow the dam twice.

    Of course, then you’ll make the argument that we should just fix border security as well, so we kick them out and they stay out. In other words, let’s fix the dam AND truck the water back upriver. I still think we’re better off just focusing on fixing the dam, assuming it can be fixed. Except in this case, I don’t think we’re going to really fix the dam, because you can’t build a big enough dam. But anyway . . .

    Phil (427875)

  52. If them coming here is a problem, then dumping them back there, without fixing the problem that is causing them to come here, is just going to create more of a problem.

    Phil, did you just advocate the invasion of Mexico and overthrow of their government?

    Cause, otherwise, I’m drawing a blank on how the US is able to “fix the problem”.

    Unix-Jedi (d657d9)

  53. As I’ve said before, it’s like trying to fix an overflowing dam by collecting the overflowing water and trucking it back upstream. You’re just creating more pressure on the dam itself, by having the same water overflow the dam twice.

    Except in this case, the water is killing people.

    The rest of your post clearly demonstrates that you firmly believe that there is something morally “right” about your entitlement to U.S. privilege and wealth, and that there is something morally “wrong” to those who have been arbitrarily deprived of that same privilege by birth.

    Perhaps you’ve heard this little ditty before:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Is your argument that the American lifestyle should be available to anyone who manages to get here, Phil?

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. Phil, did you just advocate the invasion of Mexico and overthrow of their government?
    Cause, otherwise, I’m drawing a blank on how the US is able to “fix the problem”.

    If you’re drawing a blank, it’s not because I haven’t stated my position repeatedly. Mexicans are crossing the border to the U.S. because they have opportunities here. People follow opportunities; it’s natural law.

    The primary objection to the illegal immigrants is that they are taking away opportunities here, from us (there’s some fearmongering about terrorism and car accidents and stuff, but that’s all motivated by an underlying effort to protect American’s opportunities).

    There are two facets to this problem. First, there is the fact that we have created a society that is entitlement-based, with an expectation of future entitlements. People are worried about illegal aliens watering down all of these entitlements. But the real problem is the entitlements themselves. These entitlements are inefficient, and having more people around to suck them up just exposes the inefficiency.

    Second, there is the concern about competition for jobs. Personally, I think that’s bull-puckey, because jobs should not be viewed as a zero-sum game. Employers aren’t handing out wealth, they are paying for a resource – labor. If people are working, their labor is producing wealth, not using it up. The U.S. population has grown tremenously in the past century, and our wealth and employment opportunities have grown with it. There is no finite number of jobs.

    Is your argument that the American lifestyle should be available to anyone who manages to get here, Phil?

    The “American lifestyle” is unsustainable as it currently exists, but that’s not illegal aliens fault, it’s a systemic flaw. Illegal aliens are just making it go to hell in a handbasket a bit faster.

    That said, I do think that the American lifestyle described in the Constitution can and ideally should be available to everyone who manages to get here. Of course, the Constitution doesn’t mention anything about free emergency room care, social security, food stamps, education, etc. It’s our dependence on those things, and not our Constitution, that is causing the freakout over illegal immigration.

    Phil (427875)

  55. The “American lifestyle” is unsustainable as it currently exists, but that’s not illegal aliens fault, it’s a systemic flaw.

    Really? Why is that? Liberty, opportunity, improving one’s station are unsustainable?

    Of course, the Constitution doesn’t mention anything about free emergency room care, social security, food stamps, education, etc. It’s our dependence on those things, and not our Constitution, that is causing the freakout over illegal immigration.

    I’m not dependant on any of those things, Phil, though I should point out that Social Security is purportedly something we pay into to receive the benefit.

    Pablo (99243e)

  56. Pablo, I have no idea where we disagree based on your last post. If you really think about what I’m saying, I think you’ll see that I believe that the only real threat illegal aliens pose is to consume entitlements. It’s those entitlements that I believe are unsustainable, not the general freedoms we enjoy.

    I don’t think there’s a saturation point where it’s impossible to provide people with the basic freedoms guaranteed by the constition — those freedoms are scalable.

    As for social security, yes, it’s something we pay into to recieve a benefit, but it’s not sustainable in its current form. If it was structured in such a way that you got out what you put in, illegal aliens wouldn’t be a problem for it (they just get back what they put in).

    Phil (427875)

  57. Phil,

    I agree that America offers economic opportunity, and I also agree that the vast majority of immigrants come here in response to those opportunities. As I understand your recent comments, your argument is that mass illegal immigration is unavoidable and even encouraged by market forces.

    I also like to analyze the economic aspects of political policies but I think your analysis fails because of this fact: The way the American social welfare system works, illegal immigrants get the benefit of American economic opportunities without having to bear corresponding burdens. Thus, your economic analysis is flawed because the immigrant market is not capitalist and is, in fact, supported by subsidies.

    Most illegal immigrants suffer hardships. They leave their homes, sometimes their families, and come to a foreign land. They struggle with a new language, culture, physical environment and rules. Nevertheless, because America provides illegal immigrants with a social safety net in the form of health care, shelter, and food, immigrants don’t bear the true burden that a market analysis would impose. Thus, it’s flawed to use capitalist economic theory to justify illegal immigration in a socialized market.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  58. If you really think about what I’m saying, I think you’ll see that I believe that the only real threat illegal aliens pose is to consume entitlements.

    I’m sure that the Ortiz family would disagree, as would anyone who’s been on the wrong side of MS-13. And don’t get me started on the national security implications. We should know who’s coming into our country, and they should come with permission, as you must do virtually everywhere.

    It’s those entitlements that I believe are unsustainable, not the general freedoms we enjoy.

    So, we should do what we can to decrease such costs, no? And barring entry to people who shouldn’t be here and sending them back when we find them here anyway would do what to those costs?

    Pablo (99243e)

  59. I guess we can agree to disagree on whether or not illegal immigrants are coming here just to consume our safety net. Maybe I have more faith in general human nature than I should, but I tend to figure that people industrious enough to overcome the bariers to illegal immigration are looking for more than just a handout.

    Since I don’t think our safety net as it currently functions is sustainable anyway, I’m less concerned about illegals just speeding up a process that’s going to inevitably occur already.

    As I’ve also argued, with a few changes we can both improve our use of a limited government safety net, and also limit the opportunity by illegals (and anyone else) to become free riders on that net. School vouchers for education; social security tied to actual contributions; welfare reform is already well underway to eliminate citizen free riders — they can do the same for illegals.

    As far as I can tell, the only free-riding that’s really hard to get rid of without seeming inhuman is the rush on hospital emergency rooms. But our habit of making emergency rooms (extremely expensive places) the last refuge of those who can’t pay is the more serious problem, there, in my opinion.

    Being a horrible softie, I don’t really see much harm in free riders in health care by itself, because I don’t see that many people immigrating to the U.S. just to sit around and wait to get sick/injured. Take away food stamps, social security, etc., and they’ll be working; them being healthy is a benefit to society not a cost.

    Phil (427875)

  60. “I’m sure that the Ortiz family would disagree”

    Not unless they’re irrational. If they’re rational, they’re mad about one man’s terrible irresponsibility in being a drunk driver, and also at our country’s continuing acceptance of drunk driving as a cost of being on the road. Three prior DUIs? I don’t care about his citizenship, I care about why he’s not in jail already.

    As for your talk of costs/benefits of deportation/border control versus fixing the entitlement system, I think I’ve addressed that already in other posts. I’m sorry if I’m not being clear enough. I don’t think sending them back/barring them from entry fixes the real problem, and I think it’s scapegoating. See the prior dam metaphore, etc.

    Phil (427875)

  61. You missed my point, Phil, but I appreciate your answer because it helps me understand your mindset.

    DRJ (2d5e62)

  62. Phil:

    I did indeed misunderstand your argument, my apologies.

    Unix-Jedi (b18156)


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