By Doug Newman – email me
Here I am on Facebook.
Posted at Popular Liberty and Reddit.
If you would like to post this elsewhere, please just link to this URL as I update many of my articles rather frequently.
In early March, 2010, conservatives were very properly outraged when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, with regard to Obamacare, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”.
Very recently, conservatives have been quick to point out that Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ “free” benefits will cost $18 trillion.
Conservatives do very well when explaining why gun control doesn’t stop crime, minimum wage laws hurt the poor and minorities and Obamacare has made healthcare dramatically more expensive.
Yet they fail to apply the same scrutiny to their own favorite government programs. They are in absolute denial that the drug war has given “the land of the free” the world’s highest incarceration rate or that the wars for empire that they so endlessly glorify have resulted in the deaths of countless thousands of innocents and are, hence, not “pro-life.”
Comes now the current front runner for the 2016 Republican nomination Donald Trump and his proposal to deport all illegal aliens over a 2-year period.
(Trump is not the only candidate to have totally come off the leash on the immigration issue. Former candidate Scott Walker would consider sealing both the Mexican and Canadian borders; Chris Christie wants to track foreign visitors just like FedEx tracks packages; Ben Carson would launch drone strikes on border tunnels.)
I asked a Facebook group what a mass deportation would look like in real life, and got the following responses:
DS: “Something like the Trail of Tears.”
NH: “Something like the mass incarceration of Japanese during World War 2.”
MB: “Did you ever see ‘The Diary of Anne Frank?’ Did you ever see ‘The Hiding Place’?”
Does anyone think that mass deportation would happen without reckless disregard for everyone’s civil liberties? Does anyone think that it would not entail total violation of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and, possibly, the Third Amendments?
Does anyone seriously think that mass deportation would happen without general warrants – as opposed to the Fourth Amendment’s requirement of specific warrants? Without widespread disregard for the presumption of innocence? Without heavy-handed federal intrusion on American employers and landlords?
While we are on the subject of “solutions”, does anyone seriously think that border walls would never be used to keep the American people in? Does anyone seriously think E-Verify would just be limited to verifying employment eligibility?
Jeffrey Tucker of the Foundation for Economic Education knocks it into the cheap seats here: “Meanwhile, this is a huge debate among people who otherwise swear fealty to ‘limited government.’ Many people who claim to want freedom seem to have no problem with the implications of a closed-border policy: national IDs, national work permits, non-stop surveillance, harassment of all businesses, a ‘papers please’ culture, mass deportation, tens of billions in waste, bureaucrats wrecking the American dream, broken families, the rights of Americans and foreigners transgressed at every turn.”
All of these would be implications of any mass deportation program.
George Will, who is certainly no libertarian, also went yard when he wrote the following: “When asked whether the forced deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants — almost as many people as passed through Ellis Island in 60 years — might take five or even 10 years, Trump scoffed: “Really good management” will get this done in at most two years. To meet a two-year deadline, his “management” wizardry will have to quickly produce a network of informers to assist at least 100,000 new law enforcement officers equipped with battering rams and bloodhounds.”
About which, R.H. said the following on Facebook: “Eleven million human beings identified, rounded up, placed in a staging facility and then deported. Would the humans be deported to the countries they originated from? What would become of the United States Citizens that are the children of the deportees? What would happen to the deportees if the country of origin refused them entry?”
And, as I pointed out recently, I am one-quarter Jewish, so Hitler would have come after me in Germany. And I wear glasses, so Pol Pot would have come after me in Cambodia. Whenever someone proposes “going after” this or that demographic, I start to squirm.
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes Uncle Sam to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization”, i.e. to make the rules about who may become a citizen. I am good with that as I don’t want interlopers voting here. (And I have no business voting any place where I have not lived for a prescribed amount of time.)
The word “immigration” appears nowhere in the Constitution – nor does any variant on this word. Hence, Uncle Sam has no power to regulate immigration. Indeed, there were no immigration laws in America until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Indeed, no one was clamoring for a wall to keep immigrants out until no very long ago. If we didn’t “need a wall” then, why do we all of a sudden “need” one now?
And, no, the Bill of Rights makes no distinction between citizens and non-citizens. The government can no more arbitrarily deny its protections to suspected illegal immigrants that it can to you or to me.
“So what’s your solution?” Well, as a libertarian, I don’t believe in “solutions” as they are utopian in nature and therefore fraught with immense peril. Instead, I prefer to think in terms of approaches.
There is no right to come here and have “free” housing, schooling, healthcare, etc. Turn off this tap and those who are leeching off Uncle Sugar will self-deport. Most of the problem would take care of itself in pleasantly short order.
“But what about crimes committed by illegal aliens?” See the Second Amendment. (Violent crime rates in America have dropped substantially over the last few decades. Did illegals cause this? No. But they have not caused an increase in crime either.)
“But what about Sharia law?” See Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution. Let’s start impeaching judges who issue rulings based on anything other than the Constitution. How often do judicial impeachments happen in America? Almost never. They need to happen almost daily.
Al Gore was at least forthright enough to call his environmental policy recommendations “inconvenient”. Right-wingers need to start acknowledging the inconveniences that accompany their favorite government policies. They are just as susceptible to utopianism as liberals.
Conservatives claim to be six-pack-ab constitutionalists, and yet are just as prone as liberals to totally ignore the Constitution when it stands in the way of their agenda. Truly rigid adherence to the Constitution would result in an immeasurably freer and more peaceful society.
It has been said that while a truly free society would not be the best imaginable society, it would be the best possible society. We should try it sometime.
From Reason.com: Trump’s Operation Police State
From Newsweek: Donald Trump’s Mass-Deportation Plan Means Making the United States a Police State