Category Archives: Immigration

Obama Deportation Record

ImmigrationPresident Obama Deporting Record Number Of Aliens

The current administration likes to point out that they are strong on immigration enforcement:

Immigration officials announced last week that President Obama has deported more than 1.9 million people since first taking office, more than any other previous administration.

Sounds tough, right?  Nearly 2,000,000 people “gone”.  More than even Bush.


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The Immigration Debate


At some point the focus of the nation will return to the immigration debate here in America.  And when it does, I’ll continue to be confused.  For the life of me, I don’t understand the positions of each side of the debate.

So, here are my questions:

  1. Why is the current debate limited to those people here illegally?
  2. Why, in general, do we limit immigration at all?
  3. If we do limit immigration, why do we limit it in so many stages?
    1. Green Card
    2. Student Visa
    3. Citizenship
  4. How are the numbers decided on?

Personally, we have TONS of room here, not only for anyone that wants to live here in America but literally, every one in the world:


We have the room.


The Republican Opposition To Immigration Reform


I’m not entirely clear on either side of the debate, but most especially with the republican argument.  Best I can tell, the idea is that granting amnesty to existing aliens is bad.  I don’t know why republicans think that’s a bad idea, but I know why I think it is.  And that reason is that I know, am friends with, a number of foreign nationals that are on a multi-year waiting list to obtain a simple green card.  THEY want permanent resident status and to eventually become a citizen.  These guys are paying taxes, buying homes and even contributing to social security.  All with no assurance that they will be allowed to remain here in the States.

I think I’m pretty libertarian in my thinking that while borders are important, they should be made to cross as easily as possible.  A simple check for legal status in native country, terrorist watch list and potentially dangerous disease.

Other than that, I’m for letting anyone and everyone in.

But this insistence on “no amnesty”…what does that mean?  Do republicans feel that the folks already here, with families often 2 generations deep, cannot become a citizen ever?  Or until they return home to their native country and apply?  Is THAT what we really want?  Is that good for the nation?

I don’t think it is.  And I’d bet that most folks would agree with me, even the republicans.  So why this insistence on no-amnesty if they can’t even articulate what that means and why they support the position?

I don’t know.

The “Cost” Of Immigration


Recently, The Heritage Foundation published a report saying that immigration reform would cost us $6.3 trillion.  I’m posting late on this but it’s been in my stack for awhile.  The report struck me wrong because I’ve never considered immigration to be a financial transaction.  It’s always been a primal “yawlp”.  America is less a physical location than it is a “way of living”.

Beyond that, I couldn’t get over the numbers.  And then CATO helped me out:

The Heritage Foundation has released a study claiming an immigration amnesty will cost the U.S. Treasury $6.3 trillion. Many other free-marketeers — of which I am one — decry that report’s methodology as ignoring the economic growth effects and resulting tax revenues of open immigration.

I’ve always thought that immigration brought the folks most willing to work for a better life.  And not those who simply want to live at the government’s expense.

So, how do immigrants that are willing to work and work hard help the new nation?

A 2009 study prepared for the Cato Institute employed a dynamic economic model called USAGE to estimate the economic change caused by immigration reform. It found that a bill similar to that proposed in the Senate added $180 billion to U.S. household income a year.

Another paper commissioned by Cato employed a similar analysis using a model called the GMig2. The study found that immigration reform would increase U.S. GDP by $1.5 trillion in 10 years.

That model also ran a simulation in which all unauthorized immigrants were removed from the U.S. economy — a policy favored by Heritage’s study. The result was a $2.6 trillion decrease in estimated GDP growth over the same decade, confirming the commonsense observation that removing workers, consumers, investors, and entrepreneurs from America’s economy will make us poorer.

The Cato studies provide dynamic tools that count the unambiguous economic gains from increased immigration as part of any reform. The consensus among economists is that immigration is good for the vast majority of Americans and the immigrants themselves, and makes both the U.S. and world economies larger and more productive.

A Reagan-era amnesty confirms that legalized immigrants experienced wage increases of up to 15 percent just by working legally. Those higher wages are a result of more productive workers who then pay higher taxes. But employers, shareholders, consumers, real estate owners, and most workers also see their incomes and productivity increase from immigration.

Not only is more open and freer immigration consistent with Liberty lovers, it makes financial sense.

Immigration Policy Hospital Style

ImmigrationSo I’m torn.  I think that America should open her doors to anyone that wants to come here – terrorists and wanted criminals excepted.  However, that doesn’t mean that I’m signing up for paying for medical bills:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Days after they were badly hurt in a car accident, Jacinto Cruz and Jose Rodriguez-Saldana lay unconscious in an Iowa hospital while the American health care system weighed what to do with the two immigrants from Mexico.

The men had health insurance from jobs at one of the nation’s largest pork producers. But neither had legal permission to live in the U.S., nor was it clear whether their insurance would pay for the long-term rehabilitation they needed.

So Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines took matters into its own hands: After consulting with the patients’ families, it quietly loaded the two comatose men onto a private jet that flew them back to Mexico, effectively deporting them without consulting any court or federal agency.

When the men awoke, they were more than 1,800 miles away in a hospital in Veracruz, on the Mexican Gulf Coast.

I have no grand illusion that clouds my judgement when it comes to medical care.  You cannot compel me to contribute to your care without my consent.  However, that doesn’t mean we can just fly these people back to where they came from.

Common Sense Or Tyranny?

Big Brother

Big government folks, people from gun control guys to vote control guys, should appreciate the idea of a biometric database.  The libertarian in me isn’t sure sure about this idea:

The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf)  is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.

This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.

The ramifications are pretty scary.  How far are we willing to go for the sake of security?

IQ, Heritage and The Left

Bell Curve

Recently the Heritage Foundation released a report claiming that a currently proposed immigration plan would cost a ton of money.   I haven’t spent much time on the report, though maybe I should, largely because I don’t think that our borders ought to be opened or closed based on the fiscal calculus of the immigrant.

America is a place for anyone in the world to aspire to come to.  And we should make sure that we are accommodating anyone that wants to leave behind an oppressive regime that suppresses economic liberty.  We are, as we are fond of saying, the land of the free.

However, an interesting side story of the Heritage report is the history of one of the authors, Jason Richwine.  It turns out that Mr. Richwine received his PhD at Harvard and his doctoral thesis focused on IQ and immigration.  Last week I mentioned this:

I’ll drift over to our more liberal media sources later to see if this is making waves.

Well, I did and it did.

Everyone is ablush concerning the whole study of Mr. Richwine.

See, it turns out that some people think that intelligence, measured in terms of IQ, is a matter of genetics or, perhaps more accurately, heritability.   The difference being that genetics determines that humans have one nose, two ears and hair.  Heritability determines the size of the nose, the shape of the ear and color of the hair.

At its most basic, the argument that IQ is a matter of “genetics” is the idea that, in general, smart parents, in aggregate, will have smart children, in aggregate.  This is meant to be read in the same way that tall people, in aggregate, will have tall children while short parents will have short children.  Does this imply that all tall parents will only and ever have tall children?  Certainly not.  It’s meant to say that height, ear lobe shape, hair color and even looks are based in some part on the parents.

In short, people with high IQs will trend to have children with high IQs.  Those parents scoring low on IQ tests will, generally, have children who score lower on IQ tests.

I think it’s important to say that  IQ tests may or may not accurately measure intelligence, or G.  In fact many people, most likely correctly, feel that IQ tests are not a strict measure of intelligence but are rather measures of cultural influences and education.  That is, equally intelligent people, having been raised in vastly different homes, may score differently on the same IQ test.

Granted.  Sure, circumstances are going to differ.  Tests measuring intelligence are going to be, to a degree, biased.  However, that doesn’t change the fact that intelligence is a trait.  And people are going to enjoy the benefits or suffer from a deficit of that trait, across a spectrum.  There is no disputing that we have intelligent people and those who lack that intelligence.  Further, we all know that siblings of smart kids are often smart and vice versa.

The science behind the heritability of intelligence is overwhelming.  Intelligence, measured by the albeit flawed IQ, is massively heritable.  Some measures have it at 80% heritable while others, at the low end, have it only at 40%.

When read in this light, the claims made by people who state that some group of people is smarter than some other group of people shouldn’t be surprising.  Or controversial.  Or worthy of all the gnashing of teeth  If, for example, I were to claim that neurosurgeons were, in general, more intelligent than, say, garbage men, I don’t think anyone one would blink an eye.  And if were to take that one step further and say that the children of neurosurgeons were, in general, more intelligent than the children of garbage men, I don’t think that would be surprising either.

So, when Richwine makes a claim that immigrants have a lower IQ, read G, than native born Americans, he’s saying that people that live in America, as a group, are simply more intelligent than the group of people that decide to immigrate to America.  I don’t think he’s saying that the race of people that live in America is inherently and forever going to be more intelligent than that race of people moving to America from foreign countries.

Heck, in one way, it might even make sense.  If people who are less intelligent find that they are on the low end of the economic scale, they might be the very individuals most motivated to immigrate to America in hopes of a better life.  After all, the individuals in a nation who are most economically advanced are going to find the risk/reward calculus to be one that incents them to remain where they are.

And the left goes crazy at this notion.  The idea that some people are simply born smarter smacks them of some .. well, of some “I can’t describe it” impossibility.  We can be born of different heights that fit on a bell curve.  Of weights.  Of heart size and of athletic ability.  Hair color, eye color and freckles all can be described by heritability.  But plain old smarts?


That goes against the whole notion that we’re all equal.  Born equal.  Living equal and should be expected to achieve equally if only we can remove the bias of wealth, power and influence.

Which is bullshit.

So, does the comment offered by Richwine:

No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against. From the perspective of Americans alive today, the low average IQ of Hispanics is effectively permanent.

sound offensive and harsh?  I think it does both.  While I don’t like the aspect that speaks to “ever reach IQ parity” I do find myself resonating with the concept that a group of people with low IQs are going to have children with equally low IQs even extending to their children’s children.

And while sensitive to discuss, I don’t think it poses a conceptual reality that we would dismiss if, instead of having differing IQ, immigrants had differing heights.

And ALL of this is not ever saying that the ability of a group of people to increase their collective IQ isn’t possible.

By the way, one of the defenses of Richwine’s statements comes from the left itself:

First, the concept of “race”: There is no “Hispanic race.” It’s a census category, not a biological one. What we call “Hispanics” in the United States includes Indian peasants from Yucat&aaccute;n and doctors from Mexico City (and Madrid).

You cannot be racist if you are describing a group of people that has nothing in common regarding race.  “The Nation” is correct in asserting that Hispanic is not a racial descriptor, rather, it is one of, perhaps arbitrary definition.  The fact that the left dances between outrage and smugness should be no surprise.  Consider, for example, how folks on the right are “racists” when it comes to immigration reform while simultaneously pointing out that George Zimmerman is a “white Hispanic”.

As if.

Finally, like a nail in the coffin, is the logical conclusion of the left’s argument.  Namely that anyone claiming that intelligence is heritable is a racists is based on the idea that racism is a result of low IQ:

The last word in this story goes a study published in 2012 the journal Psychological Science. “In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874),” the researchers wrote, “we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood.”

As I predicted, the left is going nuts regarding Wichwine and anyone who might indicate that one group of people, for whatever reason, might be more intelligent than another group of people.

Immigration, Heritage and IQ


This is going to go over like a ton of bricks:

One of the authors of a Heritage Foundation report that panned a Senate plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws argued in his doctoral dissertation that immigrants generally have lower IQs than the “native white population” of the United States.

Jason Richwine, who received his doctorate in public policy from Harvard in 2009 and joined the conservative Heritage Foundation in 2012, wrote in his dissertation titled “IQ and Immigration Policy” that immigrants in the U.S. have lower IQs than native Americans, and that that difference “is likely to persist over several generations.”

“The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market,” Richwine wrote, in a story first reported by The Washington Post. “Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.”

I’ll drift over to our more liberal media sources later to see if this is making waves.


Starting The Process To Live Legally

I think that this is the right thing to do:

Raleigh, N.C. — State transportation officials announced Thursday that they will begin issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards March 25 to some immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children but qualify under a federal program that blocks deportation and grants work permits.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program blocks deportation of and grants work permits to immigrants brought to the United States as minors without authorization. Eligible applicants include high school students, high school graduates, those with a GED and those who have served in the military and have no felony convictions or significant misdemeanors.

State Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said the issue comes down to accountability and safety. The decision, he said, balances the rights of lawful citizens and those who have a newly accorded lawful status under the DACA program and wish to become citizens.

“They will be able to come in and get a driver’s license. We will know who they are,” Tata said. “They will have a license. They will have insurance, and it will make our roads safer.”

I know that it’s gonna be tricky and tough, but we simply have to begin to address the large number of folks who, for every single intent and purpose, are Americans to be able to live the life of a legal American.

Supreme Court Strikes 3 Of 4 Sections Of Arizona Immigration Law

Update: As regards to 5(C).  I disagree with the policy but would have thought that the state could legislate that.  Technically speaking, that means I agree with the legality Arizona was getting at and disagree with the Court.

Supreme Court Announces Ruling

This morning the Supreme Court released it’s ruling on the controversial Arizona immigration law passed in 2010.  The highly anticipated ruling is one of two high visibility cases heard in this session.  The Federal government had sued Arizona as a result of the law.  Specifically 4 sections:

  1. Section 3 – This section made failure to comply with Federal alien-registrations a state misdemeanor.
  2. Section 6 – Authorizes state and local officers to arrest without a warrant a person “the officer has probable cause to believe . . . has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States”
  3. 5(C) – This section makes it a misdemeanor for an unauthorized alien to look for or engage in work.
  4. Section 2(B) – Requires officers conducting a stop, detention, or arrest to make efforts, in some circumstances, to verify the person’s immigration status with the Federal Government

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