Cafe Hayek questions George Will

Over at Cafe Hayek, Don Boudreaux has posted an open letter to George Will criticizing his column on Arizona’s immigration bill:

Instead of excusing Arizona’s current statute – one that only further tightens the very sorts of restrictions that cause such troubles – why not instead propose that Arizona’s government take a more direct and sure route to solving such problems?

Why not suggest that that state open its borders to the same degree that America’s borders were open until as recently as the mid-1920s?

With such openness, there would be no need for immigrants to stealthily steal in to Arizona in the dark of night.  There would be no massive wasting of taxpayer resources on the surrealistically counterproductive task of preventing these alleged welfare-seeking, public-goods-destroying sponges from working legally and paying taxes.  (More than half of Arizona’s new statute is aimed at stopping “illegal” immigrants from finding jobs in that state.  What does this fact tell you?)  Crime rates would fall as immigrants would come out of the shadows and have greater access to legal, gainful employment.

To expand on this, it’s sad to see some of the myths still going around about illegals, and immigrants in general. As I mentioned earlier this week, one of those myths is about the drain on state economies.

A 2006 study from the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina shows that hispanics, both legal and illegal, have a significant positive impact on that state’s economy:

Arizona Legislature Passes Fixes To Immigration Law In Response To Critics

The Arizona legislature passed some changes to the new immigration law that purport to answer some of the stronger criticisms that have been leveled over the past week:

PHOENIX — Arizona lawmakers have approved several changes to the recently passed sweeping law targeting illegal immigration.

If Gov. Jan Brewer supports the changes, they will go into effect at the same time as the new law, 90 days from now.

The current law requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

One change to the bill strengthens restrictions against using race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning and inserts those same restrictions in other parts of the law.

Changes to the bill language will actually remove the word “solely” from the sentence, “The attorney general or county attorney shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

Another change replaces the phrase “lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to apparently clarify that officers don’t need to question a victim or witness about their legal status.

A third change specifies that police contact over violations for local civil ordinances can trigger questioning on immigration status.


The follow-on legislation approved Thursday also would change the law to specify that immigration-status questions would follow a law enforcement officer’s stopping, detaining or arresting a person while enforcing another law.

Republican Congressman: Deport American Citizens!

California Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. wants to deport American citizens:

Not all American citizens, mind you. Just the natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal immigrants.

At a tea party rally in Ramona in San Diego County over the weekend, Hunter fielded a question about the issue.

“Would you support deportation of natural born American citizens that are the children of illegal aliens?” a man in the audience asked.

“I would have to, yes,” Hunter said.

He continued:

You can look and say, ‘You’re a mean guy. That’s a mean thing to do. That’s not a humanitarian thing to do.’ We simply cannot afford what we’re doing right now.”We just can’t afford it anymore,” Hunter said. “That’s it. And we’re not being mean. We’re just saying it takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s within our souls.”

“We just can’t afford it anymore,” Hunter said. “That’s it. And we’re not being mean. We’re just saying it takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s within our souls.”

Hunter’s office did not immediately return TPM’s phone call seeking comment.

Hunter also said he thinks Arizona’s controversial new immigration law “is a fantastic starting point.”

Of course he did.


Judge Andrew Napolitano: Arizona’s Immigration Law Is Unconstitutional

Judge Andrew Napolitano was on Fox & Friends Tuesday explaining quite succinctly just what’s wrong with Arizona’s new immigration law:

The Tea Party Movement Is Brewing A Mighty Authoritarian Cup Of Tea

James Bovard visited a Tea Party rally in Maryland and came away wondering just how anti-government the movement really is:

At a Tax Day tea party in Rockville, Md., the speaking venue was draped with a huge banner: “Tired of Big Government?” Members of the “Tyranny Response Team” stood near the front of the rally with their official blue T-shirts. Giant American flags and ones with “Don’t Tread on Me” (with a coiled rattlesnake) were carried around by men with tri-corn hats. Political campaigns busily sold “9/11 Remembrance” bracelets.

And yet, the crowd of 300 seemed most outraged that the US government is not being sufficiently aggressive in using its power.

Ken Timmerman, the author of “Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America” and other hawkish books, declaimed that the US government must take every step to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Mr. Timmerman denounced the Obama administration for being soft on Tehran and urged support for legislation to impose harsh sanctions on Iran. Timmerman previously advocated a US naval blockade of Iran, which he claimed was planning a nuclear attack on the United States.

Running through a litany of President Obama’s greatest failings, Timmerman denounced him for forcing US agents to “stop using enhanced interrogation methods. Has that made us safer?”

“No!” the crowd hollered indignantly.

On Arizona’s new immigration law (it’s a mistake)

Jeffrey Miron, an economist at Harvard and fellow at the Cato Institute, offers his thoughts on Arizona’s new immigration law:

This law is incredibly misguided. Enforcement will be selective, inflaming ethnic and racial tensions. Police resources are better utilized pursuing crimes like homicide, rape, and theft. And the measure’s impact on immigration will be modest in any case.

The only way to reduce illegal immigration is to expand legal immigration; punitive, “supply side” measures will not work so long as the wage gap between Mexico and the U.S. persists.

I tend to agree. I don’t buy into much of the rhetoric surrounding illegal immigration. Typically, immigrants contribute much more to our economy than the anti-immigration crowd wants to admit.

A 2006 study from the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina shows that hispanics, both legal and illegal, have a significant impact on that state’s economy:

North Carolina’s rapidly growing Hispanic population contributes more than $9 billion to the state’s economy through its purchases, taxes and labor, while costing the state budget a net $102 per Hispanic resident in health care, education and correctional services, according to a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Joe Arpaio does not represent the tea party movement

Radley Balko takes issue with tea partiers in Arizona inviting Joe Arpaio, the man who has made a name for himself for his obscure treatment of prisioners and contempt for brown people, to speak at a tea party rally:

Dear Tea Partiers,

Ask Joe Arpaio to be your keynote speaker, and you’ve lost me.

He’s a power-mad thug with a badge, the walking, mouth-breathing antithesis of the phrase “limited government.”

Yes, this is but one state chapter in your movement. So distance yourself from them.

It’s one thing to have a few idiots and nutjobs show up at your rallies.

It’s quite another to invite one to speak.


Radley Balko

PS: Hating immigrants? Not a winning issue. Or, for that matter, a limited government issue.

I could not agree more.

Arizona’s Immigration Bill Is Unconstitutional And Will Bankrupt The State Of Arizona

Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in pretty quickly yesterday on Arizona’s new immigration bill:

Arizona Legislature To Citizens: “Show Us Your Papers”

The Arizona Legislature has passed what is clearly the most draconian immigration law in the country:

Arizona lawmakers on Tuesday approved what foes and supporters agree is the toughest measure in the country against illegal immigrants, directing local police to determine whether people are in the country legally.

The measure, long sought by opponents of illegal immigration, passed 35 to 21 in the state House of Representatives.

The state Senate passed a similar measure earlier this year, and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to sign the bill.

The bill’s author, State Sen. Russell Pearce, said it simply “takes the handcuffs off of law enforcement and lets them do their job.”

But police were deeply divided on the matter, with police unions backing it but the state police chief’s association opposing the bill, contending it could erode trust with immigrants who could be potential witnesses.

Immigrant rights groups were horrified, and contended that Arizona would be transformed into a police state.

“It’s beyond the pale,” said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “It appears to mandate racial profiling.”

The bill, known as SB 1070, makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they form a “reasonable suspicion” that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person’s immigration status.

Currently, officers can inquire about someone’s immigration status only if the person is a suspect in another crime. The bill allows officers to avoid the immigration issue if it would be impractical or hinder another investigation.

Stossel and guests explain libertarianism

On his most recent show on Fox Business John Stossel explains libertarianism, which most accurately describes my political beliefs and personal philosophy, along with guests Andrew Napolitano, P.J. O’Rourke, David Boaz and others.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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