Famous Immigrant of the Week

This week our spotlight is on the famous comedian Leslie Townes Hope, better known as Bob Hope.  From the Biography Channel website:

(born May 29, 1903, Eltham, near London, England—died July 27, 2003, Toluca Lake, California, U.S.) British-born American entertainer and comic actor, known for his rapid-fire delivery of jokes and one-liners and for his success in virtually all entertainment media. He was also known for his decades of overseas tours to entertain American troops, and he received numerous awards and honours for his work as an entertainer and humanitarian.

Hope was the fifth of seven sons of a stonemason and a former Welsh concert singer; his family immigrated to the United States when he was four years old. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, manifesting the first signs of his vocation at age 10 when he won a Charlie Chaplin imitation contest. After a series of odd jobs, including amateur boxer, Hope during his late teens embarked on an entertainment career and later performed with a succession of partners in vaudeville. He first appeared on Broadway in The Sidewalks of New York (1927), and after additional work in vaudeville and a failed Hollywood screen test, he landed his first substantial stage role in the Jerome Kern musical Roberta (1933). During the mid-1930s he starred in a series of comedy shorts and found increasing success in radio, a medium well-suited to his loquacious style. Hope made his feature-film debut in The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938), in which he first sang his signature tune “Thanks for the Memory,” and he launched the long-running The Bob Hope Show on radio in that same year. By the end of the decade, Hope was one of America's most popular comics.

Hope went on to Hollywood fame and is known as an American icon.  You can read more about him on his website.

Here's one of my favorite Bob Hope moments:

Obama Talks the Talk But Can He Walk the Walk?

Here's an excerpt from an eye-opening Mother Jones article called "It's Official: Obama Has Deported More Than A Million Unauthorized Immigrants":

The Obama administration had deported about 1.06 million as of September 12, against 1.57 million in Bush's two full presidential terms.

That's right, Obama is on the verge of deporting more undocumented immigrants in a single term than Bush did his full eight years in office.

Despite the administration's stated focus on unauthorized immigrants with criminal records, more than half of those deported had no criminal records, 54 percent to 46 percent...

While the administration only recently announced changes to its deportation policy, it remains to be seen if Obama's actions will match his rhetoric.

(H/T to Paul Hsieh)

Weekly Quote

To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others. - Albert Camus

Drug War Sends Asylum-Seekers to US

Here's a heart-breaking article from International Business Times about the Mexican American drug war sending increasing numbers of asylum-seekers to the US.  From the article:

As Mexico has spiraled into a bloody cycle of police raids on drug dealers and violent reprisals, more Mexicans have arrived in the United States and argued to immigration authorities that they would face torture or death if they returned home. In all, 3,231 Mexicans filed for asylum last year, up from 2,670 in 2005.

"I fear the cartels, but I fear the Mexican military more," a human rights workers named Cipriana Jurado told GlobalPost. "The soldiers have killed many innocent people, and any human-rights workers who stand in their way are in great danger."

America's drug war has caused a violent black market for drugs here and abroad.  Due to increasing pressure from the US, Mexico is now bogged down in its own drug war which wastes tax payer money and creates all kinds of corruption and violence, on both sides of the border.  This combined with the government-created black market in immigration makes the US-Mexico border dangerous for everyone.

The governments of the United States and Mexico need to stop violating individual rights now.  End the immoral and disastrous drug wars and open the borders so that peaceful people can move about freely in search of a better life!

Tea Party Opposes E-Verify

Reason Magazine reports:

A coalition of Tea Partiers and conservatives, including Take Back Washington's Kathryn Serkes, Downsize DC's Jim Babka, Tea Party Nation's Judson Phillips, and Washington D.C. Tea Party founder Thomas Whitmore, sent a letter to congressional Republicans yesterday warning them not to pass the Legal Workforce Act, which would mandate that all U.S. employers use E-Verify. The group also took out a full-page ad in the D.C. trade pub POLITICO, according to the Huffington Post's Elise Foley.

The letter says that E-Verify "[c]reates a de facto national I.D. System—even for citizens; violates individual civil liberties such as the right to work and free speech; mandates a costly job-killing regulatory burden that cripples small business; requires employers to become enforcement agents of the federal government; encourages identify theft of law-abiding citizens." All of which is true!

You can read the full article, see an awesome picture of the evil Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tx.), and read his awful opinion here http://reason.com/blog/2011/09/16/tea-party-groups-warn-congress

Famous Immigrant of the Week

This week we honor Taiwanese immigrant, Dr. David Ho.  Dr. Ho is a well-known AIDS researcher and in 1996 was Time Magazine's Man of the Year.  From the Immigration Update blog:

Dr. Ho is a well known AIDS research pioneer born in Taiwan.  When David Ho was 12 years old, his father sent for the family to join him in a  land they did not know, and whose language they did not speak. David HoDavid was laughed at by classmates who thought he was stupid because he could not speak English, but he focused on his studies and was soon earning A’s in math, science, and even English. After graduating summa cum laude from Cal Tech, he earned a scholarship to Harvard Medical School.  As a young physician he saw some of the first known cases of AIDS. His pioneering work with “cocktails” of protease inhibitors and other antiviral drugs has brought about remarkable recoveries, and raised hope that the virus may someday be eliminated. Now Dr. David Ho is Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. He was chosen by Time Magazine as its 1996 “Man of the Year” for his discoveries.

You can read more about Dr. Ho at the Academy of Achievement website.

An Interview With the Statue of Liberty

While I don't believe that rights are God-given, An Interview With the Statue of Liberty by John Ruane over at ViewsHound is pretty darn awesome!  Here's an excerpt regarding the "rule of law" that I rather liked:

JR: You sound like a radical with all that “for the people” stuff. But if we grant amnesty to all those who came here illegally that would be an incentive to others to break the law. We must enforce this law no Statue of Libertymatter what the consequences!

Miss Liberty: As Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Understand this: laws are made to serve us; we are not made to serve the laws. We must never in our zeal for the law allow ourselves to break the true spirit on liberty and America. Change laws to protect liberty; don’t change liberty to protect laws. John Adams wrote: “You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments: rights that cannot be repeated or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the universe.”

You can read the full article here http://www.viewshound.com/politics-usa/2011/9/14/an-interview-with-the-statue-of-liberty (H/T to my friend, Pablo, for the link.)

Weekly Quote

Because the truth is, today's immigrants, as they have for generation after generation, work the longest hours at the hardest jobs for the lowest pay, jobs that are just about impossible to fill. - Luis Gutierrez

Southern Border Arrests at 40-Year Low

From Fox News Latino:

The number of immigrant arrests on the border with Mexico stands at its lowest level in 40 years, undermining conservative claims that the zone is "out of control" and leading activists to insist the time is right for comprehensive immigration reform.


Activist Pedro Rios, with the American Friends Service Committee in San Diego, [says], what has not declined is the number of people who have died trying to cross the border.

"The presence of (Border Patrol) agents makes the flow move to more dangerous zones and take more time. Bodies have been found up to 75 miles north of the border. We have about 6,000 dead people since 1994," said Rios.

"The border, as the low numbers of immigrant arrests show, does not need to be militarized any more. It's regrettable that there continues to exist a discourse that says that before getting started with immigration reform, the border must be secured, when now it is," said Rios.

You can read the full story here.

The thing that I hate most about the argument that the border must be secure before we can have meaningful immigration reform, is that it totally ignores the fact that our border would be safer because of good immigration reform.

If you open the borders to peaceful people who do not seek to violate the individual rights of others, that makes the job of catching the criminals that much easier.  If the vast majority of immigrants are coming in at designated entry points, that means those sneaking in through undesignated areas are likely up to no good.  In addition, if the honest, peaceful people are coming in legitimately, the criminals' underworld suddenly becomes smaller and they have fewer people to victimize and use as cover.

The amount of money and other resources being sent to our southern border is wasteful to say the least.  The human rights violations (and even deaths) that our government is causing is criminal.

1980 Republican Candidates Debate Immigration

Not only do they agree, but they're pretty darn rational! (H/T to Ryan) 

Famous Immigrant of the Week

This week we pay homage to Enrico Fermi, the co-inventor of the nuclear reactor.  Fermi came to the US in 1938 to escape Mussolini's fascist dictatorship.  From The Atom Archive website:

Enrico FermiEnrico Fermi was born on September 29, 1901, in Rome, Italy. At age 14, he became interested in the study of physics as a way of coping with his grief over losing his brother Giulio during minor surgery. In 1922, he graduated with a doctorate from the prestigious "Sculoa Normale Superiore" of Pisa, a special university-college for selected gifted students.

In 1923, Fermi was awarded a scholarship from the Italian government and spent several months with Professor Max Born in Gottingen. In 1924, with a Rockefeller Fellowship, he moved to Leyden to work with P. Ehrenfest, and later that year he returned to Italy to occupy the post of Lecturer in Mathematical Physics and Mechanics at the University of Florence, a position that he held for two years.

In 1926, Fermi discovered the statistical laws, nowadays known as the "Fermi statistics," governing the particles subject to Pauli's exclusion principles (now referred to as fermions, in contrast with bosons, which obey the Bose-Einstein statistics). The next year, Fermi was elected Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Rome, a post that he retained until 1938 when he emigrated to America, primarily to escape Mussolini's fascist dictatorship. Fermi was also awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his demonstrations of the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons."

You can read more about Fermi and his work at the Nobel Prize website.

The Emotional Side of Border Patrol

This Huffington Post article is interesting, emotional and thought-provoking.  Here are a few excerpts and my comments:

For certain agents, having compassion has meant having a change of heart. John Randolph became a border patrol agent when he was 27 because the job paid well and allowed him to speak Spanish. But Randolph's experience as a border patrol agent led him to become an immigrant rights activist. He wrote about his change of heart in a blog post for The Huffington Post last week:

"In my 26 years as a U.S. Border Patrol/ICE Agent, I caught many people. At the time, common sense told me that the vast majority of the people who I caught were good, hardworking people. I began to wonder why immigrants had to be chased like animals, and why I was being paid to chase them."

Randolph quickly realized there were big problems with his position. "It was a hard job, because I knew I was hurting people," he said. Interacting every day with border-crossers made him question the entire premise of the immigration system. "It just didn't make any sense to me why we'd be punishing people who were here to pick our vegetables," he said.

It doesn't make any sense, and without these immigrants, there will be no one to pick our vegetables.

For 30 days, Jorge, referred to as "Frank George" in the episode, lived in cramped quarters with seven members of the Gonzalez family, who came to the United States illegally to find work.

By the end of the episode, Jorge looks into the camera and says, "Perhaps what we learned is that first and foremost, we are human beings, and that's the thing that overrides politics and everything else."

But, Jorge now maintains that his change of opinion was mostly fabricated by the television show's producers. In a phone interview with HuffPost, he said he still considers himself a Minuteman and is now the co-host of "The Frank and Shannon Show," a radio show that advocates mass deportations and "securing that border militarily, with armed soldiers, with orders to shoot."

What was not fabricated, he claims, was his affinity for the undocumented family he lived with. "They were really lovely people, I loved them -- rather, I love them," he said.

So which is it, Jorge?  Should they be shot or should their rights be respected?  Should these peaceful people be allowed to go about their lives as free people or do they deserve the criminal label our country has slapped on them?

"Emotionally, I felt very divided. I really love these people [the Gonzalez family]. It's a battle between my emotions and my intellect," [Jorge] said. "Some of us are fortunate enough to have a good brain, and intellect tempers our emotion."

I think your emotions are trying to tell you something, Jorge.  You're evading the very real fact that these people have rights, and as long as you do, you will feel the emotional pain of your contradiction.  Perhaps you should investigate and learn the facts for yourself instead of falling for the anti-immigration rhetoric of your Minutemen friends.

It really saddens me when people stagnate and accept the bad ideas all around them.  There are good ideas out there, you just have to find them and spread them around.

Weekly Quote

"Although the political status of 12 million immigrants now residing in America is “illegal,” the moral status of most of them is: American." - Craig Biddle, The Objective Standard

Guests on The Objectivism Seminar

Santiago and I were recently invited by Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers to The Objectivism Seminar to speak about immigration.  The talk went so well that were invited back the following week to talk a bit more! 

Participants were asked to read and discuss two essays, Open Immigration by Harry Binswanger and Immigration and Individual Rights by Craig Biddle.  Both essays are excellent, we've linked to them previously, and I highly recommend them both.

The first recording went well and was more of a free-for-all general discussion about both articles.  The second recording was a bit more structured as we sorted through some of the common myths regarding immigration.  Please go check them out!

Immigration and Individual Rights September 5, 2011

Immigration and Individual Rights, Part 2, September 12, 2011

Thank you, Greg, for allowing us to join in on your program!  We had a great time and hope to participate in future discussions.

Let the Immigrants Fish!

My boss shared with me the following excerpt from the First Trust Monday Morning Outlook economic newsletter:

[The economy] is clearly underperforming. The question is: Why? And what should be done about it?

Some say that economies always perform poorly after a financial crisis. But, the banking crisis of the 1980s (Latin and South American defaults and the Savings and Loan Crisis) did not lead to economic underperformance. Others say that the US government must spend even more, but deficits are already so high that this seems spectacularly foolish.

The answer can be found in one of our favorite parables about economic growth. We borrow it from Paul Zane Pilzer.

Imagine 10 people live on an island. Each person catches two fish every day, which is subsistence living. There are no savings. Children, or immigrants who do not know how to fish, would be hard to absorb. The people would be desperate to increase production.

But then, a miracle happens. Two of these people figure out how to make a boat and a net. They fish 200 yards offshore. The two of them catch 20 fish each day with this new technology, which replicates the daily GDP created by all 10 using the old technology.

At this point, eight people no longer need to fish and the island has a choice. The eight could grow corn, pick coconuts, fix the boat and the net, or trade some other good or service to their more productive neighbors. Living standards would rise. Abundance and plenty would be created. Children and immigrants could be absorbed.

Or…the eight without a boat could become envious and complain that a 10 fish-to-2 fish income ratio is unfair and that the rich fishermen should pay taxes. So, the island votes to institute an 80% tax on anyone that uses a net.

Let’s assume that the fishermen with a boat continue to catch 20 fish a day. If so, the other eight would stop fishing and divide up the 16-fish tax between them. Everyone would still get two fish a day. Living standards would not rise. Kids and immigrants who did not know how to fish would be a burden. The benefits of the new technology would go to waste.

This is the problem with attempts by the government to be fair and socially just. This is also the problem with trying to spend our way out of economic pain. It doesn’t work.

And even if we decide not to tax the fishermen, but instead borrow the fish and give them away, the same thing happens. Borrowing the fish, and then consuming them, does not create new wealth. It only puts a burden on the less productive that they will never be able to repay. This is what has happened in Greece and many other European countries. Government spending, whether paid for with debt or with taxes, undermines job growth and wealth creation.

I love this example because it shows how capitalism (and selfishness) works and how government meddling in the economy (and altruism) doesn't.  I also love the fact that it puts the proper blame for the poor economy on the government and not "children or immigrants."

Many Americans have said it's time for politicians to stop playing the blame game and just fix the economy, but I say, let's put the blame where it properly lies, with the government!  Let's blame the government, hold them accountable and demand that they implement capitalism!

Open Immigration by Harry Binswanger

Open Immigration
by Harry Binswanger

This is a defense of phasing-in open immigration into the United States. Entry into the U.S. should ultimately be free for any foreigner, with the exception of criminals, would-be terrorists, and those carrying infectious diseases. (And note: I am defending freedom of entry and residency, not the automatic granting of U.S. citizenship).

An end to immigration quotas is demanded by the principle of individual rights. Every individual has rights as an individual, not as a member of this or that nation. One has rights not by virtue of being an American, but by virtue of being human.

One doesn't have to be a resident of any particular country to have a moral entitlement to be secure from governmental coercion against one's life, liberty, and property. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, government is instituted "to secure these rights"—to protect them against their violation by force or fraud.

A foreigner has rights just as much as an American. To be a foreigner is not to be a criminal. Yet our government treats as criminals those foreigners not lucky enough to win the green-card lottery.

Seeking employment in this country is not a criminal act. It coerces no one and violates no one's rights. There is no "right" to be exempt from competition in the labor market, or in any other market.

It is not a criminal act to buy or rent a home here in which to reside. Paying for housing is not a coercive act—whether the buyer is an American or a foreigner. No one's rights are violated when a Mexican, or Canadian, or Senegalese rents an apartment from an American owner and moves into the housing he is paying for. And what about the rights of those American citizens who want to sell or rent their property to the highest bidders? Or the American businesses that want to hire the lowest-cost workers? It is morally indefensible for our government to violate their right to do so.

Immigration quotas forcibly exclude foreigners who want not to seize but to purchase housing here, who want not to rob Americans but to engage in productive work, raising our standard of living. To forcibly exclude those who seek peacefully to trade value for value with us is a violation of the rights of both parties to such a trade: the rights of the American seller or employer and the rights of the foreign buyer or employee.

Thus, immigration quotas treat both Americans and foreigners as if they were criminals, as if the peaceful exchange of values to mutual benefit were an act of destruction.

To take an actual example, if I want to invite my Norwegian friend Klaus to live in my home, either as a guest or as a paying tenant, what right does our government have to stop Klaus and me? To be a Norwegian is not to be a criminal. And if some American business wants to hire Klaus, what right does our government have to interfere?

The implicit premise of barring foreigners is: "This is our country, we let in who we want." But who is "we"? The government does not own the country. Jurisdiction is not ownership. Only the owner of land or any item of property can decide the terms of its use or sale. Nor does the majority own the country. This is a country of private property, and housing is private property. So is a job.

American land is not the collective property of some entity called "the U.S. government." Nor is there such a thing as collective, social ownership of the land. The claim, "We have the right to decide who is allowed in" means some individuals—those with the most votes—claim the right to prevent other citizens from exercising their rights. But there can be no right to violate the rights of others.

Our constitutional republic respects minority rights. 60% of the population cannot vote to enslave the other 40%. Nor can a majority dictate to the owners of private property. Nor can a majority dictate on whom private employers spend their money. Not morally, not in a free society. In a free society, the rights of the individual are held sacrosanct, above any claim of even an overwhelming majority.

The rights of one man end where the rights of his neighbor begin. Only within the limits of his rights is a man free to act on his own judgment. The criminal is the man who deliberately steps outside his rights-protected domain and invades the domain of another, depriving his victim of his exclusive control over his property, or liberty, or life. The criminal, by his own choice, has rejected rights in favor of brute violence. Thus, an immigration policy that excludes criminals is proper.

Likewise, a person with an infectious disease, such as smallpox, threatens with serious physical harm those with whom he comes into proximity. Unlike the criminal, he may not intend to do damage, but the threat of physical harm is clear, present, and objectively demonstrable. To protect the lives of Americans, he may be kept out or quarantined until he is no longer a threat.

But what about the millions of Mexicans, South Americans, Chinese, Canadians, etc. seeking entry who are not criminal and not bearing infectious diseases? By what moral principle can they be excluded? Not on the grounds of majority vote, not on the grounds of protecting any American's rights, not on the grounds of any legitimate authority of the state.


That's the moral case for phasing out limits on immigration. But some ask: "Is it practical? Wouldn't unlimited immigration—even if phased in over a decade—be disastrous to our economic well-being and create overcrowding? Are we being told to just grit our teeth and surrender our interests in the name of morality?"

This question is invalid on its face. It shows a failure to understand the nature of rights, and of moral principles generally. Rational moral principles reflect a recognition of the basic nature of man, his nature as a specific kind of living organism, having a specific means of survival. Questions of what is practical, what is to one's self-interest, can be answered only in that context. It is neither practical nor to one's interest to attempt to live and act in defiance of one's nature as a human being.

Yet that is the meaning of the moral-practical dichotomy. When one claims, "It is immoral but practical," one is maintaining, "It cripples my nature as a human being, but it is beneficial to me"—which is a contradiction.

Rights, in particular, are not something pulled from the sky or decreed by societal whim. Rights are moral principles, established by reference to the needs inherent in man's nature qua man. "Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival." (Ayn Rand)

Every organism has a basic means of survival; for man, that means is: reason. Man is the rational animal, homo sapiens. Rights are moral principles that spell out the terms of social interaction required for a rational being to survive and flourish. Since the reasoning mind cannot function under physical coercion, the basic social requirement of man's survival is: freedom. Rights prescribe freedom by proscribing coercion.

"If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work." (Ayn Rand)

Rights reflect the fundamental alternative of voluntary consent or brute force. The reign of force is in no one's interest; the system of voluntary cooperation by mutual consent is the precondition of anyone achieving his actual interests.

To ignore the principle of rights means jettisoning the principled, moral resolution of conflicts, and substituting mere numbers (majority vote). That is not to anyone's interest. Tyranny is not to anyone's self-interest.

Rights establish the necessary framework within which one defines his legitimate self-interest. One cannot hold that one's self-interest requires that he be "free" to deprive others of their freedom, treating their interests as morally irrelevant. One cannot hold that recognizing the rights of others is moral but "impractical."

Since rights are based on the requirements of man's life as a rational being, there can be no conflict between the moral and the practical here: if respecting individual rights requires it, your interest requires it.

Freedom or force, reason or compulsion—that is the basic social alternative. Immigrants recognize the value of freedom—that's why they seek to come here.

The American Founders defined and implemented a system of rights because they recognized that man, as a rational being, must be free to act on his own judgment and to keep the products of his own effort. They did not intend to establish a system in which those who happen to be born here could use force to "protect" themselves from the peaceful competition of others.


One major fear of open immigration is economic: the fear of losing one's job to immigrants. It is asked: "Won't the immigrants take our jobs?" The answer is: "Yes, so that we can go on to better, higher-paying jobs."

The fallacy in the protectionist view lies in the idea that there is only a finite amount of work to be done. The unstated assumption is: "If Americans don't get to do that work, if foreigners do it instead, we Americans will have nothing to do."

But work is the creation of wealth. A job is not just drawing a salary, it is acting to produce things—food, cars, computers, internet content—all the goods and services that go to make up our standard of living. And we never get a "too high" standard of living or "too much" wealth. The need for wealth is limitless. And that means the need for productive work is limitless.

From a grand, historical perspective, we are only at the beginning of the wealth-creating age. The wealth Americans produce today is as nothing compared to what we'll have two hundred years from now—just as the standard of living in 1800 was as nothing, compared to ours today.

Unemployment is not caused by an absence of avenues for the creation of wealth. Unemployment is caused by government interference in the labor market, preventing the law of supply and demand from "clearing the market" in labor services, as it does in every other market. Yet, even with that interference, the number of jobs goes relentlessly upward, decade after decade—from 27 million workers in 1900 to about 140 million in 2010. Jobs do not exist as a fixed pool, to be divided up. Jobs can always be added because there's no end to the creation of wealth and thus no end to the useful employment of human intelligence. There is always more productive work to be done. If you can give your job to an immigrant, you can get a more valuable job.

What is the effect of a bigger labor pool on wage rates? Given a constant money supply, nominal wage rates fall. But real wage rates rise, because total output has gone up. Economists have demonstrated that real wages have to rise as long as the immigrants are self-supporting. If immigrants earn their keep, if they don't consume more than they produce, then they add to total output, which means that prices fall (if the money supply is constant).

And, in fact, rising real wages was the history of our country in the nineteenth century. Before the 1920s, there were no limits on immigration; yet these were the years of America's fastest economic progress. The standard of living rocketed upward. Self-supporting immigrants brought economic benefit, not hardship.

The protectionist objection that immigrants take away jobs and harm our standard of living is a solid economic fallacy.


A popular misconception is that immigrants come here to get welfare. In fact, this is rarely immigrants' motive. It is true that the small minority of immigrants who come to get welfare do constitute a burden. But this issue has been render moot by the passage, under the Clinton Administration, of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity and Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which makes legal permanent residents ineligible for most forms of welfare for 5 years. I support this kind of legislation (which should be enacted at the State level as well; currently left-leaning States, like California, continue to throw tax money at immigrants—and everyone else).

Further, if the fear is of non-working immigrants, why is the pending House bill aimed at employers of immigrants?


Contrary to "accepted wisdom," the data show that immigrants are less prone to crime than are native Americans. For instance, over one-fourth of the residents of the border-town El Paso, Texas are immigrants. But El Paso has about one-tenth the murder rate of Baltimore, a city of comparable size.

That's not an anomaly:

"If you want to find a safe city, first determine the size of the immigrant population," says Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. "If the immigrant community represents a large proportion of the population, you're likely in one of the country's safer cities. San Diego, Laredo, El Paso—these cities are teeming with immigrants, and they're some of the safest places in the country."


Criminals have a short-range, stay-in-the-'hood mentality. Immigrants are longer-range, ambitious, and want to earn money, not grab it.

The deeper point is moral-legal. The fact that some men in a given category may commit crimes is no justification for treating everyone in that category as criminals. Guilt is not collective. Just as Bernie Madoff's crimes are his, not those of all hedge-fund operators, just as the fact that Madoff is of Jewish descent in no way legitimates anti-semitism, so it is a slap at morality to curtail the rights of all immigrants because of the crimes of a few individual immigrants.

Man has free will. The choices of some do not reflect on the moral status of others, who make their own choices. Each individual is responsible for his own actions, and only his own actions.


America is a vastly underpopulated country. Our population density is less than one-third of France's.

Hordes of immigrants would come to overcrowd America? Okay, take a really extreme scenario. Imagine that half of the people on the planet moved here. That would mean an unthinkable eleven-fold increase in our population—from 300 million to 3.3 billion people. The result? America would be a bit less "densely" populated than England. England has 384 people/sq.km; vs. 360 people/sq. km. if our population multiplied 11-fold. Another comparison: with half of mankind living here, we would be less densely populated than the state of New Jersey is today (453/sq. km.). Note that these calculations exclude Alaska (our biggest state) and Hawaii. And the density-calculations count only land area.

Contrary to widespread beliefs, high population density is a value not a disvalue. High population density intensifies the division of labor, which makes possible a wider variety of jobs and specialized consumer products. For instance, in Manhattan, there is a "doll hospital"—a store specializing in the repair of children's dolls. Such a specialized, niche business requires a high population density in order to have a market. Try finding a doll hospital in Poughkeepsie. In Manhattan, one can find a job as a Pilates Method teacher or as a "Secret Shopper" (two jobs actually listed on Craig's List). Not so in Paducah.

People want to live near other people, in cities. One-seventh of England's population lives in London. If population density is a bad thing, why are Manhattan real-estate prices so high?


Immigrants are the kind of people who refresh the American spirit. They are ambitious, courageous, and value freedom. They come here, often with no money and not even speaking the language, to seek a better life for themselves and their children.

The vision of American freedom, with its opportunity to prosper by hard work, serves as a magnet drawing the best of the world's people. Immigrants are self-selected for their virtues: their ambitiousness, daring, independence, and pride. They are willing to cast aside the tradition-bound roles assigned to them in their native lands and to re-define themselves as Americans. These are the people our country needs in order to keep alive the individualist, hard-working attitude that made America.

Here is a short list of some great immigrants: Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, most of the top scientists of the Manhattan Project, Igor Sikorsky (the inventor of the helicopter), Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Ayn Rand.

Open immigration: the benefits are great. The right is unquestionable. So let them come.

Copyright © 2010 TOF Publications, Inc.www.hblist.com/immigr.htm Permission hereby granted to republish, in whole or in part, provided no changes are made in the wording of material used, Harry Binswanger's authorship is stated, and this notice is carried.

Famous Immigrant of the Week

Today we're featuring our favorite immigrant of them all, Ayn Rand.  Rand's philosophy, Objectivism, has had a tremendous impact on my life and in fact, saved it!  If you're curious at all about her ideas or want to learn about individual rights, I encourage you to ignore the rumors, read her ideas, thenAyn Rand judge for yourself.

Ayn Rand was born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1905.  She graduated from the University of Petrograd in 1924 and in late 1925 she obtained permission to leave Soviet Russia to visit relatives in America.  From her biography page at The Ayn Rand Institute:

Although she told Soviet authorities that her visit would be short, she was determined never to return to Russia. She arrived in New York City in February 1926. She spent the next six months with her relatives in Chicago, obtained an extension to her visa, and then left for Hollywood to pursue a career as a screenwriter.

From Wikipedia:

[Rand] worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood and had a play produced on Broadway in 1935–1936. After two initially unsuccessful early novels, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel The Fountainhead. In 1957, she published her best-known work, the philosophical novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward she turned to nonfiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own magazines and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982.

You can click on the "Objectivism" tab at the top of this blog to obtain more information about Rand and her philosophy. 

Republican Presidential Candidates on Immigration

Last night, the Republican front runners gathered for a mostly ridiculous debate.  When asked about immigration, they responded as follows:

Governor Rick Perry called for more border agents and attacked President Obama for not doing enough with immigration reform.

"It is not safe on that border."

No, Governor Perry, it's not safe on the US/Mexican border.  It's unsafe because people like you perpetuate this country's drug war and immoral immigration laws, which create dangerous black markets

"[Border Patrol agents have told Romney], 'Look, they could always get a ladder to go over the fence and people will always run to the country. The reason they come in such great numbers is because we've left the magnet on.' And I asked them, 'What do you mean the magnet?' And they said, 'When employers are willing to hire people who are here illegally -- that's a magnet because it draws them in.'"

[Begin sarcasm.]  Gee, how terrible!  How awful for a business owner to be allowed a right to HIS own property!  How terrible that he be allowed to hire whom he pleases to work at HIS business.  These nasty individual rights things…well…they just need to be stopped! [End sarcasm.]

"In Mexico right now we are dealing with narco-terrorists," said Bachman. "This is a very serious problem. To not build a border or a fence on every part of that border would be an effect to yield United States sovereignty."

End the drug war.  Allow peaceful people looking for work to migrate.  Problem solved.

Newt Gingrich avoided the border issue and jumped to the rights of illegal immigrants instead, citing the need for a legal guest-worker program.

At least someone is concerned about individual rights.

Ron Paul suggested the government start looking at ways to use border fences to keep people in, instead of keeping people out.

[Crickets chirping.]

All sarcasm aside, it's very disturbing that these men and this woman are the best the Republican party has to offer America.  They're an awful mixed bag when it comes to the economy, social issues and immigration and no one candidate stands out as a true defender of individual rights.

Consequences of the Immigration Black Market

Once again, the government is creating criminals where there would otherwise be none.  The US, with its immoral immigration laws, has created a black market in immigration and human smuggling.  As such, Latinos are the new majority in federal prisons, despite only making up 16% of the population.  From this FoxNews article:

"Statistics like this have to start drawing attention to this country's immigration policies and what we're doing, if this is one of the results," said Fordham University Law School professor Deborah Denno, an expert on racial disparities in the criminal justice system. "The implications for Latinos are huge when you think of the number of families affected by having their breadwinners put away for what in some cases would be considered a non-violent offense."

Weekly Quote

I firmly believe that the immigration debate really didn’t show the true nature of America as a welcoming society. I fully understand we need to enforce law and enforce borders. But the debate took on a tone that undermined the true greatness of America, which is that we welcome people who want to work hard and support their families. - George W. Bush

Famous Immigrant of the Week

This week we shine the spotlight way up there onto 7-footer Houston Rockets' legend, Hakeem Olajuwon!  From the Immigration Updates blog:

Hakeem Olajuwon, born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1963, is considered by some to be the most famous continental African to have played in any sport in the entire American continent. At age 15, Olajuwon was 6’9″ tall and soon became the center for the Nigerian national team. From 1981-84 he attended the University of Houston, where he led his team to three consecutive NCAA Final Four appearances. In 1984, the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) drafted Olajuwon, and he developed into one of the dominant big men in the league. Nicknamed, “The Dream,” Olajuwon led the Rockets to the NBA championship in 1994 and 1995, and was voted the league’s most valuable player for the 1993-94 season. During the 1990s, sportswriters and fans considered him, and Shaquille O’Neal, as the NBA’s best centers. Olajuwon retired in 2002 after signing with the Toronto Raptors the previous year. “The Dream” became an American citizen in 1993.

You can see Hakeem's awesomeness in this YouTube video.  I am not sure which is more impressive, his amazing blocked shots against the likes of Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird and Shaquille O'Neal or his legendary fade away jump shot.  You be the judge: