On Immigration, Too Many Conservatives Oppose Liberty

The following article by Linn and Ari Armstrong, was originally published May 14, 2010, by Grand Junction's Free Press.

Remember the good old days when conservatives advocated liberty, free markets, and a business-friendly political environment? Now, at least when it comes to immigration, many conservatives instead advocate border socialism, economic protectionism, intrusive identification laws, and criminal penalties on employers for the "crime" of hiring willing workers.

Let us begin with the rights of property and free association, the bedrock of a free market economy. As a property owner, you have the right to invite your neighbor over for dinner. You also have the right to invite your neighbor to help you build a shed. These rights of property and association do not diminish if you offer to pay your neighbor, or if you offer to pay somebody from Florida, Canada, or Mexico.

But what about the Arizonans whose rights are violated when illegal immigrants sneak across their land? We agree that is a serious problem. However, it is immoral and impractical to attempt to protect the property of some by blatantly violating the rights of others. Moreover, the only reason immigrants sneak over the border (generally a dangerous and expensive proposition) is that immigration is largely illegal. With a robust guest worker program, immigrants looking for work would be more than happy to take the bus.

What about border security? With a robust guest worker program, U.S. officials could control the flow of migrants much more easily. Many fewer Mexicans would attempt to cross the border illegally, and U.S. law enforcement would have a much easier time catching them.

It would help if U.S. drug prohibition weren't enriching murderous Mexican drug lords, ripping apart the Mexican legal system, and promoting the illegal drug trade into the U.S. It is these drug routes that threaten to allow Islamist terrorists to hitch a ride. The obvious answer, which many conservatives are too cowardly to mention, is to repeal drug prohibition and return to individual responsibility. Short of that, at least a guest worker program would allow U.S. law enforcement to focus on the delimited problem of drug trafficking.

But won't legal immigrants and guest workers take American jobs? In a free society, a job belongs to whomever an employer chooses to hire, and to nobody else. And we are frankly tired of alleged conservatives treating jobs as though they were some sort of socialized property of the collective. It's time for Republicans to stop channeling Karl Marx when it comes to immigration policy.

Ah, but we hear, some immigrants go on welfare and drain government budgets. Many immigrants pay enormous sums into U.S. welfare programs and never draw out a penny. We advocate a guest worker program that forbids migrants from signing up for U.S. welfare dollars.

Conservatives claim to endorse family values. Why, then, do so many conservatives tolerate or endorse immoral immigration laws that split up families over minor technical infractions?

Many conservatives rightly bristle at the thought of giving their name to the government for a gun purchase. Why, then, do many conservatives now want to force all employers to verify employees with the federal government and force all citizens to carry identification documents to get a job and avoid trouble with the police? It used to be that conservatives were dead set against any sort of "papers please" policy.

These onerous paperwork crackdowns on employers started with tax compliance. Conservatives should be fighting such controls on businesses, not trying to enact more. What do you think the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Sam Adams would have thought about asking the federal government's permission to hire a willing worker? Now,shamefully, some alleged conservatives call for felony penalties on employers who fail to sufficiently kiss bureaucratic backside.

On a pragmatic note, Republicans are foolish to alienate Hispanic voters. Conservatives claim to support hard work, family values, and a strong sense of community harmony -- precisely the values of many immigrants.

To put a human face on the issue, some years ago your senior author knew someone in eastern New Mexico who worked a "truck garden," requiring back-breaking work to bring vegetables to market. He hired ten to fifteen illegal immigrants for the season, and said many of these workers had been with him for many years. They were hard working, dependable, and trustworthy. Once he ran help wanted advertisements in the local city and school newspapers. A single local high school student answered the advertisement. The student worked for a few short hours, then went home. Conservatives would throw that employer in prison and see his crops rot.

The choice is clear. Either you support liberty, free markets, the rights of property and association, and security against government intrusions, or you support restrictive immigration. But if you choose the latter, please do not call yourself a conservative. Use the correct term for your views on this issue and call yourself a socialist.

Linn Armstrong is a local political activist and firearms instructor with the Grand Valley Training Club. His son, Ari, edits Ari Armstrong's Free Colorado from the Denver area.

Weekly Quote

"France is really struggling to create jobs and things have got worse because some people are saying the whites should come first," [Hamid Senni] says.

Sound familiar, America?  (H/T to Roberto Sarrionandia for linking me to the article containing this quote.)

Weekly Quote

“Economic power is exercised by means of a positive, by offering men a reward, an incentive, a payment, a value; political power is exercised by means of a negative, by the threat of punishment, injury, imprisonment, destruction.” - Ayn Rand

Image of the Week

Today, I'm linking to this Atlantic article with several disturbing images that are related to immigration and the US government's assault on individual rights.  One reason many Americans give for wanting to stop the flow of immigration to the US is that we need to secure our borders.  After viewing these images, it's quite clear that the US government is the single largest factor in our unsafe borders.

mass grave in MexicoMorgue workers place a coffin holding an unidentified body into a grave at San Rafael cemetery on the outskirts of the border city of Ciudad Juarez, on December 27, 2011. The bodies of 36 unidentified people, killed in drug-related incidents, were buried after being held in the city morgue for several months without being claimed by relatives. (Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez)

Famous Immigrant of the Week - Cesar Millan

If you're like most Americans, you have a love affair with dogs, and like most  Americans, you've probably owned orCesar Millan encountered a troubled dog.  There's nothing fun about aggressive or otherwise bad behavior from our canine friends, but thankfully, we have Cesar Millan to set us straight!

Star of National Geographic's hit show, The Dog Whisperer, Millan came to America from Mexico in the early 1990s and lived on the streets of San Diego until he found work as a dog groomer.  Here's an excerpt from from his page at notablebiographies.com:

The U.S.-Mexico border proved the greatest obstacle to Millan's plan, however, and he decided to enter illegally by paying a guide to take him north from the foothills around Tijuana, the border town opposite San Diego. He made it safely across, but wound up living on the streets of San Diego for a month before he was able to find work. His first job was at a dog-grooming business, and when clients saw how well he soothed their nervous canines they began asking him if he could train the animals, too.

Millan eventually bought a used van and started a dog training business out of it.  Then, in 1998, he opened his Dog Psychology Center in south-central L.A.  As his A-list Hollywood celebrity clientele grew, it led to an offer for his own show:

The Dog Whisperer was a hit for the National Geographic Channel, and soon went from a half-hour to full-hour format; in its third season in 2006–07, it was the cable channel's top-rated series, and even earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Reality Program. Millan's first book, Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems , was co-authored with Melissa Jo Peltier and was published just as the second season of his show began airing in the spring of 2006; it soon reached the New York Times bestseller list.

Red Dog Happy My last two dogs, including our current pet, Red Dog, have been the most well-behaved pets I've ever owned, and for that, I'm very thankful to Millan.  Thanks to his techniques, we are relaxed pet owners who are able to enjoy our dog in a variety of situations.  We are no longer one of those dog owners who scream their pet's name repeatedly at the dog park to no avail.  Thanks, Cesar!

Cesar Millan is certainly an immigrant living the American dream.  He started with nothing, made his own way, and is now a productive citizen doing what he loves.

Real Clear Markets Gets It Right!

Here's an awesome article from Bill Frezza over at Real Clear Markets about three huge immigration problems for America.  First, not the Labor Department, but the Department of Homeland Security (?) pressures employers to kick immigrant workers out onto the streets:

One would think that an employed illegal immigrant would be less of a security threat than an unemployed illegal immigrant. Apparently, that is not how the Obama administration sees it.

Then, the IRS encourages fraud and redistribution of wealthy by allowing immigrants to claim, without documentation, child care tax "refunds."

In 2001, illegal immigrants filed over 3 million tax returns, with over 70% of them claiming the additional child tax credit.

Has the federal government asked for any documentation supporting these claims? Nope. It is too busy hounding employers who want to give people jobs that might help keep them off the welfare rolls.

And finally, leftist activist organizations (such as the now-disgraced ACORN), have created such a backlash against voter ID programs, that anyone from non-citizens to a dog to a dead person are able to vote in this country.

Put the three to together and you have a federal policy that throws illegal immigrants out of work but not out of the country, rewards the ones who stay with welfare checks, and then makes it easy for them to illegally vote for politicians who promise to keep the checks flowing. What Machiavellian genius designed this scheme?

Mexican immigrants have traditionally come to the U.S. to work. These are precisely the people we want. An immigration policy that, instead, incentivizes immigrants to sit at home and collect government checks can only lead to a situation like that in Europe, where immigrants are not assimilating, and many are not working. No wonder, then, that the most popular sport in the banlieues of Paris is torching cars. Is this what we want?

At the end of the article, Frezza properly states that the US is a country of immigrants and by destroying our immigrant culture, we only corrupt ourselves. 

America is in desperate need of capitalism.  Capitalism is the answer to our economic concerns, immigration concerns and political concerns, and the sooner Americans realize that, the sooner we can vote in better politicians who can start moving us in that direction. 

Weekly Quote

America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity.  That part of America which had encouraged them James Madisonmost had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts. - James Madison

France Facing a Brain Drain

As France welcomes their new socialist leader to office, France's wealthy areFrance Flag looking to move.  From Bloomberg Business Week:

Jeremie Le Febvre, the 30-year-old founder of private equity marketing-services firm TBG Capital Advisors, plans to move to Singapore from Paris this year.

Not because of President-elect Francois Hollande’s pledge to boost taxes; rather for what Hollande’s victory says about how wealth is viewed in France, the entrepreneur said.

“What’s really driving my departure is the fact that I don’t share the values that emerged during the election, the rejection of ambition and success,” he said in an interview. “It’s part of France’s difficult relationship with money, but it has reached a new level. Even if it’s utopian, I need to believe for me and my descendants that the sky is the limit.”

London's Mayor, properly, seems eager to welcome him!

On the other side of the Channel, Conservative London Mayor Johnson laid out the welcome carpet.

“This is the global capital of finance,” he said. “It’s on your doorstep and if your own president does not want the jobs, the opportunities and the economic growth that you generate, we do.”

With our struggling economy, America could certainly use these business owners.  Too bad American immigration policies are as awful as France's economic policies.

Image of the Week

Don't Deport My Mom

Photo Credit: Orphaned By Deportation: Immigration Enforcement Is Destroying Immigrant Families

Famous Immigrant of the Week - Frank Oz

Richard Frank Oznowicz was born on May 25, 1944, in Hereford, England.  When  he was six years old, he moved with his parents and brother to Oakland, California,Frank Oz and shortly thereafter, he started going by the name Frank Oz.

From his page on biography.com:

Oz was, by his own admission, a shy child. As the son of amateur puppeteers, he gravitated toward puppets as an easy way to express himself. By the time Oz was 18, he'd already spent several years playing around and working with puppets. But he had no anticipation they'd be a part of his future. Instead, Oz had dreams of becoming a journalist.

But, while Oz was still in high school, he had a chance meeting with 23-year-old Jim Henson at a puppeteering conference. "He was this quiet, shy guy who did these absolutely amazing puppets that were totally brand new and fresh, that I had never been seen before," Oz would later recall. Henson appreciated Oz's work as well. Two years later, as Oz struggled through his first year of college, Henson asked the young puppeteer to join his Muppets team.

Oz went on to perform in Sesame Street as well and is known for his famous characters, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Animal.  Oz is also famously known for playing Yoda in the Star Wars movies.  He also performed (not as a puppet) in films such as The Blues Brothers and Trading Places.

Here's a clip of Oz playing Yoda in one of my favorite scenes from Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back:

Weekly Quote

Lady and gentleman, when my parents left Korea with nothing but the clothes on their backs and the considerable wealth they had amassed in the shipping business, they had a dream. They had a dream that one day amid the snowy hilltops of western North Carolina, their son would lose his virginity to a cheerleader in the woman's bathroom of a Waffle House just off the interstate. My parents have sacrificed so much for this dream! And that is why we must journey on, despite all trials and tribulations! Not for me and least of all for the poor cheerleader in question, but for my parents and indeed for all immigrants who came to his great nation in what they themselves could never have: CHEERLEADER SEX.
John Green, Let it Snow

Image of the Week

Obama Smug about Mexicans leaving

Humorous and true, but I can't fully blame Obama for our corrupt government and bad economy.  The Republicans are helping too!

Famous Immigrant of the Week - Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt paintingThis week, I'm happy to feature one of my favorite artists, Albert Bierstadt.  If  you've ever seen one of his giant landscapes in person, they are just breath-taking!  It's almost as though you can feel the American West opening up before you.

From his biography on AlbertBierstadt.org:

Albert Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany. He was only about twoAlbert Bierstadt years old when his family moved from Germany to New Bedford in Massachusetts. In 1853 he returned to Germany to study in Dusseldorf, where he refined his technical abilities by painting Alpine landscapes. After he returned to America in 1857, he joined an overland survey expedition which allowed him to travel westward across the country.


The artist's rugged, romanticized landscapes of the West, painted on a grand scale with an abundance of detail and dramatic lighting, captured the imagination of 19th-century art collectors and their interest catapulted Bierstadt to the top of the American art market. His paintings brought record prices and in his lifetime, Bierstadt enjoyed tremendous success and recognition.

If you get the opportunity to see a Bierstadt at a museum near you, I highly recommend it!

Russell Pearce's Neo-Nazi Buddy, Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide

It's not surprising that a man like Jason "J.T." Ready died in a violent fit of rage. Jason JT Ready There are consequences for people's actions, and when you live a life full of hate, those consequences can't be good.  From this FoxNews article:

Jason "J.T." Ready, a well-known anti-illegal immigrant extremist and white supremacist who was running for Pinal County sheriff in Arizona, is dead in an apparent murder-suicide after a shooting rampage which left four others dead, including a toddler, authorities said Wednesday.


Before his involvement with White supremacy became public, Ready was a prominent figure in Arizona's movement to crack down on illegal immigration. He was a member and spokesman for the Minutemen Project in 2005, a national anti-illegal immigration militia. He was a Maricopa County GOP Precinct Committee member, ran for Mesa City Council in 2006, and rubbed shoulders with Russell Pearce, author of SB 1070 and eventual president of the Arizona State Senate.


Ready told Talking Points Memo he respected the Democratic Party’s Jim Crow history, noting his admiration of Alabama segregationist Gov. George Wallace.

Ready also applauded President Barack Obama for sending more National Guard troops to the border and for deporting more immigrants than any president in history.

I think the world is a better place without Ready, but I'm very sorry he decided to take out an innocent woman and children with him.  What a sick, evil man.

Weekly Quote

"That immigrant culture that has renewed us … has been at the coreCondi Rice of our strength,” [Condoleezza Rice] said. “I don’t know when immigrants became the enemy."

Who Will Take Americans?

This article about Portuguese immigration is interesting.  Here's an excerpt:

Portuguese, facing high unemployment and their economy plagued by austerity, are flooding the shores of Angola and Mozambique.


It’s likely just a matter of time before some African countries limit their “green cards” to prevent European immigrants from stealing Angolan and Mozambican jobs. Undoubtedly, Africans will try to protect their cultural identities by banning Port Wine from their menus, for example. Immigration officials may soon be allowed to deny pregnant Portuguese women entry into Angola or Mozambique at their discretion to avert the birth of “anchor babies”.

Sound familiar?  And beware Americans, with immigration to America from Mexico at net zero, and with the Mexican economy improving, and with America moving closer and closer to socialism with each passing day, anti-immigrant types may soon find themselves on the other side of the immigration argument.

(H/T to BT)