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500 new agents to patrol Arizona border

Drudge links this story.

To discuss: what level of violence or punishment is acceptable for those illegally crossing the border? Any policy shift ideas?

An idea:
Step 0) Remove Federal welfare protections for immigrants in their first 2 years or so.
Step 1) Allow 10x-100x more people to get visas and immigrate permanently and legally to the US.
Step 2) Shoot folks crossing illegally. (Rubber bullets?)

I'm perfectly familiar with the amazing contribution Mexican migrants bring to America, and I want it to continue. But, I'm kinda tired about hearing how hard it is to secure the border from drugs, weapons, etc. when serious measures just aren't being taken.


At 3:09 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

I don't think the State should punish people with violence. Hunting people is honestly too fun-sounding to authorize police to do.

What kind of welfare do you mean? What government support do you believe should be provided to legitimate citizens and not immigrants?

Drugs and weapons can cross the borders because they're in demand here -- you can make great money smuggling them across the border. The only measure I know of to remove that incentive is legalization.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

I don't really share many conservatives' fears that a huge wave of immigration would destroy American culture. If it fostered more corruption and lack of rule of law, that would indeed be bad, but I'm not really worried about.

The problem with 100M immigrants coming in 2005 would be the bankruptcy of programs established to help the poor. The problem is that the American definition of “poor” is actually richer than the vast majority of people (even some developed nations' middle class). You can only assume every one would be eligible to receive services like public housing, medicare, welfare, etc.

I agree that legalization is an excellent prevention mechanism for drugs and guns. I think both should be very legal.

I do not think stinger missiles and nukes should be legal to the average person, and this is my greatest concern as far as border security.

What isn't violent about jail? That is the default state solution for criminals.

In terms of collective discomfort, the idea is that if there a very real threat of harm exists in attempting to illegally cross the border, few people would try it.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

I don't think the issues you're talking about are related, but to bring them together: why not shoot at people on drugs and people with nuclear weapons with rubber bullets?

Also, since this is Drink Tank, why not shoot rubber bullets at parties with underage drinkers?

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Ivan said...

Other than violence, what would stop people from crossing the border en mass?

Keep in mind that the majority of people crossing are looking to emigrate for job purposes.

So my thought: don't stop them, but don't give them a hand-out when they come (mainly to facilitate letting more people immigrate).

Then who are the people left crossing? Those that are probably smuggling something (including themselves - because, e.g., a Yemenite will not be accepted at the Mexican border, only Mexican nationals).

I suppose in that case, the threat of violence wouldn't do much, and the best recourse is to attempt to arrest them. Thankfully, with so many people now able to come in legally, you can probably handle to arrest the load still coming under the radar.

BUT, this has many assumptions
- letting more people in legally
- non-support upon arrival
- manageable number of people interested in coming.

But back to an important question: besides legalizing drugs and guns, how do you stop the waves of illegal immigrants coming for jobs?

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Miguel said...

I just don't think we have a big problem -- the current technique is to stop offenders as they're caught and send them back, and to punish employers caught hiring people illegaly stateside. Enforcement isn't at near 100%, but so what? Neither is any category of law. I don't believe we currently face a crisis which calls for a massive influx of resources or new powers for border agents to shoot folks willy nilly.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Ivan said...

In almost any measure, the number of people crossing illegally is huge. Add to this the way they need to act to stay under the radar: acquiring fake documents or none at all, not getting things like liability car insurance, not going to the hospital until it is an emergency, etc.

These are huge problems caused only by their illegal status. The numbers are increasing (at an increasing rate).

What would you do to stop/change things?

Grant worker visas? Sounds like a good idea, but a lot of folks don't like the idea of giving people who broke our laws a free ride.

Keep in mind also that having the demand from work, drugs, etc., make the infrastructure for avoiding the authorities much larger than it would normally be, which is a problem.


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