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  • Fun with Borders, Part One

    Posted by Carl Ortona on June 22nd, 2004 (All posts by )

    Have been meaning to make a worthy contribution and (re)introduce myself for some time now, and realized, what better topic than one that has been consuming me for weeks on end. After living outside the U.S. for quite some time, am moving back and trying to bring my wife with me. Work, planning a move, finding a place to live, etc is but a benign backdrop to working through and against the USCIS. If it is going to take 3-5 years to really reform our intelligence capabilities, what happens to the bastard offspring (see Daniel Drezner’s “modest proposal” with regard to a new cabinet “My very own cabinet reshuffle”) nobody knew what to do with in the first place that was reorganized under the aegis of the DHS? We need freedom and we need security – so what has happened to pursue these twin goals in the new reality? More of the same shenanigans. From my own research and now a great deal of in depth dealings, I’m becoming more and more convinced that nothing has changed for the better. Maybe this is prematurely jaundiced, but compared to the fun I had dealing with the German “citizen and residency police” a few years ago on a pretty straightforward student visa, the krauts were a walk in the park. What is the new U.S. security policy on the immigration and naturalization front? Increased, purposeful bureaucratic incompetence (more on that later) under a massive fatty swath of expensive new departmental layering. As Christopher Hitchens noted today in his wonderful slam of Michael Moore, “who hasn’t had … absurd encounters with idiotic ‘security’ staff” – hardly a telling indictment and hardly my concern. (I have, I hated it, I got on with my life a few minutes later.) My concern is that I am not sure how these new appurtenances safeguard my freedom (say, for example, the freedom to bring my wife with me) nor am I sure how they safeguard our security (and from a political objective, the second concern trumps all) — I’ll continue with of this in a day or two. Back to deciding which box of books to try take with me in place of my “alien spouse.”

     

    7 Responses to “Fun with Borders, Part One”

    1. Andy Dolberg Says:

      I blame the transnational progressivists. America is obsessed with the illusion of security. Anyone who conceal carries understands this. We are a nation who thinks that laws will protect us! That an FBI, scared to discriminate, would fail us. Thousands of illegal aliens enter the country daily, and a general amnesty is proposed! My family member who have business and whole lives in Ecaudor, they have to grease palms just to get a visitors visa! I feel sorry for the educated, hard workers who want to come into thier country legally, and are denied due to incompetent buearaccracy, quotas, and an epidemic of illegal aliens. We have a national guard, and reserves. I’d gladly take a couple week *paid* vacation, and I know there are a lot of other reservists, who would patrol the United States border.

    2. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      Epidemic of illegal aliens ? Since they are, by definition, under the radar and uncounted, how do we know that’s the case ? Most people who make this case have a vested interest in doing so; especially the government, to justify more money and people.

      Further, illegal aliens have never been a problem to people who come legally. Why would they be ? Since they are not part of the process and have existed for as long as this country has been around, I don’t see why they should be blamed for the problems and difficulties of the legal ones. The latter only run into problems related to the rules themselves. It is, for instance, harder and longer for students to come here. Especially those from the Middle East. Which, in some ways, is rather counter-productive. What does that have to do with illegal aliens ?

      Every time I move, I must report it to the DHS within 15 days. How does that make the country more secure ? Last time I read about it, all those cards were stacking up in a warehouse somewhere.

      Which does, in fact, give some an incentive to come here illegally.

      As for patrolling the borders, what will that do to the thousands who fly in legally and overstay ? A million armed men manning the borders would not have stopped 9/11. They flew in, like most everybody else.

    3. TM Lutas Says:

      Yesterday, I went with my wife to take her citizenship test (she passed with flying colors). I know the problems and I know the traps. Step 1, get a very good lawyer. We had one in NYC that was excellent and set us on the right track. I’ve seen others that have held things back for years.

      On a more general note, the reason I support the guest worker program is that it would dry up the river of illegals that creates so big a market in US false papers and people smugglers. It is worth getting some downward wage pressure to get that sort of security boost.

    4. Andy Dolberg Says:

      John Fonte has some great articles ont he hudson.org site about this problem. The problem with illegal immigration is the lack of nationalization. There are places in Mexifornina where the whole town population is mexican, they dont speak english, they might not even speak spanish, but an indian dialect. CATO institute has more good articles on how these town bring down the schools, tax money is lost due to the severe unemployment, and basically these cities of illegal immigrants go to hell in a hand basket. Also, 25% of the prision population are illegal immigrants in the west. I believe that this is from crimes commited other than the felony of being here illegally, because the state of california and various cities have CLEARLY FORCED thier officers not to inquire about legal status. Same here in Portland. It’s sickening. You being on the east coast you dont see this, but here on the west its a huge problem. The free health care that is given out is a huge drain on the states economies. Washington dropped illegals from its health plan and saved over 500 million dollars a year. In oregon we have the highest unemployment rate!

      Who perpetuates this appeaseent? The transnational progressiveists. The gov pleases the conservatives by placing security where they see it most, airports, and then pleases the left by not enforcing illegal immigration law. The INS then says to those leagally applying for citizenship that congress has but back the # of entries because of our non-enforced immigration problem. The US would have no problem taking in thousands more per month, as long as tey integrate and nationalize them selves as Americans.

    5. Andy Dolberg Says:

      We estimate the number of illegals through health servies, immate population, and i suppose how many we see run by.

      Refering to the protection of the border, now that it is harder for terrorists to get in legally with a student visa, jumping the mexican border provides them with an even better way of entry.

      There is only 1 thing that would have stopped the Sept 11th atttacks: National CCW

    6. Jonathan Says:

      The term “immigration” is vague. Concerns about “immigration” issues are often really about other things. If we unbundle the issues we end up with:

      -Immigration per se

      -Illegal immigration

      -Inept U.S. immigration bureaucracy

      -Welfare-state perverse incentives

      -Immigrants who don’t assimilate

      -Education problems, particularly bilingualism (see: welfare state; immigrants who don’t assimilate)

      Seems to me that most of the problems result from the welfare state’s perverse incentives. Cutting welfare state subsidies would probably reduce immigration and increase assimilation. (The dole reduces incentives to learn English and participate in the economy.)

      Also, reforming our immigration bureaucracy (how to do so is another topic) could make legal immigration less burdensome and reduce incentives to immigrate illegally. (I say “could” — whether we would actually enact the right reforms is another question.)

      As for security, there’s a strong argument for vetting immigrants more carefully than we have been doing. I don’t think that keeping track of people like Sylvain, or putting quotas on Haitian refugees, is the way to do it. The current immigration bureuacracy is so inept and mired in make-work that it cannot possibly police our borders adequately. The ideal, in my view, would be to admit everyone except security risks, but also to refuse to subsidize them. The best way to do that might be to cut subsidies to everyone in the U.S., both immigrants and natives.

      Of course, this is a much bigger issue than the term “immigration” suggests, but immigrants make good political scapegoats (until they start to vote — another issue), and fretting about immigration is a good way to distract attention from more-difficult questions about the proper scope of the welfare state.

    7. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      I assume you are talking about national security risks. The problem today is that different constituencies have their own security agenda. If you apply for a job-sponsored green card, for instance, you usually need Department of Labor certification; which, in effect, is about defending employment security for those who are already citizens. The rules are almost union-like.