Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Migrant Caravan or Invading Army?

Does a country have borders? Or is a country merely an idea? Keep in mind, ideas do not have borders or boundaries or citizens. Believers in the dogmas of cosmopolitan multiculturalism believe that everyone should be a citizen of the world. Kant said it first, but Barack Obama made the phrase famous.

The caravan marches on. Pictures on the nightly news show either a group of disconsolate refugees fleeing chaos and anarchy or an army of invaders looking to exploit the stupidities of American immigration law.

Andrew Sullivan addresses the issue in New York Magazine. He notes that Democrats and their liberal allies in Europe have given up on policing the border. Even the more conservative Angela Merkel bought into the open borders delirium. Thus, Sullivan says, it has been left to the right to defend the nation’s borders and to keep the nation a nation.

Sullivan calls for Democrats to defend the nation’s borders. He does not mention that they have a reason for not doing so. They do not see a caravan of refugees or an army of invaders,; they see new voters who will invariably vote Democratic and will turn many red states purple, or even blue.

Of course, Democrats portray themselves as the humane, the empathetic party. It’s really just a way to appeal to female voters. Next week we will see how well it is working.

Sullivan asks this question:

What do we do when the caravan gets here? And more saliently: What do we do if many more caravans show up behind it? This is not an abstract question. It’s a pressing, practical, and in some ways existential one. It cuts to the core of whether the United States has to choose between being inhumane to the point of betraying some core moral principles and remaining a sovereign nation in control of who joins its population.

He notes a point that President Trump has been repeating over and over again. The migrants are merely exploiting loopholes that exist in American immigration law. Once they step foot in America, they can claim asylum and cannot be quickly deported:

These migrants are not seeking to enter the U.S. illegally, by subterfuge. They are seeking entry legally — by applying for asylum, as any noncitizen is entitled to do. It doesn’t matter how many resources we throw at border enforcement — because there is nothing here to enforce. The wall won’t help either, even if it were miraculously effective. In fact, the wall could hurt: As the border becomes harder to cross, it makes more sense simply to show up and turn yourself in to the border cops as an asylum seeker when you get here. It’s far cheaper than paying coyotes to get you across; and it’s much safer, especially in the numbers that the caravan has achieved. That’s why, as word about the caravan spread on social media, especially WhatsApp, so many impulsively decided to join.

And also:

For the most part, asylum seekers get a near-automatic entry into the U.S., temporarily in detention centers, eventually into the interior of the country, along with an ankle bracelet and a court date in the distant future. But nearly half of asylum seekers, especially those with weak cases, don’t show up in court. They simply melt away into the general population. And the number of asylum seekers who get physically deported is minimal. The result is not formally one of open borders. But they sure are ajar.

Sullivan will eventually hint at it, but the primary obstacle to changing immigration law is the Democratic Party. He also does not mention that Eastern European nations have effectively stopped all migrants from debarking on their soil.

Thus, Sullivan is simplifying when he says that it’s just a question of poor people seeking riches. In truth, it's a function of political action, or inaction. He does not allow for the simple fact that European politicians have allowed it to happen, as have American politicians. Most likely, the migrants do not understand immigration law. But they are being manipulated by people who do. Every time a judge overturns an administration edict, the doors open wider.

As long as the U.S. remains more peaceful, prosperous, and free than much of the Western hemisphere, it will be a magnet. And as more and more people see on social media what life in America is really like, and feel so much closer to it, and as the cost of travel continues to drop, the logic of mass migration north is close to unassailable. The same goes for mass immigration into Europe. When you look at the huge demographic surges in Africa and the Middle East, and when you factor in the impact of climate change and civil unrest in forcing people to leave their homes, all of this will intensify.

Blame it on climate change. Why not? And yet, Sullivan does not ask whether these migrants, especially in large numbers, will ever assimilate. Or will they end up occupying No-Go zones with their own customs and laws, off limits to the local constabulary, the local ambulances and the local fire fighters. Such is the case in France, and they have been at it for considerably longer than most other nations. Let’s not forget the Pakistani grooming gangs in Once-Great Britain… to say nothing about the surge in knifings in London.

Will migrants simply bring their native culture to their new home, thus undermining the resident culture. It is happening in Europe, even to the point where the European Court of Human Rights has now ordered that you can prosecute someone for blaspheming the Prophet Mohammed. If you think that the culture will not be changing, you are smoking the wrong cigarettes.

Like NeverTrumper David Frum, Sullivan warns liberals that they ought to be defending the nation’s borders and boundaries. Naturally, being slightly off-kilter, but Frum and Sullivan happily defame those who wish to defend borders as fascists:

David Frum is right: “If liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders, then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals will not do.” And unless the Democrats get a grip on this question, and win back the trust of the voters on it, their chance of regaining the presidency is minimal. Until one Democratic candidate declares that he or she will end illegal immigration, period, shift legal immigration toward those with skills, invest in the immigration bureaucracy, and enforce the borders strongly but humanely, Trump will continue to own this defining policy issue in 2020.

In the end, liberal democracy will be undone by an influx of refugees who have no use for it, who do not care about free markets or about free speech. So says Sullivan, and on this score he is right:

This is not a passing crisis. It is the new normal, and its optics do nothing but intensify the cultural panic that is turning much of the West to authoritarianism as a response. The porousness of the West’s borders are, in other words, becoming a guarantee of the West’s liberal democratic demise. This particular caravan will take a while to make it to the U.S. border, if it ever does. It will surely lose some followers on the way. It may peter out altogether.

But the caravan as a symbol? Its days are just beginning.


Ares Olympus said...

Of course its not an invasion, but it is a good test of our institutions and laws, and seems intractable. How could anyone prove they are personally persecuted in their birth country so they become worthy for asylum? And if your birth country isn't an oppressive government but instead one which can't protect its own citizens from gangs, basically a failure of law and order. Or worse if you want asylum simply because your birth country doesn't have economic opportunity, that can't possibly be sufficient reason. AND even if we decide to use our "hearts" to decide to bring people in from troubled places, how many will be able to thrive here, and how many will bring their own criminal ways from their birth counties here, because that's the only way they learned to survive? And lastly, if we do welcome them, how many more will want to follow, by their own better or worse claims?

At minimum all these impossible questions show a problem of trying to live in a connected and divided world, where everyone can see everyone else, and everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. And if we give people absolute freedom to move any place they want, people will want to move to the places that seem best, and overwhelm those places.

And strangely the cold-hearted libertarians might be most interested in open borders, since it means labor can move to where the job opportunities are and help keep labor costs down by global competition, while the bleeding heart socialists will have the biggest problems with no borders. If you want a large safety nets that protect the vulnerable, your nets will also attract the "lazy", who want the free benefits, and have the ability to do more for themselves, but choose not. And in opposition, places that want to safe money will just make themselves unwelcoming until their own home-grown slackers move themselves to better feeding grounds.

Anonymous said...

A country is merely the idea the best Capitalists choose to have. A country will have borders if that is what the best Capitalists want. What do we do when the caravan gets here? Whatever the best Capitalists want us to do. What do we do if many more caravans show up behind it?. We shut up and best Capitalists does whatever it wants. When Will Socialists Ever Learn?

Dr. Irredeemable Dreg said...

Without getting into the "migrant" vs "invader" linguistic game, it's obvious that this open-borders gambit cannot be rewarded for precisely the same reason that ransom cannot be paid to terrorists. Unless, of course, one is prepared to abandon the notion that the US is a soverign nation, as many Proglodytes are.

IMO, immigration should be viewed more like osmosis... i.e., "a process by which molecules [people] of a solvent [nation] tend to pass [migrate] through a semipermeable membrane [border] from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane". Substitute borders, immigration laws, and law enforcement for the permeability of the membrane, and opportunity/liberty for the concentration.

The important clause is "thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane". A more permeable membrane will more rapidly defeat the point of migration.

Will a wall "solve" the problem? No. But a wall can ameliorate the problem; just ask the former DDR, who buily a membrane to keep people in, or the current Israeli government, who built a membrane to keep people out. Arguments rejecting a wall because it is not a perfect solution are trivial examples of the Nirvana Fallacy. One either chooses to hasten or delay the equilibrium state of economic opportunity and liberty on both sides.

"Mr Trump, build that wall."
--- apologies to Ronald Reagan

Shaun F said...

Weren't the doors opened to Fidel Castro's "migrants" in the late 70s and he basically just "relocated" all his criminals to Miami?

David Foster said...

"Of course, Democrats portray themselves as the humane, the empathetic party. It’s really just a way to appeal to female voters. "

I dunno, Stuart, on social media I see just about as many *guys* thinking this way.

IF you can actually call it Thinking....it's dismaying to see people who I know to be quite high IQ and professionally accomplished to not be able (or willing) to go beyond the single case: "Why are you worried about just 3000 people?"

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

David: Because they KNOW it won’t affect them.

The people you describe are walled-off from the consequences, in the microeconomic sense... or at least believe themselves to be. The cognitive elite (high IQ) and wealthy (professionally accomplished) view these things as abstractions. I know. I live in one of these communities. The Lefties think all the Republicans are “meanies.” That’s their justification for everything: “Oh, c’mon... that just not nice...”

We’re all supposed to be nice. Which means “STFU, BIGOT!” That’s what a real-life argument amongst normal middle class (especially upper-middle class) people looks like today.

David, I know you’re a really smart guy, but that’s what the rest of us are living with.

Underneath at all, you’re left to deal with the Ares Olympuses of the world, who claim this preposterously sentimental moral high ground, with nothing — NOTHING — of substance. That is the field of debate today. That is who we are.

There is no thinking going on. It’s all emoting. If you rooo your eyes at what Ares Olympus says, I encourage you to reconsider,because that’s the sentimentality and non-thinking that’s indoctrinating our young future leaders today.

No doomsday here... just take. A look.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus: it is an invasion. Look at the numbers.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dr. Irredreemabke Dreg: Precisely. Spot on!

The Libertarian impulse sounds so rational. But it is NOT what is happening in the real world. It’s just not.

Follow the incentives...

David Foster said...

IAC..."that’s the sentimentality and non-thinking that’s indoctrinating our young future leaders today"

Includes a lot of people who aren't all that young, though. Some who have succeeded, without anything special in the way of credentials, in very competitive businesses.

If it were all academics & nonprofit types & recent graduates, I wouldn't be so worried.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

David: You’ve commented a lot on this blog about credentialism. And I agree.

I don’t have a lot of faith in credentials today. In fact, I’ve avoided credentials in my own field, and advertise it. It works.

That said, I guarantee you those who have “succeeded... in very competitive businesses” demand their progeny get credentials. Why do you think that is?

And the madness is profligate in “...academics & nonprofit types & recent graduates...” Even more pernicious is the belief that it’s an entry card into a productive living.

Question: Does the high school in your public school community have shop class? Mine doesn’t. I think it’s an absolute disgrace and a horrid disservice to our young people! No wonder they all want “jobs using computers.”

Wow... why does the upper-middle class “hate” Trump? Maybe because the majority of ‘em still ain’t stoopid.