The Predatory Escalation of ‘Immigration Policies’
By Stefan Molyneux, MA
Host, Freedomain Radio – www.freedomainradio.com
The current controversy over immigration obscures – as most current controversies do – the depth and scale of the moral problem that is ‘immigration control’.
Even the word ‘immigration’ is specious, since what is merely being described is ‘moving’. Moving from New York to Houston requires no permission from the government – moving from Toronto to Buffalo does. The difference? Artificial boundaries of course – the territory marked out by one gang of predatory politicians versus another.
Can you imagine that, if you wanted to move from NY to Houston, you had to spend months or years on paperwork to wait for some official to give you the arbitrary thumbs-up or thumbs-down? Can you imagine having to spend thousands of dollars on ‘moving lawyers’ and having to completely re-prove your profession credentials and not being allowed to work for the first few months or years in Houston? Wouldn’t that be strange, maddening, ridiculous and wasteful beyond words?
And what gives one man the right to say to another man: thou shalt/shalt not live here? Is this a universal human right? Can I assert it as well? If not, why do politicians claim moral rights that directly oppose my rights? How can that be justified? How can a country composed almost entirely of immigrants dare to claim the moral right to close the gate to newcomers?
Of course, the primary culprit/excuse is the assortment of State programs which illegal immigrants can ‘take advantage’ of; such as welfare, Medicaid, public education and so on. In a free society, people have nothing to fear from immigrants, who must work or rely on private charity to survive, and who bring all the enormous needs inherent in those starting over in life: a house, education, furniture etc. The resultant increase in the demand for goods and services only helps stimulate the economy.
But, since government controls always leads to more government controls, we get immigration fascism nicely bundled with income redistribution programs.
Sadly, none of this is ever mentioned in contemporary debates, which always focus on the degree of immigration laws required, not whether they should exist or not at all. Current proposed legislation on Capitol Hill would instantly turn 12 million ‘undocumented Americans’ (quite a contradiction!) into felons. Also, priests, nuns, health care and social workers would be forbidden to help these poor souls. Being a ‘good Samaritan’ may just become illegal.
Why is all this occurring? In my opinion, for a number of reasons. Governments always need a crisis to expand their powers, and terrorists are proving uncooperative. So what’s next? Well, the ‘immigration crisis’ will enfold just like all other state ‘crises’, with all the same completely predictable results.
Step One: Crisis Creation
This has already been achieved. The Bush administration has kept this pot nicely bubbling on the back burner for years. Now is the time. ‘Seal the borders’ becomes the cry, and the Constitution shrivels just that little bit more, taking one of its final steps in its journey towards becoming an empty historical artifact.
Step Two: The ‘Mercy’ Compromise (aka preparation for escalation)
After sufficient protests, the government will ‘take a step back’ and offer some combination of warning and amnesty. The legislation will give 6-18 months advance warning, and those already here will be offered an amnesty of some sort.
Step Three: Inevitable Escalation
Naturally, as soon as talk of deferment and amnesty starts in earnest, there will be a massive stampede into the US. Just about anyone who has ever even contemplated immigration will be jolted into action, to get into the promised land before the steel door comes crashing down. Not only may they get the offered benefits, but if they get in before the gate comes down, they will face far less competition in the future from others like them. The existing ‘underground network’ of human movement will expand mightily to accommodate the new influx, which will be important later.
Step Four: Inevitable Backlash
As the stampede begins, the ‘immigration problem’ suddenly becomes an acute crisis. Endless footage of the stampede is run on TV. Frightening statistics are trotted out.
Ominous ‘doom music’ plays to shots of squalid immigrant living conditions. Many children and old people will be shown, with endless dire warnings about how their needs will ‘stretch the fabric of the social safety net to breaking point’. Angry and unemployed immigrant youth will be shown loafing around or doing nasty deeds. The police will start raiding immigrant enclaves. There will be some resistance. Cars will be burned. A cop will get injured by some cornered and desperate person. Patience runs out. Calls to action are made! Finally – presto! – fully worked-out legislation magically appears, just as in the Patriot Act – probably called the ‘Welcome Mat Act’ (WMA).
Step Five: Carding
The WMA legislation will require the creation of a massive new bureaucracy – and will set conditions under which the army can be stationed along the border, which will be quickly achieved. National ID cards will come into being – deferred for two or three years, just so no one gets too excited in the moment. All of this will be regretful but sadly necessary, in order to preserve the ‘strength of the Union’.
Step Six: ‘Progress’
As soon as these measures are implemented, there will be a magical ‘reduction’ in the prevalence (read: reporting) of illegal immigration. “You see?” the president will crow. “It’s working beautifully.” It will all be a lie of course. Making a genuinely-desired freedom illegal just drives it further underground, out of sight of the authorities.
Step Seven: Corruption
Ahh, the sweet smell of unmarked bills in small denominations! After the ‘official front gate’ comes down, the ‘side gate of corruption’ opens for business in earnest. Border cops will be bribed, politicians will take campaign donations from minority groups demanding preferential exceptions, the army will be led astray, and a whole complicated and convoluted set of rules (and how to break them) will be created, so that lawyers can take a break from suing corporations and start making money from those who want in.
Step Eight: The ‘Bypass’
The vast expansion of the ‘underground network’ of human movement created in Step 3 really comes into play here. A whole economic class will now exist for the sole purpose of getting people into the US by hook or by crook. (For historical examples of this, see the Mafia and Prohibition, or any modern gang and the ‘war on drugs’.) Honest potential immigrants will hesitate to get involved with such people – but sociopaths and criminals will already know them! The quality of those coming into the country takes just a bit of a nose-dive. Due to biased reporting and government statistics, the reputation of honest immigrants goes down with them.
Step Nine: The Forgeries
National ID cards will be forged as fast as printing presses can run them off. Those who are illegally in the country will just say ‘Oh, I forgot to have my card on me’, and promise to come by the cop shop the next day. Right. Thus the penalties for failing to produce an ID card on demand will escalate. This will hit native citizens hard and continually. The police will get financially addicted to fining citizens, and will pursue missing ID cards far more assiduously than any real criminals. The forged cards will be indistinguishable from the real cards (since corruption will escalate directly into the office of whoever is producing the cards, just as with Canadian passports), and so further identification steps will be required. Cops with retinal scan equipment anyone? This will all escalate into increased bribery and corruption opportunities. The lowered police attention towards violent crime will only escalate it – creating more justification for increased government powers and additional taxation.
Step Ten: The Expansion
At first, police ‘sweeps’ will be focused on particular ethnic groups. However, very quickly the ‘PC vulture’ will swoop down to feast on the rotting common sense of a dying society. Outcries against ‘unfair targeting’ will cause intense political pressure, which will result in senseless sweeps of Chinese and Scottish neighborhoods. Fines and corruption increase. The ‘cat and mouse’ game escalates to deadly levels. As the penalties for non-compliance increase, the desperation of those ‘caught in the net’ will increase. Policemen will start getting attacked, and will both escalate their use of ‘first force’ and also withdraw from dangerous neighborhoods, leaving entire sections of society with neither police ‘protection’ nor legal alternatives.
Sound grim? Well, remember this: it’s only inevitable if we think it is. Just as in opposing slavery, when the solution was not opposing each slave-owner, but the institution of slavery itself, we must oppose not this or that state program, but the very concept of the state itself. (For more information on ways to approach this, please visit my podcast site at www.freedomainradio.com.)
We must start to talk openly about viable alternatives to this ghastly coercive social monopoly called the state – for just as surely it can control immigration, it can exile our own freedom.
Stefan Molynuex, is the host of Freedomain Radio (www.freedomainradio.com), the most popular philosophy site on the Internet, and a “Top 10” Finalist in the 2007-2010 Podcast Awards.