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A fair trade

One of the more popular arguments against a crackdown on illegal aliens has been the "do you know how hard it would be to deport 12 million people?" My standard reply has been "then we better start soon."

Yesterday, I heard an interesting idea on a talk show. A caller suggested that we couple deporting illegal aliens with increased legal immigration. This was not a new idea, but his iteration of it was: a simple one-for-one exchange: for every illegal sent back, one legal is allowed in.

I think this is a good idea, but it could stand improving. Instead of a simple one-for-one exchange, I propose that for every illegal alien deported to their home country, one applicant currently going through the legal process is chosen at random for expedited processing. We, at once, punish the law-breakers and reward those obeying the laws.

(I have no idea how this will also get twisted into some form of racism/bigotry/xenophobia, but I have absolute faith in the illegal-alien advocates to find a way to do so.)

This could also have the benefit of fully splitting off the legal immigrants from the pro-illegal side, as suddenly they have an incentive to turn in illegals. If sending Sven down the street back to Norway means that Cousin Lars will have a chance to jump to the head of the legal line, then that just might do the trick the next time Sven annoys Lars' cousin.

I am loath to use such a cliche' as "thinking outside the box," but this notion is a perfect example of that. It's making the statement I believe we need to make -- we welcome and value immigrants, but ONLY if they obey the rules and respect the law from the outset. It punishes lawbreakers and rewards those following the rules. It's incredibly simple, self-explanatory, and could work wonders for the problem.

Naturally, I expect it to go exactly nowhere.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A fair trade:

» bRight & Early linked with First Cup 05.03.06

» Don Singleton linked with A fair trade

» Right Truth linked with Immigration Roundup 5/3/06

» Kitty Litter linked with WHO LET THE LOONIES OUT?

» 21st Century Paladin linked with Dojo Info 5/4/06

Comments (25)

Well, hell, I think that's ... (Below threshold)

Well, hell, I think that's a pretty damn good idea: promoting legal immigration while discouraging illegal border crossing at the same time. There are a number of problems with it, however. First, the cost implied in deporting all of the illegals currently in the US, and second, if we are to somehow deport all of the illegals in the US, we need to drastically change our immigration policy to support all of the legal immigrants we must take in, as per said deal.

Any suggestions how to solve those problems in any way that would be amenable to the politicians whose only interest is votes?

Not a bad idea. I had an i... (Below threshold)
Black Hat:

Not a bad idea. I had an idea that was a little different but may make some sense. The exporting of its poor citizens obviously has value to the Mexican government. If it really that valuable to them, perhaps they could share some of that value with the citizens of the U.S. Now what does the Mexican government have that we would want in exchange for accepting north of 10 million of Mexico's poor? How about Pemex?

Yeah, that's the ticket. Le... (Below threshold)
Bill Metzger:

Yeah, that's the ticket. Legislators ought to include such a mean spirited provision in the "patriot act". They can go one step further and criminalize the situation of even having knowledge of an "illegal" as an added incentive to spy and rat on neighbors and co-workers.

That hare-brained idea is almost as bad the policies instituted by the nazis, just the ethnicity of the victims has changed.

I'd like to see a guest wor... (Below threshold)

I'd like to see a guest worker program that only accepts applications in Mexico. Illegal aliens who want to be part of the program have to go back to Mexico to apply.

I'd like to see illegals fingerprinted and retina-scanned when caught. That way repeat offenders can be identified. Such persons cannot apply for guest worker status or citizenship.

Just sitting there on the e... (Below threshold)
upset old guy:

Just sitting there on the edge waiting to fall off, weren't you BIll?

Uh, Bill, how is reporting ... (Below threshold)

Uh, Bill, how is reporting a lawbreaker "mean-spirited?" If you saw someone robbing a store, would you say to yourself, "Well, I don't want to be mean to this poor person, they're just trying to get some things they want," or would you report them to store security?

These are ILLEGAL aliens we are talking about. LAWBREAKERS. They no right or business being here. They are sucking off our system (most don't hesitate to use our public services, but don't pay the taxes for them) and taking opportunities away from citizens and also people who are doing the hard work to immigrate here LEGALLY. They deserve no one's sympathy.

[email protected] Jay Tea</p... (Below threshold)


@ Jay Tea

The way to deal with deportation and illegal immigration is to charge back the costs of deportation to the host country sufficiently to cover the full and complete costs of arrest, incarceration, court sessions and ultimately deportation.

So a tariff on all goods and services from Mexico, as an example, is implemented to cover the costs of deportation. This fund is used to defray the expenses of deportation proceedings. If the fund runs dry then the tariff is increased to cover the additional requirements.

This means that it will be Mexico that'll have to spend the cash to handle the deportation of Mexican citizens. At some point Mexico will get the idea that preventing illegal immigration is in it's best interests.

Hmmm.That... (Below threshold)


That hare-brained idea is almost as bad the policies instituted by the nazis, just the ethnicity of the victims has changed.

I hereby invoke Godwin's Law.

Hmmm.It costs abot... (Below threshold)


It costs abotu $250,000 to educate a child through 12th grade.

So how is it not theft when an illegal alien brings his kid, or more than one, into America to get an education? Isn't that a form of grand theft or larceny?

It's a dumb idea because la... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

It's a dumb idea because law breakers then control the number of immigrants the U.S. takes in. Where's the principle of a nation being able to control it's own borders?

I've detail a better plan on this bog many times, one that would work and would cost taxpayers little more than what they pay now. But that plan doesn't get any traction because it's either too simple or because something that would remove millions of insurgents is too scary.

Bill, one of the duties of ... (Below threshold)

Bill, one of the duties of a citizen of the USA is to enforce existing laws. What happened in the USSR and communist countries is that neighbors "ratted out" others for what they thought ! They were also arrested for wearing certain clothing or reading certain magazines. These were citizens of the country.
Educate yourself. Here is a free read:


Get over it. Bush isnt goin... (Below threshold)

Get over it. Bush isnt going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants, they arent going to leave voluntarily and a border fence isnt going to be built, at lease not by the federal government.
The best thing to do is to grant those in the country illegally asylum and put them on the road to citizenship and assimilation.

For those so hellbent on deportation of 12 million
illegal aliens, what's your plan for doing so without causing a violent backlash?

Re: Bill Metzger's May 3, 2... (Below threshold)

Re: Bill Metzger's May 3, 2006 08:10 AM

WOW. That didn't take long. It usually requires at least a half dozen posts before somebody starts accusing others of being a nazi or of advocating nazi-esque tactics. Bill did it in three!



Cassini wrote (May 3... (Below threshold)

Cassini wrote (May 3, 2006 10:37 AM):

For those so hellbent on deportation of 12 million
illegal aliens, what's your plan for doing so without causing a violent backlash?

Personally, I'm not "hellbent" on deporting anybody. But, in answer to your question about dealing with a violent backlash, my plan is to pretty much let the police deal with it as they would any other situation when people resist efforts to uphold / enforce the law. If the situation gets so bad / violent that the police can't deal with it (and I doubt that this would happen), then that's one of the reasons that we have a National Guard.

A backlash of what, Cassini... (Below threshold)

A backlash of what, Cassini??? Hurt feelings?

These people flaunt the law, and they steal from both citizens and legal immigrants every day. Yet you are afraid of a "backlash"?

YOU'RE IN ONE ALREADY, DAMMIT...! It's called "let's see what happens when we become the world's trash bin, for their unwanted peoples".

Oh, and I won't even begin to go on about the strategic implications of lax border patrol to our enemies...you know, those people who "hate" us enough to plot acts of terrorism on our soil every day.

Tell you what.

YOU pay for all the poor "undocumented" sots who suck off the tax base (yes, that's OUR tax dollars they are stealing), and who overburden schools and hospitals.

YOU explain to other criminals why some laws should be enforced, but others not.

And when the next terror strike comes, and it gets proven that the terrorists imported their manpower and materiel across an open border with Mexico, YOU tell all the dead American citizens why they had to die. Oh, and YOU pay for the cleanup and settle lawsuits with all the survivors who want compensation.

Then they can stay.

Until then, ILLEGAL immigrants can get the hell out, RIGHT NOW. And my hat remains tipped to all the LEGAL ones, who value the country they wish to live in enough to OBEY THE LAW.

Don't like that one? Then I have an easier bargain for you: "undocumented" immigrants can stay in the US when Mexico allows "undocumented" immigrants from its southern border to remain in Mexico.

(waiting for pigs to fly)

For those so hellb... (Below threshold)
For those so hellbent on deportation of 12 million illegal aliens, what's your plan for doing so without causing a violent backlash?

The trouble with violent backlashes is, they can cut both ways.

Hmmm.Isn't the pos... (Below threshold)


Isn't the possibility of a "violent backlash" an explicit requirement for deportation? If the illegal aliens in America would be willing to take up arms against this nation then the deportation of said illegals isn't just a policy decision but an absolute requirement for the preservation of the Union.

So which is it Cassini?

If they're not prone to a "violent backlash" then you're completely wrong and any such deportations will happen without incident.

If they ARE prone to a "violent backlash" then they are certain danger to this country and MUST be deported in order to preserve the country.


Either way, you lose evidently.

Cassini at May 3, 2006 10:3... (Below threshold)

Cassini at May 3, 2006 10:37 AM

The best thing to do is to grant those in the country illegally asylum and put them on the road to citizenship and assimilation.
Citizenship, No. You don't reward those that break the law. Follow the legal routes. Ability to work legally, maybe, the hated Guest Worker that's being demigogged right now.

JT's point in a later post is that we have done this twice before. Look where it's got us. George Santayana said Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Malcolm Forbes said Failure is success if we learn from it. If only our politicos on both sides could learn from our past failures on this issue.

Deportation ain't gonna hap... (Below threshold)

Deportation ain't gonna happen. The political will just isn't there.

Interesting exercise perhaps in deciding how to humanely or "justly" make deportation palatable, but really -- do any of you think Bush or his predessor would agree to that option?

As I said before, you guys ... (Below threshold)

As I said before, you guys are living in a dream world.

The reality of the situation is that the 12 million or more illegal aliens in the U.S. are NOT going to be deported nor is a border fence going to be built by the U.S. govt. Amnesty and
the road to citizenship and assimilation are the logical answers to this problem.

Let me ask you anti-immigration types in here this

If President Bush issued an order to round up the 12 million or so illegal aliens in this country and deport them just how do you think THEY would react?

Actually, Cassini may have ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Actually, Cassini may have a point. Put out flyers promising amnesty and the road to citizenship for illegals, meet at local ampitheater at such and such a day. Mass arrests and deportations ensue.

As much as I loathe the man... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

As much as I loathe the man, I like Michael Savage's idea: For the 10-12 million illegal Mexican immigrants that are here (or whatever the number approx. number may be) Mexico gives us that much in oil every month or year. Won't ever happen, but it would be just payment.

But it did trigger another, perhaps more feasible idea.

I've amended that idea to include the building of refineries just across the border in Mexico where there aren't the manical restrictions on building them that currently exist here. Pipelines would cross the borders at key areas and the refined oil would go into holding tanks in the US for delivery. This would create jobs in Mexico, increase our refining capacity (at least in the southwestern part of the US, including SoCal) thus helping reduce the cost of gas and, at the very least, help stem the tide (somewhat) of illegal immigration.

Of course, it would be a joint and on-going project between the US and Mexico where only slight import or export tariffs on the refined oil could be placed. Both sides get something. We get more refining capacity and reduced energy costs and fewer immigrants, and Mexico receives a much-needed economic boost.

I'm sure I haven't thought of everything, and there are likely things wrong with it (like my knowledge of tariff taxes) and things that I haven't thought of, but it's just an idea I had.

Cassini wrote (May 3, 2006 ... (Below threshold)

Cassini wrote (May 3, 2006 01:15 PM):

If President Bush issued an order to round up the 12 million or so illegal aliens in this country and deport them just how do you think THEY would react?

I think that the vast majority would try to run / disappear and hope to get lost in the shuffle. A few would quietly turn themselves in, hoping to come back five minutes after they get off the bus in Mexico (hey, it worked before...).

Some might try resisting with violence. The police can deal with them.

I'm going to venture to guess that you think there will be large numbers who will resist deportation violently. You could be right. However:

1. We can't let fear stop us enforcing our laws. After all, criminals often don't "come quietly"; should we just let them all go for that reason?

2. As ed points out (May 3, 2006 12:00 PM), if the illegals are that ready to used violence to get what they want, then they are an absolute menace to the peace and security of our country and need to be deported ASAP.

It seems to me that we've h... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

It seems to me that we've heard Cassini's arguments before.

"Fight terrorism? You can't fight an idea!"

"Fight Islamofascism? There are a billion Muslims!"

"Build national missile defense? It'll never work, you can't hit a bullet with a bullet!"

'Course, that doesn't mean you can't fight Poverty, or that you can't spend even more money on public schools and the Teacher's Unions.

Amazing how quickly the Left knows, in its bones, what can and cannot be done.

"Amazing how quickly the... (Below threshold)

"Amazing how quickly the Left knows, in its bones, what can and cannot be done.

What isn't amazing at all is the way the Right is so slow to figure out the obvious. It's quite predictable, in fact.






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