Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Immigration: Spend Here, Not There

 My thoughts in response to the call for more funding to help the children amassed on our border.
"I find it interesting that Liberals want to spend money to care for children lined up on the border. Which of course will encourage more children to line up.

Yet they say no to spending money on protecting children in other countries and working to improve their lives there. (ie Afganistan, Iraq, etc)

Maybe they support the "out of sight out of mind" philosophy." G2A
MinnPost Congress and Immigration Pkg

Thoughts regarding the whole situation?

43 comments:

Sean said...

Yes, it is more important to spend money on children who are here than children who are elsewhere.

I find it odd that you oppose "welfare" here, but gladly support it elsewhere.

Laurie said...

about - spending money on protecting children in other countries and working to improve their lives there. (ie Afganistan, Iraq, etc)-

do you see waging wars as protecting children? War and occupation directly and indirectly claimed the lives of about a half-million Iraqis from 2003 to 2011 (National Geographic)

Afghanistan's war is getting deadlier for its civilians with the toll from crossfire and ground battles rising sharply, the United Nations has said in a report.

The number killed or injured in the first six months of the year rose by a quarter from 2013 levels to nearly 5,000 people, the bloodiest total since the UN began keeping records in 2009. Women and children are particularly badly affected. (more than 1000 children) (The Guardian)

Was there some bill in congress about providing humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that liberals voted against?

Maybe the children from Central America arriving at the border should be considered refugees

The awful reason tens of thousands of children are seeking refuge in the United States

John said...

If you feed raccoons outside your back door. More raccoons will come.

We have a legal immigration process. Any other path should be discouraged strongly, not rewarded.

Sean said...

The whole point of the money that Obama is asking for is to be able to speed up the process of deporting (most of) these kids.

The reason we have to hold them, process them, and give them a hearing is because of a law that passed Congress with bipartisan support and was signed into law (and reauthorized) by George W. Bush.

Until we can give them that hearing, though, we have to take care of them. Or you can have the President ignore the law, I suppose. But I thought Republicans were opposed to that.

Anonymous said...

"If you feed raccoons..."

That is one of the most offensive statements I have ever read here, John.

It's hard for me to stomach even the reasonable arguments from someone who would compare innocent children to animals.

Joel

John said...

Raccoons are innocent and cute. I picked them rather than my first choice for this reason. Of course they eat a lot and make quite a mess of things.

Somehow people here are willing to make this Mexican problem our problem. Close the border and America has no refugee problem.

Apparently the DFL is not ready to undo the 2008 law so that the illegal immigrants can be sent to their home country quickly.

Here is an interesting comparison. Afgan allies to die.

John said...

Joel,
I am aware that many Liberals don't like the comparison of animal behavior to people behavior, unfortunately in many cases they are similar.

Animals will gather where there is food, shelter, water, etc.

Humans are also attracted to food, shelter, water, etc.

How do you see this ending if we feed, cloth and shelter every person that shows up on our border? Thoughts?

Sean said...

The 2008 law allows us to send Mexican children back without a hearing, so it's only the Central American children at issue here -- and frankly, a lot of them can make a compelling case for refugee status.

I agree that we should allow visas for interpreters and others who aided us in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Sean said...

"How do you see this ending if we feed, cloth and shelter every person that shows up on our border?"

No one is suggesting that we do that, so let's dispense with the strawmen and talk about the actual issue.

Laurie said...

I agree with Joel that your raccoon's comparison is highly offensive.
(I also hope Joel will stick around as more commentators make a blog more interesting)

about what to do with this immigration issue, I have slightly mixed feelings. If I think of them as people looking to improve their economic opportunities I think send them back, if I think of them as refugees from places of extreme violence I think let them stay. I agree with the policy of treat them as refugess and give them a hearing. There are many countries around the world doing much more for refugees then the USA.

Anonymous said...

John said, "I am aware that many Liberals don't like the comparison of animal behavior to people behavior, unfortunately in many cases they are similar."

This is fascinating...and very inconsistent with social conservatives' attitude toward comparing homosexuality in humans and other animals.

Raccoons may be cute, but they are also considered vermin by many people.

Joel

John said...

Joel,
You may have forgotten that I am not a Social Conservative, I am somewhat of a Social Libertarian and a Fiscal Conservative.

I land somewhere near the "ism" in Classical Liberalism.

John said...

Sean,
Please enlighten me. What are the actual issues?

Sean said...

The issue in terms of the children is this: should we change the 2002/2008 law that requires us to hold a hearing for Central American children before we deport them? As I previously noted, Mexican children can be deported without a hearing.

John said...

Why in your opinion should the Central American children be treated differently than the Mexican children?

Laurie said...

about your question- I guess reading my link is too much trouble for you today, so here is a short video clip you can watch:

America's child migrant crisis, explained in 2 minutes

Sean said...

"Why in your opinion should the Central American children be treated differently than the Mexican children?"

I don't know that I have a fully formed opinion on that at this time. I would need to do more research to come to a more definite conclusion.

There are two reasons that lead me to think that it might be appropriate to treat them differently: first, it's a lot more difficult to send them back versus Mexicans where we can move them back very quickly; and second, conditions are so bad in some of the places where they are coming from that they may qualify under existing law as refugees.

John said...

CNN Unintended Consequences
The Hill Law Not Applicable
Asylum Page

John said...

Laurie,
Life is very very very hard in many of the countries in the world. We are very very very fortunate in the USA.

That is why I support our all volunteer military helping to stabilize other countries. Yet you typically attend the peace rallies to stop these efforts to help people.

Yet now you are worried about the sob stories of some kids because they are standing on our border, and life is rough back home.

So the Taliban should be free to shoot little girls on there way to school, however we need to open our borders to the down trodden who may be forced to join a gang.

Please explain the rationale.

Laurie said...

so the peaceniks (including me) were wrong when we protested going to war with Iraq back in 2003?

Let's review the costs:
500,000 Iraqis dead
5,000 American casualties
$1 trillion (cost to the US govt)

Now, let's see how much did we help the people:

Civilian death toll in Iraq highest in years, fueling concern of Al Qaeda 'resurgence'

and don't forget the 4 million Iraqi refugees around the world

John said...

We can only give people a hand up. What they choose to do with the opportunity is up to them.

I am assuming you believe that no one would have died and it would have been free if we were still enforcing the "No Fly Zone", and Saddam Hussein was still in power.

Or would your peacenik side have let him take our ally Kuwait in the first place? On the upside, his iron fist and mass murders did seem to keep the religious extremists in control.

Laurie said...

Kuwait was the first Iraq war, I didn't protest that one.

When It comes to helping others around the globe, perhaps the $1 trillion could have been spent more wisely. That works out to an ave of $100 billion a yr, which would be a sizable boost to the $4 billion we currently spend. Maybe we could have ended extreme global poverty by now.

John said...

What would you have done with Saddam for the last 11 years?

Giving people money, medicine and food in India, Africa, etc sounds good, except what are you going to do about their unsustainable birth rate.

John said...

And remember what welfare yields... The need for more welfare...

Laurie said...

I was very surprised to see you make this statement- warfare yields... The need for more warfare.

Then I read it again more carefully and decided it was time for bed.

Sean said...

The false assumption here is that the choice was either a.) invade Iraq exactly the way Bush did it or b.) continue doing what we were doing before. There were multiple other paths we could have taken that were not a.) or b.).

For instance, we could have expanded the no-fly zone and continued to ratchet up the economic sanctions (yes, they were losing some of their effectiveness, but still...). If we invaded, we could have had a coherent plan built in advance for the occupation and rebuilding of the Iraqi government.

Instead, going down path a.) accomplished very little of what our goals were presumed to be. Iraq had no operational WMD capability. We didn't build a society that treats women and minorities better. Thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians have died and hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes. We didn't build a stable government that serves as a counterweight to terrorists or Iran. And we wasted lots of money and lost many brave soldiers.

Laurie said...

I would have been okay with doing nothing about Saddam, but as Sean says there were other options.

About those immigrant kids, my actually views lean towards a tougher view policy like you support, I have been arguing the liberal position to persuade myself and now view myself as undecided. The line about Honduras currently being more dangerous for civilians than Iraq at the height of the war is persuasive to me. If I had to decide which kids were allowed to stay I think I would be a softie for reuniting families by letting kids stay here as well.

John said...

Sean,
I suppose Iraq could have been another North Korea with ~30,000American troops stationed around it. Unfortunately I don't think any of our allies in the area, or our citizens would have signed on for 60 years of that.

I whole heartedly agree that the idea that removing Saddam would lead to peace and democracy was based on a flawed assumption that enough people there want peace and a representative government. Unfortunately that was wrong.

As I said, we gave them a hand to help them, and they went right back to the booze bottle.

John said...

Maybe Laurie's misinterpretation is correct for the people of the Middle East...

War yields more War

And they are doomed to continue the cycle...

Sean said...

It was far worse than a flawed assumption. It was a fundamental lack of understanding of the political and cultural dynamics of a country that you were going to invade and impose an order upon.

Blaming the Iraqis for what has happened since the invasion is just precious. If you release a caged tiger, you don't blame the tiger for what happens next.

John said...

Laurie,
I agree that the situation in Central America is bad and I wish we could do something to help them. However it seems many third world countries have a lot in common with Iraq. Trying to help is expensive and full of potential problems.

I am just concerned that setting precedent of welcoming anyone who shows up at our front door may not lead where we want to go.

In my mind I was envisioning you providing a free dinner for anyone who showed up at the front door of your home. In a month or so I assuming you would have a lot of interesting dinner guests every night.

Sean said...

Perhaps the animal analogy isn't the best, because I don't mean to compare the Iraqi people to animals. But the point is that when you take the lid off of simmering ethnic and cultural tensions, you had best be prepared for the aftereffects. We weren't remotely prepared for it, our top policymakers were delusional.

John said...

Sean,
Please explain. What caged tiger did we release?

Sean said...

"I am just concerned that setting precedent of welcoming anyone who shows up at our front door may not lead where we want to go."

We are not doing this, though.

John said...

Of course we are.

They could be left sitting on the door step. (ie Mexican side of the border)

Instead we take them on to US property and give them food, shelter, unite them with family when possible, provide lawyers, judges,etc. And the longer the cute children are here, the more likely they will be allowed to stay.

It is the Christian thing to do, but to what end?

Sean said...

Well, I would suggest that we shouldn't let them die on the doorstep. Two-thirds of these children -- when they get their hearing -- are ordered to be deported. If we can put some money into accelerating the hearings, we can put an end to the fallacy that we just let folks stay pretty quickly.

Laurie said...

Maybe we should take thess children in because it is our policies, past and present, that have contributed to this problem.

America’s Debt To The Children Crossing Our Border- Boston NPR

John said...

That is an interesting solution...

"To do so, we must start by ending the war on drugs. This means decriminalizing all illegal narcotics and disbanding related law enforcement operations."

We can't even make pot legal in MN, I just don't see heroin, cocaine, etc coming to our local drug store any time soon.

I think I will take this source with a couple of grains of salt.

John said...

Sean,
Do you have a source for the 66%?

Here is an interesting article that describes some of the chaos.

Laurie said...

Maybe legalizing drugs is not a realistic solution, I was more persuaded that we have a moral obligation to let many/most of these kids stay.

We have a pretty dark history in our policies/actions in each of these Central American countries. It's off on another tangent, but do you think the military actions mentioned in the story are defensible?

John said...

Sorry, I don't know enough about our history in Central America and I question the reliability of the source.

I guess I have more faith in the good intent of the USA and the CIA. I assume they had good intent... Kind of like our role in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We took actions to help people and bad things happened. If we had not taken actions, bad things would have happened. Now which was worse, we will never know.

Sean said...

"Last fiscal year, immigration judges reached a decision in 6,437 juvenile cases, according to the court data. About two-thirds of the minors were ordered deported or allowed to leave the country voluntarily, and 361 were given legal status."

from

http://online.wsj.com/articles/few-children-are-deported-1405036369

John said...

Thanks, I'll read it later.

WSJ Few Children are Deported