Unethical Quote Of The Week: Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

sanctuary-cities

“To anyone who feels threatened today, or vulnerable, you are safe in Boston. We will do everything lawful in our powerful to protect you. If necessary, we will use City Hall itself to shelter and protect anyone who’s targeted unjustly.”

—–Boston’s mayor, Martin J. Walsh, announcing defiance to the President Trump’s Executive Order cutting off federal funding to municipalities that did not cooperate with federal immigration officials.

Is Mayor Walsh under the impression that America’s laws protecting its borders and extending its sovereignty over the crucial area of immigration control are the equivalent of the Fugitive Slave Act? It would seem so.

The grandstanding statement by Walsh is the most extreme yet from the 100% wrong and unethical mayors of so-called sanctuary cities, which include major metropolises like Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and smaller cities, many of them college towns, like New Haven; Syracuse; and Austin. There are over 300 in all.

The legal issue is interesting and not at all settled. A 2012 Supreme Court decision held that Congress is not permitted to set conditions on spending to coerce states or localities to participate in federal programs against their will, but other decisions are no so clear. Moreover, when a city actively interferes with the enforcement of the law—not merely not participating in the program, but actively interfering with it the in way the Walsh describes—the federal government should have some effective way of responding. I see another SCOTUS case coming, don’t you? What if Boston decided that it would provide sanctuary for drug dealers, kidnappers, spies and terrorists? Could it do that, too?

Some of the other mayors have been only slightly more moderate. San Francisco’s mayor, Ed Lee, issued a joint statement with the mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, and Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose:

“We will not give in to threats, or political grandstanding. Together, the Bay Area will stay true to our values of inclusiveness, compassion and equality, and united against any and all efforts to divide our residents, our cities, and our country.”

Look! Political grandstanding about political grandstanding! Imagine: the President of the United States wants to enforce immigration laws! How dare he? In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel proclaimed, while ducking bullets presumably,

 “I want to be clear: We’re going to stay a sanctuary city. There is no stranger among us. Whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, whether you’re from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you’re from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather came from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American dream.”

Having illegal aliens who have committed crimes flee to Chicago might work out, since the murder rate there should thin their ranks considerably.

I will write this until my heart gives out: I do not understand how the position that the US should allow illegal immigrants to cross its borders without penalty, and indeed give them incentives to do so, can be defended ethically or legally. These incredible statements are in defiance of an order aimed at citizens of other nations who not broke the law coming here or staying here, but continued to break them intentionally. I do not understand why any civically literate person doesn’t just double over with laughter when they read what these mayors are saying, as if it makes any sense at all except to pick up votes.

Yes, uprooting illegals who have lived in the US for years while obeying the law because the government did not do its job and enforce the laws is ugly and impractical. This does not mean that the message should be sent far and wide that if you can sneak past our porous border patrols or illegally remain here after a visa has expired, you are welcome and  the salt of the earth. Doing that is insane, and yet that is the message that the nation, with the complicity of both parties, has been sending.

It is incompetent, it is irresponsible, and it is foolish. I have yet to hear an argument for allowing illegal immigrants to enter the country and stay here that isn’t based on emotion, rationalizations, or a cynical political agenda. Is there one? I’ve been studying the issue for decades, since I oversaw a study  for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I didn’t encounter one then, and I haven’t in the intervening years that cost me my hair, innocence and girlish figure.

I want someone, a persistent, honest journalist would do, to make any of these mayors articulate exactly what they think is a responsible approach to immigration laws. Stipulated: “We shouldn’t have any” is an endorsement of anarchism and incompetence. “We should have immigration laws, but not enforce them” is proof positive of idiocy, and should disqualify the speaker from future public office as well as forcing him or her to wear mittens attached by a string.

“We should enforce them, but once someone slips through the net, they get a prize of citizenship, as long as they really, really want to come here” seems to be the current definition of “immigration reform.” Is it? These mayoral pronouncements are high-blown rhetoric that seem to say that violating U.S. laws is a noble act. Why does anyone support that?

This single issue, more than any other, made Donald Trump President. When he raised it and ever since, the strategy of the Left has been to focus on the way he said that we needed to obey the laws, or that he was being a racist to want to enforce them, or that he was a fool in the manner that he said he would enforce them, none of which answered the core question. How can anyone, in a nation of laws, justify supporting the flagrant violators of immigration laws, while denigrating those who want to enforce them? I want to hear Walsh and his pals explain that clearly and persuasively. Nobody should respect their opinion until they do.

73 Comments

Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

73 responses to “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

  1. Rick M.

    Marty made more sense when he was on the sauce. Mumbles is looking good and maybe they can get Mumbles out of the hole and prop him up? Tito gets some money Marty may have some trouble at hand, but with Carmen “retired” maybe the heat is off Marty? Face it – this is nothing more than a union thug in a cheap suit.

  2. JutGory

    I don’t think anyone supporting the rule of law can support this.

    However, I see two arguments that, unfortunately, the liberal/progressives do mot make well.

    First, Obama fought Arizona to make enforcement of immigration a strictly federal matter (okay that oversimplified a Supreme Court opinion, most of which are difficult if not impossible to paraphrase in one sentence).

    Second, local authorities, particularly law enforcement, have a legitimate interest in having the cooperation of the community when they investigate crime. If a witness of a crime is hesitant to step forward because of the witnesses lack of status, law enforcement is handicapped. So, some sanctuary cities have put out a “don’t ask, don’t tell” paradigm. Law enforcement is not going to look for illegals, so, if you witnessed a murder, don’t let your lack of status deter you from coming forward. We are not looking for you

    • First, Obama fought Arizona to make enforcement of immigration a strictly federal matter (okay that oversimplified a Supreme Court opinion, most of which are difficult if not impossible to paraphrase in one sentence).

      I am convinced, in context, that the whole purpose of the Justice Department’s attack on these state anti-illegal immigration laws was to enhance the “Republicans are racists” trope. Any genuine legal principles, and there were some, were incidental.

      • JutGory

        Actually, Jack, I do not remember the specific arguments, but it came across to me as a sort of preemption argument. Immigration is in the constitution and states have no role. If true, sanctuary cities are perfectly consistent with that (meaning states have no obligation to enforce federal laws, as they have no power to do so).
        -Jut

        • They also can’t interfere with the enforcement of federal laws, which is what sanctuary cities do.

          • Can you give a few examples? Sure, hiding them in city hall is probably illegal, but most of what I hear about from sanctuary cities is refusing to help detain illegal immigrants and providing them with ID or social services. That’s not helpful, but is it interference?

        • Matthew B

          How is that different than arguing that because heroin is illegal under federal law, you can’t have local police arresting heroin dealers?

    • “Second, local authorities, particularly law enforcement, have a legitimate interest in having the cooperation of the community when they investigate crime.”

      That is the policy reason underlying sanctuary cities: It is intended to protect crime victims from being deported for reporting crimes committed against them. In theory, local law enforcement would look not into the complainant’s immigration status. The argument would go like this: “Do you really want Sheriff Joe Arpaio to investigate ‘María’s’ immigration status after she reported being beaten to a pulp by ‘Cesar’? Who wants local police departments enforcing federal immigration laws anway? They are complex, based on federal (not state) law, full of arcane rules and procedures that state and local law enforcement is not required or equipped to implement or enforce, and the burden on local law enforcement would simply be too great to bear on already over-taxed state and local systems. That makes sense, right?”

      In practical application, though, local authorities don’t cooperate with ICE or look into immigration hold orders on people detained by state and local authorities. So, instead of notifying ICE that someone has been detained, they simply process the accused under the local and state rules, and ignore what happens at the federal level.

      jvb

    • I don’t think anyone supporting the rule of law can support this.

      The left has abandoned the rule of law some time ago /snark

  3. Frank Stephens

    Sanctuary cities are the personification of unethical. Consider that sanctuary cities have been in open rebellion for years — not against Donald Trump — but against former President Barack Obama. When federal authority during Obama’s administration sought to track down illegals who had committed murder and other violent crimes, sanctuary city policy denied assistance and actually called for noncompliance with federal officials. This resulted in the release of thousands of known criminals back into the general public, including individuals that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were and are trying to deport. Democrats have blamed everyone from Russians to deplorable Trump supporters for the loss Hillary Clinton experienced. No, a more likely reason may be Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, the 7 times deported illegal alien who shot and killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco. That story vindicated Trump’s campaign rallying cry against criminal immigrants. The San Francisco sheriff (San Francisco is a sanctuary city) released Lopez-Sanchez from custody rather than alert and cooperate with federal agents in detaining him. Talk about unethical…

  4. Prosecute a couple of these Mayors for knowingly harboring criminal(s) and put them in the Federal Penitentiary for obstruction of justice, or something like that. This would solve this problem real quick; I’m not a lawyer, is something like that even legally possible?

    • JutGory

      Yes, you could lose. I would bet that harboring means something akin to Anne Frank, which makes the Mayor’s invitation to City Hall very dumb. I just doubt there would be a conviction.
      -Jut

      • Wayne B

        Mentioning Anne Frank is really ridiculous. Anne Frank was stuck in Amsterdam with her family due to the nazis invading and occupying the Netherlands. Her family had committed no crimes except in being Jewish. We cannot continue to pretend that sovereignty is an option for the USA anymore nor can we harbor criminal illegal aliens and possible terrorists because some arrogant mayor thinks it’s the right thing to do.

      • Sure that might be an example of harboring but referencing the Nazi’s is completely unwarranted; Trump is not putting people in concentration camps and murdering millions. At this point in time, any reference to Hitler’s Germany is an uncivil smear.

  5. dragin_dragon

    The first line of almost any oath of office is as follows: “I, (state your name) swear or affirm that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of…whatever. In the case of an Executive Officer, beit Mayor or President, that entails insuring the enforcement of the law, not intentionally encouraging the breaking of the law. Most oaths finish up with “I will do my best to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and (in the case of Mayors or Governors) the Constitution of this State.” In essence, these people are wilfully becoming forsworn. It’s almost too bad that the Dark Ages penalties for doing so are not still in effect.

  6. Paul Compton

    The incoming administration MUST come up with some solution for those who are already in country right away. I can see it being hugely controversial whatever they do, but something that errs on the side of compassion would take some of the wind out of the sails of all President Trump’s detractors.

    I can only imagine that it would be some form of ‘register and we’ll give you an extended Visa, then after X years you will be given citizenship if you haven’t committed any (significant) crimes’. Please understand that I’m pretty much doing a Trump and shooting from the lip here!

    Problems; Illegals would then come under US labour laws and may well fear loosing any work they have should they register. Many may be brow beaten or lied to to discourage them from registering – I can see that being a political tactic by the left, and some employers. There would undoubtedly be some failures of the system on both sides of the ideal scale – which would be mercilessly exploited.

    This will be an election issue forever unless it is addressed thoughtfully, decisively and with a generous dose of compassion. Pretty much anything has to be better than the situation you have now.

    • carcarwhite

      I agree!!! It’s the thing they fear most… those who have been here for a long time and have contributed. I think speaking to that would help a lot of fear. It’s getting old being called a racist for wanting our laws followed.

  7. Wait—nobody reading this post has the guts, conviction or wit to offer a rational , no emotional, non-THINK OF THE CHILDREN! defense for sanctuary cities? No one?

    • Okay, just for fun, I’ll go there: The libertarian non-coercion principle. If Jose wants to live here, and the people already here are willing to rent him an apartment, pay him to work, and sell him goods and services, why should anyone have the right to use violent coercion (border cops) to stop him? Be sure to explain how your reason applies to the special case of preventing him from being here because of where his mother was when he came out of her.

      If you accept the non-coercion principle, and if you can’t articulate other principles that overcome it in this case, then the immigration laws have rather a lot in common with the Fugitive Slave Act, and should be resisted by all ethical people.

      • Wayne

        Funny, I haven’t seen too many slaves in my neck of the woods. Maybe they took the Underground Railroad back to Mexico.

        • It’s more like they took the Underground Railroad to get across the border to get here, and the feds are returning them, as they did with escaped slaves.

          • With the rather material difference that in the case of slaves, they were taken illegally FROM their country, while in this case, they came illegally TO this country. Only the difference between being the victims of wrongdoing and the perpetrators of it. Otherwise, great analogy!

          • It’s more like they took the Underground Railroad to get across the border to get here, and the feds are returning them, as they did with escaped slaves.

            WHAT?!? Windy, have you lost your ever lovin’ mind? Those are in no way related, and it is insulting to the heroes of the Underground Railroad for you to disparage their acts in this way. You have taken a noble (and dangerous) selfless act and equated it to theft.

            Theft is what illegal immigration is: theft of lawful behavior, theft of public services, theft of jobs from American citizens, Theft of education opportunities (illegals in colleges and schools), theft of higher working wages for the poorest in this country.

            • Chris

              Theft is what illegal immigration is: theft of lawful behavior, theft of public services, theft of jobs from American citizens, Theft of education opportunities (illegals in colleges and schools), theft of higher working wages for the poorest in this country.

              I suppose if you see use of our country’s resources as a zero sum game, then illegal immigrants’ use of those resources could be considered theft.

              But since nearly all economists agree that illegal immigrants actually benefit our economy, I’m not sure why anyone who has studied the issue would see it that way.

              • Chris,

                That is certainly debatable, but not provable either way, as the whole point is we cannot track illegal (criminal) economic activity directly, and have to rely on best guesses and statistics.

                I’m not sure why anyone who has studied the issue would see it that way.

                Here are a few bits of research that you choose to ignore: (thanks to Google and Wikipedia)

                “In 2013, the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation released a study concluding that as of 2010, the average unlawful immigrant household has a net deficit (benefits received minus taxes paid) of $14,387 per household…” -We pay for medical, education, and welfare that could go to citizens. How is that not theft?

                “The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a report in February 2016, stating that 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States are paying annually an estimated amount of $11.64 billion in state and local taxes, “on average an estimated 8 percent of their incomes.” -I would like to pay such low taxes, but only criminals have that privilege.

                “NPR reported in March 2006 that when the wages of lower-skilled workers go down, the rest of America benefits by paying lower prices for things like restaurant meals, agricultural produce and construction.” -This is NOT a good thing! Those jobs would reduce our welfare roles, which are far more expensive and destructive than the offsetting value of saving a buck at McDonald’s.

                “Jessica M. Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at Center for Immigration Studies reported in March 2012 that the Obama administration is trying to move away from using detention centers that are currently housing thousands of illegal immigrants each day… The 608-bed Karnes facility cost the private operator, GEO Group, $32 million to build. This works out to $52,632 per bed.” -If they had not chosen to break our laws, this would not be needed

                “The Feb 2011 report “The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on US Taxpayers” from the Federation for American Immigration Reform “estimates the annual costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local level to be about $113 billion; nearly $29 billion at the federal level and $84 billion at the state and local level. The study also estimates tax collections from illegal alien workers, both those in the above-ground economy and those in the underground economy. Those receipts [apx $13 billion] do not come close to the level of expenditures…

                And so on.

                Argue with the findings as you wish, but remember that we know how Liberals have falsified the ‘research’ you are depending on. See ‘Global Warming,’ Global Cooling’ (from the ’70s), ‘DDT kills eagles,’ etc.

                I live in a state and an area that sees the crime, the depravity (illegals being exploited by other criminals), and the social impacts first hand. This is not about some intellectual exercise East Coast Liberals indulge in (if they were impacted, I suspect they would differ in their opinions)

                But outside of all of that, this is wrong. Lawbreaking once makes it easier to break more and bigger laws. Human nature does not change.

                Name one other country that does not secure their border. Most immediately deport, or first imprison and then deport, people illegally in their countries. Why are we different?

                If illegal immigration is such a good thing, why didn’t the democrats change the laws when they had the power to do so? They certainly rammed health care down our throats at that time. Republicans could not have stopped them. Instead they used it as demagogy, trying to score political points with the American public instead of fixing the problem as they saw fit.

                I don’t think Trump will emulate them. He fixes problems, it would seem so far.

                • I missed the a juicy one: “…But since nearly all economists agree…

                  Is that like “97% of meteorologists agree…”? Saying it does not make it true.

                • dragin_dragon

                  I’m also in South Texas. We just had an election inn which an entire city government was thrown out of office.

                • Chris

                  Aside from the Heritage Foundation–a relatively isolated and contrarian group designed to push conservative policy–none of the organizations you cited are for economists. Two of them–CIS and FAIR–are extremist anti-immigrant groups.

                  The Cato Institute is a right-leaning organization that has done good work on immigration research.

                  I never said we should not secure our border. But our current immigration policies are too restrictive, which is why we have so many illegal immigrants. I’m not sure why conservatives don’t get this–they have argued for years that overly restrictive gun laws only drive the market underground, and I have come to mostly agree with them on this. The same was true of Prohibition, and it remains true for abortion, the Drug War, and yes, immigration.

                  You have been fooled on the “global cooling” thing. There was never a large movement of scientists who believed in such a thing. Climate change deniers have taken a few articles from a few scientists in the 70s and blown them out of proportion to cast doubt on modern science, but there was never anything like the consensus that exists today that the earth is warming and man is partially responsible.

                  And I live in California, in a primarily Hispanic town.

            • Chris got most of this, but they’re not stealing jobs because jobs are an agreement between employers and employees, not something owned by the employee. For it to be theft, employers would have to have some obligation to hire workers, and illegal immigrants would have to break that obligation. But that obligation doesn’t exist. It’s the same with higher working wages.

              Illegal immigrants often pay substantial taxes. Even if they’re paid under the table, they still have to pay sales taxes, yet they have a fairly hard time getting any benefits from the government, other than basic ones like police patrols and use of roads (although if they drive on the roads, they pay fuel taxes). And if the government just let them cross over the border legally, they wouldn’t feel they have to hide, and they’d pay taxes just like everybody else.

              Finally, I’m not insulting to the heroes of the Underground Railroad. I’m insulting the federal marshal sons-of-bitches who dragged freed slaves back to the South, and I’m disparaging the federal immigration cops who drag immigrants back to other countries.

              • I’m disparaging the federal immigration cops who drag immigrants back to other countries.

                Still makes no sense, legally or ethically. If someone trespasses on my land or moves into my house, should they stay there? There are no rights involved. Illegals pay taxes? So what? So to gangsters, unless they want to end up with Al Capone. They not only take jobs, they artificially lower the costs of labor, which is why business bucks enforcement, but you know what? It doesn’t matter! Why? Because they are breaking the law, and an important law it is.

                “And if the government just let them cross over the border legally, they wouldn’t feel they have to hide, and they’d pay taxes just like everybody else.”

                What? WHAT???? Are you really advocating open borders? Really? Because that is insanity. It’s not even compassionate—adding millions upon millions of people from third world nations with no controls or vetting…are you really advocating that? No nation can survive with open borders, and a wealthy, culturally-dependent one least of all. Tell us how you think this will work, please.

                I’m stunned.

                • If someone trespasses on my land or moves into my house, should they stay there?

                  Not if you don’t want them to. But if you want them to, that’s none of my business. On the other hand, if I want to let an illegal immigrant rent an apartment from me, or work in my store, immigration restrictionists like you apparently think that’s your business. In that scenario, you are the one intruding on my privacy to enforce rules about a situation that has nothing to do with you.

                  Are you really advocating open borders? Really? Because that is insanity. It’s not even compassionate—adding millions upon millions of people from third world nations with no controls or vetting…are you really advocating that?

                  Pretty much yes, really. Not without controls or vetting, but without ridiculous quotas. Vetting implies that you prevent people from entering for a reason — something about them, like being a violent criminal, that makes them unwelcome — but quotas are arbitrary limits that have nothing to do with vetting. They’re just a bureaucrat saying “No.”

                  I’m not saying we let tens of millions of people swarm across the border in a marauding hoard, but that’s a rare worst-case scenario that could be stopped if it arose. You say no nation can survive with open borders, but the U.S had essentially open borders for longer than it’s had immigration restrictions. It worked out well for us.

                  • Good Lord. It worked out well for us before the nation was settled. It worked out well when there was no nanny state, plenty of opportunity, and coming here was no picnic. The people who crossed those borders were “the best”—ambitious, gusy, and eager to be Americans. You can’t say no quotas, and then say, “But millions would be too much.” Nor is it a citizen’s right to encourage and enable the violation of laws that protect me. That’s not privacy. That’s choosing to undermine society and follow the laws you like only. Is this libertarian thinking? It doesn’t work. (Like most libertarian thinking.) The US’s greatest advantages have been a unique culture, a shared vision, and a common language. Open borders is one of the few real, verifiable, slippery slopes. “We can do something about it when it becomes a problem.” Magical thinking, Mark.

                    • You’re all over the place. It’s hard to keep up.

                      It worked out well for us before the nation was settled. It worked out well when there was no nanny state, plenty of opportunity, and coming here was no picnic. The people who crossed those borders were “the best”—ambitious, gutsy, and eager to be Americans.

                      Not sure what you mean by “settled,” but there’s still plenty of opportunity. I’ll grant you that coming here is easier. But implicitly defining current immigrants as unambitious, gutless, America-haters is not something I’m going to accept.

                      You can’t say no quotas, and then say, “But millions would be too much.”

                      What I mean is that I’m not advocating we allow a disordered surge across the border. Whenever the discussion turns to open borders, someone always brings up the spectacle of millions of immigrants pouring across the border in a week, overrunning our cities our cities and overwhelming emergency personnel, killing our women and raping our cattle, etc. etc. I was trying to head off that line of argument. But a few million people immigrating annually in an orderly fashion won’t hurt anyone.

                      “We can do something about it when it becomes a problem.” Magical thinking, Mark.

                      That’s literally the basis for our criminal laws. You can’t arrest someone until they commit a crime. You can’t shoot someone in self-defense until they try to kill you. We don’t have pre-crime, we don’t punish people for problems they might cause someday.

                      Nor is it a citizen’s right to encourage and enable the violation of laws that protect me. That’s not privacy. That’s choosing to undermine society and follow the laws you like only.

                      The example we started with was an immigrant who came here to live and work. If you think you need to be protected from that, if you think that somehow harms you, then you are the one engaged in magical thinking. And laws based on magical thinking deserve little respect.

                      Is this libertarian thinking? It doesn’t work. (Like most libertarian thinking.)

                      Freedom of travel and the freedom to choose where to live are indeed libertarian ideas. Other libertarian ideas include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, rule of law, equality under that law, individual responsibility, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of association, free markets, free trade, and private property. These are all great ideas that have served us well.

                    • Thanks for some clarification. That helps, but…

                      1. “The people who crossed those borders were “the best”—ambitious, gutsy, and eager to be Americans.”

                      Not sure what you mean by “settled,” but there’s still plenty of opportunity. I’ll grant you that coming here is easier. But implicitly defining current immigrants as unambitious, gutless, America-haters is not something I’m going to accept.

                      Settled? Like with the nation still growing quickly, the population expanding, and the West particularly not urbanized and significantly rural, with land relatively cheap. Immigrant came here and knew that nobody would be paying their way, and not only that, they would be facing competition and hostility, but that if they worked hard, joined communities, were involved in the civic life of the nation, raised their children as American and were lucky, they would achieve things they could not achieve at home. That act was one that required character and skill. Coming to the US now just is not the same thing, and for the poor and uneducated, it can be, not necessarily, but can be motivated by less noble goals…like measuring the assistance a richer nation provides in various forms of aid, such as education, medical care, etc. Where did I say anything about them “hating America”? Now it is possible for less desirable individuals to come to exploit and live off of America rather than contribute to it. The false rationalization for unregulated regulation of immigration is “These are wonderful, industrious people, just like the immigrants that built this country” typically and deceitful stating one side of the equation as if it was the only side,to rig the argument (you know, like “Obamacare is great: look at all the uninspired people it helped!”) Trump rigged it the other way: look at all the non-wonderful people who come over, and the damage they do! But you see, we can get all those good, industrious, immigrants we want through legal immigration, so the dark side of the equation wins. It’s pretty simple logic: good people respect the laws. If someone disrespect the laws to come here, that is prima facie evidence that they are not trustworthy. The immigrants referred to on the good side of the equation didn’t break laws. By definition, they were better people, based on that. Yes, as a lawyer and ethicist, if all I know about two people is that one broke the law and has been hiding from accountability, and the other obeyed that same law, I’m always picking the lawful one. It’s the only responsible choice. (I didn’t even hint that illegals “hate America.” Playing a nation for patsies doesn’t mean they hate us!

                      Ugh...I have to do something; out of time. Back to finish, I promise, Mark…

                    • I’m back.

                      2. What I mean is that I’m not advocating we allow a disordered surge across the border. Whenever the discussion turns to open borders, someone always brings up the spectacle of millions of immigrants pouring across the border in a week, overrunning our cities our cities and overwhelming emergency personnel, killing our women and raping our cattle, etc. etc. I was trying to head off that line of argument. But a few million people immigrating annually in an orderly fashion won’t hurt anyone.

                      Makes no sense. “A few million”—how many? If immigration laws are eliminated, and the number is 10, or 50 million, then what? Shrug it off and say, “It’s 1910 all over again”? If there was a way to be sure only “a few million” came over each year, sure: we could absorb that. But what would stop Mexico from saying, “OK, everyone, lets have 30 million people flood New Mexico, and take over the state after we become citizens?” Don’t say it couldn’t happen. Competent laws have to eliminate worst case scenarios. If there is a limit at which the law ceases to work as intended, then you need a quota. And it had to be enforced.

                      3. “You can’t arrest someone until they commit a crime. You can’t shoot someone in self-defense until they try to kill you. We don’t have pre-crime, we don’t punish people for problems they might cause someday.”

                      Straw man. We aren’t punishing border jumpers because of what they might do. We’re passing a law because the US wants to decide who come in and who doesn’t. Back to my house: I’m not banning strangers because I’m assuming they will be bad guests. I’m saying that I get to decide who enters my house, and if you enter without my permission, you aree by definition disrespecting my right and authority—and now you ARE a bad guest. (this is why I can shoot someone who breaks into my house).

                      5. “Freedom of travel and the freedom to choose where to live are indeed libertarian ideas. Other libertarian ideas include freedom of speech, freedom of religion, rule of law, equality under that law, individual responsibility, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of association, free markets, free trade, and private property. These are all great ideas that have served us well.”

                      They serve us well when they are responsibly moderated by laws. Unmoderated, they collectively lead to chaos. But I agree that the absolutes sound stirring.

                      4. “The example we started with was an immigrant who came here to live and work. If you think you need to be protected from that, if you think that somehow harms you, then you are the one engaged in magical thinking. And laws based on magical thinking deserve little respect.”

                      You are cheating. “AN” illegal immigrant (you have to use the adjective, and anyone who deliberately doesn’t is trying to deceive) is no problem for me. Millions are. Obviously.

                • Chris

                  They not only take jobs, they artificially lower the costs of labor

                  Can you cite a reliable, non-partisan economist who agrees with you on this?

                  • No, since no economists are both reliable and non-partisan. I know from research projects I ran years ago, with several economists, that US corporations and other employers pay minimal salaries that citizens won’t accept to illegal workers to keep costs down . Surely you’ve heard that bogus rationalization: without illegals, all the gardens will wilt and nanny jobs will go abegging? Why do they say that? Because what I said is obviously true. Americans will take those jobs, and pick oranges, and be janitors, etc…when employers pay enough for them to believe the jobs are worth taking. Good luck finding an economist that disagrees with that.

                    • Chris

                      Sorry, I thought you meant that illegal immigrants lower the cost of labor across the economy, not just in their economic niches.

                      I can’t disagree with that, but my argument isn’t that we should just tolerate illegal immigration; my argument is that we should change the immigration laws so that it’s easier for people to come here legally. Fewer restrictions on immigration would mean fewer illegal immigrants, meaning the economic exploitation you’re describing would be reduced.

                      I feel this way for the same reason second amendment defenders think gun laws should be less restrictive. Our current restrictions on immigration aren’t working, and I’ve seen no practical solutions to help them work–the best Republicans are currently offering is “a giant wall” and “more deportations,” which, wow–and are undeniably causing more problems than they solve.

                      Laws that cause more problems than they solve are unethical.

                    • “My argument is that we should change the immigration laws so that it’s easier for people to come here legally. Fewer restrictions on immigration would mean fewer illegal immigrants, meaning the economic exploitation you’re describing would be reduced.”

                      Then we agree completely.

                      Surprise!

  8. Aleksei

    Good thing I don’t go into Boston too often to see what kind of seedy things are going on there. Although I have been thinking of going to Southie or Dorchester to get a taste of the local community. It is quite perplexing though when these mayors get to pick and choose which laws they like to follow. Maybe we should petition a mayor to make a federal income tax haven city to protect all the people who do not wish to participate in the sponsorship of evil capitalist imperialist adventurism we are forced under threat of jail to support. (The communist jargon is for emphasis, not my position). I would like to see how quick they can get a seal team six to neutralize this insurgent. It is so ridiculous, we pay for this bloated system, so they let criminals free to lay waste onto us, and we’re supposed to shrug and be content with our fate? I sure hope this sanctuary city nonsense will be addressed before people turn to vigilantism and start orchestrating pogroms against people they deem the cause of their problems. That would be unethical, illegal, ugly and fatal.

  9. Patrice

    I know I’m going to regret this. I don’t pretend to have any idea what hoops are required for a jump in order for someone to immigrate legally to this country. I have no reason to believe that these hoops don’t require significant time and probably money for compliance. So, when if ever is the desperation of someone, officially designated a refugee or not, trying to enter this country a valid consideration? I am not asking a rhetorical question. I am serious.

    • Not the same thing at all. The illegals in Texas (the area I am familiar with) are not, for the most part, escaping from tyranny. They are here for a paycheck, and because we are stupid enough to pay for their school, healthcare, welfare, and so on.

      There ARE processes for refugees that bypass the normal channels, when that is warranted. That is not he case with most.

    • Never? It is the ultimate slippery slope. America’s poor are better off than a lot of countries average citizens. Why does a family in Mexico get to self designate, when nearly the whole populations of Chad, Cameroon and Bolivia would love to join us?

      • Perhaps those countries should try the method by which the US arrived in this blessed state of prosperity in the past? Freedom, hard work, fair play, equal protection under the law (I know, since lost), and personal responsibility.

        Geez, I sound like a commercial for traditional conservatism.

        And I did say ‘most’ are not refugees. If we do not protect our borders, this prosperity will collapse under the weight of numbers, if not insurrection or revolution. Simple economics and Zeitgeist.

    • Glenn Logan

      Let’s try a thought experiment and replace a couple of words of your comment with different ones:

      I know I’m going to regret this. I don’t pretend to have any idea what hoops are required for a jump in order for someone to [make a living] legally to this country. I have no reason to believe that these hoops don’t require significant time and probably money for compliance. So, when if ever is the desperation of someone, officially designated a [thief/fraudster/con man] or not, trying to [make a living in] this country a valid consideration? I am not asking a rhetorical question. I am serious.

      Essentially, your question asks when it is appropriate to consider the hardship of a person committing a crime as an excuse for that crime. The reason your question doen’t doesn’t sound as prima facia absurd as the one above is that it’s easy to characterize illegal aliens as refugees from something, whether or not it’s true, and Americans always have sympathy for refugees, particularly from war-torn or communist countries (remember the Cuban refugee influx?).

      The truth of the matter is, unless the United States declares the illegal aliens to be political refugees (which they manifestly are not), defending their presence here is simply the rationalization of a criminal act — namely an immigration law violation. It would be the same thing as defending someone stealing clothing or other material they felt they needed to survive.

      The answer to your question is that circumstances of a crime are always a valid consideration if they are truly mitigating. Unfortunately, simple subjective need or want can’t be reasonably considered mitigating circumstances, and characterizing that want as “desperation” is a simple appeal to emotion.

  10. Mike

    Why not a lawsuit by one or more citizens of the so-called sanctuary city? Would not they have standing?

  11. Since no one mentioned it (and it is the elephant in the room), I will be Captian Obvious:

    Give the law teeth with respect to hiring illegals (fines AND significant jail time) and see how fast the criminals leave ALL BY THEMSELVES. They mysteriously got themselves here, and supported themselves (albeit with lucrative amounts of my money, in taxes and lowered wages). This happened during the Great Recession here in Texas: jobs dried up, illegals left.

    Make the rules role up to the elites in the boardrooms and this crud will stop cold. How many government officials ‘forgot’ to pay social security for household help over the years? How much of that help was illegally here? (Rumor has it Trump might have gotten jail time under those rules)

    This has gone on at the expense of the middle and lower class workers for decades, and needs to stop.

  12. Hopefully Jack will indulge me in a little rant. This is offered with my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek!

    I would like to propose a new policy in our dealings around the world: Let us call it the ‘Modified Golden Rule Policy.’ Under MGRP, the USA will treat others exactly as we are treated. Simple and direct. This policy has the bonus that if the ‘bad actor’ gets caught and convicted, they KNOW that they will get the same as they gave out.

    In Mexico’s case: BUILD THE WALL. With high tech surveillance and armed guards who are allowed to protect themselves. We violate their territorial integrity at will in pursuit of criminals (or anyone we feel like, as they do today when guarding drug shipments into the USA), and reduce their foreign aid by $10,000 for every citizen of theirs we catch within our borders (wonder how long it would take for Mexico to guard their own northern border as well?)

    All two-bit banana republics who rail against the USA while sending us their citizens to support: Foreign aid reduced $10,000 per citizen caught illegally in USA, plus by $1,000,000 every time they voted against us in the UN within the past two years. This means Venezuela might actually owe us some refunds…

    Iran: Every rocket launched into Israel equals one conventional bomb dropped randomly in Tehran. Every IED exploded in Iraq equals another bomb in a major Iranian city. Every US soldier killed by state backed terrorists who’s funding comes from Iran equals one cruise missile into a power generating facility. Let them try to refine uranium by donkey treadmill!

    Closer to home, we might want to try out MGRP on the Main Stream Liberal Media: for every outright false news report they lose one station license for a month. For every op-ed piece they foist on the airwaves as news, they lose a station license permanently. Report the facts and keep your agenda to yourself!

    Anti-Second Amendment public servants (Senators, Congressmen, Mayors, etc.): loss of the right to have armed guards in a protection detail, since ‘guns are not needed by anyone.’ Look, if their job was as dangerous as they pretend, all of their armed guards could not protect them from a criminal who is willing to shoot and get caught. Since there is not a long line of dead politicians, it just ain’t so. This is about power and control from socialists who realize they cannot force their ideology on an armed populace.

    I could go on all night, but I have tried Jack’s patience enough. I appreciate the forum to say some of these things, and while some of the ethics might be questionable, the feeling of justice served warms my innards 🙂

  13. I didn’t vote for Trump (couldn’t after what he said about McCain and some of the other things he said or did), but I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that if he keeps doing what he’s doing (actually engaging with his campaign promises and working to fulfill them), and liberals keep doing what they’re doing (freaking out every time Trump does anything – no matter how innocuous), Trump is going to be a two term president.

    Hell, I almost want to vote for him, just to show the political parties that (surprise) voters actually want someone who delivers on their campaign promises.

    Note: ABC recently had a campaign promise tracker for Mr. Trump of thirteen items. While he hadn’t started on a few of them, exactly zero of the items were broken promises. Weirdly, I don’t remember that happening with our last presidents. The website is here:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-promise-tracker-pledges-stand/story?id=44902688

    Of course, it IS early.

  14. liberals keep doing what they’re doing… Trump is going to be a two term president.

    The great irony is that the Left doing this to us, or for us, depending on your point of view. 🙂

    Americans hate being told what to do, and the Left has majored in that for decades. Many are watching the meltdown and deciding to participate again to prevent lefties from returning to power.

    Just a microcosm, and worth what is cost to read:

    My local HOA had their annual meeting last night. Last year, they only had 15 homeowners show up, and had to beg for that many to get a quorum when combined with the Home Builder’s 10 votes per lot. No committees were formed or continued.

    This year, over 100 showed up (in a community of ~530 occupied houses) and voted the current board out of office. The financials were questioned, sometimes heatedly (but civilly) and at least 4 committees were born. Participation in government was the theme of the night.

    Is this happening across the fruited plain? I do not know. But it is happening in South Texas.

  15. Chris

    I’m curious, Jack:

    Now that Trump has signed into law that even legal immigrants from Muslim countries (at least, those he has no business interests in) can’t return to the United States if they travel abroad–a law that is currently keeping translators who’ve helped our military from returning to their families–is it now fair to call Trump “xenophobic?”

    Again, he just signed a law that is keeping legal immigrants who are suspected of no crime from returning to their families. This law went into effect immediately and those affected were given no warning and are being detained at airports for no reason other than their place of birth. This story is chilling:

    Refugees Detained at U.S. Airports; Trump Immigration Order Is Challenged – The New York Times
    https://apple.news/AyYOljrdqTYiqw_PirFN-QA

    • Of course not. We had this discussion. Absent real vetting, which Hillary among others swore was essential and which experts said was impossible, allowing refugees from certain regions into the country is irresponsible.Hence the temporary halt which he suggested during the campaign. I don’t know if that’s a good solution or even a solution at all, but its not xenophobia. You like to expand these definitions. I’d accept that it could be called Islamophobia, but I’m not convinced Islamophobia isn’t defensible.

      • Chris

        We *have* real vetting. As I said, some of the people being detained right now *have* been vetted, and given green cards. Some of them worked with the US military. They are not being allowed back in for no other reason than their country of origin.

        There is no other reason for this other than an irrational fear of foreigners.

        An irrational fear of foreigners is called xenophobia.

        “I’m not convinced Islamophobia isn’t defensible.”

        What an unethical thing to say.

        • 1. We don’t have real vetting, as we discussed in the earlier thread. How can you vet most refugees?
          2. Chris, some foreigners aren’t all foreigners. You keep missing that part. And fear of terrorists among refugees is certainly not irrational. Given the experience of European nations, your statement is irrational, or just denial.
          3. I said I’m not convinced. I am not convinced because Islam is a uniquely sexist, homophobic, violent, intolerant, totalitarian cult that defies assimilation, and thus poses a threat to Western values and civilization.
          4. It amazes me that the same people who seriously suggest that violence against Nazis may be justifiable argue that there is no reason to worry about Islam.

          • Chris

            1. We don’t have real vetting, as we discussed in the earlier thread. How can you vet most refugees?

            The vetting process is extremely thorough, and you can easily find out what it is online. Our refugee screening process takes about eighteen months, and is the most intensive vetting process in the world.

            2. Chris, some foreigners aren’t all foreigners. You keep missing that part.

            “Chris, some people of a race aren’t all people of a race, so calling an individual black man a nigger isn’t racist.” That’s what you sound like when you make this argument. I’m not “missing” your argument; your argument is illogical.

            And fear of terrorists among refugees is certainly not irrational.

            Fear to this degree certainly is. No refugee has ever committed a terrorist act in the United States, so using the possibility of terrorism as a reason to put a total halt on all refugees being allowed into the US is of course irrational.

            Given the experience of European nations, your statement is irrational, or just denial.

            We have a much better vetting process than European nations, and are much better at integrating our Muslim population here. There are no Muslim ghettos here as there are in Europe, and are Muslim population is incredibly economically successful. This has at least something to do with why Muslim terror attacks are less common here than in Europe, but there are certainly other factors as well.

            3. I said I’m not convinced. I am not convinced because Islam is a uniquely sexist, homophobic, violent, intolerant, totalitarian cult that defies assimilation, and thus poses a threat to Western values and civilization.

            Good god, Jack. Do you know any Muslims? Do you have any Muslim friends? I do, and they are not cult members. This is an incredibly bigoted statement.

            4. It amazes me that the same people who seriously suggest that violence against Nazis may be justifiable argue that there is no reason to worry about Islam.

            There is no comparison.

            • Chris

              Anyway, if you can’t concede that this executive order is xenophobic, can you at least concede that it is self-destructive, stupid, and an act of betrayal? Why should our Iraqi allies, who we rely on, continue helping us when we are currently detaining an Iraqi translator with a green card for no reason than the fact that he’s an Iraqi? There’s a reason no national security experts supported Trump’s Muslim ban when he first floated it, and there’s a reason they are all condemning this move now.

              Worry about Muslims all you like, but if you’re going to do so, maybe you shouldn’t be defending policies that will actively weaken our ties with Muslim allies, promote radicalization, and strengthen ISIS’ narrative that Muslims aren’t welcome in the West and must naturally be our enemies.

            • I have limited time, but I have to respond to this dishoensty:

              2. Chris, some foreigners aren’t all foreigners. You keep missing that part.

              “Chris, some people of a race aren’t all people of a race, so calling an individual black man a nigger isn’t racist.” That’s what you sound like when you make this argument. I’m not “missing” your argument; your argument is illogical.

              The point is that rejecting a foreigner or a group of foreigners for characteristics and conduct having nothing to do with the fact that they are “foreign” is not evidence of “fear of Foreigners.” Denigrating a black man because he is black is proof that all similarly colored individuals are held in similar disdain. Terrible analogy.

              Come on. You can do better.

              • Chris

                The point is that rejecting a foreigner or a group of foreigners for characteristics and conduct having nothing to do with the fact that they are “foreign” is not evidence of “fear of Foreigners.”

                What “characteristics and conduct” got Hameed Khalid Darweesh rejected, other than the fact that he’s from a foreign country Trump doesn’t like?

                None.

                You are defending the indefensible here. This is an act of betrayal of our allies. Betrayal is unethical.

            • Comey last fall on vetting: “We can only query against that which we have collected.If someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home but we are not going to — there will be nothing show up because we have no record on that person.”

              Just because a process takes a long time doesn’t mean it works. This can’t possibly work. Do you really think the US sends agents to a refugee’s place of origin to check on them? Every one of them? That’s how the FBI vets citizens for govt. jobs. Should we pay for that kind of process to bring in more Syrians, Libyans and Yemenese? How much would that cost per refugee? why should we do this, exactly?

              So while the process is very thorough, Comey was saying he couldn’t guarantee there would never be a problem and no terrorist could ever slip through the cracks. That’s just the way it is.

              • Chris

                So while the process is very thorough, Comey was saying he couldn’t guarantee there would never be a problem and no terrorist could ever slip through the cracks.

                No process could ever do this. Therefore, we should have totally closed borders and never let any immigrants in ever again, because we have no way of ensuring none of them will ever be terrorists.

                Does that strike you as a rational position?

                If not, why are you using “we can’t have perfect certainty that there will never be any terrorists” as a rational justification for Trump’s stupid, self-defeating and overly broad immigration halt?

                • Chris

                  You also keep ignoring this executive order applies not just to refugees, but to green card holders. People who have already been vetted through a whole different system, who have been granted green cards, cannot travel abroad and expect to return. People who were here legally and already traveling abroad are being detained right now and can’t come back to see their families. They were given no warning. That is a betrayal. It is an extra betrayal to Hameed, who assisted our military, and another green card holder whose family has been targeted because of his pro-American views.

                  I haven’t seen you call any of this ethical, but you’ve got time to quibble that this isn’t really xenophobic because fearing people on the basis of what country they come from is perfectly rational?

                  Seriously?

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