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Here is a data-point for anti-immigrant populists to consider.  The Wall Street Journal reported on 2/14 that: last year China passed Japan and became the second largest economy in the world.  According to the article "China's rise shows that population now counts as much as productivity in determining economic power."  If the USA is going to compete in the the world with giants like China and India we have to grow and immigration is the surest way to do it.  We could spend half of the money we now spend on fences and guards, teaching English and American values to new immigrants.  The goal a nation of five hundred million hard working, liberty loving people in thirty years.


This one is worth thinking about. My instinct is that if we want the public to go along with more immigration then we have to have less multi-culturalism.

In the last two hundred and fifty years humans have made remarkable progress in many areas. Average life expectancy has more than doubled. The variety of consumer goods available to people in the developed world would astonish Louis XIV. Liberty and free speech are on the rise. Slavery has almost been ended. Women have started to be given equal treatment. In many parts of the world women are gaining reproductive rights and homosexuality is becoming less of a stigma. But all of these gains have exposed a great injustice that befalls most of the world’s peoples. This injustice is the accident of birth.


Because of barriers to migration, erected by sovereign states, most people are fated to live the lives they were born into. There is nothing they can do about it. It is the position of Rational Immigration that this is wrong and that the time has come to do something about it. People should have the Right to Migrate. Sovereign states should not be allowed to stop this migration.


The Right to Migrate will become the next great human rights struggle.


When people have the Right to Migrate the ability of governments to oppress people will decrease and the ability of people to take action to improve their lives will increase. This is a great good.


Migrant’s rights will never be secure until everybody has the Right to Migrate.


Working on the problem of rights for migrants is important but it is like working on curing the symptoms rather than the disease.


The underlying problem, the disease, is that nations have not yet recognized that there is a basic human Right to Migrate. After the Right to Migrate is accepted then the rights of migrants will be much easier to secure.

On Friday Marlene Gibb interviewed me for her show What Do You Do on KGEM the Monrovia Public access channel.  In the first segment we talked about my career in business and in the second we talked about the making of our documentary film Beyond Borders and why I’m active in the right to migrate movement. 


Marlene is a superb interviewer and the time flew by.  We discussed among other things how the film attempts to deal with both the intellectual and the emotional sides of the immigration debate.  One of her comments was that she hadn’t realized what a “complex issue” immigration is.  I agreed, but I now realize I shouldn’t have.  Immigration is a very simple issue if you believe in freedom. Responsible people should be able to live wherever they choose.

The complexity comes from all of the gyrations we have to go through to keep those people from moving here.  In the USA have more than 120 visa categories.  This complexity results from the erroneous assumption that we can tell people where they can and can’t live.


The simple solution is to scrap the old system and create a new immigration system that allows responsible the right to move here.  Keep our facilities from being overwhelmed by limiting immigration to one percent of our population per year.  Assure that new immigrants are not a burden by requiring bonds, sponsors or insurance.  Instead of spending so much money on border enforcement spend some of it teaching new immigrants English and how our incredible system works.

I'll post a link to the interview as soon as it has aired.

 "Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

St Francis of Assisi



I applied this wonderful saying from St Francis to the Immigration debate in the USA and came up with this list: 

·      What is necessary is to stop the deportations. 

·      What is possible is to pass the Dream Act. 

·      The impossible, that we can do, is Comprehensive Immigration Reform that includes a path to citizenship for those already here and sensible levels of immigration for responsible people from neighboring countries.


Don't Give Up.

"The right to go where you want should be a principle in a decent world."
Noam Chomsky

In The Forward a progressive Jewish Magazine this week there is an article by Gideon Aranoff titled:

Immigration Reform Is Our Jewish Responsibility


What the President Should Do, and How We Can Help

It is worth reading.  Aranoff concludes the article with this: "As Americans, we must ensure that we are an inclusive nation, not one defined by fear and isolation. And as Jews, we must remember that we are commanded to welcome the strangers — not because they are Jews, but because we are Jews."

The Catholics have for a long time been actively calling for the right to migrate.  Read more here.  This article doesn't go that far but it is a start.

For people, like me, who want more immigration the last year in the USA has been a series of setback and disappointments.  Arizona passed sb1070 a law making it harder for people who can’t get visas to live in Arizona.  They were followed by Georgia and Arkansas.  The Obama administration said they were going to fight for CIR but only talked.  They didn’t even introduce legislation.  The list goes on:

The Dream Act was defeated in the Senate with four of the no votes coming from Democrats.  The Republicans continue to demagogue the issue and blame many of the countries economic woes on undocumented immigrants.  Deportations are at an all time high.  The administrations “Secure Communities” initiative has created a group of millions of people who can’t call the police.  And now Lamar Smith a Republican Congressman from Texas has introduced legislation to make using E-Verify mandatory.


I am an optimist about the long term prospects for allowing much more immigration into the United States but right now the tide is running hard against it.  I feel like an abolitionist must have felt when the Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850.  Maybe, I tell myself, the pendulum has swung too far and since I’m comforting myself with platitudes it is always darkest before the dawn.  Just don’t give up. The right of responsible to live where they choose will prevail.


The next order of business is to defeat Lamar Smith’s E-Verify legislation in the Senate.  It will be difficult because the Republicans who favor the bill will make support an economic and fairness issue.  Opposition will be spun as letting people get away with something.  Making E-Verify mandatory is anti liberty.  It gives the Federal Government the right to say whom you can or can’t hire.  It is a really bad idea.


On a broader political note this might be the legislation that gets President Obama re-elected.  As the Republicans showed in the healthcare debate it is easier to oppose legislation generally than to support specific legislation.  Opposition to making E-Verify mandatory could energize Hispanic voters enough to increase their turnout in the battleground states and give the President a narrow victory. 


This is new one on me.Last week I had to certify under penalty of perjury; that “I am a U.S. Person.”We were signing some financial documents and on the page where you give your social security information there was the new phrase “U.S. Person.”

A United States Person is defined variously by different government agencies. The gist of it is that if you are a citizen, a legal resident alien or a corporation formed under US law you are a U.S. Person.Some implications of being a U.S. Person are:

The NSA is not supposed to spy on a US Person without a court’s permission.

The IRS has permission to tax US Persons.

You don’t have to live in the USA to be a United States Person.

You don’t have to be a person to be a United States Person. You can be a corporation or a group.

Since we had to invent United States Person to keep everyone in nice neat categories I suggest that our rules are too complicated.

U.S. Person appears to be a term invented to fill up the space between those who are not subject to US law, taxes and constitutional protections (Foreigners) on the one side and those who clearly are (US Citizens and resident aliens) on the other extreme.US Person includes trusts, partnerships and corporations that are formed under US law.It doesn’t seem to include foreign investors doing business in the US who don’t have permanent resident visas and it doesn’t include persons living in the US who don’t have green cards.

As a service I have below the fold included several US Government agencies definitions of U.S.Person and links.

"The proper way to end illegal immigration is to re-legalize immigration."


Mark Hinkle
Libertarian Party Chair
October 26, 2010