Politics Open Thread, Jun 17-23

No starter this week.

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245 thoughts on “Politics Open Thread, Jun 17-23

  1. “That means getting out of your bubble and spending time away from people like you. If you don’t, Kuang said, “you lose the ability to spark the evolution needed to bridge the country’s divide.””

    Oh Lordy.

    “Before then, only two of my students had stepped foot in a Catholic church.”

    How is this possible? 22% of Americans are Catholic.

  2. I found this article extremely condescending, both to the kids and to the towns. Chicopee??? That is a town I know well. First of all, Clinton won Chicopee in 2016, albeit by a lesser margin than say Cambridge, but still… According to the 2010 census page, 37% of the voters are registered Democrats and 10% are registered Republicans. Chicopee is very similar to the town my DH hails from, lots of Polish people with a sizeable Hispanic minority. It is also similar to the town we lived in when we lived in MA. It is a mix of people who work in the trades, people who commute to state government offices in Springfield, and people in the service economy.
    They then went to Londonderry NH which is mainly a bedroom community for the high tech companies located north of Boston. I suspect there are far more highly educated engineers and tech managers in that town than in most towns. Their school district is ranked as #8 in the state by Niche. I would not be surprised if some of those Harvard kids end up living in Londonderry or similar NH tech industry suburb.
    They ended up in Pittsburgh, which is home to major research universities and is filled with educated dynamic millenials just like those Harvard kids. They have thriving neighborhoods and downtown areas with trendy restaurants and arts venues. Pittsburgh is a lot like Boston.

    Geez, it would help if that NY Post reporter got out of her bubble and actually learned something about the rest of the Northeast.

  3. Has anyone read Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life? It was recommended to me this weekend when I ranted about property appraisal “discussions” going on locally. It is on my to read list now.

    My rant had to do with people complaining their property tax is too high, and that “THEY” (some unnamed arbitrary government entity) is raising their property appraisal too high. They want it to be based on purchase price and market value. In Texas we don’t disclose purchase price, but their appraisal is to be based on market value. So, you have what you are asking for, you just don’t like that property value is going up quickly here. And, anecdata says that the governmental appraisals generally lag market value.

    In Texas, there is direct link between local property taxes and school funding sent to the local school districts by the state. None of the complainers seem to understand that link. I also noticed, based on who I see on TV talking about this, the age of the complainers is young enough that they don’t recall the previous tax appraisal system and what a hot mess that was.

  4. “An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life?”

    I’d like to know why they think it’s diminishing. On what do they base the idea that the old days were somehow better? As just one example, reading about the Johnstown Flood and how that captured national attention, it was pretty obvious to later historians that many newspaper reporters had no qualms whatsoever about simply fabricating stories from nothing.

  5. Birdie – Unless you go to a wedding or funeral, many people never set foot in a house of worship of a different denomination or religion. At their age, they may not have been to either for people other than close family who are likely to be of the same religion.

    My DD#1 just graduated from Catholic school. In theology class, I think sophomore year, it came up about knowing people of different religions or even Christian denominations. The class took a survey and the results were that they thought close to 60% of Americans were Catholic. She was surprised that in her classroom of 20, only she and one other student said they knew someone of a non-Christian religion. The other student knew the family next door to them was not Christian, but said they were from India and assumed the whole country was the same religion and didn’t know what that was. My daughter said our family has friends who are Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu. She was then asked if that made her uncomfortable being a Christian. She said no, but came home asking me how they could be so insulated.

  6. “Before then, only two of my students had stepped foot in a Catholic church.”

    How is this possible? 22% of Americans are Catholic.

    He had a group of 10 students, so that’s 20%. Seems pretty reasonable.

  7. In Texas we don’t disclose purchase price

    Really? Property sales are public records here.

  8. I’ve only attended one Jewish religious event in my lifetime, and that’s if you consider a joint Catholic-Jewish wedding ceremony in a hotel to be a religious event, and I was about 30.

  9. L, do they still have the kielbasa festuval in Chicopee?

    When we lived in MA, we used to go to a lot of Polish church festivals so we could dance to polka music.

  10. L, that reporter could have found a Trump belt just by driving to Staten Island.

  11. DD – Correct, but somehow when you buy property, your next appraisal is *exactly* the purchase price. And, those purchases are used as comparable sales for all other property in the area.

  12. When I was a girl Girl Scout, one area we lived every year Scout “Sunday” (or the day of worship of the hosting religion/denomination) would rotate to a different location. BITD, in that area that meant Jewish and various Christian denominations. The event coordinator would give leaders a handout of what to expect of the ceremony and what was expected of guests.

  13. “I’ve only attended one Jewish religious event in my lifetime”

    Jewish people are only 1.8% of the population of the US (and concentrated much more densely in certain areas of the country).

    I hated this article. The whole thing was so condescending.

  14. “Jewish people are only 1.8% of the population of the US (and concentrated much more densely in certain areas of the country). ”

    Oh, I know. But to read this board, to read publications like the NYT, or even to watch SNL, you would get the feeling like the bar/bat mitzvahs, shivas, whatever are a significant-enough aspect of American life that someone my age would have at least some sort of exposure to it.

  15. “You didn’t find it extremely patronizing?”

    Meh, they tried their best. It was nice to see kids seeking some diversity. It’s so easy to stick with your tribe. Most people never try.

  16. “When I was a girl Girl Scout, one area we lived every year Scout “Sunday” (or the day of worship of the hosting religion/denomination) would rotate to a different location.”

    I think this is awesome.

  17. While I like the sentiment of students getting out of their own bubble, the towns chosen were odd. Pittsburgh??? Youngstown??? Those are not “red” and they aren’t “small towns”. Sheesh.

    “When I was a girl Girl Scout, one area we lived every year Scout “Sunday” (or the day of worship of the hosting religion/denomination) would rotate to a different location. BITD, in that area that meant Jewish and various Christian denominations. The event coordinator would give leaders a handout of what to expect of the ceremony and what was expected of guests.”

    We had to do that as part of our confirmation classes. I was confirmed United Methodist. We didn’t go to a mosque, but we went to a temple and most of the other Christian denominations including an Orthodox. I remember the rabbi who hosted us left a very big impression on me – he was very welcoming and interesting. I knew nothing about Judaism before that. I don’t know where the nearest mosque would have been in the late 80’s in NE Iowa. I’m sure there is one in one of the bigger towns now though.

  18. “You mean too low or too high?”

    High enough that I would think that a sizable portion of college students would have stepped in a Catholic church even if it isn’t their religion. For instance, I have been to weddings, funerals and first communions in a Catholic church. And I have gone to their regular services at different times with different friends.

  19. I’ve been to Christian events ranging from storefront Baptist (our babysitter used to take us sometimes) to Unitarian to Catholic to Greek Orthodox, and I have been at a number of Jewish services, also ranging from Orthodox to Reform. I have never been to a Muslim or Hindu service. I have visited a number of Buddhist and Taoist temples, including during one major Buddhist festival so I have seen people praying and making offerings, and monks chanting.

  20. “It’s so easy to stick with your tribe.”
    But Londonderry NH and Pittsburgh are filled with their trible. They should have gone to Appalachia. Oh wait, Appalachia is inundated with college kids from prestigious colleges slumming it while they do service projects that no one needs.

  21. And I am not down on the Harvard kids so much as the NY Post reporter. Heck, the reporter simply needed to introduce the students to some typical NY Post readers to get them out of their tribe…

  22. But is that 22% evenly distributed? I don’t think so. I guess the question is – where are the students from. The funny thing is that I would have guessed that Catholics are more concentrated in “blue” cities (like BOSTON) and heavily Hispanic areas.

  23. Meanwhile, DH had never set foot in a non-Catholic church until I took him to a Protestant wedding. He was 27. The neighborhood where he grew up was almost 100% Catholic at the time.

  24. There were no Jewish kids in my large HS in KY, and only a couple of Catholic kids. There were some Catholics in the town but their kids went to the Catholic school.

  25. I never went to a service in Catholic church until I was in my 20s. In the 50s and 60s, 95 percent of Catholic kids went to parochial school. I had no Catholic friends at all in a big metro area. And the views expressed by my Mom of Catholics were not, shall we say, flattering.

  26. “Pittsburgh is a lot like Boston.”

    I don’t know enough about Boston to disagree, but the trendy hipster techie medical part of Pittsburgh is just a tiny and very recent slice of the area. “Yinz guys hafta go dahn the Nort side n’at” to see the working class row house neighborhoods that haven’t been taken over by brewpubs and barre studios. These places, and the older inner ring suburbs, are filled with third and fourth generation Pittsburgh natives who have never lived anywhere else and may never encounter a Hindu or Muslim or Jew except as a medical practitioner.

  27. Scarlett, Boston also has those neighborhoods. Try Southie, for example.

  28. Pittsburgh also has some beautiful leafy monied neighborhoods. I can remember walking around a very nice area with mansions when I was last there. It has been a number of years since I have visited, but I suspect it has gotten even more gentrified in that time.

  29. I guess I don’t understand the complaints. Kids are meeting new people and having new experiences. NY Post is highlighting this and perhaps creating some goodwill for Harvard students. Sure they could go to Southie but why not go to an entirely new town or city? What would you have these kids do?

  30. In Hinduism there is no set service. I have been to many poojas that we were invited to. The poojas could be short or long and that was the religious aspect but there was also the community aspect of dressing up, attending the event, sharing the happy occasion with friends, eating the delicious food.

  31. “I guess I don’t understand the complaints. Kids are meeting new people and having new experiences. ”

    That’s the part I like.

    What I am criticising is that the reporter makes it seem as if she is really going to the “heart of Trump country” and “real American small towns”. She makes a big point about how she refuses to drive on the interstate(!). And then she goes to Pittsburgh?? I mean, there is more of a Trump belt in suburban Boston – right by Harvard – than in the heart of the city of Pittsburgh. And Pittsburgh is a large, diverse city, not a small town.

    And Youngstown is majority-minority!

    But really – it also keeps the fallacy that “Trump country” is some mythical “other” place when it fact, it is probably some of the UMC mostly-white suburbs that some of these kids grew up in.

  32. Houston, I think that the students probably got a lot out of the course and the trips. A total immersion into working class communities is not really possible without actually living there, but they have certainly made good use of the limited time available to them.
    What is interesting is that, notwithstanding the geographic and ethnic “diversity” at elite universities like Harvard, the kids are still coming largely from a liberal blue bubble. Or maybe it was just that those kids were the ones who self-selected into that particular class. JD Vance, for example, would not have needed to enroll.

    My Jewish roommate in college was stunned to learn that she was the first Jew I had ever met. She came from NYC and seemed to have no clue that her experience of living surrounded by Jews was not typical of most of the rest of the country. There was one Jewish kid in our high school class of 800.

  33. Never been to a mosque. Many of my friends were of the Aga Khan denomination so much more liberal on the role of women. We were invited and have attended Muslim wedding receptions but not the wedding ceremony itself.

  34. My kids have friends who are Catholic, Jewish and Christian. And have attended ceremonies in all 3 religions. The biggest group here in godless Seattle would be atheist/agnostic (which would be our group). When my kids were in pre-k, they both wanted to know why they couldn’t be Jewish so they could celebrate Hannakuh (it would of course have been in addition to Christmas since their goal was to maximize their gift-receiving opportunities). I said when they were older if they wanted to take classes and convert, that would be fine with me. The thought of taking classes pretty much ended it for them.

    NPR had an interesting interview with Tan French from Queer Eye. Which unfortunately I can’t find a link to. His parents immigrated to England from Pakistan. He talked about in the first episode, the person receiving the makeover genuinely asked if Tan was a terrorist because he’s Muslim. He also talked about how he (Tan) and his husband, who is Mormon, have more in common than you might think because both their religions forbid drinking, etc.

  35. Growing up, I knew more Mormons than either Jewish or Catholic people. I suspect many New Yorkers would find that mind boggling. OTOH, I also knew quite a few Hindu kids.

  36. The other thing about this article, and not just this article but virtually all of the articles on the overlooked real people of the heartland, is the whiteness of it all. Youngstown appears to be split pretty evenly between black and white populations, but the article gives no indication as to whether they visited with any member of the black community in that town. Black people who live in Ohio are every bit as much heartland as their white neighbors!! Did they talk to any of the members of the Hispanic community in Chicopee? There are two black students in the student group – what are they making of this? This is something I hate about every one of these “discovering real America” articles – the assumption that only white people are real.

  37. “Geez, it would help if that NY Post reporter got out of her bubble and actually learned something about the rest of the Northeast.”

    Or the rest of the country.

    Her self-imposed prohibitions against taking interstates or planes would seem to limit her to a geographic bubble.

  38. “The funny thing is that I would have guessed that Catholics are more concentrated in “blue” cities (like BOSTON) and heavily Hispanic areas.”

    And the heavily Filipino areas. Or are Filipinos Hispanic?

  39. those purchases are used as comparable sales for all other property in the area.”

    Makes sense to me.

    Here, if you think your appraisal, and thus property tax, is too high, you are free to contest that appraisal. I went through that process once, and the county appraiser contacted me and provided me with his basis for our appraisal, which was actual purchase prices of homes in my neighborhood that had recently changed hands.

  40. Am I the only one calling bs on her claim that she never uses planes, interstates or hotels?

  41. DD – Correct, but somehow when you buy property, your next appraisal is *exactly* the purchase price. And, those purchases are used as comparable sales for all other property in the area.

    That makes sense. The best indicator of a property’s value is what it sold for, if there was a recent sale. The next best indicator is what comparable properties in the same area sold for. How are they supposed to assess home values if they don’t use actual sale prices?

    But I’m sure while people like that their homes are increasing in value, they don’t like having a corresponding increase in their property taxes. We have a law here that a really don’t understand that limits property tax increases. So even though our assessment has doubled since we bought our house, our taxes haven’t risen very much.

  42. They have a big Juneteenth thing here every year. I had never heard of it until I moved here.

  43. “We have a law here that a really don’t understand that limits property tax increases. So even though our assessment has doubled since we bought our house, our taxes haven’t risen very much.”

    The tax-increase cap exists to keep the town board in check and limit the size of government. It also serves to keep taxes from increasing at a rate faster than what the average pay increase for workers is. In CA in the early 70s tax bills were growing much more rapidly than people’s incomes and this caused the taxpayer revolt leading to Prop 13 in 1976. It’s the old wealth vs income discussion. “Yeah, my home’s value increased 10% over last year so I’m now $20,000 wealthier on paper, but I can’t access a penny of it to pay my increased taxes. And my pay only went up 3%, so I feel worse off if my taxes are increasing at twice that rate.”

  44. In terms of property taxes, I always thought the budget and mil rate were linked. If the budget was $5 million and the taxable property was $500 million, the mil rate would be $10 per thousand. If home prices rose 10% and the city council/town meeting/board of selectmen still only approved a $5 million budget, the new mill rate would be $9 per $1000.

  45. In CA in the early 70s tax bills were growing much more rapidly than people’s incomes

    Was that actually true?

  46. “In terms of property taxes, I always thought the budget and mil rate were linked.”

    Perhaps where you are, but that’s not the case here.

    I think the current system, in conjunction with the swings in property value, doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’d prefer to see a more predictable property tax income stream, perhaps tied to some measure of load on municipal resources (e.g., a 5BR house would have a higher tax than a studio condo) and an inflation index.

  47. Perhaps where you are, but that’s not the case here.

    The voters (or there elected officials) approve the mill rate and if home prices fall by 10% they cut spending by 10% and if home prices rise 10% they find something to spend money on? Why do voters agree to this?

    I was doing some research and in Woburn (town north of Boston) they passed a budget that was 2.3% higher than last year. But home prices rose 7% so the mill rate declined from 11.50 to 10.85.

    In CT towns have what is called the Grand List and the Grand Levy. The Grand List is a list of all the taxable property in town and the Grand Levy is the town budget. They divide one by the other and that’s the property tax rate.

  48. “In CA in the early 70s tax bills were growing much more rapidly than people’s incomes
    Was that actually true?”

    first, your graph doesn’t address the comment, which is/was narrowly focused on the property tax bills people were getting.

    Though home values were much less than they are today, they were still increasing rapidly. And, the mill rate was not being adjusted (reduced) and homes were being assessed every year in some places, so someone who stayed in their owned home was seeing tax increases = to the assessment increase, which in many cases was a bigger % increase than even the 7-9% wage increase shown in your graph.

  49. Trump signs executive order ending child-parent separation

    Not really. He signed an order to ask for a modification to the rule that children can’t be detained longer than 20 days. It’s not clear what will happen if the modification isn’t granted.

    He did not change the policy, which he instituted despite his lies to the contrary, that required detention for all charged with misdemeanor entry to be jailed, which is what has led to the separations.

  50. Ted Cruz introduced emergency legislation today to address this issue:

    “Double the number of federal immigration judges, from roughly 375 to 750.
    Authorize new temporary shelters, with accommodations to keep families together.
    Mandate that illegal immigrant families must be kept together, absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.
    Provide for expedited processing and review of asylum cases, so that—within 14 days—those who meet the legal standards will be granted asylum, and those who do not will be immediately returned to their home countries.” https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=3892

    What is wrong with this solution?
    Trump’s executive order will meet with immediate legal challenge.

  51. Under the Flores settlement, kids must be in the least restrictive environment possible.

  52. How does the government comply with Flores and also with the immigration laws making unlawful entry an arrestable offense for the adults?

  53. @ Milo – they should not be jailed while awaiting their hearing. The purpose of the jailing was specifically to separate the parents and children, since children can’t be detained more than 20 days.

    I’m no criminal law expert, but I’m not aware of any other misdemeanor that requires immediate detention.

  54. Honestly Scarlett, I can’t debate this with you. I figured you would be in support of Trump’s actions. My post was just to correct Fred’s inaccuracy.

  55. Name not working – Ignore the political sides of it. What do you think the government should do with those who are apprehended entering the country illegally, and what should be done if they have children with them?

  56. Scarlett – congress could come up with a framework and wipe out Flores. Or they will need to process everything within 20 days or let the kids free (and probably the parents, too).

  57. But regardless of what they do, they cannot continue doing what they were doing. It is straight up a human rights issue.

  58. They definitely seemed unprepared to deal with the ramifications of actually enforcing the existing laws.

  59. Anything that necessitated the change that Trump made. There was no reason this had to become such a $hit$how.

  60. The change he made was to actually enforce existing law against those who were apprehended trying to cross the border illegally, no? There would be no more “catch and release” (while waiting for an asylum hearing for which many would never appear). Correct me where I’m wrong.

    The law itself is nothing new.

  61. Doesn’t existing law provide that entering the country without authorization is a criminal offense?

  62. So when will the families be reunited?

    I read that about 2500 children were separated fro their families. Why are all these people continuing to come in even after realizing what is going on? I suspect certain political motivations behind this fiasco – on both sides.

  63. “So when will the families be reunited? ”

    I would assume after the parents are tried, sentenced to time served, and either granted asylum or set to be returned to their countries.

  64. Doesn’t existing law provide that entering the country without authorization is a criminal offense?

    It is a misdemeanor. Re-entry is a felony. Claiming asylum is neither. There is nothing that requires that people coming in to the US (particularly those claiming asylum or even those being charged with misdemeanors*) need to be held indefinitely.

    *a surprisingly high percentage actually do show up for their hearings.

  65. Which, Lark, was just a headline I lifted from a newsfeed, so my error in not exploring it further. My point was/is that it seems (seemed) like things were moving in a better direction. And, I’m happy to be corrected when I’m wrong.

    I don’t like the separation of parents and their kids one bit. Just want to be clear on that.

    I wish I had a cogent idea to offer. Clearly we all, and I really do mean probably 99%+ of the legal-to-work-here population, are benefitting from having the undocumented workers here since they’re doing jobs almost none of the rest of us, even the most chronically unemployed, are willing to do (e.g. in chicken processing plants in rural places) at almost no matter what the offered wage would be.

    We’ve (thru our government) turned a blind eye or two to the, what, 12 million undocumented people here for decades. There is no good way to start enforcing the letter of the law (which I have not researched, so I know few of the specifics on what we’re supposed to do when someone presents at the border, asylum-seeking or not) without a lot of personal and economic* pain after all these years.

    I really don’t think our immigration laws are so draconian. We do need to protect our borders. HOW we enforce laws matters, so separating kids from parents is bad bad bad. If people meet the established standards for being granted asylum, we should grant it. If not, then we should not admit them.

    *some/many of us can deal with resulting higher prices for some goods; others will not be so lucky.

  66. “Claiming asylum is neither.”

    So you can cross without authorization and as long as you claim asylum, you have not committed a crime? What would stop anyone who is apprehended crossing the border from claiming asylum?

  67. What i think they should do:

    1. Devote a lot more resources to processing claims, including providing lawyers so everyone gets their due process (they cannot currently process claims in 20 days without violating due process). Maybe instead of asking for $18B for the wall, some money could be diverted here.

    2. DHS needs to issue regs. There is no excuse for Trump just implementing his policy when they have yet to do this.

    3. Congress should come up with a solution.

    4. They should go after employers who hire these undocumented workers.

    5. They should get the holding facilities to comply with state licensing requirements so that families can potentially be held for longer than 20 days.

    What they cannot do is separate the kids and parents without someone willing to take these kids.

  68. Milo – there are 2 types of asylum. One is affirmative and one is a defense to removal. You can claim either regardless of how you arrived here.

  69. I find it hard to believe that all these families need asylum. Why cant the families be reunited and deported right away. When the families that were separated, were they given the option of getting their kids and leaving the country? If they are willing to leave, why bother with rest of it?

  70. “4. They should go after employers who hire these undocumented workers. ”

    See today’s thread for more on that. What do you suggest they do to “go after” these employers?

    (I agree with your points, though, on this post.)

  71. “What would stop anyone who is apprehended crossing the border from claiming asylum?”

    Nothing. And the way we’ve decided to handle the asylum seekers over time (set a court date and release them on their own recognizance, and apparently having the right to work while their case gets adjudicated) has probably — no data to support and I’m not going to look for it — worked pretty well for a long while now. I don’t believe we’re required to handle things that way…we could have been detaining all asylum seekers long the border and given them a humanitarian place to stay and 3 squares/day until their case gets ruled on…but that’s what we’ve been doing. Until now, when we’ve (our government) has changed the approach.

    And it’s different, harsher, heartless in at least the kids/families aspect.

    But what’s a way to handle the flow of people that’s fair to citizens and undocumented immigrants?

    (If it’s not clear from my writing, I’m highly sympathetic to the immigrants’ situation, but there must be equity in treatment for all who present.)

  72. Milo – make the penalties a lot stiffer and devote some more resources to going after people. Even if they don’t catch a lot of people, the potential for a big penalty would deter a bunch of people. And for fun, let’s have a reward for turning those who don’t comply in.

  73. Fred – Then what’s the point of having a Border Patrol at all? Why not just say “Everybody is welcome. Get here however you like. Schedule your asylum hearing on your way in.”?

  74. “going after people”

    going after how?

    Stopping nannies in Central Park and asking for their papers? Doing random ICE raids of restaurant kitchens and nail salons?

  75. From everything I’ve read, there is no actual process for reuniting families. Some have been deported without their kids. One family in Central America is being allowed to FaceTime with their infant once a month. It’s insane. The former head of ICE said many of these separations end up being permanent because there is just not a process to handle it. I’ll look for the links, but I find the whole thing horrifying.

  76. IMO, deep down, close to no one wants to upset the system we’ve got going now to stop the use of illegal labor. Criminals are another thing. But the honest guys working 55 hours/week in a Tyson chicken plant somewhere in the rural Midwest for a base pay of $9/hr because no legal workers will do that kind of work? Who really wants to turn them in and shut down the town’s/county’s biggest employer? Then who buys the chickens from the (yes, corporate) farms around there?

  77. Milo – I hear you and I actually, believe it or not, agree with you. We have to have a better system to handle the workload. Because we do need to protect our borders, in a logical, humane way.

    I guess “make a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” is true.

  78. The IRS could easily figure out who has 2 parents working with minor children and no claim (legit) of childcare expenses.

  79. I don’t get why illegal immigration is a misdemeanor. Why not make it an actual crime?

  80. “IMO, deep down, close to no one wants to upset the system we’ve got going now to stop the use of illegal labor.”

    I agree that many people on both sides are perfectly comfortable with it.

    OTOH, we elected a president whom nobody would ever accuse of being vague about his position on the issue. He’s done more than most politicians to follow through on his promises here, and that essentially has meant simply enforcing existing laws. It’s been executed very clumsily at times, and with poor anticipation of adverse side effects, but the argument that “most people don’t want to upset the system” might be moot at this point.

    Ever since July, 2015, a significant portion of the voters have made it very clear that they actually do want to change the status quo regarding illegal immigration, yet the affluent keep insisting that they don’t really mean it.

  81. I would like to see something like a temporary work permit. Work for 3 months, go back for three months.

  82. “Work for 3 months, go back for three months.”

    We can’t even get their work documented, how are we going to make sure that they go back for three months?

  83. “Ever since July, 2015, a significant portion of the voters have made it very clear that they actually do want to change the status quo regarding illegal immigration, yet the affluent keep insisting that they don’t really mean it.”

    Maybe. And in that case, they need to come up with a procedure that doesn’t violate the Constitution and current laws. Good luck with that.

    Houston – overstaying a visa isn’t even a misdemeanor. It is a civil violation.

  84. A misdemeanor IS an actual crime.

    It is the job of Congress to write the laws. Perhaps members of Congress can be detained until they do their job.

  85. Milo, by making it very easy for them to come in 3 months at a time as a guest worker.

  86. “Why are all these people continuing to come in even after realizing what is going on?”

    My husband’s grandparents sent their kids, ages 11, 12 and 14, to a different country in hopes of a better life, but really out of a fear of what would happen to them if they stayed put. They hoped to be able to follow someday. They were fortunate and about a year later they were able to join their kids.

    I don’t think Americans fully appreciate how desperate the situation is in these countries.

  87. Perhaps members of Congress can be detained until they do their job.

    So your basic issue is Congress passes feel good legislation and assumes the executive branch will implement it in a politically palatable manner? In your ideal world they should be forced to pass legislation as it will actually be enforced.

  88. “they should be forced to pass legislation as it will actually be enforced.”

    What a concept!

  89. Milo – what % is your $ are you willing to pay in taxes so that all laws get enforced? We need to be realistic with our proposals (and give priority to those things that can cause the most harm).

  90. Posted on the wrong thread. That’s why Congress is supposed to write the budget.

  91. We know we don’t have adequate funds to enforce all laws. Especially now with the tax cut. So, we either need to raise taxes (a lot) or get used to the idea that immigration laws aren’t really going to get fully enforced.

  92. “I would like to see something like a temporary work permit. Work for 3 months, go back for three months.”

    We had a discussion here a little while back of how many seasonal businesses had relied on foreign workers, and were having difficulty staffing when Trump reduced the number of such permits.

  93. “But the honest guys working 55 hours/week in a Tyson chicken plant somewhere in the rural Midwest for a base pay of $9/hr because no legal workers will do that kind of work? Who really wants to turn them in and shut down the town’s/county’s biggest employer? Then who buys the chickens from the (yes, corporate) farms around there?”

    Rising minimum wagers, notably in the fast food industry, have provided additional impetus to automating processes and reducing the need for labor. A clear signal that employers like Tyson won’t be able to count on those $9/hour immigrant workers will similarly incent them to invest more heavily in automation.

    I’ve made the case here before that the willingness of immigrants to take those sort of jobs has crimped the development of technologies to replace that labor.

  94. “Devote a lot more resources to processing claims, including providing lawyers so everyone gets their due process”

    Apparently there are a bunch of recent law school graduates who’ve been having difficulty finding jobs, so the government may be able to hire them for cheap.

  95. The GAO says the cheapest way to keep track of people who enter illegally is electronic ankle bracelets with periodic check ins with ICE through the phone (either calling in or logging in). When they do this, more than 99% of people show up for their court hearings. And a high % of people actually end up getting to stay (because their asylum claim is granted or they have another defense).

  96. What a concept!

    It would certainly be something that’s never been tried before.

    I get where you’re coming from though. But how would it work in practice? Pulling over everyone going 66 in a 65 until, much like what happened with the kids, an enraged public demands changes?

    Can the system actually work without executive and prosecutorial discretion?

  97. A bunch of the kids just arrived in NYC. Evidently they are destined for agencies in the Bronx, Harlem, and even in Westchester. I am shaking my head in amazement. Who thought it was a good idea to ship a bunch of kids from the border with Mexico up to NYC while their parents are somewhere else? How were they even transported?

  98. I honestly think that Trump is devoid of empathy, and thought this was going to work as a bargaining chip to get his wall funded. He really couldn’t see how people were going to react. His lack of empathy in this case led to a total political blunder. Trump is generally most effective politically when he appeals to the worst in people, but this time around, “worst” was more than most people could handle.

  99. “Ever since July, 2015, a significant portion of the voters have made it very clear that they actually do want to change the status quo regarding illegal immigration”.
    I agree there is a significant portion of the voters who want to get tougher on illegal immigration, but I wonder how large that portion is, and how firm their support is, when enforcement starts getting nastier and more expensive. I honestly think a lot of people benefit from undocumented labor. People like their chicken and produce to be cheap.

  100. Finn – I agree with your capital-for-labor premise. I wonder how high the minimum wage would need to be before switching from illegal workers to capital/automation. We’re seeing it (focus on significantly increasing the pay rate) in fast food & casual restaurant chains and overall in some metro areas because that’s where focus is from the political side. No broad push/political support to do that in many of the specific industries populated with illegal workers or statewide for all workers.

  101. “From everything I’ve read, there is no actual process for reuniting families.”

    Yes. They have no plan on how they will get the kids back to their parents, particularly if the parents have been deported. Sessions has floated the idea of dna testing after the fact.

    This is by far the most shameful thing Trump and supporters have done. It is sickening.

  102. “but I wonder how large that portion is, and how firm their support is, when enforcement starts getting nastier and more expensive.”

    What I can’t understand is if they are really as uninformed about how this all must work or if they are being intentially obtuse about it. It was the same thing with the health care repeal/replace. No one wants to spend any more $ but they want some sort of magical program they think is out there. Ummm. That isn’t how this works. The experts in these areas are not holding back some awesome cheap program that will solve all of the problems.

  103. I read an interesting suggestion from a former Obama official–Trump should state that Mexico is a safe country and force any refugee coming in from Mexico to live in Mexico unless they apply for refugee status in their home country.

  104. Mooshi: That’s not really our concern. We can offer them some foreign aid funds to help.

  105. The first safe country rule is well known–that’s how Italy and Greece are stuck with so many illegal immigrants.

  106. “No one wants to spend any more $ but they want some sort of magical program they think is out there.”

    That describes pretty much everyone on all sides of every contentious political issue. Nothing new here.
    It’s simply not possible to enforce existing immigration laws and also meet the needs of the children that some adults drag along when they break those laws. If we, through our elected representatives, are unwilling or unable to agree on new laws, then the best solution seems to be to deport all those who are apprehended at the border, including any children among them. Otherwise, we are enabling those who put children at risk in order to achieve their goal of illegal entry.

  107. One party has certainly been more willing to spend money for programs than.

    “then the best solution seems to be to deport all those who are apprehended at the border, including any children among them.”

    That is what they are trying to do. But, unlike what some people would lead us to believe, it isn’t as easy as just putting people on a bus and driving it in to Mexico. Nor will it ever be. So, we can either put more money towards the issue or get used to people being here. You cannot have a hard line immigration policy without adequate money to support it.

  108. “Trump should state that Mexico is a safe country”

    LOL. After all of the stuff that Trump has said about Mexico? He could have done a lot better with this had he not insulted Mexico at every turn. Perhaps we should reconsider pissing off those counties with whom we share borders (Canada, too).

  109. “So, we can either put more money towards the issue or get used to people being here.”

    But what do you think that the real issue is? The poor economic and social prospects in Mexico and Central America that drive desperate people to head north even though they may not actually qualify for asylum under current law? Or that we have no idea how to send them back because we don’t know where they came from? Or is the problem that we lack the will to devote the necessary resources to send them back?

    I am open to increasing the number of legal immigrants, including the guest worker option, and for admitting more bona fide refugees and asylum seekers. But the hard reality is that we can’t take in everyone who wants a better life for their kids, and no matter how generous we are in extending welcome to immigrants, the demand will always exceed the supply. We will always have to draw lines and turn many sympathetic cases away.

  110. This
    “Or is the problem that we lack the will to devote the necessary resources to send them back?”

    Like I said, people like cheap packaged chicken and cheap tomatoes. And they don’t like to spend the money it would take to actually make a dent in the problem. There are simply a LOT of undocumented immigrants here.

  111. The National Review had a good article on why it is impossible to staunch the flow of people trying to move to wealthier countries. I disagree with their implication that this leads to xenophobia and that is perfectly fine. But the analysis of the economic imperative behind migration is correct.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/immigration-border-control-politicians-need-to-take-seriously/
    I have a friend whose grandmother was one of those refugees. She was a Jewish kid in Germany. Her family recognized that they had to get out in the late 30’s. They managed to ship her to England where there was a relative, and her sister arrived a bit later. They lived through the bombings without their parents. My friend recounted this bit of history – in 1938 there was a conference of 32 countries to discuss how to handle the huge wave of desperate people trying to leave Germany. At that time, Jews could still leave if a country would take them. But only one country – the Dominican Republic – was willing to take more Jewish migrants. Astoundingly, at that time, 83% of Americans opposed taking more Jews, fearing their burden on the economy as well as disliking their culture. I can imagine Totebaggers of 1938, dispassionately discussing the reasons why American voters were fearful of Jewish migrants (“is it economic?” “are they afraid of losing their culture?”) and agreeing that since all the countries were similarly against Jewish migration, it must be OK and natural.

    I looked this up, and found an article describing the whole sordid story of that era.
    ” In 1939, Senator Robert Wagner, a Democrat from New York, and Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers, a Republican from Massachusetts, sponsored a bill that proposed to allow German Jewish children to enter the United States outside of official immigration quotas. The bill caused a loud and bitter public debate, but it never even reached a vote in Congress.”

    Just keep this in mind… 83% of Americans opposed letting more Jewish refugees into the country in 1938. When we start going down the path of thinking it is OK to limit immigration because everyone wants to, and after all, lots of other countries feel the same way (National Review’s argument), just keep this story in your mind.

    I am all for enforcing immigration rules, though to do so effectively and humanely will cost money, and will have an impact on business that will leave them howling. But I am also for making legal immigration easier, not harder.

  112. Just keep this in mind… 83% of Americans opposed letting more Jewish refugees into the country in 1938.

    Mass exterminations didn’t begin in Germany until 1941. At the time they were economic refugees due to the Nuremberg Laws.

  113. Antisemitism in particular and xenophobia in general were the driving force behind the deplorable worldwide response to the plight of fleeing European Jews.
    That this was deplorable does not change the fact that neither the US nor Europe can possibly accept the migration of the millions of people who want to leave their homelands for a better life, to say nothing of the tens of thousands of potential terrorists hiding among them.

  114. Mooshi, how does it really matter what excuses they used to keep the jewish refugees out? What we need to look at the very real possibility of terrorists hiding among current wave of refugees.

    We are organically growing our own population, and cant really be indiscriminately letting in people.

    Europe has come close to doing it and we can all see the results. Mini pakistan/syria what have you in U.K for example. The French are building a wall around Eiffel tower. The backlash there is real and is affecting those who otherwise were welcome so far.

  115. “to say nothing of the tens of thousands of potential terrorists hiding among them.”

    If anything could make an otherwise reasonable person snap and/or grow to hate a country, it has got to be taking away their kids with no plan on how to ever reunite them again. Other than that, I don’t think we have a big issue with terrorists from Mexico and Central America. And by far our largest source of illegal immigrants is people who come here on visas and overstay. We have complete control over who comes in that way.

  116. I have so many problems with that Bret Stephens article. We dont need people living on every inch of land. Of course the population will naturally gravitate towards the cities, and they are already full. One of the main hurdles for developing nations is oversupply of people competing for limited natural resources. .
    Not to mention the meaningless positives listed like church going. Who cares? Many people who support Trumps vile policies are church going. The family-orientedness, and other characteristics also move towards the mean in the subsequent generations.

    A simple argument for letting in only those immigrants that we need today is sufficient.

  117. “Back then, they were afraid of Nazi spies and Communists lurking among them”

    Imagine if immigrant Jews had been running over people with cars or shooting up nightclubs or Army bases. Then those fears might have been based on reality.

    “If anything could make an otherwise reasonable person snap and/or grow to hate a country, it has got to be taking away their kids with no plan on how to ever reunite them again.”

    Well, let’s consider how those “otherwise reasonable” people found themselves separated from their children in the first place. They deliberately risked separation, and far worse, by traveling hundreds of miles from their homes and illegally entering the country.

  118. Houston, that article made some very good points. ITA with this analysis:

    “Macron is implicitly saying: “We agree that there’s good immigration, but you won’t trust me to bring in immigrants in the right way if you can’t also trust me to keep out and kick out immigrants who break the rules, and I accept that.”

    The problem is that many progressives seem to think that whenever politicians invoke “the rule of law” as a motive for enforcing borders, that is racial code. I don’t doubt that there’s some truth to this. Maybe a lot of it. But the fact remains that America’s current immigration regime, in practice, functions by having the law and then not enforcing it. Populists only win elections when the elites discredit themselves in the eyes of the public, and a regime of saying one thing and doing something else is corrosive to democratic norms. It’s perfectly legitimate for voters to want their politicians to demonstrate that they care about enforcing some limits on immigration.

    That is exactly the thing that many American voters believe Democrats are unwilling to do—to draw a line somewhere. Because deep down, voters suspect, they don’t want to.

    And, well, many voters think that could be worse than Trump.”

  119. I do think we have to draw a line. Personally, my line would allow for more legal immigration than we currently have, but I still would not want the whole world to come in.

    But I find it sad that anti-immigration folks can’t see how similar they sound to the anti-immigration people in the 1930’s. I think it bears a wee bit of reflection…

    If you don’t like the comparison to the Jewish refugee crisis, then how about the Chinese Exclusion Act? Do people today honestly look at that and think it was a good idea? Yet, it was very popular and last for a long time.

  120. I think most people, even progressives, are not for open borders and think some kind of line has to be drawn. The reason we can’t draw the line is because the current system of half-assed enforcement benefits so many people, and not just elites. All kinds of small businesses benefit from illegal immigrant labor. And everyone benefits from cheap produce and chicken.

  121. If you don’t like the comparison to the Jewish refugee crisis, then how about the Chinese Exclusion Act? Do people today honestly look at that and think it was a good idea?

    The Anglos whose kids won’t study hard enough to get into Berkeley would be happy to see the Chinese population diminish.

  122. “If anything could make an otherwise reasonable person snap and/or grow to hate a country, it has got to be taking away their kids with no plan on how to ever reunite them again.”

    Birdie, I have been thinking along these lines, but from the children’s point of view. What better way to radicalize a whole new group of young people against the U.S. than to take them away from their parents and store them in warehouses. It’s not like the kids had any say in Mom’s and/or Dad’s decision to try to get to the U.S, and to take them with them.

  123. A commenter on that Bret Stephens piece correctly points out that there isn’t enough water right now for the Western population. You can fill up those big empty spaces, but without water, they’re not going to do you much good.

  124. I am not saying that we have to “let the whole world in” (not sure Stephens is saying that either), but I do think that, given our aging population and the tight labor market, we can benefit from far more legal immigrants than we currently accept. I certainly don’t see any rational basis for reducing legal immigration, as Republicans are trying to do.

    “Well, let’s consider how those “otherwise reasonable” people found themselves separated from their children in the first place. They deliberately risked separation, and far worse, by traveling hundreds of miles from their homes and illegally entering the country.”

    Circa 1920, my great-grandmother boarded a cargo ship in Italy and crossed the Atlantic with my five year old grandmother in tow. They came to America to escape poverty and organized crime in the home country. Modern conditions in Central America are probably similar to or worse than the conditions in Italy at the time. I don’t think it is fair to deem these migrants “unreasonable” as Scarlett’s comment seems to do or to assert that they are de facto bad parents, as some conservative commentators have said. Many of them are desperate, and I suspect that many of us Totebaggers would do the same thing in their shoes.

  125. “Many of them are desperate, and I suspect that many of us Totebaggers would do the same thing in their shoes.”

    It is sort of similar to what we are always talking about that when the jobs are not available in an area people should just pick up and move. That is what they are doing. Granted it is cross borders and more complicated than that, but the current system in place for immigration is complex. Totebaggers try to game the “system” all the time (for example getting into exam schools). That is what these immigrants are trying to do as well. I don’t know what the solution is, other than we can’t keep these children apart from their families.

  126. How do liberals want to deal with illegal immigration? I don’t know if there’s a Democratic proposal.

  127. I think Clinton campaigned on legalizing the DACA kids and their parents, increasing refugee resettlement, as well as minimizing deportations to people who commit other crimes. This is not acceptable to many people.

  128. I know we are not supposed to comment on the First Lady’s attire, but, but,… did she REALLY wear this???? On her way to visit the Texas shelters? There is no friggin’ way she was not trying to communicate something , but WHAT?

  129. “Well, let’s consider how those “otherwise reasonable” people found themselves separated from their children in the first place. They deliberately risked separation, and far worse, by traveling hundreds of miles from their homes and illegally entering the country.”

    You really think all of these parents are bad? I tend to think that you don’t put your kid in that situation unless you think it is the best of a lot of bad options. I am not so sure that I wouldn’t do the same if the circumstances of my life were different.

    Regardless, it isn’t in anyone’s best interest (including the US) to have kids without parents and without a reunification plan.

  130. Regardless of their motives, the adults are putting the children at risk, especially if they know (as anecdotal reports suggest they do) that they will be arrested and/or separated from their children if they are caught. Whether they are “bad parents” is beside the point. Their behavior is objectively a danger to their children. That life is harsh in their home country does not obligate our country to allow them to move here.
    We should not incentivize such behavior by allowing those people to remain free in the United States.

  131. “You really think all of these parents are bad?”

    No, but if you think that good families automatically deserve to live here, you are in favor of open borders. Open borders are untenable for a nation state. A country has to be able to control who gets to live there.

  132. Of course I don’t think that. What I do think is that you cannot separate parents and kids without a reunification plan.

  133. I, too, am in favor of keeping parents and kids together. Give them ankle bracelets and set them free. Speed up trials by adding new resources. However, I’m also in favor of deporting everyone who is here illegally.

  134. “That life is harsh in their home country does not obligate our country to allow them to move here.”

    Of course it does not. But they are entitled to certain due process protections and not to be separated from their children. If we wanted to tackle the issue in a cost effective manner, we would slap an ankle bracelet on the parents and have the family come back for their deportation hearing once we hired sufficient people to process the claims. We don’t really seem interested incoming up with a reasonable solution.

  135. Had TPS been around in the 30s and 40s, that might have been the appropriate method to allow in European Jews, who could’ve then moved back to Europe after the war.

  136. A commenter on that Bret Stephens piece correctly points out that there isn’t enough water right now for the Western population.

    So build a desalisation plant and a pipeline. Both are mature technologies.

  137. That this was deplorable does not change the fact that neither the US nor Europe can possibly accept the migration of the millions of people who want to leave their homelands for a better life,

    We could do it, we just chose not to. Keep that in mind.

  138. No, we can’t do it. Not without drastic changes in our culture, economic stability, and legal and political systems.
    The countries in western Europe are the canaries in the coal mine on this issue.

  139. This is an interesting article on the asylum case backlog.

    “as of 2016, of all Latin American cases pending in 2000 or applied since then, just 7.4 percent have been approved, compared to 35 percent for other countries. The numbers are even worse for the Central American countries, at 4.7 percent, and Mexico, at 3 percent.

    The United States rejects the vast majority of asylum claims from these countries. But in the meantime, asylum-seekers get a temporary respite. They are held in the United States as their case progresses. Some are held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, but some are released, sometimes with ankle trackers.

    The number of actual grants of asylum by the United States has not risen in recent years from its usual 20-25,000 per year range, according to the UN. We have not become much more willing to offer asylum. The typical migrant has simply become far more likely to claim asylum. The result is a growing backlog of court cases.” hefederalist.com/2018/04/09/data-indicates-illegal-immigrants-exploiting-u-s-asylum-policies-false-claims/

  140. “No, we can’t do it. Not without drastic changes in our culture, economic stability, and legal and political systems.”
    That is what they said back in the era when waves of Italians and Jews were arriving. Instead, the immigrants were good for our country

  141. “That is what they said back in the era when waves of Italians and Jews were arriving. Instead, the immigrants were good for our country”

    And “they” can elect members of Congress to change the law, as happened BITD, to allow more legal immigrants — Jewish or Italian or otherwise — from all parts of the world. But if you can’t convince them to change the law, and you can’t convince them to vote for a President who will continue to ignore the law, then you have to accept the results.

  142. Not without drastic changes in our culture, economic stability, and legal and political systems.

    That hasn’t been the case historically.

  143. Scarlett,

    So the politicians and voters who refused those (at the time economic) refugees from Europe in 1938. How did your God judge them?

  144. Rhett: Do you really think we are not as bad? We allow children to go hungry in this country. We support wars that are not necessary, but destroy civilian lives. We pollute the earth, and allow the breeding of farm animals in deplorable conditions so that we can eat cheap meat. How will God judge us?

  145. Do you really think we are not as bad?

    Nope – I wouldn’t turn away a boatload of Jewish or Mexican or Guatemalan children. So no. I’m not as bad.

    And as for eating meat? Oh, we’ll be judged. Of that I’m sure. And the best defense I’ll be able to come up with will be the truth – being a vegetarian is just too much of a hassle.

  146. Rhett,
    Future generations may be appalled to learn that the American legal system sanctioned the murder of unborn children with the enthusiastic approval of the Democratic Party, in the same way that we are now appalled at the antisemitism and racism of the American legal system that permitted slavery, turned away Jewish refugees, and interned Japanese American citizens. Since you asked, my God knows that we are sinful creatures living in a fallen world. It’s a mistake to assume that any of us would have been more compassionate and enlightened than those who came before us.

  147. “I wouldn’t turn away a boatload of Jewish or Mexican or Guatemalan children.”

    No, we just bomb Afghani children in their own villages.

  148. Houston, yep, and that went back to Johnson and Nixon, who bombed kids in Cambodia and Laos.

  149. “It’s a mistake to assume that any of us would have been more compassionate and enlightened than those who came before us.”

    I totally agree. We prove time and time again how truly awful we can be for no particular reason. People who keep clutching their pearls over how this is not who we are as a country are annoying. This is exactly who we are and if you don’t think so, you haven’t been paying attention.

  150. “It’s a mistake to assume that any of us would have been more compassionate and enlightened than those who came before us.”

    I tend to agree. As much as we want to learn from history, we are a product of our current experience and hindsight is always a perfect 20/20. I don’t think any particular political viewpoint has a monopoly on evil intentions.

    Maybe Melania WAS referring to the fake news when she wore that jacket.

  151. “We prove time and time again how truly awful we can be for no particular reason. People who keep clutching their pearls over how this is not who we are as a country are annoying. This is exactly who we are and if you don’t think so, you haven’t been paying attention.”

    I totally agree

  152. “This is exactly who we are”

    To be fair, it’s also exactly who every other country is. The enlightened French and Italians turned away a ship full of hundreds of African immigrants rescued at sea. The enlightened Australians pluck migrants from rafts and imprison them on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. We are no worse than other countries in this regard.

  153. We are no worse than other countries in this regard.

    Shouldn’t we aspire to be better?

  154. Future generations may be appalled to learn that the American legal system sanctioned the murder of unborn children with the enthusiastic approval of the Democratic Party, i

    Obviously. Especially when any number of reliable technologies and surgical procedures to prevent conseption have been around for +60 years.

    In your worldview, if you commit and evil act and do not repent, is there any sort of punishment?

  155. Rhett, I think that we ARE better. Take a look at the photos from Manus Island. The worst-run detention center in the US is orders of magnitude better than the conditions there.

    “In your worldview, if you commit and evil act and do not repent, is there any sort of punishment?”

    Um, yes. Eternal damnation? Of course, only God knows whether someone has repented so we cannot judge.

  156. Um, yes. Eternal damnation?

    Wouldn’t a long stint in purgatory be the most likely outcome of these sorts of “what soever you do for these my brothers” sort moral failures?

  157. Rhett, yes, Catholic teaching distinguishes between unrepented mortal and venial sins, the latter of which does not lead to eternal damnation.

    You might be interested in the story of Auschwitz commandant Rodolf Hoss (not to be confused with the crazy Hitler aide who flew to Scotland), who after being arrested and imprisoned was so overwhelmed with the undeserved mercy shown him by the Polish guards that he sought out a Catholic priest and received absolution before his execution. https://www.shu.edu/theology/upload/mass-murderer-repents.pdf

    It’s a long piece, but amazing story. Shorter version here ttps://www.acountrypriest.com/the-boundless-limits-of-gods-mercy/

  158. I lost Mussolini that way, all that work, then right at the end with the rope around his neck, he says, ‘Scusi. Mille regretti,’ and up he goes!”

    Peter Cook as Satan in Bedazzled

  159. received absolution before his execution.

    Did he? He didn’t detest all his sins as far as I can tell.

  160. “How do liberals want to deal with illegal immigration? I don’t know if there’s a Democratic proposal.”

    I’m not sure there is a single proposal for the whole party, just as the Republicans can’t seem to agree on a single proposal. FWIW, this liberal’s proposal would be: enforce the border humanely and fairly. For migrant families who are not suspected of other crimes, release them with ankle bracelets and process their cases quickly, hiring more judges if necessary. Deport them if they do not meet the standard for asylum, admit them if they do. Path to citizenship for DACA kids. Some sort of statute of limitations on illegal entry so that people who have been here for many years and lived productive lives are not punished for the misdemeanor they committed long ago. I know this last part is controversial, but we do have statutes of limitations for far more serious crimes including rape and child abuse. I’m not sure why illegal entry is still actionable decades later when those crimes are not.

    And I would also increase fairly substantially the number of legal immigrants that we accept, including refugees.

  161. And I haven’t read the Act of Contrition in a while but, “O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, ” I’m sorry because I’m going to get in trouble? That’s sort of cop out. You should be sorry because you have done wrong. Not because you’re don’t want to get in trouble.

  162. I like the Hindu concept of reincarnation. Much less forgiving, but you literally have nobody to blame but your (past) self.

  163. I would also mandate E-Verify for employers and impose stiff fines for failure to comply with the law.

  164. And of course there is the Protestant notion of predestination. Sorry, you’re damned and nothing you can do about it.

  165. Much less forgiving, but you literally have nobody to blame but your (past) self.

    I was going to say, doesn’t it tend to make people less sympathetic to the less fortunate? If someone has some terrible disease, for example, they are just being punished for sins in their past lives. Or, is the idea that helping the less fortunate will result in you being reincarnated as something higher.

    That being said, it’s a hell of a lot better of an explanation of why bad things happen to good and totally innocent people than anything Christianity has managed to come up with.

  166. “I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, ”

    There are different versions of this prayer, but the one commonly used today goes
    “and I detest all my sins, because of your just punishment, but most of all because they offend you my God who are all good and deserving of all my love.” So-called “imperfect” contrition — I’m sorry because I don’t want to go to hell — is sufficient to warrant absolution, but “perfect” contrition — I’m sorry for failing to love God — is what we try to aim for.

    Whether a person is sufficiently contrite is, again, a matter that only God can judge. The priest can’t read his soul.

  167. In the Hindu tradition, alms-giving is very important and a really good way to increase your chances of a good next life.

  168. “Deport them if they do not meet the standard for asylum, admit them if they do.”

    If the vast majority of asylum-seekers from Central America are rejected (as past trends indicate), are you OK with deporting them? Or do you think that the asylum process needs to change so that more people can qualify?
    If we don’t want to revise those standards, aren’t we giving too many of these migrants a false hope that they will be able to stay in the US? Is that humane and fair? And is it fair to the US taxpayers who are footing the bill for this process?

  169. I don’t think it is surprising that a majority of asylum seekers are denied. It is important to look at asylum rules carefully, especially as situations in other countries change. It should be easy to fix the rules if something starts happening in another country that leads to persecution that isn’t being addressed in the rules.
    I also think the rules should be fair. For example, for years, undocumented Cubans were automatically given entry. That finally changed in 2015. It wasn’t fair at all.

  170. Some sobering statistics on asylum decisions. Overall rate of denial is just under half, but much higher denials rates from Mexico and Central America:

    “Among the ten nationalities that had the largest number of Immigration Court asylum cases decided during FY 2011 – FY 2016, Mexico had the highest denial rate with nine out of ten (89.6%) turned down. The three Central American countries that have had large numbers arriving seeking asylum also had very high denial rates – El Salvador (82.9%), Honduras (80.3%), and Guatemala (77.2%).

    Somalia also had over a fifty percent (54.7%) denial rate. While asylum seekers from Ethiopia and Eritrea were the most successful among the top ten nationalities with denial rates of only 16.5 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively.

    Expanding the comparisons to all countries that had at least 10 asylum seekers, Jamaica had the highest denial rate (92.8%), while the Soviet Union had the lowest denial rate (10.0%).”
    rac.syr.edu/immigration/reports/448/

  171. The Soviet Union’s low denial rate is largely political – we don’t like them. For a long time it was pretty automatic that if you came from the Soviet Union, you got asylum. I knew some Russians who were admitted that way in the 90’s, and who were clearly economic migrants, not victims of persecution. There is a lot that is political about granting asylum. As I said before, until 2015, all Cuban asylum seekers were admitted

  172. “I was going to say, doesn’t it tend to make people less sympathetic to the less fortunate?”

    Yes, it does. Mooshi talks about giving alms, but that’s usually a meal or a small amount of money. India doesn’t have the history of large scale charitable institutions that Western countries do.

  173. Also, there is a history of “charity begins at home” in that family is prioritized in sharing wealth and helping strangers too much is criticized as “taking away from your family”.

  174. And of course there is the Protestant notion of predestination

    #NotAllProtestants. Seriously, not all denominations are Calvinist.

  175. I think most people, even progressives, are not for open borders and think some kind of line has to be drawn.
    I realize reading all the posts that I’m in the minority. I am for as much immigration as possible. I want to make it easier for people to legally work here and to pay in to the system than trying to close up the borders. I think we should put our economic resources in making it affordable and mandatory for all employers to use eVerify. From my economic background, I think we put huge barriers to entry into getting into the country that it limits the free movement of people in and out of the country.

    I want more people who have the grit and determination to uproot their entire lives to find a better life for themselves and their families. My guess is that 95 out of 100 immigrants have those qualities and that the benefits they provide society far outweigh the costs of the other 5. And I would argue that way less than 95 out of 100 citizens have those qualities.

    I think if all the immigrants were coming from Canada or England nobody would have an issue. I think people live in fear of those who do not look or talk or act exactly like us.

    We have a large Somali community in our town. I spend no time worrying about them committing terrorist acts. Instead I worry when I’m at church, or dropping my kids off at school, or hear a loud bang at work that an angry, white male will shoot the place up. They are the terrorists that I worry about.

  176. The resistance to E-Verify is frustrating. The current administration was willing to commit what I consider to be atrocious human rights violations in the name of deterrence, when there is a cheaper, more effective, and more humane deterrent available: get serious about preventing employers from hiring illegal workers. People flock here to escape poverty because they know that if they can make it past the border, they can find work fairly easily. We demonize them while giving employers a pass. If the concern is that certain industries can’t survive without foreign labor, then the appropriate answer is to allow more folks to come in legally.

    Tcmama, I agree with you that, for the most part, immigrants have more grit and drive to succeed then native born Americans. They would never have gotten here without those qualities. I also agree with the poster above who said that those qualities tend to fade after a couple of generations, as children and grandchildren become complacent. There was an interesting perspective on this in a NY Times Opinion piece.

  177. CityMom – I have the same frustration with those who blame immigrants for “stealing our jobs” when they should instead be blaming the employers.

  178. Tcmama, I agree with you that, for the most part, immigrants have more grit and drive to succeed then native born Americans.

    That’s the part that drives me crazy. As the farmer mentioned when he was forced to employ legal workers, “Illegals would get here 20 min early and give it their all. Now, with legal workers, I’m left giving bonuses to people who get here two hours late.” If that’s why you oppose immigration, to give less fortunate Americans a leg up, that’s fine. But don’t couch it in all these lies about crime and rapists and such nonsense.

  179. RMS, I know! I couldn’t come up with the phrase Calvinist quickly enough.

  180. “Path to citizenship for DACA kids.”

    I’d limit that to legal residency, for them or anyone who entered illegally.

    “Some sort of statute of limitations on illegal entry so that people who have been here for many years and lived productive lives are not punished for the misdemeanor they committed long ago. I know this last part is controversial, but we do have statutes of limitations for far more serious crimes including rape and child abuse.”

    I’d prefer to see that inconsistency addressed by elimination of the statue of llimitations on serious crimes like rape and child abuse.

  181. “You should be sorry because you have done wrong. Not because you’re don’t want to get in trouble”

    This reminds me of the W apology, “I’m sorry if I offended you.” He made clear he was not sorry for what he said.

  182. “Illegals would get here 20 min early and give it their all. Now, with legal workers, I’m left giving bonuses to people who get here two hours late.”

    Are we deporting the wrong people?

  183. “I spend no time worrying about them committing terrorist acts. Instead I worry when I’m at church”

    This. I feel the same way TCM. I have no problem being over in Riverside, or in the Hmong Village area, but I often think about that shooting at church and what i would do if a shooter came into my kid’s gymnastics class.

    I tried posting a thought the other day and it didn’t work, so I’ll try again. The current influx of immigrants are doing what we as totebaggers would be doing. We pick up and move for better job opportunities and leave our families and known communities, taking risks along the way. We try to game the administration system for schools, and try to befriend the right person who will get Snowflake the best 5th grade teacher, etc. It is true we have a system that is broken, but we shouldn’t separate families to “teach them and others a lesson”.

  184. “I’d limit that to legal residency, for them or anyone who entered illegally.”

    I don’t like to see a large group of people who are legal residents but have no way of becoming citizens. Do you know that people who were born in China but living in the US were not permitted to become US citizens until 1943? I don’t like to see things like that repeated

  185. I’d prefer to see that inconsistency addressed by elimination of the statue of llimitations on serious crimes like rape and child abuse.

    What about the rationale for the statute of limitations? I think it’s especially important in crimes like these where juries are likely to be swayed by emotion.

  186. The mother of the now-famous Honduran toddler is no totebagger. She left her other children and took the baby, against the wishes of her husband and without even telling him of her plans, on a long dangerous journey that ended with arrest. Her husband has a job and based on his comments to the press there seems to be zero evidence of persecution that would justify an amnesty claim. She wasted thousands of dollars and risked her baby’s life. For nothing. Well, she did become the literal poster child for the “Trump is a Nazi” meme. But even if she is eventually deported, the emotional media coverage will no doubt inspire other reckless adults to grab some kids, their own or otherwise, to use as shields against detention or (if many on the left have their way) deportation. We probably won’t see photos of crying kids being torn away from protesting family members as they are thrust on a bus heading north, or sick kids being left at random outposts on the way because they have become inconvenient to the smugglers, or elderly parents left behind at home. But those things and worse will be the inevitable result of a system that creates powerful incentives to put the interests of adults before those of children.

  187. Scarlett,

    So you’re basing your rebuttal on one instantace? I know you’re just trying to make an argument but you have to admit it’s pretty weak sauce.

  188. Do you think most people are inherently good or bad? Reading these posts, I’ve been reflecting that I believe that the vast, vast, vast majority of people are good and are trying to do the right thing. This most likely is the reason why I think immigration is good.

  189. Rhett, given the harsh reality on asylum denials, how is it possible to argue that these adults are acting in the best interests of the children?

  190. Rhett, given the harsh reality on asylum denials, how is it possible to argue that these adults are acting in the best interests of the children?

    We’re talkjng about the politically and operationally disastrous implementation. Misrule as Mr. Will called it.

  191. And just to clarify, I agree that immigration is good for the country and we should admit more immigrants. Legally and after careful consideration of the national interest.

  192. Scarkett,

    No one is objecting to detention or family detention, it’s the intentional separation of parents and children that caused outrage. You didn’t actually buy that National Review argument, did you?

  193. “What about the rationale for the statute of limitations?”

    What is the rationale?

  194. “I don’t like to see a large group of people who are legal residents but have no way of becoming citizens.”

    I don’t like to see people being rewarded for illegal acts.

  195. “If the concern is that certain industries can’t survive without foreign labor, then the appropriate answer is to allow more folks to come in legally”

    Another possible answer is that businesses that can’t survive without illegal activity be allowed to die.

  196. “I am for as much immigration as possible. I want to make it easier for people to legally work here and to pay in to the system than trying to close up the borders. I think we should put our economic resources in making it affordable and mandatory for all employers to use eVerify.”

    How is expanding the use of eVerify consistent with maximizing immigration?

  197. Tons of people on the left objected to Obama for his immigration policy, which is why Flores got expanded to include children beyond those who are unaccompanied. It was probably the #1 issue on the left that really angered people. And then Trump turned it up a million notches and started committing what most people consider serious human rights violations.

  198. “that went back to Johnson and Nixon, who bombed kids in Cambodia and Laos.”

    It goes further back, to the bombing of Korea during the Korean War.

  199. “So-called “imperfect” contrition — I’m sorry because I don’t want to go to hell — is sufficient to warrant absolution, but “perfect” contrition — I’m sorry for failing to love God — is what we try to aim for.”

    Interesting how being nice to others seems not to matter at all, or perhaps, not directly.

  200. What is the rationale?

    That as time passes it becomes increasingly difficult to mount a defense. Memories fade and change, documents age out of the archives and are destroyed, etc.

  201. “That as time passes it becomes increasingly difficult to mount a defense.”

    In our innocent until proven guilty system, the passage of time makes prosecution even more difficult. Witnesses die too.

    I detest having criminals being able to come out and talk about their crimes without any fear of prosecution. They should have that constant fear of being caught with them as long as they live.

  202. “They should have that constant fear of being caught with them as long as they live.”

    For misdemeanors?

  203. “It goes further back, to the bombing of Korea during the Korean War.”

    Don’t forget Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.

  204. “No one is objecting to detention or family detention”

    Of course they are. Samantha Bee is now calling them “Mommy and Me Jails”.

  205. “For misdemeanors?”

    No, not like parking tickets.

    But definitely for crimes that involve direct harm to other individuals, e.g., rape, assault.

  206. “No, not like parking tickets.”

    What about illegally entering the US (which is a misdemeanor).

  207. In our innocent until proven guilty system, the passage of time makes prosecution even more difficult.

    Better that 100 guilty men go free than one innocent man is imprisoned.

    Some women comes forward and says you raped her after the office Christmas party in SV in 1986 and her friend walked in on you doing it. You think you’re going to jail? Can you prove you weren’t at the Christmas party in 1986? Can anyone reliably remember? There are two witnesses willing to testify.

  208. If they said it happened last Christmas you’d have witnesses, an alibi, cell phone records, surveillance tapes, etc. What do you have now against two witnesses from 30 years ago?

  209. “How is expanding the use of eVerify consistent with maximizing immigration?”

    I am for increasing legal immigration, and decreasing illegal immigration. eVerify would help with that. Actually, increasing legal immigration opportunities would too.

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