Respectful Insolence

Well, well, well.

Remember about a year ago, when Libertarian wingnut Vox Day shot himself in the foot big time by using a warped logic to argue that because it was “possible” for Hitler to round up six million Jews in four years then it’s not “impossible” for us to round up 12 million illegal immigrants, a contention that I had a great deal of fun royally fisking (as did Sergey over at Holocaust Controversies) and that was so bad that it was apparently deemed too offensive even for WorldNet Daily, which edited it to water down Vox’s horrible historical analogy? (If not, please check out my deconstruction of it all here and here; you won’t regret it.)

You’d think that, over a year later, Vox would finally have realized just what an idiot he had made himself look like with his “hey, Hitler managed to pull it off so it’s not impossible” rationale (or, as I described it, “Hey, It Worked for Hitler“). You’d think wrong, of course. Vox is incapable of admitting when he has just made himself look like a wingnut of even more epic proportions than we all know him to be. This time he does it not once, but twice, apparently in response to his old article from last year being resurrected, Hitler Zombie-like, on Fark.com and Ameriblog. Apparently, just like the renewed debate on an “immigration reform” bill on Capitol Hill, everything old is new again, as Vox’s idiocy from last year would better have been laid to rest for good. On the other hand, its reappearance now gives Vox the perfect opportunity to dig himself in deeper, and he doesn’t disappoint yet again:

But apparently today’s column gave numerous double-digit IQs the vapors, as they were unable to ascertain that the IDENTIFICATION, FORCED TRANSPORTATION and MURDER of six million Jews in four years by the National Socialists proves that President Bush was absolutely incorrect – and presumably lying – when he stated that IDENTIFYING and FORCIBLY TRANSPORTING twelve million illegal aliens was not possible.

Quite clearly, it is. As for those who find all mention of the National Socialists or the Holocaust inherently beyond the pale, I am certainly open to hearing any suggestions that similarly prove the case. Has anyone else besides the National Socialists been identifying and transporting millions of people lately? Does anyone else put the lie to Dear Jorge? And if not, do we simply pretend that it never happened and that there are no lessons to be learned from it? Wasn’t the whole point of the Shoah documentaries and the survivor recordings and the Holocaust museums to make sure that no one ever forgot?

I love it when Vox is reduced to typing in all caps, like a Usenet troll. (Come to think of it, Vox and Usenet trolls have much in common.)

In any event, to Vox, it would seem, the main “lesson” of the Holocaust appears to be that it is “possible” to round up and expel millions, meaning to him that it’s possible for us to do it too if we really, really want to. Certainly it is true that we probably could do such a thing if we really, really wanted to. All it would involve is a little thing like suspending civil liberties (as Hitler did), mobilizing our police and armed forces to dedicate to rounding up all these illegal aliens (as Hitler did), and not concerning ourselves overmuch with niceties such as making sure that everyone survived their deportation (as the Nazis did). Yep, just like Hitler, if we wanted to, we could load up overcrowded cattle cars that exposed their occupants to the elements and force them to travel in their own filth, leading to many deaths on the trip, just as the frail had a nasty tendency to die on the train ride to the death camps. Yep, it’s sure possible to do this, and apparently Vox continues to assure us that, if we as a nation just had the will, we could do the same thing, minus the death camps at the end of the transportation. Or, as Vox puts it:

Actually, I compared it to what the National Socialists did between December 1941 and June 1945. Perhaps you’ve never heard of concentration camps – really death camps – such as Dachau and Auschwitz. Before they killed the Jews, the National Socialists had to identify them and transport them. The point, as seems to have escaped you and many other morons, is that it is quite clearly possible to enact deportations on the scale required.

It’s also possible that this “nudge, nudge” sort of “I’m just sayin’, ya know” kind of disingenuousness reveals the vileness in Vox’s heart, if you know what I mean. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.) But Vox isn’t through yet. Apparently stung at least a little bit by all the criticism coming his way yet again due to his article being resurrected from the grave in which it should have stayed remained to rot and trouble no one further, he just can’t help himself and has to keep arguing when keeping quiet would probably serve him better. Yes, just when you think Vox can’t go any lower, he isn’t satisfied just to get out a shovel to start digging. In response to criticism, he has to get out a backhoe with this amazing piece of vileness that he calls George Bush, Holocaust denier:

Okay, so if we know it takes four years to identify and transport six million people in inhumane conditions, how much longer will it take to do it in air conditioned, beer-and-pizza provisioned comfort? 50 percent longer? 150 percent longer? The point is that it can be done. And how is it hard to separate one lesson of the National Socialist regime from another, does this emo-brain also have the impression I’m advocating an invasion of Poland, launching rockets at London and a Non-Aggression Pact with Stalin’s corpse?

This guy doesn’t even seem to realize that he has EXPLICITLY conceded my point, his paroxysms of outrage notwithstanding. THE HISTORICAL EXAMPLE OF THE NAZI MURDERS SIMPLY PROVES THAT WHAT GEORGE BUSH SAID WAS IMPOSSIBLE IS, IN FACT, POSSIBLE. That doesn’t mean that Americans harbor any desire to hurt anyone and it doesn’t even mean that we have to transport people like the Germans did. In fact, that wouldn’t even make any sense, since we don’t want to harm any aliens, we just want to send them safely home.

Ah, more caps. One would think Vox would master the HTML tags for bold and/or italics.

We get it already, Vox. Your idea is Hitler Lite, you know, exporting all those racial undesirables, only without those nasty death camps waiting at the end of the line or using overcrowded cattle cars to transport them. So what? That doesn’t mean that it’s practical or that the price it would take would be worth paying. After all, it is possible to do a lot of things that are either impractical, would cost far too much, or have harmful consequences that negate any perceived benefit. Indeed, it’s worth pointing out that, in the speech that provoked Vox’s ill-fated analogy a year ago, even President Bush didn’t say that deporting 12 million illegal immigrants would be “impossible”; rather he said it would be “unrealistic” and that “it’s just not going to work.” It was one of the rare instances in which Bush was actually correct about something. To give you an idea of just how idiotic Vox’s “nudge-nudge” insinuation is, consider a couple of other things that were (or are) possible. After all, it was possible to invade Iraq, and we all know how that turned out. Or, to take things to the the same sort of level of massive overkill that Vox apparently can’t resist with his Nazi analogy, it’s definitely possible to launch our nuclear weapons preemptively at Iran to prevent it from successfully building a nuclear bomb itself. It’s even possible for us to nuke Iran until the sand turned to glass. Sane people know why doing so would be a horrible idea, both on moral and practical grounds. Given Vox’s horrible analogy, I’m not so sure that he does:

If we’re going to not do things simply because the National Socialists did them, then I suggest that we begin by not financing public schools and not invading other countries. And I note with no little amusement that if George Bush or anyone else claims that mass deportations are impossible, this must, by definition, make them Holocaust Deniers.

Talk about a straw man! The complaint against Vox’s idiocy is not that we shouldn’t undertake mass deportations just because Nazi Germany did; the complaint against it is that Vox chose as his example of why mass deportations are, as he so disingenuously puts it, “possible” one of the most brutal and murderous example in history (if not the most brutal), a project that required a totalitarian dictatorship, hundreds of thousands of troops ideologically committed to the task, and the monopolization of large segments of rail lines, even to the detriment of the war effort. He also got Holocaust history breathtakingly wrong on a number of points. You’d think that if a democracy had succeeded in moving millions of people against their will without suspending civil liberties and the use of violence, he would have been able to come up with an example. After all, he is a Mensa member! I suppose he could have mentioned that the U.S. expelled many of the indigenous Indian tribes from their homelands. Oh, wait. That’s not such a good example either, as we did it with trickery and force, and certainly without much concern for treating Native Americans humanely, a story that remains a blot on our history to this day.

Yesterday, apparently not content with digging himself in deeper with a mere backhoe, Vox decided that it was time to break out the dynamite and start blasting to deeper levels, which seems to be why Vox changed gears a bit and pointed to Iran’s recent deportation of 70,000 Afghans as an example that “it could be done” without mass slaughter, comparing such mass deportations to the busing of schoolchildren:

70,000 per month = 840,000 per year = 6.7 million in eight years. Obviously there’s no evidence whatsoever that George Bush’s statement that deportations are “unrealistic” is false.

Other than, you know, the mass deportations taking place right now. And incredibly, it’s being done without the mass slaughter that some have insisted is inherently a part of any such involuntary mass transportation, the daily busing of 23.5 million American school children notwithstanding.

At least he’s finally quoting Bush correctly.

What I find particularly ironic here is Vox’s choice of examples. Vox is a self-proclaimed “Christian libertarian,” who has said time and time again that he distrusts the government and doesn’t want to expand government power. Presumably, if he really is a “libertarian” (something that I’m fairly skeptical of, given some of his statements in the past), he values freedom, democracy, and reducing government power and influence in our lives to the lowest level compatible with its enumerated functions in the Constitution. Yet, in his zeal to show that it is “possible” to forcibly export 12 million illegal immigrants, what examples does Vox gravitate towards? Why, he chooses Nazi Germany, one of the most murderous totalitarian dictatorships in history, and Iran, a Muslim theocracy not known for its attention to little niceties like due process and citizens’ rights, both of which he holds up as examples of what can be done in terms of moving out undesirables. His observation that it’s possible to deport 12 million illegal immigrants, when you come right down to it, is in reality rather trivial. If you throw enough resources and people at a task like this, eventually it can usually be done. The question is: Should it be done? And the problem is the price that it would cost, particularly the intangible price. There’s no way such a monumental task could be accomplished without a massive expansion of the power of the federal government and a corresponding degradation of due process and the rights of American citizens that would make the excesses of the Patriot Act look like a Libertarian vision of utopia. If one really thinks that the illegal immigration problem is so bad for our country that a “final solution” to it (sorry, couldn’t resist) is worth seriously degrading our civil liberties and expanding the power of the federal government, then argue that. But don’t pretend that your position is in any way “Libertarian.”

Of course, as you may recall, Vox had an answer for that complaint too, in essence arguing that stripping illegal immigrants whatever due process rights they have now, setting bounties on them, and unleashing the power of the free market to encourage bounty hunters would take care of the problem. Yeah, that’s just what I’d want to see: Bounty hunters busting into homes and businesses all across America in their search for illegal immigrants with the result of many more incidents like this .

In the two years since I first encountered Vox Day and noted, among other things his misogyny, his belief that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they are “fascists at heart,” and his antivaccination ignorance that’s led him to fall for the pseudoscience and lies of the mercury militia, it’s never ceased to amaze me that there can be so much concentrated wingnuttery in one man. Most amazing of all his “accomplishments,” on this issue at least, he has done something that I had previously thought impossible.

Vox has actually made President Bush look wise by comparison.

ADDENDUM: Vox keeps digging and blasting himself in deeper, this time trying to weasel out of the inferences that come from his comparison to Nazi Germany and Iran on the immigration issue by trying to ask what number of illegal immigrants would it be “practical” to remove? Nice dodge, very typical of Vox, but it doesn’t absolve Vox of his disingenuous use of regimes whose commitment to human rights are abysmal as “evidence” that evicting 12 million illegal immigrants is “possible” in the U.S. Sadly, Merkur (the commenter who called Vox to task over his analogy) appears to have let Vox suck him into this obvious dodge. I leave it to my readers to have some fun fisking this new silliness from Vox; I have to get to work. Even more disturbing are comments like this.

Comments

  1. #1 Andrew Dodds
    May 23, 2007

    Seems like the term ‘Libertarian’ in the US has been generally hijacked by those who consider the neocons of being too soft and not going far enough..

  2. #2 Stuart Coleman
    May 23, 2007

    I doubt he’s a Libertarian, since they’re mostly pro-immigration, and are so pro-civil-liberties that they would never advocate this. I’m getting a little tired of people assuming “Libertarian = crazy”, some do have some crazy ideas, but they’re not batshit insane like this guy.

  3. #3 vlad
    May 23, 2007

    “Presumably, if he really is a “libertarian” (something that I’m fairly skeptical of, given some of his statements in the past)”
    I have to disagree about him not being a libertarian. They like many fringe political parties are not about freedom, democracy, and smaller government. They are about their freedom (to tell us all how to live), their democracy (voting in unison to tell the rest of us how to live, and the opposing groups becoming small (thus removing any opposition to them telling us how to live). The depth of his arrogance proves his stupidity. MENSA really needs to look at their entrance exams.
    If this was the only thing he put out I’d say he was making his own version of “A Modest Proposal” but alas no he actually believes it.
    Would what he’s saying be possible. NO. First the financial expenditure would be more than if ALL of the immigrants would remain on welfare for the rest of their lives. Second the Nazis used deeply indoctrinated special units. It’s unlikely that we have these and if we do they are very few in number (staffed with idiots like Vox). Third how does this idiot propose to locate these people? The Nazis used basic physical categories for their activities. Using physical characteristics to determine a person’s suspected guilt applied during the Nazi era I’m not sure how that would work here? Or is he such a flagrant bigot that the fact that someone looks Hispanic, Asian etc. means that they are by definition an illegal immigrant?

    P.S. How do you inset quotes from the blog and get the lines next to it?

  4. #4 vald
    May 23, 2007

    I did not mean the official libertarian party but the small self proclaiming group Vox considers himself a memeber of.

  5. #5 Josh Rosenau
    May 23, 2007

    But he doesn’t claim to be a “libertarian,” he says he’s a “Christian libertarian.” Perhaps that only means liberties for Christians. That doesn’t explain why he doesn’t think women should be able to vote, but given wingnut attitudes toward Catholicism, it at least provides some sort explanation.

  6. #6 richCares
    May 23, 2007

    as for illegal immigration, most coming acros the Mexican border are not looking for jobs. They have been recruited. When the Salinas lettuce crops approach harvest time, the recruiters are sending requests to Mexico, in many cases advance pay is sent as well. So why not round up the big agro business leaders and deport them my dear hypocritical right winger? they are the ones bringing illegals here!

  7. #7 spartanrider
    May 23, 2007

    Vox Day is a nut job.Nothing more,nothing less.I have no idea why he calls himself a libertarian.He usually comes across as a authoritarian populist.His position on immigration is 180 degrees from the accepted libertarian position.Dave Bergland a vice presidential and presidential canididate for the Libertarian Party and the author of Libertarianism in One Lesson had this to say on the matter of immigration.
    “Should it be legal for people to travel or move into and out of the United States without limitation?”
    LIBERAL:We should give more help to people trying to escape poverty and political oppression so they can come to America,but not without limitation because they take jobs from Americans.
    CONSERVATIVE:No.We have too many immigrants already.Everyone will want to come to America. They increase welfare costs,take our jobs,increase crime and disease,and refuse to learn English.
    LIBERTARIAN:Yes.All individuals have the same rights,regardless of where they were born or where they live now.Anyone willing to take responsibilty for himself or herself has the right to travel and seek opportunity,including across international borders.America has always benefitted from immigrants who arrive with nothing,work hard,start businesses,become educated and improve America’s economy.”
    If VD is a libertarian,his buddy HH must be a humanitarian.Vox Day is a theocratic facsist!

  8. #8 Brendan
    May 23, 2007

    Well, I’ve nothing much to add to the discussion, I kind of hoped he was merely foolish, but my hopes for humanity have taken yet another blow.
    The syntax for quotes is the blockquote tage, and it looks like this:
    <blockquote>Quoted Text</blockquote>
    Type it exactly like that, and it should come out like this:

    Quoted Text

  9. #9 MattXIV
    May 23, 2007

    have to disagree about him not being a libertarian. They like many fringe political parties are not about freedom, democracy, and smaller government. They are about their freedom (to tell us all how to live), their democracy (voting in unison to tell the rest of us how to live, and the opposing groups becoming small (thus removing any opposition to them telling us how to live).

    The distinguishing characteristic of libertarianism ,is a belief that the scope of government involvement in people’s lives should be reduced. If anything, libertarians are criticized for taking small government and personal liberty too far.

    Which is why Vox’s libertarian credentials are dubious. He seems to be against a strong regulatory state and is critical of interventionist foreign policy (though only the nation building part, not the blowing people up part) and pays occaisional lip service to libertarian philosophy, but he is first and foremost a bigot. He has no problems not only taking definatively unlibertarian stances as long as one of his boogymen are involved (immigrants, gays, women, dark-skinned people in general) but will also stand the philosophy on its head to justify his prejudices (arguing that homosexuality harms non-gay people so the government is justified in supressing it). The self-applied “Christian Libertarian” label is a bit of a clue to this – rather than simply indicating that concurrent interest in liberty and Jesus, it translates as favoring a smaller but more prejudiced government, which would be appalling to most libertarians and most christians.

  10. #10 Warren
    May 23, 2007

    his belief that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they are “fascists at heart,”

    A clear case of projection.

  11. #11 DuWayne
    May 23, 2007

    To be clear, I think that the libertarian philosophy, from the pure ideological perspective that so many libertarians believe it should be, is patently absurd. That said, Vox is not remotely libertarian. No matter how he might parse it, his rants are the antithesis of libertarian philosophy. From his anti-immigration stance, to his anti-civil liberties stance, this rant in particular is in polar opposition to libertarian thinking.

  12. #12 Narc
    May 23, 2007

    Didn’t Vox day write a few months ago that killing children and infants was morally right, so long as God told you to do it?

  13. #13 Coin
    May 23, 2007

    The Genocide Watch project identifies eight “stages” which genocide occurs in:

    1. Classification
    2. Symbolization
    3. Dehumanization
    4. Organization
    5. Polarization
    6. Identification
    7. Extermination
    8. Denial

    Vox Day appears to be actively advocating steps one through six (while, arguably, participating in eight), while trying to convince us that just as long as he doesn’t specifically endorse step seven, this is supposed to make it all okay.

    Ugh.

    As far as “libertarianism” goes, I think the problem is that there’s basically no consistency whatsoever in what any two given people think that word is supposed to mean. I can think of three very different but totally valid ways of defining the word “libertarian”, and scores of the “libertarians” I’ve encountered didn’t really fit any of those three definitions. Since there isn’t any one particular authority that we might point to as the gold standard of what “libertarianism” means– most libertarians do not in fact get involved with or identify with the Libertarian Party– when someone crops up claiming to be a libertarian while not clearly fitting that label, there really isn’t anyone to police a more correct use of the term.

    Actually when it comes down to it, a surprising number of the self-identified “libertarians” I’ve run across online seem to just be Republicans who happen to vehemently disagree with one or two of the Republican Party’s policies. Since they want to communicate they are conservatives but don’t want to endorse those one or two things associated with mainstream [Republican] conservatism, they just latch onto “libertarian”, a word which they’ve heard but don’t entirely understand. Vox Day seems from what little I see here to fit this pattern nicely, although why he doesn’t just throw his lot in with the Constitution Party, who seem right up his alley, is beyond me…

  14. #14 Flex
    May 23, 2007

    Hell,

    Open up the borders, let everyone come in legally with work permits, and crack down on employers who hire them but don’t collect the income and social security taxes from their paychecks.

    If you want to level the playing field for American workers, start by punishing employeers who are cheating the system. Increasing the costs of the labor supply will reduce the demand for immigrant labor.

  15. #15 Flex
    May 23, 2007

    Oh, and establish immigrant unions to safeguard the workers from any employer exesses.

    Okay, this last one may be a little far-fetched.

  16. #16 DuWayne
    May 23, 2007

    Coin -

    Libertarianism is a particular social/political philosophy, that believes absolute social contract. Any taxation or regulation outside the parameters of a pure social contract, is unacceptable to libertarian thought. I.e. the state should only provide for the common defense and the enforcement of laws prohibiting the interference of any person’s right to their person and property. Some libertarians don’t even think the state should provide lawenforcement, believing that it is the responsability of the individual to protect their own rights or hire others to do it.

    Anyone who claims to be a libertarian, who spouts off in polar opposition to the aforementioned belief, is not a libertarian. Some people claim to be libertarian, while not subscribing to pure libertarian ideology, I really can’t argue much against that, though I tend to think it’s silly. But really, it’s no sillier than people who claim to be socialists, communists, capitolists or identify with any other ism, without subscribing in toto. I personaly prefer that people get past the notion that any pure ism or pure ideology, can ever functionaly govern social and economic interactions.

    People can call themselves anything they like, that doesn’t make it true. The fact that they do so, doesn’t change the fact that the philosophy they espouse to subscribe to, has a specific meaning and context. If they believe the polar opposite of said philosophy, it doesn’t change the meaning of that philosophy, it just means they don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

    I am not a socialist, just because I firmly believe that not only is it possible, but essential to longterm economic stability, that society provide a minimum standard of living including, shelter, clothing, food and healthcare. It doesn’t make me a capitalist that I also believe in a relatively free market. It doesn’t make me a totalitarian that I believe in strong regulation of occupational health and safety and the regulation of the health and safety of products and services provided to the general public. And it doesn’t make me a libertarian, just because I believe very strongly in the stance of libertarian philosophy, in regards to civil liberties. Especialy, when depending on the context, I believe the opposite of what any of those ideologies subscribe to, in their pure forms.

    What is especialy telling with Vox, is that he seems to support few, if any of the ideas of libertarian philosophy.

  17. #17 Ktesibios
    May 23, 2007

    I couldn”t help noticing how uniformly VD typed out “National Socialists” in lieu of the much more commonly used appellation “Nazis”. I also can’t help that this raises my hackles.

    While it’s possible that VD thinks that using longer words will help him to appear Intellectual, my experience is that this usage is often intended to decouple the Nazis from the stink of their deeds, and that it’s also often a sign of a Nazi symp.

  18. #18 daenku32
    May 23, 2007

    Well, if he only typed ‘Nazis’ he couldn’t directly use the word with even a more negative connotation: “socialists”.

  19. #19 Linkinator
    May 23, 2007

    since you’re linking to FARK, I thought I’d dig this gem from that thread (from Reverend Otis who just saw Vox’s picture):

    *looks at the doo*

    It was as if thousands of gay men cried out, and were suddenly silenced…

    Actually Lucas did it one step cheesier: (suddenly cried out, and were suddenly…)

  20. #20 Mark C
    May 24, 2007

    An authoritarian libertarian. Only in Wingnuttia.

  21. #21 Interrobang
    May 24, 2007

    Most Libertarians are just Republicans who want to smoke pot.

    I agree with daneku32, too — he was definitely using the term “National Socialists” to be able to repeat the word “Socialists.” How much do you want to bet ole Vox is one of those types who thinks the Nazis were on the far left?

    Incidentally, in terms of the mechanics of his actual boneheaded plan, how many Hollerith tabulators and sorters in a moderately underpowered laptop with a copy of R on it? *grin*

  22. #22 Michael Ralston
    May 24, 2007

    You know …

    I’m pretty sure Hitler didn’t get all the Jews out of Germany.

    Would even something as extreme as suspending civil liberties and such succeed in getting rid of all the illegals, if there weren’t, say, death camps waiting for anyone who was unfortunate enough to get caught?

    That said, the person who pointed out the only way to end illegal immigration is to put hefty penalties in place for the businesses that hire them is 100% right.

  23. #23 Andrew Dodds
    May 24, 2007

    Coin –

    I’d put a 6a step in that genocide process – ‘Ghettoisation/transportation’, since separating a sub group from the rest of the population tends to come before the actual extermination.

    Michael -

    Yes, a proper regieme of inspection and hefty fines/imprisionment for employing illegal immigrants, including as domestic service, would put a stop to most of the problem. But that would inconvienience rich people, so don’t hold your breath..

  24. #24 Coin
    May 24, 2007

    Andrew: Yeah. The block I quote there actually condenses what is rather a long document into just eight words, so it’s a bit vague. The way the full document explicates each step, the “identification” step might as well have been labelled “separation”:

    6. IDENTIFICATION: Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity.

  25. #25 MattXIV
    May 24, 2007

    I can believe how many people fall for the supposition that penalizing employers more for hiring illegal immigrants would significantly reduce illegal immigration.

    First off, both the employer and employee have a strong incentive to keep the relation secret. One would be facing fines and the other losing his/her job and being deported, so both are going to do their best to keep the arrangement secret. Like drugs and prostitution, the overwhelming majority of these transactions will remain secret because everybody who knows about them has a strong incentive not to talk. So you’re going to need vice enforcement tactics (stings, undercover transactions, etc), which means even more law enforcement resources and the same concerns about entrapment and corruption that occur in vice policing.

    Second, since people aren’t exactly going to be volunteering the info on who is illegal or not, how are these businesses going to be indentifed except by the ethnicities of the employees? And how do you think employeers are going to balance the fact that having a lot of immigrants on staff opens you up for costly investigations and possibly fines if you didn’t check their paperwork adequately and you hired some illegals.

    Third, SSN checks alone aren’t going to do anything. Most illegal immigrants who aren’t being payed completely under the table (which would involve evading an SSN check anyway) already have fake SSN numbers established (often a friend’s or a child’s) so in order to make it enforceable, you’d need a national ID card that includes an SSN for legal residents.

    So, of course if you go full bore police state, you may be able to keep immigrants out by cracking down on employeers. But it’s just about as practical as giving the border the Berlin Wall treatment and probably even more noxious than that on the civil liberties front. Which is hardly suprising, given you’re applying War on Drugs tactics to illegal immigration.

  26. #26 MattXIV
    May 24, 2007

    I can believe how many people fall for the supposition that penalizing employers more for hiring illegal immigrants would significantly reduce illegal immigration.

    First off, both the employer and employee have a strong incentive to keep the relation secret. One would be facing fines and the other losing his/her job and being deported, so both are going to do their best to keep the arrangement secret. Like drugs and prostitution, the overwhelming majority of these transactions will remain secret because everybody who knows about them has a strong incentive not to talk. So you’re going to need vice enforcement tactics (stings, undercover transactions, etc), which means even more law enforcement resources and the same concerns about entrapment and corruption that occur in vice policing.

    Second, since people aren’t exactly going to be volunteering the info on who is illegal or not, how are these businesses going to be indentifed except by the ethnicities of the employees? And how do you think employeers are going to balance the fact that having a lot of immigrants on staff opens you up for costly investigations and possibly fines if you didn’t check their paperwork adequately and you hired some illegals.

    Third, SSN checks alone aren’t going to do anything. Most illegal immigrants who aren’t being payed completely under the table (which would involve evading an SSN check anyway) already have fake SSN numbers established (often a friend’s or a child’s) so in order to make it enforceable, you’d need a national ID card that includes an SSN for legal residents.

    So, of course if you go full bore police state, you may be able to keep immigrants out by cracking down on employeers. But it’s just about as practical as giving the border the Berlin Wall treatment and probably even more noxious than that on the civil liberties front. Which is hardly suprising, given you’re applying War on Drugs tactics to illegal immigration.