Immigration Misgivings

I have no reason to doubt the justice of conservative criticism of "comprehensive" immigration "reform."  I do doubt, however, that the criticism is sufficiently, well, conservative. 

Conservatives should object to making employers responsible for enforcing immigration law, and they should balance legitimate concern for upholding the rule of law and safeguarding national security with other conservative principles.  They should not, as some have, lose all sense of proportion, a favorite liberal failing.

Employers have increasing become de facto government agents, if that's the proper term.  They cannot be employees because they are not paid, unless they are recipients of government largesse in the form of subsidies and tax breaks that increase the power of government at the expense of the private sector.  They cannot be volunteers because they have no choice but to do government bidding.  They can be and are, however, a vast extension of government bureaucracy, far more intrusive than the FBI, CIA, and the rest of the often feared government agencies.  The IRS, probably the most intrusive government agency, would be practically powerless without an army of employers at its disposal.

What should we call someone who collects taxes and child support, reports on the activities of law-abiding citizens, enforces immigration law, and all too frequently abuses his power?   If the government violates our rights, we may have legal redress.  If a business violates our rights on behalf of the government, good luck.  Let the government protect our borders and arrest illegal aliens.  It can't or won't do its job or is too busy doing someone else's job, so it demands that someone do its job for it.

Liberals have a bad habit of radically reconstituting society in the name of some nebulous or hypothetical good.  In order to reduce the extremes of wealth, we have to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs and obey the dictates of an often arbitrary and inefficient Internal Revenue Service.  In order to have diversity on campus, we have to silence free speech and recruit minorities who are more numbers than anything else to university administrators.  Liberals would have us literally spend tens of trillions of dollars in an absurd and quixotic attempt to prevent bad weather.

I don't know about California, but I cannot imagine ending illegal immigration in Texas without social disruption.  Maybe we have to do it, but conservatives should not lightly support a massive increase in the already massive power of government.  And they should certainly not support the drafting of private citizens in the enforcement of immigration law.

Illegal immigration is built into the social fabric as it actually exists.  We may indeed have to tear that fabric, but we should not act shocked when there are rips in it when we get through.

And by the way, conservatives should remember that George W. Bush is a Texan.

Jonathan David Carson, Ph.D., may be reached at jdc@makehasteslowly.com . For more information, see http://www.makehasteslowly.com/

I have no reason to doubt the justice of conservative criticism of "comprehensive" immigration "reform."  I do doubt, however, that the criticism is sufficiently, well, conservative. 

Conservatives should object to making employers responsible for enforcing immigration law, and they should balance legitimate concern for upholding the rule of law and safeguarding national security with other conservative principles.  They should not, as some have, lose all sense of proportion, a favorite liberal failing.

Employers have increasing become de facto government agents, if that's the proper term.  They cannot be employees because they are not paid, unless they are recipients of government largesse in the form of subsidies and tax breaks that increase the power of government at the expense of the private sector.  They cannot be volunteers because they have no choice but to do government bidding.  They can be and are, however, a vast extension of government bureaucracy, far more intrusive than the FBI, CIA, and the rest of the often feared government agencies.  The IRS, probably the most intrusive government agency, would be practically powerless without an army of employers at its disposal.

What should we call someone who collects taxes and child support, reports on the activities of law-abiding citizens, enforces immigration law, and all too frequently abuses his power?   If the government violates our rights, we may have legal redress.  If a business violates our rights on behalf of the government, good luck.  Let the government protect our borders and arrest illegal aliens.  It can't or won't do its job or is too busy doing someone else's job, so it demands that someone do its job for it.

Liberals have a bad habit of radically reconstituting society in the name of some nebulous or hypothetical good.  In order to reduce the extremes of wealth, we have to pay hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs and obey the dictates of an often arbitrary and inefficient Internal Revenue Service.  In order to have diversity on campus, we have to silence free speech and recruit minorities who are more numbers than anything else to university administrators.  Liberals would have us literally spend tens of trillions of dollars in an absurd and quixotic attempt to prevent bad weather.

I don't know about California, but I cannot imagine ending illegal immigration in Texas without social disruption.  Maybe we have to do it, but conservatives should not lightly support a massive increase in the already massive power of government.  And they should certainly not support the drafting of private citizens in the enforcement of immigration law.

Illegal immigration is built into the social fabric as it actually exists.  We may indeed have to tear that fabric, but we should not act shocked when there are rips in it when we get through.

And by the way, conservatives should remember that George W. Bush is a Texan.

Jonathan David Carson, Ph.D., may be reached at jdc@makehasteslowly.com . For more information, see http://www.makehasteslowly.com/