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  1. Deplorable Duck 11/25/2018

    What’s the suggested alternative? Is it just that Trump shouldn’t be rattling his saber, but rather secretly authorize the use of force for force protection? Or should the troops not be allowed to use lethal force as needed to protect themselves (and us)? Or should we simply allow all comers in, regardless of what our laws might say? And if so, are we willing to accept that doing so means that fewer immigrants that we’re carefully choosing via the democratically sanctioned legal immigration process will be allowed in as a result?

    Trump has been signaling for quite a while that he’d like to do a deal to fix the illegal immigration situation. He didn’t make the mess, but he might actually be able to improve things. No one two years ago would have guessed that the Koreans would be dismantling guard shacks.

    • uomatters Post author | 11/25/2018

      I’m not a religious man, but I think Jesus had some thoughts that might be relevant here. And as an economist, US citizens aren’t having enough children to provide for our future. Here are people who want to bring their children to us. We should be welcoming them, not threatening them.

      • Deplorable Duck 11/26/2018

        Your second point is easier to address. We have and still are a nation of immigrants, taking in large numbers each year. No major political party particularly objects to legal immigration, aside from policy bickering about the details of who gets in and how. To the degree that we find that we need even more immigration, this can and will simply be increased. But in order to be seen as legitimate, it needs to be done legislatively and in an orderly fashion. Having various groups deciding for themselves which laws they should and shouldn’t obey (e.g., sanctuary cities) is a recipe for strife, exploitation, and disaster. Still worse is giving preference to immigrants whose first act on entry is breaking the law. The people we want are the law-abiding, eager to and capable of integrating into and becoming productive members of our society.

        As for your first point, it’s a kind thought. As we’re seeing in Europe right now, though, disorderly immigration can cause a lot of misery. I’m not religious either, and it’s not obvious to me what Jesus would suggest here. There’s “suffer the children” but also “render unto Caesar”. The economist in me wonders whether more people could not be helped in any case, by helping them where they are (where many things are less expensive to do).

        • Anonymous 11/26/2018

          But your man Trump is significantly reducing *legal* immigration, and interested in further reductions, and to date is largely doing so through action outside legislation.

          Your faith in the Orange One is misplaced.

        • Fishwrapper 11/26/2018

          I’m not religious either, but I’m not ignorant of what goes into the Christian faith, and it’s pretty obvious to me what Jesus would suggest here: For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in. [1]

          Also attributed to the word of God is: Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. [2]

          If you want to go “old school” you can also find: Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow. [3]

          Like I said, I’m not religious either, but I’m not so intellectually lazy as to take a one-liner from Jesus’ greatest hits and hang my argument on it without looking up how the Bible offers guidance for handling these kinds of things first.

          [1] That’s Matthew 25:35, which can be found in the Christian instruction manual…

          [2] Romans 12:13

          [3] Deuteronomy 27:19

          • Deplorable Duck 11/26/2018

            If we had infinite resources, this would be an easy call. But that’s never the case.

            To make things personal and explicit, over the last decade I’ve put maybe $10K into charities working on third-world diseases. According to sources I consider highly credible, that ought to have saved maybe 50 lives. (Or maybe just a few–it’s hard to know such things.)

            Instead, I could have used that money to house and feed one of the members of our present caravan for a year, at my home. Maybe that man we saw trying to brain a border patrol guy with a stone. Just kidding. How about a sympathetic mother and child for six months each? Sounds good.

            Except… Is this really better? Yes, the sympathetic pair will have a good chance at a life better than they ever hoped for. Those 50 other kids, though, well, they’ll die, often after suffering–off camera, unsung, not politically useful, and really no one gives a shit about them anyway.

            (Maybe you do, though.)

            Is there something about this that makes things different at the government level than at the personal level? Maybe. I’m not seeing it.

            As for the Orange One, I figured he’d be a bit less bad than Madame Superpredator. So far he’s exceeding expectations.

            • uomatters Post author | 11/26/2018

              Back in 1981 me and a buddy spent a summer thinning apples and picking apricots and peaches in the Yakima valley, to get money for college. The crews were a mix of boys from Chiapas whose families had paid $600 to a coyote to bring them to the orchards, hippies from communes, fruit bums, and some Vietnamese boat people.

              We mostly hung out with the mexicans, but every now and then we’d split a six-pack with this old fruit bum who spent his winters in Florida and would ride the rails to the Northwest every summer to get money for the winter.

              He was worried about us because we had no idea how to pick apricots. The pay was $10 a pallet, and the first day we got 2 pallets between us. He gave us a few pointers which eventually got us up to 8. When my friend explained that we were trying to earn money for college, he told him that “That’s a good idea. And the University of Chicago, that’s famous. But it’s a good thing you’re learning how to pick fruit, just in case it don’t work out.”

              We ended up talking a long time. He told us how it was getting harder and harder for him to get his winter stake. Since I was an economist, I asked him point blank if he blamed this on competition from cheap mexican labor. He just wouldn’t go there. “Those boys need the money too. They work hard too.”

              That said, the economic evidence I’ve seen on immigration is that it’s not charity. It pays off for the immigrants, and for the native born too. But this is not my area, and I’d welcome some other info.

              • Deplorable Duck 11/27/2018

                I have no problem with legal immigration, as decided by our democracy. As it happens, I compete against many such immigrants, and I’m sure it drives my income down considerably. I’m fine with that. (Perhaps it’d be harder to think that way if I had kids I couldn’t feed, though.)

                But, it’s important to me to live in a law-abiding community, with the general benefits that brings to my loved ones and me, and to society at large.

                Regarding whether it’s charity, I’m sure it’s some of both. But in general, it’s reasonable and prudent to sift the people who wish to immigrate, choosing those who are likely to pay off. Perhaps we might also admit a few pure charity cases (abject refugees), but it’s obvious that that route is currently being utterly abused.

                • Fishwrapper 11/27/2018

                  I have no problem with legal immigration, as decided by our democracy.

                  First, we are not a democracy, but you knew that. In our constitutionally-limited democratic republic, we have laws. We have laws about immigration. Many are created by our legislature, many are our the supreme law of the land via treaty.

                  What the people approaching the boarder did was not in violation of our laws. Indeed, many of them are seeking asylum, so to repel them is, in fact, to break the law.

                  If it is, as you say, important to you to live in a law-abiding community, then perhaps you should focus on the actions of the administration that are in violation of those laws. Those actions are creating larger problems for our society at large, and our position among nations.

            • Fishwrapper 11/26/2018

              I think we can all agree that ten kilodollars towards the issues on the southern border would have the same impact of pissing on a wildfire.

              You and I don’t have infinite resources; however, collectively we have vastly superior resources.

              The cost of the deployment of the troops to the border – not to mention the cost of any given day’s military a

              activities in Afghanistan – would go much farther to providing relief, shelter, guidance, and even legal assistance to those in the caravan.

              Is that really better? I think so.

              You don’t have to reallocate your resources for giving. We, collectively, need to reallocate from destroying to caring activities.

      • Conservative duck 11/26/2018

        Are you referring to when Jesus told his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords if they had no arms to bear? Please do remember that my Lord and Savior is going to come back, riding a white horse, and clothed in garments soaked in blood…
        “Crazy-ass old man threatens to shoot neighborhood kids” I know hyperbole sells newspapers and gets them click-throughs you bloggers love…but surely you can’t be serious? Central America is not our neighborhood. These aren’t kids.
        Haven’t you been keeping up with the news? Even Mexicans are pissed at this caravan.

    • Fishwrapper 11/26/2018

      …should we simply allow all comers in, regardless of what our laws might say?

      Funny thing is, that’s pretty much what our laws say. From immigration law, which is governed by statutes and treaties, allowing migrants to appeal at our border, or even from an illegal entry, to the standard Rules of Engagement being negated by the Commander in Chief, just about everything we are doing at that part of our border flies not only in the face of law, but in the face of humanity, too.

  2. Conflict of Interest 11/26/2018

    Illegal border crossings are actually at a historic low while rubes like deplorable duck parrot the saber rattling war games mentality of a president focused only on short term political points. (Notice how the “threat” of the caravan dropped completely out of his tiny little mind the DAY AFTER the election?) It is disgusting and maybe in a century it will be funny. Deplorable duck is a depressing example of someone with words and no thoughts…the likes of whom will keep this embarrassment going for as long as possible.

  3. XDH 11/26/2018

    Do what you do best and stick to University of Oregon Matters. While I am not in favor of much of the orange oompa-loompa’s rhetoric, absolutely nothing in the above threads/comments pertain to or even mentions UO. You as Senate Guru should be calling to arms/sounding the alarm that the UO budget is predicted to be $20+M in debt AY 2020-2021.

  4. Deplorable Duck 11/27/2018

    This creative solution hit The Atlantic today. No idea whether it could really fly, but it’s the kind of new idea I’d like to see our parties brainstorming together on.

    In a nutshell, acknowledging the reality that few asylum claims will ultimately prove valid, Central Americans will stay in Mexico during the application process, perhaps working, etc. In return for this favor, the US would allow Medicare beneficiaries to spend their healthcare dollars in Mexico (currently not allowed). This would be a significant boon to their economy, especially in the higher paying and long-term valuable healthcare industry, etc. Lots of details to be worked out, but it’d the kind of thing that could be a win for pretty much everyone.

    Anyway, I’m out. The last flames are yours…

    • uomatters Post author | 11/27/2018

      Thanks Deplorable, I now officially call this discussion thread to an end. Adjourned.

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