2010 August 13 Friday
Obama Tries To Buy GOP Support With Border Agents

Barack Obama wants you to think that 1,000 more Border Patrol agents should make you favor another immigration amnesty.

President Obama signed a $600 million border protection bill Friday. Does that mean comprehensive immigration legislation has a better chance of passing?

Where's the logic in this position? A 5% increase in the number of agents is not going to work as long as Obama refuses to build a border barrier large enough to make illegal passage really difficult. The border is too large to be secured by manpower alone unless the Border Patrol goes thru a couple of more doublings in size.

20,000 agents over 2000 miles is 10 agents per mile. But since there are administrators, vacation time, days off, sick time, holidays, training days, and time spent doing paperwork the real effective strength isn't even 1 per mile 24 hours per day. That's why we need a big multi-layer barrier that takes a long time to cross which triggers alarms providing border patrol time to get to an illegal crossing attempt.

Thatís the position the White House is pushing. The border legislation, which would pay for 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, and add other law enforcement personnel to investigate immigration violations, was enacted with substantial bipartisan support. Administration officials hope this will translate into hands-across-the-aisle cooperation on the larger issue of immigration reform.

By "the larger issue of immigration reform" the Obama Administration means amnesty for all the illegal aliens. Such an amnesty would of course encourage more people to enter the United States illegally to get in line for the next immigration amnesty.

Fouad Ajami spots the contradiction in Obama's position.

The nation may be ill at ease with an immigration reform bill that would provide some 12 million illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship, but the administration would still insist on the primacy of its own judgment. It would take Arizona to court, even though the public let it be known that it understood Arizona's immigration law as an expression of that state's frustration with the federal government's abdication of its responsibility over border security.

It was clear as daylight that there was a built-in contradiction between opening the citizenship rolls to a vast flood of new petitioners and a political economy of redistribution favored by the Obama administration. The choice was stark: You could either "spread the wealth around" or open the gates for legalizing millions of immigrants of lower skills. You could not do both.

Milton Friedman said open borders immigration and a welfare state are incompatible. Yet Barack Obama, who sees the welfare state as a tool to redistribute wealth between the races, supports immigration amnesty. He's hurting blacks by taking this position. Does he fail to understand this?

Q: Dr. Friedman should the U.S.A. open its borders to all immigrants? What is your opinion on that?

A: Unfortunately no. You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state.

Q: Do you oppose a unilateral reduction of tariffs and if not how can you oppose open immigration until the welfare state is eliminated?

A: I am in favor of the unilateral reduction of tariffs, but the movement of goods is a substitute for the movement of people. As long as you have a welfare state, I do not believe you can have a unilateral open immigration. I would like to see a world in which you could have open immigration, but stop kidding yourselves. On the other hand, the welfare state does not prevent unilateral free trade. I believe that they are in different categories.

Also see Milton Friedman Opposes Mission To Spread Democracy. He was wise.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 August 13 07:06 PM  Immigration Elites Versus Masses

Mercer said at August 13, 2010 7:29 PM:

"Does that mean comprehensive immigration legislation has a better chance of passing?"

No. I doubt Obama believes what the CS story says about this helping to make amnesty pass. I think this is about helping out Dem congressmen in November.

Zorkmid said at August 14, 2010 10:18 AM:

The funding for the 1000 agents isn't new-- it's repurposed from border-fence construction. Since fences are more effective than patrols, Obama is actually encouraging the entry of wetbacks.

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