Immigration in the US


I stand corrected. I know one person who wants open borders. Everyone else wants reasonable borders with plenty of legal immigration, just like they want reasonable gun laws.


Why does this one person want open borders? Do you know? I am just curious about this line of thinking. The GOP pitches it like it’s the norm, it’s not, so I’ve not actually encountered someone with this ideal.


Ask Armando why he wants open borders. I don’t exactly know his reasons.


Oh It’s @ArmandoPenblade . I guess I missed that. I will ask him or summon him, maybe both.


I’m throw my two cents in: I would be in favor of open borders (in a sense) at the end of a long process that led to one-world government. Then you wouldn’t have borders at all, I guess, but the practical effect would be like open borders.


Benny is the Antichrist! Burn the demon!

(That would be, unironically, the reaction from about 40% of the country)


My serious answer is very nearly that, insofar as my ideal world is a leftist irreligious world government that slowly quashes the very concept of the “nation” in the short term and perhaps even heritage in the long term (easily my most nutso political position, I think).

But short of that, while I acknowledge some moderate functional benefit to a degree of security apparatus for inbound foreign nationals while the possibility of, say, religion fueled single attacker many victim terrorism is still on the table, I don’t really think anyone who wants to become an American should be denied that desire. Limit social services to a graduated model if need to to keep things level, especially during the initial flood such a policy would bring, but in short, people come here by and large for opportunity and have, time and again, proven their capacity to make our nation a brighter, more vibrant and capable one throughout its whole history, no matter how vigorously the existing majority may have protested the bona-fides of the newcomers.

I don’t like the idea that we need to apply some formula to determine whether or not any given individual will be “worth it” to let in, both because that’s a distressingly mercenary view on the value of human life, but also because any such formula will necessarily be limited and imperfect, and the immaterial and unquantifiable benefits of immigration seem almost always to be ignored by such things.

Apologies for brevity and likely typos, on phone before a meeting.


Hey, at least I’m not the one who suggested it would be worth it to go through the Eugenics Wars just to get to what comes after.


If you’re looking to improve the world as a whole on a long-term time scale, truly open borders is one of the best political actions you could take. It creates incentives to spread wealth everywhere (since otherwise people would overload the top areas) and puts the movement of labor on a similar footing to the movement of capital.

But it doesn’t take much thought to see that you’d have to much a whole bunch of other changes at the same time in order to make a world-wide open border policy work. Short of Armando’s world government springing full-formed from his brow, it’s an impossibility. And if you’re not doing it everywhere, then open borders anywhere makes little sense, as you’re just giving up advantage that every other nation has.


I’d say that open borders and allowing anyone who wants to to become an american are different things. People can come across the open border without becoming an american citizen, and both of those have their own potential issues that go beyond just saying ‘welcome to the USA’. I’m in favor of legal immigration, even in large numbers, and work visas for people who want to work and not become citizens, even in large numbers, but some documentation of who they are, what they want to do, and whether they want to be citizens seems essential.


They offered the world ORDER!

Excuse me, I find myself growing… fatigued.


Yeah it’s a pretty big difference too. In addition, becoming an American is still a process even if you didn’t have some sort of “quality” check.



Far, far too much of a process.

To expand a little bit more, security theater is an enormous money sink that rarely produces valuable results but often creates significant human cost and loss of freedom. Obviously, successfully manning the entirety of every land and sea border of the nation is the hilarious pipe dream of the worst sort of xenophobic madmen, but realistically, I’d like passage through well-established border transit points to be swift and relatively painless, and the barriers to entry to be effectively nonexistent, so that we’re not encouraging people–purposefully or otherwise–to sneak through in the difficult-to-patrol wilderness badlands.

In Ideal United Penlades of Armando, I’'d link entry and citizenship more strongly than anything we see presently, to that side-discussion above, albeit with an asterisk affixed to the upper-right corner of the latter. I don’t like the idea of reams of undocumented semipeople living on the fringes of society as untracked, unmarked nonentities who can be ruthlessly exploited without repercussions anymore than I like the idea of Republicans being allowed to vote. The goal should be welcoming those physically present to join with our union of citizens with open arms and a clear, humane, and swift process that offers enough benefits so as to outweigh the remaining costs of undergoing it.

I mean, we’re talking practically infeasible pipe dreams here. But, in short, with a whole Constitution’s worth of supporting structures, I think absolutely open borders is the way to go. I’m happy to accept the trickle of those who will insist on ignoring incentives and pathways to forge their own way in the shadows of the future system as a cost of doing business. One that we’re already paying.

In short, people are already coming in droves, and even going so far as to steal their children from them and lock them in cages hasn’t deterred their desperate drive toward our nation. At a certain point, I think you need to accept the inevitable and pivot to embrace it and make it work for you rather than pretending its a non-issue or actively fighting to prevent some of the most desperate, put-upon people in the hemisphere from gaining a moment’s respite from their collective woes.


So I would be one of the first to sign-up to say we need to reform legal immigration. I don’t think it works well and that’s not code for figuring how to keep people out either. My biggest beef with the issues in the south is we have people in other countries who have been trying to get into the country, legally, for years, for decades even, and they can’t. They’re waiting in line while people just walk across the southern border. Then we have this weird war between what to do with the people that kind of just walk in, often surround by extreme examples of criminals or people who literally died trying to get here.

Humane treatment should always be first, but we can’t immigration that only focuses on people coming in from the south region. There are people all over the world that want to come here and some of those other people are also coming in on dangerous and exploitable treks.

It’s a mess of a system and too much attention is being paid to one group because our idiot in chief and his followers can’t handle complex conversations and immigration reform has just become code for whatever a particular group wants it to be.


For what it’s worth, I tried to keep my discussion relatively region-neutral, though obviously southern border security is the one most often talked about, but I was also including airport security (I’d say seaport security, too, but my understanding is that is oftentimes absurdly close to nonexistent as is).

Growing up in the Smokies, I became well-acquainted with the cottage industry of importing huge swaths of young adults from Eastern Europe and the South Pacific with the promise of “work internships” and “job training opportunities in the US!” only to cram them a dozen apiece into un-airconditioned four-person apartments during the busy summer tourist months to work as back-of-the-house staff at restaurants and hotels, away from customer eyes, paying them under the table and shipping them back en masse when the rush had past.

That’s hardly ideal either, nor is our pathetic response to situations like the Syrian refugee crisis, or our historical responses to things like the Irish potato famine, the Jewish flight from Europe ahead of WW2, etc.


Armando 2020. Odd how we both celebrate and entirely ignore our stated ideals.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”


Haven’t heard? That’s Fake News!


Those are French ideals words on a gift they gave us that they refuse to take back.

In a perfect world open borders would be the norm, but the world isn’t perfect and opening the borders isn’t a very good idea. We need to work with the current laws and force business to do their part. We don’t need a fence. But opening the borders would lead to chaos.

  1. To my knowledge there has never been any substantial effort to “give the statue back” to the French.
  2. The New Colossus was written by American poet Emma Lazarus.
  3. Are you really suggesting that the Statue of Liberty is un-American?