Immigration in the US


This whole problem of a bunch of people camping out waiting for an asylum process is nothing new. Been happening for years in other areas of the world, look at all the camps full of refugees from Syria and various African nations. The solution thus far has been to just turn the camps into permanent fixtures supported by humanitarian aid, largely UN organized. Terrible conditions, but it beats getting shot or blown up.

It sure looks like we’re headed that way on the US Mexico border. I’d hoped we could find a better solution, but it’s not looking good.


If only we had time to prepare! The blitz-caravan was too much for the richest nation on Earth to handle!


It seems very unlikely to me that we’d let the UN set up immigration camps inside the US. So we’re left with only the option of it being US-run, staffed, and paid for. And it’d probably look like a scene out of Children of Men.

Oh and it’d probably quickly be filled with nearly the entire population of Central America.


There’s no reason to have the UN do it. We are supposed to be able to do that kind of stuff competently. We aren’t supposed to need folks to monitor whether we are doing stuff right.


We should be competent at a lot of things, like electing sane Presidents, but it ain’t going well lately!

To be clear, I’m not actually advocating having the UN come to the US Mexico border and set up camps. Just saying that I can see a path from here to there, if something isn’t done.



The process requires you to enter the US.

I’m sick of people pretending it doesn’t. It does.


OK, so what do you suggest? Should we have just let 1000 people climb over the border today? And then another 4k+ over the next couple weeks, then the tens/hundreds of thousands that will come after?




See, wasn’t that easy and reasonable? Problem solved.


I must have missed footage of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants snaking their way here. Where exactly is that group?


I would hope both our country and the asylum seekers would follow the existing laws. I don’t know that climbing over fences is part of that process.

We all know the system is broken, mainly because the government and businesses refuse to follow or enforce the existing regulations.

But I think we also know that in reality everybody who wants in isn’t going to get in. Even when (did it ever?) the system functioned properly.


Migration is at like a 10+ year low.


Give them a point of entry and steer them to it. The way the law is written you have to be on US soil to request asylum. It’s not their fault we threw up shit in the way and didn’t give them any options. To follow the rules you have to get into the United States. I guess we could just have them hop in shoddy boats and try to float over or something. Or just say “hey come over here for that,” and have a sign. But that’s too much work and we can’t afford it and they’re brown so lets shoot at kids with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Instead we made a fence and stuck ICE behind it with tear gas. Ellis Island solved this problem over 100 years ago. But I guess brown people don’t get the same considerations. With the money Trump wasted flying the military down there to do nothing we probably could’ve funded such a port-of-entry for 50 years.


Guess what Germany did a few years back when it was 500k+? This is not some unsolvable problem. It was messy and took a lot of volunteers to make it work but it did work as well as it could at the time. 5000 is laughable.


If only we’d had time to prepare…


Amazing the effect a recession has on immigration, isn’t it.


There’s a lot to say on immigration but one quick thing:

Don’t forget how dirty the GOP’s hands are on the these issues. Don’t forget how far the GOP has shifted the goal posts. Don’t forget how much xenophobia and racism the GOP has exploited. Don’t forget how the GOP has dealt in bad faith with these and other issues.

For example, goal post shifting: Initially, during the Reagan era, the GOP was opposed to illegal immigration, but was not overtly opposed to legal immigration. Over the years more and more general anti-immigrant sentiment came to the fore, with GOP desire to restrict legal immigration being a major sticking point in 2017-18 (it basically derailed DACA reform). Now, the GOP is vehemently attacking a third and different group of immigrants: refugees/asylum seekers.

In reality, people who are in the US illegally, legal immigrants, and refugees are all very distinct groups, not a monolithic force. The GOP is now basically going after immigrants of all types, and that’s a fundamental goal-post shift from a couple of decades back.

And that kind of goal post moving tells you there is a huge element of bad faith in the GOP approach to this discussion.

So, for example, we could get into the weeds on the technicalities of our asylum rules (which are in fact pretty weird). But I feel like the GOP has unclean hands here so I refuse to accept their frame on this issue.

In theory, if we had a healthy political discourse and the GOP was a party acting in democratic good faith, we could discuss reforming our asylum rules. But in practicality, they are just pulling stuff out of their ass to attack and and all immigrants on any basis, so you know what?

I refuse to play that game.’

I simply reject the entire GOP focus on the caravan or on refugees or on Dreamers or legal immigrants etc. When they are willing to reject their xenophobia and come to the table in good faith to discuss truly comprehensive immigration reform, then we can talk.

Until then, I am not going to litigate against myself on the issue of asylum, even though our asylum rules are in fact a messy kludge with some internal contradictions.

Legality Note: There’s a legal concept of “unclean hands” or “estoppel” which I think can be applied to a lot of things, and this is one of them.


Good summary of what’s going on at the border right now. Worth reading if, like me, you tend to get a bit lost as info comes out in small bits day after day.


It is a nice wrapper - buried in that article is a statement

Most are from Honduras, where gang violence is widespread and a 2009 coup triggered an ongoing political crisis. The U.S. has long played a key role in Honduran politics

Which led me to reading up a bit on our Honduras legacy. Here is a good write-up on how the US continues to fuck up the world - and the Obama administration was as complicit as others.