February 10, 2012

Conservative American Hallucinations #1: Reversing Illegal Immigration


American conservatives during the run-up to elections love to diddle themselves silly with all sorts of waking hallucinations about just what, for once, a really, really conservative candidate could do when finally elected president. These silly, silly people actually think that conservatism as a dreamscape can reverse the reality of decades of hard work on the part of the American left. One of the most cherished hallucinations of these couch dwelling conservatives is the idea that a pure conservative president can actually stop and then somehow reverse illegal immigration. To this proposition the most concise, rational response is, "Har-de-har-har."

I know that, like visions of sugarplums, visions of some sort of "fence" protecting America from the hordes of marching Mexicans dance in the heads of Americans who just want them all to turn around and march back. Alas, that thought can just be filed under, "It Ain't Gonna Happen."

As a rabid reactionary who is sometimes mistaken for a conservative, I know, believe me, all the designs for a kinder and gentler fence that will have hi-tech detectors and some sort of ready interdiction corps sitting on helicopter scramble pads across the southern border. I know all the arguments for expanding the ever-so-effective techniques used to stop the flow of illegal drugs to stop the flow of illegal aliens. None of these will prove any more effective than "The War on Some Drugs" we've be squandering billions on over the decades.

What would work would be some sort of East German wall 1,969 miles long. This monstrosity would have guard towers, mine fields, attack Dobermans, armored cars, and about 100,000 armed border guards with a shoot on sight policy (3 shifts of 17 guards per mile). After around 3,000 Mexican civilians were shot dead, this might have some effect on reducing the flow. I'm not quite ready for this draconian a solution. Are you?

Then there is the extended policy of finding those illegals already here and then, well, "Just deport them!"

Another 25-watt idea.

Deportation? Okay let's follow that concept home with the vision of hundreds of buses chock full of thousands of illegals (rounded up in armed swoops through the US barrios) departing daily for Juarez, Tijuana and all points south. To begin this process you actually have to get the said illegal Mexicans on the fleets of buses. Right? Right.

The first problem is finding and then imprisoning said illegals. That would mean raids into homes and apartment buildings around the country as well as stop and frisk identity checks on the street for the freshly minted crime of "looking Mexican." Then you'll have to refurbish those Japanese internment camps in the Owens valley and elsewhere as holding pens. Think the Manzanar Concentration Camp to the 10th power on the outskirts of every major American city. You start opening those up and the actual deportation Mexicans are going to be the least of your problems.

Your more immediate problem is going to be armed resistance in most of your major cities. Unlike cowed white people, Mexicans will not go gentle into that old blight. Male members of La Raza are not known for their submissiveness. The females are pretty tough too. No, not many of official armed roundups would be met with a tug of the forelock submission. This assumes that in said cities where you'd want the 'roundups' to take place you can get a trust-worthy fraction of the police departments (notable fraction is Hispanic) or a trust-worthy fraction of the Army and National Guard (notable fraction is Hispanic) to go along with the policy.

When attempting to implement fascist policies, it is best to remember that America is, first and foremost, a heavily armed country -- especially in the barrios. Are you ready for gun fights in cities across the US? I'm not sure I am. But that's what we'd get since many illegals, faced with internment and deportation on a mass scale, would decide they "don't got to show you no steenking badges."

Next, let's suppose that somehow the "roundups" succeeded but only after countless "regrettable" deaths (Each one of which is given the full "Pobre Maria Treatment" on NPR and in the New York Times. Yes, your head will explode.). Then let's suppose that after these deaths hundreds of thousands of Mexicans did indeed show up at the border one fine day in surplus Greyhound buses. (Don't kid yourself, we're going to need a lot of buses.) What if Mexico decided, "Hey, we don't recognize any of these people as ours, and just what do you mean 'looks' Mexican? We're the Mexican government/oligarchy and we've looked Castilian Caucasian Spanish for over three centuries."

Are we then going to use the armed forces to force Mexico to take back their huddled masses? And even if they did, do we really want a country as corrupt and unstable as Mexico to become even more unstable?

If you want to see a wall come up on the southern border overnight, just wait until a full-scale revolution breaks out in Mexico. Think "American Civil War" X 2 with automatic weapons and plastique explosives. If one side wins you get Nazi Germany to the south. If the other side wins you get Communist China during "The Great Leap Forward." Neither is what you'd call a "desirable outcome."

Either will make you wish for the status quo ante when decent yard work and tasty tacos everywhere were a staple of American life.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at February 10, 2012 1:04 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.


President Obama has shrunk away from enforcing immigration laws and must be remembered, when it’s time to vote in November for a new White House keeper. Using discretionary policies, Obama has underhandedly been selective of which illegal aliens can be deported, and who can walk away to live amongst us.

...[edited to keep a wad of pasted characters from clogging the thread... you want a blog? start your own. don't be a parasite. ]....

Chief of police and a combination of elected officials and replace them with TEA PARTY political soldiers.


Posted by: Dave Francis at February 10, 2012 3:30 PM

I see these sorts of things written all the time: Closing the border will never work unless we're willing to militarize it and kill anyone attempting to come across and we can't round illegals up and send them home because the only way is some sort of vast police sweep. It's all BS, and BS more often than not written by someone with a good deal of distance between themselves and the border.
First, a huge roundup of illegals isn't necessary, send them home as they pop up. Traffic tickets, ID fraud, collections, requests for services, however an illegal makes themselves noticed. Hasta la juego, buey! Oh, but we're tearing families apart! No we're not, the family is welcome to go right along, or not if they're legal.
Enforce the laws against hiring illegals. No work, no incentive.
Next, a fence won't work. Yeah, right. That's why you see so few fences. Right now, today, you can drive across the border on accident. It's foolish. I mean really, the act of fools and that’s us.
The feds have effectively ceded about 60 miles north of the border to Mexico because it's too difficult to police. Horse s***. The country wasn’t built by people too weak or unwilling to defend what is theirs, it’s just being governed by that sort now.
Our real moral problem is what to do about the kids who were brought in by their folks. They may be illegal but they’re no more Mexican than I am. Quite a few of them don’t even speak Spanish.
As far as this sort of “we can’t do it” self destructive , cultural death wish writing goes, please stop it. The only thing required is that we re-grow a pair as a nation and take the (redacted) care of business.

Posted by: Dave Rethoret Jr. at February 10, 2012 3:54 PM

There is a middle ground of actionable conscience here once we move away from what white liberals have wrought over the decades and centuries (notice how liberals are always white? Spooky, huh?). This is not an all-or-nothing game, nor is it a game. A little revanchism primer:


The enemy in this fight and many others is not the immigrant but the liberal and his "give me equality or give me death" credo. Without Americans like these and their libertarian and neocon allies in charge of the culture we all might have more respect for the actual U.S.A. as something real that we belong to that is, periodically at least, more powerful than any ethnic identity.

To suggest we can do nothing about the immigration problem-- illegal and legal-- is to say we can do nothing about liberalism. I reject both such propositions.

Posted by: Hannon at February 10, 2012 4:43 PM

As was said above, enforce hiring laws. Alabama has done it, and they are fleeing the state. Of course, they are going to Florida, not Mexico.

End all welfare for illegals, and they go to Mexico. But so far, that has proved harder than sending a man to the moon because that would mean controlling the insane impulses of white elitists, which has never been done.

The problem would be half solved, and even reactionaries would be happy with that. So would American citizens of Mexican descent.

Posted by: james wilson at February 10, 2012 4:55 PM

This is in a very different theatre but Israel and the Palestinians share some of the same problems, not least of which is the labor force issue. A step-by-step idea guide here for how one country can help tilt the board in the other direction:


A longer essay by Lawrence Auster that provides keen insight into some of the real difficulties of this issue:


Posted by: Hannon at February 10, 2012 4:58 PM

Obama is working out an effective strategy we see playing out here in Arizona. As the economy strives for third world status, a lot of our Mexicans are going home to lucrative jobs as sicarios (gunmen) for the cartels. Hell Obama is even sending them the AK's they need to show up for work with the proper tools.

Posted by: bill at February 10, 2012 5:02 PM

We just need to finish the job of conquering Mexico and making it our largest southern state.

However, I have remained mostly silent on the topic because it's impossible to speak rationally about a logistical problem that involves human lives. They're here and it's a bit late to do more than expect them to register their presence in some legal form (just like the rest of us) and have them pay taxes. Amnesty is the only reasonable solution to something that should never have been a problem to start with.

If we wish to seal the border in some serious way it would be a farce. Besides, what're ya gonna do about all the Muslims streaming in from Canada?

Can I pick the #2 Conservative Fantasy? Hoarding food and guns and ammo and dreaming that they'll be able to gun down their hapless, unprepared friends and family members who will surely come to them for help when things get sideways. I give such a week, a month at best.

(Me? I got a promise from a friend who lives on an island and has a semi full of shotgun shells. Hope they don't re-think that promise when the night descends.)

Posted by: Joan of Argghh at February 10, 2012 5:21 PM

To quote Ulysses Everett McGill: "Damn, we're in a tight spot!"

Posted by: Jewel at February 10, 2012 5:29 PM


What say you? Unless I misread you?

Posted by: Cletus Socrates at February 10, 2012 6:02 PM

The fantasizing is from the people that conclude military-style deportation is what Citizen-ists want. The mechanism is more like de-magnetizing than neighborhood sweeps on patrol for Mexicans.

You make getting a job or getting a place to live nearly impossible unless you prove your right to be in the US. You punish the employers and landlords that subvert the citizenship requirement and you watch millions of illegal aliens self-deport, just like they have done during Dear Leader's Great Recession.

Make it easy to check if someone is legal and very, very expensive to serve illegals, they will do the rest.

How will Mexico, or any other port-a-potty of a country improve if their most productive and determined citizens leave? What would your workplace look like if every employee-of-the-month was hired away?

The USA doesn't exist to advance any people but the citizens of the USA. Mexico will keep dying if Mexicans have the option to leave for the US.

Posted by: Scott M at February 10, 2012 6:37 PM

The fantasizing is from the people that conclude military-style deportation is what Citizen-ists want. The mechanism is more like de-magnetizing than neighborhood sweeps on patrol for Mexicans.

You make getting a job or getting a place to live nearly impossible unless you prove your right to be in the US. You punish the employers and landlords that subvert the citizenship requirement and you watch millions of illegal aliens self-deport, just like they have done during Dear Leader's Great Recession.

Make it easy to check if someone is legal and very, very expensive to serve illegals, they will do the rest.

How will Mexico, or any other port-a-potty of a country improve if their most productive and determined citizens leave? What would your workplace look like if every employee-of-the-month was hired away?

The USA doesn't exist to advance any people but the citizens of the USA. Mexico will keep dying if Mexicans have the option to leave for the US.

Posted by: Scott M at February 10, 2012 6:39 PM

sorry for the double post, I got a message indicating my post hadn't gone through.

Posted by: Scott M at February 10, 2012 6:51 PM

Joan asks, "Can I pick the #2 Conservative Fantasy? Hoarding food and guns and ammo and dreaming that they'll be able to gun down their hapless, unprepared friends and family?"

Ah yes, that would be the 2nd American Revolution / Civil War fantasy. You got it.

Posted by: vanderleun at February 10, 2012 7:16 PM

quit giving up vanderleun. self deportation will work just fine with everify. put white people who hire illegals in jail and this will get fixed. our property rights in our country matter. go back to smoking pot, the rest of us will get the job done. ok?

Posted by: RKV at February 10, 2012 7:54 PM

You can have open borders or you can have a socialist welfare state, but you can not have both.

Posted by: Fat Man at February 10, 2012 8:32 PM

Sorry, but while I sympathize to some extent with the article and the comments, they are mostly purely fairy tale drivel.

There is nothing new happening here. Whenever I read stuff like I read here I am always astonished at the lack of comparison with the German volkerwanderung into the Roman empire. The Romans couldn't stop that and you can't stop the Mexicans.

You all talk tough, but you all, right or left, hire Mexicans. You all rent to them, you all date and marry their women, many of whom are way better looking than what you could get in a local girl. Most of the Mexicans are absolutely not welfare moochers, but hard working guys, decent beer drinking friends. Sympatico.

By the way, your women are looking at Juan-with-three-jobs, and at you, and making unpleasant comparisons. Maybe you should quit dicking around on the internet and get a part time job to pay those bills. Or the internet is the only thing you'll be dicking around on.

Posted by: Fred Z at February 10, 2012 9:07 PM

I see a lot of confusion here between loyalty to the idea of what our country was/shold be and faith in our government's ability to protect that idea. (A lot of detail is left out of that statement, just mull it over for awhile.)

For a very long time immigration from Mexico was not a problem. Along the southern states people adjusted to the reality and people on both sides of the border benefited. Traffic went back and forth. My family owned a Mexican restaurant in the San Diego area. We hired illegals (there are funny stories about those days that I should write up on my own blog). Nobody cared as there was opportunity for all back then. I don't have statistics or links to back up this next claim, but here I go: once government benefits were extended to those called illegals, the problems in our cities began to increase.

The problem is simply that our government is too large and involved in too many things.

Gerard is right about this being a conservative fantasy. If a coalition in government could be formed to actually carry out forced deportation, just imagine the abuse of this new power once a very different coalition gets hold of the reins of power.

Light bulb and shower head inspections? That would be the low end of the abuse that would start.

No, the only problem is the size of government. It is at the root of everything wrong.

Posted by: Mike at February 10, 2012 9:12 PM

Its this kind of thinking that got us to where we have huge Mexican communities in New Hampshire and North Carolina. God help us from people like you. If it takes an East German barrier then guess what? Build it, man it, and let the NY Times cry and whine all it likes.

At least I won't have to explain how 25 million South Americans made it into the USA and why California is now becoming a third world state.

Posted by: Molon Labe at February 10, 2012 11:40 PM

And in fact the Obama Administration is working hard on what will certainly be the final and only effective solution to the problem.

Mexicans come here because they have no realistic economic opportunities in México. The reason they have no opportunity at home is that México is controlled by a small coteríe of the elite, who have it set up so that every peso (or, increasingly, dollar) used in commerce must pass through their hands at least once, and use that power to preserve their status as elite.

Once that system is fully established here, and the resulting economic sclerosis sets in, Mexicans will quit coming. Why leave home, family, friends, and neighbors to arrive at a place that works exactly the same way and yields exactly the same result? Haití and Cuba don't have a mutual immigration problem.


Posted by: Ric Locke at February 11, 2012 4:34 AM

Ric is spot-on about the real solution. It's a leveling of the heads of grain, if you will. And you know what? Our children buy into the concept with frightening ease. Therein lies another essay that I keep re-writing.

I like this game. Let's nominate Andrew Breitbart's new video of Obama as #3 Hallucination: if we can just prove "X" about Obama. Feh. He could eat live babies in the street and it won't matter.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh at February 11, 2012 5:36 AM

Fat Man, the opposite of this posit is true: "You can have open borders or you can have a socialist welfare state, but you can not have both." You have open borders AND that gives you the welfare state.

Rich Mex aren't in the mass of illegal fencehoppers.

E-Verify, Voting ID, immediate deportation if picked up for other violations such as "driving while Mexican", and NO ANCHOR BABIES.
Every other country charges you for health care or emergency treatment, no pay, no get.

You do not have to hunt down anyone.

Posted by: Peccable at February 11, 2012 6:05 AM

I don't believe I've ever read anything as wrong... start to finish... as this '5-Minute Argument'

Posted by: Badco at February 11, 2012 8:04 AM

Badco ... I would be interested in reading a rebuttal. Maybe even any well thought out rebuttal or "perspective". It's a complex issue. Plenty of room at the table ... I'm looking for the cheese board and that delicious Queso dip.

Posted by: DeAnn at February 11, 2012 8:38 AM

1) Build some kind of barrier at the border--nothing fancy at first*--just make it difficult to cross illegally (stem the flow).

2) Stop all welfare for illegals (supply-side)

3) Make the penalty more costly than the savings realized for employers hiring illegals (demand-side)

4) Institute a guest-worker program.

* The barrier should be reinforced later as it does not address my concern with illegal workers as much as it does people who mean to do us harm.

Posted by: Snackeater at February 11, 2012 8:55 AM

Has anyone thought about a tax on remittances? One hell of a lot of money is sent south of the border. Obama wants to tax the crap out of anything that moves, why not remittances? It just might convince some of the workers to look for work in Mexico rather than here.

Posted by: stuart at February 11, 2012 9:46 AM

France has had a most accommodating 'guest worker' program, and now they have 751 No-Go Zones as a result.

Posted by: Jewel at February 11, 2012 12:13 PM

Don't need a fence. Don't need harsher laws or greatly expanded enforcement of existing laws. What to do about illegal immigration? Easy: repeal welfare. No? Then forget about anything else that can be done to reduce illegal immigration, because it won't happen. When the government - or anyone - rewards behavior you get more of that behavior, no matter whether it is 'good' or 'bad' behavior. If you doubt that, then you ought to check your ZIP code, 'cause you and I ain't livin' in the same universe. Or, less offensively, see the cell phone ad on TV with the two guys on the park bench and the pigeons and then think about it a minute or two.

Posted by: Ike at February 11, 2012 12:39 PM

"Open immigration,

Pick two."

America has picked the first two. Therefore the third is on borrowed time.

Ike is correct; getting rid of state welfare would solve the problem. But watch that first step. It's a doozy.

Currently, the unemployment rate in Mexico is around 5%, and the economy there is booming: New skyscrapers and factories popping up like daisys. (It may not be safe to enquire into where all the money comes from - but a lot of it is outsourcing from the US). So, many Mexicans are returning of their own accord. If something was going to be done about the 'pick two' conundrum above, now would be the time.

Posted by: Brett_McS at February 11, 2012 2:10 PM

Conservatives have 2 modes of thought, it seems to me. 1) Our victory is inevitable, so we don't need to do anything, and 2)our victory is impossible, so we don't need to do anything.

We can make big improvements about illegal immigration with a few changes. Instead, we imagine every proposal must be able to fix everything, be 100% guaranteed, and not generate any opposition. One unkind report on TV and too many conservatives will do anything to prove the false charges are wrong.

A local talk radio host has thoroughly researched this topic philvalentine.com He may be the authur of the "de-magnetize" approach. the 10-20 million illegal aliens got here a few at a time, they can be forced out a few at a time.

Posted by: Scott M at February 11, 2012 3:20 PM

Simply adopt Mexican immigration laws and enforcement practices.

Posted by: Bruce Hall at February 12, 2012 6:17 AM

I am always amazed at news articles that only address two options for eliminating illegal immigration. They always say it's too costly to deport, and the only other option is the fence. These are lies, all lies!!!!

They'll tell you these things so that you will be more accepting of illegal immigration. Sorry, all we have to do is not hire them, prosecute those who hire, ensure no welfare, no licenses, contracts, AND LIKE DRUG SALES, CONFISGATE THEIR ASSETS OF OFFSET COSTS!!!! End of story!

Posted by: Lois at February 12, 2012 6:59 AM

Incentives matter. As many have pointed out above, it does not need to be a full scale Berlin Wall and storm troopers going through the barrios.
If was a coming of age Campesino dirt farmer in Mexico, single or with a young family, I would not stay. I would come to the US. Being unskilled labor here is infinitely preferable to to being a peasant in Mexico or Honduras.
So the question is what has to change to make that no longer true? Mostly make it more difficult, costly and risky to come here. Everify on employment...with serious criminal penalties for fraud by employers. Citizenship eligibility for welfare, including medical care and schooling.

There are a lot of incremental steps between E-Verify and what you correctly call a fantasy. But it is a fantasy to pretend the fantasy is the only alternative. If we want to cross the line from easily doable to down right harsh, there are a lot of increments well before your scenario. Not that I am advocating this, but for example, find someplace that uses a lot of imported workers, like Saudia Arabia, or Sub Saharan mining, and deport them to there. When the outcomes are:
1) The US, land of milk and honey
2) Back home, with a free option to try again
Of course people go for it. If the outcomes are:
1) The US, land of milk and honey
2) Being a 'guest worker' in Saudi Arabia, seperated from your family, religiously repressed, making a dollar a day in brutal conditions without speaking the language, and no way to get home.
Decisions get a lot harder.
Again, I am not advocating this approach, just making the point that our incentives created this problem, and changing incentives can fix it. It would be fixed by changes far less severe than this.

Posted by: Daedalus Mugged at February 12, 2012 10:23 AM

It could be done to a most satisfactory extent.

#1. END Welfare & Benefits for illegals. (and most citizens too!)
#2 Build the damn fence with more enforcement! It won't stop all of it but will damn sure slow it down.
#3 SEVERE penalties for employers of illegals.
#4 NO more anchor babies!
#5 Deport all that are picked up for any law violations.
#6 Jail the violent criminals, & not in a country club setting; withhold any aid to Mexico if they won't accept them back.
#7 Make LEGAL immigration from ALL countries a priority. We need the best & brightest not drug runners or welfare slugs.

Posted by: Andy at February 12, 2012 10:27 AM