July 5, 2012

The view from the WSJ's "Open Borders" bunker

An anonymous commenter offers some insight into the level of empirical research and logical insight that the famous institutions that campaign for Open Borders have brought to analyzing the long-run effects of their policy proposal.
In 1996 I had a brief conversation with David Asman, currently with Fox News, but then with the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and someone (as he noted in our conversation) involved with the "There shall be open borders" editorials. 
I was one of the guests on a short lived and deeply stupid cable TV show Asman was hosting (Issues USA), and after the filming was done I took the opportunity to ask him about precisely your point: how many would come? He wasn't willing to spend much time talking about it (he was a busy man!), but what he did have to say was kind of..., um..., startling. He condescendingly informed me that people like me had nothing to worry about, because the number of people who would come to the U.S. under open immigration in fact wouldn't be many more than were already coming. 
How did he know this? Well you see, the Journal had organized a trip down to a section of southwest border for some of its people. And when he was down there he saw with his own eyes that this stretch of border, despite being totally unprotected, was not being flooded by huge numbers of illegal Mexican immigrants rushing north, as the alarmists would have us believe. In fact he didn't see anybody! So why, he asked me -- given that nothing was stopping all of Mexico from coming here illegally right now if they wanted to -- did I think they'd suddenly all start coming if we made it legal? 
Why indeed!

I drove the road along the Arizona-Mexico border in 2003. Similarly, I didn't see a single illegal alien crossing it. Yet, for some reason, I didn't conclude that nobody was crossing. I surmised instead, from all the piles of junk left by crossers, by the holes bashed in the 4 foot tall fence every 100 yards or so, by all the testimony of locals I talked to, by all the news accounts I read in the local papers, that the illegal crossers were using the brilliant ploy of sneaking in at night because that's when it's dark! But then I'm not WSJ Editorial Board timber, so what do I know?

43 comments:

Anne said...

WSJ's motives are crystal clear: cheap labor, social consequences be damned. (Cheap labor was also a factor in Europe's decision to import millions of Muslims--the factories employing them were gone by the end of the 1970's, but the social problems caused by a huge group with no cultural interest in assimilating goes on to this day).

The cheap US labor unquestionably drives down wages for the type of work they do. When both the right and the left are favoring something, it is very hard to stop.

Anonymous said...

If open borders would NOT lead to a significant increase in migration to the United States, what is the point of it?

Norville Rogers said...

If you are participating in this annual retreat the worth of U.S. citizenship is materially unimportant to you, in the scheme. But if you are not Michael Bloomberg, if you're a fork lift guy or checkout woman at Costco, it's one of your more valued personal assets; likewise it's perceived as valuable among Chinese birth tourists, a nice bargain in what you pick up for little cost in lucre or law-breaking.

The Aspen/Davos set emotionally identifies with the birth tourists--so unjustly being overcharged for their acquisitions--and as a mutual benefit agreement the cultural titans want to see those overseas subscription boosted. The fact that either group is, at present, outnumbered by native-born unskilled workers in service jobs is viewed as a curious, antique, or transitory political snag.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/05/opinion/garcia-illegal-immigrants/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Libs cuckoo mad.

Hey, 'homophobe' is the real slur.

Anonymous said...

The Aspen/Davos set emotionally identifies with the birth tourists

They do? Why?

D. said...

also falsely yelling fire in a crowded theatre causes no problems.

JI said...

That's a really good question. I lived in southern Arizona in 1996 and recall that we were just starting to see very large numbers of illegals. So David Asman is incorrect about lots of Mexicans not moving northwards, the wave was under way in 1996. But not everyone in Mexico is forced to move northwards - just the criminals, poor people, and folks the government is shipping northwards from the rebellious south.

Anonymous said...

Hello the WSJ sells papers to the very rich who own this country. Their primary concerns are ranked in the following order (1) Keeping their Money (2) Making even more money (3) cutting the capital gains tax (4) Cheap labor (5) Destroying Unions (6) Paying as little tax as Possible (7) Did I mention making more Money?

Anonymous said...

Posted elsewhere by F Daniel Gray, an American who happens to be black:

Sigh!!!! As Mao Zedong famously said, "there are always contradictions." My fellow citizens, as illustrated here, Hanker for the quick fix. Want it done yesterday. Think "reality" TV is for "real." Don't remember when a "news" program on TV was Not a show, hosted by millionaires who were personable, clever and photogenic.

Try giving a thoughtful and well reasoned answer to this question: Do you think/believe 12 million people somehow slipped into this country in the last decade or so? If you do, turn off the TV. It's a drug you can't handle, as IS most of the propaganda (it's mostly asking you to buy) fed to you by the media. The cartels selling your fellow citizens "illegal" drugs know you better than you know yourself. As do the doctors providing tranquilizers to calm you down, or keep you in a state of mild euphoria.

When I came to Los Angeles, there were two or three auto manufacturing plants and three tire manufacturers in the area. And a variety of other manufacturing plants. I soon got a job at, now, Caltrans, as a civil engineering technician. Building the interstate highway system was a priority begun by the Eisenhower administration. Now downsized. I had left before that reversal began.

Over 40 years ago, corporate America, for its own selfish reasons (i.e. reduce domestic costs/employment), ya know, PROFIT, first and foremost. It costs less to outsource. At first, it was just parts. With the media's help, (Americans are so gullible) look out for yourself, buy the next attractive thing, go into business and make money, just like Steve Jobs, etc.

The only problem was, a decent paying job began to be harder to find. In addition, persons, NOT just "Latinos," heard through word of mouth, that jobs were available for more than what was available at home; not only the usual domestic drudgery and agricultural, but low level technical (machinists, painting, carpentry, plumbing, sewing). Corporate America loved it. And they didn't have to do hiring interviews. They outsourced it all to "contractors..At first, just "whites."

Very few people asked any questions, for all involved were SATISFIED. Right on up to inside the Beltway All those complaining here should ask their parents what part thy played.

Corporate America got even bolder. initially signing up contractors/manufacturers doing it on the cheap, who moved their plants here to low cost locations. Eventually, with help from congress to not raise import taxes, they dealt with contractors who built plants overseas where workers could be had for less than a dollar an hour.

The "illegals" you are scape-goating are not the culprits. They are just pawns.

You've been had. Get it?

Anonymous said...

Illegal Aliens are not innocent bystanders. They are highly racialized...and they know exactly what they want:the opportunity to vote White Americans into racial minority status permanently. In the near future, Mexicans could be a majority in the "US" military. Of course, the whole point of having borders was-is to prevent this state of affairs from ever happening in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Very few people asked any questions, for all involved were SATISFIED. Right on up to inside the Beltway All those complaining here should ask their parents what part thy played.

That appears to be a rather incisive comment.

Hunsdon said...

People are not fungible. I would prefer that, if we are to have mass immigration, it be composed of people who have a cultural understanding of the Robin Hood stories. I'd still oppose mass immigration, mind you, but if we must have it, give me Robin Hood immigrants.

(I'm not talking about "stealing from the rich and giving to the poor" Robin Hood, I'm talking about Friar Tuck and Will Scarlet and Little John Robin Hood.)

Failing that, immigrants who grew up listening to, and emotionally responding to, the Song of Roland would be okay. (Not the Warren Zevon song.)

Anonymous said...

Is this motivated by the Zazooba exchange over at Landsburg's blog?

Harry Baldwin said...

I would be great if Romney actually cared about immigration, because then when Obama hammers him about "outsourcing jobs", he could ask Obama why it's any better to bring in millions of Mexicans to take jobs and undercut the value of American labor.

Lucky Obama knows that his opponent will not press that point.

Anonymous said...

the WSJ WANTS to be stupid about immigration.

Silver said...

Very few people asked any questions, for all involved were SATISFIED. Right on up to inside the Beltway All those complaining here should ask their parents what part thy played.

How could they ask any questions if no matter what it would always get back to race? Would this black man writing this have been happy for it to get back to race? Somehow I doubt it. But if you can't talk about race then you can never get to the bottom of what disturbs people, ie you "can't ask questions." Duh.

bjdubbs said...

This is a good open borders editorial from WSJ:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304870304577488973455967032.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

"But the shadow over this economic-development push is the difficulty South Dakota farmers face in finding dependable labor.

Our state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country."

What is the point of a "economic development push" if there is a tight labor market? No "push" necessary.

But it gets better.


"So we're left with a 19th-century business—milking cows and farming fields—struggling under 20th-century labor regulations, while having to compete in a global, 21st-century economy."

THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULD GET OUT OF THE 19th CENTURY.

Why is agriculture different from any other labor intensive, low tech business? Ship those jobs overseas. I'm sure the farmers could get jobs in the burgeoning nat gas industry in North Dakota.
Farmers truly are some of the most entitled, parasitic people in the US, right up there with the tv-watching, card-playing firefighters.

Anonymous said...

The "other side" would name names.

That's why they win.

Anonymous said...

So what exactly is the US? Not a nation that's for sure. A country? Maybe, if Mexico becomes the 58th state. And while we are at it, add Canada too.

Russia needs to be dethroned! U-S-A U-S-A

Mr. Anon said...

This David Asshat guy sounds like a typical WSJ/Economist/Globalist douche-bag.

To the pin-striped d**k-heads at the WSJ, I would propose my own Constitutional amemdment:

"The doors and windows of One World Financial Center in New York City shall remain open at all times."

Harry Baldwin said...

Their primary concerns are ranked in the following order (1) Keeping their Money (2) Making even more money (3) cutting the capital gains tax (4) Cheap labor (5) Destroying Unions (6) Paying as little tax as Possible (7) Did I mention making more Money?

Yes, you did mention that, it's the second item on your list.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who advocates an Open-Door policy should remove the doors from their homes in the spirit of Think Globally, Act Locally mantra.

john marzan said...

i'd be okay with "open borders" (with mexico) as long as:

1) U.S. gov't stops giving free K-12 education to illegals

2) birthright citizenship is abolished. replaced with jus sanguinis

tell me where i'm going wrong here.

Anonymous said...

i'd be okay with "open borders" (with mexico) as long as:

1) U.S. gov't stops giving free K-12 education to illegals

2) birthright citizenship is abolished. replaced with jus sanguinis

tell me where i'm going wrong here.


Re #1: You would be okay with giving free K-12 education to all Mexican arrivals?

Re #2: In your outlook, would Mexicans be U.S. citizens?

Re all: Why take the risk of open borders at all? Are you saying that jus sanguinis citizenship is so crucial, that it is worth purchasing at the cost of including 140 million Mexicans to our national polity? Further, are you saying that jus sanguinis cannot be achieved any other way?

Anonymous said...

Russia needs to be dethroned! U-S-A U-S-A

I don't understand this comment.

Anonymous said...

The "other side" would name names.

That's why they win.


Who is the other side? What names should we name?

DaveinHackensack said...

"Why is agriculture different from any other labor intensive, low tech business? Ship those jobs overseas. I'm sure the farmers could get jobs in the burgeoning nat gas industry in North Dakota."

Well, for starters, most US agriculture, is high tech and not terribly labor-intensive. Stoop labor is an exception, that would probably become more automated and high-tech if the cost of labor rose. Google "precision ag" for an idea of some of the tech that's been at work in US agriculture for the last three decades.

Anonymous said...

'David Asman'.

Etymology teaches us that surnames are derived from characteristic of a remote ancestor. They might by patrinomic,topographical or descriptive in origin. Germainc surnames that end in the suffix '-man', mean just that, literally 'the man who does'. 'As' as a prefix is harder to pin down amongst Germanic roots, but it seems likely that it is realted to the ancient Germanic 'ge-ass', literally 'the buttocks', from which the vulgar term still used daily by millions in the USA ultimately derives.

eah said...

You mean they're not deep thinkers on this? Quite the shocker.

peterike said...

Why is agriculture different from any other labor intensive, low tech business? Ship those jobs overseas. I'm sure the farmers could get jobs in the burgeoning nat gas industry in North Dakota.

That's the stupidest thing I ever heard. Bad enough we've sent so much of our manufacturing capability overseas, including that for critical data infrastructure and defense components, leaving us totally vulnerable to the Chinese if they want to shut us out. Now you want to leave us dependent on other countries for food, too?

The larger argument is also stupid, however widespread. We need low skill jobs in America because, guess what, a big chunk of the population is low-skilled and will remain so forever. You prefer them on welfare rather than working in simple but decent paying jobs making t-shirts and plastic crap? I'd rather have every one of those jobs making low-end junk here in America (to say nothing of making iPhones), even if it means my five dollar t-shirt at Walmart becomes a ten dollar t-shirt.

Anonymous said...

"Why is agriculture different from any other labor intensive, low tech business?"


Hmm, I can't think of any reason we wouldn't want to be totally dependent on foreign enemies for our food.

Nope, can't think of a one.

Put down the bong, man. The world doesn't love you.

Anonymous said...

But you refute yourself - if the border fence was effectively open every night (as it appears to have been and may still be for all I know), why haven't more Mexicans come already?

Anonymous said...

"But the shadow over this economic-development push is the difficulty South Dakota farmers face in finding dependable labor."

Hmm, my Norwegian ancestors farming in South Dakota didn't have any trouble finding labor. They had 14 kids.

Whiskey said...

The WSJ is part and parcel of the elite. They believe in its myths and share the elites hatred for the White working/middle class.

So no surprise there.

john marzan said...

Re #1: You would be okay with giving free K-12 education to all Mexican arrivals?

Re #2: In your outlook, would Mexicans be U.S. citizens?


re #1 didn't i just tell you no free k-12 education to illegals and non-citizens? plyler v doe should be overturned.

re #2 mexicans could become american citizens if they do it legally. otherwise, they're just "migrant workers", not citizens or immigrants.

Re all: Why take the risk of open borders at all? Are you saying that jus sanguinis citizenship is so crucial, that it is worth purchasing at the cost of including 140 million Mexicans to our national polity? Further, are you saying that jus sanguinis cannot be achieved any other way?

do you even understand what "jus sanguinis" means? i'm all for a saudi style guest worker program limited to U.S. agriculture sector and nanny business, which i package/sell to latino public (and many consider) as defacto "open borders." but will only do guest worker prg after laws changed to deny public schools to illegals and non-citizens and abolishing birthright citizenship.

Anonymous said...

But you refute yourself - if the border fence was effectively open every night (as it appears to have been and may still be for all I know), why haven't more Mexicans come already?

Maybe because it is still against the law to invade our country and they fear doing so could have some consequence?

john marzan said...

http://reddogreport.com/2011/05/once-again-president-obama-goes-away-and-his-poll-numbers-rise/

so they'd prefer to be called undocumented aliens?

Anonymous said...

We should seperate black and hispanic immigration. while we need a moratarium. we should not just group africa and latin america like that. i prefer latinos vastly more.

Anonymous said...

We should seperate black and hispanic immigration. while we need a moratarium. we should not just group africa and latin america like that. i prefer latinos vastly more.

A lot of the immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean nations are pretty cool. Problem is we really can't afford to take them all in.

tommy said...

Asman's blindspot might have another causal factor: his wife's nationality.

ATBOTL said...

Who is more evil, the WSJ or the Economist?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous ATBOTL said...

Who is more evil, the WSJ or the Economist?


Are there really gradations of evil? If forced to pick, we must finger the Wall Street Journal, because it purports to be American, receives benefits from such status, but is not such thing in reality.

Otis McWrong said...

"Anonymous said... the WSJ...Their primary concerns are ranked in the following order (1) Keeping their Money (2) Making even more money (3) cutting the capital gains tax (4) Cheap labor (5) Destroying Unions (6) Paying as little tax as Possible (7) Did I mention making more Money?"

You left out "wage war upon any nation, part of a nation, or ethnic group that has or may one day consider looking crosswise at Israel". Also "not only maintain all open-ended security guarantees such as NATO in which the U.S. take on commitments with no corresponding benefits - but actively seek new ones to enter."
The final WSJ straws for me were a William McGurn column going on and on about the massive over-representation of Jews in the USMC [I have to give them credit for originality: one obvious objection to neo-con lunacy is that they can't really believe it since none of them ever sign up and put themselves in harm’s way. So counter by fabricating from whole cloth a narrative about the martial ardor and physical courage of the Scots-Irish] and later an article lauding the rent-seeking douchebag that runs Chipotle restaurants for "demanding" an endless supply of cheap workers for his fast food places.