PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL LAW: ‘Borderless’ or ‘Open Society’ = Lawless Or Tyranny

This post makes the point that when we are talking about a right to immigrate we are trying to redefine the definition of national sovereignty into something unworkable. Similarly, the article at this link (=> argues that the debate over same-sex “marriage” is not about rights. It is about an unworkable definition of marriage.


There is a growing movement in America to have a, ‘open’ or ‘borderless’ society.  This is lawlessness.  If we take the time to actually look at the definitions for the words being used and apply a little basic logic, this is easy to prove.  If you have a moment, I’d like to show you how.

First, by definition, a nationmust have a border.  If it does not have a border, then it is not and cannot be a nation.

Now, the natural response to this is that one definition of ‘nation’ refers to a people, and not a specific piece of land.  OK, but does that definition actually work in reality, or has it been accepted by people seeking to push a hidden agenda?  Let us look to see.  Look in the world and show me the ‘nation’ of Hitites.  Or the ‘nation’ of Assyrians. Or the ‘nation’ of…

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39 thoughts on “PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL LAW: ‘Borderless’ or ‘Open Society’ = Lawless Or Tyranny

  1. When we get right down to it, we will find that many of our problems are created by people trying to force a change in the meaning of words. This is a violation of Natural Law, and the founders of the effort know it. In fact, that is exactly why they attack language: because they think they can control how others think simply by controlling their language. So, in a very real and conscious sense, they are trying to re-write the laws governing human nature by re-writing the laws of our language.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is news to me. I have never heard of anyone advocating a “borderless” country. I doubt if there is any significant school of thought abroad in the land that borders are not important. Rather, the idea of “open borders” is just one of those boogie-man fictions designed to frighten gullible people into voting for manipulative politicians. Perhaps a good way to test this is to identify particular politicians who have advocated the elimination of United States borders and link to their rationales for such an idea. I suspect there are none, but I’m willing to be corrected if such people are abroad in the land.



    1. Ah, Google OSI and then look into the connections between the man behind the OSI and the Democrat Party/agenda. You’ll find that the Democrats have been pushing the open border agenda for a long time, and the Republicans have been helping them make it happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, then, Tom – go ahead, provide correction. Which congressional or presidential candidates are arguing for elimination of national borders? A link to their call for such a radical approach would be helpful. I may not be the best informed person in the world, but I do try to keep up in an election year, and I have never heard any candidate advocate that we get rid of national borders. In fact, we spend an ever-increasing amount of public funds protecting the border over the past several decades.

        In the absence of anyone actually advocating what you seem to fear, I suggest that you go find a real world issue to address.



        1. I have been hospitalised since July, and communication is still tediuos. But I did not actually die in late July though I lost all kidney function and certain other systems. In a sense, you’ve drawn me out of a retirement.

          The WSJ Opinion Page, the voice of the Republican (not conservative!) establishment, has for literally decades been pro-open-border. Not by being coy or dancing around it! Though I have no resources here, as I recall it was July 1984 in the lead-up to Reagan’s re-election and the subsequent immigration debate that the WSJ kicked it off by proposing a short Constitutional amendment: “There shall be open borders.”

          Democrats and Republicans who have attempted to support this line openly have been stung by backlash from Americans who do not pay enough attention to realise that it is already the goal of both establishment sides (assuming that at this level, the two sides can still be considered separate). Don’t feel bad, most Americans focus too narrowly and miss the more important political aspects as you have repeatedly done.

          If you are doing this intentionally, then you have my permission (!) to feel quite bad indeed. I’d gift you with some recent damage and surgeries if I could.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 3 people

        2. @Keith

          I was beginning to think we had lost you. It is a relief to hear from you.

          Great comment!

          The reference to the WSJ underlined your point. Supposedly, that is a Conservative publication, but it often sounds more like Scout.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. “This post makes the point that when we are talking about a right to immigrate we are trying to redefine the definition of national sovereignty into something unworkable.” That is a ridiculous proposition and a red herring.


    1. @Stephen

      You remind me of little boy emptying the cookie jar into his greedy mouth. When from another room his mama asks, “Joey, are you in the cookie jar?”, he can barely mumble, “No”.


      1. And this post seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. But seriously, to claim that a nation’s sovereignty someone trumps–ha, pun–the rights of the migrant is to place positive laws above the Natural law. No nation can legislate something that is contrary to the law of Nature without being unjust.

        Jefferson himself recognizes that the laws of Nature supersede those of nations and can be used to violate the laws of the nation. When a man sees that his livelihood is in danger, he has the RIGHT to find a place where he can thrive. He has that right to live and prosper. A nation cannot, through poor legislation, enforcement, or what have you, deny him the right to seek a better life for himself. If that man, weighing all his options and circumstances, finds that he cannot survive except by breaking some poorly written laws of some nation, then he can do so to preserve his inalienable rights. To deny that this man has that is to deny the whole Natural law basis for the American revolution. If a man cannot jump a fence to save his life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (or property if you will), then there was no basis for the colonists to commit treason, sedition, rebellion, murder, arson, and the like.

        The nation, however, does have the right to defend itself against legitimate threats to its integrity and security. But again, these rights cannot supersede those of the person to life. If so, you have created the basis for the Chinese policy of limiting their population. A balance MUST be struck that serves both interests BUT that recognizes the superior claim of the person. No nation, however great and powerful, has the right to deny life to another, save perhaps limited cases of self defense in contracting war. But then this isn’t a war. This is dealing with people who just want to survive.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @Stephen

          Balance is bringing in hordes of uneducated people, many hostile to our way of life, and buying their votes by putting them on the government dole?

          You want to help people? I have no objection, but that give you no right to tax people to pay for that help. That is just stealing. Use your own time and money. Seek volunteers. Instead of abusing our political system buy twisting people’s arms and taxing them, set an example of servant-hood.


        2. “Balance is bringing in hordes of uneducated people, many hostile to our way of life, and buying their votes by putting them on the government dole?” Obviously not, but nice straw man.

          ” I have no objection, but that give you no right to tax people to pay for that help.” I do not think our proposals are so radical a proposition as you want them to seem. Indeed, it seems like an exercise of magical thinking on your part. A quote from Hamilton comes to mind:

          “Men often oppose a thing, merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike. But if they have been consulted, and have happened to disapprove, opposition then becomes, in their estimation, an indispensable duty of self-love. They seem to think themselves bound in honor, and by all the motives of personal infallibility, to defeat the success of what has been resolved upon contrary to their sentiments. Men of upright, benevolent tempers have too many opportunities of remarking, with horror, to what desperate lengths this disposition is sometimes carried, and how often the great interests of society are sacrificed to the vanity, to the conceit, and to the obstinacy of individuals, who have credit enough to make their passions and their caprices interesting to mankind. Perhaps the question now before the public may, in its consequences, afford melancholy proofs of the effects of this despicable frailty, or rather detestable vice, in the human character.”

          Since you cannot be ignorant of our positions at this point, your constant refrain about how we advocate simple taxation to alleviate social ills is bordering on the absurd. Obviously we seek volunteers. Obviously we realize that, as Hamilton said, “in a community situated like that of the United States, the public purse must supply the deficiency of private resource.”

          Painting people as radicals only makes your own position seem more radical. Not to mention it creates unnecessary animosity.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. @Stephen

          There is plenty of information information about how much illegal immigration is costing us. So I am not even going to argue the point.

          Immigrants use to come here on their own dime, and there was no welfare for them. So half of them went back where they came from.

          It is not easy to get a job in a strange land, learn a new language and grow accustomed to new ways. So not everyone who came here toughed it out, but then we expected the new arrivals to become one of us. Since we are far from perfect, I suppose many think that presumptuous. These also burn the flag and refuse to stand up when the national anthem is played.

          Now we are far more “modest”. So now we are asked to press “1” for English and “2” for Spanish. Nothing against Spanish. I took it in high school, but the story of the Tower of Babel suggests it is stupid to divide a nation by language.

          Mexico, for example, has plenty good land, and I expect most Mexicans love their own land and their own people. You want to do something useful? Encourage its young men and women to stay with their families, reform their corrupt government (which we risk copying) and build up their own nation.

          When Mexicans come to the USA and become one of us legally, very few complain. However, when immigrants bring their problems here, it costs us more (that which is not seen) than it helps them (that which is seen and glorified). It is less expensive to help the needy in their own land.


        4. “There is plenty of information information about how much illegal immigration is costing us.” And plenty of misinformation as well so forgive me if I am incredulous.

          “So I am not even going to argue the point.” Because it is settled science? I am not covetous for gold, nor care who feeds upon my cost. It concerns me not if men my garments wear. But if it be a sin to desire the proscriptions of the natural law be established in every corner of the world and in every instance of human law, then I am the greatest offender of all.

          “Immigrants use to come here on their own dime, and there was no welfare for them.” That is only partially true. For example, the Irish immigrants were funded in various ways from British institutions trying to kick them out of Ireland or entire villages would pool together resources to send family and friends to find work in the states and send money home…much like today. Those that “came on their own dime” often were indentured or otherwise contractually obligated. The immigration boom was seen by many industrialists–much like today’s post modern capitalists–as a means of getting cheap labor that they can exploit at will because who cares about the Irish? They were dirty drunkards with too many kids and made neighborhoods worse with rampant crime and…wow sound familiar? Ironically, German, English, and other Anglo-Saxon/Nordic immigration was less opposed. In fact, immigration was opposed mainly from Ireland and Italy. Don’t you think it is funny that the main targets of anti-immigration ire have, historically, only been predominately Catholic countries and the opponents, by a massive majority, have been followers of Reformed theologies? Coulter, for instance, posits that the Irish Catholics became successful when they became more American and less Catholic. Hmmm….a religion being considered incompatible with American values of tolerance and freedom. Where have we heard that before? Truth be told, the only times when Catholics are truly lionized by conservative media types is when they set out of the “American values” box. Sure fine, attack Joe Biden for supporting abortion but don’t dare support your leaders when they say stuff on immigration.

          “So half of them went back where they came from.” Actually, no, they did not. Many could not afford to do that. Others could not due to be contracted into what amounted to industrial slavery.

          “So not everyone who came here toughed it out, but then we expected the new arrivals to become one of us.” No, we basically just expected them to work until they couldn’t and at which point we would replace them, leaving their family to starve in a foreign land rather than their homeland.

          “These also burn the flag and refuse to stand up when the national anthem is played.” You mean like the numerous white Americans that we born and raised here?

          “So now we are asked to press “1” for English and “2” for Spanish.” That is because capitalism realized they can make more money if they offer more languages. We are not like Canada where their government and country is truly bilingual. The added Spanish option was actually first instituted by businesses so I am not sure why you object. Isn’t this the goal of the system? To increase capital by targeting demographics likely to buy your products?

          “You want to do something useful? Encourage its young men and women to stay with their families, reform their corrupt government (which we risk copying) and build up their own nation.” That is essentially telling them to go home to die. I admit that it is a worthy and indeed necessary goal in order to ensure that migration occurs by choice and not because the cartel took over your town and where any opposition candidates that win elections are promptly murdered.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This is just blatant xenophobia, and the ethnocentrism from which such xenophobia perpetuates. For simple people, people who feel lost in sweeping changes, it is understandable to blame “the other”, and to treat desperate humans fleeing war, crime, oppression or poverty as somehow less than human, as barbarian cockroaches unsuitable to be in our perfectly enlightened Christian presence. Not that long ago in our history, it was the No Nothing Party decrying against those dirty Catholic Irish and Italian immigrants who were ruining our Protestant Christian nation and taking our jobs. (Actually my ancesters on my Dad’s side would have been some of those dirty Catholic Irish).

    The problem is that there is absolutely nothing Christlike about xenophobia. Jesus told one story after another about welcoming the desperate stranger with love and compassion. Paul began a quest to spread that message of love and the Body of Christ to peoples of all cultures, all ethnicities, all races throughout the world – there is nothing particularly Christian about being American or white – Christianity does not belong to us – it belongs to God and God gifts it through the sacrifice of God’s Son to all peoples or all ethnicities, languages and races when they act virtuously in the Body of Christ.

    For simple people who have lost their jobs to sweeping changes in technology and economics, one can understand why they might be enticed for a while to lose their moral compass and look to blame someone who looks different or talks different or has a different religion, and to not see the stranger’s humanity, to not see the Jesus coming to them in that stranger. One can also see how a Donald Trump who has outsourced those jobs and conned some of those working people into bankruptcy while he made money off the deal might want to point somewhere else as the blame for their woes. They, those others, those brown people, they are not like us, Trump whispers in our ears. They are all terrorists and rapists and murderers. Blame them, not me and my ilk because you have lost your job to to technology and Globalization. And we get conned once again by another demagogue, only this time in the form of a poison snake oil salesman who won’t tell us the formula, but it will fix everything, it’ll be beautiful and it’ll happen overnight, just believe him.

    On the other hand, the people here are obviously well educated and at least well off enough to afford the luxery of discoursing here. We claim to follow Jesus. What is our excuse for such a lack of Christian compassion for the desparate stranger? What is our excuse for being fooled?

    As silenceofmind points out, no serious person on either political side argues for “wide open borders”. Christians are compassionate and practical. The moral goods of true Christian virtue derive from a difficult and pragmatic balance between vices – Christian courage to do the right thing in Christ is neither altruistically foolhardy nor is it selfish and cowardly. These are not easy or simple policy questions and only the deluded or the hate filled can believe in easy solutions like “build a wall” and somehow “make Mexico pay for it” – it is over-the-top magical and cruel thinking. Let’s please not pretend that Jesus ever told us that a virtuous life would be so easy or so simple for us. Let’s not fool ourselves that it is Christian.

    Yes, we have to be practical, but seriously, fellow sojourners in Christ, don’t you see the hostile rhetoric and hyperbole being used here and at Trump’s rallies is well beyond any real practical understanding of the actual problem? Can’t you see in the better angels of your Christian hearts that this hateful rhetoric would dehumanize Jesus’ Good Samaritan because he or she is strange or foreign or has another religion, until pretty soon we are so blinded by our fear and our hatred that we cannot see that that stranger is our neighbor, and worthy of our love and compassion? that it is actually we that benefit in moral goods far more than we lose in material goods by taking practical, but courageous risks? Like us and our forefathers, these desperate strangers are just Americans that have not become Americans yet. If we and our culture and our country are somehow exceptional in God, it’s because we are morally virtuous in God in reaching out courageously to the world, not because we cower behind impossible walls or set up Gestopoesque deportation squads to harm families in our midst.

    Cowering behind their walls, Rome fell to the barbarians because the culture had become morally corrupt within and without, but you know what, the Huns eventually became Christians – what does that tell you about the power of the good news of Christ, and about the universal nature of virtue? It is not nationalistic or neofascist. It transcends all culture, language, religion, race or time.


    1. @Tony

      Your entire comment is an ad hominem attack. It does not seriously address the content of the post. It just consists of accusations designed to suppress opinions you find disagreeable and an appeal to religious sensibilities you don’t well understand. You attacked the character of the person whose blog post I reblogged. You attacked my character. You attacked Donald Trump’s character. Yet you failed almost entirely to consider anything we had to say. You could not even make sense of silenceofmind’s sarcasm. That’s why I would be tempted if I could to trade all the Democrats in this country for people from all around the world. Tempted, but i suppose it is best to remember that God made our world as good as it could be. There must be something we are suppose to learn from each other.

      Anyway, whenever you complain about Donald Trump, I just have to remember you voted for Obama twice. If God can forgive you for voting for Obama, surely He will forgive me if I vote for Trump. After all, He can’t expect me to vote for H. Clinton!

      BTW. Rome did not fall because its citizens cowered behind their walls. Rome fell because they hired the Barbarians to do work they should have done for themselves (see => and That included manning their legions. Of course, once they got into the business collecting tribute and taxes and giving away bread and circuses…… Well, stealing is not exactly virtuous, is it?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Tom – you’re rising to silenceofmind’s suppose defense at my suppose brutal “attack” would be quite heroic if it had really happened. I referred to silenceofmind by mistake. I had actually meant Scout. And it was not an “attack” – it was a concurrence with something Scout had written. However, I apologize for the confusion.

    It seems strange that you consider it an “attack” for me to appeal to our better Christain angels. Is it an insult to ask us to do as Jesus commanded and try to see the desperate stranger as our neighbors? With all due respect, don’t you see that your attempt to dehumanize these families by calling them “hoards” simply proves my point? And yet I don’t understand what it means to be a Christian?

    Oddly, your hyperbole aside, you are ironically also hurting the partisan cause that seems to be so all consuming to you. Most of the immigrants and refugees that Trump is maligning would otherwise make natural conservative Republicans. 🙂


  6. @Tony

    Cut and paste is dangerous. Shrug! Why don’t you just apologize to scout? Oops! I mean silenceofmind. I suppose you are too busy pointing to yourself (vicariously through Barack Obama) and proclaiming, “see how wonderful I am”. You must do as I say. I am lowing the oceans and transforming America, and I have decreed yet another change in the law. You have no choice.

    You point to those who disagree with wonderful you and proclaim, “see what a bigot that one is.”

    Whether you are wonderful or not is not for me to decide. I just think those who wish to implement Utopian schemes ought to do so on their own dimes.

    “Hoards”? You mean “hordes”. The word “hordes”is not derogatory, and that is exactly the point of the post. Instead of discussing the subject, you fiddle with the meaning of words.


  7. Who said I was “wonderful”? Thanks for the nice insult, I guess. Let’s be grown ups here. You know that I love you and I know that you love me. Now that we are done with all that, rather than feigning all these hurt feelings, just answer me a question: are these desparate immigrants and refugees our “neighbors”? And I mean that in the way that Jesus meant it in so many parables including the Good Samaritan.

    If so, then we already know how we have to treat them no matter what race, ethnicity or religion that they are. The rest is just practical considerations about how to carry out that difficult moral duty.

    And if these “hordes” and “barbarians” who are “not like us” are not our neighbors, then what are they?

    Now. I’m off to work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Tony

      Of course, The Parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates that we are all neighbors, but it does not call for us to renounce the sovereignty of our nation.

      Consider. The people in Mali, West Africa are our neighbors, and the people of Norway are our neighbors too. Is our government suppose to tax Norway so it can redistribute its wealth to Mali?

      There many good interpretations of The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Here is one that is relevant.

      “What about the story of the Good Samaritan? Doesn’t that make a case for government welfare programs or redistribution?” you inquire. The answer is an emphatic “No!” Consider the details of the story, as recorded in Luke 10:29–37: A traveler comes upon a man at the side of a road. The man had been beaten and robbed and left half-dead. What did the traveler do? He helped the man himself, on the spot, with his own resources. He did not say, “Write a letter to the emperor” or “Go see your social worker” and walk on. If he had done that, he would more likely be known today as the “Good-for-nothing Samaritan” — if he were remembered at all.

      The Good Samaritan story makes a case for helping a needy person voluntarily out of love and compassion. There’s no suggestion that the Samaritan “owed” anything to the man in need or that it was the duty of a distant politician to help out with other people’s money. (from =>

      BTW. Hope you have a good flight. God go with you.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. @Tony

      Just for fun, I google the term “horde” with the term “connotation”. Here is what I got.


      Use the word horde to describe a large crowd: “A horde of people followed Newman as he left the airport in Helsinki.”

      The noun horde is not for the sedate — the word typically is used to describe a group that is in motion, maybe even a little unruly, such as a horde of fans pursuing a film star or a horde of ants invading a picnic. If you are describing a calm, orderly gathering, the word group or crowd may be a better choice. You can save horde for the next time you need to describe, for example, your experience at a pre-Christmas sale (“A horde of holiday shoppers rushed toward the last discounted television set”). (from here =>

      So what is wrong with using the term “horde” to describe mobs of people sneaking or cheating their way illegally into our country?

      Democrats are infamous for taking issue with the expression “illegal immigrant”. Now you cannot handle “horde”?

      Have you seriously considered what you are demanding? When you won’t even allow them to use their own words, how is anyone suppose accurately express themselves?


      1. Tom – let’s just stick with one word that we seem to have agreed upon – the word “neighbor” as Jesus meant it. You may have a different take upon this but it seems to me that in the Good Samaritan story, Jesus purposely chose a Samaritan because Samaritans were of a different sovereign tribe and a different faith that was often reviled and looked down upon by the Jews. I think that in using a Samaritan, Jesus was trying to dispense with such tribalism and broaden the definition of who we are each of us “neighbors” to and therefore show that we are connected to one another in mutual responsibility that transcends sovereignty, ethnicity or even faith.

        I know that you want to change the discussion to your favorite generalities about very different issues, but your post was obviously about immigrants and refugees, which are definitely national issues of federal government purview. Obviously, each immigrant’s situation is different, but statistics show that most immigrants want to be here because they are escaping oppression or they need a job to feed their families. I know – they violated a misdemeanor level law by coming here (the majority of immigrants here illegally did not sneak in, but overstayed visas). But how important is that small and understandable legal infraction to absolving our moral duty to help our desparate neighbor in need? Think about another Christian word: “mercy”.

        If a farmer wakes up on a cold morning to find a starving child has broken into his barn and hid there to find shelter, should the farmer help the child or should he just throw him back out into the cold because the child trespassed?

        You want to come up with all kinds of hyperbole about how we can’t help everyone, but we are not talking about everyone in the world, and we are not talking about what is impractical, but instead about a practical necessity. We are talking about our neighbors, families of men, women and children who live and work amongst us right now, many who have been here for decades. Do we also have a duty to help and let in as many as we practically can of other desparate refugees fleeing oppression and death around the world? Yes. But these neighbors are literally your neighbor here in your own town or city right now. You practical dilemma is not only whether to let them in but whether you will forcibly and cruelly throw them out.


        Thanks. It was a good flight, and I’m actually not that far away in Baltimore. Nice weather so I’m off to a ball game. Hope all is well with you.


        1. @Tony

          A sob story? Really? And then you accuse me of hyperbole?

          I know we have had waves of children trying to cross the border, but that is just an indication of how stupid our policies have become. Why would you want to encourage such risky behavior?

          Supposedly, about half of the illegals come from Mexico, and they obviously come here for jobs. =>

          If we can get our trade policies and our economy back in shape, what is wrong with Mexicans working in Mexico? We are building factories there. If the Mexican government can get its act together, Mexico should not have any trouble employing its own people.

          Where I live people are starting to come from other parts of the world. =>

          Thanks to the liar in the White House, about half of the people who illegally enter the USA overstay their visas. => and

          What excuse is there for allowing people to overstay their visas? How do they fit into your sob story?

          How much do I trust these statistics? Not much. It is difficult to gather data on an illegal activity, and the politics encourage people to mess with the numbers. However, I can look around and see things are changing.

          You want to help people? I have no objection, but that gives you no right to tax people to pay for that help. That is just stealing. Inviting mobs of people into our country when it is actually less expensive to help them in their home nation is just plain wrong, particularly with our damnable health, education and welfare systems. Making up sob stories does not change that.

          The Good Samaritan used his own time and money. You want people to help you? Seek volunteers. Instead of abusing our political system by twisting people’s arms and taxing them, set an example of servant-hood.

          Screwing up our immigration laws is just dumb. What is the point of bringing so many poor people into the country and putting them on welfare? The lax enforcement of our immigration laws benefits the powerful. More workers lowers the cost of production and increases the profits on their investment portfolios, and they can find ways to avoid the taxes. Increasing the number of low wage workers almost certainly doesn’t help the people of this country. Ultimately, such asinine and reckless policies will not help anyone. The mad pursuit of such government mandated diversity will just make it more difficult for us to trust each other and work together. Look around! The Democrats are deliberately splintering us into competing, me-first, identity groups.

          Instead of spouting phony sob stories, why don’t you ask yourself a question? What identity group do you belong to? How have they splintered you off?

          Glad you had a good flight. Guess Hermine is far enough out to sea.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Sorry to hear about your travails, Keith, but I take it things are somewhat improved. I wish you better health and soon.

    You are quite right that the editorial policy of the Wall Street Journal has been to encourage sound immigration policies. I was not aware that they had specifically called for “open borders” or, as Tom put it in his post “a borderless society” (i.e. the elimination of national borders). If they actually used that language, I am surprised. But my point remains. Tom and other fringe or gullible commentators often pretend or profess to believe that there are actually politicians out there advocating the elimination of borders. My effort, in my comment, was to calibrate the discussion a bit by linking it to the real world. No congressional or presidential candidates (at any level) of either major party are advocating the elimination of national borders or the establishment of a “borderless society.” (As a matter of fact, I can’t recall any major political figure of either major party advocating such a thing either in my lifetime, or in the history of the nation) This is simply one more of those many overwrought bogey-man creations that Tom likes to bring out to populate this site. It’s all very entertaining in a comic-book sort of way, I suppose, but, ultimately, important issues like immigration policy have to be discussed in a real world context, not in some sort of garishly hued monster-mag Trumpish sense.

    Thoughtful, substantive publications like the Journal favor efficient immigration policies because immigration has historically been a major source of economic and security strength for the United States. From a conservative economic theory standpoint (theory completely borne out by data), economic progress is always enhanced by the maximum freedom of movement of inputs, be they capital or labor (or human capital, as some call it). These positions are closely related to the rationales that lead us conservatives to also be champions of free international trade, a position for which Keith has reflected a clear and sophisticated understanding in some of his comments here.

    Of course the challenge is in the details. While no politician has ever advocated “open borders” or elimination of borders, or a “borderless society” (take a Valium, Tom, and try to sleep off this weird Chicken Little idea), many responsible leaders realize that we sorely need revised immigration rules and procedures to meet current conditions. These conditions include (in no particular order other than as they come to mind): concerns about immigration flows being infiltrated by terrorist elements (not a big issue, statistically, but one which even a few illegal entrants can bring home to us in a seriously damaging way); 2. transitioning our overall system from a family and nationality based system to more of a critical trades and skills system; 3. streamlining our entry processes so that we remove the many incentives for people to endure the hardships of illegal entry; 4. addressing the social issues caused by several million illegal entrants already here, living in the shadows, unregistered, paying taxes but not receiving benefits, unable to obtain basic documents such as drivers’ licenses, and isolated from basic civil functions of society for fear that outreach in such matters as police communication will lead to deportation: 5. begin competitive in the world market for the best and brightest scientists, engineers, technicians, medical professionals, and other necessary learned professions (this is something we used to do well, but are lagging in now, as we are beginning to be perceived as unwelcoming and overly complicated/bureaucratic in our naturalization processes); 6, preventing exploitation of workers by unscrupulous employers; 7. ensuring that there is a regulated system for temporary workers from other countries to return when seasonal demands for their labour subside; 8. tracking visa overstays; etc. etc. etc.

    These kinds of issues were the subject of the comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed by the Senate, but ignored by the House. It may well be that in just the couple of years since the Senate bill passed, there should be a much different bill now. But competent governance action is necessary, not to halt immigration, but to make it work better for the national interest. As it is, even our current illegal immigrants have, in a macro sense, significant net positive effects on the economy, but these effects would be enhanced, and the downside risks such as security concerns would be diminished, if the system were brought into the modern world.

    That’s the discussion I would like to see here and elsewhere. Just running around with our hair on fire about imaginary “elimination of borders” horse-puckey doesn’t get us anywhere that we need to be.



    1. @novascout

      Lots of words and from someone who says he is old enough to know better.

      One word mattered enough to kill the legislation. Amnesty. We passed an amnesty bill in 1986. Then our political leaders did not enforce immigration laws. So we now we have 10’s of millions of people in our nation who don’t belong here, about half on expired visas. That experienced demonstrated another amnesty would not help. Instead, we must replace our leadership with people who will honor our Constitution and enforce our laws.


  9. Way to engage substantively on the real issues, Tom. With which of my “lots of words” are you taking issue?

    Is your position that we should remove people (not “tens of millions”, but around 10 million) who entered without inspection? Each of the past three administrations has been more aggressive than the one before about enforcing immigration laws. Does the fact that we have as much uninspected entry as we have (declining over that which we had years ago, but still not insubstantial) possibly suggest that current laws need revision? What is your position on children of uninspected entrants who are US citizens?

    “Amnesty” is a bugaboo word. All recent proposals for addressing this issue have included payment of fines. It’s not like “amnesty” where you return your overdue library book and no one asks questions.



  10. @novascout

    You did not use the word “amnesty”. Nevertheless, that is why the bill did not pass.

    When we had the bailout, what was the excuse? “Too big to fail.” Now its “too many to deport”. So we are suppose to give illegal immigrants amnesty so our government has yet another excuse to collect a tax?

    How do we solve a big problem? Well, it helps not to be foolish enough to put ourselves in a mess, but we have been foolish. So now what?

    We solve a big problem by splitting it into smaller ones. This is just off the top of my head. So I expect I will forget something. Sorry, but I still have to listen to Trump’s latest speech on immigration to get my mind-numbed robot marching orders.

    1. Build the wall and verify it stops illegals from crossing.
    2. Stop giving folks from nations where terrorists are operating in significant numbers the right to come here without a good security check. No immigration. Just trade and diplomatic visits.
    3. Hire the people we need to enforce the border and run down the people who are violating their visas.
    4. Require employers to verify citizenship.
    5. Negotiate agreements with other nations that allow us to send their illegal immigrants back home.
    6. Develop a reliable system with straightforward criteria that allows us to identify people. This is not complicated. We have been doing fingerprints for years, but identity theft is rampant.
    7. Cut the benefits of illegal immigrants: health, education, and welfare. Why is our government giving money to people who are not suppose to be here? That is absurd.
    8. Cut Federal Funds to sanctuary cities, counties, states, and whatever.
    9. Track down illegal immigrant criminals and such. Try them, jail them and then send them home.

    After we establish the first nine conditions are in place, we do 10, 11, and 12.
    10. Update our immigration laws to encourage the immigration and assimilation of talented people.
    11. Establish clear criteria for those illegal immigrants who must stay in this country (not safe to go back or this is the only home they have ever known) to gain citizenship.
    12. Round up the illegal immigrants who refused to go back to their home country.

    Since we will fight over this like cats and dogs, those first nine steps will be implemented slowly. To some extent, that is a good thing. If we can actually break the illegal immigration amnesty lobby, then the illegal immigrants will see what is coming (unemployment and benefits cutoff) and slowly self deport. Once that starts we can implement steps 10 and 11 and make arrangements to keep the people we want to stay. Step 12 would be the last step. Because it will be an ugly scene, no one wants to round up a bunch of people who have been in this country for years. That’s why steps 1 – 11 have to come first.

    How else can step 12 be made easier? We can punish people for not exiting on their own. If step 12 features several months of collecting trash by the roadside, most people will self deport first.

    What should matter is what good for the country, not the Democratic Party. Currently, we have our priorities backwards.


    1. There’s a bit of overlap in your 12-point program and things that are either already being done or that can be done pursuant to the Senate Bill or something like it, Tom. I take that as a hopeful sign. Six of your points are already in place, although we can always refine how we do things and appropriate funds for doing them better (Congress seems very reluctant to undertake even the most basic measures to improve the economy or strengthen national security, but that’s another story). The Wall (your point 1) is an idiotic idea, will cost us (not Mexico) gazillions of dollars, and, if it has any advantages at all they are the New Deal-type, WPA advantages of putting a lot of people to work for a decade on a government project. Normally, I wouldn’t expect you to be a fan of such projects. No serious person believes that such a public works project can, will or needs to be built.

      Again, Amnesty has never been a serious proposal for immigration reform. No one is advocating it. It’s just a label without meaning.



      1. @novascout

        Ever heard of the Great Wall of China? I tend to think we can build something that costs far less. Why did Trump have to insist upon Mexico paying for it? People are stupid.

        The way people advocate amnesty is simple enough. Read Tony’s comment =>

        If there is no way to get anyone to leave our country, we effectively have amnesty. Even your idea, a fine, amounts to the same thing.


        1. RE your last sentence, Tom, we have ways to get people to leave the country. We use them in vast numbers every year. It’s called deportation. We deport at a record clip in this administration. It doesn’t seem to give us any difficulty whatsoever. Of course, it would be madness to try to deport everyone who either entered illegally or who overstayed a visa. Many of these people are quite productive. If we could wave a magic want and make them disappear, it would have terrible consequences for the economy, and the moral and ethical recriminations would undermine our national security for generations. So that’s why the idea of mass expulsions doesn’t have any currency in informed circles.

          As for your gloss on the word “amnesty” I guess it’s a matter of arbitrary definitions. If you define “amnesty” as any policy that doesn’t include expulsion of all immigrants and children who entered without going through the required legal procedures, then your “amnesty” will be a fairly broad term, not very useful as a descriptor, given that no one who has studied this issue to any extent thinks it makes sense to expel everyone who entered illegally. We could probably form a political consensus that those who commit crimes here should go, at least if these are serious crimes that show us that the perpetrator is dangerous. (A fine point in this discussion is that you seem to think they should be rewarded with deportation, whereas a lot of us think that the should serve their sentences here and then be deported). We probably also could find political consensus around the idea that devising processes that encourage lawful entry and discourage illegal entry are a good thing (any farmer or rancher knows that well-maintained, easy to use, well located gates make fences far more effective and more durable. But the overall approach to modernizing immigration policies in ways that promoted the economic and security interests of the United States will involve a mix of things (including some of your 12 points – half of which are already in place in some degree). Increased security, regularization of non-criminal immigrants already here, better identification and record-keeping, streamlined entrance requirements etc.

          I agree with you that Trump is appealing to ignorance on the part of the voters with the Mexico-pays schtick. I prefer not to use your term, “stupid”, but there may indeed be a subset within the ignorant who simply don’t have the mental skills to evaluate the fantastical, manipulative nature of that particular electioneering gambit by this very strange character who has somehow infiltrated the Republican Party. But Trump himself is not stupid, and he, like Limbaugh and a lot of others in his camp know that they are cynically playing on vulnerable minds with that kind of talk.

          As to your link to Tony, I see nothing there that deviates from standard Christian doctrine as applied to these very serious and complex immigration issues. He seems very sincere and thoughtful. I also saw nothing particularly “ad hominem” in his comment, certainly nothing as “ad hominem” than your reference to administration policy and the “liar in the White House”, and many of your personal attacks and name-calling that you frequently fall prey to. I don’t agree with everything he says, and I’m sure he has some reservations about my views from time to time, but Tony strikes me as a polite citizen who takes the time to give the issues of the day careful thought. In his particular case, he also seems to approach secular issues from a very deep religious foundation.



        2. @novascout

          A magic want. I guess that would be better than a magic wand.

          The Obama administration is notorious for lying with statistics. So please don’t bother citing them. That crowd uses a magic want on their numbers.

          So that’s why the idea of mass expulsions doesn’t have any currency in informed circles.

          Do informed circles consist of people who praise themselves?

          When people set impossible conditions for enforcing the border, I call that amnesty. Nothing complicated about it.

          The Obama administration is not enforcing the border. That outfit is just going through the motions. That’s why tens of thousands of children have been crossing it.

          Willfully ignorant and stupid are pretty much the same thing in practice. We just have some hope that the willfully ignorant will eventually learn that ignorance is not bliss. I still have hope for you.

          Have no idea why you had to attack Limbaugh too.

          Have no interest in attacking Tony personally. The point is what I have already said. When people set impossible conditions for enforcing the border, I call that amnesty. Nothing complicated about it.

          What our glorious leaders keep trying to do is write a complex bill that weakens already weak immigration laws. Then they won’t bother to enforce what remains. That’s what we saw in 1986. No point in doing than again. It is that fool me twice thing.

          So what people want is a demonstration that their government can and will enforce our immigration laws. Then we can talk about rendering mercy to people who broke the law.

          I feel sorry for the children. The adults who knowingly took the risk? No.

          And who is to blame for this shameful mess? All of us, but our lying, devious leaders most of all. It is unfortunate we elected them. It is even more unfortunate we keep doing so.


  11. In response to your last to me Tom, Immigration policy IS federal government policy. Whether that policy is to open the flood gates and grant amnesty, or instead to build some hugely expensive giant wall down the (middle? our side? their side?) of the Reo Grande and over a thousand miles of rugged border and then set up a jackbooted deportation force to round up 11 or 12 million illegal families and send them on some sort of modern trail of tears south, either way, it has to be paid for by taxpayers and OUR federal government has to do it.

    You expect the President to somehow solve the structural issues that are causing refugee problems in other countries, but wouldn’t that call for us to send taxpayer resources and/or the American people’s kids and grandkids to fight in these other countries?

    How easy do you think it really is it to solve the problems in other countries that cause refugees immigrants? What is your grand tax and resource free solution? I know, an unworkable, multi-billion dollar wall that an impoverished and corrupt country who does not want it is supposed to somehow pay for just exactly how? Even if that could actually happen, how would it not be robbing their poor Peter to pay our rich Paul? Trump’s magic plan is not a viable solution – it’s only an incitement to rally bigotry and hatred.

    Much of your criticism about doing this individually ourselves is true. And that is why so many Christians and Christian churches have decided to walk the walk of Jesus and work on the forefront of helping and sponsoring immigrants and refugees to this country. Yes, part of any solution to a flood of refugees and immigrants has to also to attempt to stop the problems that are causing refugees at the source, but the problem of hate and selfishness in the world is somewhat intractable and solutions are slow and incremental at best. All administrations, Republican and Democrat, have faced these problems. You are irrationally tripwired to condemn the Democrats, but as far as I can tell, neither side has actually fixed the immigration problem, much less fixed the world.

    What are your practical and moral policy solutions for stopping the flow of drugs that we Americans are the ones actually buying and that are corrupting these countries and their institutions of government? What do we morally do with 11 to 12 million families that live in our country, clean our toilets, work in our chicken processing plants, take care of our yards and pick our food in back breaking labor? Even to ignore them without granting them legal status (as Trump is now suddenly “softening” toward) is to do something – it is to leave them undocumented and therefore unprotected. People without status are natual victims.

    What do you propose doing with millions of refugee families who have flooded into Europe and who are stuck in terrible camps in Turkey and Jordan? If the Middle East and Europe turn into an all out conflagration that we quite arguably sparked when we destabilized the region by invading Iraq, do you really think that we can just build a wall around ourselves high and wide enough to where it won’t reach us, to where we won’t hear the screams and see the tears of the innocents on our 24 hour news networks? And once we are undoubtedly involved, how much taxpayer resources will be needed then, and how many of our young men and women will we sacrifice in killing and dying then rather than using those taxpayer resources for healing and help now?

    We are the largest trading country in the world by far, and our economy and the economy of our allies and trading partners (including Mexico) depends upon a certain free flow of goods, people and services. How would our “extreme” isolationism effect us, world’s largest economy, and how will it effect the world economy if we lock ourselves behind some new Trump curtain? It can’t be in a good way.

    I am with you on being practical Tom, but this IS, by constitutional definition, a federal issue. So the question is not whether it is a matter of federal responsibility whether federal resources will be used and spent. The question is how those resources will be most practically and morally utilized to solve these problems rather than exacerbate even them further. I almost wish Trump would be elected so that you would see that none of his con job will come true, but it is not worth the satisfaction of an “I told you so” if we have to watch Trump destroy the country.


  12. Tom, you wrote to me this question:

    “What identity group do you belong to?”

    Well Tom, that’s easy. I’m your brother, but more import to this discussion, I’m your “neighbor”. Every time you hear Mr. Trump (or anyone else) say “those people” or some other label that splits them into some separate group, just substitute the words “our neighbors”, or even better “our brothers and sisters”, and see if the statement still makes moral sense.

    The practicalities will still remain. Some of our neighbor’s needs will still be greater than others. Our resources to help our neighbors will still be limited. The most efficient and effective nongovernmental solutions should still come first and foremost and may often be all that is needed for many neighbors. Governmental solutions will still often be involved and often will still be the exclusive avenue, particularly when it comes to immigration and humanitarian intervention. We will still need to balance moral security concerns against moral humanitarian concerns (and the two are not mutually exclusive, but often go hand in hand). There will still be complex strategic military and geopolitical American and international goals to be weighed against narrow short term interests. We will still need to work with our allies. And how we spend scarce economic resources toward the greatest economic benefit will still be the subject of much debate and disagreement by experts from the dismal science on both sides.

    However, in Christ, there are no borders, there are no other races, there are no other languages, there are no other ethnicities, there are no other religions, and there are not even any other real nationalities. There are just neighbors. As you have rightly said, you are a Christian first, and I agree with that sentiment, which makes us neighbors to all other peoples first before all else.

    And as neighbors to all peoples, the moral goods of virtue and mutual dependency with our neighbors are always valued above material goods. If we just name these refugees and immigrants our “neighbors” and choose to look with compassion on our mutual humanity rather than our superficial differences, then the rest is just practical considerations that we can still fight about. But we will be deliberating as neighbors about our neighbors, not some other identity group. And I believe that makes a big difference in what we can agree to do and not to do, and how we might compromise on competing practicalities, don’t you think?

    So here’s some questions to you on your 12 point plan, some of which I could agree with (and as Scout points out, many of which has been happening for some time), what if it were your neighbor, your friend, your brother or your sister, your daughter or your son, that each of those steps that you recommend were actually being apllied to and about? Would you still feel the same way? Would you still go about applying them in the same way? Are they each (especially the “build a wall” idea) really the most cost effective and practical way to achieve what you want to do for people who you actually love as you love yourself?

    If we had the multiple area expertise and knowledge (which I sure as hell don’t), we might agree or disagree on parts of your 12 point plan, but at least we would be working from a common Christian moral framework to find virtuous and practical solutions and compromises to these extremely complex problems.


    1. @Tony

      I am suppose to love God with all the that I have. God is perfectly holy.

      I am suppose to love my neighbor as I love myself. My neighbor is not holy. He is just a jerk like me.

      We have loyalties. Those loyalties mean we owe some people more than we owe others. So I take care of my lady before I take care of anyone else. Next come my children, their families, my brothers and sisters…. Lots of other people come before some neighbor in a faraway land.

      Would I do what the Good Samaritan did? If I ran into a stranger who needed my help, and I could not avoid seeing his distress, would I go out of my way to help him? I like to think I would, but if one of my family members needed me, that stranger would die if he needed my help.

      Every nation needs to enforce its borders. Otherwise, it risks its cultural identity. Do you understand the value of our nation’s cultural identity? Have you been properly informed of this nation’s cultural heritage? No, and I wasn’t either. We have been fed the crap taught in our public school system. So many don’t care if the immigrants ever assimilate. They think if we just love them and put them on welfare everything will be hunkydory, but when has that ever worked?

      How did I realize that I had been fed a bunch of crap? One day I decided I had to read the Bible. Too many things did not make sense. After I read the Bible, I did not know everything, but I knew I had to learn more about Jesus.

      Since then I have been studying the Bible. I have also been reading historic books instead of history books.You can filter out a great deal of nonsense and learn a lot about what actually happened by reading what amounts to primary source literature.


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