Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

What True Immigration ‘Reform’ Would Look Like

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

15 Thoughts on “What True Immigration ‘Reform’ Would Look Like

  1. Geof on July 30, 2015 at 5:23 am said:

    As Thornton wrote yesterday, words and their meanings are the first casualties in the ongoing culture war. Continuing to address illegal aliens, violators of sovereign American law as merely “undocumented immigrants”, further waters down the language and acquiesces to illiberal political correctness.

  2. T Duffy on July 30, 2015 at 6:40 am said:

    I’m for a wall on the border and no mercy deportation. But I’ll except VDH compromise “Immediate and lasting deportation would ensue for those who committed crimes or cynically chose to receive public assistance rather than work while here illegally.”

    • Retired on August 4, 2015 at 2:06 pm said:

      Perhaps a God fearing patriot like Scott Walker could perform a Reaganesque halt to the cultural, political, and moral decline of America. But who is going to reign in Boehner and McConnell, so beholden to the business lobbies? Not enough real conservatives are left to vote. Without a united conservative front, only a miracle can stop the Neomarxists’ long march through the culture and institutions.
      I am working on a post election approach to life that will not leave me in despair.

  3. Edgar on July 30, 2015 at 8:25 am said:

    “We should not minimize criminality. Creating a false identity, using a fraudulent Social Security number, and knowingly filing inaccurate federal forms are serious felonies for most Americans. They are neither minor infractions nor simply the innocuous wages of living in the shadows, but undermine the sinews of a society”

    Filling out these various forms fraudulently and sending through the mail is mail fraud and a felony. Done by some of these illegals over and over. Hell, they break all sorts of laws and commit infractions and such over and over.

  4. Vito on July 30, 2015 at 8:27 am said:

    What the average citizen hates most is the foreign national waving his flag in front of the Capitol and holding a sign with a message written in a foreign language he does not even understand. The average citizen hates this.

  5. Morris on July 30, 2015 at 8:28 am said:

    “For every left-wing city that declares immigration statutes inoperative, a right-wing counterpart might do the same with the Endangered Species Act, gun-registration laws, affirmative action, or gay marriage.”

    Maybe not such a bad idea. A refuge for all those that seek to avoid the crazies.

  6. On the one hand, you have read my mind. On the other hand… get out of my head.

  7. Joel Farber on July 30, 2015 at 11:46 am said:

    “begs the question” does not mean what you seem to think it means.

  8. Chris on July 30, 2015 at 12:50 pm said:

    An absolutely essential component to any reform should be the elimination of the “born here automatically a citizen” rule. Originating in efforts to ensure blacks could not be denied citizenship after the Civil War, this is outdated and has become a major source of influx.

  9. buybuydandavis on July 30, 2015 at 2:59 pm said:

    “Do we really want permanent Balkanized ethnic lobbies”

    What do you mean we, Kemosabe?

    The problem is that the ruling Progressive Theocracy is all for it, and they have enough supporters to make it happen. Classic divide and conquer.

  10. dupere on July 30, 2015 at 8:00 pm said:

    “”” Xi urges quickened construction of China-Russia-Mongolia people’s daily.”” A quote— the three sides should cement mutual trust and forge a community of common destiny. Mongolian people, behold, the following link is a preview of glorious Chinese “common destiny”— Google: “Tibet online people’s daily.” Prized Russian territory in Asia, China’s “peaceful rise” is growing…….

  11. David Park on July 31, 2015 at 9:38 am said:

    Common sense observation of the corruption levels in Mexico supports the belief that those levels of corruption
    are only possible when a critical mass of the population is inherently corruptible. If that is true, it may be
    possible to repeat that scenario here. It depends on the attitudes of those who come here and not just from
    Mexico.

  12. To end the tsumami of illegal immigrants and get rid of most of the ones that are already in the U.S., I think immigration reform should include (among other things):
    — Enacting enormous fines on any U.S. entity (from corporations to individuals) that provides employment to anybody without certified documentation. Enforce vagrancy laws around 7-11’s and parking lots where illegals hang out trying to get day labor jobs. Basically, if they can’t get work, they won’t come here.
    — Enacting enormous fines on anybody caught paying employees “cash under the table” (as many illegal alien day-laborers are paid) to avoid taxes and that onerous paperwork. Many illegal aliens (especially day laborers) will work for sub-minimum wages and paying them “under the table” is a way for U.S. employers to get cheap labor while cutting out the inconvenient administrative hassles.
    — Enact laws denying social services to illegal undocumented aliens. Many illegal aliens are so poor that they have to depend on food stamps, emergency room visits, drivers licenses (in some states), free schools and so forth. As poor as they are here, these things make life a lot better for them than it would be in their home countries. If they can’t get services needed for their families, they will see no advantage to being in the U.S..
    — Change U.S. law to eliminate the provision that U.S. citizenship is automatic for anybody born here. That would eliminate illegal aliens’ anchor babies, which is a reason that a lot of illegals can’t be deported.
    –Irrevocably deport any violators that are caught. How would that be done? Branding? Making them perform 20 years involuntary labor in the salt mines if they come back again? Confiscating everything they’ve got? I don’t know, but I’m sure it could be done so that once deported, they would not want to come back.

    Illegal aliens today find the U.S. an attractive place, despite their poverty here. It’s a lot more attractive than where they came from, especially with all the kind-hearted Americans providing them free services just because they’re here! And the illegal things they have done to get and stay here, well, they’re just little things, they say with a big smile. And they know that if they work hard (or join a good gang), they can make life for their anchor babies a lot better than what they experienced. So, to get rid of these people (and the problems they cause) and keep more from coming, it is my contention that the U.S. must get hard with them and make their experience so unpleasant that they or their friends would be glad to depart and never come back. Success in getting rid of illegal aliens through the above measures would require strict enforcement. My observations are that politicians at every level just don’t have the backbone to enforce that hardness, and find it politically expedient to just go along with the program. We are, as was the Roman Empire, being flooded with outsiders who will take over sooner than we think, and the USA that we know will be gone.

  13. zygote314 on August 4, 2015 at 12:32 pm said:

    I was born in 1965, the same year the Hart-Cellar immigration act became law. The legislation was promoted by “Olympic swimmer” Ted Kennedy and eagerly signed into law by LBJ. The intentions of the law were noble: removal of the ethnic quota system that had barred Asian and African immigrants in favor of northern Europeans, and admit people on the basis of education and merit. Johnson assuage the fears of an electorate that was, and had been since the nation’s founding, about 90% European that “our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually…Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset” (Wikipedia; Immigration and Nationality Act 1965). Clearly, the original intentions of this law have completely failed, AEB the millions who have illegally crossed our porous Southern border and the millions of legal immigrants who under the mantra of “Diversity” have been encouraged to retain their former national and cultural identities in lieu of assimilation, which as a result has led to satelite communities. Has this balkanization happened by accident as some unforeseen consequence, or has it, as David Horowitz remarked on Fox recently, been the stated policy aim of the Democratic party for the past 30 years?

    When I watch a film such as the Graduate or thumb through a book such as The Best of Life, I realize the old America I remember is quickly becoming an anachronism, much to the delight, I’m sure, of Barak Obama and the Marxist Left. This is not to say a little diversity is unwelcomed, as anyone sampling the wide range of delicious cuisine now available in our cities can tell you, but it does mark a radical shift from the stability of the Melting Pot and E Pluribus Unum that we have known for generations into an unnerving balkanized world of competing interests and clashing ideals and values. Could this tinderbox (or “total transformation” as the uppity Hahvid types call it) be exactly what the Left has been dreaming of for decades? And have we become unwitting accomplices to our own cultural demise? Check back with me in another 20 years.

    Immigration is a complex subject, and I don’t want to give the impression that I am anti non-European immigrant. As a nursing student I once worked with a brilliant surgeon from Colombia whom our community was lucky to have. As a young man working at a Mom and Pop grocery store, I had a lot of respect and admiration for the Chinese family who owned it. My boss would work 12 hours a day, seven days a week and often extended credit to his low-income customers, of whom he knew a certain percentage would never pay him back. I beleive immigration should be open to all, but, like just about every other country in the world, should be measured and based on merits such as education, language skills, and capital investment.

  14. Mr. Hanson-
    Your analysis and recommendations of the current immigration situation are right on target.

    Let me suggest a few details to sweeten the pie for progressives: (These will not cost conservatives anything.)
    • Treat the existing 11 million “already here” illegal’s as a separate issue from the “Secure the Border” issue. Don’t demand the border be secured first. It’s not going to be secured anyway for the next 1 ½ years, so drop the demand. It’ll get fixed in 2017.
    • Then make all 11 million non-criminal illegal’s eligible for 5-year renewable Green Cards. Give them SS numbers, and some Fed welfare (TBD). Driving Licenses. In-state tuition, etc. (Time to acknowledge that they will never all be deported.)
    • BUT,
    1. No Voting rights, ever.
    2. No Passports, ever.
    3. No Firearm purchase or ownership, ever.
    • If any of these 11 million illegal’s desires to become a USA citizen, they must first return to their country of origin for a 15 year continuous period, and then apply for citizenship in the (then) normal fashion.
    Fill in any details as is necessary.

    The benefit here is that the illegal immigrants come out of the shadows, register with the IRS and start paying taxes, attend higher education schools, and drive cars legally. They can join the American Dream. They just can’t vote, travel to foreign countries, or own guns.
    It’s a good deal for everyone. Call the Progressive’s bluff: Are they for compassionate settlement of the issue, or do they just want votes.

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