Libertarian Lies: Legal Immigration Reduces Illegal Immigration!
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The latest libertarian scam on immigration is the plan, no different from the radical Left’s plan, to just make all immigration legal, so as to end the illegal immigration problem.

In some ways this is an end run around the RINOs, who say legal immigration is good, only illegal immigration is bad. In furtherance of open borders, Reason has published a strange article that simultaneously claims that increasing legal immigration reduces illegal immigration, but then admits that the result of legalizing intending illegal aliens just ends up with more total immigration. Lying by headlines to fool the lazy is the new strategy.

So, we can’t really call libertarians the Lying Press, except for the headlines on their story.

An increasing number of migrants attempt to cross the US Southwest border without obtaining a visa or any other prior authorization. 2.5 million migrants did so in 2023. In recent years, responding to this influx, US officials have expanded lawful channels for a limited number of these migrants to cross the border, but only at official ports of entry. These expanded lawful channels were intended to divert migrants away from crossing between ports of entry, by foot or across rivers, thereby reducing unlawful crossings.

New Evidence That Making Legal Migration Easier Reduces Illegal Border Crossings, by Ilya Somin, Reason, April 25, 2024

That’s a fine theory, but what are the results?

It considers almost 11 million migrants (men, women, and children) encountered at the border crossing the border without prior permission or authorization. Using statistical methods designed to distinguish causation from simple correlation, it finds that a policy of expanding lawful channels to cross the border by 10 percent in a given month causes a net reduction of about 3 percent in unlawful crossings several months later. Fluctuations in the constraints on lawful crossings can explain roughly 9 percent of the month-to-month variation in unlawful crossings.

So, in exchange for a 10 percent increase in legal aliens, we get a later reduction in three percent of illegal aliens. But the total number of aliens has increased. This is what the kids call gaslighting, what used to be called lying.

And Reason just handwaves it away.

This is a large effect. It implies, for example, that doubling the number of people allowed to cross the border legally would reduce illegal entry by %30 [sic]. At the same time, we should not be surprise [sic] that the effect falls short of a 1 to 1 correspondence. For obvious reasons, many new legal entrants won’t necessarily be people who would otherwise have tried to enter illegally.

Here Somin displays his ignorance of immigration. Real legal immigration is set by law and regulation. Immigrant visas (IV) are very much restricted at about 1.1 million a year, give or take some fluctuation unrelated to the demand for immigrating to the United States. Such legal immigration cannot be increased without an act of Congress. It can be safely said that no legal immigrant would need to enter illegally and no intending illegal alien can enter legally. The law separates those two groups. And the demand for immigration is in the billions of people, so demand is essentially unlimited. 42 million just from the Western Hemisphere [42 Million Want to Migrate to U.S., by Jim Clifton, Gallup, March 24, 2021].

What “legal” increase in immigration Somin refers to is an illegal increase in immigration disguised with a veneer of legality. An attorney should know the difference, but being a libertarian and lawyer means not having to understand the law.

The most obvious problem with the analysis, which is implicitly admitted, is that aliens who have no lawful claim to an IV will be coming anyway, legal or not. The veneer of legality is basically three-fold: catch-and-release at the border, the increase in got-aways caused by catch-and-release, and the Parole Amnesty. The catch-and-release amnesty is in the multiple of millions and the Parole Amnesty was over a million illegal aliens a year ago. Add at least another million, while combining both catch-and-release, and you get a multiple of the 1.1 million IVs issued a year [U.S. Released More Than 2.3 Million Migrants At Border Since 2021, Data Show, by Maria Sacchetti and Nick Miroff, WaPo, January 6, 2024]. This does not include the known and unknown got-aways, which is north of 2 million [The Border Report: Nearly 1.6 million ‘gotaways’ in U.S. since January 2021, Washington Examiner, August 28, 2023].

The illegal aliens know that if they reach the border, they will be released. Parole is a legal farce, and those who don’t want to risk catch-and-release, just enter illegally more easily, since the Border Patrol are caught up in processing those that are surrendering to be released.

And just for April 2024, the illegal entry rate remains above that of 2021.

It is not clear what the sophisticated analysis was used in this academic paper Reason is reporting on, but it clearly does not take into effect the actual numbers of illegal aliens who enter and those who want to enter. At least they, at one point, admit their theory isn’t true. This just appears to be just a headline tactic, relying on people to not read the study, but only the headline.

We know the result, whatever analysis is used: more illegal aliens. I wish Reason would stop these lies and just go back to advocating for open borders, which is much more honest.

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