Ron Paul on Immigration: Just Another Conservative

Ron Paul is just another “stop immigration” bigot.  When it comes to the white hot issue of immigration in this country Ron sides with the nativist wing of the Republican party.

I sometimes follow the incoming links to see how people get here.  One such link led to a confused post wherein the author labels me a “neocon”.  Curious.  Anyway the interesting phrase came a bit later on:

He just doesn’t think we should merely pretend to defend our country by invading another one and then acting as resident sitting ducks for terrorists and their sympathizers – while leaving our own southern border completely unprotected

It was that southern border part that caught my eye, and so I decided to do a bit of research.  In Immigration and the Welfare State, Dr Paul writes:

The problem of illegal immigration will not be solved easily, but we can start by recognizing that the overwhelming majority of Americans – including immigrants – want immigration reduced, not expanded.

Note:  Not “illegal immigration reduced”.  “Immigration Reduced”.

He taps into more than a few conservative favorites in The Immigration Question:

The recent immigration protests in Los Angeles have brought the issue to the forefront, provoking strong reactions from millions of Americans. The protesters’ cause of open borders is not well served when they drape themselves in Mexican flags and chant slogans in Spanish. If anything, their protests underscore the Balkanization of America caused by widespread illegal immigration. How much longer can we maintain huge unassimilated subgroups within America, filled with millions of people who don’t speak English or participate fully in American life? Americans finally have decided the status quo is unacceptable, and immigration may be the issue that decides the 2008 presidential election.

Its funny, but between attending schools, working, and taking part in the political process via campaigning, protesting, and advocacy, I’d think Ron might find something that qualifies as participation in “American life”.  Could the good doctor qualify that statement?

Perhaps one the more interesting sites on Ron Paul is here.  Let’s take a brief look at his voting record on immigration:

  • Keep rule barring immigrants from running for president. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
  • Voted YES on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted YES on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment. (May 2004)
  • Voted YES on extending Immigrant Residency rules. (May 2001)
  • Voted YES on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. (Sep 1998)
  • Rated 100% by FAIR, indicating a voting record restricting immigration. (Dec 2003)

Wow.  This guy is for the border fence.  But two gems stand out among the rest.  He voted to prevent tipping off Mexicans about the vigilante group the Minuteman Project.  He voted to report illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment.

Let’s look at a quote from his essay again:

How much longer can we maintain huge unassimilated subgroups within America, filled with millions of people who don’t speak English or participate fully in American life?

Ron Paul isn’t talking about illegal immigrants here.  He’s talking about immigrants in general.  His votes and his rhetoric paint the picture of a politician who is staunchly anti-immigration.  I don’t see how this squares with the libertarian image he struggles to sell to anyone beyond the true believers.  What is achingly obvious is that Ron Paul is in no way shape or form a liberal candidate.  He may be against the corporate state, but that is starting to make a whole lot of sense.  After all, his positions on immigration are at odds with the corporate wing of the Republican party’s position and stake.

The modern Republican party has two wings struggling for dominance.  One of them is the old school small gummint no taxes no foreigners wing, and the other is the newer corporate power play party.  In this sense, Ron Paul is clearly at odds with Bush, Thompson, and the rest of that wing of the Republicans.  But he is a Republican through and through, not a libertarian.  And his stance on immigration makes this as clear as day.


21 Responses

  1. Mitlon Friedman, Murray Rothbard, Hans Hermann-Hoppe were/are against forced integration so I find the attempts to argue on “ideological purity grounds” a bit silly if not outright dishonest.

  2. C Bowen,
    Sorry, what are you talking about?

  3. He says this is where he differs from most capital-L libertarians. To each his own. I think his words about securing borders are important, given that is where terrorist threats could potentially come from.

    I would rather you talk about his stances on repealing birthright citizenship and the (silly) Supreme Court decisions holding welfare funds must be made available to illegal immigrants. I think those positions are unique and perceptive, as well as potentially successful at solving a large part of the problem.

  4. Oh and by the way – he’s not struggling to sell the libertarian image to anyone but the true believers – if anything, he desperately tries to shake that stigma off. Perhaps with good reason.

    I’m an anarcho-capitalist, so I am an open-borders guy. But in order to have that, you have to get rid of the welfare state, or else problems will arise, as they have. Ron Paul is the only guy in the race who understands that aspect. For that reason I place him higher than Tancredo or the “nativist” brigade.

  5. “The immigration problem fundamentally is a welfare state problem. Some illegal immigrants– certainly not all– receive housing subsidies, food stamps, free medical care, and other forms of welfare. This alienates taxpayers and breeds suspicion of immigrants, even though the majority of them work very hard. Without a welfare state, we would know that everyone coming to America wanted to work hard and support himself. Since we have accepted a permanent welfare state, however, we cannot be surprised when some freeloaders and criminals are attracted to our shores. Welfare muddies the question of why immigrants want to come here.”

    From various writings of Dr. Paul, I think he views a fence type policy as a “band-aid” approach to our current problems. If you’re going to accept a welfare state where the tax payers are forced to provide for the education, medical care, etc of non-citizens, then you must also accept the fact that many will want to come here and take advantage of that situation.

    Reject the welfare-state, end the incentives for illegal immigration, and reward those who follow the legally defined process.

  6. Your blog entry said you didn’t know how Paul’s position on immigration squared with “libertarianism” despite the fact three “pretty big” names in intellectual libertarianism would agree with Paul. That you use the State’s word, “immigration”, rather than “forced integration” the libertarian’s proper phrase, I questioned your status as determining ideological purity.

  7. “Ron Paul is just another “stop immigration” bigot.”

    Yeah right. I’m a purple dinosaur named Barney…

    Seriously you are just another insignificant blogger who hasn’t got a clue, so you desperately throw out accusations.

    Since when is NOT being for wide open borders ‘bigotry’? I thought there was a procedure that every country follows when letting people emigrate, no matter where they come from?

    You are just another leftist trying to pull out the old racist card to be used as a mind-control tactic and it isn’t going to work…

  8. Are you sure that you would never build a fence?

    The per capita GDP of the world is $10,000. The per capita GDP of the United States is $44,000.

    If three billion people headed here tomorrow, what would you do? Make it all better by calling Ron Paul a racist?

  9. Ron Paul is not anti-immigration, you are creating something from nothing with that accusation.

  10. The internet is loaded with mistatements about Ron Pauls positions
    anyone who truely whats to know what the man believes only has to You Tube Ron Paul

  11. A more appropriate title for this guy’s blog would be:

    Inappropriateness for the Occasion

  12. Fitness for the Occasion,

    I see you are still anti-Paul. I have visited your blog before and find you to be intelligent and fascinating.

    I personally wish you would try to attend one of his rallies/speeches what ever you want to call them. Meet the man face to face, he will answer your questions. You may not agree but I think you will come away with a little better sense of who HE REALLY IS. Like I said, Fitness for the Occasion, you dont have to agree, everyone has their right to disagree with the messages, but your personal feelings about him leaning towards the bigot/ racist side will be instantly dispelled. Godspeed sir.

  13. The writer of this blog is consistently dishonest. Suggesting that someone is a bigot because they don’t want to be looted by criminals (pay for welfare for illegals) is just the latest dishonesty.

    The pattern here is to say obviously irrational and dishonest things about Ron Paul and then reap a lot of attention.

    Another sicko disturbed by the populartity of freedom and justice.

  14. Harry Browne once said about immigration. “You know the solution to inner city blight in America, is? A million Chinese immigrants” I think he was right, and I would probably surmise that Dr. Paul would think so too. But to think that can invite millions upon millions of people into our country in the current state of underemployment, is foolhardy. Like he said in the New Hampshire debate. “If you subsidize something you get more of it” Do you really think thats not the case?
    But not to worry my friend, when the boom starts, and gets going good. Of course reading you, you’ll have to be dragged kicking and screaming, at all the alphabet soup of Federal bureaucracy hat is ripped away. We will hold out our open arms, and a 100,000 new Asian immigrants, will restore Detroit. But I need not worry about you, for you’ll have found some other issue, to really, sloganism around.

  15. Macy’s catering to Hispanics backfires

    Macy’s campaign to cater to Hispanics is called “Brown is the New White.” The new line of clothing, (including t-shirts that say “I is for illegal”, and more that are so repulsive I cannot print it here), has been rejected

  16. 3. Bret,
    Aha, gotcha, thanks for clearing that up!
    (hmm, I’ll have to check into those)

    4. Bret,
    He’s bringing the rhetoric and the reasoning of the nativist side with him, even if he does bring in other arguments (nixing the welfare state seems a more strictly corporatist/classical conservative stance).

    5. Zack,
    I don’t think ending the welfare state will end the incentives for illegal immigration at all. There is still economic opportunity here. And don’t forget people who are trying to escape oppressive regimes, or just be with their families.

    But he’s attacking all immigration, not just illegal immigration. In that sense his views on the welfare state just don’t apply.

    6. C Bowen,
    Yes, Bret cleared it up. Given your comment, I’d say you are quite right. I think a case can be made that limits on immigration are equivalent to limits on trade, and hence at odds with a strictly libertarian economic ethos. But having heavyweights behind him suggest that there is at the very least a substantial debate there (or apologists trying to reconcile immigration policies with libertarian ideals).

    7. Barney,
    Ron Paul is using the tricks and the trade of the nativists, and standing against all immigration. I commented on this. Seems direct, doesn’t it?

    Cause it is. I’m not trying to engage in mind control here. If I where, I’d be using more effective tactics (vote Kucinich), maybe something slipped (kuci) in between the lines (nich) of our discussion to try and sway you (kucinich!) to my point of view.

    Anywho, he’s saying reduce immigration entirely, and using language that suggests any new immigrants are “not becoming Americans”. Its funny how he keeps tapping into these rhetorical streams long used by racists, yet he himself is not one.

    8. Joe,
    I’m not saying we shouldn’t have immigration policy. But you don’t need to say “those filthy foreigners talk funny” and “oh noes we need to reduce ALL immigration!!!”. But Ron Paul does.

    9. brody,
    ok….and enter the evidence. Hellooo? Evidence? Anybody home?

    10. Flo,
    Because his supporters can’t argue for him?
    Look, just tossing out a blanket “there are mistatements” out there and then saying “you tube him” addresses zilch. Why not try picking something from this post (which you clearly disagree with, at the very least because it criticizes Ron Paul), and responding to it?

    11. OurPlan.

    12. dw,
    Nifty. I’ll keep an eye out for him in the dc area (feel free to drop a note/email). If I can swing it with work schedule and such, I’ll drop by and post my thoughts on it all here.

    13. John,

    Another sicko disturbed by the populartity of freedom and justice.

    Yes John. And the terrorists hate us for our freedom.

    I pointed out, in Ron Pauls own words, that he takes the same stance and uses the same canards as blatant nativists. Apparently all it takes to be “consistently dishonest” is to criticize Ron Paul.

    He’s not perfect, and this is one of his flaws.

    14. To Rule …
    Huh? (Did anyone else understand that?)

  17. Ending the welfare state though will *reduce* the incentives to illegally immigrate. Securing the borders (all of them) will likewise reduce that incentive. But beyond that, instead of providing Mexicans with a great place to come, work, make money and then move back to Mexico (someday, maybe not), we ought to be incentivizing them to do something about their own political/economic mess.

    Dumping the welfare state is not a “corporatist” agenda, man, it’s a Free Market / libertarian / paleoconservative agenda. Corporatists are people like Clinton and Giuliani – they’re both two peas of the same pod, and hardly classically conservative.

  18. 17 Bret,
    Definitely. But removing any benefits we enjoy will reduce incentives. So why hurt Americans to scare off immigrants?

    We ought to help people whose countries have issues, absolutely.

    This is an area where libertarian/classical conservatives and corporatists agree then. Corporatists are those who put the interests of companies above the interests of individuals. Some do it explicitly (Clinton, Giuliani, Bush) (and this covers most of the politicians out there, right and left), and some do it implicitly (Ron Paul). In Ron’s case, he does it by creating the space for corporations to act unimpeded by regulation. Not the same as active assistance, to be sure, but still, less than admirable.

  19. Ron Paul would only end federal regulations. The states could do whatever they wanted. If you read the Constitution, then you will see that’s the way the counry was supposed to operate.

    And not all of us “enjoy” benefits. That’s why it’s necessary to legislate participation, isn’t it?

  20. Alexia,
    I have read the constitution, and that is not the way the country was meant to operate. There is a federal government, and it can pass laws. (I will post on this later in more detail.) But even if it were, it is not the way I want it to operate. I want basic rights to exist everywhere, not just in states that choose to recognize them. “Only” ending federal regulations is not at all a good thing. If you oppose civil rights on the federal level, you can bloviate to your heart’s content, you are opposing civil rights in practical effect.

    Heh. Good point on the benefits. What we really “enjoy”, most of us, is the assurance that in some small way there is a social safety net if we fall. However the idea is whatever benefit we get rid of to decrease incentives, it is a benefit our citizens will no longer have. We’d be hurting our citizens to keep immigrants from wanting to come over. My point is twofold: One, this won’t actually discourage immigration, and two, it would be utterly wrong to sacrifice our own citizens to keep out the citizens of other countries.

  21. The Ron Paul cult is not libertarian though this fraud does con some libertarians into financing his campaign. That someone called immigration “forced integration” indicates the level of intellect among the Paulist Know-Nothings. Friedman’s position was misstated and Hoppe is openly racist and hangs out with neo-Nazis in Europe and panders to White Supremacists who he invites to speak at his conferences.

    Paul is anti-immigration full stop. He supports State’s Rights not individual rights. Screw him. He’s no libertarian. And the sooner he and his ilk leave the better.

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