Monday, September 5, 2016

Trump is All Wrong on the Immigration Problem

By Ron Paul

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s recent speech on immigration really missed the point. I understand Trump’s frustration over the US government’s inability to control the US borders and keep out those who would come to this country illegally. Trump was right that the media ignore legitimate questions we have on our immigration policy and he is right that special interests have a great interest in maintaining the status quo.

However when it comes to really solving the immigration problem he gets it all wrong. And instead of making us more free and prosperous, his solutions will accelerate our downward slide toward authoritarianism.

First let’s consider his idea of building a big wall between the US and Mexico. It is said that all one needs to get over an eight foot fence is a nine foot ladder. Or perhaps a shovel. So walls are never very good at keeping people out. But they are very good at keeping people in. Just ask the East Germans. The communist government claimed in 1961 that it had to build a wall around the portion of Berlin it controlled to keep the population safe from the evil capitalist wreckers and saboteurs. It didn’t take long for the world to realize that the real threat to the East German leaders was that the people trapped in East Berlin would try to get out. We have all seen the horrific videos of East German civilians risking – and losing – their lives to escape that prison of razor wire and cinder block.

Is this really what we want for our own future?

What a wild conspiracy theory, some may claim. The wall would never be meant to keep us from leaving. Well ask the IRS. Under a tax enforcement provision passed in 2015, the US government claimed the right to cancel any American citizen’s passport if Washington claims it is owed money.

Trump also made E-Verify the center of his immigration speech. He said, “We will ensure that E-Verify is used to the fullest extent possible under existing law, and we will work with Congress to strengthen and expand its use across the country.”

While preventing those here illegally from being able to gain employment may appeal to many who would like to protect American jobs, E-Verify is the worst possible solution. It is a police state non-solution, as it would require the rest of us legal American citizens to carry a biometric national ID card connected to a government database to prove that the government allows us to work. A false positive would result in financial disaster for millions of American families, as one would be forced to fight a faceless government bureaucracy to correct the mistake. Want to put TSA in charge of deciding if you are eligible to work?

The battle against illegal immigration is a ploy to gain more control over our lives. We are supposed to be terrified of the hoards of Mexicans streaming into our country and thus grant the government new authority over the rest of us. But in fact a Pew study found that between 2009 and 2014 there was a net loss of 140,000 Mexican immigrants from the United States. Yes, this is a government “solution” in search of a real problem.

How to tackle the real immigration problem? Eliminate incentives for those who would come here to live off the rest of us, and make it easier and more rational for those who wish to come here legally to contribute to our economy. No walls, no government databases, no biometric national ID cards. But not a penny in welfare for immigrants. It’s really that simple.

The above originally appeared at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.


  1. What makes you think that the Berlin wall was ineffective in keeping people out? Was East Germany overrun by African or Syrian refugees? It was the policies of the government not an inanimate object like a wall that was the problem for the Germans.

    The government preventing illegals from being hired is one of the few times I agree with a government intervention. It allows a clear rule of law that can be applied fairly in a way everyone can understand in advance what is prohibited, no legal residency no work. It is a humane way of keeping out illegals, with no work here it stops them at the incentive level before they enter. If you allowed anyone to enter and work but then forcibly deported those who had no right to, you have a bad situation of police action against unwilling people.

  2. Re: munch,

    --- What makes you think that the Berlin wall was ineffective in keeping people out? ---

    It's stated purpose was to keep the evils of capitalism from getting in. It failed to do so, spectacularly. The true purpose of the Berlin wall was to keep people in, like prisoners. It was successful in the sense that it kept in only those who did not want to leave.

    --- Was East Germany overrun by African or Syrian refugees? ---

    Is that the engineering standard to test walls? Besides, East Germany's brand of Communism was a pretty good deterrent against most but the nost dedicated Communist 'refugees' that could have existed back then.

    --- The government preventing illegals from being hired is one of the few times I agree with a government intervention. ---

    Self-righteous busybodies like to impose themselves between other people's business through government power. If there's an activity you find objectionable, the state should prohibit it. Your value is everybody's standard, shouldn't it be?

    --- It is a humane way of keeping out illegals, with no work here it stops them at the incentive level before they enter. ---

    Just like alcohol Prohibition convinced all Americans to become teetotalers. It's not like criminalizing an otherwise peaceful activity breeds black markets, does it?

    The only reasonable policy recommendation regarding immigration is what Dr. Paul proposes, which is to deny welfare benefits to immigrants. That won't stop immigration per se because that's not the point. The point is that immigrants will come whether you like it or not; the key to maintain the great economic advantage from migrant labor is to not give them free money, something that is very easy to implement.

  3. You know whats amazing? Trump and others like him don't want to attack the real reasons why businesses hire illegals; 1. Minimum wage 2. Taxes 3. Red Tape and 4. The Welfare State

  4. There are alot of companies who are providing us citizenship and immigration services and people can easily immigrate to USA without any hassle.

    1. Re: John,

      Those are immigration lawyers and all they can do is advise on what can you do regarding immigration, set up paperwork and such, but they don't get you visas. Please INFORM yourself before spweing inaccuracies.

  5. There was a loss of Mexicans crossing the border but a surge in Central Americans.

    Also, Hungary's border wall erected during the migrant invasion was extremely effective, in the month from 10/2015 to 11/2015 the number of invaders dropped from 99,497 to 315

    1. Re: Keith,

      Immigrants are not invaders. Invaders are invaders. These terms are not interchangeable at all.