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The Intrinsic Value of Humanity

This is the first headline contribution from Webdiarist Daemon Singer. Thanks Daemon.

by Daemon Singer

“Humanity” per sé is an extraordinarily broad brush to use, when looking for a descriptor of a Nation. It seems on first glance to be an immeasurable, something that has no volume, area, weight or mass, but in reality, it is an accepted way of thinking about the worth of a person in terms of their being.

Frequently one hears commentary about how “good” a person is. They are valued by what they have done, are doing can do or plan to do. When one hears such comments, we seem to glow inwardly just because that person “is”. Simply because that person lives and breathes and is doing what we are lauding them for.

Among Catholics and Hindus for example, one thinks of the Blessed Theresa of Calcutta. Let’s examine her approximate “value” in terms of her humanity.

  • Direct input to GNP – Zero (directly) per year for 50 years unless she paid tax.
  • Indirect input to GNP – A few tourists/volunteers and their spending power.
  • Input into the lives of the slum dwellers – incalculable
  • Input into the Charity Sisters – incalculable in terms of new adherents, supporters etc.
  • Cost to the Indian taxpayer – Nil since there is no such thing as social welfare in India, (much the same way we are going).
  • Cost to the International tax system – Deductions for donations to an acceptable charity.
  • Cost to volunteers – 185 Rupees per day; incalculable in terms of their feelings of self-worth after spending a year working with her.
  • Cost to slum dwellers – nil, since they have nothing anyway.
  • Value to slum dwellers – How much value do you place on a ray of sunshine in your life?

So when we look at the government “excising” pieces of the country as part of “The Final Pacific Solution”, to prevent the possibility of being placed in a position of offering succour to people whose lives are at risk because of Indonesia and their rather repugnant regime of expansion into developing countries and Island communities, what are we really achieving, in global terms, as a nation?

Do we add value to our lives as a Nation and as individuals by not making our shores a safe refuge from the repression of Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Burma and any other country with a mind to manage its Nationals by the gun? Do we improve our status in the eyes of the rest of the world (except the gun-toting country these PEOPLE are running and hiding from), by rejecting out of hand, the upturned face of a frightened child, running to escape his own countries guns?

My view is we make ourselves poorer, by not reaching out to these people. We devalue their existence by saying “No, we can’t help you, because if we do, Indonesia will not trade with us”. The trade with Indonesia or whoever, is given a measurable value, in dollars, coming into the governments coffers as taxes, and into the boardrooms of the big end of town in terms of sales.

When we see John Howard, Alexander Downer, Mark Vaile and so on, in the streets, we see a media scrum asking the supposed “hard questions” about our policies as a Nation on such issues as Globalisation (another word for unencumbered international sales), The war in Iraq (a gold mine for Halliburton), the AWB Wheat for Weapons scandal (an opportunity to see how many times you can say “I don’t remember”).

What we don’t see in our 30 second news byte on Ten before Sale of the Century or whatever the current fools’ music is, is the same “representatives” of the whole of the Electorate, sitting on the veranda with the CEO’s of the major contributors, telling Howard et al, exactly what they want for their undisclosed donations.

The problem is, because we don’t see it, we forget it’s there, and they get away with it, every time, because Australians are being de-educated, so the hard questions don’t get asked, and if they are, the answers, (or lack of them) are soon forgotten. This de-education goes on under our noses by means of pricing most people out of a University Education, by the simple expedient of “User Pays”. I wonder how much Howard and Nelson paid for their University Education.

Howard’s appearance before Cole was an example of such deliciously wicked timing, as to leave thinking people breathless. By Tuesday, the next real news day after Easter, will the broadsheets and tabloids be rabbitting on about Howard? I seriously doubt it. They will be talking about the road kill, the rapes, the kids beating up on each other, the homosexuals wanting equal rights, and what the current flavour of “pop icon” is wearing out to the clubs. They won’t be offering a view on the government, as it bends the nation over a barrel, greases its’ hand, and proceeds to give us the fucking we deserve, for not being in the streets shouting about the vile deeds these people carry on, in our names. They won’t be exposing it because the media owners group, all three of them, won’t have it.

I was looking in the Sydney Morning Herald, as I write this, and see four or five churches making a stand against this government’s “moral abandonment”, as the Uniting Church calls it, including one church where one of the Papuan survivors was invited into the pulpit to tell of his treatment in West Papua. I know not a lot of folks go to church these days, but Abbott and Costello surely do, as does Howard, as we see ad-nauseum, on the newsbytes, usually with a proper head of state, as opposed to his diplomatic equal. I wonder whether they will pick up on the disillusionment talked about in those pulpits, covered in the press. (The sneaky “PK” side of me wonders if the vicars addressing the Liberal party churches have the balls to even speak about it).

This is an issue that may make people think about what it really entails, being this new “Mean Country”. The only thing that counts under this government is your dollar value. If you are a net cost, you’re out of here, onto an Island as far away as possible, becoming part of The Final Pacific Solution. Is that really what it’s about? Are WE really like that? Not in my experience.

I work with people from the big end of town, and I have never yet heard one of them muttering about “bastard reffos”, coming here etc. They may see the financial side of it as a burden, but what about when these folks get jobs, pay taxes etc.

Surely there has to be a balance somewhere along the line, where a person comes to Australia, is helped for the first 12-18 months, to get on their feet, and then they find a job, because someone is asked, or someone is recruiting and can’t see why this former refugee shouldn’t be able to do the job. Spend 10 years in a job paying tax, and surely, somewhere, a balance of cost is achieved?

Contribution to the Economy (From– A Just Australia)

A short run estimate of the potential economic impact of allowing a cohort of 211 asylum seekers the right to enter paid employment reveals the granting or work rights to this group as a positive step. The cohort consists of asylum seekers who live throughout Victoria and NSW and who did not have the right to work as at 5 August 2005 (Asylum Seeker Skills Audit 2005). In what follows, we estimate potential gains to the Australian economy of having let these asylum seekers enter the labour force during the period they were disallowed the right to work...

The cohort of the 211 asylum seekers who undertook the skills audit would have potentially added up to would have potentially added up to $26 million to the Australian GDP over a 3 year period.

In Liberal ideology alone, with our well known declining birth rate (the government rents your womb now for $3000 remember), there is a business case to be made, for allowing a few thousand refugees in every year. I think from memory that Amanda dusts off her ample bosom telling the world that the least populated country on the face of the planet took 13,000 refugees last year.

Well that will be a fillip to our population woes won’t it? There are 22 million Australians. Approximately 6% of who are originally from parts of Asia.

The demographic impact (from – The Parliamentary Library)

Australia's population has been changed by immigration more than that of any comparable country: 23 per cent of Australia's population is overseas-born, compared with 15 per cent of Canada's and 9 per cent of the USA's. Forty per cent of the Australian population are migrants or have parents who were migrants. As at June 1995, 4.8 per cent of the estimated resident population was born in an Asian country, and with their Australian-born children, first and second generation 'Asians' comprised about 6 per cent of the population.

Has anyone told the government about the cost on the economy of those refugees who came from Viet Nam after Americas last Australian Liberal Government supported Asian adventure? The refugees who now have a business employing staff, paying taxes, getting off the dole etc, then as the company gets bigger starting to export products overseas and assist the Balance of Trade?

Suddenly the anti-refugee ideology, (and it is an ideology it isn’t a policy per sé), actually stops making sense at home, in terms of trade, and yet, we can send these new victims back to West Papua, based on the assurances of the Indonesians that they won’t be harmed, no matter the shades of East Timor, still very, very fresh in our minds.

In 2005, in a letter Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, (our only non-visa Pacific Partner), The Indonesian Human Rights Committee urged her to call for:

Free and unfettered access to West Papua by journalists, international agencies, parliamentarians, UN representatives and diplomats”.

Why that is required? Are there too many secrets between Indonesia and Australia perhaps? The truth is if the Indonesians have nothing to hide they would open the place up. I wonder how much truth there is, in the denials from Djakarta of more human rights abuses under Indonesia’s guardianship. Abuses meted out in the name of Howard and Yudoyhono’s shared Gods; money and trade, perhaps?

As a community we are all geared to being aware of the trade deficit and we are I suppose thoughtful of the impact of trade on our own economy. But is it a personal impact? I venture to suggest that whilst we all suffer for it, we really aren’t responsible for it, and it never really falls in our laps.

Trade imbalance is the result of government and big business spending money overseas. You and I don’t buy Jumbo jets, but they are a large portion of the deficit. When we come into contact with them, it is usually our arses firmly strapped into a seat we paid for. Maybe this is a bit of double dipping from us. Tax and interest rate increases social welfare program decreases, spending reductions on education and health. That is where we come into contact with what is essentially the big end of town buying overseas, then charging us to use what they have bought, after we had already paid extra social capital money out, to enable the purchase.

I don’t want to sound completely negative about the big end of town however. They do what they must to satisfy their shareholders, as is their responsibility, but we should not be happy about it or accepting of it, without very good reasons being put before us by our elected leaders. Neither do I pretend to understand why we have to be responsible for this largesse, handed out on our behalf.

Where I really have a problem is that my value as a person is reduced, because I don’t have the opportunity to reach out to someone in need and offer assistance. In terms of The Final Pacific Solution, this means the Indonesian Government is saying “you have no heart, according to your Prime Minister, and so Australians are not allowed to assist people who Indonesia would much rather not have Australians hearing from or knowing about and we would rather have dead, so we get all the money from the copper and gold reserves”.

Casting my mind back to the Tsunami of 15 months ago, I remember how Howard on our behalf gave the Indonesians a billion dollars. I don’t have an issue with that in and of itself but I do ask “why”. What was the reason? How was it given? Was it cash or was it trade credits?

Meanwhile, you and I reached into our never very deep pockets, and sent another $375,290,816.48, via Aid Agency donations. That was definitely cash. Of that sum $21,728,312.00 was Government (Read “Taxpayer”) Cash Donations. (See Here for information).

Who profited from the 1 billion? I know I felt rather pleased with myself over sending 3 hours pay. It was an off-pay week. It was what I could afford, and still keep food on my own table. I wonder whether the trade credits ever actually seep down to the person in the street.

Let me pose a series of questions:

  • If you have given money to a beggar, how did you feel afterwards?
  • If you have paid for something which you didn’t need, but you knew that in buying it, someone would personally benefit (other than in terms of the money for the sale), how did you make the decision to do that? (An example may be going to one of those ethical trade shops to buy something made in the third world and sold directly on their behalf.)
  • Have you ever put money in the Salvation Army ladies box at the pub on a Friday? Why?
  • Have you sponsored a child through Plan Australia? Why did you and how does it feel every month when your $30 goes out of the bank.
  • Have you made a commitment to WWF? Why?

Each of these things is a measure of our Humanity. You see the value of adding a little positive to your own existence in the simple knowledge that you did something for someone else, with no strings attached.

We as a country are presented by Howard and Co as being mean, and not reaching out, in spite of the 13,000 refugees settled last year. People coming here, in a life-threatening emergency, as (based on the East Timor experience) is the case in the Papuan situation, are being sent on “to a third country” and depending on who you believe, Howard or Vanstone, that may include Australia, which is a third country by virtue of the fact that the excised area isn’t Australia.

I personally don’t think I am mean, and I don’t mind reaching out. I have a sneaking suspicion that my fellow Webdiarists, likewise, are not mean-spirited, and I am yet to talk to someone who agrees with what is being done, in our name, in The Final Pacific Solution.

Why then is it being done? As a population, we don’t appear to fit Howard’s mould for us at all, yet here he is telling the world that we are the America of the South Pacific. We are just a deputy to Dick Cheney’s Sheriff. I don’t believe that’s true. I believe a small number of accountants have been trapped into justifying what is being done on our behalf, and in so doing, making us targets for anyone who disagrees with America.

It really isn’t as black and white as “You’re with us or you’re against us”. The proof of how effective standing up for America really is was clearly demonstrated in the Bali Bombings. The value Djakarta place on the lives of our nationals was never made clearer, than by the sentences handed to most of the bombers.

What all of our leaders seem to forget, is the simple value we all, each and every one of us, places on humanity, and specifically, our individual humanity.

Additional Reading Recommended:

The Whistleblower – Victoria Laurie.


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Australia’s settlement services

A useful resource at Parliamentary Library, E-Brief: Australia’s settlement services for refugees and migrants:

... This electronic brief provides an overview of Australia’s settlement services for migrants and humanitarian entrants, and a guide to internet resources, research and comment on current settlement issues in Australia. It also provides information about the development of settlement and ‘integration’ services overseas.  ... 

The work of Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Rob, I read through all of the links you provided. Let’s have a look at some the best quotes and arguments from Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

On race and culture.

“People of one ethno-culture tend to live in close proximity to one another and spatially separated and distant from people of another ethno-culture” he says this and then draws a huge bow with “Nothing like a society where members of different ethno-cultures live as neighbours or in close physical proximity to each other emerges”. What rubbish, maybe Mr Hoppe should get out more. I personally live in a street with people from Chinese, Italian, Greek and English decent and that’s just the neighbours I know. Most of Australia is becoming like this, so is America, the UK, Canada etc.

On labour productivity.

Relating to “local employers” Hoppe says “they must be fearful of the possibility that an ethno-culturally heterogeneous work force might lead to lower productivity.” What! Is Hoppe seriously asserting that greater cultural/racial diversity in the work place results in lower productivity? Hoppe provides no justification for this absurd claim. How would he explain the productivity gains in Australian corporations over the last 50 years, whilst the typical Australian work place has become much more culturally/racially diverse?

On “forced integration”

This is Mr Hoppe’s preferred term for legal immigration. Apparently all governments wish to enforce immigration on their citizens in order to “increase tax revenue” and “expand the range of legislative interference with established private property rights.”

On why roads are built by a government.

“to assure its own power to tax and legislate, must have an existential interest in providing its agents access to everyone and all property within the state’s territory. In order to accomplish this, a state must take control of all existing private roads and then use its tax revenue to construct more and additional public roads, places, parks and lands, until everyone’s private property borders onto or is encircled by public lands and roads.” This statement is so ridiculous I don’t know where to start. Does Hoppe think taxes are still collected by agents of the govt walking from door to door? How would Hoppe explain the billions spent by the state and federal government on the Pacific Highway, building roads that bypass towns and people’s homes?

Rob, there appears to be a badge for yours and Mr Hoppe’s views, how does “Paleolibertarianism” grab you?

I could go on analysing this rubbish written by Mr Hoppe, but it is late and I’m tired. Mr Hoppe may know his economics, but he sure writes a lot of garbage about migration and culture. Mr Hoppe has already been reprimanded by UNLV (where he works) for “mis-characterising opinion as objective fact.”

"Free immigration" and legal international migration

Rob Wearne, I must say that I disagree with your assertion that “Yes” “Immigration infringes on private property”. This doesn’t even make sense Rob. Does this mean all immigrants to Australia in the last year, legal or otherwise have infringed on your own private property? Are you talking about your car, your house/unit (if you have one), your CD collection? I don’t get it mate. How does someone flying, sailing, swimming (whatever method they choose) into Australia infringe your personal private property? This might make sense if you privately owned the entire continent of Australia, but you don’t. Does interstate migration infringe your private property rights as well? If international migration infringes private property rights, then so must interstate and even intra-city migration.

I hope you’re not going to rely on the links you provided to justify your argument. Mr Hoppe actually contradicts you and states the reason why welfare is irrelevant to this issue. “It would also be wrongheaded to attack the case for free immigration by pointing out that because of the existence of a welfare state, immigration has become to a significant extent the immigration of welfare-bums, who, even if the United States, for instance, is below her optimal population point, do not increase but rather decrease average living standards. For this is not an argument against immigration but against the welfare state.” Hoppe continues “the problems of immigration and welfare are analytically distinct problems, and they must be treated accordingly.” So according to your source, the existence or otherwise of a welfare state is not relevant to a discussion on “free immigration”.

Mr Hoppe then attempts to get around this inconvenience by providing some pretty ridiculous examples “for the purpose of illustration”. I’ll go through one of them.

“let us first assume an anarcho-capitalist society” ok,  “All land is privately owned, including all streets, rivers, airports, harbors, etc” ok, not a very practical example but we’ll keep with it. “Clearly, under this scenario there exists no such thing as freedom of immigration. Rather, there exists the freedom of many independent private property owners to admit or exclude others from their own property in accordance with their own unrestricted or restricted property titles.”

Rubbish, with this example there is free immigration. Sure there are practical restrictions on people’s movement, but nothing that acquiring (or purchasing) permission and transport won’t solve. If Hoppe’s example was applied globally a person could buy a plane ticket in Egypt, fly here, buy a rail/bus ticket from another private operator and then stay in a hotel. They could get a job, save for a deposit, rent a unit and so on. Private property rights have not been infringed and immigration is completely free (only restriction is on your ability to pay)..

Hoppe is tying himself in knots arguing semantics regarding the term “free immigration”. What if I called it “unrestricted legal international migration” instead of “free immigration”? Hoppe’s example assumes there is no government, so there can’t be any immigration laws. Therefore migration is not legally restricted and that’s my definition of “free immigration”.

I don’t know why Mr Hoppe needs to argue semantics to make his point, I suspect he realises that true liberty requires open international migration, he just doesn’t want to admit it.

Immigration and private property

Rob Wearne, I don't see a link between immigration and private property rights. Could you explain this. Are you suggesting immigration infringes on private property?


Gareth, in a welfare state - definitely and even without welfare - probably.

As per my previous link for an Austraian economic perspective please see Prof. Hoppe's discussion on this.

(http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe-margins.pdf) or (www.lewrockwell.com/orig/hermann-hoppe1.html)

Poor Little Rich Kid

Rob, it behoves me to think that there are still those who are so concerned with their hip pocket (the $$ right now perspective) that they can’t see the long term benefits of inclusion in this country of the meek and the poor. No matter where a person may come from, by being accepted into our country, our home, these people are adding to you and me, let alone the GDP. That you Rob, are so adverse to having these diverse cultures and skills entering our country seems odd, since it has been lauded, from on high, that we are culturally diverse and ‘proud’ of it.

Have you worked with refugees? Have you seen and felt the devastation that these people have escaped from? Have you seen the changes in their lives as their emotional wounds heal? Have you seen the fervent desire that fills them in obtaining an education and skills to return to a community that is helping them? Have you seen the donations and offers of ‘Free’ assistance to others (impartially) that these refugees provide? Have you watched as their children are taught, by their proud now Australian parents, that this IS the lucky country? Have you heard the teachings that there is much to gain for those who give?

Not only are these people NOT a burden on this country, but they add value from moral and ethical perspectives, as well as those financial (that the ‘top end of town’ value) indicated by Daemon. What Daemon has failed to mention is the education and skill levels of those arriving as refugees. They were educated, respected, skilled individuals, who upon arriving in Australia have nothing. No recognition for their skills, education or standing in the community.

Before you say no to these people, have a look at the list of skilled people that the immigration department are asking for. This is a varied list, from highly skilled fields such as doctors, to ‘lower’ skill level trades such as hairdressers. To immigrate to Australia a person with these skills is accepted (after significant other tests).

Not only does Australia not recognise the refugees' skills, but requires that these people re-educate themselves, prior to acceptance in their field of expertise. They neither complain nor care that this must be done. They accept it. They pursue their ‘retraining’ to the highest level possible. They add value to you and me. They add value to the community. They add value to the GDP. Then ‘finally’ they are given the opportunity to be called Australian and add their voice to our political voice as they gain the right to vote.

Where is the threat to you? What are they taking out of your pocket? Or is it that you’ve seen their hard work and effort pay off and you want what they’ve worked so hard to achieve? Worse still, are you happy that ‘we Australians’ are accepting other country's human rights policies. That Howard will bow to any country that doesn’t like our humanitarian policies.

Sorry Rob, I’m not into this libertarian, white Australia, bend over and “F*** me America” policy that Howard likes to promote. “To those who are given much, much is expected.” Refugees get it, why don’t you?

You can't be a true libertarian

Rob Wearne, you can't be a true libertarian if you're against the free movement of people.

So Many Questions.

Daemon, you seem to be struggling with many questions and that's a good thing. Thanks for giving us much to think about.

Regarding your main question as to why Howard is closing the front gate on Australia; I suggest that he does it to save face. Before I go on, it should be understood that this is a unilateral knee-jerk decision by Howard. He didn't consult Cabinet and he, certainly, didn't consult the minister responsible for the portfolio. He acted as a true dictator; Fidel Howard. Back to saving face.

One of my favourite Red Herrings coming from our government in the last few years was that Howard was tough on border protection and people smuggling. I agree that a strong stand was taken on border protection in as much as the border was theoretically moved to a place where nobody could find it, but when it comes to people smuggling, Howard could do nothing. Well, almost nothing.

Our illustrious leader's only chance to stop people smuggling into Australia was to go to Indonesia, tug his forelock and ask them to make it stop. That's all he could do and that's exactly what he did do. No doubt there was a great deal of horse trading and promises made, but Howard was obviously successful in talking the Indonesians around to doing his bidding on this issue. Though not completely, according to this Lateline piece.

So, thanks to the good work done by Indonesia, all is well on the people smuggling front. Until those pesky Papuans showed up! We all know what happened next.

I have no doubt that Yudhoyono told Howard that, due to our cavalier attitude towards Indonesian sensibilities regarding West Papua, he could expect a flood of people smugglers any time soon. John Howard's unilateral response was to roll up the carpet and declare every refugee persona non grata. All this just so he could claim to have the measure of the people smugglers. Nasty little piece of work, isn't he?

but there are limits to our charity....

Daemon, although I agree with your sentiment that it is sometimes appropriate and chartable to assist those that are more disadvantaged, unfortunately there are limits to what can be achieved.

It is a false hope that mass unchecked third world migration can be instituted in this country without materially adversely changing the standard of living of those already living here. One only has to look at what is happening in the United States to see the effect on public finances, declining school standards, failing public health and declining wage rates for the unskilled due to the pressure from unchecked illegal immigration.

In this regard a recent article by Ross Gittins from the SMH hit the nail on the head by concluding that although GDP may be improved by large scale immigration, the standard of living for existing residents generally will not.

Further there are also negative social costs from unassimilated migrant populations – just look at France. Although it may be a subject that is generally ‘vorbotten’on the Webdiary topics, at least the reason for the high percentage  of criminality and welfare dependency in some ethnic subgroups should be debated.

As a libertarian my personal opinion is that the best way to help those in countries that are poor is to ensure that they have the policies to ensure economic growth and they are treated fairly when it comes to international trade.

Please Explain

Rob, your linkage of "unchecked illegal immigration" to all of the US woes you list is a real stretch. I'd like to see a comprehensive analysis of how you got to that opinion.

As a former long term resident of the US, I know that the "illegals" are all working, and adding to the GNP, because the US has no welfare system to speak of and you cannot survive on air.

The failing public health system in America is failing because of decades of entrenched hostility by those who callously see no value in helping a fellow human being (they are called Republicans).

The "illegals" cannot draw on the public purse, because you need a Social Security Number to access what little help there is, and being "illegal" automatically  disqualifies you from getting one. You need a US birth certificate to get your SSN, so "illegals" have little effect on public finances.

Declining wage rates are linked directly to the emasculation of the union movement in the US over the last 40 years. In any case, the US minimum guaranteed hourly wage rate would hardly feed your dog let alone you and that unfortunate happenstance has not changed in 40 years either.

Your references to circumstances in France are also unsupported generalisations.

 In your last paragraph, just how exactly will your fine sentiments be enabled? Who is going to treat the poor countries, "fairly"? Surely not us. We are robbing East Timor blind. We lie and break all manner of laws just to sell wheat. We renege on our international obligations. No, I'm afraid that what you say is just a lazy smokescreen for maintaining the current level of prejudice and the "f... you, I'm all right Jack" attitude that passes for being a concerned citizen here.


Roger, please see analysis from US based Centre for Immigration Studies on costs of illegal immigration (www.cis.org/topics/costs.html).

The National Research Council has estimated that the net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11 billion to $22 billion per year, with most government expenditures on immigrants coming from state and local coffers, while most taxes paid by immigrants go to the federal treasury. The net deficit is caused by a low level of tax payments by immigrants, because they are disproportionately low-skilled and thus earn low wages, and a higher rate of consumption of government services, both because of their relative poverty and their higher fertility.

This is especially true of illegal immigration. Even though illegal aliens make little use of welfare, from which they are generally barred, the costs of illegal immigration in terms of government expenditures for education, criminal justice, and emergency medical care are significant. California has estimated that the net cost to the state of providing government services to illegal immigrants approached $3 billion during a single fiscal year. The fact that states must bear the cost of federal failure turns illegal immigration, in effect, into one of the largest unfunded federal mandates.

Yes the ‘illegals’ can call on the public purse and you are disingenuous to imply otherwise.

Unless you can suspend the laws of supply and demand the long term declining wage rates in the US amoung the lower skilled have little to do with the union movement and everything to do with labour competition. Further allowing business subsidies by way of cheap immigrant labour has negative economic consequences such as delaying mechanisation (and higher wages) in certain industries – fruit picking being a prime example.

Although my comment about France may have been an “unsupported” generalisation it would be helpful to at least debate the reasons why this unassimilated ethnic minority has unemployment and rates of criminality higher that that of other French born natives.

Heather also feel free to jump in here.

Gareth, yes you can be a libertarian and support immigration restriction - it is an matter of private property rights - see Hoppe (www.hanshoppe.com).

Oh, It's The CIS

Rob, in 2004, the Wall Street Journal, which is a supporter of conservative political causes, published a number of derogatory articles which blew apart the myth that the CIS was an impartial, non-partisan think tank.

According to other sources, the CIS is connected with white supremacist groups and "borderline Republicans" whose main aims are inimical to any form of immigration.

I can only suggest that you find some other sources to back your claims or invite the speculation that you are indeed being disingenuous.

When we lived in the US, my wife was closely involved in health care especially for those without insurance. She can tell you about many incidents where "illegal" immigrants were denied any form of medical treatment. Unlike here, there is no safety net or legal obligation for a hospital or medical clinic to provide their services without charge. The figures that the CIS provides are highly suspect.

Wrong again

Roger you are mostly wrong, although there may be instances of hospitals in the US trying to transfer uninsured patients (as happens every day in our own overrun public hospital system) however under US federal law it is mandated that basic medical care must be provided to all.

Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), emergency departments must screen all comers. They must treat a patient's condition until it is stable, or arrange a transfer to a facility that can, regardless of the patient's ability to pay.

A hospital must also accept transferred patients if it can provide the specialised treatment patients need. And hospitals must maintain a list of on-call physicians who are available to treat emergency patients.

The act also requires hospital policy to define the responsibilities of on-call doctors and implement policies to guide emergency workers when a specialist is not available or when an on-call doctor is not able to respond. Doctor’s providing emergency care—including those on call—who violate any part of the law are subject to a USD 50,000 fine and can be excluded from Medicare.

Yes there is no free medical care without charge but it must be provided despite your ability to pay.

It is also worthy to note although somewhat off topic that the survivability rates for serious disease are about 20% higher in the US than in the public NHS in the UK. Under the more private system as a poor person you may end up broke but the chances are better that you will be alive – I know which one I would prefer.

There is also more generous federal legislation for the provision of free primary and secondary education for all-comers.

As per my previous statement illegal immigrants are material users of healthcare and education at the expense of the native born population in the US.

In relation to the Wall Street Journal, is this the same paper that championed so wholeheartedly the neo-conservative position on IRAQ and the whole Wilsonian ideal of invading the world to make it safe for democracy?

If this is your ideal of mainstream conservatism then by all means I would rather be lumped (smeared) with the paleo-conservative Pat Buchanan’s and white nationalist Jared Tayler’s of the world.

At least their statist claptrap does not call for invading of the world to impose their ideological position.

No Teeth

Rob, it all sounds fine when written but there is virtually no enforcement of EMTALA. Just who exactly would an "illegal" go to complain to about being denied treatment? Who collects the statistics on these events? The Ben Taub Hospital in Houston is the only general public hospital in that city of 1.5 million people. Anybody presenting to the A&E has to provide their bona fides. No documents, no treatment, sorry. This story repeats itself every day in every city in the US.

As far as education is concerned, you cannot enrol your child in any school in the US unless you provide the child's immunisation history. No "illegal" can get that piece of paper because it involves going to a US doctor. On top of that you have to provide your SSN, utility statements and if necessary a copy of your lease or mortgage cover all duly authorised by a public notary. I speak from direct experience of putting three children through school in the US in two different cities. I'm sorry, but what you believe is not what happens on the ground and makes a joke of the CIS assertions.

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make about the WSJ. It is a champion of right-wing causes but finds the impartiality of the CIS questionable. Given that there is sufficient evidence to say that the CIS is promoting a right-wing agenda, perhaps even extreme right-wing, it's bona fides are called into dispute by the very people it seems to serve. If mainstream US conservatives will not accept what the CIS offers what makes you so sure that it is a referee worth quoting?

As far as a personal position is concerned, I find the current government's position reprehensible and a disgrace. I think that the current thinking of closed borders is myopic and xenophobic. The most interesting country to look at is actually the US. That country is what it is today because it allowed almost unfettered access to its shores for many years. The vibrancy, ingenuity and willingness of millions of people coming to America to work made the US the powerhouse that it is today.

Australia did that after WWII but has become self-complacent with its "cherry picking" mentality. My own family are direct benficiaries, being survivors of the Nazi camps. I, myself, was born in a slave labour camp. The idea that we can just move human beings in dire circumstances somewhere else to become some other country's problem just does not sit well with me.

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