Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A “Bump-Stock” Compromise on Immigration

Let us compare the border-control issue to the gun-control issue.

A common argument for gun control is: “Look at all these gun massacres!” The obvious response is that the massacres are almost always in “gun-free” zones. There is an exception to that retort: The Las Vegas massacre of a few months ago was not in a “gun-free” zone. It may have been more effective than usual due to the use of bump stocks. As a result, the NRA uncharacteristically offered to compromise by accepting a ban on bump stocks.

A common argument for border control is: “Look at all these illegal aliens violating American traditions!” The obvious response is that high rates of immigration is an American tradition. There are two claimed exceptions to that retort: 1) Earlier immigration was mostly of Europeans; 2) the rate was, at most, 1.5% of the already-present population per year.

The first claimed exception might sound valid … except we heard it before.

  • 18th century: These immigrants aren't English; they are different.
  • 19th century: These immigrants aren't Protestant; they are differenter.
  • 20th century: These immigrants aren't Western European; they are differentest.
  • 21st century: These immigrants aren't European; they are [we must invent a new grammatical form for this].
For example, if we send advice to keep Muslims out to the year 1856 by chronophone, it will come out as a Roman Catholic ban.

On the other hand, the 1.5% limit appears to be reasonable. (For today's US, it's about 5 million per year.) So … Maybe we should set a limit of 1.5% of the already-present population per year. If it's exceeded, maybe we can auction off the permits. This will also prevent the nightmare scenario of 300 million Democratic voters arriving tomorrow. The proposed limit will not affect politics much in the short run and, in the long run, the descendants of the New Americans may change their minds as much as Southerners or Catholics have. We can already expect Mexicans to oppose asinine environmental regulations.

One more topic we must consider: The recent protests against enforcing immigration laws are about separating families. On the other hand, separating families is also done for violent or property crimes. On the gripping hand, this isn't a “crime” crime; it is a borderline case … similar to a ban on bump stocks. So … Should children be separated from parents if the parents violated a law against owning bump stocks without a license?

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