Monday, June 18, 2012

Ron Paul's Liberty Defined 6: Illegal Immigration

In this post about Ron Paul's Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, I'll write about Ron Paul's views on illegal immigration.  Essentially, Paul is somewhere between amnesty, on the one hand, and building a wall to keep out illegal immigrants, on the other hand.  Some of his policies are hard-line, and some of them are compassionate towards illegal immigrants.

Let's start with the hard-line positions.  Ron Paul supports abolishing the welfare state, and he wants to "Stop all federal mandates on the states to provide free education and medical care for illegal immigrants" (page 155).  He is for more border guards, allowing private landowners to keep illegals off of their own land, and permitting states to enforce immigration law.  He does not favor granting children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S. automatic citizenship.  He opposes amnesty, and he thinks that legal and illegal immigrants who "incite violence or commit crimes of violence should be prosecuted under the law and lose their right to stay in the country" (page 156).  He favors the police being allowed to research the citizenship of a person who is "caught participating in a crime" (pages 156-157).

Some of this should be qualified.  First, while Paul is against amnesty, he's not necessarily for deporting every illegal immigrant, for he supports providing a green card with an asterisk.  Second, in terms of the police researching the citizenship of illegal immigrants, Paul distinguishes what he supports from "stopping anyone anytime and demanding the individual present documentation of a legal status" (page 157).  But does Paul, a believer in states' rights, think that state authorities should be permitted to stop anyone at anytime?

Now let's proceed to Ron Paul's policies that are compassionate towards illegal immigrants.  Paul supports a guest-worker program.  He wants a strong U.S. economy in which citizens and foreigners can participate, and he believes that getting rid of the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies will keep wages high.  Paul does not support punishing businesses for hiring illegal immigrants, nor does he agree with punishing Catholic churches for providing them with sanctuary.  

I should also note that Ron Paul supports legalizing drugs and believes that the drug war and the problem of illegal immigration are connected.

In terms of any questions that I have, there is one.  Suppose there is an illegal immigrant who is allowed to stay in the U.S. and to work, and his wages are high now that the Fed's inflationary policies are gone.  If his family can be legally excluded from U.S. public schools and medical care, is that much of a deal for him or his family?  At the same time, Paul appears to be for many things being private-sector anyway, so perhaps Paul would say that private schools and doctors under his system would be able (if they chose) to provide services to illegal immigrants and their families.

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