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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Representative Jeff Flake’s Libertarian Views on Illegal Imm

    April 3, 2007

    Representative Jeff Flake’s Libertarian Views on Illegal Immigration
    By Rachel Alexander | View comments
    Flake's position on illegal immigration brings up a philosophical question: to what extent does one compromise one's principles in order to achieve them? At what point is it better to adopt a pragmatic solution, rather than an idealistic approach?

    U.S. Representative Jeff Flake from Arizona claims that he was recently removed from his seat on the House Judiciary Committee because of his mixed voting record on illegal immigration. He recently introduced a bill to address illegal immigration with Democrat co-sponsor Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, the STRIVE Act (Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy). The STRIVE Act consists of four parts: 1) border security, 2) interior enforcement, 3) a guest worker program authorizing up to 400,000 more unskilled immigrant workers per year, and 4) requiring illegal immigrants currently in the country to leave the country first, then they can return legally under the guest worker program, known as the "touchback" provision. Some of these proposals were included in bills last year that failed to pass.

    Flake justifies his support for relaxing immigration laws as part of his libertarian philosophy. However, columnist Robert Robb reminds Flake that the libertarian economist Milton Friedman once said that "open borders are incompatible with a modern welfare state." Flake's position on illegal immigration brings up a philosophical question: to what extent does one compromise one's principles in order to achieve them? At what point is it better to adopt a pragmatic solution, rather than an idealistic approach? The libertarian Institute for Justice, led by Clint Bolick, adopted a pragmatic approach several years ago, beginning with school vouchers. Instead of taking a hard line position against using taxpayers' money for education, IJ supported school vouchers, which redistributed taxpayer dollars to private schools. Idealistically, libertarians prefer to privatize all public education. But realistically, the public schools are not going away anytime soon. Redirecting some of the money to the private sector may have been better than getting nowhere fighting the deeply entrenched public school system head on.

    Libertarians want both open borders and the dismantling of the welfare state. The welfare state shows no sign of shrinking. Although the federal government imposed time limits on welfare payments ten years ago, other welfare programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, and disability benefits are increasing. According to the most recent U.S. census poll from 2003, 44 million people in the U.S., or one out of every six, receive government services for the poor. In 1996, there were only 39 million. Many Republican politicians are too afraid to vote to cut social welfare programs like Medicaid. Should libertarians forego their efforts to open the borders because the welfare state is increasing, or should they incrementally begin to open the borders, hoping that the welfare state will eventually begin to shrink?

    Some elected libertarian conservatives, like Representative Ron Paul of Texas, choose the former. Flake is gambling on the latter. In Flake's view, enhancing border security means also increasing the size and oversight of the government. His voting record on illegal immigration legislation reflects his efforts to balance his libertarian views with his conservative views on crime. While in Congress he has voted for several enforcement measures, including outlawing border tunnels, building a border fence, ending sanctuary policies, requiring businesses to use an electronic system to check legal eligibility of new hires, requiring that the federal government cooperate with local authorities and pick up illegal immigrants that are detained. Flake has been less of an immigration hawk on bills that would expand the number of immigrants permitted to enter the country legally. Betterimmigration.com gives Flake a "C" grade in reducing immigration, whereas Rep. Paul received a B/B+.

    It's a no-win situation for Flake. Because he tries to balance his voting record between competing conservative and libertarian views on illegal immigration, he ends up pleasing neither, and ironically ends up on the same side as the Democrats. With Congress controlled by Democrats, and the Bush administration's middle of the road approach to illegal immigration, Flake's bill might actually stand a chance of becoming law.

    http://www.intellectualconservative.com ... migration/
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  2. #2
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    JEAN
    Are you waving a RED flag in front of me today :P

    I know, I know.........you just wanted some extra entertainment, right?
    I'm not biting today!!
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndamendsis
    JEAN
    Are you waving a RED flag in front of me today :P

    I know, I know.........you just wanted some extra entertainment, right?
    I'm not biting today!!

    Good self control today eh?
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jean
    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndamendsis
    JEAN
    Are you waving a RED flag in front of me today :P

    I know, I know.........you just wanted some extra entertainment, right?
    I'm not biting today!!

    Good self control today eh?
    I do try hard....really I do.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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