Undocumented immigrants crossing border - what *should* be the response?

(Not necessarily related to the migrant caravan in Mexico)

Many Trump opponents are very vocal about opposing the building of a border wall, and about opposing the use of forces to stop migrants from entering. But - what is the proposed alternative?
Suppose (hypothetically, but surely common in real life): A number of undocumented immigrants arrive at the Mexico-US border and begin crossing over into American soil. ***Something ***has to be done. What should the protocol be?

  1. Let them come in
  2. Keep them in a temporary living facility until their asylum claims are processed and approved or denied
  3. Turn them away, with force if need be
    Those are the only three solutions that the situation presents, as a practical matter. Which should it be, or should it be another?

Wait, they’re claiming asylum? You’re a little unclear.

I would assume a massive number of people would be refugees, in which case the only option that makes sense is #2. It’s extremely unlikely hundreds or thousands of undocumented immigrants would come to the US en masse merely to seek employment.

OK, but not necessarily a mass group - could be as few as 1 individual or as many as a million. I am just asking what the default protocol should be - allow them in, detain them, or turn them back?

What do u think?

The solution is for our government to recognize human rights.

Freedom of movement is a basic human right.

Therefore, the US government does not have the authority to tell a free human being on which side of an arbitrary line he may or may not stand.

That’s not actually correct. You asset that freedom of movement is an intrinsic human right. However, the only so-called intrinsic human rights that have tremendous support are actually realized. That is because, ultimately, rights come from force.

Secondly, let’s accept your axiom. Well, why can’t people just set up residence in your living room? What allows you to own property and exclude other, with lethal force if necessary, free human beings?

Wrong. Rights come from our inherent dignity as human beings.

:rolleyes: Is this a serious question? Property ownership and self-defense are also human rights. Your liberty cannot trump mine, and vice versa, obviously.

Assuming these are refugees seeking asylum:

  1. Provide them with food, water, blankets, medical attention etc. at the border.
  2. If they have no place to go, put them in temporary housing (without breaking up family units) until an asylum hearing can be held.
  3. If they have family/resources in the state, document their ID, contact information and where they will be staying and release them pending their asylum hearing. Experience has shown that the vast majority will show up to their hearings.
  4. At such point when the court system gets its shit together, hold the asylum hearing. If asylum is granted, they stay. If denied, they are sent back (together as a family unit).

I don’t know why we make it more complicated than that.

ETA: I said “if they have resources in the state” but I mean in the country.

^ I agree. But make it known that going thru this process is easier, faster, and safer than trying to sneak-in. The main reason people are trying to cross illegally is the process takes too long. If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we process people showing-up on our doorstep more efficiently? It should be no surprise that people want to come here, so why not make the process easier.

Building a wall or turning everyone away no matter what, is wrong and reeks of typical fear-mongering we see these days.

That’s the beauty of axioms. Anyone can declare some. But if you want to test yours you can go to many places on the globe where your might and your proxies’ might won’t be sufficient to assert your so-called rights.

And yeah, it’s a serious question. How can you defend your property but the nation cannot defend its territory?

I’ll quibble with the premise of the OP by saying that I don’t oppose “the wall” in the same way that I would oppose aggressive use of force against would-be immigrants. I oppose it because it’s probably unnecessary and a waste of resources.

Last I looked into it, a great deal of illegal immigration resulted from overstayed visas. No physical structure is going to stop that. And weren’t we at something close to net-zero immigration (at least from Mexico?) under Obama? Update me on the facts, please. But if I’m even close on this then “the wall” is a pretty stupid idea.

But taking the OP at face value, my answer is… I don’t know. I went down this rabbit hole with a friend recently, and he got frustrated and accused me of being in favor of completely open borders. My response was that I’m not opposed to the idea, only because it’s the least stupid proposal I’ve heard so far.

You document them.

You say “welcome to the USA, you’re gonna need to prove who you are while you’re here, prob more than you ever have had to before.” You ask to see any ID from where they are from, if they have any. You give them a temporary worker ID/SSN (if theyre here to work). You point them to the DMV so they can get a proper state ID (and get a taste of American bureaucracy). You start that oh-so-necessary paper trail. You make it unnecessary to steal someone else’s identity, or create a fraudulent one.


I feel I should note that if we literally catch them at the border, and they do not claim asylum, they should be turned away. Asylum is special, but we don’t have open borders.

We’re talking about immigration. A nation’s right to defend its territory is not relevant to the discussion.

Bullshit. The US government is a legitimate state on this side of the line. That means that it has a monopoly on the use of violence. And as a state, it derives its legitimacy from the consent of those it governs.

Therefore, I’d argue that the US government has special authority by right of being a democratic state to tell those people to bugger off (and force them, if need be) if they’re not wanted in our country.

Yes it is. How is enforcing borders not protecting territory? You think it’s perfectly valid if 10 million Russians want to move into Estonia?

Basically #2, except asylum is not the only option. There should be a process by which they can become legal immigrants, without having to completely send them back where they came. Granted, asylum should get priority, but our founding principle as a nation is immigration, and we should not turn our back on that.

I’m not opposed to granting them temporary visas while they apply to be full immigrants. They’re only a threat if we can’t keep track of them.

But this is not open borders. Our states have open borders, where they can’t even stop you going between the two. This is closed borders, but without treating immigrants as some sort of threat. They are, rather, an asset. People should only not be accepted for an actual cause.

You can’t really use the consent of one group of people as reason you are allowed to do something to another group. By that logic, I can give you consent to hurt my neighbor.

What actually kicks in are property rights, and a right to be protected. Both of these are rights of citizens and residents. That said, there is more than one way to enforce those rights, and it doesn’t have to require having closed borders.