I don’t usually do politics here, and I’m not going to delve into the substantive discussion of what immigration policy ought to be (though I generally agree with the point that Brad DeLong makes in criticizing Paul Krugman).

But I hate disingenuous arguments, so I thought I’d reproduce this skewering from David Friedman.

He quite elegantly points out how irrelevant national security arguments are to the debate over the Mexican border.

    The linkage is absurd for two different reasons. The first is that current illegal immigrants are not Muslims and have no connection with or allegiance to Islamic organizations, terrorist or otherwise. Most of them are Catholics. They are no more likely to support Islamic terrorism than the people already here—probably less likely.

    The second is that the U.S. doesn’t control its borders, isn’t going to control its borders, and probably cannot at any acceptable cost control its borders, in the sense relevant to the terrorist issue. In 2004, the most recent year for which I found figures, there were more than eighty million tourist arrivals in North America, presumably most of them in the U.S. Anyone with sufficient resources and ability to pose a serious terrorist threat can get into the country as one of those tens of millions—he doesn’t have to scramble through a tunnel under the U.S./Mexican border. And making it a criminal offense to hire illegal aliens will have very little effect on those aliens who are working for al-Qaeda. They already have a job.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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