Proof That Not All Anti-Immigration Arguments Are Racist

I often object to the kinds of arguments that demonize others in order to both gain the emotional high ground and to ostracize the opponents on the other side of an issue. I don’t find such arguments conducive to honest and open intellectual debate. These meta-arguments are not made about the issue itself but are made about the motivations of those holding the counter position.

Usually the makers of such meta-arguments try to derive the falsity of their opponent’s position on the base issue based merely upon motivation. This is a fallacy. One cannot tell if an argument is true or false merely upon the motivation of those who hold it. Nor can you derive in the other direction from someone’s position on an issue to their motivation.

This non-derivability of motivation is especially true because humans are fallible. It is entirely possible and in fact likely that someone holds to a belief in error, especially if it is an issue in dispute. Thus the very fact that there is a dispute magnifies the likelihood of error, and lowers the probability of discovering the underlying motivations.

In the below proof the strongest part of the proof might seem to be Argument I. However Argument II, which rests on the fallacious belief that the moon is made of green cheese, is actually the stronger point in showing that one cannot deduce someone’s motivation from their position on an issue. It’s quite possible they just made a mistake.

Painting the other as evil for a simple mistake does not help them to understand their error and would tend to cement them in their position. They know firsthand that they do not have evil motivations, so any assumption based on that will only tend to alienate them from the counter position.

I know that I am not a racist. I am against a totally open immigration policy for any country, not just my own. I have little patience for fallacious arguments painting me as a racist because of my position. Perhaps I hold my position in error but no one has shown me an error to my satisfaction.

In fact, anyone who makes such an argument is obviously evil and wants to usurp power for themselves to create a one world government. :)


I will show that not all anti-immigration arguments are based on racism. In order to do so I need to provide only a single (valid or invalid) non-race based argument as a counterexample. I will provide both kinds.

I: Valid Anti-Immigration Argument


1) If there is any valid reasons to control and monitor immigration then we are justified in having immigration controls.

2) If we are justified in having immigration controls then we are justified in having laws to implement those controls.

3) If an immigrant violates those just immigration laws he has shown a propensity to criminal behavior.

4) It is just to restrict outlaws and scofflaws from immigrating into our country.

5) Given any one of the following there exists a valid non-racist reason to control immigration.

a) It is just to control and monitor immigration in order to prevent the spread of disease.

b) It is just to control and monitor immigration in order to prevent the free roaming of outlaws and scofflaws who continue to disobey just laws that do not pertain to immigration.

c) It is just to control and monitor immigration in order to properly socialize new immigrants to the laws and customs of the host country.


6) It follows from 1) and any of 5a), 5b) or 5c) that it is just to control and monitor immigration.

7) It follows from 2) and 6) that it is just to create immigration law.

8) It follows from 3) and 7) that illegal immigrants are true criminals.

9) It follows from 4) and 8) that illegal immigrants are justly prevented from immigrating into the country, and can be justly prevented from immigrating solely on the basis of their prior violation of immigration law.

The above argument is not circular because illegal immigrants are not assumed to be criminals as one of the givens.

The above argument is not racist because none of the givens in 5) are based on racism.

II: Invalid Anti-Immigration Argument

1) The moon is made of green cheese.

2) All non-citizens and new immigrants regardless of race eat moon cheese but only when they are in the U.S.

3) Eating moon cheese will destabilize the moons orbit and destroy the earth.

4) We should outlaw the destruction of the earth.

Given 1) – 4) we should outlaw immigration to this country by non-citizens.

The above argument is not racist because it is based on utter nonsense. Anyone who holds to such an argument does so out of error and not racism.

III: Conclusion

Either Argument I or Argument II is sufficient to provide a counterexample to the statement, “All anti-immigration arguments are based on racism”, therefore that statement is false. Q.E.D.


In I.4) I changed "people with criminal tendencies" to "outlaws and scofflaws" and in I.5.b) "criminals who have disobeyed just laws" to "outlaws and scofflaws who continue to disobey just laws".   I added the label "Deducing" to head the portion of the argument with the deductions.

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Please substantiate points

Please substantiate points I.4, I.5.a, I.5.b and I.5.c
I vigorously disagree with these points.



I changed I.4) I.5b) to be tighter.  I see that it encompassed more than I intended.  One could interpret it to mean that you could restrict the immigration of someone who jaywalked once.   So long as a criminal has "paid their debt" as required by law I think they should be able to immigrate.  I intend outlaw and scofflaw to encompass people who have committed crimes for which they have not paid restitution or received their proper punishment.

Although, it's possible the locale the immigrant comes from does not have the same high legal standards as the place they are immigrating to so they might fail in that regard.   So, for instance, a mass murdering dictator might not be able to immigrate in because he'd failed to face justice for the genocide he committed.  Obviously if the country he is migrating to has a life sentence for such a crime he would never be able to immigrate there.

Since I have changed I.4) and I.5.b) I will assume that you have no problem with the new formulation until you object again.

The substantiation of I.5a) relies on the validity of issuing quarantines, and restricting the spread of animal and plant disease.   I think it is quite clear that it is a trespass to expose someone else or their livestock or crops to disease against their will.   Do you think that if someone has Smallpox they should be allowed to freely mingle whereever they please?   Should someone with an animal with hoof and mouth disease, or anthrax be free to roam around with the animal on a leash?  Of course not.

The substantiation of 1.5.c) relies on the fact that different locales have different laws, customs and languages.   What is legal in one jurisdiction may not be legal in another.    The originating country may not have just law and the immigrant may not be socialized to obey just law.   The may in fact essentially be outlaws before they ever set foot in the new country.   For instance, suppose that in the originating country the person in question practiced religious persecution of non-Muslims.  Just because you are free to persecute people who do not believe in your religion in your home country does not mean you can do so freely in your adopted country.   The immigrant would need to be vetted for whether he had practiced such persecution and whether he would assent to stop the practice and pay restitution to his prior victims.  

It's also important that the immigrant understand the laws of the adoptive country so that he doesn't risk violating the rights of others.    It might be an established by the courts that people emigrating from a certain region have a tendency to misunderstand certain laws and require particular forms of education to prevent them from harming others.  They might even be required to have insurance against such possible harm.   

 This is similar to requiring a license and insurance to pursue certain dangerous activities, or activities that special individuals may reasonably be held as a special threat to others.   Presumably any such dangerous activity requires the participants to ensure the safety of individuals they encroach upon.   Surely we do not want to allow someone were to decide to hire a complete novice to demolish a building next to a neighbors house.   Surely that neighbor has some say in what dangers he is exposed to.

So even if you do accept the right of someone to bring in however they want onto their property as "guests" that doesn't mean that you can expose your neighbors to an obvious and inherent threat.     If someone were to purchase a piece of worthless desert next to a thriving mining town, and then invite in a bunch of "immigrants" with no prospects for employment who come from a area where the custom is to wander around freely, and without regards to property boundaries, and who do not speak the language, well that is endangering to the neighbors.   Any reasonable person can see that these people are going to need to eat and when they run out of food they are going to cause problems.   It's pretty straighforward really.

I know that some people think they can do whatever they please with their own lives but that just isn't true.   For some activities there is a reasonable expectation that it will endanger others.   Those activities need to be restricted in reasonable ways.   Thus if you want to breed a dog that has a tendency to attack other animals and people and then train it to be vicious, well you are going to have to live with certain restrictions because you are endangering others.  

If you want to raise your kids like animals in filth with daily beatings and teach them not to respect others property well we may just have to take those children away from you for our own protection.  

If you are to weak to prevent the movement of criminal gangs onto your property to victimize you well we will have to stop that since those gangs might get strong off you and present a threat to us in the future even if they don't just yet.   We know that criminals pick people off one at a time and seeing that behavior is a credible threat, and we don't need your permission to go on your land to deal with it.

This is one of the big holes I see in libertarian theory.  It doesn't allow for the dealing with credible endangerments and threats.  

I actually believe the kind of open immigration that anarchists are used to and want are in fact artifacts of the state.   If you look at primitive places that don't have governments like New Guinea they did not and do not allow free migration into tribal territory, other than when and if they were overwhelmed by force. 



And I'd like to see you be

And I'd like to see you be more careful with 1.3. Immigrants can't choose from a shopping list of which immigration laws they want to violate--the just and unjust come bundled together.

My immigrant wife of 15 years had to sit overseas for three months after we had sold our home abroad in preparation for moving to the US. We were waiting for a Dutch translation that the US Consulate didn't seem to be able to organize. She was not allowed to enter the US on a visitor's visa while this action was pending. Are you saying that if we didn't respect this rather stupid law, that we are more likely to steal and murder?

You use step three as a wedge to say that breaking any law demonstrates a willingness to breaking all laws.

I suppose that this only addresses your larger point if you apply step three differently for different races (or different groups if we swap "xenophobia" for "racism").

Residents can't choose from a shopping list

Residents can't choose from a shopping list of what laws they obey or don't obey either. My son is having to wait six weeks for his drivers test. Yes, I think people who are willing to violate immigration laws are willing to violate other just laws also. Take all those Mexicans crossing the border illegally. You don't think they are trespassing on private property and dumping garbage everywhere. When they get here the use facilities that they are justly not allowed to like hospital emergency rooms for free, and break plenty of other laws like ones on overcrowding and fire safety.

If they break just law then

If they break just law then they can be arrested for breaking this laws and there is no need for immigration policy.

Arresting someone because he "could" commit crimes is tyranny.

No arrests of "could be" crimes involved

"Arresting someone because he "could" commit crimes is tyranny."

Although this is a true statement it has nothing to do with my argument.   All the people being arrested in my sceneario have already committed crimes.     Endangering others is a legit crime.    Now the question is what the actual circumstances amount to endangering others, since I didn't provide specifics.  

I think it's quite clear that when illegal immigrants are living twenty to a room with no form of fire prevention that unneccesarily endangers firefighters and neighbors.    Crowding naturally leads to both increased disease and the evolution of more virulent strains.   This is well known.  

Now the rejoiner to this might be that well they are forced to by the very laws that control immigration.   Which is nonsense since they have plenty of other choices that do not involve such crowding and also these are things they do back in their countries of origin.   Why?  Because they are from a different culture with different values.   They put little emphasis on the values that would tend to make them take the choices that would be less endangering to their neighbors.

They aren't forced to do any of it either.   I choose to have the number of children that I could afford to have safely and they could do likewise.    I choose to have my children when I was more financially stable and they could too.   I choose to have a vasectomy and so can they.

I was vacationing on St. Lucia one year and was buying those cool one frond straw hats for all my reports at work, when this other fellow, not the guy making the hats came up to me and offered to buy my nikes.   These were pretty beat up and he offered a good price but I wasn't selling (after all what would I wear).  In any case I ran into this rastifarian type several times and each time he was trying to get me to sell my shoes.   In the process we got into some philosophical discussions.     He was attempting to point out how much better off he was than me despite knowing nothing about me.  

One point of his was that he had many "wives" and many more children than me.    I guess he used this on other tourists to get a spike of envy or something.  I said, "Great, isn't it hard enough pleasing just one?".    I then pointed out to him that I really couldn't live with myself knowing that I had produced more children than I could actually support.   I think that was the first point that had ever clicked with him because it wiped that knowing smile right off his face.   He had up to that point be treating me as some kind of moral inferior, you know with his religion and all.

Now he was referring to these women as his wives but they were really his girlfriends.   I asked him some other questions about these "wives" and found out they weren't even living with him.  So naturally the next question is how he knows the children were even his.  I also pointed out that since he wasn't the full provider it was likely that the women were

Now just imagine if this country were filled with Rastifarians if this is their attitude towards raising families.    Of course, it's going to screw up the country, and no it would not mean even more for you as you stated in another comment.   Sure you'd be better off than the average but that would be because the average was so much lower.  Unfortunately, your standard of living would be lower also.     Not only that but when push came to shove they see you are better off and envy kicks in.   They then assume you got it via some form of cheating and try to remedy the situation.   That's pretty much what's happening to white farmers now in Zimbabwe.    The culturally different blacks of the region seemed to think that they could just become farmers.    That's not just something you do, it's cultural to a large extent.    

This is the same mistake socialist of all stripes make.  They think for instance that the US is rich because of the natural resources and not the cultural innovations of the white man.   We are well off because we stole from the Indians and continue to steal from foreign countries with our imperialism.   That's just nonsense.   It's the cultural differences that drive this.

Now in an anarchist society the immigrant would be forced to adopt the social norms of his host.   He'd have no choice or he'd be kicked out.    Well that's not happening in Europe right now.   They are being overwhelmed by immigrants who are establishing enclaves of their own cultures, with the quite expected consequences of violating the rights of the natives and endangering them.  

I just watched a video from Belgium where a film crew was just filming in the street and in this Muslim section they have so replaced the culture that they have block watchers that harrass and beat up anyone practicing such activities.   They have in essence founded a new state within the state.  This is totally based on territory and excluding others from that terroritory.    This anarchist dream of the immigrants just peacefully moving in and leaving the current residents alone is a myth.

One set of idiots were under the delusion that culture doesn't matter and let all these people immigrate without aculturating them.   They had the political power to do so and they did it without considering the danger they were putting their fellow citizens in.   They were letting people in from a region of the world that was not touched by the great liberalization movements of the 1800's.    Yet they somehow expect these people to fit in and accept the established rights of the current residents.   That just isn't going to happen.   The minute they get the upper hand numerically they are going to change things.  In fact they already are.

Why is this? Why can't we

Why is this? Why can't we all just get along?

Get used to it.

I don’t find such arguments conducive to honest and open intellectual debate. These meta-arguments are not made about the issue itself but are made about the motivations of those holding the counter position.

Most people who make such arguments are not very interested in reasoning.

You're wrong about immigration because it's none of your business I want to have a peaceful Mexican on my property.

Real Truth about Immigration

One of the underlying and primary reasons of the uncontrollable high unemployment rate in the US is due to immigration. While US teachers are losing their jobs, teachers from other countries, especially the Philippines, are coming here to take those jobs.

There was great influx of foreign- born nurses here in the past while other health-related workers are still currently in demand. The reality behind the US shortage of teachers and health-related workers is the quality of education. Countries, especially those from third world, like India, Mexico and the Philippines, where most of the foreign workers originated, do not have quality of education. Take the case of nursing. Here, in order to be admitted to the program, one has to earn excellent grades and pass the admission test and qualifying interview. In addition, one has to wait for an average period of 1 year in order to pass that admission hurdle. If one is lucky enough to be admitted, the program is so intense that customarily only half of the class will eventually graduate. In the Philippines, if one wants to go to the nursing program (or any program), all he needs to do is enroll and pay the tuition fees. There are so many schools there that offer health-related education and teachers are abundant hence schools and corrupt government officials are driven with profit motive and not quality education. As long as a student has complete attendance and paid his tuition fees, that student will surely graduate in no time. If ever an admission test is required, it is more of raising revenue than assessing one’s competency. Result, in third world countries there are never-ending supply of professionals while in countries with high quality of education, shortage of professionals often occurred. Requiring the foreign applicant to pass the professional test as a requisite for the job will not ease the injustice because the test normally has a high pass rate. Reality is, those foreign workers who eventually obtained the job, would not even endure a semester of full-time study here. Thus to compare the bachelor’s degree here to the bachelor’s degree in other country, as is often required in immigration cases, is just plain injustice to the American people. In the Middle East, for a housemaid job, employers often require a bachelor’s degree because they know what kind of education third world country has. Third world bachelor’s degree is not even comparable to the US high school education!

Upon settling here, those foreign workers will petition their relatives and once those petitioned relatives became a US citizen, they will put them on public assistance. It is easy for the relatives to qualify for public assistance because people in other countries belong to a tight-knit family where they all live in one roof thus such relatives oftentimes do not own any assets. Why they are doing that? In other countries, salaries of workers even with bachelor’s degree only range from $150 to $500/month. Certainly, a public assistance is more attractive to them as it is often higher than what they will earn from their country.