Judge Jim Gray on Illegal Immigration

Judge Jim Gray, who was elected to the National Libertarian Party’s Judicial Committee yesterday, published an article concerning illegal immigration today.

OK, let’s calm down and see these recent developments in Arizona and even the city of Costa Mesa for what they really are. They have little or nothing to do with racism and everything to do with legitimate frustration, and even desperation, about the entire situation with illegal immigrants (or undocumented workers, if you prefer). So from the standpoint of all good people, it is simply time for something affirmative to be done!

The first substantive column I wrote for this series was published on July 22, 2007, and dealt with this very subject (“Immigration system is ineffective”). What I said then is what I say now, and that is that I seldom get angry at illegal immigrants, and you shouldn’t either. They are simply doing what our system so strongly encourages them to do, and they almost all come to our country for the same reasons our ancestors did: to seek better lives for themselves and their families.

The problem is that the federal government has all of the power in this area, makes all of the rules and does whatever enforcement that takes place, which is not very much. But the federal government mostly does not have to pay for the costs of illegal immigrants. Instead, most of the costs are paid by the state and local governments, and the school districts.

The irony is that it would not be hard at all to install a workable system, but neither the Republicans nor the Democrats actually want this to happen. Why not? Money and power.

Judge Gray is a former justice of the Superior Court of Orange County. Additionally, he ran for Senate in California as a Libertarian in 2004, he finished with over 215,000 votes, or 1.8%.

27 thoughts on “Judge Jim Gray on Illegal Immigration

  1. NewFederalist

    Is there more to this article? It seems a bit short. Perhaps a link to the entire piece is missing?

  2. Sorry 'but, but, but' ????????? ......... Lake

    Could not agree with the honorable Orange County Mister Gray less ………… but as a person he in the top tier.

    A lot of folks talk (here) about non Democans and non Republicrats co-operating ——- but then so few ‘walk the walk’.

    In 2003 (SUCCESSFUL Governor Gray Davis Recall) and in 2004 the Reform Party of California worked extensively with Gray and other non Dems and non GOP!

    The Rfm movement has tons of problems and (as of fifteen seconds after the broad cast of the Patrick and Baye Buchanan strong box robbery at Long Beach, California, in the summer of 2000) is basically DOA.

    But at least some of us tried to work with others (out side of the H. Ross Perot Clown College)!

  3. Thomas L. Knapp

    Wow. That article is disgusting. It makes me glad that Gray failed of election to the Libertarian National Committee, and saddened that he was honored with a position on the party’s Judicial Committee, the day before he trotted out an anti-freedom screed like this.

  4. Gene Berkman

    Employer sanctions, ID cards, government control of who gets to work in America – that is pretty much the system that grew out of the 1986 Immigration control act. And they are the reasons we have so many illegal immigrants.

    Prior to 1986, people would sneak across the border to work, then return to Mexico with their earnings, which went a lot further there than here. After 1986, with stronger controls and harsher penalties for sneaking across the border, people would stay here after earning money, because they were afraid it would be harder to return. That is why the illegal immigrant population has grown.

    Carlos Rodriguez, a Libertarian candidate for Congress in Los Angeles, proposes simple work visas for all qualified applicants, to make it easy for people to come to America to work, and to rerturn to their home countries between jobs. A solution more in tune with free enterprise than the Judge’s call for expanded government power. And more realistic.

  5. Dan Wiener

    I have long argued (including at the just-concluded LP convention), that we should focus on excluding non-citizens from receiving any government “benefits” (welfare, public schooling, driver’s licenses, social security, etc., etc.). This approach simultaneously addresses the main objection to immigration (that immigrants are sucking money from taxpayers) while reducing the incentive for coming to this country by those who can’t support themselves (or find sponsors).

    Some advantages of this approach:

    (1) No “work papers” or national ID cards are needed for anyone, unless they are applying for government benefits. Then they’d have to supply airtight proof of citizenship and eligibility, which “undocumented aliens” obviously could not do. If it also discourages citizens from applying, so much the better.

    (2) It would actually be to the long-run benefit of immigrants, who’d do much better to depend on their own resources (e.g., for private schooling) or voluntary charity when they found themselves in need, rather than government “services”.

    (3) It would serve as a wedge issue to reduce and ultimately tear down the welfare state. After all, if immigrants can survive and prosper without government handouts, those who are already citizens should be able to do likewise.

    If the United States no longer attracted the poor people of the world through enormous economic incentives, the immigration “problem” and consequent backlash would drastically diminish. Those other people who are incentivized to come to our country by the prospect of freedom and economic opportunity are exactly the ones we should welcome. They are the ones who built this country, and they are the ones who can help renew it.

  6. Sorry 'but, but, but' ????????? ......... Lake

    Sorry ‘but, but, but’ ????????? ………
    Lake // Jun 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Could not agree with the honorable Orange County Mister Gray MORE ………… AND as a person he in the top tie!

    [Mea culpa, mea culpa, I was flash backing to the LP of 2004 instead of actually reading the letter (instead of cruising the head line). ]

  7. Brian Holtz

    I happen to agree that employment is not an acceptable handle by which to grapple with the problem of economic refugees who might pollute/congest/deplete local natural resources or public infrastructure.

    But can’t Libertarians disagree with each other without the name-calling (“disgusting”) and litmus-testing? There is room in the LP for libertarians who disagree with the Platform’s stands on our Big Three Franchise Schisms of abortion, immigration, and libervention — as long as they offer a serious aggression-minimizing justification for their stance.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp


    You write:

    “But can’t Libertarians disagree with each other
    without the name-calling (‘disgusting’)”

    Your use of the term “name-calling” implies ad hominem. For the record, what I wrote (emphasis mine) was:

    “That article is disgusting.”

    Do you see the difference now?

    “There is room in the LP for libertarians who disagree with the Platform’s stands on our Big Three Franchise Schisms of abortion, immigration, and libervention — as long as they offer a serious aggression-minimizing justification for their stance.”

    How do you square the following quotes from the article with “aggression-minimizing?”

    strict sanctions for all employers who in any way hire workers who do not have the proper identification.

    everyone in the country would either need a passport, birth certificate, green card or orange card to be able to be hired for a job …

    With today’s computer chip technology, we should easily be able to create identification cards based upon people’s fingerprints or even the irises of their eyes such that the cards could not be falsified. So there would be no excuse for hiring people who do not have proper identification.

  9. What a sad reputation you and Bruce Cohen ????????? ......... Lake

    Love it, love it, love it, spin doctors Phillies and Knappster in a spit ball fight with spin doctors Bruce Cohen and Brian Holtz.

    Cohen and Holtz have dodged request after request on a definitive stand on Israeli murders on and about the non combatant USS Liberty!

    LP retains better numbers than other third parties, but think of the growth with some integrity to match the (lip serviced) message!

    Ironic, isn’t it ??????????

  10. Brian Holtz

    Tom, mud can be thrown both at people and their arguments, and those who throw it know very well that it tends to splash on the one even when you aim it at the other.

    Gray’s article was about how to enforce immigration restrictions, not about how to justify them. I don’t know if he has an aggression-minimizing justification for his restrictions, but I wouldn’t agree with those restrictions even if he did.

    And I could make a solid argument against those restrictions without calling his article “disgusting”.

    When Dr. Ruwart writes about legalizing child prostitution, should that be called “disgusting” too?

    Many of us still haven’t even unpacked from St. Louis. Do the knives really have to come back out so soon?

  11. Nicholas Sarwark

    Libertarians advocating for national ID cards is sure to bring the knives out. Judge Gray is a good man and I’m happy to be serving with him on the Judicial Committee, but this article is pretty bad.

  12. Thomas L. Knapp


    You write:

    “Gray’s article was about how to enforce immigration restrictions, not about how to justify them.”


    we, and no one else, should decide how many people can enter our country to work, and for what period of time they can stay.

    “Do the knives really have to come back out so soon?”

    I don’t know. Do they? I criticized an article, not a person. You’re criticizing a person, not an article. Physician, heal thyself.

  13. Ralph K. Swanson

    In my view North America with Oceania-PIF should move forward with a comprehensive free working residency and transit treaty. That should be the Libertarian approach: to focus what a lot of people subsconsciously want and the policy trend in many areas, and call for treaty talks.

    In the meantime border crossings should be decriminalized to at most modest civil fines.

    Move the policy debate in that direction.

  14. NewFederalist

    I wish Dan Wiener’s solution was actually possible. However there is way to much political demagoguery for it to have a chance.

  15. steve

    What is the argument here? every single alien “BROKE THE LAW!” Our Government, Republican & Democrat, have allowed the invasion of 30 million criminals and is the largest invasion of any Nation, in direct violation of Article IV, Section IV of our Constitution.

    This refusal to abide by our Constitution should be classified as Treason as grounds for impeachment & trials for Treason!

    Not only have they allowed the invasion, they force American tax payers to pay Billions of dollars to provide Welfare, Prison, Educate the invaders children,free medical care, at the same time the invading horde break numerous laws, massive document fraud, & are destroying our schools, hospitals, communities, culture and standard of living while Robbing, Raping, Killing & Assaulting American Citizens WAKE UP PEOPLE! They walked,rode,swam and drove over here, they can do the same going home! taking thier anchors with them! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Btj6IeOFkis&feature=player_embedded

  16. Andy

    “Dan Wiener // Jun 1, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I have long argued (including at the just-concluded LP convention), that we should focus on excluding non-citizens from receiving any government “benefits””

    I agree. Most of the problems associated with illegal immigration would be eliminated by simply cutting off all of the government benefits to them.

    There is no need for National ID cards or E-Verify programs for employers.

  17. Thomas L. Knapp

    “There is no need for National ID cards or E-Verify programs for employers.”

    Not only is there no need for them, but requiring employers to check them and — under at least some proposed legislation — report those who “fail,” amounts to nothing less than conscription of business owners as ICE agents, not just for no pay but substantially at their own expense.

    Last time I looked, conscription without pay was more readily recognized under another name — slavery.

    Also, last time I looked, libertarians didn’t support conscription or slavery.

  18. paulie

    Unfortunately, I didn’t have extra funds to bid for shredding federal agencies at the fundraising banquet. If I did, I may have nominated ICE, CIA, NSA, FEMA, among others…

  19. JT

    Steve: “every single alien “BROKE THE LAW!””

    So did every single marijuana smoker. By your logic here, they should all be sent to prison now?

    Those who have broken bad laws and have been imprisoned should all be freed immediately.

  20. Starchild

    Dan Wiener @8 – Since all people are born with equal, inalienable rights, I see no philosophical justification for governments to discriminate on the basis of nationality or where a person was born.

    The same principle applies here as with the same-sex marriage debate: Governments should not be involved with marriage at all, but as long as they are, they should not discriminate. Ditto, governments should not be giving out welfare benefits at all, but as long as they are, they should not discriminate.

    Encouraging U.S. governments to discriminate against gays, immigrants, or whoever, in violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the equal inalienable rights on which it is based, promotes a two-tier society where some people are treated like second-class citizens. South Africa under apartheid is an example of where this kind of thing can lead.

  21. Starchild

    Steve @18 – So what are you, a law-worshipper? Just because some politicians passed a law does not automatically make it good, right, just, or worthy of our compliance.

    Martin Luther King Jr. said that unjust laws deserve to be broken, and he was right. Laws that discriminate on the basis of nationality, or attempt to deny people access to large, publicly-owned portions of the earth’s surface, are unjust.

    JT is right — Those in prison for breaking unjust laws should be freed immediately, and those fined or subject to violations of their rights should be given restitution.

    “Treason” is a fake crime invented by nationalists. An act of “treason” does not typically violate the life, liberty, or property of anyone — yet governments often punish it with death! The fact that even some people who identify as libertarian are okay with this shows what a grip nationalism still has on the world.

    Nationalism, not war, is the truth health and lifeblood of the State. Anti-immigrant sentiments also generally stem from nationalism.

    Besides racism, what other than nationalism would motivate a generally freedom-loving person to want to sic the law on someone who comes from another part of the world seeking nothing more than a chance to make a better life for him or herself and participate as an equal member of society?

  22. nemo

    @Dan Wiener #8

    So long as you don’t force me to pay income tax while you are cutting me off from all gov’t services, I’m all for it.

  23. jerry

    Well, lets see how many illgeals were involved in the WALL STEET meltdown. All the crooks !!! That nearly cost this country dearly…??? How many AMERICAN CITIZENS scam the country break the laws…CHEAT ON TAXES??? I would like to see some numbers….Looks like the legals that have cheated HAVE just as much culpability as the non legal…lets do some fact checking …

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