Thanks for the kind words.
I'm surprised you live near Torrance rather than South Central L.A. I imagine your total housing costs would be a lot lower in the South Central area. Of course, the FBI has compiled statistics that would tend to indicate someone of your own ethnic persuasion (or your wife's) might not be too safe anywhere around South Central because, in part, of violent youth gangs. But I would expect you properly to reject such data as illegitimate. Those statistics classify people as instances of a sub-category on the basis of happenstances outside their control, such as where they are being raised, instead of on what really matters: their characters as individuals.
And since you like principles so much, here is one: there is no first world country in the world today that shares a direct land border with a third world country. Wait a minute, that's not a principle, is it? Because there is a counterexample: the industrialized, semi-free United States shares a border with impoverished, historically less free Mexico. But that is the only major counterexample to that particular putative principle. The only remotely similar situations in living memory are the borders between Israel and its Arab neighbors and the border that the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong shared with Communist China. Even those borders were (and, in Israel's case, are) fraught with political problems. For example, the Reds eventually extracted concessions from the Brits that they would patrol their side aggressively to reduce escapes and would stop allowing escapees to remain free.
But the Hong Kong/Chinese border was only a few dozen miles long, and the Israeli border is heavily patrolled for military reasons. The US/Mexico border stretches for thousands of miles, including densely populated urban centers, sparsely populated farmland and ranches, and mile after mile of uninhabited desert and arid mountain terrain. Its length makes it impossible to patrol thoroughly. The natural impedance of this junction is too low to prevent a steady influx of migrants and immigrants.
Some come here, get jobs, pay their own way, and develop an articulate love of individual liberty and the best of the American tradition of self-government. No one is worried about these immigrants, except that there are not enough of them.
Many come here, get jobs, and pay their own way, but retain worldviews (Catholic mysticism, bureaucratic socialism, a habit of alternately despairing and winking at endemic political corruption and police malfeasance,) that are far removed from those of successful societies based on reason and individual rights. No reasonable person objects to these immigrants as individuals. But the devil is in the aggregate statistics. It is the sheer number of these individuals that is seen as the problem. They influence voting outcomes and serve as pawns for corrupt political machines. How are they or their children to develop responsible political beliefs in a country where the government schools are devoted to Leftism, pomo wankerism, hatred of America, ethnic Balkanization, and a culture of bureaucratic incompetence?
Then there are those who explicitly game the system by collecting welfare and/or housing subsidies, and those with diseases or injuries who make a quick run for the border to pick up some free ER care. And there are those who commit armed robbery, home invasions, auto theft, the transportation and pimping out of underage prostitutes. As I have made clear, the ones responsible for this are not the totality of immigration. They are far from being the majority. But they are a large enough minority that they have created real burdens on our society.
For example, Madeleine Cosman has documented the number of hospitals in California alone that have closed their doors due to the financial bleeding caused by EMTALA. These financial problems would be manageable without the number of illegal aliens we have. She has also documented the existence of ambulance services in Mexico in which Mexican officials conspire with those needing medical care to sneak them over the border for unpaid care on our side.
If there are those who are otherwise Objectivists but who have faltered on the issue of open borders, I suggest that it is not from malevolence but from despair. They simply don't see a way around these problems with the borders remaining as open as they are now.
So to recap, I am with you in principle on the question of open borders. But there is some real work to do to explain how they can be reconciled with a reduction in the problems we are having. It would be great if you could write some concrete suggestions for how to improve the situation we are in. Or to suggest a rosier path by which to move this country towards an Objectivist future. If you could do either while taking into account the fact of a massive continuing influx of uneducated third world people, it would do far more for our cause than for you merely to issue postdated charges of subliminal racism against TOC.
Nothing I have written here it to be construed as conceding your position that TOC is against open borders.
And I still can't figure out what your anecdote of the two technicians has to do with this discussion. Talented, productive people are not at issue here.
(Edited for run-on sentence. -B.)
(Edited by William A. Nevin III on 11/22, 2:07pm)