Yesterday, I experienced a bit of hilarity in the decades-long, ongoing U.S. immigration crisis. A FFF reader sent me a video by a woman named Ann Corcoran, who heads up an organization named Refugee Resettlement Watch. As I watched the four-minute video, which contained dire warnings about a refugee invasion of America, I could not stop laughing. My biggest guffaw came when Corcoran somberly announced, “In my opinion, we are DOOMED!”
In her video, Corcoran began by lamenting a federal program that, seven years ago, selected her rural county in Maryland for the settlement of 200 refugees. Corcoran said that it was a poor decision to select her county because it was ill-prepared for the refugees, specifically citing insufficient jobs and burdens on the health department, the public schools, and public housing, all of which, interestingly enough, are government programs. Corcoran just couldn’t figure out how federal bureaucrats could make such a terrible decision.
Even more ominous, however, according to Corcoran, is that many of the refugees who are currently being brought to America are Muslims, who, she says, are using the refugee program to colonize America and establish Sharia law here in the United States. In the middle of her presentation, a box suddenly appears depicting three women in burqas, which I suppose, is meant to provide more evidence that we are, in fact, DOOMED!
Why couldn’t I stop laughing during this entire presentation?
Because Corcoran is an advocate of immigration controls! And what she’s complaining about is the very system that she believes in and embraces!
For years, I have been pointing out that immigration controls are nothing more than a system of central planning.
What is central planning? It is an aspect of socialism.
Yes, I know, we are taught to believe that socialism is where the government owns the means of production, like in Cuba, or where the government takes money from one person and gives it to another, like with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, and corporate bailouts.
But socialism also involves what is known as central planning. Talk to people who lived in the Soviet Union. They’ll tell you about central planning. It’s when a government official or a government commission or board plans, in a top-down fashion, the peaceful economic activities of people.
What is the opposite of central planning? The free market. That’s where people plan their own lives, without direction or orders or edicts from government officials. In the area of immigration, it means freedom of movement, liberty of contract, freedom of association, and economic liberty. That means open borders — i.e., free trade and open immigration.
The thing about central planning, as any former Soviet citizen will tell you, is that it always brings chaos and crises. That’s why the great Austrian economist titled one of his books, Planned Chaos.
With immigration controls, you have some politician, or bureaucrat, or board of bureaucrats that is planning the movements of millions of people. This has been the case for decades. Thus, it’s not a coincidence that for decades, Americans have experienced ongoing chaos and crises in the area of immigration. That’s what central planning does.
What’s hilarious about Corcoran’s video is that she’s complaining about the very system that she favors, a system of central planning that just happened to come up with an immigration plan that she didn’t like for her part of Maryland. Now, I would be the last person who would purport to understand the mind of a central planner, but my hunch is that the planners said, “We’ve got these refugees and we must plan on where to settle them. We can’t send them to New York City or Detroit because there are already too many people there. We should send them to places that are sparsely populated.”
Now, do Corcoran’s complaints about the plan mean that she is now advocating a free market in immigration? If you believe that, I’ve got a nice little international bridge in western Maryland I’d like to sell you. No, she continues to firmly believe in immigration controls — i.e., socialist central planning — but she just wants the planners to come up with plans that meet with her approval.
But that’s always the case with central planning. The chaos and crises it produces inevitably finds people who don’t like it. But rather than call for an end to central planning, they just want the planners to adopt their plan.
You see, when it comes to central planning, everyone’s got his own personal vision of the ideal plan. “If you’ll just adopt my plan,” they cry, “immigration controls will finally prove to be hunky dory and happy days will be here again.”
But here’s the point: Even if Corcoran were made Immigration Czar and was given the omnipotent power to implement whatever plan she wanted, there would still be chaos and crises. There would then be other people yelling and screaming about Corcoran’s plan, complaining bitterly that the immigration system is “broken,” and calling for adoption of their plan.
Another reason Corcoran’s video mad me laugh is that she’s complaining not about illegal immigrants, but about legal ones. How many times do we hear proponents of immigration controls assuring us that it’s only the illegal immigrants that they wish to reject. If immigrants come in legally, they claim, they don’t have any problems letting them in.
But all these refugees that she’s complaining about are legal, not illegal. They are being brought in pursuant to the laws that govern immigration controls. So, why is Corcoran complaining?
Corcoran specifically mentions that 100,000 Iraqi refugees have been let into the country by immigration officials, which she finds highly objectionable.
Oddly though, Corcoran doesn’t once allude as to why hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are fleeing their homeland. And perhaps one reason she didn’t allude to the reason is found in a 2007 newspaper article at herald-mail.com that shows how Corcoran and a friend led a protest in Washington, D.C., in favor of the U.S. government’s invasion and occupation of Iraq.
According to the article, “Warner and Corcoran said they worry that Iraq will become a haven for jihadist terrorists, or Iranian extremists, if the United States does not pacify the country.”
How’s all that “pacifying” (i.e., bombing, shooting, killing, and assassinating) in Iraq working out for you, Ms. Corcoran? How “pacific” is Iraq today? I presume you’ve heard of ISIS, which is a direct result of all your “pacifying” in Iraq?
In fact, as we have learned (and as we have repeatedly emphasized here at FFF), the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan became the biggest terrorist-producing machines in history. Every death — every injury — every maiming — every bit of destruction — just gave rise to more people who hate the United States.
Given that Corcoran clearly refuses to take any personal responsibility for what the death and destruction her war on Iraq has produced, in view of her conviction that the United States should reject Iraqi refugees fleeing the chaos and violence that the U.S. interventions in the Middle East and Afghanistan have produced, is she now ready to at least call on the U.S. government to stop bombing, assassinating, or otherwise bringing more death and destruction to Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere? Alas, there is no indication that she’s ready to do that.
The refugee crisis and U.S. foreign interventionism are a classic example of the confluence of two statist programs, sort of like a perfect storm, one that compounds massive death and destruction with more death and destruction. Meanwhile, the proponents of these two programs go to church every Sunday and pray that the troops be kept safe as they continue to bomb, assassinate, and kill people over there in order to “keep us free and secure” here at home, while also doing their best to keep the people who are suffering from all that devastation from leaving their country, even if it means certain death and misery for them. That’s what passes for morality in the statist philosophy.