Gimme Shelter

A propos of the problem we’re having with large numbers of minors coming across our border with Mexico from points of origin in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and others, fearing for their safety due to the violent conditions in their home counries, I have a question. If we have a moral obligation to take them in and provide for them, do we have an equal moral obligation to keep the peace in their home countries? If not, why not?

Also, how do you reconcile that position with rights to private property and self-determination?

My own view is that we have a moral obligation only, the moral obligation has limits, and the preferred solution would be to pay their home countries to provide safe havens for them as we are already doing. Unfortunately, of the nearly $4 billion that President Obama has requested to deal with the situation, only about 8% is for that purpose which seems like the wrong balance to me.

6 comments… add one

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    Allegedly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Countries, unlike Mexico, to which we can’t immediately repatriate illegal immigrants.

    Not hard to imagine a Mexican claiming to be from elsewhere. And it isn’t like we’re running an efficient organization on the border to check these things.

  • An economy-class ticket home and $5,000 in cash. Hire private security at the receiving airports to make sure they get off the airport grounds in one piece and with the money still in their pockets.

    If we want to be really generous, then $10 million to each of the governments responsible for them once they land.

  • Your somewhat arch suggestion highlights an important point: $4 billion dollars is a lot of money. For that kind of jack they could probably hire personal bodyguards for these kids. My back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests you could handle about a half million kids that way.

    Of course, moral hazard is a serious problem. $5,000 could be a powerful inducement. You could have a revolving door.

  • Guarneri

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3rnxQBizoU

    Sounds good through a set of Guarneri Evolutions with twin REL Gibralter subs. If you prefer live:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slu1QLBncPU

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    The four billion will go to hiring unionized government workers, paying out contracts to the connected, and, of course, appointing political functionaries. Kind of cheap if you look at it that way.

  • Jeez, Guarneri. Who was he married to when he did that little live number?

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