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The Drug War Meets the War on Immigrants

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It’s a fascinating phenomenon. The U.S. government’s war on drugs and its war immigrants are now meeting each other along the southern border, placing advocates of these two wars in an interesting position.

This week the New York Times reported that Mexican citizens are flooding into Fort Hancock, a border town in Texas with a population of 2,000. The reason they are fleeing Mexico is because of the violence that the drug war has spawned in that country.

The phenomenon might leave advocates of these wars speechless.

The article points out that scores of Mexican families are bringing their children with them, placing them into the public (i.e., government) schools. Ordinarily that sort of thing drives the anti-immigrant crowd batty because they don’t like their beloved socialist programs benefitting foreigners.

But there’s one big problem, at least from the standpoint of the anti-immigrant crowd. Apparently, the Mexicans are entering the United States legally on tourist visas and border-crossing permits. Many of them are then seeking political asylum.

So, what’s a good statist to do?

It’s obvious that the solution to the statists’ immigrant “problem” is simply to legalize drugs, which would immediately end the drug-war violence in Mexico, which would diminish the need for Mexicans to escape the violence to come to the United States.

But no self-respecting statist is going to do that. Calling for an end to the drug war would be tantamount to admitting that the war has been a complete, utter failure (which of course it has been).

On the other hand, what’s the statist to do about his deeply seated resentment over foreigners using his beloved welfare-state programs, such as public (i.e., government) schools? His usual proclamation against “the illegals” doesn’t work here because these Mexicans are apparently entering legally and then legally seeking political asylum. I suppose the statists could call for quickly rejecting their asylum requests and then deporting them to Mexico, notwithstanding the fact that they’re likely to be killed.

Everywhere you look, statist programs are in crisis. Social Security, health care, the dollar, the war on terrorism, welfare, FDIC, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, education, Iraq, Afghanistan, and on and on. And now two of the statists’ favorite government wars — the war on drugs and the war on immigrants — are now coming together to make life even more troublesome for the statist.

Boy Dylan once sang a great song entitled “Pity the Poor Immigrant” (Dylan version here and Joan Baez version here and lyrics here).

Given the many traumas besieging statists these days, perhaps Dylan will inspire them to come up with their own song, titled “Pity the Poor Statist.”

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.