S.C. Border Patrol? Can anyone POSSIBLY think of anything more absurd for a state that can’t afford basic services?

Well, I sort of said it all in the headline, didn’t I? In fact, I already did on Twitter early this morning; I’m just repeating myself here because not ALL my readers follow me on Twitter (even though they should). Also, this is a better place for your comments.

But here’s the report that inspired it:

The S.C. General Assembly would have to find money in its already strapped budget to pay for its version of a border patrol if the latest version of the state’s proposed immigration law wins approval.

The Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit would fall under the supervision of the S.C. Department of Public Safety, according to a provision added Wednesday by Sen. Jake Knotts, R-Lexington. The unit would have its own insignia, uniforms and cars, and the Department of Public Safety would have to create it as a separate entity from the S.C. Highway Patrol, which already faces a shortage of troopers.

The bill passed the Senate after a session that stretched past midnight and into Thursday morning. Senate leaders and the bill’s sponsors were determined to push immigration legislation through its chambers before the schedule gets filled with budget debates and the task of drawing new legislative districts…

Maybe this is a good thing, though. Maybe this way — authorize it, but don’t fund it — they get all this stuff out of their system so they can move on to significant issues facing the state. On the other hand, given the way they’ve approached some of the critical issues lately, maybe not.

This stuff just astounds me. The “small-gummint” people who are trashing critical services left and right, and seeing that as a GOOD thing rather than a bitter necessity, because their ideology blinds them to the realities in the world, want to create a whole new government apparatus — something that is CLEARLY a federal function, under any rational understanding of levels of government, under the principle of subsidiarity or whatever you choose to apply — to scratch this one irrational itch.

Stuff like this just makes me feel… well, perhaps Billy Jack said it best (apologies for the paraphrase, Billy):

Bernard, I want you to know… that I try. When Jean and the kids at the school tell me that I’m supposed to control my violent temper, and be passive and noncynical like they are, I try. I really try. Though when I see garbage like this… the absurdity of this idiotic moment of yours… I just go BERSERK!

43 thoughts on “S.C. Border Patrol? Can anyone POSSIBLY think of anything more absurd for a state that can’t afford basic services?

  1. Karen McLeod

    Why, Brad! Of course we desparately need a boarder patrol! Them damnyankees have been sneakin’ over ouah borders in greata and greata numbers. An’ inflictin’ moah and moah of their furrin cultoor on ouah faiah state. Why, iffen 2 many of ’em come heah, they might vote to take ouah precious flag down. We must stop this invasion!!!

  2. Brad

    An’ once they wuz done with the FLAG, ya know what they’d do? The two of ’em would REPRODUCE, and we cain’t be havin’ THAT…

  3. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    I grew up in the Wild West Border Town of Aiken, and believe you me, when those Georgians would come over on Sundays to watch polo, it was wild, let me tell you–lock up your womenfolk!….and don’t even get me started on Triple Crown events!

  4. bud

    Karen’s nice bit of humor not withstanding this is simply beyond the pale. If we have extra money for security tasks we absolutely should spend on enforcing traffic laws or possibly other types of violent crime which actually DO threaten us and not complete, utter nonsense like this.

  5. Mark Stewart

    The Jake Knotts Brigade.

    Yeah, ram this nonsense through before the chamber has to start dealing with real issues. That’s SC in action all right.

  6. Brad

    YES, Bud (and Mark) — abso-freaking-lutely!

    The people who get all hot under the color about this issue, and want to do ridiculous things about it, INSIST that they’re not anti-immigrant, or racist, or xenophobic. It’s the fact that it’s ILLEGAL that gets them.

    It sort of gets me that it’s illegal, too. I want us to have well-regulated borders (and I want the FEDERAL government to handle that — there are a lot of things I don’t want the feds in, such as education, but this is definitely a reason why we have a federal government). But it’s absurd that our legal pipelines don’t have enough capacity in them to allow natural, peaceful passage across the border for people willing to do backbreaking work in a desperate effort to lift their families out of a kind of poverty that most in this country can’t imagine.

    But as for getting all indignant because these folks have “broken the law” — well, my first instinct is always to say, yep, they’ve technically broken a law (a very badly administered law). But how is this violation somehow any more outrageous than, say, a routine traffic violation, which I DON’T see y’all getting all indignant about and wanting to set up new police agencies to do something about? (Unless, of course, it’s an illegal immigrant committing the offense — which IS a dangerous enforcement problem because people we have hung the stigma of outlawry upon are more likely to hit and RUN than other motorists.)

    But before I can type that, I always think, “No, that’s a bad analogy. Traffic violations are WORSE because they threaten innocent lives.”

    Which speaks to Bud’s point…

  7. bud

    Traffic crashes are my business and believe me it is a very serious problem. Just ask the 23 year old young man who was killed in front of Lowes earlier this week. Sadly he died even though he wasn’t violating any traffic law other than perhaps not wearing a seat belt. Happens over 30,000 times a year in this country.

  8. Brad

    So maybe, just maybe, if we want to create an agency, we should create one that addresses THAT problem.

    Oh, wait — we already have one. We just consistently underfund it, as we do so many other critical functions.

  9. Doug Ross

    “But how is this violation somehow any more outrageous than, say, a routine traffic violation, which I DON’T see y’all getting all indignant about and wanting to set up new police agencies to do something about?”

    You always neglect to mention all the follow-on crimes that are committed. Identity fraud, tax evasion, driving without insurance… are those all traffic ticket offenses as well?

    And the illegals use services THAT THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ACCESS. How difficult is that to comprehend? The children of illegals have no right to attend public schools… None… Zero.

  10. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    and the world is *such* a better place when we keep kids out of our wonderful schools, isn’t it?

  11. Brad

    Yeah, we wouldn’t want to do anything to reduce the hemisphere’s supply of uneducated peones with no hope, no prospects…

    Imagine that — kids who wouldn’t be as desperate as their parents were to take the risks involved in coming here…

  12. Brad

    But let’s not argue. Surely, Doug, you can agree that we don’t need to “grow government” by creating this new agency, right?

  13. Doug Ross


    If the cost of the agency is less than the cost of services used by illegals, then it makes sense.

    And it isn’t in the charter of the state nor the federal government to educate the world is it?

    You want more immigrants, get the quotas increases and let the people come in legally. Illegal is illegal.

  14. bud

    I really don’t follow you Doug. This seems exactly the type of thing that Libertarians would adamently oppose. It’s government spending for a problem that really doesn’t exist.

  15. Brad

    Boy, I sure would love to see some real-life stats on these “services” that anti-immigrants bemoan paying for. Common sense would indicate that an illegal immigrant would consume far less in any sort of governmental services than a citizen, or a legal immigrant, because of their natural horror of coming into contact with the authorities in any way, shape or form.

    I would imagine the largest impact would be adding to the flood of uninsured folks in emergency rooms, but even there, it would make sense for illegals to avoid getting into the hospital databases if at all possible.

    But that’s just me extrapolating from what would be common sense, and the world isn’t always commonsensical. Has anyone run into any RELIABLE statistics that indicate whether my assumptions, or those of the anti-immigrants, are close to the mark?

  16. Steven Davis

    So Brad… are any of my posts going to get accepted? Or are you just deleting everything I write now? Neither one of those last two posts had any negative overtones to them… they were legitimate questions. Questions you don’t want asked it appears.

  17. Brad

    It’s pretty simple, really, “Steven” — you’re on double-secret probation.

    The preponderance of your comments are of a hostile nature, intended to deride and insult other people here on the blog. For instance, four minutes after you posted this comment, you tried to hurl this at Kathryn: “‘I’ll take “dizzy dame” any time!’ It’s probably a compliment compared to what most people call her.”

    That, unfortunately, is the typical “Steven” remark. For that reason, as far as I’m concerned, you’re off the blog. But since it IS my blog, I can follow any rules I choose, so occasionally I DO post something of yours, because I think it adds to the conversation.

    But that’s the exception, not the rule.

    For awhile there, you seemed to get it — about the time you came back as “Steven Davis” after I had banned you as “Michael P.” and your other aliases, you seemed to want to add constructively to the conversation — if only in order to fly under the radar. Personally, I don’t care what your motivation is, as long as you are civil.

    But you seem to have trouble with the concept. Your default mode is to come in with a chip on your shoulder, tossing out insults. Even just now, in asking a question, you had to throw in an insult to my intellectual honesty with that snotty “Questions you don’t want asked it appears.”

    Maybe that’s your habitual way of conversing with people. And maybe in person you say it with a tone that takes the edge off. But here in the blogoshere, it’s an irritant that causes other people not to want to hang out here. And I want them here. I’ll want you here, too, if you’ll stop being so hostile to everybody. But until then, the “Steven” comment I allow is going to be the exception, not the rule.

  18. Brad

    And on Doug’s other point… I’m all for raising the legal quotas through the roof — and I remember writing that in the past, although just now I couldn’t find where I wrote it so I could link to it.

    Interestingly, I DID find where our old friend “Lexwolf” said “However, we do need to uphold and enforce our immigration laws, period! I would be the first one to double, triple, quadruple, whatever our legal immigration quota. We need legal immigrants.”

    That’s very interesting, because one reason I haven’t made a bigger deal over the need to open up the legal pipeline — which would require spending more money on immigration bureaucracy, rather than fences and border patrols — is because of my assumption that the people who really get worked up about illegal immigrants resent more the fact that they are HERE than their legal status.

    And the reason that I think that isn’t because I want to think the worst of people — it’s that it just seems so unlikely that people (and often, they are people who profess to despise bureaucracy) would be that passionate about paperwork.

    And because I’ve made that assumption, I haven’t pressed the issue, although I could swear I have at least presented the idea before (perhaps I’ll find it later).

    But now that Doug has brought it up, and I’ve run across Lexwolf’s comment, maybe there’s a common-cause coalition we could form to change the dialogue completely, and push to increase the capacity of our immigration service to admit people legally — thereby eliminating the motivation for sneaking across the border.

    The question is, can I find that common ground with anyone besides Doug and Lexwolf? How about it, folks?

  19. Doug Ross


    “Common sense would indicate that an illegal immigrant would consume far less in any”

    I don’t care if it is less. It should be ZERO. Their kids should not be in public schools. They should not be able to drive on the roads without insurance.

    You never did respond to my statement that beyond what you think is a traffic ticket violation for entering the country illegally, they are absolutely committing other crimes of identity fraud, tax evasion, and driving without insurance. Do they get a pass on all those crimes as well?

    And here’s a very simple scenario to gauge your view of illegal immigration: Should our borders be protected from people entering illegally, and if so, how far across the border does an illegal have to make it before they should be allowed to remain in the country? If they are illegal one foot over the line, how do they get a break for evading detection? It’s completely illogical. It’s like saying if you can outrun the cops in a police chase for 10 miles, you won’t be arrested.

  20. Doug Ross

    And you understand that increasing the quotas for immigrants has the following consequences:

    1) Employers will have to pay more their labor if they are going to be true citizens

    2) Unemployment will increase because the number of job candidates will increase

    3) Demand for social services will increase particularly for those who are net drains on the available revenue

    4) Public schools will likely have to spend even more on bilingual programs this draining more resources from the schools

    Tell me how none of those situations will happen.

  21. Scout


    What if those things do happen? Yes, they will cost more, which I reckon is your point, but doing things the right way often does cost more. But if they are the right thing to do, so be it. You come across to me as mean spirited towards people who are just trying to eke out a decent existence. Isn’t that what we all are trying to do? They are people. Are you against human rights? I’ve never really understood the implication some people appear to make that not being an American some how makes a person less than human.

    Children should be in school. I don’t care who or why they are. Children should be in school. Are you really willing to deny a child an education. What on earth good does that serve? Besides the sheer inhumanity of barring a child from school for reasons he has no control over, how could it not be in the best interest of the community to educate the child, as long as he is here?

  22. Doug Ross

    I am not mean spirited in any way shape or form. I believe in the rule of law. The law says they should not be in the U.S. Every legal citizen or immigrant should have access. Every illegal immigrant should not.

    How about if we start letting any student from any failing district enter any school they want? That would be the “humane” thing to do, right? We won’t worry about county borders either. I’ll stop paying my Richland County taxes and instead claim residence somewhere else with lower taxes but continue to send my kids to Richland County schools. I’ll assume the identity of someone else and stop paying taxes. I’ll stop paying my car insurance also.

    If you want to change the laws, go ahead. If you want to have the government ignore the laws then please give me the same opportunity.

    If you want to help immigrants, send them YOUR money and help them improve their country. Don’t give them incentives to break the laws.

    Should we have a border patrol? Yes or no. If yes, what is the distance across the border that absolves the illegal immigrant from enforcement?

  23. Steven Davis

    Scout, I agree… they should be in schools. They should be in schools in the country of their legal citizenship. Why should the US have to continue to teach children in trailers, in schools that could very easily be condemned or in schools that have to be built on the taxpayer’s dime because of overcrowding? Overcrowding caused by children of illegal aliens. It’s not the kids fault, it’s the parents… but none the less, illegals and their employers need to be charged with felonies and either deported or fined heavily.

  24. Ralph Hightower

    I am against raising limits for H1B visas. Employers are abusing the system to get computer professionals from overseas at lower costs than US citizens. There are probably a lot of computer professionals that are among the unemployed.

  25. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    I <3 Scout. Doing the right thing does cost more, but it's still the right thing. If one is going to to get up on his high horse about the rule of law, he ought to welcome the increased costs of everything when we use only legal labor.

    I believe we should make it possible for there to be enough legal labor to do those agricultural jobs and such that not enough currently legal people will do.

    I also believe that we should make it legal for any child of any status to go to public school where he or she happens to be.

    Only then can we stand on the law with some claim to decency.

  26. Steven Davis

    Why do people always bring up “better be willing to pay up for legal labor” when discussing illegal immigrants? Do these same people approve of illegal immigrants squatting in this country? When it comes to agriculture, isn’t that why farmers employ migrant workers. Where do you draw the line? Illegal is illegal, not illegal sometimes.

  27. Doug Ross

    Still having trouble coming up with the answer to the question of where the border patrol stops and where the get out of jail free card kicks in, eh?

    Kinda hard to deal with reality.

    Just admit it – you aspire to see The United States of The World. No borders, no worries about ingesting millions of third world refugees to do all the menial work at low wages. Ain’t that humane…

  28. Doug Ross


    Change the laws. That’s all you have to do.

    A government cannot be decent nor humane.

  29. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    I am very sorry that you do not believe that government, as in the collective human beings who are its amanuenses, cannot be humane or decent. I certainly believe that America’s greatest claim to exceptionalism is its ability to be humane and decent. I just watched an awesome German film Downfall, about the last days of Hitler. The Third Reich was, of course, the antithesis of humane and decent. If there is an antithesis, why is it so hard to imagine a thesis?

    I suppose it comes down to where you fall on the systematizer/empathizer continuum.

  30. Mark Stewart

    How about the fact that illegals are striving to improve their lot in life? They have overcome adversity and privation to work hard at carving out a better future.

    Isn’t it enough to make it exceedingly difficult to get into our country? Is that not a barrier to most of the world’s populace?

    Why do we feel the need to persecute those that are committed to a better life? Aren’t those exactly the kind of people we want adding to the fabric of this country?

    I do agree that it is a terrible thing to have uninsured drivers on the road – whether from here or there. So why make it impossible for people to have a license and be insured? What’s the benefit to America? And yes, keep their kids in school in the locale that they live in – just like the rest of us.

  31. Doug Ross

    Border security or not?

    As for America’s decency – may want to ask people in Hiroshima, indian reservations, blacks in the south. There are far more humane and decent countries without that kind of track record.

  32. Mark Stewart


    It’s not a black/white, all/nothing world.

    Binary resides in the machine, and then we code it into the billions of lines of code to try to make software for our computers as complex as our abilities to think. Why do you insist on reducing everything beyond its rational bottom?

    I vote for 92% border security; about as we have now. Wasting resources persecuting others is a steeply diminishing return – and one which quickly creates an even larger explosion of unintended consequences. Why do that? The cause will never, ever, prevail and the misery will simply mount.

  33. Doug Ross

    Ok.. So what distance across the border is the safe zone? Does this only apply to people who swear they are motivated by pure thoughts? It Is a purely binary situation. You are either illegal or not. Sorta like being 92% pregnant.

    Give me the scenario where a border.guard says “you can go free… Enjoy your new life courtesy of the American taxpayers!”

    How about we make West Columbia a sanctuary city and let every illegal go there? Are you ready to accept all comers? Will you allow your taxes to be raised to provide aid and comfort?

  34. Steven Davis

    I wonder what Canada’s laws are regarding this. Can I go up to Canada, live without citizenship, send my kids to public schools, used their medical system, drive without insurance or a valid Canadian driver’s license, work, etc. without legal citizenship or ability to pay?

    The problem I have is “enough is enough”, why is this country expected to be the one who comes to everyone’s rescue and expected to gladly pick up the tab? Illegals come to this country because it’s easy to get free services… they just have to stand in line.

  35. Kathryn Fenner (D- SC)

    Sure, America has ceded the high moral ground many times, most recently under Bush II. We’re still a lot more decent and humane than Stalinist Russia–or any version of Russia for that matter, Saddam’s Iraq, Iran, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, any number of African nations….but not as decent and humane as Scandinavia or Canada. It’s not a binary thing, either.

    –but almost anything you or I can comprehend can be expressed in binary form; it’s the stuff my husband the professor studies that may not be computable or is too complex to realistically expect to do so….but I don’t really understand P Space, do you?

  36. Steven Davis

    “How about we make West Columbia a sanctuary city and let every illegal go there?”

    Have you been to either flea market on Hwy 1 on a Saturday? They’re already here.

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