Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bob Barr Scores Points With Evil Cosmotarians

One of the biggest hangups I have with Bob Barr as a prospective spokesman for liberty in this country has been his position on immigration, which has long seemed to be extraordinarily restrictionist in many of the same ways as Ron Paul. This hangup is hardly big enough to prevent me from potentially supporting Barr, but it is a hangup nonetheless.

But in an interview with Neil Boortz (who seems less and less of a libertarian to me the more I hear from him), Barr dropped a bombshell that was music to my ears. This is not to say that he has completely reversed his position on immigration - indeed, he remains quite insistent on tighter border controls and (it would seem) on generally limiting immigration into this country. However, he made extremely clear in his interview with Boortz that he is opposed to mass deportation of illegal immigrants (something I blogged about here). Instead, he has taken the much more reasonable position of performing background checks on illegal immigrants; if the immigrant passes the check, they could potentially remain in the US.

This is hardly a perfect position in my view. But it also makes quite clear that Barr is far from a nativist in his current immigration stance. Moreover, David Weigel did some digging into Barr's Congressional voting record on immigration, and found a handful of important exceptions to his generally restrictionist point-of-view. These exceptions show a Congressman that actually appears more concerned with "illegal" immigration than with immigration more generally, a position that I find perfectly coherent, albeit a position with which I somewhat disagree.