Defending the happy and healthy against the ambitious

Police in Britain have broken up a human trafficking ring thought to have smuggled up to 200,000 people into the UK. Mainly Turkish Kurds, the smuggled people paid several thousand pounds each for the privilege of living in the UK. Dutifully, the police on the island and across Europe are putting an end to this.

It's one thing when you're smuggling teenage girls into sex slavery in the Balkans, but it's quite another when people pay their own way to be able to enter a country they otherwise couldn't. I've never had a big problem with that kind of "human trafficking." The authorities in Britain should realize just how valuable living in that country is compared to living in the places these people left. Being illegal, it's hard for me to imagine their taking any noticeable chunk out of the dole; they must be looking for work and generally better living conditions.

It's not like they have it so great back in Turkey. The Turkish government appears to treat the Kurds how Western Hemisphere governments treated their Indians (and in South America, still treat them). However illegal this operation is, you'd be hard pressed to say that the smuggled people aren't getting their money's worth out of the deal—but if you're the police, you'd also be hard pressed to admit it. That would put them in the uncomfortable situation of having to say that the ring needed to be broken up because of the damage being done to Britons, i.e. "Coming from your terrible situations into our fat, rich country harms us, and we're putting an end to it."

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It's one thing when you're

It's one thing when you're smuggling teenage girls into sex slavery in the Balkans but it's quite another when people pay their own way to be able to enter a country they otherwise couldn't. I've never had a big problem with that kind of "human trafficking".

I hope that I have read this the right way around. I hope that you are saying the sex slavery trade into the Balkans is wrong.

On that basis, I think you are saying that the people who operate "immigration consulting services" in places like Mexico, Indonesia, Turkey, are in fact offering a valuable public service.

So, one has to ask, why do nations like US, Australia, Britain have immigration policies and restrictions? For that matter why does NZ try to control the numbers of people from a wide range of countries who wish to immigrate to my fair land? The "acceptable" answers are often platitudinous in the extreme. One has to reply in that fashion as to do otherwise you start sounding like Winnie (the Pooh) Peters, or even worse like Sir Robert Menzies (he of the "White Australia Policy" infamy).

One of the primary factual answers to the question can be found in Germany. That part-answer lies in the impact that the rich West Germany has felt from the sudden influx of "refugees" from the old East Germany. That primarily economic impact has been ongoing since the merger of the two nations, and is evidenced by the high unemployment rate - some 9.5 to 10% coupled with low growth.

Final note - watch for the Kurdish "problem" in Turkey to get solved over the next five to ten years through the (unexpected?) fallout from Iraq.

Smuggling is good because it

Smuggling is good because it brings things to people who want them and people to where they want to be. Smuggling stolen things and kidnaped people is bad because kidnaping and theft are wrong. Plain and simple.

If the UK really wants to stop others from making a profit bringing people to the UK who want to be there they should just start charging people to become citizens, along the lines of the way many Caribbean and Central and South American countries do (though generally they call it "investment"). The government could probably get away with charging far more than the traffickers could. It would also be easy to set the price; just set it to the point where the amount of trafficking is negligible. Too high and there will still be trafficking rings. Too low and there will be no trafficking at all and people will come in who don't really want to be there.

I think the big fear of immigration is not just economic but cultural. However, in the US the biggest problems aren't necessarily immigrants (though immigrants who don't plan to stay can be a problem) - in fact some of the most American people I know are immigrants. The most unamerican people I know are not immigrants at all but were born here to parents who were also born here and have no idea how good they've got it - actually they don't have it so good because their victim mentality prevents them from ever succeeding. I know I sound like a cowboy but this country's success has been built on individualism and entrepreneurship which is exactly what immigrants seeking citizenship bring, not the collectivist crap that "minority leaders" and some liberal Democrats spout.

Perhaps it's exactly this sort of individualism and entrepreneurship that the UK government fears.

Good for these

Good for these "traffickers"! I concur with the notion of a soft spot for those trafficked and even for those trafficking. To the extent that the traffickers are unsavory characters, this can be laid at the feet of the prohibition itself, which tends to attract meanies who have nothing to lose. Unfortunately people, as expressed in media stereotypes, tend to see slimy mobster types involved in trafficking and conclude that the "industry" itself is inherently bad.
I would advise Turkey against joining the EU, but not so they can continue to do whatever they are doing to drive people out of the country...

That would put them in the

That would put them in the uncomfortable situation of having to say that the ring needed to be broken up because of the damage being done to Britons, i.e. “Coming from your terrible situations into our fat, rich country harms us, and we’re putting an end to it.”

You give them far too much credit. You, I and everyone else that reads the newspaper once in awhile knows damn well that they need do no more than claim that it's to "fight terror" and keep terrorists from illegally entering their country.

If You Can’t Stop Illegal

If You Can’t Stop Illegal Immigration Make It A Business
This is already one week old, but Defending the happy and healthy against the ambitious from Catallarchy brought my meandering thoughts back to a very intriguing idea, I read about in The Economist (Decapitating the snakeheads, The Economist, October ...