The right of consenting individuals to be left in peace by the government is the heart of freedom. It doesn’t matter if the individuals are white or black, men or women, Christian or atheist; consenting adults of all stripes have the right to engage in consensual capitalist acts.
The case for open borders begins with a follow-up question: If race, gender, and religion don’t matter here, why should nationality? Suppose I want to hire a Chinese citizen to work in my factory, and he wants to work in my factory. Or suppose I want to rent my apartment to a Romanian citizen, and she wants to accept my offer. It seems like government should leave us alone, too. If it did, open borders – a world where every non-criminal is free to live and work in any country on earth – would result.
One has to be careful when making an argument for closing borders. The problem is that many of the arguments people offer lead to conclusions they are not prepared to endorse. The arguments for closing borders appear not just to be arguments for closing borders, but for censorship, voting restrictions, eugenics, internal migration restrictions, and more. Or, if they’re not, closed border advocates rarely show us why not.
Closing borders is in the first instance a form of economic protectionism. When we close borders, we in the first instance forbid people from making willing, mutually-beneficial trades with one another. At first glance, it looks like we’re violating a right of freedom of movement and a right of freedom of association. Perhaps such restrictions can be justified, but we need a good reason. But now look at the reasons people give, and ask whether these reasons imply not merely that we should close borders, but that we may do a whole host of illiberal things. Consider….
One of the putative downsides of open borders is that immigrants might cause crime. According to this argument, immigrants are statically more likely to commit various crimes than domestic citizens, and for that reason, it is justifiable to exclude.
One response to this argument is to dispute the empirical claims. In fact, empirical studies generally find that immigrants are less likely to commit crime than domestic-born citizens. Bas van der Vossen and I will summarize the studies in our forthcoming book with Oxford. I’m not bothering to link to them here, though, because I want to ask, instead, what if immigrants did in fact cause more crime? What if immigrants were more likely to be criminals than the domestic population? Would that be sufficient reason to restrict international migration?
Today, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske announced that the agency would spend three additional months studying whether body-worn cameras (BWCs) are suitable for deployment by CBP. The agency has been studying BWC deployment since 2014, and the effort comes after years of intense pressure by non-governmental organizations over a pattern of lethal use-of-force incidents since 2010.
The draft feasibility report released by CBP appears to give federal employee unions virtual veto power over the deployment of the cameras, stating “Successful union negotiations are required prior to implementation.”
Today, the ACLU’s Border Litigation Project released a damning report on the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection “interior operations” that should serve as a wake up call for Washington policy makers.
Titled “Record of Abuse: Lawlessness and Impunity in Border Patrol’s Interior Enforcement Operations”, the 31 page report is supplemented by hundreds of pages of documents obtained through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit….
See, also, ACLU Report.
Free markets in capital, goods, and labor –
Pew reported that at current rates, non-Hispanic whites will make up less than half of the U.S. population by 2055, at which point it will begin becoming more difficult to recognize any clear racial majority in the nation.
A separate poll from Rasmussen suggests that most Americans would view the changing racial makeup of the nation as a positive, with 44 percent of respondents saying that multiculturalism is good for America. That’s compared to 26 percent who said multiculturalism hurts the nation and 15 percent who said it neither hurts nor improves the U.S.
America doesn’t face a revolt of allies demanding citizenship, but it does face millions of illegal immigrants, their U.S.-born children, and the challenge of assimilating them. There will always be some illegal immigrants in the United States, regardless of reform or levels of enforcement. Birthright citizenship is an insurance policy that guarantees their children will assimilate instead of simmer on the margins of society.
We are the midst of a failed immigration policy that has produced around 12 million illegal immigrants. Now is not the time to cancel birthright citizenship and its benefits.
“There have been a lot of dumb ideas put out,” Paul continued. “One, that the Mexicans will pay for a wall, was probably the dumbest of dumb ideas. But putting a wall up between us and Canada is sort of a ridiculous notion. It is sort of like everybody is now competing to say, ‘Oh no, I’ll put them in camps. Oh no, I’ll throw them out. Oh no, I’ll put everyone in jail. And I’ll have an electric fence, and I’ll do this.’ And it’s like, you know, the biggest thing we need to do is have a functioning immigration system, with a good work program.”
“A former White House official and Reagan aide is demanding that Mexico maintain a Berlin Wall to keep its own citizens from escaping. While restrictions on the right to enter a country are widely accepted, restrictions on the right to exit a country are usually regarded as a tool of dictatorship. Lord’s own former boss,…
“America needs an immigration system for the future. Here are some good ideas to get the ball rolling….”
Sanders has shown signs in the past that he is less pro-immigration than some of his Democratic colleagues. In 2007, he was a major Democratic opponent of George W. Bush’s immigration reform bill, arguing that welcoming more guest workers would drive down wages for American workers.
Gathering beclowns the Movement — “Speaking to a gathering of Libertarians in Las Vegas before headlining an event in Phoenix, Trump repeated his charge that Mexico was sending violent offenders to the U.S. to harm Americans and that U.S. officials were being “dumb” in dealing with immigrants in the country illegally.”These people wreak havoc on…