I have wanted to jump into this for awhile with it being in the news (Bless your heart, Mr Trump) and all, but in my typical procrastinatory fashion, I put it off. No more! First, a brief history of my views on immigration. I have been on both sides and I have said truthful things both ways. There are some uncomfortable truths on both sides.
When I started out on the issue, I was still infected with socialist views, so much so, that I was a bit harder on immigration than most socialists. I probably would love Bernie Sanders had I remained infected. At that time, I was opposed to illegal immigration and wasnt fond of even legal immigrants from the stereotypical areas either. I even once said that America was meant to be a black and white cookie with yellow sprinkles (brown people need not apply).
However, if people were willing to come legally and learn English, and all that, I didnt really care. When the SB 1070 debate came out, I shocked quite a few conservative friends by vigorously defending it. A few months later (my fifth anniversary just passed), I became a libertarian. My views on immigration didnt change, nor did some of my other views. Economics flew fast, but I suppose Ive always been a social conservative.
It was not until a traumatizing incident when entering the United States from Canada with a close friend who was denied entry that I changed. Retrospectively, the passion of that incident took over my rational thought. I came out in full support of fully open borders. No one should dare ask for papers when crossing an imaginary line. Over time, that evolved further to a point where I would say that we should deport socialists who dont work and welcome immigrants who would love to work. This is the crux of the libertarian argument, and it makes a good point.
So why did I go back? Well, I read some things and the old nativist came back. I have always been a critic of libertarian hyperindividualism; groups exist, was something I would say (that should be a post itself). Indeed, they do. Humans group up, whether ideologically (Freestaters) or familially (Jews) or something else. These bonds become secure to varying degrees to the point that they sometimes even disregard individualism that might be better for specific people. An example would be when the Free State Project kicked out a man who was very libertarian because they were uncomfortable about a few of his views. Their in-group priorities corrupted their view of the larger picture. While I disagree with the decision, this actually served two good purposes: one, the formulation of a group (freestaters); and two, it demonstrates that groups exist and are inevitable.
The issue is that groups are different from each other. There are certain groups here in America, and other groups south of the border. The individuals part of these groups are at least partially a product of these groups. No one is an independent automaton. Recognizing this makes it a bit easier to understand the need for immigration control. And even a basic semblance of control can be supported by the most hard core open borders supporters. A friend stated “There is zero moral justification to deny entrance to the country to anyone who’s not a runaway from justice for crimes against life, liberty and property.” A true open borders advocate would prefer to wait until the immigrants are about to commit another crime to deter them. And thats where the insanity begins.
Having a wide open border, especially with a country vastly divergent in standard of living, is a recipe for disaster. People from there will want to come here, and that is reasonable and rational. If it were just the specific workers, it would not be so bad, but our family reunification policy ensures that wives and children and parents and siblings and cousins and uncles and nephews and worse can come as well. Often, these people dont have the same hard work ethic, or have connections to crime and drug trade. Or they have nothing to do and decide to rape 14 year old girls.
However, there is even a problem with even letting in workers. We already have in excess of 100 million able bodied people who dont work. Immigration proponents say that immigrants take jobs people her dont want. Well, the reason they dont want the job is because its easier to fill out a welfare form. Eliminate welfare and those people will go pick fruit. A friend once told me that we do need poor, low IQ immigrants to do mundane tasks. Yet, here in New Hampshire, I have met pretty white girls who are at least average intelligence, cleaning bathroom stalls (The state is 97% white, the city is 82% white). Myself, I stock shelves in a supermarket. Is it a shitty job? Yes, but for now its a job until I get my own business together. In a world devoid of farm hands, I am open to farm work. There is something to be proud of working with your hands and providing food. Ive always romanticized farming. Lets not forget that Israel was built by high IQ farmhands (more on Israel later, and the Zionists also did hire immigrant Arabs, ironically causing the problems of later).
Open immigration is both unnecessary and harmful, but lets look at it from a libertarian perspective, because a libertarian can still rightly say “who cares?” in response to the above. Workers should be able to work, while guns and security systems can deter crime. What follows will demonstrate the idea is suicidal and reveals perhaps a fatal flaw in libertarianism.
California has become a disaster as of late, with a vastly overstretched government finance, extremely high housing costs, overcrowded prisons, and a water shortage. All of this points to one thing: overpopulation. Now, overpopulation isnt the Malthusian horror we are taught about, but it does cause growing pains when population grows faster than a society can absorb and assimilate. In the past 35 years, the population there grew by 67%. The United States, meanwhile, grew by 42%; and the Amish grew by 345% (they have their own land problems). This causes a strain on the system, even if the system shouldnt exist. Immigrants, legal and illegal from south of California come from poor health, do not have good income, and drive up demand for bilingual services and schools. This costs a lot of money. Its no wonder that the state is in trouble, while other socialist states with fewer immigrants are faring less bad (see Oregon, Washington, and Vermont).
They also vote for social programs and more welfare. Or if they dont, their children do. Obviously, the programs should not exist, but we still live in a democracy and not many libertarians are keen on the Pinochet Option. They end up voting 5-1 and worse for the Democrats, and while the Republicans arent libertarian, they are somewhat better. The immigrants and their children pressure both parties towards socialism. Obamacare would not have passed without the support of these voters.
Conveniently, Pew Research has polled four libertarian issues among Hispanics, native and foreign. They found that while 57% of US born Hispanics support marijuana legalization, only 27% of foreign born Hispanics support it. For whites, 52% support. Regarding gun rights, only 39% of whites want to restrict it, while 59% of native Hispanics, and 82(!)% of foreign Hispanics want restrictions. And then lets talk about minimum wage: only 67% of whites want to raise it, while 84% of Hispanics do (there was no separation for birthplace). Abortion is the fourth issue and Hispanics are more opposed than whites. Take that how you want: either as more proof they are anti-liberty, or proof that they are (they value life).
Welcoming millions of people who vote 5 to 1 against liberty is pure insanity and suicide. There is no way to argue around this. Some libertarians and so-called conservatives will stick their fingers in their ears and continue to shout “WHO CARES”, or somehow insist that those who voted for the PRI in Mexico, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Morales in Bolivia, and Chavez/Maduro in Venezuela will magically become libertarian capitalists here.
Perhaps we can educate and enlighten these poor, low IQ immigrants in the virtues of libertad! In between picking fruit and producing babies, maybe they will read some Bastiat, or perhaps their own countryman, Faustino Ballvé. But by the time we educate them, there are already new immigrants to push things back. As the past century has shown, democracy is a long march towards socialism.
The solution of course, is fairly simple, and is not really that anti-libertarian. Indeed, it costs less to build a fence on the border and maintain it than all the direct services that illegal immigrants use, not to mention what they vote for, and the crime they cause. Some claim that all that is needed to thwart a fence is a shovel or a ladder. Israel had a similar problem in the late 2000s and early 2010s, with thousands of “infiltrators” from Eritrea and South Sudan invaded and just sat around on welfare, raped and robbed, and brought hell to Tel Aviv in a way Arabs never could. Finally, the government had a fence built, and immigration dropped 99.5%. A similar fence was built with the territories in the early 2000s, and terrorism dropped by 99.5% as well. I guess Africans and Arabs dont know what ladders are. As is said, good fences make good neighbors. Once the wall is built, we can talk about other relevant issues (deportation vs amnesty vs status quo).
What makes this all odd is that libertarians usually have no problem with borders on a personal basis. There, they open up to unfettered totalitarianism, as long as its on private property. Seriously speaking, private property is just a bunch of imaginary lines. Indeed, the communists argue this as a reason to abolish land property, and also apply it to national borders. Libertarians, for some reason, still apply it to national property lines despite the insanity of it. A trespass is a trespass. Its just as wrong on your land as it is on the vast frontier. In a libertarian society, there would be no commons at the border and the border would likely be heavily fortified. It wouldnt exactly be a border; it would be where group A tapers off and group B tapers on. A or B may find it a good idea to build some fences.
Now, certainly, there is a freedom of movement concern. I should know, considering the incident I mentioned. However, it is worth noting that Canadians dont pose as much of a threat. I actually do support a largely open border there, despite the fact that their immigration system is a bit nuts, and a few terrorists have crossed from there. Unfortunately, we still have the government and all its programs around. And the immigrants who mow our lawns and pick our fruit like what that government does. Its pure insanity to continue to allow them in until that can be wrestled under control. Perhaps then, when government is a minarchy, or nonarchy, we can talk about welcoming them in. But by then, maybe they wont be so interested.
¡Adios, America! by Ann Coulter — I understand she is not a popular figure in our community, but this book provides a wealth of what statistics and information on illegal immigration and even legal immigration that I could never do justice to. Coulter goes into the history of post-1965 immigration and policy since then. She also documents that the 11 million number has been bandied about for over a decade, which is impossible. She speculates that the number is at least 30 millions. She also contradicts claims that immigrants, even illegals, cause less crime than natives. Indeed, prison statistics suggest that even legal immigrants are more criminal. The book is well worth a read, and is available for download in certain quarters, or is probably at a local library.