A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform

Civil rights, economic liberty, and a path to legalization.

now the government knows who you are!State DepartmentImmigration reform has been the Sisyphean policy goal of the last few years. Following the tradition of at least the previous three two-term presidents, President Barack Obama didn’t get around to prioritizing immigration until after he had been safely re-elected. Last summer, House Speaker John Boehner predicted Congress would pass an immigration reform bill by the end of the year; the Senate passed a mammoth bill later that month, but by November reality had set in for Boehner and he admitted immigration wouldn’t see a vote in 2013. And earlier this month, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that an immigration bill wouldn’t reach the president’s desk in 2014 either.

At more than 800 pages, the current immigration reform bill—just a “first step,” former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano explained—is stacked with deal sweeteners like massive new border security spending. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that the bill was hard to craft because lobbyists kept coming back asking for more to be put into it, which Graham considered a good thing. But perhaps something smaller would have a better chance of passing Congress. Libertarianism could offer a template that could help pass meaningful immigration reform.

A libertarian bill wouldn’t have the kind of carve-outs and goodies that attract some lawmakers. But a bill that reflected a respect for civil and economic rights and limited government could garner enough support to pass. Even if it didn’t, it would help to further define the emerging libertarian-authoritarian divide in Congress. 

What would such a bill have to include? That question, which animates backers of current attempts at immigration reform, is perhaps not the best one to ask. More important is what would such a bill be trying to accomplish? What is the problem that “immigration reform” seeks to resolve?

For libertarians, the issue appears to be the millions of illegal immigrants denied legal status because they committed the misdemeanor of entering or staying in the United States. But for lawmakers not convinced that immigration is an economic benefit and a natural right, the problem involves border security. Immigration reform, then, isn’t just about how to normalize the millions of illegal immigrants here, but also how to keep them out of the country in the future. Opponents of current reform efforts insist that dealing with the illegal immigrants already in the country should come after border security is improved and illegal immigration declines.

Of course, providing anything like “amnesty” to illegal immigrants incentivizes future illegal immigrants, these opponents argue. The argument is a weak one: The latest economic recession probably did more to dampen immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border than any additional enforcement could have.

From a rights and limited government perspective, normalizing the situation of illegal immigrants ought to take top priority. Lack of legal status prevents illegal immigrants from participating in economic and civic life. As I’ve argued before, it’s not access to welfare that drives illegal immigrants' desire for legal status, but rather access to property and other rights that are, in our modern society, unfortunately tied to government documents and recognition. Focusing on a “pathway to citizenship” recognizes the need for illegal immigrants to have government recognition in order to buy and sell property, enter into contracts, use the court system for dispute resolution, and so on. It provides a way to depoliticize the issue and broaden its appeal.

A libertarian immigration reform solution, however, should take a piecemeal approach. It would not offer a complete “pathway to citizenship,” but rather a path to legalization. It would focus on a specific solution to the specific problem illegal immigrants have: an inability to participate normally in the economy and in society because of a lack of government documents.

For a libertarian solution, the "path to legalization" isn't about delivering new voters for the Democrats or increasing the welfare rolls, but about creating a legal environment wherein millions of people already living in the U.S. can become full and active participants in the economy. It would involve providing a federally recognized legal status for illegal immigrants that would fall short of citizenship or permanent residency but allow them to participate in economic and social life—to open bank accounts, drive, acquire occupational licenses, board planes, and do the many other things that require an ID in America today.

This legal status would include something like a tax identification number, to provide illegal immigrants with a more formal way to pay taxes. It would also allow states to decide which local privileges to extend to the no longer “illegal” immigrants (thereby incorporating states' rights into immigration reform).

Concurrently, a libertarian solution would repeal the laws that penalize employers for hiring the wrong person. Employers have as much of a right to associate freely as immigrants have to travel freely. Government edicts should not come in the way of someone who wants to work and someone who wants to pay for work.

And what about border security? Most of the violence and lawlessness associated with the border is rooted in the operation of drug cartels. A libertarian solution to that, obviously, would be to de-escalate the drug war and legalize drugs, which would go a long way in stabilizing the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile, coyotes—professional border-crossers you can hire to help you cross the border—and other human traffickers would be undercut by a U.S. immigration policy that provided a pathway for potential immigrants that was less risky and costly but not less likely to be successful.

From a limited government, free market perspective, the best way to increase border security effectiveness would be to cut the bureaucracy and spending associated with it. With more limited resources, the border bureaucrats left behind would be forced to prioritize rather than spend on any failure they want.

Such an immigration bill—one that focused on normalizing the legal status of illegal immigrants and legislating a more efficient, less costly border security—should be attractive to civil libertarians and fiscal conservatives alike. It increases revenue by creating millions of new taxpayers and cutting the border-related budget. It should also be attractive to any liberals and conservatives more interested in the human dignity of illegal immigrants than the economic fallacy that blames them for American joblessness.

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  • The Late P Brooks||

    They'll vote to secede.

  • Homple||

    "The argument is a weak one: The latest economic recession probably did more to dampen immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border than any additional enforcement could have."

    So we control incoming foreigners by keeping a crappy economy? Hey, it works for Zimbabwe.

  • ||

    Incoming foreigners control themselves by immigrating when demand for them is higher and emigrating when demand for them is lower.

    Hey, it works for every other market, and even for migration within the country!

  • Homple||

    There's this welfare state thingy to consider. If lots of our own citizens suck perpetually on the welfare teat, why won't foreigners?

  • PapayaSF||

    They do.

  • PaulW||

    This article really failed to convince me.

    Open borders are meh. They're not economically feasible unless borders are open between two libertarian countries, otherwise it becomes a race to who can offer more through government, rather than needs based migration.

    I've said it multiple times, and I'll say it again, open borders are the very last thing we do just before we pop the champagne in libertopia.

  • ace_m82||

    Perhaps it is because I was a conservative too long, but I'm not sure the purpose of a govt is to protect the rights of other countries' citizens (if so, how much?). While there is no doubt that all humans have natural, unalienable rights, I'm not sure that the "right to vote" is, well, a "right" at all.

    I'm not worried about immigrants "taking r jebs", but how they would vote... We live in a Republic that many think is a Democracy. If 200 million Chinese (to pick on a random big govt country) wanted to move to the US and most wanted to vote big govt, I fail to see why I have any incentive to let them in.

    Let those who want to work come in as that can only be good for the economy. If they don't "integrate" into our society, why should I care unless they harm me? Should they all vote? If I say no, is that taxation without representation? Isn't that what happens to legal immigrant workers now? Don't they have the choice to not move here if they want to be "represented" by their original country?

    I don't really know the answers to all these questions as I usually spend my time thinking about much more important issues that affect us all. I am open to comments and ideas as I really don't have any conclusions yet. Have at it with the comments.

  • Stephencj||

    Since the proposed plan in the article wouldn't grant full citizenship, the way they would vote probably shouldn't play into it that much.
    I see not wanting people to come in based on them not voting for the people you want, just as perverse as wanting them to come in to vote for your candidates. But, if that really is a concern, consider the fact Mexicans are mostly Roman Catholic, would be working hard, and would be paying taxes. Without being able to say, "Those evil Republicans hate you," (especially if this solution is proposed and passed by Republicans) I don't see how the Democrats would get all their vote.

  • DJF||

    Those Mexicans vote left wing parties in Mexico. Also when did people get the idea that being Catholic makes you conservative or right wing and it certainly does not make you libertarian.

  • Calidissident||

    That's a pretty hasty generalization. The last two Mexican presidents before the current one were members of PAN, which is a center-right party, and it still has a legislative plurality. Furthermore, plenty of people don't vote, either in Mexico and in the US. I believe that in the US, voter turnout among Latinos who are eligible to vote is less than 50% even in presidential election years.

  • PaulW||

    Is that Mexican right or American right? Because those can be and most likely are two very different things.

  • Black&Yellow||

    "Mexican right or American right"

    neither do not exist.

  • ace_m82||

    Should Switzerland allow millions of French to immigrate there and vote stupid? Their Liberty will be gone before you could spit. Should Israel let Egyptians, Syrians, Jordanians, etc come into their country and vote them to death? That seems to be a legitimate concern.

    Should a govt protect non-citizens' rights if they can destroy the citizens' rights?

    Let's assume that freedom of movement is an unalienable right. That doesn't imply that you're free to vote wherever you happen to be. Can I vote in in Australia's elections? Why not? If it's my "right", then why does it matter where I am?

  • Tony||

    IMO, you should be entitled to vote under whichever government has jurisdiction over you.

  • ace_m82||

    So if I live in Australia as an American, where can I vote? I'm technically under 2 govt jurisdictions.

  • Tony||

    That's why the concept of citizenship is practical. I'm just speaking ideally. If a government has power over you, I think you should be able to vote under that government. But it's an imperfect matter to be sure in an increasingly connected world. That's why I favor unified global governance.

  • Brian||

    Since 85% of the world is religious, I'm not sure you'd enjoy democracy practiced at that scale.

  • Tony||

    85% of the US is religious so what's the difference.

  • Brian||

    OK, so what's your 5 point plan for bringing about unified global governance?

    And, no appeals to magical unicorns at the UN, since it governs practically nothing.

    At the point you tried a unified global governance, you'd quickly find that everyone really isn't happy with the idea of going along with democracy for democracy's sake. That people don't desire peace so much that they're willing to let the entire world vote on every possible aspect of their lives, and it would all quickly fall apart into violence, or, at least after stabilizing, decentralized nation states.

    Unless, of course, we imagine that everyone magically agrees fundamentally about everything important, which they don't.

    The entire exercise would just be one big demonstration of the fact that, just because everyone could vote, doesn't mean the result is awesome, or that everyone should have to go along to get along.

    The nature of government is still violence, and letting everyone vote for one big government doesn't make that go away.

  • ace_m82||

    I know you're a liberal, but come on, if there were unified global governance, you'd HAVE to admit that all the Jews in Israel would die. I suppose that's a "small sacrifice", right? Just like Progressives who saw what Communism was doing to the Ukrainians and said "in order to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs"...

    If the States' governments are causing calls for succession, how much do you think worldwide governance would?

  • PaulW||

    O.o

    I like that you are being quite civil in your conversation, so I feel bad for saying this, but I suspect you are dumber than I had even imagined.

    The only global government that could work would be one that is authoritarian and ruthless.

    Which fits with your progressive ideology quite nicely, now that I think about it.

  • Tony||

    The UN is authoritarian and ruthless?

  • ace_m82||

    If it had any real power, it would be. He said the only global govt "that could work". No-one thinks the UN works (right?).

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Conversely, then, a polity that doesn't want you voting in its elections is justified in keeping you out of its jurisdiction.

    Or so it seems to me.

  • ace_m82||

    I think I may have just answered my own question. In a libertarian country, a vote couldn't harm another because govt would be sufficiently de-fanged. So let them vote stupid; they couldn't do anything bad with it. If you plan on using this theory in a country, I would caution you to do this LAST, after govt is too weak to oppress.

    But my point brought up another issue. If Israel truly let "freedom of movement" into their country, they would likely all be killed. How do you determine the difference between worker migration and an actual invasion?

    Man, I hate it when answers spawn questions...

  • PapayaSF||

    You are right that this is an issue, and IMO a fatal flaw in the real-world implementation of libertarian theory. Open borders sounds nice economically, but in the real world of one rich, welfare state-y, somewhat libertarian country (compared to most of the rest, anyway), mass immigration means the loss of pretty much every other libertarian principle. I'd rather keep those and give up on the open borders one.

    There's also the Putnam effect of diversity decreasing social trust, but that's a whole 'nother topic.

  • ace_m82||

    Or we could just keep logical consistency by declaring that a govt only has an obligation to protect its own citizens' rights. I mean, it's not like we think we should protect N Korea's citizens' rights... So that must mean that the only other logical place to draw the line is "whomever happens to exist within our borders"... which doesn't work.

  • Arn0||

    Slaves weren't american citizens...

    The government (like everybody) has an obligation to respect everyone's rights everywhere, including the right to travel. He has also a obligation to protect everyone's rights every time it reserved itself a monopoly over this protection.

  • Black&Yellow||

    The government has an obligation to not exist

  • ace_m82||

    Fair enough, but they weren't allowed to leave either.

    So we do have the obligation to respect N Korea's citizens' rights? So more wars? China? Nuclear war?

  • Arn0||

    "So we do have the obligation to respect N Korea's citizens' rights?"

    Yes.

    "So more wars? China? Nuclear war?"

    No.

    Respect the rights of other is not a duty to protect. USA must not kill the north-koreans (for example) but it has not a obligation to save them from their own government.

  • ace_m82||

    So we have the obligation to let them in but not to free them.

    How do you tell an invasion from "immigration"? Should Israel allow what you want when it would end with their deaths?

  • MarkinLA||

    Let those who want to work come in as that can only be good for the economy

    How is it good if the only way they can be employed is if an American is fired and applies for welfare?

  • JFree||

    This issue is 'libertarianism as purchased by billionaires'. The issue is NOT the status of current illegals. The issue is whether government should be in the business of mucking around with the supply of labor - at the bottom of the ladder where the playing field is already messed around with - for the purpose of enriching the already wealthy and well-connected.

    re 'the border'. The first meaningful 'limit' on government is whether it actually limits its authority to a geographic area. And that means 'the border' - and how a government chooses to exercise its authority at the physical limits of its authority is of signal importance. In this case, the government is failing to exercise its authority at the border - not because it is simply weak and limited everywhere. But because it views the entire world as its purview - and acts authoritarian everywhere - and hence 'the border' is completely meaningless.

  • WC Varones||

    Our health care, education, and welfare system is still far too generous, especially in comparison with Mexico. Regardless of the fact that some illegal immigrants want to come here for free-market economic opportunity, the huge social services system is a big incentive for non-productive immigrants to come.

    You can have open borders, or you can have a generous welfare state, but you can't have both.

  • Tony||

    This should be fun.

  • Homple||

    It will be if we hear more from you.

  • Tony||

    I'd rather sit back and watch a bunch of self-described libertarians compromise their stated principles because they're racist idiots or, at best, can't bring themselves to let other people have freedom if it means they're going to vote for Democrats.

  • JFree||

    There is no such thing as 'principles' absent reality. At least not in politics. And the current reality is that 'immigration reform' is nothing but cronyism enacted by an already authoritarian government - that can only, in reality, lead to even more justification for authoritarian action and cronyism.

    'Libertarian' nonsense on this issue is precisely why libertarians are viewed by everyone else as nothing more than BS-spouting puppets of cronyist billionaires.

    But hey - puppets are free to be smug too.

  • Tony||

    Well obviously libertarians are puppets of crony billionaires, but equally obvious is that immigration reform of some sort is an imperative. The status quo is friendly to the principles of neither libertarians, liberals, nor nativists.

  • JFree||

    Why is 'immigration reform' an imperative? That implies an urgency and some problem in need of a solution.

    The only people in America who seem to jumping up and down about this are billionaires and big plantation owners who are overtly annoyed that American peasants just aren't as willing to be slaves/serfs as their Chinese/Indian/etc 'counterparts'.

    Is this the 'principle' behind your 'libertarianism'?

  • Tony||

    Yes, that is what it implies. I am a liberal, not a libertarian, so my problem with the status quo is that it allows for a bunch of migrant workers who have no rights. If you're advocating to keep the status quo, then you're advocating for de facto amnesty for millions as well as fewer restrictions on employers who want cheap labor. Legislation that passed the senate formalizes some things like a path to citizenship, rules for employing immigrants, and streamlining the work visa system for both high- and low-skilled workers.

    The bill is the result of a compromise among pretty much every interested party from both sides of the political aisle and from business to labor to immigrants rights groups, and is opposed by House Republicans for one reason only: it would give Barack Obama an apparent political win.

  • JFree||

    If those people were not better off here than wherever they came from, then they would not BE here. There is nothing to stop them from returning to wherever. Nothing whatsoever. So those 'lack of rights' are clearly not that important - to THEM.

    That same alternative - returning to wherever - is NOT available to some American at the bottom of the ladder. They are not allowed to emigrate anywhere else (in large part because we no longer 'do immigration' via bilateral agreements as we did in the 19th century). And the welfare/tax systems you support HUGELY discourages even internal labor mobility.

    So in essence, you support a two-tier system of 'poor people'. Poor Americans who are discouraged from working in exchange for welfare crumbs and a poverty trap. Perfect for a political machine to exploit grievances. And poor foreigners who do work but who are excluded from the political machine that can exploit grievances.

    Fortunately for you, Republicans are too stupid to see the huge political opportunity here.

  • SusanM||

    There is nothing to stop them from returning to wherever.

    If you hopped in a cargo container in Guayamas and ended up in NYC, how do you propose "getting back"?

  • JFree||

    Well certainly one way would be to walk into an INS office and say 'I'm an illegal and I'm not happy here anymore. Can you deport me?'

    You'll get a free ride to the border - and entrance into Mexico. Of course, you might have to pay for the bus to Guaymas - but you've already gotten what no poor American can ever get - 2500 miles of free transport and unlimited access to whatever in Mexico.

  • JFree||

    My serious point being - the illegal trip is only 'illegal' in one direction. The other direction is entirely legal (and indeed subsidized by the US government as well) - but only for Mexican citizens.

    The 'solution' here is actually a really small-ball solution. Not 'comprehensive immigration reform' - but bilateral migration agreements (like the 19th century) - and border security (like the 19th century).

  • Calidissident||

    "The other direction is entirely legal (and indeed subsidized by the US government as well) - but only for Mexican citizens."

    What?

    Also, you need to brush up on your 19th century history

  • JFree||

    I suspect I am far more familiar with 19th century history than you. And in particular diplomatic agreements (eg Bancroft Conventions, Burlingame Treaty, etc).

    There was no 'right to emigrate or move around' in Europe. Hell, many countries still had legal serfdom - and most others were just barely transitioning from it. Nor did the 'huddled masses' just show up magically at the dock. Virtually everything that you take for granted about the migration of people across sovereign borders was created by some very talented American diplomats back then.

  • lap83||

    "libertarians are puppets of crony billionaires"

    Is this a well-paying gig? Do I need to fill out a form?

  • Black&Yellow||

    "I'd rather sit back and watch a bunch of self-described libertarians compromise their stated principles because they're racist idiots or, at best, can't bring themselves to let other people have freedom if it means they're going to vote for Democrats."

    He has a point. If you going to be libertarian stay consistent on principles of liberty.

  • Vampire||

    Cut off subsidies, education, etc. no benefits for coming here other than freedom. And there isn't going to be much left of that after politicians have their way as they've taken rights away throughout history, instead of fighting for them..

    Government is antithetical to freedom. Voluntary government would last a short while before being taken over by weak folks whom lobby politicians to do their bidding through force, coercion, theft, etc.

    There is no such thing as a limited government. It never limits itself, but does consume the rights of individuals. They've had from 1776 to expand freedom and liberty, and secure those natural rights. They have utterly failed in doing so.

  • Tony||

    Would you rather live now or in 1776?

  • Brian||

    Would you rather live in 1776 USA? Or Ireland, 1550?

    More government isn't declared awesome just because 200 years ago looks like 200 years ago.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Better yet: Ireland 1850. I could see Tony going for the Modest Proposal. Think of the carbon savings!

  • Tony||

    I'd rather live now, when the experiment in large-scale human cooperation has made steady delivery, over time, of monumental increases in human well-being, which means freedom. Better still, 10-50 years from now when we're even better, but prior to the time the energy industries you shill for have destroyed it all.

  • PaulW||

    The only technological advancements through government are generally militarily due to the highly competitive nature between countries.

    Technology and efficiency drives the steady delivery of a better lifestyle generation after generation.

    Those things are brought to you by the market where such things are mutually beneficial to the consumer and the business person.

  • Tony||

    You guys have this problem of describing (in the most rudimentary terms possible) how markets work and then thinking that suffices to explain how every good thing in the world got here.

    But it's not how the Internet got here. Would you say the Internet is one of those technologies? Or is it just a minor government military program?

  • Bush League||

    Has any one ever thought about the possibility that a libertarian immigration plan with the current welfare state might actually be a decent thing, in that it could potentially drain the system, forcing politicians to make cuts?

  • Homple||

    +1 Cloward-Piven

  • PaulW||

    I'd rather not watch the country implode into violent chaos. Sorry, but the status quo is a bit better than worrying about SOL welfare people looting and rioting on the streets.

    We need a much more balanced and incremental approach coupled with education.

  • Black&Yellow||

    its inevitable. The whole "violent chaos" is pure fear mongering. Government is violence and I welcome it's demise

  • David Wall||

    Make immigration easy, but citizenship hard. Voting and receiving the unearned benefits of the massive welfare state should require citizenship. Citizenship should require an understanding of the country's heritage of freedom and liberty, etc.

    However, if an employer wants to hire someone from another country it is a violation of his/her rights as well as the potential employee as a human being to prohibit it.

    This one doesn't seem so hard. What am I missing?

  • JFree||

    What are you missing? Well - for one thing most Americans do not have the remotest possibility of ever qualifying to be 'citizens' under your standards. Which pretty much sounds like you are advocating poll taxes and Jim Crow administered by trash who are looking for a reason to exclude people who vote the wrong way.

  • Tony||

    The fact that this plan is finely tailored to creating a supply of cheap workers who have no rights?

  • MarkinLA||

    So if somebody decides to send a boat to Pakistan and bring back 3000 Pakistanis and put them in the kind of camps they live in in places like Bahrain where they get a space on the floor and a blanket to sleep and are trucked out to the job site every day, that would be a good thing?

    How do Americans compete with that?

  • Jayburd||

    Section 4.

    The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, AND SHALL PROTECT EACH OF THEM AGAINST INVASION; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.

    Do you believe in the Constitution or not, Ed? Do you agree with the late Harry Browne that "we should take down the free lunch sign at the border"? Why can't we do these things first? At least uphold the Constitution first. Or do we Libertarians just cherry pick the parts we like and ignore the rest? For some strange reason I believe if we adhere to the Constitution everything else will sort itself out. Aren't Libertarians Constitutionalists?

  • Robert||

    I' libertarian & ~constitutionalist.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Aren't Libertarians Constitutionalists?

    some don't believe in mythical contracts that they did not sign.

  • Jayburd||

    That mythical contract gives you a reasonable expectation of not getting shot for making that statement.

  • Robert||

    How about the reverse: no change in the laws, but reduced enforcement & penalties?

  • MarkinLA||

    You people wonder why Libertarians are view as lunatics. The libertarian view on what a country is seems to be that it is just a giant job fair that exists purely for the purpose of supplying business with labor at the lowest possible price.

    Nothing is ever said about how and why societies develop and why people might want to maintain those ties.

  • PaulW||

    Those are the intellectually lazy libertarians, the libertines, and the anarchists. They are not really in the mainstream of libertarianism.

    Most of us can at least understand cause and effect within the world that we live in, we do not rely on cause and effect in libertopia as the open borders idealists do.

  • Black&Yellow||

    Sir, you have no clue what an anarchists are. You are no libertarian

  • Black&Yellow||

    "You people wonder why Libertarians are view as lunatics."

    and the belief that whole societies can be managed by force and violence is not lunatic-like?

  • MarkinLA||

    Black or white are the only colors in your world I see.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Since, so far as I can tell, everyone involved in this issue is riding their own hobbyhorse as hard as they can (that's a semi-polite war of saying "lying through their teeth"), I propose the following;

    1) Enforce the Laws as they stand, not because of any belief that they are fair but because attempting to do so is the only way of demonstrating conclusively why they won't work.

    2) Make absolutely sure that everybody understands that whatever reforms are passed will ASLO be enforced.

    3) Listen attentively to the squeals of pain and outrage, taking copious notes.

    4) Pass a reform bill, wither the realistic expectation that it will not be perfect.

    5) Repeat until squealing stops.

    Alternately or simultaneously we could depose the concatenation of special interests, political parties, criminal enterprises, and assorted flotsam that currently runs Mexico and replace it with the concatenations of special interests, political parties, criminal enterprises, and assorted flotsam that currently run Jersey City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit and other such cities as may occur to us. Repeat until the process no longer improves the governance in all affected areas.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Krayewski ignores immigrants' desires to use government welfare to thier benefit at taxpayers' expense. With 70 comments, only WC Varones mentions this, and the fact that you can have open borders or a generous welfare state, but you can't have both.

    A libertarian solution to immigration reform, must start with a solution to government taking the fruit of people's labor out of their mouths, only to give it to those who've not labored. That solution would be the elimination of all forms of federal government welfare and redistribution, for both inidviduals and companies.

  • Will4Freedom||

    When I read these articles and the Libertarian view of open borders, it all seems to center around Mexicans.

    There ARE other illegal immigrants in the U.S. besides those of Mexican origins. People from many South American countries, Middle Eastern countries, Asian countries and even Eastern European countries come here, some legally, but become illegal when their student or other temporary visas expire. It's not all Mexicans.

    Don't they all have a desire for freedoms they don't have in their own country? Are we obligated to accept them all?

    I don't buy the "freedom of an employer to hire who he wants" argument. There's already a legal method where an employer can hire someone from outside the U.S. The IT industry is overflowing with them, giving me the economic freedom to work for much less than I used to. I guess the trade off is slightly cheaper apps... which my old flip phone doesnt' use... so... sucks to be me.

    The post above that describes people flooding in from nations hostile to the U.S. is spot on. They won't all come here an become Americans.

    I agree that the legal method of hiring someone from off shore could be simpler and cheaper, but please don't fling open the doors and say welcome. It won't take long before those doors are closed for entry AND exit, and you won't like the group doing the closing.

  • Ishrugged||

    I don't buy the freedom of an employer to hire who he wants unless we end all corporate welfare. Let's see how fast the CEOs who want cheap foreign labor change their tune about increasing immigration and granting amnesty. If workers have to compete with a potential 5 billion immigrants from poorer, mostly 2nd and third world countries, I think these corporations should not get one dime of our tax dollars. While were at it let them compete without tariffs on imported goods as well. Let's aLso repeal the Jones act and let's let foreign shippers have unfettered access to transport goods within the US. Also general dynamics and Northrop Grumman shouldn't be off the hook they should have to compete with all foreign weapons companies as well. Let's end all farm subsidies too. Hey while were at it let's import the best politicians from other countries too. If borders have no meaning why shouldn't the we be able to vote in Putin to be our President. Lastly, you libs won't like this but no more welfare state and I would happily legalize the 12 million illegal aliens here.

    I'm a libertarian in practice and you can't do what Ed Krayewski and Nick Gillespie want because they haven't thought deeply about this problem. They could take a lesson from me. This can't be a one sided giveaway to illegals, politicians and corporations. Those entities have to experience some pain and not the American people who have been taken advantage of.

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  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
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