Don't Miss Our Debate on Open Borders at Reason's DC HQ on Tuesday, 4/22 at 6 P.M.!



Next Tuesday, April 22, Reason will be hosting a debate on whether the U.S. should open its borders.


Moderated by Thomas Clougherty, managing editor, Reason Foundation.

Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and the event will begin at 6:00 p.m. The debate and Q&A session will last an hour with a reception to follow.

RSVP to Cynthia Bell at or (202) 986-0916.

Reason is located at 1747 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., a few blocks north of the Dupont Circle metro stop on the red line.

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  1. *…at Reason’s DC HQ…*

    Beltway snobs

  2. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and author of The New Case Against Immigration: Both Legal and Illegal

    Stacking the deck in your favor there, aren’t you? Krikorian is a mildly racist nut who wants to kill essentially all forms of immigration in this country, legal and illegal. Fair enough, but that being the case you’re not having a debate on open borders, persay — you’re having a debate between two different extremes of the immigration debate (namely, open borders vs no immigration), which is something of a strawman.

    Would have been preferable to have someone less nutty debating for some sort of restrictions on immigration.

    1. And yet Krikorian is quite influential in certain circles.

      1. Achh but no true scotsman would ever put sugar in his porridge.

        Is there any commentator or pundit who advocates unlimited movement, but wishes the franchise to be strictly limited?

  3. Stacking the deck in your favor there, aren’t you?

    Would you expect anything else?

  4. And here’s an Intelligence^2 debate on this topic.


    Note the before/after pie charts.

    1. Yes, appeal to emotion works quite well in such cases, I’d assume.

      1. If you study the topic carefully enough, use long words, and cage the argument in academic parlance, an increase in the supply of labor will not decrease its price.

        1. This is called ‘research’. Nativists might want to try it someday.

      2. I have much more respect for anti-immigration advocates who argue a from cultural protectionist framework than those who attempt an economic protectionist argument. The vast majority of people making arguments based on economic protectionism don’t fear losing their jobs to immigrants. There is no horde of Mexican actuaries or Chinese human resource managers looking to flood our shores. Furthermore, most of the people making these arguments realize this, but shy away from stating the true source of their opposition because culture isn’t something that can be quantified and the bludgeon of statistics can’t be used so readily.

        1. Macro economics is nonsense, AFIK. Micro economics, not so much. A gardener’s aversion to having his government import a million new gardeners stands to reason.

          1. Not really. Immigration always results in more employment.

  5. If people were serious about restricting illegal immigration, then they wouldn’t be trying to get the Federal Government to do something about it. They would be using their own time and resources.

    1. I have to disagree somewhat. There ARE some people who do something about it, or at least try to. There are non-governmental border patrol groups. And using government to intervene with already-collected resources instead of using personal resources lowers the cost of intervention for an individual dramatically. Plenty of people who might grouse about immigrants don’t travel to the border using their own money, but they’re perfectly happy to support “border control” policies using tax dollars that are conveniently collected for them without them having to lift a finger.

  6. Bryan Caplan’s absolutist moral position is getting harder and harder to listen to. (Maybe it’s just because I don’t agree though)

    1. Caplan is a suicidal libertarian.

      1. That’s basically my thought on the matter, letting everyone on the boat means we’ll all sink (or, at least, I sink). But, I could be wrong, and I’d be happy to be convinced as such.

        1. “The Constitution’s not a suicide pact!”

          There’s no boat. We’ve never sunk from immigration and never will.

          1. I’m a bit skeptical about both claims, while the latter isn’t provable the former is certainly arguable, there have been many bad plenty of bad policies that can be attributed to mass immigration (specifically, the way they and their immediate descendants voted).

            Try not to take analogies too seriously.

  7. Neither the full open borders nor the total restriction positions are within the public policy window. It always seems to come down to greatly expanded big government “reform” or “why do you hate brown people”?

  8. Webcast? I’d like to see that.

  9. I, as yet, have no position on immigration. I have trouble framing it within a libertarian framework. I’d be interested in hearing a libertarian argument from both sides.

    It seems to boil down to whether the rights of Americans are violated by allowing open borders, but I have a hard time seeing how.

  10. Here is yet another debate about immigration between Leonard Piekoff and Yaron Brook.…..-1-of-2-2/

    These men are both hard-core Randians who disagree. The jist of this is that Brook accepts rights as absolute, Piekoff sees rights as existing in a context.

    1. Peikoff is NOT an Objectivist he’s an insane over-indulged delusional megalomaniac. He imagines himself the Pope of Objectivism. He’s Rand’s biggest mistake. Yaron Brook is awesome.

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