Pennsylvania's Libertarian Senate Candidate: 'Abolish ICE'

"There's no constitutional authority for [ICE]," says Dale Kerns. "There's really no need for them, either."


Mark Hirsch/Rapport Press/Newscom

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the government agency responsible for carrying out the Trump administration's policy of separating asylum-seeking adults from their children when they cross the southern border, should be dissolved, says the Libertarian Party candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania.

"There's no constitutional authority for [ICE]. There's really no need for them, either," Dale Kerns, a Delaware County electrical contractor who is aiming to be on the ballot in November alongside the two major parties, told Reason. "ICE isn't really serving a practical purpose. We existed for hundreds of years without ICE, and I think it's time for us to go back to the model that we had before."

Kerns says he's been disgusted and appalled by the scenes he's witnessed on the news this week. While the images and sounds of children separated from their parents at the border—along with the Trump administration's confused and often contradictory response to the crisis—has captured the media's attention, Kerns says that's only part of the reason why ICE should go.

The agency is "a threat to both natives and immigrants," he says, pointing to the fact that ICE has established residency checkpoints within 100 miles of all American borders. Yesterday, for example, ICE shut down part of Interstate 95 in New Hampshire to demand proof of residency from passing motorists.

Abolishing ICE should not be seen as a radical idea. After all, the agency has existed for less than two decades.

"Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was created in the panicked days after 9/11 to enhance national security," Reason's Shikha Dalmia writes in the current issue of Reason. "But its primary purpose has become hunting down and ejecting people whose main 'crime' often is that they can't obtain a piece of paper from the government authorizing them to live and work in the United States."

Of course, that doesn't mean that America suddenly criminalized illegal immigration after 9/11. Prior to that, enforcement of immigration laws was the responsibility of the Immigration and Naturalization Service within the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Customs Service within the Treasury Department. Both agencies were piled into the newly created Department of Homeland Security and renamed as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. But a third immigration service, ICE, was added to the mix to take on enforcement responsibilities from the other two.

But shifting immigration into DHS changed the federal mentality. Illegal immigrants are now seen as potential terrorists or criminals, writes Dalmia.

In what's sure to be a closely watched Senate race in Pennsylvania, Kerns appears to be trying to draw a distinction between himself and the Republican candidate, Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Hazleton). Both men are trying to unseat two-term Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.).

Barletta is one of dozens of Republicans to have been named "Trump before Trump," but the label is an accurate one. He's a brash politician in favor of strong enforcement of immigration laws. He first made headlines in 2006, when he was mayor of Hazleton, for passing an ordinance that made English the city's official language and allowed city officials to penalize businesses and landlords who employed or provided housing to illegal immigrants. The ordinance drew a lawsuit from the ALCU and was later ruled unconstitutional—because only the federal government can enforce immigration laws—but Barletta rode that reputation for being tough on immigrants to a seat in Congress in 2010.

He won a surprise victory against a mainstream GOP candidate last month for the right to face Casey in November.

Kerns, a former Republican, sees Barletta as a weak Republican candidate whose stance on immigration will turn off many Republican voters. But he says Casey's response to the border crisis—the senator issued a statement this week calling on the Trump administration to put an end to the "cruel and inhumane policy of ripping migrant children from their parents"—has also been insufficient.

Both are big government policies that are failing Americans of all backgrounds, he says.

Is the Libertarian Party (L.P.) ready to make a splash in a Senate race this year? Nationally syndicated columnist George Will, who, like Kerns, has left the Republican Party behind in the era of Trump, wrote this week that the L.P. might represent the best chance to "restore conservatism." Specifically, Will was talking about likely 2020 Libertarian presidential candidate Bill Weld, but the same logic could apply to high profile Senate races like the one in Pennsylvania.

It's almost never a mistake to underestimate the chances of a third party candidate in American politics, but Kerns figures to make the most of his chance by staking out aggressive, and much needed, policy positions like the one he's floating this week.

"From an immigration standpoint, a civil liberties standpoint, and a fiscally conservative standpoint," Kerns told Reason, "we want to draw a line in the sand and say 'This is where the two old parties are and we are different.'"

NEXT: Trump Is Using the Border Crisis to Stoke Human Trafficking Hysteria

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  1. Abolish the Government.

    1. Abolish all borders to establish LIBERTOPIA!

      1. I keep forgetting to ask Shkha where that country with no national borders is.

        1. It sure as hell ain’t India, which tends to get really pissy whenever Pakistan or China encroaches on the tiniest bit of their territory.

  2. He has to get the signatures to get on the ballot first. And that could be an uphill fight alone. What alternative to ICE does he suggest? No border controls at all, reform of ICE, what? I’m tired of slogans and cliches from Libertarian candidates and the voters apparently have been since the beginning.

    1. He mentions going back to the way it was before 2003, when ICE was created. There was INS, still a huge federal bureaucracy. Maybe he does mean open borders? Or make it the responsibility of the states that have foreign borders?

      1. Or make it the responsibility of the states that have foreign borders?

        This is actually not that bad of an idea. The issue being that the people who live and work on the border have a different view of things- their economy and community ties go cross-border, and are in a better position to balance local and federal needs. When it’s all federal, well, they don’t give two shits about your local economy or family and friends.

        1. Except that something like 20% of the illegal immigrants in the country live in cities/states that don’t have a foreign border.

          I think federated and border-centric would be good ideas and may be a better approach but, IME, added complexity doesn’t make for increased effectiveness or efficiency.

        2. Every state has an international airport. Having a physical border or shoreline is not entirely relevent to immigration and customs.

          Also, since the SCOTUS ruling against Arizona that has prohibited local law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration law, that really is not a possibility.

          1. Every state has an international airport. Having a physical border or shoreline is not entirely relevent to immigration and customs.

            And not *as* relevant as busy border crossings either. Outside of Miami and maybe NYC no one is just popping over the border for a shopping trip or to have lunch with a relative. Someone middle class or higher from central america will likely go for a shopping trip to Miami, but Kansas City? Cincinnati? Minneapolis? No.

        3. So California goes open borders then the immigrants go to wherever they want?

          1. So California goes open borders then the immigrants go to wherever they want?

            More that it would just be nice for hardliners in non-border places to understand that not only are their preferences not the only ones involved, but that they have less skin in the game than communities where life and economy straddles borders. There is a reason one of the first groups to go to Washington after Trumps election were a group of border mayors.

            When weighing the hundreds of millions of dollars at stake for the economy of San Diego and the ability of my neighbors’ family and friends to visit them vs. the right of someone in the middle of Missouri who thinks they shouldn’t have to hear anyone speaking Spanish or are having irrational fever dreams about sharia law, well, sorry no contest.

          2. That is what the lefties are hoping. You cannot prevent Americans from traveling from state to state, so their plan was to get illegals inside the USA and get them to other states.

            1. LOL, lefties aren’t *planning* this. Look at Obama’s record deportations. Surely there is room for enforcement of immigration laws that isn’t intentionally cruel, takes into account reality on the ground, and is respectful of the dignity of human beings.

              This is why ICE needs to go.

    2. I’m tired of slogans and cliches from Libertarian candidates

      .. Reason writers too. “Eliminating border controls” is not a serious response to the ginned-up and even partially manufactured hysteria gushing forth from the MSM every day. And I can’t imagine a surer way to make the LP less relevant than ever than to choose to die on this hill. It’s madness.

      1. We had border control before ICE.

        1. The article actually doesn’t make it clear what Kerns wants in its place.

      2. And I can’t imagine a surer way to make the LP less relevant than ever than to choose to die on this hill. It’s madness.

        Well said. That’s it in a nutshell. The LP, Reason, et al. have become agents of their own destruction. They flatter to deceive and never state the actual policy they advocate, speaking like political hacks, in general terms so as not to frighten the citizenry.

        And that’s why libertarianism is split over this issue. And wherein lies the advantage of such a split? Not to the cause of freedom since the in-fighting weakens any united front. And since those that come across the border illegally don’t vote for the LP but vote for parties that are inimical to freedom, it is, indeed, madness.

    3. Well, if we go back to the status quo ante federal intervention, each state would control immigration into its own ports of entry.

  3. I have thought about completely refraining from voting a lot recently, even considered asking to be removed from the voter list in my city. But…the LP candidates keep me from doing it. I know its an almost worthless vote, and the major parties will never give a shit, but one day, who knows, we might actually win something…

    1. What the hell is a Browns fan doing in Virginia?

      1. It’s a short drive to watch the Raven games.

  4. “the Trump administration’s policy of separating asylum-seeking adults from their children” yeah, that’s exactly what the policy was. In fact it was formally known as “The Donald J. Trump Separate Asylum Seeking Adults from Their Children Policy” — I guess all open borders advocates are in bed together on this one and willing to commit journalistic pederasty.

    1. They even called it that in 2014. Amazing foresight.

      1. Trump’s God-like powers of persuasion forced Obama and even GW Bush to do his bidding long before he was elected.

  5. I think it’s time for us to go back to the model that we had before

    Is he saying we need to make America great again?

    1. No, he meant Marla Maples. That model.

  6. “ICE isn’t really serving a practical purpose. We existed for hundreds of years without ICE, and I think it’s time for us to go back to the model that we had before.”

    So close up ICE and re-open INS as an independent agency outside of the DHS?

    Oh wait we’re libertarians. We don’t have a fucking clue how the government actually works.

    1. “We don’t have a fucking clue how the government actually works.”

      Let’s be real here, the government doesn’t ever really “work.”

    2. What’s so confusing about that?

      Let’s just abolish all of DHS while we’re at it.

      1. Well, abolishing ICE does not actually do anything about the policies ICE has been following, if you just separate them back into INS and Customs. On the other hand Kerns seems to be saying that there is no constitutional authority for INS or Customs either. The impression I get is that he is just saying stuff and has no idea what the consequences of his notion would have or look like.

        1. He referenced what it would look like by references what it HAS looked like before border control held such a prominent government role. This isn’t guesswork. We have a model. We know exactly what it’s like to let in people fleeing from other countries, back before we systematically caged them or sent them back to where they came from.

          1. INS did not deport people?

            My point is that INS and Customs had the same constitutional source of authority as ICE does, which Kerns claims is illegitimate. Going back to pre 2003 status quo does not solve that objection of his. Unless his words are just wind.

            1. Sure, there have always been deportations. But there were long periods in American history where it was comparatively small. Up until the 20s or so it was barely a thing, especially late in the 19th century. For all intents and purposes, there were no deportations back then (only a couple thousand a year, and usually not due to immigration issues but rather due to criminal issues or fear of espionage, etc). So Kerns isn’t imagining what might happen or how the setup might work. We know exactly the logistics involved. There are obviously some things that have changed over the years, but the logistics are mostly straightforward.

              I agree about your constitutionality point though. It’s one of those things where no matter how you interpret the constitution there’s not much there to restrain government’s power in this matter.

  7. It sounds to me like America is nothing more than a bunch of imaginary lines and pieces of paper. Why don’t we just scrap the whole thing? It sounds pretty useless.

    1. That’s a great idea. All of these illegal invading doctors and lawyers along with their kids will be able to set the foundations for our future as a Libertopia!

      1. That’s stupid. The only way to freedom is the creation of large federal agencies to monitor all of our actions to make sure they are sufficiently free.

        1. They know what is best. Top Men after all.

        2. Borders? What Borders? They’re just lines on a map! Just ask the Ukrainians and Russians. They’ll tell you. Just eliminate all borders, it’ll make it so much easier for us all to hug and sing “we are the world” together.

          1. If only the Russians and Ukrainians believed that. Wishful thinking I guess.

    2. That’s because it IS pretty useless. The group of people who have risen to power and who have successfully convinced other people to support them have created the most bloated, most costly organization in the history of mankind. You can’t possibly be advocating for keeping that thing around.

  8. [Barletta] won a surprise victory against a mainstream GOP candidate last month for the right to face Casey in November.

    Kerns, a former Republican, sees Barletta as a weak Republican candidate whose stance on immigration will turn off many Republican voters.

    Not sure how one would conclude that Barletta’s stance on immigration would turn off many Republican voters when he won the primary. Unless PA has an open primary and he’s implying that Democrats voted in the primary for Barletta thinking that they would have an easier time beating him than whoever the mainstream candidate was.

    1. Nationally, I don’t know about PA specifically, there are as many independent voters with no strong loyalty to either major party as there are loyalists to either major party. A candidate out side the mainstream of either party running in one of the major party primaries could have strong appeal to many of those independent voters. So, no, loyalists from the other party crossing over in an open primary is not necessary for a candidate with weak appeal to party loyalists winning a party primary.

    2. 36.9% of Republican primary voters voted for his opponent. Some of those combined with non-primary voters may not vote for him. Major party nominees typically get ~90% or more of party votes. Even 80% of the Republican vote would be a disaster.

  9. “There’s no constitutional authority for [ICE]. There’s really no need for them, either,”

    Well, there is authority, but I guess it depends on how you feel about certain clauses. There is some disagreement, but not enough to actually rule the way he wants.

    As for ‘needed’, well, does this mean that there should be no customs enforcement? It’s not just immigration. Honestly curious.

    1. That is the dumbest statement I have read in a while. There is explicit constitutional authority for the federal government to control customs and immigration.

      Beyond that, how do libertarians expect to deport anyone for even the most compelling of reasons without a law enforcement agency empowered to do so? One of the common refrains from Libertarians is that the charge that they support totally open borders is a strawman. No one supports that they claim. Yet, here they are demanding the government give up its only way to assert any control over the borders or deport anyone who comes here. That is effectively totally open borders. Yet, they continue to dishonestly claim they don’t really support that. Bullshit they don’t.

      1. There is explicit constitutional authority for the federal government to control customs and immigration.

        Okay, what is it?

        1. We go through this same stupid argument about every two weeks. The federal government has exclusive control over international commerce. That means it necessarily has includes customs duties. See Section 8 clause 3

          To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

          Clause 4 gives Congress the power over naturalization, which was thought at the time and has been interpreted by every court that has ever looked at to mean it has the power over immigration. The idea that it didn’t was never considered at the time or by anyone until open borders nitwits dreamed it up a few decades ago.

          I know you are not bright. But your willful obtuseness and refusal to admit arguments that you have lost and facts that are known gets very tiresome.

          1. Exactly this.

            People like Jeff need to suggest a constitutional amendment to get rid of federal control over immigration since it is actually an enumerated power.

            There is a process to change that, but waving your hands around and whining isn’t a constitutional process. I’m sympathetic to good arguments to the contrary, but ‘good’ is subjective and Jeff has trouble with arguments that don’t involve some future perfect good.

            1. People like Jeff need to suggest a constitutional amendment to get rid of federal control over immigration since it is actually an enumerated power.

              I’m supposed to believe your constitutional interpretation over Judge Napolitano?

              1. Judge Napolitano should be on SCOTUS!

              2. It is not his. It is every judge who has ever considered the matter except him. Napolitano is just wrong there. The guy is not infallible. He is full of shit on this subject.

                1. Then please cite your court case proving your claim.

          2. Clause 4 gives Congress the power over naturalization, which was thought at the time and has been interpreted by every court that has ever looked at to mean it has the power over immigration.


            Read the last two paragraphs of Federalist #42.

            It’s clear that they viewed the power to regulate immigration to be a state-level matter, but that the power to regulate the terms of citizenship to be a federal-level matter. So the authors of the Constitution themselves viewed immigration and naturalization to be separate subjects.


            This was the first SCOTUS case where the federal government’s power to regulate immigration was asserted. They did not base their decision on Article 1, Section 8. Instead they simply invented the authority of the government to regulate immigration.

            1. Federalist is not the Constitution and the Founders wanted to make clear that their notes were not to be considered law like what was written down in the Constitution.

              Article I, section 9 removes the restriction of Congress after 1808 to regulate migrants and slaves. Slavery is no more but immigration of migrants is still around.

        2. Chemjeff, You already have been told. Article I, section 8 & 9.

          1. You are wrong.
            Find me any court case where the power to restrict immigration by the federal government is justified by Article 1, Sections 8 & 9.

            1. As usual I agree with Jeff on this subject. But I have to point out that libertarianism, classical liberalism or laissez faire or whatever you want to call it is not derived from the U.S. constitution. The opposite is the case. If some judge decides that the constitution allows the federal police state to deprive individuals of their natural rights, he might be correct as a matter of law. But the right still exists. If you believe that the constitution is the final word, you’re a constitutionalist, which is better than nothing. But if you believe the constitution allows government to deprive people of their natural rights you’re not a classical liberal or libertarian. Live and let live motherfuckers.

            2. As you have been told, the courts do not decide what the constitution actually says. They interpret the constitution. The constitution clearly enumerates the power for congress to regulate naturalization. After 1808 the constitutions shifts the power of regulating migration of free persona dns leaves from states to Congress.

              You don’t need a court case for that language to be true and be listed in the constitution.

      2. Why can’t the regular police do it when they arrest someone that is here illegally?

        1. How would they know they were here illegally or have any authority to deport them? Only the feds have that.

          1. That’s the point. They shouldn’t have to know whether someone is in the US illegally. If a guy beats up another guy, the courts should deal with that independent of the status of his papers. Deportation shouldn’t be on the table.

            And if you’re concerned that the inability to deport people will lead to prisons that are too full, then libertarians have a pretty damned compelling argument about that one…

            1. Yes, Libertarians want completely open borders where no one gets deported for any reason and anyone can come here no matter how much harm they mean. They should stop lying and just admit that.

              1. Who’s not admitting it? I think we all are.

                1. EVery single Libertarian on this board when doing so is inconievent.

                  1. I guess we’re reading different things. Personally, I’ve never been reluctant to explicitly state it, and I don’t know of any other libertarians around here that are either. Can you produce an example maybe? I’m just not seeing it.

                    1. There is a large contingent of open borders is not compatible with a welfare state people.

                    2. There is a large contingent of open borders is not compatible with a welfare state people.

                      Yes, we call these people ‘economists and rationalists’ at the very least. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how libertarians plan on convincing Americans to give up welfare and transfer payments since American’s are addicted to them. It always amuses me to see a libertarian talk about forcing freedom upon people, though.

                    3. Forcing? Forcing how? Does ceasing to steal, plunder, and cage constitute “force” somehow?

                      What the restrictionist crowd fails to acknowledge is that most people don’t want to be on welfare. There are some who are content to be on welfare, but we see that immigrants are not that much more likely than Americans to be part of this group. For those of you who continue to defend and advocate for the welfare state, rest assured this shouldn’t be too much additional strain on your programs.

                      The other thing the restrictionist crowd fails to acknowledge is that we don’t have to guess about what life with open borders might look like. It’s like guessing what life without laws against heroin might look like. The answer is: not a whole hell of a lot different. This is because immigration laws, like laws against heroin, are woefully ineffective. I mean, at least that’s what Fox News tells us all the time whenever they use the words “flood”, “invade”, and all the other fun stuff. The main difference is that we would be caging a hell of a lot fewer people and spending many billions less.

        2. Ask SCOTUS why not.

      3. Beyond that, how do libertarians expect to deport anyone

        Why is deportation a necessary thing? We don’t even deport serial killers. You can get rid of the entire concept of deportation and rely strictly on our criminal enforcement procedures to capture dangerous people.

        1. Why is deportation a necessary thing?

          It is not if you think we should have totally open borders. Libertarians want no borders and no power to deport anyone. And any Libertarian who claims otherwise is lying. That is the point.

          1. I’m aware. But my question is about why you think deportation is an important role of government? What useful purpose does it serve that leads you to justify erecting an utterly massive police force and infrastructure devoted ultimately just to that thing. I mean, if you want to spend billions of dollars every year on a thing, and you want to directly violate free market principles and the rights of free association in the process, I’m going to need a pretty compelling reason to be on board with that.

            1. Well, quarantine for one.

              1. So if disease is the issue here, why isn’t the CDC running the show? And why aren’t the immigrants who are cleared allowed to freely enter society? And why don’t we deport citizens with the same diseases?

                1. Gosh, you must be tired. I’ve heard goalposts are pretty heavy.

                  1. He uses a special machine to move goal posts.

                    its powered by illegal immigrants that he has enslaved.

                2. Because a citizen has already exposed people to his strain of the disease. The strain of a disease an immigrant has may be something that is not already in the US.

                  I bet you fuckin love science.

                  1. I get new excuses every time I read the comments here. Now there’s a massive fear of disease. Got it.

                    Considering that literally millions of immigrants have entered the US illegally already, why hasn’t this been a significant issue yet?

                    1. And considering a strain of disease in Louisiana might be completely different from one in Montana…

    2. does this mean that there should be no customs enforcement?

      Customs issues are (theoretically) handled by Customs and Border Protection.

      1. Okay, then you have the same things being done by another federal agency. So what?

      2. The major difference between ICE and CBP is that while CBP is responsible for enforcing immigration laws at and near the borders, ICE is responsible for enforcing immigration laws within the remaining areas of the U.S. In addition to investigating, arresting, and detaining illegal aliens, ICE is also responsible for the removal of aliens.

        Congrats, you did indeed notice one thing I have a major problem with but I’m still curious if customs should exist.

  10. The feds can enforce the border and vet immigrants without restricting the number coming in. That should be handled at the state level.

    1. Since there is an absolute right to travel between the states, leaving the numbers coming into the states will effectively leave the number to whatever state wants to set it the highest. Once immigrants legally enter one state there is no way to prevent them from traveling to and settling in others.

      You are advocating for completely open borders. That is fine. But be honest and admit that and stop hiding behind the claim you are not and just want to “leave it to the states’.

      1. Government issues different sorts of visas with certain restrictions. I doubt most immigrants would violate the terms and put their legal status in jeopardy. We can always squeeze in open borders with trade agreements in the future.

        1. Government issues different sorts of visas with certain restrictions. I doubt most immigrants would violate the terms and put their legal status in jeopardy.

          The states do not have the authority to restrict anyone’s movement between the states. Pretending they do doesn’t solve your problem.

        2. We can always squeeze in open borders with trade agreements in the future.

          How about squeezing in free speech and protections for gun ownership first?

        3. “I doubt most immigrants would violate the terms and put their legal status in jeopardy.”

          From what I have read, the majority of illegal immigrants actually enter the country legally and overstay their visas.

          1. No need to overstay visas when you can legally work. Ask Melania.

      2. interesting that you call travel between the states am ‘absolute right’. how are you defining that? is there an absolute right to cross city and county borders? from where does this right come from? what makes a State border different from a state border?

        1. is there an absolute right to cross city and county borders? f

          Yes there is. It is implicit in the privileges and immunities clause. The clause has always been interpreted as meaning every person lawfully in the US has the right of ingress and egress into every state.

        2. what makes a State border different from a state border?

          Sure, the question is disingenuous, but if taken at face value, staggeringly dumb. It suggests an ignorance of even the most basic ideas about federalism and republicanism.

    2. “The feds can do the job by telling the states to do it for them.”

      JFC. There is neither a face nor a palm big enough.

    3. The states used to handle it until Congress was allowed to handle it after 1808 (Article I, section 9).

  11. The libertarian “open borders” stance is THE reason I don’t call myself a libertarian. I always say, I’m “libertarian-ish”.
    I’m right there with you on the WOD, gun rights, reducing the military (drastically), reducing gov’t spending (drastically), etc., but open borders is just nuts in general…and totally f**king bonkers when you’re the top economy in the world and you have a generous welfare state!

    1. Thanks for not calling yourself a libertarian.

      1. Or, hell, if you’re for the welfare state just don’t extend it to non-citizens at a federal level. Done.

        1. or hell, just don’t have it at the federal level for anyone.

        2. Unfortunately, that argument was lost decades ago with three words: “…but, the children!”

        3. Ok BUCS, I thought you were smarter than this so I’m hoping it’s a joke.

          If not, do you not see an issue with an American welfare caste living off the wages of a class of citizen with no voting rights?

      2. The pleasure is all mine.

      3. I guess Rothbard doesn’t pass your purity test either

        1. Which Rothbard? He flip flopped on this issue. Ultimately his error is the result of assuming that the net result of anarcho-capitalism was complete private ownership of land, which has been refuted time and time again.

    2. you have a generous welfare state!

      We should abolish the welfare state.

      1. Absolutely agree, and furthermore it must happen before wide open immigration by necessity. This isn’t an idealogical argument, either, it’s a purely functional one. Doing it in any other order is disastrous, and I’d rather not kill the patient to cure the disease.

    3. The libertarian “open borders” stance is THE reason I don’t call myself a libertarian.

      I’m not even against open borders. If I could waltz into Mexico and have the same or similar free speech, gun ownership, and property rights that I could have in large swaths of America, I’d have little problem with that. Unfortunately, that’s not the sort of open borders that open borders people are advertising or even really want. They don’t even put on heirs and don a mask. It’s straight up ‘The more people we grind up and feed to the leviathan, the larger it grows.’

    4. The simple solution to those problems is to restrict welfare to only citizens. This seems preferable over spending hundreds of billions of dollars annually in infrastructure, personnel, and economic loss to prevent people from crossing the border. That is, assuming welfare is truly your objection to immigration.

      1. This would seem the simple solution, but most of the immigrants show up with kids. We are a kind-hearted people, however, and we don’t want to let kids be here and starve, go without medical care, go without education, etc.

        1. Very good point, but Reason addressed this one a few months back. They demonstrated quantitatively that the cost to keep immigrants out is higher than the cost of public assistance.

          1. I can believe that is the current state, but I believe the cost of public assistance will go up many-fold if we were to open the borders entirely.

            1. They computed it on a per-person basis. Is there a reason to believe there’s a nonlinearity here?

  12. This situation reminds me of the big hubbub all the liberals made about FCC repealing net neutrality. ICE has been around a little big longer than net neutrality, but come on, it isn’t the end of the world that the government starts doing what it did 15 years ago.

    1. No. But it wouldn’t make any meaningful difference anyway. What difference does it make if immigration law is enforced by something called the INS or something called ICE? None.

      1. It reduces the number of federal agencies by 1. That’s a pretty good deal.

        1. Okay. But that is a technical argument on how to best enforce the immigration laws. Moreover, that is not getting rid of ICE, it is just having someone else do its job. So at best this guy is guilty of misleading his supporters and at worst he is arguing for an end to any federal control over the border.

          1. I think it’s more than just a technical argument. The unbridled expansion of the number of federal agencies is part of the reason the federal government is as large and unwieldy as it is. It’s getting bigger to support faster and more efficient growth. Libertarians should universally oppose the creation of all federal agencies for this reason alone. Homeland security is another one that we target quite frequently, even though its actions can be absorbed into other agencies. The creation of the department has created additional inefficiencies and has supported additional growth that would have been more difficult if they hadn’t created it at all.

        2. Returning to pre 2003 status quo would increase the number of federal agencies by 1 (INS and Customs would be reborn from ICE).

          1. INS and Customs didn’t go away (although they go by different names).

  13. Hello! I’m a Republican who values liberty, which is why I read and post at And it is just disappointing how much time Reason spends on open border fantasies. We don’t need a bunch of illiterate ignorant third world deplorables invading our country and turning it into another dumpster fire like their home countries. They should stay and fix their own countries. And Reason would be well served if they stopped fixating on immigration issues and concentrated on defending the liberty of the people who really matter, such as Americans. They are just driving away potential support and voters when they continue to harp on defending shithole people from shithole countries. How do they expect to win any support at all from the Americans whose wages are driven down by the illegal invaders? It’s the Americans who matter, not the shithole criminals! Get your priorities straight!

    1. then you don’t value liberty. also, you’re a racist.

      1. You mean absolute liberty under anarchy?

        1. I can understand an incompetent guy getting all miffed because other people won’t pay him what he thinks he should earn and try to plead it’s because he was born here and looks more like them. But no one is violating his rights just by being here and working.

          1. Rule of law. The majority of Americans in this democratic constitutional republic decideed that immigration was to be regulated and based on those laws, the president shall enforce said immigration law.

            Americans are being harmed because their laws are being ignored by non-Americans. Remember that and you will understand why democrats lost in 200@6 and will loose big in 2018.

    2. More precisely, Reason Republican, it’s the educated, skilled, accomplished, tolerant, reasoning Americans who matter. The people who chart and effect America’s progress.

      The bigoted, backward, half-educated, economically substandard goobers who populate our can’t-keep-up rural and southern stretches? Not so much.

    3. And then they wonder why they’re called xenophobes and racists.

      1. Democrats are pretty xenophobic and racist. You’re right.

        1. This is kind of the logical equivalent of “I know you are but what am I”

          Sure, Democrats are pretty xenophobic and racist. I think that might be true. So how in the fuck does that have anything to do with Republicans being xenophobic and racist?

          1. Democrats started the KKK, Jim Crowe, and segregation laws?

            1. You’re still playing the whataboutism game and not actually addressing the point.

              1. Aren’t you doing whataboutism for Republicans?

                Yea, you are.

    4. Americans have no right to demand a higher wage just because they’re Americans, nor do they have a right to demand that others not compete with them. Even if that does “drive their wages down”.

      And you matter no more to me than a guy coming from El Salvador.

  14. I enjoy watching a bunch of self-proclaimed libertarians — who bluster about disbanding the FBI, or eliminating the Department of Education, or drowning government in a bathtub — get panty-twisted over a Libertarian candidate’s proposal to end ICE, the U.S. government’s enforcer of authoritarian, bigoted, big-government immigration policies.

    Right-wing xenophobes are among my favorite faux libertarians. Thanks for the entertainment, clingers.

    1. You are an illiterate. You are not watching anything because doing so would require you to have the ability to read and understand what is being posted here. You are just “watching” the voices in your head.

      1. John will be the guy wearing an ICE jacket, a Homeland Security vest, and a Trump hat at the next libertarian meeting.

  15. Half a century ago, Andrew Napolitano wrote a good Reason article about Immigration and the legality of its regulation in the Constitution.
    I really want our borders to be more “loose”, and our immigration policies to be more permissive. These people will come into this country as long as it’s significantly better than their origin country, so I’d rather they be “in the open” than in the underbelly of society. (Where more nefarious crimes can come to fruition.)

    1. I would rather immigrants or ey our very liberal immigration laws. I have the silent majority on my side.

    2. Funny how judge Andrew can claim that the Supreme Court can invent a new ‘right”, such as marriage, and force the nation to extend that to homosexuals, with absolutely zero support for such in the Constitution, and that it is “the law of the land”.

      But also claims that the Supreme Court stating that “The power of the legislative department of the government to exclude aliens from the United States is an incident of sovereignty”, does not delegate to the federal government power over immigration, according to The Constitution.

      Sounds like the good judge is simply shaping his opinions to be more “woke”, than anything else.

  16. Oh glorious and beautiful Squirrels, BUCS hurt my feelings yesterday by criticizing my lazy and poor simile. I want him reprimanded. Please make at least ten duplicates of each of his posts.
    Thank you my mighty and benevolent furry overlords!

  17. So, a bunch of commenters on a libertarian website are criticizing a libertarian proposal from a Libertarian candidate.

    Maybe the commenters aren’t really libertarians?

    Maybe libertarians really don’t exist outside the think tank circles?

    Abolish ICE =/= open borders.

    Returning enforcement to INS (or CIS, as rebranded) and Customs doesn’t mean the same enforcement would happen. Organizational Structure matters. Reporting chains matter. If you have an organization where the mission is rounding up people, they will cut corners to round people up. If you have an organization whose mission is to manage the border and immigration, they will manage the border and immigration. They will not get bonus points for locking up more people.

    And, isn’t not locking people up what liberty is about?

    1. Locking up people — especially brown people, black people, and uppity women — is exactly what this is about.

      (It’s all fun and games until Paul Manafort goes from bracelets to handcuffs to cell.)

      1. Democrats did used to keep the blacks in chains.

        Now they want the blacks and brown people to give them the votes that they bought.

        1. I thought only the Dinesh D’Souza level intellects were still using that line.

          1. I love to see lefties like you on libertarian sites as they stand out like sore thumbs.

    2. And, isn’t not locking people up what liberty is about?

      That and creating governmental departments. I know because I read the comments here.

      1. Those who harm and violate national boundaries. Yup lock ’em up.

        At least they wont be hurting others or invading our country.

        1. “Our country” = collectivism

          Individualists, including libertarians, believe in property rights, which include the right to host whomever you’d like on your own land, and the inability for third parties to dictate free association.

          “Hurting others” = violation of the non-aggression principle

          Libertarians philosophically hold that “harm” requires aggression against another party that results in damages. Likewise, they hold that the failure to demonstrate this kind of aggression is a lawful act.

          It’s ok to peddle conservatism, but when somebody is talking about libertarianism they’re not talking about you, so it’s inappropriate to defend yourself.

          1. Private property rights are not national property rights. In fact, all united states territory is under the authority of the federal government thanks to the states giving up some. Power to enter into the union that is the United States of America.

            1. Right. That is collectivism and is DIRECTLY at odds with the notion of the individual and, by extension, property rights.

              1. You want absolute liberty and no country on Earth has that.

                We gave up some rights to form this Union.

                Feel free to form your own anarchist nation.

  18. Pennsylvania’s Libertarian Senate Candidate: ‘Abolish ICE’
    “There’s no constitutional authority for [ICE],” says Dale Kerns. “There’s really no need for them, either.”

    Congress can regulate naturalization of aliens. Congress can also regulate migrants after 1808.

    Article I, section 9: The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

    1. This provision of the Constitution is about slavery. Even the authors of the Constitution themselves said so.

      THE SECOND class of powers, lodged in the general government, consists of those which regulate the intercourse with foreign nations, to wit: to make treaties; to send and receive ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls; to define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations; to regulate foreign commerce, including a power to prohibit, after the year 1808, the importation of slaves, and to lay an intermediate duty of ten dollars per head, as a discouragement to such importations.

      1. Slaves are imported. Free persons are migrants and are NOT imported.

        You just keep losing this argument but keep trying.

      2. You just keep leaving off the migrant part, which is is typical for your incorrect assessment of the clause.

        1. Read the fkn Federalist Papers. It’s right there in black and white.

          Read what the Heritage Foundation said about it. It’s about slavery.

          Find me just one court case, ever, that has relied on this section of the Constitution for justifying the federal government’s power to regulate immigration. Just one. You can do that, can’t you?

          1. Aw Chemjeff, the Federalist papers are NOT the Constitution. They have not legal authority over the Constitution and its legal authority which give power to Congress and the President to regulate naturalization and immigration.

  19. There is no Constitutional authority for “factions” either, so the Libertarian, and all other parties, shall be abolished.

  20. This guy already had strikes against him being from Delco and being an electrician (probably union). Now he wants open borders? Guess I might have to write in someone this Fall.

    1. There’s a republican running. Why not just go for him?

  21. “There’s no constitutional authority for [ICE].”

    Borders are unconstitutional, m’kay?

  22. What a tool! Maybe the particular agency ICE doesn’t need to exist… But some kind of border enforcement needs to, and some form of law enforcement needs to toss people out that are here illegally. Open borders are suicide for 1st world countries!

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