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Free Minds & Free Markets

Restrictionism Will Devour the Rights of Americans Too

Liberty is not divisible. The rights of immigrants and Americans are inextricably linked.

I delivered the following remarks at the first Open Borders Conference organized by the Free Migration Project some weeks ago. Among the other libertarians who spoke were George Mason University's Bryan Caplan and Ilya Somin.

Most of the time, one hears two basic arguments for generous immigration policies—one, that I call the conservative or self-interested argument and theICE ProtestAlex Milan Tracy/Sipa USA/Newscom second that I call the progressive or altruistic argument. The self-interested case for immigration basically emphasizes the economic benefits of immigration for the host country. The progressive case stresses the benefits for the immigrants themselves.

But there is a third, libertarian case, for immigration—namely that border controls and immigration restrictions empower government and lead to more state violence not just against immigrants but citizens themselves. They curtail the liberties of native-borns because any attempt to control outsiders must inevitably result in controlling insiders as well. So there is a self-interested but moral case for opening up the borders.

Or at least that's what I'm going to argue and demonstrate with examples today

F.A. Hayek famously argued that when government interferes with the peaceful, voluntary activity of individuals to achieve some collectivist end it puts its country on the Road to Serfdom. It matters little whether these ends are socialistic ones such as equality through income redistribution—or conservative ones such as cultural preservation by restricting trade and immigration. The fact of the matter is that if these restrictions leave individuals substantially worse off, they will find a way to circumvent them—unleashing all kinds of unintended consequences.

But the government's failure to achieve its ends will not be perceived as evidence that there is something wrong with these ends—that perhaps they are out-of-sync with the legitimate aspirations of people. Rather, the failure will be blamed on an insufficient use of force in achieving ends that are otherwise good. Thus, an initial round of coercion inevitably spawns ever more draconian rounds, putting the country on the path to "serfdom"—or a police state.

But the question is why does government coercion inevitably have to escalate? Why doesn't the initial crackdown succeed?

The reason is that when laws deem acts that have actual victims as "crimes," they are for the most part self-enforcing. The government has strong buy in from the public and the vast majority of people obey them spontaneously and automatically. Indeed, most people don't go around killing, stealing, pillaging and raping. So authorities have to go after only a minuscule number of violators, which in functioning polities is a manageable task.

However, it is hard to obtain that kind of automatic buy-in for victimless crimes that are crimes only because the government decides to treat them as such. Too many people are either indifferent to these laws— or profit by subverting them or actively oppose them.

Think about it this way: If enough Americans really didn't want to have anything to do with immigrants, immigrants wouldn't come because they couldn't survive. They wouldn't be able to get jobs, fall in love with Americans, get married, have kids. They'd be shunned. But that is not the case. For every immigrant, there are a whole host of Americans who benefit from his/her presence. So in order to enforce this rule of law, authorities can't rely on voluntary compliance. They have to resort to an ever-escalating, disproportionate and therefore lawless use of force against Americans themselves. As London School of Economics' libertarian political theorist Chandaran Kukathas notes, "Immigration controls are not merely border controls but controls on the freedom of the population residing within those borders."

The most vivid illustration of this is Arizona which, thanks to the intersection of aggressive state laws and federal efforts, has become ground-zero for "interior enforcement." This has produced untold damage to the liberties of Americans—not just poor minorities, but rich whites; not just liberals, but also Republicans.

Everyone has heard of Arizona's SB 1070—or your paper's please law that subjected the state's Latino community to widespread profiling and harassment. I won't dwell on that. But three years before that law was passed in 2010, Arizona embraced LAWA or the Legal Arizona Workers Act. It required businesses to use E-verify to check the status of employees, the first state to do so. And LAWA imposed "business death penalties"—the loss of operating licenses etc—for businesses that "knowingly" employed unauthorized immigrants. In other words, its aim was to save American jobs by shuttering American businesses!

Sheriff Joe Arpaio went to town with this new law. He created a "criminal employment squad" to go after restaurants, car washes, janitorial cleaning services—you name it—that might have undocumented workers in their employ. In order to boost his image as "tough on illegals" ahead of a re-election campaign, he used this squad to simultaneously raid not just the workplace but even homes of business owners. His agents would swoop in, hand over anyone suspected of being undocumented to ICE. And they would arrest the owners of the establishment and also managers suspected of cooking the books. Over the course of a year he went after about 80 workplaces and rounded up 800 people till his reign of terror became so out-of-control that a massive outcry forced him to disband his squad. One establishment he went after that I wrote about extensively in a Reason article was a restaurant called Uncle Sam, whose owner is a card-carrying Republican so popular with "patriots"—as blood-and-soil conservatives are called locally—that the local Republican club held its monthly meetings there. But Arpaio, to settle a vendetta, went after the restaurant owner on trumped up charges and basically ruined it. The court threw out Arpaio's charges eventually. But that didn't undo the damage to this restaurant's reputation. The owner has sued Arpaio and Maricopa county for damages.

Arizona, btw, stopped enforcing LAWA and E-verify because these laws sent the Sunshine Grand Canyon State into a recession one year before the rest of the country and it stayed in it two years longer. However, federal policymakers like Steve Miller who are pushing similar measures and worse at the federal level against "crooked employers" are less likely to back off in the face of such ruin.

But employers are not the only ones being hurt in Arizona and it's not just state laws that are doing the hurting. Federal "interior enforcement" is also decimating the liberties of ordinary Americans. A big chunk of Arizona is located in what the ACLU calls a constitution-free zone. This is a band along the border but stretching 100 miles into the interior where the Supreme Court has given border patrol sweeping powers to search vehicles and luggage just as it does at "ports of entry." In effect, the border has moved inwards. Recently, border patrol has been stopping Greyhound buses nationwide in this zone and demanding to see passengers' papers. What does this remind you of?

But consider the plight of just one border community in Arizona called Arivaca. Arivaca is a little hamlet eleven miles from the Mexican border on the foothills of the San Luis Mountain that I visited last year. Its 800 residents are mostly white but also some Hispanics, who've lived there for generations. It's surrounded by rolling hills, ravines and meadows. It has one grocery store and a restaurant. And that's about it.

Border Patrol has wired the Mexico-facing side of the town with satellites and sensors to detect any movement in the ravines and meadows. But ten years ago it decided to set up a "temporary" checkpoint on the other side of the town under the guise of gaining "operation control" of the border. The stated purpose of the checkpoint was to protect the residents from the illegal flow of drugs and migrants.

In fact, the checkpoint makes Arivaca residents feel like they are living in the West Bank on a daily basis. They have become the enemy because, as far as border patrol is concerned, you never know when one of them starts doing drug runs for cartels or hauling migrants for coyotes. The upshot is that anytime any Arivacan has to leave town, to take their kid to a dentist, catch a flight, go to work, they have to pass through the border checkpoint. If agents decide they want to search their car, Arivacans can either voluntarily comply and let them look and get it over and done with quickly. Or they can refuse and be detained till a canine team arrives to sniff their vehicle. In principle, agents need "reasonable suspicion" to stop anyone claiming to be an American citizen. In practice, if you are driving a sedan with a closed trunk rather than an open pick-up truck, that can raise "reasonable suspicion." If their truck has camping gear or heavy equipment, that can raise "reasonable suspicion." It they are in a hurry and don't make requisite small talk with checkpoint agents, that can raise "reasonable suspicion." If they are too mouthy, that can raise "reasonable suspicion."

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  • Sevo||

    ''THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END 'CAUSE TRUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
    Didn't even have to look for the by-line; screams Dalmia.

  • RoninX||

    Maybe next time read the article.

    Shikha is exactly right, and anyone who is an actual libertarian, rather than just an anti-government populist, should recognize that anti-immigration laws violate individual liberty.

  • Nardz||

    Prohibitions against murder violate individual liberty.
    Almost everything that involves more than one, solitary individual does.
    Grow up

  • Fancylad||

    "recognize that anti-illegal immigration laws"
    Fixed that for you, my disingenuous friend.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " actual libertarian, rather than just an anti-government populist"

    Apparently "actual libertarians" believe in government of the government, by the government, and for the government.

    This "Libertarian Moment" brought to you by the shiny new postmodern Marxist Reason.

  • RoninX||

    Shikha is arguing for reducing the power of government, and you're arguing to increase it, at the expense of individual liberty.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Shikha is arguing to destroy the remaining freedoms American citizens by imposing ever increasing numbers of big government voters on them.

  • Teddy Pump||

    BINGO!!!!

  • Trumptard||

    I am sympathetic to your point of view, but immigrants vote and they vote for big government. It's hard enough getting native-born people not to vote for marxism, but doing the same with a people who don't understand American institutions and history is a very difficult. I understand that they will mostly likely eventually come around and move off the Democratic plantation, but how long will that take?

  • ThomasD||

    So does the welfare state.

    Yet we cannot support both, so lets get rid of the welfare state then we can throw open the borders to everyone.

    Until then, the affront to liberty will just have to be tolerated.

  • kd6rxl||

    We should recognize Shiksa Dalmia's disingenuousness since open-borders advocates don't give a rat's rear end about any immigration impacts on citizens.

    Libertarian absolutists should also recognize that most immigrants are going to vote Socialist, not libertarian.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Can American right survive the shutting of the border?"

    Is there a plan to shut the border?
    Maybe you could start with a definition of what that phrase means?

    Anyway, to sort of answer your question, my rights will be completely unaffected if illegal border crossings cease.

  • Don't look at me!||

    +1

  • I can't even||

    In fact, my rights will be significantly better off if all the Third World isn't voting in our elections.

  • Skyhawk||

    Not to mention a huge reduction in Social Security fraud/identity theft, rediction in welfare, Sec. 8, EIC, TESL classes, reduction in foodborne pandemics, reduction in the cost of health care, reduction in jail/prison population, just to name a few of the benefits to American taxpayers with of cutting off the influx of the third-world
    invasion.

  • Skyhawk||

    Not to mention a huge reduction in Social Security fraud/identity theft, rediction in welfare, Sec. 8, EIC, TESL classes, reduction in foodborne pandemics, reduction in the cost of health care, reduction in jail/prison population, just to name a few of the benefits to American taxpayers with of cutting off the influx of the third-world
    invasion.

  • Echo Chamber||

    Have rules for immigration, require people to follow them, and keep out people who are trying to cheat on the rules. Why is this so hard?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Cuz rules are hard and mean and hurt people's feelings and don't focus on outcomes and equality and shit.

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    We have also been told by Our Betters here at Reason that every person who crosses the border has multiple degrees, never commit crimes, and never take any sort of taxpayer assistance.

  • ||

    We have also been told by Our Betters here at Reason that every person who crosses the border has multiple degrees, never commit crimes, and never take any sort of taxpayer assistance.

    Except when they're Foxconn employees or studying at Harvard on a student visa, then they're just the regular old filthy, non-American Chinamen.

  • Rorschach||

    ...and will totally vote for libertarianism instead of socialism.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "...keep out people who are trying to cheat on the rules. Why is this so hard?"

    It is so hard to do because the feds have a $10 to $12 billion per year incentive to let these horrible cheaters in to our nation! The horribly cheating illegal sub-humans are shoring up Social Security w/o being able to pull bennies! WE the native born who pull or will pull SS bennies are the ones who are the free-riders mooching off of the labors of the sub-humans! THAT is the "secret" (willfully ignored) reason why the feds don't REALLY want to keep the illegal sub-humans out! That, plus businesses (farmers, construction, restaurants, etc.) would be hurting badly for the lack of these hard workers.

    See "The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes" (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one... AKA http://www.theatlantic.com/bus.....es/499604/

  • buybuydandavis||

    "It's hard because I want the US to be Venezuela"

  • ErictheRed||

    This ^^^^^

  • kd6rxl||

    Low wage illegals with large families don't pay enough to cover their K-12 education, never mind what other social welfare benefits they currently get. Plus Democrats want them eligible for everything else.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Because the rules are impossible to follow? Why is that so hard to understand?

  • Echo Chamber||

    The rule aren't impossible to follow for the million+ who become legal immigrants each year

  • Echo Chamber||

    On the other hand, getting grammur right without an edit buttn is impossible

  • DesigNate||

    So make the rules easier. This isn't rocket surgery.

  • buybuydandavis||

    It's hard because it doesn't serve Leftist power.

  • Libertymike||

    Can American rights survive the hordes of third world invaders?

    Can American rights survive the continued onslaught of diversity dystopia, code for anti-white?

    Can American rights survive the continued metastasis of multiculturalism, code for crush the Caucasian?

    Can American rights survive the Democrat party's continued transmogrification to the party of brown and black?

  • ||

    Can American rights survive the continued metastasis of multiculturalism, code for crush the Caucasian?

    This one doesn't have to be code. Can American rights survive multiculturalism? Fundamentally, no.

  • sarcasmic||

    Cue the Shikha Derangement Syndrome.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Maybe I have low expectations as of late but this one seems well constructed and a very valid argument.

  • sarcasmic||

    I agree. Won't sway any Trumpers though. If you disagree with Trump on anything then you're racist. Oh, wait, that was the previous president. All this cult of personality stuff gets so confusing.

  • John||

    Weren't you telling me yesterday how you didn't really care about immigration?

  • sarcasmic||

    I generally don't. However I found this article to be somewhat persuasive. I know you think every Mexican is a Pakistani rapist, so any arguments with you are a waste of time. I won't bother.

  • John||

    You appearently think none of them are and the only reason Pakistan is different than America is because of magic dirt. If you are going to engage in straw man fallacies, then stop bitching when people do the same to you.

  • Kivlor||

    John, our legal tradition dating back to Great Britain is being slandered by you. We all know it's the magic air. The air of America is too pure and free for statist immigrants to breathe and remain statist, just like the air of Britain was too pure for slaves to breathe and remain slaves.

  • Here for the outrage||

    Or maybe its just that collectivists gonna collectivist and people like free stuff

  • John||

    It is just a reductio ad absurdum fallacy. She is saying having any restrictions is the same as having every restrictions. It is her typical blend of lies and histronic ranting.

    You must have very low standards if you find this one well contructed.

  • sarcasmic||

    She is saying having any restrictions is the same as having every restrictions.

    Kinda like how Trump supporters say disagreement with Dear Leader about anything equals disagreement with him about everything?

  • John||

    Kinda like how Trump supporters say disagreement with Dear Leader about anything equals disagreement with him about everything?

    Yeah I say that all the time Sarcasmic. There is no way that you can't notice how you yell STRAWMAN in virutally every post but then engage in exactly that, sometimes in the same thread. I am starting to think you are becoming the Libertarian OBL and are just fucking with people.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah I say that all the time Sarcasmic.

    I get that all the time here. Maybe not from you, but it seems to be a rallying cry as of late. Don't like Trump's trade war? You're a never-Trumper. Don't like his xenophobic immigration policies? You're a never-Trumper. It's getting tiresome.

  • ||

    You must have very low standards if you find this one well contructed.

    Her contrasting of socialist policies of cultural and income equality with conservative policies of trade and immigration restriction was a glimmer of coherence, if only for her to mash them together as one and the same in the same sentence.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    F.A. Hayek famously argued that when government interferes with the peaceful, voluntary activity of individuals to achieve some collectivist end it puts its country on the Road to Serfdom. It matters little whether these ends are socialistic ones such as equality through income redistribution—or conservative ones such as cultural preservation by restricting trade and immigration. The fact of the matter is that if these restrictions leave individuals substantially worse off, they will find a way to circumvent them—unleashing all kinds of unintended consequences.

    John, what specifically do you find wrong with this argument?

    Any government imposed restrictions on the free movement of peoples can only be enforced through government force. It's hard for me to fathom a libertarian argument against that point.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    John, what specifically do you find wrong with this argument?

    John's predicted response: STOP CALLING ME RACIST

  • John||

    Did your parents have any chidren that lived? And if anyone here is a racist, it is people like you who see immigrants as cardboard cutouts needing your help.

  • John||

    It is unbelievably naive and assumes that no harm can ever come from migrations. That is what is wrogn with that statement. Libertarians cannot seem to get it through their heads that not only are some people not just like them, the fact that some people are doesn't mean that we can assume everyone is.

  • ||

    The argument that interior immigration enforcement infringes on the rights of citizens holds regardless of how valuable or necessary you think that enforcement is. Maybe that infringement is worth it. But enforcement being worth it isn't the same as enforcement not having costs.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I don't pretend that everyone has to think like I do. I value individual rights over the collective. Who am I to say who can come here and who cannot because they do or don't think like I do. Surely my ideology can survive in the face of dissent... why else would it be worth believing in?

    Also, why is this about voting, or changing our way of life, or whatever? Can't it just be about people wanting to come here to live and work?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Can't it just be about people wanting to come here to live and work?

    If we were talking about a few hundred, or even a few thousand, people, then, yes, it could just be about that. But we're not. If we threw the doors open and allowed anyone to come here and stay, tens or even hundreds of millions would come. That would change our way of life catastrophically.

  • kd6rxl||

    Just coming here to live and work, compete with citizens for jobs, living wages, classroom space, low-income apartments and nonviolently ethnically-cleanse the existing culture.

  • Rorschach||

    It takes a special kind of stupidity to proclaim that trying to keep collectivists from invading your country is a "collectivist end." Specifically, it takes Shikia Dalmia's kind of stupidity.

  • Nardz||

    "Any government imposed restrictions on the free movement of peoples can only be enforced through government force."

    The same is true of murder. Or rape. Or property rights.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Understanding libertarianism is hard huh. What might be the fundamental difference between people traveling across a line and rape or murder?

  • Nardz||

    You tell me.

    And note: you've already abandoned your principles, and now are just arguing utility or feelz

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's pretty simple actually. Crossing a border in and of itself is a victimless crime. There was a time when libertarians thought that victimless crimes shouldn't be crimes at all.

    And you're wrong. I'm not arguing in terms of emotion at all.

  • Ghatanathoah||

    She wasn't making a reductio. She was citing lots of actual policies that are already in place and being implemented. If it's a reductio ad absurdum then we are living in an absurd world. Citing reality is never fallacious.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Open borders are necessary to secure my rights?

    Lol.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I am not an open borders guy but we would all do well to acknowledge and critically analyze the trade-offs involved in escalating immigration enforcement. Some of those trade-offs are legitimate cause for concern for those who at least partly value individual liberty.

  • sarcasmic||

    What FoE said.

  • Nardz||

    Ok.
    Which ones?

  • DesigNate||

    The 100 mile zone of "Papers Please" along all of our national borders?

  • ErictheRed||

    The 4000 citizens a year being caught up in a dragnet and having their individual rights assailed.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    +1

    Her best article, at least that I've read. She actually lays out a libertarian case for the free movement of peoples in the first half without ever appealing to emotion.

  • Rorschach||

    Yeah, instead of appealing to emotion, she just engages in cherry-picking and false dichotomies instead:

    Either we let in all of Mexico's hordes of Democrat-voting welfare leeches huddled masses yearning for free stuff at America's expense to breathe free, or all American citizens everywhere will lose all their rights (somehow)!

    Either we stop enforcing immigration laws altogether and just let in everyone who wants to be here, or our police will all become violent thugs who'll beat any and all of us to death just for looking at them funny!

    Either we let in all violent criminals, welfare leeches, and terrorist infiltrators along with legitimate immigrants seeking a better life, or we shut the borders to everyone and turn into a police state!

    It's all or nothing, baby!

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Keep attacking those straw men. It's noble work you're doing.

  • Rorschach||

    Keep projecting your tactics onto your opponents, Marxist shill.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia argued at the first Open Borders conference organized by the Free Migration Protect."

    Robbie should co-author so we can at least get a description of the innovative cocktails and fruit sushi.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "The Destroy Western Civilization Project"

  • Harvard||

    Cue the Old Beaner to explain how borders are meaningless because swarming gnats can fly through them.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    To gambol or not to gambol.

    Ese es la pregunta.

  • BigT||

    The Admin could blunt the impact of the caravan by setting up an office in Mexico to pre-screen people for admission or asylum. Without the 'go' from them, don't even let someone cross the border to apply for asylum. Problem solved.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Cheaper just to build a giant moving walkway with serious U-turn in it.

  • ||

    The Admin could blunt the impact of the caravan by setting up an office in Mexico to pre-screen people for admission or asylum.

    Of course, for the sake of efficiency and clarity, they'd want Americans staffing and/or administrating such a facility. They'd probably also want those Americans to be subject to American law while serving at such a facility. And, since it's just taxpayer dollars, they could plunk such an office down in each country along the way. Then, once they've got all these offices set up, they should find a way to network them and make their services generally available to anyone.

  • Nardz||

    That's just crazy talk.
    And you'd probably give it some stupid sounding name, like "embassy" or "consulate"
    You're crazy, man

  • BigT||

    "when government interferes with the peaceful, voluntary activity of individuals to achieve some collectivist end it puts its country on the Road to Serfdom."

    We voluntarily want to enforce our border. So much so, that LAWS have been passed to do so.

  • KevinP||

    Can American liberties, free markets and free minds survive the open borders championed by Reason?

    Report: More than half of immigrants on welfare


    Quote:
    About 51% of immigrant-led households receive at least one kind of welfare benefit, including Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches and housing assistance, compared to 30% for native-led households… Those numbers increase for households with children, with 76% of immigrant-led households receiving welfare, compared to 52% for the native-born.
  • KevinP||

    And also:

    Pew Research Center: Hispanic Politics, Values, Religion


    Quote:
    Support for a larger government is greatest among immigrant Latinos. More than eight-in-ten (81%) say they would rather have a bigger government with more services than a smaller government with fewer services.
  • Here for the outrage||

    I have been told repeatedly by Reason that immigrants don't vote for free stuff, and their collectivist principles vanish upon crossing the border.

    Repeatedly.

  • buybuydandavis||

    It's the Magic Dirt that does it.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Kevin, TANSTAAFL.

    If open borders leads to bigger government, then closed borders also leads to bigger government. Those borders aren't going to enforce themselves you know.

    The dishonesty from the restrictionist crowd is the implied pretense that there is some magical option in which government doesn't exert more control over our lives, either way. Either it is going to take more taxes to pay for welfare for immigrants, or it is going to take more taxes to pay for border walls and border agents. And the bigger downside to the restrictionist case is the additional loss of liberty that arises with all of those men with guns running around hunting for every last undocumented scoundrel. In addition, the culture of xenophobia and paranoia that is created when a nation takes an anti-immigrant attitude.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    There is a magical option, but it's unrelated to immigration.

    (Hint: welfare)

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Yes, that is the ideal situation for the long term. In the short term, however, that is not going to change. And what Kevin is complaining about is the short-term costs associated with welfare for immigrants.

  • DesigNate||

    There's probably a third, better way. Something with work visas and open gates or something. I'm too lazy to really think about it right now.

  • ThomasD||

    Amazing isn't it? Reason has authors entirely devoted to ending any sort of border/residency restrictions yet can barely lift a finger against any aspect of the welfare state. The closest they come is Sudermans wonkery over the finer aspects of Obamacare.

    If "when government interferes with the peaceful, voluntary activity of individuals to achieve some collectivist end it puts its country on the Road to Serfdom" was really a guiding principle among Dalmia's white knights here then where they Hell have they been on every other ongoing affront to our liberties?

  • KevinP||

    Shikha won't read this, but for others interest, here is the text of Trump's immigration speech that he made during his campaign:

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/08.....mmigration

    Take a few minutes to read it directly without having the media spin it for you.

    Excerpts:


    The time has come for a new immigration commission to develop a new set of reforms to our legal immigration system in order to achieve the following goals:

    To keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms.
    To select immigrants based on their likelihood of success in U.S. society, and their ability to be financially self-sufficient. We need a system that serves our needs – remember, it's America First.
    To choose immigrants based on merit, skill and proficiency.
    And to establish new immigration controls to boost wages and to ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first.
    We want people to come into our country, but they have to come in legally and properly-vetted, and in a manner that serves the national interest.
  • perlchpr||

    Clearly, he's a madman.

  • buybuydandavis||

    So racist!

    Any America First policy is obviously racist because America is majority white.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    The best libertarian writer on the planet once again shows why open borders is the only sensible policy. As is often the case, people arguing for the conservative position are too clueless to understand they're acting against their own self-interest. Yes, my fellow white people, opposing the Koch / Reason immigration agenda directly hurts you and your family. It reminds me of the white and Asian American people who oppose affirmative action because they don't realize diversity benefits everybody.

    #AbolishICE
    #NoBanNoWall
    #OpenBorders

  • buybuydandavis||

    "fellow white people"

    Uh oh. OBL is definitely hanging out with Narrative violators.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Restrictionists are going to fail. The intolerant, authoritarian, bigoted yahoos have been with us in successive waves for more than a century, and they do not win over time in America. Ask the Irish, Italians, Asians, Catholics, Jews, Hispanics, women, gays, agnostics, eastern Europeans, etc.

    The current batch of white nationalists consists largely of can't-keep-up citizens who haven't stuck with or accomplished much in their entire lives, and they are unlikely to start being effective now.

    They aren't going to build the wall.

    They aren't going to make Mexico pay for it.

    They aren't going to incarcerate Hillary.

    They aren't going to find Obama's Kenyan birth certificate.

    They aren't going to rework economic fundamentals to enable unskilled, uneducated, rural white males to prosper, let alone at the expense of accomplished "elites" residing in strong, modern communities.

    They aren't going to repeal Obamacare.

    They aren't going to make black males lower their gaze in the company of white women.

    They aren't going to prevent America from becoming less white, less religious, less rural, less backward, less intolerant.

    They aren't bringing prayer and creationism back to good schools, aren't bringing gay-bashing and misogyny back into the American mainstream, and aren't going to reinstitute statist womb management.

    They're losers. Have been for more than a half-century of liberal-libertarian progress in America, will be for as far as can be reasonably foreseen.

  • Here for the outrage||

    Trying to out do OBL?

  • Alcibiades||

    Still bitter, still clinging, still incoherent.

  • buybuydandavis||

    " Restrictionists are going to fail. The intolerant, authoritarian, bigoted yahoos have been with us in successive waves for more than a century, and they do not win over time in America. Ask the Irish, Italians, Asians, Catholics, Jews, Hispanics, women, *gays*, agnostics, eastern Europeans, etc. "

    I must have missed the great wave of gay migration into the country.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    Libertiarianism in One Country

  • ||

    Protecting your rights as decided by majority vote in open elections.

  • Sigivald||

    Libertarianism in every country, ideally, but what's that have to do with this?

  • GlenchristLaw||

    "Arizona, btw, stopped enforcing LAWA and E-verify because these laws sent the Sunshine State into a recession one year before the rest of the country..."

    Arizona is the Grand Canyon State; Florida is the Sunshine State.

  • KevinP||

    Who cares about the facts? This is Shikha we're talking about here. And also missing any citations for the claim that "Arizona, btw, stopped enforcing LAWA and E-verify"...

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    The "btw" written in that sentence was even more cringe-worthy than the error on state nicknames. How can one be taken seriously when they actually write btw?

  • Rorschach||

    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

  • DaveT1000||

    Yes, and that causality proposed by Shikha is awfully dubious.

    Arizona went into a recession before the rest of the country largely because it was one of the centers of a massive run-up of home prices and housing construction. Not surprisingly, that bubble popped. Look back and compare to two other states with a similar housing market dynamic: California and Florida. Arizona's unemployment rate started rising in mid to late 2007, Florida's unemployment rate started rising in early 2007, Nevada's also started rising in early 2007, and California's started rising in mid-2007. Looks like all of the big housing bubble states went into recession at about the same time and that Arizona might actually have been the last of the four to go into recession.

  • DaveT1000||

    * Meant compare to three other states: California, Florida, and Nevada

  • Dillinger||

    never get to Starfleet if we're worried what part of this planet people come from.

  • Sigivald||

    Starfleet is the fictional navy of a fictional State that is composed of specific member planets.

    Starfleet doesn't let in randos from outside of the Federation, does it?

    And the Federation doesn't let every planet join just by asking or for existing, does it?

    Y'all might wanna think this through a little, even if we're going to devolve to the level of argumentation that "but Star Trek!!!" embodies.

  • Dillinger||

    thanks! wasn't arguing, was wishing for one love.

    pretending math lines makes us different people still in way of nonfiction too. step one.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Still amazed at all the nationalists who visit here daily. I guess when VDARE doesn't satisfy your itch, you come troll Reason.

    I'm guessing they're Ron Paul supporters who never bothered to take the next step of cracking open a book to learn what libertarianism is about.

  • DesigNate||

    Nobody here is a nationalist, brah.

    Thinking the government has a legitimate power to enforce the border doesn't make you a nationalist, just an FYI.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Still amazed at anyone who believes in self government. No one at the cool cocktail parties do!"

  • ThomasD||

    Yes the cray-cray nationalists who think that borders can tell people where they vote, and who they send their taxes.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    border controls and immigration restrictions empower government and lead to more state violence not just against immigrants but citizens themselves

    No matter what you think about Shikha personally or her politics, she is undeniably correct on this statement.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Yes, war is the health of the state!

    We don't have enough real shooting wars right now for the big-Government-Almighty types, and the War on Drugs is winding down (w/respect to pot at the very least), so now we have to ramp up the War on Illegal Sub-Humans! Keep the big-Government-Almighty types in power, and in the money!!!

  • Rorschach||

    Nope; it's undeniably a non-sequitur and a slippery-slope fallacy: making and enforcing laws leads to a police state!

    Y'know, the same way smoking a joint in high school will lead to you murdering your whole family in a crack-addled rage!

  • buybuydandavis||

    "crime restrictions empower government and lead to more state violence not just against criminals but citizens themselves"

    True.

    That's why sensible people don't import criminals.

  • Rorschach||

    That's why sensible people don't import criminals.

    i.e. Democrat voters.

  • Ghatanathoah||

    The world is full of monomaniacal morons who think their pet issue is so important that it's okay to abridge our basic rights in order to deal with it. What the issue is varies from moron to moron. In this case it's illegal immigration. For others it's terrorism, hate speech, sex trafficking, violent crime, child molestation, rape on college campuses, Islamism, etc. They're all morons, all of them, all the time.

    It is never acceptable for American citizens travelling along public roads to be stopped and have to show papers to prove they belong. Nobody's stupid pet issue is a big enough deal for that to be necessary. There's no point in even enumerating rights if they can be overridden every time some histrionic dipshit thinks there's a "crisis."

    I don't care what your opinion is on illegal immigration. If this is what it takes to stop it, you need to just admit that we can't stop it and leave it at that. Even if it is a net negative for the country, it's a net negative we need to put up with.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    It is never acceptable for American citizens travelling along public roads to be stopped and have to show papers to prove they belong.

    It's the knowing they're American citizens part that's tricky.

  • buybuydandavis||

    What Scott Adams calls a "halfpinion". Only look at one side of a trade off, and declare it unacceptable, without looking at the consequences.

    Maybe they have to show papers less in Latin America. I don't know.

    I think on balance, Latin America is less free, and when you import it, you make America less free.

    Countries are people.
    Import Not Americans, become Not America.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Who actually reads her crap?

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    When I saw the headline I knew who the author was. I double-checked the byline just to be sure, and scanned the thing just for shits and giggles. So far as I could tell, it was totally predictable and banal.

    Every nation, including this one, has the right to define and protect its borders. I assume there are excesses at this point, most likely because we have done such a sloppy job for so long. But I am also willing to assume that the excesses are not baked into border enforcement.

    And what makes it our moral, ethical or political obligation to receive this caravan anyway?

  • Sigivald||

    Let's not confuse an argument against specific modes of having a border and enforcing that with something unavoidably caused by that, please?

    (And "border controls mean the government does stuff, and that's bad because when the government does stuff it uses violence" is ... well, I mean, it's trivially true, yes.

    But the magnitudes of such depend on the means chosen, and the outcomes also have to matter, or are we all just conveniently Rothbardian anarchists on just this one thing, now?

    If I expected thoughtful analysis of pro and con, I'd be disappointed.

    I know better than to expect that.)

  • John||

    You would. But open borders advocates are incapable of making coherent arguments much less convincing ones.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Yeah, I mean they don't even argue for government force over individual liberty, or collective property rights, or growing the federal police force, or prosecution of non violent offenders. The nerve of these "libertarians."

  • Derp-o-Matic 6000||

    A slightly longer but more accurate answer is Yes.

    But that's not the question and anyone claiming it is, is lying, stupid, or both.

  • Jerry B.||

    Seems like the true libertarian viewpoint on immigration would be something like, "Sure. Come on in, but don't expect for the government to pay you anything, or feed or house you, or provide you with health care, or educate your kids. If voluntary organizations want to take on these obligations, that's fine. Good luck finding a job."

  • Rorschach||

    Yes, that's basically it. Everything past "Sure. Come on in," is the part that Shikia Dalmia and her fellow open-borders-advocating dolts don't understand/can't articulate.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Unless you plan on never having an election again, that's a short sighted view.

    Countries are people.

    Import big government voters. Get big government.

    It's not rocket science.

  • DaveT1000||

    This exactly. That seems pretty close to the 19th century U.S. policy on immigration, though I think even then there was a sense that "educate your kids" was important for a variety of practical reasons.

  • JonFrum||

    Our borders should be secured, as Malcolm X once said, 'by any means necessary.' Which means exactly whay you think it means.

  • zombietimeshare||

    They aren't immigrants, they are migrants. Migrants who are showing utter disdain for the US, its borders, its laws, and its people but will somehow change and become honest, hardworking, future citizens, the moment they cross the border illegally. And, I notice the open border crowd is only interested in migrants coming into the US, never a right of US citizens to migrate illegally to other countries without the discomfort of being tossed in jail or deported—hmmmm, I wonder why.

  • Gary in Texas||

    The author is correct that immigration laws violate peoples right to leave their old domicile and move to a new one. It does not matter whether the person wanting to move is an American or a foreigner. The rights are the same, The proponents of restricting immigration are correct in claiming that if a sufficiently large number of immigrants or their children become reliable voters for leftist politicians, governments in America will harm Americans and violate their rights more than they do at present. The good solution is for America to become a nearly fully free society where elections matter little because the power of politicians and officials is appropriately limited, but there is no reason to believe that will happen anytime soon, if ever. The least bad practical solution is for the American government to restrict immigration to levels low enough to prevent a disastrous take over of the government by leftists. Otherwise we might have a country offering little in the way of freedom to either the native born or the immigrants.

  • Nardz||

    People coming into a territory with invitation or permission via the procedure laid out by the authorities of that territory are not migrants, they are invaders.
    We're trying to have a civilization here

  • Nardz||

    *without invitation or permission
    That's a big f-up on my part. Really changes the argument

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Is that a collectivist invitation needed? Permission comes from whom exactly? Government? Tyranny of the majority?

  • Nardz||

    Yes, it comes from government.
    What's your address, Leo?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    So if we all voted and decided that you shouldn't be here, you'd leave?

  • ThomasD||

    "So if we all voted and decided that you shouldn't be here, you'd leave?"

    You have a very confused concept of government.

    Unsurprising though.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Yes, the rights of Americans and immigrants to America are linked.
    That's why Americans should have a say in who comes into the country.

    Import people from less libertarian societies, get a less libertarian country.
    Reason has evaded this truth for years.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It would sure be a shame if a bunch of brownies came here and diluted the 5% libertarian base we have.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The honest reader will note that I said nothing about race or ethnicity.

    The only argument the Open Borders crowd has is the same verminous race baiting the Left has.

    Doesn't work on me. I don't feel guilty for being born white.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I probably shouldn't have used a color at all in my response. I don't think you're racist.

    My point was more along the lines of "getting a less libertarian society." We aren't exactly a bastion of liberty.

    Another point is that you seem to be conflating immigration with citizenship. They aren't the same thing. We can allow people to come here and live, work, whatever, and not grant them voting rights or access to welfare. Nobody on the right has the courage to propose that though. We're stuck in this false dichotomy that either we have to require government issued permission slips to work here or we have to make everyone a citizen.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    We can do that, but we don't except on a very limited basis. California used to do that with farm workers until the oh-so-progressive Cesar Chavez got the program terminated in the interests of his farm workers union. It is a fairly easy program to police (sorry) now, but if it is a program that includes people outside of the white collar sector, and especially people with easy access to the border (north or south), it is not.

    There is no good reason for us to accept a caravan of migrants just because they want to come here. Repeat: no good reason.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    There is no good reason for us to accept a caravan of migrants just because they want to come here. Repeat: no good reason.

    But that's not really the question that libertarians should be asking. The question should be, is there a good enough reason to use the full force of the government to stop them?

  • Vernon Depner||

    Yes, there is. You must be new here—your question has been answered many times in these comments. Here's a quick summary to catch you up:

    Around the world, there are hundreds of millions of people who would love to emigrate to the United States. They want to come here because their own countries are shitholes of violence and poverty. Most of them don't attempt to come here now because doing so is very difficult and expensive. Among the main reasons it is difficult and expensive are law enforcement and border security measures. If we were to cease our attempts stop unauthorized border crossing, and allowed anyone who wished to to enter our country and remain here without fear of immigration law enforcement, we would be inundated with a tsunami of immigrants that would destroy our way of life. The social welfare and infrastructure costs of supporting these people would be ruinous; and maintaining order among tens or even hundreds of millions of newcomers from incompatible cultures would require very severe policing or even martial law. We would be impoverished and lose what is left of our liberty.

  • buybuydandavis||

    The freedom, prosperity, and security we enjoy is an historical fluke.

    It doesn't exist in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and a zillion other countries. It doesn't exist there because they don't make it exist there.

    Countries are people.
    The people of a country make it what it is.
    Import Not Americans. Become Not America.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    But that's not really the question that libertarians should be asking. The question should be, is there a good enough reason to use the full force of the government to stop them?

    As long as there is a good enough reason for the government to take half my earnings, there is a good enough reason to stop these people from coming in.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "We aren't exactly a bastion of liberty."

    Compared to where? Mexico? Guatemala? Honduras?

    If you'd like to make the case that Mexicans are more free, prosperous, and secure that than Americans, knock yourself out.

    But it seems that many Mexicans are voting with their feet as to which country they find preferable, even when it means living as an illegal alien in the US.

    The liberty that exists in the world, such as it is, exists because the US defeated imperialist fascism and international communism. That the US exists, and has the values it does, and the *power* it does, *mattered*, and likely will continue to matter.

    As for conflating citizenship with immigration, reality tends to do that for me. People live here, and they, or their children, are given citizenship. Birthright citizenship has already been foisted on us, and the Globalist Uniparty has been pushing citizenship for illegals for over a decade.

    Delaying Not America for one generation is not a sufficient solution to me.

    And even *if* the unenfranchisement of the servant class could be maintained, I would not want it, as a permanently unenfranchised servant class is not conducive to a free society, IMO.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    My point was more along the lines of "getting a less libertarian society." We aren't exactly a bastion of liberty.

    Take it from an immigrant: the US is a whole lot more libertarian than other nations.

    Another point is that you seem to be conflating immigration with citizenship. They aren't the same thing.

    In the US, they are: you are an immigrant if and only if you come here to become a citizen.

    We can allow people to come here and live, work, whatever, and not grant them voting rights or access to welfare. Nobody on the right has the courage to propose that though.

    That's Constitutionally impossible. If they are immigrants, they will be entitled to all the benefits that citizens are entitled to when they become citizens.

  • Rational Exuberance||

    It would sure be a shame if a bunch of brownies came here and diluted the 5% libertarian base we have.

    People with totalitarian, racist mindsets are hardly limited to "brownies"; you yourself provide an excellent example of that.

  • Tionico||

    IMMIGRANTS and CITIZENS both DO deserve AND do possess all the rights guaranteed us under our Constitutoin.

    But PLEASE never forget, that the word "immigrant" signfies an individual who is here by means of having complid with ALL requirements laws, regulations, policies, etc, established by government. In other words, IMMIGRANTS are here LEGALLY.

    Those who are NOT here in complance with all of our laws relating to that process are NOT immigrants.

    They are either visitors or foreigh invaders. Visitors are here lawfully but temporarily. Invaders are here neither legally nor permantly.

    Those NOT here legally in any way are NOT due all our rights and privildeges. So all our "rights" do NOT accrue to someone here in violation of our laws pertaining to immigration, visiting, entry, inspections, security, etc.
    Your basic premise is WRONG

  • JdL||

    Excellent, Ms. Dalmia. The eagerness of so many Americans to get whipped into a frenzy over the "invasion" of immigrants is depressing. It would be nice if more people considered the points you make here.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Most of us have read too many of her inane rants to read any more.

    We go direct to the comments section for some sweet 2 Minutes Hate.

  • Vernon Depner||

    Here's a thought experiment for open-borders libertarians:

    Suppose a foreign army unit were approaching our border. Let's say a brigade. They are equipped with the weapons and vehicles that contemporary infantry brigades normally would have. They are not engaged in any hostilities—just peacefully marching down the road towards our border. They are either Canadian or Mexican troops, or are in those countries at the invitation of those governments. There are people in the US who welcome their arrival. Now, when they reach the border, and begin crossing into our country, would it violate libertarian principles for our armed forces to try to stop them? They have a human right to go anywhere they wish, don't they? There's nothing wrong with someone peacefully carrying a weapon, is there? Those in the US who welcome their arrival have a right to interact with them as they wish, don't they? As long as they are not firing their weapons or otherwise harming anyone, could we justify using force to stop them from entering the US?

  • ThomasD||

    Forget actual weapons, just 'arm' them with stuff like plastic straws, phosphate containing detergents, lawn darts, and non fire proof children's jammies.

    Borders will suddenly become entirely valid tools of enforcement.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Forget the weapons, that's just playing to the gun controllers' obsession with firearms as uniquely dangerous.

    They could come across the border stark naked with empty hands, and have no trouble causing any amount of mayhem they wanted. Steal cars and start running people over, improvise Molotov cocktails, sabotage vital utilities, start beating up defenseless women and children...

    Armies only really need guns because they expect opposition equipped with guns. If they don't have to worry about being opposed, just being fit and willing to be violent is enough.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    It's funny: I identified the author of this piece just by glancing at it. Dalmia is just that predictable.

  • Vernon Depner||

    From FreeMigrationProject.org:

    Anti-immigrant policies are being enacted throughout the Global North.

    So tell us, Shikha—which countries in the Southern Hemisphere have open borders?

  • rferris||

    Yes, because we do not have a border barrier the immigration enforcement moves into the interior and more effects us all. I do not think that is the point the author was trying to make.
    Without border enforcement all of us are subject to indignities that should only be happening at the border.
    The author almost never gets anything truly right and is Reasons attempt to offer opinions that leftists would agree with to further their inclusiveness. She could write for the Nation or In these times, so even if she was not writing for Reason she would be writing for leftists somewhere.

  • Gasherbrum||

    "No borders. No wall. No USA at all."
    —ANTIFA

  • HANSENWT||

    If you effectively control the border itself and international arrival points otherwise...then you don't need the inter US restrictions. Seems that the checkpoint should just be moved between Mexico Arizona instead of in the town itself or they should do random like DUI or license/registration checkpoints and evaluate their effectiveness. Checkpoint should also vary anyways as it won't be effective if the same place and town all the time. So sounds like they are halfway running the checkpoint to look like they are cracking down from the sounds of the article or they just don't know how to do it effectively. Now if they are in fact catching illegal immigrants consistently from the same stagnant checkpoint then I lose that argument. One would then wonder what is going on in that town if that is the case. Part of the problem with illegal immigrants is folks harboring them and sanctuary cities or the promise of sanctuary. What everyone loses here is protecting illegals and their "right" to stay illegal affords them a right none of the rest of us have. You then effectively provide incentive for criminal behavior that the rest of us would get punished for or much more easily caught. So any advocation of illegal immigration is actually advocation to give none citizens more rights then citizens....from that context it makes no sense whatsoever unless you are wealthy and have an open spot on the plantation.

  • HANSENWT||

    One other quick add....the article I imagine is a bit of fake news to pull on your emotions. Everyone should be charged with making appropriate authority contact in a variety of situations. I have a hard time believing that giving aid to an illegal immigrant is a crime in and of itself...not reporting while giving said aid or after said aid is probably what broke the law here. There is a difference. They should have helped and either offered to drop them off at an ICE or Border Control office or contacted and reported and let them deal with it. Nothing wrong with helping them. Hospitals, everything else...if emergency you help them then you fill out a report....funny how no one has a problem with Doctors, teachers etc...reporting how they feel on a variety of issues and suspected law violations on legal US citizens....it is just a problem if report on a suspected illegal immigrant? I imagine this charity would not need to be there if illegal immigrants stopped crossing there...if anything their existence would be worth surveilling because why else would they be there?

  • HANSENWT||

    One other quick add....the article I imagine is a bit of fake news to pull on your emotions. Everyone should be charged with making appropriate authority contact in a variety of situations. I have a hard time believing that giving aid to an illegal immigrant is a crime in and of itself...not reporting while giving said aid or after said aid is probably what broke the law here. There is a difference. They should have helped and either offered to drop them off at an ICE or Border Control office or contacted and reported and let them deal with it. Nothing wrong with helping them. Hospitals, everything else...if emergency you help them then you fill out a report....funny how no one has a problem with Doctors, teachers etc...reporting how they feel on a variety of issues and suspected law violations on legal US citizens....it is just a problem if report on a suspected illegal immigrant? I imagine this charity would not need to be there if illegal immigrants stopped crossing there...if anything their existence would be worth surveilling because why else would they be there?

  • Rational Exuberance||

    There are a dozen such checkpoints in Arizona and a hundred nationwide.

    If Congress implemented sane border protections, they wouldn't be needed. Sane border protection means: a 1-2 miles strip of land around the border needs to be owned by the federal government so that the federal government can do its job and erect physical barriers. To the degree that that land is privately owned right now, the US government should take it by eminent domain. That's the way rational governments handle border protection.

    They curtail the liberties of native-borns because any attempt to control outsiders must inevitably result in controlling insiders as well. So there is a self-interested but moral case for opening up the borders.

    I'm assuming you don't know how national borders work because you're an ignorant Indian immigrant who has never actually experienced functional national borders, either in India or in the US. I hope that's the reason, because if it's not ignorance, then you are simply a lying p.o.s.

  • rferris||

    Shikha writes for Bloomberg and that is a better forum for her leftist version of being a Libertarian.

    Border patrol violations of our right in the interior of America did not start with Trump. These violations are the only valid point made.

    Only with an actual controlled border can our rights on the interior be preserved.....almost the opposite of the writers opinion.

    Much of her position seems little more than justifications for no actual border.

    A lot of her arguments are irrelevant to the discussion and are merely meant to get you emotionally involved. This is not how Libertarians argue and present evidence............................it is how leftists act!

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