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Where Libertarians Go Wrong on Immigration

by Nelson Hultberg | AFR.org
October 28, 2013

Libertarians and conservatives agree on many issues and are allies in the fight against statism. But there are several areas where they disagree quite vehemently. One of them is immigration.

The libertarian refrain goes something like this: Isn’t a policy of “open borders” the only approach consistent with freedom and individual rights? Besides, policing the borders and restricting immigration requires still another government bureaucracy. And for pete’s sake, we have enough of those already.

The conservative answers that capturing criminals, defending the nation, and engaging in foreign relations require bureaucracies also. But they are necessary bureaucracies. Immigration policy is no different. It is a legitimate function of our government – to defend the borders and preserve the freedom and order of society.

The question is not, should we as a nation allow for “open borders,” or endeavor to “close down our borders.” The question is: what level of immigration is conducive to preserving the American culture of ordered liberty? Closed borders (permanently) would asphyxiate us; open borders would balkanize us. Ever since the 1965 Immigration Act, we have been hell-bent to balkanize ourselves. With the stratospheric rise in illegal immigration over the past 30 years, the balkanization process is now firmly imbedded in our culture and spreading its ruin at an accelerating pace.

Yes, America has always been a nation of immigrants. But never has she been a nation of unrestricted immigration. From the beginning of their formation of America into a nation, the Founders were acutely aware of the need to lay down rules for entrance into the country and the acquiring of citizenship.

The Founders’ View

The Founders realized that the eternal verities such as our basic individual rights do not change from the past to the future, but immigration rules are not eternal verities; and basically they have nothing to do with the issue of individual rights. They are matters of public policy that will always be subject to both quantitative and qualitative revision with the passage of time.

In other words, entrance into a country is not a “right.” It is a “privilege” granted by the citizens of the country involved. If those citizens decide their country would be better off with a small, selective stream of immigrants instead of a large and indiscriminate stream, then it is their right to bring about such a border policy. There is no such thing as a right to enter any country one chooses, no more than there is a right to trespass on the personal property of one’s neighbor, or enter his house uninvited.

As the Supreme Court rightly ruled in the latter 19th century, “It is an accepted maxim of international law, that every sovereign nation has the power, as inherent in sovereignty, and essential to self-preservation, to forbid the entrance of foreigners within its dominions, or to admit them only in such cases and upon such conditions as it may see fit to prescribe.” [Nishimura Ekiu v. U.S., 142 U.S. 651, 659 (1892).]

The Founders certainly agreed with this. George Washington told his contemporaries that, “The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent and respectable stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted…if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” [Writings of George Washington, Government Printing Office, 1931-44, 27:254.]

Political philosopher, Thomas G. West, points out that “Washington’s openness to common citizenship with those who were neither Protestants nor descended from Englishmen did not…lead him to favor unlimited immigration. He believed that immigrants of the wrong sort and in the wrong quantity would endanger American liberty….

“Whenever he discussed immigration, Washington linked his ‘liberal’ vision of multinational and multireligious America with a ‘conservative’ concern about the character of those who would become Americans.” [Vindicating the Founders,1997, pp. 150-151.]

Jefferson also covered the issue of immigrant quality in Notes on the State of Virginia. He felt strongly that there are certain “regime principles” that need to be thoroughly grasped and ingrained into one’s character, such as natural reason, inalienable rights, equality of rights, the virtues of self-reliance, independence, self-government, etc., which will make one into a citizen who favors liberty. Without a thorough grasp of these principles and the presence of these virtues in one’s character, the result will be disintegration of the special uniqueness of America as a nation. [Erler, West, and Marini, The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration, 2007, pp. 19-22.]

So the Founders were obviously very cognizant of the special “way of life” upon which their new nation was structured. They readily grasped that no country can ever afford totally open borders. There are always undesirables that must be excluded from entrance to a country. And even “desirables” must be allowed in sparingly.

Since the same principles and concerns that built America are needed to sustain her, we in the modern day too must be concerned with both the quality and the quantity of immigrants that enter the country. With the world’s and the country’s populations increasing relentlessly, America hardly needs to be adding millions of newcomers from outside our borders. Our population is growing steadily on its own.

Thus if our nation can be said to possess a culture or a certain “way of life,” then any immigration policy we adopt must be geared toward preserving that way of life. Reason demonstrates quite clearly that unlimited, indiscriminate immigration is a dire threat to our way of life.

The Libertarian Flaw: Bad Ideology

Unfortunately libertarians cannot properly confront this dire threat because the great bulk of them believe in “open borders” for all nations. They don’t believe in the nation state concept as it has evolved over the centuries. They want to form a borderless world where all humans are allowed to migrate wherever they wish. The anarcho-capitalist libertarians want to do away with all government itself. Thus in any public debate over illegal immigration, libertarians self-destruct in the public’s eyes. They come off as blind utopians divorced from reality who would destroy America and her political principle of “federalism,” which is the only way to make freedom work in the real world. I discuss this problem of libertarianism extensively in my book, The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values.

There will never be a world without nations because there will never be a world without human nature, which is very concerned with ethnicity. It is born into us. To try and legislate humans into apathy about ethnicity is like trying to breed tigers into turtles. Reality does not allow such nonsense. Ethnic solidarity is one of the major reasons why nations come into being. Humans wish to gather among their own ethnic kind.

Robert J. Samuelson writes in the Washington Post, “People prefer to be with people like themselves. For all the celebration of ‘diversity,’ it’s sameness that dominates. Most people favor friendship with those who have similar backgrounds, interests and values. It makes for more shared experiences, easier conversations, and more comfortable silences. Despite many exceptions, the urge is nearly universal. It’s human nature.” [August 6, 2008.]

Even America, a country formed upon ideological principles, was still largely shaped by ethnic European origins. Patrick Buchanan, writes brilliantly about this in Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025. Chapter 7, “The Diversity Cult,” is a blistering demolition of multiculturalism and the primitive incomprehensibilities with which it is saturating the American mind.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that a nation must be all one ethnic group. But it must remain primarily its original (or dominant) ethnic group. Multiculturalism was one of the primary reasons for the fall of Rome. It has wreaked savagery and chaotic cruelty throughout the modern day Balkan States. It is lethal to the maintenance of a free and stable society. This is why conservatives espouse “ordered freedom.” Freedom cannot exist devoid of tradition and slow, minimal immigration.

Byron M. Roth, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Dowling College, says multiculturalism “denies historical and scientific evidence that people differ in important biolgical and cultural ways that makes their assimilation into host countries problematic. It is also extreme in the viciousness with which it attacks those who differ on this issue. These attacks are accompanied by….claims that a collective guilt should be assumed by all Europeans (whites) for the sins of their forebears.” [The Perils of Diversity, Washington Summit Publishers, 2010, p. 594.]

Revered political scientist, Samuel P. Huntington, criticized multiculturalism heavily in his 1996 book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. Even the liberal, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., criticized the concept of multiculturalism in The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society.

Patrick Buchanan writes, “We are attempting to convert a republic, European and Christian in its origins and character, into an egalitarian democracy of all the races, religions, cultures and tribes of planet Earth. We are turning America into a gargantuan replica of the U.N. General Assembly, a continental conclave of the most disparate and diverse peoples in all of history, who will have no common faith, no common moral code, no common language and no common culture. What, then, will hold us together?” [World Net Daily, November 7, 2011.]

Libertarians need to reread Friedrich Hayek and his emphasis on tradition as a filter for the evolution of a free and rational society. They need to abandon the disastrous approach of pure libertarianism that the anarchists and moral neutralists have dumped into their brains. They need to examine the Founders’ ideas on immigration. As we saw in the above, immigration is not a “natural right.” It is a “privilege” granted by the citizens of the country involved.

Tossing Freedom in the Trash

The first step toward getting on the right side of this polarizing controversy is to grasp that all nations possess cultures that are delicate sociological balances of long-standing traditions, mores, and metaphysical views. In nations that lean toward freedom, their cultures are especially dependent upon these balances not being upset in a sudden and irresponsible fashion. Freedom is like an orchid. It is fragile and prone to being tossed in the trash by obtuse mobocracies that have not been taught to value it.

The illegals streaming into our country today have no grasp as to what freedom and its requisites are. To make matters worse, many of them are brazenly anti-American with an arrogant sense of entitlement already built into their personalities. They are bringing with them the political and cultural assumptions of their country of origin. And those assumptions are that the state is meant to take care of them. Unlike earlier America, we now have a state that will cater to those assumptions. This is the flaw in the rationale of open border advocates. The quality of immigrants that flows to a welfare state country will not be the same as that which flows to a laissez-faire country. For this reason alone, any influx of immigrants to our nation must be severely restricted.

But as the Founders knew, even in a laissez-faire country immigration must always be restricted. Today’s unbridled welfare state merely makes restriction all the more mandatory. In fact it makes restriction a matter of national survival.

The flippant libertarian retort to this dilemma, that “all we need to do then is just get rid of the welfare state,” is naïve and irresponsible. Open borders is not a rational policy even for a free, laissez-faire country. Moreover, the welfare state will require 50-100 years to phase out. If present immigration trends continue, in a half-century Mexicans and Central Americans (and their socialist assumptions) will have overrun the entire southwest and much of the midwest. They will be the majority voting block in the country. Thus all libertarians do with their flippant advocacy is confuse the populace, which allows collectivist bureaucrats and corporatists to continue bringing in larger and larger swarms of illegals. Rationality is needed here, not flippancy.

Here lies our danger. Because of Republican greed for cheap labor and Democratic greed for new party members, Washington is opening up the nation’s doors to millions of legal and illegal immigrants from Third World cultures who have no respect for Jefferson’s “regime principles” of individualism, self-reliance, and equal rights under the law. To compound the problem, our welfare state schools are teaching all today’s immigrants the precise opposite of these Jeffersonian principles.

The vision of America launched by the Founding Fathers is flagrantly smeared throughout our schools today. Our textbooks openly denigrate the Founders as “aristocrats” and “elitists,” and depict Western civilization and capitalism as evil, exploitative, racist, and criminal. Our professors teach that the country must be transformed into a collectivist society. Success, security, and health are no longer personal responsibilities; they are to be granted to us by the all-powerful State via massive redistribution of earnings.

It therefore comes as no surprise that millions of immigrants now swarming into America view themselves as rightful recipients of an ever-increasing array of privileges, quotas, subsidies, and handouts. Incredibly this view extends even to the illegals.

The Demopublicans’ Default

Naturally establishment politicians have constructed appropriate spin to avoid facing this pink elephant that sits in their ideological living room stinking up the future of our country. But none of the objections from the liberal multiculturalists and the conservative corporatists hold water in face of what should be our ultimate concern – the preservation of a sovereign America with our distinctly American culture of ordered freedom under the dictates of objective law.

Our solons on the Potomac are selling out our birthright to the globalists in pursuit of regional government and the end of American sovereignty. It is the most craven and short-sighted sell out in our history. Both Republicans and Democrats are obsessed with the illusions of multiculturalism. Both are poisoned with altruistic guilt concerning the poverty of the Third World. Both are blind to the balkanization morass into which they are driving America.

Despicable indeed. But a nation gets the politicians it deserves, and we have reaped an assortment of quislings that now slither around in the most fetid of Machiavellian muck.

Our stand as patriots must be a restoration of the pre-1965 immigration accords and a return to a far more selective process in the qualitative requisites needed to enter the country. In addition, we must steadfastly insist on legislation that 1) mandates English as the official language of America, 2) closes the anchor baby loophole, 3) denies welfare services to illegals, 4) enacts E-Verify, and 5) prosecutes the present laws on the books about hiring illegals.

Will E-Verify threaten us with a national ID? No more than we already have with our Social Security number. E-Verify merely opens up the data base to all private employers so they can easily verify an applicant’s citizenship.

The above five policies remove the attractiveness of illegally entering the country. If we do not remove the lures that bring the illegals here, they will continue coming. For soft and squeamish Americans, such policies will seem cruel. For tough minded patriots, they are just and necessary if we are to save the country.

Libertarians among the freedom movement will have to reexamine their policy of “open borders.” It is not a policy that any rational American can afford to adopt. The Founders’ wisdom and the vast experience of mankind over the millennia must become the basis of our policy again on the vital issue of immigration.

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I prefer minarchy, not anarchy

"The Privileges and Immunities Clause says that a citizen of one state is entitled to the privileges in another state, from which a right to travel to that other state may be inferred.[10] Indeed, in the 1982 case of Zobel v Williams, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that the Privileges and Immunities Clause plausibly includes a right of interstate travel."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privileges_and_Immunities_Clause

The Laws of Nations

Read The Laws Of Nations by Emmerich de Vattel. Our forefathers used ut to shape much of the Constitution. In regards to immigration, Vattel felt that people are resources that benefit a nation in several ways. The larger the population, the less likely that nation was to be attacked and the more likely it was to have a higher domestic output. Vattel felt a healthy nation was naturally inclined to be generous with immigration. He advocates that any person who is a benefit to the nation should be welcome there. He also respects the sovereign right of a nation to repel invasion, which can come in the form of dangerous people who devastate a nation including by economic means. To repel such long term invasion, whether malicious or coincidental, a nation should set standards for determining whether an immigrant is beneficial or harmful.

This approach is the most open whilst maintaining sovereign rights.

________________________________________

Wasn't it CATO that helped push through NAFTA

Justifying it under humanitarian issues.

How did that work out?

____

"Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." -- Patrick Dixon

We should bomb Mexico, invade

We should bomb Mexico, invade and annex the country, and impose the US Constitution on it.

.

Was not the Union a confederation of states, Mr. Hultberg? Even post-AOC. So since Mr. Lincoln decreed it was not a compact and caused the death of more than 800,000 Americans, the issue is settled and we're left to deal with this usurpation? This is important since you press the issue of nation states and seem to want to defend the original intent.

Tim Kelly points out in his article that you are conflating the definitions of Immigration with Naturalization as understood by the ratifiers.

Naturalization being the term expressly used in the Constitution and thus irrelevant to the discussion. They have that delegated power but not the unlimited consent to control the movement of people all people.

Will E-Verify threaten us with a national ID? No more than we already have with our Social Security number. E-Verify merely opens up the data base to all private employers so they can easily verify an applicant’s citizenship.

You felt a need to defend that point specifically, for good reason.

Sure, it merely opens up the federal governments databases. Could point me to where the founders were in support of the general government keeping a record of every single citizen?

If so where was this power enumerated in the constitution?

No where have I come across such an argument. But I'm honest enough to admit I'm no scholar of the federalist/anti-federalist papers, either.

Point to me a program of the Federal government not used for the explicit purpose of looting and controlling people. They all start out small and innocuous. This is hardly an argument.

I find it incredible that even a paleoconservative could so flippantly accept an immense power grab by the federal government. This is a point I will never accept. It is an inexcusably dangerous proposition.

E-Verify is program run by the Dept. of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. That should be reason enough.

I do not know how to take your preoccupation with race or cultures. I have not witnessed this as being an issue. Cultures may retain some of their heritage. There is nothing wrong with that.

But by and large after the first generations, their children are fully immersed. This is what I witnessed in an area of high illegal immigrants.

Socio-economic differences may remain, but that's not the issue.

Recall, Ron Paul pointed out

Every time you think about this toughness on the border and ID cards and REAL IDs, think it’s a penalty against the American people too. I think this fence business is designed and may well be used against us and keep us in. In economic turmoil, the people want to leave with their capital and there’s capital controls and there’s people controls. Every time you think about the fence … think about the fences being used against us, keeping us in.

I'm not sure what to make of your position to be honest. You seem to be arguing against every principle of decentralization and conservatism I'm aware of here.

Even though we disagree, I thank you for your article Mr. Hultberg.

I strongly suggest people check out Tim Kelly article for the Future of Freedom Foundation.

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/immigration-the-const...

disagree

"The Founders realized that the eternal verities such as our basic individual rights do not change from the past to the future, but immigration rules are not eternal verities; and basically they have nothing to do with the issue of individual rights. They are matters of public policy that will always be subject to both quantitative and qualitative revision with the passage of time."

This is where my eyebrows really began to rise. There is a reason why the US had basically no immigration laws for the first 50 years or so.

The right of free movement for all people is vital to every human, US citizen or not. If we believe in inalienable rights/natural rights, as most subscribers of the liberty movement do, then we can and should firstly cast aside the overtones of tribalistic nationalism. What would lead one group of people to tell another group of people that they can't move from point A to point B without surrendering all personal information, conceding to invasive searches and allowed to bring only approved items? Unless the party is breaking some sort of personal property boundary, what right does any group have to deny free movement?

What's the difference between a US Citizen and a non US Citizen? Born in a different location? Do you think US Citizens should be the only ones who are protected by the constitution and the state has every right to violate the natural rights of every other non US person? Such a rhetorical question, natural rights are NATURAL rights. A state, a law can certainly violate natural law, but for the price of legitimacy.

Your quote from George Washington actually argues against your point, as GW is saying that everyone, rich, poor, oppressed does have a right to come to America. His only criteria is that they merit the enjoyment, as in don't violate the law. Nothing about quotas, or protecting industry, or anything, besides they must "merit the enjoyment"

Even in your next, second hand source by Thomas G. West "He believed that immigrants of the wrong sort and in the wrong quantity would endanger American liberty." Concern is one thing, disallowing immigration is another. I'm concerned about drug use in the US, i don't think the police and laws are the way to fix it. I'm concerned about the Syrian conflict, but I'm not going to intervene nor do I think my government should.

It sounds like you are a conservative. You are not a libertarian. That's fine, you just think natural rights are good most of the time. Unless there's a few too many brown people who may have a different culture and slightly different philosophy.

What Libertarians Has HE Been Talking To?

Anyone who has ever discussed immigration with libertarians knows that they are as divided on that issue as they are on the death penalty, abortion, and war.

The ones who see illegal immigration as a property rights violation oppose open borders. The arguments go on from there. The whole issue is complex.

With abortion, it depends on when they think life (and rights) begin, then goes to who is primarily responsible for that life (when do you turn your child's life over to the state?). With war, who started it? Is it self-defense? With the death penalty, why would you trust the state to get it right?

Immigration is one of those issues on which libertarians are not of one mind (duh). Some libertarians are really Americans who think their rights come from the Constitution, and they haven't realized that their rights are the same as the rights of the people in other countries.

In short, I couldn't get past the statement, "The libertarian refrain goes something like this..." He doesn't know what he's talking about.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

The old Hans Hermann Hoppe

The old Hans Hermann Hoppe argument that immigration violates property rights is so confusing to me. In what other context do libertarians talk about a collective right to the entire country's geography? It's especially puzzling given the very real private property violation that is involved when the government tells you that you cannot choose to live with another consenting adult, which is what immigration restrictions are.

i know its off point

but I can't get past this opening statement:
"Libertarians and conservatives agree on many issues and are allies in the fight against statism."
And then he makes an argument for statism. A well crafted and logical argument, but one that concludes the state must rule the day regarding the issue of immigration.

Maybe the author does not firmly grasp what statism is...maybe he cannot comprehend the idea of individual liberty...that individual will could legally trump the will of the state.

It is fascinating to watch people argue for their chains.

I'm not going to speak for

I'm not going to speak for the OP per se, but I think a lot of people care deeply about freedom in other spheres because they feel it affects them directly (and they are right), where something like immigration would only have indirect benefits to them, at best.

So the thinking goes something like this:

- Obamacare directly impacts my own freedom, so I consider Obamacare a core threat to liberty.
- I'm already an American, so more immigration is at best going to affect me second-hand (price changes, labor market changes, etc.), so I don't consider immigration restrictions to be a core threat to librty.

Fellow commentors, answer me these:

Does the demand for immediate and free citizenship by many illegal immigrants from down south (through often vociferous and angry protests) not embody the ultimate in entitlement mentality?

Do you advocate we, per policy, reward people for breaking the law and short-circuiting the Constitutional and civic education required for legal immigration? How will this benefit society at large? Will these folks constitute a more responsible citizenry per issues of Liberty, knowledge of and respect for libertarian values, and the reinstatement of our now nearly defunct Constitutional Republic?

Amnesty issue: To grant amnesty is to show and exercise gross favoritism (the illegal immigrant population being overwhelmingly dominated by folks from south of the border, as we know), as one group receives free citizenship simply due to its geographical advantage over other groups--the people of which are overwhelmingly, by comparison, going through the hoops of the legal pathway. Is this just, fair, or equitable? [Just because immigration policy in this country has almost always been unfair doesn't mean it should continue to be so. Must inequity be further enshrined?]

[NOTE: I would hope this statement would not be necessary here, but sadly it is: I am neither xenophobic nor prejudiced (insofar as I am consciously aware). I have friends from all over the world--including Mexico and Guatemala--whom I love. Labeling those of us against unchecked immigration as "xenophobic", "prejudiced", etc. is as bullshit, lazy, and/or politically unscrupulously manipulative an accusation as is saying people against Obamacare are racist. (And please forgive my scratchiness here, if this doesn't apply to you.)]

What would the Founders do?

In regard to your second

In regard to your second paragraph, it's more that I don't want to see people punished for breaking the immigration law, just like I don't want to see people punished for breaking drug laws.

And since people tend to vote irrationally and not in their own self interest (which is rational behavior, because an individual vote is essentially meaningless and will have no effect on anybody's life), I don't think immigrants are any more likely to be anti-liberty than anyone else in this country. If anything, they would be opposed to business regulations that help create monopolies for major companies, because these things hurt their own ability to work.

In reply to the equity issue, even in terms of legal immigration, we get a lot of immigrants from South of the border. This makes sense because it is less costly to the immigrant. I don't see this as inequity unless the government puts up higher burdens for other types of immigrants. If the government did try to discriminate against non-Mexicans, such as by requiring different papers for non-Mexicans, I would be opposed to that. But the simple fact that most immigrants are from the Americas is itself not a cause of concern.

Thanks!

You make some interesting and helpful points. Food for thought.

What would the Founders do?

whos the "we"

in your rhetorical question?
"Do you advocate WE, per policy, reward people..."
Do you mean the government? If so, what happened in your civics education that causes you to identify yourself with the government? Are you the government? Are you even a part of the government? (you could be, are you a part of the legislature?)
The government is composed of the legislature and the army of men they hire to enforce their will.
----------------------
And to answer that question, (assuming you meant the government) are there any times when disobeying the government is a righteous thing?
Consider...this country came into existence by way of disobeying the government. The number of deaths caused in the 20th century by democide (death of citizens by their locally occupying government).
Maybe Jefferson had it right when he penned "Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God."
And Franklin offered as the motto for the Seal of the United States: "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."
They definitely thought there were times when disobeying government was the correct course of action.

And...

> The government is composed of the legislature and
> the army of men they hire to enforce their will.

Don't forget the army of intellectuals and professionals who benefit from the status quo and whose function is to sway others to submit to it, or at least keep them ignorant and/or cowed.

Fair question, of course, although somewhat tangential.

Yeah, "we" is a real whopper, isn't it? LOL!

[Is this a thought exercise? Or can you please relate it to some opinion you have on the matter at hand?]

What would the Founders do?

It really can be a whopper :)

this whole conversation is a thought exercise...

You asked a question using the pronoun "we" when I believe you were referring to the government.
A. it's an interesting observation.
B. it's an interesting study as to why you would self identify with government when factually you may not be government.
C. my opinion about the immigration topic is pretty simple but reserved until after the above is settled. (I doubt you care about that anyways)

I will say that I am for the cause of individual liberty, and I make a habit of converting unintentional statists as often as I can.

Also, not knowing what government is, why government is, what a border is, and the function it serves appears to be a major source of this discontent.

Tangential thought exercise, then, to the topic at hand. :)

And largely misdirected. I'll play nevertheless, just cuz it's evening, and I'm winding down....)

"You asked a question using the pronoun "we" when I believe you were referring to the government."
Your belief is incorrect. Don't assume to know to what people refer unless they explicitly state it. "We" is bigger than government. Would you have preferred this instead: "Do you advocate people be rewarded, per policy, for breaking the law and short-circuiting the Constitutional and civic education required for legal immigration?"? Or would "per policy" be problematic now?

"A. it's an interesting observation."
(?) Does not compute. Please define "it" from "it's" above.

"B. it's an interesting study as to why you would self identify with government when factually you may not be government."
*Sigh* Your assumption is quickly misleading you to further baseless assumption. I think, more accurately, it may be you who desires to identify me with ___?___ , per what seems to be an agenda of sorts on your part, however ill-defined.

"C. my opinion about the immigration topic is pretty simple but reserved until after the above is settled."
Fine. Don't honor my request. But what needs settling? Your baseless assumptions? [This is like you saying to me, with an air of authority, "Your favorite color is red, so you had better explain why".... when my favorite color is not red but *actually* green. How do I settle / explain something not applicable? BEEP! Does not compute!]

"(I doubt you care about that anyways)"
What a strange thing to say! (Your comment gets weirder the further one reads.) Why shouldn't I care? I mean, yes, I am to you just a font on a page, saying stuff... but why jump to this rather morose conclusion? (You don't have to believe me, but I really *do* care; it's why I come to this site and participate. Jeez!)

"I will say that I am for the cause of individual liberty, and I make a habit of converting unintentional statists as often as I can."
Good. Welcome to the pro-individual Liberty club. Could you be accusing me of being an unintentional statist? Wow. So it's an either / or, black / white issue for you, then? I mean, just because I used the word "we" with respect to policy / law, I'm a statist?! (Throw that label around a lot, do you?)

HELPFUL HINT: If you fancy yourself an evangelist for anti-statism, seeking to convert unintentional statists to the righteous path of anarchy (right? That's the opposite.) or ___?___ (I don't know, because you've been a one man show and have made no real discernible point.), then you need to significantly step up your game! Throwing assumptions around and communicating without clarity--and even with a dash of haughty attitude--won't win you many converts.

"Also, not knowing what government is, why government is, what a border is, and the function it serves appears to be a major source of this discontent."
Indeed! You are correct. Not knowing what these things are conceptually or literally is certainly problematic to the situation being discussed.

QUESTION: I see you offer quotes from Jefferson and Franklin above (the sentiments of which I share). Are they both statists because they created / helped to create government?

(FYI, I don't need lessons on the glaring disconnects between "our government" and "we" the people, btw. LOL! Government largely = absurdity... and a vehicle for a few to exercise unjust control and even criminal actions upon many. I'm all for refreshing the tree of Liberty with blood of tyrants, etc.)

I bid you good evening!

What would the Founders do?

Yes it was an assumption, admittedly...

I openly admitted that I did not know if you were identifying yourself with government or maybe if you were a lawmaker. Observe:
"Do you mean the government? If so, what happened in your civics education that causes you to identify yourself with the government? Are you the government? Are you even a part of the government? (you could be, are you a part of the legislature?)"
And
"...until after the above is settled."

But it was not baseless:
Many people do self identify with government, in fact the notion of "we are the government" is drilled into school children and adults alike. I even hear it on this site.

Also, I thought the context you were setting was one of law, but that was sloppy reading on my part. Policy can mean any number of layman things.

And I openly admitted I was making an assumption:
"And to answer that question, (assuming you meant the government)"

I did this for the sake of argument, and the continuation of the exercise. I split the first comment in half with dashes; the top, makes the distinction, the bottom runs with the assumption to make the point that there are times when disobeying the government is the best thing for humanity.
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"It" is the observation that one would identify with the government when they are not the government.

Morose indeed. Melancholy also. It raises my spirits to hear that you care. And now that I understand what you meant by "we" I can address your question.

I will step up my game, thanks.

I only throw the term around when it is appropriate.

In one breath you say "and have made no real discernible point." and in the next congratulate me for my point: "Indeed! You are correct. Not knowing what these things are conceptually or literally is certainly problematic to the situation being discussed."

These are other points I made clearly:
1. The government is composed of the legislature and the army of men they hire to enforce their will.
2. this country came into existence by way of disobeying the government.
3. Jefferson and Franklin both thought there were times when disobeying government was the correct course of action.
4. I am for the cause of individual liberty
5. Not knowing what government is, why government is, what a border is, and the function it serves appears to be a major source of this discontent. (which you congratulated me for)
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About your question of my opinion of jefferson and franklin:
I know that jefferson wrote the DOI which was a huge step forward for the cause of individual liberty. I don't think he had much of a hand in the creation of the federal constitution. In fact, I think he was away being a diplomat--? and it was ratified while he was gone and against his wishes.

It's necessary to point out that the revolution was a war for political independence, not a war for individual liberty. And it looks as though state governments could be every bit as powerful as they desired because there was/is no enumeration of powers in their constitutions.
I would like to see a strict list of limited powers for all governments at all levels. (if those governments need to exist at all). And a true independent judiciary.

As far as did they consider the government would exercise substantial centralized control over economic and social behavior...I doubt it. But because there was no list of specific powers granted to the states, the legislatures had the power to go in that direction, to exercise that level of power over the individual.

Good evening back at you :)

Simple Solution to Immigration

Immigration isn't the problem, welfare is the problem. Eliminate eligibility to any welfare programs for the first 10 years and immigration will no longer be a problem.

This will remove the incentive to come here to suckle off the American teet but leave open the opportunity for those who want to take the risk and come here to work hard. Some will fail and there will be churches and other independent local charities to help them so long as they've been good citizens of their communities. And if they haven't they likely won't get the help and can be deported without any federal red tape.

Ending the welfare state

also serves a second purpose: Fixing the problem of established Americans (i.e. not illegal immigrants) living off of the welfare system or otherwise abusing the system.

Unfortunately, undoing the welfare mess will result in a whole lot of politicians losing the votes they count on to get re-elected. So the Pols are not likely to support such reform willingly anytime soon.

Our family's journey from the Rocket City to the Redoubt: www.suburbiatosimplicity.com

This is backwards.

I agree the problem is not immigration, but the welfare state. The suggested solution only infringes on more liberties. It is easy to say "restrict eligibility," but how is that to be enforced? How is the welfare state going to know whether a person is eligible or not? This is an invitation to the government to invade privacy.

Everyone has to have their papers in order because the welfare state needs to know who can get what. This is just the same liberty for benefits trade.

The government will be stopping people and invading their homes, and taking their children and all of the other horrors it loves to verify people qualify for government benefits even if they do not want them.

The idea that open borders after the end of the welfare state is like "jam every other day" in Alice through the Looking Glass. It is jam yesterday and jam tomorrow, but never jam today because today is not any other day.

The people who jealously guard their welfare state handouts don't want outsiders muscling in on the gravy train; They want to keep the borders closed to protect their checks. They have no incentive to ever give it up - particularly as long as they can keep the interlopers out.

The only way this is going to happen is when the welfare state collapses and the checks stop coming. Open borders with lots of aliens sharing in the benefits will speed that collapse.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

I see what you're saying

I see what you're saying about having two classes of people, one eligible for benefits and the other not, can result in a general lack of privacy.

But two points:

- Even under this scenario, a person who wants to protect his privacy can simply not apply for the benefits.
- Government programs TODAY require you to submit the right paperwork for you to be start collecting, so having greater immigration isn't going to change this.

makes sense

to me.

I disagree with your

I disagree with your conclusions, but I still upvoted you because it was a well reasoned piece that I learned some good information from. Thanks.

But here are some points also to consider:

- We basically did have open immigration for 100+ years in America. Some states had some very limited restrictions, like you couldn't be a criminal or an "idiot", but it was probably the closest thing to open immigration that the world has ever seen. So while the founding fathers may have theoretically seen a use for restrictive immigration policy, they didn't do it in practice. I tend to believe what people do rather than what they say.

- If being an American is a privilege, what are the privileges that being an American affords you? Once you start admitting that there are certain things that the government can give to its citizens as a privilege, you inevitably wind up excusing a lot of what the government does, and the non-aggression principle basically goes out the window. For example, why is it legitimate for the government to intervene when a person wants to invite a non-American to live in his house, but illegitimate for the government to intervene when two Americans want to live in the same house?

tasmlab's picture

So racism is inevitable?

From the OP:

There will never be a world without nations because there will never be a world without human nature, which is very concerned with ethnicity. It is born into us. To try and legislate humans into apathy about ethnicity is like trying to breed tigers into turtles. Reality does not allow such nonsense. Ethnic solidarity is one of the major reasons why nations come into being. Humans wish to gather among their own ethnic kind.

If plain ole racism is intrinsic, unavoidable, uncurable etc. than we might have some other issues to tackle before determining what kind of paperwork and permissions folks need to move around with.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Good point

I am often criticized here for being "obsessed" with race when talking about things like discrimination, segregation, etc. But then we hear that antagonistic race relations is intrinsic to human nature. So who is the race obsessed one?

There is nothing except open borders

Patriot American:
One who believes in freedom regardless of creed, nationality, etc. There are no such thing as borders in regards to immigration, the only borders that exist, are the borders we leave alone from outside influences(other nations/countries/states).

Neo-American Faker:
Citizenship means your an American, regardless of your comprehension of the Constitution or what constitutes a crime. In order to uphold the laws of the nation and governing body, we must set borders to show their jurisdiction.

Which are you?

open borders can't work

unless we're living Star Trek era where the world is under one governmental system - which is what it seems the demotarians are in favor of.
Guess the demotarians also didn't approve of Dr Paul's YES vote on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project, a group of volunteers who have taken on surveillance of the Mexican border for illegal immigrants.
And I guess the demotarians didn't approve when Dr Paul voted YES to keep the rule barring immigrants from running for president.
And I guess the demotarians wouldn't agree with Dr Paul when he says that "we should have one language... all federal things should be in English... under the conditions that we have today, I think it is good and proper to have one language, which would be English, for all legal matters at the national level. But this doesn’t preclude bilingualism in private use or in education or in local government."
Demotarians, like socialists, support the UN's 'multicultural' scam.
Illegals don't became Americanized; that's why La Raza happened. They are criminals, pure and simple. Tresspass is a crime.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

Don't feel bad Nels, I've

Don't feel bad Nels, I've tried a few times to talk reason on this topic, but they get quiet or downvote happy on certain subjects. They're pretty brainwashed on the really crucial areas of politically correct dogma, they cross their legs and look down and get shy like little kids. Its a normal reaction... gotta just keep tellin the truth, look for adults to talk to.