If it’s presidential campaign season, then it’s time for the periodic furor over immigration. Many Americans are once again pacing the floors at night over the invasion by the illegals that is threatening to destroy America. I sometimes wonder how many people have gotten gray hair because of the immigration “crisis.”
Among my favorite political bromides is, “The immigration system is broken.” The reason it’s among my favorite is that “broken” connotes ability to fix. That’s why people who live in constant consternation over the immigration “crisis” are forever condemning both Congress and the president. They’re upset because they haven’t “fixed” the broken immigration system.
What all those people fail to recognize, amidst all their bewailing, is an important point: It’s not that the immigration system is broken. It’s that it’s inherently defective.
That’s a critical difference because something that is inherently defective, unlike something that is broken, simply cannot be fixed. If more people were to finally come to that realization, maybe they’d be able to find peace and to sleep a bit better at night.
Take a look at this movie review in the New York Times. It was published on November 21, 1949. It is a review of a movie that came out that year entitled Border Incident, starring Ricardo Montalban.
What was the movie about? About the immigration crisis! Yes, the same immigration crisis that is besieging the American people today. That’s how long this immigration crisis has been going on — at least 66 years!
Now, ask yourself a very simple question: If a system has been “broken” for at least six decades, what are the chances today that the president, the Congress, the presidential candidates, or anyone else is going to come up with a way to fix it? Don’t you think that they would have come up with a fix before now if it was possible?
Again, the reason they’ve never fixed the “broken” immigration system and the reason they never will is because the system is inherently defective, not “broken.”
Why is it inherently defective? Because a system of immigration control is a system of socialist central planning. It is a system by which governmental officials plan, in a top-down, command-and-control manner, the peaceful movements of millions of people, especially as part of a complex labor market.
As part of the process, a government planning board determines how many immigrants will be permitted to enter the country. Quotas are assigned to different country. The board determines the qualifications — the level of education, training, language skills, knowledge — for the people who will be admitted. It also determines the need for workers in various occupations, trades, and professions.
It would be difficult to find a better example of socialist central planning than a system of immigration controls.
Once one realizes that America’s system of immigration controls is a socialist system, then it becomes understandable as to why there has been an ongoing immigration crisis for at least 66 years. Socialism always brings economic crises. Just ask the people in Russia or Eastern Europe who lived under constant economic crises during their many decades of socialism. Just ask people in Cuba.
Take a look at this video clip on YouTube from Border Incident. Go to 2:19. The hundreds of people who are standing behind that cyclone fence are Mexican immigrants who are hoping to be selected by government bureaucrats to enter the United States so that they can accept jobs picking crops from private California farm owners. American employers are eager to hire them to pick the crops because if the crops go unpicked for even a short period of time, they go bad.
The scene depicts the economic chaos produced by socialist central planning. Government commissars are charged with the task of determining how many workers are needed by California farmers and then determining which ones to be selected. But the central planners, no matter how smart or educated, lack the ability to gather and process the information that comes with constantly changing market conditions and valuations, which only a free market can do. That’s why there are hundreds of workers waiting at that fence to be selected by the government bureaucrats — because the central planner, unlike the free market, lacks the ability to coordinate supply and demand.
Thus, the free market is the opposite of socialist central planning. Under a free-market system, there is no central planner.
The price system in a free market provides an intricate process of communications by which suppliers and demanders are able to coordinate their plans. How does a Mexican farm worker learn that California farmers need help picking their crops? He just asks what they’re paying. If he likes the wage, he goes. If it’s too low for him, he stays home. He doesn’t stand at a fence waiting for some government bureaucrat to call his name. If a farmer needs more workers, he just raises the price he’s willing to pay farm workers and keeps raising it until he gets the workers he needs.
Thus, there is but one solution to the immigration “crisis” — the free market, which necessarily means open borders — the free movements of people, goods, and services across borders — the same system that we have here within the United States between the respective States. Under the free market, the perpetual chaos, crises, death, abuse, mistreatment, incarcerations, and exploitation that come with immigration controls disappear.
Also, under a free-market system, there would be no more moaning and wailing about the immigration “crisis,” which would enable presidential candidates to talk about other things.