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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Hypocrisy, Left and Right, on Immigration


Leftists (or liberals or progressives, if you prefer) are lamenting the plight of illegal immigrants who are being arrested and deported by President Trump’s ICE gendarmes. Playing the standard defender of the “poor, needy, and disadvantaged,” they are criticizing Trump for being cruel and heartless with his deportations of illegal immigrants who have been in the United States for long periods of time, especially young ones, or who have children who are American citizens. Many liberals are also supporting sanctuaries, whereby churches or families hide illegal immigrants, or sanctuary cities, where the police are prohibited from serving as immigration cops.

However, there is a great big hypocritical flaw in leftists’ latest purported concern for the plight of the “poor, needy, and disadvantaged”: Leftists are just as responsible for making all these immigrants illegal as conservatives are!

After all, let’s not forget a fundamental fact: All these illegal immigrants are breaking the law, a law that has been enacted and has remained on the books for decades, with the full support of both liberals and conservatives.

What is that law? It’s the illegal entry law — the law that goes to the core of the concept of immigration controls, which progressives love and have long supported as part of their leftist creed. It holds that whoever enters the United States without the permission of the federal government is guilty of a federal offense.

That’s the law that every illegal immigrant in the United States is guilty of. it’s a law that leftists, just like conservatives, have ardently supported and continue to support. It’s also the law on which Trump is basing his immigration reign of terror that has illegal immigrants as frightened as people were of the KGB and the Gestapo.

Thus, as Trump initiates his reign of terror on the immigrant community, liberals should bear in mind that they are co-responsible for the law on which his reign of terror is based — the illegal-entry law.

Liberals exclaim, “But that is so heartless when someone has been here for 10-20 years, when he has become an established member of the community, when he has children who are American citizens, or when he hasn’t broken any laws.”

But where in the law does it provide that people who have been here for a long time should be exempt from the law? Or someone whose children are American citizens? Or someone who worked hard and successfully assimilated into American culture?

And let’s not forget that every illegal immigrant is a lawbreaker because he’s broken the illegal-entry law, the law that liberals support.

We also shouldn’t forget another salient point about liberal hypocrisy on immigration — that liberals knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally kept their lips sealed with respect to their so-called concern for the “poor, needy, and disadvantaged” when their icon President Obama was setting presidential records in the number of deported immigrants. It was only when their arch-enemy Donald Trump began doing the same thing that liberals began shedding their crocodile tears for the “poor, needy, and disadvantaged.”

Of course, it’s not just liberals who display rank hypocrisy when it comes to immigration. Conservatives are no different.

The favorite mantra of conservatives, one that they have embraced for decades and that they continue to embrace, is “individual freedom, private property, free enterprise, and limited government.” It’s on their websites, on their stationery, and in their speeches. They have been reciting it since the 1950s.

And yet, the immigration controls that they support constituted grave violations of the principles of their mantra, and they know it.

What could be more consistent with the principles of the conservative mantra than the fundamental, God-given freedom of people to travel and move, cross government borders, and enter into mutually beneficial economic exchanges with others?

What could be more violative of the concept of their mantra than an immigration police state that consists of federal gendarmes stopping people and demanding to see their papers, highway checkpoints, warrantless searches of people’s homes, businesses, ranches, and farms, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, police raids on homes and businesses, and prosecuting and convicting people for hiring, harboring, and transporting other people?

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it is only the libertarian position in favor of open borders that is consistent with the principles of morality, freedom, free enterprise, religion, compassion, and limited government.

With no illegal-entry law, there would be no more immigration arrests, deportations, government walls and fences, immigration raids, highway checkpoints, and other immigration tyranny because everyone would be here legally.

People would retain their citizenship and be free to come and go to tour, work, invest, open businesses, attend church, and do all the other normal things that human beings do, without being abused, harassed, raided, arrested, or deported by the government.

And of course ICE would be dismantled, which would enable the ICE police to be laid off from their petty and meaningless jobs and instead find constructive and meaningful jobs in the private sector, which in turn would save hard-pressed American taxpayers a lot of money.

Finally, under the libertarian concept of open borders, all the immigration hypocrisy, left and right, would be rendered moot.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.