Sometimes the debate over the decades-long immigration crisis becomes amusing. In a July 26 editorial entitled “Trump’s Wall Gets America Nowhere on Border Security,” which takes the Trump administration to task for its cruel, brutal, destructive, and failed immigration enforcement measures, the New York Times writes, “There must be a way to house the migrants, accelerate the hearings and protect the border with respect for the dignity and rights of these desperate people.”
That’s funny! There must be plan to make America’s system of immigration controls work! There just has to be a plan. Somewhere out there, somebody has got to know how to make this system work.
Obviously those smart people on the New York Times editorial board aren’t among them. Because if they had that immigration plan, they would have presented it in their editorial. But surely there are immigration experts out there somewhere with powerful computers that can come up with a “comprehensive immigration reform plan” that will finally bring an end to America’s decades-long, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis. Despite the fact that no one has come up with such a plan during the past 70 years of immigration crisis and chaos, proponents of immigration controls remain convinced that there is a silver-bullet plan out there somewhere that will work. There just has to be!
One of these days, it is going to dawn on these people that there is no plan that will fix their decades-long, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis. There is a simple reason for that. A system of immigration controls is a socialist system. As such, it is not “broken,” as many advocates of this system claim. Instead, a socialist system is inherently defective. Something that is broken can sometimes be fixed. Something that is inherently defective is incapable of being fixed.
America’s system of immigration controls is based on the socialist principle of central planning, a principle that inevitably and always produces what the economist Ludwig von Mises called “planned chaos.” Is there a better term to describe America’s decades-long, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis?
The system that is opposite to central planning is one based on the principles of a free market — that is, a market that is free of government control, interference, regulation, and planning — i.e., open borders — the free movement of goods, services, and people across political borders. The free market is based on the laws of supply and demand, which are natural laws, not laws enacted by Congress.
Compared to countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, the United States is an extremely secure and prosperous nation. Those other three countries are riddled with poverty and violence (much of which has been caused by the U.S. government’s drug war and interventionist foreign policy).
Under the laws of supply and demand, people from those three countries seek to save, sustain, and improve their lives through labor by leaving their countries and coming to the United States. That’s how the laws of supply and demand work. That’s why many people within the United States move from state to state or city to city.
Possessing what the libertarian Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek called a “fatal conceit,” the central planner interferes with this natural process by using force to interdict the free movements of people. In his mind, the free market appears messy and disorderly. He desires to bring “order” to this process.
Thus, the planner comes up with an allotment plan, one by which he allocates a quota of immigrants to each country, with well-defined qualifications for applicants who wish to come to the United States. The planner knows what America needs. No more of those “wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” The planner wants only well-dressed, well-educated people who speak English to come to America.
That’s the reason for the chaos on the border. That’s why there is a huge backlog of people at the border trying to enter the country, even while American farmers are losing their crops owing to a scarcity of workers to harvest them. That’s the “planned chaos” that Mises was talking about.
And then come the enforcement measures, ever-increasing and ever-harsher, which ultimately bring a police state to a nation, just as they have done in the American Southwest. Highway checkpoints. Detention of American citizens. Warrantless searches of farms and ranches. Roving Border Patrol checkpoints. Body-cavity searches of Americans returning from overseas vacations. Cell phone searches and mandatory disclosure of passwords. Berlin Fences and Berlin Walls. Forcible separation of children from parents. Concentration camps. Violent raIds on American businesses. Boarding of buses to check people’s papers.
None of it works, which angers and frustrates immigration-control proponents, many of whom call for even more totalitarian-like measures. Anything to make the system work.
But it will never work. All that it will do is continue to produce more chaos, more death and suffering, and a more totalitarian-like immigration police state.
What the New York Times and other proponents of immigration controls still refuse to recognize, notwithstanding the massive death, suffering, and destruction of liberty and privacy their system has produced, is that there is one — and only one — system that works, one that is based on principles of religion, liberty, peace, harmony, and prosperity. That system is the free market, which means open borders, i.e., the free movement of people, goods, and services across political borders. The sooner America adopts a free-market immigration system, the better off everyone will be.