Libertarian supporters of immigration controls are remaining conspicuously silent about President Trump’s latest immigration raids. What’s up with that? Wouldn’t you think that people who support America’s system of immigration controls would be praising such raids?
Actually, it’s a good thing such libertarians are remaining silent, just as they remain silent about the other enforcement measures that come with a system of immigration controls. Immigration-enforcement measures, including Trump’s violent immigration raids on privately owned businesses, constitute a grave violation of libertarian principles. In fact, Trump’s immigration raids provide a good example of why libertarians should never abandon their principled commitment to open borders.
Notice, first of all, that the raids were conducted entirely against private businesses. Why is that important? Because conservatives, who (along with leftists) have long supported America’s system of immigration controls, say that foreigners are coming to America not to work and make money but rather to get on welfare.
If that canard is true, then why is it that those immigration raids weren’t on welfare offices rather than on private businesses? If immigrants are coming to America to get on welfare, wouldn’t welfare offices be the perfect place to conduct immigration raids? I could be wrong but I don’t think there has ever been one single immigration raid on a welfare office. Immigration raids are always against privately owned businesses.
There is a good reason for that. Private businesses are where immigrants are working. That’s where they’re making money. Given conservatives’ unswerving devotion to America’s welfare state (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, education grants, corporate bailouts, public schooling, and and other socialist programs), it is likely that they are engaging in projection when they accuse immigrants of coming to the U.S. to get on welfare rather than to make money through labor.
There are some people calling for the criminal prosecution of the American businesses who hired those undocumented immigrants. Hopefully, no libertarian supporter of immigration controls would support such prosecutions, even if they are part and parcel of America’s system of immigration controls.
After all, these are privately owned businesses. It’s their money. It’s their business. Under the libertarian principle of private property, the owner has the right to operate his business any way he chooses. That naturally encompasses the natural, God-given rights of liberty of contract and freedom of association. If a business owner wishes to use his money to hire, say, a Guatemalan, that is his right. If others don’t approve of how the business owner is running his business, they don’t have to work there and they don’t have to buy goods and services from him. Just leave government force out of it. As the Declaration of Independence observes, no government possesses the legitimate authority to infringe on natural, God-given rights, including such rights as economic liberty, liberty of contract, private property, and freedom of association.
The immigration crisis has been going on for several decades. Despite an ever-increasing array of harsh and tyrannical enforcement measures, the crisis just keeps getting worse and worse. There is a simple reason for that: a system of immigration controls, being based on the socialist concept of central planning, is a socialist system. Socialism always produces crises or what the economist Ludwig von Mises called “planned chaos.” What better term to describe America’s decades-long, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis than that?
The American Southwest is now an immigration police state, which is the opposite of a free society. Highway checkpoints, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, warrantless searches of farms and ranches, boarding of Greyhound buses to examine people’s papers, body-cavity searches and cell phone searches of Americans returning from overseas vacations or business trips, forcible separation of children from families, forced deportations, troops along the border, Berlin Fences and Berlin Walls along the border, and eminent domain stealing of people’s privately owned land. Accompanying all this tyranny has been massive death and suffering. All of it conjures up images of nations ruled by totalitarian regimes.
The worst thing libertarians could ever do is abandon their principles in favor of such a system. Let conservatives and progressives continue standing for a system — immigration controls — that brings death, suffering, and a police state. Let us libertarians continue standing for a system — open borders — that comes with life, liberty, private property, harmony, religious principles, and the pursuit of happiness.