The Bionic Mosquito, a libertarian who favors America’s system of immigration controls, is back on the subject of immigration. In a new article, he refers to an article of his back in 2015 entitled “Compared to What?” in which he references a point that I have often made about America’s system of immigration controls.
As I have long pointed out, America’s system of immigration controls is a socialist system, in that it is based on the concept of central planning, which is a core feature of the socialist paradigm. Federal immigration planners, who possess what Friedrich Hayek called a “fatal conceit,” plan the movements of millions of people in a highly complex labor market. They set the total number of immigrants that are permitted to enter the United States, the qualifications for such immigrants, and the quotas assigned to each country.
It cannot be done. Central planning is an inherently defective system. It cannot be made to work. It produces nothing but crises or what the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises called “planned chaos.” That’s why there has been a decades-long, continuous, never-ending immigration crisis. That’s why, for example, there is a tremendous backlog of people at the border who wish to enter the United States to work while, at the same time, there are American farmers whose crops are rotting in the fields for inability to secure workers to harvest them.
Moreover, as I have also long pointed out, to enforce this socialist immigration system, the federal government has called into existence an immigration police state in the American southwest.
This consists of highway checkpoints, just like in communist and totalitarian countries. People who have never entered Mexico are subject to complete searches by federal gendarmes. If they refuse to be searched, U.S. official bash in their car windows, drag them from their cars, and even beat them up.
It also consists of roving Border Patrol searches, where federal agents stop travelers at will on a purely arbitrary basis and force them to undergo searches.
It also consists of warrantless trespasses and searches of farms and ranches on or near the border by the Border Patrol.
It also consists of making felons out of any American who hires, transports, harbors, or helps an immigrant who has illegally entered the United States.
It also consists of federal agents boarding Greyhound buses and demanding to see people’s papers, just like in communist and totalitarian countries.
It also consists of a Berlin Fence and a Berlin Wall, along with eminent domain stealing of people’s privately owned land.
Thus, as I have long pointed out, any libertarian who supports America’s socialist system of immigration controls necessarily, at the same time, supports the immigration police state that enforces that socialist system.
Socialism and a police state versus liberty and limited government
In his 2015 article, Bionic doesn’t deny this phenomenon. Instead, he suggests that the alternative to a system of immigration controls (and the police state that comes with it) is a system in which immigrants are trespassing on privately owned property.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Bionic presents a false alternative. The true alternative is a free society, one in which people are free to cross borders like human beings and peacefully harmonize their interests with others.
Trespass onto someone’s privately owned property would obviously violate people’s private property rights. No libertarian advocate of economic liberty would ever countenance or support a system in which people would be free to violate the rights of others.
But that’s not what people do when they peacefully cross a border. For example, the Potomac River forms the border between Maryland and Virginia. Every day, countless people from Maryland cross the American Legion Bridge and enter Virginia. In doing so, they are not trespassing on anyone’s privately owned property. If they do so, they are subject to civil and criminal liability. Instead, they are simply using the government’s bridge and roads to go from private property to private property, such as entering a private company to work, or a private mall to shop, or a private theater to watch a movie, or to rent or purchase a place in which to live. It’s the same for people crossing from Virginia into Maryland.
The principle is no different with people who cross the Lincoln Juarez Bridge from Mexico and enter the United States. By crossing the bridge, they are not violating anyone’s rights. Like travelers between Virginia and Maryland, they peacefully cross the bridge and use government roads to find a job in a private company, shop in a private store, go to a private theater, or find a privately owned place in which to work.
Thus, contrary to what Bionic suggests, the alternative to immigration socialism and the immigration police state that comes with it is not a system that entails the violation of people’s rights through trespass. The alternative to socialism and a police state is liberty, peace, trade, prosperity, and harmony.
Attempting to emphasize his point, Bionic points to the area of criminal justice. He points out that when limited-government libertarians use the state to go after accused murderers, they are resorting to “police-state totalitarianism” and “infringements on economic liberty.”
Nothing could be further than the truth. The very purpose of the state is to target people who violate the rights of others. A murderer obviously violates the rights of others. By targeting murderers with arrest, prosecution, conviction, and incarceration, the state is protecting, not infringing on, the lives and liberty of everyone else. The state is exercising defensive force, not initiating force. Of course, the accused must be guaranteed fundamental procedural protections, such as due process of law, trial by jury, right to counsel, freedom from self-incrimination, and others. But there is nothing totalitarian about punishing a convicted murderer, and it is not a violation of his economic liberties to punish him for his act of murder.
Thus, the ideal, from a libertarian standpoint, is a society in which people are free to live their lives any way they want so long as they are not initiating force or fraud against others — and a government whose powers are limited to protecting the citizenry from the force or fraud of others and establishing an independent judiciary in which people can peacefully resolve their disputes.