I grew up on a farm on the Rio Grande outside Laredo, Texas. I lived almost half my life on the border. Ever since I was a kid, I have seen the chaos and crisis that comes with America’s socialist system of immigration controls.
I’ve also seen the deaths that come with this dysfunctional system. Deaths from asphyxiation in the backs of tractor trailers. Deaths from drowning in the Rio Grande. Deaths from thirst while crossing hot deserts in the American Southwest. Deaths from bullets fired from Border Patrol agents.
Two days ago, this immoral socialist immigration system produced at least 40 more deaths, along with injuring some 28 others. The victims were caught in a fire that broke out in an overcrowded refugee center in Juarez, Mexico, which is on the border with El Paso, Texas. The dead were Central and South American immigrants who were seeking refugee status in the United States.
Why were those immigrants in an overcrowded detention center in Mexico rather than here in the United States? Because U.S. officials now require such immigrants to wait in Mexico while their refugee application to the United States is being considered. The result of this immigration “reform” has been extremely overcrowded conditions on the Mexican side of the border.
According to an article in the New York Times, “The number of migrants in the city swelled to 12,000, far outstripping the city’s meager shelter capacity, according to estimates by the United Nations’ International Office for Migration. Migrants now sleep in churches, hotels and sometimes on the street. To survive, many of them have taken to selling candies, cleaning windshields and begging for money. Migration officials brought in scores of agents from other parts of the country to help manage the influx.”
For 33 years here at The Future of Freedom Foundation, I have been saying that America’s socialist immigration system will always come with perpetual crisis, chaos, and death. There is no way around it. That’s what socialism produces. Just ask anyone who lives in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, or North Korea.
And make no mistake about it: America’s dysfunctional immigration system is a socialist system. That’s because it is based on the core socialist principle of central planning. The government, in a top-down, command-and-control fashion, plans how many immigrants will be permitted to enter the United States, what their credentials must be, and how many immigrants will be allotted to each country.
It cannot be done. That’s because central planning is an inherently defective system. It cannot be made to work. It produces what the economist Ludwig von Mises called “planned chaos.” What better term to describe America’s ongoing, never-ending, perpetual immigration crisis?
There is no possible reform that can fix a system that is inherently defective. In fact, reform oftentimes makes matters worse, as we see with the deaths of those 40 refugees in Juarez.
America’s socialist immigration system has also come with an immigration police state, which includes such totalitarian measures as highway checkpoints, warrantless searches of ranches and farms, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, violent raids on American businesses, and boarding of Greyhound buses to check people’s papers.
There is only one system that works. It is the only system that can bring an immediate end to America’s immigration crisis, chaos, death, and immigration police state. It is the only system that is consistent with sound economic, moral, and religious principles.
That system is the free market, which is our heritage as Americans. In the context of immigration, that means open borders — genuine open borders — the types of system we have domestically with respect to state and county borders — the free movements of goods, services, and people across borders.
The free market was our immigration system for more than 100 years after the founding of our nation. It was one of the most wondrous achievements of our American ancestors. Not only did it save and improve countless millions of lives, it was also a major factor in the tremendous increase in the standard of living of the American people.
Maintaining America’s socialist immigration system will only produce more crisis, chaos, death, and police-state measures. Restoring a free-market immigration system to our nation would come with life, liberty, prosperity, harmony, and the pursuit of happiness.