One of the most fascinating parts of the ongoing, never-ending debate over immigration is how statists continue to think that somehow their immigration-control system is finally — finally! — going to be made to work. Their hope is that someone somewhere will finally — finally! — come up with the perfect reform that will finally — finally! — make their system work.
It’s never going to happen. The sooner the American people accept that reality, the better off everyone will be because then we can adopt a system that not only works but is also consistent with the fundamental rights and liberties as well as moral and religious principles.
Think about it: For at least 70 years, we’ve had an immigration system that has brought nothing but continuous crisis, chaos, death, suffering, an immigration police state, a Berlin Wall, and the destruction of liberty, privacy, and private-property rights.
Although statists are loathe to admit it, throughout that time there have been periodic bouts of immigration reforms adopted. None of them have worked to fix their system. All of them have only contributed to the further destruction of liberty and privacy.
Consider, for example, the hiring of illegal immigrants. When I was a kid, it wasn’t a crime to hire an illegal immigrant. We hired them on our farm, which was located on the Rio Grande. They were the hardest-working people I’ve ever seen.
At some point, some statist came up with the briliant idea of making it illegal to hire illegal immigrants. No doubt he was convinced that this particular reform would finally — finally! — fix America’s perpetual immigration crisis. The argument was that if they can’t get hired, they won’t come. Thus, overnight, American citizens who employed illegal immigrants were converted into felons.
Did it work? Don’t make me laugh! But when it dawned on everyone that it didn’t work, did they repeal that law? Don’t make me laugh again! Even though the law had clearly not fixed America’s perpetual immigration crisis, they left it on the books. Just one more addition to the immigration tyranny that accompanies this socialist immigration system.
And that’s the core of the problem — America’s immigration-control system is, in fact, a socialist system. That’s because it is based on the socialist principle of central planning. Federal bureaucrats plan, in a top-down, command-and-control manner, the movements of millions of people in a highly complex international labor market. It simply cannot be done.
As Ludwig von Mises pointed out long ago, central planning produces “planned chaos.” What better term to describe the results of immigration central planning? As the chaos develops, public officials become angry and frustrated. They begin enacting laws and taking measures to make their system work, such as making it illegal to hire illegal immigrants, or implementing highway checkpoints, or authorizing warrantless searches of ranches and farms, or erecting a Berlin Wall, or making it a felony to give transportation, food, water, or shelter to an illegal immigrant.
None of it has worked. Instead, it has only brought more crisis, chaos, death, suffering, impoverishment, and tyranny to the American people.
Consider all those farmers in California, Oregon, and Washington that have had to watch their crops rot in the fields because they couldn’t find workers to harvest them. That’s because the socialist central planners hadn’t done a very good job in planning. Moreover, by the time the bureaucrats got around to granting work permits to immigrants, the crops were gone. That is classic central planning.
Moreover, not one advocate of America’s socialist immigration-control system — including those who lament the “invasion” of America — was willing to help those farmers out by doing the hard work of harvesting those crops. As far as the statists were concerned, that was just tough luck for those farmers.
That doesn’t happen in a free market. When farmers need workers, they just have to raise wages. People in Mexico will hear about those wages and rush to the United States to make some quick money. Through the price system, the market quickly and expeditiously harmonizes the interests of employers and employees.
The important point in all this to keep in mind is that no reform can fix this system. That’s because socialism is an inherently defective system. Nobody can make it work, not even American socialists. No matter how much statists keep hoping that someone will finally — finally! — make their socialist immigration system work, it just won’t happen, ever.
There is only one solution to the decades-old, never-ending, perpetual, ongoing chaos, crisis, death, suffering, and destruction of liberty, privacy, and property rights that have come with immigration socialism. That solution is economic liberty and free markets — that is, the free movements of goods, services, and people across borders. It is also the only solution that is consistent with moral and religious principles.