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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5027/the-war-on-immigration-will-fail/

The War on Immigration Will Fail

May 10, 2006 by

There exists a market demand for low-skilled cheap labor, writes Wade Mitchell. Part of this demand is being met by outsourcing of jobs overseas. The rest is met by vast numbers of immigrants coming to this country. Illegal immigration is the market supplying a demand. A demand is being met and satisfied. This triumph of the market is not in itself a problem. FULL ARTICLE

{ 74 comments }

Bill Ott May 10, 2006 at 8:08 am

The current immigration policies provide an open invitation to the smuggler!!!!!

You hit the nail right on the head. Instead of outlawing a physical product like alcohol or cocaine the government with its police state policies is attempting to outlaw the service of cheap labor.

But when the government outlaws a product with this a large amount of demand, smugglers appear to satisfy that demand. Only the truely horrible part is that the smugglers are the immigrants/laborers themselves.

And do not think the government with its considerable ability to steal money is capable to stop this. We have immigrants pouring into the country from all over the world.

David C May 10, 2006 at 8:43 am

The truth is that I prefer the immigrants to the “poor” here at home. At least most the immigrants understand that the state doesn’t owe them a living. One morning, I went to the local mart and there were groups of Mexicans waiting to be picked up for work, then I drove down the road and there were Americans holding signs guilt-triping people for free handouts. If that doesn’t say it all.

I’ve never understood peoples bitterness toward immigrants, we should be sending out thank-you notes and offering welcoming parties bercause they make our goods and services so much cheaper. There have been over 2000 people who have died in the deserts trying to make it into the US, and all they wanted to do is nothing more than honest work. This was done for my “protection”? Well, I resent this “protection” and it won’t be a day too soon for this system to die.

In practice, all the debt we have is probably going to force the death of the dollar – and then the elderly voting block will clammer to open the immigration flood gates to bring in more revenue to “save” their defaulted social security bonds and supply cheap home care labor. Won’t that be interesting.

Frank Z May 10, 2006 at 9:42 am

Good article.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions..and government is full of them. The day will come that their attempt to please everybody, will please nobody. I think that day is near.

Reactionary May 10, 2006 at 9:45 am

David,

Immigration is being used for exactly what you suggest: to mitigate inflation and expand the tax base. Mass immigration is vital to the health of the welfare-warfare state.

Alan R May 10, 2006 at 10:09 am

Excellent article. But the US government is not the only government at fault. The Mexican government is using the US as a dumping ground for its criminals (as Castro has in rhe past) and for illegal immigrants INTO Mexico from south and central American countries. Mexicans appear to be escaping to the US not only for jobs but to escape their own corrupt government, corrupt drug police, corrupt aristocracy, etc. Who can blame them? Maybe President Cheney should have promoted regime change in Mexico instead of Irag.

Fran May 10, 2006 at 10:42 am

I think the biggest difference between the previous government “wars” against drugs, poverty, etc, and the curreent “war” against ILLEGAL immigration, is that the public generally supports this war. The distinction is we are speaking about ILLEGAL immigration. Also, the argument of economic benefit does not ring true when one considers the costs driven into our education, judicial and health systems by illegal immigrants. I think the answer may be to require they enter the country legally, and then prohibit them from utilizing our social systems until they become legal citizens of this country.

Evans Munyemesha May 10, 2006 at 10:47 am

This article has a refreshing ‘taste’ than whatever Profs Sowell(Hoover Institute) and Williams(George Mason Univ.)have been regurgitating in their newspaper columns. Bravo!

Glen Smith May 10, 2006 at 10:55 am

The war on immigration will not fail in that it won’t achieve the desired ends of the leadership calling for this war.

What I find ironic, is that the only valid conclusion that can be made against free immigration, is one that comes from leftist arguments (leftist as I understand the term).

mike / san francisco May 10, 2006 at 11:02 am

good article, but, as a republican and not a libertarian, i see your talk as tediously utopian. AS LONG AS we have a society that insists on providing education and medical services, and other things, to everyone who comes in here, we simply cannot let the natural tendency towards open boarders to continue unchecked — at least, regulated (do you really believe that we shouldn’t at all in may, 2006?). we are a magnet for unreasonable and unsustainable distributions of people — we have to cushion ourselves and our institutions, lest their only chore be adapting to continual change and instability. That insulation sometimes requires geographical remove. we will keep trying to maintain our levels of social services and get further in the hole. they will come, and eventually vote, and turn government into little more than a means of income redistribution. ampole politicians will help them. aren’t you interested in all the social science about assimilation vs. diversity? haven’t you been reading about the problems in france?

why don’t you come up with a THEORY that doesn’t afford itself the luxury of always assuming, arguendo, that there has just been a miraculous cessation of entitlements, with a static level of social unrest following?

As long as libertarians entitle themselves to forever ignore the fact that their ideas need to emerge in a democratic system, they can’t really say much on this.

it’s sort of like the libertarian party on the death penalty or abortion: they don;t take a stance. you guys keep going on and on, but you are only talking to proselytes. for example, what can one possibly learn from the fact that one particular reader happens to like the hard working immigrants more than slovenly americans?

Chuck Summers May 10, 2006 at 11:09 am

I agree that the cause of the problem is the welfare state, but we live in a situation where there is a welfare state. It will take time and education to get us from where we are to where we need to be, but in the meantime, we have to deal with the issues mentioned.

One large problem that I see is that for the free economy, the illegal immigrant has an economic advantage over the legal immigrant. He can work for less money from the employers perspective, but still make as much, if not more personally than the legal immigrant because of taxes.

So we can either force everyone, legal or not, to pay taxes, or take away the taxes from those who are legal. One way to do this would be to do away with the current tax system and replace it with one that has no income tax. That way everyone who works gets all of his money, and gets taxed when he uses that money (at least with the fair tax).

I enjoy reading many of the articles from the Mises Institute, but find that they tend to be long on theory, but short on practicality. While I agree with most of the criticism, I find that without a workable solution (that is one that can be supported within our current political situation) I just get frustrated.

David Canning May 10, 2006 at 11:30 am

mike said:
it’s sort of like the libertarian party on the death penalty or abortion: they don;t take a stance. you guys keep going on and on, but you are only talking to proselytes. for example, what can one possibly learn from the fact that one particular reader happens to like the hard working immigrants more than slovenly americans?

Mike, libertarians do take a stance on both of these issues, we are 1. against the death penalty, and 2. pro-choice (although individually we may be for or against abortion, we are for being able to choose). Also, you can learn a lot from the article aside from what a reader thinks of immigrants vs. americans and their expectations of handouts. You could learn that anything you want government to do can be done better in some other manner, and that government will without fail screw it up, see here

Ninos Malek May 10, 2006 at 11:33 am

While I might be sympathetic to more immigration by changing the current law, I guess I still believe until it is changed, the law of the land must be respected by the employers who want to go around it and by potential entrants into the US. Also, I think that not punishing illegal immigration is a slap in the face to people like my parents and others who waited (are waiting) and played (are playing) by the rules. Again, if you want to change the rules, great, but do not send the message that our laws do not have to be respected. In any case, interesting piece.

mike / san francisco May 10, 2006 at 11:33 am

chuck, we seemed to have the same concern at the same time. mises articles are very good on history, though. they are ridiculously sanguine on the subject of china, though.

Som May 10, 2006 at 11:46 am

Great Article, it’s finally nice to hear a firm stance for free immigration than what some “supposed” libertarians whine over illegal immigration. The worst is “oh think of the political implications that come from illegal immigrants” so there must still be controls until society becomes libertarian. thats like saying socialist parents should not be allowed to have children in the U.S. because of the “political implications” that these children will jeopordize our liberties in the future. give me a break! Now that I think about it, the 700 mile fence on the US and Mexican border is a pretty racist bill too, since it will only cover that border and not the US-Canadian Border (but god forbid we ever build a fence up there)

And no, stable immigration reform is not utopian. Here’s a good start:

1. Treat the Mexican border like the Canadian Border, and remove all oher “immigration” quotas laws, police, etc.

2. Have all border states enforce a “national” prop 187 (where non-naturalized citizens have no legal access to any public service – except dispute resolution – but including public schools, public health care, welfare, licensing, and anyting else i missed)

3. Sell of public land accross the border back to the people and restore it all as private property. I’m sure some of those minute men would buy some up too.

Now is that REALLY so utopian?

Francisco Torres May 10, 2006 at 12:11 pm

Fran wrote:
Also, the argument of economic benefit does not ring true when one considers the costs driven into our education, judicial and health systems by illegal immigrants.

The US Gov has acknowledged that immigrants do pay federal and state taxes, using phoney Social Security numbers and special tax returns from the IRS, so it is not like they are sucking resources away from citizens.


I think the answer may be to require they enter the country legally, and then prohibit them from utilizing our social systems until they become legal citizens of this country.

Uh, I think the answer would be to do away with those services for good, and let people use the market. The free market can deliver those services more cheaply and quicker – for example, in Mexico, where doctors are made to compete (unlike the US where the AMA limits the supply of doctors), a specialist would charge you somewhere around 40 to 50 USD for a consult. Medicine can be purchased without a prescription (except narcotics), making it dirt-cheap. So it is not like Libertarians and Austrians are talking about utopias.

The Gov could not prohibit immigrants or non-citizens from using the public schools since schooling in the US is mandatory, making it a crime not to send kids to be indoctrin… sorry, to be schooled.

William Gardner May 10, 2006 at 12:16 pm

I see nothing racist about having a fence along the mexican border. We do not have a problem with canadians. They are not illegally coming here by the millions. You have Mexico and other south American Nationals flooding to our country illegally. It needs to be stoped. I for one could careless about Corprate America. If a bussiness can not afford to hire legal Americans at a decent wage then let them close shop for all i care. I for one am not willing to give away my country so corprate america can make a extra dollar, or to make librals happy. If you remeber your american history you will know the first civil war was about cheap labor. What alot of people fail to realize is alot of Americans, the Majority of Americans( Despite what polls say) is fed up with Illegal Immigrants and our goverment.

TLB May 10, 2006 at 12:34 pm

Two things for libertarians to consider:

1. Illegal labor is massively subsidized. Employers get “cheap” labor and force everyone else to pay the costs for schools, roads, jails, etc. etc. For just one example, the LAUSD is spending billions to build new schools and many of those students are illegal aliens or their children. And, even when all that building is done they’ll still be short tens of thousands of seats.

2. Libertarians claim to support national defense. However, allowing millions of people who have allegiance to another country to come here is extremely dangerous. The recent marches were a show of force by foreign citizens. If we don’t give them what they want – or if we started large scale deportations – they would probably riot.

Since we do have a right as a country to deport illegal aliens, those who’ve allowed this situation have endangered this country. If you say we can’t do deportations, then you’re saying we’re no longer a real country.

Curt Howland May 10, 2006 at 12:39 pm

Calling libertarians “utopian” is false. “Utopian” visions are ones of controlled, planned societies. The “utopian” vision is government control, government regulation, government solutions to every problem.

For instance, this article does not propose how to eliminate any problems by repeal of government regulation other than those problems that are caused by government.

That does seem to be what the Republicans and Democrats just do not comprehend: Government is causing the problems that they themselves decry.

Don’t like the money pouring into the public schools to provide day-care to illegal immigrant children? Then repeal the laws that require them to attend. Don’t like the money spent propping up overloaded emergency rooms? Then repeal the laws requiring emergency rooms to treat patients. Don’t like illegals using public infrastructure? Repeal the laws that fund that infrastructure through taxation.

If those who use a service must pay for it, then it doesn’t matter if they are illegally in this geographic location or not.

Being that most Mexican immigrants are Catholic, I fully expect that Catholic hospitals, clinics, schools and such will be set up to provide those services because, just as this article tries to point out, there is a demand. Right now, that demand is being filled by taxpayer funded programs. Repeal those programs, and those problems vanish.

Remember the relatively unregulated Mexican medical “system”? Last time I heard anything about that it was decrying how Americans were crossing the border to get cheaper drugs. Maybe the current furor isn’t actually about cheap Mexican labor, it’s being backed by the drug companies trying to prop up their profits by building a fence across the southern border to try to keep Americans *IN*.

TGGP May 10, 2006 at 12:41 pm

There may be some taxes paid by illegals (surely sales taxes at least), but all the statistics I’ve read say that on net they are a drain on the state: http://www.vdare.com/rubenstein/060126_nd_tables.htm You may “prefer” them to our native “underclass”, but this is not a trade: we are getting taking on more of something slightly less bad. And the article is wrong when it says the government cannot enforce immigration law. It did before 1965, notably in the succesful but oh-so-politically-incorrectly-named “Operation Wetback”. It’s not doing so now because despite the public being greatly in favor of more enforcement, the leaders of both parties do not want to.

Brian Drum May 10, 2006 at 12:42 pm

Simple, one word solution to the immigration ‘problem’: SECESSION

tom May 10, 2006 at 1:01 pm

“There exists a market demand for low-skilled cheap labor. Part of this demand is being met by outsourcing of jobs overseas. The rest is met by vast numbers of immigrants coming to this country. Illegal immigration is the market supplying a demand. A demand is being met and satisfied.”

There always exists a demand for cheap labor in EVERY occupation, from lawyers, doctors, and engineers to ditch diggers, hamburger flippers and parking lot attendants. This is the nature of a demand curve. The quantity demanded increases as the wage falls. If 500 million engineers, doctors, lawyers and other high skilled workers entered the country tomorrow a demand would be met, but at a much lower wage. The market would work. Does one really need to spell out why this would be a problem?

As long as low skilled workers are entering the country, the well educated elite don’t see a problem with this. These low skilled workers are not in direct competition with the elite and the elite benefit because these are the type of people the elite hire in order to do their landscaping or pick the fruit they buy at the super market and other menial tasks. Just imagine 5 million journalists pouring across the border every year. You would certainly hear the media elite change their tune about illegal aliens and start demanding a stop to illegal alien journalist entering the country.

Ludwig von Mises have pointed out that the way to increase the wages of workers is to increase the amount of capital invest per worker. With an open borders policy the wage level of everyone, not just the unskilled workers who have to compete against the illegal aliens whom the elite seem unconcerned about, will fall.

Despite the faults of the US government, it has been relatively benign with respect to capital accumulation relative to most governments in Mexico; and South and Central America. This has led to the US citizen being one of the highest paid workers in the world. Unchecked immigration will cause everyone’s wage to fall. Right now, since mainly unskilled labor illegally enters the country, only unskilled wages fall. The consequence of mass migration to the US if the government adopted an open borders policy would be a drastic diminution in the wage of all US workers.

Paul Edwards May 10, 2006 at 1:23 pm

David,

“…libertarians do take a stance on both of these issues, we are 1. against the death penalty, and 2. pro-choice (although individually we may be for or against abortion, we are for being able to choose).”

I think, while it is true to say that most individual libertarians do take a stand on these issues, it is quite untrue that there is general agreement among us on them.

I, for one, don’t object to the death penalty if it is known with certainty the convict committed the murder. And I am not pro-choice. And I do not hold these positions only from purely moral grounds but rather based on what I claim to be libertarian ethical grounds.

What libertarians are striving for is to discover how to apply the relevant libertarian principles on which to conclude decisively what ethical propositions are valid and which are not. I think we have the principle: non-aggression, we just need to continue to refine our application of it to each scenario. That is what the mises blog allows us to do, is to hammer out all the arguments going each way and see which ones are most consistent.

George T. Kysor May 10, 2006 at 1:47 pm

You’re right, Tom! and with an open border policy the vast hords from China and India would also swarm in, creating even lower wage rates untill finally the wages here would be nearly level with the wages now in China and India.

Paul Edwards May 10, 2006 at 1:55 pm

It bothers me that things are as they are, but as the article points out, this is how they are:

We have state provided

hospitalization,
cash payments,
affirmative action privileges,
public schools (that’s a huge one),
voting rights,
and a range of political demands that impinge on people’s expectations concerning language, security, and political cohesion.

And “there is the problem of the justice and security system in this country, which doesn’t even work for residents, much less for poor immigrants.”

So let me pose this, if we were to imagine a world, where all of the above in the US were about to remain very much the same, or perhaps get slightly worse, and the only thing that one could possibly hope to successfully agitate for would be changes in immigration policy, would we agitate for

a) Completely 100% open borders with no immigration restrictions or

b) Maintaining enforced immigration restrictions.

Before we choose (a), I think it is wise to carefully consider what the likely results of it would be. It has been argued by Hoppe who rejects (a), and conceded by Block who (I believe) accepts (a), that the results of choosing (a) for a country such as say Austria, would be complete and utter economic devastation. What do we expect in the US given also our current political reality? Are we sure that this is a result that libertarian thinking should acquiesce to? I believe that we are faced with the reality of a welfare state and that advocating a policy that, given our very real circumstances, would tend towards an advanced rate of economic devastation of this nation, is not libertarian. It would be aggression against the property of the people who live here presently.

Brian Drum May 10, 2006 at 2:18 pm

Paul,

Couldn’t one argue that an immigration policy that would result in the complete collapse of the welfare state is actually a good thing?

Now we know that a welfare state is destined to grow until it collapses in on itself, right? If we have accepted the fact that the welfare state is not going to be repealed, would not the next best option be to move it towards collapse as soon as possible?

Karl May 10, 2006 at 2:31 pm

“”There exists a market demand for low-skilled cheap labor, writes Wade Mitchell. Part of this demand is being met by outsourcing of jobs overseas. The rest is met by vast numbers of immigrants coming to this country.”"

What utter tripe. There is a “market” for every type of labor, low-wage is nothing special. Labor is a cost. To increase profits costs are reduced. Costs are reduced by outsourcing labor overseas, and for labor that is not transportable immigrants are insourced into our “country” to deflate wages according to the basic principles of supply and demand. Patriotism and other fellowfeelings for groups like “America” or any country are old fashioned. Capitalism has no boundaries or borders and should not have any. Those here that are trying to make moral arguments rationalizing the overclass’s interest in depressing underclass wages are still stuck in morality and group identity.

Karl May 10, 2006 at 2:45 pm

“Before we choose (a), I think it is wise to carefully consider what the likely results of it would be.”

Paul, the results are increased profits for the industries lobbying for these bills. These people who wish it to be motived otherwise are suckers or think tank flak. Those who wish it to be punishment on the Welfare State, “lazy” Americans, etc. etc. are just rationalizing their support on enmities.

It is the money Paul. Join the overclass. Nation, patriotism and group think are artificial trade and economic barriers. Profits are made because the extra costs are not borne by the overclass. They are borne by the middle classes in state taxes weighted towards sales taxes.

If the cost were shifted to upper income taxes the story would be different naturally. But the privileged classes are privileged with money to bribe politicians. The bribes/campaign contributions are well-spent, unfortunately the Senate couldn’t pull the fast one with “patriots” like Jeff Seesions making noise. We need to increase pressure to increase profits and if an appeal is made to prejudice about the lower classes so be it.

Join the global libertarian elite.

Paul Edwards May 10, 2006 at 3:25 pm

Hi Brian,

“Couldn’t one argue that an immigration policy that would result in the complete collapse of the welfare state is actually a good thing?

“Now we know that a welfare state is destined to grow until it collapses in on itself, right? If we have accepted the fact that the welfare state is not going to be repealed, would not the next best option be to move it towards collapse as soon as possible?”

At first it struck me as plausible, until I read Hoppe’s counter argument which strikes me as more persuasive:

“But then there is the great leap—or the gaping hole—in the open border argument: out of the ruins of the democratic welfare states, we are led to believe, a new natural order will somehow emerge.

“The first error in this line of reasoning can be readily identified. Once the welfare states have collapsed under their own weight, the masses of immigrants who have brought this about are still there. They have not been miraculously transformed into Swiss, Austrians, Bavarians or Lombards, but remain what they are: Zulus, Hindus, Ibos, Albanians, or Bangladeshis. Assimilation can work when the number of immigrants is small. It is entirely impossible, however, if immigration occurs on a mass scale. In that case, immigrants will simply transport their own ethno-culture onto the new territory. Accordingly, when the welfare state has imploded there will be a multitude of “little” (or not so little) Calcuttas, Daccas, Lagoses, and Tiranas strewn all over Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. It betrays a breathtaking sociological naiveté to believe that a natural order will emerge out of this admixture. Based on all historical experience with such forms of multiculturalism, it can safely be predicted that in fact the result will be civil war. There will be widespread plundering and squatterism leading to massive capital consumption, and civilization as we know it will disappear from Switzerland, Austria and Italy.”

(from Hoppe’s “Natural Order, the State, and the Immigration Problem”, http://mises.org/journals/jls/16_1/16_1_5.pdf )

quincunx May 10, 2006 at 3:25 pm

“I for one am not willing to give away my country so corprate america can make a extra dollar,”

Your country? Whoa! I want to see you put up the fence with your own money.

” If you remeber your american history you will know the first civil war was about cheap labor. ”

No it was about tariffs. It was about the south financing a government that send money to the north. It was about the inability for the south to export.

“What alot of people fail to realize is alot of Americans, the Majority of Americans( Despite what polls say) is fed up with Illegal Immigrants and our goverment.”

Who cares what the majority thinks? The illegal alien and local resident are both engaging in mutually beneficial action.

“1. Illegal labor is massively subsidized. Employers get “cheap” labor and force everyone else to pay the costs for schools, roads, jails, etc. etc”

Not paying is NOT a subsidy!

“Since we do have a right as a country to deport illegal aliens, those who’ve allowed this situation have endangered this country.”

Countries don’t have rights! People have rights. And if people on both sides of the border want to trade goods or labor services, then they have a right to!

“If you say we can’t do deportations, then you’re saying we’re no longer a real country”

You can deport people off your property! But you can’t deport people from something you don’t own.

Brian Drum May 10, 2006 at 3:54 pm

Paul,

I have no doubt that after the implosion of a welfare state there will be mass conflict and strife. But aren’t we sort of in that boat already? Someday the welfare checks will start bouncing or the funds won’t be enough to buy a gumball. If the welfare state (U.S.) imploded tomorrow I think the same situation would occur. I wouldn’t expect for a natural order to spring up all across the United States’s in that case either. Even without any immigrants there is still a massive amount of people that are completely dependent on Uncle Sam’s tit. However, surely there will be pockets of civilization remaining.

Either way I’m not really too interested in the immigration debate per se. And as for openning the immigrant flood gates in order to kill the welfare state, that was sort of just an off the top of the head thought. I think maybe the best hope is Hoppe’s vision of a cascading secessionist movement that takes us into a world of tens of thousands of mini-’state’s. Perhaps all of the hubabaloo over immigration will spark some viable seperatist movements?

Paul Edwards May 10, 2006 at 4:03 pm

Karl,

I am too dull to understand what you are driving at. Are you for or against 100% open borders?

Paul Edwards May 10, 2006 at 4:09 pm

“Perhaps all of the hubabaloo over immigration will spark some viable seperatist movements?”

It would be so cool if secession became a reality and little islands of anarchy formed here and there for starters without the threat of mass murders by the state.

M E Hoffer May 10, 2006 at 5:19 pm

I find it interesting that noone cared to engage Mr. Howland’s posit that the push to Fence/Paramilitarize our southern border may, in fact, be upon us to keep “us” *IN*.

There’s a corrallary to: ” The regulated mirrors the Regulator.” As follows: ” “Enemies”, over time, mirror one another.”

That, as we well were told, The U.S.S.R. tried desparately to keep those, they thought of highest value, in, should inform “us” as to the potential of our current U.S. State.

Mr. Howland has done the tradition of being an American–questioning any potential trammeling of one’s Liberty–proud. That, seemingly, the rest of us accept, readily, the sound-bite frame, of the issue at hand, bodes ill, not only for our Liberty, but, for our very Health.

Karl May 10, 2006 at 6:13 pm

Paul,

It’s satire. You’re not dull, I should have done better.

Nice try anyway?

I’m pro-Americans.

M E Hoffer May 10, 2006 at 6:19 pm

Karl,

That’s funny ! I was going to guess you were an LSE Grad~

Mike Linksvayer May 10, 2006 at 7:24 pm

Excellent article, spot-on.

billwald May 10, 2006 at 7:41 pm

How many of you want your kids to be migrant workers? The “Americans want to do stoop labor” is similar to the argument that we should build mass transit for other people to use so we can have the freeways.

Keith Preston May 10, 2006 at 8:26 pm

I knew this article was going to provoke a lot of debate on this blog.

Any anti-immigration policy that strengthens the federal government (like building a Berlin Wall along the southern border) is a bad idea because, as M.E. Hoffer points out, such tactics are just as likely to be used to “keep us in” as they are to “keep them out”. Of course, there are a lot of things that could be done to reduce immigration without strengthening the state: repealing antidiscrimination laws and affirmative action, ending entitlements to non-citizens (or ending entitlements altogether), making the requirements for citizenship more stringent, decentralizing the naturalization process to the local or regional level, ending subsidies to corrupt Third World regimes that wreck their own economies and encourage mass migration elsewhere,etc.

None of this will happen because it’s not in the state’s interest to accept such reductions in its own authority. The state will continue to grow until it collapses under its own weight.

The Southwestern US is the inevitable location of a future Republic of Atzlan. Whether that’s good or bad may well be an individual value judgement. I think the main danger, as Hoppe argues, is civil war between contending ethnic groups a la the former Yugoslavia. (Incidentally, I think a Hispanic vs. Black civil war is more likely than Black/White or Hispanic/White conflict.) Here’s the site of a fairly interesting group that addresses this idea in a fairly no-holds-barred manner: http://www.separatism.org

Here’s my own critique of the above group:
http://www.attackthesystem.com/asdplancritique.html

The main problem I see with Hoppe’s argument is that I’m not convinced that Europeans or North Americans are any less inclined towards plunder than Third Worlders. It was these nations that gave us the two world wars, the holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the arms race, Vietnam, Hitler, Stalin, the present war in Iraq and much else. Also, the welfare states of these nations are quite large. Their taxes are some of the highest anywhere.

I tend to regard Islamic immigration into Europe as much more dangerous than Latino immigration in the US. Most immigrants to America are economic immigrants. They share the same European ancestry and Christian religious traditions. English and Spanish are rather close to one another as linguistic system. However, Islam brings with it its imperial, theocratic ideology. I’m not demonizing Muslims but I do think the large-scale Islamic immigration into Europe presently taking place is dangerous to Europe’s future, if those are to remain as Enlightenment-influenced nations. Remember how Christianity (which originated from the Near East) overthrew the classical Greco-Roman civilization? I suspect Islam will eventually do the same to modernity in Europe.

I do think Third World immigration into the northern hemisphere is here to stay, so we’d better get used to it. One of the reasons I am an anarchist is because I think ethnic, cultural and religious differences that often lead to massacres and repression are best accommodated under the type of decentralized, pluralistic, polycentric panarchy that I think a nation or civilization influenced by anarchist ideas would eventually produce.

Karl May 10, 2006 at 10:31 pm

Karl,

That’s funny ! I was going to guess you were an LSE Grad~

Posted by: M E Hoffer at May 10, 2006 06:19 PM
_______________________________-

Dear M E Hoffer,

Brevity is the soul of wit and by God, you got it!

Scott Stinson May 10, 2006 at 11:57 pm

The reason that the war on illegal immigration has failed is because the US Government has not been harsh enough towards the illegal immigrants.
If the People of the United States do not want illegal immigrants in this country, then the US Government and the poor working Americans who see their wages affected by illegal immigrants need to take a gun and execute the illegal immigrants on sight!

Ulrich Hobelmann May 11, 2006 at 2:41 am

Scott, now only would that be murder (even if there were people on your property, you’d first have to ask them to leave, and even then carry them away instead of just killing them!), but most of all you’d be forcing your view of immigration on all others.

What if another US-citizen doesn’t mind foreign immigrants and wants to provide them a job (because he likes the guy and doesn’t see an American that wants to work for the same low wage)? That gives you the right to shoot the immigrant?

Sorry, but in my eyes you are a severe danger to any peaceful human society.

(oh, and what about tourists? What if they stay a month longer than “allowed” in their Visa, like I did last year?)

Brett_McS May 11, 2006 at 4:05 am

Gee, we must be in real strife here in Australia, an island, with almost no illegal immigration. I’m surprised the economy isn’t tanking, instead of having 15 years of continuous, uninterrupted growth, along with strong border (sea) patrols. We could probably rectify this situation by letting hoards of illegal immigrants come pooring in. But they won’t ever learn, will they?

Reactionary May 11, 2006 at 8:18 am

Brian:

“If we have accepted the fact that the welfare state is not going to be repealed, would not the next best option be to move it towards collapse as soon as possible?”

After the collapse of the multicultural empire known as the USA, if such a thing ever comes to pass, people will separate according to tribe, as they did in Somalia, Yugoslavia, and Iraq. When that day comes, hopefully your descendants are in the majority race/ethnicity in their locale. Otherwise, they are going to lose their property and possibly their lives as well.

I actually don’t think we’ll be so lucky to see the ultimate day of reckoning for liberalism. Immigrants will expand the tax base, mitigate the effects of inflation, sign up for the military in order to earn citizenship, and enthusiastically participate in elections. The multicultural imperium will be here for the indefinite future.

Francisco Torres May 11, 2006 at 9:14 am

How many of you want your kids to be migrant workers?

I do, if it means they will be happier, more productive people. I would not mind my kids migrating to, let us say, Australia, if that makes them happy and if the money is there.

Richard May 11, 2006 at 10:05 am

Wade Mitchell’s article on the libertarian solution to our immigration problem is utopian, to say the least. “If” we didn’t have a welfare state, then most illegals would not come here. They provide a needed source of cheap labor, according to free market concepts. Great. In the meantime, the US becomes more like a third world country, with its native population and culture being displaced. That’s not what most Americans want, and if you could see the ultimate damage, not what most libertarians would want either.

Alan R May 11, 2006 at 11:02 am

“its native population and culture being displaced”?
We palefaces are “native”? Ask the real natives about the effects of uncontrolled immigration.

Lisa Casanova May 11, 2006 at 3:29 pm

Suppose I’m anti-immigration, and I get the government to enforce my personal preference of closing the borders because immigrants cause too many problems. My fellow “natives,” meanwhile, are busily producing babies who consume socialized healthcare, education, and various other public programs, and who will grow up to be enthusiastic advocates of the continued expansion of the welfare state (Heck, maybe we’ll become one of those places where the welfare-statist government pays people to have MORE babies becuase they aren’t having enough!). Do I get veto power over their procreative choices, too?

Keith Preston May 11, 2006 at 4:22 pm

I really think the whole debate over whether or not immigrants “should” be here is for nothing. The fact is they are here, and more are coming all the time. That’s not going to change, certainly not while the present ruling class is in power. It’s not in their interest to change, not economically, not ideologically, not demographically, not even for the sake of their short-term political interests. It all gets down to what the economics-minded people who read this blog mean when they talk about “incentives”. Big Business has an interest in bringing immigrants (legal and illegal) here. Small business has the same interest(cheap labor). So do the many social services bureaucracies, from schools to the welfare system. So does the Democratic Party (need more minority voters). So does the Republican Party( need more look-we’re-not-racist window dressing). So do the ethnic lobbies. So do the cultural elites.

I just saw an AP report today showing that one third of the US population is now comprised of ethnic minorities with the Hispanics being the unquestioned largest of the minority groups. Which side has the most motivation to take political action? The pro-immigrant groups and their allies go out and raise hell over the smallest anti-immigration measures. What does the other side do? So far as I can tell, nothing except exchange angry e-mails and run their mouth on talk radio.

Seriously though, you couldn’t “send ‘em home” now even if there was a political will to do so. An attempt at mass deportation would result in a civil war a la Yugoslavia. Insteady, we need to work towards some means of peaceful co-existence, like the ASD Plan I linked to in a previous post. Here it is again: http://www.separatism.org

Reactionary May 11, 2006 at 4:24 pm

“Do I get veto power over their procreative choices, too?”

If you are paying for their children, I don’t see why you shouldn’t. However, most people feel an attachment to their fellow citizens or fellow whites, blacks, etc., which they don’t have to strangers. Thus, they value their fellow’s procreative choices higher than they value an immigrant’s choice to leave his or her own country and come here.

Paul Edwards May 11, 2006 at 4:40 pm

Lisa,

The way i try to work out a position on the most brutally awkward immigration issue is to imagine how a libertarian ethic would apply to it in anarchy.

In that case, first of all, land would be either privately owned or completely unowned. Roads would be private or non-existent. If all land is owned, then the situation is very simple: new-comers to the region would require an invitation by both (typically) an employer and a seller or renter of accommodation, and would have to acquire the rights to travel the roads to arrive. They would otherwise be criminal trespassers.

In the case where there is unowned land, then new-comers would be free to homestead it, providing they can acquire the right to access/discover it.

In either scenario, the issue of “immigration” would be decided purely on private voluntary agreement. All would be good.

Under the coercive state, since individuals do not have the right to deny new-comers access to “public” land and roads, which should naturally be private, this function is left to the state to perform. If it does not perform this function at all (i.e. has 100% open border policy), it does not imply liberty, it just means that private individuals cannot exercise their property rights to deny entrance to the new-comer and neither is the state going to even make the pretense of doing it for him.

All it means is that an important right of exclusion has been almost completely revoked.

When you compound that flaw, with the devastating costs associated with completely open borders in a western welfare state, with its natural leaning towards subsidizing minorities and the “underprivileged”, you have the formula for near certain economic catastrophe and racial conflict, without the prospect of libertarian anarchy emerging from the rubble.

I think the above suggests the inappropriateness of the analogy you present of children as pseudo immigrants. Children are invitees of their parents and are ethically entitled to being raised in the homes of their parents. Of course, they will one day need to go out and see if they can contract to obtain their own employment and housing. But at the least they are invited guests. Furthermore, of course no one else is justified in dictating if these parents have kids or not.

So while it is a disaster that the state exists, and the huge immigration problem exists because of it, it is very hard to accept that, given a state, a 100% open borders policy could be a good thing either in libertarian principle or in any kind of practice.

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