Libertarians and Immigration
that would have to be repealed for unrestricted
immigration to be safe, or “How immigration can
increase the role of government in your life."
Libertarians like immigration
because they see it as increasing freedom (it
doesn`t, necessarily), and because the means of
immigration tend to increase the power of the
Many become frenzied with
enthusiasm for immigration, and that`s why Peter
Brimelow has been known to refer
to us as "low-IQ libertarian loonies."
libertarian loonies" to you, Peter, thank you
But libertarians forget that as
it stands now, immigration is just another government
program, importing tax liabilities in the form of
welfare cases, business liabilities in the form of
affirmative action problems, and criminals against
whom you`re not allowed to defend yourself, and last
but not least, importing political liabilities, in the
form of voters who don`t believe in freedom.
Here are some of things that
should be dealt with before
tearing down the fences:
going to import criminals, you should have the
means to defend yourselves inside the boundaries of your
own country. And it would be stupid to disarm the populace during an invasion.
America`s southern border includes a lot of formerly
Mexican territory that the Mexicans would like back.
(I think of this every time someone says, “I wish I
could magically make all the guns in the United States
just vanish.” If this magic trick didn`t include
all the guns in Mexico, it would also succeed in
making Texas, New Mexico, and Nevada disappear.)
If I`m not allowed to decide
who I`m allowed to hire or do business with,
immigrants are going to cause problems.
Libertarians are mostly
anti-racist in principle. But before we`re
anti-racist we`re anti-slavery and pro-freedom,
which is why in 1963 Frank Meyer denounced the Jim
Crow laws and the Civil Rights Act in the same National
Review column. (Frank S. Meyer, The Negro
Revolution, NR June 18, 1963)
3. The Tax/Welfare System
Every productive person is
taxed to support non-productive people. If we import
more non-producers, then taxes go up.
For Libertarians this does mean
the separation of school and state, and an end to free
emergency rooms, if by “free emergency rooms” you
mean the law that says that no one can be turned away
from an emergency room.
As for the idea of letting
people immigrate with
the present welfare system in place, but barring
immigrants from participating in it, that law already exists.
Any immigrant becoming a “public
charge” within his first five years of residence
can be deported, but the Government won`t enforce
this. They deported a total of 42 people for this in
the period of 1961-1982.
Of course, welfare
bureaucracies would be better if they would enforce or
even obey the law, but only in the sense that cats
would be more practical and useful if they could be
taught to bark.
The Taxation and Welfare system
is part of the principle described by the first
It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the
same spirit that says, "You work and toil and earn
bread, and I`ll eat it." No matter in what shape
it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks
to bestride the people of his own nation and live by
the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as
an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same
Abraham Lincoln. Seventh and Last Debate with
Stephen A. Douglas, October 15, 1858
“What! You want to repeal
Democracy?” I hear you saying.
Calm down. It`s not the demos that`s the problem. It`s the cracy.
“The Tyranny of Democracy”
as L. Neil Smith calls
it. As long as the majority rules, and rule means
draft, tax, and jail, I am not enthusiastic about
sudden changes in the majority.
claim that majoritarianism, despite its faults, is an
alternative preferable to physical conflict.
wrong: majoritarianism is physical conflict. Elections are a process of counting fists,
rather than noses, and saying, “We outnumber
you—we could beat you up and kill you—you might as
well give in and save everyone a lot of trouble.
Majoritarianism, to put it straightforwardly, possesses the
full measure of nobility manifested by any other form
L. Neil Smith, 1989
Mork and Mindy are arguing
about something to do with the house (which Mindy
owns) and Mork calls for a vote. It splits 50-50
because there are only two people voting. So the next
evening he brings home a homeless man and calls for a
The Democrats are trying the
Libertarians should be concerned about the possibility of block
voting by foreigners, or dissident elements in
society, as in Northern Ireland, which may have
reached the magic number of 51% Catholic population.
This would allow victory in a referendum on turning
Northern Ireland over to the Republic of Ireland. Once
that happens, Protestants will go instantly from being
a 49% minority to being a 3/35ths minority. (Unless they separate
A similar referendum might turn
much of the Southwest over to Mexico, if the Federal
Government didn`t go to war to prevent it, as
happened in 1861.
5. Affirmative Action (Especially for
Giving affirmative action
preferences to the American descendants of freed
slaves might have
some historic validity, but the Beninese immigrant
from Africa is the descendant of slave merchants,
and the Sudanese immigrant may be a slave owner
And when your workforce is
required by law to “look like America,” you should
be concerned about changes in America.
6. The Criminal Justice system as it now stands
The criminal justice system is
broken, and it won`t either punish criminals who
have committed genuine crimes, or let go the average
citizen who has done little or nothing.
It will more or less viciously
pursue anyone who has defended himself against a
criminal, and strips citizens of the means of
self-defense. (Mentioned in point 1, it`s the King
Charles` head of libertarians, and if King
Charles the Martyr had had a .45…)
7. Tort Law
Danger / Peligro/ Achtung/ Avis/
Did I forget anything ? Oops!
That`s $10,000,000 dollars I owe you.
If people are allowed to first
injure themselves, then impoverish the nearest
business with “deep pockets,” then perhaps we
shouldn`t encourage people who don`t speak English
or understand machinery to come here.
8. Drug Laws
is the `dirty work` that some post-1965 immigrant
groups are positively anxious to do—more violently,
particularly in the burgeoning drug business, than the
Mafia ever was.
Nation, p. 185
Alcohol Prohibition produced
Capone and the Mafia. The war on (some) drugs is doing
the same thing, in six or seven new languages. Do we
really want to learn the Russian for “consigliere”
As long as these stupid,
pointless laws are on the books, criminal immigrants
will have access to huge amounts of money with which
to corrupt the police and politics. Legalize drugs,
and Americans will be buying them for a dollar at
7-Eleven or McDonald`s.
9. Cultural Imperialism
Instead of trying to make the
U.S. hold all the people in the world, why not try
raising the standard of living elsewhere?
Not by foreign aid, and not by
bombing. (Bombing actually did more to help the
post-war industrialization of West Germany than the
Marshall Plan. German factories had to put in all new
machinery because the old stuff had been bombed flat.)
But Americans, as individuals,
and as businessmen, could help liberate foreign
countries. America is the richest country in the
world, and individual Americans could bribe
governments to allow free enterprise. Does it
surprise you that this is illegal under US law? The
U.S. should get out of the business of trying to
enforce other countries` laws.
10. Environmentalist Wacko Laws (Cue Chainsaw
Nuclear power is safer than any
other form of power going, but that`s not important
Rush Limbaugh reported on Dec.
7, 2000, that the population of California has about
doubled in the last ten or fifteen years, but no power
plants of any
kind have been built in that period. (Limbaugh
seems to think that these people have moved there from
colder parts of the U.S.)
See “Games Antinukes Play” by
Rael Jean Isaac, American
Spectator, November 1985:
the impact of intervenors has not been solely on
nuclear plants. Utilities are reluctant to invest in
building any new capacity: While it has been eight
years since the last nuclear plant was ordered, in the
last three years only one coal plant has been ordered.
Yet demand for electricity has been growing steadily,
and merely replacing existing aging plants means new
capital investment essential. Essential or not,
Frederick Mielke, chairman of the board of Pacific Gas
and Electric, Remarked in February 1985:
“No prudent investor would risk the capital
needed to build coal or nuclear plants
in California.” By their actions, it is clear
that utility executives around the country share his
More recently, see Phony
Deregulation By Adrian T. Moore in Reason,
pundits complain that no new capacity has come online
since restructuring, but they don`t bother to ask
why. First, the restructuring law forced
California`s utilities to get out of power
generation and sell their power plants—so they
aren`t investing in new ones. Several groups have
applied to build new generation plants, some of them
immediately after the law was passed. But even after
four years, those new plants aren`t likely to come
online until next year because of the glacier-slow
capacity" of the North American environment can
be raised (by building more homes, and more power
plants, and liberating more land), but that`s illegal.
Perhaps California should stop doubling its population
every ten years until it catches up.
Enough points. Paul
Craig Roberts has written powerfully about the
dangers an overbearing American government poses to
Americans. So has Jim
Bovard. Even The
has started to take notice.
Even at its most dangerous,
however, the American government is one of the better
governments in the world. Ask a Mexican or a
Guatemalan. Hell, ask an Englishman!
Libertarians who think that
unrestricted immigration is an unmixed good should
remind themselves that included in the baggage many
immigrants bring with them is a tradition of statism,
and that for every one who thinks like Tibor Machan
there are a dozen who think like John Kenneth
Galbraith or George Soros.
Perhaps we should ask ourselves
if unrestricted immigration to a democratic country is
likely to increase
human freedom, or decrease
Forget the Statue of
Liberty for a moment; and look at the New York City
Council. Is that the kind of government you want?
June 6, 2001