Immigration and Integrity

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 15 Apr 2007 10:36:52 GMT  <== Politics ==> 

L. Neil Smith at The Libertarian Enterprise - good screed on why no true libertarian could profess any kind of immigration, or emigration, control. [tle]

Before we begin, there's something I want understood clearly: principles mean nothing--in fact, they mean less than nothing--when adhering to them is easy. Adhering to them when it's hard is what principles are all about, and the determination to do so is called integrity.


As an example, it doesn't matter at all how many people desire, campaign, or vote for me to be disarmed, I still have an unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon--rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything--any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission. While it's true that individual rights can be physically suppressed--as they are almost everywhere today--they cannot be abolished.

With me so far?

Another right inherent in our existence as individual sapients is the freedom to go wherever we will, whenever we will. While bounded by the right of other individuals to be secure and unmolested in their own private property, it is the absolute and unquestionable right of every person to travel where he or she wishes, within that ethical limit.


To give you just a tiny hint of what insanity the idea of closed borders is, I invite you to take a little tour of one of the edges of this country--Google or Mapquest will let you do it a mile at a time--from Lubec, Maine, last U.S. town on the eastern seaboard before you have to start speaking Canadian, all the way down the Atlantic shore to the tip of Florida (don't forget the Keys), and up around the Gulf Coast, to Boca Chica, Texas, where America ends and Mexico begins.

The fact is that if global terrorism of the kind the government wants us all to be constantly terrified about actually existed, there isn't a single city on this continent that wouldn't be in flames this minute.

You could station a sentinel along every mile, and "illegals" would still pour through. Add to that the Pacific coast, the border with Canada, and the imaginary line all these antis focus on, between Mexico and the United States, and eventually it will dawn on you that the only way to keep America secure is by (A) abolishing the welfare state, (B) enforcing the Second Amendment, and (C) running a strictly non-interventionist foreign policy. Every one of those measures is sensible and easy, but they're career-enders for politicians and their hangers-on.

Those who demand laws requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets often cite the public expense involved in treating head injuries. But is it the motorcycle rider's fault that his fellow citizens have been stupid enough to saddle themselves with a socialistic medical system? Then why should he be forced to pay for anybody's stupidity but his own?

Similarly, those who demand that the borders be closed blather about the burden they imagine illegal immigrants to be on taxpayers. I'm not altogether convinced of this, myself--a great many of their statistics carry the distinct odor of having been extracted from one of their bodily orifices or another--but even if I were, whose fault is it, individuals who are new to this country, or those who have permitted a welfare state to be constructed all around them where they stood?


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