Liberty and Border Security

With the “refugee” column in the news (if they want asylum, why not Mexico?  They were safe enough going the entire length of Mexico, so why not stay there rather than come here if simply escaping their plight in points south was the goal?) several Libertarian groups have been posting about how horrible this is and how evil the idea of securing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws is.  One had this cutesy little cartoon of a cartoon Trump tearing apart the Statue of Liberty (which is made of stone rather than copper sheathing over an iron frame–but okay) and using the material to build the border wall. (Add in folk complaining about how dare you celebrate Cinco de Mayo while wanting to stem illegal immigration and…)

Sigh.

Look, I get it.  People who favor liberty tend to that liberty for others too.  The problem is when you take courses of actions that will lose liberty for everyone.  In an ideal case the whole world would be free.  We’d all enjoy the benefits of liberty while shouldering the responsibility of self reliance and joining voluntarily with others in groups to accomplish the things that we can’t do singly (much of that determined by the market).  However, we don’t live in that ideal world.  In the example of that invocation of the Statue of Liberty, people point to the poem by Emma Lazarus and are all about the “huddled masses” part and forget the “yearning to breath free” part.  Entirely too many of the people swarming into our nation (of which the modest number in the “refugee column” is merely symbolic) don’t want freedom, liberty, and self reliance.  They want the same restrictive regime they came from but with better economics.

So long as our form of government is a Republic with democratically elected representatives who make law and set policy, if we want liberty, we need voters who will vote for people who secure that liberty (“to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…”).  We have entirely too many people who want “goodies that other people pay for” (and thus vote for politicians who promise to use government to force others to provide those goodies) or who think “there ought to be a law” against things of which they disapprove (and thus vote for politicians who promise to pass laws against those things).  Yet as bad as it is here from that perspective, it’s worse in the rest of the world.

Open immigration, in the name of “liberty” will, just based on population numbers, bring in more people who oppose that very liberty than than those who support it.  This will promote the election of politicians opposed to that very liberty, putting us ever more strongly on the path of government growth and further intrusion into people’s lives, and the restriction of the very liberty that “open immigration” is supposed to be about.

This is not to say that our immigration policies do not need to be reformed.  They do–perhaps less in the way of number quotas and more in the way of the characteristics of the individuals we want to come here.  We want, or should want, people who look at our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and especially our Bill of Rights and respond “well, duh” or some similar expression of broad general agreement.  We want people who desperately yearn to breathe free.  Make the task hard.  The ones we want will crawl over broken glass in a shower of lemon juice if that’s what it takes to come here legally.

The ones we don’t want are those whose very first act on  coming here is to break. our. laws.

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2 thoughts on “Liberty and Border Security”

  1. I agree entirely on immigration reforms. However, I don’t want that those reforms result in it being easier for illegals to get citizenship or permanent residency than it is for people who want to legally migrate. One of the things I’ve hated is how the media has turned ‘refugee’ and ‘illegal’ into equivalent terminology for ‘immigrant’ – the last of which implies you got there legally, but the first terms very explicitly do not have.

  2. Yes to all of the above. People do complain about citing Lazarus, but immigration wouldn’t be such a problem if yearning to breathe free had been enforced as a requirement for citizenship.

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