Conservatives and Liberals: Immigration Socialists

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Republicans love to accuse Democrats of favoring open borders. That’s partly because Democrats favor granting “amnesty” to immigrants who have been here illegally for a long period of time. 

Legalizing illegal immigrants, however, is a far cry from open borders. Open borders entails a complete dismantling of American’s immigration-control system, including an abolition of the Border Patrol. It means that people are free to enter into the United States as freely as Marylanders enter the state of Virginia.

Now, it’s true that some Democrats favor the federal government’s allowing more immigrants to  legally enter the United States. Their argument is that immigrants bring economic prosperity to a country. 

An example is a recent article entitled “Immigrants to the Rescue” by John Feffer, an ardent liberal (i.e., progressive) at the Institute for Policy Studies. He argues that despite the laments of many closed-border advocates, Germany has tremendously benefited by the enormous influx of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. He says that same thing would happen here in the United States. Therefore, he says, the United States should let in more migrants to the United States.

He’s not the only one who takes this position. So does Linda Chavez, a conservative who served in the Reagan administration. In an article in today’s Los Angeles Times entitled “Want to Expand the Economy and Add Jobs? Increase Immigration,” Chavez argues that a key to economic prosperity here in the United States is to let in more immigrants.

While both of them are right and immigrants and prosperity, there is one fundamental flaw that is common to both of them: their devotion to socialist central planning. Notice that their operative term is “let in.” In other words, they favor a system in which federal government remains in charge of determining who gets into the country. They just want the federal government to use its immigration-control power to “let in” more immigrants.

What they don’t realize is that it is this system of immigration central planning that is the cause of America’s decades-long, never-ending immigration crisis. As a core feature of socialism, central planning always produces crises. The economist Ludwig von Moses called it “planned chaos.” What better term to describe America’s perpetual immigration crisis?

As Friedrich Hayek pointed out, central planners simply do not have the knowledge to plan complex markets, especially given constantly shifting market conditions. Oh, they certainly think they do. Hayek called their mindsets “the fatal conceit.” But the fact is that no one can make socialism work.  It is a fatally defective paradigm.

There is only one system that works — economic freedom and the free market. That necessarily means open borders — i.e., the free movements of goods, services, and people across borders. Under a system of open borders, the laws of supply and demand govern the number of immigrants who will be entering and leaving the United States, just as they govern the number of people entering and leaving the state of Virginia. 

Do immigration-control advocates know how many more immigrants the federal government should let in? Of course not. No one can know that number. How many Marylanders should Virginia let in? We let the laws of supply and demand answer that question. That’s why there isn’t an immigration crisis at the Maryland-Virginia border.

There is also the moral argument to consider. Under the Feffer-Chavez plan to “let in” more immigrants, there will still be death and suffering among people who are not among the lucky ones who are “let in” and who risk their lives trying to enter the United States.

That’s not all. The immigration police state that exists along the border will continue under the Feffer-Chavez plan. Domestic highway checkpoints, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, warrantless trespasses onto farms and ranches, boarding of Greyhound buses to examine people’s papers, violent raids on American businesses, and more. .

The liberal-conservative plan of immigration socialism, even if it “lets in” more immigrants, should be tossed into the dustbin of history. There is only one system that is consistent with liberty, morality, prosperity, and harmony: Open borders. 

The post Conservatives and Liberals: Immigration Socialists appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

* This article was originally published here

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