Immigration-Reform Nonsense and Delusion

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With the expiration of Title 42, the pandemic-era policy of preventing foreigners from entering the United States to claim refugee status, America’s perpetual immigration crisis along the border is back in the news.

Along with the crisis comes the popular refrain that we have heard for at least seven decades: “We need comprehensive immigration reform to bring an end to our ‘broken’ immigration system.”

That decades-old refrain, however, is nothing more than nonsense and delusion.The reason is that, contrary to popular opinion, America’s immigration-control system is not “broken.” If it were “broken,” it is conceivable that someone might be able to come up with some type of reform that might fix it. 

America’s immigration-control system is inherently defective. That’s different from “broken.” Something that is inherently defective cannot be fixed. There is no possible reform that anyone can come up with to fix an inherently defective system.

After all, if some sort of reform could fix America’s immigration-control system, don’t you think someone would have come up with it by now? Remember: We’ve been living under an immigration crisis for decades. Immigration-control advocates have obviously had plenty of time to come up with some sort of reform to fix the system. They still haven’t done so.

Yet, what is fascinating about this phenomenon is that immigration-control advocates today continue to cry, “We need comprehensive immigration reform.” It’s as if they don’t realize that immigration-control advocates have been crying the same thing for six or seven decades, or they simply block it out of their minds. Or maybe they think that there is still a chance that someone might finally come up with a reform that will fix what they consider is their “broken” system.

But immigration-control advocates are living in la-la land. As I have been emphasizing for more than 30 years here at FFF, there is no possible reform that will fix America’s immigration-control system. It just ain’t gonna happen, ever. The sooner Americans get used to that truth, the better off everyone will be. 

America’s immigration-control system is a socialist system. It is based on the socialist principle of central planning. Government officials plan, in a top-down, command-and-control manner, the movements of millions of people in a very highly complex labor market. It simply cannot be done.

Socialism is what makes America’s immigration-control system an inherently defective system. No one can make it work. Just ask anyone in North Korea or Cuba. But central planning does more than simply not work. It also produces crises and chaos. The Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises called it “planned chaos.” That term perfectly describes America’s decades-old, perpetual, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis. 

Thus, the root of America’s immigration crisis is its own socialist immigration system. The nonsense and delusion is that immigration-control advocates think that American central-planning bureaucrats, unlike those in North Korea and Cuba, can make socialism work. They can’t. No one can. Socialism is an inherently defective paradigm. No one can make it work.

The only thing that works is freedom and free markets. That means completely open borders — the free movements of goods, services, and people across borders. With the adoption of open borders, the decades-old, perpetual, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis disappears immediately, along with the massive death, suffering, and liberty-destroying immigration police state that come with it. 

Freedom and free markets are our heritage. For more than 100 years, America had a policy of open immigration. It worked beautifully and was a major factor in the tremendous increase in the standard of living of 19th-century and early 20th-century Americans. It was also a policy that was consistent with moral and religious values. Among the worst things 20th-century Americans ever did was to move our nation in the direction of socialism.

Today, there are two ways to go: Continue with America’s socialist immigration system and its perpetual immigration crisis or restore our heritage of economic liberty and free markets by abolishing the Border Patrol and the immigration service (and the DEA) and opening the border to the free movements of goods, services, and people. 

The post Immigration-Reform Nonsense and Delusion appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

* This article was originally published here


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