Borders And Immigration

The Libertarian Stance On Borders And Immigration: Pro-Wall Or Open Borders?


Probably the second most popular argument inside the libertarian circles is the issue in regards to borders and illegal immigration. Many of the conservative-leaning “libertarians” (called “bordertarians”) often err on the side of Republicans and advocate for increased government intervention, increased spending, and even militarization in matters that pertain to the imaginary lines drawn on the map. Largely, the “bordertarian” argument is one of the preservation of culture at the expense of freedom, which has become commonplace in the alt-right White Nationalist doctrine being set forward by Hoppe and other fringe “libertarian” minds.

The majority of libertarians take a different stance and often quote Bastiat’s statement “If goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.”, which paraphrased basically means that free trade between countries is required if there is any hope to maintain peace between people. Part of free trade is also the free movement of people, good and bad. Where free markets and free trade are established, the economic principle of specialization of labor allows all partied involved to benefit from their goods and services, making violence between the groups of people less likely as they have become dependent on each other for the success of their individual communities.

Much of the battle inside libertarian circles on borders revolves around some level of xenophobia in regards to preventing “contamination”, disregarding the economic positives most libertarians usually champion.

Libertarian Party Position:

Per the 2018 party platform:

“We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.”

The Libertarian Stance:

In general, libertarians agree with the Libertarian Party’s stance on borders and immigration. Most people in the libertarian community are opposed to militarized borders and walls to prevent the free movement of people. Instead, libertarians respond to the complaints of the conservatives regarding illegal immigration in multiple ways and opt to treat the disease instead of the symptom. Some of the more pragmatic solutions are:

  • Revamp Immigration-

    By changing the way immigration is handled and the unnecessary burdens a complicated immigration process creates, more people will opt to enter based on that protocol.

  • Ending The Drug War-

    Much of the violent crime regarding illegal immigration comes from the cartels and their stake in drug trafficking. Ending the drug war and legalizing the freedom of choice naturally destroys most of the black market and ends the profit of their market share on the sale of narcotics that are currently illegal.

  • Defund The Welfare State-

    As stated by many economists in the past, the best way to handle ending illegal immigration is to defund the access to tax-payer funded programs for those who are not contributing to the system. By removing the what draws people to enter illegally, immigrants are less likely to take advantage of the systems in place for the general taxpayer base.

  • Divest In The Wall-

    Not only is the wall a waste of taxpayer funds to the tune of over $60B, the construction of a wall would possibly entail the government stealing land from individual property owners under the theft doctrine known as “eminent domain”. This concept is antithetical to libertarianism as it allows the State to declare that its privilege is greater than the right of the individual and uses force against innocent people to accomplish their goal.

  • Change Of Taxation Law-

    While the general understanding of taxations is theft, a more pragmatic approach is to switch the United States taxation methods to one that is based on consumption rather than income. In this situation, the populace is taxed based on their economic activity of consuming and not on what they make. This solution ends the argument about illegal immigrants not paying the “fair share” as every person is contributing based on what they purchase and allows for those who want to pay less in taxes to become more self-sufficient.

  • Allow Private Citizens To Defend Their Property-

    If a citizen does not want trespassers on their private property, allowing them to have the right to stand their ground and defend against those entering their property illegally is paramount. If an individual property owner or a group of property owners wish to build a wall on their own property, they should be free to do so as long as it is done voluntarily.

It is important to remember that libertarians don’t believe that liberty is limited only to people within an imaginary set of boundaries.

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