Wednesday, April 05, 2006

An Eloquent Defense of Immigration

An Eloquent Defense of Immigration
I'm not sure whether Warren or I have a larger readership, but he really deserves to have more people following his blog.

Warren is an outspoken Libertarian in the best sense of the word, and he has been posting a lot on issues of immigration. The following is quoted from Warren's blog, Coyote Blog, and is an incredibly eloquent and searing argument against those who wish to close our borders:

Like the founders of this country, I believe that our individual rights exist by the very fact of our existance as thinking human beings, and that these rights are not the gift of kings or congressmen. Rights do not flow to us from government, but in fact governments are formed by men as an artificial construct to help us protect those rights, and well-constructed governments, like ours, are carefully limited in their powers to avoid stifling the rights we have inherently as human beings.

Do you see where this is going? The individual rights we hold dear are our rights as human beings, NOT as citizens. They flow from our very existence, not from our government. As human beings, we have the right to assemble with whomever we want and to speak our minds. We have the right to live free of force or physical coercion from other men. We have the right to make mutually beneficial arrangements with other men, arrangements that might involve exchanging goods, purchasing shelter, or paying another man an agreed upon rate for his work. We have these rights and more in nature, and have therefore chosen to form governments not to be the source of these rights (for they already existed in advance of governments) but to provide protection of these rights against other men who might try to violate these rights through force or fraud.

These rights of speech and assembly and commerce and property shouldn't, therefore, be contingent on "citizenship". I should be able, equally, to contract for service from David in New Jersey or Lars in Sweden. David or Lars, who are equally human beings, have the equal right to buy my property, if we can agree to terms. If he wants to get away from cold winters in Sweden, Lars can contract with a private airline to fly here, contract with another person to rent an apartment or buy housing, contract with a third person to provide his services in exchange for wages. But Lars can't do all these things today, and is excluded from these transactions just because he was born over some geographic line? To say that Lars or any other "foreign" resident has less of a right to engage in these decisions, behaviors, and transactions than a person born in the US is to imply that the US government is somehow the source of the right to pursue these activities, WHICH IT IS NOT.

1 comment:

Hillary Johnson said...

The coyote is right.

People have called our current "illegal" system indentured servitude, without, I think, realizing that true indentured servitude occurs when a government sanctions second-class status for part of its population. A black market in labor (what we have now) is not the same thing as a government program that demands cheap labor out of people in exchange for future citizenship. As the coyote says, letting free immigration solve the problems of the labor market is a far better solution.

What passed today was supposed to be a compromise on Bush's guest laborer scheme, which always struck me as being as bad an idea as the creation of the welfare state. A great opportunity for good intentions to mutate into unintended consequences. And there's nothing worse for an economy, and the individuals who inhabit it, than an unintended consequence with federal funding behind it.