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February 12, 2014


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Patrick in Michigan


Dmitry Chernikov

The argument would work if the federal government by law owned all land in the United States and could exercise its property rights to include or exclude anyone. But most land worth living on is individual private property. It is these individuals who decide whom to invite onto their land or homes or businesses and whom to keep out. This way we obtain a much finer-grained, more sophisticated control over inclusion / exclusion policies than could be achieved on the level of the country as a whole.

In other words, the government can achieve forced exclusion only but never forced inclusion. This is because the condition for forced inclusion is that not a single private property owner in the country wants a particular immigrant nearby. But that is implausible, especially if the immigrant has money to spend.

There would be forced exclusion if even a single person in the country wanted to do business with the immigrant, a likely possibility.

But the government ought not coercively to prevent desired association between people.

There is further an economic reason for free movement of labor: it's part and parcel of free trade and makes everybody richer.

And there is a moral case for free immigration, as well: there is a genuine natural right for people to "walk the earth," to move from community to community, from private property to private property, especially on public roads or by sea or by air. This right again presupposes that a person will be wanted somewhere. But that's highly probable.

Regarding ideology, I'd like to know what values or virtues, in your opinion, constitute the Western civilization (e.g.: Christianity, the scientific method, capitalism), and how each group of immigrants subvert some or all of them.

For example, you'd argue that the West is defined by X, Y, Z, and W (substituting actual words for these variables). The Mexican immigrants would deprive us of X; the French, of Z, and the Chinese, of Y and W. At the same time, the Englishmen would strengthen X and Z.

Be specific. I mean, anybody can make the general point that "we" need to make distinctions. It's much more meritorious to point out what those distinction actually are.

NB: We already distinguish between legal residents and naturalized US citizens. Only the latter and not the former can vote or hold (federal) public office. If you are worried that the "socialist minded" immigrants will elect socialist politicians, then the remedy is simple: toughen up the naturalization requirements.

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