The 'Illegal Immigration' Issue Is Giving Me a Headache

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That "illegal
immigration" issue is back, and it's giving me a headache.
It is unfortunate that America has devolved since her Founding,
one based on the ideas of private property and freedom of association
and contract. In just over 200 years, the love of freedom has transformed
into the love of the State
(or "government"). And Americans have lost their sense
of self-preservation, allowing those who do not value freedom to
take over the country. It is no wonder that the people of Arizona
can't protect themselves from intruders and invaders. Of course,
the immoral, illogical "War
on Drugs
" hasn't helped. There are many differing views
from libertarians in particular on this issue, and I am torn between
the civil liberties and property rights aspects, which simultaneously
conflict with and compliment each other.

The Future
of Freedom Foundation's Jacob Hornberger expresses here
and here what
I think is a result of Americans' dependence on the State to protect
the borders, in which the State has become the actual violator:

What lots
of Americans don't realize is that the new Arizona immigration
law simply extends to the entire state the requirement that darker-skinned,
poorer-looking Americans along the border have had to live with
for decades u2014 carrying their papers, just like people in totalitarian
countries have to do…

one of the great features of American life has been the unrestricted
right of people to travel, trade, and immigrate freely between
the respective cities and states of our nation. Internal passport
checks are a dark blot on this great tradition. Like the Soviet
Union itself, they should be dismantled and tossed into the dustbin
of history.

I do not disagree
that people have a right of freedom of movement. That is why I oppose
the idea of a "driver's license," especially distributed
by the State (as opposed to owners of private or privatized roads).
But freedom of movement does not include a right of movement on
or through private property.

In a 2005 article
for LRC, Stephan Kinsella gave
some suggestions
on the immigration debate, in the context of
usage rules of public property:

We can allow
that a road, for example, is actually, or legally, owned by the
state, while also recognizing that the “real” owners are the taxpayers
or previous expropriated owners of the land who are entitled to
it. This poses no conceptual problem: there is no conflict between
the proposition that the taxpayers have a moral or natural right
to the land, i.e. they should have the (legal) right to
control it; and the assertion that the state has the actual positive
or legal right to control the land. The state is the legal owner;
but this legal ownership is unjustified, because it amounts to
continuing trespass by the state against property “really” owned
(normatively or morally) by certain victims of the state (e.g.,
taxpayers or the resource’s previous owners)….

…. If the
feds adopted a rule that only citizens and certain invited outsiders
are permitted to use these resources, this would in effect radically
restrict immigration…. So merely prohibiting non-citizens from
using public property would be one means of establishing de
facto immigration restrictions. It need not literally prohibit
private property owners from having illegal immigrants on their
property. It need only prevent them from using the roads or ports
— which it owns.

And Hans-Hermann
Hoppe wrote for LRC about "free
immigration and forced integration
," and a society that

…the freedom
of many independent private property owners to admit or exclude
others from their own property in accordance with their own unrestricted
or restricted property titles. Admission to some territories might
be easy, while to others it might be nearly impossible. In any
case, however, admission to the property of the admitting person
does not imply a “freedom to move around,” unless other property
owners consent to such movements. There will be as much immigration
or non-immigration, inclusivity or exclusivity, desegregation
or segregation, non-discrimination or discrimination based on
racial, ethnic, linguistic, religious, cultural or whatever other
grounds as individual owners or associations of individual owners

However, the
problem we have now is a result of the American Founders having
created the institution of compulsory government, with a monopoly
of territorial protection and immigration administration. As Hoppe

…the decision
as to whether or not a person should be admitted no longer rests
with private property owners or associations of such owners but
with the government as the ultimate sovereign of all domestic
residents and the ultimate super-owner of all their properties.

The State's
being an implied "owner" of all the territories has diminished
private property rights, and the combination of the State's monopoly
of overseeing
and the State's monopoly of territorial protection
has turned immigration into invasion. As we have witnessed these
last 20 years, the centralized protection monopolists grandiosely
expand their power to foreign lands and abandon their responsibilities
at home. But as I've noted
in the past
, people of a given territory have a God-given right
to defend and protect their territory, and not be forced to be dependent
on such a centralized authority/bureaucracy/police force for their
protection, as well as for justice. In his article, Private
Law Society
, Hoppe notes,

…the government
is the ultimate judge in every case of conflict, including conflicts
involving itself. Consequently, instead of merely preventing and
resolving conflict, a monopolist of ultimate decision-making will
also provoke conflict in order to settle it to his own
advantage. That is, if one can only appeal to government for justice,
justice will be perverted in the favor of government, constitutions
and supreme courts notwithstanding.

For example,
leaving the immigration issue aside for a moment, in the context
of the administration of justice, LRC contributor William Anderson
has been blogging
the trial of a teacher accused of child molestation, in which
the trial as laden with prosecutorial misconduct and
a judge who continually overrules objections by the defense. It
sounds like the teacher is being
, which is not atypical when an institution — the State
— is given a monopoly of final judicial decision-making. In contrast,
if the administration of justice, as well as territorial protection,
were privatized and competing agencies allowed to operate, Hoppe

among insurers, police, and arbitrators for paying clients would
bring about a tendency toward a continuous fall in the price of
protection (per insured value), thus rendering protection more
affordable…. in a system of freely competing protection agencies
all arbitrariness of allocation (all over- and underproduction)
would vanish. Protection would be accorded the relative importance
that it has in the eyes of voluntarily paying consumers, and no
person, group, or region would receive protection at the expense
of any other one, but each would receive protection in accordance
with its payments…

…In distinct
contrast, as compulsory monopolists states do not indemnify victims,
and because they can resort to taxation as a source of funding,
they have little or no incentive to prevent crime or to recover
loot and capture criminals…

… private
law societies are characterized by an unrestricted right to self-defense
and hence by widespread private gun and weapon ownership. This
tendency is further strengthened by the important role of insurance
companies in such societies. All states attempt to disarm their
subject population…. If a freely financed insurance company
were to demand as a prerequisite of protection that potential
clients hand over all means of self-defense, it would immediately
arouse the utmost suspicion as to their true motives, and they
would quickly go bankrupt. In their own best interest, insurance
companies would reward armed clients, in particular those able
to certify some level of training in the handling of arms, charging
them lower premiums reflecting the lower risk that they represent.
Just as insurers charge less if home owners have an alarm system
or a safe installed, so would a trained gun owner represent a
lower insurance risk.

In the context
of immigration, property, and border security, private property
owners would exercise their right to defend and protect their lives
and property, if not interfered with by the State. Would-be violent
criminals from across the border could be warned (with signs, in
Spanish) that their trespassing and other intrusions will be met
with whatever weapons property owners have available. The would-be
intruder from south-of-the-border would have a choice: "Hmmm,
do I want to cross the border onto Gringo's land and get my head
blown off? Or should I choose to avoid getting my head blown off
and not cross the border?"

The outsiders
will be expected to take responsibility for the consequences of
their invasive actions.

the agents of the State's government apparatus have proven themselves
incapable of handling such protection tasks, and it is they who,
when pressured, lose control and end up violating the rights of
their own protection "clients."

While some
people might consider such a society's exercise of self-protection
a kind of "vigilantism," the property owners who harm
others by behaving over-zealously and irresponsibly can be exiled
to an island along with other dangerous people.

Finally, the
"War on Drugs," 1920s Prohibition on steroids, is what
propels the border states' illegal immigration problem and violence.
Drug prohibition causes a black market, drug cartels, traffickers,
street pushers and addicts. Is it possible that the deaths, violence
and destruction caused by the drug traffickers, street pushers and
addicts may be more than the deaths or injuries caused by actual
drug usage?

That our modern
society hasn't learned from 1920s
is giving me a headache. Do senators and congressmen
actually believe that the State can save people from their own self-destructive
behaviors? Or perhaps their fears of drug mobsters and the politicians'
own political parties losing votes in elections are the real motivations
behind not ending the "War on Drugs."

Lazarowitz [send him mail]
is a commentator and cartoonist at

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