What is the Correct Libertarian Position on Open Borders? That of Hoppe or Block?

Dear Walter:

What is your opinion of this essay by Jeff Deist; it mentions you and Hans Hoppe as taking incompatible positions on immigration:

Deist, Jeff. 2016. “Market Borders, not Open Borders.” December 20;


Deist writes as follows:

“Immigration and borders have been debated at length, and vociferously, by libertarians. Probably no better examples exist than several exchanges by open borders advocate Walter Block and restricted immigration advocate Hans Hermann Hoppe.  There is little to say about the subject that is novel or more insightful than what Block and Hoppe already have provided. That said, certain points bear repeating or elaboration…”

Thanks, X

Dear X:

To me, this issue is clear: with open borders, and full private property rights over every square inch of land, we can have our cake and eat it too: we can be true to the NAP, and, also, be safe from the problems now besetting Germany, mentioned by Deist. With Hans’ view, we can only have the latter.

Answer me this: A Martian, or an African, or a Pakistani, descends into the middle of Alaska, or Wyoming in the Rockies, and starts to homestead virgin territory (claimed by the BLM). Did he thereby violate the NAP, the foundation of our libertarian philosophy? Of course not. So Hans’ soldiers, who will stop this illegal immigrant, are acting incompatibly with the NAP, I claim.

What about immigrants from Storkovia? The logical implication of Hans’ view is that you’ll need a permit to give birth to a baby.

I don’t see how you can take a neutral view on this. It seems to me I am entirely in the right here, and Hans and Murray entirely in the wrong. I’d be happy to debate Hans, or anyone else, on this matter, either at the AERC or the MU or at a Mises Circle; I’ll betcha this would perk up our students and general audience.

Here are my pubs on this matter, which I think are definitive:

Block, 1983A, 1983B, 1988, 1990, 1998, 2004, 2011A, 2011B, 2013, 2016A, 2016B; Block and Callahan, 2003; Gregory and Block, 2007;

Block, Walter E. 1983A. “How immigrants CREATE jobs,” North Shore News, p. A6, January 30; http://tinyurl.com/2xklvn

Block, Walter E. 1983B. “Protect Canadian Jobs From Immigrants?” Dollars and Sense. February 7; reprinted in Block, Walter E. 2008. Labor Economics from a Free Market Perspective: Employing the Unemployable.  London, UK: World Scientific Publishing; http://www.amazon.ca/Labor-Economics-Free-Market Perspective/dp/9812705686/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336603241&sr=1-7;

Available for free here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B00FX9dsY4zJNXU5SmVKYVBQOWs/edit?usp=sharing;


Block, Walter E. 1988. Dollars and Sense: “Migration patterns tell real story.” January 12;

Block, Walter E. 1990.  “Immigration,” Fraser Forum, January, pp. 22-23.

Block, Walter E. 1998. “A Libertarian Case for Free Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, summer, pp. 167-186; http://www.mises.org/journals/jls/13_2/13_2_4.pdf

Block, Walter E., 2004. “The State Was a Mistake.” Book review of Hoppe, Han-Hermann, Democracy, The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order, 2001May 25. http://www.mises.org/fullstory.asp?control=1522

Block, Walter E. 2011A. “Hoppe, Kinsella and Rothbard II on Immigration: A Critique.” Journal of Libertarian Studies; Vol. 22, pp. 593–623; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_29.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2011B. “Rejoinder to Hoppe on Immigration,” Journal of Libertarian Studies Vol. 22: pp. 771–792; http://mises.org/journals/jls/22_1/22_1_38.pdf

Block, Walter E. 2013. “Rejoinder to Todea on the ‘Open’ Contract of Immigration.” The Scientific Journal of Humanistic Studies, Vol. 8, No. 5, March, pp. 52-55

Block, Walter E. 2015. “On immigration.” December 21;


Block, Walter E. 2016A. “Contra Hoppe and Brat on immigration.” Management Education Science Technology journal, Vol 4, No. 1, pp. 1-10; http://mest.meste.org/MEST_1_2016/Sadrzaj_eng.html; http://mest.meste.org/MEST_1_2016/7_01.pdf; (1333)

Block, Walter E. 2016B. “A response to the libertarian critics of open-borders libertarianism,” Lincoln Memorial University Law Review; Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 142-165; +http://digitalcommons.lmunet.edu/lmulrev/vol4/iss1/6/;


Block, Walter E. and Gene Callahan. 2003. “Is There a Right to Immigration? A Libertarian Perspective,” Human Rights Review. Vol. 5, No. 1, October-December, pp. 46-71; http://www.walterblock.com/publications/block-callahan_right-immigrate-2003.pdf

Gregory, Anthony and Walter E. Block. 2007. “On Immigration: Reply to Hoppe.” Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. 21, No. 3, Fall, pp. 25-42; http://mises.org/journals/jls/21_3/21_3_2.pdf; http://www.academia.edu/1360109/On_Immigration_Reply_to_Hoppe

Best regards,



5:24 pm on March 2, 2019

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