Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Liberty For All Means Immigrants Too

It is disappointing to see people express concern for liberty while advocating government restrictions on the liberty of immigrants. Immigrants should not be seen as a threat to liberty, but as potential allies in the fight for liberty.

Liberty means nothing if the freedom of any group is placed above individual liberty. And people do not stop being individuals if they are born in a different country. All individuals have the right to claim the fullest liberty to do as they will, provided they do not invade the liberty of others. Moving to a different part of the world and trying to improve one’s life — with or without permission from a government — does not violate anyone’s liberty.

National borders are invasive of liberty. Most, including the US-Mexico border, were drawn by conquest at the orders of elitists in capitals. Borders designate which politicians are to control which people. They invade the lives of individuals who want to interact with people from the other side or to escape the conditions that governments have inflicted on people within certain boundaries.

The reality of border enforcement is brutal and draconian. Patrols at the safest crossings send immigrants into the most dangerous desert areas. Many die slowly, and others trespass desperately. A series of secret prisons, some in warehouses not designed for long-term confinement, form a modern American gulag system (see “America’s Secret ICE Castles,” a Nation report by Jacqueline Stevens). New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee (nj-civilrights.org) has documented much evidence of widespread, pervasive abuse of immigration detainees. One of the many who died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention was Jason Ng. A father of two who was arrested only for immigration paperwork violations compounded by bureaucratic error, Ng died after being refused medical treatment.

Studies suggest that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than natives. But whatever the case, punishing people for crimes that other individuals have committed is fundamentally unjust. And crime is incentivized by any form of prohibition, including the War on Drugs, and by locking people out of the mainstream by assigning them the status of “illegal” humans.

Immigrants do not generally take advantage of the US welfare system any more so than natives do. In the article “Immigration: An Open or Closed Door,” the International Society for Individual Liberty notes that immigrants generally pay much in taxes and receive little benefits from services. And if they did pay less in taxes, that just means the monster state gets less to use to harm people.

Immigrants do not take jobs from natives. Society does not contain a fixed number of jobs or a fixed amount of wealth. Jobs are created when there is a demand that needs to be filled, and value is created from production and trade — by the interactions of numerous individuals. Politicians, not workers, make the economy more rigid and less productive. They stunt economic growth through numerous means including land use regulations, restrictions that hamper starting businesses, corporate welfare, inflation, and military-industrial-complex waste.

And nobody has a higher claim to a job because of national or ethnic status. Supporting nationalist ideas of privilege means standing with the politicians who are making things worse, instead of with people who are trying to get by. Those concerned about job loss and wage reduction should stand with immigrants for higher wages and better conditions instead of deepening the divisions that can be used against workers.

Any aspect of culture that cannot survive without being enforced by government agencies is unfit to exist. English has been around long enough and is spoken in enough places that it can easily continue to be a language of communication between multiple ethnic groups. And there is nothing wrong with teaching English to immigrants or knowing other languages. What business is it of anyone else’s if some people want to talk to each other differently? Culture is enhanced by interaction. If it is locked in place by isolation it is more likely to stagnate than strengthen.

Immigrants, including illegal immigrants, have good reason to be against the government and for true liberty. Widespread cooperation among immigrant and native freedom-lovers will make our would-be masters tremble at the sound of advancing liberty.