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Libertarianism and Immigration Enforcement

by | Feb 23, 2017

Libertarianism and Immigration Enforcement

by | Feb 23, 2017

For the past several years, there has been a running debate within the libertarian movement between libertarians who favor government immigration controls and those who favor open borders.

As an advocate of open borders, I have never been able to figure out how those libertarians who favor government-controlled borders are able to reconcile their position with the libertarian non-aggression principle, which condemns the initiation of force against others and holds that people should be free to do whatever they want so long as their conduct is peaceful.

I have also been unable to understand how the government-controlled-borders libertarians reconcile their position with the concepts of natural, God-given rights, private property, free markets, and limited government, all of which are bedrock political and economic principles of libertarianism. (My inability to understand the pro-government-controlled-borders position is even more pronounced with respect to those libertarians who favor no government at all.)

Under libertarian principles, I have the fundamental right to do whatever I want with my own money. That’s because it’s my money — my private property. I have the right to spend, invest, donate, or hoard it, or whatever. If I use my money to open a business, it’s my business. It is privately owned, by me. Under the non-aggression principle, I have the right to use my money to hire whoever I want, including someone from another country. No one, including any American citizen, has a right to force me to hire him. Again, that’s because it’s my money — my private property. I have the right to do anything I want with it.

What the government-controlled-border libertarian says is: Hornberger doesn’t have the right to hire whomever he wants, if his employee has not been approved by the government.

Read the rest at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

About Jacob Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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