The Tangled Web of Anti-immigration Argumentation

by | Dec 20, 2018

The Tangled Web of Anti-immigration Argumentation

by | Dec 20, 2018

Probably the most often voiced objection to open immigration of all peaceful people is that “you can’t have open immigration and a welfare state.” (Even people as smart as Milton Friedman have made this objection.) But why can’t you?

Well, people claim, if you have a welfare state, the masses of the world will flood into the USA just to collect the welfare state’s “free stuff.” But why let them? Even under currently existing rules, undocumented immigrants are ineligible for nearly all welfare-state benefits. If a flood of immigrants will break the welfare-state bank, why not simply make immigrants ineligible? Case closed.

In that case, the opponents of immigration claim that making the immigrants ineligible for welfare-state benefits won’t work because they will find a way to get the stuff in one way or another. But this objection is, in effect, a declaration that the state is incompetent—which is not exactly a news flash, to be sure. So the anti-immigrationists insist that instead the government must “close the borders.”

Read the rest at independent.org.

About Robert Higgs

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, author or editor of over fourteen Independent books, and Editor at Large of Independent’s quarterly journal The Independent Review.

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