A Libertarian Theory of Immigration
Journal of Libertarian Studies: An Interdisciplinary Review, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 167-186, Summer 1998
Posted: 11 Sep 2000
Libertarianism is the view that all behavior should be allowed, with the one exception that threatened or actual violence against a person or his legitimately owned property should be proscribed. So, is immigration per se an invasive act? Of course not. The claims that immigrants are like invaders in that they can vote, go on welfare, commit crimes, take away jobs from citizens, are either factually incorrect, or can be countered by elimating the offending institutions (e.g., welfare). If these arguments were correct, moreover, they would mitigate against giving birth to babies, for, in a dozen or two dozen years, newborns can be "guilty" of all charges now made against immigrants. This being the case, the libertarian view on immigration, as it is on free trade and the international movement of goods, is one of laissez faire.
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