Immigration, Freedom, and the Constitution

8 Pages Posted: 16 May 2017

See all articles by Ilya Somin

Ilya Somin

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School

Date Written: May 15, 2017


In recent years, many conservatives have come to favor a highly restrictionist approach to immigration policy. But that position is in conflict with their own professed commitment to principles such as free markets, liberty, colorblindness, and enforcing constitutional limits on the power of the federal government. These values ultimately all support a strong presumption in favor of free migration.

Keywords: Immigration, Commerce Clause, Discrimination, Naturalization Clause, Naturalization, Liberty, Conservatism, Color-Blindness, Free Markets, Welfare State

JEL Classification: K37

Suggested Citation

Somin, Ilya, Immigration, Freedom, and the Constitution (May 15, 2017). Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 40, No. 1, 2017 (Based on a speech given at The Federalist Society National Student Symposium, 2016), George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 17-25, Available at SSRN: or

Ilya Somin (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-8069 (Phone)
703-993-8124 (Fax)


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