OpEd: Some Thoughts on Immigration

by Rob Yates
LPNC Communications Director

The immigration debate has reached a fever pitch lately, and promises to be a key issue in the upcoming election on a federal, state, and local level.

Statistics show that immigrants tend to commit slightly less crime than native born Americans, although that research can go several ways depending on who conducts it and how the statistics are interpreted. There have also been some heinous crimes committed by undocumented people in the United States lately, a few of the most high-profile committed by criminals set free by overzealous DAs or judges.

The problem we face when confronting the issue of immigration is the immediate tendency by many having the discussion to group all immigrants together. This sort of collectivist thought is, admittedly, the root of so many of our disagreements and unaddressed social problems, but it is particularly misleading in the immigration debate, as there are as many varied people trying to come into the United States as there are living here. Not all immigrants are violent criminals, nor are all immigrants future studious pillars of society.

None of this should matter, and a free market would provide answers to this question, but we are far from that rational approach. In the meantime, we see how the fear mongering leads to people willing to weaponize the state against peaceful individuals.

Just recently, someone posted on X / Twitter that s/he saw a woman selling flowers on the side of the road and called the police after ascertaining (according to the post) that the woman selling flowers was an "illegal" immigrant (picture above). Someone else followed up in response to the two brilliant tweets (posted below) by the Wake County LP, seeking my thoughts, which I provided online, but wanted to expand on here.

The person who followed up does not appear to be anti-immigrant, but does appear to favor relatively strict border controls, and made an interesting argument about private property rights and how they are analogous to sovereign border rights. Specifically, he noted that it would be a significant violation of one's property rights if someone else planted crops, harvested them, and sold the goods on private property without the permission of the owner of that property.

In my response, I noted that I am for mostly open borders. I believe we first need to eliminate the welfare state entirely, so anyone who comes here must make it on his/her own. I recognize and respect the Radicals' "No Particular Order" position. However, I find it counterproductive and potentially dangerous to grant huge additional incentives, in the form of the welfare state, for people to immigrate beyond the opportunity that our country provides (or at least used to provide before the last two jackasses in office sent us into a hyperinflationary economic environment). The backlash from significantly open border policies in conjunction with the enticement of American welfare, I think, would do long-lasting harm to the push to make peaceful exchange between all willing parties the norm. 

Further, it's ridiculous to take money from people like you and me, who are working hard to earn it and suffering from the economic malfeasance of the last 20 (well, really the last 111) years, and give it to people for simply coming here. That's theft, and those politicians should be in jail. We need to remove those incentives so that all immigrants, and everyone else, are operating from a roughly level playing field.

At that point, I support the "Ellis Island" solution. Let's know who's coming in and work to keep out the bad people. I believe that one of the few proper roles of the state is to protect the borders from aggressors and malign actors. Beyond that, if I, for example, want to invite someone to come stay at my house from another country, the government should have virtually zero insight or input into that decision (though they know all about it now because traitor Republicans and traitor Democrats like Greg Murphy and Jeff Jackson - there's no difference between the two, it's time to #FiretheUniparty - voted for warrantless spying in FISA 702).

Certainly, it would be a gross violation of my property rights for someone else to plant crops on my land without my permission. Further, I respect and agree with - to an extent - the argument about sovereign borders as an analogy. But my property, with defined borders and clear ownership, should not change without voluntary exchange for me to either gain more property or grant someone else ownership (though, as an aside, we need to completely eliminate property tax and eminent domain, and actually enforce the 4th amendment against cops to make this a reality).

On the flipside, who "owns" the territory inside a sovereign border changes depending on how you look at it, and there are levels of implied ownership. Do you "own" the United States if you're a citizen? What if you aren't, but you're here "legally" and you pay taxes? What if you aren't "legal" but you pay taxes? What if you are an expat, but still a tax-paying citizen?

The issue is complicated. There's a line somewhere, and the left has crossed it in what I see as a virtue signal to their poorly informed "anti-colonizer" contingent. Leftist judges and prosecutors letting violent criminals walk is abhorrent, and another argument for getting rid of qualified immunity.

But the right has crossed its own Rubicon when it comes to aggressive anti-immigrant sentiment and violent reactions to peaceful people. I mean, seriously, going after a peaceful person for selling flowers? Calling the cops on that person... That action implies that the state is morally justified to exert its monopoly on violence over peaceful, voluntary commerce. If that person is existing without hurting anyone or taking their stuff, it's no one else's concern what that person is doing. The person selling flowers wasn't damaging any property. And if I choose to spend my money in a voluntary exchange for those flowers, that's also no one else's concern.

The person who called the cops in this case had the same energy as people who call the cops on kids selling lemonade. But I honestly don't blame this person, Karen-ish behavior and all. I blame a political environment that embraces fear-mongering and hatred, and seeks to turn us against each other and place our reliance on a political class that promises to protect us from the horrors of immigrants, or gays, or guns, or Christians, or whatever boogeyman has been selected to drive fear and lead the country to abandon the principles of Liberty and embrace the violence of the state.

We are a nation of immigrants. There are good among us, and there are those who commit evil, just as is the case with every group of humans. Instead of turning our fear and violence against people who mostly come to the United States seeking the same promise and opportunity that we enjoy, let's look to the political class that takes away this promise with every move they make.

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