Who Wouldn’t Like A Few More Kiwis?

Dave Killion — April 28, 2013

The Atlantic┬áhas an article on open borders┬áthat is getting a lot of attention in the libertarian community –

“What if there was a program that would cost nothing, improve the lives of millions of people from poorer nations, and double world GDP? At least one economist says that increased mobility of people is by far the biggest missed opportunity in development. And an informally aligned group of advocates is doing its best to make the world aware of the “open borders” movement, which suggests that individuals should be able to move between countries at will.”

Like abortion, immigration is an area where libertarians are frequently at odds with one another, one concern being the impact of allowing immigration of people who are very likely to be anti-libertarian. In the early days of my libertarian awakening, I felt that some government restrictions were necessary and appropriate, but my eldest son (whose biases had not been so deeply entrenched as my own) gave me an intellectual backhand by asking, “Where, in libertarianism, do you find any defence of the notion that you have the right to initiate violence against peaceful persons crossing some arbitrary and imaginary line?” In that Zen-like moment, I attained enlightenment, and have been an open-borders man ever since.

As such, I advocate for the immediate and total elimination of all state restrictions on immigration and emigration. Knowing that that is unlikely, I would be happy to see someone in Canada pushing for an international treaty allowing open borders between countries. For reasons I’ve discussed previously, I think such an arrangement between the U.S. and Canada might meet too much resistance, but if Albertans don’t bar Newfoundlanders, and Quebecers don’t bar British Columbians, then what objection could Canadians have to any law-abiding New Zealanders? This is doable, and I’d be happy to see it done.

 

Comments

Mindy Best says

There’s been a lot of discussion amongst libertarians and conservatives about immigration. I would like to offer my views. Morally, I am opposed to any law that restricts anyone’s freedom to migrate. At the same time, I support the rights of private property owners to restrict anybody from coming onto their property for any reason. However, I will try to restrict my comments to Constitutional parameters.

— April 28, 2013

Ashley says

“one concern being the impact of allowing immigration of people who are very likely to be anti-libertarian.”

This reads as defeatist. Through promotion, networking you can influence who comes. And through socializing and trade of goods, services and information your can influence who stays.

The same tools can be used to create a libertarian or non-libertarian society.

— April 29, 2013

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