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The “Problem” of Immigration

Written by Ben Speers.

Before I was introduced to voluntaryism I believed that illegal immigration was a huge problem for the people of the United States. However, I now understand that all of the alleged problems of illegal immigration disappear when we take government out of the equation.

First, consider the “problem” of illegal aliens living off of socialist entitlement programs and other public benefits. The obvious solution to this is to do away with the “welfare-state”, which will have numerous other benefits to the economy as well. With no more free stuff being handed out (at the public’s expense), there is no more free-rider problem.

Next, consider the “problem” of smuggling. Smuggling only exists in the face of statist prohibitions. Repeal the prohibitions, most notably the War on Drugs, and the smuggling is no longer a problem. Organized crime, the mafia, gangs, etc. would all be marginal or non-existent without the huge profit margins that they make off of prohibition economics.

But what about the “problem” of illegal immigrants changing the political climate in the US? This one is usually cited by people who fear that immigrants will vote for more socialism or attempt to bring Mexican-style politics to the US. Of course, if people were not allowed to force their views onto other people through democracy and electoral politics, then this would be a non-issue. In a voluntaryist state no one can vote other people’s rights away, so we no longer have to worry about preserving this or that political culture through force.

And what of the “problem” of illegals bringing other aspects of their culture to the US? This is perhaps the most irrational fear presented so far. We should celebrate the good things that other cultures have to offer. In a free society, people will learn from and enjoy the culinary, artistic, and philosophical goods of other cultures and toss aside nationalistic and racist fears associated with xenophobia. So what if some people want to speak Spanish? English is not inherently morally superior to all other languages. Shouldn’t people be free to speak whatever language they want and practice whatever culture or blend of cultures they want? Switzerland has gotten along just fine with not two but three national languages for hundreds of years. And with no government we don’t have to worry about what language government forms will be in because there won’t be any forms! And in any case, most immigrants to the US learn to speak English by the second or third native generation.

Also, identity theft at the hands of illegal aliens is no longer an issue under voluntaryism. The main reason why illegals need to steal identity in the first place is because their true identity is not allowed (legal) by the government. Furthermore, with no government registries and citizen-tracking programs (like Social Security numbers) there is less opportunity for identity theft.

Finally, what about undocumented laborers stealing our jobs? First, we need to understand that labor costs (and the cost of living) are artificially high and the wages of illegal immigrants are artificially low due in both cases to government policy. The disparity becomes slimmer or even nonexistent when government goes away. In a truly free market economy it is easy to see that immigrants bring useful skills and productivity to the economy and contribute to the prosperity of the whole.

Voluntaryism allows all human beings to coexist peacefully instead of erecting unnecessary walls–both literal and imaginary–between ourselves and our fellow human beings. One of the great things about voluntaryism is that there are no second-class citizens. In fact, there are no citizens at all, only human beings giving the entire human race the consideration, opportunity, and equality that we all deserve.

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