People Leave if They Can, And You’re People

February 2019: I read this essay and added commentary for Episode 284 of the Everything Voluntary podcast.

The criticism spewed at supposedly “illegal” immigrants (they aren’t, and never were) betrays a disgusting level of hypocrisy. The story of humanity is a story of migration, to all corners of the world. What motivates people to leave the place where they were born in search of something better?

Primal humans migrated as food sources dwindled in order to obtain newly replenished food sources and to allow their old grounds to replenish. Eventually they discovered new climates where they faced new challenges. Eventually so they discovered agriculture and became more settled than prior. But migration didn’t cease, it just transformed.

Then people migrated for new reasons, mostly to escape predation by other people, or so it seems to me. When your current environment becomes politically intolerable, you change it any way you can. The simplest and most effective way to change your environment is to migrate to a new one. Sure, you may able to effect change locally and make your environment tolerable, and that’s certainly happened before, but that seems to be the minority tactic in the story of humanity.

Mostly people have just picked up a left when and where the doors were open to them. Migrating when affairs become unbearable is a practice buried deep in our memetics as a people and genetics as a species. The pilgrims left Europe. The Mormon pioneers left the Midwest. Mexicans and Central Americans are leaving their place of birth toward lands of opportunity. Many have been the moments of migration, both individual and en masse. And many have been the moments of blocked migration by despotic and tyrannical political predators.

Two points of correction for those criticizing “illegal” immigrants: 1) you are ignoring the root causes, the predation, often due to the policies and behavior of your government, that are motivating people to migrate from one place to another; and 2) you are ignoring the fact that were you in their shoes, you’d be doing the exact same thing.

“Ye, hypocrites!” said Jesus, whose own people migrated out of Egypt. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Do you qualify as “meek” if you are criticizing at best, violently opposing at worst those who are saving themselves and their families from predation and death?

You’re criticism is bullshit, and you know it!

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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.