At the monthly meeting of the Greene County Libertarians we had a stimulating discussion on strategies for newly-elected Springfield Councilman Doug Burlison's appearance at an upcoming meeting of the "racists aren't welcome" Minutemen. (I linked to Doug's campaign website. Now we need www.CouncilmanBurlison.com.)
Doug made a great point about what rights are possessed by anyone who has human DNA. Those rights include the right to travel, visit, or immigrate. On the other side of the border, those rights include the right to hire the worker with the lowest bid for labor costs. But Doug's a politician now, so he has to be careful not to alienate voters with a pure libertarian position on why all immigration laws should be abolished. He should follow the strategy on my website:
On that page I suggested three topics to explain the immigration issue to people like the Minutemen. Good immigration policy, I said, will:
Preserve the American Identity
Protect American Sovereignty
Promote the American Economy
I'm convinced these issues can only be sorted out through vigorous debate. Dialogue works better than monologue. It also requires a good deal of patient study.
Those who claim that an "open borders" policy (abolition of immigration laws) would destroy American sovereignty need to become aware of the fact that American sovereign is already dead meat, and giving the butcher power to enforce existing immigration laws will only hasten the rotting of the corpse. What we need is not a strong government to protect us from immigrants we don't like, but the freedom to do so ourselves. Giving Washington D.C. more power only makes us more powerless. Bush claims on one day to want to strengthen the borders, and the next day he's proposing amnesty. (He's actually consistent once you realize that his agenda is not your agenda.) The best way to protect the values of liberty and the Constitution is to work for the abolition of U.S. federal sovereignty:
This is the most effective way to prevent the Bush-Clinton regime from abolishing what's left of the Constitution and replacing it with a regional North American Union:
Will open borders lead to a flood of immigrants and the destruction of our economy? Not if the government welfare system is abolished first. If that would happen, a flood of immigrants and the proliferation of free trade (or "globalization") would drive our standard of living to unimaginable heights. The proof is in the work of Pepperdine Economics Professor George Reisman as well as other free market economists. I have cited Reisman's work profusely on my campaign website -- which has a 10-part series on immigration -- as well as on a new website I'm working on:
Unfortunately, Doug is only going to have a few minutes to completely re-educate the Minutemen -- a daunting task. Many of them believe that they will lose their jobs if uneducated immigrants are allowed to compete with them. Friend, if your job can be done by an uneducated peasant from Mexico, then you need to sharpen your job skills. Failure to do so, and success in preventing your boss from hiring an immigrant, means forcing me and the rest of America to pay too much for your services. You're increasing our costs and that hurts our economy.
Immigration is a huge issue. It requires at least an hour to study the basic economic issues involved, and several minutes to sort out the reason why the immigration rhetoric of the Bush Administration is so deceptive.