A Libertarian Defense of the AZ Immigration Bill

Arizona’s new immigration law has a lot of enemies.  Of course there are the usual partisans of the left who are either ideologically opposed to enforcing our national sovereignty or see the Latino community as their only hope to stave off a resurgent GOP.  But aside from the usual suspects, libertarians are also vocal critics of the bill.

John Adler rounded up a couple of these voices for a post at the Volokh Conspiracy. He first cites Matt Welch of Reason Magazine:

I have sympathy for people who are freaked out by desperate immigrants and ruthless smugglers trampling over their property in southern Arizona, and as I’ve said elsewhere, us pro-immigrant types too easily skate over rule-of-law objections. Federal immigration policy is a failure, and poses real public policy challenges that no amount of righteous indignation and/or handwaving makes disappear.

But anti-illegal immigration crackdowns almost always end up restricting freedom for the rest of us. And giving cops more power is almost always felt more on the receiving end by people–including people just as law-abiding as you and I–who don’t look like the norm. Remember, the stated goal of the new law is “to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.” Those who think you can surgically accomplish “attrition” without inflaming and driving out legal residents, too, are kidding themselves.

John then notes that Glen Reynolds of Instapundit has also hopped on board

This is a good argument for focusing border security at . . . the border, where it doesn’t impact ordinary citizens day-to-day. Shifting from border security to internal security is both an admission of failure at the borders, and a much more far-reaching and intrusive approach.

And finally John himself chimes in:

It’s certainly true that some amount of internal enforcement is necessary, but internal enforcement should not be our primary emphasis.  I also believe that if legal immigration were easier, there would be less incentive for otherwise law-abiding aliens to enter the country illegally.  I believe border security is important, but I also believe the country should be more welcoming to those who wish to come here to work or study.

There are two claims being made.  The first is pragmatic: this is an ineffectual means to stemming illegal immigration.  The second is philosophical: allowing law enforcement officers to check immigration status is a big-government encroachment of civil liberties.  Based solely on the philosophical objection it is clear that libertarians should oppose this bill.

Or is it?

For a nation that was founded in the philosophy of classical liberalism, libertarians (the modern-day equivalent of classical liberals) have grown too accustomed to living at the margins of American politics. Perhaps libertarians have simply stopped caring about political influence while much of the conservative vs. liberal battle has been reduced to debates about social policy.  And yet the Tea Party movement that is emboldening the GOP, threatening Democratic supremacy, and enlivening the conservative movement in America is essentially a libertarian phenomena.

The goals of the Tea Party are to reimpose traditional limits on government authority, stop the growth of government spending, and reduce the burden of public debt we are leaving to our children.  The central message of the Tea Party movement is even simpler: the government works for us.

The truly bizarre thing about American politics today is that we have a federal government that wants to encroach into all aspects of our lives, and yet consistently fails to live up to its few genuinely constitutional responsibilities.  The progressive elites want to use government to dictate everything from the food we eat to the light bulbs we use in our homes to our thermostat levels to the healthcare we receive.  And yet – when it comes to healthcare – the recent bill failed to regulate interstate commerce by mandating that states allow interstate purchase of insurance policies.  The commerce clause is one of the most frequently abused parts of the Constitution, and yet this would have been one of the rare legitimate applications of that clause.  So why was it left out?

The same idea applies to our borders.  It’s unquestionably the responsibility of the federal government, and yet – going back through Republican and Democratic administrations – the feds seem to be too busy interfering with how American citizens lead their lives to bother doing their job at our nation’s borders.

It’s in the interests of libertarians – and the whole country – to change this pattern.  The old libertarian approaches aren’t working.  In the Reagan era libertarians believed that a simple way to limit the size of government was to keep government revenue low.  The theory was that government would be limited to only spending the revenue plus some practically limited level of debt.  It didn’t work.

As Steve Chapman describes in the Washington Examiner this “starve the beast” approach doesn’t work. What really happens when you limit government revenue without directly limiting government expenditures is that the beast merely changes its diet.  Instead of living off of government revenue, the government switches to debt.  This is effectively a form of subsidy in which future generations subsidize current consumption of government goods.  And as basic economics will tell you: once you subsidize something it is consumed at above the equilibrium rate.  With China looking for a place to store their billions of dollars, we’ve got a perfect storm of practically unlimited government spending financed by astronomical levels of debt.

The indirect approach has failed.

That’s why this libertarian supports Arizona’s bill.  I’m not happy with it as an ending point, but I view it as a valuable transition stage. I’m not comfortable with living in a country where I have to carry around proof of citizenship, even if my driver’s license counts and I carry that pretty much everywhere as a matter of course. I’m not comfortable with it because I want to live in a country with substantially more practical civil liberty than the one I live in today, not less.

But I realize that Arizona’s immigration bill is a necessary step to getting to that world.  It is a clarion call to remind the people, the states, and the federal government what their proper rights and duties are.  Since the indirect approach has failed, we need to build a popular consensus to directly limit government spending, and that requires elevating this issue significantly in the national consciousness.  This law  - and the debate surrounding it – does that.  It builds on the Tea Party’s message that the government works for us.  That means we want less legislation about how much sodium goes in our food and more dedication to border protection.

Then there is the central fact that rule of law is necessary in creating a free society.  If we didn’t appreciate the role of law and order in protecting civil liberties, we’d be anarchists.  A free society can not exist in a world where the law of the land is routinely flaunted and the responsible government authority merely shrugs.  A free society depends on a limited government that proactively fulfills the few responsibilities it does have, and the Arizona bill is nothing short of the people of Arizona twisting the arm of the federal government to get it to live up to its responsibilities.

I understand and share libertarian qualms with Arizona’s immigration bill, but given the safeguards in place to keep the law within Constitutional bounds, I feel it’s a necessary evil to bring about a great good.  It’s time for libertarians to stop being satisfied with skulking about the margins of American politics and reassert the central role of classical liberal/libertarian philosophy in American government.  Both aspects are necessary: the limits on government power overall, and proactive administration within those limits.

This law will help us get there.



  1. Jeff Schreiber says:

    “The truly bizarre thing about American politics today is that we have a federal government that wants to encroach into all aspects of our lives, and yet consistently fails to live up to its few genuinely constitutional responsibilities.”

    Brilliant. Good grief, the whole thing is good.


  2. steve crown says:

    Robert, you should not feel less free by having to produce your driver’s license on a traffic stop. If the officer issued you a citation and hadn’t verified to whom the citation was issued, the citation cannot be enforced, if questioned.

  3. Jenny Craig says:

    7 days into my Mexican-food boycott.

  4. 2012 says:

    In that photo, funny how that argument doesn’t work with the Israelis and Palestinians. Does it not seem to everybody this grand experiment called humanity is near its end? God help us. And you atheists… it sucks to be you.

  5. Steve says:

    Here is a website with a list of reasons why the Arizona law is good and the federal government should be doing one of the few things the constitution says it should.


    I am still heartbroken by reading this:

    “Frankie, held her little boy as he died. “He had blood coming out his ears. Eyes still open. He didn’t have time to blink or hurt…and…it was over, like, that fast…” (read it here: http://www.VOIAC.org/victims.php?id=562)

    Imagine that is you. Your child killed by an illegal in front of your house. Totally preventable. There are so many other stories. I had to stop reading. I just kept seeing my wife and children and thinking about the horror it would be to go through something like this.

  6. Boston Blackie says:

    Random thoughts-
    Cinco de Mayo is also Karl Marx’s birthday, no wonder it is a holiday in San Francisco.
    The Boston City Council passed a resolution not to do business with companies from Arizona. When questioned by reporters, they said they would no longer drink Arizona Iced Tea. Like the immigration bill in AZ, I guess they never read the label to see it is from New York.

  7. Clean House says:

    “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts,
    not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the
    Constitution” – Abraham Lincoln

  8. Gail B. says:

    This is another wonderful piece by Robert!

    And, I clicked over to American Thinker and read “Obama/Media vs. Arizona/America” by Lloyd Marcus. There is a link to a video of the immigration protest in Atlanta. It’s worth your while to check it out, too. Folks, America is in deep doo!

  9. Scriv says:

    As always, thank you for some great insight Robert. I look forward to your contributions at Americas Right, just wish you had the time to post more. Libertarians have been viewed as a fringe party for some time since they were established in 1971. Unfortunately the message was placed aside with that of the likes of the Green Party and other activist parties in the court of public opinion. Our only hope is a reformed Republican party, as you and Jeff have eloquently stated in past contributions here at Americas Right. I have taken a precinct committeeman appointment and have encouraged other likeminded individuals to do the same. Few people know that this relatively unknown position basically constitutes the face of the entire GOP by voting in party officials. That is the only way we can get genuine candidates that are in the game to fight for the freedoms that the Constitution and the public demands. I was shocked to see how many of these positions were open in my county, and who knows how many nationwide. Plus it gives me a chance to get out in the community and spread the word to the apathetic that it’s time to reclaim our country. Sorry to go a little off topic there, but I just wanted to say thanks for the thoughtful article, and keep fighting the good fight.

  10. Bull says:

    >>”David LaBonte”
    >>My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to “print” it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined. Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:
    Dear Editor:
    So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren’t being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.
    Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today’s American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed
    their names to blend in with their new home. They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany , Italy , France and Japan . None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan . They were defending the United States of America as one people.
    When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up
    another country’s flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl. And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I’m sorry, that’s not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900′s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags. And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty , it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn’t start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.
    >> (signed)
    >> Rosemary LaBonte
    >> I sincerely hope this letter gets read by millions of people all across the nation!!

  11. Gail B. says:

    Pennsylvania is working towards its own legislation which is based on the Arizona law because of the massive problem that Pennsylvania has with illegal aliens, even though it’s not a border state.

    It appears that individual states are going the route of telling the federal government, “Get out of our way. If you won’t keep the American citizens in our states safe, as spelled out in our Constitution under Article IV, Section 4, we’ll do it ourselves!”

    Article IV, Section 4 – Republican Government:

    “The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion, and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

  12. Calvin Culus says:

    You might think that you’re a libertarian, but you’re just a delusional fool with a claim. Unfortunately you’re too stupid to realize, that when the ends justify the means, you will *always* and *only* get the means until the end of time.

  13. Nick says:

    How does turning over hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants for deportation limit the costs of government? Moreover, without federal border controls, little is stopping illegal immigrants from returning, thus making the cost of deportation even more of a waste of time and money. Also, if we did not have such an impenetrable legal immigration structure, where, say, poor Mexicans are forced to prove that they have at least $5000 in a bank account to come here (thus making it virtually impossible for non-sponsored migrant workers to immigrate legally) border hopping would be a practice only attempted by real criminals. Illegal immigration is a victimless crime, thus real libertarians should not be strongly opposed to the practice any more than we are to any other harmless practices currently occuring in black markets. The people murdered by illegal immigrants or having their property rights violated are the victims of individual criminals – not of the act of illegal immigration. Arizona’s law does nothing to solve the problem – it simply pushes illegals into other states not willing to racially profile brown-skinned people.

  14. CJ Mora says:

    While I agree that illegal immigrants should be removed from our country at every avilable opportunity, I do not agree with the broad wording in this bill. Suspicion of a crime is not due process, and giving police authority to demand “Show me your papers” for simple suspicion is only a step or two away from racial purity and Big Brother government. How is this any different from a national ID program? The ability to sue law enforcement officers for not enforcing this law will result in dilution of the “reasonable suspicion” standard and further infringe on our civil liberties.

    Yes, we need a more sensible immigration policy. Yes, the Federal government has been hijacked by social policy. And, yes, we have to do something about the federal government’s spendig. But is this really the answer?

    If you arrest someone (or have a lawful traffic stop), then it makes sense to demand they produce proof of their identity (or ability to lawfully operate a vehicle)…but to remove the legal protections of due process while simutaneously pressuring law enforcement officers to profile is a constitutional travesty. This law needs to be re-thought.

  15. Ken says:

    Some good points, Robert. I’ve been torn about this law, frankly.

    @Steve Crown: It is not the job of the citizen to make the job of the state easier. It is the job of the citizen to act as a check on state power. And I don’t believe Robert mentioned a traffic stop. In that case, one has to carry ID already as a condition of the privilege driving, but a citizen is not required by law to carry ID in general. Nor should they be. Now, if I’m a brown-skinned citizen of Arizona with an accent, what does that mean for me? Practically, it means that I’m now required to carry ID, just in case I have any ‘lawful contact’ with the police. That is a new state requirement on me, a new restriction on me, no matter how you look at it.

  16. “It’s unquestionably the responsibility of the federal government, and yet – going back through Republican and Democratic administrations – the feds seem to be too busy interfering with how American citizens lead their lives to bother doing their job at our nation’s borders.”

    Why do some libertarians continue to insist that it is UNQUESTIONABLY the responsibility of the federal government to control immigration? There is a lot of questions regarding the feds role. The INTERSTATE COMMERCE CLAUSE has nothing to do with immigration. The only clause that might is the “regulation of commerce with foreign nations” clause but that dog didn’t hunt with the Supreme Ct.

    Federal control of immigration hangs on a mere “incident of sovereignty” which is highly debateable and not UNQUESTIONABLE.

    Immigration control –actually, no control– was a state and private matter until the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1875. The first federal comprehensive immigration act was not passed until 1921.

    The states and the private sector should be in charge of immigration control, not the feds. The problem now is that Arizona is trying to enforce federal law, not make its own laws. For every state that tightens immigration, other states like California and Texas could loosen it.

  17. Gail B. says:

    Bull asked that Rosemary LaBonte’s letter be spread.

    Bull, I copied and pasted it to an email and let it go viral!


  18. Andrew says:

    I’ve supported Arizona’s decision from day one for the very reason you mention. I see it as a long run vs. short run solution. If I saw what is happening in Arizona as a long term solution, I wouldn’t support it. The fact remains that the status quo isn’t working, I commend Arizona for trying to find a solution, however flawed. What strikes me most about the decision is that unlike so many current debates, I don’t see it as political pandering, but rather, a first step.

    Also I’m glad to see you point out the flaws in conservative thinking concerning how to shrink government… that you can’t “starve the beast.” Unfortunately, I don’t view the “tea party” in the same light as you do for exactly this reason, they are still fighting the wrong battle (albeit that their hearts are in the right place). The tea party is mostly an uninformed mass being mislead for the sake of partisan politics and should be exposed for exactly what it has become, in order that it can find its soul and make a positive difference. As it currently stands, it is nothing more than a reactionary movement against an exaggerated threat to gun rights, a made up threat of impending socialism, and a mistrust of our first black President and first woman Speaker of the House. The tea party has been morphed into a means of solidifying the base and its other message has been lost on moderates and liberals alike because of this. The strongest example of how the tea party has been mislead is in it’s continuing backlash against healthcare reform on the basis that it is a socialist overreach; God bless them for stopping single-payer, but that beast is dead (let’s attack its actual flaws instead of chanting repeal). So long as the tea party is stabbing in the dark, chasing after imaginary beasts simply for the sake of emotional appeal (and led by politicians and special interests that would take advantage of this), I won’t be taking the movement seriously.

  19. K. Bolino says:

    Can we agree that to define libertarianism as a philosophy that holds the state is responsible only for doing what is absolutely necessary to protect the liberty of individuals?

    If so, then I cannot see how one can offer a libertarian defense of this law, which is but an extension of the country’s immigration policy. The immigration of one individual has no direct impact on another individual. There may be collective implications, but those are not the concern of libertarians. It matters not that increased immigration may correlate with higher incidence of crime (a debatable assertion anyway) because we do not tar individuals with responsibility for their associations, only their own actions.

    Libertarianism, furthermore, is only supportive of laws if they are consistent with the philosophy. Libertarians, by definition, should be opposed to restricting immigration; thus how could one proffer a defense of a law that reinforces the restriction of immigration? We may disagree about how to oppose laws–and I’m sure many would hold that the best way is legally, provided that the laws allow us the means to oppose them peacefully–but to support a law that is anti-libertarian because it may, eventually, lead to more libertarian ends is quixotic at best and more than likely deceitful.

    If you sympathize with the aims of the Tea Party movement and hold that it stands for resistance to expansive government, and you recognize that a restrictive national immigration policy is both contrary to the liberty of individuals and beyond the express powers of the United States government as authorized by the Constitution, then surely you would support the exact opposite of what Arizona has done: a law that forbids Arizona state officials, including law enforcement officers, from enforcing or in any other way complying with national immigration laws, to the extent permissible by the constitutions of the United States and the State of Arizona. That would be the reasonable libertarian policy for the Arizona government to take, and if indeed your goal is to send a “clarion call” to Federal officials and politicians about immigration and law enforcement, then I assure you such a law would have that effect.

    You may call yourself a libertarian, and that is your right, and you may defend your views as you see fit, but that does not make them libertarian.

  20. Gail B. says:

    And the one thing I forgot to point out is that amnesty is not going to make honest citizens out of thieves, murderers, drug smugglers, kidnappers, and those committing other types of crimes, who are here illegally from another country.

    SC Senator Lindsey Graham should have his head examined for contemplating an amnesty bill!

  21. Aaron says:

    HOW is lack of immigration control unconstitutional? You do a lot blabbing about the government ‘doing their job’ but say nothing of why it SHOULD be their job in the first place, or even why it’s a necessary job at all. You say nothing of the REASONING behind your assertion that immigration is a necessary function of government. The fact is, immigration control and libertarianism are diametrically opposed to each other. Government programs like immigration control are a sign of a bloated state that seeks to impose unnecessary laws on its citizens. This country was built by freedom-loving immigrants.

  22. Anonymous says:

    “This country was built by freedom-loving immigrants.”

    That came thru the front door, and didn’t mooch off social services.

  23. Will says:

    Immigration is not a problem. It’s only a problem because people rely on government too much. Look at the reasons for controlled immigration


    The taxes would not be a problem without compulsive welfare contribution

    Violence would be severely minimized by legalizing drugs, putting the drug cartels out of business or legitimized.

    Terrorism would end when we aren’t meddling in foreign affairs, keep foreign bases, and bomb/invade countries.

  24. Gene Berkman says:

    It betrays a lack of knowledge of 19th century America to say that immigrants totally ended their connection with their home country, or even that they committed to learn English when they came here.

    Citizenship tests at Ellis Island were administered in a number of European languages. 19th Century America was filled with foreign language newspapers, social clubs, fraternal orders and political associations that reflected the foreign origins of members. American publishers often brought out German editions of books simultaneous with English editions.

    There may be a problem of too many immigrants for the economy or the environment to support. There may even be an issue of cultural clashes. But making up stories about how people used to come to this country and assimilate does not really contribute to our understanding of immigration issues.

  25. Randy Wills says:

    “This country was built by freedom-loving immigrants”.(Arron)

    True, of course, but in the days of which you speak, the welfare-state did not exist and therefore the immigrants made a contribution rather than becoming a financial and law-enforcement burden.

    Perhaps if we did two things; first, do as Singapore does and offer quick and sure “Death for Drugs” (you can walk down Orchard Street in Singapore at 3:00 AM without concern. Try that in almost any American metropolitan area and see what happens), and secondly, eliminate all welfare programs for non-citizens and those citizens who have been in the country for less than five years.

    Un-Christian? Perhaps, at least in your person-to-person relationships, but not if you are the government responsible for basic public safety and economic affairs of state. The failure to understand roles is killing America.


  26. Gail B. says:

    Aaron showed his ignorance when he said, “HOW is lack of immigration control unconstitutional? You do a lot blabbing about the government ‘doing their job’ but say nothing of why it SHOULD be their job in the first place, or even why it’s a necessary job at all. You say nothing of the REASONING behind your assertion that immigration is a necessary function of government.”

    The answer to your questions:
    Article IV, Section 4 – Republican Government:

    “The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion, and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

    Aaron, if the federal government does not secure our borders, it is not fulfilling its duties under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution.

    The individual states are under siege by illegal aliens — from every aspect!

  27. Chuck Harrison says:

    Make it a felony to have an illegal alien working on your property. We need to put some farmers and SOCCER MOMSin jail. The work for illegals will dry up and our border problems will be solved.

  28. SallyW says:
  29. Anonymous says:

    Randy and Gail, a ticket I would vote for.The rest of these West Wingers in here are pathetic. Just give the country over, it’s pracically worthless anymore anyway, you da**ed Bolsheviks.

  30. Rick M. says:

    This is the reason why we need the RestoreAmericaPlan.net folks it all begins with us !!! Become a soveriegn and lets stop serving two masters.

  31. Stupid Is As Stupid Does says:

    SALT LAKE CITY – Republican Sen. Bob Bennett was thrown out of office Saturday by delegates at the Utah GOP convention in a stunning defeat for a once-popular three-term incumbent who fell victim to a growing conservative movement nationwide.

    Bennett’s failure to make it into Utah’s GOP primary — let alone win his party’s nomination — makes him the first congressional incumbent to be ousted this year and demonstrates the difficult challenges candidates are facing from the right in 2010.

    “The political atmosphere obviously has been toxic and it’s very clear that some of the votes that I have cast have added to the toxic environment,” an emotional Bennett told reporters, choking back tears.

    “Looking back on them, with one or two very minor exceptions, I wouldn’t have cast any of them any differently even if I had known at the time they were going to cost me my career.”

  32. Anonymous says:

    The big news over the weekend is that Big Guy had to cancel his summer vacation to Scottsdale, Arizona. He’d really been looking forward to playing golf out there for a few days. But given this “misguided” immigration law that was enacted, he says he doesn’t feel comfortable going out there, what with his not having a birth certificate and all … I mean, the original of his birth certificate. Oh, you know what he meant. He has a valid birth certificate … as far as you know.

    -TOTUS (http://baracksteleprompter.blogspot.com/2010/04/im-back.html)

  33. Jordan Bell says:

    Here is the online posting of Arizona Senate Bill SB1070.


    On a related note, Attorney General Eric Holder has not read the bill despite criticizing it.


  34. Robert Wallace says:

    Wow… this got more comments than I expected. I feel bad jumping in now when so many people have already spoken, but there are a few random comments I want to address:

    “If so, then I cannot see how one can offer a libertarian defense of this law, which is but an extension of the country’s immigration policy. The immigration of one individual has no direct impact on another individual.”

    That’s an interesting objection, but I don’t think there’s more to it than rhetoric. A lot of things that individual people do have no direct impact on other individuals, but can still be regulated. Like paying taxes. Whether or not you pay your taxes has zero measurable impact on any other individual. So I guess we can just all refuse to pay our taxes, and the government can’t enforce any taxation. Right?

    Hint: if you think government doesn’t have the right to tax you’re not a libertarian. You’re a minarchist.

    “Libertarians, by definition, should be opposed to restricting immigration;”

    No. If you don’t restrict immigration you effectively have no borders. If you have no borders you have no country. This isn’t just a philosophical point. The US – which everyone complains won’t let in enough immigrants – already lets in more immigrants than every other nation in the world combined. Now imagine if we just said “Anyone who wants to can get free citizenship! Step right up!”

    How long do you think the country would continue to exist?

    A week? Maybe two?

    Immigration is an essential aspect of territorial integrity without which there is no such thing as a nation. The notion that a libertarian would be opposed to all regulations on immigration is just crazy.

    “You say nothing of the REASONING behind your assertion that immigration is a necessary function of government. The fact is, immigration control and libertarianism are diametrically opposed to each other. Government programs like immigration control are a sign of a bloated state that seeks to impose unnecessary laws on its citizens”

    I didn’t outline the reasoning for the assertion that immigration is a necessary function of government because of how obvious it is. You may as well say that the army is anti-libertarian. What’s the point of an army? To shoot the other army. So – what about the rights of the enemy soldiers? Shouldn’t our government – if it truly believes in maximal liberty – believe in maximal liberty for enemy soldiers? For terrorists? Clearly the armed forces are just evidence of a bloated, power-hungry government that seeks to impose its will on everyone!!!

    Give me a break. The national government has a general responsibility to defend the nation and maintain it’s territorial integrity. This means that from time to time we defend our nation with deadly force against enemy soldiers. And also that we have a right to dictate who enters our country.

    If we don’t exercise those rights, we cease to exist as a nation. Period.

    “Terrorism would end when we aren’t meddling in foreign affairs, keep foreign bases, and bomb/invade countries.”

    You live in a happy, happy world. Sadly, it is not planet earth. How did that whole “not meddling in other affairs” work out for us in 1812? 1941? Need I go on? I *agree* that we’re over-extended and that we need to pull back, but the idea that suddenly our enemies would just all turn to smiles and lollipops if only we weren’t such horrible, bad people is crazy-talk.

    There will always be people who want to see the US go down in flames. Always. It doesn’t justify invading foreign countries, but it won’t go away if we stop either.

    And finally – to Gail B – “Aaron, if the federal government does not secure our borders, it is not fulfilling its duties under Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution.” Amen!

  35. jgo says:

    You shouldn’t have to have a driver license or state or national ID kkkard at all. Driver licenses started as a tax receipt. You paid once a year and got a receipt. But then, some bright statist decided they’d better be sure to have the person’s name on the receipt, because, when asked, someone might produce someone else’s receipt. So they added names, then addresses, then descriptions of height, weight, hair and eye color, now finger-prints, vehicle registration, protection racket proof of payments… It wasn’t until the 1930s that they started declaring out of nowhere that “driving is a prvilege”. Before the New Raw Deal it had always been a right, an aspect of liberty.

    Read the Arizona law for yourself:

  36. WhatThe says:

    Plenty of people are finding fault with the Arizona law SB1070 signed by Gov. Jan Brewer,(1) but evidently they haven’t considered, or are trying to hide the fact that the Federal law ICE287 is essentially the same law.(2)
    There needs to be no question why the ACLU, and other entities have been protesting SB1070, because they also protested the federal ICE 287 program.(3)

    When Senor Wences, Felipe Calderon, from Mexico criticizes Arizona’s law, something is blatantly wrong. How can Mexico’s President, who enforces harsh immigration law/s, and knows little about Arizona’s problems be given creditability?(4)

    When Eric Holder calls SB1070 possibly unconstitutional, without reading the law, something is blatantly wrong.(5)

    If people did read the bill they would find racial profiling is specifically addressed, and prohibited.
    Why is it OK for a fed program to crack down on illegals, but if Arizona wants to enforce the same rules, Arizona is racist?

    As Governor Brewer has said “I just keep questioning the fact of the continuation of misleading, I believe, the American public on the facts…. I have repeatedly, sent letters to the administration and to the president of the United States with absolutely no response… A nation without borders is like a house without walls. It collapses. We need help, Mr. President.”(6)

    Are we a nation of children, allowing our nanny state to MISlead us? It’s evident the media is not researching all the facts. When will people admit they are getting sc***ed; states are getting forced to protect themselves, because the federal gov. is not doing its job.

    — People need to register for e-mails from their reps., or do something to know what their gov. is doing —- if we don’t know the truth, we don’t know how to vote, and who the corrupt are, in order to BOOT THE CORRUPT OUT.

    1. -azgovernor-gov/Governor Brewer Announces Arizona Border Security Plan April 22, 2010
    -azgovernor-gov/STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR JAN BREWER April 23, 2010
    -nytimes-com Arizona Enacts Stringent Law on Immigration April 23, 2010
    -foxnews-com Top Official Says Feds May Not Process Illegals Referred From Arizona 5/21/2010
    -washingtonexaminer-com On immigration, Obama backs Mexico, not Arizona May 21, 2010
    - lvrj-com Sheriff says pact makes Arizona law unnecessary May. 09, 2010
    -.fusionfx.net Arizona Immigration law IS Constitutional – 2007 Cobb Co.Georgia & 287(g) 2010 April 29
    2. -ice-gov/partners/287g/A Law Enforcement Partnership
    -en-wikipedia-org Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
    -thelandofthefree-net Arizona immigration law: Politicians and activists deception exposed 5/17/2010
    -espn.com AZ Governor Jan Brewer blasts critics, dispels law myths May 6, 2010
    3. – investors-com Hypocrisy On ICE 05/20/2010
    4. – washingtonexaminer-com On immigration, Obama backs Mexico, not Arizona May 21, 2010
    -resistnet-com profiles blogs Obama sides with Mexican president against Americans Thursday, May 20, 2010
    5.- corner.nationalreview-com Holder Profiles Arizona Friday, May 14, 2010
    -hotair-com Holder admits: No, I haven’t read the Arizona law I’ve been dumping on May 13, 2010
    -rushlimbaugh.com Mr. Holder, It’s Time for You to Go May 14, 2010
    6.- rushlimbaugh.com Obama Honors Señor Wences, But Won’t Speak to Jan Brewer May 21, 2010
    -resistnet-com blogs President Obama Meets with Arizona Governor 04 June 2010
    -cnsnews-com Senate Democratic Whip Compares Sealing the Mexican Border to Trying to Keep Drugs Off of I-95 Thursday, May 20, 2010
    -latimes.com Obama administration poised to challenge Arizona immigration law June 26, 2010
    –FOXNews.com Administration Weighs Bypassing Congress to Let Illegal Immigrants Stay June 24, 2010
    -resistnet-com blogs The Arizona Immigration Law And The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution June 4 2010
    -DickMorris-com June 25 2010 OBAMA COURTS LATINOS BY SUING ARIZONA
    -foxnews-com politics June 18 2010 Obama Administration to File Suit Against Arizona Immigration Law
    -resistnet-com profiles blogs Obama apologizes to China for Arizona illegal laws….Gulags versus the LAW May 17, 2010
    -resistnet-com profiles blogs A beneficiary Of Vote Fraud Throws Out The Samje Tired Old Racist Label on Those Supporting Arizona’s Immigration Law June 4 2010
    -resistnet-com profile blogs DHA Warns Somali Terrorist May Cross U.S.-Mexico Border June 3 2010
    -resistnet-com profiles blogs Opposition to the Arizona Law Is a Smokescreen for What? May 25, 2010
    -resistnet-com forum topics republicans not supporting az
    -resistnet.com forum topics Obama’s Speech Misleads Americans on Illegal Immigration & Amnesty 7 1 2010
    – dailycaller-com eric-holder-refuses-to-say-radical-islam-motivated-times-square-bomber 2010/05/14
    -breitbart-com Jun 22 2010 Mexico asks court to reject Ariz. immigration law
    -kansas.-watchdog-org June 3 2010 AG Six announces run; hasn’t had time to read Arizona immigration bill


  1. [...] May 8, 2010 by Jason Sorens Both sides of the current immigration debate assume that regulating immigration is the right and duty of the federal government. For conservatives, the federal government has failed in its job of enforcement, which makes it sadly necessary for states to step in. Thus we have this typical defense of the Arizona law: [...]

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