Immigration: The Case Against Open Borders

by | Aug 28, 2015

The idea of a completely open border with nothing but a welcome sign would represent a violation of government's obligation to protect individuals from foreign threats.

The issue of immigration is a hot button issue in the U.S. and has even caused a rift among Objectivist and libertarian minded activists who typically agree on a great many things. There are disparate views ranging from those who argue for open borders, with nothing but a welcome sign, to others who advocate more restrictive policies.

When many generally reasonable, thoughtful people disagree vehemently over some topic, it is a sign that the topic is complicated and requires difficult, principled analysis where it is easy to make honest mistakes.  Furthermore, the horrendous state of the world and our statist government makes the situation even more complicated to analyze.  Consequently, it makes sense to analyze a simpler context, e.g., immigration policy within a free country with a rights respecting government.  If we can establish these principles within a simpler context, it becomes a little clearer how to deal with the current actual mess.  So, for example, since the very real concern over those seeking to come to the U.S. for welfare benefits exists as a consequence of welfare statism, it will not be addressed here, nor will primitive economic claims of the “they’re stealing our jobs” variety be analyzed since those arguments have been debunked a thousand times.  It is always beneficial economically to have more hard working, law abiding people than less, i.e, have an even greater division of labor.

The first principles of government in a free society is that it exists to protect individual rights.  Objectivists hold that the government should consist primarily of police to protect individuals from local criminals, an army to protect against foreign threats, and a court system to settle disputes.  The pertinent aspect of this principle for immigration is how it relates to the government’s obligation to protect individuals from foreign threats.

While individuals have inalienable rights by their nature, not as a privilege bestowed by government, it is a fact that the government which protects those rights must exist somewhere within proximity to those it represents.  Local governments are necessary because they are closer to the people they represent.  A government, by its nature, is limited to a certain jurisdiction, i.e., a geographical boundary within which it may apply the laws agreed to by individuals within it.  The purpose of such a boundary is that it provides an objective legal demarcation line within which it can define and execute its legal jurisdiction. Anyone residing within that jurisdiction accedes to its laws and agrees that issues pertaining to the jurisdiction as a whole are managed by elected representatives.  This allows its representatives to engage in agreements with neighboring jurisdictions over various issues.

For example, the sovereign states joined together to form the United States with the Constitution as the legal framework for dealing with cross border or national issues.  The states within this union broadly agreed on the nature and scope of government, and a byproduct of this union was unrestricted travel across state lines.  Texas and other states joined this union while other jurisdictions, such as Mexico, did not.

Since other countries exist outside this jurisdiction, and may or may not agree with our principles of government and may or may not be a threat, one of the functions of the government, the body of representatives that deal with issues of state, is to provide for a common defense.  With respect to immigration, essentially, the problem boils down to the question: is the person a threat or not?  It is important to emphasize that this question must be asked if the government is to perform its proper function. That is why there must be some immigration policy.  The idea of a completely open border with nothing but a welcome sign would represent a violation of this principle.  Such an “open” policy provides no means for the government to ascertain whether persons are invading or immigrating, much less whether they are known criminals or carry infectious disease.

If the government’s proper foreign policy endeavors to identify and eliminate existential threats from overseas by procuring intelligence and launching attacks against enemy states, why wouldn’t its foreign policy seek to identify existential threats from those on its border seeking to enter the country?  Why wouldn’t we apply at least as much scrutiny if not more to those actually entering the country?  Would a proper foreign policy have to wait for Iran to actually launch a nuclear bomb before taking action against them?  Would we have to wait for an armada of jihadists in the New York harbor to actually fire their guns before apprehending them or granting them visas?  Foreign policy is not adjudicated in a court of law, it is a set of specific principles to identify and mitigate threats to the country.

The idea that we can eliminate the threat by crushing our enemies overseas and therefore allow virtually anyone to subsequently enter the country does not recognize the nature of reality.  The fact is that there are always bad guys out there, and the government’s job is to protect its citizens from them.  Although crushing our enemies would help, there will never be a time when the government can cease to police its own border.  Only in some future fantasy world in which all states agreed to some form of union under western principles of law and individual liberty could we contemplate a border less nation.

The idea that there should be a presumption of innocence with respect to immigrants is a violation of the principle of self-defense for the same reasons one does not grant a presumption of innocence to someone who has rung the doorbell.  The presumption of innocence is a principle applicable in a criminal proceeding where an individual has been charged with a crime.  Prospective immigrants have not been charged with a crime, they are seeking to cross the legally established border from an area which may or may not share the same principles of law, and it is the government’s proper function, indeed, primary function, to ascertain whether they represent a threat or not.  The goal should be to define a policy for determining what constitutes an objective threat and decide upon that basis whom to allow into the country.

The precise policy defining what constitutes a threat could be debated, but generally I think there are a couple of primary forms. Someone with a criminal record or who carries an infectious disease represents a direct physical threat. One who directly or indirectly seeks to alter or abolish our form of government is a threat. This does not have to literally be a foreign spy or military agent but could be someone who has supported anti-freedom causes.  Certainly, without any evidence to the contrary, we should be suspicious of anyone immigrating from a country with which we are at war, have limited diplomatic relations, or have deemed an enemy. It could be argued that those who possess no regard or understanding of the legal principles of the country, who do not speak English, and have no relation to anyone in the U.S. are less likely to broadly assimilate and should be regarded as more likely to constitute a threat.  This is not to say that their should be blanket prohibitions based on some of these factors, but in the absence of contrary evidence, they are relevant evidential factors.

In this regard, the burden of proof must be on the immigrant.  The easier it is to check someones history then the more likely they are to be granted entry.  A British national with a PhD from Oxford that is coming here to work for an American company whose criminal and medical records can be easily checked should obviously be granted entry.  If someone comes from a third world country with a history of dictatorship and sponsorship of jihadists, with no sponsorship from someone already here and no ability to directly check his record, then he should be at the bottom of the list if not outright rejected for entry.  While there should be a legal process for determining whether someone meets the criterion, the process by which we determine those standards should be a matter of objective policy consistent with the government’s obligation to protect the rights of its people.

Doug Reich blogs at the The Rational Capitalist with commentary, analysis, and links upholding reason, individualism, and capitalism.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

40 Comments

  1. Yes, the proper function of governmet is to protect the individual rights of its citizens–to prevent epidemics from diseased foreigners and to defend the nation against its enemies.

    But–“One who … has supported anti-freedom causes”–banning ideas is not the proper function of a government.

    However, criminal background checks ought include membership in a criminal organization, whether or not the individual has himself actually engaged in criminal actions. So if a member of, say, the CPUSA–an org Ayn Rand deemed criminal (see her HUAC testimony & rationale for it), engaging in murder, extortion, espionage, etc.–seeks to immigrate, he is barred for his membership in that org (just as American citizens were blackballed by the film industry for belonging to CPUSA).

    Other examples of such orgs would be the mafia (duh), Red Brigade, Bader Meinhoff, PLO, IRA and, yes, Islam, which leaders and followers either enagge in criminal acts or, by their silence or by their following the Qu’ran, tacitly approve of such criminal acts (as do the wives and children of mafia dons, who would also be barred entry).

    Criminal screenings, with today’s NSA, etc., would involve facial recognition as well as a plethora of other high tech devices. If we can ferret out and kill with drones a leader of ISIS, we oughtn’t have trouble ferreting out the criminals trying entry at our borders. (So much for the immigrant having to “prove” his innocence. (I wonder, though, how he’d go about doing that?))

    As well, medical issues wouldn’t necessarily bar entry; such applicants could be detained and treated (by doctors volunteering for such, e.g., like doctors without borders but better).

    So what we have–if we omit your ban on ideas–is open immigration as it was practiced on Ellis Island; and as I suggest in my own article on CapMag: http://capitalismmagazine.com/2005/12/america-open-up-that-golden-gate/.

    Thank you, Doug, for at least establishing an objective criteria (even if you err by suggesting we ban ideas); I was growing tired of hearing about “collective individual rights” and “preserving the collective culture” of the USA–in short, collectivism (of a nationalistic bent)–as justification for restricted immigration policies by individuals who claim to be individualists.

    Finally–this to the demagogue now firing up the country–the absolute worst thing we could do is to build a wall along our borders; such would soon be followed by national ID cards, restrictions on travel by citizens, etc. (as happened when I lived in Texas and as far as 100-miles from the Mexican border). We would be imprisoning ourselves and granting the government untold powers. And it won’t stop the immigrants, good or bad.

    Indeed, this whole issue arose when restrictions on immigration were tightened during Bush 1’s administration. With border entry points–and nothing else–the good guy immigrants–those seeking work like the Mexican migrants–will follow procedure, knowing they’ll not have a problem. And the bad guys who will try to sneak in will be reduced to a manageable size that the border patrol can handle.

  2. “So if a member of, say, the CPUSA–an org Ayn Rand deemed criminal”

    Its funny how she can be the lone arbiter of who is deemed ‘worthy’ of being allowed into the country, and no one else.

    What ever happened to majority rule in this country? Its blatantly obvious that Libertarians are simply anti-democracy, you just don’t advertise it…much.

    NO government in the history of the world, wouldn’t consider whats happening in this country a foreign invasion.

  3. AR wasn’t/isn’t any kind of arbiter; I mention her to point out that CPUSA was a criminal org–like the mafia–engaging in criminal activities under the guise of–or in conjunction with promoting- an ideology.

    Period.

    No, the USA is not a democracy; it’s a republic, with voters limited–checked and balanced–by the indiviudal rights established in the Constitution.

    “There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, needs more elucidation, than the current one, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.” -James Madison

    “The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.” –Thomas Jefferson

    “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.” – Aristotle

    PS. I’m not a Libertarian; anarchy is not an option; it’s an epitaph.

  4. Like I was saying, why don’t you advertise your feelings to the world and make sure everybody knows how much you hate democracy? It doesn’t seem like its something you are proud of…

    Further more, this is something I always wondered, what role does voting have in your “free” country? If every decision can be settled by consulting ‘A’ constitution, what part does the general public play? Why don’t we simply let the political class interpret the Constitution for us so we don’t have to worry about?-and what does a representative represent?

    PS, I know your not a Libertarian, you’re a Objectivist. *snickers*

  5. If I may butt in here…It’s quite simple. The Constitution sets the rules we must live by (assuming it is followed, which unfortunately, it is not in many cases). The rules, by and large, with a few unfortunate exceptions, is that each individual has a right to his/her own life and the majority has no right to take that away, whether or not they have democratically elected officials. I agree with this idea of government as it is rooted in the facts of reality. The purpose of government and rights have to be defined objectively, which Ayn Rand did in her many essays, foremost among these being “Man’s Rights” and the “Nature of Government”. To address one of your points, our Founders “hated” democracy also – they saw it as unrestrained mob rule. That’s why they formed a republic based on individual rights. The “democratic” part of our government structure is that we elect our government representatives, but once elected, they don’t get to do anything they want, especially violating the rights of individuals. Within this framework, there is plenty to discuss and even argue about, but it would be discussions based on interpretation and application of individual rights to complicated issues. There is leeway for disagreement here among honest people. So, I have answered your question and have advertised and “made sure everybody knows how much I hate democracy”. Please tell us why you hate individual rights – why you don’t like the fact that each and every person has a right to their own life, liberty, property, and to their own pursuit of happiness. Why do you think the government has the right to control us when we are not harming anyone else?

  6. I’m going to repeat myself, why don’t you advertise that you HATE democracy?

  7. No need to repeat yourself, unless you really have nothing else to say. I advocate individual rights within a constitutional republic where our government representatives are democratically elected; but once elected, cannot violate individual rights. I don’t “hate” democracy, but I put it in context. All knowledge, and therefore, argumentation, is contextual. This is not the Ten Commandments, or is that what you would prefer? For example, the Ten Commandments say, “Thou shall not kill”. Really? Not even in self-defense or in war with an enemy that wants to destroy you. Do you want me to say I hate killing? Depends on the context. So, the reason I don’t advertise that I HATE democracy, is because I explain what democracy is and in what context it should serve in our government. To advertise that I HATE democracy would not impart the full meaning of what I have to say. If this is too complicated for you, maybe you should stick with simple statements like the Ten Commandments.

  8. What John said. Context dropping makes for a weak argument.

    To which I will add, the Founders intended for senators to be appointed by state legislators; voting, too, was limited to real property owners. This is limiting democracy to a specific function. The ballot box is not above the Constitution; nor is it a means for the majority to oppress the minority.

    So I’ll be happy to state that I do hate unlimited democracy.

    PS. And ad hominem ‘snickers’ make for an even weaker one.

  9. Let me add one more reason of why I don’t “advertise that I hate democracy”. It’s the same reason that Ayn Rand used when, in questions to her, it was mentioned that she was “anti-communist”. She responded that she doesn’t advocate her philosophy in terms of negatives of other concepts. Instead, she would say she bases her philosophy on reality and is, therefore, pro-reason; which means she is pro-individual rights; which leads to her being pro-laissez faire capitalism. One leads to the other, and she wrote essays on how all the dots connect. Another reason is the total confusion in which the term “democracy” is misunderstood today. It is understandable why Democrats consider our poitical system a democracy (many lean toward socialism and have no qualms about voting people’s economic rights away); but many Republicans go back and forth between calling our government a constitutional republic and democracy – using whatever term suits their needs at the particular moment. George Bush (the younger) thought we should bring democracy to the Middle East and we were fighting for the Iraqis and Afghans and others to have the right to vote. When this idea spread through the Middle East, terrorists groups found the perfect solution to get into power – get democratically elected; which they did in many cases. Is this the type of democracy you want? Democracy does not equal individual rights, although you need some form of voting democratically as a part of a system that defends individual rights.

  10. Its a shame you aren’t smart enough to understand even “simple” statements like you find in the Ten Commandments. The Commandment is “Thou shall not murder”, it is a SIMPLE (and worse, elegant) way of denouncing unjust homicide, all the while justifying killing in self defense, or war.

    Any of the Israelites receiving the Ten Commandments would have been smart enough to note the difference.

    I’m guessing you’re a know it all atheist, am I right?

  11. Explain how accusing you of being Ojectivist is ad hominem?

    …unless being one excludes you from having a valid opinion, I guess you make a good point…

  12. Let me add one more reason of why I don’t “advertise that I hate democracy”.

    Let me try and answer for you, you don’t like the negative consequences of making such a bold statement?

  13. Let me help you so you won’t have to speculate on why I don’t express my views in the way you would like. “Boldness” of a statement is not a fundamental concept. You can say all sorts of bold things, all of which could be untrue, and being “bold” about it doesn’t make them true. The correctness of a statement (being in agreement with reality) is a fundamental. Your problem is that you don’t think in terms of fundamentals. You talk about majority rule and democracy as if they were fundamentals when they are not. What about the individual life – does that matter to you? My reason for communicating is so my position on an issue is understood (assuming I am communicating with someone that wants to understand). I do not make simple out-of context statements about “democracy” because it is not a fundamental, and it is misleading: negative consequences have nothing to do with it. Individual rights is the fundamental when it is explained via the facts of reality. Therefore, no – I am not for majority (mob) rule. I am for a constitutional republic based on individual rights where our government representatives are democratically elected.

  14. The above sounds kind of like news speak to me, but whatever.

  15. You really have nothing intellectual to say, do you? That is, a comment involving real principles explained. You make brief, usually derogatory or meaningless comments, ask questions but never answer anything that is asked, and explain nothing. Newspeak?

  16. Yeah, the term ‘newspeak’ is from a fairly well known novel titled, 1984, by a man named George Orwell. It refers to the type of politically correct language people use when they don’t really have anything to say and is often contradictory and meaningless.

    You may want to look into that book if they have a copy in your library.

  17. Bryce, you have to be absolutely kidding me. I know what newspeak is and I read 1984 decades ago, probably before you were born from the sound of you. I questioned your use of the term because it signified that you couldn’t follow a simple logical statement and therefore called it “newspeak”, like you were bewildered by the statement. There is nothing “politically correct” that I have said, and you have responded from the beginning by adding nothing, except trying to goad people into saying that they hate democracy – and you were given thorough answers to that, which apparently you could not comprehend. I enjoy an intellectual discussion on the issues, but you have nothing to say. Keep reading and maybe someday you will.

  18. “And ad hominem ‘snickers’ make for an even weaker one.”

    Does that make it clearer; or shall I increase the size of the font?

    And incidentally, it’s ‘kill.’

    Exodus 20:13King James Version (KJV)
    13 Thou shalt not kill.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20%3A13&version=KJV

    I think you may want to reaquaint yourself with another term Orwell used in his novel: doublethink:

    “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.” – George Orwell

    Finally, voting is a secondary right and becomes a farce when the government can take your land (imminent domain); you income (IRS) and your private property (RICO seizures) any time it chooses. Indeed, in that context, voting is but a shiny bauble given you by a bully, after he’s beat Hell out of you and taken your lunch money.

    Now run along & troll some other site.

  19. No, it isn’t. The commandment is “thou shalt not murder” and no matter how many times you say otherwise, that’s not changing anything. The commandment as brought down by Mosses was “thou shalt not murder”, period end of discussion, and frankly its common knowledge.

    Also you need to look up the definition of ‘ad hominem’, because you are totally ignorant of its meaning or usage.

  20. No, its politically correct. You jump from one point of view to the other, apparently stating both are true, that’s political correctness.

  21. Really, Bryce. So, how about saying something with some intellectual content. What point did I jump from to what, and how are they incompatible. By the way, as a side note, you don’t even know what political correctness means. Jumping from one point of view to another and stating both are true is not political correctness. But I’ll let that pass. I would like you to tell me what points I made and how they are incompatible.

  22. Seems like you both are correct on the Ten Commandments – there are different versions: some say, “thou shalt not murder”, others say, “thou shalt not kill”. Doesn’t surprise me that if Bryce is correct on anything, it would be the Ten Commandments.

  23. And why doesn’t that surprise you?

  24. You started off denouncing Democracy and then came around to defending it.

    And yes indeed, stating that all positions,of any particular argument are equally valid, IS politically correct, in fact its basically the definition of politically correct.

  25. Because you’re right on something where no thought is required. It’s just a simple fact of what the Ten Commandments say. No different than pointing at a chair and saying that it’s a chair. It’s on the perceptual (vs. conceptual) level. Of course, we found out there were different versions of the Ten Commandments, some of which say, “thou shalt not kill”, but that is beside the point.

  26. Actually, your statement above is an incorrect summary of what I said. But no matter. Once again, you didn’t answer my question, and you have shown no ability to follow an argument of more than a couple of sentences in length. Goodbye.

  27. It’s the Christian Bible site I quoted. I frankly don’t give a damn what the 10 Cs say.

    ad hom·i·nem (h¼m“…-nµm”, -n…m) adj. Appealing to personal considerations rather than to logic or reason…

    snick·er n. A snide, slightly stifled laugh.

    snide (snºd) adj. snid·er, snid·est. Derogatory in a malicious, superior way; sarcastic.

    If you don’t get it now, you never will.

    Now, wax on and have your last word.

    (Nicely put, John.)

  28. Que the violin music…

  29. I would give you 100 upvotes if I could. Thank you.

  30. “I frankly don’t give a damn what the 10 Cs say.”

    You were proven wrong about it, so of course you don’t give a damn, which bring us to the next point..

    “An ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”[1]), short for argumentum ad hominem, means responding to arguments by attacking a person’s character, rather than to the content of their arguments. When used inappropriately, it is a fallacy in which a claim or argument is dismissed on the basis of some irrelevant fact or supposition about the author or the person being criticized.[2] Ad hominem reasoning is not always fallacious, for example, when it relates to the credibility of statements of fact or when used in certain kinds of moral and practical reasoning.[3]

    Fallacious ad hominem reasoning is normally categorized as an informal fallacy,[4][5][6] more precisely as a genetic fallacy, a subcategory of fallacies of irrelevance.”

    And once again we see you to making things up to suite yourself.

    The only thing missing from the Wikipedia definition, is that the term is most often used by stupid people to try and appear smart.

    …not that you give a damn.

  31. And talk about a meaningless posts with no context, we have a winner!

  32. @Doug Reich – I agree with your premise that the proper role of government is to protect individual rights ( I consider myself an Objectivist). Your article, however, has generated two questions for me on this matter.

    1. How can we guarantee that a border-policing power, thus given to the government, would not be used , as are typically almost all of its augmented powers, to violate the rights of Americans? In other words, such an awesome power could be used today to keep out criminals, but tomorrow, it could also be used to prevent trade of “free” Americans. It could also be used to prevent Americans from leaving. Don’t we need some check on the power of the government in this respect?

    2. Isn’t the solution here to simply decriminalize the hiring of non-citizens so that they may come across the border out in the open? Isn’t the hiring of non-citizens a victimless crime in the same vein as drugs, prostitution and insider trading? Would you justify on your principle, the right of an American to hire a non-citizen who has no intention of ever immigrating or becoming an American citizen? I don’t think you are saying that you are against this, but I just want to be clear.

    I think your principles are solid, I’m just not sure about the concrete implementation of policing the borders.

    Thoughts?

  33. @Bryce – I’m an Objectivist, and I will gladly say that I am against democracy. Always have been and most Objectivist/Libertarians I know have always been against it as well. Most Founder Father of America were also against it.

    I oppose it because it is “rule by majority” which simply means that the majority can oppress the minority. I believe in a government of laws that limit what people can do to each other, which is why I like the Bill of Rights, which is an affront to democracy.

    In any case, there is no issue with us Objectivists proudly saying we are against Democracy. Always have, always will. :)

    Are you in favor of it? If so, why?

  34. First off let me say I appreciate your honesty, and I wish more of your people shared your candor and plain talk.

    To answer your question, yes I do support Democracy!

    The most important freedom to our Western, Occidental, Civilization has been self governance, not individual rights.

    I suppose you will make the argument that a republic IS self governance, but I don’t see it that way.

    In my lifetime I have never seen anything like majority rule, instead I have seen a small cartel of activist, judges, politicians, take on this paternal attitude, that not only runs contrary to the voting public, but has had disastrous results.

    I suppose somebody could make the argument that these were all unlawful Liberal policies, and i guess that’s valid point, but I don’t think Objectivist/Libertarians could say that, It hasn’t seemed to matter what cause the white knights in Washington have taken it upon themselves to shove down the public’s throat, you have sided with them, including the present immigration “debate” (which was what the article was originally about in the first place).

    You make the point that most of the Founders were anti-democracy, and there is truth to this, but you need take in some perspective. After they founded the country, they governed, and while they did, they didn’t so much as bat an eye at laws a Objectivist/Libertarian, would consider violating individuals freedoms. At that time there were states rights (another principle Libertarians hate) and wouldn’t dream of interfering, not that they had any desire to.

    Now I know what you’re going to say, that true Democracy is doomed due to the nature of the public who are incapable of holding the reigns.

    All I have to say about that is…well, you a probably right. But the public should have the authority to shoot themselves in the foot. They are the stakeholders, and they know whats best for themselves and they will suffer the consequences of the actions.

    However, as little faith as I have in the general public, I have less in the politicians. Giving the politicians who -supposedly- represent us, has a 100% chance of failure.

    Its like a terminal patient that has to choose between doing nothing and dying, or trying some outlandish treatment and hoping for a miracle.

    I appreciate hearing your comments, even though I disagree with all of them.

  35. Thank you Doug for raising some important points with regards to immigration policy.

    I always wondered how Objectivists could support an open borders policy. As I understand Objectivism, philosophy is the key determinant of an individual’s character and a nation’s culture. That a jurisdiction can remain a free nation (or retain what remains of a free nation) with any arbitrary change in the nation’s population should be patently absurd.

    While we should assent to the preamble of the Declaration, that natural rights are indeed inalienable. It is that next sentence (i.e. “to secure these rights …”) that is of concern when weighing how to establish a jurisdiction of like-minded liberty-loving individuals.

    As C. Bradley Thompson reminds us: “During his retirement years, John Adams was fond of saying that the war for independence did not constitute the true American Revolution. The war, he said, was only a consequence. The real revolution began 15 years before a shot was ever fired as an intellectual and moral revolution in the minds and hearts of the people.”

    It’s the people that create the jurisdiction, not the jurisdiction that creates a people.

  36. The author writes:

    “The idea that there should be a presumption of innocence with respect to immigrants is a violation of the principle of self-defense for the same reasons one does not grant a presumption of innocence to someone who has rung the doorbell. ”

    I’m having a hard time accepting this analogy because what property does the government rightfully own in the first place? When illegals come to work they are not violating anyones property rights by the fact of coming. Rather, they are simply responding to American’s demand to hire them. This is a voluntary trade.

    If it be argued that illegals lurk in the black market and sneak around on people’s property and that this is trespassing, then ok, but this is not because they are coming here to work, this is because they they are forced into the black market. The solution in that case is to decriminalize it so that they may do it in the open and here is how that would work without violating anyone’s property:

    Non-citizens come to the border to a special open gate that is out in the open – since now it is legal so no sneaking around or taking chances with shady traffickers. Cabs or transports pick them up in their own privately owned vehicles and take them to the employers who have agreed ahead to time to meet these non-citizens in order to offer them work.

  37. If these arguments apply to those entering the country, why would they not apply to those already here, including American citizens? And if so, this article has argued for a total police state.

    And who are the people with different values who do not value freedom coming from? Aren’t they coming from inside our own country, from the Universities and the debased values of our own people? Americans are responsible for this and we cannot pretend it is the outside world that is destroying this country. We are destroying ourselves.

    Those who truly believe in freedom and Capitalism are the minority in this country now, so if we are to keep out those with differing values it could only mean to keep out Capitalists and Objectivists.

    The logic in this article is extremely flawed I am afraid although I agree with the authors intent to fight for the protection of individual rights.

  38. Doug’s analogy isn’t quite right. There is a distinct difference between being a citizen and being a property owner. Government is created to secure the rights of citizens. That it does so only within a well-defined jurisdiction is a practical detail, not of collective property rights, but of a selfish desire to protect the property of the individuals of a nation.

    Limiting rights-protection to the citizens of a jurisdiction avoids the altruistic crusades such as Wilsonian nations-building as in our Iraq venture, Napoleon liberation of a continent to spread the “Rights of Man,” or the so-called right of return (that would overwhelm Isreal with 10s of millions of hostile Muslims just as it is going to overwhelm Europe in the next decade.)

    Naturally a wise citizenry welcomes productive guests and future citizens … as a privilege. Selfishness doesn’t require the promiscuous defense of every one’s rights. It does require a well-delimited defense of everyone’s rights within a context. Prudence demands care in defining that context. This gives rise to the concept or jurisdiction, citizenry, and monopoly government. Anarcho-capitalists would argue otherwise. One would hope Objectivists would see the difference.

  39. Well, thank you for appreciating hearing them at least. :) But don’t you think there should be some principles of human rights that no one, not the government nor the majority of the people should be allowed to violate? Like the right to freedom of religion or speech? The Bill of Rights is such a limitation on the power of the State and the majority of the people and in that much rules out a real Democracy. I do think this is a good idea.

    Are you against the Bill of Rights then?

  40. Like I said in my post, I’d rather put my faith in majority rule. First of all, no system is perfect. I would rather take my chances with the voting public, who seem to have better ability to govern then the professional politicians, to hold up human rights, and let the chips fall where they may.

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