Tags: Immigration | open borders | libertarian | arguments

Libertarian Arguments Against Open Borders

Wednesday, 21 October 2015 05:22 PM

Not all libertarians support wide-open borders in the U.S.

Some note that government could ultimately be allowed to restrict immigration with the freedom to pick and choose which immigrants it allows to come into he country or by restricting use of public resources.

Grant Babcock, assistant editor of Libertarianism.org, wrote that while libertarians generally should support open borders, he allows for possible exclusion of convicted criminals and people carrying diseases.

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“Such restrictions are based on verifiable facts about things that have already happened, rather than speculations about what might happen in the future. This is in line with the libertarian impulse that people’s rights should only be restricted if they have violated the rights of others,” Babcock wrote.

Still, he said this position allows room for misuse by government leaders who might seek to keep certain people out for political reasons.

N. Stephan Kinsella, writing on LewRockwell.com, said government should be able to set rules to preserve public resources for use by citizens.

“It seems to me establishing rules as to how public roads are to be used is not inherently unlibertarian,” he wrote.

Some pundits say libertarians need not espouse a lock-step view on the issue of open borders.

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According to the group blog site The Mitrailleuse, "It is perfectly acceptable for libertarians to disagree on such a complex subject and to hold opinions in favor of more marginal change. There are plenty of modest ways libertarians can criticize the existing immigration system without being in favor of open borders. These libertarians shouldn’t be vilified for their humility and prudence. There is no academic consensus on the subject and the issue is too complex and contextual for there to be a clear-cut libertarian position."

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Not all libertarians support wide-open borders in the U.S.
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Wednesday, 21 October 2015 05:22 PM
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