Libertarian for Open Borders

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on May 16, 2012

Sometimes you just have to let those who disagree with you on an issue like immigration argue themselves to extremes. That's what a recent piece in the Huffington Post does.

This item by an open-borders libertarian tries to justify amnesty. He embraces amnesty. He seems to view America as nothing more than a "market", a body economic, a place where a bunch of disparate people happen to live near one another.

You have to read the essay for yourself to get the full thrust of its surreal, utopian flavor. But let me make one observation.

It's no secret Ronald Reagan backed the 1986 amnesty. A fair reading of his statements, his diary, and indications from his close advisors (a number of whom I've discussed this with over the years) indicates that Reagan viewed that as a one-time deal. The amnesty for three million illegal aliens was a trade-off for going after the jobs magnet and securing the borders.

Reagan's long-time trusted advisor Ed Meese wrote in the New York Times at the height of the 2006 amnesty fight that Reagan would today oppose mass amnesty.

There's the little fact that the experiment of the 1986 amnesty failed. Illegal immigration swelled from five million in 1986 (two million failed to qualify for legalization) to more than 10 million 20 years later. The border security piece was quickly gutted by libertarians and other open-borders zealots. And obviously, the employer sanctions measures were wholly insufficient to do the job.

Our libertarian essayist would have us believe that Reagan was fine with open borders. Then why did the Gipper say, "A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation"?

Topics: Politics