Libertarians are often accused of wanting to “open the borders.” But the borders are already open, and there is nothing the Democrats or Republicans can do about it. People who want to come here will find a way to do it. The Federal government cannot keep out illegal immigrants any better than it can keep illegal drugs out of prisons.
A free and prosperous society has no reason to fear anyone entering it. But every poor person who tries to get in scares a welfare state to death. Politicians want you to believe that illegal immigrants come here only so that they can take advantage of welfare. But that is merely an attempt by them to divert you from the real issue.
While it is true that welfare makes it easier for illegal immigrants to survive, it is simply not true that it is the sole reason they come here. Illegal immigrants come here for the same reason people have always come to America — freedom and economic opportunity.
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” – Emma Lazarus
Tighter immigration laws, building a wall along our southern border, rounding up illegal immigrants — none of these will stem the flow of illegal immigrants until we recognize this fact. Clamping down on immigration will only result in higher costs to taxpayers, more corruption in law enforcement and government, greater burdens on American businesses and the continued erosion of civil liberties of all Americans.
Once we understand that illegal immigration is an economic issue, we can then apply economic solutions to the problem and change immigration law to match the reality of a dynamic society and labor market.
Most low-skilled immigrants enter the U.S. illegally because there are jobs here waiting to be filled. “Each year our economy creates hundreds of thousands of net new jobs — in such sectors as retail, cleaning, food preparation, construction and tourism — that require only short-term, on-the-job training,” writes Daniel Griswold, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Trade Policy Studies. “At the same time, the supply of Americans who have traditionally filled many of those jobs — those without a high school diploma — continues to shrink.”
The solution to illegal immigrant is to adjust our system to allow peaceful, hardworking immigrants to legally enter the United States even temporarily to fill this growing gap. Instead of spending our time and money stopping peaceful immigration, we can intensify our efforts to prevent terrorists and other dangerous people from crossing our borders.