Tuesday, August 16, 2005


After reading the highly recommended CoL VII, I thought of Kirsten, who, on her blog: Enjoy Every Sandwich, periodically writes rather harsh critiques of posts written by Life, Liberty, Property community members. Thus far I’ve escaped her wrath, but I’m not exactly sure why. As I see it, there are at least three possible reasons: (1) I’m not on her radar…at all (2) I’ve not written anything that has drawn her ire (3) she just hasn’t gotten to me yet. It remains a mystery, but I digress. Kirsten’s latest lancing concerns this post by R. G. Combs, of Combs Spouts Off.

The preceding paragraph is not the subject of this particular post, but rather it’s simply meant to place my limited knowledge of Kirsten’s blog into to context. Also, it’s fair to say that while both Kirsten and I might be under the ‘libertarian’ political umbrella, we very likely agree and disagree in equal measure. Having said that, I’m going to focus on an area of agreement between us, which ironically, is a very divisive issue.

In this post, Kirsten slams the so-called “libertarian-leaning” Congressman Ron Paul (R) Texas (aka Dr. NO!) for the stance he takes in an article entitled: Immigration and the Welfare State. He wrote:

The problem of illegal immigration will not be solved easily, but we can start by recognizing that the overwhelming majority of Americans – including immigrants – want immigration reduced, not expanded.

Amnesty for illegal immigrants is not the answer. Millions of people who broke the law by entering, staying, and working in our country illegally should not be rewarded with a visa. Why should lawbreakers obtain a free pass, while those seeking to immigrate legally face years of paperwork and long waits for a visa?

There's a lot that I could say in response to that, but instead I’ll quote Kirsten, as this is a rare instance of accordance in our views. She wrote:

As I am quite certain Mr. Paul knows, we do not live in a democracy which is governed by what the majority- even an overwhelming majority- want. Whether or not most Americans want less immigration is irrelevant as far as what is either legal or moral.

Nor is the law some infallible arbiter of what is right. When the law is immoral- as it is in the case of violating people's basic right to freely associate on a mutually consensual basis with others- there is nothing wrong with breaking it.


It is the law and those who made the law that are in the wrong here- not peaceful people who have chosen to cross the border in violation of immoral laws.

That’s as far as Kirsten went and I agree with her, as evidenced by what I’ve written before about immigration. But I want to go a bit further, as there is more to the article that needs to be addressed. Again, Ron Paul:

We must end welfare state subsidies for illegal immigrants. Some illegal immigrants – certainly not all – receive housing subsidies, food stamps, free medical care, and other forms of welfare. This alienates taxpayers and breeds suspicion of immigrants, even though the majority of them work very hard. Without a welfare state, we would know that everyone coming to America wanted to work hard and support himself.

Our current welfare system also encourages illegal immigration by discouraging American citizens from taking low-wage jobs. This creates greater demand for illegal foreign labor. Welfare programs and minimum wage laws create an artificial market for labor to do the jobs Americans supposedly won’t do.

Unless Mr. Paul ‘misspoke’, I can’t agree with him. For he is not—in that article at least—calling for an end to welfare per se; he is, however, suggesting that ‘illegal aliens’ ought not to receive ‘public assistance’. And although he rightly criticizes “welfare programs and minimum wage laws”, he all but ignores the ‘illegals’ that actually work for a living and are self-reliant, without availing themselves of confiscated ‘alms’. Is the Congressman implying that ‘undocumented’ foreigners with gainful employment are less valuable to the U.S. economy than unemployed citizens whose subsistence comes at the expense of their fellows? If not, then Ron Paul ought to be working (and writing) to end state-funded welfare ‘entitlements’ altogether, thereby removing the irrational reticence about ‘liberal’ immigration policy.

Economic considerations aside, we must address the cultural aspects of immigration. The vast majority of Americans welcome immigrants who want to come here, work hard, and build a better life. But we rightfully expect immigrants to show a sincere desire to become American citizens, speak English, and assimilate themselves culturally. All federal government business should be conducted in English. More importantly, we should expect immigrants to learn about and respect our political and legal traditions, which are rooted in liberty and constitutionally limited government.

There are a few points here that are worth making. Firstly, notice that ”the vast majority of Americans welcome immigrants who want to come here, work hard, and build a better life”…BUT…immigrants must necessarily immolate their individual identity and indeed emulate ‘our’ culture, in order to become authentic Amurikans. Secondly, what does immigration have to do with the fact that ”federal government business should be conducted in English”? Lastly, I cannot—for the life of me—understand how Dr. Paul can possibly square his idea of ”liberty and constitutionally limited government” with such a ham-handed protectionist prohibition that masquerades as immigration policy.