Kansas’ Secretary of State Kris Kobach was recently featured in a piece from Salon.com on Willard Romney’s immigration platform. “Self-deportation” is the term being used to describe it, as if it connotes voluntary emigration rather than a forced exodus. But this is nothing more than an expensive, Liberty-stealing power grab from big-government.
The method for this draconian exercise in central economic planning is to mandate a national ID card and vast computer database to verify that an individual has permission to work in the U.S. Those without the required government papers will be prohibited from working and, according to the planners, eventually return to their home countries. Kobach claims this to be “a more humane way” rather than “[doing] it at gunpoint.”
This is a farce. Instead of pointing the guns at “illegal” immigrants and telling them to go home, the government just aims them at employers and forces them to put a bunch of people out of work. To suggest that force won’t be applied is, frankly, dishonest. The reality is that individuals and businesses will be required to purchase the E-Verify equipment for all of this, either directly or through taxation, and those not in compliance will be badgered, fined, and eventually shutdown.
This is a tragedy for human Liberty. Employees and employers who enter voluntarily into contracts violate no one else’s rights and therefore should be left alone. Immigration laws only came about as a result of protectionist economic planning meant to curry favor with politically connected labor groups.
Tighter controls are still being sold as a method to reduce unemployment, an argument I refuted here, but of course it’s billed as national security issue as well. That more effort is put into securing the borders of the Af/Pak region or of North and South Korea is largely ignored in the discussion. I’m certainly no advocate of deploying troops to the borders (after all, how welcoming is a police state?) but at least refocusing efforts here, rather than everywhere else makes some sense.
That’s why in last night’s debate I was glad to hear Ron Paul say that he’d like to see more effort put into processing immigrants’ applications. I want no part of an expanding government, but if the choice was between having more bureaucrats to allow greater numbers of people to enter the country or more bureaucrats with guns keeping people out I think it’s an easy decision from a perspective of freedom.
Ultimately, one must recogniz that borders are nothing more than arbitrary lines drawn in the sand, or map, and are merely the constructs of governments. They do not represent spontaneous order or derive voluntarily from the market. Although it’s true that legal boundaries can be established under voluntary contracts in a free society, the present order is not such a society. Borders are most often drawn under coercion, either as a result of conquest or purchased with stolen money.