No freedom without border patrol

The May 24 headline announced “Marchers want legality for undocumented teens.”

A few dozen local college kids were out to express their outrage that another amnesty for illegal aliens (the last one was in 1986) — a “DREAM Act” that would have allowed illegals brought to this country by their parents when they were 15 or younger to “move toward legality” — failed in the U.S. Senate last year, 52-44, after voters got wind of what they were up to.

The marchers say they want these anchor babies to be given a “path to legal status.” They’ve already got one: Go back to your U.S. embassy or consulate in Mexico or Guatemala or El Salvador and fill out your immigration forms and wait your turn.

What those who prefer the simpering euphemism “undocumented” really want is not “reform” but amnesty — for the laws violated by these invaders to be treated as though they never existed.

The question they don’t want to answer is how they would compensate all the doctors and artisans and chemical engineers — many of them literate and fluent in English — who have been patiently waiting their turn in the U.S. immigration line in Bosnia and Belarus and Burundi, in India and Iran and Thailand and Tasmania. Their places in line — usurped without compensation — surely have cash value. Why should we be complicit in the theft of their dreams?

“They’re here!” the scofflaws shout. “You have to acknowledge reality! You can’t round up and deport millions of people!”

Wow. Should we have told the French in 1943, “There’s nothing we can do; the undocumented Guest Germans are already there!”? What if instead of fighting the battle of Edington, King Alfred had told the Britons “We can’t round up all these Danes and deport them! Live with the reality; learn to speak Danish; the undocumented GuestDanes are already here!”?

Libertarians often chide me for taking a position other than the supposed “proper” Libertarian position on immigration, which (they assert) calls for open borders and no restrictions on the movement of peoples, whatever.

I believe they’re wrong.

Have these gentle souls never seen the barrios that spring up on the hillsides outside many a Central and South American city — thousands of people living in cardboard packing crates and hovels made of old plastic sheeting, drawing water from a polluted common well, raw sewage flowing down the middle of the “streets”? Would they like a few million such souls to start trooping into this country and setting up shop outside New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego and Baton Rouge? What will our reliable liberals then demand? That we build these people proper public housing, of course, with indoor hot and cold running water, central heat and air conditioning, color televisions, all at taxpayer expense.

Are you nuts?

I submit that “immigration control” is perfectly Libertarian, a necessary extension of the “right not to associate.” It starts with the gang of hoboes showing up at your front door, demanding to move in with you and decide “by majority vote” who gets to eat all the food out of your refrigerator. You have the right — the duty to your family, unless you’re nuts — to turn them away. So why can’t you delegate that power?

Imagine with me that a few hundred Libertarians, happening across a couple of billionaires who see things our way, were allowed to establish a free Republic of New Columbia by buying half a county somewhere on the Pacific coast of Oregon. (The statists-in-charge will never allow this, but let’s pretend.)

We send constructive notice to all the former county, state and federal authorities that we’ve declared our independence, that we have no need of their “services” and will not be sending them any tax payments.

In short order, a bunch of Southern Californians spot us and say, “Hey, if we move up there we won’t have to pay all these darn taxes!” Pretty soon a few thousand of them are squatting on our land, living in RVs and tents. And what do they do? Within months they express shock that they’re expected to pay cash to use the private streets, cash for their medical care and the tutoring of their children — no more “tax-paid benefits”!

They promptly demand a big election, at which they plan to “decide by majority vote” to pass bond issues to build “public schools,” to ban the private possession of firearms, to mandate recycling, to ban charcoal grills in order to save the polar bear, to replace our private schools and volunteer fire department with unionized, tax-paid “professionals” funded with “progressive taxes on the wealthy,” etc.

How long would your Libertarian experiment last? And this isn’t just a theory. It’s already happened to once-mostly-Libertarian Nevada. We call it “Californication.”

To keep from becoming a colony of socialist California, you’d have no choice but to meet new arrivals at the border, telling them they’re welcome to pass through New Columbia as tourists for a few days so long as they pay their private road tolls (no taxes, remember), but they can’t stay and settle down unless they sign a compact agreeing never to demand any “majority votes” on the presumption that such a method can legitimately authorize taxes, regulations, etc.

What would you call such border posts, where new arrivals are greeted? No matter what you called them, what they’d be up to would be “immigration control,” which would be absolutely necessary if you didn’t want to lose your freedoms to a “majority vote” of invading socialists, within the first year.

Border control — at your front door, or along Interstate 19 from Nogales. So long as there are collectivists anxious and able to infiltrate our ranks and subvert our rights under the guise of “one-man, one-vote democracy” … there can be no freedom without it.

Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the novel “The Black Arrow.” See

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