Libertarian Chair: Time to Re-Legalize Immigration

Press release at LP.org:

WASHINGTON – Amid controversy over U.S. immigration policy, Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle says the proper way to end illegal immigration is to re-legalize immigration. Hinkle released the following statement today:

"In debate after debate, Democratic and Republican politicians have decried the problem of illegal immigration, called for more border security and employer sanctions, and eagerly searched for evidence that their rivals employed undocumented help. The Obama administration proudly touts the fact that it is deporting more undocumented aliens than George W. Bush, while many of the families they support remain stranded in the United States, and most of whom were guilty of nothing more than the inability to satisfy a nightmarish bureaucracy.

"Our government has made it practically impossible for most would-be immigrants to work legally in America, a fact illustrated by this flowchart from Reason Magazine.

"For most of American history, immigrants streamed into this country, found jobs, and either stayed to build a life or returned to their native country if they couldn’t. America was admired by the world and proudly displayed an ode to immigration on the Statue of Liberty, within sight of the major processing center at Ellis Island. We can and should return to that tradition.

"Every significant problem blamed on immigration in this country is either imaginary or caused by government. In Arizona, where illegal immigrants are being blamed for an increase in violent crime, violent crime has actually been declining for a decade, and declining much faster than the national average. Immigrants (both legal and illegal) commit crimes at lower rates than natives. If you’re worried about gangs, then end the War on Drugs which funds them, just as it did the gangsters under alcohol prohibition.

"Immigrants are often accused of overloading the welfare system. This is again the fault of a government program. But the idea that welfare is a magnet for immigrants is a myth. In an ingeniously designed study by University of Hawaii Professor Ken Schoolland, patterns of migration within the 50 states, which have no travel restrictions between them, were studied. Schoolland found that were was, in fact, a very strong correlation between welfare and immigration: it was strongly negative. All of the states with the highest levels of government welfare benefits experienced net emigration to other states, and all of the states with the lowest levels of welfare experienced net immigration. Arizona, the current focus of anti-immigrant fears, ranks 46th in welfare benefits.

"Immigrants come here to work. Anyone who works and produces makes others better off. And unemployment and immigration actually are another two factors with a negative correlation. There has only been one decade in American history in which we did not have net immigration: the 1930s. If that is your idea of a great decade, you can have it.

"One unintended side effect of border crackdowns is to increase the number of undocumented aliens who remain because of the difficulty and cost of leaving and returning. Another is to create an ‘underground railroad’ that makes it easier for terrorists to enter without detection. The overwhelming majority of immigrants would love to come in through the front door. It is our bad immigration policy that has constructed the back door.

"It is time we stopped scapegoating the people who represent what is most admired about America. When the Libertarian Party was formed in 1971, we selected the Statue of Liberty as our symbol. We’re the only political party that deserves it."

The Libertarian Party platform includes the following:

"3.4 Free Trade and Migration
"We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property."

The Libertarian Party platform is available in Spanish.

The Libertarian Party has 21 candidates for U.S. Senate and 169 candidates for U.S. House in the upcoming November 2010 elections.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-333-0008      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-333-0008      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-333-0008      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-333-0008      end_of_the_skype_highlighting ext. 222.

The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.

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55 thoughts on “Libertarian Chair: Time to Re-Legalize Immigration

  1. paulie Post author

    My one quibble: “Libertarian Chair: ” should not have been in the headline. It’s not one man’s opinion, it is still our party platform; “Time to Re-Legalize Immigration” would have been the better title for the release.

  2. Jose C

    It is good release expect no mention of abolishing the welfare state. When discussing illegal immigration and someone talks about low income housing, low income (taxpayer supported) telephone service, taxpayer supported education, low income (taxpayer supported) electrical service, low income (taxpayer supported) natural gas service, taxpayer supported healthcare, taxpayer supported retirement, taxpayer supported transportation, etc. most Libertarians are silent.

    Why?

  3. paulie Post author

    It is good release expect no mention of abolishing the welfare state.

    From the release: “Immigrants are often accused of overloading the welfare system. This is again the fault of a government program.”

    When discussing illegal immigration and someone talks about low income housing, low income (taxpayer supported) telephone service, taxpayer supported education, low income (taxpayer supported) electrical service, low income (taxpayer supported) natural gas service, taxpayer supported healthcare, taxpayer supported retirement, taxpayer supported transportation, etc. most Libertarians are silent.

    I haven’t found that to be the case, especially lately. Libertarians these days are generally quick to point out that they don’t support welfare for immigrants. At least, many still say that they don’t support government welfare for native born Americans or “legal” immigrants either.

    I found it more refreshing that this release goes on instead to say “But the idea that welfare is a magnet for immigrants is a myth. “

  4. Jill Pyeatt

    I’m very, very pleased to see articles such as this. It makes me proud to be a Libertarian.

  5. Brian

    Wow I’m surprised. This actually makes sense. You sure this is coming from a Libertarian?

  6. Robert Milnes

    Hinkle is wasting time. This is all documented-in the LP platform. It is old news; academic.
    Hinkle’s priority should be winning the upcoming elections i.e. PLAS.

  7. Red Phillips

    “For most of American history, immigrants streamed into this country, found jobs, and either stayed to build a life or returned to their native country if they couldn’t. America was admired by the world and proudly displayed an ode to immigration on the Statue of Liberty, within sight of the major processing center at Ellis Island. We can and should return to that tradition.”

    This is simply historically inaccurate. Contrary to nation of immigrants feel good mythology, rates of immigration (legal and illegal) since the 1965 Immigration Reform Act are unprecedented in American history. From 1924 until 1965 immigration rates to America were actually low.

    Nothing better illustrates the libertarian tendency to not be able to see the real world past their ideological blinders than immigration. Good luck ushering in a libertarian utopia thanks to that LP takeover in a majority minority America with all these competing ethnic groups block voting their ethnic interests. But at least you can pat yourself on the back for your high-minded nobleness as your mortgage your and your posterity’s future.

  8. paulie Post author

    This is simply historically inaccurate. Contrary to nation of immigrants feel good mythology, rates of immigration (legal and illegal) since the 1965 Immigration Reform Act are unprecedented in American history.

    Do you have stats handy? From what I have read, immigration prior to the 1920s legislation was much higher than it is now.

    From 1924 until 1965 immigration rates to America were actually low.

    True, but the release does say most, not all of American history, and also at that time people went freely back and forth across the Mexican border, so there was no need for seasonal workers to “immigrate.”

    Good luck ushering in a libertarian utopia thanks to that LP takeover in a majority minority America with all these competing ethnic groups block voting their ethnic interests

    What are their “ethnic interests,” and if you mean vote for Democrats over Republicans, why would we care?

  9. paulie Post author

    This is all documented-in the LP platform. It is old news

    Few people in the real world take the time to read the party platform, which is why news releases applying platform stances to current issues are needed.

  10. paulie Post author

    Do you think for one minute Native Americans were/are in favor of open borders?

    Native American nations which are split between territories controlled by Canada and the US, the US and Mexico, etc., certainly are in favor of “open borders” from that standpoint.

    Beyond that, Native Americans think as individuals, not as part of a collective, and have a range of opinions.

  11. paulie Post author

    Few people read LP news releases either.

    We’ve been getting pretty decent press coverage of recent LP releases. “Few” is a relative term.

  12. Robert Milnes

    They have been divided & conquered. so they would be grateful to be able to travel from one soverign reservation to another without getting frisked & x-rayed.

  13. Libertarian chair my ass

    This guy says he is the libertarian chair. Bullshit. When did Ron Paul and Rand Paul die and make this guy the chair?

    You guys gut punked…this is a spoof 100% lies. Libertarians hate immigration and immigrants. The real libertarians are jackbooted fascist thugs who stomped on a woman’s head in Kentucky for being a liberal.

    They hate civil rights, blacks, Mexicans.

    They love Stormfront. And teabaggers!

    You should really check your sources more carefully….ROFLOLOLOL

  14. Be Rational

    We are all immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. The American Indians were just the first immigrants – from Asia.

    Everyone born in America is a “native American.”

  15. Robert Milnes

    Native Americans to Pilgrims. Welcome. Visitors, travelers. Rest here-make yourselves at home.
    & when your people die from smallpox, they don’t need their blankets anymore, do they?

  16. Robert Milnes

    Be Rational, kinda correct. Humans came to America From Asia. The Polynesians didn’t make it. Perhaps Europeans made it-the Solutreans, but they failed to flourish-perhaps interbreeding. Traditionally the indiginous or first people have sovereignty.
    Then came the Vikings.
    Then came the Europeans en masse.

  17. RedPhillips

    “Do you have stats handy? From what I have read, immigration prior to the 1920s legislation was much higher than it is now.”

    This is Peter Brimelow’s seminal National Review article on immigration. It is a bit dated now (1992), but the numbers are still valid. Starting at about paragraph ten he addresses your question.

    “These projections put into context the common claim that—as Professor Julian Simon put it in The Economic Consequences of Immigration (1990), a book that has been widely accepted by conservatives as their bible on the subject—”contemporary immigration is not high by U.S. historical standards.” In fact, immigration is high, in terms of absolute numbers, by comparison with all but the peak decade of 1901-10, when about 8.7 million immigrants arrived, part of the great wave from Southern Europe. And counting illegals, the 1981-90 decade probably matched and may have exceeded that total. Furthermore, this latest wave shows no sign of receding. Nor, given the Third World’s demographic structure, is there any particular reason to suppose it will.”

    http://www.vdare.com/pb/time_to_rethink.htm

  18. paulie Post author

    LOL, 99% sure this is trolling, but here goes anyway….

    This guy says he is the libertarian chair.

    Check LP.org

    When did Ron Paul and Rand Paul die and make this guy the chair?

    They didn’t have to die. Neither has been LP chair. Ron Paul did once run as a Libertarian, in 1988, but before and after that he has been a Republican. As far as I know, Rand Paul has always been a Republican.

    Mark Hinkle was elected LP chair in St. Louis by the party delegates in convention back in May. I was there, and voted for him.

    Libertarians hate immigration and immigrants.

    False, and false. Even the minority of libertarians that would move immigration policy in the wrong direction don’t “hate immigrants,” as a rule.

    The real libertarians are jackbooted fascist thugs

    That would be a contradiction in terms.

    who stomped on a woman’s head in Kentucky for being a liberal.

    No, those were Republicans, not Libertarians.

    They hate civil rights, blacks, Mexicans.

    Hating anyone for their race or ethnicity is collectivist, which is not very compatible with the individualist thrust of libertarian philosophy. However, we do support the right of racists to self-segregate as long as they don’t impose it on others, and likewise government has no business forcing private entities to either segregate or integrate. Market pressures lead the way to integration, since segregation puts businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

    They love Stormfront.

    No.

    And teabaggers!

    That depends on what you mean by “teabaggers.”

    You should really check your sources more carefully

    Backatcha.

  19. KKK is for Tankkkredo

    So, who are you and why should I believe you?

    Everyone knows I’m right. I thought you just got duped but maybe you are in on the lie/spoof.

    For everyone else, go out tomorrow and stomp the shit out of a libertarian for what they did to the woman in Kentucky, give them a taste of their own medicine.

    Oh and tell your libertarian teabagger buddies Tankkkredo, Rand Paul and Sarah Palin to go fuck themselves with a chainsaw!!!!!!!!!

  20. paulie Post author

    the peak decade of 1901-10, when about 8.7 million immigrants arrived,

    US population was 76 million in 1900, so that’s over 11% of the US population then, which would be approximately 35 million people in proportion to the population now.

  21. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brimelow himself may be the best argument for more stringent immigration controls. He managed to weasel his way into the US from England via Canada and hasn’t stopped trying to turn the fucking place in to North Korea since.

  22. Robert Capozzi

    mh: Our government has made it practically impossible…

    me: This seems overstated, perhaps wildly. I guess it depends on what “practically impossible” means.

    Overall, this is good positioning for the LP…pro immigration, with prudent controls for public safety.

    The other ommissions are the issue of public health facilities and birthright citizenship. I hear a lot of talk from anti-immigrants about the emergency rooms in hospitals being flooded. Not sure whether that’s true, but it seems to need addressing.

    And birthright perhaps can’t be addressed by the Party since it doesn’t take a position in the platform.

    I do wonder whether these essays are worth the effort. Perhaps they are really inreach documents, as MNR pined for.

  23. paulie Post author

    mh: Our government has made it practically impossible…

    me: This seems overstated, perhaps wildly. I guess it depends on what “practically impossible” means.

    See the Reason chart that is linked to:

    http://reason.com/blog/2008/09/24/new-at-reason-mike-flynn-shikh

    Click on the image twice to make it readable, unless you have a very large screen and/or excellent vision.

    I hear a lot of talk from anti-immigrants about the emergency rooms in hospitals being flooded.

    That’s more hype than anything else. That is covered under the same illogic which says that immigrants get education and welfare without paying taxes. In reality, they work more and harder than those born in America. And “illegal” immigrants pay plenty of taxes – FICA taxes under fake SSNs which they can never collect, sales taxes, property taxes passed on through rent, and so on.

    birthright perhaps can’t be addressed by the Party since it doesn’t take a position in the platform.

    Why should that non-issue be addressed at all? If legal immigration was easy, it wouldn’t even be an issue.

    I do wonder whether these essays are worth the effort. Perhaps they are really inreach documents, as MNR pined for.

    I think it’s well worth the effort. There’s a sizable minority of people who are pro-immigration freedom and are not being served by the big box parties. Or do you mean press releases in general?

  24. paulie Post author

    Brimelow himself may be the best argument for more stringent immigration controls. He managed to weasel his way into the US from England via Canada and hasn’t stopped trying to turn the fucking place in to North Korea since.

    Well, at least the North Koreans don’t have much of a problem with too many people trying to get into their country, right? And come to think of it, they may be the least ethnically diverse nation on the planet. Crime rates are low, nobody shirks work…I think you just may have this one pegged!

  25. Robert Capozzi

    pc34, attaining a green card may well be difficult. I’m sure it is. “Practically impossible” seems absurd, since there are areas in the country that indeed have LOTS of immigrants working with documentation.

    Yes, I’m not a fan of the pseudo press release. These are policy papers in press release form. I doubt they get much, if any, pickup. They are probably inreach, mostly, and I’m not sure THAT’s the best use of scarce resources.

    I don’t have enough information to take a view of these sorts of releases, nor what the opportunity cost is. I do question the practice.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    Oh, yes, on the emergency room thing, I don’t know if it’s real or not. Not addressing it in this release seems an oversight to me.

    And, yes, we can always go back to the root of the problem. Some might go back to Adam and Eve for any social ill, too! Some Ls might go back to the existence of a State in the first place.

    I’m a fan of going back to the root, to being “radical” in the original meaning. But going back too far runs the risk of losing people, including those who might otherwise be inclined to support us.

    So, care in going back to the root seems indicated. Maintaining credibility seems most important in the public square.

  27. paulie Post author

    there are areas in the country that indeed have LOTS of immigrants working with documentation.

    It may seem like a lot, but take a few minutes to study the chart and let it sink in.

    I doubt they get much, if any, pickup.

    I’ve seen stats that show otherwise.

    what the opportunity cost is

    Negligible. A couple of hours of staff time at most.

  28. paulie Post author

    Oh, yes, on the emergency room thing, I don’t know if it’s real or not. Not addressing it in this release seems an oversight to me.

    Covered under welfare. Why should we bring it up separately?

    Maintaining credibility seems most important in the public square.

    That’s exactly what news releases do, especially good ones like this.

  29. volvoice

    …..and I’m not sure THAT’s the best use of scarce resources…..

    Yeah…I bet they used up a bunch of time and money putting that out!

    Robert its time to seperate the wheat from the chaffe so to speak. If we don’t want to be lumped in with the TEA Party express people we need come out boldly against two things….immigrant bashing and the war…make that all of the wars. Of course I am sure Mr. Root would probably disagree with that strategy.

  30. Robert Capozzi

    No, welfare doesn’t really “cover” the point of clogged emergency rooms. That’s a function of a lot of things: the broken healthcare regime and government mandates regarding health provision by hospitals, for starters. Again, I don’t know if it’s a myth or real. It’s a point worth addressing, as it’s a point that concerns many citizens.

    How far someone analyzes a situation at the root is a matter of judgment, not principle, IMO. I’d say that the limitation of “radical” analysis (and ANY analysis) is that it is dependent on perception and selecting out relevant from less relevant facts to assemble a POV. Any two people can conduct “radical” analysis and come to seemingly germane yet differing conclusions.

    The opportunity costs are what ELSE can be done with the time. I see the LNC and HQ’s main purpose as to grow the party, to serve the members, to support candidates, and provide admin for conventions. Serving as a think tank? Not so much. If these sorts of pseudo releases advance the end I cite, I’m for them. If they are pontifications, I’m not. (We Ls have a great propensity to pontificate, myself certainly included.)

    As a rule of thumb, half of all marketing efforts are wasted, so these releases may or may not be effective.

    VV, if being “lumped in” with the TP advances liberty, I’m for it. If it doesn’t, then I’m not. Since my opinion is that immigrant bashing and the Iraq War (and now Afghanistan, too) do NOT advance liberty, I am open to the possibility that we Ls need to distance ourselves from the TP, if it has become associated with those views. I’m not at this point convinced that that’s the case, since the inception of the TP had very strong pro-liberty elements. Certainly the TP rank-and-file appear predisposed to the idea that government is the problem, not the solution, and that something is amiss.

    My sense is that the MSM has amplified the hater aspects of the TP in an effort to smear them.

    I don’t speak for Root. I don’t, however, consider him the “enemy,” though I sometimes disagree with him. Ditto for Nolan or Ruwart. Respectful and fair disagreement is healthy, IMO. Demonization, not.

  31. paulie Post author

    It’s a point worth addressing, as it’s a point that concerns many citizens.

    A press release can only do so much before it gets too long. I think this one covered the bases, and did so well.

    The opportunity costs are what ELSE can be done with the time. I see the LNC and HQ’s main purpose as to grow the party, to serve the members, to support candidates, and provide admin for conventions. Serving as a think tank? Not so much.

    A one-page press release does not serve as a think tank. It gets some media attention (documented in previous posts), so it serves all the goals above. All parties do the same thing for the same reason, they want to be in the news.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    pc: All parties do the same thing for the same reason, they want to be in the news.

    me: Generally, a press release is part of an integrated marketing strategy. Whether that’s being done, I can’t say. Again, to be clear, I don’t oppose doing press releases. I am concerned that the LP could become more insular, putting out highly ideological releases that appeal to Ls and few non-true believers. I didn’t see you cite stats, which usually need to be analyzed. Raw numbers prove nothing.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    PC, nice pickups, but not what I meant. In my flak days, we measured gross impressions over time to get a sense of how we were doing.

    It would be interesting to see how and whether this sort of messaging increases the party’s numbers and/or fellow travelers. Could be. Hope so.

  34. paulie Post author

    That would be a bit hard to measure directly, but I hope so as well. It certainly seems like a step in the right direction to me.

  35. paulie Post author

    LOL. Well, words are the main currency in trade of political parties. Although, I suppose a musical dance number wouldn’t hurt.

  36. Robert Capozzi

    pc, agreed. To be effective, the words used need to move people to action, else it’s just a bunch of hot air.

  37. Tom Blanton

    I am concerned that the LP could become more insular, putting out highly ideological releases that appeal to Ls and few non-true believers. I didn’t see you cite stats, which usually need to be analyzed. Raw numbers prove nothing.

    RC – Perhaps the idea is to attract people who hold similar viewpoints who were unaware that the LP had that viewpoint as many libertarians (like Wayne Root) are out there trying to convince the general public that libertarians are actually conservatives.

    It actually makes sense for the LP to advance libertarian ideas. First, it exposes people to the ideas. Second, people who agree are more likely to join the LP enthusiastically, contribute cash, and become activists.

    The strategy that calls for appealing to the general public by being dishonest about the LP platform and what most grassroots libertarians believe in is contra-indicated at this time. Besides, this strategy has proved to be an enormous failure and an embarrassment to the libertarian movement in general.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    tb, please share how you know what “most grassroots libertarians believe in”. I’m unaware of any polling mechanism established to take the pulse of our merry little band, but perhaps you are.

    I know of no strategy that calls for dishonesty about the platform. I DO know that the platform is an imperfect reflection on what Ls believe.

    For ex., I’m pretty sure the platform didn’t used to have this language, and now it does: “However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.”

    Some Ls don’t agree with this language, they believe in completely open borders. Others don’t believe in borders!

    L thinking shifts and evolves (or degenerates, depending on one’s perspective) over time. Clearly, “THE” L position doesn’t exist in some immutable, unchangeable, irrevocable, absolute form. Thank goodness!

    Being a plumbline control freak about politics sounds like a set-up for failure to me. People — even like-minded people — will sometimes disagree.

  39. Tom Blanton

    I am concerned that the LP could become more insular, putting out highly ideological releases that appeal to Ls and few non-true believers.

    RC, please share how you know what “appeals to Ls and few non-true believers”. I’m unaware of any polling mechanism established to take the pulse of Ls or non-true believer, but perhaps you are.

    Being a control freak by insisting that LP press releases stridently moderate sounds like a set-up for failure to me.

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