Thursday, August 27, 2015

Libertarian Rand Wonders About the Border and E-Verify

Dear CAC:

I'm a libertarian at heart but I'm also a Republican and a law-abiding citizen.  How can I resolve being for a limited federal government when I am also for a strong border and an E-Verify system?

Rand in Kentucky


Dear Rand:

Libertarianism requires a strong government to protect the rights of individuals who are citizens.  Now, if you include non-citizens as individuals with citizen right, you certainly have a dilemma, both ideological and emotional.

A strong border is BETTER for libertarianism because it settles certain questions of culture.  A settled question of culture is BETTER for the libertarian because a weak border leads to changing culture.  The libertarian is not interested in changing culture but settled culture.  Naturally, this interest is self-interest because libertarianism is, after all, a very strong individualism.  So if you are a libertarian, you ought to desire a strong border so that the rights you secure for yourself as a citizen are not upended by an invading culture. 

E-Verify, for our readers, is a method by which government checks whether employees are citizens or otherwise legally working in America, as by visa, for example.  If you are a libertarian, you ought to be concerned for the rights of CITIZENS, not random non-citizens, no matter how many there are in your country.  So if the workforce is populated by illegal immigrants, the libertarian ought not throw his hands in the air and surrender his principles because "we can't do anything about it now, and anyway there's just too many of them to dismiss and deport, and anyway who will pick the apples and clean the toilets?"  Those are not libertarian arguments in the least.

Instead, the libertarian should protect the citizen from the non-citizen with the same fervor the libertarian seeks to protect the citizen from an overreaching or overbearing ( read "illegal") government.  Think of the non-citizen as a rogue government trying to take away the rights of citizens by changing the argument and the rules.  If the non-citizen sets the pace, the citizen is abandoned and oppressed by his own government.  That should light your libertarian fire! 

Thanks for the great question!

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