While traveling through Freehold last week I passed a group of people gathered with signs demanding immigration rights. I found a place to park and walked over to investigate. I found a group of about 35 people gathered with signs demanding rights for immigrants.The group consisted mostly of people from Casa Freehold and representatives from the NJ Immigration Policy Network.
The rights we enjoy as Americans belong to all humans. The right to freely travel provides humans with the ability to vote with their feet. If a regime (be it a country, state, or municipality) abuses the rights of its citizens, those citizens must be free to travel to another region. The right to freely contract for labor is an essential component of free and open markets. Free markets benefit all parties. Protectionism penalizes everyone.
Our current immigration policies are too complicated, too oppressive, and too restrictive. Immigration and Customs Enforcement locks up way too many people and disregards the rights of citizens and non citizens alike. Immigration control has been used as a pretext for National ID cards, financial surveillance of Americans, border and travel surveillance, and a growing police state.
I would encourage Casa Freehold to continue to speak up and fight for freedom. I do however warn them that they should not hitch their wagons to far left groups like the NJ Immigration Policy Network. During the rally Shai Goldstein, the executive director of this group spoke. While I agree with him on securing liberty for immigrants, his speech was full of errors and inconsistencies.
Mr. Goldstein continually praised democracy and led the crowd to believe that our nation was founded as a democracy. This is not true. Our founder's abhorred democracy. They avoided creating a democracy and instead created a constitutionally limited republic. Thomas Jefferson stated "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine". A democracy, by definition, leads to oppression of the rights of the minority. Mr. Goldstein is misleading immigrants by telling them that democracy will help them.
Among the readings led by Mr. Goldstein led were the words of Dr. Martin Luther King stating that "violence multiplies violence." This statement is especially true in the immigration debate. Immigrants should be welcome to come to the United States as long as they come here freely and do not trespass upon the rights of others. No one should profit on the labor of another without permission. Government welfare programs and mandates are based solely upon violence, while charity is based upon love. Taxation is enforced at the point of a gun. I find statements from the left contradictory in calling for an end to violence while calling for the government to use its guns to take the wealth of some for redistribution to others.
Recently the freedom movement has found itself being infiltrated by those on the far right. Many of them do not understand the libertarian non-aggression axiom. While calling for freedom they call for an end to the free movement of peaceful people. They demand immigration control based on protectionism and xenophobic fears of other cultures. This is not freedom. Government must not be given the power to control our culture or to protect certain industries from competition.
Many myths about immigration are put forth by those against immigration. Most of them are not true at all.
- Illegal immigrants can not collect welfare, food stamps, medicare, medicaid, or federal housing assistance. The 1996 Welfare Reform Bill barred most immigrants from receiving benefits. They also can not collect Social Security. While they do take advantage of emergency rooms and K-12 education, illegal immigrants do pay a substantial amount of taxes. Immigrants do not come here for the free benefits. They come here for the opportunity to work, save, and contribute to our gross domestic product.
- Studies have shown that immigrants quickly adopt to our country. Most second generation immigrants are fluent in English. The cultural differences they bring to our country add to our culture and heritage.
- Immigrants do not cause a rise in crime. El Paso and Laredo Texas are both towns with high immigrant populations, yet low rates of crime. The Star Ledger has found that NJ citizens are twice as likely to end up in jail as legal and illegal immigrants based on prison population and census studies.
- Immigrants do not steal jobs from Americans. Those who think otherwise do not understand economics and wealth creation. Immigration makes us more prosperous, not less.
Our overly restrictive immigration policies are the main cause for illegal immigration. As long as we remain the nation of opportunity, people will want to come here. We must open up our immigration quotas, stop breaking up mixed nationality families, provide a straightforward route towards United States citizenship, and put an end to government programs that redistribute wealth.