Wisdom from a Good Aussie Friend

by Don Boudreaux on June 29, 2013

in Immigration

Pasted below in full, with his kind permission, is an e-mail sent to me yesterday by a wise and good Aussie friend:

I’ve been following the rather bizarre discussion on Café Hayek about restricting immigration because the new immigrants “might” vote for more statist politicians and statist policies than domestic citizens (where is the evidence for this?). I think this is highly unlikely to change anything even if it were implemented. The biggest threat to liberty is the propensity of the huge number of domestic citizens who vote for more statist politicians and statist policies which they have increasingly done throughout the 20th century.

To curtail this very sad state of affairs I propose the following policies:

  1. the secret police should identify these voters immediately and expel them from the country for “endangering traditional American liberties”
  2. all US citizens returning from abroad should be required to fill out a questionnaire about their political views, membership of political parties and organizations, and voting intentions and if in the opinion of Immigration officials they pose a danger to “traditional American liberties” they should be denied entry into the country
  3. all foreigners who are willing and able to fill out this same questionnaire about their political views, membership of political parties and organizations, and voting intentions and if in the opinion of Immigration officials they appear to support “traditional American liberties” they should be immediately admitted into the US and be granted Green Cards

Problem solved!

Regards
[Wise and Good Aussie Friend]

….

My position is not that I’m happy, or at least naively content, to see liberty disappear if the only way to prevent its disappearance is to applaud government’s pursuit of a course of action that I think inadvisable, namely, to restrict immigration.  Instead, my position is that it’s a bad bet to endorse government intrusions (in this case, restrictions on immigration and, hence, on Americans’ freedom of association on American soil) in the hope that such restrictions will enhance, or at least protect, people’s freedom from further government intrusions.  Central (although not exclusive) to my hostility to government restrictions on immigration is my belief that such restrictions on immigration are likely over time to diminish rather than to promote liberty.

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