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The immigration scam

Posted By Harry Browne On 09/05/2001 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

President Bush has re-aroused the long-simmering arguments about immigration with a proposal to grant amnesty to some illegal immigrants.

Arguments about immigration will always be with us. But it’s important to understand that the real issue isn’t freedom for immigrants – it’s your freedom.

Immigrants will continue to stream into this country, legally or illegally, so long as there’s a Welcome Wagon waiting at the border – offering free education, free health care, free welfare and a free lunch. We need to put the Welcome Wagon out of business, so only people looking for freedom will want to come here.

Until then, no law, no policy, no border patrol will stop the flood of illegals.

Whose freedom is at stake?

Meanwhile, new laws to limit immigration will affect you considerably. You may think those laws will keep America pure, but they will succeed only in taking more of your liberty.

Think about it. How will the government root out people who are in this country illegally? By checking their papers, of course.

But how do they know whose papers to check? They don’t. So they’ll have to check everyone’s papers – including yours.

That means more invasions of your privacy, higher taxes, more corruption in law enforcement. The police will be allowed to stop you at will and ask for your identity card – and to search your property without a warrant, checking your car or home to see if you’re harboring illegals. Your employer will have to take more of the money available for wages and divert it to filling out forms and complying with bureaucratic inspections. The red tape also will add to the prices of the things you buy.

And all the while, the people you thought you were keeping out will continue to show up to tend your yard and wash dishes at the local restaurants.

Jobs

Why should you be afraid of immigrants?

Is it because you fear losing your job to one?

You could lose your job as easily to an American who’s more talented, willing to work harder, or willing to work for less. And if your company can’t hire the best, most cost-effective employees, it could lose customers to competitors and go out of business.

Your security depends most on your willingness to do the best job possible. Until you learn that, you’ll live in fear of all sorts of competition.

Jobs and higher wages don’t come from restricting the supply of labor – either through immigration laws, labor unions, or government regulation. Better jobs and higher wages come from investments in tools, machines, training, and technology that make workers more productive.

The more a worker can produce, the more revenue to his employer. Part of that increased revenue always finds its way into the employee’s paycheck because the employer doesn’t want to lose well-trained workers to competitors.

Immigrants don’t hog the jobs. Their presence increases the demand for labor, and they help to meet that demand.

Culture

Are you afraid American culture will be diluted by too many foreigners among us? Don’t be.

We no longer have a unique American culture. Our nation has become more and more like the rest of the world – where everyone’s life is run by a government rulebook.

The non-political elements of our culture – such as music, sports, and fast food – have already spread to the rest of the world. And our political policies – regarding government, taxes, and individual freedom – are already duplicates of the Old World. Our politicians tell us how we should live our lives, imposing suffocating taxes and regulation, and our individual liberties are always sacrificed for the benefit of the Fatherland.

More immigrants would want to become Americanized if America were the distinctive country it once was.

Futility of laws

The arguments about immigration overlook one critical fact: No matter what the politicians say or do, the immigrants keep coming. The volume hasn’t changed noticeably in decades.

The real changes that occur are the impositions on your liberty. And that’s what you should be concerned about.

Every new policy will, in one way or another, further reduce your liberties, reduce the percentage of your earnings you can keep, reduce the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

On the other hand, ending the pretense of closed borders and tight immigration would lower your taxes, restore some of your privacy, reduce the costs of many products and services you buy and increase the demand for your services.

Freedom is the issue

Political promises to keep America free of the great unwashed masses are just one more political scam – a subterfuge by which to steal more of your freedom.

And trying to limit immigration is an admission that the welfare state is a failure.

It is a confession that America is no longer the most prosperous country in the world – no longer a country so big, so free, and so open-handed that it can accommodate anyone in the world who wants to come here and work to improve his life.

A free and prosperous society has no fear of anyone entering it. But a welfare state is scared to death of every poor person who tries to get in and every rich person who tries to get out.


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