As Nationalist pundits and politicians sound off with the resounding cry to further militarize the United States border, the lessons of modern history seem all but forgotten.
I’m sure by now many of you have seen the likes of Texas Gov. Rick Perry traipsing around the southern border demanding that the national guard be called in to police the influx of central and south American children.
“Secure this border once and for all,” the Republican testified last Thursday at a congressional field hearing in South Texas calling for the deployment of 1,000 Texas National Guard troops while more U.S. Border Patrol agents are trained.
He would later repeat this refrain to Sean Hannity on Fox News as he further called for predator drones and the United States Navy to be deployed to police the Rio Grande.
Militarizing the border has now become a popular position for Republicans and conservative Democrats the nation over who see the influx of “illegal” children as a threat to economic and national security.
Bill O’ Reilly of Fox News was quick to pick up the talking points, publishing his own plan to ‘secure’ the border online. The O’Reilly plan does not only consist of militarizing the border, it actually advocates the rounding up of “illegals” for deportation.
These views are now gaining wide acceptance as many Americans fail to consider the implications.
It is easy for those who are ideologically inconsistent to get caught up in emotional rhetoric that conforms to some of their core beliefs. In the case of the current immigration crisis, small-government proponents are rightfully fearful of economic conscription on the part of the government where American citizens ultimately have to foot the bill for tens of thousands of immigrant children. That is not liberty.
It is also not liberty however, to turn to oppressive Berlin-Wall style checkpoints and borders in order to restrict individuals personal freedom of movement.
The real tragedy here, as many say, is that people can be considered “illegal” in the first place. Freedom of movement is a natural night that should not be infringed upon. It makes little sense to physically remove or cage someone for acting on their own conscience, just because they take one step too many in any particular direction over an imaginary line drawn on a map by politicians.
The economic argument being made against the high influx of immigrants would almost entirely be a moot point if their existed no borders or government in the first place. As already alluded to, the problem most Americans have with “illegal immigration” is not the people per say, it is the government forcing “citizens” to pay for them. Imagine what a non-issue that would be if there was no government in the first place.
In a free and voluntary society, all the problems created by government interference in markets, the police state, wars over resources and tax cows, etc. etc. etc. would all be inconsequential. Most South and Central Americans are sending their children to America to escape oppressive socialist governments that have ruined their homeland so they have a better opportunity. Imagine if a free market operated EVERYWHERE! There would be very little reason to “escape” to begin with.
Little do most immigrants know, the US is in many cases, is much more oppressive than the countries they are coming from. Especially in terms of things like laws and regulations. There are more laws and regulations in the United States than anywhere else on the planet. This is why more foreigners are LEAVING the US than ever before for greener pastures and freer markets.
Another thing to keep in mind as well is with no government, there would be no drug war. With no drug war there would be no narco-terrorist gangs, so that threat would also be almost totally neutralized.
It is odd that so-called small-government conservatives,who do not trust government to adequately handle almost everything else, easily turn to it in situations like this.
Conservatives should actually be embracing immigration from these South and Central American countries. These people are fleeing failed leftist countries. Contrary to popular belief they are not automatically going to be democratic voters. They yearn for the opportunities that the free market affords.
Nationalism is particularly harmful because it usually perpetuates ethnocentrism and the inability to see worth in cultures that are not ones own. Historically, nationalism has reached across the political spectrum but in most cases, highly militarized borders are a common staple.
Do we really need to be reminded about the history of militarized borders? Communist China? Soviet Russia? East Germany? Nazi Germany? Modern North Korea? This is NOT a solution. What happens when YOU want to leave?
As Dr. Ron Paul noted in a 2012 GOP Presidential Primary Debate:
“The people that want big fences and guns, sure, we could secure the border, a barbed wire fence with machine guns, that would do the trick. I don’t believe that is what America is all about.”
“Every time you think about this toughness on the border and ID cards and REAL IDs, think it’s a penalty against the American people too. I think this fence business is designed and may well be used against us and keep us in. In economic turmoil, the people want to leave with their capital and there’s capital controls and there’s people controls. Every time you think about the fence, think about the fences being used against us, keeping us in.”
If you worry consistently about the impending implications of a police state, advocating for militarized borders is probably the worst thing you can do.
The United States already has some of the most militarized borders in world. From 2007 to 2011 almost 40,000 people died in Mexico as a result of drug-related killings. 45 percent of these deaths took place in Mexican border states.
According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), 477 individuals died along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2012 during their attempt to enter the U.S. That’s an all-time high rate of 13.3 deaths per 10,000 CBP apprehensions. It compares to a rate of 8 deaths per 10,000 in 2010, and 4 per 10,000 in 2005.
As we already mentioned, the solutions to these problems are market-based. Ending the drug war by creating a legal and competitive market for once illegal substances would alleviate most of the violent crime.
Ending government subsidies would have a resounding effect on “illegal immigration” itself. When you subsidize something you get more off it. It is pure economic incentive that is driving border crossings. Ending welfare and free-education would almost certainly solve the “problem.” Then, those coming to the US would primarily consist of those seeking employment, not handouts.
For the child refugees, voluntary donation, and the exercising of individual property rights at the border are the best coarse of action. By exercising personal property rights absent of over arching border controls, land owners could choose how to respond in the event of trespass themselves. Some would allow asylum, others would not. Immigrants would quickly learn who does and travel accordingly. It isn’t hard to imagine the creation of axillary travel zones or cooperatively owned commons areas to accommodate them.
Once in the “nation,” the market, if left to operate, would then sort out those who can contribute to society by pushing them into positions where they would be the most productive. This would be into manual labor jobs like construction and into the service sector. (not into gangs and tax payer parasitism)