In the past several election cycles in this country, immigration has been a hot-button topic, taking up a great deal of airtime over other issues. At a time when the United States is divided over immigration and related issues, there are a wealth of different perspectives. While many conservatives have a stated and strong interest in the building of a border wall and/or strengthening of security, liberals believe that little to nothing needs to be done to further secure the border with Mexico. While the party lines of each of these groups has become ever increasingly polar and divided, it has often been harder to define Libertarian positions on this and other issues. As is often the case, the Libertarian views on immigration are a bit different than either big party. While some of the positions of the Libertarian party are decidedly conservative and individualist, Libertarians question many other conservative social and fiscal positions that do not stand up to their scrutiny.
Was the Great Wall So Great?
While it is hard to say that any one side is inherently and entirely correct in their assertions, there are some practical considerations to make which greatly favor one position over the other. For instance, it may be helpful to compare the hypothetical border wall with the historic Great Wall of China. In many ways, the comparison is obviously incongruous, though the historic structure may actually be more similar to our current border security measures than those proposed. Much like the Great Wall, our border currently has a series of sections of wall and fencing. While the current wall actually does cover a great deal of territory, it does not extend through regions where its construction is either geographically unnecessary or downright impossible.
While we do not have a continuous border wall across our southern boundary, further investigation will question the perceived need for such a project or its benefit. Though the Great Wall conjures up images of a long ribbon of impenetrable wall across the whole of China, this is far from the case. In addition to different era alignments of the wall, decay and demolition and other damaging factors, the structure is actually a series of walls along China’s former northern borders, interrupted in many places by impassable obstacles, and was never one continuous structure largely because there were natural borders that made certain sections both unneeded and impossible to erect. Likewise, historians will tell you that the wall was not especially effective at keeping out armed invaders, even leading to the Mongolian rule on multiple occasions. For these and other reasons of both practicality and morality, Libertarians have largely come out against the tightening of border security.
A Liberal View on Immigration
While Libertarians tend to seek balance and reason by holding the most practical views from both sides of the political spectrum, their primary position on immigration skews decidedly liberal in its vastly permissive language and assertions. While most on the left essentially advocate for relatively fluid borders and allowances for refugees, the Libertarian perspective is substantially more extreme in its rhetoric and intended outcome. Much like those on the left, Libertarians are opposed to the restriction of immigration. Unlike the establishment left, Libertarians wish to abolish the entire system of gatekeeping at the border. Libertarians largely agree that people leave their home countries to find better life opportunities, and that it is unjust to restrict them systematically under a government organization. This belief stands much in line with the general Libertarian rejection of bureaucracy, centralization and governmental influence into personal pursuits. Like most Libertarian principles, it is reliant on the safe assumption that most consenting adults will strive to live moral lives and do their best to keep their world clean and safe for all. As such, Libertarians are opposed to the illegality of drugs of any sort, recognizing that drug convictions do nothing to end or mitigate the drug problem. While a certain level of compassion for the downtrodden immigrant has been established, this immigration policy would recognize the fact that immigration will continue with or without applicable laws. Just because people are facing arrest when entering the US does not mean they will be compelled to turn back.
Libertarian Ideals and Immigration
Libertarians essentially agree to disagree when they are faced with opposition, rather than try to impose their views on others, that is to always “respect” their views. Similarly, because they are opposed to government structured organizations and the control they have over people, Libertarians often take a neutral approach to relationships, not owing or being owed and feeling no obligations. Though these seemingly conservative philosophies may seem to make their open border position unusual, it makes far more sense when looking deeper. At a time of such frenzied dialogue over numerous social issues, Libertarians, like many other social groups, have often been misunderstood and grouped in with people who hold very different views. Though largely determined to define their ideals on a basis of logic and evidence rather than political motivations and talking points, many often misidentify Libertarians as a more conservative group, often being carelessly lumped in with the so called “Alt Right.” The Libertarian desire to have open borders is right in line with their general philosophy of personal freedom, a general principle of traditional party line conservatism, but rarely in the case of such social issues as immigration, abortion and birth control.
Not driven by alliances and affiliations, Libertarians seek to eliminate any political corruption or bureaucratic red tape that makes anything unnecessarily difficult for anyone. While conservatives in favor of the wall are also prone to lifting red tape and restrictions for certain groups, Libertarians believe in making things as simple and easy for everyone in society as possible. Because they believe in the right to work on their own without restriction or regulation, it makes perfect sense that Libertarians would oppose the imposition of such limits on other people as well. While many political party lines can develop among corporate influence and other political actors, Libertarian principles largely form a uniform line of logic and morality, dictated by evidence and deductive reasoning and not by manipulative political and monetary influences that plague the two big parties.
- Libertarian Case for Open Borders – Open Borders
- Immigration – LP.oprg
- Trump’s ‘Great Wall’ vs the Chinese competition – CNN
- The Great Wall of China’s long legacy – National Geographic
- Where Does Illegal Immigration Mostly Occur? Here’s What The Data Tell Us – NPR
- Libertarian Views On Health Care
- Libertarian Views on Education
- Democratic Views On A Border Wall
- Libertarian Views On Global Warming
- Democratic View on Immigration
- Donald Trump On Immigration
- Taking A Closer Look At Boehner’s Immigration Plan
- Republican Party Beliefs
- Republican Views on a Border Wall
- Republican Views on Illegal Immigration