The immigration debate is one of contention, hurt feelings, and misinformation. Groups defending different approaches often use faulty knowledge and divisive rhetoric, all while ignoring important points being made by both sides. As a result, truth and basic moral principles are ignored — by everyone. Especially those who mean well.
As explained by Mises Institute’s president Jeff Deist, national borders mark “the edge of a particular territory over which a political entity — a state — claims exclusive jurisdiction.” By definition, anything under the control of the state requires a border — physical or otherwise. Much like the market, where governments claim to have the power to regulate service and product providers, setting the standards both consumers and entrepreneurs must meet. The state sets boundaries by default. The natural rights of man aren’t the state’s problem.
In a stateless society, however, boundaries are set by the individual.
An apartment complex landlord owns his property so the rules are his to make. It’s his decision who is allowed to rent from him. He may choose to rent only to individuals fleeing persecution in parts of the globe where states still use force to violate their basic freedoms, or may choose to only rent to individuals born and raised in stateless societies like his own.
The grocery shop owner in a stateless society also owns the jobs and may offer open positions to whomever he wishes. He might decide to, like the landlord, only hire refugees, people who are down on their luck, or former convicts. He may also decide to hire a mix of different people, creating a colorful environment of individuals from all walks of life under his roof. With no government entity setting the rules, the possibilities are endless.
In a society kept under the rule of the state, individual cases are none of the rulers’ business. They do not operate with the individual in mind. After all, policies are implemented with the “common good” as the goal — whatever that means to the ruler in place at the moment. In a flourishing stateless society with private cities where individuals enter or leave transactions peacefully and without having to refer to biased, violent monopolies for justice, competition will help everyone. Even the smallest minority in the world.
In this state, a group of employers might not want to hire outsiders, leaving a host of other businesses free to do so. And so, immigration becomes a matter of hit or miss but without the violence of the state telling all landlords and all job creators they are not allowed to cater to a certain group of people.
The problem with immigration in America — and anywhere else — is that Americans and immigrants who own business and land in America are not de facto owners of their property. They may not host Syrian families running from war and they cannot hire a Mexican worker fleeing misery.
When we own our property, we own the right to do with it as we please. That includes allowing others to share our blessings (or not) without being bullied by a biased, all mighty monopolistic force.
In such settings, business owners will shut their doors to several while others will do just the opposite. The problem is that now, we aren’t even allowed to give freedom a chance.