Immigrants: Intruders or Guests?

Since there has been much talk about Arizona’s recent passing of its controversial immigration law, I thought it a perfect time to announce that the latest edition of the Journal of Libertarian Studies features an article that Albert Esplugas and I have written on immigration. The title is “Immigrants: Intruders or Guests? A Reply to Hoppe and Kinsella.”

(Stephan Kinsella’s views appear to have changed since this piece was written a few years ago. Indeed, he is now pro-immigration and pro-open borders.)

The same edition of the JLS (Vol.22 Num.1) contains another article on the issue: “A Pure Libertarian Theory of Immigration” by Jan Krepelka; it appears to be a critique of the major arguments against free immigration.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I said it then and I’ll say it again now, Manuel. This is one of the best pieces on immigration ever written. Two thumbs, way up. I will offer one subtle criticism of only the title. It seems to me that a person entering the U.S. is neither a visitor nor an intruder. In the former case, he must have come for some purpose that has a time limit, hence the visiting status. In the latter case, he must be entering a place owned by someone else without invitation. Both designations are made by people who: a) are already here, almost exclusively by means of entering the same way as this “visitor” did; and, b) don’t have a claim of ownership on any of the land which the ostensible visitor will, well, visit! To have one set of immigrants designate another set of immigrants as illegal based on timing alone just boggles my mind.

  • well hoppe probably wouldn’t see his advocacy for MORE immigration from communist era eastern europe as in conflict with his argument for less immigration from non white countries because in his mind THOSE people would not be aggressing a western country because they are western.

    Also, couldn’t help but think of the millions of refugees post berlin wall that swamped and ate up various european cities resources. I guess that’s not really an argument against ethnicly based immigration restrictions as much as an acknowledgment of the possiblity that all open borders scenerios are workable.

    • Chris, that the Mathusian view–population growth must eventually outstrip food production–happens to be empirically true in non-capitalist states says nothing about its more general validity. I’d argue similarly about Berlin Wall refugees in Europe vis-a-vis immigration and open borders. In other words, apples and oranges.

  • that is “NOT all open borders scenerios are workable”

  • This is excellent. It’s good to see the pro-immigration view (i.e., the libertarian view) get the last word in the JLS.

  • My commentary here:

    The welfare case against immigration doesn’t hold up.

    The Hoppean case is garbage, and frankly, in terms of extending his argument to the State, it’s a collectivist argument…