Our own view is that a philosophy of “free markets and free people” includes flexible labor markets. At a fundamental level, this is a matter of freedom and human dignity. These migrants are freely contracting for their labor, which is a basic human right. Far from selling their labor “cheap,” they are traveling to the U.S. to sell it more dearly and improve their lives. Like millions of Americans before them, they and certainly their children climb the economic ladder as their skills and education increase.
We realize that critics are not inventing the manifold problems that can arise from illegal immigration: Trespassing, violent crime, overcrowded hospital emergency rooms, document counterfeiting, human smuggling, corpses in the Arizona desert, and a sense that the government has lost control of the border. But all of these result, ultimately, from too many immigrants chasing too few U.S. visas.
Those migrating here to make a better life for themselves and their families would much prefer to come legally. Give them more legal ways to enter the country, and we are likely to reduce illegal immigration far more effectively than any physical barrier along the Rio Grande ever could. This is not about rewarding bad behavior. It’s about bringing immigration policy in line with economic and human reality. And the reality is that the U.S. has a growing demand for workers, while Mexico has both a large supply of such workers and too few jobs at home.
And compare it to the Libertarian Party’s 2006 platform on immigration:
The Issue: Our borders are currently neither open, closed, nor secure. This situation restricts the labor pool, encouraging employers to hire undocumented workers, while leaving those workers neither subject to nor protected by the law. A completely open border allows foreign criminals, carriers of communicable diseases, terrorists and other potential threats to enter the country unchecked. Pandering politicians guarantee access to public services for undocumented aliens, to the detriment of those who would enter to work productively, and increasing the burden on taxpayers.
The Principle: The legitimate function and obligation of government to protect the lives, rights and property of its citizens, requires awareness of and control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a threat to security, health or property. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demands that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.
Solutions: Borders will be secure, with free entry to those who have demonstrated compliance with certain requirements. The terms and conditions of entry into the United States must be simple and clearly spelled out. Documenting the entry of individuals must be restricted to screening for criminal background and threats to public health and national security. It is the obligation of the prospective immigrant to demonstrate compliance with these requirements. Once effective immigration policies are in place, general amnesties will no longer be necessary.
Transitional Action: Ensure immigration requirements include only appropriate documentation, screening for criminal background and threats to public health and national security. Simplifying the immigration process and redeployment of surveillance technology to focus on the borders will encourage the use of regular and monitored entry points, thus preventing trespass and saving lives. End federal requirements that benefits and services be provided to those in the country illegally. Repeal all measures that punish employers for hiring undocumented workers. Repeal all immigration quotas.
There seems to be more than an accidental overlap, no?
It’s interesting to see the WSJ slowly transform away from being Republican cheerleaders and start moving in a more libertarian direction as they go back to touting those “free markets” that have always gilded the road to success for the majority of their business readers. Maybe are finally shucking off the recent “Republican conservative” tone (meaning they just acted as apologists for all the screwed ups fiscal policies Congress enacted) and proudly embrace their paper’s historical roots in economic libertarianism.