WATCH: The Prohibition of People

Open borders is a controversial idea, like repealing liquor prohibition once was

The results of extreme border controls in the US are not hard to predict. Just as alcohol prohibition produced bootleggers, speakeasies, and smuggling, the border crackdown has created a boom in illegal immigration.

The loss of liberty on both sides — those who are denied the chance to hire workers and those are are denied jobs — comes with a massive rise of police surveillance of homes and businesses. The limits on government are blown away in the name of population control.

And just as with Prohibition, once liberty is taken away, it is extremely difficult to restore. People predict all kinds of coming calamities. And the opposition knows no partisan bounds. People on the left are just as hysterical as those on the right. Whether they foresee environmental calamity, collapsed wages, terrorism, or “white genocide,” the one solution they all rule out is the only solution that can really work.

Just as the debate over immigration heated up, I received a call from the John Stossel Show to go national with a position I’ve pushed in speeches over the summer: a world of free migration or “open borders.” To prepare, I published a piece on the subject, based largely on FEE.org's extraordinary archive of information on immigration. Mostly I sought to dispel the vast numbers of myths on the topic, and then propose the answer just to get people thinking another way.

The entire show was dedicated to the subject, and it included some heated debate. What viewers couldn’t see is that the debate was even more intense in the green room of the studio itself! It ended up being the highest rated cable show in primetime for the entire weekend (Fox ran it three times).

As a result of my appearance, I received many hundreds of tweets, some hysterical and cruel (including my first-ever death threat) and some very-much welcome. My favorite comment was from one viewer who said that my appearance completely changed his mind on this topic. He realized that a consistent opposition to government intervention would necessarily include government attempts to shut the borders too.

Precisely.

The immigration debate is a challenge to everyone today, just as alcohol prohibition was in its day. At one point, the idea of legalization seemed impossible to contemplate. Finally fed up and out of ideas, the apparatus of coercion and control was replaced by liberty, and with wonderful results. Something similar is happening with the war on pot today. Maybe it is possible with immigration too. Until that time comes, there will only be more division, suffering, and statism. 

Here is video of my segment of the show.

More by Jeffrey A. Tucker

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