Libertarian perspectives on immigration

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The libertarian perspective on immigration is often regarded as one of the core concepts of libertarian theory and philosophy.[1][2] Some libertarians assert that "[e]fforts by the government to manage the labor market are as apt to fail as similar efforts to protect domestic industries or orchestrate industrial policy. [...] If an immigrant seeks to engage in peaceful, voluntary transactions that do not threaten the freedom or security of the native-born, the government should not interfere".[3]

Libertarian proponents of free immigration[edit]

Samuel Edward Konkin III has promoted illegal immigration as being a key part of the counter-economy.[4]

Libertarian author Jacob Hornberger, a proponent of freer immigration policies,[5][6] argues that open borders is the only libertarian immigration position.[7]

Jeffrey Tucker, Director of Content at the Foundation for Economic Education,[8] has been critical of the closed-border arguments made by conservative-leaning libertarians:[9][10]

This is a huge debate among people who otherwise swear fealty to "limited government." Many people who claim to want freedom seem to have no problem with the implications of a closed-border policy: national IDs, national work permits, non-stop surveillance, harassment of all businesses, a "papers please" culture, mass deportation, tens of billions in waste, bureaucrats wrecking the American dream, broken families, [and] the rights of Americans and foreigners transgressed at every turn.[9]


  1. ^ Brennan, Jason (2012). Libertarianism, What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press. pp. 42, 50, 119, 125. [Libertarians] believe everyone has the right to take employment in any other country, regardless of citizenship. They hold that, except in special circumstances, governments may not forbid citizens from leaving a country, nor may governments forbid foreigners from entering (page 42).
  2. ^ Brennan, Jason (16 February 2016). "Immigration Rights". Libertarianism. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  3. ^ Griswold, Dan (2008). "Immigration". In Hamowy, Ronald (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Cato Institute. pp. 235–237, quote at p. 236. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n145. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.
  4. ^ "Counter-Economics: what it is, how it works" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 March 2009.
  5. ^ Hornberger, Jacob (1 November 1994). "The Case for Unilateral Free Trade and Open Immigration". Future of Freedom Foundation. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  6. ^ Hornberger, Jacob (1 February 2000). "Let's Stick with Traditional American Values!". Future of Freedom Foundation. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  7. ^ Hornberger, Jacob (19 May 2016). "Open Borders Is the Only Libertarian Immigration Position". The Future of Freedom Foundation. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Jeffrey A. Tucker". Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  9. ^ a b Tucker, Jeffrey (14 September 2015). "Why Open Borders?". Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  10. ^ Tucker, Jeffrey (26 August 2016). "Five Differences Between the Alt-Right and Libertarianism". Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved 5 November 2016.