Former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld announced today he is running for president against Donald Trump, hoping to secure the Republican nomination.
Jack Parkos | United States
Many modern libertarians are proponents of open borders with little to no restriction on immigration. But is this stance appropriate for libertarians? Just because other right wingers support closed borders, does not mean they are anti-immigration. Rather, they seek restrictions on it. It isn’t “anti-libertarian” to support secure borders. Even Ron Paul was not an open border libertarian.
We live under a massive welfare system, which balloons because the US government has caused massive destabilization all over the world. This causes mass immigration, and sometimes even state importation of refugees and immigrants. Refugees will leech off the welfare state at the expense of taxpayers. This does not seem like the stance a presumed libertarian would take. It could easily be said that open borders are just as statist as closed borders. Many libertarians believe that the only borders should be one’s own property. But we must understand that the federal government has power over the border, and it likely will not give up this power anytime soon. Thus, libertarians must choose the position that will best protect our liberty, and it isn’t to open the borders.
Open border libertarians argue that the welfare state argument isn’t an argument against immigration but an argument to end the welfare state. In truth, it is an argument for both. But how does placing more people on welfare and thus expanding the welfare state, help reduce it? Libertarians should be trying to reduce the number of people on welfare. By allowing more people in who may not have skills desired by the markets, we only expand the welfare state and harm the immigrants who want to enter legally and join the workforce.
A study done by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that 62% of illegal immigrants receive welfare of some kind. Los Angeles County spent 1.2 billion dollars on welfare benefits for illegal immigrants in just two years. These are people who are getting free government handouts at the expense of the taxpayers. Even if the welfare state is reduced, it could easily be voted back up.
A solution to this could be to have a vetting process based on value to the job market. Immigrants who want to work should be welcomed into the country. Perhaps this system could be similar to an Elis Island system.
Immigrants tend to vote in support of big government to get benefits. Democratic politicians use immigrants to gain votes. Of course, many people already vote for larger government, but we do not need more people voting for this. Obviously, it is impossible to regulate people coming in based on political ideology. But reducing it to peaceful workers will decrease the likelihood of people voting for welfare, and thus weaken the Democratic party.
US foreign policy has been a disaster. The policy of destabilizing regions based on the drug war and war on terrorism must stop. But in the meantime, there is a lot of danger going on in the world and we shouldn’t put the American people in harm’s way, thus we should ideally be isolated from the conflict.
In Latin America, the drug war has created violent cartels and gangs like MS-13. The war on drugs should be ended, but that does not mean we should let gang members in. A proper vetting system could prevent criminals from getting in and allow peaceful people to enter.
Then we get to the Middle East, which becomes more complicated. It is no lie that US foreign policy has created the terrorist problem we see today. But is it smart to import people from countries that hate the United States and the West in general? The answer is obviously no.
There is a refugee crisis in the world. But this does not mean we should not import them all into the country. There are too many security concerns with this. To better understand why this is dangerous we must look at Europe.
Europe has taken a very open borders stance and has paid heavily for this. In the past years, there have been several terrorist attacks in Europe. Even on top of that, crime rates have skyrocketed since these policies began. as an example, an estimated 77% of rapes in Sweden are committed by the Muslim Male population. Muslim males make up 2% of Sweden’s population. This does not mean all Muslims are rapists and evil, but this stat shows the danger of letting everyone into the country without a proper vetting process. Many of these refugees are unemployed and are subsidized by the government.
Open borders lead to more authoritarianism, so an ideology based on preventing such authoritarianism should respond appropriately.
How could the border and immigration issues be addressed?
- End the welfare state. This will take a while likely, so reduce it as much as possible.
- Stop welfare incentives for people to enter solely to live off welfare.
- Create a proper vetting system for South and Latin America (As well as other nations in Europe, Asia, etc). to vet out those who will work, and those who would only live off of welfare. Those with clean records should be allowed to enter legally and become citizens.
- Try to stop illegal immigration into the country.
- Allow peaceful illegal immigrants an easier path to citizenship.
- Deport illegal immigrants found guilty of a violent crime.
- End the war on drugs that has destabilized Latin America.
- Stop the war on terror overseas and focus on domestic issues.
- Temporarily stop all immigration from the Middle East until hostilities cool down a bit and we can have a proper vetting system.
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Josh Hughes | United States
With the pivotal midterm elections quickly approaching, a story that has circling news outlets recently is one that most Americans are all too familiar with: a caravan of immigrants from Guatemala and Honduras are heading towards the southern US border, intent on finding refuge in the land of opportunity. But what does this mean for the United States? According to a story from ABC and confirmed by the United Nations, the caravan, which is still in the southernmost tip of Mexico, has grown to a size of over 7,200 migrants.
Surely a group that large will have a negative effect on the country, right? Undoubtedly, the effects of that many people entering the country will be felt, but why is that? The truth is, the government probably has itself to blame for its many issues with illegal immigration. The reason droves of immigrants swarm to America is because of the many social programs offered at the expense of the taxpayer.
Many immigrants come to take advantage of government programs such as welfare and Medicaid, without having to pay taxes to contribute to the system since they’re undocumented. This is one of the many issues President Trump and his supporters have presented, but their fixes are nonsensical. The left and the right are offering “band-aid fixes” to very deep and complex issues without looking at the root of the problem. Both sides propose regulating immigration rather than fixing the welfare state that exists today. Rather than worry about who comes in, the way to solve the problem is to ensure that no one is entitled to benefits offered at the expense of others. There’s no legitimate reason to stop people from coming into the country that will benefit America and contribute to the economy, as the United States is renowned for being a melting pot of ideas and cultures.
Another issue many Republicans have is that a lot of these immigrants may somehow vote, and vote Democrat. The number of illegal immigrants that vote is very few, but it’s the principle that’s the issue. The fact of the matter is, neither party offers anything that will legitimately help the immigrants. The Democrats giving them free support and services is damaging to them and to the country, and the Republicans that elect to keep them out entirely also isn’t helping.
Rather, the best course of action is the libertarian way. End the social programs. Let them come in, and offer them the greatest gift a society can give: equal opportunity and freedom. The proposition of starting a new life in a free land where your possibilities are endless as long as you work hard is something most immigrants don’t have in their home countries. They are famously hard workers, and no doubt have many skills to offer to the labor force and the economy. The best course of action is to offer all people, regardless of nationality, gender, race, sexuality, or another deciding factor, should have an equal opportunity to make a better life for themselves. Immigration reform is severely needed.
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By Austin Anderholt | United States
Andrés is your average Latino teenager who enjoys his summer like any typical American kid. He’s relaxing on vacation and watching the World Cup with family and friends. Life is laid back, and adulthood isn’t even a problem yet for the brown-haired soccer enthusiast.
However, Andrés’s story hasn’t always been that nice. From 2000-2009, Andrés survived the socialist hell of Venezuela.
The South American country is home to over 31 million inhabitants, known for its warm and wet tropical climate, rich oil reserves, mountain ranges, diverse wildlife, incredibly delicious dishes such as meaty and cheesy arepas, and oh yeah… a failing economy created by the socialist dictator Hugo Chavez.
“In the seventies,” Andrés tells me, “Hugo Chavez nationalized the oil. He expanded the welfare state, and all government services relied on oil. In other countries, when oil prices go down, it’s not that big of a deal, but in Venezuela, it crashes down on everything. Innovation and economic growth and technology collapse.”
Because the socialist government is trying to survive on its oil exports alone, acquiring goods is a hardship in Venezuela. It’s a common sight for many people wake up in the early hours of the morning to wait in long lines for basic necessities such as toilet paper and food.
“The lines are just…you have to wait literal hours. And you can only buy one thing per week. If you miss that week, you’re done.”
The constant food shortages aren’t even the worst part about the communist ruin of the Venezuelan economy. The minimum wage was recently hiked up 150% to one million bolivars (the official Venezuelan currency) per month. However, this staggering amount of money earns you a whopping $1.61 on the Venezuelan black market. Not even close to enough for a family to survive for a month.
Starting in 2015, it was just as extreme: “One carton of eggs was three million Bolivars. A month of work to earn. Which by official exchange rate is less than a dollar.”
So how do Venezuelans survive the brutal left-wing economy? Andrés, who still has family stuck in Venezuela, has some ideas.
“For my family, we have to send money to our family in Venezuela just to feed them. They’re moving out, my grandma, three uncles, and an aunt.”
Venezuela hasn’t always been known as the economic hell that it is now. Back in the 60s, it was a much more capitalist social democracy and even known as “The Cancún of Latin America”. Even JFK visited the country, with Jaquelyn Kennedy delivering a speech in Spanish. “Her accent was bad, but whatever.” Remarks Andrés.
“Before Chavez, we used to compare Venezuela to Switzerland. It would be considered crazy for a Venezuelan to want to leave, and Colombians would illegally cross the border to live here. Even Americans flocked here. Now, it’s the opposite. Everyone wants to move out. We’re like the Syrian refugees of Latin America.”
Andrés’ family was lucky. As upper-class citizens, they enjoyed the ability to legally move to the United States. Ironically, many children of socialist Venezuelan politicians did just the same during this time period. However, most Venezuelans aren’t so fortunate:
“People try to cross the border or swim, but that’s impossible. Some people try to stay on their visas in America.”
I asked Andrés if people can still believe in socialism after coming out of a nation filled with starvation, shortages, and a daily struggle for survival. His response was unsurprising:
“Unless you’re linked to the government, it’s very hard to come out of Venezuela a socialist. Some are Keynesian. It’s very hard to be a Venezuelan and a socialist unless you’re a corrupt official or very very very very very poor person.”
Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, and Bernie Sanders have endorsed Venezuelan socialism. Once the government started gunning down protesters in 2017, they started saying ‘It’s not real socialism!’. Once the whole system collapses, it’s never real socialism.”
Andrés goes on to tell me that his whole family is made up of anti-authoritarian republicans, and he identifies as a libertarian. Either way, Venezuelans are sick of starving and are sick of their corrupt government. They want change, and there are a few ways to go about this.
There is always old-fashioned political voting. Groups such as the Movmíento Libertario are examples of young leaders trying to turn Venezuela away from its left-wing dictatorship.
However, a civil political movement might not be a good idea:
“The Chavista government gives welfare to people that vote for them. It will even promise housing to their supporters. Also, the regime gives 3-4 licenses to fans of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. These licenses give them superhero names like ‘Batman’ or ‘Superman’. Also if you’re registered to vote, and don’t vote, the regime votes for you.”
“The only opposition is democratic socialists, so they’re not much of an ‘opposition’. They just kind of preach ‘peace and love’.”
“Some parties (like ‘Vente Venezuela’, a free market political party and one of the only right-wing Venezuelan political parties) are virtually illegal. And anyone who protests has the constant possibility of being arrested, or murdered by the Chavista regime.”
Decentralization is another huge option. Venezuela has a thriving black market and it is one of the only reasons that the populace can stay alive. André’s advice?
“Buy crypto. When the Inflation hit, people switched to Cryptocurrency on the black market. Bitcoin is being used to protect from people the regime from printing money to pay back debt and overinflating the market. However, the Chavista Government started cracking down on crypto traders, arresting anyone who wasn’t using the Nationalized cryptocurrency, called ‘el petro’. Crypto isn’t specifically illegal, but the government does whatever it wants.”
So what does the future hold for Venezuela? Only time will tell, but it seems like liberty and decentralization are a shining beacon of hope for a South American nation, enslaved by leftism.
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By Jason Patterson | United States
On Wednesday, The Senate Rules Committee of California shocked citizens by appointing the first undocumented resident to a statewide post. According to Senate President Kevin de León’s office, Lizbeth Mateo will now serve on the California Student Opportunity and Access Program Project Grant Advisory Committee.
As an undocumented alien, Lizbeth Mateo is a former attorney and immigrant rights activist, and will now serve on the California Student Opportunity and Access Program Project Grant Advisory Committee.
“While Donald Trump fixates on walls, California will continue to concentrate on opportunities,” de León said in a news release. “Ms. Mateo is a courageous, determined and intelligent young woman who at great personal risk has dedicated herself to fight for those seeking their rightful place in this country.”
In a statement, Mateo said she welcomed the opportunity. “While undocumented students have become more visible in our state, they remain underrepresented in places where decisions that affect them are being made.”
According to de León’s office, Mateo graduated in 2016 from Santa Clara University Law School and also passed the California bar last year.
She was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and came to the United States with her parents when she was 14, according to de León’s office.