Allow me to preface this by saying that I believe the only legitimate property is private property, and all land in the world must be privatized. The question that we must then answer is this: how do we get there?
Not everything is privatized, and the state is too large to ignore. Absent the privatization of everything, the state has two options when it comes to the political borders it controls: to close the borders and restrict immigration, or to open the borders and leave immigration unrestricted.
Until the land is privatized, we must recognize that both open and closed borders are government solutions. If we want to decentralize and get to a society where everything is finally privatized, the state must act in a manner that will emit the least amount of damage and be more tantamount to the cause of decentralization.
In answering the question of which would be preferable, closed borders or open borders, let’s look to some of the government’s other key services and ask the same question. In the absence of the privatization of the police, should government police stand down and do absolutely nothing when they see an old lady being robbed? Or should they do the job they are already paid to do? In the absence of the privatization of courts, is it preferable for courts not to prosecute criminals? In the absence of the privatization of the roads, should potholes never be filled?
If the police were paid to protect citizens from violent criminals but did nothing to apprehend the offenders, and courts did nothing to prosecute them, we would live in a perpetual state of chaos, where everyone would be free to act without consequence. Why then, in the absence of the privatization of political borders, would it be preferable for immigration to be unrestricted, when there are socialists that want to come here to increase taxes and welfare, and violent theocrats that want to force their values on others?
As Liberty Hangout writer Jared Howe notes, “allowing unrestricted travel of all individuals would maximize the damage done by the tragedy of the commons, thereby maximizing the damage done to the victims of taxation, thereby maximizing the size, scope and power of the state.”
Like the previous examples, opening the borders and allowing immigration to be unrestricted creates a perpetual state of chaos, and will only move us further away from property norms. No private property owner would leave their front door wide open for anyone to come into their house, just as no private defense firm or court would sit idle as violent criminals ravage the town. Therefore in the absence of the privatization of everything, if we want to decentralize and get to a society where everything is privatized, it is preferable for the state to act as private land owners and defense firms would in the same situations.
We need to close the borders NOW if we want to maximize our chances at soon achieving liberty, otherwise the likelihood of decentralization is only going to continue to dwindle. The US can ill afford to turn into Europe.
Image source: https://www.thenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/US_Mexico_Border_ap_img.jpg