Editors Note: On March 16th George Mason University Professor of Economics Bryan Caplan debated Washington University Professor of Philosophy Christopher Wellman on the topic, “Is Immigration a Basic Human Right?” Below is Professor Caplan’s opening statement. There are many complaints about governments, but the harshest is, “This government grossly violates human rights.” The background assumption is that […]
If any part of liberalism needs revitalizing, it’s the case for liberalizing immigration. Nationalists on the left and right argue that easing immigration restrictions would make Americans worse off. During the Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders criticized open borders as a “right-wing proposal” that would “make everybody in America poorer.” And of course Donald Trump is calling […]
President Trump earlier this week issued a revised version of his infamous executive order to temporarily ban the issuance of new green cards and visas for nationals from Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan. The new order dropped Iraq, which eviscerated Trump’s argument that the list of banned countries is based on an existing list […]
During the presidential campaign Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, tweeted a picture of a bowl of Skittles candies along with the caption: “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” Trump’s tweet generated backlash from many corners but […]
Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) recently introduced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act. If it were to become law, RAISE would cut legal immigration by 50 percent over the next ten years by reducing green cards for family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, slashing refugees, and […]
Throughout the presidential campaign, there was much talk of a Muslim registry. Fortunately, that seems to have fallen by the wayside since the election, and the Trump administration has been consistent, thus far, in denying it will pursue one. Still, we should remain vigilant about it because something similar is still on the table: a […]
A society can’t close itself off and remain free.
For some fifty years, the US has had a policy of welcoming refugees fleeing the brutal communist dictatorship in Cuba. In the 1990s, the policy was changed to “wetfoot, dryfoot,”under which Cubans who succeeded in reaching the United States would be allowed to stay, but those unfortunate enough to be caught at sea were barred. On […]
For almost a decade, Congress debated creating an immigration system free from discrimination by nationality, country of birth, or country of residence. President-elect Trump, however, now proposes to discriminate unlawfully against certain foreign nationals on the basis of the same protected grounds without any legislation from Congress.
Trump’s base will be hurt the most by his wealth-destroying and punitive trade policy.
Not only have their ideas failed on their terms, they have backfired, creating more lawlessness than before.
Although I’m looking for reasons to be optimistic and I’m hoping my predictions about Trump continue to be as wrong going forward as they have been up to this point, the weight of evidence convinces me that his immigration policies will likely be just as bad as many of us feared.
If we believe in liberty for migrants as well as Americans, we must grant them liberty peacefully to travel the world unmolested and to settle wherever they find homes to rent and enterprises to work for.
If you try to conflate morality and legality, you’re going to have a bad time.
Emigration restrictions are guaranteed to injure the would-be emigrants in exchange for a very small positive effect on those who would not emigrate – if there is a positive effect at all. It’s a foolish policy that does more harm to more people than just letting skilled foreigners seek jobs where they are most highly valued.
In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized Operation Wetback, a project that rounded up hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants and deported them. Now policy leader Donald Trump is proposing that we do something similar—on a much larger scale. Think 11 million immigrants deported in two years. Now, many argue that if immigrants are coming to the […]