Sunday, February 17, 2019
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Liberal-Conservative Hypocrisy on Immigration

U.S.-Mexico border

There is no area that is more rife with hypocrisy among both liberals and conservatives than immigration. When it comes to immigration, it seems that liberals and conservatives are competing against other for title of “Most Hypocritical.”

For months, liberals have been condemning Donald Trump for his plan to build a gigantic wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. They say it shows how cruel, heartless, and inhumane he is.


Take a look at this page on the Internet. It displays various images of the fence that both liberals and conservatives constructed years ago along the U.S.-Mexico border:

Remember when they were constructing that fence? They said that it would finally, once and for all, bring an end to America’s forever illegal immigration crisis. They were celebrating the fact that Congress had finally authorized it. And they’ve been glorifying it ever since.

So, pray tell: How is Trump’s wall any different in principle from that fence along the U.S-Mexico border? After all, the reason that Trump wants to build his wall is because the fence obviously has failed to work, just as every single immigration intervention has failed to work for the past 60 or 70 years. With his wall, Trump just wants to accomplish what the liberal-conservative fence has obviously failed to accomplish. Trump wants to keep out illegal immigrants with his wall, just as liberals and conservatives want to keep out illegal immigrants with their fence.

So, what exactly are liberals complaining about? Trump’s wall is nothing more than a better fence. It purports to improve on what they were trying to accomplish with their fence.

Liberals are also attacking Trump for his plan to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. They are accusing him of being cruel, heartless, and inhumane.

But wait a minute! All that Trump would be doing is enforcing immigration laws — laws that liberals have long supported. Immigration laws have one purpose: to keep out illegal immigrants. All that Trump is doing with his deportation plan is enforcing laws that liberals have enacted and continue to support.

If liberals have suddenly been stricken with a crisis of conscience and somehow have come to the realization that immigration controls are evil and immoral, all they have do is join up with us libertarians and call for a free market in immigration — a system where people are free to cross borders back and forth. Do you see any of them doing that? Of course not. Instead, they just want to condemn Trump for enforcing the laws that they favor.

Let’s not forget liberal icon President Obama. He has deported more illegal immigrants than any other U.S. president in history. The number is now in the neighborhood of 2.5 million. And that’s not enough for Obama. He’s got his immigration goons on the alert. He wants to deport far more than that before he leaves office.

How in the world is that different from what Trump aspires to do? Okay, it’s 2.5 million instead of 11 million, but isn’t that really a distinction without a difference. The point is that Obama is trying to do what Trump wants to do — to deport as many illegal immigrants as he can. And let’s not ignore the fact that the misery and suffering that Obama has inflicted on those 2.5 million is no different from the misery and suffering that Trump wants to inflict on the 11 million.

Do you see liberals (or Trump’s critics in the mainstream press) condemning Obama for having become America’s Deporter-in-Chief? Of course not. They only go after Donald Trump because they like Obama and dislike Trump.

Whenever libertarians call for the dismantling of America’s welfare state, liberals accuse them of hating the poor, the needy, and the disadvantaged. But for decades, liberal regimes (e.g., Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama) have been arresting, jailing, fining, and deporting people who are among the poorest, neediest, and most disadvantaged in the world — people whose only crime has been to want to work and improve their lives through labor.

But of course, liberals aren’t the only ones who suffer from the malady of hypocrisy. Go to any conservative conference in the country. I will guarantee you that you will hear the standard conservative mantra — “free enterprise, private property, and limited government.” Conservatives will extol the virtues of “capitalism” and “free markets.” They’ll condemn socialism. They’ll pull out and proudly display their pocket copies of the Constitution.

And then comes the area of immigration, and suddenly all their mantras and slogans are tossed overboard. They support immigration central planning by a government bureaucracy, which is nothing more than a variation of the socialist concept. They endorse the immigration police state along the border, which entails highway checkpoints, roving Border Patrol checkpoints, warrantless searches of farms and ranches, raids on businesses, snitching on families, and more. They endorse felony convictions for American families and employers who dare to hire illegal immigrants to work in their privately owned homes and businesses.

Liberals and conservatives have spent their entire lives wailing about and bemoaning the “immigration crisis,” a forever crisis that is rooted in the very system of immigration controls that they both favor. They fail to recognize that there is but one solution to this morass — freedom and free markets — the free movements of people across borders. Nothing else will ever work. A system of open borders would bring an end the perpetual immigration crisis, it would go a long way toward restoring a sense of morality, harmony, and liberty within our nation, and it would help alleviate a large part of the hypocrisy that afflicts both liberals and conservatives.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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