Amid controversy over U.S. immigration policy, Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle says the proper way to end illegal immigration is to re-legalize immigration. Hinkle released the following statement today:
"In debate after debate, Democratic and Republican politicians have decried the problem of illegal immigration, called for more border security and employer sanctions, and eagerly searched for evidence that their rivals employed undocumented help. The Obama administration proudly touts the fact that it is deporting more undocumented aliens than George W. Bush, while many of the families they support remain stranded in the United States, and most of whom were guilty of nothing more than the inability to satisfy a nightmarish bureaucracy.
"Our government has made it practically impossible for most would-be immigrants to work legally in America, a fact illustrated by this flowchart from Reason Magazine.
"For most of American history, immigrants streamed into this country, found jobs, and either stayed to build a life or returned to their native country if they couldn't. America was admired by the world and proudly displayed an ode to immigration on the Statue of Liberty, within sight of the major processing center at Ellis Island. We can and should return to that tradition.
"Every significant problem blamed on immigration in this country is either imaginary or caused by government. In Arizona, where illegal immigrants are being blamed for an increase in violent crime, violent crime has actually been declining for a decade, and declining much faster than the national average. Immigrants (both legal and illegal) commit crimes at lower rates than natives. If you're worried about gangs, then end the War on Drugs which funds them, just as it did the gangsters under alcohol prohibition.
"Immigrants are often accused of overloading the welfare system. This is again the fault of a government program. But the idea that welfare is a magnet for immigrants is a myth. In an ingeniously designed study by University of Hawaii Professor Ken Schoolland, patterns of migration within the 50 states, which have no travel restrictions between them, were studied. Schoolland found that were was, in fact, a very strong correlation between welfare and immigration: it was strongly negative. All of the states with the highest levels of government welfare benefits experienced net emigration to other states, and all of the states with the lowest levels of welfare experienced net immigration. Arizona, the current focus of anti-immigrant fears, ranks 46th in welfare benefits.
"Immigrants come here to work. Anyone who works and produces makes others better off. And unemployment and immigration actually are another two factors with a negative correlation. There has only been one decade in American history in which we did not have net immigration: the 1930s. If that is your idea of a great decade, you can have it.
"One unintended side effect of border crackdowns is to increase the number of undocumented aliens who remain because of the difficulty and cost of leaving and returning. Another is to create an 'underground railroad' that makes it easier for terrorists to enter without detection. The overwhelming majority of immigrants would love to come in through the front door. It is our bad immigration policy that has constructed the back door.
"It is time we stopped scapegoating the people who represent what is most admired about America. When the Libertarian Party was formed in 1971, we selected the Statue of Liberty as our symbol. We're the only political party that deserves it."
The Libertarian Party platform includes the following:
"3.4 Free Trade and Migration
"We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property."
The Libertarian Party platform is available in Spanish.
The Libertarian Party has 21 candidates for U.S. Senate and 169 candidates for U.S. House in the upcoming November 2010 elections.