Sunday, January 20, 2013

My LTE On Immigration

My latest letter-to-the-editor was published in the NJ Star-Ledger on January 16, 2013. The title, "Open Borders," is the editors' choice.

Open borders

As a staunch believer in free trade, I sympathize with The Star-Ledger’s call for immigration reform in the spirit of the DREAM Act (“Immigration reform in sight, at last,” editorial, Jan. 13). But this is only a step in the right direction.

Free trade is about more than unimpeded movement of goods and services across national boundaries. It also means freedom of migration for individuals. Put simply, every person has an inalienable right to live and work where he pleases. This is consistent with America’s pro-liberty, universal ideals; the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Aspiring immigrants should be properly screened for criminal backgrounds, infectious diseases, national security concerns, etc. But that’s it.

True free-traders support liberal, open immigration policies, on principle. (The reverse is also true: Pro-immigration advocates must also support economic free trade, for the same reasons.) Of course, the path to American citizenship should be grueling and much more selective. But as to legal immigration, the principle should be laissez-faire for all who pose no physical threat to Americans’ safety. Free trade and freedom of migration are corollary moral imperatives.

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