Objectivism and an Immigration Policy of Self-Interest for America Today

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“The Underdeveloped, the Undeveloped, and the Not-to-be-Developed Cultures”

Objectivism and an Immigration Policy of Self-Interest for America Today

Dr. Ed Powell


The date is December 31, 406 AD. It is so cold the Rhine has frozen over completely. In the summer, the Rhine is used a mechanism for trade between the Roman Empire on its west bank and the barbarian German tribesman on the east bank. The Rhine is also a natural barrier that serves as a border between the Romans and the barbarians. When the Rhine freezes over, an uncountable number of German migrants cross into Roman territory carrying with them everything they own. The Roman garrisons are not prepared to deal with such an influx. There are too many Germans, spread too widely, for the legions to have any effective response. The Germans ravage through Gaul, killing the Romanized elites and enslaving the citizenry. Britain, now cut off from the Empire, is abandoned and left to fight alone. Crossing the Pyrenees, barbarians descend upon the wealthy Spanish plain and despoil the peaceful civilization that took centuries to create. Not satisfied with their plunder of half the Western Empire, one group of barbarians crosses into the wealthy province of Africa and so thoroughly and wantonly destroys the elements of civilization that the name of this tribe, the Vandals, is forever associated with nihilistic destruction. Another tribe, the Goths, welcomed into the Empire as friends by the Emperor in Constantinople, yet still maintaining their fundamental loyalty to their own leaders rather than their new polity, march on and sack Rome in 410 AD, the first time in 800 years the city was taken by foreign forces. The Roman Empire in the West was dead. Its final death throes take a few decades to complete, but its fate is sealed on that cold New Year’s Eve in 406. It would be more than 1300 years before Western Civilization recovered to the level it had been during the Roman Empire.

The date is December 31, 2016. History is repeating itself. Bands of barbarian migrants have invaded Europe and are ravaging its cities using terrorism and the doctrine of al-hijrah, “civilizational holy war via immigration.” Like the Romans sixteen hundred years earlier, the Europeans seem powerless to stop the migration. Powerless physically. Powerless intellectually. Thousands of women are sexually assaulted. Sweden has become the rape capital of Europe. Theaters are shot up by migrants. Bombs are detonated in public places. Trucks are used as weapons of war to indiscriminately kill shoppers and pedestrians. In the United States, things are hardly better, with attacks in shopping malls, nightclubs, businesses, and in the streets. Large areas of cities are given over to migrant gangs and gang warfare between different ethnic criminals has made large areas of the American Southwest “no-go zones.” Wealthy Americans retreat to gated communities where fences, walls, and guards prevent the entrance of anyone who might be a risk. Non-wealthy Americans are left, like the Britons in 406 AD, to fend for themselves.

The lights are indeed going out in the West[1] and no one seems to know what can be done. What is needed is a philosophy of reason, which can look at mass immigration in its historic context, analyze every aspect of the problem, look at earlier migrations and both their causes and effects, and suggest philosophical defenses for Western Civilization. There is such a philosophy, Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. But its current leading advocates are almost universally on the side of the invading barbarians. This essay is intended to look at the issue of migration from a more comprehensive perspective, drawing on history, philosophy, economics, and politics to form a more principled defense of Western Civilization, based on Ayn Rand’s philosophy, that her most prominent advocates seem unable or unwilling to do. I will show that the only method of saving Western Civilization from the savages invading it is by restricting immigration to only those individuals likely to be compatible with the values that undergird it, and to expel those immigrants who by their advocacy and actions serve only to undermine the freedom of the United States in particular and Western Civilization as a whole. We have seen this story before. It does not end well. I not only do not want it to happen again, but I’ll be damned if I’ll sit back and watch people who claim to be advocates of Ayn Rand’s philosophy cheer for the barbarian invasion on principle without pointing out their rationalistic arguments and the suicidal effects for the West if their policies are adopted.


Immigration has been crucial to the success of the United States, both economically and culturally. Immigrants worked on America’s farms and in its factories, started some of America’s most productive businesses, fought in many of American’s wars, and contributed to its literature, science, economics, sports, entertainment, and fine arts. Individual immigrants have made enormous contributions to America, and continued immigration to the United States is crucial to its continued success as a country.

However, America’s experience with immigration is not all wine and roses. Many advocates of unrestricted immigration (“open immigration” or “open borders”) fall into the intellectual trap of selection bias, remembering only the good immigrants (e.g., Andrew Carnegie or Ayn Rand) while forgetting or ignoring all of the criminals, terrorists, and bums; ignoring all the evil philosophy and cultural practices that have been imported into the United States along with some productive immigrants. Prominent Objectivists point to the open immigration policies of the United States in the Nineteenth Century along with the coincident tremendous economic growth, and in massive exercise in post hoc ergo propter hoc, proudly assert that the United States would be much better off with those same open immigration policies today. Yet in this advocacy, not only are they committing a fairly obvious logical fallacy, they are ignoring both the actual history of immigration into the United States and the numbers, timetables, and social mechanisms that were responsible for these immigrants becoming assimilated as Americans. In essence, they proudly assert their desire to remain entirely ignorant of the facts about American immigration, and thus jettison any hope of learning from history, of making better decisions than our forebears, of placing today’s immigration debate squarely in the proper historical context, and thus abandon any hope of formulating proper inductive principles on the topic.

Objectivism and Immigration

The Objectivist community (such as it is) is as divided on this issue as on no other issue, with the most prominent and vocal open immigration proponents accusing those of us on the other side of every known moral fault, including the most prominent weapon in the entire verbal arsenal of the Regressive Left, calling us racists.[2] Notwithstanding the view that those Objectivists with a principled opposition to open immigration are racists, a debate has been scheduled on Amy Peikoff’s radio show,[3] between ARI Executive Co-Chairman and President Yaron Brook and New Zealand author Lindsay Perigo. This essay is created in anticipation of that debate.

The number of prominent open immigration Objectivists is too large to survey, though it is instructive to look at a few. Harry Binswanger is the most prominent Objectivist advocating completely open borders.

…entry into the U.S. would be unrestricted, unregulated, and unscreened, exactly as is entry into Connecticut from New York.

The crucial point is often overlooked: in its efforts to capture or bar criminals, the government may not violate the rights of the innocent. That means, no detention at borders, no demand to produce ‘papers’ or ‘passports,’— such procedures violate the rights of the innocent. In order to interfere with a man’s free movement, the state needs to show ‘probable cause’—which means specific evidence against the specific individual, not the indiscriminate subjection of everyone to a screening process.

There is no more authority to demand papers at the border than there is for the police to board a city bus and demand papers of everyone on it. A man, citizen or non-citizen, is to be presumed innocent. He does not have to satisfy the government that he is not a criminal, in the absence of any evidence that he is.”[4]

The principle of individual rights demands open immigration. Implementing that would mean phasing out all limitations on immigration. Entry into the United States should ultimately be free for any foreigner, absent objective evidence of criminal intent or infectious disease.[5]

It is very important to read the entire HBL “Open Immigration” article by Binswanger, as he is the most clear-thinking and consistent open borders Objectivist on this topic.[6] He doesn’t waffle. He doesn’t change positions from one week to the next. He stakes out a clear, logically consistent, unequivocal position, a position that can be intellectually engaged by people like myself who disagree.

Other prominent Objectivists who support open immigration are:[7]

  • Former Ayn Rand Institute (ARI) employee and journalist Robert Tracinski: “Any restrictions on immigration – large or small – trample the rights of both employers and job-seeking immigrants.”[8]
  • Publisher of The Objective Standard, Craig Biddle: “The principle of individual rights … mandates open immigration.”[9]
  • Author and philosopher Andrew Bernstein: “Open immigration is both morally right and economically beneficial. … If we let enough [immigrants] in, perhaps their number will offset the growing number of the native born who simper that America is the land of entitlement.”[10] And, “… open immigration is, for contemporary America, the only policy that is both moral and practical.”[11]
  • Thomas Duke, writing in the ARI-sanctioned publication for college students, The Undercurrent, “dismantle the entire bureaucracy of immigration restrictions. Open the doors. Let them in.”[12]

The most difficult of prominent Objectivists on this topic is Yaron Brook. Brook has never written anything about immigration, but he has addressed the issue in a number of lectures and on his podcast. In a YouTube lecture from May 17, 2008[13], Brook comes down strongly on the side of open borders, pinning his argument on economic rights:

Well I believe in open immigration. I believe people should be allowed into this country, openly with a few exceptions …. I believe that, because we as Americans have a right, an inalienable right, to hire whoever we want to hire, for example. It is none of anybody’s business, not my neighbor’s, and not the federal government’s, and not the state government’s, whether I choose to hire somebody from Connecticut, or from Mexico, or from Thailand. It’s me pursuing my business, it’s me pursuing my life, making choices about what’s good for me … .

If I want to sell my house to somebody from Thailand, if I want to sell … it’s my business, nobody else’s. … If I want to rent a hotel room to …

… it is Americans’ right to deal with whoever they want to deal with, as individuals. Each one of us has a right to deal with Mexicans, to deal with Thais, to deal with Chinese, to deal with Scandinavians, to deal with Israelis, to deal with people who live in Connecticut, strange as that might seem. That’s what individual rights means; it means that you have a right to do what you want to do as long as you’re not infringing on other people, as long as you’re not using force on other people.

… the basic right here that needs to be protected is the right of Americans to do business with whoever they want. And therefore I believe that our borders should be open.”

Three classes of people I think should be excluded … Terrorists, or any kind of threat to national security, people who have that kind of background, spies, whatever; criminals, people who are going to threaten the lives and property of American citizens …; and people who carry infectious diseases, that again are inflicting harm on Americans. And harm I mean here is physical harm, harm I mean here as violence, as force.

Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand’s heir, in 2013 expressed concern over immigration for two of the reasons I get into below, welfare and politics,

It happens to be the case that we are teetering on the edge of dictatorship. It happens to be the case that if the Democrats continue to have or grow their political power we will be over that edge. And it happens to be the case, whether you like it or not, that of all Hispanics in America, whether they are rich or poor, self-made men or anything else, 80% are reliably and continually Democratic. So if you are talking about a bill, I don’t care whether it’s fair/unfair in any other respects, you are talking about a bill that will infuse into this country a massive amount of Democratic supporters and thereby guarantee the destruction of this country. That is what immigration means today. And there’s no use asking me in theory what do I think, there is no theory now, we’re on the end. So it’s a question of buying time.[14]

Because of the obvious disagreement between Peikoff’s position and Brook’s position of “I believe that our borders should be open,” a debate of sorts was scheduled between Peikoff and Brook on Peikoff’s podcast, where Peikoff begins strong, countering Brook’s economic rights argument by saying, “They [employers] do not have a right to do something that is objectively harmful to the country and to all of us.” But he ends weakly, essentially capitulating to Brook, “I’ll concede the point. … if it’s [sic, “they’re”] not an imminent threat by bolstering significantly a destructive party then it [i.e., Peikoff’s position on immigration restriction] doesn’t apply.”[15] Peikoff was convinced by Brook and more-or-less reverted to a position of open immigration in principle, even if there may be immediate negative practical consequences.

Brook went wild on his BlogTalk radio show in early March 2015,[16] complaining about the Republicans’ (as usual ineffectual) attempt to defund President Obama’s executive amnesty:

This is, this is the issue of the day? This is the most important thing? What is the issue here? Is it that you hate immigration, and that you would do anything to stop allowing four million people who work in the United States today, who have got jobs in the United States today, from becoming, from gaining legality? You wanna keep them in the shadows? My gardener who does a phenomenal job? That’s the most urgent issue of the day, is God forbid we should allow people who are already in the country, who are already working, from actually getting a work permit.

Brook’s phenomenal gardener was the standard on which American immigration policy should be defined.

Yet everything changed in the Fall of 2015, as Muslim migrants flooded into Europe, bringing with them jihad, terrorism, crime, sexual assault, and welfare mooching to the heart of Western Civilization. As the migrant crisis raged in Europe at the end of 2015, Brook changed his position radically[17]:

But more importantly [an proper government] would basically ban the immigration of Muslims into the country, basically as an act of self-defense, and in particular in Europe where terrorism attacks [are committed] by Muslims who are not coming in from the outside but either have lived in the West for many years or grown up in the West and where radical mosques exist.

I think the burden of proof has to be on anybody coming in to try to prove that they are moderates, that they are truly not at risk of becoming radicals and becoming a threat to Europe. So point one is we’re at war and the West is at war, and Europe is at war, and the biggest problem Europe has, and the biggest problem the United States has in this context, is we won’t declare war and we won’t identify the enemy and therefore we can’t even figure out who’s okay and who’s not, who it’s okay to let into your country, and who’s not okay to let into your country, who you could monitor and who you should monitor, so we first, if we’re going to have any kind of rational immigration policy in this regard, we should first define who the enemy is and be willing to act against that and be willing to discriminate against that enemy in the sense of not letting them into the country.

No longer is he talking of the rights of employers or workers, landlords or tenants. He is talking about national self defense. Yet he gives no details on the philosophical basis for the change. He in fact does not even admit a change has occurred. And unfortunately, since he has never written anything systematic on the issue (unlike Binswanger), this radical change has gone unnoticed by the great mass of Objectivists who still take him at his word from the 2008 lecture. After all, “I believe that our borders should be open,” could not be stated more clearly. Brook has recently taken to Twitter[18] to claim those of us labeling him as an advocate of open borders are lying, simply because we have not kept up on whether Brook and ARI are fighting Eurasia or Eastasia.[19] “To exist is to possess identity. … They keep telling you what it is not, but never tell you what it is.”[20] Brook keeps telling us what his position on immigration is not, not what it is.

In Brook’s podcast episode referenced in the Twitter stream, Brook bases his opposition to Muslim immigration not just on the issue of jihad, but on increased crime, increased welfare usage, and the impossibility of assimilation for the Muslim migrants. In other words, he echoes many of my arguments below. He blames American foreign policy (not unjustly, but for different reasons than I do) for creating the crisis, and notes that Europe has no cultural confidence. Brook is correct on this last, as there is no “European culture,” just French culture, German culture, Italian culture, British culture, etc. While Brook bemoaned the vote for Brexit in June 2016[21] as a step backwards from the “European Project,” he now urges Britain to leave the EU as soon as possible, fearing the rise of Nazi-like parties in European nations. He ends his talk by saying, “I am a pro-immigration guy, but not on the terms that you are required to sacrifice for the immigrants. Not on the terms that the immigrants are coming in dedicated—a certain percentage of them—dedicated to your destruction. They are jihadis, and you can’t tell the difference between them.”

Note that Brook doesn’t advocate extra screening of Muslims, he advocates a complete ban on all of them, even while admitting that a majority of them are peaceful. He expresses no concern over this “collective judgment” against an entire class of people, and no concern for all of the “economic rights” of potential European employers of Muslims or the Muslims themselves. In other words, he sounds exactly like me and similar Objectivists who advocate selective immigration, or even like President Trump, but with apparently no self-awareness of the cognitive dissonance his shifting of position has engendered in sincere students of Objectivism looking to ARI for philosophical guidance, not to mention the frank dishonesty of accusing people like us of lying about his position when it has changed so radically and so recently. It is perfectly reasonable for a person to say, “I was wrong. When I advocated open immigration in the past, I had not considered all the facts. After seeing what the policies I had long advocated have actually resulted in reality, I now believe immigration policy should be set based on a country’s national self-interest and self-defense needs.”[22] Yet no such mea culpa has been forthcoming from Brook, nor is there any indication that Brook even understands that such a dramatic shift in his position has occurred. Nor has he generalized this position beyond Muslims. It is true that Muslims are, on average, the worst possible immigrants to Western countries, because of the deep entanglement of Islamic Supremacism[23] with Islam the personal religion, but other Third World immigrants have similar issues in kind, if not quite to the same degree. And there are plenty of Muslims who have made good Americans, for example, many wealthy Westernized Iranians who fled Iran when the Shah was overthrown by the mullahs. How would a “ban” on Muslims affect them? How would it affect a heroic person like Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Brook gives no answers to these questions.

I find myself in the interesting position of holding views on what the proper immigration policy should be in a free country between those of Yaron Brook I (from 2008-2013, advocating completely open immigration) and those of Yaron Brook II (from November 2015 to the present, advocating restrictive immigration based on a country’s self-defense needs and no Muslim immigration at all). How in the world is anyone going to debate Brook on this topic? Which position is he going to espouse? Or will it be a hybrid position, essentially open borders for everyone except for Muslims? Or will it shift from one proposition to the next depending on the statement of his debater? How can anyone tell in advance? I do not think delving further into Brook’s conflicting statements will yield promising results. It’s certainly possible he has made statements supporting immigration restrictions before the Fall of 2015, or pro-open borders statements after. His position changes slightly or radically each week, and a detailed description of such intellectual Brownian motion is not the purpose of this essay.

What then about Ayn Rand? Unfortunately, Ayn Rand herself never wrote anything about the philosophic or historical principles behind immigration restrictions, though she was an immigrant to the United States during the most restrictionist immigration period in American history. At a talk in Boston at the Ford Hall Forum in 1973,[24] in answer to a question, Rand spoke out against “clos[ing] the border” and “forbid[ing] immigration.” She ended by saying, “How could I ever advocate that immigration should be restricted when I wouldn’t be alive today if it were?”[25] I personally have no objection to Rand’s statements because of three basic facts:

  • I am not against immigration as such, nor do I want to forbid immigration or “close” the border, as I described in the previous section.
  • Rand came to the United States under a regime of the most comprehensive restrictions on immigration the United States has ever had, in 1926, two years after the passage of “Immigration Act of 1924.” No one I know of in the Objectivist community wishes to restrict immigration as severely or as arbitrarily as this law did, yet Ayn Rand immigrated legally then nevertheless.
  • Today’s context, in which immigration is primarily from the Third World and Muslim countries, is overwhelmingly different from the period of Rand’s initial residency in the United States. The repeal of the 1924 Immigration Act was fully accomplished in 1968, only five years before Rand’s off-the-cuff statements in Boston, and before the effects of the repeal could be fully experienced by her. Rand was first-handed about every issue, but she was not fully educated about every single issue in American history.

In other contexts, we see that Rand was no fan of the savages of the Third World. She wrote,[26]

“Why is Western civilization admonished to admire primitive cultures? Because they are not admirable. Why is a primitive man exhorted to ignore Western achievements? Because they are. Why is the self-expression of a retarded adolescent to be nurtured and acclaimed? Because he has nothing to express. Why is the self-expression of a genius to be impeded and ignored? Because he has.

It is to the Mohammedans, the Buddhists, and the cannibals; to the underdeveloped, the undeveloped, and the not-to-be-developed cultures that the Capitalist United States of America is asked to apologize for her skyscrapers, her automobiles, her plumbing, and her smiling, confident, untortured, un-skinned-alive, un-eaten young men! … It is not for her flaws that the United States of America is hated, but for her virtues; not for her weaknesses, but for her achievements; not for her failures, but for her success; her magnificent, shining, life-giving success. (“The Obliteration of Capitalism,” The Objectivist Newsletter, October 1965.) [Emphasis mine.]

On what basis would anyone believe Rand would have approved of bringing “the Mohammedans, the Buddhists, and the cannibals” from the “underdeveloped, the undeveloped, and the not-to-be-developed cultures” into the United States in the hundreds of thousands or millions?

Similarly, answering a question about the treatment of American Indians, Rand was indignant about the right of the United States to exist as a free country[27]:

“Now, I don’t care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you’re a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn’t know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not. Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights—they didn’t have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal ‘cultures’—they didn’t have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It’s wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you’re an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a ‘country’ does not protect rights—if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief—why should you respect the ‘rights’ that they don’t have or respect? The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too—that is, you can’t claim one should respect the ‘rights’ of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights. But let’s suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages—which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their ‘right’ to keep part of the earth untouched—to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it’s great that some of them did. The racist Indians today—those who condemn America—do not respect individual rights.”

I simply can’t imagine the Ayn Rand who so thoroughly demolished the idea that savages who were already here in the territory of the United States have inalienable rights to continue their savagery would, in the same breath, advocate (like Harry Binswanger, Craig Biddle, Robert Tracinski, and Yaron Brook), the wholesale importation of the same sort of savages from abroad under the rubric of “the right to immigrate,” or “the right to contract.” Indeed, the American Indians Rand spoke so eloquently about above were in some ways more civilized than the Third World immigrants of today—they only took scalps, not whole heads.

Some Sanity

There are a number of Objectivists other than myself writing on the subject of immigration and taking the selective immigration position, including novelist Ed Cline[28], attorney Ed Mazlish[29], and author Ron Pisaturo[30]. Cline focuses on the political and criminal elements with regard to massive Third World immigration, while Mazlish focuses on the need for ideological screening of would-be immigrants. Mazlish points out that bringing the principles of a free society to Afghanistan and Iraq did not turn any of these peoples into Jeffersonian democrats, and wonders why we could possibly imagine that bringing those same people to America would do so. “There is no evidence that bringing the savages to the US Constitution can work any better than bringing the US Constitution to the savages.”[31] Pisaturo details his change of mind on the topic of open immigration and discusses the philosophical presumptions behind a rational immigration policy. I wholeheartedly agree with their writings, and I urge any of my readers to read their pieces before continuing with this essay.

The Crux of the Issue

Despite all the words written and spoken by Objectivists on this issue, only one person has gotten to the crux of the issue, Harry Binswanger:

Freedom of travel is a right. It is a right possessed by every human being, not just by Americans. The Mexican government or the French government has no right to stop you from entering Mexico or France, and our government has no right to stop a Mexican or Frenchman from entering America.[32]

The border between the U.S. and Mexico (and between the U.S. and Canada) should be exactly like the border between Connecticut and Massachusetts: you see ‘Welcome to Massachusetts’ and otherwise you are unaware of the difference.[33]

Simplifying the language as much as possible, the crucial question, the crux of the issue, is:

Does an individual have the right to cross an international border?

Everything else is window dressing. If the individual does have that right, then Binswanger is correct and international borders would be no different than state, county, or city borders, with “Welcome” signs and a different administrative structure for enforcing the law. If you believe Binswanger is wrong, and there is no right to cross an international border without permission, then you and I have no fundamental difference in principle; we are merely arguing over what type of immigration restrictions are best for any country in general or the United States in particular.

Let’s look at Binswanger’s right to travel idea in detail. A right is defined by Ayn Rand[34] as:

A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life.

In short, a “right” is something a person may do without asking anyone’s permission. In the context of immigration, if Binswanger is correct, then a “right to travel” means no border checkpoints, no passports, no limitations on whether a person is a criminal, a member of a terrorist group, or a carrier of smallpox. Any limitation on that person’s right to travel must be supported by a finding of probable cause by a judge based on an objective presentation of evidence by a policeman. That’s what a “right to travel” actually means.

Lest you believe the right to travel means no border checkpoints solely for individuals crossing borders on foot or in automobiles, let me remind you that this is not the case. A right means no restrictions at all on an activity, no matter what the mechanism. The right to a free press applies whether the “press” in question is a printing press that Benjamin Franklin would have recognized, or a radio signal, a TV signal, or the internet. The “right to travel” is exactly analogous.

The United States and Canada jointly maintain what are called “Air Defense Interdiction Zones” (ADIZs) around all of North American airspace. The ADIZ is manned by “border guards” working for the US Air Force. All aircraft that enter an ADIZ must have permission from the US government to do so. A flight plan must be filed and permission granted before any aircraft can breach an ADIZ. If an aircraft does enter an ADIZ with no flight plan or approval from the US government, an Air National Guard or US Air Force fighter/interceptor will be launched to intercept the aircraft, identify it, communicate with it regarding its intentions, and prevent it (using deadly force if necessary) from entering US airspace. A similar situation exists regarding ships on the high seas. Radar stations and satellites identify each ship coming toward the United States and any unidentified ship without permission coming into US waters will be intercepted by the Coast Guard by aircraft or cutters. Both the ADIZ and the sea interdiction process have been set up as measures of national self-defense by the United States and Canada.

None of these defensive measures are justified under Binswanger’s right to travel. A right to enter the United States is a right, no matter whether the person entering is doing so on foot, in an automobile, in a truck, in a ship, in a submarine, or in an aircraft. Rights are rights, and don’t magically disappear because the technological method used exercising those rights changes.

But, I hear the objections, aircraft can be dangerous! Remember 9/11 and the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot![35] “Tough,” I would say if I agreed with Binswanger, “a right is a right is a right is a right is a right is a right is a right is a right, and cannot be killed or swept aside!”[36] Unless there was demonstrable, provable-in-court evidence that a particular individual on a particular vehicle was an immediate threat, nothing can be done. That’s the actual meaning in reality of the statement: “The border between the U.S. and Mexico (and between the U.S. and Canada) should be exactly like the border between Connecticut and Massachusetts: you see ‘Welcome to Massachusetts’ and otherwise you are unaware of the difference.” Binswanger’s “right to travel” means no border guards on land, no border guards at sea, no border guards in the air, and no border guards in space.[37]

However, Binswanger’s “right to travel” (or Brook’s “right to hire or rent”) is not a primary. One must go through a long chain of reasoning to get to such a statement. For example, one might use the following deductive process, where each statement builds upon the last as if a giant mechanical crank of logic was turning:

  • Every individual has a right to life (See Rand’s quote above).
  • He has a right to “take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support… his life”. (Ditto).
  • Productive work is required to support life. (Obvious.)
  • Sometimes work requires travel. (Also obvious.)
  • Thus travel is a right, no matter where the travel starting points and destination are. ( <== Serious mistake made here.)
  • Thus, there is a right to travel across international borders.

The problem is that in this chain of reasoning, the context has been dropped repeatedly throughout the argument. It completely ignores what countries are, what the world political context is, and what facts of reality give rise to the border between Massachusetts and Connecticut on the one hand and the United States and Mexico (or any other two countries) on the other hand. This chain of reasoning is an example of rationalism, the use of deductive logic detached from reality.[38]

When these contextual factors are included in one’s reasoning, the conclusion is inescapable: there is no such right to cross an international border.

Explaining why is complicated. In the explanation, I hope to explicate not only why no such right exists, but also under what circumstances immigration should be permitted, both in the United States and in other countries around the world.

What is a Country?

A country is an independent political unit not under the control of any other political unit. A country must be distinguished from a “nation”[39], a “state”[40], or a “nation-state”[41] for this discussion. There are roughly 200 countries on Earth in 2017. These countries exist in a state of mutual “anarchy” with each other, relying on mutual agreements enforced by common consent. There is no global government that holds a global monopoly on the use of force or the exclusive power to enforce social rules.[42] The primary purpose of a country’s government is to defend that country against foreign interference. This interference might be naked aggression such as a missile strike or an invasion; it could be selective aggression against individuals or businesses either at home or abroad; it could be interference in some way with the country’s political process; or it could consist of a long-term strategy to undermine the country as a viable free independent political unit.

Countries deal with other countries as units. This is not “collectivism,” but an expression of the reality of international politics. When Japanese aircraft bombed Pearl Harbor, the United States didn’t put out international arrest warrants for Admiral Yamamoto and his pilots, it declared war against the entire country of Japan, including those tens of millions of Japanese citizens that neither wanted war with the United States nor were even aware of any of the controversies that led to war. Long-standing law and custom provide for the internment of enemy aliens during wartime, despite their guilt or innocence, and consultation with foreign governments when one of their citizens is accused of committing a crime inside the United States. The reason for these laws and customs is that in international affairs, each government is considered (partially or potentially) responsible for the actions of its citizens abroad. Recent administrations have reversed this long-standing custom, in that now economic sanctions are sometimes targeted at individuals rather than whole countries. For example, in response to the Russian invasion of the Crimea, instead of imposing sanctions on the Russian government or Russia as a whole, the United States has imposed sanctions on certain select Russian businesses and individuals.[43] Given the fungibility of money and the widespread use of shell companies and subsidiaries, such “sanctions” are, for the most part, a joke, and are done as a mechanism of “virtue signaling,”[44] not as a serious exercise in foreign policy. However, this type of unserious approach to international relations is the endpoint of the theory seemingly espoused by people like Binswanger[45] that foreign individuals must be treated in all cases like individuals, not as citizens of a foreign country.


Many Objectivists fall into the fallacy of the excluded middle by saying that anything other than a missile strike or invasion cannot constitute “aggression” and must therefore be considered “peace.” This is not true either historically or logically. One would think that after the United States fought a 45-year-long Cold War in which the weapons of the enemy were infiltration, espionage, and subversion of America’s institutions, rather than outright warfare, that the idea that only flying bullets constitute aggression has been somewhat discredited, but this seems not to be the case.

This type of subversion can occur through the culture as well. Politics is downstream of culture.[46] If you want a free polity, you must maintain a culture of freedom. Any individual who comes to the United States might not believe they are here to undermine a culture of liberty, but that lack of self-awareness doesn’t change the fact that for many immigrants, that’s exactly what they are doing here.

The most explicit network of subversives in the United States are run by the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Muslim Brotherhood receives occasional condemnation for its support of its terrorist affiliate in Gaza (Hamas), the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States is not primarily a terrorist organization, but a Muslim Supremacist organization engaging in what they call al-hijrah, “civilizational jihad [holy war]”. In the investigation surrounding the funding of overseas terrorists by the Muslim Brotherhood front group “The Holy Land Foundation,” a trove of documents comprising the entire history and strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood in America was discovered at the house of a Muslim Brother in Annandale, Virginia. Paul Sperry details the findings in Muslim Mafia:

One secret document found during the raid of [Muslim Brotherhood leader Ismail] Elbarasse’s home lays bare the Brotherhood’s ambitious plans for a U.S. takeover, replacing the Constitution with Shariah, or Islamic law. Written by a U.S. Brotherhood boss, Mohammed Akram Adlouni, the strategy paper describes the group’s long-term goal of destroying the U.S. system “from within” by using its freedoms and political processes against it. It is a blueprint for stealth jihad. Under the heading: “The role of the Muslim Brother in North America,” it states:

The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, and “sabotaging” its miserable house by the hands of the believers, so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.[47]

Dozens of Muslim Brotherhood affiliates are listed in the book, Muslim Mafia, each funded by foreign governments (mostly Saudi Arabia), foreign individuals, and American Muslims, and Leftists. Note that while the Muslim Brotherhood does collect money to fund terrorism abroad, their mission is not to commit terrorism here in the United States immediately, but to quietly amass forces in the US by immigration and cultural influence. Then the Muslim Brotherhood will be in a position to overwhelm the US culturally, legally, and democratically, before engaging in explicit violence. The nomintion of former Nation of Islam member and associate of the Muslim Brotherhood front group CAIR Keith Ellison (aka Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Ellison-Muhammad)[48] to be the head of the Democratic National Committee is a major victory for both identity politics and civilizational jihad in the United States.

While Islam is the worst practitioner of this type of “civilizational jihad,” it is not the only practitioner. The Soviet Union engaged in this type of subversion in the United States, and even placed one of its agents at the right hand of the US president.[49] Mexico and its proponents in the United States are engaged in a similar longstanding and subtle policy of civilizational jihad, termed “La Reconquista,”[50] against the former Mexican territories in the Southwest United States.

Charles Truxillo, a Chicano studies professor at the University of New Mexico, for example, promises that some day we will all be part of a new sovereign Hispanic nation called “Republica del Norte” encompassing the entire Southwest. “An inevitability,” Truxillo calls it, and it will obtain its sovereignty, he warns, “by any means necessary” as “our birthright.”[51]

Like Saudi Arabia and the Muslim brotherhood, the Mexican government and some of the richest individuals in Mexico[52] funnel money to the Leftist Reconquista groups in the United States for the purpose of keeping the border open until enough Mexicans arrive that they can peacefully return the Southwest to Mexican control or declare an independent “Republica Del Norte”. This strategy, like the one practiced by the Muslim Brotherhood, is a very long-term strategy. It is not intended to “work” this year or this decade, but eventually.

Both the Mexican establishment and the Muslim Brotherhood have long-term goals adversarial to the interests of the United States, and a policy of slowly achieving those political/military goals primarily through immigration and cultural change.

A Foreign Policy of Self-Interest

The primary mechanism created by countries as their means of self-defense is a defended border. The border implements a country’s foreign policy with regards to foreigners desiring entry. Like any element of a country’s foreign policy, the principle upon which a country’s border policy rests is a policy of rational, long-term self-interest, as described by Peter Schwartz in his book The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: [53]

[A foreign policy based on self-interest]… is a foreign policy that views the protection of Americans against international threats as its all-encompassing goal. The advocates of such a policy would reject any duty to sacrifice the wealth and the lives of Americans to the needs of other nations. And they would not seek the approval of other countries before deciding to use force to guard America’s interests. Under such a foreign policy, Washington would not attempt to defend America in fits and starts, futilely trying to straddle the two roads of self-interest and self-sacrifice, attacking one terror-sponsor today while mollifying others the next day. Nor would it attempt to uphold self-interest as an amoral expediency—as advocated by the impractical pragmatists and their school of realpolitik. Rather, the designers of a rational foreign policy would understand that self-interest can be successfully defended only if it is embraced as a consistent, moral principle—a principle in keeping with America’s founding values. …

Since the concept of self-interest pertains fundamentally to the individual, the idea of a nation’s self-interest refers only to the political precondition of a person’s living rationally in a social setting, which means: freedom. Without freedom, man cannot pursue the values his life demands. Just as in ethics it is maintaining his own life that should be the individual’s ultimate purpose, in politics it is maintaining its own citizens’ liberty that should be the government’s ultimate purpose. Not the pragmatic, amoral goal of preserving a “balance of power” or of establishing “spheres of influence”—but the moral goal of keeping Americans free. Freedom is the end to which all other political actions are the means. This is the standard by which a nation’s interests ought to be measured—and this is where the science of foreign policy should begin. [Emphases mine.]

Since a country’s border is the primary mechanism for ensuring its self-defense, and a country’s self defense requires a foreign policy of self-interest, and that self-interest (as explained by Schwartz) is defined as pursuing the “moral goal of keeping Americans free,” then it stands to reason that the principle on which a country decides whether to allow any individual to cross its border is just that: an individual may cross an international border if that individual’s entrance into the country in question will serve the moral goal of keeping the country free. If the person desiring entrance will not further the goal of keeping the country free, then that person can be properly excluded. The person need not be riding in a battle tank or carrying a rifle to be properly evaluated as a threat to freedom. He may simply be a person from an incompatible culture.

Given that both individuals and governments must act in an arena of imperfect and incomplete information, the question arises about how to decide about any given individual who desires entry. This question is decided like all questions of fact, the burden of proof is on the person making the assertion, in this case the person desiring entry. That person is in effect asserting, “I wish to come into your country for a particular purpose (e.g., vacation, business, permanent residence). I will not be a threat to the lives, property, or freedom of your citizens. Let me in.” The only proper response to any such assertion is, “Okay, prove it.” This leads to the second principle that governs crossing an international border: the burden of proof on whether a potential entrant to a country is not a threat to the freedom of the citizens of that country lies entirely with the potential entrant.[54]

The mechanism for providing such a proof will be discussed below.

The Four Fundamental Objections to Open Borders and Open Immigration

While the principles above are general and apply to all countries, I now want to focus on the United States. The United States is said to be “a nation of immigrants,” which had a more-or-less open immigration policy in the nineteenth century (though not without problems, as we will see), and we’re told requires continued immigration to keep its economic vibrancy in the twenty-first century. So even given the principles elucidated above (there is no right to enter, entrance must serve the moral goal of keeping the US free, and the burden of proof should be on the immigrant) perhaps the United States should have an immigration policy that accepts almost everyone, excluding only those few who do not pass a very low bar (e.g., being a known criminal or terrorist). Unfortunately, there are four major problems that prevent such an approach from being successful,[55] welfare, politics, culture, and crime.


First, an open borders policy is incompatible with the welfare state. The Center for Immigration Studies documents the following, based on Census Bureau data:[56]

  • In 2012, 51 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) reported that they used at least one welfare program during the year, compared to 30 percent of native households. Welfare in this study includes Medicaid and cash, food, and housing programs.
  • Welfare use is high for both new arrivals and well-established immigrants. Of households headed by immigrants who have been in the country for more than two decades, 48 percent access welfare.
  • Welfare use varies among immigrant groups. Households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico (73 percent), the Caribbean (51 percent), and Africa (48 percent) have the highest overall welfare use. Those from East Asia (32 percent), Europe (26 percent), and South Asia (17 percent) have the lowest.
  • Many immigrants struggle to support their children, and a large share of welfare is received on behalf of U.S.-born children. However, even immigrant households without children have significantly higher welfare use than native households without children—30 percent vs. 20 percent.
  • The large share of immigrants with low levels of education and resulting low incomes partly explains their high use rates. In 2012, 76 percent of households headed by an immigrant who had not graduated high school used one or more welfare programs, as did 63 percent of households headed by an immigrant with only a high school education.
  • The high rates of immigrant welfare use are not entirely explained by their lower education levels. Households headed by college-educated immigrants have significantly higher welfare use than households headed by college-educated natives—26 percent vs. 13 percent.
  • In the four top immigrant-receiving states, use of welfare by immigrant households is significantly higher than that of native households: California (55 percent vs. 30 percent), New York (59 percent vs. 33 percent), Texas (57 percent vs. 34 percent), and Florida (42 percent vs. 28 percent).
  • Most new legal immigrants are barred from welfare programs when they first arrive, and illegal immigrants are barred as well. But the ban applies to only some programs; most legal immigrants have been in the country long enough to qualify for at least some programs and the bar often does not apply to children; states often provide welfare to new immigrants on their own; naturalizing makes immigrants eligible for all programs; and, most important, immigrants (including illegal immigrants) can receive benefits on behalf of their U.S.-born children who are awarded U.S. citizenship at birth.

In addition, not only are refugees not barred from receiving welfare, they are specifically given special types of welfare handouts not available to either citizens or immigrants.[57]

The conclusion that follows from these facts is that the prerequisite for allowing more immigration (not to mention open borders) is to end the welfare state entirely. Not “end it for immigrants”—that has been tried and failed[58]—end it entirely. No selective ban on welfare for immigrants will last when up against the lawlessness of the Left. So, if you want more open immigration, my suggestion is to argue for it as a follow-on to the end of the welfare state, rather than as something that is desirable now. Advocating open immigration now, before ending the welfare state, is equivalent to advocating the destruction of the United States by national bankruptcy.

Democracy and Identity Politics

Second, open borders is incompatible with democracy. Now I know the US is not intended to be a democracy, but a rights-securing constitutional federal republic. I have news for you: it isn’t. Not today, not in fact, not in reality. I wish it were. I want it to be again. I know it used to be. But it isn’t. That’s simply a fact that you can see by looking around. One does not need a book with hundreds of footnotes to understand that the US is a representative democracy. Immigrants and their children in general block-vote in favor of socialism, for more government handouts, more government control, more government spending.[59] They do so while almost entirely evading the government rules and regulations they vote for.[60] None of our freedoms will last under a constant assault of two million pro-big-government people being imported every year, not to mention the legalization and granting the franchise to the ~15-30 million that are already here. Voter fraud committed by ineligible voters is now a significant element in some elections.[61] With open borders and amnesty for those illegal aliens now here, the would-be totalitarians of the Left will no longer even need to use voter fraud, they will get their socialist utopia for free. “One man, one vote, once,” as they say in the Third World.

If the flood of immigrants predicted when a “comprehensive immigration reform” law passes actually occurs, then the entire United States will change into California, a one-party socialist state dominated by identity politics. Identity politics means the death of constitutional government. If immigration “amnesty” passes, we have to think of what will the “right-wing” candidate will look like in 2028, when the national government is a one-party state like California is today. Do you want to have to vote for the moderately leftist “white candidate” to protect you from the depredations of the far leftist “Latino candidate” and the even more avaricious leftist “Black Lives Matter” candidate? Because that’s where the United States is going if Third World immigration isn’t sharply curtailed. The luxury of voting based on ideas is only operative when a large majority does so. When a substantial minority engages in identity politics, it’s identity politics all the way down from there. Almost all California local elections are decided in the Democratic primary where blocks of voters—white, black, Hispanic, Asian, feminist, gay—fight for their particular group candidate to represent their particular (assumed) group interests. While the block vote phenomenon is mostly ethnocentric, that ethnocentricity stops at party lines. Hispanics normally block vote for other Hispanics, but only for Democrats. Hispanics voted for Anglo Democrat Paul Sadler over Hispanic Republican Ted Cruz in the 2012 Texas Senate race by 65%-35%, which shows that while ethnocentric voting is the norm in Hispanic communities, indeed all immigrant communities, this does not transfer to voting for a constitutional conservative, only for candidates promoting government handouts.[62] California legislators have even recently changed their general election rules so that the top two primary candidates face off in the general election, rather than candidates representing different political parties. This has changed California’s statewide elections into giant Democratic primaries between various identity politics groups. The most recent California Senate election was between the black/Asian/Indian/feminist and far-leftist Kamala Harris and the Mexican/feminist far-leftist Loretta Sanchez, and the most intersectional woman won.[63]

“To its dismay, the American Left is utterly bereft of working-class members— the very proletarian masses they hoped to champion! Instead, their meetings are jammed with college professors and feminists. But you know where liberals have finally found a working class amenable to left-wing politics and violent political demonstrations? Take a look at Latin American politics for your clue.”[64]

Just as Mexicans bring their culture of increased crime, trash, drugs, corruption, and identity politics into California, changing it into a one-party state, Americans fleeing from California due to the worsening social and political climate there are bringing their left coast left-wing ideas to other states of the Union, making them more inclined toward identity politics and socialism. As identity politics becomes normalized and explicit in California, the entire United States teeters on the brink of disaster, as the dwindling white majority in the rest of the US will rush to embrace identity politics themselves out of a sense of self-defense. You and I think we should vote based on ideology, on adherence to the constitution, or on the principles of individual rights. Third World immigrants as a whole don’t vote that way. They block vote for the politician who “looks like them” or who “speaks their language”—ideas be damned. This has been studied for five generations of immigrants, and the block vote mentality, which gets worse in the 2nd and 3rd generations, only begins to abate in the fifth generation.[65]Five generations, over a hundred years, and the block vote mentality only starts to abate. In these Third World immigrant cultures and communities, the only political “principle” is bringing home the government bacon for their particular ethnic or minority group. We understand, even if we don’t approve, when we see this phenomenon in Iraq or Afghanistan; but it’s now the rule in California. The logical conclusion to this full rush toward identity politics in the Democratic Party is that they eventually will be met with equivalent identity politics in the white community. The nascent white nationalism we see today is not the result of President Trump. It is a preview of how bad things are going to be in 2024 or 2028, if Third World immigration isn’t curtailed. And what type of person—what type of Caesar-wannabee—is going to pop up then to collect the payoff? We’re going to yearn for the relatively benign President Trump when that happens. The entire thought of my having to join one racist gang to protect myself and my family from the depredations of other racist gangs, as if I were in a maximum security prison, disgusts me profoundly, but that’s where we are heading because of unchecked third world immigration combined with multiculturalism.


When one mentions the word “culture” associated with non-Americans, generally people think of how foreigners dress, what they eat, and maybe some holidays or traditions that are not generally celebrated in the United States.[66] Given that we all like to eat Chinese food, read our fortune cookies, and look at the placemat to determine that we were born in the Year of the Tiger, most Americans think of culture as harmless. This is not true. These things are elements of culture, but they are extremely superficial.

One need only look at people on the other side of national borders with different cultures. Those cultures have different values, and acting on those values has produced drastically different results.[67] The idea that all cultures are equal, or should be equal, or should be equalized by government action or inaction (called “multiculturalism”) is a monstrous exercise in ignoring reality. The idea that the we should import foreign, hostile, or primitive cultures into the United States is suicidal.

A nation’s culture rests on a set of core beliefs on the relationship between individuals, what the proper purpose of life is, how families should operate, and how disputes are to be settled. Thomas Sowell describes the culture of one ethnic group that emigrated to the United States as follows:[68]

The cultural values and social patterns prevalent among [this ethnic group] included an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery. This oratorical style carried over into the political oratory of the region …, and has continued on into our own times among … politicians, preachers, and activists. Touchy pride, vanity, and boastful self-dramatization were also part of this … culture among people from regions … “where the civilization was the least developed.” [Sowell’s footnotes omitted].

The immigrants Sowell is referring to are the Scots-Irish, who settled in Appalachia in the early 1700s, and gave their culture to much of the South, even to those people who emigrated from the South to other areas. They gave us the Hatfields and McCoys, and exhibited “a touchiness about anything that might be even remotely construed as a personal slight, much less an insult, combined with a willingness to erupt into violence over it.”[69] These immigrants were not from English or European world, but from the “Celtic Fringe,” and it took a very long time (over 200 years) and some unique circumstances for them to assimilate into American culture. Sowell also describes the mass immigration of Irish refugees into the United States,[70] especially as a result of the Great Potato Famine of 1845-1852. These additional Celtic Fringe immigrants also had serious problems, including alcoholism and violence, and were not fully assimilated into the United States for over 100 years. Sowell describes a number of immigrant groups to the United States, some having more success assimilating and some having less or none. The entire book Ethnic America is worth reading for an overview of this topic. It was certainly surprising to me that the least successful voluntary immigrants were from Scotland and Ireland. After all, they had three things going for them that other immigrant groups did not have: they spoke English, they were white and thus were immune to racial animus, and they were Christian. Yet their Celtic culture was a massive impediment to their success in the United States. The final advantage these groups had over current immigrants is that their waves of immigration ended, leaving the immigrant groups “stranded” in the United States and thus forced to deal with other Americans and to find ways to fit in, rather than being able to carve out and maintain perpetual cultural enclaves independent of the rest of the country.

One of the important elements in assimilation that Sowell only briefly touches on, and in my view underestimates, is the role of war in accelerating assimilation. Before the American Civil War, many ethnic enclaves did in fact exist in the United States, and in no way could the country be called a “nation,” united in language, culture, and religion. The Civil War threw large numbers of disparate ethnic groups into close proximity in literal life-and death circumstances, where each individual and unit had to depend on other individuals and units from other states and cultures for their very survival in battle. Before the Civil War, there were Minnesotans, Ohioans, Pennsylvanians, and Mainers. After the Civil War, at least in the North, there were only Americans. This state of affairs ended with the mass immigration of the late nineteenth century from all different European countries, and the same sort of ethnic enclaves were created throughout the United States. While mass immigration was ended in 1924, it was not until (and because of) the Second World War, in which 16 million men were drafted into the armed forces and forced to rely on each other, this time intermingled inside units, unlike during the Civil War, that mass assimilation occurred. The Scots-Irish, the Irish, the Italians, the Jews, even by the end of the war the Chinese and Japanese, were finally assimilated fully into American culture. Only blacks were excluded, and not for long. It is no coincidence that the Black Civil Rights movement occurred immediately after the end of World War II. All of the philosophical elements—now learned from the hard experience of war, rather than repeated as platitudes—were there to welcome blacks as full citizens of the United States, where before the War these elements did not seem real to people. Those of us reading this essay all came to adulthood after the United States became a culturally uniform and unified nation. We never experienced what it was like before this mass assimilation occurred, though we are getting a taste of it now in the American Southwest. One must read of the intercultural conflicts, violence, and interethnic crime of the pre-War era to get a taste of the problems that plagued the United States. And these cultures were almost all Western.

Today’s immigrants are unlikely to be from Western countries, to speak English, to “yearn to breathe free,” or be Christians or Jews.[71] They come from Third World countries filled with corruption, crime, misogyny, and Islam. They have none of the cultural benefits the Irish, Italians, Jews, or Chinese had in coming to America. Individual immigrants from third world countries can become good Americans, but mass immigration from the Third World is incompatible with American culture.

Many Objectivists look to America in the Nineteenth century, when we had mass immigration with limited restrictions, and no welfare, and everything worked out great. (This is not true—everything did not work out great, read Ethnic America—but it has a veneer of truth almost entirely based on constant repetition by the government schools and in the media.) So why not repeat that formula today? The reason is that our 19th century immigrants were almost entirely from countries that embraced Western Civilization: Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, etc. There is a huge difference between importing two million Swedes and two million Somalians.

This is not a thought experiment, this actually is happening. President Obama, under pressure from that most anti-American and pro-immigration institutions, the United Nations, imported 100,000 Somalian refugees to Minneapolis. Somalia is a country of chaos, misogyny, child rape, crime, gangsterism, and jihad. Tell me this: when importing 100,000 Somalians to Minneapolis, are we going to get 100,000 new productive Americans or are we going to turn Minneapolis into a center of chaos, misogyny, child rape, crime, gangsterism, and jihad? This is not a difficult question to answer, and those readers familiar with Minneapolis know the answer is not pretty.[72]

It’s not just Somalia, of course, all Third World cultures have similar characteristics to some extent. Mexico is a country filled with corruption, gangsterism, misogyny, and child rape. Now, so is Southern California, Arizona, and Southern Texas. Why are people surprised at this? Sure, if one Mexican family comes into the US, they will adapt quite quickly. Even ten or fifty Mexican families will do so. But we have imported one quarter of the population of Mexico.[73] You did not read that wrong. And one-third more of Mexico’s population would move here if they could, half of those illegally.[74] What makes people believe assimilation under these conditions is even possible?

Third World countries are Third World countries for a reason. Individuals from those countries, seeking work and a better world, can and do improve the United States. But one can’t simply import a substantial fraction of the population of a Third World country into the United States and expect anything other than turning the United States into a Third World hell-hole, which you can visit if you drive around the generally nastier areas of Southern and Central California, Arizona, and Texas, which I have done personally. Why would anyone believe otherwise?

While philosophy drives history, it drives it, as Leonard Peikoff has shown in his book The DIM Hypothesis, through culture. Most individuals don’t know the first thing about Rousseau or Kant or Marx, but they understand their own culture (which is derived from these philosophers and tradition). American culture, the sense-of-life created by 300 years of reason, individualism, and freedom, though diminished repeatedly by bad philosophy, stands as a beacon of hope in the world, as long as it is not drowned out by an influx of cultures totally inimical to it. Immigrants must be willing to reject their own previous cultures in the strongest possible intellectual terms (ignoring the inessentials like food preference) before they can accept American culture (and the philosophy that underlies it) and become fully American. This simply cannot happen if when they come to America they are surrounded by twenty million of their own former compatriots and no actual Americans.

The idea that people will change their cultures immediately upon entering the United States is ridiculous. Immigrants to the United States in the past did not change their cultures for generations, and some didn’t change at all until we experienced a World War. The fact that it is possible for an immigrant to change cultures immediately does not mean he will. Nor does it mean that when an undifferentiated mass of people come, you can’t tell to two significant digits precisely what percentage will change in what time period, even if you can’t be absolutely sure which exact ones will and which exact ones won’t. This statement is not a violation of “free will.” Any individual has free will, consisting of the ability to choose to focus on reality and make choices based on reality. That doesn’t mean any individual will in fact focus and make the right choices. There are strong cultural, epistemological, and neurological mechanisms in place that present serious obstacles to such radical change, that’s why so few immigrants actually assimilate. Individual immigrant families, when placed in an American neighborhood, do much, much, better at assimilating than do immigrants in massive ghettos. This is not a new idea. George Washington wrote in 1794, [75] “The policy or advantage of [immigration] taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the language, habits, and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them. Whereas by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures, and laws: in a word, soon become one people.” The ghettos reinforce all the bad cultural and epistemological approaches to life. This is why in America, assimilation was almost always done in the third, fourth, and fifth generations, or later. The sheer numbers of immigrants prevent immigrants assimilating. This is not rocket science, and open borders Objectivists should be ashamed of themselves for not at least researching the phenomenon before pontificating for mass immigration. If the United States is to preserve itself as a (semi-) free country, it must choose individual immigrants and the cultures they come from extremely wisely, given the welfare state and political problems discussed earlier. After all, there’s never a World War around when you need one.[76]

More Details on Culture

As discussed in the previous section, besides food, music, and holidays, cultural traits include attitudes on how to resolve disputes, how to treat family members, the appropriateness of mind-altering chemicals, the inclination towards work, and other traits. These are all important. If a culture values laziness over work, ignorance over education, drunkenness over sobriety, promiscuity over marriage, violence over communication, and theft over productivity, it will take a massive rejection of such a culture by an individual for him to be able to become a productive American.

These cultural differences are not the root of the issue, they are based on more fundamental assumptions—extremely ingrained—about the nature of reality and the proper approach to it.

“Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed,” said Francis Bacon, but a person’s (and a culture’s) temperament must be oriented toward obeying nature (i.e., reality). Unjustified anger, a rush to judgment, and panic under stress are all underlying traits that cultures either promote or disdain, leading to a culture of violence or a culture of peaceful cooperation and communication. Anger is normal. Impulsively acting aggressively when you are angry because one’s culture teaches that is “the way things are supposed to be” is destructive.

Cultures promote attitudes toward time horizons. Should an action be a benefit to the individual/group/family right now or should the long term consequences be considered first? Short time horizons are the most important aspect of criminal thinking.[77] If a person only thinks of what will occur in the next five minutes or next hour, why not rob that convenience store? Why not beat your wife when she annoys you? Why get an education? Why work diligently? Why save money? Why not sleep with lots of women? Why use birth control? None of these things make sense if a person, influenced by a culture, only cares about minutes, hours, or days. A child takes nine months to develop and twenty years to mature. These time horizons are far beyond many individuals’ grasp, and the understanding of time horizons vary considerably among different cultures.[78] If a culture values monogamy and children, they almost certainly value education and savings. If they don’t value monogamy, they also seldom save money for the future. A culture’s appreciation for long-term thinking, planning, and saving, imprinted on its individuals from an early age, is the major predictor of success at home and as immigrants to the United States.

Cultures also promote self-responsibility. Stanton Samenow in his book Inside the Criminal Mind reminds us that almost all criminals think they are victims.[79] Samenow’s thesis is that criminality is based on a mode of thought. But except for cases of brain damage, modes of thought are not invented by each child ex nihilo, they are learned from their parents, friends, or schools or are part of the culture in which they grow up. If the culture promotes self responsibility, an individual has a much greater chance of embracing self-responsibility than he would if the culture promotes victimhood. Any individual can choose to reach beyond the culture he grows up in, but very few individuals actually accomplish that.

The final fundamental element of culture is the idea of reciprocity and its relationship to in-group preference. Every single human being, except for complete psychopaths and college professors,[80] exhibits in-group preference. We prefer our own children to others’. When a neighbor’s house catches on fire, we rush to help, stay up all night fighting the fire and rescue their belongings, inviting them into our house to stay, even though when a tsunami kills 250,000 people half a world away, we may only write a $50 check to the Red Cross. We care about our own schools, not the schools of other countries. We care about our own country and our countrymen in preference to other countries or foreigners in general. We care about people who share our religion and culture more than people who don’t. In short, in-group preference is essentially built into the human way of thinking. However, what is not built in is how we feel about and treat members of the out-group. That is a critical cultural trait. Post-Enlightenment Western culture holds philosophically that non-members are human beings with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.[81] Western culture engages in reciprocal respect and tolerance. Non-Western cultures almost universally do not. Islam, in particular, is philosophically committed to the proposition that non-Muslims are subhuman. This anti-reciprocity cultural trait is manifested in a number of different ways, but primarily in the realms of honesty and cooperation. In many non-Western cultures (especially Islamic cultures) honesty in communication and business dealings is something solely reserved for the in-group. Dishonesty (or lack of honesty as a principle) is the norm for dealing with members of the out-group, if dishonesty is thought to bring some immediate advantage. American businessmen who deal in international trade spend a great deal of time finding those specific individuals in foreign countries who they can trust, and of course the more educated and “Westernized” foreign business leaders have learned that productivity and success in global trade requires scrupulous honesty and cooperation, but this significant requirement of global trade has not yet filtered down to the ordinary person in many countries, much less into many of the people from those countries who wish to come to the United States.

Rejection of aggression, long time horizons, self-responsibility, and the recognition of reciprocity lead to productivity, savings, sexual restraint, close family ties, a focus on education, a rejection of welfare benefits, and law-abidingness. These are critical personal characteristics of any intended immigrant to the United States. We cannot craft a rational pro-American immigration policy that ignores the fact that individuals can reject their native culture and become Americans. However, it would be insane to assume that every immigrant, or even many immigrants, or even more than a very few immigrants, will do so. Which means we must take culture into account when deciding on immigration policy.

Human beings are not fungible economic widgets. Just because a person wants a job in the US and an employer wants to hire that person, does not mean it is in the self-interest of the United States (“the moral goal of keeping Americans free”) to allow that person to enter. “Import people, and you import their culture. Import them on a small scale, as with the Normans, and they may assimilate, but in doing so, they will still influence yours. Import them on a larger scale, and they’ll keep their own culture, which will conflict with yours. Import them on a large enough scale, as with the Saxons, and your culture will be the one assimilated. And if that happens, you find yourself at the mercy of whatever the newcomers decide to do with you.”[82]

One additional important detail about multiculturalism is that cultural diversity in neighborhoods decreases social trust, even among the in-group.[83] An all-native American neighborhood, such as the one I grew up in and the ones some of my friends live in today, has a large amount of social trust, engagement, mutual assistance, friendship, cooperation, etc. This is also true of an all-Chinese neighborhood and an all-Mexican neighborhood in the United States. But in a multicultural neighborhood, such as the one I live in today, social trust is almost entirely absent. The authors of the cited studies offer a number of theories as to why, in a multicultural context, people “hunker down” and stay inside their homes and yards. The cause is not simple xenophobia, because the lack of social trust even occurs within the in-group in multicultural neighborhoods, not just between the in-group and the out-groups. This is my everyday experience. It could be exacerbated by the simple fact that when dealing with another human being, one is limited to reason, force, or avoidance as the only alternatives. When communication is literally not possible, which it almost invariably is even if the immigrants have a smattering of English, because of the different cultural contexts underlying the communication, then you are left with simple avoidance as the only means to deal with the people around you. As avoidance becomes the norm, you avoid people even when they are in your own cultural group too, as a habit. This phenomenon leads to a serious dilemma: if you want to have social trust, segregate by ghetto; but if you want to have assimilation, minimize or prevent ghettos from forming. Continuous, relentless immigration from non-Western countries has a seriously deleterious effect on both social cohesion and the maintenance of cooperation, neighborliness, and the long-term viability of American culture.

My conclusions from this study of culture are:

  1. Immigration from non-Western cultures must be permitted only in individual cases judged individually. Individualized screening for compatibility with American freedom and the self-interest of the United States is required. That means no mass migrations into the US ever.
  2. Even with individualized screenings, there still must be some maximum limit to the number of immigrants from any given non-Western culture. If there is no limit, there can be no assimilation. If George Washington could see this in 1794, it should be obvious to us 222 years later. This limit may be relatively large depending on the specific culture, as it has been in the past, but it is finite.
  3. There are deep roots to behavior that generates aggression, crime, misogyny, and irresponsibility. Saying people have free will is not a magic wand that you can wave to make these deep roots go away. They have to be removed with the utmost seriousness and purpose by the individual who grows up in these cultures. Their removal must be demonstrated for that individual to become an immigrant.

Given that assimilation is not automatic, and indeed in US history full assimilation was the result of rather radical external circumstances such as the Civil War and World War II, if America is to remain free, immigration must be highly selective.

Immigrant Crime

It may be the case that immigrants as a whole commit crimes at a similar rate to native Americans. Data on crime is difficult to obtain, subject to bias, and confounded by the fact that data does not take into account crime by legal immigrants versus crime by illegal immigrants.[84] However, it is certainly provable beyond a shadow of a doubt that immigrants from certain countries (and cultures) commit crimes at a much greater level than natives in the United States. The previously referenced CIS study provides one admittedly anecdotal elucidation of immigrant crime:

The FBI maintains a list of most-wanted murderers. This list is relevant to the debate over immigrant criminality because the FBI compiles a detailed profile of each individual on the list and makes it public. In almost every case the list includes the fugitive’s country of birth. In the spring of 2009 there were 76 individuals on this list, 73 of whom had a country of birth listed. Of the people on the list, 43 individuals (57 percent) were born outside of the United States. If we use only those for whom their country of birth was known as the denominator (73), then 59 percent were foreign-born. The overwhelming majority of foreign-born murderers (35) were born in Mexico. While the information is almost certainly very accurate, it is of limited use in trying to understand immigrant criminality because it is only one small category of criminals. It is also important to understand that it is not a list of the worst murderers in the country; rather it is a list of the most-wanted fugitive murderers in the country. Foreign-born individuals can more readily flee to other countries where they have existing ties, making them more likely to end up on a list of fugitives. Nonetheless, the extremely large share of these murderers who are immigrants is troubling. As will be recalled, only 15.4 percent of the adult population is foreign-born. The fugitive murderer profiles are an indication that immigrant crime may not be as low as some researchers have argued. [Footnotes from the original have been omitted].

An additional CIS report describes in detail how our porous borders promote international criminal gangs and organized crime. I apologize in advance for quoting the report at length, but this section really must be read in its entirety to be appreciated.[85]

If immigrant crime victims are reluctant to come forward to police, immigrant criminals often know how to make themselves scarce, and not necessarily by remaining or even operating within the U.S. A large portion of ethnic crime in this country can be linked to international networks. “Hundreds of thousands of people are being moved globally by highly organized criminal enterprises operating on all continents,” noted Robert Perito, director of the State Department’s Office of International Criminal Justice a few years ago. “Their primary target is the United States.”

It would seem many of these criminals are hitting the mark. That slavery has been illegal in this country for almost a century and a half has not deterred certain immigrant groups from reintroducing it. A few years ago a Mexican immigrant couple was arrested for enslaving a large number of their deaf countrymen in a ring with operations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The Chinese operate what observers are calling a “new slave trade” in the U.S. Among certain nationalities fraud is woven into the economic culture. Telephone fraud has run rampant among some immigrant groups; one estimate several years ago put the cost of long-distance scams to U.S. phone companies and customers nearly $2 billion a year. One Secret Service agent characterized the problem of credit-card fraud among Nigerians as “absolutely epidemic.” U.S. officials started keeping records in this area by ethnic group in 1989; by a half-decade later, they had arrested more than 1,000 Nigerians.

A new kind of credit card scam, involving hand-held “skimmers,” is an up-and-coming practice among immigrant theft rings. The crook, often a restaurant waiter, swipes a credit card through the skimmer, usually disguised as a pager or worn inside a jacket, and stores data embedded inside the magnetic security stripe. It is possible to transmit hundreds of stolen card numbers via e-mail to card cloning mills run by Latin American, Asian, Russian, and Nigerian crime syndicates. Consumers have to go through an involved process to get unauthorized charges removed, while card issuers pass along the costs anyway in the form of higher interest rates and fees. “It’s not unusual,” noted Gregory Regan, head of the Secret Service’s financial-crimes division, “to see a card compromised in New York City or Washington and the numbers used overseas, in Taiwan, Japan or Europe, within 24 to 48 hours.”

To an extent, crime rings are based somewhere else and expand here rather than vice versa. Criminal gangs operating out of Poland and the Czech Republic recently have developed close ties to mobsters in Chicago and New York. Much of the Russian mob’s activity is run directly from Moscow, with the Russian government all but a rubber stamp for gangsters. Russian-based gangsters, and their local chieftains in more than a dozen American cities, have infiltrated Wall Street brokerages, the Bank of New York, the Medicare program, and even the National Hockey League to commit massive scams. Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, chairman of the House Banking Committee, has estimated that billions of dollars have been laundered out of Russia through U.S.-based Russian mobsters since 1995, and that dozens of Western banks have been used as conduits for the money. Russian mobsters also have set up shell companies in the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn, N.Y., to sponsor U.S. visas for fellow criminals or hire sophisticated money managers and lawyers in Los Angeles and Denver to invest in import-export companies. Asian crime lords in the 1990s aggressively recruited immigrants to the U.S. to serve as their foot soldiers. Even where organized immigrant crime consists of local gangs, it can be a potent force. In 1992 INS formed a 120-member Violent Gang Task Force; within a few years task force agents were arresting some 2,000 legal and illegal immigrants annually. [Footnotes from the original have been omitted].

Finally, the CIS report documents an increase in criminal behavior by the second generation of immigrants from certain countries, primarily Mexico, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Again, the report must be quoted at length to understand the issue fully:

Even if immigrants are no more prone to commit crimes than are citizens, this tendency may not necessarily hold true for their offspring, who are American-born or at least residents of the U.S. from early childhood. Criminologists in this country long have theorized that the second, more than the first, generation of an immigrant population is likely to drift into crime. The first generation, having braved all kinds of hardship to enter the U.S., found it necessary to defer gratification in the interest of long-term success. But the second generation, though often as poor as their parents upon arrival, has less perspective on the Old World from which their parents came, and often in response develops an attachment to deviant subcultures, such as gangs, as a wayward continuation of the “old-fashioned” European peasant societies of their parents. Joining delinquent subcultures can be a way for the second generation to resist acculturation into the mainstream of the new country. The aforementioned federal commission reports of 1901, 1911, and 1931 each observed that the children of immigrants are more predisposed toward crime than their parents.

The phenomenon of crime among the second generation of the post-1965 immigration liberalization law is recent, and as such has not produced a large body of research. But local law enforcement officials around the nation are all too aware of Hispanic, Asian, and other youth gangs whose members largely were born in the U.S. or were brought here as very young children. In suburban Northern Virginia outside Washington, D.C., police estimate that about 20 to 30 ethnic gangs, with a combined total of more than 2,000 members, have been responsible for dozens of recent attacks involving the use of machetes and baseball bats. Some 600 youths in Fairfax County alone have ties to Mara Salvatrucha, a notorious Los Angeles-based gang (founded in the 1980s by El Salvadoran nationals) responsible for what likely have been hundreds of slayings nationwide over the past decade.[86]

California State University, Chico, sociologist Tony Waters recently did a full-scale analysis of second-generation immigrant crime, comparing data on selected recent ethnic groups of today with data on certain groups of the early 20th century. The results suggest that the problems brought by high immigration levels can have a substantial echo effect. Waters found that second-generation immigrant crime differs widely across nationalities. The key element is the presence or absence of a large proportion of young males. Ethnic groups with high proportions of young males, all things held equal, have a bigger crime problem, although neighborhood ethnic heterogeneity, poverty rates, and other factors do exert influence as well. In the case of Laotians the time lag between migration to the emergence of youth crime was only about five to 10 years, significantly shorter than, for example, Molokan (Russian) immigrants of the 1920s. Table 1 shows the divergence in serious crime rates Waters found among Asian second-generation youth in California in the early 1990s. [Emphasis mine, original footnotes omitted].

Open borders apologists generally claim “the data show that immigrants are less prone to crime than are native Americans.” However, this drops the context of immigrant culture. [87] As you can see from the previous chart (which only measures Asian youth in California), there is a difference of more than an order of magnitude between the criminality of Japanese and that of Laotians. No sane immigration policy would ignore this cultural difference between potential immigrants, or ignore the fact that most crime is committed by single men aged 16-35.[88]

Mexican Immigration

Mexico sends more immigrants to America than any other country. Many of the Mexicans come to work, doing difficult physical labor such as farm labor, construction, or landscaping. These are not jobs that middle class American youth would ever conceive of taking at the wages offered, yet Mexican immigrants come willingly to do them, sometimes in sweltering heat, sometimes for ten to twelve hours a day for six to seven days a week. Some Mexican immigrants become farmers themselves or businessmen and send their kids to school or college. Some Mexicans want to become Americans, and work to learn English, improve their education, obey the laws, and create a middle class existence for themselves and their families. Many Mexicans that came and stayed before the Immigration Act of 1965 and the rise of multiculturalism are no longer even “Mexican-Americans.” They are just Americans. But nowadays these are the exceptions rather than the rule, and the reasons are two-fold: there are simply too many Mexicans in some parts of the US for assimilation to be possible, and the preaching of multiculturalism and race hatred against Anglos by the intellectuals has made it almost impossible for Mexicans to know they might want to become Americans. It’s not that most of them particularly want to change the Southwest into Mexico, but that’s the effect.

Hoover Institution scholar and classical historian Victor Davis Hanson, who owns a small farm in California’s Central Valley, is intimately familiar with the immigration crisis in California, and has written of his experiences in his book, Mexifornia:[89]

Most arrivals are given work by grateful employers. Indeed, businesses profit greatly from the aliens’ much-needed labor—even as the audacious newcomers are increasingly resented by millions of other Californians for coming in such numbers and under such unlawful circumstances. Although illegal aliens are eager to get a fighting chance to succeed in America, many are not prepped for, nor immersed into the cutthroat competitive culture they help to mobilize.

Instead, in recent years they and their offspring have ended up in ethnic enclaves of the mind and barrios of the flesh. In these locations they often soon become dependent on subsidies—and too many of their children will join an underclass to be led by ethnic shepherds who often do more harm than good, however much they wish to help.

Since roughly 1970, the evolving concept of multiculturalism—which holds that Western civilization merits no special consideration inasmuch as all cultures are of equal merit—has proved to be the force-multiplier of illegal immigration from Mexico. …

Unlike the Poles, Germans, Chinese, Greeks, Italians, Jews and Japanese, who usually came en masse and then stopped abruptly, Mexican immigration, at least since 1970, has proven to be a steady surf rather than a single tidal wave.

Hanson’s experience with crime, everyday crime, casual crime, thoughtless crime, is eye-opening. Even a box with the manuscript edits for this very book was casually stolen from his front porch while he was in the process of writing it.[90] Illegal aliens utterly disrespect his property rights, casually park on his farm, do drugs on his farm, crash their vehicles into his crops, destroy thousands of dollars of vines or trees, steal his fruit crops, abandon their vehicles and trash on his farm for him to have to pay to clean up. None of these people are legal immigrants, none have any documentation at all. And the police laugh at Hanson when he wants justice.

“Almost one-quarter of California’s inmates are from Mexico, and almost a third of recent drug-trafficking arrests involved illegal aliens.”[91]

On our streets I have no idea whether the mostly young male illegal aliens I meet are economic refugees or fugitives from crime in Mexico, perhaps serious felons—and no one else does either, because there is no legal record of their existence, and what documents they and our local authorities possess are almost always fraudulent, forged to mask the conditions of their arrival.[92]

The casual criminals, as bad as they are, have nothing on the Mexican criminal gangs who roam the streets of the cities, preying on each other and selling drugs smuggled across the border.

It’s not only crime that plagues Mexican towns in America, but disease:

Besides the stabbings, the drunk-driving arrests and the risk of driving at high speed on the interstate without more than a few days of automobile experience, there is, of course, the plague of alcohol. Latinos die from cirrhosis of the liver at a rate higher than any other ethnic group, and twice the rate of whites. The rates of gonorrhea, herpes, chlamydia and venereal warts are epidemic in the immigrant population of young adult males—and rarely discussed. HIV infection is also generally recorded at twice the percentage found in the native white population. Our social health industry—which daily publishes a myriad of details about farm workers’ mental health problems, the pathologies of a newly acquired diet of fatty processed food, and the lack of good dental care—ignores the fact that hundreds of thousands of young Mexicans suffer from an array of venereal diseases. I have seen workers plagued for days by painful urination from recurring venereal infection, resistant to one-time and often improperly administered prescriptions of antibiotics.

Others only haphazardly take medication for tuberculosis, a disease that is thirteen times more likely to be found in Hispanics than in whites. Not long ago, Hernando, who used to come by to borrow money, peddle illegal fireworks and look for scrap iron, said his “little” cough was now “three years old,” and swore the medicine was worse than the disease—and thus to be avoided at all costs. I apologized for not wanting to talk closely with him and holding my breath as he went on and on. Nineteenth-century ailments that are rare among citizens of rural California—adult whooping cough, hepatitis, even tetanus—are not so rare among illegal immigrants, who enter without the health checks normally demanded of immigrants a century ago.[93]

Of course, when they are treated at all, these diseases are treated courtesy of the US and California taxpayers.

While many of them come to work, many fail to find it:

Drive into any central California town at 11 A.M. and you will see hundreds of adult males walking the sidewalks, sitting in cafes, milling around at the stores, or loitering in front of their apartments—all of them not working, all of them on some sort of donation, and most of them wounded veterans of some of the hardest jobs in America. Our government says that local Central Valley towns experience a 15 percent unemployment rate. The naked eye suggests instead that a quarter of the populace lacks a full-time job.[94]

Assimilation has stopped, and in many places, reversed, due to multiculturalism.

The persistence of Mexican immigration into the United States reduces the incentives for cultural assimilation. Mexican Americans no longer think of themselves as members of a small minority who must accommodate the dominant group and adopt its culture. As their numbers increase, they become more committed to their own ethnic identity and culture. Sustained numerical expansion promotes cultural consolidation and leads Mexican Americans not to minimize but to glory in the differences between their culture and U.S. culture. As the president of the National Council of La Raza said in 1995: “The biggest problem we have is a cultural clash, a clash between our values and the values in American society.” He then went on to spell out the superiority of Hispanic values to American values. In similar fashion, Lionel Sosa, a successful Mexican-American businessman in Texas, in 1998 hailed the emerging Hispanic middle-class professionals who look like Anglos, but whose “values remain quite different from an Anglo’s.”[95]

Hanson states the cause:

The new race industry is not restricted to Ph.D.s in the universities. On the local level, hundreds of teachers, government bureaucrats and union officials are committed to the same agenda of separatism and racial spoils.[96]

The chief fear of the race manipulator? That unchecked immigration may cease; that his minions may learn to read and write English with ease; that his brother or sister may marry “the other”; that a Mexican middle class might flourish in private enterprise apart from government service or entitlements; that the Mexican propensity for duty, family and self-sacrifice might yet take hold in the United States and make him obsolete.[97]

And it gets worse in the second generation:

For the most part, the children of illegal aliens not only are not learning the skills to compete with native-born Americans; they also in frustration are receptive to the lure of ethnic chauvinism—constantly promoted by their teachers—to treat their wounded pride. In surveys conducted by the Russell Sage Foundation from the mid-1990s, children of immigrants were shown to have doggedly resisted assimilation. Five thousand students were surveyed at 13 years of age and then again at 17 to inquire about their attitudes toward their adopted country. Even after—or perhaps because of—four years of enrollment in American high schools, they were 50 percent more likely to identify themselves as “Mexican” or “Filipino” than as “Mexican-American” or “Filipino-American.”[98]

Why, for example, do my second-generation Asian students often speak little Lao or Korean, date non-Asians, become hyper-American in their tastes and prejudices, and worry (often openly and rudely) about the sheer numbers of Mexican people who speak poor English, show few professional skills, and are overrepresented in our jails? And why do my Mexican-American students, even those of nearly 100 percent Indian heritage, face hostility from their own ethnic communities when they assimilate, speak perfect English, and prefer Latin and Greek literature to Chicano studies, attend the annual classics picnic but not the separate Latino graduation ceremony, and consider themselves about as Mexican as I see myself Swedish?[99]

The consequences of illegal immigration also reach the second generation, in which illegitimacy, high-school dropout rates and criminal activity have risen to such levels that no longer can we simply dismiss the situation as a replay of the problematic but eventually successful Italian immigration of the late nineteenth century. Since 1990, the number of poor Mexican-Americans has climbed 52 percent, a figure that has skewed overall U.S. poverty rates. Billions of dollars spent on our own poor are less likely to show up as encouraging social statistics when a million of the world’s poor enter the country each year. While the number of impoverished black children has dropped 17 percent in the last sixteen years, the number of Hispanic poor has gone up 43 percent.

Illegitimacy rates are higher in Mexico than in the United States, but the force multiplier of illegal status, a language barrier and a lack of higher education means that second-generation Mexican-Americans suffer from illegitimacy rates higher than those found either in Mexico or in the United States generally. Currently, half of all births to Hispanics of all statuses are illegitimate— which is 42 percent higher than the illegitimacy rate for the American population as a whole.

Education levels reveal the same dismal pattern: nearly half of all Hispanics are not graduating from high school in four years. And the more Hispanic a school district becomes, the greater the rate of failure for Hispanic students. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is 73 percent Hispanic, 60 percent of all students are not graduating. But the real tragedy is that among those Hispanics who do graduate, only about one in five will have completed a curriculum that qualifies for college enrollment. That is why at many campuses of the California State University system, almost half the incoming class each year must take remedial courses. I found that teaching Latin to first-generation Mexican-Americans and illegal aliens was valuable not so much as an introduction to the ancient world, but as the student’s first experience with remedial English grammar.

Less than 10 percent of those who identify themselves as Hispanic nationwide have graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, almost one in three Mexican-American males age 18-24 in California, in response to a recent poll, reported having been arrested, and one in five has been jailed.[100] [Emphasis mine.]

Many of the Mexican immigrants don’t even want to become Americans, they want to Make America Mexico Again: “A recent Zogby poll revealed that 58 percent of Mexican citizens believe that “the territory of the United States’ Southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico.”[101]

Assimilated Mexican-Americans are horrified at the cost of unchecked immigration from Mexico:

As a Mexican friend admitted to me in a moment of candor, “If you let us make California into Mexico, we will just go to Oregon. If we turn Oregon into Mexico, we’ll stampede our way into Washington. If we turn Washington into Mexico, we’ll sneak into Canada.”[102]

Most governments let their emigrants go after they leave home. Not the government of Mexico:

These governments lost control of their immigrants the minute they arrived in the United States. Such is not the case with Mexico, which both deliberately exports its unwanted and, once they safely reach American soil, suddenly becomes their champion and absent parent, as much out of resentment toward the United States as in real concern for people whom they apparently are so gladly free of.[103]

The attitude of the Mexican government is another factor that has convinced many Americans that the border must be closed. When Mexico City publishes cartoons advising its own citizens how best to cross the Rio Grande, Americans are appalled. Not only does Mexico brazenly undermine American law in order to subsidize its own failures, but it also assumes that those who flee northward are among its least educated citizens, without much ability to read beyond the comic book level.[104]

Leftist intellectuals want La Reconquista or La Republic Del Norte. The Mexican government wants this too, eventually, and wants to send its troubles to the United States in the meantime and collect the handsome reward of remittances rather than change itself into a functional country. America can afford neither. We must fight intellectually against multiculturalism in the United States while we simultaneously stop this flood and deport the illegal aliens already here back home. We cannot afford the crime, the drugs, the welfare use, the identity politics, the militant second generation, and the destruction of what was once the greatest state in the Union.

Muslim Immigration

Given what has happened in the last two years in Europe with the “migration crisis,” only lunatic multicultural Leftists think our border should be wide open to Muslim immigrants. The rape crisis alone should make us sit up and rethink our open borders mentalities. Mass rapes in Sweden[105],[106],[107], Germany[108],[109], the United Kingdom,[110] France,[111],[112] Belgium,[113] and other countries in Europe[114] have become the norm, so extensive that the multicultural media only covers the individual crimes when forced to by the alternative media, like Jihad Watch or Breitbart. The systematic sex slavery of over 1400 non-Muslim British children by Pakistani gangs in Rotheram, England has been systematically covered up by the mainstream media both in the UK and in the US. If you have kids, be afraid. I could literally spend hours linking to dozens of stories about mass rapes by Muslim migrants in Western Europe, but I won’t. Read Pamela Geller, [115] Jihad Watch,[116] The Religion of Peace,[117] or Breitbart[118] if you wish to gain more information on this issue.

When it’s not rape, it’s mass murder, in a Paris theater, a Belgian airport, London busses, machete attacks in Germany, on trains, using trucks to run people over while shopping, bombings, and all sorts of mayhem.[119] This assault on decency, on Western Civilization, on individual rights, is so horrific and so obvious, that even staunch open borders Objectivists like Yaron Brook have retreated from their strict open immigration positions (as discussed above); but not in a principled way. Nor has there been any recognition that the rape jihad or the Muslim terror attacks are no different in kind (though different in degree) than the immigrant/ethnic gang warfare that plagues America’s cities and leads to more deaths and injuries than jihad, at least in the United States. Nor has there been any recognition by prominent Objectivists of the long-term planned out strategy of civilizational jihad via immigration being waged by Muslims against the West in general and the United States in particular.

Even a Muslim who was once an Islamic Supremacist, Maajid Nawaz, rejects more Muslim immigration to the West until the Muslims that have already come are assimilated and Westernized.[120]

For those still clinging to open borders after the example of the last two years in Europe, who insist that we let everyone in who wants immigrate but then simply jail those who break our laws, the experience in British prisons is the final nail in the open borders coffin. Sharia law rules British prisons. New prisoners either convert to Islam in prison (by saying the Shahada and following Islamic law), or they must pay the jizya tax in whatever currency is currently in vogue in the prison, or become slaves, sometimes same-sex sex slaves.[121] This phenomenon takes place in US prisons at a lower intensity than in Britain because US prisons are dominated by racist gangs: white, black, and Hispanic. The prison imams in the US are having some small amount of success in converting the black racists to Islam (thanks, Louis Farrakhan!), but are having much less luck in converting the white and Hispanic racist gangs, which then act as counterweights to the Islamic and black gangs. Putting Islamic Supremacists in the general prison population in the United States would be a catastrophic mistake. Muslim criminals should be strictly segregated from other prisoners or immediately deported, rather than allowed to roam free among other criminals.[122] Better yet, prevent them from coming into the US in the first place.

One must not leave the topic of Islamic immigration without touching on the story of Lebanon, at one time the most prosperous, productive, and free country in the Middle East before they adopted a policy of open immigration. Beirut was the “Paris of the Middle East” and Christians, Druze, and Lebanese Muslims lived in relative peace and harmony. When Palestinians were displaced by the 1967 war, the Lebanese, foreseeing Harry Binswanger’s plea for a sign that says “Welcome to Lebanon” rather than immoral border posts and walls, allowed mass entry for the displaced persons. What the Lebanese got in return was a ruinous and murderous civil war, the instantiation of Hezbollah and its brand of Sharia in much of the country, and domination by foreign powers. Open borders destroyed Lebanon.[123]

Finally, why is a border wall and selective immigration anti-American but simultaneously pro-Israel? Israel is at peace with both Egypt and Jordan and has been for decades. Why don’t Objectivists advocate open borders for Israel with those countries? “Israel is at war,” they say. No, Israel is not at war with either Egypt or Jordan. The reason is that Israel is the Jewish State, and if they had open borders they would be demographically destroyed. Why is this obvious for the Jewish State but not obvious for the American one? And if saying “they are at war” are the magic words one must utter to get out of having to have open borders, the United States is at war with the exact same people as Israel. Indeed, the United States has been at war with one country or another for all but a handful of years in its existence.

The Indian Wars alone lasted from 1622 to 1919. We’ve been at war with Mexico on and off forever, and are arguably fighting a low-intensity border war with them today, and they are responding with a low-intensity war of subversion against the US. The US has been at war with the Iranians since 1979, and is now at war with the Islamic State. The US is this close—imagine two fingers held microscopically apart—to a war with China over their aggression in the South China Sea and with Russia over their invasion of the Ukraine. The United States is always at war with someone. If you ask the Caliph, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the United States is at war with the entire Ummah.[124] There is no peacetime. There is only war, continuous war, as far back as the eye can see and as far forward as the eye can see. The United States has one and only one immigration policy: a wartime one. Because we are never at peace. This is just a fact. And in a war, you must protect your borders independent of all of the other arguments I made above (welfare, politics, culture, and crime).

One must understand that Muslims are not a “special case.” They are bad, but they are only different in degree, not in kind, from other Third World cultures that extol corruption, violence, irresponsibility, misogyny, and exaggerated self-importance. A “special” policy banning Muslim immigration but allowing everyone else does not meet the mark of aligning immigration policy with the moral goal of keeping America free.

The Economic Argument

Harry Binswanger addresses the popular economic argument that immigrants “take jobs” from Americans:[125]

One major fear of open immigration is economic: the fear of losing one’s job to immigrants. It is asked: “Won’t the immigrants take our jobs?” The answer is: “Yes, so that we can go on to better, higher-paying jobs.”

The fallacy in the protectionist view lies in the idea that there is only a finite amount of work to be done. The unstated assumption is: “If Americans don’t get to do that work, if foreigners do it instead, we Americans will have nothing to do.” …

Unemployment is not caused by an absence of avenues for the creation of wealth. Unemployment is caused by government interference in the labor market, preventing the law of supply and demand from “clearing the market” in labor services, as it does in every other market.

In one sense, these statements by Binswanger are true. There are no limits to the number of jobs needing done, and government interference in the labor market prevents wages from dropping in the presence of a flood of new immigrants. However, Binswanger again drops the context when discussing the economic considerations of mass immigration. Not every immigrant, and not every American worker, is an interchangeable economic unit. Individuals differ in their capacities. When highly skilled, high-energy, highly educated, and culturally compatible immigrants come to the US, jobs are created—whole industries are created—and economic growth is spurred. Binswanger is completely correct on this point. However, when low-skilled, uneducated immigrants come to the US, besides bringing crime, welfare use, jihad, poor parenting, and cultural subversion, they also depress the wages for low-skilled Americans below that which a person can successfully sustain a family, throwing many low-skilled Americans onto some sort of government assistance. The low-skilled immigrants are highly subsidized by the US government (as discussed above in the Welfare section), and in many cases live as single men in what amounts to large dormitories, whereas low-skilled Americans are not as heavily subsidized and are trying to exist as part of a family with a wife and children. One can argue that low-skilled American workers should simply abandon their wives and children and live illegally a dozen to a two-bedroom apartment like many low-skilled immigrants. The low-skilled Americans could then certainly “compete” with the wages of these immigrants under those circumstances, but at what personal and societal cost? No one has a “right” to a job, that’s certainly true. On the other hand, no one expects the government to engage in an immigration policy so manifestly destructive to a large segment of the US working population.

Binswanger argues that while “nominal wage rates fall…real wage rates rise, because total output has gone up.” Again, this is true of educated, highly skilled immigrants, but is not true for low-skilled immigrants. It is hard to untangle the effect of mass immigration into the US over the last forty years from all of the destructive government interventions in the economy over that period, but it is clear that the number of full-time family-supporting jobs (called “breadwinner jobs”) has been static for quite a long time.[126] Similarly, the median wage has been stagnant for decades.[127] The median is the wage at the center of the wage distribution, whereas the mean (or average) is the sum of all wages divided by the number of workers. The mean wage has increased, but a look at the distribution shows that this phenomenon is due to the enormous gains in wages by the very few educated upper class. I don’t begrudge these people their gains, but I don’t forget my fellow Americans who have gained nothing or have declined in prosperity through no obvious fault of their own over the last fifty years, primarily due to government regulatory, economic, trade, tax, and immigration policies. The low-skilled and not-as-educated segment of the population (basically the bottom half of the wage distribution) has seen no increase in their real wages since the 1960s.

Perhaps your response to this fact would be to say, “Who cares? They should gain more skills.” This is very easy to say for people in a bubble[128] inhabited by other highly-educated upper-middle-class and wealthy people; however, it is not as easy to implement in practice. “Gaining new skills” is practically the definition of “intelligence,” but unlike in Lake Wobegon, in the United States half the people are below average.[129] Perhaps it is the case that this half of the US citizenry should be ignored, thrown to the economic wolves of mass immigration, allowed to fall out of the labor force[130] and live in poverty. I can assure you, though, that while you may advocate forgetting about these people, they have not forgotten themselves, and they vote. The Trump victory in the 2016 election was primarily due to a reaction from a small portion of this half of the American citizenry to the open immigration policies and subsequent wage stagnation at the lower end of the wage scale pushed on the US by politicians of both parties. As I discussed above, America, whether you like it or not, is currently a democracy, and the government will respond to the concerns of American voters. Unless a rational immigration policy is implemented, in which low-skill immigration is limited in some way (or the externalized costs and subsidies associated with low-skilled immigrants is made explicit in the market, see below) the inevitable consequences of unlimited low-skilled immigration will be continued depression of jobs and wages for low-skilled Americans, social unrest, and perhaps worst of all, an eventual over-reaction by the government in which immigration is halted entirely, and highly-skilled highly-educated desirable immigrants who wish to compete freely in the labor market are barred from entry along with the low-skilled uneducated ones, in a one-size-fits-all anti-immigration law like the one from 1924.

One solution that is popular among business owners is a “guest worker program.” Nothing could be more corrupt and cronyist[131] than guest worker programs. The primary purpose of a guest worker program is to restrict labor mobility to allow wage rates among guest workers to be far below market wages. Guest workers, such as those on H1-B visas, are paid one-half to one-third the wages of American workers. Such a huge disparity in wages could not possibly be supported in a free market. The moment the guest worker realized he was being paid one-third of the American across the street, he’d quit his job and go across the street to be paid perhaps 95% of what Americans are paid. Wages in that industry would certainly fall, (supply and demand still operate), but such a large gap in wages could never be supported without government restrictions on labor mobility. Malkin describes numerous cronyist guest worker abuses, arranged by American corporate executives in connivance with the government, that allow them to maintain an enormous wage disparity between guest workers and the American workers they displace. While it is technically legal for an H1-B visa holder to change jobs, the actual process for doing so is extremely complex and may take many months or even a year. Since American businesses generally don’t employ H1-B visa holders directly but through contracts with giant (usually Indian) businesses that employ almost exclusively a large number of H1-B guest workers, the individual guest worker has no real opportunity to get a better job at a higher wage. If his current H1-B-heavy employer gets even a whiff of an idea that he is thinking about changing jobs, they can send him back to his home country (usually India) within a day, leaving him no chance to execute his plan to improve his life. There are a very few extremely high-skilled H1-B workers, scientists and engineers mostly, who are not subject to this type of exploitation, and who can move jobs cordially with no abuse, but this is the small exception rather than the rule.

Guest worker programs are not a “solution” to our immigration problems, they are one of the primary problems. Even open borders advocates should look twice before supporting these programs, as they are simply government subsidies to favored (many times foreign) businesses. And if there’s one thing that annoys American voters more than corrupt cronyist deals that favor certain American businessmen, it’s corrupt cronyist deals that favor certain foreign businessmen.

A person cannot intelligently address the immigration issue without at least seriously studying the writings of Thomas Sowell on cultural influences on assimilation, Ann Coulter and Victor Davis Hanson on the crime and political consequences of third world immigration today, the Center for Immigration Studies on welfare usage by modern immigrants, or Michelle Malkin on guest worker programs. One may still, after reading these authors, maintain one’s opinion that the US would be more productive with a more open immigration system—that’s at least an honest disagreement among educated people—but one can’t continue to agitate for open borders on some floating abstract theoretical basis without engaging with actual data from recent US history. To do so is to participate in a debate from a fundamentally intellectually dishonest perspective. Part of the reason I’ve written this essay, and included the economic argument in this section (even though I think this particular argument is not the strongest of the ones I’ve discussed), is precisely to highlight the fact that most people arguing on the open borders side have literally no idea what they are talking about. They have not given the topic more than a few hours consideration or research, merely pontificating on the subject based on rationalistic exercises with no relationship to reality. The economic argument is a serious argument, and in today’s political context must be addressed seriously, not dismissed with a wave of one’s hand or a reminder that Equal is Unfair.[132] Almost no American believes the purpose of economic or immigration policy should be to optimize GDP per capita. Even if you could prove, which Binswanger manifestly does not do in his article referenced above, that open borders would maximize GDP or GDP per capita, this would convince almost no one, since they simply don’t care about abstract theories disconnected from reality; they care about what’s happening to them and their family and friends. With a stagnant number of breadwinner jobs and stagnant wages for the bottom half of the wage distribution, who do you want them to believe, you or their lying eyes? Before Objectivists pontificate on an immigration policies that (other things being equal) will make these people’s lives worse, expecting they will change their minds based on some sort of libertarian-like out-of-context rationalistic argumentation, perhaps they should spend their time on arguing for and fixing the things that will make the other things no longer equal, like reducing regulations on business, cutting government spending and taxation, implementing a sane or even just a semi-sane monetary policy, or eliminating the worst cronyist abuses in immigration policy today like guest worker programs, before arguing about immigration.

If we fixed the economy first, maybe Objectivists would have credibility enough to argue for more expansive immigration policies without negative economic consequences for those in the bottom half of the wage distribution. Unfortunately, by arguing for open borders now, before the welfare state is eliminated or drastically reduced, before the economy is fixed, before our voting system is made much less vulnerable to ineligible aliens and dead Democrats voting, before we have a good understanding of the effects of culture and total numbers on assimilation, and before we say “No!” to both Islamic Supremacism and La Reconquista, all the open borders Objectivists are doing is demanding immediate cultural and political suicide, the end of the United States of America. This type of argument convinces no one, wins no friends except a few tech executives who like paying far below market wages for their IT support, and ruins the reputation of Ayn Rand, the Ayn Rand Institute, and Objectivism among the general public, who are not as clueless as the elites seem to think. The general public knows that lacking a population amenable to socialism the Left has decided not to replace their socialistic ideas but to replace the voters with those more friendly to socialism.[133] They know identity politics is taking over America (and has taken over California) due to mass third world immigration. They know that Americans demand to be treated fairly by their employers, so employers who want to treat employees unfairly or arbitrarily will immediately look to hire illegal aliens so the employees have no real recourse to the law. They know that many immigrants come just for the handouts.[134] They know people who have been told to train their foreign H1-B replacements (which is illegal) and sign a confidentiality agreement or lose any severance pay and any future job recommendations.[135] They know all this and more. It is the open borders Objectivists who don’t know any of this, who have never read any of the references in this essay, and who make fools of themselves in print and on social media advocating policies that would result in the destruction of the United States and/or the ruination of many of their fellow citizens. It is time for this insanity to stop. You are advocating the destruction of the United States, you are setting back the Objectivist movement for decades, and you are not even being faithful to Objectivism.

A Rational Immigration System in a “Non-Ideal” World

Many people discuss what immigration policy would be in an ideal world, dropping the context of the actual world. I do not start there. I recognize that the world we live in is of a certain character, and it requires a concomitant set of realistic policies to deal with it. My policy proposal is not a system for an ideal world, but an ideal system for the manifestly non-ideal world in which we actually live. Objectivism is a rational philosophy, a “philosophy for living on Earth,” one that starts with reality. Starting with anything other than the facts of reality, such as idealistic scenarios, or mythical rights derived deductively from out-of-context premises, violates the essence of Objectivism.[136]

First, a rational immigration system would allow some people into the US and prevent others from entering, based on the principle stated above: the moral goal of keeping America free. It’s important to point out that when there are any restrictions on entrance at all, that fact requires the entire apparatus of border enforcement, including passports, border entry checkpoints, border guards, border patrol agents, walls and fences, etc. This is unavoidable. If there are border inspections—for any reason at all, even for the most innocuous ones—then most people (especially most Americans) will simply go around them. Why wait in an inspection line if you can walk a few hundred yards up the border and cross without inspection? If there is no immigration enforcement, no wall, no penalty for coming to the country illegally, no deportation risk, why would anyone wait in line at a border crossing? Open border advocates who “compromise” on the issue of having a simple inspection to keep out known criminals (like Yaron Brook) don’t seem to realize that what he probably thought of as a minor concession for the purposes of not alienating too many listeners was in fact an enormous change in the effects of his policies. Want to keep out criminals? Then you need a wall. Want to keep out infectious people? Ditto. Want to keep out terrorists? Wall again. It’s a big, beautiful wall[137] as far as the eye can see. If there are no borders, then there is no need for a wall. But if any border restrictions exist at all, then we will need a wall, passports, visas, permits, enforcement, illegal immigration, and deportation. If you are going to enforce any restriction at all, no matter how small, all these things come as a consequence. That’s why the no borders position is so strikingly popular among hardcore libertarians and Objectivists: look at all this government action we can eliminate by just letting everyone in and waiting until they commit a crime.

“But we don’t have a wall with Canada!!!” Exactly my point. Canada is a free, prosperous, Anglosphere country that promotes the rule of law (and is, incidentally, the home to the nicest people on Earth). Of course we don’t need a wall with Canada—Canadians overwhelmingly respect their laws and ours. If we set up a border crossing station with Canada, but no fence at all, such that a given Canadian could walk 20 yards in either direction to avoid the inspection, they’d all peacefully stand in line and wait their turn anyway, unlike Americans, because that’s how awesome Canadians are.[138] Third Worlders are not awesome in this way at all. That does not mean that the Canadian border need not be patrolled—Canada’s immigration system has its own flaws too, and these flaws are getting much worse under Justin Trudeau’s hopelessly clueless Liberal government. When national security demands something for the survival of the country, such as border control, the system has to be made secure and as foolproof as possible.

Yet no system is entirely foolproof, and if choices are to be made between people allowed in and not allowed in, then some of those deemed not suitable of entrance will figure out mechanisms to come in anyway. The existence of “illegal aliens” is a consequence of having any immigration policy other than that of no border at all. Illegal aliens, when encountered, should be immediately returned to their country of origin. Companies and individuals that purposely do any business with illegal aliens should be legally punished. If there is any border at all, these prescriptions follow naturally. The goal, of course, is to make immigration policy as rational as possible while simultaneously making the border so secure that very few illegal aliens make it into the United States.

The first principle of a rational immigration system is: selectivity in immigration requires both border security and the deportation of illegal aliens.

The government can do a fine job of guarding the border. That is a type of task that the government does well. Screening immigrants for compatibility with American freedom, on the other hand, is a task at which the government is manifestly unsuited. As I said earlier in the section on “A Foreign Policy of Self-Interest,” the burden of proof that a given immigrant is compatible with American freedom lies solely on the immigrant himself, and the only way to prove it is if he puts his money where his mouth is.

To enter the United States, a visitor or immigrant must find a sponsor to become entirely responsible for his conduct and his expenses until he qualifies to become a citizen. If a business wants to hire an immigrant, that business could put up the cash bond or purchase an insurance policy covering that immigrant. If the immigrant violates the law in any way, all expenses related to his arrest, booking, defense, captivity, trial, restitution for any victims, and disposition would be covered by the sponsor, including all costs for his use of prison resources and even his deportation flight back home after he serves his sentence. If the sponsor provides the immigrant with medical insurance as part of a job offer, the immigrant or the sponsor are responsible for all deductibles and co-pays. If no health insurance is provided to the immigrant by the sponsor, all health care costs for the immigrant and his family not paid directly by the immigrant himself are the responsibility of the sponsor. If the immigrant comes with his family and has minor children, the cost of the children’s education would be the responsibility of the sponsor, either at a pro-rata cost at the local government school or at a private school of the sponsor’s choice. If the immigrant is found to have used any welfare assistance program while in the United States, all costs associated with this use shall be recoverable from the sponsor, including all costs of recovery.[139]

Many immigrants are perfectly peace-loving, just like many drivers are extremely safe, and almost no homes ever have fires. The latter two facts do not make auto insurance and fire insurance inexpensive, however. Insurance companies perform extremely complex calculations to determine the cost of any given policy, taking into account a person’s previous record (which they have a huge incentive to investigate thoroughly), and certain demographic groups that that person belongs to (age, sex, etc.). The insurance companies make broad generalizations about individuals as members of groups in calculating their premiums. We do not call this “collectivism,” but “a rational business strategy.” The same would be true of immigration liability insurance. Some businesses, like Apple and Google, might be rich enough to self-insure their immigrant workers, but almost all other businesses would have to take out insurance policies on immigrant workers to cover their expected liability due to crime, terrorism, stupidity, health problems, etc. Because the business assumes all liability for the immigrant’s behavior, the business would have an extreme incentive to make sure that only the best people are brought into the United States.

Ed Mazlish has suggested “ideological screening” for immigrants.[140] I heartily approve of this idea in principle. I merely have no idea how that would work in practice. Ideological screening is the current law in the United States, and yet Leftist non-governmental organizations all across the world hold training seminars for refugees and potential immigrants about how to lie effectively to the government screeners, telling them what they want to hear, so they can pass the ideological element of the screening test.[141] The Left wants to flood the United States with socialism-friendly Third World immigrants—that is how they gain and retain political power, so there is a mighty incentive for Leftists groups, using very little money from George Soros or other anti-American billionaires, to train their future voters and activists how to get around the current law.[142] And of course, the government screeners don’t really care anyway. Most of the time they are leftist career bureaucrats in the ideological throes of multiculturalism. All of them are subject to presidential “Executive Orders,” which can tell them to ignore the law, if we were to ever elect a far leftist anti-American president.[143] Islamic law even has a name for lying in the cause of Islam, al-taqqiya, which is practiced religiously among the faithful. For ideological screening to work, there must be a countervailing incentive on the part of the screeners to get it right, to make sure evil and incompatible people do not come in. Only this sort of bond/insurance/sponsor responsibility system can shift the incentives for adequate screening by making the cost of screening failure be carried by the screeners themselves. This type of system is not immune from blindness, irrationality, or political correctness, nor is it explicitly a system for “ideological” screening, but at least it is something that changes the incentives to a more rationally effective screening mechanism.

Remember, the cost of a single murder could run in the tens of millions of dollars. The marginal cost of an extra prisoner in prison is close to $30,000 per year. But the average cost (which includes pro-rata shares of all the capital costs of building a prison) can range up to $50,000 or $100,000 per year. Costs of police forces, courthouses, crime labs, and other elements of the investigatory apparatus bring this cost even higher. Fighting crime is extremely expensive, and given that immigrants from third world countries commit a vastly disproportional amount of crime, the costs to sponsors of immigrants from these countries to insure against all liabilities would be large. But these are real economic costs of immigration, currently carried by the taxpayers of the United States as welfare for corporations who hire immigrants.

Today, if a farmer in California hires 100 Mexicans to pick his crops, paying them whatever the current market wage is, nine times out of ten, the workers will do the work, collect their paychecks, and support their families back home. The tenth time, one of the workers will end up committing a serious crime—vehicular homicide, rape, aggravated assault, etc.—resulting in a five-year prison term and a cost to the taxpayer of $500,000. The farmer feels bad that one of his employees was a bad apple, but then goes about his business as if nothing happened, not changing his business model in the slightest. Meanwhile the taxpayer is stuck with the bill. In my system, the half-million dollar cost would be paid by the farmer (or his liability insurance company), and the farmer will damn well start paying attention to the people he hires. He wants immigrant labor? Fine, start taking responsibility for his business plan. One mistake can ruin his business, so he better stop making mistakes. If this system causes labor prices (and thus food prices) to increase, that’s not necessarily a problem, that’s merely the market functioning (finally!). And if it causes more Americans and fewer immigrants to be employed, that’s just a bonus.

Bad apples come in many sizes, however. The cost of the 9/11 attacks was in the trillions of dollars. No insurance company in the world, no matter how well reinsured by numerous other insurance companies, could have paid off the liability for 9/11. Therefore the cost of a policy according to my system for non-Westernized Muslim immigrants would be essentially infinite, and none would be allowed into the US. It may be possible for foreign governments to buy the policy for some of their citizens, and this could be permitted on a case-by-case basis, but there’s not a Muslim country in the world that could afford to staff their embassies under this system, much less pay for 100,000 Syrian refugees. In a properly functioning market, not even George Soros could afford to flood the US with Third World immigrants, if the actual economic cost of the immigrants were taken into account at the point of entry.

Business travelers and students would similarly be subject to this liability insurance responsibility, and businesses or colleges could decide whether the individuals traveling to the United States would be worth the cost, or perhaps a video teleconference would be preferable. Citizens of friendly Western countries with no past crimes or associations with criminal or terrorist groups would find the bond for a two-week trip to the United States to be quite affordable. Other countries’ citizens perhaps not. But that is not up to me. The market would decide exactly how many Albanians or Russians or Indians or Vietnamese could come to the United States. The true market cost of immigration would be exposed finally for all the world to see. The question would then be asked, “how many immigrants would come into the United States under this system?” and the answer would immediately be, “as many as the market would bear.”

If Harry Binswanger is correct, and immigrants are almost all hard-working, non-welfare-taking, peace-loving, crime-free people, then the cost of immigration insurance would be low, and we’d have lots of immigrants. Since Binswanger is wildly wrong on these facts, my guess is when the true economic cost of immigration was exposed to a market environment, we’d have much fewer than we have now. And that would be fine.

Some of you may object that a family from Burkina Faso, who wants to come to America to visit Disneyland, won’t be able to do so under my system. My response is: Tough beans. I. Don’t. Care. The purpose of an immigration system is the moral goal of keeping America free, not to see to it that foreigners can come to Disneyland, or that Yaron Brook can have a phenomenal gardener, or that major American corporations can displace American workers with foreigners and in the process shift an enormous amount of the cost of their businesses to the now-increasingly-impoverished middle class American taxpayer.

There are a few changes to the way things are done that would be necessary for this system to work. First, insurance companies would have to be free to discriminate on any basis they find useful in setting policy rates, including discrimination on the basis of all sorts of things that are illegal now, such as race, sex, national origin, religion, disability, job category, etc. It is perhaps possible that insurance companies could find quick tests to test for compatibility with life in the US, and that these quick tests along with a serious background check, would be all that was required.[144] Only a free market in this type of immigrant liability insurance would arrange it so that the US has as many immigrants as we can afford. Obviously, most current immigration laws would have to be repealed and replaced, so that means no more guest workers, no more chain migration, only limited asylum for people based on private charity raising the money for their insurance, no refugees ever, and definitely no more anchor babies.[145] Similarly, immigrants currently in the US would not be grandfathered in and would have to purchase the insurance by a certain date (or their employer would have to insure them) or they would have to return to their country of origin. My guess is that a peaceful, employed, non-welfare-using, long-term resident of the US would only be charged a nominal fee, since their behavior in the US would speak for itself. Criminal aliens in the US would be deported immediately after their sentence was served.

The government, in its role as agent of national defense, may have to impose other restrictions on immigration, even when the economic costs of immigration are properly calculated and billed for. The first rule is that no immigrants would be accepted from any country that does not agree to take back deportees. This may not be fair to the immigrants, but it is necessary in light of current world politics, as many countries refuse to take back their own citizens, telling the US to go pound sand, and that is unacceptable. Without deportation, the expected costs of criminal and illegal aliens rises to unsustainable levels, and immigration would have to be shut down entirely from that country anyway. Another rule might require extra screening for people for certain problem countries (similar to getting a second opinion from your doctor, insist that a second or third insurance company price the insurance for certain people), or it might be a cap on the total number of immigrants from any given country based on the fact that an ever growing population of foreigners from any one country cannot ever assimilate. The US must recognize the reality of the national security threat of both al-hijrah and La Reconquista and impose caps accordingly. Another cap might be necessary to combat the “second generation criminal” problem discussed above. Many current immigrant gangs and terrorists are second generation Americans. Limiting the number of potential parents from problem countries limits the number of potential second generation problems. This may not seem “fair” to the first generation immigrants, but I’m not interested in “fair,” I’m interested in the moral goal of keeping America free.

There may be additional rules on collateral and liquidity for insurance companies, so they don’t just end up like AIG in the previous financial crisis and write so many insurance policies that they could never pay off in the event of a “run.” My guess is that these rules would be minimal, because my expectation is that when the true economic costs of immigration are calculated, essentially all of the problems described above would be greatly ameliorated, since we could never afford the level of immigration and the composition of immigrants we currently accept. The current level of Third World immigration is only sustainable since almost all of the costs are transferred to the backs of the taxpayers. When businesses and schools would have to pay the appropriate market rates for the risks associated with immigrants, immigration numbers would decline, and those immigrants and visitors to the United States that do come will overwhelmingly be from Anglosphere and Western countries, rather than the Third World. I predict the price for Canadians, for example, would be 37 cents (and that’s CAD$0.37, not USD$0.37).[146] Immigrants are guests in the United States, and should be treated as guests, with politeness and warmth. But like guests to one’s home, if they violate the rules, they are required to provide restitution and then leave.

Insurance premiums for any individual would certainly decline over time, as more individualized data about any given immigrant becomes available. After a certain number of years without any chargeable expenses, the requirement for insurance might be no longer needed. Certainly five years is required, but perhaps not more than seven years. After seven years of a sterling record, and when the immigrant has demonstrated complete fluency in English, the immigrant could become a citizen. There is no explicit provision in my proposal to avoid the block-vote-for-socialism problem described above. I have confidence, however, that the system I propose, as it relies both on self-responsibility and business policing of their own employee’s behaviors, would lead to the best, brightest, and most individualistic immigrants possible, and that the collectivism that drenches current immigrants would be washed away by the need to take responsibility for one’s life. It’s certainly a better system than we have today.

Anticipating Some Objections

In this section, I’d like to address some common misunderstandings of my proposal above that I have collected from various sources over the last year or so. These objections are not meant to be a complete set, just those I thought had some element of validity.

“Your proposal could never work, because it requires the repeal of civil rights laws, allowing insurance companies to discriminate on the basis of age, sex, national origin, religion, disability, ideology, all of which are illegal now.” This is absolutely true, and is the biggest practical political objection to my system. Nevertheless, the proposal presented is my idea for a rational immigration system in a non-ideal world, not a system that could be immediately implemented. Immediate steps that have the backing of the public are the border wall, increased border security, deportation of criminal aliens, drastically reducing in the number of refugees admitted, halting Muslim immigration until a better screening system is in place, drastically reducing guest worker programs, ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens, banning dual citizenship, and aggressive enforcement of current immigration law.[147] None of these things are perfect, but they are favored by a majority of Americans and will get the US toward a more rational immigration system. Only when the costs of immigration are borne by those demanding it will the system be truly fair. My proposed system, or the compromises listed above, is not designed to be “perfect.” It is designed to align the incentives between the screeners with the moral goal of keeping America free, or at least to stop the bleeding. However, the system of open immigration, including importing all the criminals, terrorists, and alien anti-capitalist, anti-American cultures, isn’t “perfect” either, not by a long shot. Just ask all those injured by the Boston marathon bombing, or those whose family members have been murdered by illegal immigrants, or those who lost loved ones on 9/11, how good open immigration is working out.

“Under your proposal, companies are not responsible for the crimes of American employees, but are for foreign employees, how is that fair?” This is also true. However, American criminals are America’s problem. If there were a penal colony on the Moon, I’d be the first to advocate American criminals being transported there. But they are already here and, unfortunately, we have to deal with them. We do not have to deal with foreign criminals and terrorists if we don’t want to, and we don’t want to.

“All people have a ‘right to travel’ and a ‘right to contract.’ Your proposal interferes with these rights.”[148] Neither the “right to travel” nor “the right to contract” is a primary. It’s not a simple premise on which you can then build some sort of rationalistic argument. The right to contract is only valid in a certain context, and in principle that context only applies where there is an existing system of law and sovereignty. Building the right to immigrate on the right to contract commits the fallacy of the stolen concept, since the right to contract in an international sense pre-supposes a set of sovereign countries with compatible laws, a common judicial system, and a common understanding of rights and responsibilities. With the US and Canada, you might be able to argue that the right to contract exists across the borders since the two countries are so similar and friendly. But since the world is “anarchic,” meaning there is no global authority to guarantee rights-respecting republican governments (and we definitely don’t want a global government), one must build a system of independent sovereignties based on the manifest needs of self-defense for any given country before you start trying to understand what sort of international contracts are valid and enforceable by governments. The right to travel or the right to contract come last in a long string of reasoning that must take into account the facts of the world: multiple independent countries, many hostile to one another, multiple types of governments that are all responsible for their own self-defense, many wildly different cultures with wildly different understandings of, for example, the necessity and virtue of honesty or the role of contracts in human interaction. Once you understand all of that, only then can you discuss what constitutes a valid contract in the current international context. In certain contexts, “the right to travel” and “the right to contract” make sense. In other contexts they do not make sense. Differentiating between the contexts requires thought, research, and an orientation to reality not found in Binswanger’s argument.

“By judging people by their origin cultures, you are guilty of denying free will and advocating ‘cultural determinism.’ ”[149] This statement misconstrues both what free will and determinism actually are, and what cultural influences are in the real world. Free will is the ability to choose to focus or not, it does not say that people act causelessly or that culture does not have a causal influence on people’s behavior. The most famous woman in American history, Pocahontas, rejected her primitive culture and embraced the English one, even when the English were somewhat clueless about America. In doing so, she single-handedly saved the English colony—and all of subsequent American history—at thirteen years old—and has been rightly held to be an American hero ever since, celebrated in history, story, songs, and (inaccurate) movies.[150] She was one of the first American Indians to encounter the English, and was utterly first-handed about them in a way almost no human being had ever been before. Her heroism must have boded well for Indian-English relations, right? The Indians would quickly adopt English culture, right, just like Pocahontas? After all, to predict that almost no Indians would adopt English culture, and indeed would fight a bloody 300-year-long war against the English and Americans to preserve their primitive culture would be to engage in “cultural determinism,” right? Journo states the obvious, people can choose to adopt different cultures, then points to a few examples. What he omits is that these few people, from the heroine Pocahontas to the traitor John Walker Lindh, are vanishingly small in numbers. In fact, almost no one changes their culture when moving to a different country, and this fact must be taken into account when designing an immigration system. This is not an exercise in “cultural determinism,” it’s simply a fact. Individuals can change cultures if they have an incentive to do so, or if they want to. But currently there are no incentives to assimilate, and honestly, it simply never occurs to most of them to change cultures at all. Except for a tiny minority, immigrants don’t come here because they are rejecting their original cultures, they come for work or to escape discrimination, and they have no idea that the lack of work or discrimination they faced at home was a result of the evil cultures they inhabited. Large groups of transplanted people do not change cultures with a frequency well over 99%, as Sowell shows in his book, Ethnic America. It takes generations, sometimes hundreds of years, to assimilate.

“American culture will be strong enough to survive mass immigration.” This statement is ludicrous. Look around you. Has American culture survived the onslaught of third world immigration? Drive through the barrios of Southern California as I have, filled with trash, bums, gangs, drugs, graffiti, and the all-embracing one-party state.[151] Multiculturalism as an idea is at least as much an effect of mass immigration as it is a cause, a sort of vile feedback loop. Multicultural leftists lusting for power preach “diversity” and bring in more incompatible Third World immigrants, who turn around and vote the multicultural leftists more power, which allows the leftists to bring in more Third World immigrants in a giant spiral towards totalitarianism. Read Mark Steyn’s brilliant book, America Alone,[152] about how mass immigration to Europe—before the current migrant crisis—was dooming Europe to eventual destruction simply by cultural demographics. It is not enough to take a stand intellectually against leftist intellectuals who advocate “diversity” and “multiculturalism” along with open borders. One must stop the influx of their multicultural political foot soldiers as well, or all the lectures on all the campuses of the world will do nothing to prevent the drowning of America in a sea of barbarians. Imagine Emperor Honorius standing on the Rhine that New Year’s Eve of 406, saying, “Okay now Vandals, let’s discuss what you need to do to assimilate into Roman socie—” right before he is impaled by a Vandal spear. That’s obviously a joke, but that’s exactly what the open borders Objectivists demand we do today. And their prescription for today will have the exact same result as if Honorius tried it in 406.

“I would rather import 10 million barbarians on the chance that we’ll get one Ayn Rand.” You may, I don’t. First, Rand immigrated during a time where immigration restrictions were much greater than those I propose, and were irrationally based on race rather than ability. If there is any new Ayn Rand out there, she will manage to immigrate under my system, too. If everything in the US were perfect, and it was a solidly pro-freedom country, which it is not, we might be afford to let the 10 million barbarians in on the off chance there’s another Ayn Rand. That’s essentially what the Immigration Act of 1965 actually did, only it was more like 30-40 million barbarians. And no next Ayn Rand has shown up yet. Although perhaps she did, but was murdered like Kate Steinle[153] by an illegal criminal alien, and now we’ll never get to see her genius.

“Why are you so worried about Mexicans? Net Mexican migration is out of the United States.”[154] This is false. Between 2008 and 2011, at the height of the financial crisis and its immediate aftermath, and with US unemployment at high levels, net migration from Mexico slightly declined then was flat. This was reported in the press and endlessly repeated as if it were some sort of new normal. However, since then, migration has returned to normal and net migration from Mexico is again positive with another million or more migrants since 2011. Total immigration also slightly declined from 2008-2009, but has been rising rapidly since, with five million new immigrants since 2009.[155]

“The problem with Muslim immigrants would vanish if the US would just bomb Iran and Saudi Arabia.”[156] This is a complete non-sequitur with regard to immigration, and isn’t even accurate with regard to fighting Islamic Supremacism abroad. First of all, to clear up any misconceptions, I have nothing against the US attacking and destroying the nuclear and military capabilities of Iran. As I’ve said, Iran has been at war with the US since 1979 and they should pay for their murders of Americans over the years—in spades. So, bomb away, I say. This course of action will do nothing to prevent, impede, or even slow down the Shia form of Islamic Supremacism. The American Indians could probably have foreseen that they were on the losing end of the war against Americans anytime in the 300-year history of that war. They did not. Sixty thousand British civilians were killed by indiscriminate German bombing in World War II. Do you know how many Britons changed their minds as to the moral righteousness of their cause due to this bloodbath, or who lost their will to fight? Zero. Even more Germans were killed by British and American strategic bombing and a similar number changed their minds, that is, none at all. General Sherman marched through Georgia and South Carolina during the Civil War, murdering and pillaging along the way, and exactly zero Confederates changed their minds about the war’s righteousness because of the terror. Well over four million Russians were outright murdered by the Nazis in the first year of the War, and the Russian soldiers were fighting for a murderous dictatorship that they almost all hated. How many Russians changed their minds because of all this slaughter? Yep, zero. Saying that more bombing will change people’s minds about the moral righteousness of their cause is the argumentum ad bellum fallacy.

Journo’s particular twist on this fallacy is what I call the “argument from World War II,”[157] in which every single conflict is cast in the mold of the war against Germany and Japan. It goes something like this: “we bombed the crap out of the Germans and Japanese, they surrendered, and now they’re our friends. We should do the same to Iran/Saudi Arabia/the entire Muslim world.” This is not true. First, the Germans surrendered to the British and Americans not because we bombed the crap out of them, but because they were terrified about being exterminated by the Russians. Without the Russian threat of genocide, the Germans would not have turned to the West for succor. The Germans respected the British and American armies and their capabilities, but they were mortally afraid of the Russians and Russian retribution for the atrocities committed by the German army and Gestapo earlier in the war. In the greatest war ever fought, against the most evil enemy ever to exist on the planet, the United States could never bring itself to be as ruthless as necessary for the Germans to existentially fear them. There is zero chance the American government and American people would stand for the ruthlessness necessary to threaten (and perhaps carry out) genocide against a civilization unless the enemy utterly submitted. Muslims can be momentarily demoralized, as they were during the Crusades and in the 1967 war, but that doesn’t change the people’s will to fight for very long.

Japan was slightly different case. As a very hierarchical society, only one individual’s mind needed to be changed, the Emperor’s, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki did in fact change his mind, but it was still a near thing, as much of his cabinet was against surrender and tried to kidnap the Emperor “for his own safety” before he could surrender. And the Japanese still did not surrender unconditionally as the Allies demanded. Once the Emperor did surrender, it was culturally very easy for him to say, “obey the American occupiers,” and indeed, Japanese civilians were quite helpful to American troops sent to occupy Japan. Had the Emperor said instead, “fight to the death,” these same peaceful villagers would have behaved in the completely opposite fashion, causing upwards of a million additional American deaths. The “argument from World War II” thus fails utterly because a) there is no psychopathic genocidal dictator like Stalin around ready to destroy every single element of Islam unless the Islamic Supremacists surrender to the US Army, nor could the United States ever emulate such a person, and b) despite the desire for a Caliph in Islamic Supremacist thought, there is no central leader of Islam to surrender to the Americans and enforce that surrender culturally like the Emperor of Japan did.

Fighting Islam will be like fighting the American Indians, it will be brutal and will take centuries. With the American Indians, perhaps four million Indians held off an exponentially increasing number of Americans for 300 years. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and every single one of them believes in Islamic Supremacism—it is literally built into the religion. There may be those who only give lip service to Islamic Supremacism and live their lives like other peoples, concerned for their own welfare, but there are none who simultaneously believe Islam is true and that liberal values are compatible with it.[158] The United States simply does not possess the military power to defeat Islam in the same fashion as the American Indians were defeated. Certainly, any given Islamic country could be invaded, occupied, and pacified, as the US did temporarily in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, just these two operations stretched the American military to the breaking point. Do Brook and Journo advocate the drafting of 16 million men like in World War II (the equivalent of over 30 million men today) to go defeat and suppress Iran and the other enemy Islamic nations of the Middle-east? Do they advocate over half America’s Gross Domestic Product be spent on this war? Because these two things were what it took to defeat two enemies who amongst them had less than one-tenth the population of the Islamic Ummah, and one-hundredth the land area.

Brook and Journo claim that a few well-placed slaps to Islamic governments will wake the rest of the Islamic world up to the fact that they can’t win a civilizational war. Never in the history of the human race has this ever been true. In civilizational conflicts there are really only two choices: one civilization annihilates the other, essentially down to the last man, or they exist in a watchful peace, containment being practiced on both sides. The second of these choices is the only one available today to the West. Only genocide or the credible threat of genocide would be able to defeat the Islamic Supremacists, implemented in the same way Islam was spread successfully, by offering either conversion, death, second-class citizenship, or slavery to Muslims. Is that really an option? Of course, genocide is definitely what the Islamic Supremacists have in mind for the West. If Brook and Journo want to help in containing Islamic Supremacism, they can start by learning some Islamic history and advocating policies that might actually produce the results they claim to want. “Containment” in this context means no intercourse between the West and any Islamic country that a) practices Shariah, or b) does not permit complete freedom of religion within its borders. This policy is similar to the successful containment policy practiced, albeit non-uniformly, against the Soviet Union and its minions. No diplomatic relations, no trade, prompt retaliation for attacks on the West, and definitely no immigration. People fleeing Islam and repudiating it as they flee may be welcome, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali is welcome. But ordinary soldiers in this civilizational conflict, even if they don’t realize they are soldiers, even if Yaron Brook wants them as his phenomenal gardener, should be excluded. This conflict will necessarily take centuries, but it is the only one that has a chance of being successful, since the United States does not possess the military capability to win a civilizational war of this kind in the foreseeable future. An obvious corollary to be undertaken immediately is the complete separation of foreign governments and individuals with mosques in the US. Almost 80% of American mosques are funded and controlled by Saudi money. This must stop. If American Muslims want mosques, they can pay for them themselves, like every other religious denomination in the United States.[159]

“Just because I and my fellow open borders Objectivists live in gated communities protected by walls, guards, and rules preventing unauthorized entry, that has nothing to do with the complete and utter immorality of walls, guards, and rules preventing unauthorized entry to the United States.”[160] A gated community, you see, was once private property, and so it’s okay to be governed by bylaws (a constitution), an elected board (legislature), who formulate policies (laws), providing for what people can enter under what conditions, and which resident must take responsibility for their actions. The government, being completely different, cannot act that way. What a load of crap. Gated communities are themselves little governments, and rely almost exclusively on state power for their existence. They look like private entities, but they are not private entities. On the other side of the story, the state of Pennsylvania was once the private property of a single individual, William Penn, and he created the government and set up the system by which laws made by elected representatives provide for all manner of things. So does Pennsylvania count as a gated community? This private/government dichotomy between gated communities and states is complete nonsense. Everyone in a gated community, including all those who never signed a formal contract, such as children, visitors, workers, subletters, and guests, must abide by the rules of the gated community. The fact that some property owners had to sign an agreement as part of their property title to abide by those rules makes no difference, because these signers aren’t the only people in the community. Children who inherit their parents’ property are forced by law to sign onto the bylaws as a condition of inheritance, something that violates hundreds of years of English common law. Gated communities are creatures of government, they act as governments, they operate by laws according to government dictates; they are, for all intents and purposes, governments. And if it’s okay for them to ban entrants on whatever criteria they want, or no criteria at all, then it’s okay for the United States of America to do the same.

The most obvious example of a gated community that should resonate with Objectivists is Galt’s Gulch from Atlas Shrugged.[161] Galt’s Gulch was privately owned by the banker Midas Mulligan (presumably purchased under the laws of the freer United States before the book’s action takes place). All entry into Galt’s Gulch, indeed, even knowledge of its existence, was strictly controlled. No one could enter without permission, and no one who once inside could leave without permission either. This arrangement is justified by modern Objectivists as distinct from the immigration question because again the Gulch was privately owned, like their gated communities. If, contra to the story, a thousand “refugees” fleeing Mr. Thompson and his thugs hiked over the mountains and into the Gulch, what were our heroes supposed to do, take them to court? What court? “Deport” them without calling on the local sheriff and properly constituted court system to do so? That’s illegal. Shoot them? That’s illegal too. The Galt’s Gulch example does not hold water as a “private” association, because they are still reliant on the surrounding (state) law to objectively enforce their property rights, lest they become anarchists or total outlaws. Well, then, I hear you say, suppose they did become total outlaws, and declared independence from the United States, setting up their own independent country of Galtia. Now, as an independent country, by the reasoning of Brook and Binswanger, they would be morally required to respect every potential immigrant’s “right to travel” into Galtia. As a private association, it’s “keep out.” The moment they become an independent country, it’s “open borders!” This is literally insane, and I cannot imagine Ayn Rand’s reaction to this suggestion as anything other than one of her well-known explosions.[162]

The Real Conflict

The argument over immigration policy, even the war against Islamic Supremacism, important as they both are, are not the real conflict that threatens the West. Western Civilization is in the midst of a civil war. This is the important conflict in our time, and Islamic Supremacists and third world immigrants are merely foot soldiers in this war.

The Western Civil War is being fought between advocates of the French Revolution and advocates of the American Revolution, between Jean-Jacques Rousseau[163] and John Locke, between Robespierre and Jefferson, between Kant-Hegel-Marx and American Capitalism, between Nazism and the British and American Armies, between the Soviet Union and Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, between the New Left and Environmentalists and the remnants of the original American political theory, whether embodied in “Constitutional Conservatives,” some types of “libertarians,” and a few Objectivists.

The real enemy in this war, the Left, is inside our own countries, subverting our own institutions, suppressing free speech whenever they can, destroying freedom of religion, making moves against the free press in favor of the Leftist institutional propaganda press, trying with all their might to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms, stirring up race hatred especially against whites, stirring up a war between the sexes, stirring up hatred between gay people and straight people. They are using Muslims as pawns to subvert America. [164] The immediate goal of the Left is to turn the US into Venezuela. Their final goal is totalitarianism backed by a new religion combining Marx and environmentalism. In this war, Muslims, immigration, and open borders are weapons, a means to stack the deck so that their eventual enviro-totalitarian state will have the patina of democratic legitimacy. Even the Soviet Union had elections. Iran has elections today. These are the type of elections the Left has in store for us, elections like those in California, whose outcome doesn’t really matter since the result is the same, one party-approved far-leftist or the other. The Left is the real threat to freedom in the United States, and Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger, Elan Journo, and all of the spokespersons for the Ayn Rand Institute, by backing the Left’s open borders agenda, their means of seizing power, are helping them to victory. What else can an honest person viewing this situation conclude? That they are making a simple mistake? It’s preposterous.

When you are in a war, you don’t care who the guy next to you prays to, you don’t care if he is gay or straight, black or white, immigrant or native American. All you care about is which direction his rifle is pointing. In this Western Civil War, the Christians, conservatives, most libertarians, and, hell, even most Trump supporters, have their rifles pointed forward, towards the enemy, on the barricades with me. They are not always right about philosophy, but because they fight with me against the common enemy of civilization, they are my brothers. Yaron Brook, Harry Binswanger, Elan Journo and other prominent Objectivists are inside our fortress, but their rifles are pointed at our backs, not at the enemy. They claim to be patriots, but by playing into the Left’s hands, by doing the Left’s bidding, by their constant virtue-signaling to Leftists, wittingly or unwittingly, they are traitors to Western Civilization. When I defended the history and legal principles surrounding immigration contained in Western Civilization to Brook on Twitter, he said, “That is nonsense. We are advocating for something new. Past has always been dominated by collectivism not individualism.” Spoken like a true French Revolutionary, ignoring 2,500 years of history, experience, and millions of deaths defending Western Civilization, leaving us with something new: collectivism in fact brought about by the misapplication of the principles of individualism in theory, ushered in by unlimited immigration from the Third World. Unless the “something new” that Brook yearns for looks a lot like Venezuela, I think he had better check his premises.

It is again New Year’s Eve. The Leftist chieftains and their barbarian hordes are massing for an attack against the “Capitalist United States of America [and] her automobiles, her plumbing, and her smiling, confident, untortured, un-skinned-alive, un-eaten young men.” Are we going to fight for our civilization, or are we going to follow Rome’s example and let the modern-day Vandals and Goths overrun us, leading to a thousand years of darkness?

On that question, you now know where I stand.


I would like to thank Ayn Rand for teaching me a philosophy of reason and rational self-interest, while demonstrating the power of extreme clarity of thought. And Leonard Peikoff for both systematizing and expanding her ideas while also teaching me by example how to write effective polemics.

I would also like to acknowledge the help and support of a number of Objectivists, each of whom are disgusted by ARI’s suicidal position on immigration, including especially Ed Mazlish, Richard Bramwell, Mark Diamante, Rogan Hazard, Eric Jerde, Grant Jones, Trevor Kruse, and Tony Palmieri. Their contributions were extremely helpful, but all errors in this document remain my responsibility.

About the Author

Dr. Powell received his BS in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon University, and his MA and PhD in Astrophysics from Princeton University. After graduation, he went to work at a national laboratory in the nuclear weapons program, performing simulation-based analysis and designing distributed combat simulations. Moving to a defense contractor in Northern Virginia in 1994, he was the lead architect for some of the largest distributed simulation systems and exercises ever attempted in the DoD up to that time. He has worked in the US intelligence community on large-scale data collection and analysis architectures, and now owns his own consulting company providing services to the DoD in the areas of military and cyber simulation and large-scale RDT&E systems. He lives with his wife and two European Burmese cats (both of whose great-grandparents were immigrants from Australia) whom he treats like people, as is proper.


This document is copyright 2017 by Edward T Powell. Reproduction and transmission of this document is permitted as long as it is done in its entirety and without alteration.


Many articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and web pages from many different sources were consumed in preparation for writing this essay. Those important enough to have been quoted in the text have been footnoted, yet it is simply not possible for me to compile a comprehensive set of all the articles one needs to read to be well-informed on the topics presented. So I only list books consulted in the creation of this essay, and only give author and title, because you have Google and Amazon, the first of which was created by the kind of immigrants we want and need, and are the type of people for which our immigration system should be tuned to attract and accept.

Works about Objectivism and related topics:

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.

Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness.

Ayn Rand, Capitalism the Unknown Ideal.

Ayn Rand, The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution.

Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism, The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

Leonard Peikoff, The DIM Hypothesis.

Robert Mayhew (ed.), Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A.

Peter Schwartz, The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America.

Don Watkins and Yaron Brook, Equal is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality.

Works about Immigration:

Thomas Sowell, Ethnic America: A History.

Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals.

Victor Davis Hanson, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming, 2nd Edition.

Ann Coulter, Adios America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole.

Ann Coulter, In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome.

Ann Coulter, Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama.

Peter Brimelow, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster.

Michelle Malkin: Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best & Brightest Workers.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy—The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order, Chapters 7 and 8.

John Red Eagle and Vox Day, Cuckservative: How “Conservatives” Betrayed America.

Lauren Southern, Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.

Mark Steyn, America Alone.

Mark Steyn, After America.

Works on Islam

Paul Sperry, Muslim Mafia.

Stephen Coughlin, Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad.

William J Boykin et al., Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II)

Robert Spencer, Did Mohammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins.

Robert Spencer, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to ISIS.

Robert Spencer, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs.

Robert Spencer, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).

Robert Spencer, The Muslim Brotherhood in America.

Brigitte Gabriel, Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America.

Tom Holland, In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire.

Ibn Warraq (ed.), The Quest for the Historical Muhammad.

David Horowitz, Unholy Alliance.

Elan Journo (ed.), Winning the Unwinnable War.

Works on General Social Science and History

Angelo Codevilla, The Character of Nations.

Angelo Codevilla, The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do About It. (the book, not the lengthy article of the same name).

Charles Murray, Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980.

Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.

Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.

Richard Herrnstein and James Wilson, Crime and Human Nature: The Definitive Study of the Causes of Crime.

Stanton Samenow, Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Update Edition.

David Stockman, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America.

David A Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation.



[1] Peikoff, Leonard, The DIM Hypothesis, New American Library, 2012.

[2] Harry Binswanger, “Throw Open the Borders,” HBL, 5/17/13. Harry Binswanger, “End illegal immigration”, HBL, 7/11/14. Robert Tracinski, “Is Immigration a Threat to our Culture?”, The Federalist, 9/24/15. And numerous social media posts by many Objectivists. You know who you are.

[3] Friday, February 10, 2017, at 3pm EST, https://dontletitgo.com/

[4] Harry Binswanger, “Open Immigration,” http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm

[5] Harry Binswanger, “Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Frighteningly Reveals Education’s Failure”, Forbes magazine, February 3, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/harrybinswanger/2013/02/03/anti-immigration-rhetoric-frighteningly-reveals-educations-failure/#6f0a6fc944ff

[6] Note that some of Binswanger’s “facts” are wrong, on economics, welfare, and crime, which I will address later in this essay. But his reasoning is crystal clear.

[7] Thanks to ARI Watch for a compilation of various statements of prominent Objectivists on the subject of immigration. The views of ARI Watch are theirs alone, not mine, but I am indebted to them for the work they’ve done compiling data. http://ariwatch.com/ARIonImmigrationIntroduction.htm

[8] Robert Tracinski, “Opposition to Immigration is Un-American,” ARI Op-Ed, January 15, 1999.

[9] Immigration and Individual Rights, The Objective Standard, Spring 2008. https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2008-spring/immigration-individual-rights/

[10] Andrew Bernstein, “Open Immigration Will Greatly Slow America’s Rush Toward An Entitlement State,”Forbes magazine, June 12, 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/06/12/open-immigration-will-greatly-slow-americas-rush-toward-an-entitlement-state/#5dcb9c63c44f

[11] Objectively Speaking, July 24, 2013 announcement of his first BlogTalk radio show on July 30.

[12] Thomas Duke, “Brave Innovators Deserve Freedom: The Moral Need for Immigration Reform”, The Undercurrent, December 17, 2013, http://theundercurrent.org/brave-innovators-deserve-freedom-the-moral-need-for-immigration-reform/

[13] “Open Immigration Policy 1 – Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights”, 5/17/2008 https://youtu.be/ib3nVuw2RQU and subsequent videos.

[14] Leonard Peikoff podcast, “Q&A on Ayn Rand,” August 26, 2013.

[15] Leonard Peikoff podcast, “Q&A on Ayn Rand,” October 7th and 14th, 2013.

[16] The podcast date is uncertain, but the transcript was referenced at: http://ariwatch.com/YaronBrookOnExecutiveAmnesty.htm#2

[17] Melvin Davila Martinez, “Yaron Brook on how the West should treat Muslim immigration,” The Times of Israel, November 15, 2015, http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/yaron-brook-on-how-the-west-should-treat-muslim-immigration/

[18] “My actual views (not the lies many are spreading) on Muslim immigration:”, Twitter, December 19, 2016, 8:47pm, https://twitter.com/yaronbrook/status/811025138531450880 which refers to another tweet: “Sound Bite: Yaron Brook’s take on Muslim immigration and its effect on freedom by The Yaron Brook Show”, Twitter, December 19, 2016, 6:27pm, https://twitter.com/yaronbrook/status/810989884567527424 which refers to a podcast episode, “Sound Bite: Yaron Brook’s take on Muslim immigration and its effect on freedom”, Blog Talk Radio, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yaronbrook/2015/11/15/sound-bite-yaron-brooks-take-on-muslim-immigration-and-its-effect-on-freedom

[19] In George Orwell’s novel 1984, echoing the Soviet Union of the time, the ruling elite change their positions on issues, rewrite history, and expect the citizens to keep up, on pain of death. Orwell never imagined the second-worst punishment, being called a “racist.”

[20] Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, p 1035. (Kindle location 24355).

[21] “Radical Capitalist Episode 52: Brexit: What’s On the Horizon?”, Blog Talk Radio, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yaronbrook/2016/06/25/radical-capitalist-episode-52-brexit-whats-on-the-horizon “I’m not quite willing to give [even] two cheers to Brexit. I’m giving it one cheer, maybe half a cheer, until I see evidence that something good is going to come of this.”

[22] Objectivist author Ron Pisaturo said exactly that in his essay of December 28, 2015. “Why I Oppose Open Immigration, On Principle,” Ron Pisaturo’s blog, December 28, 2015, http://www.ronpisaturo.com/blog/2015/12/28/why-i-oppose-open-immigration-on-principle/

[23] “Islamic Supremacism” is the term for Islam the private personal religion combined with the insistence on universal Sharia (Islamic law), jihad (the spread of Islam though violence and holy war), and the Caliphate (the rule of all human beings by a single representative of Allah on Earth). Islamic Supremacism is preferred over the term “Islamic Totalitarianism” for rhetorical reasons, though they are equivalent in meaning.

[24] “Censorship: Local and Express,” Q&A period, Ford Hall Forum, October 21, 1973, https://ari.aynrand.org/issues/government-and-business/individual-rights/Censorship-Local-and-Express#filter-bar

[25] Note that Rand was advocating a policy of not closing the border; she was not asserting a universal right to immigrate or a universal “right to travel.” Nor did she recognize—perhaps she was not aware—that she herself immigrated into the US during the time of the greatest (and most irrational) immigration restrictions in American history.

[26] Ayn Rand, “The Age of Envy,” The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, New American Library, January 1999, p 143.

[27] Robert Mayhew, Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of Her Q & A, p. 103. Unfortunately, substantial evidence has surfaced that Mayhew has edited Ayn Rand’s answers far beyond what is justified by scholarly research, changing much of her word choice, sentence construction, and both cutting material that Rand spoke while adding material Rand never spoke. So anything from this source must be taken with a barrel of salt. The problems with this source are discussed in Campbell, Robert L., “The Rewriting of Ayn Rand’s Spoken Answers,” The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 11, no. 1 (Issue 21, July 2011): 81–151. I do not have access to the original audio recording, so I can’t determine whether Mayhew has bowlderized this answer as he did almost all answers in the Q&A book.

[28] Ed Cline, “The Immigration Question: Part 1”, Rule of Reason blog, 7/13/15, https://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/2014/08/yearning-to-breathe-free-foundations-of.html and “The Immigration Question: Part 2”, Rule of Reason blog, 7/14/15, https://edwardcline.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-immigration-question-part-two.html

[29] Ed Mazlish, “Yearning to Breathe Free: The Foundations of a Rational Immigration Policy”, Rule of Reason blog, 8/10/14. https://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/2014/08/yearning-to-breathe-free-foundations-of.html

[30] “Why I Oppose Open Immigration, On Principle,” Ron Pisaturo’s blog, December 28, 2015, http://www.ronpisaturo.com/blog/2015/12/28/why-i-oppose-open-immigration-on-principle/

[31] Mazlish, private communication.

[32] Harry Binswanger, “Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants Is Not Enough, They Deserve An Apology”, Forbes Magazine, March 4, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/harrybinswanger/2013/03/04/amnesty-for-illegal-immigrants-is-not-enough-they-deserve-an-apology/#522c03271a9c

[33] Harry Binswanger, “Collectivist Arizona Immigration Law is Anti-Capitalist”, Dollars and Crosses, April 28, 2012, http://dollarsandcrosses.com/2012/04/collectivist-arizona-immigration-law-is-anti-capitalist/

[34] Ayn Rand, “Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, p 93.


[36] With apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda, http://www.mtv.com/news/2891897/hamiltons-lin-manuel-miranda-tells-orlando-love-is-love-is-love/

[37] Little green aliens from Alpha Centauri are people too!

[38] For a more thorough discussion of the evils of rationalism and the pitfalls that plague Objectivists and libertarians constantly in their arguments on every conceivable topic, see every single work by Leonard Peikoff, especially “Objectivism Through Induction,” recorded lecture course, 1997, available from ARI, https://estore.aynrand.org/p/107/objectivism-through-induction-mp3-download

[39] A “nation” in the lingo of political science is a group of people bound together primarily by a common language, culture, and religion; secondarily by a common history, heritage, and mythology; and sometimes by a common ethnicity.

[40] A “state” or “government” is defined by Rand as “an institution that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in a given geographical area.” [Emphasis Rand’s] (Rand, “The Nature of Government” The Virtue of Selfishness). Rand also notes with approval that “a government holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force,” (“America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 46), however this statement is untrue on its face. A proper government maintains a monopoly on the use of retaliatory force when not in an emergency situation; however, in an emergency situation, where life or limb is at stake, individuals retain their right to self-defense (and thus the right to use physical force) in defense of themselves, their families, friends, and property. In that sense, the government has neither the exclusive power to enforce social rules nor the legal monopoly on the use of force.

[41] A “nation-state” is nation that governs itself through a common government or state. France and Germany are nation-states (at least until recently). Kurdistan is a nation but not a nation-state as the Kurds are distributed among four countries (Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran) with no self-government. A government that rules over multiple nations, usually by a centralized elite, is called an “empire.” China, India, and many African countries are empires, as they have a single central government that rules over multiple nations/peoples. The “nation-state” has been the norm for defining countries since the Treaty of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War in 1648, though this norm has been honored mostly on paper and not in reality.

[42] The United Nations is not a government, it is a multinational organization set up to settle disputes, a task at which it has manifestly failed. Nor could it ever be made to succeed under any circumstances or conditions. No prominent Objectivist I’ve ever heard has advocated a global government, because it is so obviously a terrible idea. Yet no prominent Objectivist has ever philosophically defended the idea that there should never be a global government, and that multiple independent states is the optimal solution for humanity, a view akin to Aristotle’s. There is thus no comprehensive Objectivist view on political science and the role of countries in a global polity. It is no surprise therefore that prominent Objectivists completely misconstrue the current global political context, since they are applying Rand’s ideas (which pertain to an individual country) in a global context for which those ideas were never intended. Leftists, obviously, yearn for a global state. Libertarian political economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe argues persuasively in Democracy, The God That Failed (Chapter 5) that human liberty and prosperity would be substantially enhanced if there were more countries in the world, perhaps more by a factor of ten. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia certainly increased human freedom.

[43] State Department Note: https://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi/ukrainerussia/


[45] “A foreigner has rights [including the right to come to the USA] just as much as an American.” http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm

[46] Andrew Breitbart, repeated saying.

[47] Paul Sperry, Muslim Mafia, (Kindle locations 3966-3974).

[48] Discover the Networks. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2158

[49] “Harry Hopkins, Soviet Agent,” Washington Times, 2001-01-04, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2001/jan/4/20010104-020500-7670r/

[50] “The Reconquista Movement: Mexico’s Plan for the American Southwest”, J Gilchrist, Human Events, 206-07-27, http://humanevents.com/2006/07/27/the-emreconquistaem-movement-mexicos-plan-for-the-american-southwest/. Another more recent article on La Reconquista is here: http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/mexicos-ballot-box-reconquista/.

[51] Victor Davis Hanson, Mexifornia. Kindle location 168.

[52] Such as Carlos Slim, owner of The New York Times, which changed its editorial position on immigration from pro-immigration but strong border security to open borders the moment Slim bought the paper. For more information on Slim, see Ann Coulter, Adios America, Chapter 13, pp 213-226.

[53] Peter Schwartz, The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest, (Kindle locations 107-114).

[54] This statement is not controversial in either Australia or New Zealand, both of which have implemented essentially this type of immigration policy.

[55] “Success” is defined by Schwartz as “keeping America free in the long term.”

[56] Taken from the report “Welfare Use by Immigrant and Native HouseholdsBy Steven A. Camarota, September 2015, Center for Immigration Studies, http://cis.org/Welfare-Use-Immigrant-Native-Households

[57] Here’s just one list of programs, from New York State: https://otda.ny.gov/programs/bria/programs.asp , which is our #3 state for accepting refugees behind California and Texas. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/12/06/just-10-states-resettled-more-than-half-of-recent-refugees-to-u-s/

[58] Of the more than 100 welfare programs administered by the Federal government, a few (AFDC and a few others) were placed off-limits to immigrants by the Welfare Reform law of 1994. Yet other welfare and government assistance programs, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, remain available to immigrants, especially if they’ve been in the country for more than five years. Coulter in Adios America, p16 and her Chapter 2, reference 10 give details.

[59] For extensive documentation of the fact that modern third-world immigrants block vote for socialism, see the entire book, Adios America by Ann Coulter, and her 200 pages of footnotes; especially Chapter 1, pp 1-29, Chapter 2, pp 35-36, 38-49, and throughout.

[60] See Victor Davis Hanson, Mexifornia for more details on the two-society state in California. There are many articles by Hanson on this subject. This one appeared recently: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443466/california-madness-hypocritical-coastal-elites-soak-middle-class

[61] Jesse T. Richman, “Do non-citizens vote in U.S. elections?” Electoral Studies, December 2014, pp 149-157. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2014.09.001. A more detailed study, this time focused on just a few counties in Virginia, identified the actual problem: there is generally no mechanism in place for the government to evaluate whether any given voter registration form represents a citizen or an ineligible person (alien, felon, dead person, etc.). While registering to vote while ineligible is a felony, it is almost never prosecuted. It is almost never even investigated. When the authors of the Virginia study identified over 1000 ineligible voters on the roles in just eight exurban and rural counties, the number of illegally registered voters prosecuted was zero. See https://publicinterestlegal.org/files/Report_Alien-Invasion-in-Virginia.pdf.

[62] Remember, Cruz was “pro-immigration reform” in his 2012 Senate bid. http://americasvoice.org/press_releases/new-poll-how-texas-latino-and-new-citizen-voters-influenced-the-2012-elections/


[64] Ann Coulter, Adios, America , pp 20-25.

[65] Thomas Sowell, Ethnic America. See, for example, his discussion of the Irish in Chapter 2, pp 17-41, and Mexicans in Chapter 10, p 244ff.

[66] For example, for some inexplicable reason, foreigners like soccer.

[67] John Red Eagle and Vox Day, Cuckservative. Chapter 2, Kindle location 524.

[68] Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, p6.

[69] Thomas Sowell, Black Rednecks and White Liberals, p7.

[70] Thomas Sowell, Ethnic America, p 17.

[71] Except for a few Objectivists, almost all atheist individuals (and every single atheist intellectual in the United States today), are anti-American and pro-collectivist. Atheists vote for socialist candidates at a rate at or higher than that of any other identity politics group. See, e.g., http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/jul/14/evangelicals-back-donald-trump-atheists-support-hi/

[72] Coulter, Adios America, pp 83-98.

[73] Coulter, Adios America, pp 83-98.


[75] George Washington, letter to John Adams, November 15, 1794. http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-17-02-0112 quoted in Matthew Spalding, We Still Hold These Truths, Heritage Foundation, 2009.


[77] Anonymous correspondent, specializing in outreach to people in prisons, personal communication.

[78] Sowell, Black Redneck and White Liberals pp 13ff. Also see Herrnstein and Murray, The Bell Curve, p. 239ff, and Herrnstein and Wilson, Crime and Human Nature, Chapters 1, 6, and 7.

[79] Stanton Samenow, Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition, 2014, p 7ff. An earlier edition of this book was recommended by Leonard Peikoff in his 1995 Ford Hall Forum talk, “What to do About Crime.”

[80] But I repeat myself.

[81] The progress of implementing this universal respect is one of “two-steps forward, one step back” over the history of Western Civilization, and there are many, many periods and acts that do not live up to this ideal. But it is the ideal, introduced into Western culture by Christianity, though only honored in fits and starts over time. Also, don’t tell me that because I’m arguing that certain cultures are incompatible with freedom in the United States and so exemplars of those cultures should be excluded from entry into the US, I am somehow casting them as subhuman. Foreigners, even devout Muslims, are fully human and are entitled to all individual rights, but as I’ve shown above, there is no right to entry into the US or any other country, unless it benefits the United States and furthers the cause of protecting American freedom. Protecting their rights is the problem of their own countries, governments, cultures, and individuals.

[82] Red Eagle and Day, Cuckservative, Kindle location 557.

[83] This phenomenon was first discovered by Robert D. Putnam and presented in E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century, The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize Lecture. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

It has been subsequently confirmed in Denmark in Dinesen, P. T., & Sønderskov, K. M. (2015). Ethnic Diversity and Social Trust: Evidence from the Micro-Context. American Sociological Review, 80(3), 550-573. http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/Ethnic-Diversity-and-Social-Trust-Evidence-from-the-Micro-Context.pdf and in the Netherlands in “Ethnic diversity in neighborhoods and individual trust of immigrants and natives:
A replication of Putnam (2007) in a West-European country.Bram Lancee and Jaap Drokers, European University Institute.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228676542_Ethnic_diversity_in_neighborhoods_and_individual_trust_of_immigrants_and_natives_A_replication_of_Putnam_2007_in_a_West-European_country

[84] This report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) details all of the available evidence, and problems with the data. Jessica Vaughan, Steven A. Camarota, “Immigration and Crime: Assessing a Conflicted Issue”, Center for Immigration Studies, November 2009. http://cis.org/ImmigrantCrime

[85] Carl F. Horowitz, “An Examination of U.S. Immigration Policy and Serious Crime,” May 2001, Center for Immigration Studies, http://cis.org/articles/2001/crime/toc.html

[86] I live in this area and can personally confirm the presence of immigrant criminal youth gangs, having been victimized by them on two occasions, both property crimes. Given the high number of armed citizens and extremely pro-freedom concealed carry laws in VA, the non-Muslim criminal gangs in Northern Virginia focus on drug dealing, underage prostitution, property crime, bullying other youth who are not armed, but generally stay away from directly attacking native adults.

[87] Harry Binswanger, http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm. This also drops the context of native US criminality, which is dominated by high crime rates among young black and Hispanic men, but low crime rates among everyone else.

[88] Wilson and Herrnstein, Crime & Human Nature, Chapter 4, p 104ff for sex; Chapter 5, p 126ff for age.

[89] Victor Davis Hanson, Mexifornia, p 3-6.

[90] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 63.

[91] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 11.

[92] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 13.

[93] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 42.

[94] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 54.

[95] This quote and more detail on the difficulty of assimilating the unprecedentedly large numbers of Mexicans/Hispanics can be found in Samuel P. Huntington, “The Hispanic Challenge,” Foreign Policy, October 28, 2009. https://foreignpolicy.com/2009/10/28/the-hispanic-challenge/

[96] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 117-118.

[97] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 118-119.

[98] Hanson, Mexifornia, p121.

[99] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 21.

[100] Hanson, Mexifornia, Preface to the Second Edition, Kindle location 124.

[101] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 32.

[102] Hanson, Mexifornia, p 79.

[103] Hanson, Mexifornia, p27.

[104] Hanson, Mexifornia, Preface to the Second Edition, Kindle location 107.
















[120] On the Sam Harris podcast, https://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/friend-foe

[121] Tommy Robinson talking to Paul Joseph Watson. https://youtu.be/weGxSWl5oA8

[122] Of course the entire US prison system is a catastrophe, as is the entire justice system, with too many non-violent people in prison and too many violent people let out on the streets. I have no immediate general solution to the prison/justice system problem to offer, but I do know adding Islamic Supremacism to our prison system would lead to more terrorism and more undermining of American freedom.

[123] See any of the speeches (or books like Because They Hate: A Survivor of Islamic Terror Warns America) of Brigitte Gabriel on this issue, especially this one. You should watch the first fifteen minutes of this video if you care at all about the survival of Western Civilization. https://youtu.be/PFO1AtjoUoo

[124] Come to think of it, Abu, I agree with you on that one. Ummah is the Muslim term for the entire Muslim community under Muslim/Shariah rule.

[125] I honestly appreciate Binswanger’s willingness to put his ideas on paper for all to read and critique. I’m giving him hell in this essay, and deservedly so, but that’s only because of his intellectual honesty, which is much appreciated. http://www.hblist.com/immigr.htm

[126] Many articles quote David Stockman’s masterful book, The Great Deformation; however, since I’ve only read excerpts of this book, not the entire thing, I won’t cite it directly. See, for example, this article: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-18/david-stockmans-non-recovery-part-2-crash-breadwinners-and-born-again-jobs-scam


[128] The “bubble” idea is formalized and expanded on in Charles Murray’s Coming Apart. If you care about the divide in America today, and its causes, both philosophical and economic, this book is a must read.

[129] From Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, “That’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”


[131] The corruption associated with America’s current guest worker programs, especially the H1-B visa program, is thoroughly documented in Michelle Malkin and John Miano, Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Crapweasels Are Screwing America’s Best & Brightest Workers.

[132] Don Watkins and Yaron Brook, Equal is Unfair, ARI Press, 2016.

[133] This point was made by Coulter in Adios America, pp 14-17, 38-40, and throughout the book.

[134] The Boston Marathon terrorists, as “asylees,” were eligible for and on welfare while getting a free education at taxpayer expense. http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/tsarnaev_family_received_100g_in_benefits Refugees and asylum seekers almost always subsist solely on welfare, many for life. See Coulter, Adios America, p 14-15, 248-255.

[135] H1-B visas are by law supposed to go to people who do jobs no American is qualified for, and are restricted from being used to replace Americans with H1-B visa holders, yet this occurs all the time, at major companies, with no prosecution. The government and the cronyist corporations they serve want below market wages, and they abuse the H1-B visa system to get them. See Malkin, Sold Out, Kindle locations 67ff.

[136] Thanks to Ed Mazlish for this point.


[138] Trudeau’s insane immigrations policies are probably going to change this, and necessitate a wall on the border with Canada, much to our mutual disadvantage.

[139] While I developed this idea independently, primarily to align the incentives of the screeners with the goal of the screening (something impossible with government-only screening), in research for this essay I found that a variant of the liability insurance idea for immigrants was briefly described by libertarian political economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe in his 2001 book, Democracy – The God That Failed, Chapter 8, pp 167-168.

[140] Mazlish, op cit., https://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/2014/08/yearning-to-breathe-free-foundations-of.html

[141] Coulter, Adios America, Chapter 15, Kindle location 4257ff.

[142] This phenomenon is discussed in Coulter, Adios America, p 248ff.

[143] I know, that could never happen.

[144] Those of you who have researched this issue probably already know that there is such a simple test, administrable in less than 15 minutes, that would screen out almost all potential troublemakers. Figuring out what I am referring to is left as an exercise for the reader.

[145] “Anchor babies” refer to babies born on American soil to foreigners who automatically become American citizens by birth, and thus by their very existence prevent the deportation of the parents and make them eligible for all sorts of government welfare. This idea that anyone born on American soil is automatically a citizen is based on a misinterpretation of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, but in any case can be overruled by statute. The 14th Amendment gives Congress plenary power to enforce its provisions, not the federal courts, though this has been interpreted backwards historically. This is discussed in detail in: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422723/trumps-critics-are-wrong-about-14th-amendment-and-birthright-citizenship-edward-j.

[146] As you can tell, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the people of Canada, even though they elected a buffoon like Justin Trudeau to follow the truly monumental Stephen Harper. But people in glass houses, etc.

[147] US Code 1182 (f) states in part: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” [Emphasis mine]. This has been the law, apparently for quite some time, and has not been challenged in court. The US Code on Immigration is well worth perusing, not only section (f) that I mentioned above, but also the part about bans on people related to terrorist activities including “endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization” which would disqualify all members of CAIR and at least half the current Muslim population of the United States, much less any immigrants. Similarly “Immigrant membership in a totalitarian party: Any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate thereof), domestic or foreign, is inadmissible.” Sounds like Islam to me. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182

[148] Harry Binswanger, “Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants Is Not Enough, They Deserve An Apology”, Forbes Magazine, March 4, 2013, http://www.forbes.com/sites/harrybinswanger/2013/03/04/amnesty-for-illegal-immigrants-is-not-enough-they-deserve-an-apology/#7b76e5f1a9c5

[149] “Present-elect Trump has floated another kind of deterministic account. In certain moods, he talks as if someone’s innate cultural background or race makes them a holy warrior (see, for example, how he hammered on the fact that the Orlando shooter’s parents were Afghans, and his calls for an immigration ban on Muslims). That’s false, too. It’s about choosing, and acting on, a set of ideas. Think of John Walker Lindh, who turned away from his Marin County, California, upbringing and joined the ranks of the Taliban. Or, on the flip side, consider Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who grew up in a culture saturated with Islamist ideas, but has become a valiant champion of secular values and freedom.

Let’s stop pretending that becoming a jihadist somehow happens to people. Catching the flu happens to you. Becoming a jihadist, a self-styled soldier of Allah, is something you make happen.”

Elan Journo, The Hill, 12/23/16, http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/311697-3-things-we-must-know-in-order-to-stop-jihadists

[150] This magnificent story is told in David A Price, Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas, and the Start of a New Nation, Vintage Books, 2003, and should be required reading for every American.

[151] Victor Davis Hanson, Mexifornia: A State of Becoming, 2nd Edition.

[152] Mark Steyn, America Alone, Regnery, 2006.


[154] Yaron Brook on his radio show, January 21, 2017. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yaronbrook/2017/01/21/radical-capitalist-episode-82-entering-the-trump-era

[155] Karen Zeigler, Steven A. Camarota “Immigrant Population Hits Record 42.1 Million in Second Quarter of 2015,” Center for Immigration Studies, August 2015, http://cis.org/Immigrant-Population-Hits-Record-Second-Quarter-2015

[156] Said in various forms on many different occasions by both Yaron Brook and Elan Journo, most recently in the article in The Hill by Journo, op cit., but also in Journo’s Winning the Unwinnable War, Chapter 7, p187ff, where he said, “To eliminate the threat from Iran, at minimum our forces should bring down the regime, neutralize its military power, and capture or kill its leadership.” Well, we tried that in Iraq, exactly that, and it did not work at all.

[157] Journo, Winning the Unwinnable War, p 196ff.

[158] The fact that Maajid Nawaz claims he is a Muslim and yet approves of gay marriage does not make him a Muslim. As a man of the Left, Nawaz has simply replaced one totalitarian philosophy for another, Allah by the State. https://www.samharris.org/podcast/item/friend-foe

[159] Can you believe that Harry Binswanger, on HBList, once argued against this policy as a violation of the rights of Muslims and the Saudi government? Since this was a private communication, no link can be provided.

[160] Of course, no one has actually said this.

[161] Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Penguin, 1957, Part Three, Chapter I.

[162] This point was made first by YouTuber “Libertarian Realist” in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgpO1rIaFRs. More details can be found here: https://libertarianrealist.blogspot.com/2015/07/objectivism-and-immigration.html.

[163] While Immanuel Kant gets a lot of deserved bad press from Objectivists, not nearly enough criticism has been heaped on Rousseau, who in politics has been much more influential than Kant. Pol Pot, for example, was a big fan of Rousseau’s. http://www.johnderbyshire.com/Reviews/China/polpot.html

[164] This is the theme of David Horowitz’s book, Unholy Alliance.

23 comments On Objectivism and an Immigration Policy of Self-Interest for America Today

  • U.S. immigration has never been free or liberal or not tainted by racism. And that is actually the problem. As an objectivist, I explain that here:


  • This is an excellent essay and I hope it gets the attention it deserves. As Ed notes, 1/3 of Mexicans say they would come here if they could (that’s 40 million people). Since Mexico is wealthy by the world’s standards but poor by America’s, that’s probably a good proxy. If the US were lucky we’d be Brazil at best — the rich living in their gated communities (sound familiar), the poor in their favelas and shanty towns, and the rest struggling to get by. Nothing against Brazil (my wife’s Brazilian) but there is a reason why there are so many Brazilians living in the US.

  • I understand your WWII fallacy, but with Islam, there is something a little different that you may have overlooked, and that is the importance of the haj to Mecca (and Medina, though I’m not sure if pilgrimage to Medina counts).

    Without the Big Black Rock and mohammed’s place of ascension, I think the entire world of islam would disintegrate…probably into some other murderous cult, but that takes time and resources. Surely a god that cannot protect the holiest of holies is no god at all, and what would there be left for them to worship.

    • Brian,

      The Romans destroyed the Temple in AD 70 and the Jews still held out until 73. Then the Romans had to stop another revolt 60 years later.

      I know relatively little about Islam, but something tells me that they would find a way to accomodate the destruction of Mecca.

  • Ed Powell’s article can be divided into two interleaved parts. One part argues against the open borders position of the Ayn Rand Institute. This part is excellent; everyone should read it.

    And then there is the other part. This consists of a definition of a nation and of a proposed insurance scheme. There’s a lot to disagree with here. Some of the low points follow.

    The worst is the insurance scheme. It reminds me of a caller to a legal advice radio show. This rich girl had a wild horse she didn’t want to corral properly. She asked how she should go about insuring “against” the horse going off her property and trampling someone to death or breaking their back. Think how thoughtless and cruel that young lady was! She could be responsible for killing or crippling someone. How to compensate him, make him whole? How to compensate his survivors? It can’t be done. The bitch should just corral her damn horse.

    And we should not let in Third World immigrants. INSURANCE IS FOR WHEN THERE IS NO OTHER OPTION.

    Briefly here’s Ed’s insurance scheme. Anyone can import an immigrant so long as (1) the country’s total immigrant rate remains small, (2) he – the person or company importing the immigrant – purchases insurance so if the immigrant harms anyone the insurance company pays the victim or his survivors a sum of money (ultimately determined in court). The insurance company sets it’s own price for the insurance – e.g. high for Mexicans, low for Swiss.

    The potential victims, you and me, have no say whether we want to be insured like this. If the importer wants the immigrant and can pay the insurance premiums, you both get the immigrant – you are forced to take the risk along with the importer. (Ed doesn’t address what happens when an importer reneges on his premiums. Who gets to catch the immigrant?)

    This is one of the most loony, utopian schemes I’ve ever heard of. It’s OK to bring in non-white potential drunk drivers, killers, rapists, etc just so they’re INSURED! You’re paralyzed from the neck down due to a reckless driving Egyptian (like the one that killed John Nash) who stayed around to face the charge. You get a 100 million dollars for a fancy wheelchair. Feel better now?

    You’re paralyzed from the neck down due to a hit and run immigrant driver. What good is your insurance? Did you agree to this insurance in the first place? Would the people described at ImmigrationsHumanCost.org have agreed?

    I don’t want X rapes, Y murders, and Z drunk driver crashes even if the perpetrator is insured. Insurance against something makes sense only if there is NOTHING ELSE YOU CAN REASONABLY DO. In the case of immigration there is something else: stop all of Third World immigration. As ARI Watch at
    says, and Ed agrees, we can keep out a foreigner for any reason or no reason.

    Ed makes it clear that he doesn’t see America as a white ethnostate. He sees America as a “proposition nation” – anything that makes America free is allowed. If only everyone is free he wouldn’t mind seeing Asians, Africans, Amerindians, Middle Easterners SLOWLY TRICKLE IN and eventually make whites a small minority in America.

    Whether Ed wants it or not, this would be the eventual effect of his recommendations. To him fast and indiscriminate is wrong, slowly and discriminate – but not racially discriminate – is OK.

    Yaron Brook et al want to give away the farm. Ed wants to give away the farm one square foot at a time.

    There are many other things to disagree with. That immigration is “crucial” for America (crucial means absolutely necessary, without which it wouldn’t be). The cartoon history of Pocahontas. That Trump is a buffoon. The false history of World War II and Japan. That immigration hurts the lower economic class but not the higher. That Geller is not nutty as a fruitcake and Gabriel not a fraud. How great have been some non-white immigrants and how dismal some white immigrants, trying to show that race doesn’t matter. That World Wars are good for assimilating immigrants. That stable nations are not ethnostates. And a few other points.

    There are many fine passages and arguments in Ed’s article. Ultimately though I think it is shooting immigration patriots in the back. I’m thinking of them in front of Ed in front of Brook inside the fortress at the end of Ed’s essay. His essay in different spots both helps and undercuts their efforts.

    He may have intentionally pulled his punches and mixed immigration patriotism with mainstream minority worship, thinking he could smuggle immigration patriotism into people who disagreed with it. If so, it won’t work. These people attack when you show weakness, there is no appeasing them, and you turn away people who don’t want to be swamped by the billions of non-whites in the world. A trickle from that ocean, whether they pass a government test or not, whether employers must participate in a loony insurance scheme or not, will eventually wipe out a lake.

    Everybody talks about the movie Matrix. I haven’t seen it but I’ve come to understand the allusion to “taking the red pill.” Obviously Ed has taken the red pill, it just hasn’t taken full effect yet. He may come around to Brimelow’s point of view yet.

    • Mark, there are no guarantees with any immigration system.

      Here’s the thing – make immigrating here expensive and difficult. People who jump through those hoops are far more inclined to be the kind of freedom-loving people that make this country great than not. Will we get a few floaters in the punch bowl? Unquestionably.

      From my perspective, though, the insurance plan that Dr. Powell describes does exactly this – make it costly and difficult.

      Contests that are easily won are lightly esteemed. Men will guard jealously those things they took great pains to attain. Quite honestly, I’m not sure that there’s anything else we can ask for if we are to allow immigration and naturalization here.

      • Brian, I made several specific objections to the insurance proposal. The principal objection is that it allows Third World immigration. It doesn’t matter how costly and difficult for the importer or how small the rate. The scheme allows more non-whites into the country and that’s the end of it.

        The goal of an immigration system is not merely to have a free country. The goal is more restrictive: to have a pleasant country. That includes being free and more. Ed is right to say we should use induction in trying to find a good definition of a country. If history tells us anything about stable and enduring countries it is that they are more or less racially homogenous.

        Keep in mind that “no immigration at all” is an immigration system and that not even white immigration is crucial for America. There was virtually no immigration from 1776 to the 1830’s (due to world events, not U.S. law). During that period the American population grew by natural increase, not by immigration. Then until the late 19th century there was virtually no non-northwest European immigration, except for slaves (imported by farmers unwilling to pay a prevailing wage – an old story).

        I think a good immigration proposal would include (1) an immigration moratorium for about thirty years, (2) after the moratorium, a return to the Immigration Act of 1924, with one important difference. In 1924 you could restrict immigration to northwest Europe and know that meant whites. Today whites would have to be made explicit.

        There are other objections to the insurance proposal. (1) It takes for granted, or doesn’t care, that the potential victims agree to it. (The insurance purchasers are like that rich lady with the wild horse.) (2) With most violent crimes “make the victim whole” is a legal fiction. The court sets an arbitrary price on death and dismemberment, and it doesn’t begin to compensate the victim or his survivors. (3) There’s a significant chance a victim won’t be compensated even partially if the immigrant is not identified, or if he flees before he’s identified. If he returns to his Third World country. (4) An insurance purchaser might be able to keep up the premiums. There could be punishment in place for this, but it doesn’t help the victims. (5) Once a Third Worlder is in it’s difficult to get him out no matter what the law says.

        There’s a saying among engineers: Keep it simple stupid! A design should be no more complicated than it has to, otherwise there are too many things that can go wrong and then something WILL go wrong. The insurance scheme is too complicated.

        • Two typos:

          If he returns to his Third World country.
          , for example, if he returns to his Third World country.

          An insurance purchaser might be able to keep up the premiums.
          An insurance purchaser might not be able to keep up the premiums.

        • The population of what is now the Czech and Slovakian nations has remained almost constant (up by no more than 25%) since 1900. Something tells me that their lawns get mowed and driveways plowed.

          Open immigration types tell us that we benefit by all these great inventors, etc. But we can still avail ourselves of technological progress without large scale immigration. More people just means more people. (And in today’s context an increasing percentage of poor people.)

  • I have some of the same problems Mark has with the insurance proposal but otherwise agree with most of what Ed writes. It’s unfortunate that with the exception of Harry Binswanger and Craig Biddle it doesn’t seem as if any other Objectivist has written anything on immigration. And there’s no attempt there to answer the question of, say, high crime rates of immigrants. Eg, Biddle – “The “Statistics show that immigrants commit a lot of crime” argument is an evasion of the self-evident fact of free will, and it betrays a thoroughly collectivist mentality on the part of those who advance it.”

    Brook has said that people who say immigrants commit crime at high rates are liars. He still repeats the “Hispanics vote Democratic because the Republicans are nasty on immigration” line even though it’s been debunked dozens of times.



    The second piece is particularly good. As Bennett notes, immigratation proponents can’t point to a single state or country (or European country) that has become more free market oriented thanks to third world immigration. I and others have asked Brook to name such a place and he just obfuscates (“intellectuals are responsible for the welfare state” etc).

    A few years ago I posted “10 Questions for Open Immigration Objectivists” and no one answered them (not that they saw them).
    1. In the modern age it’s easy for anyone to come to the US. You can hop on a plane and be here in 24 hours or less. If the US had open immigration, what would its population be in ten, twenty, thirty years?

    2. What are the potential negative effects, if any, of what might be the largest population transfer in human history?

    3. What would happen to wage rates in the US if tens of millions of low income workers arrive in a short period of time? Wouldn’t it reduce the wage rates of US citizens, in particular low skilled workers?

    4. There are countries such as Greece and Israel which border much more populous Islamic nations. Should they have open immigration? Would the world be a better place when Greece is renamed “Greekistan” and Israel “Palestine”?

    5. There are cities in Europe that are approaching 20% Islamic population. Has this been good for Europe? Would Europe be better if country after country eventually turned majority Islamic? Isn’t this a distinct possibility given the low birth rate of the natives and the high birth rates of Moslems?

    6. Is the creation of “no go” zones in major European cities related to immigration?

    7. How should the US determine if a potential immigrant has a criminal record? Do Afghanistan and Pakistan keep good records? Are their officials in this area not subject to bribery?

    8. How do we screen out potential terrorists? Assume someone from a pro-Taliban region of Pakistan wants to come to the US. Explain the process by which we determine if he is a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer.

    9. California has become a one party leftist controlled state thanks to immigration. Wouldn’t this happen to every other state if the US opened its southern border?

    10. What would have prevented the Boston Massacre – restricting immigration or bombing Iran?

  • After reading over what I wrote I’d make two changes. (1) The epithet “loony” is vulgar and inappropriate. (2) The last paragraph, which tries to read Ed’s mind, was also inappropriate. Replace loony with ill-considered and delete the last paragraph.

  • “The immediate goal of the Left is to turn the US into Venezuela.”

    This got me thinking. I don’t know much about Venezuelan politics, but I assume that, even if rigged, Chavez and Maduro got lost of votes. And it seems to me that lots of Venezuelans would rather eat dogs than have an uprising to get rid of him. (Maduro went to Castro’s funeral so he must not have been worried about a coup or popular uprising.)

    It’s just another example of how cultural change takes time. While the intellectuals may have the ultimate say, it takes centuries.

  • Thank you! I appreciate the thoroughness of your polemic and your willingness to be the next target of the SJWs & the Open Border cheerleaders like ARI. I do not want to recount every area to which we agree as that would just be a restatement of most of your paper. I did want to highlight some ‘bonuses’ – items which are new to me or not frequently discussed. First, I appreciate your introduction of in-group/out-group analysis. I want to review this further. I also believe the example of Lebanon is not used enough. I was very happy with your characterization of the use of ‘Third World foot soldiers” and thought this could be expounded upon more fully in the body of your work.

    On to the disagreements:

    1) The insurance scheme. This one really bothered me because your polemic is against floating abstractions & this is exactly how I saw the insurance scheme. You appeared to admit as much with your qualifications. We need another formulation. I would focus on assimilation as the key factor. I don’t have a detailed construct yet on how this can be done, but I believe as President Trump puts more restrictions in place some answers will reveal themselves.

    2) While I agree with your attack on Binswanger’s right to travel, I think you are casting ‘rights’ too broadly in an effort to enhance your argument. I’ve never seen a ‘right’ interpreted in an absolute sense in our jurisprudence. While one has a right to free speech, there are limitations. Same issue with the ‘right’ to bear arms. Why would the right to travel be one without limitation as our most fundamental rights are certainly limited?

    3) This line bothered me:

    “Just as Mexicans bring their culture of increased crime, trash, drugs, corruption, and identity politics into California, changing it into a one-party state, Americans fleeing from California due to the worsening social and political climate there are bringing their left coast left-wing ideas to other states of the Union, making them more inclined toward identity politics and socialism.”

    I don’t believe trash is measured & I’m not sure corruption is either so I would stick more to the stats than empirical evidence.

    4) There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction by good people to include the necessary disclaimers about President Trump. He is taking some major body blows on this issue to do our bidding. I think the disclaimers are just an appeal to PC virtue signalling, & as such, are unnecessary.

    I’m was also glad to see your acknowledgment of both Ed Mazlish & Grant Jones. I was well on my way to becoming a full-blown ARI devotee until I heard Yaron talk about immigration & then found Ed Mazlish’s piece on ideological screening. Then, I heard you speak on Amy’s show a few times and eventually discovered Grant. Thank you all for your dissent.

    • Bill,

      On your #1, I probably should have qualified the insurance idea as more of a suggestion. Perhaps I didn’t’t make clear the essential point: the costs of immigration, currently picked up by taxpayers, must be assigned to those who want/demand it. This idea is just a suggestion. to implement it.

      On #2, a right is something you can do without permission, like Binswanger’s formulation of traveling from New York to Connecticut. This follows Rand’s formulation, though it differs from modern American jurisprudence. I do not believe there are any limitations to free speech or the right to keep and bear arms, when both are properly defined.

      On #3: Trash and corruption are items covered in both Coulter’s Adios America and Hanson’s Mexifornia. Perhaps I should have been more explicit in these and given more detailed references. I’ve seen the trash with my own eyes, so perhaps I just thought it was obvious. I also assumed everyone knows the Mexican government–at all levels–is rife with rampant corruption.

      On #4, you are correct. This was a mistake on my part. Some of the sections, including the comments on President Trump, were written before he was elected, and were incorporated into this essay when I assembled it over Christmas break. I was a Trump Skeptic for most of the campaign, though I voted for him. His performance after inauguration has been stellar, and if I could, I would re-write those mentions to be less skeptical, or omit them entirely.

      Both Grant and Ed helped me formulate these ideas over the last year or so, and I consider them good friends and intellectual allies in our quest to reform ARI.

  • It appears that Brook is now back to his open immigration of Muslims stance:


  • Dear Ed,

    You article is excellent in almost every way; and I agree with all of your substantive points. However, may I suggest that you edit it to remove all the various criticism of various persons? Criticizing a person’s ideas is fine, but there is no need for your hostility toward their characters. In the end, such persons are actually not your target–open immigration is. An article such as your should reach as wide an audience as possible. Attacking the motives or characters of various Objectivists simply does not advance you argument; it only cheapens the extremely valuable argument you have. You should stay focused on ideas.

    • Ray,

      I am very sympathetic to your suggestion to omit discussion or evaluation of individuals. When I circulated a draft of this essay among some friends, two of the reviewers objected, as you did, to the personal criticisms, and this caused me to remove almost all of them from the essay. (There were a LOT more, and they were a LOT stronger! Many of the other reviewers, on the other hand, also tired of being called racists by people who don’t understand the facts surrounding the topic, urged me to be stronger in my denunciations.)

      The reason I left in the evaluations I did was because the thesis of the piece is NOT “America requires more detailed screening of immigrants to protect its security.” This thesis, while true, is covered in pretty much all of the books in the References section on immigration. If that were my motivation, the essay would be a lot shorter: “Read these books. Be more selective. QED.”

      In fact, my motivation for writing this essay, the reason I spent 18 months researching the subject, and countless hours late at night writing it over this past Christmas vacation, the thing that drove me to complete it, was to prove the thesis, “by embracing open borders, Yaron Brook and his associates at ARI are betraying Western Civilization in general and Objectivism in particular.” You may think this is both too strong and/or too personal. Yet, that was my motivation to approach the entire enterprise. The fact that I had to muster a large number of facts about immigration–it turned out to be much longer than I intended!–to prove my point that open borders is inimical to both American freedom and Objectivism, and those supporting it are betraying Objectivism, was because of the old adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

      Ignoring the Objectivist angle would merely duplicate the references. Presenting the facts simply in contradistinction with the statements of prominent Objectivists with no evaluation would betray the spirit of Ayn Rand’s maxim, “Judge and be prepared to be judged.” I tried to remove all of the evaluatory comments before I presented the evidence. However, since the evidence was presented, I found I had to write the essay I wanted to write, like Martin Luther, “Here I stand. I can do no other.”

  • This essay is incredible. If there is a recognizable West in 100 years, it will owe some debt to ideas such as these, and not the suicidal ARI position on immigration.

  • “A country is an independent political unit not under the control of any other political unit. A country must be distinguished from a ‘nation’, a ‘state’, or a ‘nation-state’ for this discussion.” These distinctions are false and your entire argument falls because of it. In your footnote you briefly explain your disagreement but your argument fails. You conflate emergencies with a normal state. Of course someone has the right to defend himself. That does not negate the fact that a government has the monopoly on the use of force.

    • Jordan. I oppose open immigration. In fact I want a freeze. To simply things: If the US has open immigration it becomes a third world country. If Europe and Israel have open immigration they become Islamic.

  • Mark,

    I agree with your criticisms of Ed’s piece. But you should realize that the criticism you are giving is not just to Ed’s views but to Objectivism itself. You are coming from an as yet to be created viewpoint: a pro-white-ethnotstate libertarianism. In essence, like me, you’ve come to the conclusion that liberty, by whatever name, should exist within the parameters of racial homogeneity; ie a white society (putting aside for now what is to be defined as white). That is not Objectivism.

    Ayn Rand no doubt held views on race that would be closer to today’s white nationalists then to today’s Objectivists. But she spoke in the language of individualist universalism. So today’s Objectivists are just going down the path she set. Ed Powell is at least trying to provide a system that would attempt to preserve liberty. His system, if it ever could be implemented, would result in the end of mass immigration and of low skilled immigration. By mandating that a prospective immigrant have a sponsor to cover his entire costs and that he be insurable, you would create a system whereby you only import higher IQ, higher skilled people. You are right that this would still result in the changing of the racial demographics as whites would ultimately be a minority.

    But Objectivism as a movement does not now and never has explicitly dealt with the genetic infrastructure of a society. Objectivism like libertarianism, Classical Liberalism, Anarcho-Capitalism and American Constitutional Conservatism is a race blind, universalist movement. The only political philosophies to deal with race are ethno-nationalist philosophies. There has been no liberty oriented movement to deal with racial dynamics. And of course that’s not surprising because within the parameters of individualism as we have it, racial awareness is simply not legitimate.

    And that right there is the great challenge for the liberty movement; how to create a system of liberty that recognizes that currently it is only whites that are liberty lovers at the population level. I don’t have an answer. But sadly given the nature of the Left and given modern politics I think that liberty has no short term future. Libertarians of any variant are NEVER going to defeat the Left especially as it becomes militarized which it is not becoming. Only NATIONALISTS will be able to deal with the Left. Unless you can find a libertarian Pinochet, I think liberty is screwed.

    For me the great challenge of liberty, and for human civilization itself, is human bio-diversity. It is apparent when you research the subject that there are genetic differences between the races. Everything from brain size to IQ to time preference to criminality to sexual reproduction strategies and more are heavily influenced by race. Whether or not the differences that exist are insurmountable to form a multi-racial pro-liberty society remains the most important question for the future.

    No criticism of liberty that the Left gives is legitimate. But the criticism of liberty coming from the racialist right… now those criticisms are the ones liberty lovers should be worried about. But of course the liberty movement is blissfully unaware of them or terrified by them. Objectivists are just as militantly opposed to any biology based analysis of human outcomes as are leftists. Right now I would estimate that 98% of Objectivists would take the side of the Cultural Marxist thugs if any reactionary authoritarian party were to start to ascend; ie 98% of Objectivists would, when push comes to shove, fight alongside leftists. It can make you spit.

    Ed Powell has given a good attempt at a race blind but merit based approached to immigration for a free society. I don’t know if multi-racialism libertarianism is even possible, but if it is then it will have to be built on right-libertarian grounds and that is a movement just now starting to form largely as a result of Hans Herman Hoppe who may end up even more important than Rand.

    So that’s my thoughts on your excellent criticism of Ed’s paper. You and I are far outside the parameters of Objectivism, and not just the “Objectivism” of today’s Obleftivists at ARI, but of Rand herself.

  • “Libertarians of any variant are NEVER going to defeat the Left especially as it becomes militarized which it is not becoming”

    Should read “which it is now becoming”.

    “Hans Herman Hoppe who may end up even more important than Rand”

    Should read “may end up more important than either Rothbard, Mises, or Rand.”

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