A snowflake-mossback embrace

libertarian immigration

Talking heads often bicker over immigration through a left-right grid: Snowflake “libturbs” abhor President Trump’s anti-immigrant travel ban and policies; government-suspicious conservatives supposedly rally to his cause.

Think again. Some of the most eloquent Trump bashers – David Brooks, David Frum, Kathleen Parker, Michael Gerson, Ana Navarro, Bill Kristol, Evan McMullin, Peter Wehner, and Jennifer Rubin – have waved the conservative flag for years. Decades, even.

Then there’s the Libertarian Party, which proposes whittling the government to a stump of its former self: Abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the US Postal Service. Drain the swamp and suck the ocean dry.

But, unlike the president and his minions, Libertarians are philosophically consistent: If big bad government inevitably strangles individual freedom and initiative, then it’s wicked for immigration. Sample three paragraphs from its statement on the issue:

Libertarians believe that people should be able to travel freely as long as they are peaceful. We welcome immigrants who come seeking a better life. The vast majority of immigrants are very peaceful and highly productive.

Whether they are from India or Mexico, whether they have advanced degrees or very little education, immigrants have one great thing in common: they bravely left their familiar surroundings in search of a better life. Many are fleeing extreme poverty and violence and are searching for a free and safe place to try to build their lives. We respect and admire their courage and are proud that they see the United States as a place of freedom, stability, and prosperity.

Libertarians do not support classifying undocumented immigrants as criminals. Our current immigration system is an embarrassment. People who would like to follow the legal procedures are unable to because these procedures are so complex and expensive and lengthy. If Americans want immigrants to enter through legal channels, we need to make those channels fair, reasonable, and accessible.

Read the entire statement here.

The obvious take-away: Trump defies left-right tagging. We’re arguing over whether a cat is a German Shepherd or a Standard Poodle. A cat, like Trump, is a different animal, and all the dogs should stop barking at each other and beware. A carnivorous tiger has sneaked into the kennel.




About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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