In “Ron Paul & Immigration: A Speculative Theory,” I expressed “my suspicion that Ron Paul secretly favors open borders” because although he says he supports “secure borders,” he opposes all standard measures for achieving that end. Rep. Paul lately has furnished more evidence (HT: Gary Chartier) that my theory is accurate. An Associated Press report from Las Vegas begins, “Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul outlined his views on immigration Wednesday, saying he favors a compassionate policy that doesn't rely on ‘barbed-wire fences and guns on our border.’”
The AP continued:
Paul blasted politicians who blame immigrants for causing the country's economic problems. He compared the situation to Nazi Germany's targeting of Jews in the 1930s.
"When things go badly, individuals look for scapegoats," Paul said. "Hispanics, the immigrants who have come in, are being used as scapegoats."
Paul also told an Hispanic audience he opposes illegal immigration and that “[i]f an individual is found to be breaking the law, serious consideration should be given for them to return.”
But this position may not be what it seems on the surface. Open-borders advocates also oppose illegal immigration. Indeed, we seek to legalize--or better, decriminalize—freedom of movement, making illegal immigration a thing of the past.
Moreover, when Paul talks about immigrant law-breakers, he seems to mean laws other than immigration laws. He followed up his statement about lawbreakers by adding, “I would think 99 percent of people who come here come because they believe in the American dream.”
Note also his reluctant tone: “serious consideration should be given for them to return.” Obviously he is unenthusiastic about deporting even lawbreakers.
Ron Paul clearly seems uncomfortable with government restrictions on people’s freedom to move. His libertarian convictions apparently run deep enough to keep him from sounding like other Republicans (and Democrats) on this issue.
“The one thing I have resisted and condemned: I do not believe that barbed-wire fences and guns on our border will solve any of our problems. You say, ‘Well, this is only for illegals.’ That's a bunch of baloney. How do you sort out illegals from legals? Unless you put papers and identification on everybody.”
Does that sound like an opponent of a key natural right: the freedom to move?