Conservatives who lie awake nights worrying about “illegal immigration” reveal something unflattering about themselves. Isn’t it odd for people who claim to favor individual liberty and limited government to at the same time fret that people “cross our border” without government permission? Why would anyone need the government’s permission to cross an arbitrary political boundary? What happened to natural rights? And why would self-proclaimed champions of the free market demand harsh penalties for employers who dare to hire people who haven’t first gotten permission from the government to live and work here? Employment is peaceful exchange. Where does the government get the moral authority to regulate exchange?
If one favors freedom, one favors freedom of movement. Does that mean I favor amnesty? No, it doesn’t. I oppose amnesty on two grounds.
First, amnesty presupposes wrongdoing and “illegal immigrants” have done nothing wrong; they are merely people without government papers—big deal. There is no duty to obey a “law” that conflicts with natural law.
Second, I do not think government officials should be forgiven for the injustice committed against people without government papers. Thus I oppose amnesty for those officials.