A few weeks ago I argued that "the myth that libertarianism and traditionalist conservatism are one and the same is going to come crashing down when amnesty is brought before Congress." It appears I didn't have to wait that long, as libertarians are up in arms about SB 1070, recently passed in Arizona.
The state has an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants. But contrary to myth, they have not brought an epidemic of murder and mayhem with them. Surprise of surprises, the state has gotten safer.
Over the last decade, the violent crime rate has dropped by 19 percent, while property crime is down by 20 percent. Crime has also declined in the rest of the country, but not as fast as in Arizona.
Babeu's claim about police killings came as news to me. When I called his office to get a list of victims, I learned there has been only one since the beginning of 2008-deeply regrettable, but not exactly a trend.
Truth is, illegal immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native Americans. Most come here to work, and in their desire to stay, they are generally afraid to do anything that might draw the attention of armed people wearing badges.
The Freeman Online looks back to the imaginary period in American history when the Founders had no concern over immigration, writing:
Jefferson was not alone in pondering the difficulties of assimilation; many of the Founders, including Washington and Madison, did too. Their conclusions are often quoted out of context, making them seem opposed to freedom of movement. If they were, it's odd that they neglected to list "oversee, regulate, and control immigrants" among the government's constitutional duties.
Nevermind that this argument has been refuted by Tom Woods in his excellent book "33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask."
The piece continues:
Allowing government to control immigration guarantees that barbaric and baffling policies will continue to kill people and ruin lives. It also means that the state decides who gets in; the country's character and composition are determined by a handful of bureaucrats rather than the decisions of millions of individuals. And each restriction government imposes on immigrants, each limit it sets to their freedom, limits ours as well.
And finally, the estimable Judge Andrew Napolitano warns that Republicans can't afford to push away Hispanics. Where have I heard that before?
With mass immigration--both legal and illegal--as the most important issue facing US citizens, and with libertarians squarely on the wrong side, the traditionalist-libertarian alliance is bound to crumble.