Stanley Opposes Open Immigration
by Ari Armstrong, June 25, 2002
Immigration policy is admittedly a complex and difficult issue. That said, the libertarian policy of open immigration remains a defensible one. Of course, in the wake of September 11, a lot of libertarians, myself included, will see some role for the government to keep out murderers and terrorists. But immigration restrictions almost exclusively target immigrants who wish to come to America to work and live peaceably.
Immigration restrictions hurt not only immigrants, but current residents who wish to hire immigrants and otherwise do business with them. Immigration also has foreign policy implications. It is disgusting that decades ago the U.S. government sent a boatload of Jews back to Europe to be slaughtered by the Nazis. We should encourage "brain drains" away from more tyrannical countries into the U.S.
Unfortunately, Rick Stanley, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate, opposes open immigration. He wrote in a recent e-mail:
From TheStanleyScoopfirstname.lastname@example.org Fri
Not even the right-leaning Ludwig von Mises Institute advocates such tight restriction. Those at LvMI who now oppose open immigration would welcome it if Stanley's first condition were met. Stanley's second condition will never be met, as he recognizes.
Stanley's view on immigration is at odds with his party's platform:
We welcome all refugees to our country and condemn the efforts of U.S. officials to create a new "Berlin Wall" which would keep them captive. We condemn the U.S. government's policy of barring those refugees from our country and preventing Americans from assisting their passage to help them escape tyranny or improve their economic prospects. Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested. Furthermore, immigration must not be restricted for reasons of race, religion, political creed, age, or sexual preference. We therefore call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have entered the country illegally. We oppose government welfare and resettlement payments to non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons. (www.lp.org/issues/platform/immigrat.html)
Interestingly, Stanley's recent e-mail is also at odds with his position statement on his own web page. As of today, Stanley's web page relates at http://stanley2002.org/immigration.htm:
Why the discrepancy between Stanley's web page and his recent e-mail? Perhaps he changed his mind, or perhaps he's not the author of the web page. Regardless, the statement on his web page clearly contradicts his e-mail. If immigrants are valuable to the U.S. economy, then why should we wait until the U.S. is totally libertarian, as Stanley suggests in his e-mail? Why should we wait until the "rest of the world" becomes libertarian before we allow immigration? There is no rationale for this position.
Even Stanley's web page proposes too drastic a change from current policy. We are at risk from Muslim extremists. Why, then, should we prohibit Catholic Mexicans from working in the U.S.? Does Stanley want the fruit crops on the Western Slope to rot on the ground this year, for lack of workers? Does Stanley also want to shut out all international travelers, who are essentially short-term immigrants?
In his e-mail, Stanley also forwarded an e-mail someone else had sent him. The forwarded message is bigoted and hateful. Stanley didn't say he supported the message, but he didn't say he condemned it, either. Forwarding the message to his list without an appropriate condemnation was irresponsible. Below are a few lines from this racist tirade. I hesitate to include the text at all, because it is disgusting. It is an insult to all the hard-working, peaceable, and virtuous Americans who are from Mexico or who have ancestors from Mexico. I include the text only to demonstrate that bigotry is behind the efforts of some people to shut down immigration. Just like others use the terrorist attacks to rationalize more intrusive government, so racists use the attacks to rationalize keeping out Mexican immigrants.
>Send for family (they just trash),
Again, Stanley did NOT express support for the sentiments of the forwarded message. He should have taken greater care, however, to avoid forwarding it or to condemn it.
On the same day, Stanley also sent out an e-mail calling to "Militarize the Borders!" Interestingly, the message he forwards endorses the policies of Congressman Tom Tancredo. Stanley has called me a "Republican Mole" (www.freecolorado.com/2002/06/stanleyreply.html), yet it is Stanley who is pushing a Republican's agenda.
From TheStanleyScoopemail@example.com Fri Jun 21 12:35:39 2002
In April of 1999, I wrote the following notes about Tancredo:
Congressman Tom Tancredo recently published an opinion piece in the Rocky Mountain News (March 7, 1999, page 1B) calling for a "moratorium on immigration." Tancredo relies on two main arguments to support his position.By the way, Libertarian Adam Katz is running against Tancredo again this year. Katz' web page is at http://www.katz4congress.com/.
On June 15, Stanley sent out an e-mail that unwittingly supported a left-wing anti-immigration group.
From TheStanleyScoopfirstname.lastname@example.org Sat Jun 15 16:41:22 2002
Further down in the e-mail, we learn that "Roy" is Roy Beck, executive director for NumbersUSA. Stanley was mistaken: Beck's organization never endorsed him. "Sallie8001" was only asking NumbersUSA to endorse Stanley, an "anti-immigration" candidate.
And what is NumbersUSA? The group's web page is at www.NumbersUSA.com. We find the group advocates the policies of Democrats Barbara Jordan and Tim Worth. On its "goals" page, Numbers USA states:
To fight economic injustice, it urged reduction in immigration numbers that are now so high as to harm the most vulnerable American workers and their families. To achieve an environmentally sustainable society, it urged reducing immigration numbers to a level that will allow the U.S. population to stabilize.
NumbersUSA does not advocate immigration restrictions because of the typical right-wing rationalization that immigrants will destroy freedom in the U.S. Instead, NumbersUSA is overtly hostile to free markets.
It is not surprising that right-wingers like Tancredo have joined forces with enviro-socialists to restrict immigration and economic freedom. The only surprise is that a Libertarian candidate has joined their cause.