Seven Political Philosophies on Immigration

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Immigration is currently one of the world’s hottest political issues. The Syrian refugee crisis in Europe, Donald Trump’s stances on illegal and Muslim immigration, and the UK’s referendum on EU membership have brought the legality of crossing national borders to the forefront.


In this post, I will name and explain eight different philosophies immigration can be founded upon. I will not use this piece to promote my own views on immigration, but hope to write a companion piece that does so sometime soon.



A National-Socialist immigration policy is likely the easiest to ascertain, and it may be the world’s most popular. The priority of a National-Socialist society is to preserve a common national identity. The people, the land, their language, and their customs bind them as a cohesive unit, and neither human rights nor economic theories can be allowed to whittle this away.


While it is referred to as a form of right-wing extremism, Nazi actually stood for the National Socialist German Worker’s Party. There is nothing right-wing about National-Socialism, and Labour parties are almost always opposed to Conservative ones, so calling the Nazis right-wing is demonstrably inaccurate. National-Socialism is a form of Leftism.


More to the point, the Nazis are far from the only group to have favored a National-Socialist view on immigration. Nearly all nations have national languages; Thai schools teach in Thai, French schools teach in French, and Russian schools teach in Russian.


Birthright citizenship only exists in the United States, Canada, and a few South American and Caribbean nations. Typically, it takes more than being born within a nation’s borders to earn the right to be there.


And nations rarely allow foreigners to serve as elected officials or occupy government jobs of any kind.


Although not always as extreme as the White America envisioned by Richard Spencer, National-Socialist immigration policies are the norm.



A National-Capitalist immigration policy would be defined by its leaders’ vetting of immigrants to ensure that the brightest and most prosperous foreign nationals are granted access to the nation while the tired, poor, huddled masses are kept out. Not only would leaders allow talented migrants across their borders, they would likely incentivize them to come.


President Trump, likely inspired by Ann Coulter, has just announced a new immigration policy in this vein.


France is attempting something similar by “poaching” climate scientists from the rapidly deregulating US.



Anarcho-Capitalists are fundamentalist Libertarians who believe that absolute private property rights are the foundation of all ethics and preferred policies. Ancaps do not believe public property exists, as sharing is a voluntary action that an individual can reconsider at will. Property can only be public via the consent of its owners, so, in actuality, it is privately owned.


This means that Ancaps do not believe states or nations have the right to exist.


As a result, an ideal Anarcho-Capitalist world would not involve immigration as land would wither be privately homesteaded or not. If land is owned, only the owner’s permission is needed to step on it. If land is not owned, it’s up for grabs.


Left-Wing Anarchist

Like AnCaps, Left-Wing Anarchists reject nations too. But unlike Ancaps who see nations as a violation of private property rights, Left-Wing Anarchists see nations as a forceful recognition of property rights which do not exist in their eyes.


Left-Wing Anarchists rationalize a borderless world by rejecting borders wholesale. Not only should national borders be eliminated, but private property itself should be delegitimized too.


Immigration would cease to exist in an ideal Left-Wing Anarchist world because land is a resource to be exploited for the sake of the common good, not for a nation or individual.



A Neoliberal immigration policy would be liberal with border control, but not completely anarchic. Immigration would generally be permitted to anyone who desires it, but reasonable regulations like passport checks and limited access to public services and privileges could be enacted.


There are two ways to rationalize a Neoliberal immigration policy. The first is the fundamental human right to free movement. Since national borders are technically imaginary, and since there is no justification for condemning an individual to stay put in the place he was born, no authority has the authority to keep someone from traveling from place to place or interacting and trading with other people.


The second is economic growth. The more freely people are allowed to bring their services to new markets, the more access all people have to new services. The more hands there are to make widgets, the more widgets get made. The more brains there are to solve problems, the more problems get solved. All of this causes supply to increase and price to fall. The rich get richer, and poor get richer too.


For a Neoliberal immigration policy to work, public services would likely have to be limited. If a nation’s citizens are forced to pay taxes to support schools, healthcare, social security, and other welfare programs, it would be unfair for new citizens to suddenly gain access without paying their fair share first. Since generous and expansive welfare programs are difficult to regulate, keeping them small and local would probably be the best way to ensure that they are not abused. In other words, the smaller the state’s presence in the economy, the more liberal a Neoliberal immigration policy can be.



An Anti-Capitalist immigration policy would have altruistic ends, but restrictive means. The idea would be that rich, developed nations should not recruit the best and brightest from poor and developing nations because the latter nations need them more.


If the best doctors and engineers are coaxed out of the sickest and least industrialized nations, those nations will lack the human capital to progress. At the same time, nations that already have a wealth of resources, both material and intellectual, would nab even more while impoverished nations are left unable to compete.


The problem an Anti-Capitalist immigration policy would address is often referred to as the brain drain, and there is evidence that it’s real. However, this policy would strictly limit free movement and would require the same central planning as a Globalist policy, albeit in a different way.



A Globalist immigration policy would generally ignore the will of nations and instead find ways to manage populations through mandates and incentives from a centralized authority. A community of nations would decide for individual nations how many migrants and refugees they must admit and what sanctions they would face for disobeying.


The Globalist authority would determine immigration requirements based on economic needs and ability to provide for new arrivals. If a population were failing to reproduce itself, the Global authority would send in migrants to maintain the infrastructure. Aging populations that work less and rely on social services more would be flooded with young migrants to take jobs and pay taxes.


It would also demand that nations guarantee a minimum standard of living for each immigrant and accommodate their cultural or religious preferences.


Globalist immigration would take economic central planning and apply it to living, breathing human beings.



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George N Romey Added Aug 7, 2017 - 10:05am
Glenn a good summation. The US has had numerous immigration policies over the years, including closing off immigration under the most Progressive President in our history, FDR.  Immigration should enhance the country, protect is population and create better future outcomes.  There isn't necessarily one policy that is appropriate at any time and the world constantly evolves.  No immigration policy can guarantee perfection.
At this point the US needs to protect markets, it workers and its people.  Therefore immigration needs to have more limitations than 30 years ago.  Its nothing to do with "meanness" but preserving national integrity.
Bill H. Added Aug 7, 2017 - 10:52am
I am actually for ceasing immigration to the US totally.
The ever-increasing population is causing issues with resources, traffic, education, pollution, and jobs to name a few. Also, corporations choose to not only offshore their products thereby minimizing job opportunities, but they also choose to import workers from other countries under the guise that their skills are not available with local US workers (not to mention that they can pay them much less and work them to death). Of course this is a result of neglecting our own education system by the same group that advocates lower taxes and less spending on education. Could this have all been planned? I think so.
Again, a fine example of corporate control of our society simply for their own financial gain with no regard for the average American citizen.
George N Romey Added Aug 7, 2017 - 12:20pm
I've seen the abuse of the HB1 visa program personally.  I'm with Bill we need a 2-3 year ceasing of immigration until we fix our employment, infrastructure and educational system.  FDR did it and by no means was he some wild eye conservative.  And I also agree that has to do more with pleasing corporations that want cheap sources of labor.
Jeff Jackson Added Aug 7, 2017 - 2:07pm
George and Bill, right on. We are not in any economic position to take on new citizens. Our infrastructure is crumbling, due to no small measure the stress that it has been put under by both citizens and non-citizens. Also, the anchor-baby epidemic needs to be stopped. Illegal immigrants have babies (that taxpayers pay for) and then claim they must stay and care for their U.S. citizen baby. Cut off the state and federal money to reimburses the hospitals for delivering the babies. When they no longer get money for delivering them, (Parkland Hospital in Dallas alone gets $34 million a year) they'll find another solutions. This is one of the biggest games ever foisted on the American public, and it needs to stop.
Glenn Verasco Added Aug 7, 2017 - 6:58pm
Gotta say I disagree, guys. The problem is not immigration; it's the welfare state.
Did you see Jim Acosta's idiocy on display when he was debating Stephen Miller at that White House presser?
The point Miller forgot to make is that when the Statue of Liberty arrived on US soil, there was no SS, Medicare, Medicaid, Department of Ed., food stamps, etc. When the first waves of immigrants came to America ("yearning to breathe free"), they were on their own. They had to learn the language and find a way to make a living without help from a bunch of government programs.
This made immigration wholly positive. Immigrants brought skills, ideas, hands to work, and their own wealth to add to the country, and they were forced to assimilate as no one would accommodate for their cultural differences.
Today, many immigrants don't come looking for freedom... they come for free stuff. Dramatically scaling back the welfare state would solve our immigration woes. Only immigrants who want to work hard and become American would be attracted to America. Those looking for a free ride would have no incentive to come.
We also need to scale back political correctness. We are not a "multicultural" society. We are whatever we want to be. And no one's culture deserves special treatment or rights.
George N Romey Added Aug 7, 2017 - 7:45pm
Glenn I live in a heavily immigrant area (Miami). By large these people are here for a better living.  HOWEVER, too many of them lack skills or have skills and are willing to take good jobs at lower salaries.  When they lack skills or take a programmer job at $40K with four mouths to feed well there comes the welfare state. We need a social safety net in this country.  We are no longer a people of the land.  What we don't need are more people here straining an already weak job market and overburdened social safety net.   Immigration needs to be halted as it was under FDR and we to find a way to bring back stable jobs and social mobility so we lessen those needing government assistance to get by.  
Glenn Verasco Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:41pm
These programs have nothing to do with quality of life improving. Human life was rapidly improving long before these programs. The only reason we were able to implement them was because we had already amassed unprecedented wealth.
We used to be single-celled organisms. Progress takes billions of years.
George N Romey Added Aug 7, 2017 - 8:51pm
These programs shouldn't be used to improve quality of life.  In fact, if our capitalistic system worked properly we would need very little of it. Unless someone wants to show me how living on $10 an hour is possible.  Anyone that thinks government assistance provides even a basic quality of life hasn't seen what that life is like.  
When the poor uneducated immigrants came in the early 20th century there were jobs for them. My grandfather took a job in a coal mine but there is little need now for coal miners.  We have no jobs for the marginally skilled and educated.  
Tamara Wilhite Added Aug 7, 2017 - 9:50pm
The United States is failing its own poor, whether inner cities that are crime-ridden messes or areas with working class whites sliding into long term unemployment and an opiate addiction epidemic so bad life expectancy for poor whites fell under President Obama.
It is unfair and a failure of the obligation to the poor already in a nation to say we're taking in more poor from other nations, shut up you bigots while they get goodies from the programs already not providing enough for you, and you're bad if you complain when they compete for the limited jobs or charity.
It is immoral to take in more poor when we aren't taking care of those already within our gates. It is a sin to add to those ranks on the vague hope that increased numbers of them will lead to change beyond pulling all of society down.
Glenn Verasco Added Aug 7, 2017 - 11:32pm
We were growing and our quality of life was on the rise long before any of those programs were implemented. You can't start something in the middle of a trend and claim it is the cause of the trend. That's ridiculous.
The Great Depression wasn't a loss of wealth, it was a reduction in growth. The economy still grew. The wealth didn't cease from being amassed, it just temporarily grew more slowly. We've never lost wealth, we've just lost potential wealth.
Saint George Added Aug 8, 2017 - 3:54am
What you don't know about reality could fill several libraries full of books on reality. We'll start small: The Library of Congress. Next, the great Library of Alexandria.
Stone-Eater Added Aug 8, 2017 - 5:01am
Good one. I agree on "coming for free stuff". I see that here in Switzerland. Not all, but many are simply up to get some iShit, brand clothes and a car by whatever means when they're here.
And the ones who could work or are eager to, have no educational background to ever find a job.
I know - it's my job to try to find them work...
Dino Manalis Added Aug 8, 2017 - 8:33am
Immigration is normal, the refugee crisis is abnormal and driven by chaos.  Legal immigration should be skills and family-oriented.  While serious criminals have to be jailed or deported, other illegal immigrants ought to pay a penalty and become legal residents.  It would be much better for our country and economy!
Stone-Eater Added Aug 8, 2017 - 8:19pm
Please get CONCRETE for once. How did that crisis come up in your opinion ?
George N Romey Added Aug 8, 2017 - 8:40pm
Illegal immigrants are never going to pay the penalty because they just don't have the money.  So we are back to let them stay as illegals, give them a path to citizenship assuming they have no criminal record or spend billions to round them up and bus them back to where they came from.  Since politicians see the downside in each one of them they do nothing.
Glenn Verasco Added Aug 8, 2017 - 8:56pm
SEF, I refuse to engage Dino. He doesn't read anyone's articles. He just writes benign comments that are generally related to the titles.
Thomas Napers Added Aug 9, 2017 - 3:48am
A national-capitalist immigration policy doesn’t need to be limited to the best and brightest.  Thanks to illegal immigration from Mexico our quality of living is greatly increased by lowering the cost directly and indirectly of everything we buy. 
Glenn Verasco Added Aug 9, 2017 - 10:22am
Thomas, good point! National-Capitalist could incentivize low-wage workers too.
I guess I should have said "most valuable" or "most equipped to contribute" instead of "the best."
George N Romey Added Aug 9, 2017 - 4:17pm
As I've said before immigrants, even the ones that came from Europe were mostly poor and uneducated.  Even the ones from Asia.  For many years in this country we had jobs for the unskilled.  With the surge in the middle class after WW2 Americans other than the relatively few on the bottom could do better than picking fruit all day or scrubbing toilets. 
So when immigrants mostly from the South began to arrive they took those jobs and few complained.  Then middle class jobs started to disappear.  Companies also started to abuse the immigrant system to bring in cheap labor, particularly on the professional side.
No surprise over the past 20 years immigration has turned into a hot bed of argument. 
By the way I was told this week by a social worker that illegal immigrants will still get far more benefits and much easier than a US citizen that has become one of the million of unrecognized unemployed or underemployed.
Saint George Added Aug 13, 2017 - 6:11pm
Do you want to go back to child labour, 80 hour weeks, bank runs every 5 minutes, mass homelessness?
Say, that's what they have right now in Marxian-socialist North Korea!
In the U.S., however, child labor ended ONLY when productivity (thanks to capital invested per work, in the form of better tools, better technology, etc.) improved productivity to the point that real wages increased (that is to say, prices of things generally declined so that everyone could now afford them). The end of child labor had precisely nothing to do with laws threatening to punish people if children under a certain wage worked. Children were sent to work at the insistence of their parents, who at the time, needed the additional income. When the income of the parents was enough (the real income, not the nominal income) to provide for themselves and their children, child labor ended. All standard reference works on the economic history of the United States concur in that.
Child labor most certainly did not end just because the federal government threatened parents and employers with fines or imprisonment.
Your naïve faith in the effectiveness of threats, fines, and physical force by government would be touching if it weren't for the fact that you've proven yourself to be a closet-fascist and tin-pot tyrant.