Last month the ACLU sent me a copy of the latest edition of their Stand magazine, as noted in the ZGBlog Voting Rights; but that topic was only one of its main themes. The other, as illustrated on its cover, is the American Family, with a Norman Rockwell style of photo showing an obviously Muslim one. The accompanying claim is that the ACLU is "stepping up for families in the age of Trump."
The Paterfamilias of this particular happy group is Hasan Minhaj, who is a Muslim comedian, which sets him apart from the stereotype; he takes part in The Daily Show, whose founder Jon Stewart had me at Hello some years ago when he claimed that the program was "the only TV news show that admits it's fake." Hasan complains about what he calls "fake news" from Mr Trump and his supporters by saying the President is trampling on his brand. There is no question: he's a funny guy.
The magazine and its cover suggest that Muslim families are as American as apple pie, and that no restrictions ought to hinder their immigration. Regular ZGBloggers will recall that this is a topic I think deserves careful treatment; no problem with individuals moving here to work in a more opportune labor market, but potentially big problems with mass immigration especially by welfare-seekers - in the form of a big culture clash.
There should be no doubt that problems arise when large numbers of Muslims immigrate to the US - or to any other Western, nominally Christian society, and the ACLU seems to ignore them:
- they often form non-integrated enclaves, as in Scandinavia; society is disrupted, crime rates escalate
- when their minority becomes substantial as in France, the natives get restless because their societal norms get distorted; strife and divisions damage harmony
- Muslims are so sensitive to criticism and ridicule that their young fundamentalists become especially violent, as in the murderous Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo staff three years ago
- every one of the so-called "terrorist" attacks of the past few decades, including 9/11, have been made by Muslims. Yes, they were in retaliation for Western interference in their own countries, for sure; but it cannot be denied that institutionally and for whatever reason, Islam is now a hostile influence
- Islam is and always has been a political as well as religious movement whose leaders intend to dominate the world using military conquest where needed; and the manner of rule in Muslim societies is deplorable even by the standards of government elsewhere. Its leaders may be expected to exploit large refugee groups in the West to advance their aims of dominance.
The Trump solution is to stop them immigrating. When he campaigned, there were also indications that he would withdraw the military from Muslim countries so as to mind America's own business; that would have been a huge help, but so far alas the interests opposing him in Washington have stopped it happening, and last week's SOTU speech showed no sign of plans to withdraw from the MidEast or even to scale back US support for the Israeli State.
Immigration bans are in any case themselves a symptom of the sickness called "government". When it has been replaced by a zero government society, there will be neither stick nor carrot affecting rates of migration; no sticks of military intervention to drive people from their homelands in large numbers, and no carrots of welfare "entitlements" to draw them to the US and Europe. Migration will then take place only when individuals see work opportunities, and numbers will be modest enough to worry nobody.
While the present government era persists, Trump-like bans on freedom of movement are wrong and useless - but so are the open-border ideas of the ACLU and the Left generally; open borders are a splendid idea but will work only when that era has ended; again, motivation to move will then be low and numbers insignificant. But while the sticks and carrots remain, they are dangerous and disruptive as above. What, then, is the honest anarchist to do; settle for the lesser evil and support the bans?
No. Rather, we should insist that neither policy will do; neither closing nor opening the gate suffices. Instead, the gate itself has to be removed. This whole problem, like a vast number of others, is caused or at least exacerbated, by the unsupported assumption that a collective decision should apply, that a single policy should be chosen and then force-fed to everyone including a dissident minority.
When the State has evaporated the border of the Former USA will consist of tens of thousands of privately (and so, properly) owned lots of land, and therefore there will be tens of thousands of immigration and visitor "policies." Some owners will bar entry and exclude trespassers, some will welcome newcomers in expectation of doing with them some profitable business. Others, very likely, will operate centers for refugees fleeing governments in their homelands and teach them how best to live in a free society.
That is the single feasible solution to the problem of immigration. Humans have the right to own and operate our own lives, and that includes the right to go anywhere and offer services. Since the owners of land have an equal right to exclude from it anyone they don't want on it, those offers may or may not be accepted; but the decisions must be individual, not collective. The "immigration problem" is just one more among thousands of pieces of evidence that government doesn't work.