I posed this scenario in a comment on my previous post concerning immigration and welfare, but I think it is worth reposting here for all to see.
If the U.S. military had ordered its troops to lay down its weapons and then cross into Iraq unarmed, would it have been a violation of the NAP? Additionally, would the Iraqi military or the Iraqi people themselves been justified in using force to prevent them from doing so?
According to the logic of open border advocates, the U.S. military would be justified because it is merely freedom of movement. The border is a violation of this, and the Iraqis have no right to prevent them from entering.
But we know how ridiculous this argument is. The Iraqis would still be justified, even if none of the U.S. troops were armed and they were only crossing through state-owned land, because the intent of the U.S. military would still have been aggressive in nature.
This is how we have to look at immigration in regards to public, or state-controlled property. What is the intent of the person?
Imagine the opposite of the Free State Project – the Slave State Project. Thousands of people move into your city or region with the expressed purpose of forming a voting bloc in order to enact statist policies. They openly declare their intent to raise property taxes to pay for state programs, pass laws restricting your property rights, introduce onerous gun control laws, regulate your business. They eagerly report you to the police for the slightest violation of these laws. You face the prospect of your business failing due to the regulatory burden, or forced to sell your home because you’re unable to pay the property taxes. They introduce “yes means yes” laws and teach your children in state-run schools (they must attend because you can’t afford to pay for both private school and taxes) to despise their race, and their gender if they’re boys.
Is it un-libertarian for you to seek ways to restrict their ability to enter the jurisdiction and form a Slave State?
How is their intent, from a libertarian perspective, any less aggressive in nature than an invasion?
The difference is an invasion is the state directly carrying it out, while “immigration invasion” (I’m referring to it in a literal sense, not just current trends) has the state carry out their will indirectly.
I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. Someone who enters your jurisdiction with the intent of using state resources stolen from you or state power to violate your rights is an invader, whether they’re only five miles away or five thousand miles away.
Of course, someone will say, it’s impossible to tell the intent.
Very true. Which is what makes this situation so messy. We can’t tell the intent until they actually act on it. There is no straight cut, simple solution.