Why a nation is not like a house or a club — and why the difference matters for debates over immigration

Source: Attack The System
by Ilya Somin

“Far from protecting property rights, immigration restrictions abrogate the rights of property owners who want to rent their property to the excluded migrants, associate with them, or employ them on their land. This is an interesting result, given that many immigration restrictionists are also conservatives who strongly support private property rights in other contexts. Perhaps, however, the government is a kind of super-owner that has the right to supersede the decisions of private owners whenever it passes a law that does so. On that view, the state has all the same rights over land within its jurisdiction as a private owner has over his house. And when the two types of property rights conflict, the state prevails. Restated in this way, the house analogy could indeed potentially justify almost any immigration restrictions a government might choose to set up. But it can also justify all kinds of repressive government policies that target natives, as well.” (08/07/17)