Special Election Edition: A Reasonable Path to Citizenship

Blaise Desnoes

While Gary Johnson and Bill Weld may not espouse the (relatively frequently held) Libertarian belief in open borders, the candidates hold that the true immigration emphasis should be on a realistic approach to immigration. 

According to Johnson and Weld, such an approach relies on efficiency, with a clearer path toward obtaining work visas and residing in the United States legally. This seems to be the most logical immigration policy one could support, as the campaign notes that law enforcement should “focus on those who threaten our country, not those who want to be a part of it.” While Trump and many Republicans would argue that those groups are one and the same, this claim is simply not supported by modern research, as most research seems to point to the fact that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than their U.S. born counterparts. For fiscal conservatives, a legal immigration path makes more sense than the colossal waste of building tall walls soon to be accompanied by taller ladders. 

Regardless of party, an emphasis on a clearer path to immigration is the most moral (allowing for a right to migrate and self-ownership), the most sustainable (in 2013 border security cost United States taxpayers $12 billion), and the most in line with the principles that the Libertarian Party (and the United States) stands for. With rising concerns of national debt, it seems as though a relatively simple way of addressing national debt may be an increase in efforts of enforcing taxes for undocumented immigrants (even with the current system, USA Today reported in 2016 that undocumented immigrants pay state and local governments an average of 8% of their income).