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Anti-Immigrant Attacks on Free Enterprise and Private Property

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Have you noticed that the anti-immigrant crowd is remaining remarkably silent about the latest battle over their beloved Berlin Wall that they are constructing along the entire Southern border of the United States?

The battle is between the U.S. government and private owners of private property along the Rio Grande south of Laredo, Texas. Private landowners are refusing to permit federal officials to access their property for the purpose of surveying the property and constructing their Berlin Wall. The landowners have the quaint notion that the land belongs to them rather than the federal government. They don’t want the wall on their property, especially since in some cases it runs right behind their homes.

But wait a minute! Don’t these people know that America is a national homeland owned by the federal government? Isn’t this what anti-immigrant conservatives have been telling us? Haven’t they been saying that the federal government, as the owner of our national homeland, wields the power to keep people from breaking into our national home?

So, why the silence among anti-immigrant conservatives over what would seem to be a rather obvious point? Under their national homeland philosophy, which, by the way, is also the socialist mindset that Fidel Castro has toward Cuba, why should the federals have to concern themselves with private landowners? Why not just send in federal troops and federal tanks to overcome any resistance to the federal government’s ownership of our national homeland? Why should private owners of private property be permitted to interfere with federal ownership of America and federal construction of a Berlin Wall within our national homeland?

Some people are suggesting that the federal government use its powers of eminent domain to compensate landowners for the property taken to build the Wall. But wait a minute! Why should the feds (i.e., the taxpayers) have to pay for what is already supposedly theirs? Why should they be required to use eminent domain to forcibly take what is supposedly already theirs?

The problem isn’t arising in states like Arizona and New Mexico because the government already owns much of the land that adjoins Mexico in those two states. But unlike the residents of Arizona and New Mexico, Texans have never been enamored with the socialist concept of public (i.e., government) ownership of land. With the major exception of the federally owned Big Bend National Park, most of Texas is privately owned, including farms and ranches along the border.

For decades, the war on immigrants has constituted a direct assault on free enterprise and free markets, especially with its socialist central planning and its terrifying raids on businesses. As landowners in Texas are discovering, the war on immigrants also constitutes a direct assault on private property. Is it any wonder that so many conservatives who long ago embraced the socialism of the welfare state are so enthusiastic about it?

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.