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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Immigration and Liberal Hypocrisy

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Let’s give credit where credit is due: When it comes to hypocrisy, liberals can be just as two-faced and duplicitous as conservatives.

We’re all familiar with conservative hypocrisy. The favorite mantra of conservatives is: “Private property, free enterprise, and limited government.”

Yet, the favorite programs of conservatives are: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, education grants, community grants, corporate bailouts, protectionism, empire, torture, the drug war, the war on terrorism, and all sorts of other things that violate the principles of “free enterprise, private property, and limited government.”

What about liberals? Their favorite mantra is: “We love the poor, needy, and disadvantaged.” In fact, their favorite invective that they love to hurl at libertarians (who favor the dismantling, not the reform, of all welfare-state programs) is: “You just hate the poor, needy, and disadvantaged.”

Well, according to this article in Sunday’s New York Times, the Obama administration has initiated a fierce crackdown on businesses that hire illegal aliens.

But get this: They’re going easy on the immigrants, just deporting them instead of charging them with any crimes. Instead, they’re going after the American businessmen who commit the dastardly crime of hiring these poor people.

The most recent example involves Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler chain in Arizona, which is popular among consumers for its Mexican food and margaritas. The feds busted the place and charged the restaurant’s two owners, Mark Evenson and his son Christopher, with crimes entailing a possible 80 years in jail.

Only one of the 42 illegal aliens caught in the raid was charged with a crime, one unrelated to the raid. The others were detained on civil charges, which usually involve deportation, detained as material witnesses against the Evensons, or permitted to remain in the United States to legalize their status.

Why the differentiation in treatment?

Isn’t the answer obvious? Unlike conservatives, liberals love “the poor, needy, and disadvantaged.” This way, they can say to themselves, “We’re helping the poor by sending them home rather than putting them in jail, like Bush and his conservative cohorts were doing. We’re punishing the evil, greedy, profit-seeking, bourgeois, swine of capitalist pigs who are exploiting the oppressed workers.”

Like I say, rank hypocrisy! Hurting people in the name of helping them. How do you get more two-faced than that?

Those illegal aliens had entered into a mutually beneficial arrangement with Chuy’s restaurant. Both sides had struck a negotiated deal in which the immigrants were performing labor services in exchange for an agreed-upon wage. Both sides were happy with the deal, given that they both voluntarily entered into it.

What better way to help the poor, needy, and disadvantaged than to let them have a paying job in the private sector, especially compared to forcing them to return home to a life of guaranteed poverty? When they’re free to accept gainful employment in the private sector, they make their own money, much of which they send back home to help the poor — e.g., spouses, children, parents, and grandparents.

And let’s not forget: The money that is being used to pay the immigrants’ salaries belongs to the owners, not the government and not to society. Since it’s their money, the owners have the moral right to do whatever they want with it, including giving it to anyone they want, including immigrants who are working for them.

Of course, given the liberal mindset that everything belongs to society and, therefore, subject to confiscation and redistribution, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the concept of private ownership of property is anathema to liberals.

What business is it of government to interfere with private work relationships that have been voluntarily agreed upon between employers and employees?

Answer: No business at all.

What have Obama and his liberal cohorts accomplished with their vicious raid on Chuy’s restaurant.

They’ve hurt the immigrants, who now no longer have a job and are being forced to return to Latin America to suffer dismal economics conditions.

They’ve hurt the owners, who must now spend tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and possibly spend years in a federal penitentiary for committing the dastardly crime of using their own money to hire some of the poorest people in the world.

They’ve hurt customers of Chuy’s restaurant, given the good chance that restaurant operations will be disrupted and possibly ended by the federal assault on its private property and economic enterprise.

Why can’t the feds simply leave people alone? Because despite their two-faced mantras, liberals, like conservatives, are consumed with destroying the lives and happiness of people who are simply trying to better their lives and the lives of their families through voluntary contracts and economic activity.

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.