Prof. Hoppe bolsters the paleo anti-immigration stance with continued muddled thinking. Unfortunately, those who desire and need most to benefit from a relatively free-market economy – the poor, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the minority, etc. – continue to be thought of as parasites.
Prof. Hoppe begins by revisiting his notion of immigration-by-invitation and applies it to a (legitimate albeit dangerous) social form: the factory town. He says that there an employer does invite the worker by bearing the full cost of his immigration. However, factory towns died out (mercifully so) in the 19th century in America. Few societies are organised that way today.
In a market anarchist society more closely calquing what we have now, the immigrant isn’t invited by anyone explicitly. The immigrant drives on a private road or flies in a private jet to a private airport and finds a motel, inn, relative, or flophouse to stay in. The motel, of course, never explicitly sent the immigrant a notice inviting him to purchase a room at the motel, and of course that idea makes no sense: motels implicitly invite everyone to stay. While there, the immigrant finds a job, get a more permanent place to live, and continues his life rather normally there, without ever having been invited.
Prof. Hoppe is concerned that companies hiring immigrants don’t bear the full cost of importing them, but, in this more modern example, the employer does not pay the full cost of the immigration either: the immigrant (or perhaps some sort of charity) does.
In our current system, the state, of course, owns most of the entrypoints into the country. Rather than say, “The state ought to sell off the entrypoints into the country,” Prof. Hoppe and the anti-immigration ilk actually call for the government to use its control of the entrypoints to enact an explicit invitation policy. Yet, in modern societies, this idea simply makes no sense. As I have pointed out above, modern societies don’t work on explicit invitation but implicit invitation: Wal-Mart sends me circulars but certainly doesn’t mail me letters inviting them to shop in their stores. They open their doors and say, “Come and buy.” In the same vein, private airports, roads, places of lodging, and all the various accoutrements of travel would likely all work on the same way. Why he wants the government to ask for letters of invitation (or presumably some bureaucratic form) for immigration travel when no other sort of travel works on that principle is puzzling.
In his second error, Prof. Hoppe points out that immigration imposes burdens on taxpayers, hence immigration should be ceased. This is also a bizarre argument. He argues that the business is allowed to impose external costs on the rest of the society for the immigrant it hires.
His first fallacy is that the business has no choice. It resides in some state’s jurisdiction (California, Colorado, Alabama, the United Kingdom, etc.) and must either abide by the state’s rules or be put out of business. That an immigrant comes to this country and drinks public water from the tap and drives on public roads is in no way the fault of the business. Even if the business opposed these things, it has no choice in paying taxes or whether or not the roads will be public or private. Those decisions were made before the owners of the business were even born, and the business, while it may reside anywhere, will be under the state’s compulsion anywhere it chooses to reside. This “blame the victim” argument is nonsense.
Furthermore, Prof. Hoppe confuses two different things: the coercive nature of the state and the private contracts of the immigrant. The public roads, sewers, water, electricity, etc. that the state coercively provides are neither the fault of the business nor the immigrant, nor does their agreement to trade labour for wages in any wise empower the state (except in its role as contract enforcer). The contract does not create anti-discrimination laws, or public sewers, or any other state intervention. It’s a private agreement between employer and employee: you will do x for y. That coming to this country and becoming a legal resident also entitles the immigrant to the protection of the state is not the fault of the business or the immigrant, either. The only argument that could be made is that the contract between employer and immigrants grants the immigrant legal status to live in the country and, therefore, to enjoy its public facilities. But why should that be a concern of the business? The business cares about turning labour into profit (the immigrant, too). What the state does with the agreement is out of the power of the company or the immigrant, and neither one could rightly be blamed for it. If the state passed a law saying it would shoot 10 bunnies every time a parent hugged their child, does the problem belong with the child, the parent, or the state? Should parents refrain from hugging their children because the state will commit bunnycide if they do? Of course not. Then why should the immigrant be restrained for the state’s excesses?
Unfortunately, in the absence of convincing arguments, Prof. Hoppe decides he’s now going to psychoanalyse the pro-immigration crowd. That would be fine except that most libertarians are pro-immigration, and most libertarians are neither left-libertarian libertines or Objectivists. There’s no deep psychoanalysis to uncover: open state borders is correct from fundamental libertarian principles of natural law. Honestly, it’s an embarassment for someone who’s of his supposed intellectual capacity to scream “Hippies!” as an argument.