Academic journal article The Cato Journal

Editor's Note

Academic journal article The Cato Journal

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

Immigration has been instrumental in U.S. history in promoting economic development and increasing the range of options open to people. Millions of immigrants have come to America in search of opportunities to improve their lives and to raise their families. They have taken great risks and worked hard to ensure a better and freer future for themselves and their families.

When government is bound by what F. A. Hayek called the "constitution of liberty," people will be free to choose provided they do not harm others. A just government is one that protects life, liberty, and property. How does immigration fit into this "system of natural liberty"?

Before the rise of the modern welfare state, immigrants had little to depend on except themselves and their families and friends. Civil society was robust. Today, the demise of limited government has altered the relation between the individual and the state. People, including immigrants, are much more dependent on the state. In this institutional setting, what are the implications for immigration? …

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