My New Article on “Immigration and the Economic Freedom of Natives”

Statue of Liberty


Draft version of a new article about “Immigration and the Economic Freedom of Natives”. (Forthcoming at a Symposium in Public Affairs QuarterlySSRN now has the following: The abstract is here:

A lot of debate about immigration restrictions’ justice focuses specifically on the impact they have on migrants. Restrictionists tend to focus on potential harmful consequences of immigration for residents of the receiving countries. This article aims to change the long-standing debate. It focuses specifically on how immigration restrictions harm natives by undermining economic liberty. This idea of such effects is not new. These effects are examined in detail by this article, which illustrates the enormity of their existence. This article covers the “negative” libertarian view of economic liberty as well as the “positive” left-liberal version.

Part I is about libertarian economic freedom approaches. The data shows that immigration restrictions are more restrictive than any government policy in liberal democracies. This is true for libertarians who value freedom for its own sake and for those who value it more for instrumental purposes, like promoting autonomy for individuals and enabling them to achieve their goals and dreams.

Part II focuses on left-liberal, “positive” economic freedom theories. They primarily emphasize enhancing individual access to essential goods and services and giving them the means to lead an independent life. Others focus more on human potential, while others are focused on improving the economic prospects for the poor. Natives can also be affected by restrictions on migration. Migration can often harm natives’ economic prospects. Keyhole solutions, which address particular problems through other means than restricting immigration are a better solution.

The third part focuses on how to deal with situations in which potentially adverse side effects of immigration might compromise either positive or negative economic liberty for natives without restricting their migration. These issues were more extensively covered in my previous work. I will now only briefly discuss the approach that I use and how it applies to economic liberty issues.

To be able to use “current citizens” of the destination country, as an informal and concise way to say “natives”, I need an alternative to “natives.” All suggestions are appreciated. If you have any suggestions, please email me!