POV: Man’s Rights; The Nature of Government
by Ayn Rand | 1963
The Immigration Debate
by The Editors | April 17, 2017
Charlie Hebdo Two Years Later: Will America Continue to Protect Free Speech?
by Steve Simpson | January 07, 2017
Free Speech Is a Right, Not a Political Weapon
by Steve Simpson | December 06, 2016
One Small Step for Dictatorship: The Significance of Donald Trump’s Election
by Onkar Ghate | November 17, 2016
Overturning Citizens United Would Be a Disaster for Free Speech
by Steve Simpson | September 06, 2016
New Book: Defending Free Speech
by The Editors | July 26, 2016
Defending Free Speech
by Steve Simpson | July 02, 2016
How U.S. Attorneys General Are Like Chinese Censors
by Steve Simpson | July 01, 2016
Standing up for Free Speech
by The Editors | June 17, 2016
Is the First Amendment Enough?
by Steve Simpson | March 22, 2016
Free Speech Under Siege
by Steve Simpson | March 25, 2015
Freedom of Speech or Tyranny of Silence?
by The Editors | January 21, 2015
Free Speech and the Battle for Western Culture
by Yaron Brook | January 21, 2015
Freedom of Speech: We Will Not Cower
by Onkar Ghate | January 07, 2015
Gutting the First Amendment
by Steve Simpson | July 17, 2014
The Myth about Ayn Rand and Social Security
by Onkar Ghate | June 19, 2014
The Campaign Finance Monster That Refuses to Die
by Steve Simpson | June 11, 2014
The “End the Debt Draft” Campaign
by Don Watkins | March 18, 2014
End the debt draft
by Don Watkins | March 13, 2014
Abortion Rights Are Pro-life
by Leonard Peikoff | January 23, 2013
A Liberal Ayn Rand?
by Onkar Ghate | November 02, 2012
Ryan, Rand and Rights
by Don Watkins | August 17, 2012
Repairing Lochner’s Reputation: An Adventure In Historical Revisionism
by Tom Bowden | Fall 2011
Why Should Business Leaders Care about Intellectual Property? — Ayn Rand’s Radical Argument
by Adam Mossoff | November 30, 2010
Elena Kagan: Could She Defend the Constitution’s Purpose?
by Tom Bowden | July 20, 2010
Capitalism: Who Needs It — Ayn Rand and the American System
by Yaron Brook | June 09, 2010
Were the Founding Fathers Media Socialists?
by Don Watkins | March 01, 2010
Justice Holmes and the Empty Constitution
by Tom Bowden | Summer 2009
Nationalization Is Theft
by Tom Bowden | November 07, 2008
Supreme Disappointments
by Tom Bowden | November 03, 2008
Deep-Six the Law of the Sea
by Tom Bowden | November 20, 2007
After Ten Years, States Still Resist Assisted Suicide
by Tom Bowden | November 02, 2007
No Right to “Free” Health Care
by Onkar Ghate | June 11, 2007
The Rise and Fall of Property Rights in America
by Adam Mossoff | May 16, 2007
Free Speech and the Danish Cartoons, a Panel Discussion
by Yaron Brook | April 11, 2006
The Fear to Speak Comes to America’s Shores
by Onkar Ghate | April 04, 2006
The Twilight of Freedom of Speech
by Onkar Ghate | February 21, 2006
The Cartoon Jihad: Free Speech in the Balance
by Christian Beenfeldt | February 10, 2006
The Faith-Based Attack on Rational Government
by Tom Bowden | June 27, 2005
Supreme Court Should Uphold Rights, Not Majority Sentiment in Ten Commandments Cases
by Tom Bowden | February 23, 2005
Campaign Finance Reform Attacks Victims of Corruption
by Onkar Ghate | December 26, 2003
Thought Control
by Onkar Ghate | April 22, 2003
A Supreme Court Overview
by Tom Bowden | January 01, 2000
Blacklists Are Not Censorship
by Tom Bowden | March 23, 1999
Health Care Is Not a Right
by Leonard Peikoff | December 11, 1993
The Age of Mediocrity
by Ayn Rand | April 26, 1981
Censorship: Local and Express
by Ayn Rand | October 21, 1973
A Nation’s Unity
by Ayn Rand | October 22, 1972
Of Living Death
by Ayn Rand | December 08, 1968
The Wreckage of the Consensus
by Ayn Rand | April 16, 1967
by Ayn Rand | September 1963


Government And Business in Voice for Reason
Government & BusinessIndividual Rights

The Immigration Debate

by The Editors | April 17, 2017

ARI’s viewpoint on immigration derives from our advocacy of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of reason, rational egoism and laissez-faire capitalism. In a free society, the government’s proper function is strictly limited to the protection of individual rights. That principle entails not only a policy of genuine free trade, but also “open immigration.”  

What is “open immigration”? What kind of government involvement in immigration is necessary to protect the rights of Americans? And what does this approach mean in today’s political context? Today’s America is not a laissez-faire capitalist society, but a “mixed economy” — a precarious combination of government interventions and pockets of freedom — with massive welfare and entitlements programs. What about the fears that immigrants are “taking our jobs”? Impacting our culture and politics? What about crime? And what about the jihadist threat?  

These are among the questions Yaron Brook and Onkar Ghate cover in a wide-ranging discussion of ARI’s viewpoint on immigration and its application to today’s heated debate. They lay out what “open immigration” actually looks like and then consider the current state of America’s immigration policy, the value of immigration in a free society, the morality of illegal immigration, the issue of ideological screening, how America’s disastrous Middle East policy relates to the jihadist menace, and what to do about it

Brook and Ghate also step back to comment on the nature of today’s immigration debate itself. Noting that the debate is awash in collectivist premises and shoddy arguments, they point out, for example, how certain advocates in the debate present statistics tendentiously to serve a political agenda, rather than evaluating the data objectively and seeking the truth. Additionally, Brook and Ghate comment on disagreements over immigration among Objectivists.

Following up on that extensive discussion, which was recorded in October 2015, in a recent interview Yaron Brook tackled new aspects of the immigration debate, including the Trump administration’s immigration ban on several Muslim-majority countries, the refugee crisis and the proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.


* * *

In this brief Q&A exchange from 1973, Ayn Rand, herself an immigrant from the USSR, responds to this question: “What is your attitude toward immigration? Doesn’t open immigration have a negative effect on a country’s standard of living?”

* * *

Below are additional resources that indicate ARI’s approach to immigration and apply it to some current issues.

This brief talk indicates how the distinctively American principle of individual rights should guide a proper government’s domestic and immigration policy:

Speaking at the Ayn Rand Student Conference in 2016 Yaron Brook relates immigration policy to the philosophic issue of free will, and notes how determinism — a view negating free will — informs the outlook of some opponents of immigration:

On his radio show, Yaron Brook has discussed various aspects of the immigration debate. Here he comments on President Trump’s February 2017 ban on immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries:

In these podcast clips, Brook offers a perspective on the situation in Europe, the refugee crisis, the moral ideas shaping the refugee policy of some European nations, and the longstanding failure of Western countries to address the jihadist menace:


About The Author

The Editors

The editors are Elan Journo, director of policy research; Steve Simpson, director of legal studies; and Carl Svanberg, editorial assistant.