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The Immigration Police State Comes to Portland

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For years I’ve been pointing out that an immigration police state comes with a system of immigration controls, just as thunder comes with lightning. Immigration police-state measures include:

(1) warrantless trespasses and warrantless searches of farms and ranches within 100 miles of the border;

(2) domestic immigration checkpoints that subject travelers who have never entered Mexico to complete searches and sometimes beatings.

(3) the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and punishment of people who hire, help, or transport immigrants who have entered the United States without official permission.

(4) forcible separation of children from parents.

(5) boarding of Greyhound buses demanding to examine people’s papers.

(6) Eminent domain stealing of people’s land to build a Berlin Wall along the border.

And much more. All here within the United States as part of the Democrat-Republican system of immigration controls.

For the rest of America, all that police-state tyranny along the U.S.-Mexico border has always been so “far away.” It didn’t really affect most Americans. Therefore, why get overly concerned about it? Anyway, all that immigration police state tyranny has been to keep us “safe,” right?

The people of Portland, Oregon, which is about 1,600 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, are now experiencing what it’s like to live under an immigration police state. That’s because President Trump, who is apparently a bit squeamish about again using the military for domestic oppression after the adverse reaction he received when he used the military in Washington, D.C., to suppress protestors, is using his immigration law-enforcement goons to establish “law and order” against protestors in Portland.

So far, the federal police state in Portland involves kidnappings without charges by unidentified immigration goons using unmarked vehicles, along with extra-judicial beatings of protestors.

And President Trump has made it clear that he isn’t stopping in Portland. He is signaling his intent to send his national immigration paramilitary police force to impose “law and order” in other cities across the country.

I can’t help but wonder what conservative-oriented libertarians feel about the police state that Trump has brought to Portland. For years, such libertarians have long favored the Democrat-Republican socialist system of immigration controls. But what they never do — and I mean never — is address the immigration police state that comes with their system of immigration controls. They simply take the position of favoring “border controls” and silently accept the immigration police state that comes with it.

But now we obviously now have an extension of America’s borderland police state, as the people of Portland can attest. And the goons who are imposing it are officials of the U.S. immigration service, who are obviously willing and eager to follow whatever orders Trump issues to them. Where do those conservative-oriented libertarians who favor immigration tyranny along the border stand on the extension of that tyranny to the rest of the United States through a federal paramilitary police force that is not authorized by any provision of the Constitution?

The Portland experience, of course, brings to mind the Pinochet phenomenon, one in which federal police-state goons controlled by the Chilean military right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet were rounding up dissidents, kidnapping them without arrest warrants, and beating, torturing, raping, disappearing, or killing them.

Of course, Pinochet has long been considered a favorite of conservatives and many conservative-leaning libertarians for two reasons: (1) his ouster in a CIA-supported coup of the democratically elected socialist president of the country, Salvador Allende; and (2) his decision to bring the “Chicago Boys” into his tyrannical regime to serve as “free-market” central planners and to implement his “free-market” or “choice” (i.e., fascist) Social Security “privatization” plan.

Trump’s use of experienced immigration police state goons in the rest of America goes to confirm Ludwig von Mises’s famous dictum of how one government intervention inevitably leads to more interventions. By the time the interventionist process is over, people find themselves living in full-fledged tyranny.

And that’s where we are today. The immigration crisis has meet the coronavirus crisis. It’s just a matter of time before the war on drugs and the war on terrorism are brought into this sordid mix.

There is, of course, only one antidote to the tyranny and oppression we are experiencing in America. That antidote is liberty. A good place to start would be by dismantling (i.e., not reforming) the Democrat-Republican socialist system of immigration controls, abolishing the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. and opening the borders to the free movements of goods, services, and people.

That would help restore life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to the American borderlands in the Southwest (and save $24 billion of taxpayer money in the process). It would also deprive U.S. presidents of a national army of immigration goons who are willing to loyally and eagerly follow orders to impose tyranny and oppression in America.

The post The Immigration Police State Comes to Portland appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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About The Author

Jacob G. Hornberger

The Future of Freedom Foundation was founded in 1989 by FFF president Jacob Hornberger with the aim of establishing an educational foundation that would advance an uncompromising case for libertarianism in the context of both foreign and domestic policy. The mission of The Future of Freedom Foundation is to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government. Visit

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