Borders & Boundaries: Do the Lines Matter?
A few who oppose the current state (such as Libertarians and Anarchists) often say that nations are basically geographic areas based on arbitrary lines on a map and controlled by gangs with flags. Some go as far as to say such lines are simply imaginary. These are interesting ideas, for sure. So let us explore it because I know it probably would not take much for people to agree with either of those statements. You might even subscribe to one of them yourself.
Let us start with the idea that most people in this country are comfortable with the concept of private property on some level. Even socialists or anarchists will not allow you to just squat in their front yard or living room without permission. I am pretty sure that if you walked into a socialist’s home and started rummaging through their refrigerator or their closet in the middle of the night, you might have a fight on your hands, even if you planned to redistribute what you found to your friends.
Either group would call the police and have you escorted out, or they would shoot you in the face for breaking and entering. Private property is the American dream. It is how we do things and why everyone hates property taxes. Some of the most left-wing Americans enjoy private property. Even President Obama did not appreciate people hopping the fence to the White House.
Another twist on this debate is that Anarchists and socialists alike would have you believe that if you support closed borders, you are dictating to them what they can do with their private property or simply telling them who they are allowed to let on their private property. This is just silly because no one is saying any such thing.
Let me get some definitions out of the way. Private property is a legal designation of property ownership by non-governmental legal entities. Regarding land, these legal designations are deeds, which are legal documents that transfer that property ownership from one person to another. This transfer is usually an exchange: money or other assets for a property. Of course, property is one of the few things we have an inherent right to pursue (Hamilton, 2008).
Most would agree that the right of ownership of property is unalienable, beginning with each of us owning ourselves and extending to material and private property. This is constitutionally correct. Again, we all have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of property” – words made famous by John Locke.
Most would also agree that once ownership of an item or parcel is determined or agreed upon, the scope or sphere of influence over that property remains with that individual or voluntary organization that purchased it and remains with them alone. This, too, is constitutionally accurate. However, as a result, a defined limit of or sphere of influence is created; a boundary, or better said, a line that marks the limits of that particular area.
These particular lines on a map are legitimate for this very reason. These lines were plotted out by the previous landowner or government and then recorded. Sometimes these plots are sold to the people if held by the government, or sold to the government if held by the people; and yes, sometimes even stolen as long as the owners receive “just compensation” or justice (eminent domain).
Regardless, the recorder of deeds is a government office tasked with maintaining public records and documents, especially records relating to real estate ownership that provide persons other than the property owner with real rights over that property. This allows constitutional law enforcement when someone infringes on that so-called arbitrary line. Or better said, this creates proof (held by a non-competing party) that demonstrates that your property is, in fact, yours and that you can legally or constitutionally defend it — not a bad insurance policy.
Forgetting for a second that law is a system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes, and forgetting that private land has recognized boundaries because of that law, and forgetting that it is our Founders who fought to ensure our right to pursue property; we need to understand that private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity. This is usually where the hang-up is for some folks.
The debate seems to be that private property lines on a map are very real, but national or state lines on a map are not real. Consider this; in a republican form of government, said government is comprised of the people. If the public property is paid for by the people via taxation or even by protection, and held by public law, and for the other reasons already presented, then by logic alone, would that not mean it was essentially still privately held by that collective and hence not some imaginary line?
Let me reword this a bit. If property rights remain with an individual or voluntary organization, and individuals voluntarily organize as a nation on that purchased property, does that not make such lines entirely legitimate? Of course, it does. If the property was purchased from another entity or government, didn’t an actual sale and exchange for deed occur? Of course, it did.
So as logic dictates, a nation such as ours is NOT comprised of imaginary lines. Whether you want to recognize that line is irrelevant because it still exists. If you choose not to volunteer or participate any longer, you have the right to leave or go to some other piece of land with “imaginary lines” or a border of some kind.
As far as the United States is concerned, the fact remains that our borders are authentic lines that separate our constitutional area of influence from some other areas of influence. This is critical in the United States, considering the alternatives. For instance, due process under Mexican law is not the same as due process under U.S. law, as Mexico is not a common law country.
To further that point, the U.S. subscribes to case law and statutory law; set forth by our Founders and our Constitution. Mexico, on the other hand, subscribes to a civil law system that is derived primarily from Roman law as outlined in a compilation of codes and statutes called Corpus Juris Civilis, which was refined in the French or Napoleonic Code of 1804 – you know, the kinds of laws where women are property and minors do not really have rights and so on (Avalos, 2013). Now ask yourself, have you ever heard a story about the Mexican judicial system that was a positive one? Are you beginning to understand the importance of the sphere of influence, the boundary, the line?
You may not like how the government operates inside these lines. You may not like those who are in charge inside of these lines. I must agree that things have not been going as our Founders intended within our borders, and it sure is not going as lined out in our Constitution. However, this can be changed, but we must first stop blurring ideology with fantasy. We will never correct our problems if we refuse to see the world for what it is. Lines are not imaginary if private property is real. It is that simple.
Leaders will always be a factor to contend with simply because of those who insist on following. Agreements like the Constitution will always be necessary when more than one person is involved or tasking another. Lines, borders, and fences are necessary; on any scale.
A conversation about borders would not be complete unless we discussed Criminal Immigrants. The phrase “Criminal Immigrants” stirs some emotions. I am well aware of that. So I hope you passionately consume what I am about to share.
As demonstrated, stated borders are necessary for numerous reasons, and we must understand that this debate is not about fear of being overrun by immigrants. Furthermore, it is not about Mexicans. Instead, it is about a dying dollar, high unemployment, illegal entitlements (forced redistribution of wealth), national debt, unfunded liabilities we already cannot afford or meet, limited resources, terrorism, and so on.
Aside from the fact that we cannot even take care of our own tired, hungry, poor, and sick – as evidenced by the homeless and the veteran populations – we need to understand that we are blindly letting in millions of people who come from places like Syria, Iran, Korea, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. This also includes people from El Salvador who also happen to be members of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang, a.k.a. the MS-13. This nation cannot afford what is about to happen to it in any regard, and it will only be made worse by adding these elements to it. That is the simple part.
Before anyone attempts to turn this into a racial or hate thing, let us get a few things straight here: according to Federal data, for quite some time, the United States has accepted two new immigrants for each additional job created since 2000 (Camarota, 2015). Additionally, for quite some time, ALL of the net gains in jobs since 2007 went to immigrants — both legal and illegal — according to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies (Camarota & Zeigler, 2014). Unfortunately, this also means fewer native-born Americans are getting work today than at the end of 2007. I hope that is something that anyone from either side can recognize as a problem.
Probably the most important point I need to make clear here is that the United States has more immigrants than any other country in the world and accepts more LEGAL immigrants than all other countries on the planet (López & Bialik, 2017). In fact, immigrants living in the U.S. have more than quadrupled since 1965. Think about that. Of course, we are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. Any resident of this nation (regardless of position or origin) needs to recognize that everyone else will be expected to follow those laws as well. Furthermore, enforcement agencies need to level set if they are expected to enforce the laws we task and pay them to enforce.
Think about these Sanctuary Cities for a moment. If a leader does not want to follow laws and criminal immigrants do not want to follow them either, this creates a problem for the rest of the law-abiding. It also creates a problem for law enforcement officials. As a result, both the leader and criminal immigrants get a pass and are rewarded for their efforts. Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens continue to be taxed and fined for everyday infractions. Keep in mind that the United States continues incarcerating more of its citizens (per capita) than any other nation on the planet. The situation is currently hypocritical and confusing, and it does not make sense when you examine the whole.
Our supposed leaders– who insist on calling this nation a democracy – continue to exploit the people without recourse. They will not enforce the most fundamental laws regarding criminal immigrants, especially when it equates to another illegal vote for their party. Yet, they will throw the book at someone or even kill them without due process if that person disagrees with the establishment or attempts to stand up against such tyranny. This is madness, and it must be stopped. To stop it, we must be willing to face certain truths. This will require thinking deeper.
I was recently asked why I use the term criminal immigrant instead of illegal immigrant or undocumented worker, as if my term was too harsh. I want to take a moment to clarify this.
To begin with, it is not harsh at all. It is just a fact derived from the definition. I like using clearly defined words so everyone can be on the same page. The term undocumented means “not recorded in or proved by documents.” While it is true that criminal immigrants do not have the necessary documents, that part is simply a result of breaking certain laws in the first place. Their stay’s true nature is much more than having pieces of paper with their name on it.
The term illegal means “something that is contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law.” This is actually more of a statement. For example, infringing on the Bill of Rights is against the law and, therefore, illegal, so you have to use a different word for the person who commits the illegal act. This is simple English.
Now, a criminal (by definition) is “someone who has committed a crime” – a crime, of course, being “an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law.” Using the definition, we can see that these people came here illegally because they did not go through the proper channels to get their documents, making them criminals. I am sorry if some do not like the word. However, I will not change the English language to make someone feel better.
The follow-up question is often regarding which laws any of these people have supposedly broken. It is a good question, and I will answer it directly. Those who are here illegally have usually broken many laws, which may include, but would not be limited to, False Personation of a U.S. Citizen (18 U.S.C. § 911), Fraud and False Statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001), Social Security Fraud (42 U.S.C. § 408), and more importantly (8 U.S.C. § 1325), which “sets forth criminal offenses relating to (1) improper entry into the United States by an alien, (2) entry into marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws, and (3) establishing a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading immigration laws“. I am sure you can begin to see why I call them criminal immigrants – because that is simply a more accurate term.
Allow me to digress and be very blunt for a moment. I can be pulled over for something as arbitrary as not wearing a seatbelt or speeding, and I can be fined or even jailed for it. Simultaneously, criminal immigrants can break federal law in felony class numerous ways and numerous times and be selectively forgiven. I call it unfair, racist, and unconstitutional bias! I do so because it is a breach of Constitutional law. After all, such behavior or action would be repugnant to the idea of equality. Of course, any law repugnant to the Constitution is void – if you trust the Supreme Court.
If we are going to allow free rein, we must also abolish the laws that make such actions unfair, such as entitlements (just for example). That’s right! If we want to open our books, we must remove the illegal redistributive programs exploited by citizens and non-citizens, eliminate the laws that are only being enforced when it is convenient or profitable, and perhaps even end this failed war on drugs. Let’s do it for the Greater Good.
I know everyone loves the Greater Good argument until they realize they are the branch that needs to be trimmed. We should seek TRUE equality – not in money, but in Rights. Then, of course, the argument comes up that “equality would allow their citizenship and voting rights and school, etc.” Good! Let me be clear; few are opposed to these folks gaining their citizenship and the services mentioned; I believe most would want them to do it through legal means and by following the laws of the land – like every other citizen is expected to do. It is not any more complex than that. I think most citizens are just tired of hearing stories about law enforcement officials having to defend their release of a criminal immigrant who was booked on theft charges, only to be arrested for murder weeks later when the truth of the matter is that person was in the United States illegally in the first place (Coffman, 2017).
Now, with all that being said, this may all be a moot point. I do not believe that private property currently exists in this oligarchy we live in. Consider what happens if you do not pay your rent (property tax). So perhaps the lines are already irrelevant. Obviously, this is not how it is supposed to be. This supports my property tax complaints.
That part of the debate has raged on for quite some time. For instance, Ron Paul has said numerous times that property tax (among several others) is unconstitutional. Even the Texas Supreme Court was once forced to rule that the way property tax was utilized was unconstitutional (Castro, 2005). However, few pay attention to this, and everyone has an excuse as to why they are not involved in correcting it. Do not forget about the Federal Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that stated that a direct tax on the “income of real and of personal property” was “unconstitutional and void (“Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Company 158 U.S. 601 (1895)”, 2016).” Of course, a few years later, that was nullified by the shady and underhanded Amendment XVI to the U.S. Constitution (which I am surprised still exists at this point).
Anyway, the point is that all of this can be changed. This can all be corrected. We have to be willing to stand together for a common cause and try to be knowledgeable about what we want and what we are asking for. We also need to be knowledgeable and rooted in reality to create viable options that people can stand behind. And finally, we need to be united – not divided. Yes, we can fix our problems.
With all that being said, understand that there are a few things we have to get straight. 1) Excessive taxation is a crime. 2) Big government and redistribution are not the answer. 3) These extreme ideas, such as socialism and Anarcho-Capitalism (or even representative democracy), will only worsen things. And 4) blind nationalism and historical ignorance are a big part of what got us here. And nothing screams this point louder than witnessing black men or teachers bring up certain injustices while wearing Che Guevara t-shirts. My advice: have an intimate knowledge of what you follow, whatever it is.