A Friendly Amendment on the Border Wall
By David Henderson
I’m guessing that pretty much everyone who reads this knows that some people have started a GoFundMe site to come up with voluntary donations for the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. Currently, it has raised over $12.8 million. Other people have pointed out that if they come up with enough money, it still won’t go to build the wall because if you want to donate to the government, the donations go into the feds’ general fund and Congress would still have to allocate money for the wall.
But there is one way the funds could be used to build a wall. That is, to use the funds to build parts of the wall on private property. Donald Trump has long been a fan of eminent domain and his plan is to have the government force private owners of land to “allow” the government to put up parts of the wall on their land.
Instead, what could be done is for the GoFundMe people to use the funds to buy permission from private landowners to build the wall on their land and to pay for construction of the wall. That way, no one’s rights are violated.
Moreover, as Robert Murphy has pointed out in arguing that the “Open Borders” idea is a bad idea and not libertarian at all, there is no way that people who own land on the border should be forced to let people, whether they be immigrants or American residents, on their land. So there should not be “open borders” unless the owners of the land want their border with Mexico to be open.
If the GoFundMe people used their funds entirely for construction on private land, after first getting permission from the owners, there should be no objection.