Murray Rothbard on Humane Immigration Policy
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
It all boils down to this: In all the talk about freedom to leave or to enter, are we really interested in freedom, justice, and humanity, or are we only interested in scoring Brownie points in the Cold War game? If the former, we should not merely be content to condemn Russia or Cuba for not letting their people go; we should hail any occasion when some of their people do go, and we should welcome all of them to our shores with good fellowship and open arms. If we truly wish to be the land of the free, we must return to the traditional American policy before World War I of welcoming immigrants, of lifting our lamp by the golden door. America was built by immigrants, and we lost a good deal of our soul when the lamp nearly went out after World War I and immigration was sharply restricted by a combination of racism and labor union restrictionism. Let us return to our own noble heritage and be the beacon-light of freedom once more.
This is from Murray Rothbard, “From Cuban to American Socialism,” Reason, December 1980. It was highlighted today on the Reason web site here.