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News Link • Immigration

Property Rights, Liberty, and Immigration

• Glenn Jacobs
Libertarian philosophy is based on the concept of self-ownership. Human beings own themselves. When we rightfully acquire property, either by making first claim to that property (homesteading) or through voluntary transfer with another person or persons, that property becomes part of our lives, and thus we lay claim to ownership of that property as we would our own bodies. One of the problems that libertarians encounter when discussing various issues is determining ownership, or, in many cases, articulating the nuances of applying property rights to the issue. These problems are compounded when government is thrown into the equation since the same rules about property and ownership that apply to private individuals do not apply to coercive government. The hot-button issue of immigration is a great example, illustrating the complexities involved in applying property rights to an issue. Ownership means that one not only possess something, but one also controls the thing. In other

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