Sunday, 25 August 2019


From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Trade Unionists Against Mass Immigration (Part 4)
THIS IS the fourth part of a series entitled Trade Unionists Against Mass Immigration. It should be read directly on from part 1 http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-trade-unionists-against-mass-immigration-part-1 part 2 http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-trade-unionists-against-mass-immigration-part-2 and part 3 http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-–-national-liberal-trade-unionists-–-trade-unionists-against-mass-immigration-part-3 Originally called The Left Case Against Open Borders https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2018/11/the-left-case-against-open-borders/- it was written by Angela Nagle for American Affairs, a ‘quarterly journal of public policy and political thought.’ Angela Nagle is a graduate from Dublin City University (DCU) in Éire.

We feel that it’s important to stress that the NLTU is not a socialist trade union. But that doesn’t mean that we’re in favour of capitalism – in fact, we hate it with a vengeance! We are interested in (and promote) social and economic ideas like distributism and social credit which are neither capitalist or socialist. Indeed, we feel that capitalism and socialism are merely different sides of the same coin. National Liberal Trade Unionists are interested in distributism and social credit as they go way beyond capitalism and socialism. We seek economic self-determination, personal sovereignty and individual liberty for everyone. We’re not in favour of either big business or big business micro-managing how we lead our lives – and that includes what we can think and say. In short, we want freedom.

The NLTU might not agree with everything Angela Nagle writes. However, in the spirit of comradeship, free thought, free speech and open debate, we feature her article below. We invite our readers to share their thoughts when this article is reproduced on the NLTU Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/groups/277840098977231/ – and the NLP Facebook site – https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/ It goes without saying that there are no official links between Angela Nagle, American Affairs, the NLTU and the National Liberal Party. Please note that the NLTU has kept the original US spelling and phrases as they are.

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The Left Case Against Open Borders – By Angela Nagle (Part 4)

Corporate Interests and Moral Blackmail

Angela Nagle (left) notes that the policy of open borders has no public mandate. And as the poster (right) clearly suggests, National Liberal Trade Unionists blames the capitalist system (and its agents of whatever political hue) for Britain’s social and economic problems. It cannot be stressed enough that the NLTU is bitterly opposed to the system of exploitation known as mass immigration. However, we’re not opposed to individual immigrant workers as both they - and indigenous workers - are being used as mere pawns in a game. The name of the game is excessive profit and immigrants are simply being used to plug holes in an increasingly ageing workforce. They’re increasingly becoming the new wage slaves and tax payers whose only real job is to keep the elites in the style they’ve been accustomed to. With this in mind, we oppose all forms of exploitation and hatred whereby ones race, ethnicity, nationality or religion is used to pit one worker against the other. Once again, the NLTUs anger is directed against the capitalist system and not immigrants themselves.

Open borders has no public mandate, but immigration policies that place the burden of enforcement on employers instead of migrants do attract overwhelming support. According to a survey by the Washington Post and ABC News, support for mandating use of the federal employment verification system (E-Verify), which would prevent employers from exploiting illegal labor, is at nearly 80 percent—more than double the support for building a wall along the Mexican border (1). So why do presidential campaigns revolve around building a vast border wall? Why do current migration debates revolve around controversial ICE tactics to target migrants—especially when the more humane and popular method of placing the burden on employers to hire legal labor in the first place is also the most effective? (2) The answer, in short, is that business lobbies have been blocking and sabotaging efforts like E-Verify for decades, while the open-borders Left has abandoned any serious discussion of these issues.


Recently, the Western Growers Association and California Farm Bureau Federation, among others, blocked a bill that would have made E-Verify mandatory, despite several pro-business concessions (3). Democrats seemed totally absent from this debate. As a result, workers from economies devastated by U.S. agriculture will continue to be invited in with the promise of work in order to be cheaply and illegally exploited. Lacking full legal rights, these noncitizens will be impossible to unionize and will be kept in constant fear of being arrested and criminalized.

It has now become a common slogan among advocates of open borders—and many mainstream commentators—that “there is no migrant crisis.” But whether they like it or not, radically transformative levels of mass migration are unpopular across every section of society and throughout the world. And the people among whom it is unpopular, the citizenry, have the right to vote. Thus migration increasingly presents a crisis that is fundamental to democracy. Any political party wishing to govern will either have to accept the will of the people, or it will have to repress dissent in order to impose the open borders agenda. Many on the libertarian Left are among the most aggressive advocates of the latter. And for what? To provide moral cover for exploitation? To ensure that left-wing parties that could actually address any of these issues at a deeper international level remain out of power?

The immigration expansionists have two key weapons. One is the big business and financial interests all working on their side, but an equally powerful weapon—wielded more expertly by the left-leaning immigration expansionists—is moral blackmail and public shame. People are right to see the mistreatment of migrants as morally wrong. Many people are concerned about the growth of racism and callousness toward minorities that often accompanies anti-immigration sentiment. But the open borders position does not even live up to its own professed moral code.

There are many economic pros and cons to high immigration, but it is more likely to negatively impact low-skilled and low-paid native workers while benefiting wealthier native workers and the corporate sector. As George J. Borjas has argued, it functions as a kind of upward wealth redistribution (4). A 2017 study by the National Academy of Sciences called “The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration” found that current immigration policies have resulted in disproportionately negative effects on poor and minority Americans, a finding that would have come as no surprise to figures like Marcus Garvey or Frederick Douglass. No doubt they, too, would have to be considered “anti-immigrant” by today’s standards for warning of this.

In a public speech on immigration, Hillary Clinton said: “I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to try to kick them out” (5). In a leaked private speech delivered to Latin American bankers, she went further: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it” (6) (though she later claimed that she only meant borders open to energy). These statements, of course, drove the anti-immigration, pro-Trump Right crazy. Perhaps more revealing, however, is the convergence between the open-borders Left and the “respectable” pro-business Right that Clinton’s remarks epitomized. In a recent National Review article responding to Trump’s “nationalism,” Jay Cost wrote, “To put matters bluntly, we do not have to like one another, so long as we continue to make money off one another. That is what will keep us together.” In this monstrous sub-Thatcherism, the Buckleyites sound exactly like the liberal “cosmopolitans”—but without the glamour or flair for moral self-delusion.

As the child of migrants, and someone who has spent most of my life in a country with persistently high levels of emigration—Ireland—I have always viewed the migration question differently than my well-intentioned friends on the left in large, world-dominating economies. When austerity and unemployment hit Ireland—after billions in public money was used to bail out the financial sector in 2008—I watched my entire peer group leave and never return. This isn’t just a technical matter. It touches the heart and soul of a nation, like a war. It means the constant hemorrhaging of idealistic and energetic young generations, who normally rejuvenate and reimagine a society. In Ireland, as in every high-emigration country, there have always been anti-emigration campaigns and movements, led by the Left, demanding full employment in times of recession. But they’re rarely strong enough to withstand the forces of the global market. Meanwhile, the guilty and nervous elites in office during a period of popular anger are only too happy to see a potentially radical generation scatter across the world.

I’m always amazed at the arrogance and the strangely imperial mentality of British and American pro–open borders progressives who believe that they are performing an act of enlightened charity when they “welcome” PhDs from eastern Europe or Central America driving them around and serving them food. In the wealthiest nations, open borders advocacy seems to function as a fanatical cult among true believers—a product of big business and free market lobbying is carried along by a larger group of the urban creative, tech, media, and knowledge economy class, who are serving their own objective class interests by keeping their transient lifestyles cheap and their careers intact as they parrot the institutional ideology of their industries. The truth is that mass migration is a tragedy, and upper-middle-class moralizing about it is a farce. Perhaps the ultra-wealthy can afford to live in the borderless world they aggressively advocate for, but most people need—and want – a coherent, sovereign political body to defend their rights as citizens.

1 “Immigration, DACA, Congress, and Compromise Washington Post, Oct. 20, 2017.

2 Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny, “Do State Work Eligibility Verification Laws Reduce Unauthorized Immigration?,” IZA Journal of Migration 5, no. 5 (December 2016).

3 Dan Wheat, “Ag Groups Split over Latest House Labor Bill,” Capital Press, July 17, 2018.

4 George Borjas, “Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers,” Politico, September/October 2016.

5 Borjas.

6 Chris Matthews, “What’s Important about the Clinton Campaign’s Leaked Emails on Free Trade,” Fortune, Oct. 11, 2016.

• ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angela Nagle writes for the Atlantic, Jacobin, the Irish Times and the Baffler. She is the author of Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right (Zero Books, 2017).

• CHECK OUT THE National Liberal Trade Unionists (NLTU) here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/277840098977231/

• ALSO CHECK OUT issue 1 of Liberal Worker – Voice of the NLTU. To get hold of your FREE pdf copy, simply e-mail natliberal@aol.com
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