Originally Posted by brokencycle
How can a conservative who believes in free markets be opposed to immigration? What is immigration but a labor or human capital market? Conservatives always talk about how we need to allow for the free flow of capital across borders. Why not people?
The vast majority of mainstream conservatives are not pro free market, they're pro-business. Using government authority to stifle competition, drive up prices, etc, is a feature, not a bug.
Originally Posted by Piobaire
As an immigrant myself let me point out this argument is bogus. Capital is fungible whereas people are not. It is quite possible to believe in a robust immigration system but not have open borders. The robust immigration system will control for the fact people are not fungible and aim to make immigration aid the domestic society vs. the situation we currently find ourselves in where unskilled, uneducated labour flows freely across the border but we put up barriers for highly educated, highly skilled people to move here.
I think it's reasonable for nations to admit that the interests of their current citizens are important. Your citizens are not fungible with the world population, more efficient market or no.
Also you pretty much can't have a social welfare network and open immigration. That's probably a good thing in the libertopian model, but it breaks all kinds of systems in a realistic model. It's hard to even run a school system with open immigration.