Interview with Jacob Hornberger

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Continued from “Immigration Status Checks: an Employer Obligation?

Fergus: I’m preparing an article on the likely passage of an E-Verify mandate for all firms contracting with Louisiana (here). Gauging by your past correspondence (or “Hatemail” here), I suspect your organization would oppose this measure. Would you like to comment on why? Do you believe this invades privacy, burdens vulnerable people, impedes productive employment/commerce?

Jacob: Fergus, Thanks for your thoughtful email and inquiry. While I do not have the time to read this bill prior to your deadline, suffice it to say that as a libertarian, I would oppose any law that regulates commerce or abridges the free exercise thereof. I place economic liberty on the same level as freedom of speech, religious liberty, and political liberty.

Fergus: What would you suggest Louisiana elected officials do in response to the growing presence of illegal immigrants in the state?

Jacob: Lousiana elected officials (along with everyone else) should advocate open borders, which are the only solution to the immigration woes that afflict our nation. Embracing statism to solve the problems caused by statism only makes matters worse.

People are free to have whatever concerns they want, no matter how ill-founded such concerns might be. That’s part of what a free society is all about. By the same token, people should be free to speak whatever language they want. That’s part of what it means to be living in a free society. Today, there are more than million Americans living in Mexico and refusing to learn Spanish (and keeping their U.S. citizenship, cheering for American sports teams, and refusing to assimilate). Big deal. I say: Leave them alone. Libertarians hold that people should be free to live their lives any way they choose, so long as their conduct is peaceful.

Fergus: Would you respond to the concerns people have toward growing language difficulties and what they perceive to be a less lawful society?

Jacob: With respect to a less lawful society, we should begin with U.S. officials, who are refusing to obey the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land that controls them. They’re attacking countries without a declaration of war, they’re assassinating, people. they’re kidnapping and torturing people, secret prison camps – well you get my drift. Prosecute them and, if convicted, punish them.

Second, legalize drugs. This statist program has been an absolute immoral disaster. It is responsible for much of the violent crime in society. 45,000 people killed in Mexico in the last 5 years alone. Mind-blowing.

Third, end all consensual crimes and crimes arising from regulations, including insider-trading laws. Limit goverment to punishing violent crimes, such as murder, rape, burglary, theft, fraud, etc. When there are millions of regulations on peaceful activity, there are going to be millions of “criminals.”

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, with the mission to “advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.” He has a blog and daily email update, and you can follow him on twitter.

Fergus Hodgson is the capitol bureau reporter with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. He can be contacted at, and you can follow him on twitter.