Border Patrol and Property Rights

There was a story recently by John Ladd, an Arizona rancher whose land happens to lie along the U.S. and Mexican border.  While he “owns” the property, apparently Border Patrol agents don’t take property rights very seriously.

Ladd says that his property rights are violated every day.  Border Patrol agents drive vehicles through his property and fly helicopters right overhead, scaring his horses and cattle.  Ladd has even had some of his animals killed when hit by vehicles.

He also has dogs that used to roam free on the large property, but he has since had to build a fence to keep the dogs in a smaller area.  Border Patrol agents were threatening to shoot the dogs for going after them.  This might be understandable except that it was all taking place on Ladd’s property.

To top this off, not only are border agents physically violating Ladd’s space, they have also set up surveillance cameras, one of which is pointed directly at Ladd’s house.  In other words, he gets to feel the wrath of the federal government from all angles.

Ladd says that things weren’t always this way, especially prior to the 1990’s.  At one time, he says that ranchers from the U.S. and Mexico would help each other out.  Now it is more like some kind of a military zone.

The Consequences of Government Power

This is another example where we see government power being used against innocent people.  It is another example of where a government program does not produce the results of the stated intentions.

Immigration is debated heavily in the U.S.  But if you are in favor of closed borders or a tight immigration policy, you have to be careful in asking the federal government to accomplish this goal.

The government can’t keep drugs off the streets and it can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons.  It can’t bring freedom to Iraq and Afghanistan.  It can’t even operate a website for Obamacare.  Why would we think that the government can solve an immigration problem without there being severe negative consequences?

What are we willing to sacrifice in order to keep Mexicans from crossing the border?  Are we willing to give up a great degree of our liberty?  Are we willing to allow a massive fence to be built that could also be used to keep Americans in?

There is one thing where the government has been successful in stopping immigrants from crossing the border, although it has little to do with Border Patrol agents.  The lousy economy has deterred some Mexicans from taking the risk of crossing the border due to less opportunity for work.

The subject of immigration reminds me of terrorism.  This isn’t to equate Mexican immigrants with terrorists in any way, but there is a fear amongst many Americans of both.  It is an irrational fear for different reasons.  And in order to relieve some of that fear, too many Americans are willing to grant vast amounts of power to various government agencies.

Personally, I fear too much power in the hands of government agents than I ever would with a Mexican looking for work.

It is only in a welfare state where people fear poor people coming in and rich people leaving.  In a free society, there is no such concern.  A free society will tend to attract those who want to work and be productive.