This is an interesting essay generally but particularly as it comes from Lew Rockwell who is a longtime thought leader within the libertarian movement.
There is considerable debate around the issue of immigration among the pro-liberty crowd. Some see immigration as a freedom of movement issue. That movement across arbitrary lines in the dirt defined by the state as “borders” is not of terrible concern. Human capital should be able to flow like any other type of capital.
Some however see illegal immigration as something which perpetuates the state and crony capitalism. Rockwell argues that just as one has the right not to have people just flow through one’s front door (indeed that one has the right to defend one’s home vigorously), a similar right exists for the American people who polls show aren’t keen on allowing whomever is inclined walk through “front door” of the USA. (And then also to enjoy welfare state benefits etc.)
Of course there are a million other positions on the issue just within the liberty movement.
I should note at the outset that in searching for the correct answer to this vexing problem I do not seek to claim originality. To the contrary, I draw much of what follows from two of the people whose work is indispensable to a proper understanding of the free society: Murray N. Rothbard and Hans-Hermann Hoppe.
Some libertarians have assumed that the correct libertarian position on immigration must be “open borders,” or the completely unrestricted movement of people. Superficially, this appears correct: surely we believe in letting people go wherever they like!
But hold on a minute. Think about “freedom of speech,” another principle people associate with libertarians. Do we really believe in freedom of speech as an abstract principle? That would mean I have the right to yell all during a movie, or the right to disrupt a Church service, or the right to enter your home and shout obscenities at you.
What we believe in are private property rights.