Nations by Consent: Decomposing the Nation-State by Murray Rothbard
However, on rethinking immigration on the basis of the anarcho-capitalist model, it became clear to me that a totally privatized country would not have “open borders” at all. If every piece of land in a country were owned by some person, group, or corporation, this would mean that no immigrant could enter there unless invited to enter and allowed to rent, or purchase, property. A totally privatized country would be as “closed” as the particular inhabitants and property owners desire. It seems clear, then, that the regime of open borders that exists de facto in the U.S. really amounts to a compulsory opening by the central state, the state in charge of all streets and public land areas, and does not genuinely reflect the wishes of the proprietors.
Under total privatization, many local conflicts and “externality” problems—not merely the immigration problem—would be neatly settled. With every locale and neighborhood owned by private firms, corporations, or contractual communities, true diversity would reign, in accordance with the preferences of each community. Some neighborhoods would be ethnically or economically diverse, while others would be ethnically or economically homogeneous. Some localities would permit pornography or prostitution or drugs or abortions, others would prohibit any or all of them. The prohibitions would not be state imposed, but would simply be requirements for residence or use of some person’s or community’s land area. While statists who have the itch to impose their values on everyone else would be disappointed, every group or interest would at least have the satisfaction of living in neighborhoods of people who share its values and preferences. While neighborhood ownership would not provide Utopia or a panacea for all conflicts, it would at least provide a “second-best” solution that most people might be willing to live with.
To clarify Rothbard’s point it goes without saying there would obviously still be individual ownership of housing and property but those arrangements would not generally solve the ‘externality problem’ posited. Hans-Hermann Hoppe goes on to make essentially the same argument here.
In such a world what would immigration look like? How do the immigrants get there, wherever there is? It would be via land, air, or sea and it would involve voluntarily contracting for means of transport. Given economies of scale, the division of labor and specialization; mass transport services would likely prevail amongst consumers as the main means of long distance travel.
When the immigrants reach land they are going to reach someones private property. In order to enter the premises they would need to have permission (an invitation) to land or they are uninvited and trespassing. The property owner (or agent on their behalf) has the right to turn them or anyone away for whatever reason. Such agents representative of the business may be traffic controllers, or marine pilots. However, since these businesses are endeavoring to meet the needs of customers their policies would tend towards being as welcoming and least intrusive as possible. Security checks would not necessarily be uniform, the market would potentially range from no security to ultra security with consumers obviously having an actual choice.
Since there would be a myriad of different businesses and thus locations, a rejection from one does not entail a rejection from all. The libertarian position is neither “closed” or “open” borders, it is “no borders”. Thus the beauty of no state!