Libertarians’ views of immigration

Below are listed some extremely well known and influential libertarian thinkers (not necessarily known for their stance on immigration) and their views on immigration. For a list of contemporary libertarian (and other) thinkers who have advocated for open borders, see the pro-open borders people page. For more on the libertarian case for immigration, see libertarian case.

Thinker name Birth and death years Views on immigration
Frédéric Bastiat 1801-1850 Bastiat did not directly cover the topic of immigration much, but some sources interpret his writings as supportive of free migration.
Milton Friedman 1912-2006 Supported open borders conditional to dismantling of the welfare state (which he also supported). More details here.
Murray Rothbard 1926-1995 Started out as pro-immigration, but came out in opposition to open borders in his later life. He formulated and inspired many of the anti-immigration arguments based on the anarcho-capitalist counterfactual, a thread of argument taken up by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. More on Rothbard’s views here.
Ayn Rand 1905-1982 Herself an “illegal immigrant,” Rand supported free immigration. More here.
Friedrich Hayek 1899-1992 Viewed free immigration as desirable in the long run but felt that open borders at present might lead to a nativist backlash, according to this source.

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