Resisting Authoritarian Immigration Policies for Fun and Profit

So, you’re living in a geographical area swayed by a strongman with the political philosophy of Benito Mussolini and the immigration policy of a collapsing empire. Things are getting pretty bad pretty quickly. What do you do now?

You don’t want to sit by and do nothing, surrendering your humanity and freedom and virtue while a thug in a suit hurts hundreds of thousands of people.

You also don’t want to march in circles and wave signs, waiting in vain for some political savior to come and actually do the work of change.

Somehow you have to stick it to the man and resist injustice while living and acting within your own circle of control (and creating value, having fun, etc). The first part is easy. The second part is harder.

It’s not common to find an intersection of your own personal power and legal, peaceful ways to oppose a government’s policies. There happen to be dozens. Here are just a few things to ponder and then do as you’re able:

1. Check your philosophy.

Don’t support the expansion of state power when your team is in charge or your cause is at stake. The arc of the power universe is short and bends toward injustice like this.

2. Rethink your relationship to law enforcers.

Don’t report people to the police for non-violent “offenses” like drug possession or use. Easy. Rely on and interact with law enforcers as little as possible, even if it means bringing more responsibility for self-defense and peacekeeping into your community.

3. Build and migrate to the free digital world.

Build or work with or support or use software and software companies that make it easier to work and live in a digital world without borders (e.g. Skype, GitHub, etc.)

4. Hire undocumented people.

Be willing to hire (or purposefully set out to hire) undocumented workers for things if they’re good at those things – contractors, freelancers, day laborers. Pay in cash if you can.

5. Exit the controlled financial sphere

Use bitcoin. Accept bitcoin. Maybe teach other people how to use bitcoin. Give undocumented people one savings and payment alternative to heavily-controlled banks, which are often inaccessible to them, or check-cashers/money transmitter types, which are often expensive:

6. Get a very good accountant (or get smart about your taxes).

Find every legal way to pay as little in taxes as possible. To the extent possible for you, don’t fund the wall expenses which may be approved (or any of that other awful stuff that already has been).

7. Make new friends 

Befriend illegal immigrants in your circle of control. Give them your phone number. Vouch for them. Help them find jobs. Maybe help take care of their children.

8. Help out the targets of the state.

Volunteer with or support groups that work with undocumented people. Provide voluntary alternatives to government programs, which have been and still are great ways to build lists of undocumented, deportable people.

9. Show people a different way.

Help your temperamentally nationalistic or protectionistic friends get to know undocumented people and their stories. Help those same friends to get to know some economics of immigration. Start with Bryan Caplan:

10. Innovate around the state, help people, make money

Start or work with or use companies that can create unique value for communities of undocumented people – maybe a ridesharing company (see Arcade City) to make transportation cheaper for people who can’t get driving certification.

These are just a few ways to take action without waiting on permission or writing incessant blog posts. They should keep me busy enough. Call me out if I spend the time I should be spending doing these ten (and others like them) on writing more blog posts about the government. We all know something is wrong. We aren’t very good at doing good things quietly.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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