Mass Immigration is a Key Reason Residents of High-Tax States are Voting with their Feet

indexStephen Moore, a long-time libertarian crusader for mass immigration, accurately notes in a Washington Times op-ed that those who still can are getting out of high-tax redistributionist states. “Residents of high-tax states are voting with their feet,” he notes. What he fails to mention, however, is the reason for that phenomenon is that the growing number of people in those states who rely heavily on state redistributionist policies are voting…with their votes.

Moore and other libertarians, who detest nothing more than government wealth redistribution schemes, fail to grasp the fact that their open borders ideology is a mortal threat to their dream of smaller, less confiscatory government. In a democracy, people generally vote their economic interests and, as the number of people who depend on government services increases, they tend to elect people who tax those who have to provide for those who have not.

Immigration is a key factor, though certainly not the only factor, driving the growth of those who depend on government services and benefits for their survival. With the exception of Michigan, the states Moore highlights as having the highest levels of domestic out-migration – New York, California, Illinois and New Jersey – all have at least one thing in common: high concentrations of recent immigrants.

The three states receiving the greatest numbers of domestic migrants – Texas, Florida and North Carolina – are also experiencing large influxes of foreign migrants, but have yet to reach the political tipping point where the government- dependent have the voting clout to redistribute wealth through taxation. But it’s coming. Florida and North Carolina have turned purple in national elections and the wealth-redistributing, open borders folks on the left gleefully predict that it is only a matter of time until mass immigration changes the political landscape of Texas.

The taxpaying middle class is indeed voting with their feet. But Moore, and the libertarians at places like the Cato Institute, need to come to grips with the reality that if they get their way on immigration the middle class tax base will continue to shrink and there will be fewer and fewer places left for those who still earn enough to pay taxes to seek refuge.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    The whole immigration “reform” agenda is santuary states, who are all broke, trying to make it Federal so that non-santuary states can pay into the pot and bail them out of their own bad judgement. It’s called “misery loves company”.

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  3. avatar

    I’d prefer NO immigration from ANYWHERE, for a while… The Californians, North Easterners and East Coast have ALREADY polluted their own ponds… NOW their coming to Texas and TRYING to muddy up ours, with their liberal ideas… Texas, and Arizona should get EVEN tougher on “southern Migration” from liberal states,
    as well as fending off the GIANT SUCKING SOUND TO THE SOUTH…
    Hopefully…CHANGE IS COMING – if we can hold out until 2016…

    • avatar

      I live in Arizona and I second your call for TX and AZ to get tough. Whether we can block in-migration is another thing unless we can actually cut off all welfare benefits.

      I would further propose all REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT be halted. Here the State Dept and UN can place thousands of Middle Eastern and African refugees anywhere they chose in the US. Needtheless to say, these folks cannot be adequately screen by FBI and will be a drain on welfare funds.

  4. avatar

    People were leaving the blue states before major immigration issues started, but the problem has increased a great deal, especially with Californians. When NY, NJ taxes increased, the people paying taxes moved to FL and NC and Californians moving to TX and TN they brought their special kind of stupid with them. They continue to vote for liberal issues. Either it hasn’t sunk into their thick skulls that THEY are the problem, or this is liberal migration is simply a way of flipping states. Someone calculated that it only takes around 35,000 people to elect a president. You get the right amount of votes in the right cities/counties in a state with high electoral votes, it’s over.

    • avatar
      Deep in Dixie Now on

      Not only Progs are leaving CA, the last of the Orange County GOP is getting out too. In 2013 my husband & I finally got out of CA & relocated to the Charleston SC area. We are supporting Ted CRUZ for 2016 just as we would have in CA. The people in our SC town have welcomed us & I can’t tell how wonderful it is to be in a room where we are not the only Republicans. Please give your California transplants a chance, some of us have been on your side all along.

  5. avatar

    I just went to Atlantic City, NJ last weekend.

    It made news that Trump shut down his casino operation there recently. Yes, gambling may be a zero-sum game, but from what I saw, the futility of a gambling economy is probably not the reason Atlantic City is suffering after so many decades of equilibrium.

    What has tipped the balance is immigration. The boardwalk of Atlantic City was a sea of Muslims and Hispanics. There is no way a person would know that he is in America.

    I guarantee you that this mass immigration from the Third World is the primary reason for the fall of Atlantic City. The people the casinos and restaurants rely on to spend money have fled.

  6. avatar
    Jim in Virginia on

    It’s happening all across the nation. People for years have warned the country will be taken down from within. We’re seeing that now. Soon, there will be no place to relocate. I find it incredible that Republicans don’t realize that soon, they will take their place beside the Whigs. They have allowed this to happen for more than 6 years now. When Obama had his first amnesty in 2012, they sat on their hands, maybe made a little noise, but did nothing. So why wouldn’t Obama shoot for something bigger and more dramatic? He already knows the Republicans won’t do anything to stop him. Our Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves.

    • avatar

      The Republican leadership is pretty much scared of its own shadow. They’ve announced over and over that they will not “shut down the government” and will not “default on our debt”, which is code for saying Obama can do whatever he wants because we’re not going to use our main weapon under the constitution (power of the purse) to stop him. They needed to figuratively punch Obama in the mouth a long time ago and bring the government to a complete standstill and explained that they were not going to stand for his dictatorial actions. That would have required them to make their case to the American people and to stand firm on principle while all of the DC apparatus would be demonizing them. Sadly there aren’t enough statesmen in congress and there are zero among the Republican leadership. Now the Republicans are pretty much resigned to give Obama what he wants and just offer some meek criticism occasionally to appear to be opposing him. It’s like all the hearings they’ve been holding that have resulted in some peacocking in front of the camera, but no subpoenas or prosecutions. Who would have thought after the unbelievable IRS scandal that all these years later nothing has been done to address it?

  7. avatar

    Great overview of the situation in the country Ira. When things really start going downhill is when there is no where left to move to get away from states like California that have already been ruined by mass illegal/legal immigration.

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  9. avatar

    You have to wonder. Are guys like the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist really that stupid, or are they paid agents of the Democratic party? Either way, the effect is the same. The people they insist on allowing in by the tens of millions will become Democratic voters. The GOP will never be able to match the Democrats on immigration promises and that leaves the domestic issues. Issues where the new immigrants will eventually vote on the Democratic side. So the Republicans will have to move left on all those issues and that will be the end of the small government party all these libertarians claim they want. Cato, Norquist, the Koch brothers are all among the best friends the Democratic party has.