Friday, October 15, 2010

An Excellent Analysis of Why Open Borders Work

The Future of Freedom Foundation has done an incredible job explaining to us why open borders work and how closed borders are harming our country and harms any country trying to force people out. Another way of putting this is that America does not belong to anyone in particular - but it does belong to anyone who wants to work and live in freedom. There are two parts to this article and you can find it at THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM FOUNDATION.

Imagine you were born in a part of the country where farming was no longer productive, or in a rust-belt town where the local factories had closed. You hear of good jobs in California and Colorado, so you decide to move. How would you feel if, when you arrived at the state line, you were denied the opportunity of a better life because you happened to have been born in a different state? Welcome to what it is like to be Mexican.

Freedom of movement is one of the most basic human rights, as anyone denied it can confirm. Yet governments obstruct people’s movement across borders in all manner of arbitrary and iniquitous ways. They require that people prove — how? — that their lives are in danger before admitting them. They determine which family members are permitted to join their relatives and which are not; Danes’ non-European spouses cannot come to live with them in Denmark unless both are age 24 or more. Americans’ foreign girlfriends and boyfriends also struggle to gain admission; the rules for foreign pets are laxer. Those seeking to come to work are vetted through a byzantine set of rules and quotas that delight bureaucrats, lawyers, and lobbyists, but deny most people the opportunity to better themselves and do untold damage to the U.S. and global economy.

Immigration controls are generally seen as normal, reasonable, and necessary, but in fact they are economically stupid, politically unsustainable, and morally wrong. For a start, the freedom to leave a country and enter another is the ultimate safeguard against tyranny. Throughout history, emigrating has often meant the difference between life and death: remember the Pilgrims who set sail on the Mayflower, the Huguenots who fled France to take refuge in England, and the Jews who escaped Nazi Germany. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the shameful recognition that governments had conspired to send countless Jews to their deaths by denying them refuge led to their signing on to Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” In practice, though, this right is often honored in the breach.

While it is vitally important that asylum-seekers are able to seek refuge abroad, fear of persecution is not the only legitimate reason that people might want to cross national borders. They might be seeking a better job. They might want to be with the ones they love. They might simply want to experience something different. And why shouldn’t they be able to?

Those fortunate enough to be rich and highly educated take it for granted that they can move around the world more or less as they please. They vacation in Mexico, safari in Africa, even go on trips around the world; they increasingly work abroad for periods of time; and some end up settling elsewhere — like the many Americans who now live in London, and the many Londoners who now live in the United States. Why, then, do we seek to deny this right to others?

Opponents of open borders often respond that Americans aren’t actually free to go where they choose. They point out, correctly, that one needs a visa to go to many countries and that the Chinese government, for instance, may very well deny you one. But why should America be basing its policies on what the Chinese government does? Should the United States deny people freedom of speech because the Chinese government does so? The point about universal human rights is not that they are necessarily universally applied, but that they ought to be. That others fail to apply them is not a reason for the United States to fail to do so too.

Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own.” But what is the right to leave a country if one cannot enter another? Since even international human-rights law does not give people the right to cross borders freely, the United States should lead by example, by passing a constitutional amendment guaranteeing open borders.
READ THE REST - Open Borders Work- part 1
Then read Open Borders Work - Part 2.

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