Open Borders? Think Again.

Often I ran into well-meaning, warm-hearts filled with nothing but good intentions who defend and propose that the USA is big enough for everybody and that we should not shun the poor and that would be a great benefit to us if we had open borders, that is, according to their own definition, anyone from any country should be able to walk here first, then get documents later, and attempt to find fulfillment for whatever they could not achieve in their own country of birth.

Many people have a sort of self-righteous stance on the matter and often will use the poor as a reinforcement for their arguments.

Well, Saints, these very same people also have a list of preferences for other causes that are dear to their hearts. Often I have to dialogue with these people in a way that they understand that, if they are really faithful to the other causes along with the poor, gays, minorities, etc. as it relates to the open boarder issue, the very last thing in the world that they should wish for is an open boarder. I reproduced on Facebook a recent dialogue that I had with an open boarder advocate who is also an advocate for gay rights and the conversation went this way:

Person to me: I wish we had open boarders, I am in favor of open boarders. The USA should open their boarder to anyone who wants to come in and work here. We should be taking care of the poor.

Me: Good, I really admire your good heart. But allow me to bring a few thoughts to you especially considering the fact that you are a gay issue advocate. Is that okay?

Person: Yes.

Me: Let us suppose we open the borders. No more immigration and that documents should be issued once a person is here. Consider the possibility that a great number of these people are from a region of the world and grew up thinking that gays should be hunted and killed and at a minimum outlawed; Also let’s suppose that the other group that also enters the gates of the USA with no need for processing and immigration rules, is from a Latin American country dominated by the Roman Catholic Church from the most extreme wing of it, that teaches that gays are “right down there” in rank with the devil on things to avoid.

Continue in that thought and another question is raised: How laws in the USA are enacted? You know, by the legislator which is voted by the people. If these foreigners that came here receive all the benefits of an American Citizenship eventually they will vote. Voting they will elect like minded politicians; Politicians will then legislate according to their constituents. So, naturally it would be expected that these politicians would not only outlaw gays but perhaps even promote persecution against them. Would you like this kind of country?

Person: I don’t think so.

Me: Do you still want to be an advocate for open boarder?

Person: (after a moment of silence) Now that you mentioned, I don’t think so.

This is not a straw-man argument! If you have not witnessed what is going on today in America and Europe with cultural shock as being the background of all sorts of conflict and even riots, you are not paying attention; these things are almost already here! This can happen and would happen if we would allow anyone to come to the USA with their own culture, own outlooks, on world vision. As bad as it is, let us allow to USA to remain as it is and let the laws as they are, and let those already acclimated with its culture and tradition to have a say as to whether we should enact laws to oppress one group or another, for any reason whatsoever. Laws will be vetoed; the minority will have a say, and no one group will be able to change the Constitution on its own.

We can change in my dialogue above the word “gays” to ” blacks, the poor, Jews, Christians, Muslims, women, the physically disabled” and pretty much all of them can be in danger depending on the dominant culture or ethnicity that predominates our country. That without mentioning that they will war against each other!

Oh, someone is already raising the banner of racism on me (which doesn’t work for me) accusing me of suggesting that foreigners that enter our culture will somehow attempt to take over our society with their laws and cultures and that I prejudge certain cultures as bad. No I don’t, I just prejudge them as different and a difference that may not be desirable to many. If you think I am wrong, do yourself a favor: Go to Oklahoma where Muslims are in court battling for the acceptance of Sharia Law; Check the good and faithful Muslims truck drivers that refused to deliver alcohol (good for them, by the way) and were fired, then sued their company and won the lawsuit forcing their employer to make accommodations and maintain employees who will not do their jobs; think about all the Skin-Heads that enjoy Free Speech in this country as it is today. Now imagine for a second if these people become majority. Unless you are one of them, it would not be the prettiest of all pictures for many of us! I not going to apologize for stating a fact!

If you are an open border defender, think again! Be careful for that which you wish! (I hate prepositions in the end of the sentences. If ever have a majority one day I will outlaw it!) 🙂

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23 Replies to “Open Borders? Think Again.”

  1. These hypotheticals could have been prevented if Native Americans had tougher immigration policies in place when Europeans first arrived!

  2. Yes, this is a straw man argument.

    First, surely no one is arguing that “anyone from any country should be able to walk here first, then get documents later”. Rather, they are arguing that anyone should be able to get documents in advance, or perhaps at the border, and then enter legally with proper documents.

    Then, as far as I know no one is arguing that these newcomers should immediately be given American citizenship with all its privileges. At best, I would think, they should be offered green cards. Green card holders can apply for citizenship after five years, but there are many conditions including proving an understanding of American culture. I would hope that after five years in America the great majority of these people would have learned that prejudice is unacceptable. It is at best fanciful to suggest that these newcomers would form a majority sufficient to overthrow the currently broadly accepted norms of American life.

    For me, the main issue with open borders is that such a policy would have to be coordinated internationally, to ensure that no one country is overburdened with too high a proportion of the many people who might want to flee there if they could.

    1. Not only does the history of immigration into the United States make for an interesting read, it also reveals two sometimes wholly incompatible trends. One is an affinity for cheap labor. The other is xenophobia. Depending on the political winds of 19th century, everyone from the Irish to the Chinese were either welcomed with open arms or treated like diseased rats. Islamics and Hispanics are merely the latest in a series of despised newcomers. Even those Americans whose ancestors were here before Europeans arrived have been treated as an invading horde some of the more recently arrived.
      Yet, the fact remains that the United States is predominantly a land of immigrants. Some were free; some were indentured. Others were criminals and slaves. None arrived because things were going well for them on the old country. For the most part, they were looking for a new beginning. Perhaps it is not too much of an exaggeration to say even a new birth. Regardless of their reason for coming, for better are for worse, they have all made America what it is today.
      Every generation of new arrivals has brought with it new ideas. Some, such as 19th century Catholicism and early 20th century socialism were perceived as being every much a threat to the status quo of their day as Muslims and Hispanics are today. Then, as now, most of the paranoia coalesces around a paranoid white population.
      Thus, one of the worst mistakes the United States can make is to repeat the folly of once powerful Span in trying to purify the nation in a misguided attempt to stamp out diversity and impose compulsory uniformity. For it doing do, when coupled with its loss of a thriving middle class, the catastrophic effects will drop the United States into the ranks of the also-ran among nations as it slips into mediocrity.

    1. Not when Europeans first arrived! Remember the scenario surrounding the first Thanksgiving? How about the Lost Colony? Then, there was the mostly forgotten Mississippi Company. The ramifications from that little misadventure echoed all the way through the 18th century and eventually toppled a superpower of its day!

      1. Correct. Agreed! If I may risk to be unsuccessful here in an attempt bebe humorous, I really find it amusing that most people who bemoan what the Europeans did to the Native Americans then, now enjoy the benefits of that “evil” fully… Wouldn’t it be better just to get out of here and allow the descendants of the Native Americans to take over? Isn’t it to late to all of a sudden to correct the incorrectable? Just saying…

        1. There are truly tragic parallels between what has done to Native Americans in 19th century America and what was done to the Jews in 20th century Europe.

  3. Peter, you wrote: “First, surely no one is arguing that “anyone from any country should be able to walk here first, then get documents later” do you really know that? You said “no one”.Wow that is really broad
    Not a straw man argument. I repeat, check France, England, and other countries. Australia perhaps is the wisest for that matter. They promote a few of the controls you suggest, but they admit that it has failed!
    The remainder of your post can be resolved very easily: Enforce the current laws. I don’t know how much you know of the current laws, but they are as good as one can get if the borders were secure! Even the numbers that you suggest by calling it “high proportion” it is in the law. I am an American Citizen, but I needed to be an legal immigrant for 5 years before earning the citizenship right. Today I work with immigration attorneys one way or another; believe me, the “high proportion” notion is already in the law; there are “per year” numbers from each nation! Enforcement is the issue! Someone wisely said: Republicans want immigrants to work (cheap labor), but not to vote; Democrat want immigrants to vote, but not to work (as they would compete with the Unions). So, the immigration issue is the rotten meat of a political sandwich!

    1. You certainly can’t walk into the UK, my homeland, without papers – except perhaps from the Republic of Ireland. Yes, within much of western Europe borders are now completely open, but you can’t walk into that area from outside without a visa, or one of a small number of foreign passports. Perhaps some want the US borders to be as open as those internal borders, but at least the first step would be to allow in anyone who has a valid passport from any country.

      Meanwhile I know quite a lot about the current US laws, as the holder of a non-immigrant visa (E-2 spouse) who would like to find a legal way to be an immigrant, i.e. to get a green card, and after five years the chance of citizenship. But who really wants enforcement of the current laws? As you say, Republicans pay lip service to wanting this but in fact want the cheap labor undocumented immigrants. Currently a large majority from both main parties wants to see immigration reform – not open borders, of course, but at least a way for those undocumented immigrants to have some kind of legal status. Sadly at the moment the Tea Party bigots seem to be blocking this, but that could yet change.

      1. The world of “Papers Please” largely began after World War I. Over time, it has simply grown more restrictive. The next step will probably be imbedded chips!

      2. Last month, I was called to be on Federal jury duty. The pool of jurors was told the defendant was caught and deported. Then he was caught a second time, and was now on trial, to which he pled innocence. Beyond that, I do not know the details. Being interviewed in the pool, I said I could not be impartial, since I tended to not consider it a crime to cross the boarder. I was released from jury duty. Hypothetically, would you send him to jail if he crossed the boarder for a job, or to see a relative?
        Plus the cost, an army of boarder patrol, sensors including balloons with surveillance, in the court, paying lawyers, the judge, a pool of jurors. Building a fence for 2000 miles that is ineffective. This is a travesty.

  4. All those arguments have been answered at length, e.g. at or by Bryan Caplan over at Econlog. The economic benefits to immigrants, 99.9% of whom are peaceful, are so great that, to have a case against immigration, you would need more than vague fears that immigrants will vote to turn America into the country that they had to leave because of dysfunctional institutions.

  5. “you would need more than vague fears that immigrants will vote to turn America into the country that they had to leave because of dysfunctional institutions”
    This argument is great and it is akin to wishful thinking. I wish, we all wish it was that way. Try some real research, without the weight of political mambo jumbo, and attend a rally (hopefully with an honest translator) or some foreigners. as a foreigner myself I did! The mockery, the condescension American culture, the “we do everything we want and if someone do not accept we call our lawyers and sue them” type of mentality is obvious. From “individual warmth” to things they would like to see in the supermarket, and without going into other details, some groups want America do 1) be the country they wish theirs was; 2) Incorporate in American culture whatever little they liked about their country. – But NOT America as it is! This is not be demonstrated in talking with them individually; this will be, however, evident when you interview a significant number of them or participate in their meetings and gatherings speaking and understanding their language. If is foolish to think that 99,9% of foreigners who come to American want America to be America; they come here for the opportunities and not because they abandoned their loyalty for the former country, a la Iranians who left their “beloved” America during the Ayatollah’s revolution. Interviewing perhaps hundreds of illegals, they tell me “I don’t want to be America, I just want an opportunity to work here for a while then go back to my country, buy a piece of land and raise a family and have a little farm..” Good dream but not necessarily a long term loyalty to America and America values. As a Muslim is his country goes to war against his and be not surprised by the majority of the answer! Research!

    In the other hand, looking upon foreigners as an “economical advantage” not only makes any argument in favor of their welcoming “tendentious” but it is also as condescending as the Democrat politician in Florida who last week defended immigration by asking “where are we going to get our maids…” and things to that effect. Again, the double talk about immigration is not helping the immigration issue at all! I want foreigners here who will help us to get ahead in the field of technology, engineering, computer science, medical science, etc. and they are all as capable of doing this either below or above the Equator, then anywhere in America!
    The current laws if enforced resolve the issue of numbers, of capabilities, skills and how they will cooperate with America’s success, such as technicians, artists, doctors, and people to execute jobs where there is no offer in the American community, and that for a period of time, the new immigrants will not allowed to expect, apply or receive any government help. We can’t import poverty; I am sure that are plenty of poor people in America for America to help. So, unless anyone tries, who can say that the current laws do not work? Who can say that our current laws are xenophobes if it hasn’t been fully implemented yet?; Why do we want an existing law if we are not enforcing the ones that we already have in the books? Oh, what do to with the existing illegals? Easy, give them a probationary period, a pathway to citizenship (to those without a criminal record, which includes repeated offenses of drunk driving), but enforce border security; just don’t leave it as it is; we already are in a state of open borders!!!!!

    1. Those who say “I don’t want to be America, I just want an opportunity to work here for a while then go back to my country” will not apply for American citizenship, and won’t be accepted if they do apply. Meanwhile are a few ethnic foods in the grocery store really a threat to the American way of life? And who do you think they pick up their litigious attitude from? At least they are prepared to do dirty work, which Americans turn their noses up at while still claiming welfare.

  6. Oh, BTW, being a court translator (among my different activities) has enabled me to talk with hundreds of foreigners from North and Central America, in Spanish and Portuguese and a few times in Italian. I am also involved with Arabs and Europeans, in other activities. So I am not taking my arguments from the proverbial top hat…

  7. Gary: It is always better in intellectual debate not to assume something about a person or a respondent, or a debating opponent; also it is always better to present one’s ideas without labeling the ideas of others,or even the issue being debated such as ” a travesty” and point to the weakness of the other person’s ideas without presenting yours… That’s why I have kissed brevity goodbye.i often explain then explain the explanation 😉 . I have deep and sincere respect for those who engage in debate and cannot just gloss over their arguments when they are made without assumptions and clouding the issue with the “this doesn’t work” argument without a positive idea. Tell us what you would think it would work. You my just have the solution! Who knows?

    1. “Tell us what you would think it would work”…sorry, I do not have any solutions. I’ll leave that to experts. My main point was that I cannot sentence someone to jail for the government definition of the crime of crossing the border. If the guy stole a car here, or robbed a bank, I’d throw the book at him. If he crossed the border for a job, or to see Grandma, I would not deport him, and I certainly wouldn’t put him in jail for x number of years, and I wouldn’t want to clog the courts with this nonsense. 🙂 or pay someone to be a court translator for a crime trial, when the crime is walking across our non-DMZ called the border.

  8. “Those who say “I don’t want to be America, I just want an opportunity to work here for a while then go back to my country” will not apply for American citizenship, and won’t be accepted if they do apply. Meanwhile are a few ethnic foods in the grocery store really a threat to the American way of life? And who do you think they pick up their litigious attitude from? At least they are prepared to do dirty work, which Americans turn their noses up at while still claiming welfare.”

    Good Peter! Allow me to quote your entire text here because it is very good! No sarcasm here! However the politicians are deciding what kind of status immigrants will have to accept and not them. That’s my point! They want their votes and voting rights are given to citizens alone, so politicians are seeking their best interest not those of the immigrants. I often say that anyone who sees a politician coming towards the illegals with promises and think that he wants to help them is like the man who was drowning and bleeding in the ocean and he sees an enormous bull-shark speeding towards him and thinks the shark is there to help! No, as to the ethnic food. It is not a threat and I accept the implication here because I may sounded as if I was saying it, but, no, I wasn’t saying it! I wish you were here! People who diet sue Burger King and McDonald because it doesn’t have a line of food that is suitable to their lifestyle… I love foreign food, Arab, specifically because Americans have not yet managed to americanize it! Foreign food is not a threat, but a treat!
    Your remainder comments are right on the money, correct! No discussion or argument needed!

    Thanks again!

    1. I agree a lot more with this, Milton. The current pro-immigration advocates are, very sensibly, appealing not to the immigrants’ votes but to the economic benefits for the USA as a whole of allowing much more immigration, and current undocumented immigrants to stay. Of course that is not the same as open borders, but the arguments for that that would work are economic ones.

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