A columnist Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times recently made the case for open borders.
Since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, immigration has become one of the most polarizing issues in America.
On one hand, President Donald Trump wants to bring some semblance of order to America’s broken immigration system and shift towards a skill-based system.
Democrats and members of the far Left want a system that encourages unfettered mass migration. Above all, migration from the Third World due to their voting patterns.
Manjoo puts forward the following vision:
Imagine not just opposing President Trump’s wall but also opposing the nation’s cruel and expensive immigration and border-security apparatus in its entirety. Imagine radically shifting our stance toward outsiders from one of suspicion to one of warm embrace. Imagine that if you passed a minimal background check, you’d be free to live, work, pay taxes and die in the United States. Imagine moving from Nigeria to Nebraska as freely as one might move from Massachusetts to Maine.
The columnist believes that the American system “assumes that people born outside our borders are less deserving of basic rights than those inside.” He also complained about the “bottomless unfairness” and “by mere accident of geography, some [immigrants] were given freedom, and others were denied it.”
Manjoo believes that because of countries like India and China “with their billions, are projected to outstrip American economic hegemony within two decades” the U.S. should consider opening up the floodgates to mass migration.
His message is “Let them in.”
To be clear, the U.S. should be attracting skilled labor.
Unfortunately, the current system’s emphasis on family reunification and the maintenance of a welfare magnet tends to attract sub-optimal migration patterns. Europe has already shown firsthand what happens when welfare and mass migration are mixed—ethnic ghettoes and growing social instability.
However, to characterize Trump’s immigration plan as racist is simply misleading. What his plan stresses is the need for skilled migrants and those who actually bring value. These are the immigrants that should be targeted and the red tape that prevents them from easily entering the labor force should be lifted.
But it would be a mistake to treat immigration like a human right, and let as many people in the country as possible especially in the context of a mass democracy with a welfare state.
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