Sara C. a student at a local high school had to write a school report about immigration. She asked me to answer some questions for her so she could have both sides in her paper. This is my reply:
Excellent questions. I'll be happy to answer them for you via email.
1) We have 12 1/2 percent unemployment in California. Won’t open borders make it more difficult for American workers to find jobs?
"Open Borders" is an ethical imperative. Peoples color, religion or place of birth should not determine the outcome of their lives. (Read More)
2) Many of the immigrants who come have little if any education, and bring a culture which doesn’t emphasize education, isn’t there a danger of merely increasing numbers of workers who won’t have the skills to add to our economy?
Again economic arguments don't trump ethical arguments. Fortunately in this case economics aligns with ethics. The USA has always always allowed relatively high levels of immigration without becoming a nation of paupers. Why would it be different now. According to statistics recent immigrants are less likely to be on welfare than "Natural Americans." Our economy is open to the flows of money and goods. It is only with people that we try to restrict the flow. So a job making batteries can move to China because there aren't enough people willing to do it in California but a person who is willing to work making batteries can't move here from Mexico to do the job. Who gains from that logic. With regard to the "education culture" canard this has been used on every immigrant group that nativists has opposed. Our culture is superior that is why people chose to leave their ancestral homes and move here. We win but it is a struggle.
3) With terrorist threats high, isn’t a policy of open borders an invitation to expose our country to the danger of infiltration by those who intend to injure us?
the easiest question to answer. "Open Borders" doesn't mean not knowing
who arrives. It means registering and welcoming all responsible people
who arrive. A more open immigration policy would reduce the number of
people who slipped into the country without registering.
4) What exactly is wrong with the way the present immigration system works now?
immigration system fails in almost every way. It fails to allow
seasonal circular migration from Mexico. It fails to allow the best and
the brightest from around the world to move here and contribute. It
fails to allow peaceful hard working people to move where they choose.
It makes us have ICE (what my friend calls "the American Gestapo") and
build walls. Our system in the USA treats people, ideas and capital
better than almost any other one in the world and as a result people
want to move here and be part of the it. Our immigration system should
be organized to facilitate that movement not thwart it.
5) Everyone else in the world doesn’t allow open borders, why should we?
In the words of Steven Weinberg (Nobel Prize
winner in Physics) "If any one idea can justly be called the American
idea, it is that a child's circumstances at birth should not determine
the station in life that child will occupy as an adult." Allowing a lot
of immigration has been in the best interest of the USA for centuries
and it will continue to be. The right to migrate is a freedom that most
people don't yet have. Immigration is an individual good and a benefit
to countries that allow it. We are on the right track.
I hope this helps. Keep the questions coming.