James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Am I for Open Borders?

I received some letters from my latest Rockwell piece (Monday's "Two Third Parties") criticizing my supposedly utopian view of open borders.

Putting aside the theological thrust of my meaning in the article, here are four reasons why I'm not threatened by immigration, and why attempting to solve it will just create more problems than it solves.

1. Government is incapable of shaping or protecting culture, but can only reflect it, or, in the case of the nation-State, destroy it. If our culture is under attack or in decline, no law or government program is going to stop it. British show business people and intellectuals probably have done more damage to American culture - even when staying in England - than the guy who made my burrito.
2. My experience in my neighborhood has been peaceful co-existence and friendly civility. In the past, Jews, Italians, Irish, and Chinese have thrived in our country. They're not the ones who initiated whatever violence and discriminations they suffered, but succeeded in spite of them. Our most serious ethnic conflicts have always been black-white,not American-immigrant. In other words, I don't think it is utopian day-dreaming to tolerate open immigration, or believe that tribal civil war is just around the corner. We are too economically integrated for that to happen. If nations that trade freely with each other never go to war against each other, why would neighbors?

3. Considering our vast coastlines and extensive borders, I can't for the life of me figure out how to stop illegals from coming in without a government response far bigger, and just as futile, as the war on drugs. Even if in principle the borders ought to be protected, there's the question of how.

4. Like any libertarian, I support the repeal of anti-discrimation laws and of the welfare state. I support decentralization of government, and the restoration of property rights and freedom of association. And even the privatization of roads. Open borders end where private property begins.

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