My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.
– Hillary Clinton in a May 16, 2013 speech to Banco Itau, a Brazilian bank.
Why would a globalist like Hillary Clinton share this position, if the outcome was a smaller, reduced state and greater individual freedom?
At this point, it’s safe to say we all know the answer.
Let us be totally blunt about this; open borders in the modern context does not mean people coming and going as they please into areas where they are welcome by those already living there. When translated from libertarian table-talk into real world application it transforms into a situation in which people from one area can enter another region, uninvited and against the consent of those there, to subsist off of their resources and enjoy extra-legal protection under the guise of political correctness. It means parasitical elements of humanity swarming like locust to countries where they can live off of the labor of others who are forced to accommodate their invaders by their governments.
I’m sure someone will point out that totalitarian countries have closed borders, but I would point out their border policy emphasized keeping people in, not out. The Berlin Wall wasn’t constructed to prevent West Berliners from entering (though that was the pretense); it was to keep East Berliners from leaving.
People talk about freedom of travel or freedom of movement, but this is a simplistic, facile perspective. People don’t just move; they travel with intent. A man who enters a country with wealth or the desire to produce wealth is not equal to one who enters with the intent of living off the wealth of others there who cannot escape the state violence that makes their wealth available for legal plundering.
As long as we’re going to have a state monopoly on border protections and a welfare state, we have to figure out how to separate the one from the other.
Open borders reminds me of what the Spartans used to tell Athenians who bragged about their democratic process; try practicing it in your home. (paging Mark Zuckerberg).
This is why Murray Rothbard switched his views on immigration and borders shortly before he died. What works in theory and within a coffee house conversation doesn’t always pan out in real life with equal success.
Open borders violates the rights of those within them by allowing others to come in uninvited and steal their property. Closed borders violate the rights of those within by preventing them from leaving or inviting someone onto their property.
Secure borders operate in a similar way as a gated community by allowing anyone to leave but creates a screening process for those attempting to enter as a way to ensure the property rights of those within those borders are protected. You cannot just enter a gated community uninvited and squat on the land or consume resources.
Libertarians should support the third option.