I’m not like many of my friends on the Right. I don’t really care about how many people are crossing our borders. I do not think that literal borders makes sovereignty, but rather a cultural identity and common interest. It’s a belief in life, liberty, and property that makes us Americans, not literal cartographical lines.
I would even be for open borders, but there are some problems with embracing this policy.
An open border paradigm allows immigration to be handled like the free market. If there is incentive to move here, people will move; and if there is no positive outlook, people will not move here. In other words, if there are jobs and opportunities here, people will come here…until there are no more jobs, or unemployment becomes more rampant, at which point they will stay. If moving here from Mexico meant being homeless, jobless, and on the street, people wouldn’t emigrate here.
BUT, as I said, there are some major problems with adopting this system now.
One is the security of the nation, not from immigrants, but from weapons and terrorism. We have a Terrorist Watch List for a reason—people who we don’t allow to fly into our nation, shouldn’t be allowed to walk into it. And, as has been recently demonstrated, ISIS agents could do just that. So we can’t literally eradicate border security, because we don’t want combatants entering.
But, I would also argue that this is a reason to move towards a more open border policy. If everyone were allowed to come through border checkpoints legally, then almost every immigrant would do that. Why risk the heat, danger, and apprehension risk of running across the border, when traveling through a checkpoint is legal? Part of the problem with border policing now is that there are just too many of them to catch. But, if the vast majority were traveling through checkpoints, then maybe we could catch the ones trying to come in and do harm. And at the checkpoints, we could use the same essential checklist that we use to verify people entering by flying into an airport. Making something legal doesn’t mean there can’t be checks for security.
The other important problem is with entitlements. We pay for undocumented aliens’ medical care (through ‘Emergency Medicaid’ and Obamacare); their education (6.8% of K-12 students have at least one undocumented parent); their infrastructure; their Driver’s Licenses (in many states); and their welfare benefits. The Heritage Foundation finds that, on average, undocumented family households receive $14, 387 in benefits annually. We pay for these things, because, while many undocumented immigrants pay some taxes, they do not pay all the same taxes as people here legally. Often paid under the table, they are less subject to income taxes, and they are less likely to pay property taxes.
I think this is where the Fair Tax comes in. The Fair Tax is a proposal that would amend the Constitution to get rid of the income tax altogether. It would replace it with a Federal sales tax on products. Check out their website (hyperlinked above) to learn more about the vast array of benefits for the Fair Tax proposal, but for now let’s focus on how it would affect the undocumented immigration problem. They wouldn’t have to be paid by a reputable company; they would just have to use their money to buy products at any store. Just like a State sales tax now, they would therefore by subject to the same taxing that we are.
Obviously, I would also like to eliminate many of the entitlement programs too, but I think it would be a start to have everybody pay their fair share first.
The point is, that I do not think we could have a fully open borders policy starting immediately. But I do think this should be the goal. The goal should not be endless debates on border policy, amnesty, reform, or security. The goal should be to create a free market border system.