The Left and the Law: Open Borders

program date: 
Mon, 09/24/2012

Appellate lawyer Mike Snedeker and psychologist Jan Haaken, who recently returned from a Fulbright study of asylum seekers in the UK, discuss the arguments for open borders. They note that although the idea may sound radical, it was the US policy regarding immigration and both northern and southern borders until recently. Libertarians and economic conservatives have argued for the economic benefit of immigration even as social conservatives have opposed open borders. Ironically, there are now more people emigrating out of the US than immigrating in, but there is panic about defending and closing borders, suggesting a narcissistic fantasy that everyone wants to come to the US. They note the moral and economic arguments for crossing borders (asylum seekers or job seekers), the increased cost of crossing the border, the extraordinarily difficult situation of undocumented immigrants in the US, and the profits generated for private prison companies through the archipelago of detention centers.


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