Depending on how one counts Taiwan, there are either 196 or 195 sovereign nations on Planet Earth. When one looks at a map one sees lines around various parcels of the planet. Those little lines are typically defended by armies and navies.
Do any of those 196 (or 195) nations have truly open borders. The answer is a RESOUNDING “NO!” Why is that, ask you? And why not, ask the liberals?
It is interesting that liberals (progressives) are typically also statists. Yet they ask why we shouldn’t have open borders. The answer is simple enough. With open borders there would be no “State” for them to support as “statists.”
[Source: Are there countries with open borders where citizens can come and go freely, and visitors doing the same including working and settling down? Answer by John Burgess, Former US diplomat with experience primarily in the Middle East]
Among the powers of any sovereign state – and certainly one of its most important – is to determine who is a citizen of that state. While it is true that nations vary in their methodology, there are no countries that have fully open and free borders. None!
This constitutes one of the very few things upon which every nation on Earth agrees!
Progressive/statist/altruists espouse open borders. But such a policy is inimical even to their distorted notions of “state.” Let’s say anyone can move into the United States and have the rights of citizenship – including voting. Progressive/statist/altruists look at the current milieu of illegal immigration and like what they see. Why? Because they believe these “immigrants” will support their socialist, redistributive goals.
The most basic concern of any nation is that some large country, with politics inimical to its own, could simply shift a large number of its population to the target state and take over its political process. The states are particularly concerned about those who seek to permanently immigrate and have devised complicated control measures.
It doesn’t take much imagination to think what would happen if, for example, China decided to send tens of millions of their citizens to the United States. The electoral process, as we have known it, would collapse.
The closest thing to “open borders” is the European Union (EU). Most countries in the EU have signed the Schengen Agreement. This agreement allows people living in countries which have signed the agreement to travel freely (without visas) to other countries that have signed the agreement. Thus, the EU can be thought of as one “country.” However, the EU requires visas for travelers from outside that region.
The circumstance in the EU is similar to Americans traveling state to state without visas.
Arguments for controlled borders and against open borders are as follows:
- Controlled borders encourage responsible policies in relation to population and birth rates for countries by preventing high population and high birth rate countries from disgorging their people onto other low population and low birth rate countries.
- Open borders can be a threat to security and public safety. The threats to security and public safety can sometimes last many decades after the initial immigration. The Mariel boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans in 1980. Nearly 3000 of the refugees were classified as serious or violent criminals.
- Open borders can lead to infrastructure deficit in a country. This occurs when large scale migration occurs but the infrastructure to support that migration does not get built.
- As these “immigrants” often are the poorest they require social services that then deny these needed services for nation’s poor citizens.