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JLeslie's avatar

If there was no terrorism or war in the world, would you be in favor of opening all borders?

Asked by JLeslie (59833points) October 25th, 2015 from iPhone

I’m just curious if threat of war and death is the biggest deterrent for you, or if economic concerns are more the worry? Or, maybe some sense of national pride, or fear the country you live in, and are familiar with, would change too much.

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18 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

There would still be large difficulties involved with open borders. Everything from economic disruptions, through the elimination of national sovereignty as the first world is swamped with the world’s poor. The threat from transmissible diseases alone would be a public health nightmare.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

No. And I am no racist either. If there was jo crime would you be in favor of leaving your home’s doors and windows wide open?

Buttonstc's avatar

To quote from a poem by Robert Frost: “Good fences make good neighbors.”

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

No. The wealth of a nation belongs to the people who built it, and the claiming of that wealth by others amounts to theft. Excessive immigration also leads to cultural erosion, especially when certain migrant groups show no interest in assimilation into the culture of the place they chose to migrate to.

stanleybmanly's avatar

We shouldn’t be too harsh. It isn’t that immigrants are claiming the wealth. It’s more like borrowing. They or their children will participate in the building, and for the most part the society will be better off due to their arrival. It’s certainly been the case for this country. It’s the word excessive that worries me. In truth the United States could absorb the entire population of Syria easily if we could distribute the newcomers evenly. We’re going to see whether Germany & Sweden can pull it off. It’s a very brave thing they’ve undertaken. I’ll tell you this. No one is going to beat the Germans at efficient allocation of resources or solving the logistical problems involved. We should watch closely and learn, for our turn is certainly coming (if we’re lucky).,

JLeslie's avatar

Your answers make me wonder if everyone is assuming country lines would still be there, just anyone can come in or out, or do you picture no definition of countries at all in this scenario?

@FireMadeFlesh Are you under the assumption mostly the poor will be the ones moving to different territories/countries? I wasn’t even thinking that way, but of course that makes some sense. If borders were open I think people at all class levels might move around just for the life experience, curiosity, or a love for a certain locale.

Your cultural comment was interesting to me. America is a country of immigrants, and we certainly talk about becoming Americanized and assimilation, but I hadn’t thought about the culture changing because of immigration until you mentioned it. Maybe Americans have less fear about it, because we have such a diverse population? Or, at least we Americans who live in diverse parts of the country, or have parents, grandparents, and great grand parents who were immigrants themselves.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course it’s going to be either the poor or the persecuted that drive migration. And who persecutes the rich? And there is great resistance to immigration in the United States.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly Do you perceive the US resistance as a statement about cultural change? Or, more the economic consequences?

In my idealistic mind I feel like over time if immigration was wide open people at all economic levels would be moving around. Just like how Americans move from state to state. If my husband and I could move to Europe or Australia without worrying about legal status and be able to work, I think we would have done it for a few years.

tinyfaery's avatar

Borders? Imaginary lines made from greed, selfishness and xenophobia. The earth belongs to all creatures. I see no borders only misguided people.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie there’s more than just a failure of idealism involved with resistance to unfettered immigration. There is an irrefutable argument that the influx of undocumented people in this country is in large part responsible for wage stagnation in the United States. The argument that illegal immigrants are necessary to do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do is bullshit. The truth is that undocumented immigrants TRANSFORM jobs that Americans were formerly happy to do into subsistence work at slave level wages. And don’t think for a moment that this is true only for those jobs at the bottom. It may be politically incorrect, but nevertheless true that any category of enterprise in this country that can’t be offshored will find itself subjected to staffing by people born and residing in depressed regions of the world. The United States is a huge siphon of the desperately needed professional talent in 3rd world countries. There is for instance a huge and critical shortage of nurses in the Philippines, despite the fact that the country churns out bumper crops of nurses who overwhelmingly grab their newly printed nursing degrees and head straight to the airport for jobs in the United States. The same holds true for folks in India with computer skills. In other words, while open borders might assure a leveling out and more equitable distribution of the world’s wealth, for those nations at the top (like us) it would mean an immediate and catastrophic collapse in OUR standard of living. In fact it is fair to argue that this is happening anyway, and borders merely force our own trip toward poverty to advance more slowly.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly I have had many nurses from the Philippines tend to me here in the US, so I know what your talking about. We recruit them. My sister says she is a minority being a white nurse in NYC, and she has instances where she felt discriminated against, although never has she mentioned it was by people from the Philippines, it was other groups. She believes white and black Americans stop doing some jobs, because it gets kind of taken over by an immigrant group and then it feels odd to be the minority, the “Americans” don’t identify with the position for themselves anymore. Add to it if that minority group constantly communicates in a foreign language, fewer and fewer “Americans” identify or desire that job. However, I would argue the more diverse it is, the less problem it is.

I feel illegal immigrants are all too often treated like slave labor, it’s one reason I want to give them legal status.

I realize suddenly tearing down borders would be difficult economically, but back in the day borders were more porous in America.

Note: I put American in quotes above, because the people referred to from other nations could easily be Americans also, but American in quotes signifies the stereotypical white or black 3rd+ generation Americans. Fundamentally, I consider anyone who is a citizen an American, I don’t care when they came here or when their family came here, but I didn’t know what other way to describe what I meant.

kritiper's avatar

No. Just removing terrorism and war from the equation wouldn’t stop the crime, dishonesty, and underhanded dealings. Healthy economies need borders.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritper So, your fear is a bunch of hoodlums and mafia would be moving around the world?

msh's avatar

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world….
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one.

J. Lennon.

stanleybmanly's avatar

He was indeed a dreamer. Poets and musicians can afford to dream, and one or two of them can get quite rich doing it. The reality however is rather dismal in a world of finite resources and an exploding populations. We’re facing an interesting but precarious near term future.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@JLeslie I live in Sydney, Australia. This means two things. First, we have large numbers of people that get on leaky, dangerous boats to come here via Indonesia. We have an immigration policy that is designed to act as a deterrent to people considering the voyage. Second, I live in one of the most culturally diverse cities on the planet. My opinions below are not typical of my country, but they are what I have observed.

Regarding the first point, of course Australia is a prime destination for immigration. But we’re also a long way from the world’s conflict zones. In order to come here, refugees must either be part of the official program, or they must come through half a dozen safe countries. Therefore they were safe before ever embarking on the voyage to get here. That means they’re not looking for safety alone, but also our economic advantages. Additionally, they regularly riot in our detention centres and burn down what we taxpayers have provided. Surely a safe haven with provided food and clothing should be something to be grateful for, even if it is surrounded by fences? As such, apart from our official refugee programs, an ideal immigration policy for my country would be biased towards those with skills we lack, or existing financial means. We’re a popular destination, so why shouldn’t we only take the people who can contribute the most to our society and economy?

Regarding the second point, we Australians pride ourselves on openness and tolerance. We have a proud history of immigration. European WWII refugees practically built our entire existing infrastructure and business environment. However in recent times, certain cultures have taken advantage of our tolerance to bring their intolerance here. Just this week, a primary school was found to be exempting Islamic students from participating in the national anthem. Parts of my city have whole streets where I can’t tell an accountant from a chiropractor, because I can’t read the signs. There’s almost an Orwellian editing of our history to avoid giving offence to cultural groups that show no tolerance themselves.

I am more than happy to continue our proud tradition of immigration, provided every new Australian satisfies two criteria. They must be willing to participate in our culture socially, rather than rebuilding the environment they sought to leave, and they must be able to benefit those of us who have already worked hard to build what we have. And to enforce such rules, we need strong borders.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie Yupper, that’s it.

SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

Open borders is an unrealistic idea. There are many problems with that, but simple-minded people cannot foresee them. Anyone needs to think long and hard about such things before he recommends them. Wars will never end, and neither will terrorism, so your question is illogical.

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