Open borders or restricted immigration


One of the most contentious issues in America today is the open border policy of the Biden administration. For the fiscal year ending September 30 more than 2 million undocumented immigrants will have crossed the southern border, putting enormous economic pressures on border towns in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.  That’s more individuals than the combined populations of Wyoming, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.

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Migrants crossing the border have literally no more than the shirts on their backs, and presumably are coming to America to escape the poverty and lack of opportunity in their native countries, just like immigrants who have come to America since the founding of the Republic.

I was one of those immigrants who came to America with my older brother and parents in August 1949. My parents were the only ones in their respective families to have survived the Holocaust in their native Poland. In May 1946 my parents migrated to West Germany.  I was born a few months later in a small town outside of Munich.


Before I came to America in 1949

After living in West Germany for a few years my parents decided to come to America.  Dad wrote his great aunt who raised his mother in New York City in the early years of the 20th century.  She returned to Poland several years later, got married and raised a family.  Dad also wrote his first cousin who settled in Brooklyn (1946) about getting the proper “papers” to come to America.

Before we sailed to America in late July 1949, my father was interviewed about his World War II experiences, which he described in his memoir, We Dared to Live.  In other words, my father was vetted to make sure he was not a communist sympathizer, a criminal or had a communicable disease that would disqualify him for entering America.

We arrived in America on a hot August day and were met with my mother’s aunt and uncle from Paterson, New Jersey.  With about $150 in my father’s pocket, our family was assisted by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, HIAS, a nonprofit that was founded in 1881 to help Jews fleeing the pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe.  The organization’s tagline, “Welcome the Stranger, Protect the Refuge,” should be the foundation of America’s immigration policy.

How would this work?  If families and individuals want to come to America, they should be vetted in their home country and get a sponsor—or an organization like HIAS or other refugee social service nonprofit–in our country, who would take care of their needs when they emigrate to the US until they become financially independent.  In other words, no welfare benefits for immigrants.  Period.  Taxpayers should not shoulder the cost of new immigrants.

If undocumented migrants cannot be vetted in their native country, then they would have to stay in Mexico and be vetted there, which was essentially the Trump administration policy.

My proposal is a humanitarian approach to immigration.  It is not an open border approach, nor does it restrict immigration arbitrarily.  It would create order at the southern border and prevent human trafficking, which is enriching Mexican gangs and jeopardizing the lives of countless of individuals trying to enter America.

For two distinct libertarian approaches regarding immigration see Hans Hermann-Hoppe’sdefense of restricting immigration and Walter Block’s defense of open borders.  Ica

There are many questions that must be resolved, namely, what about individuals and families that come to America without being vetted and having a sponsor?  One approach is straightforward.  No possibility of becoming a US citizen.  Instead, the undocumented would be a “permanent guest” in America.  If an undocumented individual commits a crime, he/she would be deported.

We need a civil national discussion about immigration.  I hope the above proposal gets the ball rolling so to speak.  It is time for a common-sense humane immigration policy.

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Written by CONK!


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