“The solution to America’s immigration problems is open borders.”
That’s the opinion of one Jeffrey Miron of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank funded largely by the Koch brothers. It is perhaps no coincidence that Miron’s essay hit the pages of USA Today on Wednesday, only a few days after a Koch summit in Colorado which saw the Republican Party’s richest donors go full infidel, threatening (and indeed, promising) to support Democrats who more closely aligned with their agenda. The same week in which Trump himself weighed in, calling the Koch’s a “total joke” in Republican circles – a team of billionaires that he had defeated time and again. To come out in a major newspaper for open borders? Well, that’s about as far away from the Trump agenda as you can get.
The question is: Besides anarchist leftists, who is really buying this nonsense?
Miron starts with the genius assertion that the moment you legalize all immigration, there will be no more illegal immigration. Brilliant!
He then moves on to an economic argument:
Expenditure on immigration enforcement would shrink to nothing, because open borders means no walls, fences, screening at airports, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), deportations, detention centers or immigration courts. A 2013 report estimated that immigration enforcement cost more than $18 billion annually, and standard indicators suggest costs have grown further since then.
Last year, U.S. employers filed over 336,000 petitions for H1-B visas for highly skilled foreign workers, but only 197,129 were approved. Complicated visa rules — for tourists versus job-seekers, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workers versus agricultural laborers, and students versus non-students — would all vanish. This would save resources and give employers new access to talented human capital.
Ha! Miron thinks that talented “human capital” is going to come flooding across the border the day we get rid of all immigration laws? Oh, we’re quite sure there will be some talent in the mix. Some of the most talented criminals in the Western Hemisphere are just waiting to come to this country and do to the United States what they’ve already done to Mexico, El Salvador, Venezuela, and any number of other Central and South American countries you wouldn’t visit without a team of bodyguards. One wonders: If there’s all this talent and genius waiting to be unhatched in these countries, why are those countries in the shape they’re in? Hmm, must be something magical about U.S. soil that transforms ne’er-do-wells from all over the world into productive, contributing citizens.
Open borders is such a non-starter in this country that it’s hardly even worth getting into how stupid this idea is. And yet, there is certainly an element on the extreme left that would love to see this become a major platform of the Democratic Party. Now, apparently, the Kochs and their weird version of globalist libertarianism are ready to join the circus.
Well, if we didn’t already know that this version of Republican ideology was dead, we know it for sure now.