The Jury Talks Back


NYT Writer Calls For Open Borders To Everyone Who Wants To Move Here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:22 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The New York Times, demonstrating once again that diversity does not include political thought, published an op-ed by recently hired columnist Farhad Manjoo, who attempts to convince us that open borders would be a good thing for the U.S.:

[T]here’s one political shore that remains stubbornly beyond the horizon. It’s an idea almost nobody in mainstream politics will address, other than to hurl the label as a bloody cudgel.

I’m talking about opening up America’s borders to everyone who wants to move here.

Imagine not just opposing President Trump’s wall but also opposing the nation’s cruel and expensive immigration and border-security apparatus in its entirety. Imagine radically shifting our stance toward outsiders from one of suspicion to one of warm embrace. Imagine that if you passed a minimal background check, you’d be free to live, work, pay taxes and die in the United States. Imagine moving from Nigeria to Nebraska as freely as one might move from Massachusetts to Maine.

There’s a witheringly obvious moral, economic, strategic and cultural case for open borders, and we have a political opportunity to push it. As Democrats jockey for the presidency, there’s room for a brave politician to oppose President Trump’s racist immigration rhetoric not just by fighting his wall and calling for the abolishment of I.C.E. but also by making a proactive and affirmative case for the vast expansion of immigration.

It would be a change from the stale politics of the modern era, in which both parties agreed on the supposed wisdom of “border security” and assumed that immigrants were to be feared.

As an immigrant, this idea confounds me. My family came to the United States from our native South Africa in the late 1980s. After jumping through lots of expensive and confusing legal hoops, we became citizens in 2000. Obviously, it was a blessing: In rescuing me from a society in which people of my color were systematically oppressed, America has given me a chance at liberty.

But why had I deserved that chance, while so many others back home — because their parents lacked certain skills, money or luck — were denied it?

When you see the immigration system up close, you’re confronted with its bottomless unfairness. The system assumes that people born outside our borders are less deserving of basic rights than those inside. My native-born American friends did not seem to me to warrant any more dignity than my South African ones; according to this nation’s founding documents, we were all created equal. Yet by mere accident of geography, some were given freedom, and others were denied it.

This is so stunningly naive, convoluted, and simplistic, it boggles the mind. To Manjoo, any border security by default, is bad, immoral, xenophobic, and flat-out un-American. To which I say, tell that to Americans who have lost loved ones at the hands of immigrants who should not have been in the U.S. in the first place. While Manjoo wants to put out the welcome mat to anyone and everyone, those walking through the devastating aftermath of the unnecessary loss of their loved ones might see it a bit differently. Their loved ones are dead, but they would not be dead if that immigrant had not unlawfully crossed the border into the U.S. They would not be dead if that immigrant had been prevented from crossing the border through stricter security measures. Period. In the minutiae of border discussions, this pivotal point is conveniently ignored by individuals like Manjoo and the open-borders crowd. It has to be. To confront it would be to accept that the argument to open the border is severely flawed.

I’m uninterested in taking time to debate Manjoo’s claims, one by one, because the inherent dangers and risks that come with open borders speak for themselves. This is some childish pie-in-the-sky thinking that, when we apply basic common sense, becomes self-refuting. With that, it will be interesting to see if and when the new progressives in Congress make their move toward an open border. They will not only have to successfully convince the hoi polloi that this is a viable policy position in the best interest of the U.S., but also convince their own leadership, including Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, both of whom supported legislature to provide border fencing in 2006. (See Secure Fence Act of 2006.)


Officer Singh was a legal immigrant from Fiji, who like Farhad Manjoo’s family, jumped through the necessary hoops to become a U. S. citizen. This unlike Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who illegally crossed into the U.S. via the Arizona border and has been charged with the murder of Officer Singh. Because Arriaga should not have been the U.S. in the first place, Officer Singh’s death was preventable.


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