Another Immigration Crisis “Solution”

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Thomas Friedman is the latest immigration-control advocate who has a “solution” to the decades-long, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis. In yesterday’s New York Times, he calls for a “high wall with a big gate.”

What does that mean?

It means fiercely enforcing America’s immigration-control system but, at the same time, just letting in more immigrants.

Wow! Why didn’t anyone think of that before now? That’s just brilliant!

Oh, wait a minute. I just realized that someone already did come up with that “solution.” That would be Jorge Ramos, the noted commentator for Univision. In the same newspaper — the New York Times — Ramos wrote that the solution to America’s immigration crisis is to simply let in more immigrants.

Hmm. Wouldn’t you think that Friedman would feel an ethical duty to credit Ramos for first coming up with this “solution”? Ramos’s article appeared on April 2 while Friedman’s article appeared on April 13. I wrote about Ramos’s article in a blog post dated April 5 entitled “Planned Chaos in Immigration.”

Ramos actually goes further than Friedman. Friedman simply says that immigrants are the lifeblood of America and, therefore, we need them. But nowhere does he say how many we need. Ramos gives the answer:  between 600,000-800,000 a year.

Okay, obviously Ramos isn’t too precise — that’s a big 200,000 spread. Nonetheless, let’s give him some credit for coming up with the number of immigrants that will finally resolve America’s perpetual immigration crisis. But how did Ramos arrive at that number? He says he got it from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Well, that resolves the matter, doesn’t it? If anyone knows what the right number of immigrants is for the United States, it must be the president of Mexico, right?

What nonsense. How can these intelligent people really believe that this is the solution to America’s decades-old, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis? Indeed, how can the people at the New York Times who approve op-eds for the paper not see how silly this nonsense is? In fact, what about all the talk about the need for “comprehensive immigration reform”? This “solution” sure doesn’t look very “comprehensive” to me.

There is but one solution to America’s perpetual immigration crisis. That solution is freedom and free markets, which means the freedom of people to cross the border back and forth without governmental interference. A free market decides the ideal number of people who cross borders. Through the law of supply and demand, the free market regulates the number and the flow of people.

Consider the Potomac River. It forms the border between Maryland and Virginia. Every day, countless people cross back and forth across the border. How many? No one knows. No one keeps count. No one cares. No one lives in fear that too many people from Maryland are coming into Virginia.

But the minute you were to impose a socialist immigration control system between the two states, there would be a crisis. That’s because the socialist central planners would not know how many Marylanders to let come into Virginia. People like Ramos and Friedman would be exclaiming, “Enforce the border but let more people in! Virginia needs them!”

How many? Who knows? Maybe Ramos would ask President Biden what the right number would be. Regardless, there is no way anyone could come up with the right number and the right credentials for people entering the state of Virginia. That’s the fatal defect in socialist central planning — the planner simply cannot know the right number or the right credentials, especially given constantly changing conditions in the market.

So, what would be the solution to the immigration crisis between Maryland and Virginia? Just dismantle the immigration-control system between the two states. Leave people free, once again, to simply cross the border freely.

That was the system that existed between Mexico and the United States from the time of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 to the early part of the 20th century. In fact, the Border Patrol wasn’t formed until 1924.

Amazingly, Ramos, who was born and raised in Mexico, doesn’t seem to have a solid grasp of this phenomenon. He writes:

When I was in elementary school in Mexico City, I learned that the signing that year of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo put an end to the conflict and the American invasion, and that Mexico was forced to cede 55 percent of its territory to the United States with a compensation of $15 million. Back then, the reality is that a lot of people didn’t cross the border. The border crossed them.

Ever since then, the border has been a region defined by both conflict and extraordinary brotherhood. And for as long as I can remember there have been debates over the people who cross the border from the south and how many should be allowed to do so each year.

I’m not sure what Ramos means by “The border crossed them” except maybe that he’s just being clever in stating that there was a new U.S.-Mexico border after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, a treaty in which the United States absorbed about half of Mexico. But it seems that he’s unaware (no doubt because of Mexico’s educational system) of the fact that there was a system of open borders from the time of the treaty in 1848 through the early part of the 20th century.

In other words, while there was a new border between Mexico and the U.S. after the Mexican War, people were still free to cross it, back and forth — for some 75 years! That’s a long time! Thus, when Ramos writes that as long as he can remember, there have been debates over the right number of immigrants to let into the United States, that’s obviously meaningless given that he’s not old enough to remember the open-border system of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. What’s amazing is that it seems that he might never have learned that such a system existed.

I will say it again: There is but one — repeat one — solution to America’s decades-old, ongoing, never-ending immigration crisis, including bringing an end to the death, suffering, and police state that come with America’s socialist immigration system. That solution is open borders — i.e., economic liberty and free markets — the right of people to cross borders freely. There is no other solution. The sooner mainstream journalists come to that realization, the better off everyone will be.

The post Another Immigration Crisis “Solution” appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

* This article was originally published here

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