If you think countries should have open borders, then Joseph Carens, a prominent political theorist, is on your side. But, why?
In the state of nature before society began setting boundaries for humanity into separate countries, everybody has equal moral worth and value.
In fact, isn’t restrictive citizenship almost the same as feudal birthright privileges? As such, Carens even goes as far as saying that political borders (i.e. countries, nations) are incompatible with the equal status of individuals!
The most fool-proof way to defend your argument is against people of all different perspectives and theories. This is exactly what Carens does. He shows that a utilitarian, Nozickian, and Rawlsian ALL lead to the same conclusion: countries should all have largely open borders!
Trump's Immigration Policies: A Debate
Overview of Trump Administration's Major Immigration Efforts (2017 - 2021)
By Sophia Zheng
Trump’s presidency is markedly known for its stark and distinct immigration policies, most notably the Mexican wall. We will break down Trump’s US-Mexico border wall and Trump’s immigration bans against foreign workers.
Although many see the border control issue as specific to Trump’s presidency, border issues have been relevant since 1924 with the creation of U.S. Border Patrol. Security ramped up even more with the September 11th attack. Trump’s border initiative is an extension of a history of immigration restriction.
With the border current costing $11 billion according to NPR, we ought to consider the pros and cons of the border. Mexico, unsurprisingly, refuses to pay for the wall, so the Trump administration tried hard to get Congress and the Democrat-controlled House to comply with funding. This stalemate only led to a government shutdown, in which Trump declared a national emergency to get access to funds for the border.
The pros of the border are increased national security, decreasing the costs of illegal immigration, fewer people attempting to cross, and less strain on government resources. However, the cons of the border are the international ruin of the U.S.’ global image, the ineffectiveness of border wall compared to the price tag, resorting to barriers rather than comprehensive immigration reform, and finally, human lives dying at the border. Environmentalists also strongly oppose the border because it hurts wildlife, migration patterns, and vegetation.
On June 22, 2020, President Donald Trump issued an executive order (EO) barring temporary foreign workers and suspended new work visas. According to Prithwiraj Choudhury, Trump’s executive order prevented nearly 200,000 foreign workers and their dependents from entering the United States. Major American companies could no longer hire skilled immigrants, resulting in a loss of $100 billion dollars in company valuation. This demonstrates that American companies significantly depend on immigrants.
According to Kerr, Trump’s anti-immigration policies are foreboding a loss of American competitiveness. Business leaders and scholars alike are working with public policy experts to push against immigration policies. A stark example of why immigrants matter is Moderna, the company leading the international race for a vaccine solution founded by an immigrant. In a twist, Kerr argues that America should cherish and attract immigrant talent as a local hub.
The United States is exactly what it means: a country ‘uniting’ people where immigration has become crucial to the American identity.