So many centuries ago, the elite of Constantinople were preoccupied with arguing how many angels could fit at the head of a pin while Ottoman Turks were at their gates. Sure enough, the Turks invaded the ancient city and the Byzantine Empire was no more.
Today, Mexico and the rest of the Central America are disintegrating into warlord states ruled by drug cartels, and our elite and news media are arguing over the tedious minutia of a phone call to Ukraine. It’s hard not to feel something similar will befall the United States.
To his credit, President Trump has already taken some action in extending the border wall, securing agreements with other countries to house asylum-seekers, and now designating the drug cartels as terrorist groups. To their great discredit, Democratic legislators and judges have done everything in their power to prevent all these actions.
At any other time, Americans could safely shrug at this disagreement and worry about other matters. However, when Mexico has become a warzone and drives massive waves of refugees/migrants north, this kind of ambivalence becomes dangerous. Americans need to make up their minds about the border.
For their part, Democrats and progressives hope for nothing less than to open up the border. The first step is to bring border enforcement to a breaking point (forcing a “catch and release” policy), then normalize and overlook the consequences of illegal immigration, then grant general amnesty for illegal immigrants and permanently open the border, and finally take control of the country.
Right now, they are still in phase two (normalizing illegal immigration). They deliberately ignore stories of border violence, call Trump’s actions racist and stupid, and stigmatize arguments against illegal immigrations—even to the point of outlawing the very phrase “illegal alien.” This means that conservatives who now rely on popular opinion to argue against open borders should consider better reasons. A couple more reports of dead families floating in the Rio Grande and tearful AOC photoshoots at the border will convince enough unwitting Americans to simply let them all in.
Instead, conservatives should directly make the case against open borders and explain what this would do to American life—no matter how self-evident it seems. In general, the consequences of open borders can be broken down into three general categories: safety, social services, and the economic/political system.
The first effect of open borders would be the potential loss of safety. The United States is a rich, friendly country that attracts good people as well as every kind of predator and parasite. Drug cartels, thieves, conmen, human-traffickers, and terrorists all have an interest in making it through the border. Even if they make up only a small percentage of incoming immigrants, they are enough to ruin whole countries if left unopposed.
This can be observed in their home countries. Perhaps not everyone in Central and South America works for the drug cartels, but almost everyone has to work with them. Politicians, police departments, and even the militaries of these countries often have little means to oppose these groups, so they leave them alone. As this happens, their countries fall into poverty and chaos, inadvertently making the cartels the main employer for most of these places.
The same can be seen for terrorists coming from the Muslim world. They essentially take over whole countries (see most of the Middle East and Africa) through intimidation and force and then spread their terror abroad. In some ways, they’re even worse than the cartels who at least have a profit motive to keep people alive and maintain some modicum of order. When terrorism takes root, genocide and anarchy are often the result.
Something similar would happen in a U.S. with open borders. Cartels would set up shop in all our main cities, recruit the low-skilled immigrants who came in with them, and bleed affluent communities dry through extortion and narcotics distribution. Terrorists and their allies would take shelter in vulnerable urban enclaves, establish bases for radicalization, and attack crowded soft targets like malls, churches, and city squares—much like they currently do in Europe.
Speaking of Europe, it is worth noting just how much the crime situation (not just terrorism) has changed already with its new immigrants. In the last decade, Germany, France, England, and Sweden have all experienced a spike in criminal activity. Their media may try to cover up this fact because of what this implies about immigrants—and, to be fair, this is almost certainly a small minority, not all of them—but normal people will know better than to pretend they’re as safe as they were before.
One can imagine that police forces will ultimately be compromised since they will have few resources and little support to do their jobs, and laws and hostile media coverage would likely negate any serious military response. Average Americans would then have to resort to using private security forces and live in fortified compounds (truly gated communities like those in South Africa). At first, it will all seem extreme, but it will soon become the new normal.
As public safety services are rendered inadequate, open borders will also bring down other public services like healthcare, education, and social benefits. One need only look at the detention centers on the border to see what will happen to cities all over the country when millions of immigrants arrive. Hospitals, schools, government housing, prisons, and other public facilities will become overcrowded, rundown, unsafe, and completely ineffective. And just like today, progressive politicians will call for more funding so they can enable the problem further.
Put simply, the modern welfare state is incompatible with large-scale immigration: either one or the other will have to go. For anyone who believes Americans are heartless xenophobes, they should take a look at nearly every country in Europe. Even with a relatively small influx of immigrants compared to that of the United States, anti-immigration parties and policies are widely supported. It is one thing to share with fellow Fins or Swedes who pay their fair share; it is another thing to share with unassimilable foreigners who produce nothing but additional mouths to feed.
And the answer to this is not simply brainwashing Americans to be more sympathetic and tolerant, or brainwashing immigrants to be more American. As a true nation of immigrants (50 million and counting), Americans are already much more tolerant and welcoming than any other nation on the planet. However, maintaining a solvent welfare system does not depend on goodwill—it depends on money. If too many immigrants come and consume more in entitlements than they contribute in taxes, then those entitlements will diminish and disappear or other Americans will have to contribute more and consequently become poor and dependent themselves. This is currently the situation with the main federal entitlement programs making up greater and greater portions of the gargantuan national debt.
Finally, with the safety and social services swept away, the rush of migrants from open borders will wreak havoc on the U.S.’s economy and political system. Cheap labor will flood the markets, and voters-for-sale will jam the voting booths.
For obvious reasons, unscrupulous businessmen and politicians look forward to this prospect. Along with lurid descriptions of meatpacking, Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle also illustrates the corruption that results from low-skilled immigration: political machines destroy democratic norms through mob rule and eventually run the city, and large employers grow into sprawling monopolies that pay slave-wages.
This situation, in turn, becomes the rallying cry for enterprising socialists and fascists (which is how Sinclair’s novel ends, as a matter of fact). Tragically, these ideologies only empower politicians and their cronies in business all the more (see Venezuela and now Bolivia). And more tragically, once the system breaks down, these regimes do actually end up closing their borders—to keep people in, not out.
Overall, a policy of open borders will likely bring about a new feudalism with a small class of elites consisting of nobles and clergy (today’s plutocrats and the mainstream media) and a large class of peasants and serfs (today’s native and immigrant wage-earners). Americans can expect the transformation currently happening in California to become a nationwide phenomenon, yet far more pronounced.
Already, the ideals of a constitutional federalist government democracy are challenged with today’s population of 330 million. If that number doubled as a result of open borders (a conservative estimate), the federal government would shatter into a dysfunctional mess like India’s government or expand into an Orwellian totalitarian machine like China’s. One might propose more aggressive assimilation measures to reverse this outcome, but it’s doubtful whether this would really help (see Denmark), especially on such a large scale.
Progressives evidently see themselves as the beneficiaries of this system, and this is the real reason they push for it. They may justify themselves by making moral claims of helping the needy, but this only means that they will be the gracious nobles providing protection and employment to the poor for pledges of loyalty—hence Democrats make promises to their constituents and secure their votes through favors rather than competence. As more Americans abandon the ideals of freedom and self-sufficiency, and as the country becomes more unstable, progressive leaders will continue to strengthen their hold on the country (one professor has even said as much).
Before this happens, Americans of all political stripes should take heed and stop it. If this makes them feel uncompassionate, they should realize that it is far more compassionate to help the poor where they are than bringing them all in to live as second-class citizens.
As mentioned above, President Trump clearly understands this, but he is only one man. He needs Republican lawmakers to help him overcome Democrat opposition. Republican voters need to demand a commitment to fixing the border from their politicians—a bit like Democrats demand supporting abortion from theirs. If Republicans are truly for freedom, opportunity, and limited government, this should be their first priority. And if American voters want to preserve their way of life and finally end the border crisis, they should do their part and vote for them instead of reelecting the charlatans who have allowed this crisis in the first place.