False Dichotomy: Open vs Closed Borders

    The immigration debate is centered around a false dichotomy. It's not about open vs closed borders, but whether or not border controls are just - that is, if they treat different existents according to their nature.

    The "closed borders" approach blatantly ignores individual rights. A country is not some sort of public company, where the majority of "shareholders" decide the rules. The will of a majority, however big, does not trump a single individual's right to invite whoever he wants into his house, or his company.

    The "open borders" approach disregards an obvious threat to individual rights: people who are openly hostile to it. The whole reason why a country needs an army, and not just a police, is to keep external threats to individual rights at bay. Someone seeking to build a prosperous life in a free country is fundamentally different from someone who seeks to destroy freedom, or evade the consequences of their actions.

    The proper approach is to ascertain who a particular individual is, always holding to the principle of "innocent until proven guilty". Is the person at the border an enemy soldier? Is that person seeking to escape punishment, because he violated someone's right? Is that person carrying an infectious disease?

    Basic screening, following rational protocols, is all that is needed to get those answers. If the answers are "no", there is no moral justification for denying entry. If it is yes, there is no moral justification for allowing it.

    Neither closed, nor open -  Just.

  -  February 18th, 2020