Veterans for Secure Borders

July Fourth in Post-America

Article by Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies, July 3, 2001

As the nation celebrates its 225th birthday, the Wall Street Journal again calls for the abolition of the United States.

Journal editor Robert Bartley continues his paper's tradition of using Independence Day to promote open borders, a tradition begun with a 1984 editorial calling for a five-word constitutional amendment: "There shall be open borders."

This year's contribution applauded Mexican President Vicente Fox's goal of modeling NAFTA after the EU, with free movement of people as well as goods. The headline writer asked, "Open Nafta Borders? Why Not?" Here are a few reasons why not:

1. Immigrants are people, not objects, so the free movement of goods cannot be comparable to the free movement of people....

Even practically speaking, trade and immigration are different. Henry Simons, the pioneer advocate of the benefits of free-market economics at the University of Chicago, wrote in 1948 that, "To insist that a free trade program is logically or practically incomplete without free migration is either disingenuous or stupid. Free trade may and should raise living standards everywhere …Free immigration would level standards, perhaps without raising them anywhere."

2. There is a very high cost to cheap Mexican labor.... Among Mexican immigrant families that have lived in the United States for more than 20 years, more than half still live in or near poverty, one-third are uninsured, and they use welfare at double the rate of natives.

3. Illegal immigration from Mexico is not a force of nature that must be accommodated, but rather an artifact of government policy that can be interrupted....

4. Most importantly, open borders are a bad idea because Americans aren't ready to abolish their country yet....

The Wall Street Journal is at the forefront of this process. In Bartley's own words: "I think the nation-state is finished." This is not the anti-Americanism of the non-patriotic Left, but rather the post-Americanism of the non-patriotic Right. Post-Americans, like the leadership of the Journal, are not enemies of America; they have just "grown" beyond it....

An open border with Mexico would move us rapidly toward the kind of world sought by Bartley and his newspaper. But it would be a calamity for those of us who still cherish the republic whose birthday we are celebrating this week, the nation to which our forebears pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

Read the complete article.