Borders Closed Immigration is “Morally Wrong, Economically Stupid, and Politically Unsustainable”

Introduction

One of the basic goals of national borders is to ensure free advantageous movement of legal materials, students, businesspersons, a few immigrants, and tourists while at the same time preventing the entry of unwanted persons and/or goods into a given state. Immigration is one of the main challenges that enforcement of national border laws are facing. Countries must protect themselves against illegal immigration, cross-border terrorist activities, human trafficking, drug smuggling among other criminal activities, and vices that may be associated with immigration. Many western countries in Europe, including the UK and America, still face a political challenge in relation to policy formulation and practices that regard closing of borders to prevent immigration of persons. Unfortunately, some of the extreme policies that have been suggested have been dismissed and regarded as hurting legitimate travellers and traders or people who seek asylum from these safe havens. Despite the importance of securing borders, closing borders against immigration can have dire consequences on the economic, moral, and political demeanour of a state. Therefore, I agree that closing borders against immigration is morally wrong, economically stupid, and politically unsustainable.

Economic Implications

Extreme restrictions on immigration have negatively affected free movement of productive labour in countries where such laws and/or policies are actualised. Despite the positive impacts of such restriction such as prevention of illegal travellers, drug smuggling, human activities, and other vices, such policies by nations have had a negative economic effect (Dustmann, Frattini, & Glitz 2007). This situation has been eminent in economically empowering and/or related sectors such as the international trade, tourism, academia, health, entrepreneurship among other positives that are commensurate of constructive immigration. For example, a closer look at the United States case in point indicates an economic decline after skilled immigrants were discouraged from temporarily or permanently moving to the US. The situation forced them to seek more hospitable and accommodating states. Such extreme efforts have certainly had a large effect on the overall US economy (Alden 2012).

According to an evidence-based research carried out by Gordon et al. (2009), border closure indicated enormous direct and indirect effects on costs relating to various economic facets, including international air travel, legal immigration, international trade, and cross-border shopping. The research highlighted border closure against immigration as an expensive affair to justify with the available limited cost-effective measures. According to the economic theory, restrictions on immigration constitute an undesirable exception. They are against the current spirit of liberal globalisation because of the disruption of anti-immigrant policies that are essential to economic growth in terms of the flow of labour markets within and across nations (Borjas 2001). Although borders function to cease people, money, and goods from entry into a state, they are mostly established to bar free movement of people. The best example of such a scenario would be the US-Mexico situation where a military protected border separates the two states that are confined to a free trade covenant. The World Trade Organisation recognises that trade between economies require direct physical contact between consumers and suppliers. Thus, members of the WTO continue to engage in negotiations concerning the movement of migrant workers across borders in an effort to foster the liberalisation of global trade in services (Pécoud & De Guchteneire 2006).

One of the benefits of immigration is an increase in interconnectedness that involves production processes, which are linked in a sequential vertical chain of trade. The chain stretches across many states with each of the economies specialising in particular stages that are involved in producing a good. Immigration plays a key role in promoting global trade through the exchange of essential skilled labour. Moreover, previous studies have documented a demonstrable importance of vertical specialisation by nations with indications of positive contributions to the growth of global trade without the need to rely on incorrect high elasticity in regards to substitution (Yi 2003).

Political Implications

The notion that the increased demand for immigration and continued global diversity have gradually led to an increased damage to societal and economic structures has been greatly misguided and motivated political interests. Unfortunately, policies revolving around closing of borders against immigrants have often required the use of more resources to have better control over immigration trends. In disregard to empirical deliberations, international state systems and national political bodies are in a struggle to outline policies that support migration by outlining their duties in dispensing this global justice (Yuksekdag 2012).

Handling of immigration crisis in a unified front by European countries is necessary for the maintenance of European Unity (Marsh & Rees 2012). This situation can be seen clearly by the disagreement in sharing responsibilities between European countries as seen in the case of Croatia, Slovenia, and Hungary. The three states were recently involved in the largest refugee crisis in 2015 when the crowds of desperate refugees were blocked from crossing the countries’ borders in central Europe. The blockage led to a conflict between Hungarian and Croatian police officers. Such acts, which indicated the extensive lack of solidarity among the EU member states in controlling the crisis, prompted the UN to warn against the risk that the conflict posed to the sustainability of the European Union (Kingsley & Graham-Harrison 2015).

Thielemann (2006) asserts that the increase in refugee numbers have resulted in the challenge of forced migration among the European Union states. Europe is described as having the largest number of asylum seekers from developing countries. This situation has created an unmanageable number of refugees, thus resulting in an uneven distribution of the immigrants in the European states. For instance, Switzerland was stated as the largest recipient of asylum seekers with forty percent more than Germany, thirty percent more than Italy, and three hundred times more than Sweden and Portugal combined. This challenge has been compounded by state policies on the relative restrictiveness or leniency in relation to closing borders against immigrants. The result has been the eruption of negative externalities by European states against other European countries and hence the witnessed strained relations among those involved. To save the situation, institutions such as the UN have beckoned the idea of creating unifying policies that promote the equitable sharing of refugees among European states (Hattrell 2010).

Moral Implications

According to Bader (2005), besides migration laws and policies being complex, they often face different perspectives (both critical and supportive) in regards to ethical standpoints. These sentiments span across perspectives of how people should migrate, the expected impact of migration on the sending, receiving, and the transit countries, and whether states should enact policies that encourage, limit, or discourage immigration. One of the notable moral impacts of immigration on the sending countries is addressing the issue of their ethical obligation in allowing dual citizenship. For instance, it would be unethical for a country to terminate citizenship of a person who opts to emigrate elsewhere. In addition, transit countries are ethically bound to deal with criminal activities that transverse their borders while at the same time protecting innocent and legal persons who transverse their borders to seek asylum or job opportunities. In fact, receiving countries stand to lose a lot more in regards to their moral affiliations. For instance, receiving countries that deny immigrants education, health, and other basic needs within their borders would be deemed unlawfully and immoral in the global eye, thus affecting their status in regards to human rights (Parker 2007).

Some philosophers argue that closing borders with the aim of restricting immigration would be revoking the fundamental human right that advocates freedom of movement and availing equal opportunities to all people (Hosein 2013). Moreover, from a consequentialist outlook, freedom of movement involves reinforcement on the efforts to eradicate global poverty. Therefore, in this respect, developed counties such as the UK possess a moral obligation to assist immigrants seeking refuge from deprecatory conditions such as poverty war, famine, and unemployment. One such effort to support this global course is opening borders by the developed countries. This plan would mitigate poverty levels in the developing countries where people who immigrate abroad will send their remittances back to their countries of origin (Sundaramurthy 2015).

Conclusion

The closing of borders by countries against immigration is morally wrong, economically stupid, and politically unsustainable both to the enforcing countries and to the global community. Politically, anti-immigration poses a huge risk among the existing relations between two or more states. For instance, some European Union members have had estranged relations. From an economic standpoint, restrictions on the movement of labour have been evidenced as having negative implications for economic growth of the enforcing nations. Therefore, it suffices to assert that skilled immigrants in developed nations such as the US and the UK have been instrumental to stirring economic growth. Lastly, nations have the moral and ethical obligation of sending, transiting, and receiving immigrants to uphold the liberal right of freedom of movement in an effort to promote growth of the global economy while at the same time eradicating negativities such as poverty and poor living conditions that are commensurate of closing borders by nations against immigration.

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