“Managing Migration”

Guy Herbert, over at one of my favorite foreigner blogs, samizdata.net ("samizdat"), knows question begging when he sees it.

[…] But how does a state achieve the balance between the need for control of its borders and the need to facilitate movement across its borders for legitimate purposes such as trade, tourism, family reunion and education?

…asks the IOM, seeking to explain its purpose, but begging the question. The assumption is that states will naturally ban travel and trade (which is what ‘control their borders’ means) and then decide what are ‘legitimate purposes’ for permitted movements. But this is a convenient doctrine invented by states in the 20th century, a generalization of the conditions of the Tsarist police-state and the petty, nationalist bureaucracies that emerged in the 19th.

Where – let alone why – I choose to live or travel is no business of states, unless I am doing injury to their citizens. By going from place to place I do accept that places are different legally as well as culturally and physically. If there were no differences there would be no point in travel. But the natural condition of borders is openness. They are just lines on a map.

You’ll notice that here in "the land of open arms," the whole debate has been reduced to the laziest common denominator, by which I refer to all the "Einsteins" out there throwing about the term "illegal" and admonishing "enforcement of laws"–as if such presumptuous and thought-stopping rhetoric had somehow–over the last century or so–become wise and pithy.

All y’all it’s-the-law "logisticians" ought to go back to sleep and leave ideas to those capable of dealing with them.

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