Letter to Editor — Open Borders

Monterey Herald, Nov. 13, 2019

What open borders don’t mean

There are many misconceptions about the concept of open borders. Classical liberals, who support the freedom of movement, favor a world where people can freely travel from one country to another.

However, open borders do not mean that travelers should be given special rights in the nation they have chosen to enter.  For instance, when Kate Steinle was accidentally killed by an undocumented foreigner, the self-confessed killer was granted the right to kill someone with few legal consequences. If any American citizen accidentally killed another, that person would be convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Not Garcia Zarate. He only received a two-year sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm, which was eventually overturned.

Nor does open borders mean that foreigners should gain free education, housing, and medical care, privileges that many American citizens do not possess. And nor should foreigners get the right to vote.

If legal and illegal foreigners keep receiving special rights beyond those of local citizens, there will be an ugly backlash and open borders will die.  In a civilized world, people have the right to visit or stay in other countries, but not to the detriment of the citizens they have chosen to visit.

— Lawrence Samuels, Carmel