Open Borders Do Not Lead to Prosperity

Illegal immigration has plagued the United States for decades. The business, political, media, and academic elite in America today insist that the unfettered movement of all people will, among other things, lead to a greater level of innovation. According to this theory, whenever America becomes less inviting to foreigners, that talent chooses to go elsewhere. As Ángel Cabrera, president of George Mason University argued recently, that loss of foreign talent was “others’ gain.”

The implication is that President Trump’s strict stance on illegal immigration is somehow harmful to America because it diminishes the likelihood that foreign innovators will look for a better life in the United States.

This is nothing but an old straw man argument deployed by the Left and corporatist Right. Fact is, Trump has never favored ending all immigration into the United States. He has quite vociferously defended legal immigration into the country, especially when that immigration is in the national interest.

Cabrera also asserts, “Immigrants or their children started more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies, according to the Kauffman Foundation, and more than 50 percent of billion-plus startups had at least one foreign-born founder.”

But what Cabrera fails to acknowledge is that absolutely none of these individuals came to the United States illegally. So, presumably, the president’s “draconian” stance on illegal immigration would not have deterred these legal immigrants.

When Trump speaks of building a wall, or temporarily halting immigration from a handful of Middle Eastern and African countries over national security concerns, he is not isolating America. He is defending it from those who seek to harm our people. It has nothing to do with racism or fear mongering.

Unlike Cabrera and his fellow globalists, Trump understands that illegal immigration is quite different from legal immigration. Indeed, it is a grave threat that the president must neutralize.

Just this week, there was an horrific incident reported in Rockville, Maryland about an innocent 14 year-old girl who was brutally raped by two immigrants, aged 17 and 18, at her school. The older of the two immigrants crossed into the U.S. illegally seven months ago. Turns out, the two young men were classified as “Dreamers.” This, as Rockville debates whether or not it will become a sanctuary city and politicians strive to make Maryland a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants.

Globalists offer dubious moral arguments in support of illegal immigration. They make the empty promise that these immigrants will, by and large, contribute more to society than “lazy” working-class folks who supported Trump. Because our own poor are so repugnant to these globalists, they would like to import a new lower class beholden to them. So they claim illegal immigrants are really the future and whoever recognizes this fact first will win politically and economically.

Or so the narrative goes. Reality is quite different.

Look at the two young men who raped that poor girl in Maryland. They came from Guatemala and El Salvador, countries that have been destabilized by the Mexican drug war. Does anyone really believe either of these two young men would become the next Steve Jobs?

Of course not.

America should start focusing its own human resources. We have to invest in developing our own human capital. The United States needs serious education reform that can maximize the potential of all of our people. This is something that America has lacked for decades.

For the last 20 years, countries like China and India were making serious investments into their educational systems. They wanted to create the next wave of global innovators, business leaders, and scientists. Meanwhile, in America, we concoct lame Common Core standards and worry about whether or not little Johnny can tinkle in the girls’ restroom.

We spent the last 20 years telling our kids they were the best simply because they existed. In China, meanwhile, children are rigorously conditioned at a young age to compete academically; they are encouraged by their families and the state to seek employment in fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math (all while their “civic” instruction teaches that the West is their enemy). Chinese leadership recognized that the source of their own strength is in its people at the very moment that the United States appears to have forgotten this basic truth.

Economists describe “human capital” as the “skills, creativity, and enterprise” of a country’s populace. Nobel laureate economist James Heckman insists that countries such as the United States must “invest in families and nurture the cognitive and social skills in children from birth to age 5 […] The payoff—7% to 10% on the dollar—in greater academic success, future productivity and economic prosperity is the best investment around.” And, as Susan Ochsbhorn wrote, “By some estimates, human capital creates two-thirds of a modern economy’s wealth.”

There’s a reason that, in 2012, KPMG’s global Tech Innovation Survey found 43 percent of respondents said Silicon Valley’s “crown would be passed elsewhere” and that a plurality of respondents (45 percent) believed that China was the “country most likely to be the next innovation center.”

Many analysts believe that quantum computing will be the future of computers. Do you know which country just had some of the greatest breakthroughs with this technology? China. Last September, China launched its quantum Internet satellite. This technology, if it works as planned, likely will revolutionize the way that we communicate globally. It could potentially replace the Internet as we know it today.

What’s more, it will confer an unimaginable strategic advantage upon China’s armed forces. Toward that end, the Chinese created a quantum radar that they claim can penetrate American stealth technology, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Not so long ago,  such revolutionary and complex technology would have been pioneered in the United States. But this is what happens when America no longer invests in its future.

In terms of gross domestic product (GDP), China is the second-largest economy in the world today and the largest in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). They are producing future innovators and industry leaders at amazing rates.

This is an odd turn of events, if Cabrera’s arguments on the necessity of open borders hold true.

After all, China is a relatively closed society with strict immigration policies (to say nothing of its mercantilist trade policies). Yet, here China is beating out “free trade” states like the United Kingdom and Canada, and chipping away at America’s lead. Indeed, China is slated to overtake the U.S. economy (in terms of GDP) as early as 2018.

Something isn’t quite right here. How is China so successful if it has such restrictive immigration policies?

People like Ángel Cabrera are completely wrong. Illegal immigration helps no one—least of all the victims of illegal immigrants. If America wants to compete (and win), it must invest in the people who are already here. Open borders are not the path to prosperity.

About Brandon J. Weichert

Brandon J. Weichert is a geopolitical analyst who manages The Weichert Report. He is a contributing editor at American Greatness and a contributor at The American Spectator . His forthcoming book, Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower is due out from Republic Book Publishers in 2020. His writings on national security have appeared in Real Clear Politics and he has been featured on the BBC and CBS News. Follow him on Twitter at @WeTheBrandon.

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12 responses to “Open Borders Do Not Lead to Prosperity

  • “Open Borders Do Not Lead to Prosperity”

    I’ve always wondered if it’s even possible to quantify the stupidity of people who believe that importing illiterate, low- to no-skilled, diseased poor people leads to prosperity, or even a lower bar, that those imported illiterate, low- to no-skilled, diseased poor people actually contribute more in taxes than they draw in benefits.

  • Open borders = national suicide. Libertarians and free market absolutists refuse to acknowledge this because it is contrary to the theory they blindly follow.

    • Not all free market absolutists believe this. Many libertarians do, but again not all. Fight the argument, but keep in mind that all of these people are more on the country’s side than anyone on the left. They’re just wrong on this point; the left is wrong on everything.

  • Oh please. That crap about innovation is laughable. These are the liars who want to credit fat black women for National Socialist Germans building our space program. If these idiots really believed this shit they would live in Detroit or Gaudalupe and set up their HQ in a favela ghetto in Brazil.
    These Anti-White liars aren’t far different from ghetto blacks really. They steal it from us and then cry because they couldn’t steal more. Like blacks these are just ghetto thieves without enough brains and skill to make anything approaching the slums they inhabit here. Without a Legalized Counterfeiting Ring disguised as a “Central Bank” these lowly sloping foreheaded retards would be whoring out their Mothers, Sisters and Daughters for a hole in the wall in a lowly ghetto. That’s where this parasite came from, and they’ll be lucky to live long enough to go back now.

  • A simple thought experiment can prove the open borders = prosperity argument is false. Assume everyone else on the planet dies in a plague. Only we’re left? Would we starve, stop innovating, stop producing and live forever in poverty? Clearly not. So other factors than immigration drive prosperity.

  • There really is no argument for immigration, legal or illegal, at this point save one: does the immigrant represent such high value the country will benefit? In very rare cases this is true. In many ways, immigration has become a religious belief more than a policy issue, in much the same manner as AGW is more Gaia worship than science. Basically all low and even much of middle skill labor can be automated at a certain price point. The country is overpopulated and we have surplus labor. The high tech field should compel us to have a Marshall Plan for Middle America rather than pass out H1B visas.

    Sen. Tom Cotton has introduced a bill to halve legal immigration, which doesn’t go far enough but is a positive development. Illegal immigration, finally, has become too toxic for the Republicans to embrace openly. Things are moving in the right direction. Globalists such as Cabrera and libertarians will cling to their religious fervor about a value in immigration that exists only in their hearts, but change has come.

    We have reached the point where soon a moratorium eventually will be on the table, with exceptions made for the exceptional. It’s twenty years overdue.

    • Right on all points, including that the estimable Senator Cotton’s otherwise-excellent bill doesn’t go nearly far enough in throttling immigration numbers.

  • Yet Chinese and Indians continue to flood into this country’s colleges and universities and to remain here. Why is that?

    And I don’t understand why the political argument about immigration is acceptable–to both sides, it seems–only in macro-economic terms. Why is it that the only permissible argument against current immigration policies is a strictly rational economic calculation? (Even though I do know the answer to this question, it is more than merely a rhetorical question).

  • As Ángel Cabrera, president of George Mason University argued recently, that loss of foreign talent was “others’ gain.”

    This argument is couched in nationalistic terms. “For the good of America, we need open borders and more immigrants!” But of course the people making this globalist argument very emphatically reject the very idea of countries, including America. Ángel Cabrera, born in Madrid and a member of assorted left-wing internationalist groups from the World Economic Forum to the Council on Foreign Relations, does not have the best interests of America in mind.

    According to the logic of Cabera’s own position it should make zero difference where on the planet this “foreign talent” happen to reside.

  • Open borders dissolves sovereignty, so measuring anything before and after has no meaning.

  • Those of us who want border enforcement and self-interested immigration policies automatically lose the argument when we use the oxymoron “illegal immigrant”. These invaders are not immigrants; they are illegal aliens.

    Under US immigration law, the term “immigrant” applies only to those in our country legally; all others are properly labeled “illegals aliens”. Open borders proponents long ago recognized the sympathy elicited by the word immigrant, and set about successfully erasing the distinction between true immigrants and border crashers and visa over-stayers so they could label their opponents “anti-immigrant” and make it impossible to have an objective discussion about immigration.

    This may seem like a quibble, but I believe it’s crucial. Those who advocate for merit based immigration (or even a pause, as the US did between the 1920s and 1960s) and strict border enforcement need to go on the offensive and unapologetically reclaim the precise term “illegal alien” in order to clarify the debate and restore the distinction between legal and illegal.

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