Towards A Good Samaritan World

Thursday, January 27, 2005

IMMIGRATION POLICY AS PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

While Tom Friedman portrays European anti-Americanism as being caused by Bush, the column also suggests it has to do with border restrictions:

Many young Europeans blame Mr. Bush for making America, since 9/11, into a
strange new land that exports fear more than hope, and has become dark and
brooding - a place whose greeting to visitors has gone from "Give me your tired,
your poor" to "Give me your fingerprints." ...

Stefan Elfenbein, a food critic nursing a beer at our table, added: "I know
many people who don't want to travel to America anymore. ... People are afraid
to be hassled at the border. ... We all discuss it, when somebody goes to
America [we now ask:] 'Are you sure?' We had hope that Kerry would win and would
make a statement, 'America is back to what it was four years ago.' We hoped that
he would be the symbol, the figure who would say, '[America] is the country that
welcomes everybody again.' "


Inasmuch as hatred of America stems from our practice of closing our borders to most immigrants, it is 110% justified. Just try to imagine the impact on world opinion of a constitutional amendment that stated: "Congress shall make no law abrogating the right of all persons, wherever born, to live and work in the United States."

Call it an extension of the Bush Doctrine-- there is no justice [between nations] without freedom [of migration].

2 Comments:

  • What BS--being allowed into a country, *ANY* country, is a privilege, not a "right." What right have those guys to complain? 911 was a consequence of our being lax with our borders.
    And anybody who wants to come in can--they just have to follow the rules--same as with any other nation. Is that so damn hard?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:48 PM  

  • Well, okay, first, you're partly right: to come to the US, Europeans have it relatively easy. Any European who wants to can get in. Fingerprints are really not such an exhorbitant demand. I actually favor that policy.

    But it is certainly not true that anyone who wants to come to the US can, if they follow the rules. The vast majority of mankind could never come to the US, no matter what they did. Actually, that might even be true if we did pass the constitutional amendment I'm suggesting, since travel is expensive and all. But that's not the main constraint at present.

    Since you seem to think that anyone can come here who follows the rules, maybe we're actually in agreement.

    And why should entering a country be a "privilege?" At an abstract level, how do you justify that?

    By Blogger Lancelot, at 3:12 PM  

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