An Amateur Philosopher Has Lunch With Immigration Policy

Recently I had a friend drop me a note asking for my thoughts on an article she found in the Wall Street Journal (“Taking a NAFTA Approach to Immigration”), relating the idea that instead of paths to citizenship, which are just fields of political landmines, that possibly by taking a page from NAFTA or the EU we could acheive the immigration reform so many of us desperately want.

In a nutshell: Freedom of travel without citizenship.

The idea that within the borders of the agreement, all citizens of any country could freely move between nations, without ever needing to naturalize.

I told her shortly that I thought it might be an improvement, but as I told her, this question and proposal also gave me an excuse to run a little mental exercise on the issues surround inter-nation migration.

This is a highly charged topic in our nation and particularly to any of us with the good fortune to make our homes in the American Southwest. I appreciate empirical, statistics driven arguments, pros and cons, utilitarian analyses, but more persuasive to me are moral arguments, those that drive up from our core beliefs on how we think proper to treat each other as fellow human beings.
Acceptance of the “Freedom of Travel/Movement/Migration”, relatively open immigration, is a good example of a conclusion arrived at from extrapolation from first principles.

Follow with me for a couple minutes:

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