The Corner

Open Borders?

When immigration hawks describe the supporters of amnesty and increased immigration as proponents of “open borders,” we’re often criticized for exaggerating. Well, we’re not. In addition to the Wall Street Journal’s repeated calls for a constitutional amendment that reads “There shall be open borders,” I offer this recent op-ed by a certain Kevin Johnson. Excerpt: “The borders of the United States should be open with no numerical limits on the number of immigrants who can enter the country in any given year.”

Note that this guy, leftist though he is, is not some fringy crackpot — he’s a dean at the UC Davis law school, one of the top immigration law professors in the country, and a board member of MALDEF. In fact, his op-ed is an example of how the open-borders crowd has gotten bolder — i.e., more candid — as the Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty/guestworker approach has gained ground; Johnson submitted a brief essay for a paper I published a few years back on various writers’ ideal immigration policies, and it was much more circumspect than this new piece.

This debate really does boil down to open borders vs. constitutional self-government, and much of the elite Right is on the wrong side, as seen in this listing of board members of the National Immigration Forum, the umbrella group lobbying for “comprehensive” immigration reform; it includes not only the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association, but also the former head of the communist group CISPES and the former head of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, described by David Horowitz in NR as “one of the few groups in the world supporting Saddam’s rape of Kuwait.”

More evidence? The nation’s top Hispanic groups called yesterday for a halt to immigration enforcement until Congress has a chance to send an amnesty bill for President Bush’s signature.

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