Let’s make one thing clear at the outset: opening borders will cause mass immigration into the United States.
1) Such immigration will lower wages of the native workers. Now Mises had little patience for this argument: writing in a Viennese newspaper at the end of 1935, he pointed out that there are extensive tracts of land in America which are sparsely settled which
have been the goals of would-be European immigrants for more than 300 years. However, the descendants of those earlier emigrants now say: There has been enough migration. We do not want other Europeans to do what our forefathers did when they emigrated to improve their situation. We do not want our wages reduced by a new contingent of workers from the homeland of our fathers. We do not want the migration of workers to continue until it brings about the equalization of the height of wages. Kindly stay in your old homeland, you Europeans, and be satisfied with lower wages.
Mises almost considered immigration restrictions to be immoral. Nevertheless, the mass immigration will lower wages to an unacceptable extent.
2) The mass immigration will come from the most undeveloped countries, and America is completely unprepared for it. Can you imagine half of Africa moving here in a year or two? Where are they going to live? Where are they going to work? No answers are forthcoming from the open-borders advocates.
3) The migrants will likely consist of “inferior” people, in particular future welfare recipients, prison inmates, vagabonds, beggars, tramps, robbers, and prostitutes. Who is inferior? Blacks who will add to the already vicious black plague in this country? Muslims, those ignorant and ruthless fanatics? Perhaps, but if some people are inferior, then they, in a kind of attempt at eugenics, must be kept out of the country.
4) Civil strife regarding control of the state between the new ethnicities. These ethnic groups, empowered by their swelling numbers, will likely hate each other with purple passion and seek to gain political power in order both to dominate their “enemies” and to protect themselves from being dominated by their enemies. There aren’t enough libertarians to teach them that all sorts of people, by cooperating within the free market, can build a great society.
Open borders will thus be a disaster. They can only work when the entire world has embraced laissez-faire capitalism. Yet both closed and “managed” borders are decidedly un-libertarian and statist. We must conclude that until global capitalism arrives, regarding this issue, statism is correct, and libertarianism is wrong.