One has to be careful when making an argument for closing borders. The problem is that many of the arguments people offer lead to conclusions they are not prepared to endorse. The arguments for closing borders appear not just to be arguments for closing borders, but for censorship, voting restrictions, eugenics, internal migration restrictions, and more. Or, if they’re not, closed border advocates rarely show us why not.
Closing borders is in the first instance a form of economic protectionism. When we close borders, we in the first instance forbid people from making willing, mutually-beneficial trades with one another. At first glance, it looks like we’re violating a right of freedom of movement and a right of freedom of association. Perhaps such restrictions can be justified, but we need a good reason. But now look at the reasons people give, and ask whether these reasons imply not merely that we should close borders, but that we may do a whole host of illiberal things. Consider….