Opinion | We Need a High Wall With a Big Gate on the Southern Border

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By admin

Today, all of that has flipped. Now no superpower wants to touch your country because all they can win is a bill. China is in the W.T.O., so it is much harder to compete in low-wage industries. Populations have exploded. Climate change is hammering small-scale farmers, so they are leaving their lands for the cities and beyond — and everyone has a smartphone to complain or find a human trafficker to be smuggled north.

Opinion Debate
What should the Biden administration prioritize?

  • Edward L. Glaeser, an economist, writes that the president should use his infrastructure plan as an opportunity to “break the country out of its zoning straitjacket”
  • The Editorial Board argues the administration should return to the Iran nuclear deal, and that “at this point, the hard-line approach defies common sense.”
  • Jonathan Alter writes that Biden needs to do now what F.D.R. achieved during the depression: “restore faith that the long-distrusted federal government can deliver rapid, tangible achievements.”
  • Gail Collins, Opinion columnist, has a few questions about gun violence: “One is, what about the gun control bills? The other is, what’s with the filibuster? Is that all the Republicans know how to do?”

The result: Many weak nations are fracturing and hemorrhaging their people, creating vast zones of disorder, from which millions of people are seeking, unsurprisingly, to migrate to zones of order — i.e., from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia to the U.S. and Europe. And the pandemic has made things only worse. Just on Tuesday CNN reported that “at least 42 migrants have died after a boat they were traveling in from Yemen capsized off the coast of Djibouti, East Africa.”

Last week the U.S. National Intelligence Council released its quadrennial “Global Trends” report. It stated right at the top: “In coming years and decades, the world will face more intense and cascading global challenges, ranging from disease to climate change to the disruptions from new technologies and financial crises. These challenges will repeatedly test the resilience and adaptability of communities, states and the international system, often exceeding the capacity of existing systems and models.”

Indeed, while a lot of attention has been devoted to the number of unaccompanied children coming across our border, The Wall Street Journal reported on March 24 that the actual numbers of migrants reveal that this surge is primarily “being driven by individual adults. Most of the migrants are Mexicans, often men in search of work with the pandemic easing and the U.S. economy set to boom.”

Without proper border controls and simultaneous investments in stabilizing weak countries — which Biden has smartly proposed — we and the European Union will face many more surges. And you can be sure that another Trump-like figure will emerge to exploit them — and undermine support for legal immigration right when we need it more than ever.

Because, we are also at the dawn of a cold war with China in which both the economic and the military battlefields will be around technology — artificial intelligence, quantum computing, drones, autonomous vehicles, microchips, software, cyberwarfare, biotech, new materials and batteries. In this competition each side will be trying to leverage as much brain power, patents and start-ups as possible.

Alas, brains are distributed evenly around the world. The great advantage America has had, though, is that while we were just roughly four percent of the global population, through immigration and our open universities, we attracted a far higher percentage than any other country of high-energy, high-aspiring lower-skilled workers and the high-I.Q. risk-takers who start new companies, notes Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s former chief research and strategy officer.

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