What if freedom of movement worked on a global scale? While it is technically possible to become a resident of almost anywhere you choose, some nations impose pretty stringent citizenship requirements- and often that residence is conditional. The question intersects with issues of immigration, cultural history and identity.
No, the choice of assigning citizenship should be down to the stateShow moreShow less
A nation’s identity is always in the balance. This can be easily tipped by unregulated movement. Abandoning border control and allowing a free-for-all of state residence would be a disaster wherever it was implemented. It is not a human right and should be at the state’s discretion.
High-performing economies would see flooding from opportunists
Economic centre-points such as London, New York and Hong Kong already suffer from overcrowding. They provide a microcosm for why population density needs to be regulated- and why continual economic growth sees diminishing returns.
Space is not always the issue. A key point at the heart of the border control debate in Europe is the lack of infrastructure to support an indefinite influx of immigrants. This is particular evident in countries with nationalised healthcare and heavily tax-dependent public services- they cannot simply accommodate a rapidly increasing population, and economic growth will not expand alongside them indefinitely.
No doubt, recent mass immigration in Europe has been seen as a humanitarian issue foremost, with the moral imperative to aid those fleeing war zones by providing asylum. But if leaders such as Angela Merkel really thought their nation would benefit economically from such an unprecedented flooding in of refugees- as she claimed in 2015- they were misguided. For Germany, the result was not an expanded economy, but mass unemployment from new arrivals. Only 63% of migrants in the EU are employed according to current statistics, 10 points lower than the average for native citizens.
It doesn’t help that a proportion of asylum-seekers are often economic opportunists with fabricated histories. This is the unfortunate product of lenient border control policies, and a treatment of immigrants that does little do discourage a ‘foot in the door’ attitude.
The core issue doesn’t change if we simply see immigrants as world citizens. A theoretical aim to dispel bureaucracy is held back by logistical restraints: numbers matter.