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Is a world without any borders a good idea? Show more Show less
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Nation-states maintain borders for safety, maintaining political jurisdiction. Yet, some forms of open borders exist between nation-states: the Schengen Agreement in the European Union, borders between India and Nepal, Ireland and the U.K., and the CA4 Border Control Agreement in Central America. Most nation-states maintain strict border controls, restricting travel between countries and barring entry to migrants. Millions of people risk their lives trying to cross borders into other countries. Some are fleeing violence and war; others are looking for better economic opportunities or to be reunited with family members. Borders protect but they also actively promote death and suffering, as seen in the strategic placement of border patrol along the US-Mexico borderlands. What are the possibilities of a world without borders?

No, we should keep our borders Show more Show less

Borders protect nation-states and ensure that governments can take care of their citizens. The cultural and economic gains possible from open borders are not worth the safety and economic risks that will occur if people freely migrate between nation-states.
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Countries cannot economically or politically sustain open borders

Opening all borders would result in everyone migrating to richer, safer countries. These countries do not have the societal infrastructure to sustain the influx of immigrants.
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Nations' societal infrastructures are fragile and can barely sustain their own citizens. Opening borders on a world-wide scale would cause chaos.

The Argument

Borders provide economic stability.[1] In any nation, there is a limited number of resources: vehicles on the road that the city infrastructure can support, public school capacities, and hospital beds. Without borders, mass immigration would overflow the nation and its infrastructure, leading to total disorder.[2] The European Union's open borders and lessened immigration restrictions have economic downsides. Locals cannot compete with cheap foreign labor. Places to live are harder and more expensive to come across. Eastern European countries are facing a shortage of doctors and nurses because they opt to move west for better economic opportunities.[3] While open borders may benefit skilled migrants who are free to move where there are better opportunities, countries with these better opportunities cannot sustain the influx of immigrants. Borders are needed to provide geographic boundaries of national sovereignty. Borders help define who can receive state benefits, and who is under the government's jurisdiction. The people's social contract with each other and with the government cannot exist without borders, immigration restrictions, and enforced rules for attaining citizenship. [4] Without borders, governments could potentially claim jurisdiction to intervene in any country's space, which would cause more chaos than border disputes do today.[1] Nation-states must have borders to function properly. Democracy flourishes when its citizens can play a role in the political process, and maintaining borders helps define who can or cannot participate in a country's political functions.[1][5]

Counter arguments

Immigrants are not a drain on the economy.[6] Rather, immigrants bolster an economy. Increased productivity from increased migration will help countries gain the resources to sustain an increased population.


[P1] Borders define national sovereignty. [P2] Governments can only function if there are borders and if its citizens are well-defined. [P3] Open borders would cause mass migration. [P4] Country's societal infrastructures cannot support mass migration.

Rejecting the premises




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This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 15:00 UTC

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