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Immigration has always been a hot button issue, especially considering the comprehensive reform laws currently being debated by U.S. congressional leaders. However, what effect would the opening of the nation’s borders have on global poverty? According to several developmental thinkers, quite a bit, as adopting many of the mass migration policies called for in the open borders theory could hypothetically eliminate global poverty forever.

The researchers responsible for the open borders theory, drawn from such disparate fields as Mathematics, Economics, and Philosophy, argue that through the enforcement of a closed border policy, individuals are stripped of their basic human right of self-determination. Furthermore, by allowing migrants to move freely between nations, the net loss of labor productivity could theoretically double the world’s GDP through the mitigation of capital flow inefficiencies.

In regards to the open borders theory, developmental economist Michael Clemens noted that, “Immigration is very, very far from being a zero-sum game of their poverty or ours. Within ranges that even slightly resemble current migration levels, it is rather simply ‘their poverty or their prosperity,’ while we remain prosperous.”

Additionally, supporters of the open borders theory debunked the notion that a huge influx of migrants would depress the wages of developed countries based upon the net employment gains of the managerial sector. And by enabling efficient use of migrant skill sets underutilized by the inadequate facilities of the global south, developed economies would reap huge financial dividends.

Although the open borders theory is still in its infancy and years away from being considered as a realistic solution to global poverty, innovative ideas such as these help to encourage further debate involving current developmental policy. Michael Clemens remarked that, “Development is about people, not places.”

– Brian Turner

Source: The Atlantic
Photo: Women On The Border