People in America believe more in open borders the more the following is true:
1. They treat impact on non-Americans as carrying roughly equivalent moral weight to impact on Americans.
1.1 Their moral tastes are lower on the grouping axes (Purity, Loyalty, Authority).
1.2 They are higher on the (group-independent) human-freedom axis (Liberty).
2. They believe that the benefits to the immigrants are much higher than the costs to the natives.
And the converse. People are opposed to open borders the more they:
1. Think some groups deserve special moral weight (people like me, people who live in America).
2. They believe that the costs to the natives are not much lower than the benefits to the immigrants.
#1 is not debatable...it's a moral taste argument. The is/ought gap is still as wide as ever.
So the argument has a quite narrow flow. What are the costs and benefits?
The entire anti-immigration argument on this blog can be summarized:
- Immigration hurts natives more than you are giving credit.
- Natives take precedence
- The benefit of immigration to the immigrants is absurdly high
- Native liberty only takes a little precedence. (Hans + stealing bread?)
The anti-immigrationist argument over the last few years is..."I'm not interested (A), I'm interested in (1). Let's talk about that instead."
I think the Caplans and Aretaes of the world could be convinced that immigration restriction had some redeeming qualities rather than being near the top of the greatest Western government evils of the modern era (with Obama's drones, non-defensive wars, the Drug War)...if the immigrationist (A) were addressed directly. Talking about (1) simply isn't very persuasive, because it doesn't hit what we see as the crux of the issue.
Similarly, in my last 3 years of blogging, I've never seen an anti-immigrationist even care much about the pro-immigrationist central issue (A). The only topic under discussion is (1). If we immigrationists are to be persuasive at all, we have to address (1).
Anyhow, the blog that's discussing this stuff better than, but on the same side of the issue as I am is here.