Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Borders without visas

Let's live up to the promise of NAFTA and allow a free flow of people in North America.
By Tim Cavanaugh, TIM CAVANAUGH is the Web editor of Reason magazine. E-mail tcavanaugh@reason.com.
May 23, 2006

AMONG THE MANY measures and half-measures that are being proposed to solve the crisis of illegal immigration, there have been some real doozies: a 700-mile wall to keep people out (or in?); a temporary guest-worker program that may end up harming both American and Mexican employees; even a scheme for the largest mass deportation in U.S. history.

But here's one good idea you won't hear about. Let's allow the North American Free Trade Agreement to live up to its promise and permit citizens of Canada, the United States and Mexico to move and work freely among the three countries.

If that sounds crazy, it's only because a century's worth of regulatory corrosion and toxic bureaucracy have made us forget that this is how things used to be. For most of American history, immigration was either open or so lightly regulated that the United States was effectively open to everybody. MORE

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