The terms “open border” or “closed border” are both silly.
If the border is open then why did the CBP stop 3.6 million people at the southern border in the last two years? If the border is truly “open”, none of 3.6 million would have been stopped.
So what does the term “open border” mean? Apparently it means a lot of people cross the border. But if 3.6 million are being prevented from entering, “open” is a silly term to use.
Terms like “open border” and “closed border” don’t address questions like:
- Does the 3.6 million indicate that more people are showing up at the border trying to cross, or does it meant that CBP is more efficient at catching them?
- What proportion of those 3.6 million are people who were previously caught trying to cross? (22% is the proportion I’ve researched).
So how do you get an “open border” if 3.6 million people are big stopped, and nearly 800,000 of those are being stopped repeatedly? That is patently not “open”.
The term “porous border” fits the situation more neatly, but the word “porous” isn’t as inflammatory as “open”. In political discourse there are no grays. Only black and white, good an evil, us versus them. Open or closed.
Despite the fact that the southern border has always been porous. People (and cattle) have sneaked or been stampeded across it both ways for the last two centuries.
Want a closed border? Try the Berlin Wall. There’s a closed border if ever there was one. Except for the fact that 5,000 people snuck across it despite guards, machine guns, barbed wire, attack dogs, and 55,000 landmines. So the Berlin Wall was porous too.
So how did we come to refer to the southern border with the ridiculous terms “open border” or “closed border”, when such animals never existed? The border certainly isn’t open and it is impossible to close it.
It would be better for everyone to talk about the real and consequential crisis at the border, figure out the compromise solution to ease it, work together, and do what can be done to solve it.
But that doesn’t sell commercials on cable news, or click-bait on the web. What sells advertising is Outrage: good versus evil; Us versus Them; Open versus Closed; The Wall versus kids in cages.
Outrage stimulated in both extremes of the political spectrum makes the rich richer, and the powerful more powerful, with no incentive to solve the problem. Their supporters, on both sides of the political spectrum, are so addicted to their outrage-meth they have no incentive to instruct their politicians to seek compromise.