Why Do Libertarians and the Left Have Such Similar Views on Immigration? – New York Magazine

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In a July 2015 interview with Vox, Bernie Sanders — America’s most prominent democratic socialist — famously dismissed the idea of open borders as a “Koch brothers proposal.” Pressed by host Ezra Klein, who suggested that sharply increasing immigration to the United States would “make a lot of the global poor richer,” Sanders elaborated:

That’s a right-wing proposal that says essentially that there is no United States… If you believe in a nation-state, in a country called the United States… you have an obligation, in my view, to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour. That would be great for them. I don’t believe in that.

As a matter of practical politics, Sanders was only half-right. It’s true that full-blown open-border advocates tend to be free-market libertarians. But under Trump, immigration restriction has become signature right-wing policy, while support among Democrats for more open immigration has skyrocketed. Thanks to the efforts of activist Sean McElwee, “Abolish ICE” has even become a rallying cry on the socialist left — one that Sanders embraced earlier this year, perhaps unaware of McElwee’s own view that socialism should strive for a “radical flattening of the global income distribution.”