Was Ayn Rand for Open Borders?

Open Borders

This post was originally published on The American Thinker.

For over 30 years, I’ve been reading and re-reading Ayn Rand’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, and I don’t recall anything that suggests she was in favor of open borders.  Furthermore, Ayn Rand died in 1982 – she never witnessed the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11, the steady stream of terrorist massacres throughout the great, historical cities of Europe and on American soil, or the large-scale invasion of so-called “refugees” into Europe.  Islam and immigration were not cultural or political issues during her lifetime.

So why am I even asking if Ayn Rand would have been for open borders?

After Ayn Rand’s death, her heir, Leonard Peikoff, formed the Ayn Rand Institute (ARI).  The most prominent of Objectivists followed Dr. Peikoff and are currently ensconced at the ARI today, advocating for open borders, seemingly in Ayn Rand’s name.

Why is this of importance?  Because most influential conservatives today have been greatly influenced by Ayn Rand’s ideas, and so will future generations.  And it would be disturbing if her legacy is being hijacked by what Milo Yiannopoulos calls “social justice warriors” (SJWs), just as the SJWs have hijacked the universities, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the corporate news media, sports, advertising, etc.  Therefore, the question has to be asked: is Ayn Rand’s name being fraudulently used to promote open borders?  ARI Watch seems to believe so.

The most prominent establishment Objectivist after Leonard Peikoff may be Dr. Harry Binswanger.  On his website, HBL, this is what he writes about immigration: “[t]his is a defense of a policy of absolutely open immigration, without border patrols, border police, border checks, or passports.  After a phase-in period, entry into the U.S. would be unrestricted, unregulated, and unscreened, exactly as is entry into Connecticut from New York.”

I don’t know in what world Dr. Binswanger is living if he believes that anyone should be able to enter the U.S. without inspection.  If Dr. Binswanger’s ideas were implemented in the real world, it would be raining nonstop flights from third-world countries into America, and America’s southern land border would be overflowing with populations from Central American countries.  There would be complete chaos, such as in the hospitals as people from around the world immigrated for free medical treatment – but that would be just the beginning.  If “unrestricted, unregulated, and unscreened” immigration would be allowed, in a matter of months, it would lead to widespread anarchy and crime.

Moreover, under what moral theory can Dr. Binswanger justify foreign nationals having the right to simply enter the United States without inspection?  How could the United States be a sovereign nation with open borders?  How could it survive?  How could it even be considered a nation?  Isn’t President Trump correct when he says: “A nation without borders is not a nation”?

Dr. Binswanger is not the only advocate for open borders within the Ayn Rand Institute.  Its chairman of the board, Dr. Yaron Brook, is also an open border advocate, and in his 11/05/2016 lecture, “Free Will and Free Borders,” he actually advocates for foreign nationals to enter the United States illegally.  After first stating (at the 10:40 mark) that “we have the dumbest, stupidest immigration laws in America today” and that “Donald Trump will probably even make them stupider,” Dr. Brook, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Israeli background, states the following:

Walls don’t actually prevent people from entering the country.  They can dig under, they can go over, they can go around[.] … Do you know that Mexicans now don’t need a visa to enter Canada?  Canada is allowing Mexicans to come to Canada with no visa?  What does that mean?  You buy an airplane ticket, which is less than paying a coyote, right?  And you go to Canada, and you cross the border.

Unfortunately, it gets worse.  Brook not only advocates for illegal immigration, but seems to worships it.  At the 15:43 mark, he states the following:

People talk about anchor babies. … Women who come to America to have a baby in America.  Wow!  Is my approach.  Here’s a pregnant woman willing to walk across a desert so that her child is born in freedom.  That’s an amazing choice[.] … And we want to say: Oh no!  Bad people!  This is what America was supposed to be about.  About taking your life seriously, pursuing happiness, pursuing freedom, making the most of your life.  Now you might say they come here and they take welfare, and they just come to have babies in order to get the welfare.  Really?  It’s just empirically not true[.] … You’re going to walk across the desert, you’re going to risk your life, and your baby’s life, to get a check from the government?  I don’t think so.  Something else is driving you[.] … Maybe when you get here, it is hard to find a job, because you know what?  We’ve declared you illegal so it’s really hard to find a job and you get on welfare for awhile.

Besides Dr. Brook having his facts wrong about welfare, I don’t think Ayn Rand would say “wow” to any of this.  I think there is a greater chance she would say “moochers” or “looters.”  I believe that as a patriotic American, Ayn Rand would have asked questions such as “What about the individual rights of the American citizens?  What about their right to national security and safety?  And why are productive Americans forced to pay for the medical expenses of illegal aliens?  Based on what moral code?”  Unfortunately, these questions were not asked or answered by Dr. Brook, nor by any other prominent Objectivist (see this tweet).  In the end, we can only assert: “Not in Ayn Rand’s name!”

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This post was originally published on The American Thinker.