What Would Open Borders Likely Mean For the U.S. in Terms of Debt, Crime, and Culture?
Last week Kravology featured an article detailing the United Nations’ New Urban Agenda which supports unlimited migration. Talk of ‘open borders’ has been a central theme this election season, primarily due to Trump’s call to build a wall on our southern border and Wikileaks documents revealing Clinton’s desire for a “world without borders.”
To better understand the effects of open border policy, we look to Sweden, which has long regarded itself as a “humanitarian superpower” — proudly offering refuge to those fleeing war and persecution. Sweden, a country of only 9.8 million people, took in approximately 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015. (In 2013 and 2014 the nation took in approximately 82,000 and 55,000 respectively.)
Type ‘asylum’ in Arabic into any search engine and Sweden appears at the top of the results list. So much so, the country has been truly overwhelmed with migrants. Swedish furniture chain IKEA has run out of mattresses in attempting to accommodate refugees as sleeping quarters are set up in hotels, sports halls, ski chalets, summer schools, military camps, museums, theme parks and now tented cities dotting the countryside. Migrant Minister Morgan Johansson has warned Swedish people—who already pay the highest taxes in the EU—that their holiday homes may be seized to help accommodate the influx of more refugees.
Compounding the problem is the fact that many migrants lack the schooling and language skills needed for employment. The drain on public funds is staggering with fewer than 500 of the 163,000 arrivals securing employment last year.
And then there is the crime. Sweden, once a rather idyllic country touting clean cities and below average crime rates has seen violent crime, gang rapes and robbery skyrocket. In fact, Sweden now has the second highest sexual assault rate in the world. Police officials caution people against the use of public transport after dark (particularly for women). And like neighborhoods in Belgium, France and England, there have become no-go zones in Sweden where authorities are often attacked when entering these communities.
In the wake of some particularly violent and disturbing crime reports, it appears the tides are turning as they relate to Sweden’s ‘immigration for all’ mantra. The murder of social worker Alexandra Mezher, 22, who was stabbed at an asylum center for unaccompanied children was widely reported. The perpetrator, a Somali migrant claiming to be 15 years old, was in fact an adult. The backlash from this incident (which occurred in January 2016) has been significant and called into question the integrity of the system.
The influx of unaccompanied minors has increased to over 34,500 year to date (9 times more than in all of 2015). Investigative reporters noticed a spike in the number claiming to be under 18 years of age. Those classified as ‘unaccompanied minor’ receive special benefits and have their applications fast-tracked. Reports also revealed it cost approximately $120,000 per year to house, educate and feed an unaccompanied migrant child.
Swedish authorities refuse to do tests to determine age, calling them invasive and an abuse of human rights, so currently there is no way to determine who is an adult and who is not. Though it is worth noting that in neighboring Denmark, where their approach is more thorough, they have found that 72% of ‘child refugees’ are actually adults. In Finland and Norway that figure is 66%. (A dental x-ray is used to determine age.)
Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji, who himself has an Iranian-Kurdish background, recently described what’s happening in Sweden as “‘quite disastrous.” He said, “This is an irreversible social experiment that no wealthy state has ever attempted. There are almost no ideas or visions over how this can be solved. You can’t combine open borders with a welfare state. If you offer generous benefits, and anyone can come and use these benefits, a very large number of people will try to do that. It’s just mathematically impossible for a country like Sweden to fund that.”
Where once discussions about limiting immigration went against Sweden’s ‘moral code’, now outright protests are not uncommon. Quotes from actual citizens in street protests reveal the real day to day issues the Swedish people face:
Elias, a 56-year doctor: “By the end of next year, income taxes are expected to be running at 60%. The cost of these refugee programs is over [$6 billion US] per year. And just look at our cities and towns. The public areas are filthy, and there are no jobs for these people.”
Mattias, a 43-year-old social worker and father of four said, “I am trying to explain to my children, aged six to 16, what is going on in Sweden. I want my kids to grow up here the way I did, without explosions, hand grenades, car fires, violence, rape, and murder at Ikea.”
Nora, a 42-year old teacher: “All these things are happening due to the unchecked influx from abroad. You are creating a hidden hatred in Sweden. We are dissatisfied by the way immigration is handled.”
Another protester, Marcus, 21, who had voted for the current Social Democrats administration, said he was unhappy still to be living with his parents owing to the housing shortage, “As soon as an old person moves out, eight foreigners move in: they just bypass us young Swedish people waiting in line.”
Elin a 29 year old secretary: “With all the rapes, robberies and murders going on, why aren’t non-Swedes sent back to their countries when they commit crimes?”
Laila a 36-year old nurse: “I was raised in a Stockholm suburb, but seven years ago we moved on because we couldn’t take the dogs out in the evening due to non-Europeans driving on the [sidewalk]. If you didn’t move, they would jump out of the car and hit you. If you called the police, they did nothing.”
By all accounts, immigration has had a tremendous affect on Sweden. Aside from the issues of crime and quality of life issues, the policies have become something the nation is simply unable to afford. In fact Sweden is currently seeking money from the EU Central Bank to subsidize the cost.
As Sweden is a small nation, one might think it unfair to compare it to the U.S. when looking at immigration issues.
While increasing the number of asylum seekers in the U.S. is unlikely to result in Americans unable to find housing, the concerns regarding cost and crime remain. Sweden does not have a true open border, but up until this year, they rarely refused entry to those seeking to relocate. And yet, Sweden is now in the midst of curtailing the applications they accept. Why? Because, at some point, even a healthy economy can become overburdened with welfare demands.
Were the U.S. to consider open borders, experts calculate that upwards of 100 million people would seek residence in the United States. This would mark a fundamental transformation of our country—and one that leaves many critical questions unanswered.
Need I remind the reader our national debt is closing in on $20 trillion dollars? That is $60,975 per citizen and sadly $165,853 per tax paying citizen while the budget deficit is $590,334,868,971 (as I write this). The budget deficit is the difference between the amount of money collected by the IRS and the amount spent by the government.
In the end, what does an open boarder mean, and what are the anticipated outcomes? If Sweden is any indication, a U.S. open border policy would be catastrophic.