Aug 28 2007

World without borders

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore…
If everyone in the world could choose to live in a faraway land of peace and harmony, without want of coin or freedom, the Scandinavian countries would be the repository of the world’s huddled masses.

As it is, Canada sometimes seems to be the second home to far too many geriatric killers, terrorists and corrupt tycoons. Fair or not, the case of Laibar Singh has brought our nation’s system of immigration under the microscope once again.

Immigration has been good to Canada (even if it wasn’t at all a good thing for its germ-decimated First Nations prior to Confederation). As ever, our citizens must try to sort out people whose own nations have failed to provide for them and those who just need a place to crash where they won’t have to pay for their sins.

Control of borders is hardly a modern concept. Indigenous peoples all over the world had rules about outsiders passing through their territory without permission – often a breach punishable by death.

The No One Is Illegal movement out of Vancouver therefore seems not well thought-out, not to mention probably counter-productive: if national governments have no legitimate control over their own borders or the resources found therein, then by default our North American territory becomes just one big playground for the people with the biggest guns and the most gold – that is, the people to our south whose elected leader has a distinctive Texas twang in his speech.

No one is illegal? Are you sure you won’t reconsider?

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