Is the Phrase 'Open Borders' a Libertarian Mistake?

As Trump cracks down yet again, Reason's editors disagree over labeling in immigration policy.


The past 24 hours have seen two unrelated events tethered to America's ever-contentious immigration debates: (1) President Donald Trump reportedly forcing out Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, on the grounds that she somehow wasn't tough enough, and (2) the launch announcement by pals o' Reason Bryan Caplan and Zach Weinersmith of their new graphic nonfiction paperback Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration. (Pre-order here!)

So what happens if you mash up these two events? Well, if you're the Editors' Roundtable edition of the Reason Podcast, you get into a spirited debate over whether the phrase "open borders" actually describes your immigration worldview, let alone is an effective way of selling it. Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and yours truly argue about that, plus President Donald Trump's interest in increasing family separations, whether the phrase "military-industrial complex" is for hippies, and how a show with a name like Love, Death & Robots could have managed to escape Katherine's attention.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

"When You're Gone" by Bombay Laughing Club is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Is Leaving Wednesday. Will Her Replacement Be Worse?" by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Kirstjen Nielsen and John Kelly Keep Lying About 'Zero Tolerance' and Child Snatching, While Donald Trump Tells the Truth," by Jacob Sullum

"Trump Says Kidnapping Unauthorized Immigrants' Children Is an Effective Deterrent," by Jacob Sullum

"Child Separation Policy at Border Led to Procedural, Personal Chaos, Says Inspector General Report," by Brian Doherty

"Bryan Caplan's New Book on Open Borders," by Ilya Somin

"Bernie Sanders Reminds Voters That He Is Absolutely Against Open Borders," by Robby Soave

"Debate: Nations Can and Should Control Their Borders," by Jonathan H. Adler and Shikha Dalmia

"Rand Paul and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Found Something They Can Agree On," by Joe Setyon

"Trump Ain't Dismantling the American Empire," by Shikha Dalmia

"Sens. Rand Paul, Tom Udall Introduce Bill to End the War in Afghanistan," by Christian Britschgi

"Washington Imperialists Fret Over Trump's Troop Withdrawals," by Matt Welch

"Netflix's Love, Death and Robots Is a Sci-Fi Demo Reel For the Untapped Potential of Animation," by Peter Suderman

"Bret Easton Ellis on American Psycho, Hollywood Hypocrisy, and the Excesses of #MeToo," by Nick Gillespie and Paul Detrick

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