The WSJ's Melanie Kirkpatrick opines that China should open its 900 miles of border with it's rogue neighbor to solve the North Korean problem by collapsing Kim Jong Il's regime. A Chinese government document reports that 400,000 illegal North Korean immigrants have entered the PRC in the last 23 years and that they just keep coming. This, she argues, evinces the humanitarian crisis that is North Korea.
Like our estimates of illegal immigrants within the US, the Chinese estimate is probably too low. But for purposes of comparison, we can use both. Currently, about 1.5 million illegal immigrants enter the US each year (a little over half voluntarily return home or are detained and sent home), more than two-thirds of whom are from Mexico. Thus, somewhere around one million illegal Mexican aliens enter the US each year, while 400,000 Koreans have illegally crossed into China over the last 2.3 decades.
Mexico has around 8 million migrants stateside, compared to 100,000 or so North Koreans illegally in China. Mexico's population is five times that of the North's, so adjusted for population Mexico has lost 16 times as many people to illegal emigration to the US as North Korea has lost to China. There are, of course, big differences, namely that Mexicans fleeing Mexico are celebrated by the Mexican government, while North Koreans fleeing North Korea risk severe punishment if captured and returned home.
I'm a bit confused. If we make the US-Mexico border airtight, the Mexican government will collapse (a bad thing). But if the China-Korea border is sealed up, Kim Jong Il's regime will live on in perpetuity (another bad thing).
I suppose the logic of it doesn't matter--the crucial point the WSJ wants to make is that open borders are a wonderful thing to be celebrated in all places (except for in the Middle East, where tight borders in Iraq and Israel are advocated).