Saturday, October 14, 2006

WSJ for open borders in China, in general

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).

(International2)

7 comments:

JSBolton said...

They want us to see only good people getting out of bad places. Our loyalty, though, should be to the good people in good places who will suffer from the bad or just ordinary needy cases, piling up wherever there is still something left to redistribute their way.
Someone escaping from NK doesn't stay in China forever; they end up in SK. That government is careful about vetting those whom they slowly process in. Someone from Mexico going to the US, or an Algerian to France are really not even comparable in terms of the step they are taking. The fallacy is equivocation; not all opennessses of borders have comparable significance.

JSBolton said...

By the way, thanks for your words on my behalf at Parapundit.
It is always great to have allies swoop down unexpectedly; but especially so when there is too much to get to.
I only just now got around to responding, and throwing out what I hope will be my last bit of venom for that overgrown thread.

crush41 said...

John,

More than happy to defend a misdirected attack on your thoughtful commentary. Unfortunately I was uncharacteristically hasty and made a bone-headed calculation about the number of non-violent deaths reported in the survey (confusing the reported incremental with the historical total).

Anonymous said...

The NK illegals in China are not exactly welcomed either by the PRC gov't (nor by the Chinese, imagine). They live in fear of being caught and sent back to NK, most often to their death.

In the US, we simply let illegals do what they want, hell, they get food stamps and legal protection by the Feds and ACLU, etc...

I really feel for the North Koreans, they truly are trying to escape from a hell. The illegals coming into the US are not even close to those circumstances. If anybody tries to tell you how bad Mexico is, then they are either lying or don't know. It is for economic reasons only, and the fact that there will be no punishment, only rewards, that the illegals come to America.
The Chinese are not hindered by PC nonsense, leftists, big business, WSJ and NY Times types who essentially advocate the dissolution of their nation. In my opinion, illegals should be afraid to cross our borders and if they make it here, they should live in fear of deportation. Too bad it is probably never going to happen.

crush41 said...

Anon,

I agree with you, and I'm not trying to equivocate regarding the North Korean and Mexican immigrant movements. I just find it interesting that the WSJ argues that 400,000 North Koreans escaping to China illustrates the North Korean humanitarian crisis, but 8 million-plus Mexicans escaping to the US apparently doesn't say anything about a humanitarian crisis in Mexico.

China's monetary standard of living is about four times that of North Korea, just as the US' monetary standard of living is about four times that of Mexico.

Anonymous said...

By the way, thanks for your words on my behalf at Parapundit.

Got a link for that. Just curious. Thanks.

crush41 said...

Anon,

It's here. Be warned, the comment section exploded on this post.