Democrats should follow their voters, who increasingly want more open borders, and reframe the immigration debate by rejecting the very notion that the border needs more “security” and making it clear that the real problem is the denial of migrants’ rights. The time has come for the Democratic Party to push for concrete policies to make the border more open.
There is plainly no need for more security on the border. Illegal entries to the United States (as measured by Border Patrol apprehensions, which the government has long used as a proxy) began to fall at the turn of the century, and have plummeted since 2006. They remain at historic lows today. Those who are coming to the country are often Central Americans fleeing violence that United States policy in the region helped foment.
And when it comes to drugs — a favorite justification of Mr. Trump’s for his wall — evidence shows that more “border security” does not stop trafficking.