Why Americans Should Immigrate

And why we all need Open Borders

Tom Hanks, your everyman, has got a better passport now. Look for the exits.

The immigration debate is viewed one way. Us hopping over your wall. But walls go two ways. Americans* are now trapped inside, with the plague and fascism on your side.

You know what my immigrant parents did when things got this bad? They moved. If you can see past the impossibility of this happening to America, this is happening to America. We have been there and we cannot warn you hard enough. Sure you need to fight, but thinking about your families, y’all need to move.

For the first time, Americans can understand the immigration debate from the other side. Because you’re the shithole now.

I think this gives us common cause.

Open Borders is usually framed as a debate about rich/white people letting more people in, but the entire terms of the debate have changed. Right now you need to get out. I’ve been talking about this for a while, but right now Open Borders benefit us all.

What I Don’t Mean

When I say we have common cause, let me tell you what I don’t mean. I do not mean you coming here as expats, or digital nomads, or tourists, or all the terms you use to describe racist opportunities we do not have.

Why don’t we call Nigerians expats? Why don’t you see any Ugandan ‘digital nomads’? Have you tried being an Iranian tourist? Your spoiled kids get to hang out of trains and ‘see the world’ while we get humiliated at best and our wombs ripped out at worst. You come here and complain you can’t get a flat white. Meanwhile, you cut our water bottles and leave us in the desert to die.

It sickens me to see white people parading around here while we are caged like animals in a zoo. That’s not what I mean at all. I mean equality.

When I say Open Borders I mean a door, not a wall. A door that opens both ways.

Open Borders is often framed as ‘look, we’ll come and work for you, we’ll take care of your parents and feed your lazy asses, please let us in’. But that’s not what I mean at all. You should be so lucky if we want to give you the gift of our talents and labor and cuisine.

Open Borders means any human can go where they can make a better life for their children. Right now the human who needs that is you, not me. My kids are fine. My kids are in school and not at risk from some disease that does God knows what in 10 years. Right now the migrant kids you should be thinking about are your own.

Why?

When I first came back from Canada/America to Sri Lanka people were like “why?” Everybody was trying to get out. But now America looks like Sri Lanka did 20 years ago. Constant war, civil unrest, poverty, corruption. Sri Lanka meanwhile is fine.

It’s like this all over the world. All these place you only know from disasters or war, most of them have moved on. We’ve come up. You call us developing, but what does that even mean? What does development mean if you can’t marshall PPE, or do contact tracing, or even work together to wear masks? In all the ways that count we are the developed world. America is in decline.

The fact is that I live here because it’s a better life. I can earn like $20,000 a year and live really well. That’s below the US poverty line for a family of four, but it goes really far down here. I earn from the US (on Medium), which is something you could do if your job is remote. I mean, if everyone’s a face on a Zoom call, who cares where your butt is?

And I don’t just mean Sri Lanka, pick a place — Senegal, Rwanda, Mongolia, Ghana, Taiwan. Literally every place on Earth besides India, Brazil or Russia is more livable than the United States right now. That’s how far you’ve fallen (and you can’t get up).

Even without COVID, American life has been going south. By the simplest measure, children live worse than their parents. The economy grows on paper, but that all goes to the wealthy, who stash it in tax havens. America invests nothing in itself. Americans are sick, tired, poor and 40% of them will keep it that way to ‘own the libs’. Do you really think your kids will have a better life than you? Can you not see things getting dramatically, dangerously worse?

This is precisely why people migrate. To make a better life for their children.

It’s Time To Go

Seriously y’all, it’s time to go. Many of us have lived through the slide into dictatorshit that you’re experiencing, and it takes at least three generations to clear, if you’re lucky. And no you’re not going to solve it with one election, when 40% of your population remains highly armed and insane. Many of our parents decided to migrate at similar times. If you can see past the impossibility of this happening to you, you might have time to get out of the way. Some of you already have.

Now, back to my point. Our common cause. For some reason, some of us still want to come to your dumpster fire, or the flaming trash cans known as the EU and UK. Maybe we can help you out with our knowledge of public health and not being insane. We have the right to do this without being drowned, murdered, or eviscerated. My broad deal is that you can come here if we can come there. As equals. Open Borders.

Open Borders

I am of course in no position to offer you a deal. And neither can you negotiate with me. Hence solidarity. We have common cause in freedom. Our children are all trapped by the birthright lottery. Mine since colonialism, but yours right now. Let it spark empathy in you. And also self-interest. Freedom is our common cause.

We all benefit from a world where people can move freely, as they did before the world wars and for millennia before then. This is literally how you got where you are you genocidal bastards. Even my ancestors came here from somewhere else (thousands of years ago) and have been getting slutty with sailors for centuries.

Movement is the lifeblood of civilization but we act as if blood is soil. We’ve created a world where capital can move but common people cannot, but we can just as easily create another. A better one. Just as our ancestors overthrew feudalism and left their fiefs, we must do the same. It’s not right to bind people to land, be it a manor or a nation-state.

What I propose to you is simply this. A world where your children and mine are judged not by the circumstances of their birth, but by the content of their character. An end to the birthright lottery and the return of our true birthright — freedom. And the foundation of all freedom. The freedom to move.

I hope you can understand this now, because you feel it. You feel trapped, as we have been, and you feel the need to move as many of us felt before; as many of us still feel. This is a human need. Free movement is a human right. For you as well as me and, frankly, right now you need it more.

Wake up Americans. You need to move.

*I say Americans but it could as easily be British, Hungarians, Brazilians, whatever your shithole is. Freedom means freedom for everybody.

Written by

A writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He/him. indi@indi.ca. Videos: tiny.cc/indication and podcast: anchor.fm/indication. patreon.com/indication

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