Open borders and passport-free travel are arguably human rights

Open borders and passport-free travel can be viewed from both secular and religious perspectives. However the cultural intersection of these view points is rife with complex issues. While each offers unique insights, they also reflect broader ethical, moral, and practical considerations that should shape contemporary debates on immigration and migration policies. Unfortunately, the ruling class and its corporate sponsors prioritize the accumulation of wealth through manipulation of the popular opinion over all moral concerns. So let’s explore both secular and religious perspectives of open borders, examining their underlying principles, historical contexts, and implications for the current global landscape.

Religious traditions across the world provide moral and ethical frameworks for addressing issues related to migration and border control. The concept of God’s creation is often invoked to argue against the imposition of human-made boundaries. According to many religious traditions, God is viewed as the creator of the universe and all its inhabitants. This perspective emphasizes the interconnection and unity of all living beings, regardless of nationality or ethnicity. It suggests that the earth and its resources are gifts from God to be shared by all of humanity, rather than divided by artificial borders.

In Christianity, for example, the Bible contains numerous passages emphasizing the importance of compassion, hospitality, and solidarity with strangers and immigrants. The parable of the Good Samaritan, for example challenged xenophobic ideas of it’s time, shaming those who overlooked one in need, while painting the outsider as a charitable example to follow. The story attributed to Christ’s teachings serves as a powerful example of the moral imperative to care for those in need, regardless of their nationality or status. Similarly, the Hebrew Bible contains injunctions to treat foreigners with kindness and justice, reminding believers of their own history as immigrants and strangers in the land of Egypt. These religious teachings emphasize the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, regardless of where they come from, and call on believers to advocate for justice and compassion in their treatment of migrants and refugees.

In Islam, the concept of hospitality (known as “karam”) holds great significance, with the Quran and Hadith urging believers to welcome strangers and provide for the needs of travelers and immigrants. The Quranic injunction to “uphold the ties of kinship” is often interpreted as extending to all humanity, encouraging Muslims to show kindness and generosity to all individuals, regardless of their nationality or background. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad himself was a migrant, fleeing persecution in Mecca and seeking refuge in Medina, thus providing a powerful example of solidarity with refugees and migrants. These religious teachings emphasize the importance of empathy, compassion, and hospitality in the treatment of migrants and refugees, reflecting a broader commitment to social justice and human dignity.

Secular perspectives on borders and migration often center on principles of human rights, social justice, and pragmatic considerations. Secular humanism, for instance, prioritizes the autonomy and dignity of individuals, advocating for the removal of barriers that restrict freedom of movement and opportunity. Ironically animals can cross borders completely free of political restriction, provided their migration is without human assistance. From a human rights perspective, borders are seen as arbitrary and discriminatory, denying individuals their inherent right to seek safety, asylum, and a better life. Moreover, secular analyses of history and politics highlight the role of borders in perpetuating inequalities, reinforcing systems of oppression, and exacerbating conflicts and tensions between nations and peoples. From a pragmatic standpoint, open borders can facilitate economic growth, cultural exchange, and innovation, benefiting both individuals and societies. By removing barriers to movement and fostering greater interconnection and cooperation, open borders can contribute to the building of more inclusive, diverse, and resilient communities.

Both secular and religious morality offer valuable arguments for open borders and passport-free travel. Whether grounded in principles of compassion, justice, or pragmatism, the case for open borders reflects a broader commitment to human dignity, solidarity, and global cooperation. Individuals should have the liberty to travel, reside, and work in any place they choose, within and across national borders without hindrance. This right is enshrined in various international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By acknowledging the human right to freedom of movement, societies create more equitable and humane systems of immigration and migration, promoting greater understanding, empathy, and collaboration across borders and cultures. Lastly, by opening the borders everywhere, people will go to the places they choose, to become part of the prevalent culture, and will not be shipped to live among and at the mercy of people who they view as enemies, responsible for their need to seek refuge in the first place. Ultimately, the pursuit of open borders is not only a moral imperative but also a practical necessity in building a more just, peaceful, and prosperous world for all.

Hamilton Steele

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