I saw this Cato article pop up on my Twitter feed today posted by Jordan Peterson.
This info highlights a good counterpoint to a lot of the arguments that were being made for protectionism and building a border wall during the US presidential campaign in favor of Trump's proposed policies; the notion that immigration does not harm societies, but in fact helps them, and here's some data to back that up. As Adam Smith pointed out in Wealth of Nations, similarly to free trade, freedom of movement across borders or anything for that matter, like between professions or within a given city, allows a reliance on market forces to determine what people should be doing. By market forces, I mean voluntary decisions and actions based on the subjective values of the individuals who are effected.
Even before I could have been called a "libertarian" I was an advocate of decentralized decision-making. I noticed how it was more efficient in systems of governance like the early USA vs. the old world, along with flat organizational structures in corporations like early Google vs. say General Motors during the same period. Flat or decentralized structures seem to almost unanimously end up with more valuable systems when you compare them with centralized, rigidly top-down hierarchical structures. My advocacy for decentralized systems has now become rooted in a moral argument based upon non-aggression, but it's nice to still take a look at the data and see why I started thinking about this stuff in the first place; the utilitarian view.
What I find most interesting about this observed efficiency is that the subjective decision-making processes of individuals can so often result in objectively positive outcomes. This has led me to believe that freedom is the only way to consistently achieve these positive results.
The movement of people by voluntary means is no different. Walling yourself off from the rest of the world may keep you safer over the short term, but it also keeps you from interacting with the outside world. You're walling yourself in at the same time, damaging your chances at success in the world, whatever that might mean to you. It's better over the long term to go with peace and prosperity, freely interacting with others, and immigration policy should be moving in that direction, not building walls and keeping certain people out as determined by some centralized authority on high.