Take a hypothetical country which has a less prosperous country at its border. Many people from the less prosperous country cross the border looking for work and/or to commit crimes (among those crimes, crossing the border illegally).
If it was your country, how would you handle it?
Are there current trade deals that need to be considered? Are there military alliances? Is the difference in standard of living dramatic? Is there a significant amount of corruption in the less prosperous country or my country? Does the other country share similar cultural ideas in comparison to mine? Do we have a bloody history, a shared history, a history of cooperation, or something else entirely? What kind of government do I run? Do I have to worry considerably about public opinion? What is my current economic situation? I'm sure my people are angry about the rising crime, but are they concerned about the jobs or the influx of people in general?
There's just so many variables to consider in order to come to a "best" conclusion that I don't think that this question is answerable. Otherwise, many countries in this predicament would have already solved it.
Unfortunately, this is a question which probably has to be solved one way or another. You can't have a country without firm borders any more than you can have a house without walls.
Why not? Many nomadic African tribes have, for centuries, moved from place to place ignoring borders, if they were even aware of their existence.
A hundred years from now, I can see this country known as the United States of North America, consisting of Canada, Mexico and the USA.
We don't live in a hunter/gatherer world anymore. As for your US of North America, THAT country will need to have borders. Who is covered by what law? Who owes taxes to whom? Things like that. A borderless country isn't a country.
Funny you should say that - one of our astronauts who orbited our globe commented that when he looked down at that beautiful blue marble we call Earth, he couldn't see any.
Borders? We don't need no stinking borders!
I care nothing for politics, I care about people.
I lived in Mexico for six years, directly across the street from the Pacific Ocean - at ten every morning, from my balcony, I could set my watdh by a school of dolphins that moved down the coast, feeding.
I rented a house there before loading all I had onto a UHaul truck and heading south. At the border, a border guard told me I needed to drive my truck to a special staging area, unload it entirely for inspection, then, if none were found, I could reload the truck and be on my way. "Or," he suggested, "You give me $20, es OK!" I gladly paid the twenty.
During those six years, six of the best of my life, I lived among the warmest, kindest, most caring people I had ever known. During that time, I needed no passport, paid no taxes to Mexico, even my landlord lived in the States, so other than the money I spent there for groceries, gasoline and utilities, I left none of my money in Mexico, yet somehow, the country managed to get along without it.
After my return to the States, I hear of all of the plans to keep Mexicans out of this country, and it sickens me. We stole Texas from Mexico, and California as well, and the other parts of Mexico, we bought from France, during the one year that they illegally ruled Mexico - half of this country was illegally taken from Mexico, yet our politicians work overtime to keep Mexicans out of this country. The Mexicans I know have a work ethic similar to the one Americans had and lost, when we learned we could make more money using our heads, than we could using our muscles. We could learn a lot from them.
Dream on. A world without borders is not a very popular notion, nor will it be anytime soon.
BTW, while I haven't spent 6 years in Mexico, I've been there and love the people. Crossing the border breaks the law and accepting illegal immigration makes a sham of legal immigration.
You reject religion, yet affirm the wisdom of politicians?
In principle it's easy: create a disincentive to immigrate and an incentive to stay. Figure out why people are immigrating and get rid of the pros for moving and the cons for staying. The hard part is the execution.
You can't have a house without four walls and neither can you have a cage without them. For some people, that is what they are doing; they are escaping from a bad situation and trying to make a better one. Just as an example, people have been coming to the US from Central America literally by the truck loads. One of the reasons for this is because they can get a crappy job that pays $6.50 and hour and still make more in a day then they would in their home country in a week or more. We also have a decent and free education that is better than they could get in their home country. If they are seriously injured, they can go to an ER and get treated for free if they can't pay. We have more order and stability here so things like violent drug cartels and corrupt cops aren't an issue. Those are pretty serious incentives to risk coming to America, even if you might get caught and thrown out again.
In opposition and in order to decrease that incentive, states have passed legislation making it more difficult to hire illegal immigrants by fining business that do (in Georgia), questioning the citizenship status of students in public schools (in Alabama), and being able to question the status of anyone pulled over for any reason (in Arizona).
Make it too risky to enter and hopefully work to rid people of the issues that plague their lives and that cause them to leave in the first place. But I'd like to turn it back to you and hear what your thoughts are on the matter.
A major reason why people go from one country to another is to find work. If there were no need for additional labor, there'd be no incentive for the immigrants to cross the border.
One way to approach illegal immigrants is to make them legal with a guest worker program. They would register, get a visa with a term on it which is renewable, keep their whereabouts on record, and in exchange get access to basic health services for them and whatever family they bring with them (spouses, children) as well as access to education. This would function to help upgrade the other country's standard of living, which, as has been pointed out elsewhere, would decrease the incentive to cross the border.
That's not a bad plan, and it shows compassion - I like that.
"A major reason why people go from one country to another is to find work. If there were no need for additional labor, there'd be no incentive for the immigrants to cross the border."
By that reasoning and considering America's relatively high unemployment that has lead to an overabundance of available workers, one would think that immigration would have ground to a halt. Fewer jobs = less incentive to move. That hasn't happened so there is obviously more to this one situation between America and it's southern border.
Don't get me wrong. I like your idea and it reminds me of the plan the GW proposed in a State of the Union speech a few years back that never got a warm reception, but at the same time, it doesn't really stem the tide of immigration. It simply provides a means making legal everything that illegal immigrants are already doing. Anyone who doesn't get picked for the guest worker program will still come over as they do now. Anyone who can't be admitted quickly enough, quickly as perceived by the immigrant, will resort to entering the country by any means necessary. A new avenue of the forged document market will open up and ultimately, people will continue to cross the border both legally and illegally.
It will upgrade the standard of living eventually, but that may take a decade. As you pointed out to someone else. What happens in the mean time? There are also other contributing factors that may retard that growth in the less prosperous country. Back to the example of Mexico, rampant corruption and widespread violence from drug cartels makes it unlikely, that even if this program were implemented, to increase the country's standard of living. The cartels will steal, threaten, or kill anyone who can threaten their power. Corrupt police and politicians will require bribes to get anything done and provide basic security. In a country that can't enforce its laws and that can't provide stability, It can't grow. It will only decay.
And the reality is that many people in the prosperous country are likely to get angry that the money the immigrant workers are making will be sent to another country. Not to mention money that will be taken by the cartels or skimmed off by corruption. The immigrant parents are putting more children into an already overcrowded and failing school system are diverting resources to children who, unless they are given citizenship, will be forced to return to their countries of birth. Then there are the differences in cultures, xenophobic fears played up by opportunists, and everyday irrational hatred to consider.
Personally, I favor an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach. Like I said before, there's a lot to consider.