Here we are, at the border of the muggle world and the magical world in the Universal Studios theme park. We had to cross many borders to get here.
We crossed the borders of several states, from Ohio to Florida. We crossed the border between reality and fantasy. We crossed the border from adult reasoning, to childhood suspension of disbelief.
We crossed these borders in the confidence that we would be welcome. We anticipated safety and fun.
In a time not that long ago, we easily passed through the borders of our neighboring countries. A driver’s license and the word of our parents was enough to get us into Canada or Mexico. In fact it was more difficult to get into California where travelers were stopped at the border and questioned about produce they might be trying to bring into the state. Sometimes, cars were searched.
Smugglers and criminals were the only ones that needed to have any concerns. Law abiding citizens from either side of theses borders traveled freely for work, day trips, vacations, and even extended visits. It was a pretty safe bet that we could live outside the borders of our country for years, without anyone molesting our peace, as long as we were law-abiding.
Today, the rules are changing. Now it is recommended that we have passports to move between our neighboring countries. Not a big deal. Unfortunately, we hear daily that the free travel between our countries is a problem. It is no longer about smugglers and criminals, but about border security. It is about keeping them out!
This attitude extends beyond our neighboring countries to countries across the world. While we all want to be safe and secure, some of us want to be welcoming. I hope this isn’t simply an old woman’s nostalgia for days gone by.
I long for a world with fewer borders, instead of more borders. Like the Monarch butterfly, and many other of natures creatures, I wish to travel from north to south America and back again. I wish to travel around the beautiful world. I wish to show visitors from other countries our beautiful country.
I wish to be the country of the Statue of Liberty welcoming the downtrodden, and those seeking freedom, and opportunity, as my family was welcomed.
You may ask, “What’s in it for us if we have open borders?”
For one thing, we get some really wonderful restaurants. I do not mean that in a flippant way. We have restaurants representing the foods of Thailand, India, Mexico, Vietnam, Germany, France, Greece, etcetera. Many cities have international festivals that feature the food of many counties.
We also get brain power. Maybe immigrants don’t get here with an education, but they are strongly motivated to learn, they just need the opportunity. They could become the scientist to get us on our way to Mars, or find a cure for a disease. We just don’t know.
We get loyal citizens who will fight to protect their adopted country. Citizens who value freedom. Citizens who value the opportunity our country afords its citizens. Citizens who will fight for what is right in the world.
I know people are afraid of bombers and terrorists, fanatics and crazies. The process to gain entry to immigrate to our country is lengthy. Extensive background checks are completed, and this is a multi step process that takes years, including time after they are settled in our country. To become citizens tests must be taken, and oaths must be sworn. Oaths of allegence and loyalty.
I know I can’t convince you to change your mind, but I can ask you to remember what peace time was like. If you are to young to remember, I ask you to imagine peace time. Maybe I’m only wishing for magic.