Migration as a Human Right

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As we continue to unravel our genome, evidence is accumulating that indicates humans have been wandering about the globe and intermixing freely for millennia. Were it not for human migration, every single human on earth would be gathered in the northwest corner of Africa. Migration has made the world what it is today. The evidence provided by examining the genetic background of humanity confirms that migration and resettlement is the norm rather than the exception.
When our ancestors first came out of Africa and spread to populate the world they did not have to contend with immigration/emigration laws or the politicians who seize upon this as an issue. Moving into untouched land, the first immigrants were confined only by their will.  
The beginnings of civilization brought an end to this state of existence. With the development of allegiances and the emergence of a formal political structure and defined (and defended) territories, one could no longer move unfettered from place to place. Immigration and emigration came under the control of the kings, governments and warlords.
Societies developed different rationales for whom to let in and whom to let out. Laws concerning emigration have historically proven particularly troublesome. Impediments to emigration have often been used as a means to suppress political opposition. Denial of passports, denial of freedom to relocate, denial of the ability to live where one chooses are abuses far more pernicious than the denial of the right to enter a country. Denial of the right to leave a place is a form of involuntary captivity.
By extension, being forced to leave a country or land is the most extreme example of the power of the state as regards its territorial claims. The specific issue of Mexican immigrants in the US today involves a great case of collective amnesia as regards history.  
When the United States took Texas and large parts of the Southwest from Mexico, it forcibly removed people born in the area because of their race, not their birthright. That long forgotten forced repatriation to Mexico has led to a situation where the US is now trying to deport the descendants of individuals who were born in the US and removed against their will.
In addition to the forced removal of a vast number of individuals born north of the Rio Grande to Mexico, there are also the forced settlements on “reserves” and “Reservations” of indigenous people in the US, Canada, Australia and numerous South American countries.  
In these cases, people were stripped of their land and then forced to live in small defined areas. What act is more hostile than forced confinement? How is this different than imprisonment?
All of these groups have one common factor, a lack of political power. Those with political power and/or financial resources are almost never prevented from traveling and living wherever they choose.  
In the converse, those without political power or financial means are almost always constricted in where they are allowed to live. Constraints on either immigration or emigration must be called what they are, a violation of a basic human right.  
Articles 13 through 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 provides support to the right of all individuals to live whereever they choose.
Denial of the right to immigration, however, is usually presented as a means to protect a country. The arguments are many, and on the face, convincing. Protection of jobs, need to orderly settle new residents, need to control for spread of disease,etc. Of course, if you accept these arguments your logical position would be to oppose all immigration. Keep everyone out.
Pro-immigration forces present positive reasons. New skills, diversity, strengthen intellectual capital and the need for new workers to meet the needs of an aging population. Some countries with low birth rates will need an influx of immigration to replace the current work forces.
Many countries have policies on who to keep out and let in based on their needs.  Others like the US have a patchwork of requirements that change depending on country of origin, skill set, relatives, etc.
All the arguments against or for immigration are specious if it is a human right. It doesn’t matter if immigrants will cause a problem in their new homes. So will some of the people who’ve lived there forever. Are you going to kick them out? 
In truth, the reason people concoct rationales against immigration and immigrants are that people are uncomfortable living around people different from themselves. Thinly veiled racism smolders just below the surface in proposals to control immigration. Those who are the most anti-immigrant are those who are the most insular in their lives. Anti-immigrant fervor is ignited by fear. All the other rationales concocted to limit or prohibit immigration are just red herrings. 
So why then is there even a question as to whether anyone can emigrate from or immigrate to any place that they choose? Laws preventing the free passage of individuals anywhere on earth must be seen for what they are, the outdated symbol of the xenophobic fear of the other that silently underpins all resistance to the free movement of any individuals. 
Accepting immigration as a human right changes the entire discourse. No longer can there be any such thing as an illegal alien. If there is free speech, can there be illegal free speech?

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