Some critics of open borders are concerned that open borders will lead to the rapid spread of communicable diseases currently prevalent in the third world in first world countries, because the immigrants may themselves be infected with communicable diseases.
Here are some examples of these concerns:
- Rick Perry Uses More Science-Based Health Standards than DHS by David North, November 3, 2011, for CIS. (This is actually not an anti-immigration piece per se, although it appears on a website opposed to high levels of immigration. It is included because it does illustrate some of the disease-related concerns that restrictionists have about immigrants).
- National Data | Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor … Your Infectious Diseases? by Edwin Rubinstein, September 30, 2004, for VDARE.
- WSJ Edit Page: “Cheap Domestic Servants Worth Disease, Terrorism Risk.” by Sam Francis, March 21, 2002, for VDARE.
Since this is not a very common criticism of open borders, it has not received much attention from open borders advocates. However, a comment by Vipul Naik on the Open Borders blog, and follow-up comments, explore the main counter-arguments. Here’s a quote of the original comment:
Chris, regarding the point you make about disease, I would add that the bigger danger is from tourism and short business trips, not from long-term migration. In the US, there are about 20X as many short-term business/tourist visits as the number of migrants (legal and illegal), as David Friedman documents here: http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2006/03/immigration-and-terrorism.html
So a restrictionist who takes the disease argument seriously should wish to close down the borders not just to migrants, but to short-term business/tourist visas. I doubt even restrictionists would be willing to bite that isolationism bullet.