Few Americans Want Open Borders— Democrats Included

Trump and his supporters often label his critics as believers in “open borders.” Most aren’t.

Robert Stribley
8 min readFeb 22, 2019
Protestor at a rally in Brooklyn, NY. Trump and his supporters often conflate criticism like this with a belief in “open borders.” Photos: Robert Stribley

The reaction is now predictable: Argue for treating undocumented immigrants humanely on American soil and you’ll find yourself accused of believing in “open borders.” As if it’s a binary, either/or position. You either believe in building Trump’s “Great Wall.” You believe in separating children from their parents at the U.S. border. You believe in removing undocumented immigrants from the country who have lived here for decades. Or you believe in “open borders.” It’s a blunt rhetorical trick. It’s crass. But it works. So it’s employed by everyone from the current president down to the many supporters and trolls who carry his water on social media.

Fear mongering, of course, lies at the heart of this accusation. The implication being that critics of Trump’s policies, Democrats in particular, don’t care about safety. They don’t mind who comes into the country. And in turn, that accusation comes coupled with insinuations that those immigrants sneaking across our borders are scary, violent people.

In fact, the vast majority of Americans—including most Democrats—don’t believe in so-called “open borders.” That’s not to say that no one believes in open…

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Robert Stribley

Writer. Photographer. UXer. Creative Director. Interests: immigration, privacy, human rights, design. UX: Technique. Teach: SVA. Aussie/American. He/him.