Wednesday, November 07, 2007
A friend who does research on human trafficking suggests to me that this sort of crime would almost dry up with open borders and free immigration. I am not so sure that this is strictly true, but the recruiting of victims would surely become more difficult if legitimate employment agencies were able to enter the market for lower skilled cross border labor.
Free movement of people and free trade in labor are good things. And trying to shut down international labor markets doesn't eliminate the economic forces that tend to move human effort to where its valued most, it simply drives it underground, where the lack of transparency means it will tend to take darker forms.
To paraphrase Frederic Bastiat, "When free people don't cross borders, unfree ones will."