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Ronald Reagan on Open Borders



From the Republican presidential primary debate, April 23, 1980, excerpted in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Ronald Reagan: Can I add to that? I think the time has come that the United States and our neighbors, particularly our neighbor to the south, should have a better understanding and a better relationship than we’ve ever had....

Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems? Make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit—and then while they’re working and earning here, they pay taxes here. And when they want to go back, they can go back. And open the border both ways by understanding their problems.

Update: Here’s the video of the exchange between Bush and Reagan:

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