Add Ecuador to a growing list of South American countries beginning to close or significantly restrict mass migration spilling over their borders, a tragic consequence of the chaos and corruption that has plunged over 90% of Venezuela's population into poverty. It is estimated that by the end of this year, over 5 million Venezuelens will have fled their homeland.
Other South American countries are scrambling to achieve some sort of stability relative to how many Venezuelans they can welcome into their countries without overwhelming their existing population's needs and demands on resources and services. But their capacity to do so is disappearing swiftly in spite of an initial good intention on the part of many to have an "open-doors" policy.
Population explosions, that is, migration that happens in high numbers at a rapid rate, put enormous pressure on everything from the availability of natural resources to demands for basic health and human services, housing and infrastructure, etc. And when more and more people demand access to finite spaces and depleting resources, scarcity turns to desperation which in turn eventually causes people to turn against one another.
The very uncomfortable truth is there can be no liberty without reasonable limitations. Policies based on a misguided sense of compassion (think open-borders advocates) that is not balanced with the need to set limits results in poor quality of life and the loss of liberty ultimately. Excess compassion, as well as excess restrictions both in their extremes will reduce everyone's capacity to live in peace and pursuit of prosperity.
Setting limits to immigration is one possible way to avoid unsubstantiated accusations of racial and ethnic bias that some incorrectly attribute to the consequences of scarcity. If race were the only reason for any country setting limits in immigration policies, why are Colombians and Ecuadorians, for example, restricting the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans attempting to cross their borders?
Too many, too quickly is simply unsustainable.
CHRISTY SHAW is the Development Officer for NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Sep 18th 2019 @ 10:55pm EDT