A borderless Europe under siege
by Dalibor Rohac
Imagine for a moment that, instead of the federally run Customs and Border Protection agency, Texas, Arizona and neighboring states were charged with patrolling the southern border, while Montana, New York and so on were responsible for guarding the northern one. Taxpayers in affected areas would probably complain that they were being unfairly burdened. Meanwhile, states far from the two borders, such as Kentucky or Missouri, would have little incentive to pitch in and help.
That arrangement may sound patently absurd, but it roughly describes how things have worked in the European Union since 1985, when the EU abolished internal border checks. The Schengen Agreement facilitated the free movement of people within Europe and led to a common visa policy. It also, for the most part, left the protection of the EU’s common border to its members.
Individual states, not the EU, police the common border and also process migrants who enter illegally or who seek asylum. When, say, Syrian refugees arrive on Greece’s shores, that’s Greece’s problem.