There are nearly 250 million migrants across the world right now. Some will be escaping war or oppression, others will be seeking out freedom or economic prosperity, but whatever the reason, the kind of life they're looking for lies across a border that's policed and restricted. What if it didn't have to be that way? This hour, we explore a world without borders.
There's a concept that's gaining ground among some economists and the idea's simple -- let anyone who isn't a criminal live and work in any other country. Economist Bryan Caplan and producer Rehman Tungekar explain how this open borders policy could end global poverty.
What would a world without national borders look like? There's a good chance it'd look very similar to the one we have today. Parag Khanna is a global strategist who believes borders are becoming irrelevant in an increasingly connected world. More than national boundaries, he believes what matters are the connections between cities.
The story of immigration is inseparable from America's history, and usually, it's told as a tale of struggle and ultimate success. It turns out the real story is far more complicated. University of Chicago historian Tara Zahra looks at the period of mass migration to America between 1846-1940. She says it was characterized by deep anxiety, both in the US and Europe.
In "The Year of the Runaways", British novelist Sunjeev Sahota tells the story of three recent immigrants to the UK, and with deft precision examines their struggles, fears, and relationships. Sahota talked about researching the novel -- which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize last year -- and spoke about geographic privilege.