Would US progressives support EU-style free migration from Canada and Mexico?

Since the Brexit vote the other day, much of the mainstream media – and much of my Twitter and Facebook feeds – has been taken up by articles and posts by progressives asserting that the Leave victory was driven by xenophobia and even racism.  I don’t doubt that dark motives made some Britons vote Leave, and neither do I doubt that those with such motives have much in common with those who support Donald Trump and his radical anti-immigration plans.  The EU allows free migration among its member countries, and many chose Leave because they want to curtail migration into Britain, particularly from poorer EU states.  Is this xenophobia?  Perhaps, but regulating immigration, on its face, is hardly the same as hating foreigners and wanting to keep all of them out of one’s country.  And if this is the case, then do US progressives support the US allowing open immigration from, say, Canada and Mexico?  If so, I applaud them – I think this would be, on balance, a good idea, and a very good one from a humanitarian perspective.  And if US progressives support this view, where have they been the last seven years?  Under Barack Obama, the INS has deported more migrants than any other president.  In his second term, he’s proposed allowing the children of some of these migrants to remain – but this begs the question of why his INS is working overtime to deport their parents.  I haven’t hear anything about Obama’s harsh anti-immigration policies from any but a few progressives, either during his first term or his second.  Neither have I heard progressives demand the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders break with Obama on this score.  I’d love to see more progressives either pipe down on Brexit, or stand up for applying the EU migration model here at home, between the US and our closest neighbors.

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