President Donald Trump’s newest selection for the Federal Reserve, Judy Shelton, previously called for open borders between the United States and Mexico.
In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal published in 2000, titled “North America Doesn’t Need Borders,” Shelton praised former Mexico President Vicente Fox’s vision of a “greater movement of people” migrating to the United States.
“His talk of open borders is deeply controversial in the U.S., though what he is really selling is the fulfillment of open markets,” wrote the economist. “His proposal to combine resources across borders may strike some as too imaginative in its scope. But it is, in fact, steeped in pragmatism.”
Praising Fox’s efforts to expand the number of work permits granted by U.S. immigration authorities, Shelton noted how the European Union’s free flow of resources was an economic “success” for participating countries like Spain, Ireland and Portugal.
“Mr. Fox does, indeed, want to shift economic power,” continued Shelton. “Not from one nation to another, though, but rather from government to the people.”
From recurring promises to build a border wall to this year’s government shutdown, Trump’s presidency has been defined by his commitment to curtailing immigration. Trump himself frequently uses rhetoric warning against open borders, and as recently as last week tweeted that they lead to “violent crime, drugs and human trafficking.”
Shelton isn’t the first of Trump’s Federal Reserve picks to praise the merits of immigration in a past life. Stephen Moore, who withdrew his name from consideration in May, called migrants “heroic” and “a function of job opportunities in the United States.”