Few escape petty hypocrisy when preaching the universal gospel of borderlessness. In 2011, open-borders advocate Antonio Villaraigosa became the first mayor in Los Angeles history to build a wall around the official mayoral residence. His un-walled neighbors objected, first, that there was no need for such a barricade and, second, that it violated a city ordinance prohibiting residential walls higher than four feet. But Villaraigosa apparently wished to emphasize the difference between his home and the street, or was worried about security, or saw a new wall as iconic of his exalted office.
While elites can build walls to insulate themselves, the consequences of their policies fall heavily on the nonelites who lack the money and influence to navigate around them. The contrast between the two groups — Peggy Noonan described them as the “protected” and the “unprotected” — was dramatized in the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush. When the former Florida governor called illegal immigration from Mexico “an act of love,” his candidacy was doomed. It seemed that Bush had the capital to pick and choose how the consequences of his ideas fell upon himself and his family — in a way impossible for most of those living in the southwestern United States.