Economists tend to prefer trade to charity. Charity is fickle because it relies on the transient benevolence of donors or politicians. Charity is best thought of as a tourniquet: a valuable option in a pinch but not a long-term solution. To some, charity is even demeaning because it conveys a sense of helpless incompetence. Charity is ultimately a symptom that something's not working.
Trade is better. When two people trade, they each benefit, and so that interaction is far more reliable than charity. Trade means each side brings something to the societal table. Trade means people are partners, not wards. It's the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching him to fish.
Open Borders Is a Kind of Trade
What's true for fishing is true for immigration. So goes the argument of Open Borders: The Ethics and Science of Immigration, the recently released graphic nonfiction book by economist Bryan Caplan and illustrated cartoonist Zach Weinersmith (creator of the popular webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal).