Thursday, March 18, 2010

Immigration News

Not a huge surprise here, but the virtual fence along the Arizona border has turned out to be less than successful. (H/T)

Here's another immigration proposal I came across yesterday:

Each year, Congress would set the number of visas available for auction. They would then go up for bid by anybody. With a visa in hand, anybody who passed some form of security check to make sure you’re not a criminal, spy, terrorist, etc. would be permitted to reside in the U.S.A. for the duration of the visa, and work, study – whatever.

NGOs could purchase visas for political or economic refugees. Employers could purchase visas for desired employees. Universities could purchase visas for desired students. Individuals could purchase their own visas to do whatever.

Work here without a valid visa? Somebody’s defrauded the government; you should have purchased that visa at auction. There’s really no good excuse for not having one. Sanctions could be split between the individual and the employer according to some formula. Take the whole question out of the hands of the INS and give it to the IRS, who seem to get better results generally.

That's an interesting idea, but a few problems remain: first, some of the anti-immigration fervor is based on a rejection of illegal immigration only, but much of it also stems from the desire to limit immigration in general. The auction is only better than the status quo if it means increasing the number of immigrants to something approximating what the labor market requires. I suspect that the latter group, which I'd say constitutes the most vocal opposition to immigration, isn't going to be placated by going from 500,000 desert-crossing illegal immigrants to 500,000 auction-winning legal immigrants.

Second, presumably this means skewing the immigration flow away from Mexicans, and away from the poor. There's certainly a reasonable argument to be made for doing that, but I wonder how successful that would be addressing the drivers of Latin American immigration today. And supposing we replace 100,000 busboys with 100,000 IT experts; is the idea that the Americans displaced by the influx of foreign IT experts would then work in restaurants? If so, that could mean a fairly significant quality-of-life downgrade as a result of our new immigration policies, which would make it politically unfeasible. If not, there's still going to be a powerful magnet pulling people toward the States. All this makes me wonder if, despite the obvious ugliness of our present immigration situation, the US isn't collectively rather invested in having a semi-permanent imported underclass.

Also, when it comes to restricting immigration flows, two points can't be made often enough: first, roughly half of the undocumented immigrants living in the US entered legally and overstayed their visa. Even a fence more successful than any we could have imagined won't come close to ending illegal immigration. Second, the aging of Mexico's population (hopefully coupled with a more dynamic local labor market) will likely eliminate most illegal immigration in the next generation.

1 comment:

Brittanicus said...

Alert! Tell Congress that the pro-amnesty rally does not represent you... or most Americans!

This weekend will be a historical turning point in the illegal alien occupation of our country. We as Americans can stand back disinterested and watch, or do the right thing for 15 million US jobless labor force that is climbing to new heights? ITS INCORRIGIBLE that our President-Senate-House would try to pass a suspect CIR (AMNESTY) when Americans are hurting. Legal residents who entered the country through the main gate and didn't slither through the darkness past the under manned personnel of the US Border Patrol, should also join our ranks.. This weekend thousands of foreign nationals who are demanding rights to live here, when in the first place they cheated THE PEOPLE'S sovereign laws. They are being bussed to Washington, paid for parasite wealthy corporate owners, faith organizations, scab unions, so called non-profit foundations. BUT WE HAVE A RIGHT AS AMERICANS, TO LOBBY OUR LEGISLATORS. In addition Patriotic Americans are going to jam the switchboards at 202-224-3121. YOU CAN TOO?

Numbersusa. needs your--URGENT--assistance, whether you are member of the million citizen or resident plus pro-sovereignty anti-illegal immigrant organization. Remember this is a prelude to President Obama's Amnesty, that you will end up paying for as a taxpayer? Billions of your dollars will be committed from your paycheck to pay for processing these people, unifying their family members and the next rush to the borders or airlines, for expecting a third future amnesty. You will not only be squeezed for more money to pay for there health care, for their crippled and sick, but education for there children and incarceration of the criminal element, which has soared. With the legitimized settlement of at least 20 to 30 thousand, that will easily expand to 60 million more as families will be able to join those already here. THIS WILL BE THE BEGINNING OF UNSUSTAINABLE POPULATION GROWTH. THEN THEIR ARE THOSE POOR, DESPERATE, DESTITUTE WHO WILL TRY TO REACH OUR NATION, BEFORE THE NEW LAW IS SIGNED? Wonderful profit margins for businesses, but not for the US Taxpayer. Currently our schools are suffering terribly, crammed to the limit in the Sanctuary State of California. The majority of states right now are overrun by this spreading pandemic of red ink. Costing unaccountable dollars and tenuously balancing government entitlements for our own poverty stricken citizens.

NumbersUSA is mobilizing there members in assisting in stopping every amnesty since 2000, and now revving up resources to do the same this time around. Starting FRIDAY (3/19) NumbersUSA on Day 1 will be begin a nationwide effort for activists to visit Member's local Congressional offices at 1:30 p.m. EDT with a signed letter.SATURDAY (3/20) -- On Day 2, they will launch our faxing and petition campaign. When the Members return to their Washington offices, we need them to see your HUGE RESPONSE. It's also a Social Networking Day, so they want members to join them on Face book and Twitter.SUNDAY (3/21) - Day 3, the pro-amnesty organizers will host their rally on the National Mall in Washington D.C., and many anti-immigration organizations will appear there too. MONDAY (3/22) - Day 4, it's NumbersUSA National Call Campaign. The pro-amnesty supporters will be walking the halls of Congress urging Members to pass an amnesty. So It will be very important for patriotic Americans make their phone calls and have the Capitol office phones ringing incessantly during their visit. Find all this information and more at Numbersusa You can also harass your Senator at 202-224-3121. jamming the switchboards in the capitol.