March 27, 2006

Why Not Just Take Their Tired, Their Poor, Their Huddled Masses, Yearning to Breathe Free?

from - smijer

It's the immigration legislation that is in the news now. Normally, I would ignore it simply because I've never developed much of an opinion on it. Part of the reason for that is that it's a tough issue to get into. So, let me just ask a stupid question. Why not negotiate with our neighbors a "free market" for immigration? Put another way, why not allow and document immigration for anyone who wants it? Here is a brief list of the "pluses" for such a scheme, as envisioned in my imagination:

  • Opens an option to would-be immigrants to avoid such unpleasantries as dying in the desert or on the back of a truck.
  • Avoids the perpetuation of an American underclass who lack wage and labor protections, opportunities for education, etc. Also, reduces crime rate which results from said underclass.
  • Border patrols and immigration services could police for a relative few "hard-core" cases - workers who have some motivation to come in undocumented and give up minimum wage and other labor protections. They could then screen more extensively among undocumented entrants for potential terrorists.
  • Once job market is saturated, motivation to immigrate to U.S. should decline, and emigration to other markets - particularly those with healthy economies - should increase. Problems associated with illegal immigration should decline in turn. At the same time, a "free market" for international labor would help keep American labor pool strong.
  • Fewer moral issues with deporting undocumented workers. Those not deemed security threats could, in fact, be offered a chance to document under a probationary scheme.
  • $$ in tax revenue, currently lost, would be recovered.

What am I missing? What down-sides to such a scheme make it, apparently, unthinkable under U.S. policy?

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Posted by smijer at March 27, 2006 07:57 AM
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