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Friday, May 31, 2013

How to Reform Immigration and Make Money

Most immigrants aren't social welfare sucking criminals. Let's get that myth out of the way right now. The myth we can confirm is that by far the majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanics.
Like the great European migration of the 1800s these immigrants are coming to the US for personal prosperity. The theory that your Polish or Italian or Irish great grandfather came here because he believed in the romantic concept of the America you see in movies, is horseshit. He came here to prosper personally.

Lets face it, America for all its improbably idealistic ideological promises is still your best bet for a personally prosperous life.

Compared to getting a new life started in Europe, Asia, Africa, and pointedly South America, the US is by far the easiest, cheapest, and best likely choice. Order a Big Mac in London and realize that the £2.99 is more like $5.00 and you can start to see.
No offense to Sinatra, but if you can make it here, you can't actually make it anywhere. Because its not actually up to you, or New York. So put that in the pile.

To be sure South America is prospering, no doubt. But struggling with it. Institutionalized corruption, rich investor headed monopolies of agricultural and petroleum exports, telecommunications, and the banking industries, controlled by the very topmost echelons of South American society, and in many cases political leadership.

Against such odds many see the US as a far more level playing field. English, and especially American English being the easiest language to learn in the world. Being land connected to the US too and you begin to see why coming here is a no brainer good option for some.
You also start to wonder why there aren't more illegals in the US than there are. Or maybe there are and we just don't know it. I've often wondered how the estimates of either 11 million or as much as 20 million are made. But given the list of incentives there should be more. It could be the coyotes and various nefarious guides scaring off the entry process, with the horrific tales of mass murder and robbery in the desert we have all heard. Probably many more we haven't.
The other myth is that the immigrants braving the coyotes and the dangers of smuggling in across the desert borders, are the poorest destitute. If by destitute you mean someone who can afford the $5,000 on average that it takes to come here. Certainly not chump change back where they come from. Looking at the exchange rate and average income for some of these countries, and these folks are downright upper middle class.

One more myth and I promise I'll get to the reform. The last myth is that illegals are criminals and part of the massive drug cartel invasion of America that isn't actually happening.

Most and by most I mean by far, most of those who sneak in are trying to get here to personally prosper. Some and by some I mean few will fail and might turn to crime if their plans to get a real job don't pan out.

But the drug business recruits its staff more easily here. They don't need to import labor. And the drug dealers and cartel folks fly in commercially. Usually first class or on private jets.
Proof that the Hispanic immigrants are smart and deserve to be here can be seen in the not in obvious lobbying. Slowly Spanish has become America's second language. Billboards and commercial signage, all sorts of instructions and 24hour sports networks and FM stations and simulcast Major League Baseball have not been popping up on their own. There is a very good reason why there is now a great deal of pressure being brought to bear. Thank your lobby political culture. If you want to get anything done nowadays you need to buy yourself a lobbyist.
The majority of the "illegal problem" therefore isn't one. And pretty much these folks are the exact kind of hardworking future Americans we would want. If America or the politicians that misrepresent it, weren't somewhat obviously racist about this issue. I wonder if the illegals were of a fine German descent, if this would even be called a problem. The problem now though, and area that needs reform is the entry and worker permitting that makes sneaking in more attractive than showing up at the border to come in legally.

If it wasn't unreasonably harder to get in legally, than to sneak in illegally, they wouldn't be doing it. Imagine how difficult it must be that they would rather risk being cut up into pieces and buried in the sand along the way, than stand in line and get rejected on vague technicalities. Like quotas.

So revising the entry regulations is a start. All the usual criminal and background checks and source of funds verifications and issuing work visas can be done at the consular levels anyway. And fees can be charged for all this. Fees that are now going to the coyotes would more than cover any administrative costs. I'll even bet a tidy profit could be turned.

Next a special simple no-loophole income tax rate for work visa holders could be attached. Higher than normal, to encourage conversion. That way you get to stay and work, but if you want to pay less in income tax, you really ought to look into becoming a full proper resident or citizen.

Finally if they bring their kids or have kids while they are here, no problem. Simply tack on another tax, a per child fixed amount that covers any reasonable welfare costs like schooling or healthcare. I'm liking $500 a year. Now they can stay and go to school and benefit from everything this society has to offer, as dues paying members. Again I'll bet this could be a money maker too. Certainly it will be a burden, which is the best incentive to convert their visa status. Or go back home if they feel it isn't worth it.

The goal of the reform needs to allow any reasonable person who wants to come here to be able to do so easily. But it also has to discourage staying in limbo. Try it for a couple years if you want. But you'll make more money if you convert.

Most will. Some will do the math and return home after trying it out for a year or two. No problem. Call it "The Great Test Drive of America!"

Reform however, requires a zero tolerance for illegal entry to accompany it. We simply cannot risk it in the 9-11 era. The good news is with all the added worker taxes there will be plenty of money to do a fully complete job of guarding the borders now.
The final piece in reform is dealing with the purported more than 20 million illegals in the country now. Certainly the answer is some form of amnesty. But not the kind you think. Since we've just spent the previous 1000 words designing a really cool reform, we would simply fold everyone into it. ALL current illegal immigrants would be converted to the new worker visa status and begin paying the higher tax rate and per child fees. Now you can continue to work in the strawberry fields forever. But with health insurance, and your relieved kids in school. You can also get a better job if you want. No need to hide in only those cash jobs that the owner pays you under the table or usually behind the restaurant.
If in fact the number is as close to 20 million as some suggest. The tax and child fee income could be in the billions.

More than enough to seal the borders. And certainly more than enough to cover any welfare costs.

Best of all the path to residency and eventual citizenship is right there. And that should be a relief for anyone who lives in fear of deportation and losing everything they've worked for and risked their lives to achieve.

Sounds like America to me.