Monday, February 29, 2016

The Immigration Debate

It’s been a while since I wrote anything for my blog.  It’s not a lack of material but if you're busy, non revenue generating side projects drop down the list. However I had a chance to visit mexico recently and had a drastically different experience that changed my perspective on an issue which has lately been at the forefront of american politics.  

If you listen to the two presidential front runners we have two realistic option. Accept all immigrants with open arms (publicly funded of course) or build a wall to keep them out. Frankly I don’t think Donald Trump is the least bit serious about his wall idea, it’s more like an inside joke, everyone knows he's not serious but it’s funny because the American left swallows it hook line and sinker and runs off chasing ridiculous strawmen on some absurd tear about racism. On the other side mass amnesty and open acceptance of immigrants be they from Mexico or Syria is seriously debated with complete disregard for the people in the communities that will be forced to accept them, the very fact that people can't say no is a perfect example of a fundamentally flawed ideology. Of the two proposals the wall is less insane and disrespectful.
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The people involved are lost in this debate.  People like a software engineer named Miguel who was working as waitstaff at the resort we visited.  He spoke english well and we had a conversation with him about his dreams to someday come to America. He was waiting till his english got better to even try. Truly our country could benefit from several Miguel’s, He wasn’t the only person in Mexico who spoke english well either. Several people my wife and I met spoke better english than lifetime citizens of the United States (no one axed me a question). It would seem that we should embrace anyone who wants the american dream with open arms, I believe this is the core of the argument the left is getting at. .

The problem is that immigration isn’t an army of mass Miguel’s. There are a large number of unknowns and risk, cultural differences and some people won’t even bother trying to integrate themselves into our communities. People are looking to move to the United States for a reason, they want a better life. They are leaving behind a social system that can’t provide that and frankly we the american people don’t want people to bring those problems with them, check your baggage at the door please.

We regulate immigration for the same reasons we regulate customs and even the transportation of firewood within the nations parks. Immigration is a vector for the ailments of the third world to come to first world nations. The news has covered, albeit grudgingly and with mitigating statements from the left, the consequences in major countries of mass adoption of syrian refugees. An increase in the rates of  theft, rapes, sexual assaults and terrorism particularly in  communities that absorbed. We can see the damage within the US in border towns such as El Paso. Unfortunately Immigration cannot be an open door policy, as much as we the american people would like it to be.  

So if unchecked immigration is a recipe for disaster, poor immigration processing leads to unchecked immigration and open door mass immigration policy opens up communities to risk how do we handle it? Can we encourage immigrants to invest in our country and pursue citizenship? What about protecting American Jobs from the income discrepancies that exist between our nation and others? We could build a wall to keep everyone out,  but frankly I think crowdsourcing our immigration system may be a means of providing americans with more income, immigrants a safer path into the country and better integration for those that choose to stay.

So why would an american family choose to spend the time and effort to integrate an immigrant family? Well because they would be paid to do so of course.  Not a check from the federal government,  not a handout, nor a tax break but cold hard cash. The cost to immigrate to the united states illegally varies with mexican immigrants getting in for between 3,000-5,000 USD.  Asian immigrants can pay upwards of 75,000$ to get here. Americans never see that money, it goes to human traffickers.

In exchange for the cash an american citizen sponsors the visa, a sort of vetting process.  The individual(s) who want to come here get to do so but negotiations over price, location etc. take place between the seeker and the sponsor. This gives individual americans, not lawmakers or well intentioned bureaucrats the power to decide who they are willing to let in, where they are going to go and how much it should cost.  Sponsors get to interview, meet and integrate a seeker into their community and in exchange the seekers get to arrive already having a job and place to live. No human trafficking, no drug smuggling and no blight. The sponsor keeps them out of trouble till the contract term ends. Criminal violations result in deportation and an immediate seizure of escrowed funds by the government so that noone benefit from a failed visa.

But what about seeking citizenship? what incentive does someone have to actually integrate and become an american? well in short this should play out with taxes. If you come here to work you should be automatically enrolled into the highest income tax bracket regardless of earnings. You should stay there until you become a United States citizen. Eliminating tax breaks and deductions for non-citizens provides a financial incentive to become a citizen.

By forcing a higher tax bracket American incomes are preserved  More taxes out means higher earnings have to be coming in, It puts pressure on immigrants to fight for their own living wages and not artificially depreciate the existing wage.

So that's the idea. American get cash, we can choose who comes in and our wages stay elevated. Immigrants get a job a place to live and a guide on how to be an American. Human traffickers and drug lords lose the ability to exploit those who only want to improve their lives and nobody needs to build a wall or get Mexico to pay for it.  

But if an idea like this can’t get off the ground well… I guess its back to the wall

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