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11/14/2012

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Maxime Turgeon

It is written that imposing an immigration fee "would attract young, skilled, and ambitious immigrants who gain a lot both monetarily and in other ways from coming to America, including better opportunities for their children". However, it seems that, in order for this approach to work, the gains associated to immigration to the USA have to be substantially higher than the gains associated to immigration to another developped country (e.g. Canada, Germany, UK). Otherwise, wouldn't the fee be discouraging immigration?

For example, I think of a young researcher who is looking for a job in academia. Given the opportunity to work in an American research institute, and pay the fee, or work in Europe, without a fee, he would probably choose the latter option.

Gunnar

Robert gordon has an interesting (and admittedly pessimistic) paper about the prospects of U.S. economic growth. On the subject of immigration he writes:

"It is headwind (1), the demographic turnaround, that seems on the surface to be the
most inevitable but is could potentially be counteracted. The retirement of the baby boomers
causes hours per capita to decline and thus reduces growth of income per capita relative to
productivity. A method to raise hours per capita is to increase the ratio of those of working age
to those of retirement age. As a matter of arithmetic, this could be achieved by a more rapid
inflow of immigration.

One potential option would be unlimited immigration of high-skilled workers. As Steve
Jobs is reported to have told Barack Obama shortly before he died, “we should staple a green
card to the diploma of every foreign worker who attains a graduate degree in science or
engineering.” For decades Canada has encouraged the immigration not only of skilled
applicants but also those who are already rich and by so doing has transformed its culture from
British colonial blandness to international world-class diversity.

Much more controversial is the question of unskilled immigration, which suggests a
provocative question. Why was unlimited immigration into the U.S. so successful throughout
the 19th century, until it was stopped by restrictive legislation in the 1920s, yet could not be
considered as a plausible public policy today? Unlimited immigration before 1913 did not
cause mass unemployment. Immigrants were extremely well informed about the availability of
employment in the U.S. economy. They arrived when the economy was strong and postponed
their arrival (or returned to their home countries) when the economy was weak"

http://faculty-web.at.northwestern.edu/economics/gordon/Is%20US%20Economic%20Growth%20Over.pdf

AlteRob

@Maxime, It depends, of course, on the actual numbers but I imagine that many corporations would gladly pay the fee for qualified employees. Compared to what they already spend relating to H-1B visas and recruiting in general, a flat fee might be a significant savings.

Appropriate regulation would need to ensure this does not become a form of peonage, but the concept could work.

jim kirby

I don't see how this policy will lead to satisfying the need for farm workers. Furthermore, stapling a green card to the diploma of every STEM graduate unfairly disadvantages our own science and engineering graduates.

The real solution is to stop the rampant breeding among Amerikans and reinstate open immigration. Or at least allow me to sponsor an immigrant with my tax dollars that are now fully wasted on the mis-education of Amerikan kids, to the tune of over $12,000 each in only 9 months, every year for 13 years.

Christopher Graves

Gunmar, immigration in the late 19th and early 20th Century was hardly desirable. Much of the social capital in areas where huge numbers of immigrants settled diminished. The social climate of these areas, e.g. New York, Boston, New Jersey, Chicago, New Orleans, became more dissonant and depersonalized.

Much of the political divide that we are witnessing today can be traced back to the mass immigration of the last two centuries. Consider Lance Morrow's insightful article on this point in his "Cowboys and Immigrants," *Smithsonian* magazine, May 2009 (available online). These older divisions seem passe now with more recent waves of mass immigration bringing in people who have developed in significantly different ways from Europeans. We can see the threat not only to the traditional American way of life from these recent immigrants as they do not share our individualistic ethos but to our political/economic/legal system that have a foundation in European traditions, understanding, habits, abilities, and sensibilities. These differences account for the enormous racial split in the presidential vote that we just witnessed--as I am sure everyone knows, Obama overwhelmingly lost the white vote among both men and women, young, middle-aged, and elderly, and in most states including New York and California as he won non-white votes even more overwhelmingly.

Things improved so much between 1924 and 1965 when immigration was restricted and the immigration that was allowed legally maintained the ethnic/linguistic/cultural stock of each nation within the United States even as each of these regions evolved somewhat differently. The social capital of regions of the U.S. that were largely spared from the social ravages of mass immigration remained intact and were and are much more pleasant places to live. Diversity, especially coupled with demands for equality of condition and status, leads to social fragmentation and isolation as Robert Putnam has found in his sociological research.

Davej Francis

LEAST WE FORGET THE THOUSANDS SLAUGHTERED BY ILLEGAL ALIENS ANNUALLY.

Over the first two year period, Nov. 4, 2012 will mark the National Remembrance Day for those killed by illegal migrants and immigrants. The National Remembrance Day was conceived by the Tea Party Immigration Coalition (TPIC) and last year, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) announced his sponsorship of a declaration making the first Sunday of every November the day we honor those Americans killed by illegal aliens. These numbers are in the hundreds of thousands, from drunken drivers, female assaults to child molesters. These daily occurrences hardly ever hit the headlines, because the Liberal media suffocates the facts to the general public. For far too long, we have sat around and watched as our fellow citizens die every year at the hands of illegal aliens, while our elected officials simply ignore the ever-growing crisis. The federal government does not keep comprehensive statistics (may be intentionally) on the number of crimes committed in this country by illegal aliens. On November 3, Rep. King, stood in silence just outside the Capitol building with Congressman Walter Jones, activists Jeff Lewis and TPIC founder John Stahl stood alongside Jamiel Shaw Sr.( a California athlete shot because he was dressed in the wrong colors) and Ray Tranchant My 16-year-old daughter, Tessa, was killed by a drunken illegal alien in Virginia Beach three years ago while sitting at a stop light (both of whom lost their children to the uncontrolled and even murderous actions of illegal aliens) and said:

“These are real human misery stories, where there's real hurt and real agony going on a daily basis in the United States of America, and we treat it as if it's just some kind of acceptable disruption of our lives. It's not. It's an interruption of innocent lives that takes place because we have years of administrations that refuses to enforce immigration law.” Even before the Obama administration little was done to cauterize the murderous rampage of foreign nationals in our nation. For those lost, there are no wreath-laying ceremonies, no flag lowering or community congregations. For those families who are left behind truly suffer in silence. Perhaps if one of the immediate family members of politicians was slaughtered on the highway, or one of their children disappeared or a spouse was attacked, then they would expedite the right laws to stop these hideous travesties. Let us see how quick Democrat majority leader Harry Reid would fly into legislative action if on a Nevada highway he was holding in his bloody hands his injured daughter or GOP speaker of the House John Boehner, that one of two daughters was assaulted in Cincinnati, Ohio.

BEFORE PRESIDENT OBAMA PUSHES A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP FOR ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS ALREADY HERE, WITHOUT THESE POLICIES. THEN BE PREPARED TO BE PAY MORE TAX MONEY AND EVEN BE AWARE OF A GUARANTEED ONSLAUGHT FROM ACROSS THE WORLD OF OUR LAX ENFORCEMENT IMMIGRATION SYSTEM?

BEFORE ANY PASSAGE OF IMMIGRATION REFORM FINDS ITS WAY THROUGH THE COMATOSED CONGRESS, TWO BILLS ARE A ESSENTIAL TO EVENTUALLY STOP THE INGRESS OF ANY MORE FLOWS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. 1. THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT CONTAINING MANDATORY E-VERIFY AND HALT ILLEGAL ALIENS TAKING JOBS AND HOLDING EMPLOYERS ACCOUNTABLE. 2. A SIMPLE AMENDMENT TO END THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL TO STEM THE INFLOW OF SMUGGLED BABIES EITHER UNBORN OR AS AN INFANT, INTO THE UNITED STATES TO GAIN INTENTIONAL RIGHTS TO BE A CITIZEN AND A MASSIVE FINANCIAL BURDENING THE U.S. TAXPAYER. 3. THE REINTRODUCTION OF FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH 2006 SECURE FENCE ACT IN ITS ENTIRETY. THIS IS A DOUBLE PARALLEL FENCE STRETCHING ALONG THE BORDER OF THE U.S STATES AND ITS SOUTHERN NEIGHBOR. AMERICA MUST REDUCE SANCTUARY CITIES, CHAIN MIGRATION, DREAM ACT LAWS AND THE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION. 4. A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED PICTURE ID CARD, WHICH CONTAINS INFORMATION TO USE IN PROVING WHO YOU ARE?

Eric Rasmusen

The idea of an entrance fee is a good one. It could act as a "pollution tax", neutralizing the negative externalities of immigration in an efficient way. (If it can be paid in installments, though, there will be a big problem of deporting the welchers.)

I think you underestimate the need for enforcement, though. People will do a lot to evade a tax on 200% of their annual income, which is what this would be for poor immigrants (or, perhaps, 600% of their pre-immigration income). This is a great solution for simplifying immigration by skilled people--- even those most hostile to such immigration would be persuaded if the immigration fee were big enough. For the unskilled, we would have to enforce the immigration laws, and for it to work, increase enforcement beyond its current level to some level more serious. We could do this, of course. If the government had the carrot of collecting more taxes if it enforced the immigration laws then it would be much more willing to enforce them. Even better: make illegal immigrants who are caught into indentured servants till their fee is paid off.

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