Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Michael Munger's modest proposal for immigration reform

Caught this last week at Kids Prefer Cheese and meant to post about it, but as usual stuff happened.

Noting that there is now an outcry to "deal" with immigration reform after the election, Munger proposes a skeletal outline of what reform should look like:
What should this reform look like?
1. an easy path to citizenship for current "illegals"
2. all college diplomas earned by foreigners come with a green card stapled to them
3. a massive (triple? quadruple?) increase in the amount of visas for skilled workers
4. make the process for getting green cards and becoming citizens faster and cheaper
5. a gradually increasing flow of "unskilled" immigrants from around the world
 The only substantive criticism of these ideas that I have yet seen regards #1 and the propensity toward grade inflation ("If I don't pass this class, Professor, I can't become a citizen!").  But since grade inflation in higher education already exists in massive proportions, I'm not too worried about it.

But the reality of immigration is that it comes down to whether you see each new person entering the country as having one mouth (a potential welfare recipient who consumes our resources; a "taker") or two hands (a potential contributor to the economy and culture of the United Staates; a "maker").

There is also the issue that you cannot really resolve immigration issues until (a) you end the drug war and remove much of the economic motivation associated there, and (b) come up with a much more realistic strategy of dealing with the developing (including Islamic) world that does not require us to keep living in fear that some Al Qaeda operative will wade the Rio Grande disguised among all the hispanics (all brown people DO look alike, apparently).

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