Thursday, October 14, 2010

After We Secure the Border

Some day, a President is going to enforce the laws of our country and take the action needed to slow cross-border flows of illegal immigrants to a trickle. It might involve completing the fence and use of technology, but will eventually get done. It will never be 100%, because we will always have creative people, overstay of visa, and other means by which persons gain residence illegally. However, the problem will be reduced by two orders of magnitude.

When that happens, we still need a serious debate about immigration policy, because the cost of maintaining such a state of border security will be burdensome and because we need immigrants to strengthen our economy. Here are B-Daddy's fearless proposals for a new immigration policy for the United States.

  1. Vastly expand the H-1B visa program for skilled workers. Bringing skilled workers to the United States has multiple benefits. It reduces the temptation to outsource work. Also, the skilled workers also help keep U.S. workers employed, because businesses know that work groups are more effective when teams are geographically co-located. There is a fear that the foreign workers will displace native Americans, but in fact, there presence will increase the overall number of jobs here in America. Currently the cap is 65,000 per year. A Heritage Foundation review concludes these are highly skilled workers that are an asset to the nation.
  2. Vastly increase the investor immigrant category of visa (EB-5). Immigrant investors are far more likely to start up new companies than native born Americans, and start ups create jobs. Lowering the threshold for this category, to anyone who could show they have $250,000 in venture capital would also be a pro-growth and pro-jobs policy. More on this idea in the WSJ.
  3. Increase the guest worker program for low skilled occupations in agriculture, food services and janitorial services. I think we also need a sub-minimum wage for these guest workers and a requirement to return to their country of origin when they are not employed. The lower labor costs would benefit those who employ them, freeing up wealth for other uses including job creation. This is not exploitation, these workers will be far better off than they would be in their home countries such as Mexico. Meanwhile, we economically benefit from their labor.
Once the labor markets were normalized with these reforms, the pressure at the border would certainly subside, making it easier to patrol. We should continue to have security controls for entry, to prevent terrorists from coming to the United States, but the effort to protect the border would be made much easier with a reduction of economic pressure.

The other reduction in pressure for cross-border flows would be to end the drug war, but that is an article for another day.


  1. 1. enforcement of the law for employers.

    2. sub-mimimum wage is still subsidized by all kinds of welfare, section 8....ect. Stop the welfare

  2. Dawg,
    I am surprised that you want the feds performing more audits of your books, since I know you have been an employer.
    Stopping the welfare is important, but more important would be to require a return to country of origin when employment ends.

  3. No audits on books, just enforce the laws on both sides.