View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently December 21st, 2014, 8:01 pm



Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
 A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform 
Author Message
Modmin Dude
User avatar

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
Posts: 12249
Post A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
Interesting perspective...
Quote:
A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
Civil rights, economic liberty, and a path to legalization.

Ed Krayewski | March 4, 2014

Immigration reform has been the Sisyphean policy goal of the last few years. Following the tradition of at least the previous three two-term presidents, President Barack Obama didn’t get around to prioritizing immigration until after he had been safely re-elected. Last summer, House Speaker John Boehner predicted Congress would pass an immigration reform bill by the end of the year; the Senate passed a mammoth bill later that month, but by November reality had set in for Boehner and he admitted immigration wouldn’t see a vote in 2013. And earlier this month, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that an immigration bill wouldn’t reach the president’s desk in 2014 either.

At more than 800 pages, the current immigration reform bill—just a “first step,” former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano explained—is stacked with deal sweeteners like massive new border security spending. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that the bill was hard to craft because lobbyists kept coming back asking for more to be put into it, which Graham considered a good thing. But perhaps something smaller would have a better chance of passing Congress. Libertarianism could offer a template that could help pass meaningful immigration reform.

A libertarian bill wouldn’t have the kind of carve-outs and goodies that attract some lawmakers. But a bill that reflected a respect for civil and economic rights and limited government could garner enough support to pass. Even if it didn’t, it would help to further define the emerging libertarian-authoritarian divide in Congress.

What would such a bill have to include? That question, which animates backers of current attempts at immigration reform, is perhaps not the best one to ask. More important is what would such a bill be trying to accomplish? What is the problem that “immigration reform” seeks to resolve?

For libertarians, the issue appears to be the millions of illegal immigrants denied legal status because they committed the misdemeanor of entering or staying in the United States. But for lawmakers not convinced that immigration is an economic benefit and a natural right, the problem involves border security. Immigration reform, then, isn’t just about how to normalize the millions of illegal immigrants here, but also how to keep them out of the country in the future. Opponents of current reform efforts insist that dealing with the illegal immigrants already in the country should come after border security is improved and illegal immigration declines.

Of course, providing anything like “amnesty” to illegal immigrants incentivizes future illegal immigrants, these opponents argue. The argument is a weak one: The latest economic recession probably did more to dampen immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border than any additional enforcement could have.

From a rights and limited government perspective, normalizing the situation of illegal immigrants ought to take top priority. Lack of legal status prevents illegal immigrants from participating in economic and civic life. As I’ve argued before, it’s not access to welfare that drives illegal immigrants' desire for legal status, but rather access to property and other rights that are, in our modern society, unfortunately tied to government documents and recognition. Focusing on a “pathway to citizenship” recognizes the need for illegal immigrants to have government recognition in order to buy and sell property, enter into contracts, use the court system for dispute resolution, and so on. It provides a way to depoliticize the issue and broaden its appeal.

A libertarian immigration reform solution, however, should take a piecemeal approach. It would not offer a complete “pathway to citizenship,” but rather a path to legalization. It would focus on a specific solution to the specific problem illegal immigrants have: an inability to participate normally in the economy and in society because of a lack of government documents.

For a libertarian solution, the "path to legalization" isn't about delivering new voters for the Democrats or increasing the welfare rolls, but about creating a legal environment wherein millions of people already living in the U.S. can become full and active participants in the economy. It would involve providing a federally recognized legal status for illegal immigrants that would fall short of citizenship or permanent residency but allow them to participate in economic and social life—to open bank accounts, drive, acquire occupational licenses, board planes, and do the many other things that require an ID in America today.

This legal status would include something like a tax identification number, to provide illegal immigrants with a more formal way to pay taxes. It would also allow states to decide which local privileges to extend to the no longer “illegal” immigrants (thereby incorporating states' rights into immigration reform).

Concurrently, a libertarian solution would repeal the laws that penalize employers for hiring the wrong person. Employers have as much of a right to associate freely as immigrants have to travel freely. Government edicts should not come in the way of someone who wants to work and someone who wants to pay for work.

And what about border security? Most of the violence and lawlessness associated with the border is rooted in the operation of drug cartels. A libertarian solution to that, obviously, would be to de-escalate the drug war and legalize drugs, which would go a long way in stabilizing the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile, coyotes—professional border-crossers you can hire to help you cross the border—and other human traffickers would be undercut by a U.S. immigration policy that provided a pathway for potential immigrants that was less risky and costly but not less likely to be successful.

From a limited government, free market perspective, the best way to increase border security effectiveness would be to cut the bureaucracy and spending associated with it. With more limited resources, the border bureaucrats left behind would be forced to prioritize rather than spend on any failure they want.

Such an immigration bill—one that focused on normalizing the legal status of illegal immigrants and legislating a more efficient, less costly border security—should be attractive to civil libertarians and fiscal conservatives alike. It increases revenue by creating millions of new taxpayers and cutting the border-related budget. It should also be attractive to any liberals and conservatives more interested in the human dignity of illegal immigrants than the economic fallacy that blames them for American joblessness.

Ed Krayewski is an associate editor at Reason 24/7.

http://reason.com/archives/2014/03/04/l ... rm#comment
Much of it sounds good on the surface, though I'd like more info on the new 'legal' status:

Will they be allowed to vote? Not likely
Will they be required to pay back taxes? Likely
Will they be required to pay a penalty/fee? Would it be the same as the 'back taxes'?
Will they be allowed to pursue legalization/nationalization/legal resident status? If so, how long is the wait?

And something that stuck out to me:
Quote:
millions of illegal immigrants denied legal status because they committed the misdemeanor of entering or staying in the United States
Is being in the Country illegally really only a misdemeanor? :confused:

Quote:
[edit]

In the United States, the federal government generally considers a crime punishable with incarceration for one year or less to be a misdemeanor.[1] All other crimes are considered felonies[citation needed]. Many states also employ this distinction[citation needed].

A misdemeanor is considered a crime of low seriousness, and a felony one of high seriousness[citation needed]. A principle of the rationale for the degree of punishment meted out is that the punishment should fit the crime.[2][3][4] One standard for measurement is the degree to which a crime affects others or society. Measurements of the degree of seriousness of a crime have been developed.[5]

The distinction between felonies and misdemeanors has been abolished by several common law jurisdictions[citation needed] (e.g. Australia[6]). These jurisdictions have generally adopted some other classification: in the Commonwealth nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, the crimes are divided into summary offences and indictable offences[citation needed]. The Republic of Ireland, a former member of the Commonwealth, also uses these divisions[citation needed].

_________________
Quote:
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....


March 5th, 2014, 10:51 am
Profile
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
Posts: 9549
Location: Dallas
Post Re: A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
I'm not seeing a whole lot of substance above, sorry. My issue with current legislation is it doesn't address the reason why they are crossing the border and I believe the article also has the motivation wrong when it states:

Quote:
it’s not access to welfare that drives illegal immigrants' desire for legal status, but rather access to property and other rights that are


Wrong in most cases it is simply money. They migrate where the money is - in the US. I've stated some of my ideas in another thread but again I think the best way to address illegal immigration is to address the root motivation - and you do that through a work visa, not an immigration visa.

You tell these folks, if you want to come into our country legally and work for a few years - welcome. You get a tax id, report your income and whereabouts, and become part of the economy. Want to go back and visit your wife, kids, grandparents, etc. at Christmas - go for it, you are still welcome back. Want to send money to your family back home - go for it, you are free to spend your hard earned dollars as you wish. After a few years here if you want to apply for citizenship - go for it, but there are no promises. Then again, now that you have a track record here your chances likely just went up considerably. And if you want to return back home after making much more money than you ever would have back home, thanks for coming and we wish you the best of luck - we hope you put the money to good use back home. It sure beats all the billions in aid we are sending to foreign countries.

Until we address the root of these peoples motivations, our policies will continue to absolutely fail. We have a great opportunity for a win-win for everyone concerned. It isn't about border security or an immigration free-for-all, those don't solve anything IMO. My idea also won't solve 100% of the problem, but would be a huge step in the right direction and will more than pay for itself with increased revenue to the gov't.

_________________
Image
LB Tweet


March 5th, 2014, 11:45 am
Profile WWW
Modmin Dude
User avatar

Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am
Posts: 12249
Post Re: A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
Pablo wrote:
You tell these folks, if you want to come into our country legally and work for a few years - welcome. You get a tax id, report your income and whereabouts, and become part of the economy. Want to go back and visit your wife, kids, grandparents, etc. at Christmas - go for it, you are still welcome back. Want to send money to your family back home - go for it, you are free to spend your hard earned dollars as you wish. After a few years here if you want to apply for citizenship - go for it, but there are no promises. Then again, now that you have a track record here your chances likely just went up considerably. And if you want to return back home after making much more money than you ever would have back home, thanks for coming and we wish you the best of luck - we hope you put the money to good use back home. It sure beats all the billions in aid we are sending to foreign countries.
How is this different than what the article is proposing?

_________________
Quote:
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right....


March 5th, 2014, 11:55 am
Profile
Online
Player of the Year - Defense

Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Posts: 2786
Post Re: A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
Here's my compromise:

-Militarized, tightly controlled southern border. Nearly impossible for anyone to come in illegally

but then..

-greatly expanded immigration quotas. Like greatly expanded. Right now, we only let in 1M people per year. Multiply that by about 20. Charge some sort of immigration tax, like $5,000 or $10,000 to enter the country, and pass a law saying new immigrants can't collect social services for five years.

Someone living in Haiti would still be a million times better off to borrow $5k, come here and live off minimum wage, then they would be to stay in Haiti. And we would all benefit from their presence.


March 5th, 2014, 12:24 pm
Profile
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
Posts: 9549
Location: Dallas
Post Re: A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
I see some similarities, not surprising since I often think in Libertarian terms. But I don't see this plan tied to a work visa first of all, I don't see any time limits/restrictions on it, it really seems almost like a permanent resident program or national ID card for immigrants not yet granted citizenship.

There is a huge difference between a temporary work visa and a permanent resident. A permanent resident is basically a citizen who can't vote and doesn't participate in jury duty, think US citizen lite. You set very different expectations between the two IMO.

_________________
Image
LB Tweet


March 5th, 2014, 12:30 pm
Profile WWW
Online
ST Coordinator – John Bonamego
User avatar

Joined: March 30th, 2006, 12:48 am
Posts: 3903
Location: Davison Mi
Post Re: A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
IMO illegal immigration is just another reason to get rid of income tax, and switch over to a sales tax system. Illegals would not be able to dodge taxes anymore. If they buy something, they pay taxes!

_________________
2013 Lionbacker Fantasy Football Champion


March 5th, 2014, 12:54 pm
Profile
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
Posts: 9549
Location: Dallas
Post Re: A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
regularjoe12 wrote:
IMO illegal immigration is just another reason to get rid of income tax, and switch over to a sales tax system. Illegals would not be able to dodge taxes anymore. If they buy something, they pay taxes!


I'm always in favor of a sales tax system vs. an income tax with tons of loopholes. Take a look at the economy in Texas, works great!

_________________
Image
LB Tweet


March 5th, 2014, 1:20 pm
Profile WWW
Online
Player of the Year - Defense

Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Posts: 2786
Post Re: A Libertarian Solution to Immigration Reform
Actually, lots of illegals pay income tax -- more than they would if they were legal citizens. They work under a fraudulent social security number, which means they pay the tax, but can't collect a return at the end of the year. Most of them do work for cash under the table, but there are plenty of American citizens that do that as well. More importantly, they don't make enough money to pay much in the way of income taxes anyway. They do pay into current sales tax schemes, as well as contribute to property taxes via their landlords.

Also, illegals can't collect cash benefits of any kind -- so they don't get food stamps, social security, welfare payments or rent assistance. No doubt, there's some fraud going on there, but in general illegals can't just show up and start receiving cash from the government. It doesn't work that way.

Where they really drain government/society's resources are things like public schools, hospital emergency rooms, police, and general infrastructure.


March 5th, 2014, 1:42 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 8 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.