Illegal Immigrant Tarriff

in Illegal-immigrant

Illegal immigration has become the hot potato subject of the year. Politicians dodge the issue. Reporters wax philosophical on the plight of these poor individuals. And a few conservatives propose purchasing the great wall of China and stringing it along or southern border. On this issue I think everyone is nuts.

First let me state the obvious that I think most Americans know in their gutts. Bush is right: these are hard working and generally honest people who deserve our respect and compassion. But he is wrong to propose any type of amnesty. We can't lock them all up and we can't ship them all back either. It's a real pickle.

But I have a solution. I call it Immigrant Terriffs. When a product is imported from a country determined to have an unfair advantage over our local production the government often levies a tarriff to level the playing field. We need to do this with immigration. Illegal immigrants accept a lower wage for work Americans hesitate to do. This benefits consumers by decreasing the cost of goods but harms legal workers who find their wages cut because of this influx of willing labor. Since most consumers are also workers we find that the only benefit is to business owners, the retired, and individuals in fields in which illegal immigrants do not compete. The most effected fields are the construction trades and farming where illegal workers are accepted as a necessary evil. An Immigrant Tarriff would force the illegal immigrants wages up along with those in the entire trade, essentially raising the wages of legal employees and making them more appealing to employers.

First the government should guarantee that all immigrants who voluntarily register with INS will not be deported. They will receive some form of temporary residency card which permits them to live and work in the U.S. for a limited time. They will have to pay a fee, preferably by payroll deduction and report to the INS regularly. They must also submit to fingerprinting and DNA testing. And of course they would have to file tax returns and pay social security just like the rest of us. Anyone who does not comply should be deported.

The Immigrant Tarriff must be substantial enough to compensate for the financial burdens illegal immigrants force on the U.S. including such costs as hospitalization, school tuition, and imprisonment. There should be system protections against fraud such as immigrants claiming unemployment to exempt themselves from payment. If each of the over 20 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. were charged $50/month the government would earn an extra 12 billion annually! That ought to wet the whistles of even the most philanthropic bleeding heart liberal congressman.

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This article was published on 2010/04/04
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