Home > Arizona, Politics, The USA > A Real Immigration Reform Proposal

A Real Immigration Reform Proposal

Before I can speak about this, I need to first define my perceptions of the issue. The essence of illegal immigration is that it is an element of a market. That market is cheap labor. The thing about a market is that so long as there are willing buyers and willing sellers, the market will exist. If the market is made illegal, then the market will move underground and become a black market, but it will still exist.

Ok, so illegal immigration exists. Let’s drop all “high-n-mighty” pretenses and talk about it from a business perspective.

What is good about illegal immigration?

  1. Cheap labor. This lowers production costs, increases profits and lowers the cost to the consumer – the legal US Resident.
  2. Helping poor people become less poor. The average worker in Mexico makes about $4.15 per hour (gross), only works 20 hours and pays taxes and bribes regularly. Assuming a deduction of 30%, that comes out to about $58 a week. If the same worker comes here illegally, he can expect about $3.25 an hour and at least 60 hours of work per week with no taxes or other deductions; thus, he instantly is making $195 a week – a 336% increase. Would you go pick melons 10hrs/day 6days/week for a 336% increase in your weekly wage? I would.
  3. Exposure and attainment to/of more and better goods that enrich their lives (i.e. a higher quality of life).

What is bad about illegal immigration:

  1. People who have no idea about our laws and customs are here that may break these laws and customs because they never had any sort of orientation.
  2. The immigrants are beholden to the black market crime lords (the black market version of CEO) that brought them here. Crime lords don’t fight fair, so the immigrant has little or no recourse against the crime lord and may be forced to be a mule for drugs, forced prostitution, or forced to do whatever other dirty work that the crime lord needs done.
  3. Since the illegal immigrant is already in a position that requires him/her to dodge the law, that narrows the possibilities for employment to only employers who don’t care about immigration status – which are few and often are involved in some way with crime.

The effectiveness of laws:

Laws are designed to intimidate. When they fail to intimidate they are used to punish. When the person committing the crime is willing to take the risk, then that means that there is a willing buyer and a willing seller and the market becomes black. Therefore, since this is exactly what the current situation is, we can positively say that the current laws are not effective to stopping illegal immigration. Furthermore, we have absolutely no evidence that would suggest that MORE laws would somehow change this.

My perception of the subject:

Right now in America the object of this discussion are the Mexicans, and indeed I have used them as the example in this post. Why not have them here in droves? What are people afraid of? I see the same arguments to not let them in that I read about in my history classes:

  1. “They’ll take all our jobs” FALSE. Jose Ramirez who only speaks Spanish, can barely read and write (again only in Spanish), and has maybe seen a computer once or twice in real life is NOT going to walk into corporate America, fire up a computer and start sending e-mails and making conference calls.
  2. “They’ll erase our American culture and we’ll just be another version of <insert country here>” FALSE. This is the EXACT SAME argument that was used to try to prevent the Germans, Dutch, Irish, Italians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russians, Jews, and basically everyone other than the English, Spanish and French from immigrating here. All these other cultures came and became American – not the other way around.
  3. “They’re all criminals and if we let them in they’ll make every city a slum” FALSE. This is rank xenophobia. Right now many are criminals because that’s the only way they can get a job. The ones who go through the massive run-around to immigrate legally generally do not engage in illegal activities – they can do better by following the rules.

Now, I’m not advocating amnesty here – people who break the rules still need to pay the price for that – but I do feel very strongly about what is written on the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We are the haven for these people. Us. We need to streamline the immigration process and make it MUCH cheaper; as well as reduce regulation on businesses for hiring, wages, and environmental concerns. Let the new workers decide where they are and are not willing to work at, and for what wage. If they are ok with making only $3.25 an hour, then let them make that, and let us consumers enjoy the savings. When a particular worker decides that he/she wants more money, then he/she can move on to another job that pays more. The most important thing is that the immigrants won’t have to consider a life of crime as an option to make a living.

The cost and time necessary waiting on various beaurocracies to review and approve paperwork MUST be less than the black market or else people will not consider legally immigrating. Whether we like it or not – a market exists and we can not extinguish it with laws. We must work within that market and make an outcome that we are happy with be the only logical choice for someone wanting to come to this country.

Categories: Arizona, Politics, The USA
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