The Impact on Immigration Policy
While an over simplification, family unification comprises more than 70% Of all legal US immigrants; and, the US admits 10 times as many resident immigrants as all the rest of the countries in the world combined. The reasons for immigrating to the United States may be as numerous as the number of immigrants, but the reasons seem to boil down to three: freedom, economic opportunity and family unification.
Ironically the main reasons illegal immigrants come are freedom, economic opportunity and family unification. The difference is the legal immigrant had the resources and time to go through the “process of waiting.” Generally, the illegal takes jobs for which those already here don’t even apply-agricultural and other “menial” jobs. For example, in eastern Washington State one apple grower told a news reporter that it had been decades since a non-Latino had applied for a job on his farm. The implication is that Latino applicants were illegal immigrants. That is probably not 100% correct. But it illustrates the point that were there not employment opportunities illegal immigrants would not come in the numbers that they have historically. Indeed, estimates of the number of Mexican illegals over the past few years, during the current protracted contraction, have declined and even reversed with more Mexicans returning to Mexico that crossing illegally into the US.
Given all American citizens would receive new base money in their accounts, America, if possible, would become a more attractive place for immigrants. But, only if they became citizens. Illegal immigrants would not have increased reasons for coming unless one thinks that more Americans would choose to live on their base money deposits and more employment opportunities would be available to illegal immigrants.
This raises explicitly the question of what motivates people to work or not work? Economists tend to assume that peoples’ wants are insatiable. So that chain of logic leads to people with regular base money deposits in their accounts will seek ways to get more money. Most of these ways involve gainful employment. Indeed, as I argue elsewhere in this blog, base money deposits in the poorer voters’ accounts may give them the necessary resources to apply for jobs.
I know there is a line of thought that the poor do not work because they are satisfied living on welfare, unemployment and other “government handouts.” Since welfare, unemployment compensation and other income support programs will be replaced by new base money deposits into voter’s accounts, at least those satisfied to live on that resource will no longer be taking transfer payments from tax payers who believe those not working do so because they would rather live on our tax dollars. So, even if a voter chooses not to work, so what? The non-working voter costs society only the lost production from his or her laziness and not tax dollars from the rest of us (but, I am retired and would probably fall into that lazy group. However, after writing all of the words in this blog and more which were edited out, I am tired and need some time to be lazy).
So let us return to illegal immigrants. If they have no hope of receiving base money deposits and welfare is no longer in existence, why will they still come? They will still come for freedom, economic opportunity and to unify their families. If you think about it, we provide the freedom and economic opportunity with our capitalist system and our democratic constitution. Our basic creed is that in America all are free, equal and have the same opportunity. They believe we mean it. We do mean it, “kinda.” However, the part we seem to get hung up on is when it comes to sharing our freedom and opportunity. For we seem to view freedom and opportunity as zero-sum situations. They are not zero-sum situations for the more people who enjoy freedom with us the more secure our freedom is. The more people who enjoy opportunity with us, the more opportunity and wealth there is for each and all. So, if we really meant that everyone is free and has opportunity we would not cry out for fences, deportations, jail terms and the like for people, in the face of massive unemployment in America, manage to do the apple piking and other harvest work for which you, my fellow Americans, and I refuse even to apply.
You can have whatever restrictions on immigration that you want. I would advise an alternative route. Let anyone who wants to become a citizen go to an American embassy or consulate and apply for citizenship. Setup a test similar to what is used now and continue with the same background checks. Then when an applicant meets the qualifications, swear him or her in, get their account information and have them register to vote in the jurisdiction of their choice. Or set up a voting district for non-resident citizens. Either way works. Then those who were immigrating for economic reasons can stay where they are and not have to come.
Consider the possibilities for eventual new states. I should think that the lure of a steady income of base money will drive a majority in most places to become Americans. Then, realizing their strength in numbers, they will take over that country’s government through elections and petition for statehood. If America is what it says that it stands for, it will eventually encompass the world.
A little inclusion can go a long way.