What I am addressing in this article is not something which I feel should really be addressed. In 2008 the topic of immigration was not addressed, and I believed this was cruel. The same happened in 2012.
It is cruel to not address the countless businesses that have shortages of qualified labor which they cannot access. It’s cruel to the college students who came here on student visas and dream of being Americans, but despite their hard work, are ignored. It’s cruel to the families of people who dream of seeing their loved ones come here.
Yet, most of all, it’s cruel to the immigrants themselves – the people who are the heroes of the American Dream coming from one place or another and taking the risk to start a new and better life. The people who are coming here legally or illegally, or aspiring to come, are getting generally screwed over by our government, and election after election, get their very real problems ignored in favor of a rant about a meaningless regulation or hour debate rant about abortion laws that will never change. That was the case of modern politics and it was a sad and cruel case.
That is, until 2016.
2016 – the year during which conservatives and many Americans showed how backwards they really were. Thankfully, it was also a time during which libertarians showed the world how open they are.
Assuming no one reading this has been living under a box on Mars with their eyes closed and fingers in their ears, they’ve probably noticed a lot of talk about immigration. This talk being from someone who looks like a Martian with an orange face and loud mouth, shouting the chants of hate into the modern conservative movement.
Immigrants who came here legally or illegally have saved the American agricultural industry and helped countless other areas and businesses fill labor gaps. This has been an economic miracle for the communities they’ve joined. They, however, are getting called ‘the worst’ their countries can produce and are told they will just end up committing crimes or living off of the government dime.
We live in an era where the most immigrants are business owners, speak English and their own language fluently, have degrees in higher education, hold the lowest crime rates, ever, for immigrant groups, hold the highest levels on income mobility, and are more likely to be employed than any other immigrant group in history. However, they get told by people who grew up in conditions they dream of, that it is doing them a favor as they later ask the government to expand their Medicare benefits, cut their taxes and pay for their kids’ college tuition.
Spending on legal or illegal immigrants is nothing compared to the billions they contribute into the welfare, Medicaid, and K-12 systems via direct income taxes, embedded taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. However, despite this, there’s a completely unrealistic goal to spend countless amounts of money on border security, which wouldn’t do a thing to stop immigrants and a spree of people who don’t care saying “Well, I’m in favor of immigration, but let’s get rid of welfare first!” as a crony non-solution. There is this countess spree of people calling for mass deportation of what I’d call the hardest working segment of American society. Yet, like I said above, there is a conversation happening and it’s time for libertarians to win it.
I’ve vented my complaints and I’ve praised immigrants. However, it’s time for a real plan in which libertarians, liberals, and real conservatives can get behind. As a libertarian, my most obvious play is open borders. I believe a nation should not hold people back and there is a real case to be made for allowing almost anyone to come in if they are willing to follow the basic rules of customs. I believe anyone who touches American land should automatically get a social security number in which they can pay taxes from. They should also get a photo ID and be wished the best.
With that being said, it’s a bit idealistic. Me running around saying “Open borders” is the same as the Neckbeard chant of “Taxation is theft” followed by some asshole on their computer posting 4,300 memes about it until every one of their friends unfollows them and they sit alone at their fancy Olive Garden dinner. So, well, I can dream of open borders, but I probably won’t get that any time soon. But here’s a clear plan for what I think is a moderate libertarian immigration proposal which everyone can get behind. Let’s dive in!
Starting out: amnesty! And amnesty now!
Amnesty is a dirty word in American politics. Running in a Republican primary for any office and saying “I support amnesty!” is basically worse than saying “I paid for the abortion of a 15 year old I banged… She was a Democrat, by the way.” It’s the automatic death note in that party and that is just a sad reality. There are almost 20 million Americans here who are not documented. They are working in jobs in which we have no issue hiring them as maids or putting them in McDonald’s uniforms. But allowing them to even think about buying health insurance or getting a driver’s license, is apparently taboo. However, I believe there are two very clear, and libertarian, ways to sell amnesty to people.
Penalty Amnesty – The simplest model for this is to say that the undocumented residents here did, indeed, break the law. A dumb law; but it is a law. The key solution here seems to be to come up with a proper penalty for those here. If someone can drive 90 miles an hour in a school zone and only get a $150 ticket, a person here working at a 7/11 without citizenship to feed their family should probably be let off fairly easy. I would say a fine of $5,000, which they are allowed to pay back over the course of ten years, is fair. This is a simple model which would bring in over $50 billion dollars upfront to the federal government. At the point of the $5,000 fee being agreed to be paid on, they go into another visa stage.
What Rand Paul Said – Rand Paul is still my man in the Senate. I’m a bit upset he wasn’t the best presidential candidate, but as a senator; holy shit, this dude is awesome. When Trump began his campaign and revived the old KKK chants on immigrants, the good senator from Kentucky who was also running came out with a real and very moderate plan. What was it? Actually freaking address the problem of visas! There is truth to the fact that about half of illegal immigrants came here legally, but had terrible visa models which made it too complex to adhere to. As Paul mentioned, a ton of companies file paperwork yearly for work visas and the next harvest season or the following year have to do that same paperwork again on the same people. It’s a joke for a model and just simplifying it to be a basic one-page model recording the name of the person and their basic details, is ideal. Also just keeping those names on file for future seasons is also ideal. In this, it would prevent future undocumented residents from happening, but also help those currently undocumented due to an easier plan to get forms up to date.
Bearing that in mind, I’d just like to emphasize again my disgust with the Trump movement and their feelings on the undocumented worker population. Having people who are working twelve-hour days in the heat picking crops and doing a job Americans simply aren’t applying for, is commendable, but when it comes to how they got here, people call them ‘deplorable’. Why, in a country getting a job without paperwork is evil, but most Americans admit to partially driving drunk, drinking underage, speeding for fun and doing activities far more dangerous, far less productive and somehow just labeled as ‘fun’ or being regular people. It’s disgusting and sad that this mentality exists. But the liberty movement is working to make this stigma go away; especially by having a presidential nominee brave enough to flat-out say referring to them as “illegal” is insulting and wrong.
However, there needs to be a broader solution, and that’s for the countless who want to come here. With that, let’s address the new libertarian model for immigration.
1. The Commodity Of People
What I’m going to say sounds cruel, but it is true.
Every person is a statistic; people in labor are 100% a commodity and using actual math to do this can make immigration a better place. The truth is, be it the immigrants who are doctors or immigrants who are on a farm, they are pretty much all profitable to the American government in terms of bringing in resources to America. I’d say allow it to become an actual business!
Say one person wants to come here. That person is a venture like any other business moving here. They will have children that go into public schools, could hold a risk of using Medicaid benefits and other things such as crime or accidents do exist which aggregate into money lost for the government. The solution would be allowing companies or investment groups to, in exchange for future productivity, buy into an immigrant via, assuming risk. Say the government makes a projection on cost of all immigrants with regards to social services and crime. That gets factored into a cost of say $50 billion a year and that covers over 20 million immigrants which accounts for about $2,500 in total yearly cost on a person. A new market gets adopted in which immigrants can come here, companies can assume a capped-off risk on that person for benefits, and in that collect a percentage of future income. This means if the average income of these 20 million immigrants is $30,000 a year, placing a 10% fee on them for assumed risk would be profitable for a business. This model can take out a lot of factors which make conservatives worried about the government edge with the immigrant population and can help that stigma.
For businesses, adopting this risk would be hugely profitable on the basis that immigrants are money makers. In the current system, they are already paying more into the government than what they consume. Yet a small percentage of immigrants do produce problems, and having a group willing to pay for this risk for later monetization could prove ideal. There’s obviously a lot of work that would go into this model, but I see it as the fastest one to ensure near-open borders in which almost any person can enter legally without complaints.
2. Automatic Citizenship For Higher Earners
The simplest thing in the world is to let the wealthy or well educated people automatically come to America and let them start out not paying much in taxes. If someone is a doctor, engineer, financial professional or holds a bank account of over $250,000, have them automatically obtain citizenship directly. No visa process should be required or anything of that nature. And that would probably incentivize these people to come by promising them they won’t have to pay taxes for the following five years or decade.
This is a little overly simple, but there are too many college graduates and more where America has made it hard for them to enter. Why America isn’t incentivizing everyone wealthy or educated to come here and get automatic citizenship, is just idiotic.
3. More Clear Safety Standards
This is just a basic standard procedure for immigrants coming here. Strip search, bag search, photo ID made instantly, finger-printed, and held on government record for one decade.
There we go, simple enough!
4. What Rand Paul Said, Again!
While running for president Rand Paul made another immigration proposal.
Have Congress do a yearly vote on what the cap for new citizenships should be, rather than holding a government department responsible for it. Have it modeled where they vote on the number of new citizens to allow, be it zero or unlimited. Have that model be so that any member of Congress can vote for as many plans as they want and whatever two get the most votes fits into a final vote between them. Hold that and whoever wins is the number for the following year. Given how most Democrats are very open and how there is a real faction of Republicans who are reasonable on immigration, this will likely help. Simple, and it should happen.
5. Some Basic Social Service Reforms
Education – Do not require immigrants who came here after the age of 14 to attend school.
Welfare – Extend the current five year rule on immigrants accepting welfare, to ten years.
Medicaid – Require immigrants to buy insurance when getting a visa.
That’s it. Most basic reforms ever for an immigration bill, which would save money.
I’d actually like to thank Donald Trump. As a presidential candidate he been the worst I could possibly imagine. He is not a fiscal conservative; he is clueless on foreign policy, and on social issues, is proven terrible with the authoritarian nature of his creationist running mate, Mike Pence. If Johnson/Weld wasn’t such a great ticket, I’d proudly donate and campaign for Hillary Clinton to stop Trump. However, I have to thank him for making the anti-immigrant Americans look so idiotic it allowed the capitalists and those who care, to come out and say “Let’s have a real reform here and let’s help the unrepresented immigrants.”
This isn’t a formal plan and I’d ideally like to see a thousand-page bill addressing these things in more detail. However, I’m doing this to give libertarians and other people a peek at what the liberty movement can and should support: openness and welcoming all people to America!
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Charles Peralo, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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