Here's a Radical Comprehensive Immigration Plan: Increase the Numbers Who Can Come Legally

President Obama has kicked off his next legislative initiative in his perpetual campaign to avoid having to talk about how his economic interventions are reaping the whirlwind: Comprehensive Immigration Reform, an issue that has been the graveyard of presidents every bit as much as Arlington Cemetery.

Here's Obama troweling on the rhetoric to obscure the utter lack of substance:

"The process of who is and who isn't allowed to enter this country and on what terms has always been contentious, and that remains true," Obama told an audience of 250, including lawmakers and reform advocates.

While he said amnesty would be "unwise and unfair," he also said apprehending all undocumented migrants would be impossible. He argued the border was now more secure than at any time in the past 20 years and that reform in other areas was now needed.

"We can create a pathway for legal status that is fair, reflective of our values, and works," he said. "The question now is whether we will have the courage and political will."

Whatever. Whole thing here.

Here's an idea that should jazz up all those folks who say that "illegal" immigration is such a big problem: Create a system that allows in (legally!) a total number of travelers that is roughly equal to total migration by legal and illegals. Hey, problem solved!

As we slide into the Fourth of July weekend, check out this Dan Hayes Reason.tv joint that reminds us why immigrants still flock to a country that can't even beat Ghana in the World Cup.

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  • ||

    Wow that makes a lot of sense dude.

    Lou
    www.anon-surfing.at.tc

  • robc||

    anon-bot has it right.

    Im a big fan of making legal immigration very easy. Then, anyone caught crossing the border is "up to something" and can be treated as such.

  • ||

    The word "immigration" means legal entry for permanent residence.

    There's no such thing as "illegal immigration"

    Thus, your mind is owned. How do we know this? You express a false belief: "making legal immigration very easy".

    Until men and women get straight concepts, coming to consensus on what political action should happen is going to be hard.

  • Joshua||

    First of all Al, nobody likes an overmatriculated pedant. See what I mean?

    Second, immigrate just means move in. any legal or illegal connotation to the word is in your mind, or fabricated by the documentation you supply yourself with.

  • ||

    Boo hoo. Maybe there's a pill you can take for your disease of Cognitive Dissonance.

  • Kochtopus, the||

    travelers

    It's "workers." Always say "workers."

    Travelers go where they want. Labor goes where the boss says he wants it.

    "Workers."

  • ola||

    sounds like obama just deemed the border secure. now let's move on to amnesty. BTW, what's legal status?

  • Some Guy||

    Hey hey hey! When the people against reform said how much they loved legal immigration, they didn't mean they actually wanted more of it.

    That would totally ruin all their talking points. (Though like the war on drugs, I doubt it would make them stop using or believing them.)

  • Tman||

    WIDER GATES. TALLER FENCES.

    Why is this so hard?

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'm on board. Why is this such a difficult concept?

  • ||

    Create a system that allows in (legally!) a total number of travelers that is roughly equal to total migration by legal and illegals. Hey, problem solved!

    It's so difficult because most of the people saying "it's bad because it's ILLEGAL" are just using it as a fig leaf to cover the fact that they don't want the immigration at all.

    Let's hear from some of these people, and let's hear them say "yes, let's just increase the legal immigration".

    They won't, because their real problem is that there are too many immigrants here in the first place, diluting our "culture".

  • ||

    "Let's hear from some of these people, and let's hear them say "yes, let's just increase the legal immigration".

    Yes, it's bad because it's illegal, so let's increase the legal immigration.

    How ya like dem apples?

    And while I know it's cliché' my position is come on in, but ya gotta sign the guest book. When someone flies into JFK from London, they have to go through customs. Question, why should rich Londoners be hassled by customs but not dirt-poor Mexicans?

  • SIV||

    I'm all for radically increasing legal immigration, of people with money and skills.Immigration of skilled and professional workers is severely limited while there is a de facto open border policy for impoverished, low skilled,low education.One would think there should be an effort to balance that.

  • fyodor||

    Why? Seems like the influx of the low skilled is the market's signal that that's what's needed.

  • SIV||

    Immigration laws against high skilled workers are vigorously enforced.Employers rarely hire "illegals" in this category. Hence, aliens desiring employment must petition to go through the horribly restrictive H1b visa program. No switching employers and no permanent residency track. I'd rather have more physicians, engineers, scientists,etc able to migrate and less poverty level/low wage workers with families net consuming social services.

  • robc||

    I want the market to clear. Lets make it easier for high or low income workers to immigrate. You want to come to the US to work? You arent a felon or terrorist? Okay, here is your green card.

  • ||

    Immigration is legal, always.

    The word "immigration" means legal entry for permanent residence.

    There's no such thing as "illegal immigration".

  • jtuf||

    Actually, my idea of tripling the diversity slots available for legal immigration was very popular among the tea party members that heard it.

  • ||

    Having to repeat truth, over and over until persons get it.

    The word "immigration" means legal entry for permanent residence.

    There's no such thing as "illegal immigration".

    Thus, your mind is owned. How do we know this? You express a false belief: "increase the legal immigration."

    Until men and women get straight concepts, coming to consensus on what political action should happen is going to be hard.

  • DJF||

    The US already has more then a million immigrants a year become citizens, plus various work programs, plus refugees, all of which are legal. This is more then any other country in the world. Is there any number which would satisfy the open border crowd? Or don’t the American people have a right to decide how many enter their country?

  • Tman||

    Clearly the number we have now is insufficient to meet the demand of people wanting to become US citizens, or at the least live here legally and work.

    I think the libertarian argument is that we shouldn't want to discourage anyone from wanting to come to America legally. Indeed, our country has been built by immigrants from day one.

    Chris Christie had a good slogan, increase the quotas, and illegals go to the back of the line.

    Problem solved.

  • Jordan||

    Or don’t the American people have a right to decide how many enter their country?

    No.

  • Mike M.||

    With the out of control welfare state we have in this country? Bullshit we don't!

  • SIV||

    I'd like to restrict the refugee immigrants in favor of people who are motivated to pay their own way here. Refugees get welfare immediately and it's hard to get rid of the fuck ups

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Refugees get welfare immediately

    Do you have any evidence to prove this claim?

  • ||

    Many confused who are suffering from mind disorder owing to intense indoctrination hold these false beliefs:

    [1] the USA is a product
    [2] foreigners are demanding this product (immigration into the USA)
    [3] Americans and U.S. citizens are under obligation to sell this product to foreigners.

    These same persons suffer from the false belief that the USA was founded by immigrants.

    The USA was founded by COLONIZERS who we name the Colonials.

    Thus only authentic Americans can trace their ancestry to these colonizers nearly all whom were Protestant English, Dutch, Welsh, Scots-Irish, Scots and Swedish.

    All the rest living in the USA today are either descendants of post-14th Amendment immigrants, mostly Catholics from Ireland, Italy, Germany and Poland as well as Eastern European Jews; recent Catholics from Mexico and Central America; or sub-Continent Asian Indians as well as Chinese; all of whom were let into the USA, graciously, by authentic Americans.

  • Joshua||

    Tell it to the injuns!

  • ||

    Injuns?

    They're not from India. Ha ha ha.

    Do you mean any of the 500 or so inferior peoples who were conquered because they were on the losing end of DNA and thus lacked technology to implement weapons? Those people?

  • Graham Wellington||

    See, now that to me is just plain racist. I know the racism card gets thrown around all over, but saying that we're the best, so our potentate controls this land (regardless of who is/was/or wants to be here) is a pretty illogical argument.

  • MWG||

    As a percentage of the population that's quite small. One million is a lot compared to a country of 30 million, but to a country of 300 million... not so much.

  • ||

    My beef with immigration, legal and illegal, is the cost.

    Cost/year to educate one child, ~$8,000.
    cost/year for medical services (I am guessing), ~$1,000.
    etc, etc...

    Why should US tax payers foot this bill?

  • Zeebs||

    If they're here legally and are employed legally, then they'll pay taxes. Is it really that difficult to understand?

  • Tman||

    More legal immigrants = more tax revenue generated.

    Less illegal immigrants = less government spending dealing with illegal immigrants.

    Net cost REDUCTION.

  • ||

    This topic was mentioned briefly in yesterday's post about Gov Johnson.

    In New Mexico, the state spends $6,600 per yer per child. For an immigrant to pay that much in taxes, he would need about $76,000 per year in income. Since that income level seems improbable for most immigrants, the difference has to be made up by US citizens. Is it really that difficult to understand?

  • Tman||

    Wayne,

    You are missing the point. We are spending the $6,600 on the IILEGAL children ALREADY. The parents of the illegal kids are sending the cash they make back home tax free.

    If revenue is truly your concern, then logic dictates we should go with the policy that will allow us to recoup some of the revenue we are ALREADY spending on the illegal kids to begin with.

  • ||

    And we do that by opening the door to an unlimited flood of new immigrants? That will only make the problem worse.

    Johnson's point, by the way, was that illegals already pay taxes but aren't eligible for any refunds, or credits that would be due them were they legal.

    You're right, we are already spending lots of money to educate and medicate illegals. That is one reason California and other western states are dying a fiscal death.

  • Tman||

    I didn't say "unlimited". I'm a "wider gates, taller fences" person when it comes to this issue. I believe that there is a large percentage of law abiding illegal immigrants (yes, I know-by being "illegal" they are technically law breaking already, but bear with me) who would gladly go through the process of becoming legal if the quota was raised and the process was more accessible.

    Johnson is right that they pay taxes, but that's usually just sales tax and living expenses taxes (rent, utilities), and few pay any type of income tax whatsoever. But as you correctly point out, we are already paying enormously for the illegals in our country through education and health care alone (never mind enforcement or legal costs) and left with two bad options the less bad option is to allow more illegals to increase their contribution to our economy.

  • ||

    Personally, I completely discount the "they broke the law to get here, so they are all criminals" argument. They are good people, I know many of them and I like them. My son's best friend is either an "anchor baby" or illegal himself; he practically lives at my house and he is a great kid, I love him, I would hate to see him deported.

    This whole issue might be resolved by the economy: if we hit great depression II, then immigrants will be the least of our problems. In the meantime, though, how do we cope with the costs?

  • Tman||

    I agree that the vast majority are good people. If I grew up in some third world hell hole I'd probably walk across a desert to take a chance in the states too. It's the best option available for many people.

    I think the fastest way to control costs is to increase the revenue generated by immigrants by raising the quota higher for legal immigration.

    Johnson makes a huge assumption that the illegals are paying taxes but not collecting any refunds, or credits that would be due them were they legal. The refunds and credits he refers to is for income tax, and again the vast majority of illegals work under the table so they don't pay income taxes. Sure, they pay sales and living expense taxes, but those aren't refundable.

    If you want an increase in taxable income, increase the amount of legal, taxable immigrants.

  • ||

    TMan, your numbers don't add up. Increasing the number of immigrants will add to the tax base, but each new immigrant comes with costs as well.

    We are back to $6,600 per pupil per year problem. It still takes an income of about $76,000 per year to be revenue neutral for an immigrant with just one child in school, and only one child is a pie-in-the-sky assumption as the birth rate for illegals is higher than almost any other group. More immigrants equals more kids in school, which just puts us further in the crapper.

    Honestly, I don't see any easy (or even hard) solution to this problem.

  • Tman||

    Again Wayne, you are missing my point. When you cite the "$6,000 per child" cost, you are assuming that we aren't spending this amount ALREADY. That is my point. This sum is already a cost that taxpayers cover. We are going to pay for them whether they are here illegally or not. The least we could do is to try and recoup some of that cost by increasing the revenue from legal immigrants by increasing the amount of legal immigrants.

  • ||

    Tman, so you are saying amnesty for those here and close the border so no more come across?

  • Tman||

    No, Wayne.

    I said earlier- Wider gates, Taller fences. Increase the immigration quota and crack down Arizona-style on illegals by actually ENFORCING immigration law at a state and federal level. If you have a quota that is high enough, then illegals don't have an excuse for being here illegally.

  • ||

    TMan, I guess we are talking past each other.

    Are you saying you desire to increase the number of immigrants in the US over what we have here today, i.e. by "increasing the immigration quota" does the US have the same number of immigrants, more immigrants, or fewer immigrants?

  • Tman||

    I think that if you raised the immigration quota, AND enforced the laws prohibiting illegal immigration we would have a net increase in immigrants, but you would have a much larger percentage of LEGAL immigrants which would increase the net tax revenue.

    And honestly, quota or not they are coming and as you said already here. The options are either open the borders, close the borders, make the gates wider and the fence taller, or vice versa.

    What's your choice?

  • ||

    My choice is to stop the bleeding of dollars, which we don't have. I say close the borders and deal with the ones who are already here in some reasonable way.

    I am not in favor of increasing the number of immigrants because of the costs involved. If by "wider gates" you mean increase the flow of immigrants then I am opposed.

  • Vaccine||

    Here's an idea: Make people pay for their kids schooling, directly.

  • ||

    No such valid concept exists which a sane man could label "illegal immigrant".

    The word immigrant, means a legal entrant.

    We have a correct name for the persons you mention -- illegal aliens.

    Until persons get straight the concepts and the names associated with those concepts, illogical, jumbled reasoning is not going to advance toward a correct answer.

  • fyodor||

    The costs argument could just as easily be made against migrants within the country.

  • ||

    True, but US migrants have a legal right to be here so they are our problem whether we like it or not, foreign immigrants do not, and are not our problem unless we just bend over and take it.

  • Sudden||

    The cost argument is complex and multi-faceted. A lot of them pay something close to full taxes because they work under fake SS#s as w-2 employees at fast food joints and the like. The revenue problem with making them legal is that a lot would then qualify for tax credits due to the sheer lack of substantial incomes. That would partly be balanced out by the incomes being recognized and the moms of 4 kids not being able to collect as much in WIC (just last week an illegal woman and her two kids were behind me at ralphs and produced a WIC check to cover their groceries), but I bet their income and the average # of kids still qualifies pretty heavily. Ultimately, the problem isnt TEH MEXYKINS as it is the welfare state. But when you add 12 million new people onto voter rolls who qualify for free goodies from Uncle Scam, good luck getting the system reformed.

    The only cogent economic argument for amnesty is that it will hasten the collapse of a bankrupt fiscal model that is on its way there anyways.

  • ||

    Sudden, agreed, we're fucked.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    I'm not sure what kind of logic dictates that. It seems to me logic should dictate not allowing ourselves to be put in a position where the expenditure has to be made at all.

  • Tman||

    We passed that position a long time ago.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    It's very much reversible.

  • Tman||

    How so?

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    See "Arizona". They seem to have found an effective technique.

  • ||

  • MWG||

    "In New Mexico, the state spends $6,600 per yer per child. For an immigrant to pay that much in taxes, he would need about $76,000 per year in income. Since that income level seems improbable for most immigrants, the difference has to be made up by US citizens. Is it really that difficult to understand?"

    This argument is a complete FAIL until you can cite actual data showing otherwise. Not all immigrants (legal and otherwise) who pay taxes have kids.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Barack Obama - The Human PowerPoint

  • ||

    Yep, I agree. There's got to be a legal line drawn somewhere. Might as well draw it as low as you can to legalize the most people for the betterment of our economy and tax receipts.

  • GILMORE||

    I pine for LoneWacko

    Does he still have a site? Ahh, yes.

    Poor guy. Somehow he realized that for all his efforts, he never once converted one soul to his crazyReligion about MexicanGovernmentPoliticalPower undermining our bodily fluids.

    He also disabled comments on his site, which revealed that all of 2 people read his stuff, and both were crazy old racists.

  • ||

    FREE LOANWACKO!!!

  • ||

    Create a system that allows in (legally!) a total number of travelers that is roughly equal to total migration by legal and illegals.

    Are you crazy? If you think we need more Tau Alpha C pedophiles who phase out of our universe when they orgasm, you're wrong.

  • ||

    See, and here I was thinking, "Why would we only be letting in Gypsies, and where would we find that many?"

  • Rich||

    "The question now is whether we will have the courage and political will."

    And the answer now is "No, we will have neither".

    Check back when if the economy turns around.

  • ||

    The problem is that Obama's definition of "courage and political will" means shutting up and doing whatever he wants you to do.

  • ||

    In all seriousness, I think the solution is to start annexing the northern parts of Mexico. They're barely under the Mexican government's control anyway.

    This has the added benefit of decreasing the length of our southern border.

  • ||

    Agreed. We ought to annex all the way down to the Panama Canal.

  • ||

    I wouldn't go much beyond Mexico's current border with Guatemala. Diminishing returns.

    It would be cool to have Cancun and the dinosaur extinction crater on US soil.

  • ||

    Yeah, but take it to Panama and you have the smallest possible land border on the continent, plus you have the canal, itself a formidable barrier, plus Panama looks like a cool place.

  • Felipe Calderón||

    Tulpa, how about swinging by for a beer this weekend? Dos Equis, IIRC.

  • ||

    Sorry, I'm going skydiving with Agostin Pinochet. Maybe some other time?

  • Mike Laursen||

    I think just the coastal parts of Mexico and leave the middle.

  • jtuf||

    We can start by trippling the number of diversity slots available for immigration.

    I bet that we don't get immigration reform anytime soon. The Democrats get so much political capital by calling Replicans racist every time immigration reform comes up, that I don't think they want to loose it as a pressing issue by actually passing a bill into law.

  • ||

    What is a "diversity slot"?

  • jtuf||

    The main routes for immigration are through family or marriage, through refugee status, or through employee sponsorship. The diversity lottery is for aspiring immigrants who do not fit into any of these categories. Right now, the slots available through the diversity lottery are a pitiful 55,000 per year.

  • ||

    Threadjack!!!

    LA weeps over budget deficit, looks to fines to close gap.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co.....ckets.html

    This country is so fucked.

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