Monday, May 08, 2006

Two thoughts on immigration policy

One: we ought to dramatically increase legal immigration. Years-long lines to become a citizen are dumb. Citizens not only pay taxes, they can also call on the government to enforce minimum wage laws and protect their right to unionize in order to raise wages (downward pressure on low-income wages is one of the negative effects of illegal immigration). All those people waiting in line on the other side of the border should get a quicker wait to become a citizen.

Two, reforming Mexico's political and economic structures are far more vital to the United States' self-interest than creating political and economic structures for Iraq. Did you know that every level of government in Mexico is under a term limit of one term? How screwed up is that? And the percent of people paying taxes is far lower than in other nations, because only the federal government collects taxes -- state and local governments do not. That distant Department of Revenue breeds resentment, corruption and tax evasion. It's time for some local tax authority as well.

Improving Mexico should be a top priority of ours.

1 comment:

Colette said...

"Improving Mexico should be a top priority of ours."

Dan, this is a very valid point. If we help Mexico to improve their own situation, it could only help the U.S.

Mexico is a beautiful place. The only reason most people leave is that drive to provide for their family. You know -- starvation and living in utter poverty is a huge impetus for people leave the land they love. I personally know quite a few undocumented workers. Many of them miss their homeland and yearn for la tierra de sus madres (o padres si quieres).

We can reverse the gravitational pull of the U.S. by helping Mexico create some economic weight of its own!

I believe Mexico does not even have a sales tax. I wonder how many Americans living along the border take advantage of yet while simultaneously failing to see that (lack of an effective tax structure) as part of a larger problem.

Thanks for the insightful post (as always).