I went to the pro-immigration/illegal immigrant/amnesty/communist mayday...whatever...rally today. Overall it was an interesting experience. Some things I enjoyed: the passion, activism in a usually apathetic youth, frightened white people. Some things not so much: yelling in Spanish, underlying socialist lean, getting my photo taken as the token Blenders-Mocha-sipping white dude (by more than one photo-journalist). When they started handing out burrito's for everyone (not kidding), I really had to bail. The idea of freeloading a burrito off these guys seemed a bit too far into the strange for me.
But fuck all that noise.
I was there to show my support not for illegal immigrants, or aliens, or Mexicans (allright, maybe for Mexicans); but rather, for people. People, like you and I, that want the best for themselves and their families. We're all immigrants in one form or another, how dare any of us suggest the gate should close when we've established a comfortable life.
At the surface, the issue/question is this: we've got allot of immigrants here illegaly (12 million roughly), and more coming in everyday. The "anti" group suggest they come here, "drop kids" on our dime, take our jobs, depress wages, don't pay taxes, etc. The "pro" group claim they're significantly more valuable to the economy (and our comfortable way of life) than we realize; they posit that without them, crops would go unpicked, dishes unwashed, and bratty ass rich kids untended to.
The problem - as I see it - is: both groups are, in many ways, very right. So, what to do? Well, I can't help but tender my opinion. It is, at least, unique.
I say we tax the fuckers.
And I mean "fuckers" in the most endearing way. We impose an Immigrant Tax; but like our creative Graduated Tax system (which imposes higher taxes as a percentage of income as it increases), we connect the tax to the immigrants country of origin.
Mexico isn't poor because Mexicans are stupid. Same is true with every nation on earth less fortunate than we. Mexicans are generally poor because of the bad choices made by the Mexican government. So what do the smart Mexicans do? They bail. No blowback, no pressure on their ex-government to reform. If we want to see less immigration, hell, if we care about the condition of our fellow man, we must, to our ability, pressure these governments to reform. 12 million immigrants screaming at their ex-governments, vs. ours, is a pretty powerful lobby. Especially considering that a great deal of their earnings are flowing back to their countries of origin.
So the US can open up a heavy channel to force reform, bring 12 million hard working Americans into the tax paying system, and offset (perhaps entirely) the cost of providing social services to this group.
The Immigrant Tax my take into consideration simple things like:
Private vs. Government ownership
Citizen participation in government (democracy vs. communism)
Social service net
Make as simple or complex as we see fit. "Oh, you're from Venezuela, sorry, that Chavez fucker needs to be gone, you're tax rate is 35%. Welcome to the States". You get the idea.
This tax should be finite. Maybe 10 years, maybe less. But at graduation, "Congratulations Sir/Ma'am, you're a full-fledged American, for good or ill. Best wishes"
Now, if by some miracle the government had the balls to pass such legislation, concurrently, we'd need to pass a fresh batch of knuckle-cracking penalties for business' and criminals who continue to work outside of it. As a former business owner, few words have quite the efficacy in getting attention as the word: felony. You hire illegals, felony. You sneak into this country outside the system, felony (we'd need to figure out sufficiently scary Guantanamo-style punishment to deter that group).
Now Immigrant flow-control is an economic function. Want to slow immigration, increase tax. Although it should be noted, from a purely economic standpoint, that heavy immigration of the work-inclined is a net benefit to the economy. In my view, even that is a dramatic understatement. Among other factors, our baby-booming parents are heading into retirement. Many of them smoked away their retirement savings, and are planning to plan when it's too late. A large working class is needed to subsidize their error. Enter immigrants.