Originally posted by hardeeharhar
This is ALREADY the case -- everyone who works in the US is already assigned at TAX ID NUMBER or already has a Social security number -- I am proposing to just extend this system to everyone who crosses the borders...
OK. Fine. Now we just need to catch them.
I mean...really...people that enter legally do have documents, including work visas that (effectively) accomplish what you suggest.
But it is the one's sneaking
over the border that don't ("undocumented").
We also already have laws about employment that should prevent employers from employing people here illegally.
Three basic problems:
1. There is great (financial) incentive (relatively higher wages) to come to this country (regardless of the immigration law).
2. It is (relatively) easy to get here from land-connected nations (Mexico, Canada).
3. There is great (financial) incentive (relatively lower wages) to hire people who are here (by whatever means).
This "problem" of (illegal) immigration can basically be "solved" in a couple of ways:
1. Make it legal. Then it is no longer illegal.
2. Make #2 much, much harder (wall, border patrol, etc.)
3. Increase wages on the other side of the border.
4. Decrease wages (paid to those here illegally) on this side of the border.
5. Increase enforcement against employers.
Now, #2 and #5 are going to costs us more $ and probably not really solve the problem completely. Though combined together might reduce it quite a lot.
#4 is probably difficult to do from any policy perspective. I supposed deny any and every tax-payer funded "service" to illegal immigrants might be part of this. But overall this solution seems impractical, and wee bit exploitive and immoral to me.
#3 sounds interesting. We don't really have gazillions of Canadians flooding into the U.S. illegally. Part of this likely has to do with a higher (domestic-to-Canada) standard of living for all folks. This one is harder to just "do"...but perhaps it is the better long-term solution...and if combined with #1, might work out to be the best overall solution.
The fundamental "problem" with Mexican (and that's what we're primarily talking about here) illegal immigration is here is that we're plainly dishonest about it. We want it but we don't. We want the cheap, unskilled labor. Fine. Let's just admit that, let them in and stop arguing about it.
I am highly doubtful of the "flood" of people that steve666 suggests.
First, most of these folks are unskilled and "English language challenged". This will automatically limit their employability and thus the number than can get jobs to begin with.
Second, as more come it, wages will get bid down (slightly
, I think), reducing (somewhat) incentive to come (BTW, this is a risk that those who generally want freer immigration perhaps don't see coming...that there is enough of a "flood" to bid wages WAY down thus reducing these immigrants financial standing...I happen to think this will be mitigated by other factors.)
Third, the Mexican middle class is growing (fast) and so that is becoming some greater incentives to stay home. Improved trade and immigration with the U.S. may likely accelerate this even more.
Overall, I am of the view that we should open the border and stop squaking about it and work very hard on trade improvement to enable Mexico to grow its economy as well.