Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cato Institute & Immigration Papers

Cato Institute has put out papers analyzing immigration (including illegal) to the U.S.

Immigration & Crime:

In general, we know that illegal immigrants do not exhibit violent resistance when
apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol Agents. In more than 10 million apprehensions since
2000 we have not seen much evidence of those entering illegally to work in the U.S. arming themselves to fight Border Patrol Agents. However, individuals linked to organized crime rings are likely to be armed, given their involvement in drug or human smuggling and the money involved.  In the case of immigration, the lack of temporary work visas and the increased difficulty of entering illegally due to increased enforcement have compelled more illegal immigrants to turn to coyotes—middlemen who guide illegal immigrants across the border to
evade the Border Patrol. “According to U.S. and Mexican police, this is partly an unintended

consequence of a border crackdown. Making crossings more difficult drove up their cost,
attracting brutal Mexican crime rings that forced the small operators out of business.”9
Much of the lawlessness and the violation of the rights of property owners could be
eliminated with the introduction of increased legal means of entry for the foreign-born to
work in the U.S. Foreign-born workers do not wish to cross hazardous terrain or risk kidnapping
at the hands of smugglers any more than an American would. The best way to reduce lawlessness along the border is to put in place a work visa law that removes the profits from smugglers and thereby reduces the risks faced by would-be foreign workers and U.S. property owners.

A Look at the Senate Democratic Proposal for Immigration Reform: Is the Glass Half Empty, Half Full or Shattered on the Ground? 

The best way to reduce illegal immigration is to provide more legal avenues to work in the United States.

Overall, the Democratic proposal represents a signal to both supporters and opponents. To supporters who value legalizing the status of those in the country illegally, the proposal would fulfill such desires if it became law. To supporters who wish to establish a commission or other mechanisms to restrict employer-sponsored temporary visas or green cards, then the proposal
fulfills their wishes as well. 

Opponents of the measures would fall into different categories. Anti-immigrant organizations and a large bloc of members of Congress will oppose the legalization of those in the United States illegally, labeling it amnesty no matter what conditions are
established. Employers should be wary of even positive reforms offered in the proposal, since members of a commission eager to show their relevance to immigration policy could override such reforms. Whether the Democratic proposal should be viewed as a glass half empty or half full—or a glass shattered in pieces on the ground—must await the arrival of legislative language.

Do Gaps in E-Verify Justify a National ID? 

U.S. legislators rarely abandon programs that don’t work well, despite the costs or the impact on law-abiding individuals.

When it comes to illegal immigration, policymakers often present conflicting narratives. Elected officials cannot decide whether the problem is that employers are unscrupulous or that they are honest but unable to verify documents. Most of the recent rhetoric emanating from Washington,
D.C., indicates elected officials think most employers are cheats. 

But if employers are dishonest, then the easiest way to beat E-Verify, a National ID card, or any other combination of systems and documents is simply not to use them, hiring workers “under the table.” The costs and burdens then would fall on those who obey the law, not on those who break the law.

Few are asking the more obvious question: Wouldn’t the issue of unauthorized workers be resolved if employers were simply given access to a legal supply of workers who are willing and able to work in the United States? If a robust temporary visa program were operating, almost all employers would hire only legal and available workers. Such a policy is far preferable to requiring 97 percent of the population—legal immigrants, native-born and naturalized citizens—to carry National ID cards to make it more difficult for 3 percent of the population to work in the United States. 

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