deportation suspension and legalization: a great first step – now, let’s open the borders


From the Washington Post article on the “insanely  confusing” path to citizenship.

Last night, President Obama announced new policies that would allow approximately five million persons to live in peace without fear of deportation. If you have lived in the United States for five years and have no crimes, you can obtain a status that allows you to be a legal resident. A similar rule applies to people brought as children and those with family members who are here legally. All I can say is “bravo.”

As much I applaud this action, it leaves serious problems unresolved. Currently, immigration to the United States is extremely difficult unless you are highly skilled or come from a country that has favored status. If you want to come to America because you want to escape poverty, political persecution, or organized crime, you have to pay thousands of dollars in fees, wait years, and hope that your number will be called. The chart above summarizes the complex and confusing immigration system. It’s not designed to facilitate legal migration. It’s designed to prevent migration.

It is completely normal for people to move to pursue jobs, be with friends, or simply to be in a place that they like better. Thus, let’s abolish this monstrosity of an immigration system. I’d advocate completely open borders, but there are other humane systems. For example, much migration is linked to jobs. Having a program of guest worker permits with unlimited renewals would be one such system. Let’s think of others. This country was founded on open borders, let’s make it that way again.

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Written by fabiorojas

November 22, 2014 at 12:07 am

Posted in current events, fabio

3 Responses

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  1. orgtheory, often you are an interesting journal. But this entry reveals a naive utopianism.


    RenAnd AndRen

    November 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm

  2. Fabio, I wonder what your thoughts are about the citizenship in conjunction with the right to migration. I will admit that migration is something that I struggle with on a number of levels: economic, moral, practical. Conceivably we could make migration easy while making citizenship hard to obtain. This seems likely to cause permanent inequality like the Turks in Germany experience (though arguably we already do that). We could make citizenship easy as well (or keep it easy for second generation who gain birth-right citizenship), but there could be arguments on a practical level that this will create incentives likely to drive down wages in the long run or expose the U.S. to unforseeable obligations in the long run when coupled with open borders.

    I’m not sure that the latter is substantially different than what we have now, but it is something about which I would be interested in hearing your thoughts



    November 24, 2014 at 2:07 am

  3. In general, I favorably view any policies that make is easier for people to pursue their lives as they see fit. So in theory, I don’t feel strongly about decoupling citizenship and migration. However, as a practical matter, I do worry about creating vast numbers of second class citizens. In the end, I side with those who say if you live here, you pay the taxes and stay out of trouble, then you are entitled to rights and privileges of any resident. No need to make social divisions based on place of birth.

    Liked by 1 person


    November 24, 2014 at 2:11 am

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