Today, our immigration attorney, Emilia Ayala, had the opportunity to appear as a guest on the Mike Madison radio show (WYAB 103.9 FM). During a one hour interview she was able talk about some of the misinformation and fake news that actually gets in the way of our country’s ongoing efforts to address immigration in a reasonable and cost effective way.
From an economic standpoint, the setting of immigration policy will always involve trade-offs — and as with most public policy decisions, there are always winners and losers. But even though our immigration problems remain extremely complex, there are real solutions that make economic sense. The problem at this point is that those solutions are unlikely to occur in today’s polarized political climate.
In our view, sensible immigration reform should include:
- The creation of an an entry-exist system that monitors immigrants both when they come into the U.S. and when they leave. Such a system would most effectively address the problem known “visa overstays” — which include those who simply disappear after overstaying the time limit of their visas.
- The creation of a procedural pathway which would enable many of the current undocumented immigrants (who are working and do not have criminal records) to obtain legal status and work permits. Mass deportation would present many legal, ethical and moral issues in addition to the fact that it does not make sense from an economic standpoint. This would also allow law-enforcement officials to focus their resources on those who are genuine security or public-safety risks.
- Improving the existing channels for legal immigration so that they are more in line with the labor and population growth demands of the U.S. economy with a preference for those who have the background and desire to successfully integrate into our society.
Despite having a dysfunctional political system, becoming a U.S. citizen or even a legal resident is still a privilege. Accordingly, the right to immigrate to the U.S. should primarily be based on your ability and willingness to add value to the U.S. while ultimately adopting our laws and and culture.