Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Our immigration system is broken and it needs to be fixed. Until 1986, Mexican immigration was circular, 80% of the immigrants returned to Mexico. We were bitten by unintended consequences when much tighter controls were put in place in '86. The numbers of immigrants didn't drop that much but those that came stayed because getting in was so difficult. The economics that makes immigration attractive have not changed. The battle can not be won on the borders as long as unskilled jobs in the US need labor. It would be better to open and control the flow instead the futility of trying to stop it.

A sensibly structured guest-worker program would actually reduce existing artificial incentives for longer stays, family consolidations and semi-permanency.

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