Immigration reform and the economy

Dear Reader, After a few weeks¬†hiatus, I’m back!

It would seem that some reform on immigration is both necessary and going to become law. Lawfulness is always better than lawlessness, and a known quantity worth more than an unknown quantity. These two old adages have failed to be embraced in an emotional battle that needs some nice cold eyes, and plenty of fresh water.

We live in a country of immigrants. It would seem that some 12 million persons have been living here without proper documents. That is a problem. Getting identification to these individuals moves them from being unidentified into being identified, and hence from being an unknown into being a known. That is safer for them, and for everyone in their environs. Many persons believe that somehow the 12 million people here aren’t well, here yet. They are here. In your neighborhood. Everyday. From a law enforcement standpoint, any police officer will tell you that having a record on a person makes it a thousand times easier for the police to do their job of serving and protecting the community. That saves money in the broader economy.

Work permits legitimize the collecting of taxes, which also would have an enormous positive impact as currently undocumented workers would welcome paying taxes, and they are often forced to go undeclared because of their circumstances. More tax receipts for the government, especially here in California, without having to raise tax rates I should think is a blessing, and a no brainer. As wages are reported, taxes are due. Simple.

Then we hear all the claims of those who will become the “takers” and welfare recipients. Those remarks deny again the fact that these individuals are already here. When they have a medical need, they currently go to the emergency room, and cost the society at large far in excess of what that care would cost were they able to access reasonable private or public insurance. That is economics 101. Why pay more and stick your head in the sand, instead of embrace the problem and get it done with less money? Essentially, when one pays payroll taxes, one pays into the various government systems like Soc Sec, etc., and again with income taxes, and sales taxes.

The movement of goods and people and services across international borders is not the problem as far as the economy is concerned. It’s identifying them and taxing them that addresses the issues. This is another main argument for a VAT as it taxes illicit income including drug money and tourists who are not paying income taxes here. Every time we go to Europe we don’t blink an eye at the frequent 15 percent VAT (or higher!) being slapped on top of the item or service we are purchasing. Do onto others as they are already doing onto you. A further discussion of a VAT argument is really the place of another blog, as I want to stick to immigration principally here.

The building of a fence if you are simply trying to give people busywork during a recession is ok, but our maid as a child used to cross via the air conditioned lobby of the immigration office each week legally with her Mexican passport, so the idea that people swimming across a riverbed that was dammed up for electrical generation many decades ago is well, out of date. And many locals who find themselves without proper papers have been here for decades. It’s a simple reality. Their children are our future leaders, and they should learn as a family that we are a country of laws, and a country that keeps its promise of taxation WITH representation. It makes for the safest environment and the proper tax basis.

Also, the 9/11 hijackers flew at considerable height into those buildings, so how high a fence will be high enough? Persons who work in the DHS say that the real threats are the ports and our northern border anyway, so our electrifying efforts on a Berlin style wall along parts of the Southern border are little more than an international embarrassment. Identify and tax, and general fears based on the unknown will be significantly reduced. The Berlin wall has since been removed, resulting in a thriving metropolis that had been filled with “takers” just a few years ago.

Then there are some less emotional areas, where anyone with an advanced degree or degree of some immediately employable type and so on will be welcome. Such considerations are ones of degree not Degree. Also, the Dream Act provisions for persons  in the military seems reasonable to almost everyone.

Even the foes of immigration reform are going to enjoy the fruits of a better economy once new measures are in place, and that is often their political argument for not wanting those very changes.

Questions and comments can be directed to me here or at my website: www.johnpaulvaldez.com