Immigration Reform is one of today’s hot topics. Often lost in this are some of the more interesting questions, such as how far does our amnesty extend? We also might wonder how far this goes into simply having open borders, and why even bother with an immigration policy? And once those Undocumented Americans arrive, how do we handle removing and keeping out the ones who we don’t want in the country? I’m not even going to try answering these questions, as I don’t have anything resembling an answer. I do have one idea that is a cornerstone around most conservative ideas on the subject, and that’s securing the border first. One of the issues we’ve seen is in funding the effort.
To offer a relatively simplistic solution to part of the issue of securing the border, there are parts along the border where the terrain is too rough to build an actual fence. This is where a “virtual fence” was planned to be built, as a combination of border patrols assisted by radar stations. To make a long story short, a huge obstacle to this approach is having radar equipment tuned in sensitive enough to pick up someone trying to cross the border while not sending an alert for every piece of sagebrush that blows through. Why not start using our military to assist with this? With all of the talk of drones in the news and scaling back overseas why not use our own military in the historically traditional sense of using it to defend its own nation’s borders? And of course, we can continue building the wall, at least in parts where it’s not just getting hopped over regularly by Undocumented Democrats.
So far none of this probably sounds all that innovative, but what I haven’t addressed yet is how we pay for this. At some point the financial house of cards our Federal Government is running will come down, and when that happens we’re going to experience some painful cuts all around. And no, I don’t mean fake cuts like the silliness around the Sequester, or “austere” reductions to the rate of growth of government spending, but real cuts. So it’s important that for us to secure the border we find a way to make it self funding, and I’ve found it.
Estimates have around $22 billion in remittances going from the US to Mexico each year, so why not use a portion of those remittances being sent back to Mexico to protect the security and job opportunities of those who are living here? We could call it a user fee for our border’s biggest violator, or closing economic loopholes to capital outflows, or whatever dishonest term leftists are using this week when they’re trying to not say that they’re raising taxes. Taking a reasonable 5% cut would fund $1 billion for securing our border, and if this extra fee reduces the amount of remittances going abroad this will have the added fringe benefits of incentivizing Mexico to clean up it’s own act and make it a better place to live while keeping more of the money earned in the US here to be spent in the US economy – win-win.
For that matter, since there are few individuals who oppose legal immigration, why not raise the remittance tax to 10% and use the additional $1B to fund our own immigration process? This combination will make illegal entry more difficult while making the legal process easier and a more desirable option. Does all of this sound crazy? Maybe, but is it really any less crazy than an effort to put more middle class Americans on government assistance by raising taxes on the poor?
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog