Daily Archives: 04/21/2011

Gary Becker’s Immigration Plan

It seems to me that immigration unquestionably produces more gains than losses.  However the gains may go largely to the immigrants.  This is certainly what many people believe, and thus oppose immigration.  So what to do?  How about this:

Gary Becker thinks we should let almost any immigrant in, and charge them $50,000. Those who can’t pay the costs up front would be offered a student-style loan, which they would have to pay back. He also suggests that the government could set a quota each year and auction off the rights to immigrate here. Becker argues that the welfare state would prevent us from moving to a system of completely free entry. He also points out that a disproportionate number of U.S. immigrants come here for family reunification rather than work reasons when compared to other countries.

….an entry fee is probably preferable to open gates. People disagree whether immigrants are a net cost. They will continue to do so once the borders are open. Even if immigrants are a net cost on society (which I don’t believe they are), those costs are debatable and largely hidden. Making immigrants a transparent and immediate revenue source makes them much more desirable to politicians and voters.

Filed under: Economics

Gary Becker’s Immigration Plan
Adam Ozimek
Thu, 14 Apr 2011 00:36:38 GMT

This plan could reduce the opposition to immigration and allow its gains to be achieved.  However, I think we should still allow allocation of immigration slots to those who are coming for political, family or hardship reasons.