The Case for an Immigration Tariff

While I don’t see how this approach would work better than the points-based systems in Canada and Australia, and how simple and transparent it would be to implement.

And other studies have shown that the high percentage of family class immigrants, including Asian, does not appear to be resulting in poor economic outcomes (see: One Face of Immigration in America Is a Family Tree Rooted in Asia):

The current U.S. immigration system favors non-economic immigrants. About 81 percent of new immigrants are family members of American citizens or green card holders, whereas only 5 percent earn green cards for employment or investment purposes. Our rapidly changing economy requires a more dynamic immigration system that allows in types of economic immigrants who are barred under the current system. Congress should create an additional visa category that would allow foreigners to work and live legally in the United States after paying a tariff. Immigrants who pay the immigration tariff would receive a “gold card” that does not directly lead to citizenship, but allows the immigrant to live and work legally in the United States. Congress could adjust the tariff rate on the basis of the immigrant’s estimated fiscal impact, as determined by the individual’s level of education or other relevant demographic factors. Several other countries charge high fees for visas or sell the right to immigrate, which offer excellent lessons in how to design a well-functioning immigration tariff for the United States. An American immigration tariff would create a dynamic, market-based, merit-based, relatively more economically efficient, and self-regulating system that would serve the ever-changing American economy.

Source: The Case for an Immigration Tariff

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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