US Immigration

“A Modest Proposal”

US Immigration policy needs reform. We all know it. Many of us are so angry about our immigration failures that we have not even been able to have a rational conversation about it. Many of us have resorted to demanding extreme and damaging measures. Many would argue that such behavior is largely motivated by racism.

I'm not going to recriminate or make appeals to emotion. Rather, I wan't to collect some facts, and offer common sense solutions that I think should be hard to argue with.


Lets start with some basic facts that should be hard to argue with. Cheap labor is good for prices in the US. Cheap labor has kept US food prices lower than they otherwise would be. Cheap labor has allowed construction of buildings and infrastructure at a lower cost than otherwise possible. Cheap labor has enabled many middle-class households to hire landscapers or housekeepers that would otherwise be impossible. Cheap, exploited labor has greatly enriched this nation.

Desperate people, inequality, and open borders have also brought crime, suffering, and death. We won't argue with those facts. For every undocumented immigrant living in the US there is a sad story of debasement and broken families.

The vast majority of undocumented migrants are of limited means, and limited education. Generally, they come to the US because they believe that they can't make it in their own country. Badly paid in the US is still better than badly paid in their own country.

That doesn't mean that they are not useful to our economy. The fact that they find work proves that. Undocumented immigrants don't have access to federal welfare for housing and many other things. They may get medical care or food, but it shouldn't be too much of a stretch to accept that they all pay rent. There may be many dependents, but they also have found someone, probably family, who is willing to support them.

That being said, research indicates that all immigrant households, documented or otherwise, tend to use a disproportionately larger share of public welfare services.

Immigration pressure will always exist when there is significant inequality in such close proximity. The median US income is something like six times the median income in Mexico. Even for an undocumented migrant, they can hope to make twice what they could in Mexico. The difference is even more pronounced for the central American countries.

recently undocumented immigrants have been less from Mexico, and more from Central America where violence and poverty are extreme.


It is not difficult to conclude that the majority of undocumented immigrants fill economic roles in the US: jobs that need to be done. It is also easy to conclude that having more documented immigrants would increase the national welfare load. We as an nation cannot accept any responsibility to prop up other countries.

among married couples formed by a U.S. citizen sponsoring the immigration of a spouse, husbands and wives have similar levels of schooling, with the U.S. citizen slightly better educated than the immigrant spouse; --Jasso, Massey, Rosenzweig & Smith, 2000

We cannot even know the impact of immigrants on US society and economy without sufficient data that could be provided by their proper documentation.

more data of a demographic nature needs to be collected from immigrants at their time of entrance and periodically after.

Motivations for Illegal Immigration

Nobody wants to leave their homeland.

Some of the countries with the most Us emigrants are the most violent countries in the world.

The Economies of the US and México are inextricably linked.

Many Immigrants want to become productive, and documented members of American society.


I think the best way to fix the situation is improving conditions in other countries . If there were not so desperate They would have to leave their countries. The school should not be a thing of pay , and must be compulsive I think the best way to fix the situation is to improve the conditions of other countries , since the low economy of these causes an imbalance in the world and problems arise such as the European union with Greece .

I do not understand why a country can become so much richer than others that are so close. I know that Mexico has had and lost American factories have opportunities . The lost because the Government could not or did not want to compete with China.

prove a one year work history or resident immediate family/household members.

Enables immigrants living in the U.S. for at least five years to apply for program protecting them from deportation and granting permission to work

unaccompanied minors should be returned to their parents wherever they happen to be living.

people who came to the united states as minors and have 7 years here should be granted residency

not require a return to home country to attempt legalization conversion of status in place.

give preferred or trusted status to persons who have lived in the US for some time, or who has crossed often, as long as they have no criminal record.

Immigration should be a process and a partnership with immigration officers working to integrate new members of American Society thus avoiding pitfalls of poverty and crime.

cases need to be considered by families.

Avoid separating families

Prevent entrance and presence of undocumented people in the US

giving permanent resident status to family members of citizens and allowing them to move freely across the border

create a central market for seasonal and temporary labor

allow entrance fees for temp labor to be paid once work has begun

Many undocumented immigrants currently in the US have family, homes, and employment here.

With easy border crossing, there was significant seasonal migration for employment only.

Increased border deterrence has made illegal border crossing more dangerous.

Recognize that many currently undocumented persons contribute to society whereas the burden of documentation is on the nation and not the individual.

Rules for All Visas

Rules for Resident Visas

Visa Catagories

Type Allowed to Work/Taxable Conversion Dependents Allowed Time Purpose
Un-Sponsored Visas
E No By Hearing Yes Until case is heard Emergency Visa
Asylum seekers, victims of crime, unaccompanied minors, stateless people, temporary presence for legal proceedings.
Converted on case-by-case basis.
May be held in detention, house arrest, or probation as necessary
V.1 No E only Yes 6 mo. Max Visitor, Tourism, medical treatment, business visit, Transiting the US
V.2 No E only Yes 1 yr. Max. Renewable media/journalist, Performing athlete, artist, entertainer, Religious worker not paid/employed in the US
Domestic Organization Sponsored Visas
V.3 No E only No While vessel is docked Crew member. Operator of transportation
S Yes W.3 No While Studying plus 120 days Student Visa. Training in a program not primarily for employment
W.1 Yes Non-resident No 12 hrs/day
1 yr. while employed, Renewable
Day labor (near borders)
W.2 Yes Non-resident No Designated Season, While Employed Seasonal Labor. (Sponsored with an Approved Exchange)
W.3 Yes W.4 after 7 years continuous Yes While Employed + 90 days Temporary Work Visa
Priority 1: Currently employed: W.1, W.2
Priority 2: Highly skilled or educated: S
Priority 3: All others
W.4 Citizenship Permanent Permanent work visa converted from W.3 only
US Resident/Citizen Family Sponsored Visas
F.1 No F.2 w/ Marriage Yes 90 days Fiancé(e) to marry U.S. Citizen
F.2 Yes Citizenship Yes While Sponsor is Resident Independent immediate family member of legal resident or citizen
F.3 Yes Citizenship While Sponsor is Resident Dependent of legal resident or citizen, Inter-country Adoption
Government Sponsored Visas
G.1 No E only Yes 1-year, Renewable foreign officials; foreign military stationed in the US; employees of designated international organizations
G.2 Yes W.3, F.2 Yes 1-year, non-renewable Returning Resident, Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics
C Yes Citizenship Yes Permanent As designated by congress. Persons of interest to the government for skill or knowledge or in gratitude for services rendered
R Yes Citizenship Yes Permanent Refugee

* Seasonal laborers will be vetted through an application process and then entered into designated private labor exchanges from which they can be hired on a seasonal basis. Exchange fees are paid by employers.

E: Emergency Visa

V.1 Visitor Visa



S: Student Visa

W.1: Day-Work Visa

W.2: Seasonal-Work Visa

When Law Fails To Conform To The Market, The Market Will Prevail

Many problems are caused by misplaced incentives. The need for cheap migrant labor isn't going away. When the US militarized the border with out creating a viable means to bring in labor we incentivized migrants to stay permanently once they have crossed. The border crossing is too difficult to allow free passage. We essentially killed the long tradition of temporary migrant labor. We do have the the H-2A visa for temporary agricultural workers, but it is a laughable non-solution that requires farmers to prove that no American wants the job, and also provide transportation, housing, and food for the workers.

For other jobs that are less temporary in nature there is still no viable solution. American work visas, in addition to costing exorbitant amounts for poor would-be immigrants, prioritize people of exceptional ability or high educational degrees. Positions such as restaurant workers, housekeepers, factory workers, etc. Many of these posts are filled by undocumented labor purposefully because they can be easily exploited. Undocumented labor often receive no benefits, and often will be paid less than the minimum wage.

A balance must be struck between raising working conditions in these places and driving employers to demand undocumented labor. Raising working conditions will encourage more domestic labor to fill the market, but will also encourage employers to seek undocumented labor.

W.3: Temporary Work Visa

W.4: Permanent Work Visa

F.1: Fiancé(e) Visa

F.2: Independent Family Visa

F.3: Dependent Family Visa



C: Special Autorization

R: Refugee


Measures to Reduce Illegal Immigration


Encourage trade with central America