With illegal immigration a topic garnering plenty of attention this election season, there are many varying ideas on how to combat the problem.
Hillary Clinton brings the status quo of granting amnesty to keep families together and grant these immigrants the access to healthcare coverage, while Donald Trump directly contrasts with the desire to build a wall and claims that any and all illegal immigrants are “rapists and criminals.”
One candidate has a plan to end the illegal immigration problems in this country by abolishing quotas and caps for those who have a desire to work legally and bring skills that are needed to the United States’ economy. That candidate is Libertarian Gary Johnson, and he explained his policy in an op-ed piece for CNN.
“Our politicians, both right and left, have created a system for legal immigration that simply doesn’t work. We have artificial quotas. We have ‘caps’ on certain categories of workers that have no real relationship to the realities of the free market. It’s no coincidence that recent history shows the only successful way to reduce illegal immigration is to have a recession. Over the past 10 years, both illegal entries and the number of undocumented immigrants in the country have declined. That’s not because the government did anything right.
“Try this, instead: No caps. No categories. No quotas. Just a straightforward background check, the proper paperwork to obtain a real Social Security number and work legally or prove legitimate family ties, and a reliable system to know who is coming and who is going.”
What this type of plan would accomplish is simply immeasurable in terms of what we have seen in this country for quite some time. Illegal immigration has been an ongoing issue for decades due to the arbitrary caps and quotas placed on certain irrelevant government-mandated areas, and only a slow economy can curb the issue under the current system. What Gary Johnson’s plan would accomplish is allowing the free market to decide which workers are most desirable at any given point in time and giving those individuals a path to citizenship.
The former New Mexico governor, who knows full well what it’s like to manage immigration at the border, got into a heated discussion Guy Benson of Townhall Media on the topic of illegal immigration.
Instead of a government-knows-best philosophy to try and combat a problem that the government itself has created, it makes sense for the free market to take on illegal immigration and decide which individuals are the best fits for the country at present. Centralized planning always ends in disaster, as the CATO Institute points out in their piece on Johnson’s illegal immigration plan.
“This is not a dispute about whether planning is to be done or not. It is a dispute as to whether planning is to be done centrally, by one authority for the whole economic system, or is to be divided among many individuals. Planning in the specific sense in which the term is used in contemporary controversy necessarily means central planning—direction of the whole economic system according to one unified plan. Competition, on the other hand, means decentralized planning by many separate persons,” explained Friedrich Hayek.
So, you see, a solution to a problem for which the government is to blame is not more government, and this is particularly true in the case of illegal immigration.
The primary purpose of instituting a government when the founders came to America was so that those politicians could represent individuals in certain communities. What Gary Johnson would do with illegal immigration policy is put the responsibility directly in the hands of those individuals. This specialized approach would get to the heart of the problem while simultaneously boosting the economy by giving each worker a Social Security number and having them pay taxes on their earnings.
Fixing a problem like illegal immigration will not be an overnight process, but it took decades of the government mishandling the topic for it to become an issue in the first place. By getting the government out of the way, the hardest part of finding a solution for illegal immigration would be taken care of immediately.
[Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP Images]