A little blurb in the Economist caught my eye today, concerning the fact that Mexico and several central American countries had a little get-together earlier in the week to forge a common response to the bill which recently passed the US house of representatives which would, among other things, build a wall between the US and Mexico, and make being in the country illegally a felony. I was able to dig up a story on CNN, although it took me several iterations of keywords on google's UK news site to find it.

As someone who travels abroad a lot, my ideal world would have no border controls. Lots of people don't like that, for lots of reasons, but I think it would do everyone a lot of good - especially the US, which can't really complain that the immigrants are stealing all our public benefits (the usual cry in the UK) when there aren't really any public benefits to steal. What are we going to do? Deny them health insurance? Oh - wait - we already do that to some 45,000,000 American citizens....

UCKA commented:
Actually, there are a great many problems. One of the largest has to do with the cost of education. Unless you are an American citizen or have the requisite paperwork one cannot obtain financial aid to attend college. This becomes a problem - because often illegal immigrants settledown having brough their families with them, and often get their children into schools. These children are discovered at some point in time (our beauracracy is too big for it not to happen) At that point they are in a quandary. But the courts have already stepped in. The ruling has been that sending the children back would create an undue hardship, but being illegal they and caught, they can no longer work, so they often just get to go to high school and then college on American tax dollars although they will never be allowed to work to repay the benefits they recieved. So, a slot is taken for education, funds are taken, and nothing is contributed. I am by no means a Xenophone, but believe in the values of controlled borders in order to support the structures already in place to aid ordinary citizens... I'll look for the news stories that are directly related and see if I can email them to you.
on Wed Jan 18 17:28:13 2006

David commented:
As you note, it's a problem now, and I am certainly not denying the immigration policy as it stands is schizophrenic. However, if it were legal for these folks to be working, then any money spent educating them would be paid back in taxes later on. Unless they left, which doesn't seem at this point to be a problem - we don't seem to have a mass exodus of labor. I hadn't heard about the cases you describe, but I can certainly see the court's reasoning in saying families shouldn't be split up. It would make a whole lot more sense, though, to extend that ruling further and give, for example, anyone who goes through a US high school and a US college a permanent green card. We certainly need not worry the well educated aren't going to pay more in taxes than what they draw out. It would also serve as an incentive to do well in school.
on Fri Jan 20 00:36:54 2006

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