General Question

Caravanfan's avatar

How would you conduct immigration policy?

Asked by Caravanfan (7664points) June 28th, 2019

Immigration has obviously been a big issue for Trumpians, and the Dems have often responded with a different more welcoming immigration policy. It’s a very complex issue, obviously, but what would be your immigration policy be? Would you have open borders? Would you have immigration based upon skills which would mean you would give high skilled people priority? Would you have closed borders?

Personally, I take a classic libertarian line in that I am in favor of completely open borders. Anybody can come or leave as they wish as long as they are peaceful. Immigration increases growth of the economy. But conservatives and many protectionist liberals disagree.

How do you feel?

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31 Answers

kritiper's avatar

I would try to secure the border in some way but allow people to come through the ports of entry to do farm work and/or other jobs. Immigration would be sharply curtailed to include only those who can benefit the society that is already here.
The days of free entry with nothing to offer are over. In effect, a sign would be hung on the Statue of Liberty that says, in bold print, “We are sorry but we have NO VACANCIES! (It was only a matter of time, anyway… )

Caravanfan's avatar

@kritiper So you are in favor of strict immigration quotas and only letting people in to do farm work and stuff like that?

Sorry, i’m just trying to get your meaning. So you feel there is no room left for immigrants? And what do you mean by “nothing to offer?”

kritiper's avatar

@Caravanfan We can fill up any space ourselves, if we want to. Call it expansion space. No need to let others do it.
Nothing to offer as in no college education, no skills.

Caravanfan's avatar

Got it. Thanks for clarifying.

seawulf575's avatar

I’m sort of with @kritiper on this. Secure the borders, allowing only those you wish to enter in. Streamline the process for immigration, but all immigrants need to bring documentation with them. No documentation of who they are so their background can be checked, no entry. Letting people with skills in is a great thing.
Another aspect we need to look at is how long someone is going to be here. Have visas for different lengths of stay, based on your plans. If you are here for a seasonal job, the visa should only be for that length of time. If you are coming to work for a job that is going to last a couple years, that would be how long the visa is for. Also, immigrants should check in periodically to allow our bureaucracy to verify their visa is still good. Applying for citizenship should be encouraged as well and streamlined.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Immigration policy needs to have specific goals that result in making America a better place. Immigrants can facilitate a lot of positive change but they can also cause a great deal of harm. I think we can all agree that the southern border is an area requiring special focus and that simply trying to put up a wall won’t fix the issue. We can’t just let people come and go outside the proper channels and procedures and it blows my mind that people are ok with that. It’s not ok. My big change to policy would be to attempt to identify what the specifics are that cause people to flee here and what steps can reasonably be taken to solve the problem at its source. I’d also streamline the citizenship process for those fleeing here do they get into the system quickly and legally. This would hopefully ensure more are paid fair wages, taxed appropriately and are not being exploited. Anyone attempting to circumvent that system needs to be treated with suspicion.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Like I’ve said before, it’s immoral to discuss the concept of keeping people from moving freely while capital and US bombs/interference move freely. My tax dollars go to destroy the countries that people flee from. To keep these very people from seeking refuge from my actions is obscene. The concept of restricting human movement internationally is not one I support.

That said, I’m not unsympathetic with those that want to greatly improve things at the border for now. I would support an immediate demilitarizing of the border, and increasing support for interviewing and documenting immigrants crossing the border. The goals would be to:

- Make crossing safe. People should not be paying to be shuttled through unsafe deserts and often left to die.

- Make crossing the border out of the US safe. There is a “caging effect” of those who are in the US but fear traveling temporarily out of the US because their return may lead to arrest.

This is a human right’s issue, but it’s also a global class issue. Discussions of immigration are really talking about those who are fleeing the results of brutal US foreign policy and don’t have the means to do so in more “legitimate” ways. Highly-skilled wealthy Indian software developers have little trouble receiving work visas, while a farmer in Honduras doesn’t have this luxury – even when it means s/he is fleeing for his life.

Additionally, the reason people oppose immigration is that it undercuts class solidarity. Making workers from other parts of the world the “enemy” allows capitalists to continue to exploit US citizens, who internalize nationalist beliefs and choose to side with their exploiters. It also means that capitalists can hire “illegal” labor, which allows them to exploit humans beyond what is even allowed by law. Having a scared, “illegal”, obedient workforce increases profit.

So, in the longterm, it’s clear that we can’t separate US imperialism with the issue of immigration. You can’t ethically discuss one without the other. In the short term, however, we need to take immediate steps to demilitarize the border and put all efforts and money towards saving lives and helping people cross, regardless of their income or skill.

seawulf575's avatar

@hmmmmmm so you don’t like US interference in other countries, but you want us to work at getting rid of all national boundaries of all other nations as well as our own?

hmmmmmm's avatar

@seawulf575: “so you don’t like US interference in other countries, but you want us to work at getting rid of all national boundaries of all other nations as well as our own?”

I did not say anything resembling this.

I am a citizen of the United States. I pay taxes, and at least nominally have some control via voting, etc. So, when I am talking about the US, I am talking about the US. This is very easy to understand.

While it would be fantastic for other countries to follow, I don’t have control over this. And honestly, it make no sense for me to even talk about this if I can’t even get my own country in order.

Is this clear now?

seawulf575's avatar

Just checking. You want to make crossing out of the US easier. This implies you will make crossing into other countries easier which implies you want to change their immigration policies as well. You also mention this is a global class issue. I understand you want to make it about wealth and there is a part that is about wealth. But really, right now a work visa from Honduras to the US is $190. I guess if you are so poor you can’t afford that, then you are talking about a class issue. But then, if you can’t afford that, how do you afford to pay the people along the way to help sneak you into the US? That’s another discussion. But you bring up something that really does go along with what most people here have said so far. You mention the Indian software developer in comparison to the unskilled labor from Honduras. Could it be that most people really feel that immigration into our country is best served not by letting everyone in regardless of their skills or criminal past, but actually letting in people that bring good skills? That isn’t a class issue, it’s responsible immigration policy.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@seawulf575: “You want to make crossing out of the US easier.”

I don’t know why I’m bothering, but here I go again…

I absolutely do not want to make crossing out of the US easier.

@hmmmmmm: “Make crossing the border out of the US safe. There is a “caging effect” of those who are in the US but fear traveling temporarily out of the US because their return may lead to arrest.”

^ Read this again. One more time. Now again. Now you get it.

You know about this “caging effect” I’m talking about, and you do understand what I stated. People become “trapped” in the US because they can’t risk re-entry into the US. That is what I said, that is what I meant, and that is what you understood.

Come on. You can just say, “I disagree” or outline your feelings on the issue without intentional misrepresenting my views on this.

seawulf575's avatar

Safe, easier…it amounts to the same thing. If you tried to leave the US for, say China, and wanted to enter illegally, it would be extremely unsafe. And actually, if you try to leave the US into Mexico, it really isn’t safe. In both cases, their immigration laws would kick in and you could end up in jail…a jail that isn’t a very pleasant place to be. So you would have to impact all the other nations’ immigration laws to make it “safe”.
As for the “caging effect”, you are talking about if someone enters illegally….not legally. So you are then defending open borders with no laws restricting flow of people into or out of the US. So to sum it up, the way you would conduct immigration policy would be to get rid of it altogether, and to work with other nations to get rid of theirs as well. That way we could make it “safe” for anyone to come and go anywhere they like, any time they like.

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Caravanfan's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me “Immigrants…can also cause a great deal of harm”. Can you elaborate on this? How do immigrants cause a great deal of harm?

I don’t often write this, but I’m in complete agreement with @hmmmmmm although I look at it slightly differently than he does. I’m looking less at the human rights issue (which is obvious considering the concentration camps on the borders) and more of an economic issue. Immigrants offer measurable economic benefit, and open and free borders (along with free trade—which Tom I’m sure might have an issue with) stimulate economic growth.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Caravanfan look at all the human exploitation involved around the southern border.

Caravanfan's avatar

Which is caused and perpetrated by the immigrants? Or is it because we have an oppressive immigration system that denies regular jobs to immigrants so they have to turn to illegal means to put food on the table?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Caravanfan It’s the deplorable conditions they flee, our prosperity and opportunity that attract them and our completely ineffective immigration system that has allowed this exploitation industry to fester.
This is the harm I’m referring to.

mazingerz88's avatar

I would start with not demonizing illegal immigrants. I would not put demons like 33 year old racist Stephen Miller in any position to influence my policy making.

We need the best American leadership to settle this not psychos. They hinder and make reasonable and humane bipartisan immigration policies impossible.

I would listen to both sides, any side on this issue.

LostInParadise's avatar

One thing we should do is to work with the countries that the immigrants are coming from to improve conditions. Trump cut aid to these countries, which just makes the problem worse.

Caravanfan's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me It must have been your wording. I thought you meant “Immigrants cause us harm”. Sorry about that.

YARNLADY's avatar

I still can’t figure out why anyone who wants to come here shouldn’t(except known criminals).A new tax law that everyone with a net worth in the top 5% will be required to pay (x) amount of money into a refugee/homeless fund to be administered by HUD, would solve the issue. We could then educate them to become productive citizens.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My version is simply zero criminals or unknowns. Safety first for people here already. The rest is negotiable.

Caravanfan's avatar

@KNOWITALL I hear you on the criminal bit, but what do you mean by “unknowns”?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Caravanfan No one allowed to stay without knowing who they are.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY Aren’t most immigrants productive? Most come here for opportunity and work. Do you see a lot of new immigrants sitting around doing nothing?

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie The thousands of immigrants that cross the border every day are not productive from the day they arrive. Rather they are extremely in need of expensive resources. These resources can be paid for by the tax I proposed, until they do become productive.

Perhaps you are thinking of immigrants who are already settled and working.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY In need of what expensive resources? Do you mean school for their children? I don’t know how many immigrants come across with no place to stay or how long it takes for them to find a job to work. I have no idea the statistics. Many meet family already here, stay with them, and get work through that connection.

YARNLADY's avatar

According to various news sources, upwards of 3,000 people a day cross the U S border from Mexico. Most of them have no relatives, no money, no prospects whatsoever. They require the basic necessities to live on a daily basis, currently costing the taxpayers over $100 BILLION a year. I believe this figure also includes the cost of so-called border enforcement, but I just did a cursory search.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY I’m going to google to try to read up more on those stats. I did a little and cane across this, which isn’t ably the money, but statistics on immigration that are still interesting. I’ll post it here for you and everyone for anyone who is interested. It says that 1 in 7 Americans are foreign born. Gives some historical facts also.

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