Alex Nowrasteh and I have a piece in today’s Detroit News arguing that liberalization, not regulation, is the way to shrink immigration’s massive black market. Our main points:
-New rules that came into effect this month, such as raising the minimum wage for H-2A visa holders (that’s the visa for low-skilled agricultural workers) makes cheaper undocumented workers look more attractive for employers. They actually harm legal workers.
-Other new regulations, including background checks, workplace inspections, and mountains of paperwork, cost thousands of dollars per employee. These regulations also make black market workers look more attractive.
-The way to reduce illegal immigration is liberalization. For agricultural workers, that means making their H-2A visas inexpensive, easy to obtain, and keeping the bureaucracy to a minimum.
-When legal channels cost too much in time and money, people will turn to illegal channels every time. That’s how the world works. Getting rid of immigration’s black market begins with admitting that fact.