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OpenMarket: Immigration

  • Four Of The Worst Arguments Against The Immigration Bill

    April 18, 2013
    Since the Gang of 8 released their proposal, the desperation from those who want to see this bill die -- and any hope of immigration reform die with it -- can be heard throughout DC. Its opponents are spreading everything from the inaccurate to the absurd about the bill and its probable consequences. 1. Rubio’s “Phone for Illegals”: The blog “Shark Tank” is promoting the idea that the immigration bill could grant phones to unauthorized immigrants. The myth comes from a provision in the bill that would authorize DHS to give “satellite telephone communications systems” to an individual who “regularly resides or works in the Southwest Border region” or...
  • Seven Principles Of Free Market Immigration Reform

    April 15, 2013
     1.      Immigration laws should value human beings. America should welcome newcomers so long as they pose no threat to the health or safety of Americans. Human beings truly are the ultimate resource. Only human inventiveness and creativity make the world a vibrant and prosperous place. The history of the United States itself refutes the fallacy that greater numbers of people only degrade wages, destroy the environment, and consume resources. In a free society, people serve others through voluntary exchanges and associations, creating wealth and making everybody better off.  2.      Immigration reform should reflect market realities. Just as alcohol prohibition spawned a black market in alcohol, immigration restrictions have spawned a black market in labor. The government issues just 10,000 green cards for workers who lack higher education,...
  • Americans Reject Actual E-Verify System

    April 9, 2013
    Imagine there was a free program that could guarantee for employers a legal workforce and eliminate illegal immigration. Would you favor such a system? Yes or no? This is essentially how all polls attempt to gauge the popularity of E-Verify, the electronic national identification system included in many immigration reform proposals. Then, the system’s proponents exclaim, “Americans demand E-Verify!” Last year, for example, when Rep. Lamar Smith proposed mandating E-Verify for all employers, the electronic national identification system used to catch unauthorized workers, he cited a Pulse Opinion Research poll that found that just 11 percent of Americans opposed a...
  • White House Immigration Bill Will Be A Disaster Without Accessible Work Visas

    March 27, 2013
    Obama RacinePresident Obama’s recently leaked immigration bill left off the most important component of an immigration bill: the immigration part. Given the fact that the Chamber of Commerce and the big unions -- the AFL-CIO and the SEIU -- were still locked in vain negotiations over a potential guest work program, the president clearly did not want to leak a version that would step on the toes of his two biggest backers. Unfortunately, without a robust work visa system, the White House bill will be a disaster. The bill contains 95 pages on “worksite...
  • Rand Paul: No National ID System, Including E-Verify

    March 19, 2013
    E-Verify is the Internet-based national identification, which the Senate wants to impose on all workers and their employers. The system, as proposed by the White House’s leaked immigration bill, would require the Social Security Administration to maintain an up to date database with personal identification information, including biometric information such as pictures, and force employers to use the system before hiring new workers. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), speaking before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce today, forcefully rejected the idea. “My plan will not impose a national ID card or mandatory E-Verify, forcing businesses to become policemen,” Sen. Paul said. “We should not be unfair to those who came to our country legally. Nor should we force business owners to become immigration inspectors, making them do the job...
  • CEI Podcast For March 7, 2013: The Three-Sided Immigration Debate

    March 7, 2013
    Immigration Policy Analyst David Bier recently wrote for USA Today about a third side in the ongoing immigration debate: population control advocates who oppose immigration altogether.
  • Obama’s Immigration Bill Forces Employers To Pay Illegal Immigrants

    March 7, 2013
    Nothing in this headline is a typo or an exaggeration. President Obama’s recently-leaked Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2013 would require employers to employ unauthorized workers for weeks or even months. It requires these workers to be paid, even if they are proved definitely unauthorized by the government. Section 301 of the president’s bill requires employers to use the Internet-based employment verification program known as E-Verify. Under the new law, after each new hire, employers would have to check employees’ identification, and if “a reasonable person would conclude that the documentation is genuine and relates to the individual presenting it,” they would have to check the individuals’ information against the E-Verify database within three days of the hire. Subtotal: 3...
  • Immigration Restrictions Should Treat People As Individuals, Not Groups

    March 5, 2013
    Private discrimination based on national origin has been prohibited in the United States since 1965, yet the United States government continues to discriminate based on this very principle in its immigration laws. There might be good reasons to exclude a particular foreigner, that he is a danger the health and safety of Americans, or (perhaps) that he is likely to become a public charge. But if this is the case, the government should restrict based on these criteria, not simply based on where the individual was born, which cuts against America’s core values. Compare the current immigration (and trade) restrictions to the South’s Jim Crow-era segregation. Jim Crow functions in almost exactly the same way. Both are systems of social exclusion based on group characteristics. Segregation was based on race. Immigration and trade restrictions are based on national origin, two...
  • E-Verify: Opening The Door For More Regulations

    March 1, 2013
    President Obama and the Gang of Eight senators want E-Verify -- the electronic employment verification system -- included in any comprehensive immigration reform proposal this spring. Yesterday, the Competitive Enterprise Institute joined the Cato Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union at a Capitol Hill briefing on "E-Verify's many perils" (available online here). I spoke on the effect E-Verify will have on employers. This is how my statement concluded. First, businesses should not want to go down this road to electronic regulation, where the government is monitoring employer compliance remotely through computer checks. This road does not end well for...
  • Immigration Restrictions Violate Americans' Liberty

    February 26, 2013
    Immigration restrictions are more than just violations of the liberties of foreigners. Truly a society that restricts the freedom of certain groups restricts the freedom of all. Apologists for state action will reassure voters that each new intrusion into society will only impact the “one-percent” -- that is to say that restrictions on the liberty of marginal groups will leave yours unaffected. The message underlying each government intervention is that your freedom is safe, or even enhanced by another’s loss in liberty. Immigration restrictionists assure Americans that the sacrifice of the immigrant’s freedom of movement entails no limitation on the liberty of Americans. But liberty is not atomistic. The government cannot simply excise the liberty of one group and leave the freedom of all others unaffected. Just as free speech violations violate not just the rights of the speaker to...


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