The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

One-Handed Clap

05/23/2019

Kudo, Mr. President!

There are two types of immigration:  legal and illegal.  Looking at legal immigration, there are two main categories.  One is family reunification, accounting for 66% of legal immigrants, and the other is “merit-based”, accounting for 12%.  The President has proposed the “merit-based” allocation be increased to 57% of legal immigrants, while reducing family reunification to 33%.

As usual, the devil is hiding in those pesky details.  The “merit-based” allocation is based on age, education, and English proficiency.   Increasing the number of educated, self-sufficient immigrants is surely a good thing and well-worth one kudo.  I suppose there is some computer program which can weight those factors, deciding who gets to America and who doesn’t.  But, how do you decide which families deserve to be unified and which don’t?

To earn another kudo, why not end the miserable uncertainty of the DACA kids?  They’re humans, not bargaining chips.

Or, to earn another kudo, why not take advantage of higher Labor-Force-Participation-Rate (LFPR) of immigrants (72.2% for Hispanic immigrants, compared to white Americans at 53.8%) to help fund the obvious shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare.  There are over seven million open jobs right now, including 360 thousand construction jobs.  That’s  more people who could be paying taxes.  With fertility rates at a 32-year low, we’re simply not manufacturing enough Americans to pay taxes.  Is it possible we need the immigrants more than they need us?  To earn another kudo, Mr. President, how about increasing the number of legal immigrants?  Then, we could say:

Kudos, Mr. President!

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