Get Your Stamp Here

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Filed Under Latest News on Feb 2 

Alex Nowrasteh, comfortably ensconced in Virginia with his gun collection, wants open borders, The “smart” way to secure the border is not through fences or “other security gimmicks” according to the undoubtedly bright libertarian who now publishes at the CATO institute, but rather through a guest worker visa program. A return to the Bracero agricultural guest worker visa program that lasted from the mid-50’s to 1965, is basically what Nowratseh, son of Cyrus of Path to 9/11 fame, is calling for. What an elegant, neat idea that hopefully should fix what is now a “trivial flow” of “unlawful” immigrants. The London School of Economics grad seems to think that fine-tuning the economic incentives will make building a border security system that is hard to penetrate unnecessary. A guest worker visa program will ensure that business gets the (cheap) labor they need and will “drive would-be illegal immigrants into the legal system.”

In other words, just give the “trivial flow” of illegals a temporary visa and you fix the problem. Border patrol agents chasing down clusters of illegals crawling through the hard-scrabble, in say Arizona, to make sure their paperwork has all the right stamps? Or rather, they would hopefully just line up at the border checkpoints to get the stamps. And when the visas expire? And when the trivial flow turns back into a flood as a result of the very guest worker visa program? Or as a result of hard times in Mexico and an improving US economy? What Nowrasteh is doing is taking half of Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s two-pronged plan to increase border security in conjunction with a guest worker visa program. The reason Gardner’s plan is more feasible is that you have a critical mass of somewhere over 12 million illegals, your guess is as good as anyone’s, about half of them from Mexico, already in America. That community in and of itself creates a large pull factor and makes comparisons with the Bracero program over 50 years ago less sustainable. A guest worker visa program without a significant improvement of border security would open the floodgates to an unknown extent.

The underlying problem is the enormous difference between Mexico and the USA. This is not close to being equivalent to say, Greece and Germany. The difference in GDP per capita between the USA and Mexico is almost $43,000 That’s only the difference. That means that America’s GDP per capital is almost 4 times Mexico’s. Germany’s is slightly more than double Greece’s. The difference between Turkey and Germany is similar to the US-Mexico divide, and guess what? Turkish immigrants to Germany now make up about 3.7% of the population and number about 3 million. An equivalent proportion in America would mean over 11 million Mexican immigrants in the USA. Estimates of the total number of illegals vary, for understandable reasons, but take a conservative estimate like the Pew Center’s that estimates about 6 to 7 million illegals from Mexico alone. If a guest worker visa program has a similar effect to what happened in Germany, that would mean a near doubling to around 11 million. And that’s not counting those from Central America. These are all merely estimates, however, and the outcome of a guest worker visa program is uncertain, aside from the fact that it would be a tremendous pull factor. But that’s ok with Nowrasteh, he just wants to open up the borders and give everyone a stamp.

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