Immigration

Read what Dave Anderson has to say.

Lamborn Platform

Policies recommended on the Lamborn website are:

  • Operational control of the border as an absolute necessity
  • No amnesty in any form
  • A reliable system of ID verification for people seeking work
  • Fencing the border with high-tech surveillance equipment; more immigration agents.
  • Penalizing “cities of refuge” (municipalities)

The proposed policy has two main components: border interdiction to prevent illegal immigration and ID verification for undocumented immigrants already in the country. Both have major flaws.

Border interdiction

The U.S. has a 3,000 mile border with Mexico, one of similar length with Canada, plus two ocean coasts. Truly sealing these borders would require enormous cost and extensive manpower, and even then the result will be questionable. The history of guerilla warfare (Greece, Indochina, Afghanistan) amply shows that no border of can be effectively sealed unless both countries concerned fully agree on the purpose and the methods.

Do we really want thousands of miles of “Berlin Walls” along our borders?

A second issue with border interdiction is that as long as there is demand inside the country for labor or merchandise, the price will rise until smuggling becomes profitable. This translates into income for the smugglers, which in the case of our southern border are the infamous drug cartels.

ID verification

The main appeal of undocumented immigrants for employers is their low cost as well as their willingness to do any kind of work. In certain cases (non-mechanized agriculture) they are the only labor force available.

As long as such a situation persists, there are strong incentives for employers to hire while ignoring whatever information might be available about the legal status of the employee. While penalties for such behavior can be raised, they will require an extensive (and costly) enforcement mechanism.

To the above drawbacks must be added the human cost imposed on undocumented immigrants by a strictly punitive approach, as well the issue of their human rights while present in the United States.

There is evidence today that, due to the unfavorable employment situation in the U.S., illegal immigration has been reversed: more are leaving than are entering. This points to the fact that any approach to immigration must be based on sound economics – the demand and supply of various kinds of labor – and our immigration policy adjusted accordingly.

Finally, the proposal that cities that refuse to strictly enforce immigration laws be “penalized” is basically unenforceable, as it would require a federal takeover of the government of such municipalities.


Dave Anderson for Congress Platform

Issue

Immigration issues cannot be separated from the state of the economy. Many of the problems associated with immigration emanate from ill-conceived “free” trade agreements.” NAFTA is the prime example. Abject poverty as a result of oppressively low wages in foreign nations has been the incentive for the economic refugees to seek a life in the United States. Business desire to obtain workers willing to work for a low wage is the other factor. Control of illegal immigration has been traditionally focused on border interdiction when it must focus at the point of employment because that is where the incentives are for both employer and employee.

Solution

We must review and modify – if not terminate – trade agreements according to imbalances created. Elimination of agricultural subsidies will provide Mexico, in particular, with an opportunity to restore its agricultural economy and return many of those now in the United States illegally. We should also negotiate the framework of immigration with major immigrant source countries and if that’s not feasible, we establish common unilateral rules. Penalties should be imposed for hiring of illegal aliens with emphasis on fines proportional to length of employment and number of hires. Our policy should align with our national labor needs and for desired skill categories offer optional, temporary residence to foreign graduates of U.S. universities with potential for permanent residence. We should also create a pathway for legal permanent status and eventual citizenship.

By enacting common sense immigration reform we can experience a reduction in enforcement costs, a harmonized approach between countries of origin and country of destination, increased tax revenue, and a return to the original principles of American immigration.