The problem with illegal immigration could best be solved with a negative income tax or an expanded earned income credit that would effectively bolster minimum wage jobs by directly subsidizing the low end of the pay scale for work done by American citizens only.
Employers needing labor could pay half of the prevailing minimum wage and the Treasury could provide the remaining half directly to the wage earner weekly as is
already being done for those receiving advanced earned income credits. “Illegals”
would effectively be squeezed out of the labor market because employers couldn’t afford to pay them enough to make it worth their time.
Say the Treasury paid every American wage earner a base of $3.50 an hour so long as they had verifiable employment that paid them a new recognized privately paid minimum wage of $3.50 an hour. The American wage earner would then be guaranteed $7.00 an hour. This would provide significant improvement over today’s national standard of $5.15/hr.
Immigrants would then have to work for just the $3.50 an hour since they would not
be eligible for the advanced EIC. A program based on this system would reduce the incentive for this black market labor, by making it cheaper for employers to hire Americans willing to do the work, while maintaining and even improving the living standards for those doing that work.
Few immigrants would be willing or able to work for the meager $3.50 an hour when the prevailing cash low is now about $5.00/hr. and most make more.
It’s a well known fact that people are coming here for the wages they can earn.
Reducing the influx is a simple matter of reducing the economic incentive to come.
If the 50/50 split of the $7.00 an hour scheme doesn’t stem the flow sufficiently try a 75/25 at $8.00 an hour with the employers only paying $2.00/hr.
Where will the Treasury find this additional funding?
By repealing the Bush cuts on the wealthy, the increased profitability of private businesses and the economic growth that a living minimum wage would stimulate.
This solution is a humane way to end illegal immigration and would encourage those already here to return voluntarily to their home countries.
It would certainly be much cheaper than locating, arresting and deporting them.
An additional bonus is that it prevents the “need” for further militarization of our borders and our society in order to enforce the measures now under consideration to attempt to mitigate this problem.