Sunday, February 10, 2013

Immigration Incentives

Good story in the Washington Post about immigration and incentives. There is a widespread perception that immigration reform will get passed in the not-too-distant future. The details of reform are unknown, but there is widespread perception that whatever happens, there will be a) be considerably opportunity for legalization; and b) harsher penalties for being in the country illegally.

Since the details are not knowable, there is a very strong incentive to cross right now if you ever thought of crossing. Just get into the country and let the details work themselves out. The longer that Congress delays passage, the more people will cross with that logic in mind.

To be fair, things are relatively balanced now. Demographic equilibrium, a still weak U.S. economy, and enforcement all mean there will be no flood. But as long as reform is seen as viable but not yet happening, people will be thinking harder about crossing than they would have otherwise.


Anonymous,  5:27 PM  


While I think that you have a valid point here, most Mexicans down here in DF that I talk to and are interested in getting to the US but don't have any legal means to get there are in fact planning on doing the opposite: they are waiting for the reform with the hope that there will be a guest worker program or maybe a streamlined H2B program that will be an incentive for legal immigration. What do you think?



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