Immigration in America's Future: Social Science Findings and the Policy Debate

By David M. Heer | Go to book overview

children of U.S. citizens. Under current law not only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens but also the parents of U.S. citizens age twenty- one and older enter without quota. I would give no rebate to the parents of U.S. citizens aged twenty-one and older. Under my proposal, though, a high proportion of the immigrants selected would likely have family already in the United States, as these immigrants would find it much easier to pay the required fee.

I believe my proposal would lead to an increase in the average skill level of permanent legal residents. Persons willing to pay a market-set fee would likely have considerable confidence in their ability to earn a high income in the United States. My proposal would thus have favorable tax consequences in two ways: The U.S. government would receive money for granting permits for permanent legal residence, and those selected for permanent legal residence would also pay more money in taxes than is the case under current criteria for immigrant selection.

My proposal should also serve to reduce the ratio of elderly immigrants to immigrants of working age. This would come about in part because I suggest that no special consideration be given to parents of U.S. citizens and in part because a young adult has more motivation to pay a set fee to become a permanent legal resident of the United States than does an older person. Such a change in the age composition of newly admitted permanent legal residents should lessen the future crisis for our social security system.


Reaching Your Own Policy Conclusions

Now you know which policies I favor. But the purpose of this book is not to force on you my own policy preferences. Instead, it is to help you intelligently reach your own conclusions. Yours will differ from mine to the extent that you have other values and evaluate the validity of social science findings differently. I hope each of you will devote some thought to immigration policy. Without effort from all citizens, the democratic form of government cannot succeed.


Notes
1.
Roper Organization, "American Attitudes Toward Immigration, June 1990", FAIR/Information Exchange, September 11, 1990.
2.
Rodolfo O. de la Garza, Louis DeSipio, F. Chris Garcia, John Garcia, and Angelo Falcon, eds., Latino Voices: Mexican, Puerto-Rican, and Cuban Perspectives on American Politics ( Boulder: Westview Press, 1992), p. 101.
3.
Federation for American Immigration Reform, "New Roper Poll Finds Growing Public Demand for Reduced Immigration", Federation for American Immigration Reform Immigration Report, Vol. 21, No. 4 ( June 1992), p. 1.

-222-

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Immigration in America's Future: Social Science Findings and the Policy Debate
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Overview 1
  • Notes 5
  • 2 - The Volume and Character of Future Immigration: The Values at Stake 7
  • 3 - The Influence of Social Science Findings 17
  • Notes 25
  • 4 - The History of U.S. Immigration Law 27
  • Notes 71
  • 5 - Patterns of Immigration to and from the United States 77
  • Notes 133
  • 6 - Determinants of Immigration 137
  • Notes 159
  • 7 - Enforcement of Immigration Law 161
  • Notes 179
  • 8 - The Impact of Immigration 183
  • Notes 206
  • 9 - Proposals for Change in U.S. Immigration Law 209
  • Notes 222
  • Bibliography 225
  • About the Book and Author 237
  • Index 238
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