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.
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.