(Edited by Alton Yee, Oct 10, 2015)
Immigration, legal or otherwise, is a controversial and divisive problem. Most politicians, both Democrat and Republican, propose draconian solutions to stop or vastly curtail it. Many even advocate deportation of millions of people. There is one solution, a libertarian one, that is both humane and practical, and most important, it returns dignity to the United States.
Mark Glogowski, the current Chair of the NYS Libertarian Party, proposed this solution in his book1 in a chapter titled, “Implementing an Advocate’s Solution to Illegal Immigration.” The following, in four steps, is a condensed version of his proposal:
Step One: Stop calling these people “immigrants” and especially stop calling them “illegal.” Instead, since these people are foreigners who are passing through and reside in other countries or have a legal right to live there, we must see them for what they are: Visitors and Guests, or Tourists, who we must welcome by giving them Tourist Visas. This leads to:
Step Two: Open the borders to anyone who wants to enter as a tourist. But they must show evidence they can support themselves and their families during their intended stay. After they “show us the money,” this leads to:
Step Three: They must put up the money for a one-way fare home for themselves and for all their family members. (Of course, they’ll get their money back when they leave the U.S.) Only then will they be given tourist visas. This can lead, if they choose, to:
Step Four: With their tourist visas, these tourists are now allowed to look for a job. Should they find one, they can bring evidence to any immigration office and arrange to extend their stay and they will be given the right to apply for citizenship.
- Since these people are tourists, they may not receive unemployment or welfare benefits, or send their kids to public schools, or get the right to vote.
- They will not be issued State drivers’ licenses. They should already have international drivers’ licenses. If they don’t have one, then they must go home to get one.
- They will be provided with emergency medical care, but once they’re stabilized, they must return home should they require more care. But if they like, they could stay and receive further care, provided they pay for it.
- People who are currently considered “illegal immigrants” should be given Tourist Visas, provided they meet the financial requirements of Steps Two and Three, and if they are already working and self-sufficient, allow them to stay and to apply for citizenship if they desire to do so. This is not an amnesty program. Rather, it’s a way for these people to “reset” their legal presence in this country, in a humane and dignified manner. The result will be hard-working, dignified, independent residents who are proud to be American.