Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

Why More Border Security Won’t Work

Matthew Yglesias explains that while the border-security-for-legal-status compromise amendment to the Senate Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill ” is good news for the overall bill’s odds of passing… it really makes very little sense and is setting people up for disappointment.”

“The Gang of 8 bill sets up a new W Visa program that will give employers a legal pathway for the importation of lower-skilled immigrants. This is a perfectly fine idea… But for this to work, the scale of the W Visa program needs to be roughly equal to the demand for immigrant labor. But…the commission that’s supposed to determine how many W Visas to issue is also required to keep the number below an arbitrary cap that’s been determined a priori.”

“The upshot of this is that if demand for immigrant labor substantially exceeds the number of W Visas the government is allowed to issue, people are going to overstay their visas and work off the books… You could build the Berlin Wall all across the U.S.–Mexico border and you’re not going to solve anything. What you need to do is either increase the number of W Visas (my preference) or increase behind-the-border security or some combination of the two.”

  • gma14

    Of course it would work if Holder would give our border patrol guns like he die the Mexicans!!!

    • tomwest

      US border agents have guns.

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