Free trade and migration

We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property. 1

Source: 1http://www.lp.org/platform

Legal versus illegal immigration

The only difference between legal and illegal immigration is a piece of U.S. documentation called a visa. The issue with choosing to cross the border illegally is not because the individuals refuse to get a visa rather they are unable to acquire a visa. Here’s a brief summary of how the law works.

An arbitrary limit of 675,000 people are allowed to acquire visas every year, visas that last for 2 years. This number is broken into 3 categories, Family–sponsored visas (226,000 to 480,000), Employment–based (140,000) and Diversity (55,000).

675,000 is the annual number of people that can come from all countries in the world. However, the limit that is allowed to come from any one country is only a total of 7% of the Family–sponsored (33,600) and 7% of the Employment–based (9,800). Assuming a best case scenario the maximum limit from one country in one year is 43,400 (it’s almost always less than this in reality because the total limit has a number of factors that subtract from the upper limit). It is estimated that there are 15 to 20 million illegal Mexicans in the U.S. today. If we are conservative and estimate there are only 15 million people from Mexico that would like a visa to the U.S. then the waiting list would be 345 years long to acquire a 2 year visa. Since applicants have to reapply every 2 years it’s likely the wait would never decrease.

Source: http://immigrationroad.com/visa-bulletin/immigrant-visa-annual-limit-and-cap.php

Thoughts

It’s understandable that a country would like to protect it’s internal culture and ensure that native–born citizens are not overrun by immigrants. However, allowing as little as 43,400 people in the country from another nation for a 2 year visa is excessively limiting. That equates to 86,800 (43,400 x 2 years) people with visas from one country versus a citizen population of over 320 million. Meaning that legally at any one point in time visa carrying immigrants from one nation can only make up 0.027% of the U.S. population. If the limit could be as high as just 7% of the current U.S. population that would allow 22.4 million people to acquire visas. That would allow all the illegals currently in our country to become registered and have a legal status in the U.S. We currently have about 5% of the U.S. population made up of illegals as it is and it is clear this has allowed our economy to grow at an increasing rate as our economy has more consumers and producers.