¿Por qué deberíamos restringir la inmigración?

Continuando con el tema de la restricción de la inmigración, y sus perversas consecuencias, he leído este documento escrito por Bryan Caplan, Why Should We Restrict Immigration? (¿Por qué deberíamos restringir la inmigración?).

La conclusión de Caplan es clara: Sea cual sea su queja, las restricciones a la inmigración son un remedio innecesariamente draconiano ("Whatever your complaint happens to be, immigration restrictions are a needlessly draconian remedy"). En el texto se proponen soluciones que son más humanas que forzar a los extranjeros a languidecer en el Tercer Mundo ("more humane than forcing foreigners to languish in the Third World").

Para defender su postura, el autor analiza algunos de los argumentos en contra de aceptar inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos de América. Primero, pone en duda la veracidad de estos argumentos para posteriormente, suponiendo que esos argumentos fueran ciertos, proponer soluciones mejores que la restricción a la entrada de extranjeros al país.

Por ejemplo, para proteger a los trabajadores americanos, en el supuesto de que fuera verdad que la inmigración los amenaza, el autor propone medidas, para los inmigrantes, como pagar un 50% más de impuestos durante el resto de sus vidas, que permitiría a los nativos con menos ingresos pagar menos impuestos.
Protecting American Workers?

For example, you could issue green cards to Haitians who agree to perpetually pay a 50 percent surtax on top of their ordinary U.S. tax liability. Haitians used to earning a dollar a day would jump at the opportunity, and the extra revenue could fund, say, tax cuts for low-income natives. Critics can tailor the details to fit the magnitude of the harm they believe immigrants inflict on native workers. Whatever the magnitude of this harm might be, extracting compensation is cheaper and more humane than forcing foreigners to languish in the Third World.
Para proteger a los americanos de una supuesta mayor carga fiscal, debido a un mayor número de inmigrantes, el autor propone limitar el acceso de estos inmigrantes a los beneficios.
Protecting American Taxpayers?

Suppose, however, that you remain convinced that immigrants impose a large fiscal burden on native taxpayers. Before you embrace immigration restrictions, you should still look for cheaper, more humane solutions. They’re not hard to find. The simplest is to freely admit immigrants, but make them permanently ineligible for benefits. “Net fiscal burden” is not a physical constant. It is a function of policy. If immigrants paid normal taxes and received zero benefits, their “net fiscal effect” would almost automatically be positive. If permanent ineligibility seems unfair, surely it is less unfair than refusing to admit immigrants in the first place. And there are many intermediate approaches. You could impose a waiting period: No benefits for 10 years. You could reduce or limit benefits: Half benefits for life, or double Medicare co-payments. You could set thresholds: Immigrants become eligible for benefits after their cumulative taxes exceed $100,000. Whether you love or loathe these proposals, they are certainly cheaper and more humane responses to the fiscal effects of immigration than the status quo.
Para proteger la cultura americana, suponiendo que sea cierto que se vea menoscabada, se podría evaluar a los inmigrantes en materias de conocimiento de la legua inglesa o cultura general. Pero haciendo lo mismo con los nativos.
Protecting American Culture?

Regardless of your cultural views, there are certainly cheaper and more humane ways to address them than immigration restrictions. If you’re worried about the decline of English, we could admit any immigrant who passes a test of English fluency. If you’re worried about culture in some vaguer sense, we could admit any immigrant who passes a test of cultural literacy. In the interest of fairness, though, you should make sure that the typical native can pass your test. If most Americans cannot name the decade of the American Civil War, why should we expect more from immigrants?
Para proteger la libertad de la sociedad americana, en el supuesto de que los inmigrantes la ataquen, el autor propone prohibir votar a los inmigrantes a perpetuidad o por un tiempo limitado. Además, señala la dificultas de las sociedades para cambiar lo existente, y el problema de una sociedad plural como la americana para crear un estado de bienestar al estilo Europeo.
Protecting American Liberty?

Second, voters have what psychologists call “status quo bias” (Sachs 1994, Samuelson and Zeckhauser 1988). They have a strong tendency to favor whatever already exists because it already exists. In 2010, most Americans favored Medicare but opposed “Obamacare.” Why? In large part, because we already hadMedicare. Status quo bias is the psychological underpinning for political aphorisms like “Never waste a good crisis” (Harrison 2009). In normal times, the public prefers to stay the course; you have to wait for a crisis to persuade the public to try something new.

Racially mixed societies like the United States have less consensus and smaller welfare states. As AGS (2001: 229) explain:
Americans think of the poor as members of some different group than themselves, whereas Europeans think of the poor as members of their own group. Racial differences between the poor and the nonpoor in the United States will tend to create the perception of the poor as “other,” but geographic or social isolation might do this as well
Suppose, however, that you remain convinced that immigration has serious political externalities. You have to ask yourself: are immigration restrictions really the cheapest, most humane way to address the problem? The answer, again, is No. Consider a simple alternative: admit immigrants to live and work, but not to vote. If necessary, we could make their non-voting status hereditary. Or suppose you worry about immigrants’ political ignorance. If so, we could restrict the vote to immigrants who successfully pass a civics test. Are you afraid of class warfare? We could give immigrants the right to vote once their lifetime tax payments surpass $100,000. Whatever your complaint, there exists a remedy far less objectionable than exclusion and deportation.
En cuanto a los derechos de propiedad que tienen las personas que viven en un país, sobre ese territorio, el autor afirma que lo mejor sería liberalizar más que cualquier otro país la entrada de inmigrantes, para posteriormente observar que pasa, y en ausencia de malas consecuencia liberalizar más y más.

Protecting Property Rights: 
Critics of immigrants also often compare them to trespassers. If an individual has a spare bedroom, we don’t expect him to justify his refusal to allow a total stranger to live there. Why should we hold countries to a higher standard. 
Immigration restrictions literally ruin many millions of lives—forcibly denying people the opportunity to do business with their best customers.

If the “out of sample” problem bothers you, the obvious solution is to expand the sample gradually. Step one: liberalize slightly more than any other country. Step two: see what happens. Step three: in the absence of very bad consequences, liberalize a little more and return to step two.
 Coincido con las ideas expresadas por Caplan. Restringir la entrada de inmigrantes a un país es la peor solución que se puede adoptar. Hay muchas variantes que ayudarían a las personas que viven actualmente en países pobres a salir de ellos, ayudando a los países de procedencia y además a los países que reciben a esos inmigrantes.

1 comentario:

  1. Me parece muy interesante, y algunas medidas muy acertadas. Por cierto, lo del examen de inglés es algo que propuse yo aquí para el País Vasco: que se haga un examen igual que el que se hace a los inmigrantes de castellano a toda la población para que demuestren que realmente conocen la lengua. Nadie quiere ni oír hablar de esa posibilidad...