Home | Treatise | Thee Key Idea | Hidden Unemployment | Real Unemployment | Cost to Family Income of Untimely Immigration | Nine Hidden Costs to Immigration | Real Unemployment in 10 Largest USA Cities | Anemic USA employment rates point to help on the defict | Half a million immigrants to a depressed city | The Political Solution to Immigration | A fix to the persistent low wages from immigration | Jobs and Immigration


The Political Solution to Immigration


The Political Solution to Immigration


I have thought of a solution to immigration, having made the topic my business for 20 years now. It is simple yet elegant. It retains the economic advantages of immigration while ameliorating the problems including that it’s a politically sensitive issue.


Countries should have Just-in-Time immigration. The idea is to have a lower, background level to the national immigration program but when any growth city develops low unemployment there would be a special movement just to that city for just the coming year. When general unemployment goes down in a specific city local corporations should be given additional work visas for skilled and professional foreigners. The special movement would be for permanent immigrants that bring their family, supplement the corporate class movement of immigrants that is done already. This way you could top up the cities that were ahead economically and keep the rest of the country growing normally. Businesses are usually keen on hiring foreigners when there is a tight labour market and you might have to prioritize the movement to bottlenecks and critical services. The background immigration would be of humanitarian, family class and corporate class immigrants as usual. There is a demand for these classes of immigrants and the Immigration Department has to be prudent about the numbers it lets in.   


The actual top up would be in limited numbers so it’s practical from the administration point of view. The applications would have to be vetted for fraud and suitability, the ability to speak the language in particular. The process would have to be funded properly so employers can get foreign workers in fairly quickly. The new immigrants would come permanently and bring their family. The family members are additional workers as well, cooling other aspects of a hot labour market. This Just-In-Time immigration would make the immigration program a local economic initiative and it would have energy and be popular.


The selection of skilled and professional immigrants would cool wage inflation in areas that are experiencing shortages. In general cooling wage inflation is a function of adequate formal schooling of youth and on-the-job training of intermediate workers. In Canada there has been a 18 year business cycle, from 1990 to 2008, in which wage inflation was restrained by these mechanisms.  This would be an additional mechanism to cool wage inflation. A special movement of skilled and professional immigrants would be an additional anti-inflation measure.


Any changes in growth and demographics of a city would be caught be the yearly adjustment of its quota. This includes illegal immigration. Good statistics are available on a city-by-city basis so the program is straight forward.


At a low level of unemployment wages at the bottom firm but also the substantial number of people with marginal attachment to the work force return to work. So, full employment is a real economic tonic. It would foster the next step in social and economic progress.


This plan minimizes any arguments that there are too many or too few immigrants. Eventually all the growth cities in the country would become economically synchronized and easier for the Central Bank to manage. More immigration to a city would become a local issue to be decided upon by the population in each city. On idea is to appoint an immigration Auditor for a city that would watch dog the numbers. He would balance the claims of labour shortages with the problem that businesses don’t want to train and want cheap labour – conflicts like that. The Auditor would be the economic Czar for a city, as population growth tends to define the cities economic parameters.


The current immigration program in most immigration countries is a steady rate influx or quota and this is called gradualism. The idea is it is orderly and enables long term growth. However it leads to unemployment and low wages at the bottom in the destination cities in the mean time. This is a problem and unfair to the workers at the bottom. The city-by-city mechanism eliminates this unfairness and the human inventory cost which this gradualism entails. The savings is by the billions of dollars annually per large city which is realized in better family income, everyone working.