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Immigration: My ideal solution.






This policy is:
Spot-on ingenious!
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
A necessary evil.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Interesting, but unusable.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
A misguided idea.
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
An affront to everything America stands for.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
13.67 minutes of my life I'll never get back.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 2

ocalhoun
Recent events in Arizona (and a recent PM) have reminded me to make the next installment of my series, so here it goes:

Immigration:
My solution here is relatively simple compared to the others in this series, only one feature:

Open the borders
Now, I know I'll incur the wrath of the right wing on this one, but allow me to enumerate the reasons for it:
1- Embrace freedom rather than economic and cultural protectionism.
2- Open the door for a cheap, legal workforce, enabling the US to compete better with low-wage foreign countries.
3- Reduce manpower demands on border patrol and immigration administration- lowering taxes.
4- Increase the tax base, lowering individual taxes.
5- Make immigrants subject to labor laws, such as minimum wage- which improves their conditions and makes it easier for locals to compete with them.
6- Encourage immigrants to bring their families with them- which means they'll spend their money in-country, boosting our economy, rather than sending their money to their home country, where it does our economy little if any good.
7- Allow border patrol and immigration administration to focus on more important threats, like terrorists and smugglers (while simultaneously making it more difficult for terrorists and smugglers to hide among the illegal immigrants).
8- Ensure immigrants become functioning parts of society, both benefiting the society and getting benefits from the society.
9- Make immigrant communities more authority-friendly, subsequently making it harder for dangerous criminals to hide among them.


Now, I can see two obvious objections to this, but I don't see either one as legitimate, here's why:
A- Allowing free immigration would allow their culture and language to subsume ours.
*There's nothing sacred about our culture or language- either can change without harming the country.
*Exposure to a different culture could be beneficial in many cases, improving international understanding and increasing the prevalence of bilingual people -- something the USA sorely lacks.
B- The immigrants would take all our jobs.
*If someone else is willing to work harder for less, what makes you think you deserve the job more than they do?
*The influx will not only take jobs, but create new jobs as well.
*If an immigrant can live and feed his (probably larger) family on minimum wage, why can't you?
*Our standard of living may indeed decrease... by increasing the standard of living for many immigrants. If you are opposed to this, why do you think that you are entitled to a high standard of living while they are not?


If I had my way, getting a full US citizenship would only take 30 minutes, and could be done at any border crossing or port of entry. With modern computer databases, there's no reason that's impossible.
(If you didn't intend to stay for a long period, get a job, or buy real estate while in the country, then a visitor's visa would be just as easy to obtain.)



This is part 4 of my Ideal Government for America series.
The series will continue on an as-I-have-spare-time basis until I run out of topics to talk about, and then they will all be consolidated into one, concise vision for the ideal government of the USA, after assimilating comments and advice given from Frihosters, of course.
MYP415
1) You say that officials would have more time to stop smugglers, etc. if borders were opened, but what stops those same smugglers from just crossing over with the rest of the people? It is a bigger national security risk to open up the borders.

2) An influx of immigrants into the United States is the last thing the country's coffers need at this time. With an extremely high deficit and many huge entitlement programs (health insurance being the latest one,) any rise in population would lead to greater debts as many of those programs are losing money per person enrolled. You acknowledged that everyone would not just rush to America because it costs so much and it is hard to leave good things behind. The problem is, the most likely people to come here are those who have very little or nothing to leave behind in the first place. Generally these people aren't very wealthy either, meaning they would be taking a lot more from the entitlement programs than putting in.

On a side note, you say that if someone else is willing to work for less, why should we deserve the job more? I completely agree with you. You also suggest that the minimum wage should coexist with the open borders plan. A bit contradictory, no?
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Now, I can see two obvious objections to this, but I don't see either one as legitimate, here's why:
A- Allowing free immigration would allow their culture and language to subsume ours.
*There's nothing sacred about our culture or language- either can change without harming the country.
*Exposure to a different culture could be beneficial in many cases, improving international understanding and increasing the prevalence of bilingual people -- something the USA sorely lacks.
B- The immigrants would take all our jobs.
I see a third potential objection. Safety and security of the borders. Many Canadians are heavily scrutinized for this reason when they cross the border into the United States, as the US Immigration sees Canada as being weak in allowing people into Canada. From a terrorist threat point of view.

I agree completely that the US needs to revamp its immigration policies to make it easier for your really good people and their families to migrate to the United States. Especially given that the larger percentage of the population is in the fifties plus age group. There should still however be some kind of vigilance incorporated to ensure that a relaxed immigration policy does not become a Trojan Horse of a kind that may threaten the safety and security of Americans from a terrorist point of view. I see the latter as taking much more than 30 minutes to process. At least a few months.
Bikerman
On the face of it that is a good point. But let's dig a bit deeper.
How many terrorist attacks do you think are going to be deterred by national border controls?
If I wanted to attack the US then it wouldn't even cross my mind to become a citizen. I would either use sympathisers within the country or planning to visit, or I would enter the US on a visitor permit and do the deed.
You cannot stop organised terrorist attacks. Given that the US is rightfully proud of being a melting pot for different views, races, faiths etc then granting citizenship, I would argue, would do more good than harm, since the potential attacker will have at least some reason to think about their action as a citizen of the country, rather than an 'oppressed' victim of it.....

Just chucking it out for consideration....
MYP415
Bikerman, what about the costs that come with legalizing that I described in my post above? Furthermore, this is about open borders, in which case non-citizens can step across borders too. In order to combat terrorists, smugglers, and recently drug gangs from piling over, we should be ramping up border security, not loosening it.
Bikerman
MYP415 wrote:
Bikerman, what about the costs that come with legalizing that I described in my post above? Furthermore, this is about open borders, in which case non-citizens can step across borders too. In order to combat terrorists, smugglers, and recently drug gangs from piling over, we should be ramping up border security, not loosening it.
Well, I wasn't speaking to that in my previous posting but let's consider it now.
Our experience in Europe is that most migrants actually want to work and aren't here just for the benefits system. In fact I think the US is not particularly attractive to any migrant with that motivation since your benefits system is pretty poor to start with. I don't see why it would cost as much as you seem to think - in fact I think the cost/benefit would probably be positive, not negative.
Europe already has 'open borders' and I haven't noticed any increase in terrorism - though our 'base' level was already higher than you will be used to.
The war on drugs has, in my opinion, always been a phoney war in which the government spend billions with no significant impact so I am actually a proponent of legalisation.

The real problems are social. The resident population get annoyed by immigration and this can quickly degenerate into racism. This is seen here in the UK and in Europe generally. That is more of a sociological/political objection, however, and your points are more specifically economic....
MYP415
Bikerman wrote:
MYP415 wrote:
Bikerman, what about the costs that come with legalizing that I described in my post above? Furthermore, this is about open borders, in which case non-citizens can step across borders too. In order to combat terrorists, smugglers, and recently drug gangs from piling over, we should be ramping up border security, not loosening it.
Well, I wasn't speaking to that in my previous posting but let's consider it now.
Our experience in Europe is that most migrants actually want to work and aren't here just for the benefits system. In fact I think the US is not particularly attractive to any migrant with that motivation since your benefits system is pretty poor to start with. I don't see why it would cost as much as you seem to think - in fact I think the cost/benefit would probably be positive, not negative.
Europe already has 'open borders' and I haven't noticed any increase in terrorism - though our 'base' level was already higher than you will be used to.
The war on drugs has, in my opinion, always been a phoney war in which the government spend billions with no significant impact so I am actually a proponent of legalisation.

The real problems are social. The resident population get annoyed by immigration and this can quickly degenerate into racism. This is seen here in the UK and in Europe generally. That is more of a sociological/political objection, however, and your points are more specifically economic....

European nations still have legal and illegal status though- anyone can't just go there. Also, I wouldn't use them as a great example of entitlement programs because their deficits are just as bad if not worse than America's when it comes to that. Generally, that's how public goods work- they are susceptible to the free rider program and with larger populations become harder and harder to support.
Bikerman
Would you care to back that up with some figures?
PS - what has national deficit got to do with this? The figures you want would be public expenditure on social security programmes...
MYP415
Do you want to see figures on Europe, the US or both? Even liberal projections show social security and Medicare going into the red within 20 years. Many European nations are losing money on their welfare programs as well- Greece, Portugal, Spain being perhaps the strongest examples. Looking at predicted credit ratings, etc. many economists have a better outlook on the US than Europe. Personally, I am not bullish on either for the long run, but relatively speaking the US might be in better shape.

And national deficit does have significance here as when those programs are in the red they would be funded by growing deficits. You can only grow your deficits as long as someone is willing to either buy that debt or if you inflate the currency.
Bikerman
I do understand basic economics but I don't understand what you mean by 'the red'. All such programmes are funded from taxation, so I don't understand how they could be considered in 'black and red' terms? Are you saying that the cost will outstrip taxation?
I also don't understand what you mean by 'losing money'. How could it be otherwise? Can you make money by tax redistribution?
The reason the deficit is not important (directly) is that I still haven't seen anything to suggest that the average immigrant is a net outgoing in terms of benefits. Many things contribute to the deficit - most of it 'natives' living above their income generation...The US is a country that lives on debt, at a personal, state and federal level - and it has been so for as long as I can remember....the days when national savings covered your deficit at national level were before I was born, and I'm nearly 50...

The problems that have hit most developed countries are largely a result of selling mortgages to poor Americans with no hope of repaying, which is symptomatic of the general problems of an economy so dependent on other countries (mainly China) to fund the national lifestyle...
Very little to do with immigrants - most of the local recent immigrants that I know save much more money than I do, or any of my friends and avoid debt like the plague..
MYP415
Bikerman wrote:
I do understand basic economics but I don't understand what you mean by 'the red'. All such programmes are funded from taxation, so I don't understand how they could be considered in 'black and red' terms? Are you saying that the cost will outstrip taxation?
I also don't understand what you mean by 'losing money'. How could it be otherwise? Can you make money by tax redistribution?
Yes, I mean in terms of taxation. The ratio between the money coming in from taxation to the money being used for these programs is getting smaller and smaller. There is a tipping point when that is no longer sustainable. What is often forgotten is that that tipping point is not necessarily at 100% taxation due to the Laffer curve, which states that tax revenue as a function of tax rates is a parabola and not a linear line. When I meant red, I was thinking more in terms of social security and medicare specifically, where Americans are taxed on each pay check to add to the coffers of those respective programs.

Bikerman wrote:
The reason the deficit is not important (directly) is that I still haven't seen anything to suggest that the average immigrant is a net outgoing in terms of benefits. Many things contribute to the deficit - most of it 'natives' living above their income generation...The US is a country that lives on debt, at a personal, state and federal level - and it has been so for as long as I can remember....the days when national savings covered your deficit at national level were before I was born, and I'm nearly 50...
Over that time look at the currency's value as well as the increase in debt and now the reluctance to place so much trust in the USD and you should see something scary. Just because we have increased our debt and been able to manage it over 50 years does not necessarily mean we will be able to continue to do so for the next 5, 10, 15, 50 years. Just look at any nation that has gone through a massive debt crisis that has resulted in hyperinflation or even revolution and look at the period right before that tipping point- everything seemed dandy then too.

Bikerman wrote:
The problems that have hit most developed countries are largely a result of selling mortgages to poor Americans with no hope of repaying, which is symptomatic of the general problems of an economy so dependent on other countries (mainly China) to fund the national lifestyle...
The mortgage crisis is a whole other beast, but ironically, it is the result of the same idea as many of these entitlement programs. The roots of the crisis can be found in the politics of Washington that suggested everyone should have houses.

Bikerman wrote:
Very little to do with immigrants - most of the local recent immigrants that I know save much more money than I do, or any of my friends and avoid debt like the plague..
First off I want to make it clear that I have nothing against immigrants, but I do have a problem with allowing anyone and everyone to just come here. With population growth, you know that the free rider problem becomes worse. Most people who newly migrate to a new country tend to have lower incomes and hence tend to take up more entitlement money, in a system that is already going bankrupt. If they save on a private level that's fine, but that doesn't mean they won't collect national benefits due to their lower incomes as well.

I think before any such open borders policy can be considered, we must privatize or abolish entitlement programs such as social security, medicare, universal health insurance, etc. Those that have paid in should perhaps get their benefits in return, but we can not accept new members into these programs if we are to allow anyone to become citizens from an economic standpoint.
Bikerman
Quote:
With population growth, you know that the free rider problem becomes worse. Most people who newly migrate to a new country tend to have lower incomes and hence tend to take up more entitlement money, in a system that is already going bankrupt. If they save on a private level that's fine, but that doesn't mean they won't collect national benefits due to their lower incomes as well.
As I have tried to say, THAT is exactly what I am challenging. Yes, most of the immigrants I know are probably earning low to average wages BUT they are not 'taking up entitlement money'. They are net contributors.
Why do you assume that immigrants are 'free riders'? Are you telling me that the US welfare program is more generous than ours? I thought it was less so, but I've no personal experience...I think there are at least 2 possible conversations going on here, depending on what you mean by immigrant and how far you generalise that definition...
Our immigration is mostly from the EEC so things are different I guess, but we have had significant immigration from former 'colonies' as I'm sure you know. Nowadays the migration I mostly see coming inwards tends to be people from Eastern Europe with skills in manual jobs - plumbers, electricians, etc. Being in the EEC they are entitled to come here and work by right and there was, and is, some hostility to this from some - but it is more about 'taking our jobs' than 'scrounging' and even the openly racist parties don't use that argument much anymore (and please don't read anything personal into that last statement - there is nothing of the sort intended, just a relevant observation).
Actually this is one debate where some numbers are probably needed to 'ground' the basic terms, so I'll dig some out later (other stuff to do for an hour or so).
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
I see a third potential objection. Safety and security of the borders. Many Canadians are heavily scrutinized for this reason when they cross the border into the United States, as the US Immigration sees Canada as being weak in allowing people into Canada. From a terrorist threat point of view.

By 'open border', I mean that no honest, well intentioned person would be turned back.
There would still be border checkpoints, where your citizenship or visa would be checked, or granted if you didn't have one, and those checkpoints would still screen for known/suspected criminals and contraband, especially for those first getting a citizenship or visa.

The difference, though, is that there would be little or no 'off-the-radar' immigration going on: All legal traffic would be going through established checkpoints.
That leaves a truly dangerous visitor with two less-favorable choices:
1- Go through a checkpoint and risk detection.
2- Cross illegally, making them a more obvious target for anybody who sees them.
deanhills wrote:

I agree completely that the US needs to revamp its immigration policies to make it easier for your really good people and their families to migrate to the United States. Especially given that the larger percentage of the population is in the fifties plus age group. There should still however be some kind of vigilance incorporated to ensure that a relaxed immigration policy does not become a Trojan Horse of a kind that may threaten the safety and security of Americans from a terrorist point of view. I see the latter as taking much more than 30 minutes to process. At least a few months.

And terrorists can't wait months to get in?
The only real defense (and a flimsy one at that) is to screen for people with known terrorist affiliations at the border crossing.
MYP415 wrote:
1) You say that officials would have more time to stop smugglers, etc. if borders were opened, but what stops those same smugglers from just crossing over with the rest of the people? It is a bigger national security risk to open up the borders.

What's to keep them from just crossing over with the rest of the people now?
At least this way, when they cross over with the rest of the people, they'll have to pass through a border station, giving authorities a chance to catch them.
MYP415 wrote:

2) An influx of immigrants into the United States is the last thing the country's coffers need at this time. With an extremely high deficit and many huge entitlement programs (health insurance being the latest one,) any rise in population would lead to greater debts as many of those programs are losing money per person enrolled. You acknowledged that everyone would not just rush to America because it costs so much and it is hard to leave good things behind. The problem is, the most likely people to come here are those who have very little or nothing to leave behind in the first place. Generally these people aren't very wealthy either, meaning they would be taking a lot more from the entitlement programs than putting in.

I think Bikerman has been arguing this point well enough.
The immigrants would take advantage of social programs... but they would also contribute to them.
You must admit, that's much better than the way it is now, where they often take advantage of social programs, but don't contribute to them.
MYP415 wrote:

You also suggest that the minimum wage should coexist with the open borders plan. A bit contradictory, no?

Why is minimum wage contradictory with open borders?

In fact, minimum wage must exist, and perhaps even be raised, to mitigate the effects of an influx of cheap labor on locals.
In a purely supply-and-demand system of employment, the added supply could lower prices for labor to unlivable levels -- for everyone. The minimum wage is what will prevent that, as long as one can truly survive on a minimum wage income.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
By 'open border', I mean that no honest, well intentioned person would be turned back. There would still be border checkpoints, where your citizenship or visa would be checked, or granted if you didn't have one, and those checkpoints would still screen for known/suspected criminals and contraband, especially for those first getting a citizenship or visa.
Right, but I can't see this being done in 30 minutes though. Especially when there is an existence of a problem with illegal immigration. I'm almost certain you will probably say that your system will take care of illegal immigration, but South Africa would be a very good example of what happened when a new Government took over in 1993 and opened its borders along your lines. All your poor people from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, etc. entered the country in droves, then created shanty towns all over the big cities, and a real headache for the new Government to the extent that the Government was forced to clamp down on immigration. If you had perfect Countries situated on your borders, and I'm not only referring to Mexico, but the Carribean, and South America, you probably would need to be careful with immigration.

Also, people like that tend to get jobs that don't pay well, so even if they can bring their families, won't do so, as it is much cheaper to let them stay where they are and then of course send whatever savings they can make back to their country of origin. Exactly that happened with South Africa as well. You would get people from other African countries getting work in South Africa, and all their earnings forwarded to Zimbabwe/Nigeria/Congo/Mozambique to help their families survive.

When there is an overload of people entering the country, it is usually much easier for undesirables to get in, or to "flee" from where they have been up to no good. For example, Johannesburg now has a thriving Nigerian drug cartelle, almost to the equivalent of the Mafia. I agree that the immigration system in the United States is not perfect, however, in its own interests, both economically and for security reasons, it should scrutinize visas very carefully. It is a fact that innocent people with good intent who wish to enter the United States get discouraged, as well as victimized, but it is equally a fact that people who should not be allowed in, need to be scrutinized and that is probably the price that has to be paid for it. Similar to the current heavy security regulations at airports. They penalize the overall majority of travellers, both from a cost and discomfort point of view, for safety and security. America has a lot of enemies in the world, it is technically also a country at war. I doubt it can relax its immigration policies as a consequence of that. None of it is being perfectly administrated, but at least there is a system in place.
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:

I agree completely that the US needs to revamp its immigration policies to make it easier for your really good people and their families to migrate to the United States. Especially given that the larger percentage of the population is in the fifties plus age group. There should still however be some kind of vigilance incorporated to ensure that a relaxed immigration policy does not become a Trojan Horse of a kind that may threaten the safety and security of Americans from a terrorist point of view. I see the latter as taking much more than 30 minutes to process. At least a few months.

And terrorists can't wait months to get in?
The only real defense (and a flimsy one at that) is to screen for people with known terrorist affiliations at the border crossing.
I'm sure they can, but they would have to be pretty good at beating the current system.
palciere
As things stand now, you can enter the United States if you are willing to break our laws, but if you are not willing to break our laws you probably cannot get in. That does not strike me as the right kind of filter to use. We need law-abiding people in our country. We have enough of the other kind already. Unfortunately employers prefer to have illegal immigrants rather than legal ones, because they don't have to pay them as much, and employers are very influential in this country.

Paul Alciere
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
but South Africa would be a very good example of what happened when a new Government took over in 1993 and opened its borders along your lines. All your poor people from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, etc. entered the country in droves, then created shanty towns all over the big cities, and a real headache for the new Government to the extent that the Government was forced to clamp down on immigration. If you had perfect Countries situated on your borders, and I'm not only referring to Mexico, but the Carribean, and South America, you probably would need to be careful with immigration.

{wonders if this is true or not and decides to check}
Immigration figures
Date...........Amount 
2005 ...........1,106,214 
2000............1,022,374 
1995............1,097,790 
1990............1,224,938 
1985............1,815,235 
1980...............983,441 
1975...............962,377 
1970...............961,496 
1965...............949,970 
1960...............936,967 

Looks pretty stable to me....

Source - http://www.nationmaster.com/time.php?stat=imm_int_mig_sto_tot-immigration-international-migration-stock-total&country=sf-south-africa
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
deanhills wrote:
but South Africa would be a very good example of what happened when a new Government took over in 1993 and opened its borders along your lines. All your poor people from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, etc. entered the country in droves, then created shanty towns all over the big cities, and a real headache for the new Government to the extent that the Government was forced to clamp down on immigration. If you had perfect Countries situated on your borders, and I'm not only referring to Mexico, but the Carribean, and South America, you probably would need to be careful with immigration.

{wonders if this is true or not and decides to check}
Immigration figures
Date...........Amount 
2005 ...........1,106,214 
2000............1,022,374 
1995............1,097,790 
1990............1,224,938 
1985............1,815,235 
1980...............983,441 
1975...............962,377 
1970...............961,496 
1965...............949,970 
1960...............936,967 

Looks pretty stable to me....

Source - http://www.nationmaster.com/time.php?stat=imm_int_mig_sto_tot-immigration-international-migration-stock-total&country=sf-south-africa
Did I say in my posting that the numbers were unstable? I don't think so. What I did say was that the quality of unchecked immigration was unstable. There is a difference. Refer report by UNHCR for refugees. This excludes non-refugee migrants from Nigeria and other African countries:
Quote:
Refugees and asylum-seekers in South Africa have freedom of movement, the right to work and the right to avail themselves of basic social services. Consequently, they reside mainly in urban areas amongst migrants, foreigners and the local population.

Government statistics indicate that more than 207,200 individual asylum claims were registered in South Africa in 2008, making the country the largest single recipient of asylum-seekers in the world. There were some 227,000 asylum applications pending at the end of December 2008. The majority were from Zimbabwe (122,600), Malawi (18,160), and Ethiopia (11,350), as well as from other African countries and from Bangladesh, China, India and Pakistan. There are also some 43,500 refugees recognized by the Government, mainly from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Somalia.

In national elections held on 22 April 2009, the African National Congress (ANC) won another five-year mandate. The Government continues to face challenges in dealing with socio-economic issues, especially with regard to improvements in basic services, high unemployment, income disparities and soaring crime rates.

It is estimated that South Africa attracts millions of economic migrants every year. There is also a continuous migration from rural to urban areas. As a result, competition for jobs, housing, business opportunities and social services has intensified, resulting in social tensions.

UNHCR is working with its partners to reduce the risk of any new outbreak of xenophobic violence following the events of 2008 which led to the displacement of some 46,000 foreigners. The prevalence of HIV has stabilized at 11 per cent of the total population, and South Africa is implementing the largest anti-retroviral treatment programme in the world, adding a significant burden on already overstretched public health services.

South Africa is a signatory to the major refugee instruments and it also has national legislation, the Refugees Act of 1998, which has recently been amended to ensure better asylum processing and protection. The Government has established six refugee reception offices in major cities around the country, but these are overburdened by the sheer number of asylum-seekers in the country.


Also refer a Paper that was written on organized crime in South Africa dated 1998, soon after independence:
Quote:
The advent of democracy in the country heralded an increase in organised criminal activity. Senior SAPS officers point out that, when apartheid ended, border controls were weakened, thus creating new potential areas of operation for organised crime. This also occurred at a time when transnational criminal operations were expanding; just like `legitimate' multinational businesses, East Asian, Nigerian and East European groups bought into local South African criminal operations and expanded them, or contracted subsidiary organisations to conduct their work for them. Stricter controls at points of entry into North America and most European states, Southern Africa's favourable position on the drug trafficking routes between the Far and Middle East, the Americas and Europe, and its accessibility via land, sea and air made it a lucrative area for illegal business.

Given these factors, a recent report by the World Economic Forum cited South Africa as having an organised crime problem second only to Columbia and Russia.8 In truth, the report provides an inaccurate reflection of the actual extent of the problem in the country. Primarily, the growth of organised crime has been much more fragmented and (although there are notable exceptions) does not involve former members of the security establishment to the same degree as in the former Soviet Union.9 Like Russia, however, the growth of organised crime has been a feature of the political transition to a democratic order. The opening up of borders, the weakening (or inappropriateness) of the policing institutions of the state and the volatile regional context have all contributed to the growth of organised crime.

In sum, four factors (which are discussed below) should be taken into account when measuring the extent to which organised crime has developed in South Africa since the transition to democracy:

    the degree to which various organised crime groups have consolidated either through merger or structured co-operation;

    the role that former members of the apartheid security forces play in relation to organised crime;

    the degree to which organised criminal groups have been successful in penetrating the state and corrupting officials; and

    the degree to which foreign organised crime groups operate within the country and have forged links with local crime syndicates.

Source: http://www.iss.co.za/Pubs/PAPERS/28/Paper28.html

Quote:
Report One: One Burden Too Many? A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Immigration Policing in Gauteng
In the first report, which follows below, we look specifically at how SAPS’ responsibility to enforce
the Immigration Act (n. 13 of 2002) impacts upon its capacity to fight crime.

The prerogative of ordinary police officers to investigate suspected immigration offences leads to large numbers of deportations from South Africa, deterring unwanted migration, upholding South African laws, and helping to combat certain categories of illegal immigration activity. At the same time, this activity:

• Draws large amounts of human and financial resources away from visible
policing strategies;
• Creates an irresolvable tension between SAPS’ responsibility to police communities
and its responsibility to protect South African borders; and
• Impacts negatively on police integrity.

The report uses these findings to arrive at a set of specific policy recommendations for SAPS in
Gauteng, which have broader relevance for SAPS nationwide:

• Clarify the responsibility of the police under the Immigration Act in order to limit
the discretion of individual officers;
• Incorporate immigration policing into provincial and national budgetary estimates
and planning processes; and
• Change immigration policing strategy from localised, ad hoc policing of immigration
laws to the development of targeted policing initiatives to combat transnational crime.

Source: One burden too many

Quote:
A Network of Nigerian Syndicates
Published in Monograph No 28: Organised Crime in South Africa, August 1998

Nigerian crime syndicates have come to dominate the cocaine market in South Africa. More than 60 000 Nigerian citizens have settled in South Africa during the past decade. According to senior detectives, a well-connected network of numerous small and autonomous Nigerian syndicates, consisting of five or six individuals, has been established to ensure domination in the cocaine market. Most of these syndicates operate from Johannesburg, but some have recently moved into more distant areas such as Sea Point in Cape Town. The individuals belonging to each of the many small syndicates each have their specific tasks and expertise. When cocaine supplies need to be acquired from South America, each member of a syndicate would have to make a financial contribution into a common fund for the syndicate. The network of Nigerian cocaine syndicates is well-established enough to know when other Nigerian syndicates have gone through the same exercise and when the time is therefore ripe to obtain another shipment of cocaine from abroad. Representatives from different small syndicates, normally the buyers from each syndicate, will then meet, pool their resources, and arrange for one individual to take over the responsibility of obtaining a shipment of cocaine from South America. The Nigerian syndicates have direct contacts in Brazil and in other South American countries. Most transactions are paid for in cash, although it has happened that such syndicates have resorted to the export of South African dagga in order to pay for cocaine. Upon arrival in South Africa, the cocaine would be divided proportionally amongst all the syndicates who have contributed financially to the particular venture.

No single, large mafia-like Nigerian syndicate is therefore operating in the country and no ‘Mr Big’ has been identified among the Nigerian crime syndicates. The enormous profits that can be made through cocaine smuggling make for a very competitive environment, but there is more than enough opportunity for every syndicate involved to make vast profits. Detectives who have intimate experience of Nigerian syndicates, after having worked with them, maintain that the going purchase price for one kilogram of pure cocaine was $2 500 in June 1998 in South America (cocaine of maximum purity is 90 per cent pure). According to the police, once the cocaine has arrived in South Africa and it has been sold by a syndicate after significantly diluting its concentration, the original one kilogram, now in its diluted form, is sold for $50 000. While some overhead expenses will have to be deducted, it is clear that enormous profits are being made through this form of transnational organised crime.

According to the police, members of the Nigerian syndicates who receive their share of the profits, tend to send most of their proceeds back to Nigeria rather than investing it in South Africa.

Source: Institute for Security Studies
menino
Nice layout of the immigration policy, Ocalhoun.
As much as I would like free immigration, I don't think that would be possible, given the fact as stated in these posts that the people don't want it, as it will take their jobs, and negatively influence the economy, and infuse change in the current trends and culture.

The change here refers to the criminals who come into america and start drug trades and violent acts to escape the law in their own countries.
A 30 minute process for immigration is nice, but it would better be a tad stricter, so as to ensure that immigrants are better suited to enter and help the country.
Bikerman
None of that actually makes any sort of case.
The first article is a complete red herring since it considers refugees not immigrants. Obviously refugees are likely to need a lot of help. In other words it is a terrible model to generalise from, even if SA did suffer this crisis you talked about. (Also, of course, countries have an international obligation to take in refugees, so it is not really relevant to the more voluntary control of immigration as a whole).
The second article is also pretty much off topic. That considers post-aparteid democracy and the influence on crime. Borders is one small factor within that overall comparison and even then it is badly described and handled. It isn't the borders in themselves that protect, they merely serve to help out an inefficient police force, incompetent and fragmentary civil judiciary, and various other political and social fall-out from the big Apartheid experiment.

The third article is a bit of special pleading by the police, clearly after more resources. it doesn't actually have any meaningful data at all.

The last is a drugs story which looks closer to the points being debated. It involves '60,000' Nigerians in SA, sheltering or masking a criminal underground of organised crime?
But, all it says is that there is an organised Nigerian crime network*. The fact that there are a few thousand Nigerians in the country (remember we are talking about 60,000 - over a decade - 6000 per year. that is a tiny amount), and they are organised, doesn't tell you much about border controls. (Nigerians (for some reason) are involved in most of the IT frauds and scams I see. They are famous for it - I really don't know why it is particularly Nigerians, but it does seem to be the case). Anyway, these 60,000 could have equally well settled during times of quite ferocious border controls. Britain has pretty tough rules now, and 60,000 would be about 1-2 months immigration). How many are actual criminals - we aren't told but I'm guessing a tiny fraction, so a few hundred at most.....over 10 years......I really don't think this is of much relevance.
* Anyway, an organised crime network could bring some money in, rather than spend it. The US was pretty prosperous during its own experiment with that nearly a century ago. Smile
Quote:
Did I say in my posting that the numbers were unstable?
Yes, pretty much. Your basic point was that in 1993
Quote:
All your poor people from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, etc. entered the country in droves, then created shanty towns all over the big cities,
Sounds like a fairly dramatic increase from that, although you could possibly read it differently if you really wanted to, but it would be a stretch. We know that Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Kenya have tens of millions of poor people, so forget 'all', if we only saw a tiny proportion go into SA, then it would surely impact immigration figures substantially. I'm not going to sidetrack this into a semantic debate, but I think my reading was perfectly reasonable and I would further say that I think most people would have read it the same.
Now, remember the overall normal figure is around a million. Well, it was and has been around that million for 10 years either side of 1993. So, I cannot see how that is reflected in the actual numbers unless you either say the numbers are wrong or there was a corresponding increase in emigration around the same time. There is no jump post 1993, as you can clearly see, so I really cannot see how there could have been an even significant number, let alone 'flood' into the country unless, as I wondered, either the figures are just plain wrong, or there was some mass emmigration going on to match. PS In fact, forget the second possibility - I'm being silly. These are not net, they are gross, so the amount of emigration would not matter at all).
Finally, notice the jump in 1980-1985? That is a big one. Now, why? That is close to 1 million people in those 5 years - and this is long before borders were opened. Something went on, but little in the press or usual sources would give much clue. Why no mention of this massive influx and why did it happen with border control under the strict control of the Apartheid regime?
I don't know the answers, but they are good questions...

I'll have to email my Uncle - he lives in Pretoria with the family. He'll probably be able to point to some reliable sources for that time. I can remember bits about that time, but SA wasn't particularly 'active' as an issue that year from memory, so I wouldn't necessarily expect to remember anything).
palciere
I think the immigration problem is going to disappear!

The area where I live has a whole lot of abandoned factories, that have become stores and office buildings. My father told me that those factories used to be full of poor Italian immigrants, making shoes. Then the Italians realized that they could make shoes in Italy! I think they make better shoes now, too.

We used to have Chinese immigrants doing laundry and running restaurants. We still have Chinese restaurants, but China has industrialized and Chinese people are getting much more prosperous right at home where they have their friends and relatives.

Now we need to create jobs for the people whose jobs have gone overseas.
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
I'll have to email my Uncle - he lives in Pretoria with the family. He'll probably be able to point to some reliable sources for that time. I can remember bits about that time, but SA wasn't particularly 'active' as an issue that year from memory, so I wouldn't necessarily expect to remember anything).
My original posting was hacked to pieces with zero ammunition other than an obvious intent on your part to kill it bit by bit. There was zero substance on your part except a cut and paste from Nationmaster (I noticed the link too while I was doing my searches on the Internet), which was pretty much on the same level as all of the information I assembled in response to your posting. I tried to find information to back up what I knew to be fact as I have had regular conversations with people from South Africa for longer than you can imagine. You have an Uncle in Pretoria, I have a whole family spread out all over South Africa, including close friends.

South Africa has a serious crime problem and immigration is a large part of it. There was already serious crime before apartheid ended, but when the borders were opened shortly after the end of apartheid organized crime received a great boost, as well as people who could not look after themselves became a large burden on a system that was already overloaded as it was. In the last few years the Government has started to clamp down on immigration in an attempt to get to grips with its high crime rate. Especially after serious riots in South Africa, called Xenophobia a couple of more years ago. There is pressure from Blacks in South Africa on the Government to control immigration, i.e. only people should be allowed to immigrate who have superior job skills, i.e. doctors, engineers, etc. Ordinarily I would have looked xenophobia up and provided you with the information, as I painstakingly tried yesterday, but since it seems that you would just use it again to shoot my posting down, perhaps you can ask your Uncle in Pretoria about it instead!
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