On Illegal Immigration

I am always impressed when I change my opinion on anything important under the influence of a book. It happened again today.

I have been reading Hernando de Soto’s “The Mystery Of Capital” that I borrowed from our local library. In chapter 5 titled “The Missing Lessons of U.S. History” he gives a fascinating overview of the history of land property rights in the United States and highlights a phenomenon that today usually arises in the context of Internet domain names - squatting.

I realized that a method of dealing with illegal immigration today can be essentially based on how US dealt with squatting in the past. Both activities were initially illegal. But fighting them might be futile and/or costly. So the Government found a way to let squatters join the system and become “legally clean.” Similarly, US might be better off trying to integrate illegal immigrants into our common legal system, even though it might seem unfair. (Disclosure: I am a legal immigrant myself).

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