The United States federal government should revisit the arguments of free-market economist Milton Friedman for comprehensive immigration reform.
Friedman pointed out the paradox of the immigration problem now compared to the trends one hundred years ago. For decades, immigrants entered this country, got a health check up, passed a security clearance, filed paperwork, received passports, and became US citizens without any trouble.. Today, there is nothing but uproar and race-bating. What happened? The welfare state was born, which allows citizens, born or naturalized, to take advantage of state subsidies, along with creating a class of dependents who do not receive adequate training and preparation for work.
Ironically, Friedman claimed that illegal immigration is good because they do not qualify for entitlements. Friedman's most pithy remark on immigration deserves the greatest attention:
"It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. You can't have both."
If the United States insists on a welfare state, then the federal government is inviting more dysfunctional immigration into the country.
Comprehensive immigration reform would provide the following: Deny benefits to immigrants, provide a pathway to independence for citizens, and deport the ones who commit crimes. End sanctuary cities. This solution to illegal immigration is conservative without being craven or uncaring. Conservatives and Republicans must heed Friedman on this issue. Attack the entitlements, not the people; demand more border patrols (not a fence), and Congress will be able to craft a bipartisan and humane solution to this neglected yet lingering issue.