US Should Sell Citizenship for $50K
Writers at think tank lay out case of 'market-based' immigration plan
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 5, 2013 1:52 PM CST
The Hoover Institution thinks we should give citizenship to those who can afford it.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Hey buddy, wanna be a US citizen? How much is it worth to ya? Because if it's enough, you can stay, as far as two writers at Stanford's Hoover Institution are concerned. "We propose that, instead of the current maze of rules and formulas, the US should sell the right to become a citizen," argue Gary Becker and Edward Lazear in an op-ed via Real Clear Politics. A $50,000 price tag "would attract those who place the highest value on citizenship," pulling in young, enterprising immigrants "more likely to be positive contributors to the economy."

This proposal, they argue, would "enhance the country's stock of human capital," spur growth, and even reduce the federal deficit. Poorer immigrants could pay with a loan, with installments extracted directly from their paycheck to ensure they don't default. Current citizens could "pay the fee of immigrant relatives who matter the most to them," encouraging "the best kind of family reunification." All of this may sound radical, they admit, but it would "be a more open and fairer system than the one we have now." Click for the full column.

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Showing 3 of 77 comments
Lefty_Libby
Mar 7, 2013 12:56 PM CST
Many nations have paid citizenship requirements, as well as ongoing proof of income. My problem with the Stanford proposal is that US citizenship is highly valued, so $50K is too low. Also, payments need to be made prior to arrival. For instance, I can buy property and live in retirement in the Republic of Malta, if I can show that I have resources equal to $50K per year. Some countries have restrictions to limit immigres over 50 years of age to encourage able-bodied workers. The debate in our nation seems to be about giving foreigners opportunities. Say what? The debate should be about what is in the best interest of our nation.
People_Suck
Mar 6, 2013 11:55 AM CST
Wow. My vote for most mentally challenged idea to date. F'n Morons.
brianjconway
Mar 6, 2013 7:36 AM CST
Paid citizenship? Brilliant. I'm sure they will make the kind of patriotic, courageous, and loyal citizens this country has always needed. Just what we would expect from a liberal cesspool like Stanford.