Why Not Just Sell US Citizenship?
Professor argues that it's worth upwards of $100,000
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 9, 2010 11:22 AM CDT
Why not make immigrants pay their way into the US?   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If so many people want to be American citizens, Nobel laureate Gary Becker thinks we should just sell the privilege. He reckons you could price US citizenship at roughly $50,000 to $100,000, he explains, as part of Big Think's “Dangerous Ideas” series. Poor people could get a loan, a lot like a student loan. Anti-immigrant sentiment would vanish, because hey, the would-be Americans would collectively pay billions into the system, and our immigrant population would be composed mostly of skilled workers.

What could go wrong? A lot, says Columbia economics professor Jagdish Bhagwati. First off, it would actually exacerbate the illegal immigration problem, since there would be an even bigger incentive to skirt the legal immigration channels. Second, instead of skilled workers, you might wind up with a bunch of retiring, wealthy Indians, who want to buy free Medicare for the rest of their lives.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Mike Hunt
Aug 10, 2010 12:51 PM CDT
It's being sold on Craig's List daily. Plenty of ads are posted by non-citizens wanting to marry Americans *solely* for legal residency, leading to citizenship. Money is often offered.
SteveLee
Aug 10, 2010 9:47 AM CDT
There are already 30 million LEGAL foreign-born people working in our country. Our country does not need any more Immigrants. The "Immigrant Rights" groups are trying to change the image of the Illegals in front of the Television News cameras at the demonstrations against the U.S. Immigration Laws they are staging in another attempt to fool the American people: http://www.tcunation.com/profiles/blogs/changing-the-image-of
Mr.Crowley
Aug 10, 2010 9:23 AM CDT
End of days for this country.