Yes, We Can Deport 12 Million

Every year the 89,000 employees of the Internal Revenue Service attempt to enforce the tax laws for well over 200 million taxpayers. Obviously this is impossible and taxpayers could ignore the law with near impunity. Yet, they don’t. Somehow the IRS persuades the vast majority of the taxpayers to pay up.

If the IRS said that it would be inhumane to prosecute tax scofflaws because they have children that need to eat and that most tax scofflaws are good people who have run into hard times, what would happen? What would happen is that the population of tax scofflaws would explode. The tax scofflaws would become shrouded in moral legitimacy. Any attempt by the IRS to step up enforcement would be seen as brutal oppression against good people.

The IRS uses a carrot and stick approach. The tax withholding is rigged so that most people will get a refund. That encourages them to file their taxes as soon as possible so as to get the tax refund. People who aren’t toeing the line get threatening notices in the mail generated by a computer.

The IRS has plenty of helpers in the private sector. For example the “Tax Resolution Institute” says this:

“If you have received a Notice of Intent to Levy by the IRS, you only have 21 days to act. During the course of the 21 days, all of your financial accounts levied will be frozen. You will be unable to access your money. After three weeks, your bank and/or the other organizations in your financial network will be forced to send your money plus interest to the IRS to cover your tax debt. Once the IRS has your money, it is gone, and the chance of getting any of the funds returned is slim to none. If you contact us within this initial 21-day period, there is a good chance we can negotiate a better deal for you and protect your financial security.”

Obviously, this sort of talk is designed to terrify the taxpayer. The IRS computer sends a notice; the frightened taxpayer engages an advisor to help him deal with the faceless, threatening government agency. The taxpayer is whipped back into line. The IRS has tyrannical powers that are probably constitutional only because judges depend on the U.S. Treasury to pay their salaries.

To encourage the 12 million illegals to go back from where they came, some carrots and sticks would help. Remember, these people are living in a strange country with strange customs and a language they don’t understand very well. It can’t be that hard to intimidate them. If the IRS feels free to intimidate 200 million taxpayers by outrageous methods why should we be reluctant to use some of the same methods on the illegals?

The IRS gives rewards to people who inform on tax evaders. Actually getting the reward money may not be that easy. But it makes tax scofflaws nervous to think that their associates may turn them in for a reward. A program to give rewards to people who turn in employers of illegals would certainly make the employment of illegals less interesting. A lot of these employers are also engaging in income tax fraud, since there is no legal path for employing illegals. A particularly enticing tactic is to prosecute rich people who employ illegals. Of course, people will claim that they didn’t know that their maid was illegal. The trick here is to get the maid to testify against them by means of carrots and sticks. The same tactic can be used against corporations that accept fake documents and claim ignorance. The government does not have to prosecute everyone; just make public examples of a small number of cases. Many measures can be framed as taxes, for example, a $100 a day tax for each day a visitor overstays his visa. Taxes are easier to enforce than criminal sanctions.

A different sort of amnesty program for illegals would be to offer illegals who voluntarily go back to their home country some assistance. For example, time to put their affairs in order and perhaps some financial aid or a free plane ride. Those who accept and then return illegally would be arrested with bail set at $100,000. The detainees would be kept in a low-cost prison camp for at least 3 months, after which they would be offered amnesty if they exit the country. Otherwise they could wait a few more years in the camp for their case to come up. The camp would be humane but unpleasant. Anthropologists would be engaged to engineer a camp that would be particularly unpleasant for people with the cultural background of the illegals, but that would be defensible as humane to American sensibilities. The camp for Mexican illegals could be located near the Mexican border, giving the inmates an opportunity to escape to Mexico. It would be moderately difficult to escape. If an inmate were discovered missing, to add drama, a search team would be sent out with hound dogs and helicopters. The CIA could secretly encourage Mexican journalists to report the sad stories of the escapees who make it back to Mexico. Mexican journalists could also come to the camp to do interviews as well as film the guards with their helicopters and hound dogs. We want the U.S. to seem a dangerous place to prospective illegal immigrants.

The sanctuary city movement can be defanged by directing substantial revenue to cities that enforce immigration laws. For example, fines paid by illegals that are caught by local authorities can be paid to cities that do not welcome illegals.

The story that it is somehow difficult to deport 12 million people is a self-serving myth propagated by the political alliance that wants the illegals here. That alliance consists of Democratic politicians who see more Democrat voters and business interests that want cheap labor. There are also the employees of many non-profit operations devoted to aiding illegal immigrants. The losers are American workers, those at the bottom of the economic heap that are displaced and impoverished by 12 million competitors for their jobs. The losers are not nearly as well organized, as are the promoters of illegal immigration.

About 60% of the illegal immigrants are from Mexico with many more from Central America. Based on Gross National Income per capita, Mexico is an upper middle-income country, ranked slightly higher than China by the World Bank. It’s not as if Mexicans are forced to sneak into the U.S. by extreme poverty. There is no need for us to feel guilty about sending them back to Mexico. The idea that the illegals will suffer extreme hardship if they are sent back is simply a myth. People from these source countries have connections and families that make it perfectly possible for them to resettle in their former home. If they were resourceful enough to sneak into the U.S. and support themselves, surely they are resourceful enough to manage in their home countries where they know the language and customs.

There is nothing to keep us from giving temporary visas for guest workers in instances where that is justified. The idea that the illegals do jobs that Americans won’t is simply another exaggerated claim to justify illegal immigration. I have stayed at hotels in Kansas where all the hotel maids were English-speaking natives. Yes, some things will cost more without cheap illegal labor, but if the illegals are repatriated, more Americans will be able to find good jobs.

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