A large majority of the 11 million illegal immigrants are unskilled or low-skilled Mexicans. Many of them have no relatives over age 18 who are either U.S. citizens or permanent residents in possession of green cards.The market says that unskilled/low-skilled Mexicans are needed. Federal regulations say otherwise. As so often, you can't regulate around the market.
That makes them ineligible for any realistic visa category. They are barred in most cases from employment-based visas, which favor skilled and well-educated applicants, and from family-based visas, which require applicants to have spouses, parents or siblings who are U.S. citizens or hold green cards. (Even the “line” for those visas often takes 15 to 20 years or more.) There is simply no immigrant visa category for which most unskilled Mexicans qualify and no realistic prospect they could be legally admitted to the United States. About half of the unauthorized adults in the country are Mexicans who probably have no category for admission, according to Pew Hispanic Center senior demographer Jeffrey S. Passel.
So why isn't "market-based immigration" a Republican war cry? Doesn't it fit their ideology to a T? What could there be about these workers that motivates the GOP to contradict its principles?
I leave the explanation as an exercise for the reader.
... In the interests of fair-mindedness, however, America may have an obstacle to a guest-worker program that other countries don't: the Fourteenth Amendment and birthright citizenship. Is it reasonable to admit unskilled workers if their children born here will become citizens?
I don't know the relevant data: are we better off overall if such immigrants do come here, settle, and raise families? How much upward mobility is there for immigrants' children? How many illegal "guest workers" in fact settle here, as opposed to working in America for a while and then returning home? It's probably a lot harder to gather accurate data on illicit behavior.