Stay with me here. Because I am almost serious about this proposal. Or at least it highlights the contradictions (while not Heightening the Contradictions).
The Border Crisis: tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border.
Social Security ‘Crisis’: per ‘Reformers’ one that is driven by pure demography – too few future workers to support longer living large cohorts of retireees.
Solution? Keep the kids while excluding the parents. That is launch a campaign in Central America with the following messages:
One. It is very dangerous to send your kids to El Norte. Many of them might die on the way, almost all will be abused and exploited in one way or another, and all at the cost of your life savings and borrowings.
Two. If they manage to make it alive the U.S. will allow them to stay. But will not grant them any rights to sponsor their parents until they are adult citizens who are both financially secure enough to be sponsors and having undergone the naturalization process. Congratulations! Your kids are Americans now. But you may never see them again. Maybe they will write and post pictures on their Facebook walls.
I don’t know whether this will work in stemming the flow. But it might counteract the known sales pitches of the human traffickers that simply getting a kid into America makes them an automatic sponsor.
Turning to Social Security. One of the major contradictions in Social Security projections is that in the face of a declining worker/retiree ratio the Office of the Chief Actuary has consistently projected a drop in immigration in both absolute and relative terms from its peak. But unless you are an outright Nativist this makes little long term sense at all. After all if we need future workers to take care of increasingly aged Boomers where better to find them than overseas? Or better among the pool of new workers graduating from American high schools who arrrived here as unaccompanied children?
Now of course there are lots of missing pieces here, so many that even the outlines of this may seem farcial. And maybe I do have a tongue tucked into a cheek and am engaged on a little ‘epater la bourgeousie wingnutte’. Still there is room for WAY out of the box thinking on a lot of issues, and these two among them.