In the latest Foreign Affairs edition, there is an interesting article advocating a Kindler, Gentler Immigration Policy (subscriber only) by Jagdish Bhagwati and Francisco Rivera – Batiz.

The central tenet is that all top-down immigration acts like the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act invariably fail due to a variety of reasons related to politics and the onerous road to legalization all these acts entail.

Instead the authors advocate a bottoms up approach – where the states essentially compete for immigrant labor  – with unfriendly states losing out to illegal immigrants – and the consequent short fall of labor will change both public perception and business attitudes to draconian laws that are increasingly being adopted by states (mostly in the Southern border states).

Its an interesting read – and certainly something to think about. Also provides a refreshingly lucid point on view about Americans’ conflicting view on immigration. Great read.