Letters to the Editor

Immigrant Housing Plan for Citizenship is Elitist

I half suspected and still do hope that Neil Thakor’s article on housing was satirical or sarcastic. In last week’s issue, an article entitled “A Housing Plan to Cash in on Immigration” by Thakor advocated a plan to respond to the economic problems by opening the borders to immigrants who can afford to fully buy homes, and granting them citizenship status in the United States.
“Welcome to Elitist America (Non-rich need not apply),” is the sign that would greet immigrants if the rest of the country adopted a “Rich Mexicans Only” policy.
There is absolutely no reason to change immigration procedures based on wealth. I am not arguing that immigration reform is unnecessary; many issues in our complicated citizenship process contribute to the flood of illegals, and even more issues created our economic and housing fallouts, but this marriage of ridiculous solutions cannot be the answer.
I agree that we should increase our immigration process and that on a whole it would help our struggling financial situation; there is plenty of evidence to support greater levels of all types of immigration into the U.S., but that’s not the debate here. Simply, financial discrimination lubricating the gears of the immigration process will not only globally brand America with an even greater elitist stamp than we already are scarred by but also create slippery slopes of morality. Thakor implied that any immigrants who can afford a house in the U.S. are generally more educated and useful to our society, but is this panic-inspired Band-Aid really more important than the immigrants who would be denied in exchange for these others? Can America keep its national integrity if we place family relationships at the back of the reason for visas?
I find it suspicious that a proposal to allow immigrants to essentially purchase American citizenship like an (albeit expensive) commodity through buying a house was co-authored by a real estate builder and developer, and I thought it prudent to point out this obvious source of bias. Not to mention that while the article not-so-subtly implies that the citizenship would be on sale with Mexicans in mind, we should remember that we would have to open American citizenship to all types of foreign bidders. Are we prepared to auction the ientrinsic value of American citizenship to the well-off members of any nation? Personally, I find the idea of American citizenship being whored out for economic reasons repulsive, no matter what the reasons.

Charles Coomber
Second-year Social Ecology Major