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 Post Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:24 pm 
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I suspect a fair number of people are in fact deterred from coming by not getting visas and such, and not wanting to risk it. These will be people who have more to lose, though.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:50 am 
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It probably wouldn't change much in the long-run. In the short-term, there would be a huge influx of people who have been sitting on years-(sometimes decades-)long waiting lists, but once that rush finished, it would equalize. During good economic times in the U.S., immigration would increase relative to what the international economy looked like. During bad times, the opposite.

For reference, there has actually been net emigration from the U.S. to Mexico over the past five or so years.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:40 pm 
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I think it would settle at a higher base than before though. If the cost of immigration were reduced to nothing more than the cost of a bus or plane ticket, then you wouldn't any longer have the need to fork over your family's entire life savings to a smuggler and risk your life, and a lot more people could afford to immigrate.

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 Post Posted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:46 pm 
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Admittedly, my statement included an implicit assumption that it would be just as simple and easy to LEAVE the U.S. as it would be to enter. Since other nations do have restrictions on entry, though, and would no doubt continue to do so even if the U.S. removed theirs (in fact, many nations would probably INCREASE those barriers), there would be a net positive impact on immigration into the U.S.

In other words, I think you're right, Kea.

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