Homesteading Detroit

I want to say more about yesterday’s idea for a Detroit Special Immigration Zone but some of the important objections raised are too hard for me to adequately respond to so quickly. In particular, there’s an argument that if Americans are fleeing Detroit because of lack of jobs, simply bringing foreigners into the city will only increase the people:jobs ratio. I have a theoretical argument about why that’s wrong in mind, but I’m trying to do my homework and read up on the issue.

I did, however, want to be clear that I’m not at all proposing to “Sequester Dusky Immigrants In Dying Detroit”. The right way to think about my proposal is that I favor increasing the number of green cards the United States issues, but I’m frustrated by the political obstacles to doing this. It seems to me, however, that if local politicians in a city like Detroit were interested in asking congress to create special “Detroit Visas” for people to live and work in the city over and above the current level of legal immigration that this would lead to an outcome that’s better than the current immigration status quo or the current plans to save Detroit by demolishing it.

The spirit of the proposal is much more along the lines of homesteading. Give people in the developing world an extra opportunity to move to the United States — if they want to — by coming to an area of the country that it seems most Americans prefer to leave.