Zero-Based Immigration – An Idea Whose Time Has Come


by Dianne Hermann

I am proposing a solution to America’s immigration problem – I call it Zero-Based Immigration.

Zero-Based Immigration is an idea whose time has come. Much like Zero Population Growth – a demographic balance where the number of people in a specific population does not increase of decrease because of an equal number of births and deaths – Zero-Based Immigration is a demographic balance where the population in America does not increase or decrease because of an equal number of people entering and leaving.

The concept is quite simple. In order for one person to immigrate to America, one person must leave.

Zero-Based Immigration has several benefits.

First, any person who wants to immigrate to the U.S. will have an opportunity to do so. We won’t have to worry about keeping out people who want to come in. They’ll simply take the place of someone who wants to leave the country.

Immigrants know America is a great place to live. Why else are there so many of them trying to get in?

Second, those people who complain about how much they hate America will have an opportunity to leave. Their departure will make room for people who actually want to live here.

All of the Americans who hate our country are more than welcome to leave. They just have to remember that they must trade places with someone who wants to immigrate to America.

Finally, we won’t be inundated with immigrants who take jobs and services away from people who are already here. The benefits and services provided to the person who leaves will simply transfer to the person who enters the country.

This idea is not as novel as you might think.

The online marketplace Airbnb provides accommodations for people who want to stay somewhere else. When a homeowner doesn’t want to stay at home, he or she simply leaves and allows some else to stay there.

Zero-Based Immigration works in a similar way. Americans who don’t want to live here anymore simply allow someone else (an immigrant) to live here and take their place. The only difference is that the American who leaves (emigrates) doesn’t get to come back.

As a public service, I am providing a list of countries with the highest foreign-born populations that accept immigrants: Germany (U.S. troops no longer defend them); Saudi Arabia (they still chop off people’s heads); Russia (Putin for president, again!); United Kingdom (they don’t speak English); United Arab Emirates (you need a license to drink alcohol); Canada (the weather is terrible); Australia (the government took away gun rights); and France (where do I start?).

A few things have to happen for Zero-Based Immigration to work. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) would need to compile a list of Americans who want to leave the country. These people would identify the country to which they want to immigrate. That country would then have to agree to admit them as immigrants.

People who want to immigrate to America would need to complete an online marketplace-style application. They would need to identify the state or region of the country where they to want to live.

A computer would match up the Americans who want to leave (emigrate) and the foreigners who want to come to America (immigrate). Once the match is made, the exchange would take place within six months. Other considerations, like passports and visas, would be taken care of at the time of application.

Think of the advantages! America would get rid of people who complain about how bad things are and don’t want live be here anymore. In addition, America would gain people who love this country and are willing to work. We would clear out people who now work at tearing it down in exchange for people who would make America more successful.

Zero-Based Immigration is a viable solution to the immigration problem that Congress refuses to address. It’s an idea whose time has come.

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