Let s make immigrants pay to come to Britain

Prof. Gary Becker writes for The Times on immigration

Immigration has enriched Britain. Most immigrants bring with them a work ethic, skills and a willingness to do the unpopular jobs. But there is a drawback too: some immigrants are attracted by the NHS, free schools and the largesse of the welfare state. So how do we ensure that immigrants won’t be a burden on the British taxpayer? How do we remove the problem of “free riding”?

The immigration rules have been tightened, yet immigration and anti-immigrant antipathy has increased. Labour put in place a quota system, and the Tories have argued for a cap on immigrants from outside the EU. But there is a much better solution to ensuring that immigrants don’t enjoy a free ride: Western countries should sell the right to immigrate.

Nations such as the United States and Britain, which have long queues of people trying to enter, could charge, say, $50,000 or £34,000 for the right to migrate. If you have the money, then you should be allowed in.

The rest of this article can be read on The Times website.