I agree wholeheartedly with Lefrak and Schilling – there are very few problems that can’t be solved by another million immigrants or so.
Lefrak and Schilling suggest giving the right to reside in the US to people who are willing to own property. That takes care of the world’s wealthy.
Another policy prescription that I have argued for in the past has been to give illegal immigrants a path to legalize their status.
The easiest way to do that is to force them to pay a hefty fine/tax bill to justify their staying here – say $10,000 per person (payable over a number of years)
For example, once an undocumented immigrant has paid $10,000 in federal, state and local taxes, as evidenced by their tax returns, have would have the right to apply for a non-immigrant working visa that can be extended based on good behavior. That is $10 billion for every million illegal immigrants, of which I understand there are as many as 15 million, helping to pay for their share of the services they use, and helps to retain some of the remittances that are sent overseas.
My experience is that illegal immigrants would jump at the opportunity to legalize their status, and furthermore, are more likely to become homeowners and, ultimately, responsible citizens.
From talking to them, I believe that their undocumented status leads them to behave less well than if their residence in the US had a legal basis..