Monday, December 17, 2007

Take the Money and Run to Punjab and Back

England is trying something a little outside the box to decrease the number of immigrants in the country, paying them to return to their home country. As described in this article, the British government is providing free plane tickets and cash incentives of £500 ($1000) when the immigrant gets on the plane, and £500 ($1000) when they return to help start a business. The government points out this is cheaper then £11,000 on average it costs to forcibly deport someone.

The problem is that people are gamin the system from the article “… asylum seekers were playing the system. I met several asylum seekers who had applied for the IOM’s financial assistance programme and were already planning their return to Britain once they got their business established in their country of origin.”

This type of program would seem to have little potential in the United States particularly for Mexican migrants, since about ½ of migrants to the US return to Mexico anyways within the year and there is lots of going back and forth between the border.

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