Bryan Caplan  

Immigration Charity Prospect

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Argentina officially has near-open borders.  At least on paper, you only need an employer or family member to sponsor you.  The country isn't as quite First World, but with per-capita GDP around $15,000, Argentina would be a huge step up for most of the workers of the world.

Question: How hard would it be to set up a cost-effective charity to help sponsor the global poor for immigration to Argentina?  Responses from GiveWell, the broader Effective Altruism community, and Argentina experts are especially welcome.

Inspired in part by Sebastian Nickel's new Libertarian Effective Altruists Facebook group.

P.S. Check out Vipul Naik's post on the prospects for immigration charity.

COMMENTS (7 to date)
Christopher Chang writes:

This would represent a huge step in a better direction for open borders advocacy.

I would consider donating to a charity of this sort.

Duncan Earley writes:

"At least on paper, you only need an employer"

The same is effectively true in Australia. If you have an employer sponsor you can get a visa. You are supposed to be "skilled" but when the list includes thinks like "Mixed Crop Farmer", "Pig Farmer", "Baker" and "ICT Customer Support Officer" you can basically get in as long as someone is willing to employ you.


Martin Krause writes:


Setting up a charity in Argentina is not hard, though it will bureaucratic and you will have to submit forms, certificates and personal information of the founders and board members. There are also different procedures to get a donation in, due to money laundering controls.
I would suggest to have a lawyer helping on this process.
Another option is to base the program in an already existing NGO.
Martin Krause
Professor of Economics
University of Buenos Aires

robert writes:

If Argentina is so terrific, why aren't there more people moving there?

Are they in default?

Don't they have a negative GDP growth rate with 10% inflation?

Would you consider Argentina well governed?

Is there a correlation between between good government and open borders?

What is the correlation between the people in a country, i.e. their culture, education, values, etc., the quality of their government? Are there any causal elements? What is the relationship to between good government and economic growth?

Would you advocate charities that teach economics? Do you feel that Latin America has a different understanding of economics that citizens of the United States? If you would, what type of economics would teach?

Flávio writes:

Argentina would very quickly make immigration more stringent if that idea were implemented.

Mr. Econotarian writes:

So Argentina has some differences in opinion with their bondholders ;)

Argentina's recent GDP growth rate & unemployment rate has been:

2009: -0.7%, 8.7%
2010: 9.4%, 7.8%
2011: 8.6%, 7.2%
2012: 1.0%, 7.2%
2013: 3.0%, 7.1%

That beats France, and compares with many EU counties and even the US.

Yet the Index of Economic Freedom says:

Over the 20-year history of the Index, Argentina’s economic freedom has plunged to “repressed” status. With its overall score dropping by 23.4 points, the once “mostly free” economy has registered the second most severe score decline since the Index began measuring economic freedom. Eight of the 10 economic freedoms have deteriorated because of policies that include harsh capital controls, price fixing, restrictions on imports, and a series of nationalizations.

The state’s interference in the Argentine economy has grown substantially since 2003, accelerating the erosion of economic freedom. Institutional shortcomings continue to undermine the foundations for lasting economic development. The judicial system has become more vulnerable to political interference, and corruption is prevalent. Regulatory pressure on the private sector has continued to rise, with populist spending measures and price controls further distorting markets.

Chris Kerr writes:

This wouldn't even necessarily need to be a charity. If people from the developing world are willing to pay several thousand dollars to try to immigrate to the US or Europe, with the risks of being deported or even dying en route, it should be possible to charge a cheaper price to get people to Argentina and still turn a profit.

If I had better qualifications than my one year of high school Spanish with an Argentinian teacher, I would try to start such a business myself.

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