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Why Not Make The Wealthy Pay For Immigrant Crime?
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November 18, 2010, 07:00 PM
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The investigation of the robbery of Columbia Sportswear Chairwoman Gert Boyle has revealed she was the target of a kidnapping plot.

The Oregonian reports that one of the three men arrested in the Nov. 10 robbery told police he planned to kidnap her in exchange for $20,000 ransom.

Boyle was confronted by a man with a handgun outside her West Linn home but was able to trigger a silent alarm. The man fled when police arrived.

Three Honduran immigrants, all from the Beaverton area, are being held on charges including burglary, robbery, coercion, assault and kidnapping.

[Robbery of Columbia Sportswear chairwoman Boyle was part of kidnapping plot, police say, Associated Press, November 17 2010]

Clearly both legal and illegal immigration have direct and indirect effects on US crime rates. What should be done?

Investors, employers and landlords all knowingly facilitate illegal immigration. Why shouldn`t they be regarded as accomplices as crimes committed by legal and illegal immigrants whom they have helped to stay in the US?

If an illegal immigrants commit crimes, the property of their employers, landlords and the banks that invest in them could simply be confiscated to provide restitution to the victims.

This is something that states might try. It wouldn`t involve expecting police to validate immigration status—except when a crime is committed.

I suspect employers and landlords would get very careful about validating documents—and demand some type of good ID.

We`d also see some kind of insurance coverage emerge, as we have with workplace related safety issues.

Why shouldn`t immigrants, temporary workers and visitors to the US be required to purchase insurance policies that protect victims of crimes by non-citizens? Insurance companies would quickly figure out just what types of folks are most likely to commit serious crimes.

This strategy would encourage immigration from low crime areas—and would allow labor markets in the US to function more efficiently—without the wealthy passing costs on to the American public, as they do now.