Spafford tackles a largely untouched question in basic income studies: How will a basic income change immigration patterns?  Spafford believes that a basic income will lead to a significant influx of new immigrants and thus the country will likely have to implement tougher immigration laws.  Looking at Europe, those countries with large welfare states often have significant anti-immigrant sentiment.  This is an issue for pro-immigration supporters of a basic income, but Spafford proposes one way to remedy the two policies: a Graduated Basic Income (GBI).  Under a GBI, an immigrant’s basic income would start out at zero in their first year and slowly increase each year until they eventually reach the level of the maximum basic income.  This GBI might deter some of the increased immigration, but still feels unfair to immigrants, so Spafford proposes using the GBI on every citizen starting at 18 years old.  Under this policy all citizens at 18 years old will see their basic incomes increase from nothing to the maximum amount in a set number of years.

Jesse Spafford, “Reconciling Basic Income and Immigration”, Metamorphoses and Deformations, 8 December 2013

About Josh Martin

Josh Martin has written 271 articles.

Josh Martin is a recent graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science where he received an MSc in Social Policy and Planning and wrote his dissertation on the universal basic income as a possible solution to the problems facing Universal Credit in the UK. Prior to LSE, he attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, and is originally from Decorah, Iowa.