Professor Gary Becker will say that it would be up to individual governments to set a price, adding that a charge of $50,000 (£34,000) per immigrant could generate $50bn a year in the US.The Telegraph's re-calculations from Becker's figures do not make sense if the Law of Demand holds. Once you raise the price of immigration (from $0 to $50,000), fewer immigrants will enter the country legally. Thus, the revenue to the government is strictly less than the number of immigrants times the entry price.
The same sum could generate about £17bn a year in Britain, based on Office for National Statistics data which showed 503,000 immigrants arrived between October 2008 and September 2009.
This policy may have two additional effects: 1) it may increase the number of illegal immigrants and 2) it may reduce the amount of discrimination against members of large immigrant minorities. The first point is simply because the cost of legal entry has increased, so some who were willing to go through the legal system before will be unwilling to do so now. They may instead substitute into illegal immigration. One positive spillover to illegal immigrants, however, will be that the perception of immigrants will improve, as Becker notes:
He said the programme would also reduce opposition to immigration, by eliminating the sense that immigrants were getting "a free ride"Because it will be difficult to distinguish those getting a free ride from those not doing so, the reputation of all immigrants (legal or not) will improve.