President Trump could end the shutdown and fix illegal immigration with a tweet like the one below.
This statement is entirely feasible. Market-based visas would generate net $30 bn to the Treasury annually -- more than enough to build the wall every year. And as it would provide on-demand access for Mexican migrant labor to the US market (for a hefty fee), the Mexican government would essentially be forced to cave to associated US demands, which could include partial funding for a wall.
Of course, the entire point of market-based visas is to close the border without a wall, but if conservatives want a wall, illegal immigrants are the obvious source of funds. Indeed, we forecast that approximately 400,000 illegal immigrants will make it successfully over into the US this year, even as the New York Times just this week reported that coyotes are charging $7,000 / person to guide migrants across the border. Do the math, and Trump could set up an admissions booth in Tijuana and generate nearly $3 bn from just those migrants who will successfully enter the US through the unsecured border this year anyway, with the difference that migrants would pay the US government instead of the cartels.
That the President is serious about tackling illegal immigration is laudable. On the other hand, shutting down the government for a wall that neither a majority of the public or Congress wants is likely to hand the President a stinging defeat. He's working on the right topic, but with the wrong approach.
With the right approach -- market-based visas -- the President could chalk up a much-needed win by ending the shutdown and focusing on a policy most Americans will support. A Trump tweet is a good place to start.