A lot of people like to engage in historical counterfactuals – how would things have turned out had some historical event or circumstance gone differently. I, being a policy wonk rather than history buff, prefer policy or political counterfactuals – how would some policy from a different country or a different time go over now?
Today’s interesting counterfactual: how would Americans respond if, say, the US Department of Labor opened a job center in Juárez, Mexico that helped Mexicans legally immigrate to the US, provided job search and placement assistance, and even offered job training for trades needed in the states? Would anti-immigrant forces oppose this on economic fairness and America-first grounds? Or would they applaud such an effort to re-route immigration demand from illegal to legal mechanisms? What about people interested in workforce development stuff here (including TI)? The workforce system in Tulsa could improve, as could the minimal WIA funding. How would workforce advocates feel about investing those scarce resources in Mexican job centers?
BBC News reports that the EU is doing just that, with an “immigration centre” located in the Mali captial of Bamako. Citing the article, the Poverty News Blog says that the center “will offer guidance on legal migration and help with job training and the search for work abroad,” although training is not mentioned in the BBC article. Bamako was chosen because it is central to migration routes.