As kos pointed out a few weeks ago, support for a path to citizenship for unauthorized/undocumented immigrants rises if the question mentions paying a fine and back taxes. As always, the devil is in the details, so what sort of fine makes sense? This seems like a reasonable question to ask as the Senate takes up immigration reform.
The Gang of Eight proposal includes $500 up front plus another $2,000 over ten years. I have seen people write that it should be more. I have seen comments by Kossacks arguing that there should be no fine.
There are several considerations to be made in deciding the level of fine. How easy do you want a path to citizenship to be? There are those who will want the penalty to be large enough so that it feels like a sufficient punishment for law-breaking. This may mean that you can trade a larger fine for compromises in other parts of an immigration reform bill. How much does it cost to process and document previously undocumented immigration? Should the government seek to use the fine to raise revenue for purposes such as increased border security? Do you want to set the fine based on how many people are expected to apply, managing the growth citizen population through this process?
So, how large should a fine be as part of a path to citizenship in immigration reform?