Bill Quick modestly proposes a solution to both illegal immigration and Detroit’s insolvency:
Let’s roast two birds with one stone. Are you an illegal alien? Would you like to become a legal resident? Fine. All you have to do is emigrate to Detroit, pledge never to join a union, and agree not to accept any welfare or other government support payments whatsoever. In turn, Detroit will become a free economic zone with no federal, state, or local taxes, and no government regulations.
This might even encourage some of the 700,000 remaining residents to stick around, assuming the deal was offered to them.
How would this work? Cutting off benefits in that zone could be seen as a violation of equal protection; but they’re not technically being cut off, only being refused by the would-be beneficiaries. I’ve seen thinner hairs than that being split. (It is assumed for purposes of illustration that reneging on that deal would presumably, once the benefits application was received, get you a one-way trip back to wherever.) And truth be told, I like the idea of this purely as an experiment. Surely it can’t be any worse than what’s in Detroit now.
See also this Michael Bloomberg proposal.