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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Immigration Proposal

This is a variation the post "Immigration 2" on 7-6-10.

Contrary to what most people would prefer I think that the first thing to do about the immigration problem is to deal with the source of the problem. The IIUWs (illegal immigrants - undocumented workers) do not come here because it is fun to risk their lives crossing the border. They come for work. Therefore the focus should be on employment not the border. (The border should be secured, but that should be done because of drugs and terrorists not IIUWs.)

This proposal includes "Universal E-verify" which means that unless you are registered with the government as having legal status you cannot work.  To require employers to confirm the legal status of new employees means that the government has to  maintain a system which is universal and easily used by employers (since they will face the penalty for violations). This requires only  that new employees prove their legal status when they take a job. It does not require that they carry “papers please” or any of the silly claptrap that we have heard from Rachel Maddow et al. More importantly new IIUWs will not have any reason to come.

Step two involves taking down those two signs that we have on the border: “help wanted” and “no trespassing”. Replace them with one sign that says “help wanted apply at the front door”. In addition to regular legal immigration (expanded  to include more highly skilled immigrants), the proposal will establish an expanded and accessible “work visa” program. Apply, pass a background check similar to what is done for immigrants and receive a work visa.

With those two things you have dealt with the essence of the long term problem.

Now for the folks who are already here illegally. Currently they may go home and stay for 10 years and then apply for immigration.  This proposal will allow them to stay here with legal status including the right to work.  On the grounds that getting citizenship after you have come into the country illegally should be harder than getting it after you come in legally, the proposal includes a very difficult path from "legal status" to "green card".  It is harder than I would prefer, but it does not seem outrageously tough.

Of course we could just continue what we are doing now and let their employers use these folks to keep wages low and our politicians use their situation to incite our Hispanic citizenry.

1 comment:

  1. The proposal seems so straight forward and simple that one might expect a slap to the forehead followed by “duh”. I suspect, as you suggest, the specter of losing a political football will reduce the odds of any such legislation being passed to a very low order.

    I would support this proposal.