Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Immigration solutions--Part 2

So, what should be the major components of any effective, comprehensive immigration reform plan? 

Here's what I think.

1.  Establish a clear, efficient guest worker registration plan that would be administered at the border for those who seek entry into the U. S. for jobs, on the job for those already at work in the U. S. and in labor and/or community centers (including non-profit organizations and churches) in major population centers inside the U. S.  Such a plan would not extend amnesty, unless you consider the "pass" it provides employers who have hired undocumented workers already.  The plan would be a way to register workers and eliminate the need to cross the borders under the cover of night or in unsafe cargo vans and trucks.  In short, this or some variation of such a plan must be developed that allows the 12 million plus undocumented immigrants to receive the documentation they need to remain in the country and on the job.  Any future immigrants would be required to register upon entry to the country. 

2.  Secure the southern border by investing the funds necessary to do so.  With registration being the backbone of this new security system, a new culture of documentation would emerge that eliminates fear and secrecy.  Any workable security plan must involve cooperation with Mexico and other nations south of our borders to share real time criminal records and identity documents.  Any deficiency in technical infrastructure must be addressed as a part of the border security plan.  This approach works on our northern border.  There is no reason to think it would not work on our southern border.

3.  Differentiate basic border security related to the movement of honest labor from drug enforcement and national security concerns.  Declare war on drug cartels and government corruption south of the border rather than on innocent persons who seek only a better life for themselves through hard work.  Upgrade intelligence gathering and apply protocols designed to identify potential terrorists and other extremists, a process that should be made easier by the requirement that all workers register and by the almost certain cooperation of legitimate workers. 

4.  Establish a new working relationship with nations south of the border, especially Mexico, to stimulate those national economies in ways that are mutually beneficial.  Included in any plan should be incentives to U. S. corporations who decide to move jobs outside the U. S. to make those moves south to create more jobs inside those nations closest to the U. S.  Included in any plan for economic development in Mexico should be green collar jobs and industries. 

5.  Place current undocumented immigrants who desire U. S. citizenship to "go to the back of the line" behind those who've been playing by the rules back home in the nation of their origins.  However, there would be no requirement that these workers be forced to leave the U. S. or their current employment.

6.  Include passage of the DREAM Act that would provide documentation to young people who were brought to the U. S. while dependent children and who finish high school, maintain good moral character, and go on to seek a college degree or serve in the U. S. Armed Services.  Allowing these young people to remain in the U. S., to work and to contribute to our economy and to enter a path to citizenship, if they so choose, is best for everyone. 

7.  Reclaim the federal responsibility to enforce border process and security from the states who now feel desperate due to federal inaction. 


Jerry said...

Larry, you may be amazed by this, but I actually agree with your solutions. If this plan were put in place, and if, IF, it were enforced, then it would be a great positive. I would add only one more item--that is, subject employers who employ those without documentation to heavy, heavy fines. What would it take to get the more "liberal" folks as well as "conservatives" such as me on board with such a proposal? Good luck!

Mama de Ryan and Zane said...

a logical, workable plan that keeps the dignity of all involved intact.

Anonymous said...

Legalize 20 million illegal immigrants? Just giving these 20 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But it adds 20 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government. Add another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.

Anonymous said...

If the illegals were not potential Democrat voters, they would already be gone.

Anonymous said...

Numerous studies have documented the fact that illegal immigrants are a significant fiscal burden on local communities. Because the burden is related to the low wages earned by this population and that is unlikely to change as long as the earnings do not rise more than inflation, any Congressional amnesty-type action that incorporates these foreign workers and allows or admits additional ones will not only perpetuate the fiscal burden, it will increase it.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates the current local annual costs of illegal immigration from just three program areas — educating the children in public primary and secondary schools, providing medical services in emergency rooms, and incarceration — amount to about $36 billion. If the population of foreign low wage workers is allowed to increase as a result of not effectively denying new illegal immigrants access American jobs, current illegal immigrants are allowed to stay and bring their relatives to join them, and additional low wage workers are allowed into the country in a new guest worker program the costs to local communities will increase. Our estimate is that the annual fiscal costs in 2010 would increase by nearly 70 percent to $61.5 billion for just these same three program areas. The amount would swell by an additional nearly 73 percent to $106.3 billion by 2020.

Illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers about $113 billion a year at the federal, state and local level. The bulk of the costs — some $84.2 billion — are absorbed by state and local governments.
The annual outlay that illegal aliens cost U.S. taxpayers is an average amount per household of $1,117. The fiscal impact per household varies considerably because
the greatest share of the burden falls on state and local taxpayers whose burden depends on the size of the illegal alien population in that locality
Education for the children of illegal aliens constitutes the single largest cost to taxpayers, at an annual price tag of nearly $52 billion. Nearly all of those costs are absorbed by state and local governments.
At the federal level, about one-third of outlays are matched by tax collections from illegal aliens. At the state and local level, an average of less than 5 percent of the public costs associated with illegal immigration is recouped through taxes collected from illegal aliens.
Most illegal aliens do not pay income taxes. Among those who do, much of the revenues collected are refunded to the illegal aliens when they file tax returns. Many are also claiming tax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury.

Anonymous said...

FAIR has been criticized by the International Relations Center as producing "policy rhetoric [that] is often inflammatory, clearly anti-immigrant, and partisan." In 2005, an article by Leonard Zeskind in the political magazine, The American Prospect, called FAIR "the anti-immigration movement’s most powerful institution".

from Wikipedia

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anon 9:23, for providing data to counter the anecdotal arguments often found on this blog. It is simply NOT TRUE that illegal immigrants cover their costs through sales taxes and rent-filtered property taxes.

The closure of hospitals and clinics, the overcrowding of schools, legal/prison expenses, the use of low income services all add up to much more than the sum of taxes collected on illegals.

Plus, we need to figure in the impact on quality in these institutions - what happens to young children with average learning skills when the teacher must provide additional help to those who speak English at a low level or not at all? Each student receives less support. More advanced students can still achieve, but the rest will get less assistance and therefore will learn less. What is the cost of reducing the quality of learning over time? Over 60 years? The same kind of impact is felt on health delivery, police/public safety services, etc.

This is not simply a matter of being unwilling to take care of our neighbors, nor is it an example of xenophobia. There are real costs to illegal immigration and it appears only a few are willing to consider these costs.

Larry James said...

Anon 5:50 and Anon 9:23, the studies you have in mind are not objective. I stand by my original comment. In addition, the presence of immigrants provides stimulus to the national economy. Deport the 12-15MM undocumented immigrants and watch the affect on our economy. See for a discussion of how these immigrants don't cost US jobs.

Then, check this out in response to a typical email claim about the cost of immigrants: