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Once the borders are Secure, then reform Immigration
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, March 30, 2006

As a continuation to the post below but one I didn't want to mix with the "border control first message", we can now talk about immigration reform.

Most of those pushing reform are talking about some sort of guest worker program. Once we secure the border I think that's a fine idea, if we've put a program in place where we can identify the guest workers, know where they're going and have a way to ensure they're what they claim to be, i.e. guest workers. To me guests behave according to the rules (laws) of the host's house and they don't plan on taking up residence with the host. And the word worker means they have a job before they ever get here.

So how to do that.

Well, reading Sister Todjah's blog last night, I ran across this as an interesting approach to a guest worker program put forward by a friend of hers who is a retired border patrol supervisor. If we agree a guest worker program is necessary, the sort of program outlined here makes some sense in theory. Don't get all wrapped up in the details, but consider how it's structured to ensure that the workers involved are truly "guests" who plan on returning home at the conclusion of their stays:
Here is the only way to make the guest worker program work.

The 1st order of business is to get Congress serious about stopping this flow. To actually do it will require several things to happen at once. There has to be a Guest Worker program. It should be run by the Homeland Security and would have several steps.

* The employer would place an order for the number of workers he would need for the year. He would guarantee to provide Housing, Medical and a legal wage. He would also withhold FICA and income taxes. 50% of the worker’s net wages would be held in an escrow account and paid to the worker upon his return to Mexico at the end of his contract.

* All contracts would be issued in Mexico. The Homeland Security team would have their offices in Mexico (U.S. Consulates could be used) and would screen all applicants for contract for health problems or a criminal record. No family members would be allowed to enter the United States as dependents of the worker. A spouse could have her own contract but could not bring any children.

* Illegals presently working in the United States could have their employer request that they be given a contract under the new program, but they would have to return to Mexico to make application for the contract. (Self-deportation.)

* All contracts would be for one year or less and would have to be renewed in Mexico.

* Enact laws requiring severe mandatory fines ($5000 per alien) for hiring an illegal alien outside of the Guest Worker Program and aggressively enforce them.

If all of these things happened:

* The job market for illegals would be dried up and they would return to Mexico.

* The employers would have the labor they need.

* The worker’s would have decent wages, housing and medical benefits.

* City, County and State governments would be relieved of huge unfunded demands on their infrastructure.

* The workers would return home at the end of their contract to get paid the 50% of their wages in the escrow account.
The obvious problem here would be execution. A man or woman who need to work to feed their family isn't going to wait 6 mos or a year to be given permission to work in the US. If the wait is that long, they're going to try other means. So to make something like this work we end up depending on a bureaucracy to execute it. The bureaucracy could be the achilles heel to this sort of program.

But I like the idea of basing any guest worker program in Mexico and only accepting applications for work in the US in Mexico.

I have to admit a real struggle here with my libertarian instincts. We talk about always coming down on the side of less intrusion. But intrusion comes in many forms, not all of them governmental. I frankly find the intrusion of unassimmilated, largely unskilled and illegal immigrants to have quite an intrusive effect. And a program like that above, while obviously bureaucratic, is less intrusive in relative terms (it is based in Mexico and helps control the flow of foreign workers) than the threat of unchecked illegal immigration.
 
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Comments
Can someone please explain to me why we need to import half a million poorly educated low skilled workers into this country. I even heard that Diane Feinstein
of California has asked for an additional 1.5 million workers be imported to work in the fields of California and elsewhere. Why on earth would we import nearly two million people from a third world country to live and eventually be amnestied in another 10 years time. This is madness!!!!
 
Written By: Radical Centrist
URL: http://
I like the proposed plan, it does TWO things, and a plan that accomplishes a number of goals is elegant...It grants a right to work, whilst simultaneously reducing the demand for work. It attacks both both supply and demand! It adds a barrier to entry to the market reducing supply, but it also reduces demand by requiring wages and taxes be paid. Now I can’t hire a sub rosa dry waller to work at $9 an hour, but would have to pay ~$15 an hour. Do I really need more dry wallers or a better method for drywalling? I freely admit the line, "Now I can’t hire..." is a bit idealistic, I guess a better phrase is "I am less apt to hire..." depending on the level of enforcement and the penalties for violation.

So really the guest worker plan, here proposed, IS a part of immigration control, a supplement to border control as it works to reduce the pressure on the border. The penalties and enforcement angle need to be examined, closely, AND the length of time in Mexico to get in needs to be very short, otherwise peole will just cross the border, as McQ has suggested.

I might suggest that, like airport security at one time, that the bureaucracy be funded by private consortia with only the final background and criminal checks performed by the Federal Government. We might try, even, to run a Federal Personnel pilot program on this, performance bonusses and the like on the speed AND accuracy of the checks performed. Do a your job, draw a salary, do a good job, get a bonus, do a GREAT job get a GREAT bonus, fail to perform, get fired or at least transferred to the immigrant control station in McMurdo Sound. DHS will move glacially. It’s better for them to say "NO" than to allow Mohamet Atta into the US. A private firm has an incentive to move more quickly.

Finally, something I’ve seen bruited here but never mentioned, but I may have missed it. Is the effect of the EMMIGRATION on Mexico. Yes Mexico is exporting their violent criminals, so it seems to the US (and NO I don’t mean to imply or state that the vast majority immigrants, legal or otherwise are criminals) and that makes Mexico a better place. However, they are also exporting their boldest and brightest to America. Anyone willing to risk death crossing the desert and willing to pay a coyote a high fee for the right to come to America, anyone willing to risk prison and more likely exploitation, to come to America, MIGHT be someone Mexico might like to keep. Every future entreprenuer that Mexico EXPORTS to the US diminishes Mexico, a tiny amount. But over 11 million Bill Gates or Apu’s have left Mexico, that is a huge pool of talent and drive that Mexico has lost.

It might behoove the Administration to make this point to any Mexican
Opposition
parties. The ruling party benefits, in the short-run, by the status quo, but opposition parties might take it to heart as a way to blast the ruling party for "squandering Mexico’s people" on El Norte. That Fox is collaborating with the rabiblanco’s to denude Mexico of its people, all to the benefit of the United States, a little benefit to Mexico. Just a thought.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
If you’re not going to listen to your Libertarian instincts, listen to your capitalist instincts. There is nothing special about labor capital; our economy will benefit from the free flow of labor just as it benefits from the free flow of money and goods.

We should simply find out what the cayotes charge to smuggle someone across the border and then charge half that figure at the border for permission to live and work in the US for two years. It’s important to understand that this access should be unlimited, because it’s the current limits that have caused this problem in the first place.

We can then issue those who pay the admission fee a Guest Worker ID at the border that they can use to open bank accounts, get driver’s licenses, etc., you know, activities that will generally allow us to track them. After order is restored at the border with a policy that’s actually consistent with reality, we can then pass harsher penalties for illegals. Plus, it will have the additional benefit of making the policing of our borders possible again; it’s a lot easier to detect and apprehend a border jumper when he’s not accompanied by hundreds or thousands of others.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Peter, it has moved beyond Libertarian appeals to economics, though the substitution of LABOUR for Capital seems a bit odd in a Capitalistic society, it’s about assimilation and culture. America is an idea. A great idea, and an idea anyone can participate in, if as the Economist notes, you accept the ideals of the European Enlightenment. America is more than a place to work or an economy. And if illegal immigration swamps the nation or bankrupts border states with welfare/social demands, then the economy dies too.

Peter, you are an example of why Libertarians are doomed to a long minority status. You guys are anti-Marxists. To a Marxist everything was about "Class" and the "class struggle." You guys are no different, everything is money or economics. And society is much more multi-dimensional than that. And until Libertarians/libertairns can grasp that the policy proscriptions will fall on deaf ears. As I say, you’re anti-Marxists, but that doesn’t make you any more appealing, just more correct in certain areas.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I’m with Peter on this one.

McQ, I totally agree that we need to secure our borders and that illegal immigration causes huge problem. I also agree that we need to secure borders first, and reform immigration later.

However, why restrict legal immigration that much? We could probably incorporate a resonably large number of legal immigrants each year, even unskilled ones. (Less that the current number of illegals, but more than a "guest" program.) The key in immigration has always been that the first generation is generally unskilled, but the second incorporates and becomes part of the culture and also gains much higher skills from having the opportunity.

The Mexican culture is already a large part of the southwest, and for the most part pleasantly so. I agree that we need to ensure that assimilation occurs, not in the "destroy their native culture" sense, but in the same sense that the previous waves of immigrant bought into the American ideal, the current wave needs to as well. But I don’t think that will be nearly as much of a problem once the immigrants aren’t forced to hide anymore, and will be able to interact with the native culture more and actually join as part of it.

Eventually, Mexican becomes another part of American culture and we have huge arguments about some other ethnicity immigrating. Heck, Cinco de Mayo is already celebrated, even though most Americans don’t have a clue what it’s for. (For the record, it’s independance from France.)

The problem isn’t the immigration. The problem is the ILLEGAL immigration.
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
Why set up in Mexico? What superior claim on the US’s low-paying jobs do our Spanish-speaking speaking neighbors to the south have over our English-speaking allies in India, Pakistan, or Zimbabwe — or over Porteguese-speaking Brazilians, for that matter? Or over French or Vietnamese speaking refugees still suffering oppression after John Kerry and John McCain arranged for them to be repatriated from refugee camps in Thailand back to the mercies of Hanoi?

And then, why "guest workers" at all? If employers agree to pay that wage and benefits package to a willing worker — why not a willing worker who wants to pursue the American Dream as an assimilated soon-to-be citizen? Somebody who literally "buys in" to the Dream — investing his sweat here to buy a house (and pay property taxes) and raise his kids. Yeah, localities tend to set property tax rates too low to recover the costs of local city services. Do the idiocies of cities then drive federal policy?

Why not use federal policy to drive federal objectives? Any Cuban, any Venezualean, any Iranian with the competence to escape from enemy custody and gamble his fortunes in the American marketplace not only improves our economy but degrade that of our adversaries. Think about the year prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall — all the East German "tourist" with exit visas to Hungary or Poland, thence to Austria, and finally to freedom in the West, where they were promised citizenship and help getting a job. East Germany’s economy was bleeding from a thousand cuts and it was generous immigration policy, more than any weapon, that inflicted the wound. This is current decades-old policy with Cuba — are we to treat Mexico, then, as an ENEMY; to be so bled?

 
Written By: pouncer
URL: http://
Does it bother anyone that this puts the government right in the middle of an employers hiring decision? They become a monopoly headhunter / temp agency. I’m sorry, as a libertarian, I feel that business is best fit to pick who it employs. Government doesn’t have a good track record in employment screening.
 
Written By: cindy bravo
URL: http://
this propsal i can not read completely, it’s sound like war act to surrendered country . also it is not easy as someone think solve this situation i am one of those poor baldest unenducated guy who came from oversea stayed over my visa ,by the way i almost graduated my college
before decided to head ,united states. please do not offend my words following you like it or not everybody migrated in this country except indians period. only thing seperated from citizen and me is you born here with rightiousness,i am not . i want to mention not everyone is same you watch on tv heard on radio. i always like america because you have oppurrunity to fullfill your lifetime goals 5 times faster then i could do in my own country .i’ve got one life to live. i do not want waste it. also it issue is not only mexicans there are people from all over the world whose seeking american dream. i think legistlators really need to reform immigration law better or worse .for example my friend came to usa 2 years ago who won greencard lottery now can not bring his family . they have to wait their turn ,which likely about 10 years. ha
who is willing to wait that long that you going to prove yourself you going to be decent citizen over seperation from his wife and child. so you showing them democracy no way jose i think i am luckier then my fellow friend even though i do not have permanent residency i want to come out of this shadow contribute to american sociaty
that are really good me since i arrived united states i know broke the law and i willing to pay a fine according to mckain-kennedy bill . i support these fine jentlemen’s bill . they might give us chance . it is may be most historical moment for americans and immigrants , please do not forget this country built upon immigrants it will be it’s biigest melting pot ever since founded something 400 years ago
long live america god bless america
 
Written By: AUGG
URL: http://
I’m with Pouncer. It seems as if illegal Central American immigrants are laying special claim to our nation’s bottom-rung jobs. If 2,000,000 Norwegians, Poles and Frenchmen were to demand parity with Mexico’s illegal emmissaries, it might change some minds.

The entire "guest worker" debate inflames me because it is predicated on the rascist fallacy which pretends that Illegal immigrants do the jobs American’s won’t do.

To illustrate my point, let’s amend the bromide slightly to read: illegal brown (especially Mexican) immigrants do the jobs that (spoiled) white Americans won’t do. Now that, I think, is the real sentiment behind the bromide.

It is classist, rascist, anachronistic and wrong. And I resent it.

It’s classist because it recycles class war-fare rhetoric with the intention of drawing distinctions between people with different annual earnings for political ends. It’s racist because it reinforces faddish stereotypes of racial oppression and Yankee privilege that dovetail perfectly with the current global-progressive narrative. And it’s wrong because it just ain’t true: illegal immigrants do not do the jobs American’s won’t do. They take whatever jobs they can get, and compete with legal Americans for them.

It’s anachronistic because in today’s facile economy, most successful Americans I know - of all colors and backgrounds - don’t just work one job, and often the multiple "jobs" that we take utilize vastly different skill sets or physical abilities. My sister (Irish-German background) is a partime janitor, and full-time Mom. She says she enjoys the physical work of cleaning, and it puts shoes on my nieces’ feet. I dig ditches and lay irrigation pipe, plant trees, and dig trenches.

I wonder, as I hand a bag of Doritos to a homeless guy under the freeway, just who are these Americans that some think are too good to swing a chainsaw, irrigate an orchard, or clean an office building? I don’t know any of them.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
also i woild like to add few more things into my opinion i pay my taxes of federal and state
social security which unlikely i would use or have benefit from that i am not intending live here rest of my live unless i earn citizenship
but i think am going back my country somewhere around my fifties if make it over there
speaking of taxes social security people like me contributing to american economy and infrastucture eventhough i have no right to vote even come closer to this disscusion when state
authorities ask from voters to their approvel to build new highway to build new stadium public renowal of public transportation i contribute to these kind of priject automatically buying goods except foods .i think state authorities whether they like us or not count on us. i think when authorities propse these kind of project it will be based on how many tax payers in that state
they can collect money from tax payers including citizens and immigrants like me . i do not how many how many tax payers just like me? anyway i assume it is win win situation for americans
mckain for president
sincerly yours
 
Written By: AUGG
URL: http://
Reading through all the comments made today, I marveled at the new ideas and thoughts that people are putting out there for consideration. Bravo to the thinkers. Some are good some are not but at least most are thinking with a "good heart" and without the prejudice. Makes me proud to be in a land where generousity of spirit is alive!
 
Written By: G. L. Roberts
URL: http://
Joe!

I live in Texas where we have million after million of perfectly assimilated folks of hispanic origin, thank you very much. And these folks that are coming over now aren’t coming over as colonists to disrupt our culture and establish theirs, they are coming over for reasons regarding ECONOMICS, pure and simple. The extent to which they haven’t assimilated are mainly due to two factors: 1. we’ve made it illegal for them to do so, and 2. most of them coming over are sojourner workers having no desire to stay here permanently.

What p*sses me off so much about the sudden national attention this issue is getting is that all the arguments being put forth are Californian. Anti-Mexicanism is a California disease, an attempt by Californians to protect their precious, precious welfare state. I don’t want my (and every other American’s) cost of living and taxes going up just so Californians can get a few more years of "free" services from their utterly unsustainable welfare state.

Oh, and what pouncer said, big time. Everyone read it again.

And AUGG:
only thing seperated from citizen and me is you born here with rightiousness,i am not
Well said, sir, well said.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
And one more thing:
it has moved beyond Libertarian appeals to economics, though the substitution of LABOUR for Capital seems a bit odd in a Capitalistic society
The idea that labor and capital are different entities is a wholly Marxian concept. Actual capitalists understand that labor is simply another type of capital.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Peter, you are typically Libertarian. You seem to come from the belief that the Welfare State will just "go away"... it won’t it WILL COLLAPSE but that’s different from going away. Libertarians seem to think that an influx of people will ultimately reform the system, and it will. In the same sense that the Reussian or French Revolutions changed their societies... But I’d ind of like to REFORM not destroy the existing structure.

And as I understand it, Peter, the are a number of hospitals in Texas closing under the pressure of immigrant influx. Again, it seems you think that if enough pressure is applied to the "Nanny State" that it will go away or that the resultant status quo ante will be better. I am not so sanguine.

And finally, you know IF the people in CA are getting "freebies" AND their economy can sustain it, more power to them. It’s not very Libertarian, but it is human.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
G.L. Roberts,
Makes me proud to be in a land where generousity of spirit is alive!
A lack of generosity has never been an American problem. It’s our talking classes’ tendancy to politicize our citizens’ generosity that has been.

BTW: The space-bar is the New Frontier! Space.....out. I stared into the blankness and I saw......!
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
"The obvious problem here would be execution. A man or woman who need to work to feed their family isn’t going to wait 6 mos or a year to be given permission to work in the US."

It’s not that they can’t find work to feed their families in Mexico, but that the work up here pays so much more.

BTW, we don’t need to only use Mexicans for this program, we could fly in Bangladeshis, Thai, Indonesians, whatever.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
The Democrats security plan call for .. Immediately implement the recommendations of
the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission
including securing national borders, ports, airports
and mass transit systems.


Now they just have to square this with immigration policy and a mere buck or so later they have a cup of coffee.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
There seems to be one glaring problem with a guest worker program that I have never seen addressed. What happens when a guest worker has a child while he/she is here in the U.S. or they get married to someone here? When their guest worker period expires and they are supposed to go back to Mexico, they will argue that it’s cruel to force a parent to leave when their child is a citizen, we are splitting up families etc.

Is the plan that every guest worker will become a citizen after a certain number of years in the program? If so, then it would be an amnesty program for the 11 million illegals already here. The guest worker program would address national security issues, but it won’t address what Robert Samuelson characterized as the importation of poverty into the U.S. Guest workers will still need health care, etc.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://www.qando.net
In Taiwan, if a guest worker gets pregnant they are sent home immediately. I’m not sure the same policy would be allowed in the USA though.

If the other parent were a Taiwanese of course they could come back as a spouse.

I heard a funny story of one Taiwanese family who had an Indonesian maid. Hearing all the horror stories (mainly true) they limited her to leaving the house only to throw out the trash. That would be about 5 minutes a day. She still managed to get pregnant.

Another recent story was the policeman who had been shot and paralyzed, basically becoming a vegetable. The family hired a Vietnamese caregiver. Later on they caught her getting it on with her patient, who despite being paralyzed, she claimed started the whole thing.

Other typical problems with large amounts of guest workers can be they get bored and you start having inter-ethnic fights and riots..like Thai vs. Filipino, etc.

The final, feel-good story about guest workers in Taiwan: a Thai couple played the very first Taiwan lotto using their passport numbers. Since they had been issued together sequentially, there were very similar.

The couple won first and second prize for the lottery, becoming instant multi-millionairs.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
The African-American unemployment rate is about 10%, I think. It seems like only yesterday that Jesse Jackson et al. were pontificating about how blacks are trapped in those low-paying jobs that white Americans won’t do. Evidently African-Americans have emulated George Jefferson, and "moved on up". Now, as Vicente Fox said, even they won’t do those jobs anymore. So who are all those people using the "safety net" and food banks?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
it is difficult task to achieve to remove mass of people from us
i am just wonder 11 million undocumented immigrants in us . i’ve got
driver license, social security card issued by govermental agencies
during my visa was valid . am i included thsese people or are there more than
than pew estimated ( i think pew is some kind of hispanic organization)
i wanna hear more opinion from people who come from other than mexico or south america i am sorry i do not attempt to ignore these people without theme there would not be such big wave against house bill why am i want hear from other people are we have something different then some typical story about mexico
why employers taking advantage of these people are seemed to me is
most of them not even graduated high school eventually. for example
when i started on my current job there were mexicans there which do not speak english hardly count things correctly after year i became supervisor of those guys after that i transferred to sales now i am doing purchasing which is more likely desk job but my fellow mexicans still there where they were 5 years ago there is little bit mixed concern if i were senator whatever who can change someone’s life i would not dare to give all illegals same legal right
but what can i say i am one of those.
also i wanna say one thing about tancredo i never seen politician like him before. I he trying to be tough wild wild west cowboy type guy? just curiousity is tancredo spanish name?
 
Written By: AUGG
URL: http://
to the idiot who said "poorly educated"
you are the one who is showing to everyone here how much of an ignorance you are. You are stereotyping, thinking all of them are the same. Have you ever been in a undeveloped country? just to let you know, cause you are a complete ignorant. Underdeveloped country have universities, educated people , professionals just like everyone else. Part of this community comes to the states as your ancestor did for better opportunites. They are unable to come with visas because they don’t have money.

You are an idiot, know a topic better and speak with respect. You talk about undocumented immigrants in such a hateful manner and you gain no supporters.
I can see you are just a racist. You aren’t worth an argument. Know both sides first and then discuss it with respect if you want respect from everyone else.
 
Written By: GR
URL: http://

 
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