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Monday, June 6, 2011

US Immigration Reform: Bad Myths and Bad Methods

Level of delusion at the average WalMart
Almost all of the Republican candidates for 2012, seem to think that rallying around their vastly incorrect assumptions on Illegal Immigration is a point worth making as they head into a shellacking of their own.

Meanwhile, Obama is oiling his own Thin Lizzy, getting ready for a monster truck showdown, despite the Democrats' best attempts to derail him with their ridiculous counter assumptions on the problem with Jose and Juanita.

To lay the groundwork for a solution I think will work, let's take an honest look at the problem and get a reality check.

By best estimates, there are between 11 million and as many as 20 million illegal immigrants in the US. The best estimates aren't all that good though, because if someone got here illegally, that means no one saw them, and if no one saw them, how could they count them?

But before we get to the numbers, let us be totally clear that in the age of international terrorism, the fact that the US geographical borders are this porous is an absolute disgrace. Given that the US Border Patrol is responsible for "Patrolling" the "US Border", the entire leadership and senior staff needs to be fired for simply not doing their job.

That is the first harsh reality of this issue. If you have the responsibility of doing something, and for any reason (such as resources or night vision goggles or more advanced border surveillance equipment) you can't, you need to quit or get the attention of your boss(es). The current management staff at the US Border Patrol having not resigned en-masse, to draw attention to the problem for years, proves one endemic problem is the staff. And that is the basis of my suggestion to sack them all.

The other reality is that want as we might, it is logistically impossible to capture, process, and deport 11 million people. At best, it is currently possible to process 100,000 people per year. At this rate it would take over 100 years to deport everyone. 200 years, if there are really 20 million. At best, doubling the effort, would double that. So in 55-100 years, depending on how may there are, the last illegal would be sent back.

So I hope I have successfully illustrated that mass deportation is out. Plus it costs even more money to deport someone, and no one is willing to fork out the extra cash it would take to accelerate deportation.

The other misassumption being loosely bandied about by the right is that the illegal immigrants are an unfair drain on over tasked and under funded local law enforcement, social services, and the health care system.

Most illegal immigrants aren't here for free services. They are here to work. That means they have the money to pay for what they need. And they don't have the time to risk getting sick so they can't work. Studies have in fact shown that the average illegal immigrant is far healthier than the average American.

Since the jails and prisons are not over flowing with illegal criminals, the numbers are also in favor of the true profile of an illegal immigrant as being largely law abiding. Again, so that their income and work is uninterrupted. Because, again, they are here to work, not free-load.

Another incorrect assumption is that the fault of hiring illegal immigrants must be placed at the feet of employers. And that somehow it is their fault for hiring people without the proper papers, specifically so they can pay them "off the grid" or super low wages to exploit them.


If you have been to your local flea market or look online, you can get any kind of real looking fake ID you need in minutes, and an even more convincing fake social security number, is even easier. Submit that to ANY employer along with the application which is conveniently printed in Spanish nowadays, and getting hired on "legally meeting all employment requirements", is an all too simple matter.

While Illegal immigrants might be here illegally and working with fake paperwork, they are in fact following ALL of the rest of the rules of this civilized society. Their employers simply aren't all "in on the scam".

So, if it acts like a Duck, and quacks like a Duck...


Yes, you got it! Employers who think they are employing Jose legally, who's been with the company for 7 years now and has never missed a day, and has never complained once, whose taxes have been withheld correctly, are being applied to his fake social security number, and sent in every pay period, to state and federal religiously.

Now multiply that by 11-20 million. Even if half are processed correctly, that's a lot of tax revenue these so called "moochers" are shelling out.

So, here's the deal. Or my suggestion.

Before I say Amnes... and you cut me off, and think you know what I am going to suggest based on your spoiled by Republicans definition of what Amnesty has traditionally meant, get a grip and shut up for minute, and let me finish.

We don't offer anyone Amnesty. (See?)

We merely re-process them as Temporary or Guest workers. For a Fee. Which they must pay.

The fee covers verifying and converting their current status, and documenting their country of origin, demographics, and so on, as well as current place of residence and phone number(s). This will result in corrections to their current identification paperwork, and their correct Social Security numbers.

Once this is done, they will be entitled to work legally in the US for a duration that can be renewed. Again with a fee. If they want to become residents and follow the path to full citizenship, they can do so after completing the residency requirements.

But if they do not want to change citizenship, they can also choose to do so and simply renew their guest worker status, every year by paying the fee to re-process.

In this way, we get all the good workers we want. They pay to be processed. And we keep the best as citizens.

The fee? It should be a number roughly double the actual costs of processing the necessary list of things that need to be checked out, given we are living in an era of international terrorism. Plus enough to cover health care and any other "social costs" the various lobbyists want to add. Add to that a nice flat "Guest worker" income tax rate of 20%, and you've got yourself a nice 11-20 million multiplier effect.

Or, I'll say roughly $2500.

A year.


Pay that, keep your nose and criminal record clean, and I honestly don't care where you come from. Lady Liberty and the rest of us should stand up, applaud and salute you and say, "Welcome the the USA!"

"Now get back to work!"

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