The present recession overshadows our unresolved immigration mess. However, be it the stimulus package or the recently passed State Children’s Health Insurance Program — those unsettled immigration issues pop up in the background. Whether we want it or not, we have to address this issue again.
Below, I am presenting for public scrutiny a proposal for immigration reform, which I call the Freedom of Migration Act. I see it as logically coherent, at least much more than any other proposal considered so far in Washington.
I welcome all comments; however, in this instance I am less interested in voices repeating party-line immigration mantra. I challenge readers to find lapses in my reasoning. Please tell me why the Freedom of Migration Act, if implemented, would be bad for the country. I hope that this experience will allow us find the best solution.
1) The concept
a) The free market system should govern immigration.
b) The government should have no power to limit the freedom of Americans to hire foreigners.
c) Commercial agencies should administer and control the flow of foreign workers, for profit.
d) Rules governing migration of foreigners with the purpose of work or settlement in the U.S. should have incorporated provisions allowing government security agencies to monitor potential security threats.
2) The solution
a) The only way that a foreigner could settle in the USA should be by finding employment here.
b) Private employment agencies should, for a fee, manage the recruitment of foreigners, administer background checks, issue ID cards, and keep records of their employment.
c) During the first 5 years of living in the USA, an alien worker should not be entitled to any social benefits available to citizens and permanent residents.
d) After staying in the USA for five years, a foreign worker, his or her spouse, or minor children should be entitled to obtain a status of permanent resident, opening the path to the citizenship.
e) During the first five years of work in the USA, a foreigner should pay income taxes and Social Security taxes like everybody else. Temporary workers that decide to return to the country of origin should have they Social Security taxes refunded upon leaving the USA.
3) Fixing the current mess
a) Both the legislative and executive branches of government need to acknowledge that the current immigration law has been bad from its inception and never was or could be effectively enforced.
b) Legislators need to apologize to the nation and to the illegal immigrants for creating such havoc.
c) No amnesty for illegal aliens. The current immigration law is bad and it needs to be revoked.
d) Illegal immigrants should register their presence in the USA by obtaining a worker’s ID from an employment agency and paying a standard processing fee.
e) Illegal immigrants that could prove that they have stayed here for at least five years should be entitled to obtain a status of permanent resident, opening the path to citizenship.
f) Illegal immigrants registering their presence here should pay their past due taxes, with interest, if that is the case. Penalties for not paying taxes on time should be voided.
g) There should be only one type of visa used for all foreigners working in the U.S. All presently used categories of workers’ visas should be terminated.
h) All family-sponsored immigration should be terminated.
i) All visa lottery programs should be terminated.
j) All currently opened cases of family-sponsored or visa lottery immigration should be honored and resolved on terms equal or better than those in force at the time the petition was filed.
a) Political refuges and other individuals admitted to the U.S. for humanitarian reasons should be assisted by private charitable organizations to register as alien workers and then follow the same path as all other foreigners settling here.
b) Foreigners who are rich enough to live here without working should be allowed to do so.
A version of this text was published by Huffington Post