A THREE-POINT, COMMON-SENSE APPROACH
1. SECURE THE BORDERS
The starting point for any discussion of immigration reform must be stronger border enforcement. A secure nation is every citizen’s right. Both Democrats and Republicans agree law enforcement resources should be maximized to protect our national security and safeguard against criminal activity through whatever means are necessary, including deploying more National Guard troops along the borders and completing a physical and/or technological fence using the latest equipment. Security methods should be determined by border security professionals, not politicians.
2. GUEST WORKER PROGRAM ALLOWING IMMIGRANTS TO WORK HERE LEGALLY
The United States should utilize free market principles to meet the labor demands of certain American business by allowing temporary immigrant labor to legally enter as part of a guest worker program. The program would also allow current undocumented workers to “transition” to legal guest worker status, and after some period of time and the completion of additional requirements such as English proficiency, guest workers would be eligible for a pathway to legal residency. This program is independent of the citizenship process and could be established as follows:
- Applicants must be 18 years or older, pass a criminal background check and provide proof of employment or impending employment.
- Guest workers’ personal information will be stored in tamper-proof smart cards that allow businesses and law enforcement to instantly know a workers’ status.
- Guest workers would not be eligible for Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and other entitlement programs above and beyond the most basic services already required by law.
- Workers transitioning from undocumented status to guest worker status must pay a fee, processing fees, and file tax returns.
- Family permits should be required for dependents of guest workers
3. PROGRAM ENFORCEMENT AND EMPLOYER SUPPORT
Once a guest worker program and the smart card system are fully implemented, there is no excuse for businesses to employ undocumented labor. The smart card will allow prompt identification for employers and law enforcement, and eliminate ambiguous and uncertain areas for employers. Those employers not complying with the program must be subject to serious penalties.
This policy statement is intended to serve as a broad framework from which policy makers can derive specific legislative solutions. By no means is this intended to address the myriad of details that can and will arise when specific legislation is proposed, enacted, and implemented. We believe these three steps will put America on the path of solving the enduring political and economic problem of illegal immigration and border security by allowing the free market to dictate and regulate employment needs, and provides a means to effectively solve the issue of current undocumented residents.