Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pence: Common Sense on Immigration

Mike Pence (R-IN) is a "comer" in Congress; he was a serious candidate for Boehnert's position as Majority Leader (yah, look what they got in Boehnert--a self-appointed Tin God.)

At any rate, Pence has an excellent proposal for immigration reform.

I see the solution as a four-step process. Securing our border is the first step. The second step is to make the decision, once and for all, to deny amnesty to people whose first act in the United States was a violation of the law. The third step is to put in place a guest worker program, without amnesty, that will efficiently provide American employers with willing guest workers who come to America legally. The final step is tough employer sanctions that ensure a full partnership between American business and the American government in the enforcement of our laws on immigration and guest workers.

On border security:

Instead of terrorists having the ability to sneak through a porous border, they will find a secure border hardened to prevent their illegal entry.

On "legitimate" border-crossers:

However, as I have been thinking about securing our border, a thought kept coming back to me. So many of the people crossing the border are not crossing for nefarious or devious reasons. The great majority of illegal border crossers do so in order to find work or to be with family members working in America. ...there must be a legal means for the great majority of people seeking temporary work to come to America.

His solution will be controversial--but it makes a lot of sense:

Therefore, the solution is to setup a system that will encourage illegal aliens to self-deport and come back legally as guest workers. This may sound outside of the box, and it is. It may sound far-fetched and unrealistic, but it isn’t. It is based on sound, proven conservative principles. It places reliance on American enterprise and puts government back into its traditional role of protecting its citizens. Let me explain to you how it will work.

Private worker placement agencies that we could call “Ellis Island Centers” will be licensed by the federal government to match willing guest workers with jobs in America that employers cannot fill with American workers. U.S. employers will engage the private agencies and request guest workers. In a matter of days, the private agencies will match guest workers with jobs, perform a health screening, fingerprint them and provide the appropriate information to the FBI and Homeland Security so that a background check can be performed, and provide the guest worker with a visa granted by the State Department.
The visa will be issued only outside of the United States.

This is something that Manpower could do, without breaking a sweat.

...after three years of this program, we should be in a vastly different situation from where we are now. The great majority of illegal aliens will have self-deported and come back into a confirmed job. The number of those who don’t should be a manageable number for law enforcement to pursue and employers to terminate.

There also will be a limit on the amount of time a guest worker can spend in America. Guest workers will be allowed to renew their W Visas, but only for a period of up to six years. At that point, the guest should decide whether to return home or enter the separate process of seeking citizenship. We cannot have people coming to America as permanent guest workers.

Language problem? Nope.

In order to receive their first renewal, guest workers will be required to study English and pass an English proficiency class.

Problems with your employer? Nope. Quit and find a better one:

The bill will require employers to treat guest workers fairly and to follow employment laws. Employment taxes will be paid. Workers will be allowed to change jobs within a certain time period without having to leave the country. No worker will be trapped in a job with an abusive employer.

After creation and installation of a worker ID system,

With a guest worker program in place, there is no reason why an employer ever should hire or continue to employ an illegal alien. Employers who choose to operate outside of the system, however, must face tough fines in order to be made to comply. That is what the enforcement system and the new fine structure will do.

Why will THIS proposal work?

Employer enforcement is the key. Once in place, jobs for illegal aliens will dry up. Why hire an illegal alien when you can hire a legal guest worker and eliminate the possibility of a big fine? Why stay in the country illegally when you can quickly return home and come back as a legal guest worker?

Jim Sensenbrenner might want to take a hard look at this proposal. It utilizes a lot of his language but adds 'private industry' to the mix instead of another several thousand Gummint INS worker bees.

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