Monday, May 30, 2011

Arizona Law about immigration

Recently the Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) ruled that it is legal for states to revoke the business licenses of companies hiring illegal immigrants.

In general, I am against anti-immigration laws.  But this ruling is just.   SCOTUS  noted that it only penalizes after the second infringement, preventing punishment for infringing by mistake.  More importantly it was not an attempt to punish latinos, as it punished the employers, rather than the immigrants.

In fact, I personally would revoke the federal laws that give amnesty to the employers.  Everyone always complains about giving amnesty to the immigrants, but they allow the government to give amnesty to the employers.  The Federal Law in question prevents "any state of local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ illegal immigrants."

In my mind, we should do it the other way around.  Stop granting amnesty to the American criminals, and start granting amnesty to the immigrants.   The immigrants just want to earn a living wage, doing jobs that americans simply will not do (you try picking vegetables and fruit - their union has a standing offer to let any american citizen that wants to try it out do so).  The American employers are trying to avoid the free markets wage to for citizens.  Yes, they have a tough business, but the way to fix their problem is to change the immigration laws, NOT to quietly let them break the laws and do nothing.

More importantly, it doesn't matter how many immigrants we arrest, as long as we offer jobs, more will come.   The only way to stop the illegal immigration is to stop the employers, not the immigrants.  Of course, I would also legalize a lot more of the work, as we clearly NEED some cheap labor.

My ideal solution to the illegal immigration problem is to do the following:

  1. Establish a "guest worker Visa" program.  There estimates for numbers vary between 12 and 20 million.  So offer a set amount of 10 million 3 month visas at any time, up for AUCTION.   Highest bidder wins the right to work in the US for 3 months, expendable for another 3 months if they then pay triple what they paid the first time.  US agriculture (and gardens and working parents) needs these people, pretending we don't is like shooting yourself in the foot and asking why it hurts.
  2. Establish a "Desired Citizen" program to offer permanent green cards to any person that has a Graduate Degree (Masters, PHD, MD, MBA, etc.) from an approved list of 'superior' universities.  Let's cut the red tape for the smart people - we want them here MORE than we want someone that just happens to be related to a US citizen. 
  3. Offer a 1 year visa to anyone that worked illegally and turned their employer in.  Payable only if the employer is convicted. 
  4. Allow the states to add an "Immigrant Employee Tax" to any non-citizen working in their state of however much they want.   But require this tax be to be a set percentage and applied to ALL non-citizens - whether they be doctors or farm workers.
Note this would:

  1. Allow businesses to hire the people we need to keep prices down
  2. Allow states to discourage this to whatever extent they want - at the cost of losing businesses to states that are more lenient.
  3. Make arresting employers a lot easier.   This should stop tax cheats substantially.
  4. Kill the "coyote" business of illegally transporting people acress the boarder
  5. Make it easier for the smart, hard working people we WANT to get into America.

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