Thursday, February 9, 2012

Immigration: Smart Workers, Dirty Jobs

A proposal for guest workers and citizenship.

Download or print from Google Documents

Illegal immigrants want to work.  They arrive with a work ethic, looking for a better life.  Let's celebrate work and our land of opportunity. Let's welcome those that want to work with a well-defined guest worker program – not only for dirty jobs but also high-skill jobs that grow our economy, improve our workforce, and make us all smarter.

To ensure that guest workers don't displace citizens that want to work, we must make sure that there are no barriers – either economic or regulatory – to the free movement of American workers within our borders.  We must make sure that occupational regulations don't inhibit relocation between states.  We need to eliminate homeownership subsidies and preferences that anchor workers to immobile, illiquid housing assets.  We have to establish a mortgage-relief program for underwater homeowners that find work elsewhere and want to relocate.

Here's my proposal:
  • Ensure the free movement of citizens within the United States
  • Curtail the demand for illegal immigrants at the point of employment
  • Establish a guest worker program to provide an orderly flow of labor across borders
  • Admit workers based on skills, knowledge, and employer need rather than country quotas
  • Offer permanent resident status to all foreign-born graduates of American colleges – our universities rock! – with the chance to become a citizen based on employer need
  • Establish a substantial yet reasonable fee for all immigrants – legal and illegal – wanting to become citizens with no threat of further fine or punishment
  • Allow all illegal immigrants with established U.S. residences to move to citizenship or guest worker status without being "deported", but deport all those that do not attempt to establish legal status
Variety is the spice of life:  embrace it, learn from it, grow with it.