With the recent election, there has been a lot of talk about illegal immigration, especially from Latin America. The idea of building a "wall" seems highly impractical and for sure will upset many people, so I was thinking of perhaps a better way to address the issue. I wrote the letter below to my senator as a suggestion. I know from personal experience that people I know who are immigrants from Latin America have generally been very hard-working, decent people, people who don't expect a handout and who really want to work.
Letter to Senator Cory Gardner of CO
Dear Senator Gardner,
Like many Americans I am concerned with the number of undocumented aliens, not so much out of fear for myself, but because it must be a constant problem for them, their families, and for our government. When people break the law, they are unsafe and insecure, and that is bad for everyone.
However, it seems to me that the US needs a source of low-cost labor for menial positions; positions that do not require language skills, and frankly positions that most Americans would never want. This would include janitorial positions, dishwashing in restaurants, hotel room cleaning, and agriculture labor.
I have been thinking about the problem, and I wonder if a better solution than deportation and trying to stem the constant flow of people from Latin America trying to get into the country would be to issue a new type of visa for these positions only. It could mandate a maximum wage (like $10/hour), stipulate no overtime pay requirement and require that employers to use this visa to deduct and pay 25% of wages paid to such employees in a set, fixed tax amount.
The visa should require a thorough background check, initial drug testing and period follow-up drug testing for illegal drug use (an indicator that they are involved in or connected with illegal drug activities). Another stipulation of the visa should be that if an individual is convicted for any serious crime, they are a) immediately deported, and b) are never again eligible for this work visa. If someone violates the rules, they lose the visa -- plain and simple.
The visa could be renewable annually for a set period (say 10 years), and then if the individual has been a law-abiding and productive citizen, they could apply for a more permanent type visa.
This could really help our economy grow, as business needs a source of cheap labor. Further, the tax revenue generated could easily offset the cost any social services for such immigrants, and I believe make even more money for the government to help us reduce our debt. If we issued say 10 Million such visas, this would generate $50 Billion annually for the federal government, a substantial amount.
The economic advantages Latin American migrants seek in the US are substantial, and will always be a strong call for them to come to this country. It seems to me that we should take advantage of this tide of people, many of whom are capable of very long, hard work -- work that we need done and most often don't want to do ourselves. It makes good business sense, and I believe offers a peaceable solution that does not separate families, while completely removing the incentives for those involved in the illegal immigrant trade.
Thank you for doing what you are doing, and please let me know what you think of this idea. I too want to help make America great again.
P.S. Gotta like your first name, you even spell it the same as mine!