A Creative Solution for Immigration Reform
The third way is a fresh solution for immigration reform that will work. With strained budgets, there are no special funds to help deal with the needs of undocumented immigrants. The solution is simple—help them help themselves. With this well-designed system, they can contribute a nickel for every dollar earned to fund their needs and mitigate effects on society. With incentives built into the Special Work Permit, this amount is small enough to be paid willingly, and large enough, when coupled with a matching amount from employers, to generate $167 billion over a 10-year period. This is enough revenue to create a Vision of possibilities while eliminating billions in tax fraud.
The Special Work Permit
The proposed 10-year renewable Special Work Permit is designed to encourage immigrants to come out of the shadows, earn the permit, and become responsible participants in their communities. The permit will improve their lives, and the lives of their families.
Immigrants’ employers will no longer be hiring illegally and the U.S. economy will benefit. The cost to earn the permit will be merely to obey our laws and contribute the five percent of each dollar of wages received. Employers will be responsible to see that the revenue is directed to the U.S. Treasury and then distributed to each state, based on where the work was performed. The funds are to be used to help support the Vision and help fund healthcare, education, security and other priorities as determined by each state.
Several of the important ideas presented in the 2013 Gang of Eight immigration bill (Senate Bill S.744), such as E-Verify and biometrics, will now be part of this compromise model. Previous immigration bills were underfunded and overreaching, and never passed. A third way bill is the logical solution, and will cover needed financing.
Payment and enforcement were problems earlier, but with today’s mobile phone and computer technology, keeping up with the taxes will be simple and easy, with no paperwork involved. The third way incentivizes good behavior and frees employers from the burden of tax returns.
The Special Work Permit is the incentive and the glue that holds this plan together.
Benefits received by employees are numerous:
- The right to work and live in the U.S. legally
- The right to receive health care, continuing education, training, and other benefits
- The right to apply for a visa and travel freely to and from their country of origin
- The right to apply for a driver’s license and auto insurance, depending upon individual state laws
- The right for their children and spouses to receive the same benefits as the Special Work Permit holder
This proposal excludes addressing the status of immigrants working under the provisions of other federal government programs such as existing green card holders.
Benefits received by employers eliminate issues:
- Employers will sponsor employees, bringing compliance with the law and no longer be subject to fines or penalties.
- Employers will be rewarded with healthy and dedicated employees.
- Employers will benefit by sponsoring their employees and helping to secure their health care, education, support services and acceptance into society.
- Employers influence entire working communities and will benefit from a transparent, accountable immigration system.
- Employers will have a simple and convenient way to pay the tax.