The Path Forward for Immigration Reform in the United States
Informed by over two centuries of public policy debate and programs that have overreached to the far left or far right, and underfunded enforcement and border security, while placing unfair burdens on essential services like education and health care, the path forward has been impeded. But the solution, as embodied in the third way, is both principled and practical. Grounded in providing dignity, respect, and fairness for all, the next move is to take these practical steps and move forward:
- Direct the House Ways and Means Committee to write the bill based on the ITIG model for immigration reform, the third way, and have it scored by the Congressional Budget Office
- Build support in the committees of jurisdiction (Ways and Means and Judiciary in the House and Finance and Judiciary in the Senate)
- Build Support in both chambers of Congress and get the bill passed and on the President’s desk in early 2017 before political imperatives drive the discussion back to the polarized discourse that has caused our country to fail over forty times in over 225 years in attempting to get the immigration policy right
- Remain focused on developing public policy that is efficient (reducing bureaucracy), fair to U.S. taxpayers, creates a new vehicle for revenue, and incentivizes good behavior in workers and employers of all types including farms, factories, and individual households
The third way creates a vehicle to uphold the rule of law as people who have entered the U.S. illegally have already broken the law. The third way requires undocumented immigrants to enter their embassy or consulate, and then re-enter the U.S. legally after paying a flat fine of $150.
The fine of $150 is based on fines described in 8 U.S. Code § 1325 which calls for “at least $50 and not more than $250″ for each such entry (or attempted entry). A flat fee is used to limit administrative costs and minimize bureaucracy. Moreover, this proposal underscores that the U.S. is a country of laws and having broken the law by entering the U.S. illegally, undocumented immigrants can pay their fine, apply for a 10-year Special Work Permit, and work and live in the U.S. with a greatly enhanced quality of life.