I’ve come up with a series of four reform proposals that are ‘acceptable’ and, I believe, should be included in reforms. Don’t misunderstand, these represent some serious compromises on my part – there are several things I dislike but can stomach (barely).
Also note that these are essentially in draft form (I wrote all this up in about two hours, if that) and likely still have some gaps that need to be found/plugged and things that need to be clarified and elaborated on. Some things are redundancies for issues already included in the original amnesty bill.
Rather than delay these any further, however, I’ve decided to put them out (about one per day) now since the pro-amnesty folks in Congress are certainly not going to stop the back room dealing and their efforts to ram this through.
***Clarification: These are my proposals! Many of these things are NOT part of the current bill!***
Enforcement and Security
Employer verification and reporting – require SSN and immigration status verification of all new hires (that includes citizens). Further, require employers to immediately (1 business day) report failed verifications to ICE and the FBI. This will help interdict identity theft and prevent hiring illegal immigrants, and stop fugitives from gaining employment (see here and here as well)
Notify victims – require DHS/ICE and/or the FBI to inform victims of identity theft as divulged by employer verification requirements and/or applications for legal status (part 4).
Employer sanctions – employers found in violation of verification requirements should face stiff fines. I was thinking along the lines of up to $10,000/violation/day of employment for initial offences and negligence (this could be tiered, based on circumstances – such as a simple warning for a first time clerical error etc) and up to $25,000/violation/day of employment for willful violations. Funds would go into DHS and DOJ (ICE/FBI) for enforcement and security operations and a percentage of the funds would also go into an “identity theft restitution fund” so victims of ID theft can be reimbursed for their expenses. In addition to fines, companies could face loss of any federal funds they receive and prison time (felony) for responsible parties (willful violations).
No amnesty for employers – employers should be held accountable for knowingly accepting false identities and forged documents, however, strong proof of willfully and knowingly doing so will be required. Essentially the burden of proof should be “beyond a reasonable doubt” rather than “preponderance of evidence” in a civil suit (we’re not out to make trial lawyers rich nor should we remove victims’ rights of redress). The current bill gives employers full amnesty, taking away victims’ rights to hold the business accountable for its willful actions.
The Fence – mandate and appropriate funding (in the House) for the border fence as established in the Secure Fence Act of 2006.
Other security – Establish directives and funding for additional border security measures (the ‘virtual fence’) including a significant increase of immigration enforcement agents. These measures should not be limited to the southern border, but also include the Canadian border as well as other ports of entry. Best security measures to be used should be left to the Secretary of DHS’s discretion with bi-annual progress reports, initially, required tapering off to annual reports as measures are implemented.
Mandate identity cards for immigrants – the card should be tamper resistant (let’s face it, nothing is really tamper proof).
Tax remittances – the US economy loses billions in these transfers. The tax should be low (around 1%) so as not to overburden those employing such transfers and be limited to personal transfers. Companies shall not be established as an umbrella group to cloak such transfers as institutional transfers rather than personal transfers (circumvent the tax). Monies received through this program should be retained by DHS and DOJ for security and enforcement programs.
Deportations – the Secretary of DHS shall deport illegal immigrants in a timely manner. No more catch and release. Period.
English – designate English as the official language of the United States but include an exception for law enforcement and emergency services where human health is concerned. A further exception may be made for immigration forms used in the country of origin (not the US), however, permanent residence and citizenship application forms must be only provided in English (consider it part of the proficiency test). I lived in several countries – they didn’t have forms printed in my language. I adapted, I either learned the language or brought someone along with me who did. When visiting other countries I also attempted to learn some of the language to at least say ‘hi’ and ‘thank you’ etc. The same courtesy should be expected here.
Sanctuary cities – cities opting to break or obstruct immigration law enforcement shall forfeit all federal funding with the exception of emergency response services in the event of a catastrophe or natural disaster etc. If I choose to obstruct an officer or aid and abet, I expect to be punished. Bureaucrats are not above the law and should face consequences when the rest of the ‘little people’ must.
As an aside, this does relate to illegal immigration, but is more focused on ID theft, in general:
Credit bureaus should be prohibited from creating sub-files on an individual’s credit (done so when name and SSN don’t match) OR required to disclose the sub files on free credit reports etc (currently limited to reports requested by financial institutions etc).
Mandate the above measures achieve significant progress (50% complete) and fully funded prior to amnesty dealing with illegal immigrants (part 4) being implemented. Should progress goals on the above measures be disrupted after illegal immigration amnesty measures are implemented, such programs shall be suspended until such time as progress and/or funding are re-established.
Yes, that means that the status quo remains in the meantime – no instant legal status to those here illegally. This should also help motivate the government (and all of us) to get these measures completed in a timely manner rather than delaying them, playing with their funding, or flat out not implementing them (ala 1986 amnesty etc).
Unfortunately, this stuff will cost us plenty of money. That’s what happens when you look the other way and let a problem grow to near unmanageable levels.