First, Mr. Beattie is at least attempting to address the illegal immigration issue with the inclusion of some sort of enforcement. I also assume he is representing the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce on this issue. If so, it has come a ways having typically been in support of full amnesty proposals (usually neglecting enforcement).
The article, with fairly scant details, is available here: Beattie outlines ‘guest worker’ program
There are a few problems with the proposal (I’m going on the relatively vague details here at this point). Some of the following points could be clarified with further details, however. This would be a couple of, preliminary, concerns I would have.
1. The program would be available to those who are already illegally here. It does nothing to address the identity theft issue (ie victims are sitll left uninformed and required to shoulder the expense of regaining their identity). Further, a guest worker program would see much greater support if it was limited to those doing the right thing and going through the legal entry process from their home country. Those who violated immigration law and employers who looked the other way as they did such should not be rewarded and should not be allowed to jump the line.
2. Any State legislation for such a program would be hollow, at this time. While ICE has allowed enforcement at the state level under 287(g), there is no delegation of authority regarding immigration law and entry proceedures. Basically, they would need federal legislation in conjunction with any bill proposed at the State level, otherwise the law would be deemed unconstitutional.
3. The proposal also requires a criminal background check. As stated, the article is scant on details and leaves the question of how that would be accomplished. It would, obviously, be inherent that the immigrant’s home country be willing to share such records. That, too, would seem more the role of the federal government. Returning to the illegal immigrants, I’m not sure how they’re background could be reliably validated during their time in this country – they use false identities and tend to live “under the radar” with little or no information trail (yet another reason to limit such programs to legal immigrants).
Again, many questions/concers from a vague article…who would’ve guessed.