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DRAFT Immigration Outline

By
Francisco J. González
05/26/2010

TALKING POINTS

The recommend reforms will accomplish the following: end illegal immigration
permanently; secure the border, reunite families and allow for open, lawful and
productive immigration into the US

Increase accountability for employers that recruit and employ unauthorized workers

Secure the border by freeing the Border Patrol and other State and Federal law
enforcement agencies from the time consuming tasks intercepting immigrants to arresting
drugs and weapons smugglers

Permanent deployment of regular Army & Marine Corps units to assist in securing the
US-Mexico border.

End undocumented immigration by eliminating the incentives employers may have for
hiring cheaper labor, while at the same time allowing for the influx of temporary workers
to meet short-term labor needs of US businesses.

Recognition that the current immigration system penalizes families by requiring long
waits between the approval of an application to the issuance of a visa. Reform must
include the elimination of a backlog of those family members allowed under current law
to rejoin the US or Lawful Permanent Resident relative (parents, children spouse and
siblings).

No amnesty, but earned legalization.

SPECIFICS OF THE REFORM: 3 TRACS

1- Secure the border and permanently ending illegal immigration

2- Fixing the short-term inequalities and problems of the current failed


system

3- Stop-gap measures to be considered at the state and local level while


pursuing 1 & 2 above

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1- Secure the border and long-term future immigration system

A- border security:
• increase use of electronic devices (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles-drones, sensors,
etc.) to monitor border.

• permanent deployment of regular Army & Marine Corp units to the US-Mexico
border. Cost of these will be on the federal government and not on the states,
which would be the case if National Guard troops were used. Also, soldiers and
marines could use this as training for similar border protection missions in Iraq
and Afghanistan (similar terrain, etc.)

• provide additional economic and military (equipment, training, etc.) assistance to


Mexico in exchange for allowing joint (US-Mex.) law enforcement patrols on
drug smuggling routes from northern Mexico into the US southwest.

B- End to illegal immigration


• “Strict liability” penalties for employers that hire unauthorized workers: meaning
that “not knowing” that worker was unauthorized is no defense for civil or
criminal charges under existing laws.

• Requirement that all employers use E-Verify

• “Whistleblower” visa: based on the “U” visa currently available for victims of
crimes. Undocumented immigrants that report to law enforcement a business that
is later found guilty of employment of undocumented workers, can receive a visa
valid for up to 10 years

• “Labor exchange” system: the US Congress would set up a task force of


economic, demographic, business and labor experts to determine prospective need
for foreign workers across industries and professions. The task force will
recommend the number of employment-related temporary visas needed by the US
economy every year.

• Foreign countries would then enter into an agreement with the US government for
the creation of a labor exchange: the USCIS would set up “labor exchange” or
center on a particular country to receive and process visa applications. The cost of
the labor exchange would be covered by the host foreign government and/or by
fees from the applicants. The visa applicant must show that they have clean
criminal record, no health issues, etc.

• Temporary Visa for the labor exchange: based on the new category of visa, the “Y
visa”, proposed under McCain-Kennedy. The actual number of visas available
every year would depend on the recommendations of the Commission above-

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mentioned, but it would be no less than 400,000 temporary guest workers. The
visa will allow the worker to remain in the country for two years, after which they
would have to return home. They could bring their dependents (spouse &
children) but these dependents would NOT count towards the 400,000-visa cap.

• Increase in permanent worker-immigrant visas for professional or skilled workers


in occupations facing shortages. These foreign professionals would no longer
need a US employer sponsorship. Congress would set the number of these visas
upon the advice of the task force.

2- Fixing the short-term inequalities and problems of the current failed system

• Earned legalization: Undocumented immigrants without a criminal record and


who meet other requirements (based on the IRCA 1986 law signed by Pres.
Reagan) would be allowed to apply for a “Z” visa (based on the provision from
the McCain-Kennedy bill of 2007) but would be required to return to their
country of origin in order to complete the process*

*UNLESS A WAIVER is granted by the USCIS (immigration authorities):


waiver criteria: economic hardship; undocumented immigrant provides
evidence of strong links to the community and disruption to the lives of US
citizens of legal immigrants. These will be very “soft” criteria to meet so the
vast majority (if not all!)of the undocumented immigrants would qualify for the
waiver, but by mentioning the “go back home” requirement this would make
reform more palatable for the anti-amnesty folks.

• Elimination of backlog for family-based visas. Under current immigration laws,


US citizens are allowed to petition for their children, spouse, parents and siblings;
Lawful Permanent Residents are allowed to petition for their spouses and
children. However, even after the applicant meets all the requirements, visas may
not be available for years. To allow for family integration, all of the above
categories will be placed on a preferred category, meaning no waiting period for
visa. The US or LPR filing the petition to bring a relative is currently required to
provide an Affidavit of Support, indicating that the relative coming into the US
will not be eligible for federal welfare programs (except emergency medical).

3- Stop-gap measures to be considered at the state and local level while pursuing 1
& 2 above

• Minnesota (or Mid-West) guest worker program: just 2 years ago, Arizona was in
the forefront of innovative immigration reform by seeking permission from
Congress to implement a guest worker program to bring temporary workers to
Arizona. Colorado also considered a similar provision. The economy is starting to

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recover, and soon there will be labor shortages. See link below for information on
the AZ and CO proposed guest worker programs
http://www.npr.org/blogs/news/2008/03/arizona_considers_guest_worker_1.html

• Minnesota (or Mid-West) Lawful Family Reunification Program: That the


legislature approve a law requesting that the US Congress enact an exemption
from the visa quota requirements for aliens with approved immigration
applications based on a family reunification category filed by a US citizen or
Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), who had resided in Minnesota for at least 1
year OR who filed the initial relative petition while residing in Minnesota. The
immigrant relatives would be allowed to enter the US and relocate to Minnesota.
- Program ONLY available to foreigners residing overseas, who had followed the
legal process and have been found eligible to enter the US as a relative of a US
citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

- Current immigration laws ALREADY requires that the sponsoring USC/LPR be


financially responsible for the immigrant relatives (see
Affidavit of Support information
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3183.html)

- The program is really a benefit for USC/LPR who simply wants to be close to
their relatives. This proposal affirms the value placed by the state on families,
marriage and children being raised in two- parent households.

- While promulgation and enforcement of immigration laws is the


responsibility of the Federal government, not only Arizona but many states
(including Minnesota) had voluntarily assumed the role of enacting immigration-
related legislation. This law (and the guest worker law already mentioned) can be
defended as continuing a trend of immigration solutions at the state level.

• Minnesota US Citizen Protection Act: law that prohibits State and local law
enforcement officials from requesting proof of citizenship or immigration status
(different from proof of IDENTITY) from US citizens. This law can be presented
as protecting the privacy of US citizens and against the introduction of a national
ID card.

However, this law is intended as a “pre-emtive strike” against the Arizona law,
which allows police officers to demand proof of immigration status from people
reasonably suspected of being “illegal aliens.” The law I propose is the “flip side”
of this: a police officer should use “reason” and be prohibited from asking US
citizens for proof of immigration status.

The idea is that police officers would be reluctant to ask ANYONE about their
immigration status for fear of asking the “wrong” person (a US citizen) and thus

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violating the law. Supporters of the AZ law insist that police officers would be
able to “tell” who is an undocumented alien: my proposal put their belief to
the test by including legal consequences for harassing a US citizen.

For more information about this initiative or to comment on the immigration draft
outline, please contact:

Richard Aguilar at
richardaguilar@qwestoffice.net
or
Francisco J. González at
donbenito2009@yahoo.com

References:

McCain-Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration reform 2007

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comprehensive_Immigration_Reform_Act_of_2007

Pres. Reagan’s Immigration reform (IRCCA) 1986

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Reform_and_Control_Act_of_1986

Bill HCM 2012 urging the Congress of the United States to enact federal legislation
authorizing the state of Arizona to implement the Arizona temporary worker program.
http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/48leg/2r/bills/hcm2012p.htm