Legalization Benefits America
There are 10 million people who live in this country illegally. They are all around us. They cook our food, clean our homes, mow our lawns, build our homes, repair our roads, and take care of our children. They are the foundation of our economy. Without these hardworking individuals, our quality of life would be poorer and our economy would be depressed.
However their illegal status has generated a huge underground black market of smugglers, document counterfeiters, and criminal entities which prey on their fear of seeking assistance from law enforcement.
The border patrol is the largest law enforcement agency in the United States armed with the latest technology. But they are overwhelmed with the large numbers of people illegally crossing the border. A vast majority of these migrants enter the United States seeking employment.
This situation has generated an increase in the numbers of anti-immigrant vigilante groups. They have vowed to stop illegal immigration by patrolling the borders and detaining people at gunpoint which has led to increasing racial tensions.
The root of these problems is that there is no path for these migrants to work in the United States. There is a large demand for low skilled workers in the United States. These migrants want to work but have to work without legal status. There are legal channels for high skilled professionals and family members of U.S. Citizens or permanent residents to enter the United States. However, the avenues for low skilled workers are extremely limited.
The more the United States attempts to lock down the borders, the numbers of illegal migrants in the United States will increase. Most migrants would return home to their family and communities if they knew that they could return the United States to work if needed. But they are reluctant to leave because of the difficulty and danger of reentering. Further restrictions on immigration, shutting down businesses who employ migrants, and mass round up of migrants would economically cripple this nation.
A temporary guest worker program would solve these problems. A temporary guest worker program would allow employers to petition for low skilled workers to enter and work legally in the United States. The migrant worker would be required to go through the regular criminal background check to prevent criminals, terrorist, and other unsavory individuals from entering. The migrant worker would receive a social security card, employment authorization, and be required to filed annual income taxes. The employer would be required to comply with all state employment requirements.
There will be an increase in tax revenue. These guest workers would be entering the United States in the prime of their life, working, and paying taxes. There is some confusion on the issue of illegal immigrants and welfare. Illegal immigrants and most new immigrants are not eligible for most forms of public assistance. They will not be eligible for welfare under the guest worker program.
The smuggling operations, document counterfeiting, and criminal activities with those who prey on the illegal immigrants would be crippled. A legal avenue to employment in the United States would give the migrants a safe alternative to the black market criminal operations.
Our borders would be safer by reducing the numbers of people attempting to illegally enter the United States. The border patrol can better focus their manpower and technologies on catching drug smugglers, terrorist, and those entering the United States for illicit purposes.
A guest worker program would be an economic boom to the United States. The population of the United States is aging. There is an increasing need for low skilled physically intensive labor. The guest worker program fills this need which allows the U.S. economy to continue to grow.
The United States has been known as a nation that that opens its doors to hard working people, people who believe in the opportunities available in the United States. The guest worker program would return the United States to this original promise.
Robert R. Virasin is an immigration attorney. Mr. Virasin practices in Plano, Texas.
Vijay K. Kale is an immigration attorney. Mr. Kale practices in Houston, Texas.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.