In the 1980’s the Reagan Administration supported passage of the Simpson-Mazzoli Act as a way to, once and for all, to end the vexing cauldron of problems created by illegal immigration. Obviously Simpson-Mazzoli was not successful. In fact, the law, and it’s particularly fuzzy enforcement mechanisms only served to accelerate and fuel the problem.
Today we have a mess. Rational solutions are paralyzed by our politically cancerous left versus right cat fighting. Even reasoned discussions of potential solutions to a problem that all immigration consultants in chennai parties agree must be settled are reduced to sloganeering and name calling. Let me propose a simple set of solutions that could, really should, settle the matter to a high degree of satisfaction benefitting all sides in this crucial, heated debate.
We really have three sets of distinct interest groups involved: the illegal immigrants (mostly Hispanic and Mexican) and the Mexican government, the American business community that requires a massive supply of labor and the citizens of the United States who are being exposed to the costs and liabilities inherent in supporting public services for millions of people that have entered the country illegally and are forced to live in the shadows.
First let’s address the business community. Any employer that needs field workers, gardeners, restaurant workers, whatever, would have to advertise the positions in local print media two times, stating pay, benefits, location of employment and a description of labor to be performed. This will also prove or disprove the theory that Americans will not perform menial jobs.
If the positions are not filled with local, legal American job seekers, then the employer would have the option to address their labor requirements through a labor co-operative. This would NOT be a new government bureaucracy, but would be under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Labor. Private staffing firms like Manpower, companies with experience in the field of matching employee and employer needs, would be contracted to act as clearing houses. They would staff offices along the Mexican border, and in countries such as El Salvador and Guatemala.
The employers would pay a small fee to the government for each person hired and to the contracted human resource, Manpower-type firms for their time, expenses, background checks and matching applicants to positions. The employer, by participating in such a labor co-operative, would no longer be committing a crime and risk serious fines and legal jeopardy that can occur when hiring illegal workers. The employer would provide the co-operative with an order for a specific number of workers, copies of the print advertisements run locally seeking American workers, clearly post pay, locations of employment, benefits, housing and the length of the work engagement. There would be time limits on service, not to exceed one year. After a minimum return period of three months to their home country, a foreign worker can re-sign for another tour of employment.
The employer would be required to handle any medical costs incurred by the co-operative provided worker and provide travel to, and from, the point of embarkation at the beginning and end of the contract. The employer would pay a significant fine if the worker does not return to the embarkation point, on time and sign-out on their way out of the country. A small tax would be withheld from the workers pay to support the program and it’s policing. A card dated and signed by the employer and the worker, and describing job particulars would be used for identification.