Americans are increasingly frustrated at the unwillingness of Congress to address the problems associated with millions of illegal aliens, the potential terrorist threat of uncontrolled borders, and the cost of this underground economy. A nation of laws must control its borders, and the U.S. economy is dependent upon an inefficient and undependable labor force. The public is demanding that Washington address the issue, but politicians of both parties have failed to reach any agreement on how to do so.
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation has conducted extensive polling on these issues to help understand what Americans want Congress to do, what they understand about illegal immigrants, and what policies they think would work. The key is to simplify the issue, by separating the discussion of border security and temporary workers from the discussion of immigrants and citizenship. Workers should be able to apply for jobs in the U.S., undergo quick background checks, and be issued a “smart-card” that allows them to come out of the shadows, work legally, pay their taxes like everyone else, and come and go across the border with their families. Removing these people from the illegal border crossings would free up law enforcement to control real threats at the border, provide the workers our economy needs, and assure citizens that these workers are here legally. The free market will determine the number of workers needed, and private-sector companies should be licensed by the government, authorized to open offices abroad, empowered to run background checks, and to issue the smart-card work permits. It is a solution that will simplify the problem, solve 90% of it easily, control the borders, provide the workers we need, and do so using the oldest and most reliable system in America – the free market.
Other good thinking on this: