Friday, April 06, 2007

A modest proposal for immigration reform

This piece about the H1-B visa crisis got me to thinking about a possible solution to the problem... I have a few ideas:
  • Allow those with H1-B visas (who supposedly have skills that can't be found domestically) the freedom to work anywhere once they are here. (As suggested in the article above)
  • Require the employer of someone with an H1-B visa to put somewhere between 1-5 years of salary for the worker in escrow, to help protect the worker from mis-treatment. (Arbitration would be required in the event of termination)
  • Implement a 100% tax on the salary of the worker, to be paid by the employer (who couldn't be bothered to try to hire a citizen of the US) to the appropriate state's Unemployment fund
The thing about troubleshooting is that when you find a good solution to a problem, you find the solution can be generalized to help in other similar problems. It is with this in mind that I feel I have found the solution to the H1-B visa problem, and the bigger problem of illegal immigration.

I humbly suggest that we simply do what we do best... make everyone pay! We let anyone (non-criminal) enter the US one on one of three tracks:
  • Tourist - Proper documentation, etc... just as it is now
  • Temporary worker - Gets something like a green card to use for ID, gets taxed like the rest of us, except their Social Security payments go into a special escrow account.
  • Citizen apprentice - Same as temporary worker, but they would pay an additional 10% income tax for the 7 years before they became regular citizens. English language skills would also be required.
I'd allow upgrading plans if you wished, by supplying the documentation and payments required.

Everyone (non-criminal) would have a path to US citizenship, provided they were willing to work for it.


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