I was thinking about the problem of immigration. It's complicated, but basically breaks down like this...
Guy in other country sneaks into the United States and gets a job under the table making more money than they'd get in their home country, and enjoys the security and benefits of living in the United States.
American Citizens see this as a problem because (A) The guy got in and nobody knows about it, so if he got in, what's to stop a terrorist from getting in? Nobody should get in illegally. (B) He is taking a job away that an American Citizen could use, because unemployment is high right now. (C) It's not fair that he jumps the line and gets to live in the United States while other people are waiting in the system to come over legally.
The Democrats want to give everyone amnesty that lives here. Turn all 10 million undocumented citizens into Greencard carrying Americans. Unfortunately, Reagan did this in the 80's and it didn't stop illegal immigration from continuing.
The Republicans are willing to let the Democrats have that, if they are allowed to bring in more highly-skilled immigrants with degrees in order to reduce the payrolls of their existing domestic workforce. Great for big business, bad for the American worker.
Thankfully, Americans have reacted negatively to these plans, and that has stalled out immigration reform.
I think I have a better system. Though no system is perfect, this seems like the best way to do this.
1) A guy in another country wants to come into the United States and work.
2) Businesses need workers but can't find Americans to do the work because the pay isn't that great.
3) Big business needs highly skilled labor and can't find enough American workers to fit the bill.
These companies list their jobs with the Immigration service. Farmers, Meat Packing Plants, Car Wash, Construction, whatever. As well as your top end PHD places that need workers. They all list their jobs on the Immigration service website.
Both Americans and Foreign Nationals apply for those jobs.
Americans get first dibs. But unlike the H1B Visa program which is similar, the company's cannot just deny the American applications as "unqualified" but MUST hire the American worker if they meet the qualifications listed.
So, let's say the company says they need someone with 4 years experience in drafting, and the person must have a Masters degree in drafting. If that person applies, and they qualify, the company must hire him BEFORE they can hire anyone in the foreign worker pool. Only after they have exhausted the American applications can they move to bring in a foreign worker.
The same goes for your landscaper position, if nobody applies, or they aren't qualified, then they are able to hire foreign workers.
At this point the foreign worker is granted a temporary work visa. The company can sponsor their greencard if things work out.
This would effectively squelch any concerns about fairness. And it would provide a host of protections for everyone involved. It would also be fairly easy to implement.
It would NOT, however, stop illegal immigration. However, because businesses would now have a system to recruit these workers in a fair system and not exploit them, there should be less businesses breaking the law. Couple that with very steep fines against businesses that break the law here, and the illegal immigrant would find very few businesses looking to hire them.
The final people who would, your basic home owner picking up some workers at the Home Depot and driving them to their house to do something, would be easily undone by some undercover police posing as workers who would then fine the home owner significantly enough to prevent this activity from continuing.
In this way, there would be enough immigrants coming over based on the number of available jobs. And it would be a much safer and more legal way to go about it. Rather than the stupid lottery we have now, which determines eligibility based purely on luck.
i don't think this would work out mainly due to the scale of such a "jobs website". How much paperwork would each employer need to fill out for each new staffing? How long would they have to wait for this system to find them a prospect?
I can think of a few good tricks with the system that I have seen in my country: Arbitrarily increase the requirements/experience for the new hire and then find nobody in the country. Source the workers from China and simply have their credentials made up. Who will verify such things? Your domestic government? How much will that cost? How long will it take to simply discover that he does not actually have a Degree in Engineering from Shanxi University of Physical Technologies? Or that he did not work for some generic engineering firm for 20 years already but is basically fresh out of school and can be hired with such amazing credentials for a mining job at minimum wage.
Your directive appears to hinge quite a lot on fines and undercover policing. This means more enforcement and prosecution. Why not simply bolster this before doing other things?
There was a guy, John McCain, the senator. He once said something along the lines of "its silly to discuss immigration reform before we have secured the border". Now certainly more can be done in a cost-effective manner to enforce border protections. We obviously don't have the same problem up here, its a different one. Most illegal immigrants are either Asian or European and don't actually walk/crawl across a physical border to get here. You guys are in a unique opportunity to actually try using enhanced physical methods to deter illegal entry. You have a large military that can be deployed permanently across that border in many areas which most smugglers would be too scared to come near.
sigh... these topics always seem to bring out such long posts. i look forward to out oblast together kevin...
One additional consideration regarding the benefits that illegal immigrants enjoy is the ridiculous social programs provided by government. In California, there is a program that provides 12+ hour-a-day day care for children of undocumented workers. Eligibility is poorly defined, because the program does not want to scare away applicants by probing too deeply into their affairs. This program provides food, clothing, diapers, free of charge. They even cater to specific requests by parents to provide an ethnic diet of their choice. One of the funner abuses of this already broken system is the use by families who don't even need the service. Families with only one working adult, or even no working adults, simply sign up their children and use it as a free babysitting service while they engage in criminal enterprise or simply sitting in front of the television.
I don't have any fixes for the issue, just throwing this out there as an example of the attraction for depressed immigrants. It's not even necessarily a country where people dream of coming to make their own fortune. They can just squeeze in and enjoy a mediocre existence on hand-outs.
Without question the Government has to pick up the tab on some of this, but they do that NOW with the Visa program. This is really no different. If a company like Microsoft wants to hire someone from Spain with a PHD in engineering, they have to work within the H1 Visa program to do this. The problem is that they are only allowed 50,000 a year for the entire country.
The rest of immigration into the United States is either illegal or through the lottery.
You remove the lottery and put those people to work on the Visa program.
Most of your illegal immigration are not highly skilled workers. They are limited education labor. A meat packing plant simply puts up a job posting that says, "We're hiring 50 meat packers. Must have experience carving up meat."
Now, regardless if the meat packer gets American applications or Mexican applications, the meat packer has to hire the American's first if the American is qualified. If the American does not get hired, he can sue. Since the meat packer doesn't want that to happen, they'll hire the American worker first.
The meat packer has no reason to NOT hire the American worker. The American worker and the Mexican worker will be paid the same rate of pay.
In most cases like this, the American will not work for the wage that is being offered and let the job go to the Mexican worker who will.
However, you settle that by enforcement of the current minimum wage laws. So that only businesses that are NOT paying minimum wage are then fined.
I do not know why businesses are not fined more heavily today for hiring illegals. It would seem that if you punished the businesses that were doing the hiring, that the hiring would stop and the illegals would find very limited work here. However, this does not happen very often. Very strange.