We clearly have a very broken system. I propose that a complete reformation of that system would benefit us all.
First, I support the Dream Act as well as a path to citizenship for the immigrants living, working and going to school here in the United States.
A massive undocumented population.
- The current state of immigration complexities has created a situation of a massive population of undocumented people living in the United States.
- In January 2010, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that 10,800,000 undocumented persons are living in the United States (DHS.gov). Some argue that the number could be closer to 18-20 million.
- An estimated 8 million+ are believed to be in the workforce, which makes them a vital component of our economy at a minimum of 5.2% of the workforce.
- For the estimated 5.2 % of the U.S. workforce—the 8 million undocumented immigrant workers—securing fundamental protections in the workplace is a daily struggle, including physical exploitation and sexual abuse, which are commonly perpetrated against undocumented people.
- Undocumented worker’s jobs don’t usually come with healthcare benefits, causing a great lack of preventive care, increasing incidence of contagious illnesses and emergency room costs.
- Too many undocumented wages that do not contribute to Medicare, Social Security, or pay into the tax system.
- U.S. taxpayers are spending at least $18.6 million per day to house an estimated 300,000 to 450,000 illegal immigrants who are incarcerated and eligible for deportation from the United States, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Document the undocumented.
- A complete reformation of our immigration system is desperately needed for the wellbeing of our society. It must begin with full documentation of all people living inside of America.
- It is in the best interest of society to know who is here; where they came from; if they have a criminal background; where the live; if they work, where they work; how much they earn; if they send money back to their country of origin and how much. We also benefit by making certain that they are healthy and insured.
- The benefit of being documented would include the first step on a path to citizenship. Documentation would also assure aspiring citizens equal protection under the law with workers permits that would allow for legal employment; allow for insurance pools; allow for immigrants to more fully participate in the systems of education, healthcare, social security, and infrastructure.
- The program would be inexpensive to execute with permit fees and employer side fines covering most of the cost. The fees and fines would not only cover administration costs, but would set up pools for immigrant insurance programs, and even small business and education loan programs.
- Through strong employment side enforcement, we can remove the incentive for employers to use undocumented workers. Agricultural subsidies should be redirected to supplement low wages to keep food prices down, rather than the current use of them, which are actually used to keep food prices up.
- Using technology to integrate data bases, biometrics and commonsense, we can get rid of the lines for citizenship altogether. It is very possible to enact a virtual Ellis Island, and bypass so much of the involvement of attorneys and red tape, which exploit and muck up the current process. We can give all illegible aspiring citizens the appropriate roadmaps for citizenship unique to their respective situations.
Bringing our undocumented people out of the shadows and into the light is a win-win for everyone. We will in fact increase available funds in our public coffers- growth in payroll taxes, social security taxes, reduced emergency room costs, reduced incarceration costs, reduced border security costs, and increased entrepreneurship to grow our nation’s prosperity.
As a Congresswoman, I will work to create an entirely new system for immigration.