Resolution: Immigration Reform – We Need Your Opinion

By: Kevin Maisto

As part of our first academic session, Exploring Bipartisan Solutions, we were tasked with creating a resolution regarding either immigration, the federal debt, or healthcare reform. We sought to create a truly bipartisan policy that would appeal to a majority of Congress and would result in realistic policy changes that would best benefit our nation.

After many moving speakers, we chose immigration reform as our key issue, incorporating aspects of healthcare, education, and economic stimulus.

After hours of deliberation, our group created the following resolution:

Now, therefore, be it resolved:

That geographically-distributed tax offsets for education, healthcare, and infrastructure will be offered to communities that actively facilitate pathways to citizenship for currently unauthorized immigrants. Further;

That new tax legislation shall be implemented for newly authorized immigrants to ensure the sustainability of the social services provided by these communities. And further;

That in order to prevent further unauthorized immigration, Congress shall provide immediate financial support to strengthen and secure our nation’s borders.

Now, we ask for your input.

Any national policy as foundational as this requires the support of the American voters. We all have personal stakes in this great nation. Therefore, what are your initial thoughts on the success of this resolution?

Our main focus is creating a truly bipartisan resolution that incorporates ideals and values that are held by a majority of Congress – Is this bipartisan enough? Too far? Write it below.

Do you feel that there are aspects of immigration reform that we failed to cover or certain interest groups that would be damaged by this new resolution?

Please comment below with your thoughts – this is simply our first draft and we hope to be able to take your input and make modifications to create the most comprehensive and practical immigration reform possible.

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6 thoughts on “Resolution: Immigration Reform – We Need Your Opinion

  1. A few comments:
    In the first clause, how will a community prove it is “actively facilitating” more so than another community? I assume all communities would appreciate the benefits, but that doesn’t change the fact that immigration is also a federal issue and largely regulated through federal agencies. Would the tax offsets be measured by standards set by these agencies, and would these standards change over time?

    Also-in the second clause it’s unclear as to whether the tax legislation benefits will be applied directly to immigrants and their families or to the social services that they will derive benefits from. This, to me, would make it extremely partisan because if the tax legislation benefits social services then many would view that as unnecessary government spending, but if it benefits individual families/individual people there are no guidelines and standards for which families/individuals qualify (other than newly authorized immigrants which is a major simplification of the immigration process).

    Finally, the security for borders clause provides no details as to what types of security will be funded, how long this security will be in place or how much money would be allocated for this security. I understand this was probably done intentionally to avoid partisan conflicts, but now the clause is so vague that it seems nonessential and overly broad.

    I think you also missed a major audience in terms of undocumented students, who currently benefit from DACA legislation.

  2. I think you guys have a great start. The bipartisanship that I see mainly comes out in securing of boarders and allowing others to stay, which I think is great. I do not know how in depth you want your policy to go, but I think you need to creat an incentive for states to participate. Yes they will get more tax dollars, but that money will be needed to provide the services for the increased population. Can their be a small fee for citizenship to be granted which these states can also keep in their discretionary budget. I’m thinking like 50-200$ to make it worth it, and to help protect the state from just getting an increase of dependent people. The paying of this fee would show that the person is committed to their new citizenship! Good luck!!

  3. I am slightly concerned at the use of creating tax offsets for “communities” that facilitate pathways to citizenship. Creating designated or authorized areas for immigrants its treading on a dangerous line of historical mistakes made by the United States. Many media outlets and human rights organizations would have a field day.

    More importantly, creating bipartisan policy does not mean using vague langue to try and come up with a generalized solution. That is creating more of an issue. Bipartisanship uses specific points and ideas from both sides of the isle to enhance policy and make legislation more well-rounded. What type of border security will be implemented? Where will the funding come from – what type of tax legislation? And how is this better policy than what we have now?

  4. I feel your incentive shows a clear path to a positive solution. You have clearly stated the flow of integration. The key to bipartisan solution is to average numerical figures as far as who will receive dollars and to choose a key panel to determine what communities are showing positive effects for America’s character along with production in economic stability. The border security is essential for effective immigration reform to work effectively.

  5. Several comments. 1) As other commentators have noted, immigration policy reform and border security must occur before implementing any changes. Without a sealed border, a policy to provide US benefits to illegal immigrants will simply encourage more illegal immigration in anticipation of obtaining the benefits. The border must be sealed first. 2) What or who will be taxed? Is it a tax on the new immigrants? Is it a fee they must pay before they can obtain the benefits? Even if you tax all illegal immigrants (12 – 20 million), you will not raise a significant amount of revenue. If it is a tax on all Americans, you are in a difficult position of asking all Americans to pay a tax to benefit those who broke the law in coming here illegally. Further, each of the past two quarters have seen record tax revenues collected at the Federal level. Are you saying we need to pay more in taxes? Given that we borrow 40% to cover what we spend, a far better solution is to cut Federal spending before increasing taxes. 3) You state it is a geographically distributed tax and that it is offered to communities that actively facilitate a path to citizenship. This sounds optional and you would see this applied haphazardly. With 50 states, you would have 50 differing opinions on how to work this. Within the 50 states, you would further see differing opinions on participation. You set up the potential to have pockets across the country that see large numbers of immigrants moving there to take advantage of the program. This would further stress resources. This is a recipe for chaos, waste and fraud. By necessity, any program would have to be a single uniform program driven from the Federal level. 4) You do not differentiate between types of illegal immigrants. Will all be equal? Will those who simply crossed the border be treated the same as those who had a work Visa and simply didn’t leave? And what about those who have committed crimes (other than illegal immigration) while here in the US? Will they be allowed to receive the benefits and citizenship? 5) What do you say to those who have obeyed the law and gone through the citizenship process? And how do you justify giving specific benefits to illegal immigrants that the legal immigrants do not or did not receive? 6) You make no mention of expectations being placed on the immigrants. What will or should Americans expect from these folks? Should military service be mandated? English language fluency? What assimilation should be expected/required? Should there not be a cost to them to obtain citizenship? 7) Finally, what additional changes should be made as a part of this initiative? English declared the official language of the US. A change to the Constitution to eliminate “anchor babies.” Relationships with those countries from where the majority of the illegal immigrants are coming. Good luck and enjoy your remaining time in Washington DC.

  6. Pingback: What I learned about bipartisanship from my 12 classmates | Drake in D.C.

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