Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My proposal for immigration reform

Of course, when I send well-thought out, brilliant letters to the News they don’t get published, but when I dash something off on the spur of the moment and send it via a website that I connected to by e-mail, then I get a call from them. Well, I’ve been told that they will only publish you every 60 days, so there go the other ones I’d thought of writing - assuming they do print this one.

It seems to me that the main problem is that companies (as well as individuals) want cheap labor, whom they can treat any way they want because their employees will never report them for fear of being deported. The solution to this is to make any undocumented immigrant legal the minute they’re hired. Whoever hired them becomes their sponsor and is therefore responsible for them. (I know that this would require some finessing since I’m sure a lot of these people are paid off the books, so there would have to be a way for them to prove to the INS that they are working for someone. I leave that up to the lawyers. It would also have to be well publicized, since it wouldn’t work if the employees didn’t know about it.) This eliminates two things - the incentive that the employer has for hiring the person and the fear of being deported that keeps the employee from reporting substandard wages, conditions, etc. Fining the employer does nothing, since they probably just rack it up to the cost of doing business and go out and do it again. With my idea the employee doesn’t get deported, has a chance of becoming a productive, taxpaying legal immigrant and if they’re in danger of going on welfare, become disabled, etc., the employer becomes responsible for them.

I know there are a lot of people who foam at the mouth at the idea of “rewarding” people for coming here illegally, but I’m sure there could be some way in which additional hurdles could be put in their path before, say, they could become citizens. Considering the hardships that some of them go through, maybe more in some cases than those who wait their turn, I don’t think it would be that big a deal and anyway, if this could be enacted and enforced the numbers would go down drastically - though the price of fruits and vegetables might go up quite a bit.

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