Mickey Long - An Immigration & Deficit (or Debt) Elimination Act (“IDEA”)

Every day, hundreds of thousands of New Hampshire residents rise out of bed and compete for jobs and wages. NHetwork (NH.gov) reports that NH has 650,000 (non-agricultural) workers. They also report that over 100,000 of them (about 16%) commute into Massachusetts and other New England states to work. Experts estimate that employers employ about 200,000 aliens unlawfully to work in New England. The 100,000 NH workers seeking work outside of NH must compete every day to find jobs against cheating employers that unlawfully employ those 200,000 aliens.

Even honest employers compete against these cheating employers. Cheaters win low bids for contracts in construction, janitorial services, restaurant services, landscaping, hotel maid services, and etc. Mostly, these low bids reflect illegally deflated wages and prices. Nationally, honest employers seeking to employ over 11 million United States citizens must compete against those actually employing the 11 million unlawfully here. Honest employers and workers struggle every day against this illegally infected market place. This infection results from the continued failures of elected leaders to solve the 11 million illegal immigration problem.

While employees compete, elected politicians bicker and battle over procedure, not substance. For example, the Comprehensive Reform bill passed by the US Senate in 2013 died in the US House without even a vote. The biggest hold up: What to do with the 11 million here. All other parts, e.g., border security, e-verify, seasonal employees, STEM visas, and etc., have substantial bipartisan agreement. Yet, political positioning stokes the fires of hatred that fuels division for politicians. This division costs us money. It results in dishonest employers getting work, reduced tax revenue to state and federal budgets, increased tax expenditure on border and other enforcement efforts, and stagnant wages and zero to no profits for NH’s competing workers and honest employers. Hence the following IDEA.

The IDEA: 1st Secure Our Borders, Permanently:

To protect honest businesses, a market-based solution (“MBS” 1) helps. First, imprison high profile cheating employers to end the current hiring pipeline. Second, let honest employers (market participants) sue dishonest employers that cheat to compete. Honest employers will obtain a court judgment of $50,000 per illegal worker as liquidated damages (50% as a finder’s fee, 50% to our US Treasury). Cheaters will lose their incentive to employ workers illegally, and they will lose their capital to honest employers and taxpayers. Taxpayers will save billions on taxpayer financed enforcement efforts by encouraging privately financed enforcement.

The IDEA employs whistleblower concepts used for over a hundred and fifty years beginning with qui tam (Google it) civil actions. Qui tam suits allow private citizens to sue cheaters who steal from the US government; such citizen suits began after the Civil War to stop supply-vendor (uniforms, munitions, equipment, food service, etc.) cheating. Today, qui tam plaintiffs earn millions suing to help recover billions more for the government. Recently in Massachusetts, this approach has helped honest businesses against cheaters engaged in worker compensation premium evasion (See MGL c 152, Section 25C (11)). Just the threat of a civil lawsuit reduced within five years of enactment the number of employers who cheat to compete. Consider also NH Rev. Stat. 167:61-b (NH’s False Claims Act), which allows private civil

lawsuits against the dishonest. This private enforcement IDEA is old, but the time for its application to immigration has come. A cheater’s fear of a lawsuit stops border penetration by eliminating the employment pipeline incentive permanently. Spending billions of tax dollars on border wall building will not stop penetration. Drone and other tech surveillance, maintenance, and paid guards, and etc., provide contracts for political contributors (Halliburton, Black Water security, and etc.) but will not stop penetration. Penetration will persist via the oceans, Canada, the Great Lakes, air, and overstayed tourists, work & student visas. This IDEA empowers employers to clean up their own industry by suing cheating employers to end the employment pipeline, the purpose of illegal penetration.

2nd Get In Back of the Line & Show Me The Money

Simultaneously, charge the four million lawfully waiting in line $10,000 each and walk them in, first. Use that $40 billion to pay down the debt or finance infrastructure jobs (bridges, schools, etc.) to create thousands of jobs. Afterward, place the 11 million illegally here behind those lawfully here. Then, charge those illegally here $30,000 each, as liquidated damages, for a work visa. They can pay over 10 years via IRS weekly payroll deductions ($3,000 per year – about $57/week). Their employers, family, and bank loans will help them pay, too. That pulls in an additional $330 billion to pay down the debt, the deficit or create millions of infrastructure jobs. As an additional penalty and to compromise, deny them citizenship for 20 years or allow citizenship in normal time, but after all is paid. We exempt the elderly, the very young, & seriously disabled; felons we deport. The IDEA is not visa selling; taxpayers have spent billions on illegal immigration. We want our money back! Now, immigrants can help fix five problems:

1) Illegal immigration; 2) A final & permanent solution to secure borders; 3) The US debt or budget deficit; & 4) Deteriorating infrastructure; & 5) Job creation. 

Do the math: Add that $370 billion ($40B + $330B) visa charge to the tax gain of about $30 billion a year those now legalized workers will pay as taxes. Plus, add the $30 billion saved in enforcement efforts each year (assume only one year), and that near half-trillion dollars ($40B + $330B + $30B + $30B) helps pay down much of our deficit or debt or investment in infrastructure and jobs (which produces yet more tax revenue).

Better still, those illegally here get behind those now waiting in line who get in first. Further, the undocumented pay to stay and/or wait 20 years for citizenship. Most criminal acts result in only fines. By using the pay raises that they will likely earn from their new “legal” status they can afford the $57/week fine. Further still, employers get a sufficient and much needed workforce for the next decade’s boom years now underway (because of energy, fracking, raising wages in China, & etc.). Moreover, honest workers no longer compete every day against dishonest employers who hire those unlawfully here. Moreover still, taxpayers substantially reduce their debt, i.e., a windfall or create about 6 million infrastructure jobs, or a bit of both.

Guest Workers: Guess Who Benefits

Some want a Guest Worker program. This is a bad idea for workers, but a great idea for employers. Given Maslov’s “Hierarchy of Needs,” those illegally here will take a Guest Worker program over nothing. “Guests,” however, would work subservient to employers who will sponsor a worker’s visa. American citizens would compete with “Guests.” 

Picture yourself applying for job against a group of “Guests”. Guess who an employer would prefer? “Guests” who ask for a raise will risk termination and loss of sponsorship, i.e., deportation. Guests who sue for overtime pay, age or other discrimination or sex harassment will find difficult obtaining new employer-sponsors. Sure it would be retaliation, but not many Guests would sue. Guests must leave after a term or two in the program (probably 5 years with a 5-year roll over, if the employer agrees). 

Guests provide employers with a compliant young workforce and a revolving door that rotates out older workers who must leave. Employers will rotate their “human resource” stock and capitalize on lower wages and working conditions endured by “Guests.” Guests know too well the employer’s power over their visas. Employers benefit when American citizens compete against co-worker “Guests.” Most New Hampshire workers know their bosses’ power, too. Guest programs also work well for those few unscrupulous business owners or supervisors who will ‘scan the crop’ for good-looking, stronger, and otherwise compliant immigrants to work in their stables. Envision the lawsuits at best or despicable acts at worse endured by “Guests.” New sources revealed recent sexual exploitation by some Australian employers holding visas.2  

Further, Guests send money home. They do not spend it here in our malls and main street stores. Guests realize that they must leave. Accordingly, they must invest at home, not here. Moreover, Guests will not help our entrepreneurs who sell homes, condominiums, new furniture, and our property owners who seek to rent out apartments. Guests would jam many into single apartments to save money for their return home life. Guests will not save in our banks, spend in our restaurants or other retail outlets. They will save for the day the must leave. Accordingly, billions of dollars will leave our shores. A guest program helps employers and the Guests’ home countries. But, such a program will hinder US workers, US retailers, realtors, other merchants, and our economy. 

Moreover still, in all countries where guest programs existed, including the US under the “bracero program” from 1942 to 1964, guests brought in family, friends, and neighbors. This resulted in the millions who overstayed “guest” status, e.g., the very people Ronald Reagan legalized in his 1986 amnesty law. Finally, Guests use social services, as they pay taxes (though low wage taxes). Currently, taxpayers pay low-wage workers tens of billions in subsidies for rent, food stamps, and etc.3 Accordingly, a Guest Program would deplete tax services, burden taxpayers, and compromise -not enhance, border security.4 

Deport Now! Currently, some seek to harness American anger by shouting self-deportation or mass deportation. Only 20% of Americans support this unlikely solution.5 They shout ebola, terrorism, and criminal conduct of a few to induce fear and divide NH’s voters. NH will host the 2016 presidential primary candidates. Some will voice illegal immigration hate messages for votes.

Decades before this scare mongering & voter “persuasion” or mind-manipulation, many in New Hampshire’s construction industry called for deportation. 

For 30 years (a construction workers' career span), politicians failed to deport the millions who came in under Bush I (after Reagan's 1986 amnesty, which lacked border control and pushed wages lower for a generation by more illegal penetration). Politicians failed to deport the next few million who entered under Clinton. When more millions penetrated our borders under Bush II, their number catapulted to 13 million. He failed to deport them even with Republican majorities in both chambers, though he tried reform, too. Many left under Obama, but eleven million remain. Now, many more seek entry as we embark on an historic economic revival spurred by fracking and energy exporting, rising China wages, added to emerging market countries who now have hundreds of millions of consumers. Meanwhile, both Parties failed an entire generation. What makes anyone think that mass deportation will result, especially before any one reading this is dead. That is why almost 75% of Americans want simple legalization, not necessarily citizenship.6 Legalization eliminates illegally deflated competition for a new generation. 

For decades, dishonest employers have been employing millions illegally. Aliens are not taking our jobs; they have held these jobs for a generation. A generations-old problem and nothing new has developed, except pitting immigrants against American citizens to push a wedge between voters. During the past 20 years, ¾ of a worker’s career span and five presidential campaigns, politicians have played with the hearts and minds of voters. Politicians have no IDEA and do not need an IDEA; the current system works only for them, not us. Some seek a piecemeal approach. That works only if the hard piece, i.e., what to do with the 11 million, results first. Failure to address that piece has held up all other pieces. 

Back Taxes  Though politically sweet, insisting on back taxes misses the point. Too many of the individuals here illegally know the real dollars they earned during the past 30 years. Many of us know how much we earned only when we look at our weekly year-to-date total and our w-2 from our employers come January of the next year. If truth be told, too many could not afford to pay the taxes, assuming only $5,000 per year is owed. Five thousand times ten years, puts (without IRS interest, punishing penalties, and etc.) most individuals in debt for life and more. 

Some will owe hundreds of thousands of dollars, never being able to pay. Too many will lie. Lying is a deportable offense; back to square one. So, too many will not come forward. This issue will divide us and will help keep the status quo. Too many politicians will exploit this one boiling issue for your vote; but, that is not in your best interest. Back taxes forces too many to consume less, heavily burdened by tax debt. Business and entrepreneurs should want these folks spending in stores, not giving money to the IRS. How much of those back taxes will you really see in your neighborhood, in New Hampshire? Meanwhile, you will see and experience the effect that workers illegally employed will have on your daily ability to earn better wages, business profits, for you, your children, recent college graduates, and your neighbors too. A one- time $30,000 liquidated damages helps you more, though this clearly remains a tough, blood- heating and enormous stumbling block. Level-headed, clear-thinking individuals require cooler blood to run through rivers that nourish their brains.

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So: Why Now? Why NH? Eleven million have been working here illegally for a generation, 200,000 in New England alone effecting 100,000 NH employees who commute and others who do not. Legalized, individuals spur economic growth for businesses looking to sell condos, houses, furniture, vacations, restaurant meals, show tickets, automobiles, cell phones, and clothing sold in our local shops and malls. Businesses need better paid workers who become consumers who can spend in local stores. New Hampshire’s workforce should not have to fight over who will work for the lowest wages based on illegal tactics of cheaters. Too many earning low or illegally deflated wages hurt our economy. Further, taxpayers subsidize low wage employees with food stamps, fuel assistance, and other welfare. We pay Walmart’s employees over $6,000,000,000 in welfare each year (yes, billion)). Low wages do not put consumers into our local shops that line the main streets of Berlin, Laconia, Concord, Keene, Manchester and Nashua -businesses that yearn for consumer spending. Time has long passed to take worker illegal status out of the employment equation. Those lawfully here must compete every day against New England’s 200,000 illegally employed. 

Toward that end, New Hampshire voters remain front and center. Television and other personalities appear on NH streets for our 2016 primary vote. This IDEA can receive national attention, if NH voters demand action now. Senator Kelly Ayotte will host many national and international celebrities and leaders in her quest for re-election and in their quest to elect a President. She enjoys vice-presidential front place consideration for 2016. (Paul Ryan ran for Wisconsin’s US House seat while running as Mitt Romney’s VP.) Regardless, New Hampshire voters and voices can influence our Nation’s immigration policy that will surely effect each of our daily work lives. 

In the 2016 race, immigration looms large. Let candidates know your IDEA that will pass. In the battle to pass immigration reform in the US House & Senate, adopt this IDEA.

1 You can learn more MBSs at Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/cato-journal/winter-2012, a think tank financed by conservatives and Libertarians. There, you will discover that immigrants who actually do become citizens (only 46% of the 1986-Reagan amnesty became citizens) vote both Republican and Democrat. A win-win! 

2 http://thediplomat.com/2015/05/labor-exploitation-revealed-in-australias-food-industry/ 3 http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2014/03/how-taxpayers-subsidize-low-wage-workers; $7 Billion for fast food workers alone. See also, http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart- workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance $6.2 Billion for Walmart alone. 4 See “The Mirage of Mexican Guest Workers,” Foreign Affairs Mag. Nov/Dec. 2001.  5 See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/on-immigration-the-gop-is-out-of-touch-with-the-rest-of- america/2015/02/25/8e40d966-bd1b-11e4-b274-e5209a3bc9a9_story.html Washington Post, Feb. 25, 2015, Editorial Board OpEd. 6Id., see also: http://publicreligion.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/PRRI-AVA-Immigration-Policy-D1.pdf