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    Posted January 29, 2013 by
    New York, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Naturalized citizens: Your thoughts on immigration reform

    Immigration solution alternatives

    A long term solution has to address the concerns of both sides pro and anti-amnesty groups, as well as to balance among the economic, business, political and fiscal realities.

    What about an unlimitedly extensible work-visa for a recurring fee? The hearts of most economic immigrants are not pouring out for the stars and stripes. It’s a matter of business and repatriation of the strong dollar.
    Due to some odd reason the current law forces an economic immigrant to be a citizen after a specified number of years, which immediately makes them Govt. liability (unemployment, Medicare etc.).

    If the years cap on work-visa is eliminated, the economic immigrants will become profit center to the country, because they’ll pay taxes plus recurring work-visa fee, while not burdening country’s resources. This can retain the green-card/citizenship numbers at a healthy level, without further burdening the fiscal black-hole.

    A properly structured recurring visa fee can also reduce labor cost arbitrage that disadvantages American workers. For various skill levels, the visa fee can be adjusted in a way that one has to earn above market level to make it economically viable to stay and work here (that means only the really good workers will sustain).

    Once the work-visa system is designed arbitrage free, there is little need to have the numbers cap, because each immigrant worker will be a net economic asset which is good for the country’s balance sheet. Let economic supply demand will control the work visa numbers.

    Also eliminating work-visa hurdles will encourage economic immigrants to leave quickly when they don’t have a profitable engagement, because re-entry later will not be a monstrous process. (Obviously, the chain immigration loopholes need to be addressed for abusers to benefit from this).

    The work-visa should also detach all the strings and provide same economic privileges as green-card (i.e. visa belongs to the individual instead of employer, flexibility to change employment, startup new venture, establish franchise etc.). Only political privilege (becoming citizen or vote etc.) will be prevented.

    This will stop the permanent logjam of the green- card/citizenship pipeline, while keeping those numbers healthy. At the same time, the fiscal overburden can be reduced; economy and business will receive the required skills, and disadvantage to American workers can be mitigated to a great extent.
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