Illegal Immigrants are a hot topic right now. Several states are affected by them, and they show no sign of stopping, but I think that we are going about the process all wrong, and here is why.
Right now the US policy regarding illegals is to round them up and ship them back to Mexico. Many times the people that send in the anonymous tip that illegals are in country and working the fields are the very people that brought them here or hired them to begin with, in many cases this happens right before they are paid for the work they do, so that all the farmer is out is the occasional fine they must pay for using illegals for the work, which is less that what they would have paid them to begin with.
There is another option.
Look at the jobs that they take when they are here, these are typically jobs that a majority of us, as US citizens, will not take, even in desperation. I have, personally, known several people that would take unemployment or nothing over working the fields. Understanding that, why is it such a bad idea to allow people to work the fields that do not have a problem doing it? Yes, they are not in the US legally, and they do not pay taxes, but this is not something that they have a lot of control over, and some of them would really like to be Americans, but are not able to do so through proper channels.
The US, and California especially, need to create a program where we will import a certain number of migrant workers from Mexico to do these jobs. The program I would suggest would be a Civilian Group, not a government organization, but it would be supervised by the government to insure that it was not abused. Any farms, packing companies or growers groups would pay a set amount into a fund that is administered by this civil group, the amount they pay into it would be based on the total number of hands they need for that season. The workers would be paid a fair rate from that fund, and all moneys they earn would be placed in bank accounts in their names, from that a small amount would be taken for taxes (significantly less than what a citizen pays), and insurance. The insurance would be for health and liability needs… should a worker get sick, he would not have to rely on the welfare system to pay for medical treatment.
At the end of the contract with the job, the migrant worker would be put back in the pool, if after two weeks, no new jobs come up, they will be sent back to Mexico, they can leave any money they saved in their bank account or take it back with them. After five years of being part of this program, and demonstrating that they are reliable and good workers, they will, if they “opted in”, automatically be placed on the waiting list for citizenship, and if they pass the required tests, they will be granted citizenship. The tests will include a required understanding of English, US History and a US Laws (meaning what is and is not legal.)
If the worker does not want to become a citizen, then they may stay in the worker program for as long as they like, they will still get their pay and be able to maintain their bank account for as long as they wish.
I see this as a very good idea, and if a politician happens to read this and want to use the idea, then I will not complain, I will not even ask for any credit, you may freely claim it as your own. Not only will this save us money in welfare expenses, it will also ease, albeit only a little, the border problems and make it so that the farmers do not have to play games to get their fields planted or harvested.
These were just some ideas, and I welcome comments.