There’s a comment section below, and you’re going to need it because it’s going to sound like I’m trying to be a sanctuary advocate. Hope it doesn’t come across that way.
First of all, recognize the facts that the Feds don’t do a good job on the border, don’t pursue fraudulent use of social security numbers, and do a poor job of picking up or deporting illegals. They don’t enforce the federal laws already passed and won’t let the states enforce immigration laws. The feds are eventually going to come up with a plan for giving illegals a method of staying here, and providing some type of amnesty. Realize too, that Washington isn’t going to come up with something anytime soon, so we’re on our own.
The hard-working, “non-criminal” illegals (sigh) that are working here are part of the economic fabric of the Texas. They are building our roads, houses, and working in agriculture. They may have kids that are U.S. citizens so you know we’re not going to deport them. They pay consumer taxes in Texas, and property taxes (through rent), but they do place an additional financial burden on our hospitals, social services, and schools where verification of legal status is not required. If they are working under the table, the illegal person AND their employer are defrauding Texas. But then, you’re living in a house that was built with illegal labor in some form or fashion. Their kids are our kids’ friends.
My solution – you should know I’d have a solution – is issue a Texas Worker Identification Number, the TWIN, to any illegal here. They don’t have a (legal) social security number, a green card, or any other legal identification. Go ahead and fingerprint them, take a photograph, do a background check, get them a TWIN, and get them in OUR state system. Make it mandatory for all EMPLOYERS to comply with this. Your employees must be legal, or must have a TWIN. If they are legal, with a valid social security number, they’ll be paying about 15% in social security taxes to the Feds, and some of that money actually comes back to the state.
If they are illegal, have Texas tax them at 15%, and keep that money in Texas. The feds aren’t going to deal with them, so accept that fact and make it work for us. Let’s do the math: One million illegals, each making $30,000 a year. 15% tax on their income gives $4500 for each. One million times $4500 is FOUR AND HALF BILLION DOLLARS. That will make a heck of a dent in funding their use of Texas schools and county hospitals.
The 15% tax may even have the effect of making it easier for the unemployed legal residents of Texas to compete in the job market again. Identify who’s here working, get them in the system, and garnish some of their wages to support their presence in Texas. I’d give them a Texas Driver’s License emblazoned with a green stripe that says “NON-CITIZEN” on it just so they’ll have a license and can buy insurance. This driver’s license will never be used as a form of identification for voting. The TWIN number instead of an illegal social security number would also reduce identification theft in Texas. Let the Texas Workforce Commission be the lead agency for this, funded through the collection of these taxes.
I’m just trying to be a realist. We’re not going to be able to deport illegals. To keep Texas financially healthy is going to take the cooperation of the Texas businesses that hire illegals. Give them a little time to comply, or we’ll levy fines against the business. It’s patriotic and helps keep Texas solvent.
This is the Texas solution for the failure of the Federal government to do its job. For Texas, we’ll still police the border, stop drugs, hammer the Cartel, and all the usual defensive moves on the border that our fine DPS is already doing without the Fed’s help. The money received will go to schools and hospitals. That’s a good thing.
Last couple of notes. I don’t want the illegals that came here as adults to have a pathway to citizenship anytime soon. If they came here illegally, they shouldn’t even begin to stand in line for the application for citizenship for 10 years, but that’s a federal issue. I’m trying to solve Texas problems.
On fingerprinting, and you may disagree with me on this one, but I’m a U.S. citizen and veteran of the U.S. Army. I’m not a criminal. They have my fingerprints and DNA on file, and I’ve had background checks when I’ve purchased a weapon.
I think every Texan ought to be fingerprinted and backgrounded ONCE when they are 21 or when they apply for their initial Texas driver’s license, and then be automatically eligible for a CHL. But that’s another post for another time. Constructive criticism and the sharing of ideas is encouraged. It’s not amnesty, it’s just the realization that what we’ve done for the last 50 years hasn’t worked. Thanks again for your time.