Immigration Proposal: Tag & Tax
What do Americans want in an immigration program? What reason would any immigrant or illegal decide to join any such program? What plan could provide a clear and distinct path to United States citizenship? What idea would the American people accept that would allow such a clear and distinct path to United States citizenship? I believe that the idea expressed in this composition will answer all of the above questions.
My solution to the modern immigration problem is a two fold suggestion. First, the Real ID act must be formatted on the federal level and mandated for states use. The Real ID act was passed in 2006 as an attachment to a war spending bill and was to go into effect in 2007. What this bill didn’t provide was a formatted ID card, instead it asked the states to go to great expense and design it themselves. The states said no, and that’s where we stand today, another unenforced bill. I am sure that every state had a valid reason to not implement the Real ID Act.
The Real ID act, in my opinion, is one of the best ideas that came from this administration. The Real ID, as I understand it, was to be an identification card with a built in computer chip. On this chip would contain all the information required to identify a citizen in a read only format with encryption protection and safeguards. Along with this information, the Real ID would contain a writable section that could store all of the citizen’s health, dentil, optical, and prescription information. With this information a citizen can go to any doctor or hospital and have instant access to all the patients’ data. Every time a citizen visits a doctor, dentist, optician, or pharmacist, that professional can access your Real ID to read and update your files in the writeable section only. The Real ID can save lives with quicker access to the patients information from anywhere in the Untied States. Every citizen who has an eye exam will have all there optical information, at hand, to buy glasses from any vender or venue. With all of your dentil history in your pocket, you are empowered to switch to any dentist at will, if you desire. The definition for “all information required” to identify a citizen must be spelled out, before adaption.
The surface of the Real ID will still look very similar to today’s ID card or driver’s license, just a little thicker. The Real ID will be a proof of citizenship card, driver’s license, social security card, and passport or temporary citizen status immigration card. It’s up to congress to determine the range of options the Real ID Act encompasses. Immigration Real ID was to be colored pink or other color than full citizen card. Every time a citizen goes in to have their drivers licensee renewed, the Real ID card will be issued. A citizen will then have to provide name, address, proof of residence, a birth certificate, and social security card to obtain the Real ID. The proof of residence could be an electric bill showing residence or other document showing address. A grace period for the use of the current ID card could take place within eighteen to twenty four months, until full implementation, and then the Real ID will be required. The use of the Real ID would be required to gain access to any government building, airport, employment, or banking institution. I took poetic license with the listing of required services, actual listing of would be determined by congress.
Now that we have clear distinction of “we” and “they”, we can now discus how to allow immigrants, illegal or otherwise, to obtain citizenship in the United States. Essentially, every immigrant will have to pay for the privilege to be a citizen of the United States. This is a citizenship fee. Here is how this could work. Immigrants could be taxed on a higher income tax rate than naturalized/born Americans. An Immigrant can either opt to pay a one time fee to become a United States citizen or opt to be taxed on a higher income tax scale, that would pay up to the entry fee, over years. Whether this fee is $5,000 to $50,000 for United States citizenship; this would have to be determined by congress. For the sake of this discussion, let’s call it $10,000. An immigrant would then choose at what degree of higher tax rate to obtain the entry Whether this tax rate is 10% higher for 10 year period, to pay up to the entry fee, or opt for a higher tax rate of 10-30% and shorter pay period. An immigrant could opt to pay additional income taxes to pay toward the completion of the fee. The pay scale of the immigrant will be the determining factor as to the duration of the higher tax rate. A straight line higher tax rate and duration period could be discussed.
The entry fee could be configured in a regional chart of the world. Let’s say a Mexican national has an entry fee of $10,000 and a French national has an entry free of $12,000. Again this regional fee would have to be determined by congress. States that wish to prohibit immigration could raise the required citizen tax to reflect their desire for immigration. States my add residence requirements to determine immigrant status.
Tax revenue from this fee could be earned for the states, federal government, or both. Increasing revenues to either organization would pay off debts and ease the general public tax burden.
What if a foreign national marries a United States citizen? The entry fee could be halved or reduced; to be determined by congress.
What if a corporation wishes to import a foreign national? The corporation could pay the entry fee. It would be up to congress if the corporation gains a corporate income tax credit or deduction. The citizenship fee should not be a bar against valued foreign nationals in gaining citizenship. The Real ID system would determine the validity of the foreign national.
How invasive could the “all information required” to identify the citizen, be? All of the information of your current drivers’ license or ID card would be included on the Real ID, and the information required in the computer chip could contain the following:
• Fingerprints. The thumb print scanner used at many banking institutions to identify or file print information has set the stage for this type of identification. The fingerprint scan can be done by a simple scanner, without messy ink.
• Retina scan. Most Drivers License stations run a quick check on your vision to qualify for license. A simple addition of a retina scanner to this process would consume very little of the citizens time. Optional.
• Social Security Number. Would replace existing and antiquated social security cards.
• Access dates. Dates and description of access check. Optional.
• Status. If the citizen is out of country, this information would be noted in the Real ID. Dates and countries of destination information. If temporary or immigration status national has left the country, a caution period or suspension of status could be recorded at boarder stations. Reentering the country could remove such caution status.
• Medical Alert Information. Contact numbers for emergency use could be provided by the citizen; at the citizens’ discretion. Citizen provided medical alert information, such as heart condition, diabetes, and so forth.
As you can now see, much of the information required to identify a citizen is not very invasive to our rights. If the Real ID deters criminal activity in any shape and form, isn’t this worth the inconvenience of signing up to it once. Renewing the Real ID would require much less information and time at the DMV or Drivers License stations. Lost or stolen Real IDs would require the noted information for reissuance. Citizen should be able to fill out most of the forms for the Real ID card from their home computer, and then enter the issuance station to have their information in queue for ease of processing.
What if a citizen doesn’t want to use the writeable section of the Real ID card? It is completely up to the citizen as to the use of this aspect of the Real ID card. If the citizen wishes to have only optical information stored on the card, it is completely at their discretion. The Real ID could store your children’s medical information, if the parent desired.
What kind of crimes would the Real ID prevent? 1) Identity Theft. 2) Use of multiple identity cards. 3) ID forgery.
Is the Real ID in use today? American solders in Iraq are using the Real ID, now. I have interviewed one returned veteran and he commented that the Real ID was very useful and regrets that it doesn’t work here in the United States. Having all of his medical files with him allowed him a better sense of security, knowing that if injured he would receive better treatment. Information is power, and having any doctor empowered with your information could save your life.
What other functions could the Real ID provide? The Real ID could be used as currency or credit. The backside of the card or the computer chip of the Real ID could contain the information of your favorite credit or debit card company and used as a credit card. A wallet function on the chip could act as currency; do be determined by congress.
Would children of immigrants be subject to the new tax? This is a sticky question. If children of immigrants are born in the United States, then those children are automatically citizens of the United States. If this isn’t so, then I am not aware of it. Children who are not born in the Untied States will have to pay the entry fee at some point in their life or their parents can pay it. The parents may pay a discounted rate for their non-American born children; this discount rate may be higher for two or more children.
How difficult is the United States citizenship fee to pay? The current loss of value of the American dollar has made many foreign currencies stronger in relation. Let’s say the citizenship fee for a European was $10,000, dollars. This would only cost a European national, $6,569 euro’s, as of February 28, ’08. Keep this in mind; the United States is generally considered the lowest taxed country in the world. Currently, all immigrants are experiencing our low income tax rates. If they pay an initial higher income tax rate to gain the citizenship fee, then that higher tax rate may still be lower than what that national experienced in their home country.
What kind of data storage device would the chip contain? The data storage device would be similar to a flash memory data storage device. It would contain sections of read only memory for hard data such as Social Security number, digital photo, address, and security data for forgery protection. A second writable data section would allow your doctor, optometrist, and other health professionals to access health data of the primary and optional data of children of the owner. In case of an emergency, all of the health data of the individual would be readily available to the physicians to better treat the patient. Whether a RFD chip would also be included into the device, I cannot say. Passports have a RFD chip embedded into them. RFD chips can only be detected at short ranges, a few feet. The only thing that a RFD chip does is signal a string of numbers which would be unique to the individual.
What kind of special events could be planned for this immigration proposal? In times of American prosperity or during election periods; a general citizenship fee easement program could be temporarily/permanent passed that would reduce the fee or allow those immigrants with little remaining to pay to automatically gain citizenship. This could be used to generate times of celebration. Conversely, if congress or a state wishes to reduce or prohibit further immigration, then the citizenship fee could be raised in value.
How much revenue could this immigration program generate? It is estimated that there is twelve million illegal immigrants residing in the United States, and this number grows every year. If twelve million immigrants had to pay a citizenship fee of $10,000 this would generate $120 billion dollars in revenue for the states and federal government.