Abbott has failed to adequately address the undocumented immigrant situation. He relied on the federal government, instead of taking action on his own. And his solution, championed by the Republicans in the Texas legislature, is an expensive 12th century approach to solving a 21st century problem. The problem must be attacked much differently and more cost effectively.
I claim the following:
1. The rush to the U.S. is driven by economic opportunity.
Immigrants choose to come here to improve their standard of living.
2. They compete against our lower income citizens, harming our citizens standard of living.
3. They receive the benefit of years of improved infrastructure without having had to pay for any of the up-front investment.
- better water systems
- better sewer systems
- better electric systems (Oops, maybe not with Abbott as Governor)
- better roads & highways
- better schools
- better hospitals and hospital care
- better job opportunities
These improvements in our standard of living did not come overnight. They came from years of sweat, toil and sacrifice by millions of Americans. An individual who enters our State who is not a U.S. citizen must be required to "buy in" to the improved conditions.
This is not a new concept. It has existed in our society for a long time.
Do you want to become a member at a fancy athletic club or golf course? You have to pay an up-front membership fee because the club you are wishing to join has invested a lot of money in the equipment and facilities. That is the cost of joining the club. Your monthly dues are to cover the monthly expenses of your monthly use.
We don't currently charge immigrants to Texas a membership fee. We should.
There are details to be worked out as this is a new concept, but don't let the Republicans dismiss this because they didn't come up with the idea.
A few thoughts, but nothing is set in my mind, many people must contribute to figuring out how to achieve this.
-If we take away the economic opportunity, we will have fewer undocumented immigrants. On its face, this results in lower cost to us.
- An energy tax, with an immediate tax refund if the bill is registered to a U.S. citizen (SSN) or documented immigrant (green card) who has been in the U.S. over 10 years.
- An increase in sales tax of say, 6%, refunded to credit cards attached to a U.S. citizen (SSN) or legal immigrant.
- If you pay cash, you can process your refund by filling out a form and submitting receipts with your SSN or green card number.
- And don't think about cheating, there will be criminal penalties for tax cheats, that's how we got Al Capone!
- A school admission tax, refunded to U.S. citizens or documented immigrants.
How would I allocate the revenue this generates?
- I'd pay it into the school finance system to help pay for the poorer school districts. This would then reduce the Robin Hood payments made by 75% of the school districts in the state.
Again, these are just ideas. The basic concept is:
- Reduce the economic incentive for undocumented immigrants to reside in Texas
- Thus, improving the standard of living for lower income Texans.
- Thus, reducing the number of undocumented immigrants in Texas
- Generating revenue to reduce the amount of Robin Hood funding now having to be paid by 75% of our school districts.
The net result? - Reduced costs for Texans and fewer undocumented immigrants.
Or the republican plan: Spend $2.0 billion on a 12th century wall that blocks Texas rancher's cattle from getting water. Hell, we've already got a moat that doesn't work.