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Latino Daily News

Friday May 20, 2011

Immigration Reform: “Pay to Stay” Program Better than Deportation

Immigration Reform: “Pay to Stay” Program Better than Deportation

Photo: Immigration Reform

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A Missouri immigration lawyer is proposing that illegal immigrants who haven’t committed serious crimes should be able to a fee to live and work in the United States. Andrea C. Martinez contends in an Op-Ed in the Kansas City Star that a “pay-to-stay” plan would increase federal revenues, boost the economy with needed immigrant labor, and reduce the high cost of deportation.

With 4.5 Billion being spent a year to deport immigrants who have not committed a crime, the American taxpayers would see relief.

“Instead of making the American taxpayer shell out $23,000 per immigrant deported, I propose that we give immigrants with no serious criminal history the opportunity to pay us to live legally in the United States,” writes Martinez.

Martinez advocates “pay to stay” as part of an overhaul requiring “comprehensive immigration reform, not open borders.”

“Visa numbers must be increased to meet the market’s current demands,” she writes. “Employers shouldn’t have to wait 10 years to hire a foreign worker.”

Martinez maintains that immigration reform that incorporates “pay to stay” could also help reunite families more quickly, and create a smoother, more predictable process that would reduce the temptation for people to enter the United States illegally.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office confirms that this type of reform of U.S. immigration laws could inject up to $1.5 trillion into the U.S. economy over 10 years. A deportation-only policy, in contrast, would result in a loss of $2.6 trillion in GDP over 10 years.