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.
“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.
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