Simplify the immigration reform discussion with a guest worker program

Executive Summary

  • Guest worker program assumes many people come here to work not to immigrate.
  • Uses a smart card linked to a national registry to replace all other identification.
  • When card is issued DNA and other biometric identification data is collected. Background check and health check performed.
  • Qualified individuals are issued cards and all records of employment, licensing, residence, and income are linked to the national registry.
  • Information is available to all based on need to know tiers. Guest workers must re-certify every 90 days, at their own expense through a commercial testing facility.
  • Anyone free of disease and with no criminal record can come to work in this country.
  • Anyone gainfully employed, free of disease and not implicated in criminal activity may remain in this country.
  • Because anyone can participate except those that should not be allowed to stay in the country, penalties for those who do not comply can be and should be significant.

Overview of program details.

To Qualify

  • Guest worker applicant must submit DNA, finger prints, iris scans and detailed photo identification pictures. Guest worker  must pass a drug screening and be free from communicable diseases. Guest worker data is submitted to national and international criminal databases for background check to certify that the guest worker does not have a criminal record or is not a fugitive from justice. This data, and all other information goes into a database open to the public (with need to know limitations). If the guest worker passes they are issued a guest worker smart card that replaces ALL other forms of ID. The guest worker is given 90 days to prove gainful employment.

To Remain.

  • The guest worker can stay as long as they are gainfully employed, free of criminal implication and healthy. They must prove it every 90 days. A lab company (such as those set up to do employment screening ) will administer a DNA based ID test, perform blood and drug testing. The guest worker will enter all income, employer data, and housing data in a terminal provided for that purpose. The income will be verified against department of tax records and the cost of housing will be analyzed against verified income to determine a ratio used to meet “gainfully employed” requirements. Those that meet the requirements will have the smart card updated for another 90 days. The fee for this is borne by the guest worker, or their employer.

Conditions of termination and compensation to the citizens.

  • Compensation to citizens. Guest workers may stay as long as they meet the requirements. They are required through their employer to pay all taxes. The guest worker is not eligible for any tax supported benefits. This includes food stamps, welfare, housing assistance, government disability insurance and they do not accumulate credit towards Social Security.  Guest worker’s are not be permitted to remain in the country if they do not meet the requirements for renewal of their guest worker card, regardless of the reason. Collection of taxes without benefits is in lieu of paying a “right to work fee” to the citizens of the country.
  • The guest worker can purchase insurance against job loss, disability and health issues the same as anyone. However they still must prove gainful employment, and remain free of health issues and criminal activity, otherwise there right to stay is rescinded.
  • If a guest worker chooses voluntarily to close their account, and not to work in the country for an extended period of time they can make their account inactive. Inactive accounts can be reopened and are treated similar to initial 90 accounts after a minimum waiting period. There should be a longer minimum waiting period between consecutive instances of accounts being reopened to prevent fraud or abuse.
  • Upon failure to qualify, regardless of the reason the guest worker is expected to leave the country. Those who pass subsequent qualification will have there card reinstated. There is a waiting period (recommended as 18 months) before a person who is ejected because of failure to satisfy the requirements of renewal may reapply to have an initialization of their account.
  • Leaving the country. Any guest worker is free to travel into and out of the country with no special restrictions as long as the card is valid. The card serves as the identification like a passport. Record of travel is recorded like any other detail. A guest worker may surrender their right to work in the country if they are out of the country for an extended time for any reason, reapplying for entry when they return, or sub

Naturalization & other considerations

  • People come here to earn wealth not available to them in their native country and with that wealth provide for themselves and their families a better future when they leave here. Guest workers like any other foreign national can apply to become citizens.  No preference is given to guest workers and like anyone they are required to go through the full process of immigration. There is no requirement that the become citizens.
  • Special attention to the condition of a guest worker marrying a citizen, or two guest workers marrying and living in the country concurrently with family or the children of guest workers born in this country.  The guest worker program is not designed to encourage whole families to come to the country, but there are many workers with potential for incomes that could afford to support their families. Since guest workers are not eligible for benefits, such as education paid for by local taxes, they will be required to enroll their children in private funded schools, and pay a fee for other services they might otherwise use. Children whose mothers are workers are citizens of the guest workers native country, not granted automatic citizenship here.


  • It should be a felony to remain in the country on an expired guest workers card, or without applying for a card. Since anyone can get a card except criminals and the dangerously ill, this is fair to both the citizens and those who come here for the opportunity and follow the rules. It can be assumed that because anyone not a risk to the country will be issued at least an initial card, the only people that do not apply are criminals, those in too poor health to support themselves, or those that are a risk to spread a communicable disease to the general population.

Smart card information access

  • The guest worker smart card will link to a database where a complete history is kept. If the guest worker qualifies for a drivers license (common or commercial) the smart card will serve as the only required ID. Employers will use the card to access the data base and get employment, training, education and housing history, as well as validating the right to remain in the country. Employers can use common biometric scanning devices to compare individuals for absolute identifications to prevent fraud. Medical records will be available to authorized medical personnel. Income, credit and housing history will be available to any landlord. And of course all DNA, Print, Iris scans, Identifying photos will be available to law enforcement. Individuals in other business or private citizens can use biometric scanning tools to validate that the person holding the card is the person the card was issued too and that they are in the country legally. Banks for example can verify the card is valid, the person is the same as the card was issued to, that the person presenting the card is legal to be in the country and with this information provide banking services.

If we are going to talk about immigration reform, lets start here. Recognizing that there is a difference between someone who wants to come here and earn a good living, and someone that wants to adopt the USA as their country forever. It simplifies the discussion. Many people who cross our borders do so for a limited time, to return to their families. Many more would like to travel home often if it weren’t for the risk. Many students who complete college then go underground would welcome this offer. There are two different needs. Those who want to come to America to be Americans, and not be part of a hyphenated diaspora, and those that simply want to participate in the worlds greatest economic opportunity while remaining attached, and eventually planning to return to their home land. With a guest worker program we can satisfy the requirements of those who don’t want to abandon their native country making it easier to develop a comprehensive immigration plan for those who do want a path to naturalization.