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Eleven Million Immigrants are Ready to Pay Part of the United States Debt – By Signing a Binding Contract with American Conditions

Eleven Million Immigrants are Ready to Pay Part of the United States Debt – By Signing a Binding Contract with American Conditions

 A Framework to Fix a Broken System

 How many “illegal” (the term for one side of the debate) or “undocumented” (the preferred term by the other side) immigrants are there in America? The Department of Homeland Security indicated about 10.8 million in 2009. So for the purpose of this proposed contract and article, we are going to say, “the 11 Million Immigrants” (11M), and this essential issue should be resolved with the American Citizens (AC) and not with any Democrat or Republican party.

Are these 11M individuals paying taxes? The answer is probably unclear; however, if the 11M hope to be legalized to make their dream come true in this country, they should stop those ridiculous protests on the streets, alienating more Americans, and then talk directly to the American Citizens before it is too late to find a solution. If the AC are fed up with the current broken system and the incompetence of the government, they should decide this issue and not the government. This sounds like utopia, but I may have found a way to appease the majority in this country: A win-win solution.

 The 11M are on a path (trapped) to lose their battle with their main party: the American Citizens. The 11M must convince the AC that, although they may have broken the law by the way they entered this country, they have something fundamental that AC need: They have the power to pay the American debt.

 However, the two main American parties are using the subject of immigration to revitalize their bases to prepare for the elections in November of this year, as they need the votes for their self-preservation as well as for their parties to continue in power. This is American politics, and this is better than one-party rule, or multiple parties confusing everybody without principles or philosophy. Yet with the immigration issue, nothing is going to be seriously done this year. Let me tell you why.

 About sixty percent (according to CNN) of Americans seem to be against immigration reform with citizenship and ask the government to enforce our current laws, while thirty-three percent (according to CNN) are in favor and ask the government to fix a broken system. Why is this about the AC and not Congress taking up immigration reform?  Because it is likely the current congress will not approve legislation with a clear path to citizenship a few months before the elections just to be unseated by the popular backlash against the reform. Nevertheless, the subject is just as important as agitating the bases to protest either in favor of or against immigration reform.

 I have heard for decades, over and over, politicians saying we need border security.  The government in fact has increased the budget and added more agents and more technology, but the problem continues. On the other side, I have heard politicians saying over and over that undocumented immigrants are doing jobs that Americans don’t want to do, and we need a common-sense approach. It is about energizing constituents to vote in each election by replaying the same movie.

And the worst of the worst: politicians are playing the racial card on both sides of the spectrum to make this issue a confrontation between Hispanic and non-Hispanic Americans even though the 11M are not all Hispanics. It is probably true that there are those who hate Latino communities, but this is a very small minority; we cannot assume that all 60% are racist.  As we all know, most of the people in this country are not native-American, and they are descended from immigrants as they are now first-, second-, third- or fourth-generation Americans. And these American Citizens have created what almost all of us believe in and feel: American Exceptionalism and the love for our country.

Most of the 60% of AC have concerns that are potential deal breakers. And these are the facts that are increasingly getting them fed up with the system:

-Most of the 60% are concerned that new laws will give more collective rights to government benefits (such as welfare, grants, financial aid, Social Security, Medicaid, etc.) while we have the worst fiscal deficit ever in America.  They also fear that new laws will permit illegal immigrants to compete with Americans for jobs at lower wages. Another primary concern of some politicians and others is if the 11M become American citizens and have a tendency to be liberal, this country will become a progressive country (moving to the left) like Europe on the path to becoming a Greece.

-Towns across America struggle to balance their budgets with a great part of their residents (11M) contributing very little or almost nothing to this country. 

 -Individuals use our public schools while  some (11M) or their parents contribute virtually no property tax dollars to our system. (A great amount of property taxes in America is for education.)

-Police provide services to everybody that lives in this country while the 11M contribute zero dollars to support the police department.

-Individuals commit crimes and overburden the prison system despite the fact they broke the law by entering this country illegally. (Let’s be clear that these individuals must not be here, and they are not part of this proposed contract as they are a small minority.)

-Individuals use healthcare at the emergency rooms contributing zero dollars to this service. 

 -Courts provide rights to individuals contributing zero dollars.

 -Individuals use public places such as parks, roads, etc. contributing nothing to our system.


All of the above perhaps does not apply to all of the 11M as some are fully in compliance with their taxes.

Most of the 33% of the Americans who support immigration reform have legitimate concerns about how to legalize the 11M or enforce the current law:

-Most of the 33% want a path to citizenship because we can’t indefinitely sustain a subclass in America. These immigrants, like others in the past, will evolve to become part of the American culture.

-Many in the 33% believe that even if we try to change the responsibilities of our adolescents (16-24 years old) to take over these jobs, we may need years or a decade to educate American families on these new duties with no guarantee of success.

-These are also families whose children are American citizens and strict enforcement of current laws will be a disaster for our child service system – not to mention the destruction of the families.

-In conclusion, most of the 33% of Americans think that it is just not realistic to deport or create deterrent actions against the 11M without disrupting the economy of this country. 

We all can go on and on to find ways to justify why we should have immigration reform and why we shouldn’t have it. For that reason, let me tell you a solution that involves a contract between the AC and the 11M.

My purpose is also to propose a solution to our deficit in social security, Medicare, government spending, etc. I am not going to argue whether the government should continue loading Americans with more debt or providing more services to those that have been disadvantaged or abused. I am proposing that the government approve their legalization and allow Americans to decide directly on the 11M’s path to citizenship.

These 11M have never been consulted or surveyed, but I feel that if we consult them, they may sign the contract to allow American citizens to decide in a referendum about citizenship because the 11M can prove to be good productive individuals, and their main dream is to be able to work out of the shadows, visit their families in their countries or obtain a driver’s license as they are probably better off here than in the current situation or in their countries. So congress may approve just this proposed framework-contract below and leave the path to citizenship to AC in a referendum.

Agreement Between American Citizens (AC) and the 11 Million Immigrants (11M) with no criminal record to fix the deficit and immigration in the USA:

1- This contract is between American Citizens and the 11 million undocumented immigrants that entered before March 31, 2010 to be executed with the intention of establishing specific purposes. Evidence supporting the date of entrance to be set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

 2-The 11M must pay part of the debt as follows: Each of the 11M in America will pay a fine of ,000 for entering this country illegally or without authorization. This fine is to be used entirely to pay our debt. This is in compensation for having used our services without contributing to our system. 

3- The 11M will obtain a specific work permit valid for 4 years subject to renewal for another 4 years providing there is a company sponsoring this entry-level job all the time. The 11M may transfer to other companies with DHS authorization if it is a job approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.

4-The 11M must pay for the legalization process, not to exceed 0 per person. Process to be set by DHS. The legalization process expires in one year from the date of this agreement.

5- This contract specifically authorizes positions in entry levels as classified by the U.S. Department of Labor.

6- Every new person obtaining this work permit will pay a minimum of 20% in federal taxes collected by employers of which 25% must be collected to secure our borders, 50% to pay our debt and 25% to support our current systems.

7- Government may issue a bond for billion upon this agreement to secure our borders and enforce this contract. Securing our borders must occur within one year of this contract.

 8- Companies hiring any undocumented worker would be subject to a criminal process with imprisonment up to a year for the violation. 

9-The 11M now legalized can travel in and out of the country. 

10- The 11M now legalized can have their driver’s licenses corresponding to their state of residence. 

11- The 11M now legalized must obtain a legal social security number. 

12- The 11M must learn English by taking a 250-hour course in an institution recognized or approved by the Education Department or a private accrediting agency recognized by the Education Department. The 11M must also attend an American History course of 20 hours.

13-The 11M are not eligible for benefits provided by the government except for some emergencies determined by the Health Department in each state.

14- The decision to allow the 11M to be on a path to citizenship must be made within four years in the form of a referendum. A popular vote may be taken after the evaluation of the legalization process and effect on our debt. This referendum may also pose the time required to become a permanent resident and citizen as well as process questions.   

15- This referendum can take place only if the national unemployment rate is below 7%; if above 7%, the government can postpone the referendum until unemployment falls below 7%. 

Some may disapprove of the idea of walking out of the shadows without a clear path to citizenship, yet I know the 11M will be essential contributors to this country, and we can not leave them for another 10 years without a solution while they continue to be used as a weapon by politicians.

Some may say these are families, and we are converting them into numbers. The truth is that if the 11M are consulted, most of them may be willing to pay their taxes as long as they come out of the shadows. On the other side, the truth is that the majority of American citizens will not accept an immediate path to citizenship until it is established that the 11M are here to contribute and become part of the evolving American cycle to sustain the American way of life. 

Some may say also this is exploitation, but the truth is that many of the 11M will be better off than in the current situation or in their countries; many may want to return to their countries as soon as they have some savings. After all, this is a better way than allowing China, Japan and others to take over our debt, and we just pay the Chinese government and/or investors over billion a year in interest.

 Obviously, there is always the argument that China is exporting very cheap products to enlarge the AC purchasing power. Government debt is somewhat like a family with an unlimited credit card that increasingly borrows all the time. The problem is that these unlimited loans usually send families into bankruptcy and the same with governments. This is capitalism, and most of us at one point need a loan. Yet the chicken-and-egg bitterness continues on how to manage the debt, and it is far from being resolved. So I am offering a win-win solution between the immigration problem and the contribution to the national debt.

As for those who worry about creating a subclass in America:  we have already had it for more than two decades, with the added disadvantage that AC are forced to pay for most its consumed public services.

So the balanced approach should be legalization yet without a path to citizenship now. Let them prove to the American Citizens that they are productive people. The majority of the 11M want an opportunity to legalize their situation to demonstrate that they are productive people. They will become Americans by merit.

Countries are successful if they have productive individuals. If we compare the United States territory with other main partner countries, the U.S. has the capacity to support over a billion people easily, and the AC may be willing to give the 11M the opportunity to prove that they want to be productive, contribute and love this country, but the record must be proved to be a good one. Most politicians know the country’s future is to bring in only productive people, but they are afraid to be unseated, along with their parties, by their bases (voting groups) in November. In less than two decades, more people will be retired than working. The American fertility rate is below the required level (1.6) to sustain our culture in the future. We really need good, productive people. 

For these reasons, I have created a framework of 15 points to establish a contract with Americans in which the majority of the 11M, who most likely just want an opportunity to earn a decent living and travel to see their families, will then be able to come out of the shadows, to obtain a driver’s license and a social security number so that we can count on them.

 Please add your email or signature below to show support for this proposal and send this form to

61 Broadway #Suite 1910, New York, NY Zip:10006. You must be in the United States to sign it.

 _ I support this proposal.

Please put your signature below



Please put your emails below


 As for our students, here is an exercise for the classroom:

Q and A Jigsaw groups. Each group must offer a solution for this problem in America.


Note: The main reason I have written this article is to show my concern. I do not advise anyone to protest nor do I represent any particular community nor am I in any way an attorney on record. I don’t want our community to be in a cross-fire in an election year.

You may also email me as signature at contact@11m-american.com to present the support of this proposal to the government.

By Zoilo C. Nieto, President and CEO, Zoni Language Centers