Government affairs consulting firm Alpine Group is representing immigration reform nonprofit IDEAL Immigration Action on Capitol Hill regarding immigration reform matters.
Wilmington, DE-based IDEAL (The Immigration Designed to Enhance American Lives) proposes a three-pronged approach to reform the current U.S. immigration system. The proposed policy principally advocates for a renewed long-term visa program, where immigrants’ employers would pay $25,000 for a five-year U.S. live/work permit. This visa is renewable after 5 years, for an additional $25,000 paid by the employer.
Those whose residence is deemed as having a net positive impact to the U.S. (determined by a scoring system based on age, education level, English proficiency and U.S. work history) would later become eligible for citizenship. IDEAL visa-holders would be ineligible for government benefits until attaining full citizenship and would be required to secure health insurance through their employer or other means.
The policy would also establish a short-term guest worker program in which immigrants are hired by employers to work in the U.S. for a single year.
Finally, the policy seeks to reform the current asylum system by taking immigration matters away from the Justice Department and putting them in the hands of an independent agency, and hiring additional immigration judges to streamline the process and address backlogged asylum claims.
IDEAL says the application fees would raise approximately $70 billion in revenue annually, which can be used to enhance border security and immigration enforcement efforts while providing additional billions to fund job-creating infrastructure improvement projects.
Handling the IDEAL account will be Alpine principal and president Rhod Shaw. He’ll be joined by VP Barry Brown, who was formerly chief of staff to Congressman Michael C. Burgess, (R-TX) and legislative director to Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), as well as a legislative assistant to Congressman Larry Combest (R-TX) and a staffer to Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX).