Utah business leaders with the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce proposed a plan to the state legislature that would allow undocumented immigrants to work in the state for two years and receive health insurance funded by a special guest worker tax. the plan addresses concerns made by local businesses who are concerned about keeping their workforces intact while abiding by state and federal laws.
"This is something that we can do now that will address solutions and address fundamental problems in our immigration system," Wesley Smith, policy director for the chamber, told the Salt Lake Tribune. "There are folks here that want to work and contribute. If that's the case, we can resolve a lot of issues by allowing that to take place."
Utah's Employer Sponsored Work Program would require public job postings, and then guest workers could fill the positions if they aren't filled by U.S. citizens. About 15 percent of the wages would be set aside to fund the guest worker's health care and another 10 percent would be put into a savings fund. The interest would help fund the program, and the savings would be returned to the guest worker if they completed the program in good standing.
Lesgislators said they appreciated the proposal, but saw several issues that could prevent the program from happening. The state would need to get special approval from the federal government to use Social Security taxes to fund the health care plan for starters.
More information can be found at The Salt Lake Tribune's website.
Updated: Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 3:29pm EDT