The push is on for providing amnesty to the estimated 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country. The supporters of this effort include President Barack Obama, former president George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, Majority Leader Harry Reid and New York Senator Chuck Schumer. (There is a chance that neither McCain nor Reid will be re-elected in Novmeber, 2010.) Senator Schumer is now chairman of the immigration subcommittee previously chaired by the late Senator Ted Kennedy, a major amnesty proponent.
Amnesty supporters see themselves as taking the high road and claim that amnesty opponents are opposed to all immigration, when nothing could be further from the truth. Although, most amnesty opponents favor legal immigration, they oppose any measure that grants illegal aliens the objective of their illegality, to stay in the U.S. and work. They believe the amnesty supporters are compromising the national interest, undercutting American labor, and giving the desires of foreigners precedence over the wishes of their fellow citizens.
An examination of the supporters of amnesty is revealing. First and foremost is the National Council of La Raza which many consider to be a racist organization if for no other reason than its title. Second is the group of ethnocentrists among Hispanic citizens who give precedence to the interests of their illegal ethnic brethren over the interests of their country and the wishes of their non-Hispanic fellow citizens. Third are the immigration lawyers whose bread and butter depend on a continuing flow of illegals and a complex set of immigration laws that require their expertise to negotiate. Fourth is the group of liberals who base their position on some sort of world view of human rights and social justice rather than the national interest. Shortsightedness is the common characteristic of all four groups. They do not consider the question of the long term consequences to be relevant to the discussion. They have no concern about the depletion of finite natural resources, increased pollution, and the resulting and inevitable decline in our quality of life and standard of living.
Currently, the U.S. has the highest level of legal immigration in the world. Every year, we allow 750,000 immigrants to enter the country legally and make them eligible for citizenship within five years. That is way too many. Legal immigration in all categories needs to be scaled back to no more than 250,000 per year, exclusive of students, tourists, and temporary agricultural workers. moreover, we need whatever tax and immigration reforms are necessarey to achieve a stable population within 20 years.
Legal immigrants have the right to work and earn a living; the asylees are eligible to work six months after applying to work. Therefore, to protect American workers, employers who claim that more immigrants are needed must present irrefutable evidence to support that need. The concurrence of local unions and professional organizations that might be adversely affected should be required. Government response should be constrained by the total unemployment rate in the relevant sectors of the economy. There should be a moratorium on immigration when the total unemployment rate exceeds a specified level.
If we give the current illegals amnesty, you can be sure that 20 or so years from now, there will be a clamor for another amnesty bill as the illegals will continue to pour in. The Simpson-Mazzoli bill, which was adopted by Congress in 1986, granted amnesty to 1.3 million illegals. That measure was hailed as the last amnesty bill we would need because the borders of the U.S., then a sieve, would be better protected. However, our borders continued to be porous, and the number of illegals burgeoned, and here we are again with the illegals and their supporters seeking amnesty once more for ever larger numbers, estimated to be 12 to 20 million. Thus, the number of illegal aliens has increased from 1.3 million in 1986 to a minimum of 12 million in 2010. This is a compound growth rate of at least 9.7% per year. If that growth rate were to continue, in 40 years, by the year 2050, we would have as many as 487 million illegal aliens in the U.S. (Do the math -- 12 million x 1.097^40 years = 487 million) No wonder the pro-illegal lobbyests want to sweep the problem under the carpet with another amnesty so they can start counting all over again from zero. If the 487 million were to actually materialize, it would not be unreasonable to begin to refer to the U.S. as Mexico Norte.
Given our experience since the 1986 bill, granting another amnesty would be tantamount to enacting an open borders bill. No country in the world has open borders that foreigners can cross at will, certainly not Mexico. Arizona has an estimated 500,000 illegal aliens living in the state and in 2009, the border patrol agents arrested 241,000 illegal aliens, which is why that state enacted controversial legislation out of frustration. Arizona’s citizens are outraged by the presence of many criminals among the people crossing their border – remember there is an ongoing drug war in Mexico with thousands of Mexicans being killed and wounded south of the border by other Mexicans. Arizona does not want that war to spill over into Arizona. Arizona citizens are also distressed with the demands made by illegals upon welfare, medical, and educational services.
As long as laws like the Arizona's stay within the bounds of constitutionality, they cannot be said to have gone too far. Allowing local police to ask individuals, stopped for other reasons, or who are “reasonably suspected” to be illegal immigrants for identifying papers is a reasonable thing to do given Arizona's huge problem. This approach should be extended to all of the border states. It is an especially sound and defensible policy to have the local police examine at the workplace the identity papers of all employees to ascertain whether they are legally allowed to work and, most important, to ascertain if employers , intentionally or not, had violated current U.S. laws requiring employers to check the immigration status of hired workers. Those employers who violate the law should be pursued criminally and, if convicted, go to prison. Regrettably, this is not what is happening. Part of the reason is the insertion of the term "knowingly hire" in the federal statute and in the Arizona law. This is a huge loophole that allows employers to escape prosecution by claiming "we didn't know." If that loophole was removed and the policy strictly enforced, illegal aliens would be denied jobs and would go home, since they are here primarily to get a job and send money home to their families. Recently, I saw an estimate that a million illegals, perhaps 7% of the total, had returned home because of the recession and 9.7% unemployment rate in the U.S.
Amnesty supporters, who use pejorative terms to describe their opponents, refuse to use the term "illegal aliens", preferring instead the euphemism "undocumented workers." They acknowledge that an open border policy is indefensible and irrational and has not been adopted by any other country. Yet, they would deny our country the tools it needs to control the borders. The question of whether all border violations can be stopped with improvements in border infrastructure, staffing, and rules of engagement has already been answered emphatically by the growth in the number of illegals since 1986 mentioned above. The quintessential element of in depth border security is continuous, vigorous internal enforcement. If the illegals are denied jobs and are expeditiously repatriated after serving a six month sentence working on border infrastructure, they will have little incentive to repeat their border violations.
A week ago, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain had to apologize to a woman voter for referring to her as “bigoted” when she voiced her objections to millions of Europeans in the European Union lawfully flooding into Great Britain and taking jobs. I don’t know whether she is bigoted in her attitude toward other Europeans, but she doesn’t have to be a bigot to object to the English having to compete for jobs and services such as healthcare and education with immigrants from other countries.
In the U.S., those who favor amnesty, for lack of more substantive arguments, refer pejoratively to their opponents as nativists, bigots, racists, and xenophobes. In doing so, they ignore the adverse impact of illegal aliens on: the national interest, character, language, and sovereignty; the cost of welfare, education, and health care; and the rule of law. The states are tired of illegal aliens flooding into emergency rooms, soaking up Medicaid funds intended for citizens, crowding classrooms, and creating newborn, birthright citizens who qualify for a large range of welfare benefits at taxpayer expense.
Mark McKinnon, who was a senior adviser to John McCain and President George W. Bush, was quoted in The New York Times of April 28th, as stating, “Immigration is the most explosive issue I’ve seen in my political career.” According to The Times, Mr. McKinnon “…also supported giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.” But, in his view, “an election year is the worst time to move good public policy on this issue.” He does not say on what basis he has concluded that giving the never-ending flood of illegals a pathway to citizenship would constitute "good public policy." As a minimum, anyone who has entered this country illegally at any time should be permanently ineligible for citizenship. Many, if not most, should be quickly repatriated.
During the Bush presidency, amnesty proponents were twice defeated when they tried to shove their self-defined “good policy” down the throats of the voters. Amnesty advocates believed, as they do now, that they know what is best for us, but the American public stood up and said “no.” In an election year, the voters can throw the bums out, and that is why Congress fears to bring the issue up before the November elections.
I predict the Schumer legislation supported by President Obama and a whole host of prominent public officials and the media will fail. I also believe it is outrageous to threaten understandably frustrated, Arizona with boycotts because we disagree with the protective procedures it has adopted. Let’s leave the legality of those procedures to the courts. We are one country and should not be boycotting one another. Persuasion should be our tool of choice, not punishment.
Working for logical immigation reform based on a stable population, a recognition of the finite nature of our natural resources and the adverse impact of continued growth on our quality of life, standard of living, national interest, character, language, sovereignty and the rule of law. Pushing back and countering the disloyal elements in American society and the anti-American rhetoric of the leftwing illegal alien lobbies. In a debate, when your opponents turn to name calling, it's a good sign you've already won.