Senate Democrats (led by Sen. Ted Kennedy) and a large bloc of GOP Senators (led by Sen. John McCain) agreed to an illegal immigration “compromise” bill Thursday, with the blessing of President George W. Bush. The bill is alleged to be a compromise because it proposes to simultaneously grant amnesty to at least 14 million illegal aliens and secure the border. And that is why everything in the bill is a lie. You cannot both reward border infiltration and stop border infiltration.
Granting a “path to citizenship” to millions of immigration criminals already here and millions of their relatives back home (who will be allowed to join their illegal alien point men in America under this bill) will do as much to discourage further illegal immigration as granting car thieves a path to ownership would do to discourage future auto theft.
But we don’t have to deduce what effect such a giveaway of American citizenship will have on the border. It’s been tried before. The 1986 amnesty “compromise” promised two things: a legalization of millions of illegal aliens and, in exchange, that the problem of further illegal immigration would be stopped by a combination of increased border security and employer sanctions.
The amnesty part was granted with great enthusiasm. Indeed, the amnesty went to far more illegal aliens than originally promised, both because the population of illegal residents had been underestimated and because many illegal aliens rushed in after the amnesty was proposed. All claimed to have been here long enough to qualify for amnesty, and since there is no way to prove when one entered the country illegally (then and now), all were granted amnesty.
The increased border security somehow never materialized, though. And the tough employer sanctions, though passed, have been systematically ignored for 25 years.
But you can be sure that this time will be different. After this giveaway, then they will get serious about enforcement. You trust Congress, don’t you?
Far from solving our problem with illegal aliens (then only 3 million in number), the amnesty led to today’s much larger problem of 14-30 million illegal aliens sneaking into the country. The message sent by the amnesty to all the world’s poor was that there is no real penalty for breaking into America, and that eventually illegal aliens will get a great reward: US citizenship. So the number of crossings skyrocketed, and now these new masses will be rewarded in their turn. But this time, amnesty will really help stop illegal immigration, won’t it? Wouldn’t you avoid doing something for which you will be rewarded lavishly?
Consider also that, even if Congress were abducted by aliens and replaced with honest men who would earnestly implement border security measures and employer sanctions, illegal immigration would continue — even if the border became absolutely impassable without a visa. This is because the border is only half the problem. Nearly half our illegal aliens did not sneak across the border at all — they came in legally on temporary visas, as tourists, as shoppers, as students, as temporary workers, and then they just never left. This form of illegal immigration will continue and expand, filling the silly opportunity created by increasing border security without conducting internal enforcement.
As long as millions pass into America legally each year, the only way to stop illegal immigration is to deport those who overstay their visas. But deportation is the one necessary tool that is not on the negotiations table. Until we are willing to seize from immigration criminals the residency they have stolen, nothing else we do will matter.
Without a will and means to deport, the problem will continue. And Congress knows this, that’s why they’re so happy to pass a compromise that really boils down to “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for an amnesty today.”
Illegal immigration is about to get a lot worse and America is thus about to get a lot less American. That’s what Congress means by illegal immigration “compromise.” And unless voters object in a hurry, this compromise will be railroaded through both Houses of Congress and become irrevocable law just as fast as George Bush can sign it.