Sen. Kyl Poses False Choice on Immigration Bill

The Senate immigration “bargain” is amnesty. No question. Since most Americans understand that, it is surprising when some of my fellow conservatives, like Sen. Jon Kyl (R.-Ariz.), claim that the bill is anything but amnesty. But if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.

This entire drama strikes me as one that could be played out on the high seas. Our ship, the U.S.S. America, carries passengers and crew numbering more than 300 million. That number includes some 12 to 20 million stowaways. The ship is skippered by Captain Bush. Ted Kennedy leads a faction of senior officers known as the Open Borders Lobby while many House Republicans lead a corps of officers who base their decisions on the Rule of Law. These Rule of Law officers hold fast to their principles because they have never sailed the ship.

These opposing camps of senior officers are in a battle to decide the destiny of the entire ship — whether America will give up its Exceptionalism to open the border, or adhere to the Rule of Law.

Sen. John Kyl of Arizona has emerged as the amnesty bill’s conservative promoter. So it appears that Kyl has left the Rule of Law officer corps.

In a recent column, the Senator justified his stance by suggesting he had a choice between helping to author a compromise or to stand on the sidelines and watch the passage of a much more liberal bill written by Democrat leaders.

I simply don’t accept the idea that those are our only choices. When given the choice between standing with the Constitution and the Rule of Law, or compromising my principles to get the lesser of two evils, I must uphold the Constitution and Rule of Law every time.

Back on the ship, the crew of the “U.S.S. America”, 144 million strong, trims the sails, swabs the deck, cooks in the galley, cares for the sick, bails the bilge, and steers the course. The passengers number an additional 156 million, including: the retired who have had their turn at the oars, the children who will get their turn, the unemployed who want their turn, and welfare recipients who are unenthusiastic about taking their turn. In all, the ship is carrying an untapped group of nearly 70 million working age passengers who are simply not in the workforce.

Perhaps Sen. Kyl would explain his willingness to legalize stowaways because of so-called “trigger” provisions in the bill. Those measures don’t actually do anything. The very first lines of the bill provide an exception to the triggers for most every stowaway. Effectively, most of them could be legal with a “Z” visa the day after this bill was signed by the President.

Two decades have passed since the 1986 amnesty “to end all amnesties”. More than 20 years later, we know that the Immigration Reform and Control Act legalized three million stowaways, not one million as we were promised. That 300% increase was the result of fraud driven by a counterfeit document industry which sprung up to meet the new demand. Perhaps the trigger for considering a new amnesty ought to be full implementation of the security provisions contained in the last.

No matter the arguments of Captain Bush and his open borders officers, you and I know that more than 20 million stowaways will be given amnesty to stay on board. According to a study by the Heritage Foundation, the real number will rise well above 100 million.

All this, despite the fact that 90% of the illegal drugs on board were smuggled onto our ship by these stowaways. Captain Bush and his officers will not order them off even though 28% of court-martial convictions are stowaways. They will not order them off “America” even though the stowaways represent only 7% of those on board and produce only 2.2% of the work. Instead of amnesty for stowaways, what America needs is for some of the passengers to become crew. The Rule of Law officers need only to recruit ten working age passengers not currently at the oars to replace all of the 7 million working stowaways.

Taking on too many passengers or unskilled crew will slow and eventually sink “America”. But none of these facts have been enough to sway President Bush and the open borders officers.

If we simply enforce our current laws, millions of stowaways, both those working and those along for the ride, will voluntarily disembark at the next port of entry. Their departure would immediately reduce the burden on the ship’s supplies and crew.

“America” has granted its stowaways amnesty six times since the “amnesty to end all amnesties”. This time, the captain and the open borders officers mean to forever sail off course of the Rule of Law, taking aboard every willing traveler. Unfortunately, some fellow officers from the Rule of Law corps have joined the effort to steer a new course.

This time it will truly be an “Amnesty to End All Amnesties”. Because this time, if “America” legalizes all its stowaways, she will certainly sink.