The great immigration debate remains in the news. An announcement by a bipartisan group of eight senators on January 28 that they had developed a plan for comprehensive immigration reform was given considerable coverage by the national media.
As the “Gang of 8” senators — Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) — took to the airwaves the next day to promote their plan, President Obama traveled to Las Vegas to unveil his own vision for immigration reform, saying “now’s the time” to replace a system he called “out of date and badly broken.”
Though the plan (described as only a “blueprint”) is still being hammered out as we write, public statements from some of the senators give us a fair indication of what a finalized proposal might include.
For example, Sen. Schumer spent about an hour outlining the senators’ proposed immigration bill while visiting a dairy farm in upstate New York. The local Livingston County News reported on February 28 that Schumer is looking to change the current situation in which federal scrutiny on undocumented workers makes it difficult for dairy farmers to find enough workers. The bill proposed by Schumer, the paper noted, “offers a fair path to citizenship for the workers and provides a ‘future flow’ of farm labor.”
As to what is meant by a “future flow” of labor, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO have been holding meetings over the past couple months to help the “Gang of 8” senators to put together a system of guest worker visas to provide a source of lower-skilled laborers that would to some extent replace the current system of hiring illegal immigrants. According to “Breakthrough Reached Between Business, Labor on Guest Worker Program” (CQ News, March 30, 2013), the chamber had earlier stated a preference for admitting 400,000 guest workers each year, but has now agreed with labor on a new guest worker program that would be phased in over several years, starting with 20,000 per year and expanding to a cap of 200,000 per year. A “safety valve” would allow the number to exceed the 200,000 cap if employers are willing to pay a premium. Although such a system of providing hundreds of thousands (or more) of guest worker visas each year would serve to legalize much of the current flow of illegal immigrants, it would also serve as a transition toward essentially open borders between the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
The call by Schumer and his senatorial colleagues to provide a “future flow” of labor by offering guest worker visas closely mirrors concepts found in the document Building a North American Community, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in association with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales (Mexican Council of International Affairs). More about the CFR and this report shortly.
Another indicator of what a finalized “Gang of 8” proposal might include came from “Tea Party” Senator Marco Rubio, whose inclusion among the group of eight senators was seen by many as a politically motivated move designed to assuage conservative fears that immigration “reform” may be another attempt to provide amnesty to illegal aliens.
The day before the “Gang of 8” announced their plan, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published an article by Rubio headlined, “Ex-Las Vegan Rubio outlines a GOP vision for immigration reform.” However, Rubio’s plan was not nearly as firm in dealing with illegal immigration as most of his Tea Party supporters undoubtedly would prefer. Rubio wrote, in part:
We can’t round up millions of people and deport them. But we also can’t fix our broken immigration system if we provide incentives for people to come here illegally — precisely the signal a blanket amnesty would send.
Instead, the first step should be to require those who have not committed any felonies and are assimilated into America, to have the opportunity to apply for temporary non-immigrant status.
Rubio’s distinction between “blanket amnesty” and “apply[ing] for temporary non-immigrant status” may be lost on those who maintain that legalizing the status of those who are here illegally is tantamount to giving illegal immigrants carte blanche to invade our nation. His premise that “we can’t round up millions of people and deport them” ignores the fact that many illegal immigrants would self-deport if the social-welfare benefits for these immigrants ceased to exist.
A report in The Hill on March 19 said that the “Gang of 8” would likely be announcing the results of its negotiations after Congress is back in session on April 9, after this magazine goes to the printer. The Hill report observed:
The Gang of Eight has made progress on creating a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants, according to reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post.
According to reports, the group has tentatively agreed to require illegal immigrants who meet certain qualifications to wait 10 years before obtaining green cards, and another three years before receiving citizenship. This is roughly in line with President Obama’s proposal that illegal immigrants wait eight years for green cards and another five for citizenship.
Plans such as those produced by the “Gang of 8” often include the promise of border security, in order to mollify the concerns of those who fear that open borders combined with amnesty and generous government benefits for illegals would produce an uncontrollable wave of illegal immigration.
When the final “Gang of 8” plan is unveiled, it is unlikely to differ substantially from what President Obama said during his February 12 State of the Union address, in which he provided his definition of “real reform” — which included a promise of “strong border security.” The president quickly segued into using the favorite buzzwords employed by those who prefer a less transparent term to describe amnesty for illegal immigrants: “establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship.” Of course, “border security” has been promised in the past in connection with legalizing illegal immigrants who had already crossed the border. But though amnesty has been provided, the promise of border security remains elusive.
Immigration Reform Past
When President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 into law, an amnesty initiative was granted to individuals who unlawfully entered the country prior to January 1, 1982 and could provide evidence that they had resided in the United States since arriving illegally.
Predictably, the program was a failure. Even Reagan’s attorney general, Edwin Meese II, acknowledged this in an op-ed piece for the New York Times on May 24, 2006 entitled “An Amnesty by Any Other Name...”: “The 1986 act did not solve our illegal immigration problem.... After a six-month slowdown that followed passage of the legislation, illegal immigration returned to normal levels and continued unabated.” Meese was very blunt in calling subsequent “immigration reform” programs what they were: amnesty. And, as Meese pointed out, so was Reagan himself:
The difference [between the 1986 legislation and a Senate proposal being debated as Meese wrote in 2006] is that President Reagan called this what it was: amnesty. Indeed, look up the term “amnesty” in Black’s Law Dictionary, and you’ll find it says, “the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provided amnesty for undocumented aliens already in the country.”
An important part of the 1986 law was supposedly to make our borders more secure. Yet, as Meese wrote, “Illegal immigration returned to normal levels and continued unabated,” so border security obviously has not been achieved.
Factors responsible for the worsening of illegal immigration include lax border enforcement, economic incentives for illegals to migrate to the United States and remain here indefinitely, and the granting of amnesty, often mislabeled as a “pathway to citizenship.” When all of these factors are combined, the end result has been the establishment of de facto open borders.
The Impact of Massive, Uncontrolled Immigration
An important part of regulating legal immigration, in addition to evaluating each prospective immigrant’s ability to become a productive, law-abiding citizen, is to determine how many immigrants the United States is capable of absorbing each year, taking into consideration the impact on our nation’s economy and culture.
We can absorb only so many immigrants each year without their numbers flooding our job markets to the point of depressing wages and increasing our rate of unemployment. And while the introduction of fresh cultural elements by past immigrants has enriched our culture, care must be taken that these diverse cultures be assimilated at a rate that enhances, rather than obliterates, the existing American culture, which includes the traditions of self-government and individual self-sufficiency necessary to maintain our freedom.
While the Ellis Island generation of immigrants was eager and willing to assimilate into mainstream American society — their children learning English and leaving their ethnic enclaves to study and work side-by-side with older generations of Americans — today’s official policies of reverse assimilation (e.g., printing official documents in diverse languages instead of expecting immigrants to learn English) tend to encourage a Balkanization of American society.
The Immigration Act of 1965 had the effect of greatly increasing immigration, in total numbers, from 361,972 in 1967 to 1,052,415 in 2007. The number of legal immigrants continues to exceed one million persons each year. Just how these levels might be changed by the various immigration reform proposals now being discussed is unclear, but there are strong indications that the legal quotas will be increased.
In an article posted by NumbersUSA.com on February 21, 2013, Philip Cafaro, an associate professor of philosophy at Colorado State University, wrote:
While they have so far neglected to provide hard numbers, both the Obama administration and the Senate “Gang of 8” have proposed two changes that would greatly increase the U.S. population. First, an immense amnesty covering 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants, who would then be able to bring in tens of millions of relatives under “family reunification” rules. Second, a huge increase in legal immigration, among both unskilled and skilled workers.
Together, these changes could increase immigration into the U.S. by 1 million annually, from a current 1.25 million to 2.25 million annually.
There are obvious limits to how many immigrants America can absorb each year without adding to our unemployment rate and other socio-economic problems, especially in our large cities. Determining a quota that is beneficial to our nation is a job for expert statisticians and will not be accomplished overnight. But care must be taken, during any immigration “reform,” not to increase present quotas until it can be reasonably determined that such increases will be beneficial to all of our citizens, including our newest ones. The creators of the website usillegalaliens.com have compiled considerable research information pertaining to the impact of illegal immigration on our nation. Among the categories so documented are:
Terrorism: Quoting from a June 8, 2006 article, “Broken,” by Kenneth R. Timmerman, in FrontPageMagazine.com, who cited a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General: “The report reveals that 45,008 aliens from countries on the U.S. list of state-sponsors of terror or from countries that protected terrorist organizations and their members, were released into the general public between 2001 and 2005, even though immigration officers couldn’t confirm their identity.”
Crime: Citing statistics from Edwin Rubenstein in “Criminal Alien Nation”: In 1980, our federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens but at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities, as follows:
• 46,000 in federal prisons
• 74,000 in state prisons
• 147,000 in local jails
Economic Costs: Citing a 2004 study from the Center for Immigration Studies, The High Cost of Cheap Labor — Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget: “Based on Census Bureau data, the study estimates that households headed by illegal aliens used $10 billion more in government services than they paid in taxes in 2002. These figures are only for the federal government; costs at the state and local level are also significant.”
“The study also notes that if illegal aliens were given amnesty, the fiscal deficit at the federal level would grow by nearly $29 billion.”
Quoting from an ABC Channel 10 (San Diego) news report entitled “Report: Illegal Immigration Could Cost Taxpayers Trillions”: “Future costs for illegal immigrants in the United States will reach a half a trillion dollars, a Heritage Foundation researcher said Wednesday at a congressional hearing in San Diego.”
GOP Softening on Amnesty
As noted previously, it was Republican President Ronald Reagan who signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 into law. Republican Marco Rubio now asserts: “We can’t round up millions of people and deport them,” and favors giving many illegals “the opportunity to apply for temporary non-immigrant status.”
Even Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite and heir apparent to a leadership role among constitutionally conservative Republicans, has softened his stance against amnesty. The New York Times reported on March 19 that, in a speech before the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Paul outlined his position on immigration, “including an implicit pathway to citizenship.”
“I think the conversation needs to start by acknowledging we aren’t going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants,” said Dr. Paul. “If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you.”
As with many other issues, the GOP-Democrat divide is not always very deep.
Building a North American Community
But why should a place be found for those who sneak across the border and do not want to assimilate? Why can’t borders be enforced? In truth, the policy of providing repeated amnesties without enforcing the border does not make any sense — unless the intent is to eventually eliminate the border as part of a broader agenda to establish a North American Union. The evidence demonstrates this is exactly what’s happening.
Earlier, we referred to the CFR-sponsored report Building a North American Community. In the section of this report entitled “Creating a North American Economic Space,” under the subheading “Increase Labor Mobility Within North America,” we find the authors’ recommendation:
The large volume of undocumented migrants from Mexico within the United States is an urgent matter for those two countries to address. A long-term goal should be to create a ‘‘North American preference” — new rules that would make it much easier for employees to move and for employers to recruit across national boundaries within the continent. [Emphasis added.]
The report also proposed the establishment of a continent-wide, virtually borderless area reminiscent of the European Union during its formative stages:
The Task Force’s central recommendation is establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter.... Lay the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America. The three governments should commit themselves to the long-term goal of dramatically diminishing the need for the current intensity of the governments’ physical control of cross-border traffic, travel, and trade within North America.”
Extending the erasure of our nation’s borders with regard to the continent’s workforce, the report proposed:
To make companies based in North America as competitive as possible in the global economy, Canada and the United States should consider eliminating all remaining barriers to the ability of their citizens to live and work in the other country....
In the long term, the two countries should work to extend this policy to Mexico as well.
The authors of Building a North American Community (including task force co-chair William F. Weld, former governor of Massachusetts, and vice chair Robert A. Pastor, labeled by journalist Jerome Corsi, “the father of the North American Union”) apparently regard the “free flow of people” as a prerequisite for the establishment of a European-type continental union.
A year before making his contribution to Building a North American Community, Robert Pastor authored an article for the January/February 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs (the CFR’s official journal) entitled “North America’s Second Decade.” In that article, Pastor wrote:
Trade and investment have nearly tripled, and the United States, Mexico, and Canada have experienced an unprecedented degree of social and economic integration. For the first time, “North America” is more than just a geographical expression....
NAFTA was merely the first draft of an economic constitution for North America.... Although NAFTA fueled the train of continental integration, it did not provide conductors to guide it. [Emphasis added.]
Taking Pastor at his word, continental integration is most definitely on the minds of those who would build a North American community.
To Envision the North American Union, Look to Europe
Since national pride is a difficult impediment to the elimination of state sovereignty, those who would eliminate borders to create a regional supra state must work incrementally — and subtly. Consider the European Union, which came about over a period of several decades, as increasingly more widespread and powerful “free trade” blocs were established.
The consolidation of Europe began in 1951 with the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) that originally included just six members. Through several stages, the ECSC evolved into the European Community (EC), and on February 7, 1992, members of the EC — which now numbered 12 nations — gathered in the Netherlands to sign the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union (EU) and led to the creation of a single European currency, the euro.
The EU has since grown to 27 member states, and what was originally sold as an economic union has become a political union, as well.
But the consolidation of Europe also required eliminating the continent’s borders. In 1985, five of the then 10 European Economic Community members signed the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen area now includes 26 European countries, extending from Scandinavia to the Iberian peninsula, and from Iceland to Greece.
A key provision of Schengen area rules is eliminating internal border controls with the other Schengen members, while strengthening external border controls with non-member states. This arrangement closely resembles the proposed Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (more commonly referred to as the SPP) created at a tri-party summit held in Waco, Texas, on March 23, 2005 by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and U.S. President George W. Bush.
At a follow-up summit held in Montebello, Quebec, in August 2007, President Bush met with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderón. At the conclusion of the conference, Fox News reporter Bret Baier asked all three heads of government, “Can you say today that this is not a prelude to a North American Union, similar to a European Union?”
As veteran conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly noted in an article in Human Events for September 10, 2007:
Their response was positively sensational. None of the three denied that SPP is leading to a North American Union. The White House transcript of the news conference allows us to assume that the elites of the three countries are, indeed, moving toward North American integration.
Bush insulted the questioner and those who want an answer by accusing them of believing in a “conspiracy.” Bush twice said he was “amused” by such speculation, but as Queen Victoria famously said, “We are not amused.”
Instead of addressing the crux of the question about plans to integrate the three North American countries, Bush resorted to ridicule. He sneered at his critics as “comical,” and accused them of engaging in “political scare tactics” and wanting “to frighten our fellow citizens into believing that relations between us are harmful for our respective peoples.”
George W. Bush may have found those who believed that he was advancing an agenda toward regional government “comical,” but the words of key U.S. government officials reveal a deadly serious plan. Zbigniew Brzezinski — who served as U.S. National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981, and who co-founded the Trilateral Commission (TC) with David Rockefeller, serving as director from 1973 to 1976 — has said: “This regionalization is in keeping with the Tri-Lateral Plan which calls for a gradual convergence of East and West, ultimately leading toward the goal of one world government. National sovereignty is no longer a viable concept.”
In his essay “The North American Union & the Larger Plan,” published on December 17, 2007, Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D. quoted Brzezinski: “We cannot leap into world government through one quick step.... The precondition for eventual and genuine globalization is progressive regionalization because by that we move toward larger, more stable, more cooperative units.” (Emphasis in original.)
Finding examples of “progressive regionalization” and “larger, more stable, more cooperative units” is not difficult. We have seen the transformation in Europe from the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 to the European Union in 1992. In North America, NAFTA came into force in 1994, the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2005, and the United States-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in 2011.
Our internationalist-minded leaders have not ceased their efforts to create “more stable, more cooperative units.” During his recent State of the Union address (SOTU), President Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TAP) — which would combine the United States and the rest of NAFTA with some Pacific Rim nations and the EU:
To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.
In response to Obama’s plug for the trans-oceanic partnerships, investigative reporter Jerome Corsi noted: “Obama’s open discussion of the two-oceans TPP and TAP free trade agendas during his recent SOTU attests to the persistence of globalists. The president has found a way to revive the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, through pushing the Trans-Pacific TPP agenda.”
As noted earlier, the president also promoted “comprehensive immigration reform” during his SOTU address, including “establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship” (the favored term for amnesty for illegal immigrants). The connection between a plan that would encourage further disregard for our national borders by illegal immigrants and Obama’s proposal to continue negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union is more significant than is generally appreciated.
Arthur R. Thompson, CEO of The John Birch Society, which has engaged in campaigns to preserve our borders, stop illegal immigration, and prevent the creation of a North American Union for many years, had this to say when we asked for his views on the current crisis:
The move toward a NAU means that many services and government operations must be integrated within Mexico, Canada, and the United States. A partial list includes banking, environmental regulations, medicine, police, and the military. Immigration would be one aspect that would have to be nonexistent between the merging countries — there would be no immigration from Mexico and Canada as we think of it now. The idea is to have a free flow of people, goods, and services between the three countries without any regulation or hindrance....
The ignoring of millions of illegal immigrants by both political party leaders is because these leaders want the NAU — with no borders — in the future. Therefore, they have no intent on handling the border problem as it exists today. The influx only helps to establish the NAU.... In addition, these “legalized” (through amnesty) citizens will vote for more government benefits.
Looking again to the European experience, we saw that the Schengen Agreement, by eliminating internal border controls with the other Schengen members, served to largely erase national borders, an important prerequisite for the elimination of national sovereignty and the completion of continental merger.
The establishment of an NAU would do in North America what the Amsterdam Treaty did in Europe when it made the Schengen agreements part of European Union law — it would transform de facto (in fact) open borders into de jure (in law) open borders. In order to prevent this transformation, both sides of the internationalists’ agenda must be countered simultaneously: Illegal immigration must be controlled and amnesty denied, and new “free trade” pacts between the United States and other nations must be stopped and existing ones, such as NAFTA, repealed.
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