In 1986, Congress approved and President Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli Act that awarded 2.7 million illegal border crossers legal status and a path to citizenship. It was amnesty plain and simple. Supporters of the 1986 measure repeatedly assured fellow legislators and skeptical Americans that their new law would put an end to the growing numbers entering our nation illegally. But just the opposite occurred and border crossing into the United States increased dramatically. As the time-worn adage states, “Crime unpunished is crime rewarded.” In fact, the crime was rewarded with six smaller amnesties since 1986 that added three million more illegal immigrants to our citizenry, according to NumbersUSA. Partisans for amnesty refused to admit that the pardon they had given to some lawbreakers amounted to an invitation to others to follow in their wake. Millions acted on the reward gained by their -predecessors.
As the number of illegals grew, their cost accelerated. Costs in the billions of dollars were borne by states impacted because of the invasion. More proposals to deal with the problem appeared. One estimate pegs the number of illegal entrants between 12 and 20 million and their cost at $2.6 trillion by way of food stamps, healthcare, housing, incarceration of criminals, etc., over the next decade.
Early in 2006, parades and demonstrations disrupted traffic in many cities across the United States. Millions of immigrants — some legally here but most lawbreaking border crossers — took to the streets to demand amnesty, continued benefits, and the acquisition by Mexico of several southwestern states. They flew Mexican flags, heaped scorn on Old Glory, chanted anti-American slogans, and gained the attention of the nation’s mass media. The events produced an angry response from ordinary Americans.
So President George W. Bush took to the airwaves and promised to fix the problems caused by illegal immigration. He said there would be an electronic fence erected, 6,000 National Guard personnel would be sent to our southern border, efforts would be made to confront drug trafficking and other crimes, and there would be no amnesty.
The fence has been an almost laughable failure — little of it was funded. Some National Guard personnel were sent to the border region for a time but not placed along the border itself, drug trafficking has increased, and Bush urged Congress to pass the Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration bill. A new immigration measure with an amnesty provision gained passage in both houses of Congress, but it died when objections raised in a House-Senate conference committee led to its demise. In 2007, Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain introduced S. 1639, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007. The word “comprehensive” in this and subsequent proposals customarily means “amnesty,” a word the promoters of this destructiveness always seek to hide. With key support from President George W. Bush, S. 1639 appeared to have sufficient momentum to become law. But, like its predecessor, this bipartisan monster died when needed Senate backing could not be mustered. Protests from numerous anti-amnesty groups and similarly inclined voters across the nation helped to kill these Bush-era bills.
Here we are now in 2010. We have a new President who is deeply committed to solving the immigration problem by making it worse. While campaigning for the nation’s highest office, Barack Obama delivered a speech to the militantly pro-amnesty group known as the National Council of La Raza on July 13, 2008. He pandered to his adoring audience, “I will be a President who stands with you, and fights for you, and walks with you every step of the way…. I fought with you in the Senate for comprehensive immigration reform and I will make it a top priority in my first year as President.”
Pledging to “bring those 12 million people out of the shadows” (thereby admitting that there are indeed at least 12 million illegally here in the United States), Obama translated the term La Raza as “the people.” No, Mr. Obama, the term translates to “the race.”
The cohorts of the La Raza organization should be designated as anti-American racists.* Should any group of ethnically identified American citizens announce opposition to an amnesty proposal, they would surely be labeled racists and denounced for injecting ethnicity as a consideration. But the clearly racist La Raza organization and others like it not only get a pass from the media and from numerous political figures, the man who became President of the United States showered them with praise and delivered a deceitful coverup of their proud racism.
Currently, both the House and Senate are lopsidedly Democratic. Many of these elected officials, along with some Republicans derisively labeled “Republicans in Name Only (RINOs)” by GOP stalwarts, want an amnesty proposal enacted during the current session. But the American people are stirring, and leftists in Congress are feeling more heat from back home than they ever expected.
New amnesty bills have been introduced in both houses of Congress. One major House proposal designated H.R. 4321 is entitled “Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity” (CIR ASAP). The use of the words “security” and “prosperity” in the title were obviously chosen to persuade Americans who won’t ever read the bill that it has something to do with protecting the nation from terrorism and ending the recession. It will do neither.
Introduced by Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Solomon Ortiz (D-Texas), CIR ASAP immediately gained 92 cosponsors. The bill admits that there are 11-12 million “undocumented” aliens, a figure that some believe should be 18-20 million. Gutierrez said the bill “will be progressive, it will be expansive, it will be compassionate, and it will be comprehensive.” What he didn’t have the honesty to say is that it will grant amnesty to the millions who are here illegally.
Will CIR ASAP become law? President Obama indicated he wants “comprehensive immigration reform.” But he has already run into some brick walls regarding healthcare and climate-control proposals, and his popularity has plummeted dramatically, both among the public and among elected officials leery of tying themselves to him and his controversial proposals. The fate of the Gutierrez-Ortiz amnesty proposal will depend in great measure on the amount of protest against it from the American people.
CIR ASAP contains enticing provisions such as beefed-up border control and workplace enforcement sections designed to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, but just as with present immigration laws, these will never be enforced. Its use of the term “comprehensive” is a dead giveaway for general amnesty. Seeking to gain more support, Congressman Gutierrez insists, “We cannot get on the road to financial recovery and growth without enacting comprehensive immigration reform.” But even he has to know that legalizing millions who will have a claim on a decreasing number of jobs will hardly be economically sound. His assurance that the measure “will get us back on track economically” is nothing but a gross absurdity when one considers that more than four million Americans lost jobs in 2009 alone, and these newly out-of-work Americans join 15 million others already unsuccessfully seeking work.
Similarly, Texas Congressman Ortiz claims that CIR ASAP will be “tough on enforcement, will be fair to taxpayers, and will end illegal immigration.” He blames the current failure of laws against hiring illegal immigrants on “bureaucracy in the government’s data bases.” He, too, claims that the measure will solve the nation’s economic downturn.
CIR ASAP also calls for establishing a commission to revamp the current system whereby H-1B and H-2B visas are granted to overseas skilled workers. With these visas, many individuals in the electronics and other industries are brought here from India, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Because they are perfectly willing to accept reduced pay scales, they take jobs away from Americans. California Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a strong opponent of loose immigration policies, recounted the anguish of a constituent who lost his $80,000 job to an immigrant with a H-1B visa. Seeking to be rehired, the man’s former employer told him that he would be welcomed back at $50,000, the approximate scale being paid to H-1B visa holders. The man told Rohrabacher that the reduced salary in his area of Southern California meant “never owning your own home.” But he was a lucky one; many skilled Americans who have lost high-paying jobs to immigrants with these visas haven’t found work anywhere.
The promise of changing the visa system that invites foreigners to come here for the jobs Americans want and need is no more a guarantee that justice will prevail than that amnesty will put an end to border crossing. Yet, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, huge labor unions, and numerous religious leaders (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and others) stand behind reforming the immigration laws by making them worse. The Chamber of Commerce fronts for its corporate members who want lower payrolls. The unions back amnesty because it would mean more members. And the religious leaders support immigration out of a tragically mistaken sense of social justice, and maybe even a hope that some amnestied individuals and newly arrived foreigners will fill their pews.
It now looks as though even President Obama knows that an amnesty measure won’t succeed. His scant mention of “immigration reform” in his 2010 State of the Union speech (a mere 38 words out of the speech’s 7,300) angered Gutierrez, who expected the President to push hard for his pet measure.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who boasts of his support for “comprehensive” immigration proposals in 2006 and 2007, has introduced S. 9 in his chamber. The Reid bill claims it will “strengthen the United States economy, provide for more effective border and employment enforcement, and for other purposes.” Other purposes? Would you guess amnesty? The bill names as one of its goals “reforming and rationalizing avenues for legal immigration.” While these politicians deceitfully avoid using the word “amnesty,” what they surely mean is exactly that. Late in 2009, Reid announced, “We hope to consider comprehensive immigration reform … in the first half of next year.”
Several other bills have been introduced in the Senate and more are likely, especially from Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who seems to be waiting to learn whether any proposal calling for amnesty will have sufficient support for him to stick his neck out and champion it.
When Harry Reid said that his S. 9 measure had “other purposes,” was he referring to a desire to swell the voting rolls with newly amnestied and newly enfranchised former illegals? There are already instances where illegal immigrants have voted. In 2008, career State Department foreign service officer David Simcox released a report claiming that at least 1.8 million and possibly 2.7 million noncitizens voted in 2006. States most heavily affected by this fraudulent voting were California, Florida, Texas, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Arizona.
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Illinois pays out over $3.5 billion per year for Illegal Immigration: “Analysis based on current estimates of the illegal alien population residing in Illinois indicates that population costs the state’s taxpayers more than $3.5 billion per year for education, medical care and incarceration. That annual tax burden amounts to about $695 per Illinois household headed by a native-born resident. Even if the estimated $465 million in sales, income and property taxes collected from illegal immigrants are subtracted from the fiscal outlays, net costs still amount to more than $3 billion per year.”
Amnesty rallies frequently include signs stating, “Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote.” Occasionally, children of illegal immigrants show up at these demonstrations wearing shirts proclaiming that they are “Future Voters.” The latest issue of Whistleblower magazine features several articles pointing to the threat of millions of new voters from the ranks of illegal immigrants. Under the overall title “How to Stay in Power,” the magazine quotes Eliseo Medina, an executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), as follows: “Can you imagine 8 million new voters who care about our issues and will be voting? We will be creating a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”
Medina, himself a proud immigrant from Mexico, is not only an official of SEIU, he is also an honorary chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S. branch of the Socialist International. And today’s Socialist International can trace its roots back to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and then to Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.
Illegal immigrants use Matricula Consular Identification cards, which are Mexico-issued identification documents that were legitimized by then-President George W. Bush, to obtain driver’s licenses, open bank accounts, and in some instances where scrutiny is lax, register to vote. Amnesty would surely swell the rolls of voters. And it is quite likely that Senator Reid had this in mind when he mentioned “other purposes.”
The census taken every 10 years counts everyone, even noncitizens. Apportionment for House seats is determined by the numbers living in a district. It’s bad enough that noncitizens are figured in these very important totals. But if the radicals have their way, the noncitizens will also be voting.
The American people don’t want several southwestern states transferred to Mexico, a demand from militant Hispanics and their organizations. They don’t want millions of illegal immigrants (most of whom are Mexican) declared legal and given a speedy path both to citizenship and to the U.S. ballot box. And they want to terminate the forced shouldering of enormous costs associated with providing medical care, education, food stamps, housing, and other forms of welfare given to people who have broken our laws by breaking into our country. If all of these “freebies” were cancelled, most of the illegal entrants would leave. And those who desire legal entry to our country could follow the path toward legal status taken by many millions over the years.
But, what the people don’t want seems to matter little to our nation’s elitists. According to a recently conducted Zogby poll, the people’s preferences against amnesty are not shared by the top leaders of corporate America and large labor unions. The polling firm contends that this is especially the case among lobbyists for large firms, such as those holding membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is, we should add, also the dominant attitude among the kingpins of the monster tax-exempt foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, et al.).
Elected members of Congress swear an oath to abide by the provisions of the U.S. Constitution. But what about the immigration problem? Does the Constitution say anything about this vexing issue? The answer is an emphatic Yes. Article IV, Section 4 reads: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion.” (Emphasis added.) If 10-20 million persons illegally enter the United States, is that not an invasion? Note that the Constitution didn’t specify that the invasion had to be military in nature; it just said invasion. According to the Constitution, therefore, it is the solemn duty of “the United States” to protect each of the states from what has already occurred and continues to occur — an invasion by outsiders. Our federal government has failed miserably to meet its constitutional obligation.
It is true that approximately 88 percent of today’s Americans were born here. And it is correct to note that our nation is made up almost entirely of immigrants and their descendants. In the past, new arrivals to our shores came here legally. They didn’t sneak across the border. They didn’t come for handouts. They left everything abroad and came for the freedom to work and keep the fruits of their labor. Once here, they got in line, learned the language, adopted the American culture, and soon joyfully passed a test that awarded them U.S. citizenship. A considerable number came from Mexico and their contributions to our nation are many. This is the proper way to become an American citizen.
The United States still welcomes more than a million legal immigrants every year, more than the rest of the world combined. But illegal immigration is different — and should be treated differently. It’s a problem that should be solved by the federal government. Yet our leaders haven’t dealt with it properly for a long time.
As far back as 1981, then-Attorney General William French Smith pointed to a growing influx of illegal immigrants when he told a congressional panel, “We have lost control of our borders.” Losing that control didn’t happen overnight.
Sensible immigration policies had been in place in our nation for as many as 100 years. When travel from afar became more easily accomplished and increasing numbers sought entry into the United States, Congress enacted several immigration statutes in the 1920s. After World War II, when relocating to the United States became even more desirable, Congress passed the 1952 McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act. Overwhelmingly supported throughout the nation, it required careful physical examination of all entrants while establishing country-by-country quotas as to how many people could legally immigrate to the United States. The quotas were intended to avoid a shift in the United States’ ethnic mix via immigration.
Several amendments to the 1952 law began eroding McCarran-Walter’s provisions, and this chipping away led to an increasing number of immigrants. By 1980, a new Refugee Act authored by the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) seriously undermined McCarran-Walter by adopting a UN-created category of refugees who could come to America.* The Kennedy measure also authorized providing various social services and financial aid for the refugees. One of the first to take advantage of this remarkable relaxation of our nation’s immigration policies was Fidel Castro, who dumped many thousands of his undesirables into the United States through the Cuban port at Mariel.
During the late 1970s, even prior to the enactment of Kennedy’s Refugee Act, the trickle of immigrants had swelled to such an extent that Congress created a commission whose task was to recommend appropriate action to deal with immigration policies. In the 1980s, that panel urged increased border enforcement and sanctions for firms knowingly employing illegals, and its recommendations led to the Simpson-Mazzoli law. As noted above, politicians who pushed this bill through to enactment assured the wary that there would be no more persons crossing the border. Just the opposite happened. And Senator Kennedy, along with many others, claimed that this measure would be the last one ever needed to address the immigration problem.
In time, the border enforcement provision of this bill was essentially ignored, and the government also largely overlooked the requirement that it punish those who hired illegal immigrants. But, as predicted by many, amnesty and the opportunity for welfare spurred even more to cross our border. The trickle soon became a flood.
After enactment of the 1986 bill, strains on the social welfare system grew enormously. Also, the hiring of illegal immigrants at reduced wage levels impacted the wages that could be earned by entry-level American workers. Nor do most of the illegal immigrants pay any taxes, while legal citizens do. But numerous additional consequences were pointed to by an Immigration and Naturalization Service official, who noted in 1987:
Illegal aliens are involved in one-third of the rapes and murders and one-fourth of the burglaries in San Diego County. In Orange County, they account for over half the hom-icides…. Aliens are responsible for about 90 percent of the narcotics traffic…. Four hundred illegal aliens a month are added to the California prison system for various crimes.
That was 1987! These problems remain with us today. So greatly have they impacted California that, in 1994, citizens overwhelmingly approved Proposition 187, a measure designed to terminate welfare, education, and non-emergency health benefits for illegal immigrants. The thinking was clear: If the freebies were eliminated, most of the illegal invaders would go home. When opponents of the measure paraded with Mexican flags and shouts of “Viva La Raza,” Californians stormed to the polls to put a stop to being forced to subsidize law-breakers. It didn’t take long, however, for Federal District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer to block implementation of Proposition 187, with the predictable result that border crossing mushroomed.
The problems associated with illegal immigration have impacted many other states and communities. From coast to coast, governments at various levels have been forced to cope with enormous financial drains, overburdened hospitals, inundated schools, prisons bursting at the seams, increased drug trafficking, gangs that terrorize communities, and fraudulent voting — all caused in large part by illegal immigrants.
Today, the Gutierrez-Ortiz CIR ASAP measure (H.R. 4321) must be opposed. Likewise the American people must block Harry Reid’s S. 9 from enactment, and any similar piece of legislation claiming that it is “comprehensive.”
Immigration research specialist Robert Rector concludes that if current laws were enforced, there would be millions of jobs for legal citizens, and all that’s needed is for the federal government to adhere faithfully to laws that already exist. Doing so would solve not only the illegal immigration problem but much of the unemployment problem as well.
— Photo: AP Images
* The list of revolutionary and racist groups should also include MEChA, MALDEF, HACR, and LULAC.
* It is ironic that Senator Pat McCarran, the coauthor of the carefully written and eminently sensible 1952 immigration bill, represented Nevada as does Senator Harry Reid today.