The Negligible Distinction between Two Really Bad Plans
In late January, the “Gang-of-Eight” (Four radical Democrats and pro-amnesty Republican Senators McCain, Graham, Flake, and Rubio) launched Senate legislation to grant legal status (amnesty) and immediate work permits to millions of illegal immigrants now in the U.S.
Since the 1965 Immigration Act, U.S. immigration policy has been good for illegal immigrants, employers who use cheap foreign labor in preference to American labor, and the Democrat Party. It has been bad for American workers, law-abiding employers, taxpayers, their families, and the rule of law.
The 1965 Act, whose Senate Floor Leader was the late liberal icon, Edward Kennedy, extended family preferences from spouses and minor children of recent immigrants to an unending chain of parents, siblings, sibling spouses, and in-laws, now referred to as “chain migration.” It resulted in both runaway legal and illegal immigration, which was predominantly unskilled and poorly educated and almost exclusively from third-world countries.
The 1987 Amnesty (passed in 1986) and six legislative amnesties since then have further compounded our immigration problems and managed to make our immigration policies a major generator of huge Federal healthcare and Social Security liabilities and heavy fiscal and tax burdens on state and local governments. American workers have also borne a heavy burden of displacements and downward pressure on their wages due to competition from cheaper imported labor, both legal and illegal. The Heritage Foundation estimated that the defeated 2007 McCain-Kennedy Amnesty would have cost over $2.5 Trillion over the first ten years in Social Security and Medicare liabilities alone. The Senate Gang-of-Eight proposed Amnesty would cost considerably more. The Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform (FAIR) estimates the annual fiscal impact of illegal immigration to be over $100 Billion per year for education, healthcare, and law enforcement alone.
By 1990, the disastrous results of the 1965 Act compounded by the chain of amnesties beginning in 1987 had become painfully visible, and Congress created a commission to study our immigration problems and make sensible recommendations for redress. The Jordan Commission, named for its Chair, Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas, was among the most highly qualified ever brought to bear on a national problem. They studied immigration problems for over six years, and presented their findings and recommendations to Congress and President Clinton in 1997. Despite a mounting problem of out-of-control legal and illegal immigration and corresponding fiscal and social problems, their crucial, urgent, and sensible recommendations were ignored. Political posturing for ethnic votes, cheap-labor-lobby campaign financing bribes and threats, and the influence of liberal media trumped truth and the national good.
In fact, enforcement of immigration laws at the workplace dropped to near zero during the first six years of the G. W. Bush Administration. Bush, McCain, and a relatively small minority of Republicans in Congress, especially in Border States, tried to play an accomodationist strategy to get Hispanic votes. Ignoring the predominant socio-economic character of their target voters, it was an unmitigated and easily predictable disaster. Relatively low-skilled and poorly educated voter groups, no matter from what country or ethnic background, are unlikely to favor conservative healthcare, welfare, and spending policies. A voter group that favors Obamacare by 69 to 23 polling margins is likely to favor other liberal social-welfare polices by roughly the same margin. This has been the consistent Hispanic voting pattern going back at least to 1980. The latest generation is even more liberal. Furthermore, liberal Republican agendas cause millions of conservative voters to stay at home on Election Day. The November 2012 election results gave clear evidence that our immigration policies are nearing the tipping point to assuring permanent Democrat dominance at the national level. An amnesty will not gain Hispanic or immigrant votes for Republicans. It will swell the ranks of the electorate with more Democrats. Republican backed amnesty or any other attempt to out-liberal the Democrats will also make conservatives stay at home.
President Obama has his own immigration plan with even more generous provisions for illegal immigrants, but it is not much worse than the Gang-of-Eight plan. The Gang-of-Eight is deceptively comparing their amnesty as more conservative than Obama’s plan. But it is not conservative at all. The plans are identical in most respects. In my opinion, the Obama Plan was deliberately leaked as part of a joint stratagem with the Gang-of-Eight to portray the Gang’s plan as a “moderate” alternative to Obama’s plan in order to get more Republican votes. This is outrageous misrepresentation.
NumbersUSA CEO Roy Beck points out that both the Gang-of-Eight and the Obama plans will give INSTANT ANMESTY and work permits to illegal aliens while remaining silent on the impact on 20 Million Americans who cannot find full-time work.
The Gang-of-Eight and Obama plans both fail to mandate immediate E-Verify. This will leave a visa-violation hole big enough to drive ten million illegals through in a few years.
Neither Gang-of-Eight nor Obama calls for implementation of an entry-exit system to monitor 45 million foreign tourist visas per year.
Neither Gang-of-Eight nor Obama honestly addresses the enormous costs involved in giving millions of illegal immigrants the right to government welfare, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. As usual, they are trying to hide them.
Beck also reminds us that both the Gang-of-Eight and Obama plans would perpetuate Chain Migration, providing a multiple assault on American jobs and infrastructure.
Neither plan deals with the inevitable impact of all amnesties. They generate disrespect for the law and bring millions of additional illegal immigrants hoping to take advantage of current and future amnesties. Based on prior amnesties, Giving 11 million amnesties will result in another 22 to 33 million illegal immigrants within a decade. The economic and social damage of that is almost incalculable.
The Gang-of-Eight proposal, which its advocates are shamefully presenting as a moderate alternative to Obama’s only slightly more villainous plan, is a recipe for national catastrophe on a huge scale. Its provisions are incredibly foolish and destructive.
Mike Scruggs is the author of Lessons from the Vietnam War: Truths the Media Never Told You; published in 2009. Mike is also a decorated Air Force combat veteran of the Vietnam War and the author of recently published books: Lessons from the Vietnam War: Truths the Media Never Told You and The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths. The books, a unique combination of personal experiences and a military and political overview of the war, can be obtained by calling The Times Examiner at (864) 268-0576.