Amnesty Returns

Amnesty is back. Rep. Luis Gutierrez has introduced a bill in the House that would ultimately provide citizenship for illegals who pay a $500 fine, learn English, and pass a background check, referring to such a plan as a “moral obligation.” Some of the unanswered questions are obvious:

  1. Will illegals who cannot pay the $500 “fine” really be deported?
  2. What level of English proficiency will be required, who will judge, who will provide the training, and how long will illegals have to pass the test?
  3. If we have a moral responsibility to those in need who enter our country illegally, then don’t we have the same obligation to the rest of the developing world?

Asking these questions is worthwhile, but we should focus on the core issue. No illegal immigrant should be able to pass a background check anyway. Each committed a serious offense when he or she entered the US illegally. Of course, amnesty would create millions of new voters, most of whom would support the party of big government that facilitated their citizenship. This is why Democrats fight so hard for amnesty, and why many Republicans (Graham, McCain, etc.) are afraid to oppose it.

Illegal immigration costs Americans a fortune each year. While we might benefit from cheap farm, manufacturing, and construction labor, the hidden costs of public education, criminal justice, and healthcare alone are devastating. Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector has already done the math, so I won’t go over it again here. Suffice to say that the long term economic burden is huge. Unfortunately, many in corporate America favor various work schemes for illegals because they benefit from cheap labor while society at large pays the cost.

Predictably, the subtle and sometimes overt media bias is back as well. USA Today reported on December 15: “There are 12 million illegal immigrants in the USA. Activists call for an overhaul of immigration law that would offer them a way to earn legal status. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., introduced a bill Tuesday that would give illegal immigrants who pay fines, pass background checks and meet other requirements a path toward legal residency.” Note that illegals would only get a “way to earn legal status” or “a path toward legal residency.” Gutierrez clearly wants CITIZENSHIP, which means AMNESTY FOR ILLEGALS. USA Today avoids these terms because of its editors know where most Americans stand on the issue. The story also includes the obligatory heart-tugger, a reference to Rigoberto Padilla, a non-American whose dreams could be shattered by a cruel system called border enforcement. (

For the record, I understand why a citizen another country would enter the US illegally. Many come to the US to work and help feed their families. Most are nice people and see the lack of immigration enforcement as the game it is. If I lived in poverty elsewhere and the US borders were open, I’d come also. We shouldn’t blame the illegals. We should blame ourselves. Amnesty, however, doesn’t fix the problem, it only exacerbates it.

Many of the arguments from the previous debate will remain unchanged when “immigration reform” takes center stage again, but there are two key differences. First, we will be told that most illegals are young workers who will help pay the taxes needed to finance near-bankrupt programs for older Americans like Social Security and healthcare. This argument is a simply an admission that programs like Social Security are merely vote-buying Ponzi schemes. How many more workers must be imported to pay the Social Security claims of these young workers several decades from now?

The second difference is political. Democrats largely favor amnesty, and there are more of them now than when Bush mistakenly supported the effort. Fortunately the 2010 elections are getting closer, and some Democrats might fear the wrath of voters if they support such a measure. Regardless, the key for stopping amnesty—sooner or later—is retaking the House in 2010 with REAL conservatives and passing real immigration reform that limits legal immigration at a reasonable level and controls the border. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball.

2 thoughts on “Amnesty Returns

  1. I don’t want amnesty, but it seems to me that its too late now. How can we deport millions of people from the US? Maybe we should cut a deal for amnesty now for some in exchange for a border fence and stronger immigration controls so we won’t have to deal with this again.

  2. This is the line we get from the democrats. Amnesty is supposed to be the only practical solution because too many illegals are already. Don’t fall for it. If we build a wall, get serious about enforcing the laws we already have, and punish employers for hiring illegals, the numbers would go down. We can deport the rest one at a time.

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