Congress just doesn’t give up. Despite the American people having made their wishes known quite clearly back in 2007, yet a new plan to legalize illegal aliens is in the works.
The long-awaited framework, written by Sens. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, calls for illegal immigrants to be put on a path to citizenship and would create a temporary program for future foreign workers. Maybe most contentious of all, it would turn all Social Security cards into tamper-proof IDs.
The senators said their legalization approach would be a "tough but fair" program that would require illegal immigrants to admit they broke the law and make them perform community service and pay a fine.
Illegal immigrants would also have to demonstrate they are proficient at English and pass background checks to gain citizenship.
There have been seven illegal alien amnesties written into law since 1986. Each one was supposed to have “solved” the problem. But that’s just it – they haven’t. As Michelle Malkin noted in 2007,
Guess what? None – not one – of those amnesties was associated with a decline in illegal immigration. On the contrary, the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. has tripled since President Reagan signed the first amnesty in 1986. The total effect of the amnesties was even larger because relatives later joined amnesty recipients, and this number was multiplied by an unknown number of children born to amnesty recipients who then acquired automatic US citizenship.
And what of the people who have followed all the rules, crossing every T and dotting every I in their quest for legal status in America? Nick, who lives in Bethel, Connecticut, first came to the U.S. from the UK with his family on a work visa in December of 1998. Everything went fine until the company was bought out by another company, which rendered his visa null and void. He had to start over again from scratch, but eventually the problem was solved. He received his green card in April of 2005 and will be eligible as of next month to apply for citizenship, which he intends to do.
However, in light of all of the work he’s done to make sure that he follows U.S. immigration policy, he’s concerned about the fact that “these illegal immigrants can come in and shortcut the circuit without going through the long, drawn-out process that we went through to get the green card in the first place. If they’re going to add in a whole new process to push these people through to get their citizenship, that’s going to take resources from the rest of us who are trying to get our citizenship who have followed all the rules.”
How many times have you heard that the U.S. is a “nation of laws?” Why take the time and effort to make new laws when you can’t be bothered to uphold the ones that already exist? Why don’t we just put out the welcome mat and dispense with the formality of a Border Patrol, green cards and citizenship tests?
Just a year ago, 66 percent of likely voters thought it was important for the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration. And earlier this month, 67 percent of U.S. voters said that illegal aliens are a major strain on the U.S. economy, with 68 percent say gaining control of the border is more important than amnesty.
Look at California, for instance: With roughly 2.7 million illegal aliens within its borders, the state’s floundering economy is not helped by the fact that they cost the state between “$4 billion and $6 billion in costs, primarily for prisons and jails, schools and emergency rooms. Beyond those services, the illegal population adds to the overall cost of other parts of local government, from police and fire protection to highway maintenance and libraries.” Sure, they pay taxes on items they purchase, but “most researchers agree that the short-term costs to state and local government are bigger than the revenues.”
Revealingly, while making illegal aliens legal is of average importance to average Americans, it’s of high importance to the pols in Washington – 74 percent of them say the importance level is high. Surprised? Don’t be.
Once again, the elites in Washington are turning a deaf ear to the people they purportedly serve. Will they ever get the message? It’s up to us to make sure they do.
Pam Meister is the editor of FamilySecurityMatters.org.