Immigration Reform: A Permanent Solution? No, a Trick.

capitol-DC.serendipityThumbby Ron Swaren

I am very disturbed by the support that a new amnesty for illegal aliens in the United States—-estimated anywhere from 8 to 18 million—appears to have among some Republican members in the US Senate and the House of Representatives. The politics of it, isn’t surprising at all. These officials represent states that have high numbers of certain ethnic groups that may favor legalization for people in their community.

What I find incredible is the possibility of these elected leaders walking into a trap that there is no way out of. Washington DC is full of weird bargains and the possibility of something being presented as beneficial—in reality beneficial to only a few—is ever present. But based upon the performance of the Obama Administration in reducing or controlling in-migration of people who can exploit our poor immigration enforcement, to my mind Republican gullibility is shocking.

The basic premise is that since it is hard to remove millions of people who have become entrenched into neighborhoods and economic life that the Congress must do the next best thing: Come to a negotiated compromise that all can live with. A “Deal.” Amnesty plus Border Security. The deal is we allow those illegal immigrants to stay in our country (“amnesty”) and the federal government will make sure that no more can come in to the United States (“border security”) and thus we will never have to accomplish this political arrangement again.

This is a joke. Isn’t it?

What is the track record so far of the Obama Administration securing our borders?

What is the likelihood that new movements will arise to counter or overturn the newly activated “border security?”

Earth to Congress. This is a TRICK.

When pro-illegal alien groups can mobilize thousands of people, who are neither citizens nor lawful permanent residents and thus not constituents, to call the US Congress on a mass scale, what are the chances they will rest once an Amnesty has been enacted? My bet is that they will be right back at it, pressing again for more favorable treatment. This can come in the form of asking for Executive Orders, pressure on US agencies to alter policy, or pressure for Congressional repeal, or federal lawsuits. Can we really be fooled into thinking that such an Amnesty-Border Security compromise would last? For more than few years at best?

In 1986 Congress, under the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, agreed to allow 2.7 million illegal aliens who had been employed here remain without fear of deportation. The main recipients of this act of grace were men who had been working in the US. And what did they do? Next, they sent for their families. So the non-admitted wives and in many cases children joined the pardoned male workers established in the US economy, and they also found ways of earning US dollars or qualifying their families for taxpayer paid benefits.. Since then Congress has enacted additional amnesty legislation in other years: 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000. And proponents seize upon highly emotional vignettes, such as children uncontrollably crying as their parents are returned back to their native countries despite how much they have “helped” the US.

Employment in the United States has been a godsend for people who may make somewhere between 5 and 10 dollars a day in their home country. And I, having worked alongside migrant south-of-the-border workers in a younger day, appreciate that US farmers have sometimes benefited from these hard working people. But on the other side of the coin with the advent of special legal advocacy for farmworker groups, US agriculture is suffering some serious headwinds. According to USDA reports US produce is gradually losing out to foreign imports. In other countries they are still paid these low wages, but in the US laws restrict it. So US agriculture loses.

Many people don’t realize that the Department of Agriculture was exploring new technology that would alter produce to make it mechanically harvestable. but suffered legal challenges that limited that and caused us more dependence on human labor. As an example, the Roma tomato—the tough skinned, pear-shaped variety–was genetically modified so that harvesting by machines would not damage it. Just a few simple alterations. But the agricultural workers were upset and sued. Other types of genetic modification were halted, and engineering programs scrapped. Professor Philip Martin of the University of California has documented these events. There are other type of GM modifying that accomplish this—none of it fraught with the “Frankenfood” stigma that detractors level at modern botanical engineering. And concepts that would help US agriculture to continue to succeed.

Having achieved some political victories, an ethnic lobby was born. In recent years thousands, or even millions, of non lawfully admitted persons feel free to lobby our own elected officials for their interests. Moreover, cottage industries have arisen to provide phony documentation, traffic in people, sell illicit products and variously undermine the security of the US republic. To see official US reports on criminal activity connected with illegal immigration go here.

But back to the point. Senate Republicans—specifically Senators McCain, Graham, Flake, Rubio and Rand—-facing political disadvantages are facing pressure to agree to an amnesty for 10-18 million illegal aliens. And they will be promised border security. But we know that border security can be here one day—- and non existent the next. It can be gutted, ignored, overturned or litigated out of existence. That is why it is important that you contract these Senators and tell them not to fall for the “trick” of amnesty for illegal aliens. When was the last time one of these deals worked permanently? Please look up their website or call via the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121. The US House is also reviewing this issue. Call 202-225-3951 for the Judiciary Committee comment line. And you can stay current on proceeding in the US House Judiciary Committee (which has subcommittees conducting related hearings) here.

I know this is a contentious issue. But don’t let our elected officials succumb to deals that can be overturned just as soon as someone devises a way to do it. Our lesson from previous Amnesties is that they never become the finished policy.