By Phil Kent
Experience is a great teacher. Ask U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
He voted for the 1986 “Immigration Control and Reform Act” based on promises. But since it granted amnesty to illegal aliens first and promised border security and employer sanctions that never occurred, the senator vows never to be “fooled again.”
Grassley says the Senate “Gang of Eight” bill backed by President Barack Obama is the same 1986 gimmick— immediate “legalization” for illegals coupled with new promises of fences, more border personnel and interior enforcement. Why should Americans believe it? Our past president didn’t enforce many immigration laws and the current president “waived” part of the law through executive fiat.
The immigration system must be fixed. Yet this “fix” is a dagger pointed at the heart of our treasured concept of citizenship. Why should anyone who sneaks into our country to enjoy its benefits be rewarded with “a path to citizenship”?
Consider what the Senate bill does:
1) Eleven million-plus illegal aliens would stay permanently.
2) The “legalized’ illegals would get work permits to compete directly in the job market with Americans.
3) The number of legal foreign workers granted work visas would double. Add those foreigners to the legalized illegals and that totals over 33 million competitors for jobs.
4) Wages will be depressed, and the Congressional Budget Office warns unemployment will increase.
5) Repair of the broken entry-exit visa system comes later and Department of Homeland Security waivers can grant amnesty— even violent gang members can be waived. No wonder the immigration agents’ union says this bill makes America “less secure!”
Where is the concern for 20 million Americans who can’t find a full-time job or for taxpayers who support them while over 33 million legal and illegal foreigners hold U.S. jobs? Uncle Sap, of course, would continue to pay for healthcare, education and welfare benefits for the legalized illegals.
What about guest worker programs, especially in the agriculture and restaurant sectors? Their visa process must be streamlined through separate legislation— and employers must prove they solicit American applicants first before foreigners.
The Senate Budget Committee estimates Obamacare increases healthcare programs by $17 trillion over 75 years. Adding currently illegal immigrants via citizenship obviously ups this staggering cost. So with costs so incredibly high and border security just a goal why must this amnesty bill be passed? America mustn’t be fooled again.
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Phil Kent of Atlanta is spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control.