Supporters of the Senate amnesty bill, set to hit the floor next week, are telling the American people this is the legislation that will finally solve our immigration crisis. This is the last time we’ll have to extend amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.
However, after granting amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal aliens in 1986, the illegal immigration problem in this country has grown worse and nothing in the Senate Gang of Eight bill will prevent a future flood of illegal immigration.
Illegal border crossings already rising
With the mere talk of amnesty in the U.S., illegal crossings on the Southern border have already increased this year over last. Border Patrol officials say they’ve apprehended 90,000 illegal aliens so far this year, indicating a 50 percent increase in crossings. At the same time, Border ranchers tell FAIR that crossings are not only more frequent but even more brazen – and law enforcement can’t keep up with their pleas for help.
The promise of amnesty is proving an attractive carrot for illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America. Although the Senate bill contains a cutoff date of December 31, 2011, potential illegal aliens are either unaware or confident that they’ll eventually be included in an extension of the deadline or a later amnesty. Why not? The 1986 law’s amnesty was expanded on several occasions and if we pass yet another massive amnesty bill, periodic amnesty becomes our new de-facto immigration policy.
Illegal chain migration
Under the Gang of Eight bill, nearly 12 million illegal aliens would receive the right to remain and work in the U.S. Given their new ability to gain lawful employment, housing, and access to benefits, newly amnestied illegal aliens would become well suited to provide a safe haven for relatives and friends who wish to enter the U.S. illegally.
According to a recent Pew Hispanic Center poll, 35 percent of Mexican adults want to move to the U.S. and 20 percent would do so illegally. Clearly illegal immigration remains an attractive option for a significant population and giving them a lifeline if they make it to the U.S. only makes it more viable.
New and continued demand for illegal labor
The overnight amnesty would not dry up a demand for illegal aliens among cheap labor employers. Under S. 744 nationwide E-Verify would not be implemented until years after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) drafts regulations, would only apply to new hires, and will exempt whole classes of employers from the requirement altogether.
No enforcement requirements
The border does not automatically become secure upon enactment of this massive amnesty bill. In fact, there are no requirements that DHS ever improve border or interior enforcement before legal status or even citizenship is granted to illegal aliens.
In addition to allowing a porous border to remain, the Senate bill would tie the hands of law enforcement by prohibiting the enforcement of immigration laws between enactment of the bill and the end of the amnesty application period. DHS may not detain or remove an alien – for any reason – if an alien they encounter is “prima facie eligible,” or at first sight appears to be eligible, for legal status. This provision would allow illegal aliens encountered at the border and inside the U.S. to remain in the country by simply claiming eligibility for amnesty.
All this amounts to more, not less, illegal immigration in the future. It’s exactly what Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who openly regrets having supported the 1986 amnesty, has warned against. Yet this lesson learned is falling on deaf ears, even among some of the same lawmakers – including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) – who pushed the failed reforms that created our current immigration nightmare.