DACA and amnesty

Let’s go for a ride in a time machine to the year 1986. Ted Kennedy, “Lion of the Senate,” is speaking before that body, imploring the members to enact an amnesty for the 1 million illegal aliens (correct terminology) who were estimated to be in the United States at that time. “This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this.” Ronald Reagan reluctantly signed this bill, believing that the borders would be secured as promised and the problem would finally be solved. As has been documented since that time, more than 3 million were granted the “one-time only” amnesty and the borders were never secured. Years later, Reagan ruefully stated signing that amnesty bill was one of the greatest mistakes of his presidency. (Unfortunately, there have been six additional amnesties since then and none of them have staunched the flow of illegal immigration; in fact, they only encouraged more illegal activity.)

Let’s now fast-forward to the present where the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is in the news. It’s been estimated that there are 800,000 “Dreamers” (DACA recipients) currently in this country. However, considering the poor record the government has in estimating any situation, we can probably safely assume there are four times that number. But, for the sake of “playing along” with this fallacy, let’s use the 800,000 number and forget the fraud that will inevitably occur. It’s been stated that 90% of these “Dreamers” are employed, meaning there are 720,000 jobs held by people who have no legal/constitutional right to be here, let alone be employed. These are jobs that could be held by citizens and legal immigrants. Remember, the “Dreamers” are not children; the average age is 25, going up to the mid-thirties. The argument is that the “children” didn’t have a choice when illegally entering the country; it would be “cruel” to end it. Where do the needs of the American people fit into this equation?

The amnesty proponents will not stop at the “Dreamers”; instead they will move on to the next step, that is the so-called “11 million undocumented immigrants.” This number has been the standard for almost two decades. It could very likely prove to be four times that many, but if the actual number was known, citizens might become even more angry than they are now. Remember, any amnesty granted will enable the recipients of this unearned citizenship to bring in their relatives through chain migration. This could amount to untold millions of people when those relatives can bring in their relatives and on and on. Can this nation afford this? What would this do to our culture? What would this do to our environment, healthcare, educational and political systems?

Instead of an additional amnesty, Congress should pass the RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy) Act, which would, among other things, end chain migration, as well as the Visa Lottery (admitting 50,000 people per year, regardless of skill or education levels). Future immigrant admissions would, instead, be assessed on a points system akin to Canada and Australia to assure success in this country. Furthermore, immigrants in this system would be ineligible for federal means-tested benefits for a period of 5 years.

Immigration laws were enacted to protect the United States and its citizens, not every citizen of every country in the world who wants to relocate here. The future of our country is at stake and we should be very alarmed.

Karen Cliffgard

Chicago, IL

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