It was nice to see Republican Senators Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham indicate that the leaked White House amnesty outline over the weekend was far too radical to even consider.
But -- as many commentators have already noted -- the Obama outline was pretty similar in key respects to what these pro-amnesty Republicans have been saying.
For example, some of the most egregious aspects of Pres. Obama's amnesty outline are virtually identical to the bi-partisan Gang of Eight's amnesty outline. (The "Gang" includes Republicans Rubio of Florida, Graham of South Carolina and McCain and Flake from Arizona, as well as Democrats Schumer of New York, Durbin of Illinois, Menendez of New Jersey and Bennett of Colorado.)
8-GANG & OBAMA BOTH GIVE INSTANT AMNESTY AND WORK PERMITS TO ILLEGAL ALIENS WHILE REMAINING SILENT ABOUT THE EFFECT ON 20 MILLION AMERICANS WHO CAN'T FIND FULL-TIME WORK
Although they all talk about moving the illegal aliens to the back of the line, both the plan of Obama and that of Rubio and Graham allow an estimated 7 million illegal aliens to keep their jobs in construction, manufacturing and service while some 12 million less-educated Americans who want jobs in those same occupations have to stand in the unemployment line. Neither outline, for example, even bothers to suggest that employers should not be allowed to hire an amnestied alien if an American is available for a job.
8-GANG & OBAMA BOTH FAIL TO IMMEDIATELY MANDATE E-VERIFY TO STOP A NEW WAVE OF FOREIGN TOURISTS, STUDENTS & WORKERS FROM OVERSTAYING THEIR VISAS AND BECOMING ILLEGAL WORKERS
Any amnesty with a multi-year phase-in of mandatory E-Verify will open the door to millions of new illegal aliens enticed by all the publicity about how immigration crime really does pay. Some 45 million foreign citizens LEGALLY visit the U.S. each year. Even if only a small percentage decide to overstay visas because of the glow of the amnesty, our labor markets will be awash in a whole new flood of illegal workers. Neither outline calls for an immediate use of E-Verify by all employers. Neither requires the no-match letters and ID-theft notification procedures contained in the House Judiciary Committee's E-Verify bill of the previous Congress. Rather, both outlines give millions of illegal aliens jobs whether or not a single thing is done to keep new illegal aliens in the future from taking jobs.
8-GANG & OBAMA BOTH FAIL TO REQUIRE ENTRY-EXIT SYSTEM
Democratic Sen. Feinstein (Calif.) noted in the Senate hearing last week, no Administration has followed the law passed by Congress in 1996 that calls for an entry-exit system at all ports of entry so that our government computers can keep track of the 45 million foreign visitors each year as they enter, when they leave and when they fail to leave according to the promise they made when they obtained their visa. The 17-year refusal of three Presidents to carry out this part of the enforcement law is a prime reason why no American should trust any promises made about enforcement until they have actually occurred.
8-GANG & OBAMA BOTH FAIL TO ADDRESS THE MASSIVE COSTS OF ADDING MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS TO GOVERNMENT BENEFITS
Studies are just now starting to appear that estimate how many trillions of new costs will be imposed on federal, state and local governments to provide Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and all other kinds of welfare, national health care, etc. to millions of mostly low-income illegal aliens. And that is just the beginning. How will governments pay for all the extra infrastructure needed to bring transportation, schools, hospitals, parks, etc. back up to the per capita standards that existed before the 11 million illegal aliens were added?
There are several options for how these trillions of dollars of costs might be handled, but everybody is keeping their preferred option a secret. Do Pres. Obama and the Gang of Eight want:
- (a) to raise the taxes on Americans to subsidize the illegal aliens?
- (b) to designate where these trillions would be cut from other parts of the budget to offset the costs?
- (c) to add the trillions to the national debt and just see how world markets will react?
- (d) to structure the amnesty so the illegal aliens would never qualify for most of the benefits and, therefore, eliminate many of the costs?
Something like one of those will happen with the costs if there is an amnesty. None of the pro-amnesty Republicans or Democrats is addressing that.
8-GANG & OBAMA BOTH WOULD MULTIPLY THE ASSAULT ON AMERICANS' JOBS & INFRASTRUCTURE BY PERPETUATING CHAIN MIGRATION
The Chain Migration categories allowing immigrants to send for relatives beyond their spouse and minor children mean that tens of millions of relatives of illegal aliens will start lining up in their home countries to also come to the U.S. once the amnesty goes through. Even though there are numerical ceilings on some of the Chain Migration categories, that doesn't stop cousins, aunts, uncles, neices and nephews from starting to plan to move to America. Not only does this feed an endless stream of legal immigrants each year but it is a cause of much future illegal immigration as extended family get tired of waiting and feel they are entitled to move here and might as well come here illegally and wait for their papers. Millions of the foreign-born who now legally hold U.S. jobs are extended family of the illegal aliens given amnesty in 1986 and six more times in the 1990s.
BORDER SECURITY DOESN'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO BEING THE ONLY TRIGGER NEEDED
About the only thing that the Republicans who are pro-amnesty but anti-Obama-amnesty seem to really disagree about the Obama plan is over how long the illegal aliens will have to wait until they can start to vote in elections, and whether the amnesty has a sufficient trigger to make sure that permanent residency and path to citizenship (green cards) aren't issued until the borders are truly secure.
Besides the fact that all of them seem willing to go ahead and give work authorization no matter what happens on the border, the four issues noted above make the border security trigger fight seem like nothing more than a tiff, even though it is indeed quite important. And neither outline requires detailed goals that would guarantee operational control of the border before any amnesty.
We agree with the most recent official bi-partisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform that REAL reform means not rewarding illegal activity with an amnesty.
If Congress and the President were driven by concerns of narrowing the income-disparity gap, of raising America's poor workers into the middle class, of recruiting and educating our most talented for the highest skilled jobs and of protecting the quality of life of both human and non-human inhabitants of our national community, they would follow the recommendations of that reform commission and reduce legal immigration by at least half and put an end to all magnets and rewards for illegal migration.
They obviously have some other goals in mind, but none of them appears to be about meeting the needs and interests of the American people.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA