Let's be quite clear what's really at the root of the current push for 'immigration reform'. There are two reasons. First, it's a handout to big business, which wants more and cheaper labor. Second, it's an attempt to create yet another group of reliably liberal/progressive/Democratic Party voters. There are no other valid reasons for it to be pushed so hard right now.
You want evidence of that? There's plenty. Let's start with the Congressional Budget Office's assessment of the so-called 'Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013'.
CBO reports that S. 744 would have only a marginal impact in reducing future illegal immigration. According to CBO, S.744 would reduce the future inflow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. over the next two decades by only 25 percent. CBO estimates that by 2033, 7.5 million new illegal immigrants will have entered the U.S. and taken up residence.
. . .
The CBO estimate is in sharp contrast to the rhetoric of the bill’s sponsors, who have said the bill “contains the toughest border immigration enforcement measures in U.S. history.”
So much for the 'border security' aspect of the proposed legislation. An attempt was made to mollify those opposing the bill on these grounds by incorporating the so-called 'Hoeven-Corker amendment', but this has turned out to be a 'smoke-and-mirrors' political deception, as Senator Rand Paul has noted. Furthermore, the amendment incorporates major changes in the proposed legislation, so much so that it's 1,190 pages in length - far too long for Senators to read (let alone understand) it before they'll be asked to vote on it tomorrow. Remember Nancy Pelosi's infamous words about Obamacare? Same old, same old . . .
As for 'economic opportunity', the West Virginia Gazette notes:
The assurances of the bill's proponents that the bill will somehow help the economy obscure copious evidence that the bill will wreak enormous damage to the employment prospects of American workers who have already seen their wages and employment rates plummet over the last several years.
. . .
Not only will the bill grant amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants, it will act as a magnet for future illegal immigration and substantially increase the number of legal immigrants ... The bill is structured so that most of the immigrants will be low-skilled. These immigrants will compete with Americans in the low-skilled labor markets.
. . .
Recent history shows that a grant of legal status to illegal immigrants results in a further influx of illegal immigrants who will crowd out low-skilled workers from the workforce. Contrary to the mythology promoted by some supporters of the bill, this isn't because low-skill Americans -- regardless of race -- are unwilling to work. It's because they're unwilling to work at the cut-rate wages (and often substandard conditions) offered to illegal immigrants -- a cohort highly unlikely to complain to the EEOC, OSHA or the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. This inexorably increases the number of low-skill Americans depending upon the government for subsistence, swells the ranks of the unemployed and reduces the wages of those that do have a job.
There's more at the link. Worthwhile reading.
Since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, there have been numerous attempts - most of them successful - to liberalize and 'water down' US immigration law. Many of these attempts have provided amnesties for illegal immigrants. They include (but are not limited to):
- Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens.
- Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens.
- Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994.
- Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America.
- Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti.
- Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens.
- LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.
Again, more at the link. During the same period, enforcement of penalties under the law against illegal immigrants has progressively declined. Indeed, it appears the Obama administration is determined not to act against or deport illegal immigrants unless forced to do so. In response, in April this year a judge ruled that the Administration is violating US law by ignoring it. This ruling, too, appears to have been willfully ignored and/or disregarded by the Administration.
Some Republicans argue that unless they embrace immigration reform, their party will continue to lose at the polls. Ann Coulter puts her finger on the fallacy in this argument.
... the Hispanic vote terrifying Republicans isn't that big. It actually declined in 2012. The Census Bureau finally released the real voter turnout numbers from the last election, and the Hispanic vote came in at only 8.4 percent of the electorate -- not the 10 percent claimed by the pro-amnesty crowd.
. . .
In raw numbers, nearly twice as many blacks voted as Hispanics, and nine times as many whites voted as Hispanics. (Ninety-eight million whites, 18 million blacks and 11 million Hispanics.)
So, naturally, the Republican Party's entire battle plan going forward is to win slightly more votes from 8.4 percent of the electorate by giving them something they don't want.
. . .
Who convinced Republicans that Hispanic wages aren't low enough and what they really need is an influx of low-wage workers competing for their jobs?
. . .
Big Republican donors -- and their campaign consultants -- just want to make money. They don't care about Hispanics, and they certainly don't care what happens to the country. If the country is hurt, I don't care, as long as I am doing better! This is the very definition of treason.
Hispanic voters are a small portion of the electorate. They don't want amnesty, and they're hopeless Democrats. So Republicans have decided the path to victory is to flood the country with lots more of them!
It's as if Republicans convinced Democrats to fixate on banning birth control to win more pro-life voters. This would be great for Republicans because Democrats will never win a majority of pro-life voters, and about as many pro-lifers care about birth control as Hispanics care about amnesty.
. . .
Listening to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus burble a few weeks ago on "Fox News Sunday" about how amnesty is going to push the Republicans to new electoral heights, one is reminded of Democratic pollster Pat Caddell's reason for refusing to become a Republican: No matter how enraged he gets at Democratic corruption, he says he can't bear to join such a stupid party as the GOP.
I'm an immigrant - a legal one. I came here on a work visa, and upgraded it (at my own expense, not my employer's) to legal permanent resident status on the way to eventual citizenship. I had to jump through all the legal, administrative and bureaucratic hoops, get medically examined on more than one occasion to be sure I wasn't carrying any strange disease that might threaten Americans' health, and get a security background check. I also had to pay out a lot of money for the privilege of legally living here. Why would I support amnesty for those who've done none of those things, and who are, by definition, already criminals, thanks to their illegal presence here? What does that current reality say about the likelihood of their future presence among us being law-abiding?
I hope and pray this legislation will be defeated, hopefully in the Senate, but if not there, in the House. If it passes, I predict it'll produce a demographic disaster in the long run.
EDITED TO ADD: Sarah Hoyt (also an immigrant) offers her own perspective on the immigration amnesty. It's well worth reading.