The national discussion continues about how to fix the immigration system. There are those among us who say we should make a “path to citizenship” for all the illegal aliens in the United States, and there are those of us who say to close the borders before any more discussion. There are still others who say that we need to enforce the immigration laws currently on the books in order to fix our immigration system.
The Democrat-majority U.S. Senate passed a “monstrosity” of a bill in June 2013, and Republican-majority members of the U.S. House of Representatives are being pressured to pass a similar “comprehensive immigration reform” bill. Democrats generally appear to prefer big comprehensive bills while the House Republicans generally prefer to take problems a step at a time. Democrats want some pathway to citizenship while conservative Republicans want the borders closed first. Americans have the opportunity to confront our representatives in Congress while they are in their home states on their August recess. We the people must speak up and make our voices known.
The Heritage Foundation suggests we understand five different questions and their answers: 1) How can we afford an amnesty for illegal immigrants? (Answer: “We can’t. Over their lifetimes, the estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants would cost federal, state, and local taxpayers trillions of dollars because they will consume significantly more in government benefits and services than they pay in taxes” as well as “depress wages for low-skilled Americans and make a tough job market more difficult.”)
2) If illegal immigrants win amnesty, how is that fair to the 4.5 million who are waiting to enter the United States legally? (Answer: “It isn’t fair. America prides itself on the rule of law. As Americans, we should not allow those who break our laws to be rewarded – especially at the expense of those who are abiding by the rules….”)
3) Can we ensure that a House-passed immigration bill doesn’t become a vehicle, in a deal with the Senate, for blanket amnesty? (Answer: “No, we can’t. With massive costs to taxpayers and carve-outs for special interests, the Senate-passed bill eerily resembles Obamacare in its unnecessary complexity….”)
4) Does Congress need to pass new legislation to secure the border and strengthen interior enforcement? (Answer: “No. Current laws can be used to settle our border security and interior enforcement problems. The reason those laws aren’t working is simple: We aren’t enforcing them….”)
5) Is there any guarantee that we won’t face this problem again with millions of new illegal immigrants in the future? (Answer: “No. We should keep a close eye on all proposals. In 1986, proponents of `reform’ promised the American people that if Congress passed an amnesty-first immigration bill, we wouldn’t have to go through this debate again. We were told to trust Congress to put together an amnesty bill that would be fair and prevent illegal immigration once and for all. Fast forward to now, and we’re experiencing the same problems but on a larger scale. If Congress doesn’t secure the border first to stop the flow of illegal immigration and also enforce our laws, we will find ourselves back in the same situation. The Congressional Budget Office projected that if the Senate bill became law, millions of new illegal immigrants would be here within a few decades.”)