I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Fraud Of Illegal Immigration

The President and Congress refuse to listen to the American people and let the latest version of the immigration reform bill die. The proponents of the bill speak about the need to do this now and that any changes will render the entire bill meaningless. They vilify anyone who dares to question the aspects of the bill. They have used a myriad of insults and labels to try to quiet the deafening outcry from the very same people who voted them into power.

The latest poll done by
Zogby International has shown that virtually no one in the country believes that Congress or the administration is properly handling the illegal immigration issue. A paltry 9% of respondents support the President’s efforts on this topic. As bad as Bush’s numbers are, Congress rates even lower at a shocking 3%. These numbers are even more surprising when it is revealed that the illegal immigration issue is the second most important issue facing our country today. How can a President and a majority of Congress ignore over 90% of the American public?

Over the past several weeks we have witnessed many of the advocates of this bill go on a media blitz to try to win support. All of them use the same lines about how we are all just wrong about the bill and how now is the only time we can accomplish this reform. There are several questions that have risen up in my feeble little mind while listening to the rants.

First of all, we are told that this bill does not provide amnesty because those that are here illegally must pay a fine and wait about 8 years before they can become citizens. In the meantime they can apply for Z visas and live and work as normal U.S. citizens. This aspect of Z visas is a slap in the face of all of the legal immigrants that are currently here working on H1B visas. These legal immigrants cannot change jobs or get a promotion without losing their place in line for a green card. Z visa recipients are not held to these same standards.

Secondly, we are told that the act of crossing the border illegally is nothing more than a misdemeanor and the punishment, a $5000 fine, fits the crime. That logic assumes that once here the illegal immigrant breaks no other laws. The proponents have told us that they are here to do work that Americans won’t do. Let’s look at that statement. In order to do work “legally” they must have a valid social security number, which because they broke the law to get here, do not. In this case they either buy a valid SSN, which has been stolen from someone else, or they simply make one up. Both situations are crimes. If they decide to work “under the table” without reporting any income to the IRS, then we are looking at tax fraud. Add these to the already acknowledged misdemeanor of being here illegally and the punishment certainly does not fit the crime.

Following the logic that they are here to do work that Americans won’t do, if the jobs paid more than Americans would line up to work in the fields. The illegal immigrants accept less money than American citizens do to do the same work. They accept less because of their illegal status. Does anyone believe that they will continue to work for less money than the employee next to them once they attain legal status? There are also many cases where INS has gone in and conducted raids at manufacturing facilities and rounded up hundreds of illegal immigrants. The factory then has to fill those positions with legal workers. In every case those jobs, that Americans just won’t do, were filled immediately.

The proponents of this reform legislation have said that the current laws don’t provide stiff enough penalties to employers or illegal immigrants to deter anyone from breaking the law. That is why we need to act now to beef up the law. That is a frightening statement. So if a punishment is not harsh enough, we just don’t enforce the law? That does not make any sense, but yet that is essentially what we are being told. Here is a novel idea. Why don’t we try enforcing the current laws as written and see how effective they are?

This is precisely why the American public does not have any faith in the government, be it the President or Congress, to make this reform package work. The bureaucrats in Washington tried this same approach in the 60’s and the 80’s to combat illegal immigration. Even the feeble minded, like myself, can see that their reforms didn’t work in either case previously, but yet we should trust them to get it right this time? The country is at a unique point in our history, the voters of both parties are very unhappy with their elected representatives. The elections of next year could very well determine what path our country goes down. Will we continue with the status quo approach of sending the same tired candidates back to Washington? Or will there be a political uprising, where the voters of this great country send men and women to Washington who are more interested in doing what is best for our country than furthering their political careers?

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