FMC Blog: Free Speech Zone

Should the U.S. Control Illegal Immigration?

THE Senate is currently debating the most far reaching immigration amnesty in more than a generation.

The immigration "reform" bill is supported by an unlikely coalition of powerful special interest groups that includes the largest Latino advocacy groups, business lobbies, labor Unions and immigration lawyers among others. On the other hand, the amnesty is opposed by an increasingly vocal Americans population who are frustrated with the flood of illegal aliens who are rapidly changing their communities; lowering wages for blue collar workers, African Americans and putting enormous pressure on local and state governments to educate and provide healthcare and other services for illegal aliens.

So is the immigration reform bill good for America? And must reform include a path to citizenship?

Before answering these questions, one should consider the motivation of those who favor an amnesty and a path to citizenship. The most vocal opponents of controlling illegal immigration are Latino organizations. This is no surprise. Most American Latino organizations have an established history of reflexively opposing any measure that controls unlawful immigration. Opposition to controlling illegal immigration has become so politically charged that those who call for control of illegal immigration are considered racist and intolerant.
In addition to Latin American groups, both Political parties have resisted controlling illegal immigration. Advocates argue that Democrats support an amnesty and a path to citizenship because immigrants are more likely to become Democrats and thus strengthening the Democratic Party. As to Republicans, advocates argue that Republicans law makers generally oppose controlling illegal immigration because a key constituent, the business community, wants cheap labor.
Another major group that is working hard for the amnesty is labor unions. For the last 20 years, labor unions have experienced declining numbers and influence in the United States. Labor unions hope to reverse their decline with illegal workers.

And last but not least, immigration lawyers also support an amnesty and a path to citizenship. There is no surprise here as immigration lawyers stand to make a fortune.

Clearly, even a superficial analysis of the groups who favor an amnesty reveals that those groups have self-serving narrow interests that may not be in the best interest of the United States. The United States has an open porous border with Mexico where thousands of people cross illegally every month. If thousands are able to cross the border without detection, how difficult would it be for terrorists to cross the Mexican border? If thousands of people are smuggling drugs from the U.S./Mexican border, how difficult would it be to smuggle explosives?

Now, let's consider the argument that legalizing illegal aliens will reduce illegal immigration. This argument has been made by many important figures including, President George W. Bush, President Clinton, President Reagan, Senator McCain, Senator Kennedy among others. It is puzzling that politicians and special interest groups continue to make this argument when EVERY past amnesty and program that legalized illegal aliens actually increased illegal immigration.

For Example, the most recent amnesty was authorized in 2001 under President Clinton. The Clinton era amnesty allowed illegal aliens to adjust their status in the United States if they found a qualified sponsor such as an employer. After the expiration of the amnesty in April 2001, hundreds of thousand of people crossed the border illegally on a chance that the U.S. will again offer an Amnesty or some other tool that pardons illegal aliens.

Finally, many employers have replaced African Americans with illegal aliens. There is nothing to indicate that those African Americans have taken better jobs. One wonders what those African Americans are doing now. Are they unemployed?

In conclusion, the United States may have need for immigration reform but it has to be narrowly tailored to the needs of the country. If the United States needs additional workers in a particular industry, it is possible to achieve this goal with a narrowly tailored program that does not include a path to citizenship. Currently, the United States issues numerous non-immigrant work visas which do not provide a path to citizenship such as H1B visas. This being the case, it is puzzling why so many groups insist on a path to citizenship when it is not necessary?

Posted January 01, 2006 by Kamal Nawash