A new report issued by the Center for Immigration Studies (“CIS”) estimates that the “illegal population could be 12.4 million in 2015.” This new report also “suggests” there has been a new surge in illegal immigration. The CIS report credits the new influx, in part, to the lax enforcement efforts resulting from President Obama’s illegal so-called “executive actions on immigration“:
Given the significant cutbacks in enforcement in recent years, the permissive nature of the legal immigration system, and improvements in the economy, it is not surprising that the immigrant (legal and illegal) population has surged in the last four years. …
After growing little from 2007 to 2011, the nation’s immigrant population has grown by 4.1 million from 2011 to 2015. This is roughly equal to the pace of growth from 2000 to 2007. …
In the last two years, the growth in the immigrant population has been largely driven by immigrants from Mexico and the rest of Latin America. This suggests that illegal immigration has increased in recent years after having declined or grown little from 2009 to 2013.
Other interesting findings from the CIS report include:
- The nation’s immigrant (foreign-born) population, which includes legal and illegal immigrants, now are 13.3 percent of the nation’s total population — the largest share in 105 years.
- Growth in the last year was led by a rebound in the number of Mexican immigrants, which increased by 740,000 from 2014 to 2015 — accounting for 44 percent of the increase in the total immigrant population in the last year.
- The total Mexican immigrant population (legal and illegal) reached 12.1 million in the second quarter of 2015 — the highest quarterly total ever.
We have now been fiercely debating comprehensive immigration reform for more 11 years, ever since President George W. Bush asked Congress to pass new immigration laws consistent with a dozen or so key concepts. While I gave President Bush credit for his willingness to take on such a controversial issue, I opposed his plan for going too far. I remain opposed to any immigration reform that provides legal status to those 12.4 million illegal immigrants already here until we control the border, have a reliable and effective visa control and tracking system and a reliable and effective e-verify system.
As I have written many times, starting in 2003, I’m not against immigration. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants. Immigration is one of the factors that provides the ambition and drive behind this country’s strong entrepreneurial spirit. I understand that certain industries are heavily dependent on immigration. None of the multitude of reasons proving the benefits of immigration justify the illegal immigration.
We need to control immigration. Our immigrants need to play by the rules.
We have an immigration policy. What we don’t have, and haven’t had, is anyone willing to enforce it. We won’t secure our border. State governments encourage the provision of government services to illegal immigrants. Local governments enact “sanctuary” programs for illegal immigrants, preventing their employees from reporting an illegal alien’s status. Right, these problems have been around for a long time.
There has been a movement afoot since the turn of the century to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who have demonstrated a willingness to live and work peacefully and productively in the United States. Dick Gephardt, then a presidential wannabee, called this “earned legalization.” The movement was sidetracked by 9/11.
We tried amnesty once before. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, made nearly four million illegals eligible for legal residency with the understanding we would control the border. That policy was an obvious failure because now there more than 12 million illegals to be considered for legal status, or as some say amnesty. If amnesty or legal status is now given to these millions, then we should only expect requests for legal status from millions and millions more.
We almost accomplished immigration reform in 2006. Senate Republicans reached a compromise on the status millions illegals in the U.S.The compromise would have treated illegal aliens differently based upon the length of time they have been in the U.S. I was willing to accept this compromise. But According to the Associated Press and Eleanor Clift the Democrats wanted a political advantage more than they wanted immigration reform.