There is an obvious reason why all promises to enforce our immigration laws in exchange for amnesty are vacuous. You need to listen carefully to the rationale offered in support of amnesty. One day, you will hear the old straw man bromide “we can’t possibly go door-to-door and deport everyone.” The implication of this argument is that amnesty is a necessary evil at this point, but something to prevent in the future. However, on other occasions you will hear comments like this one by John Conyers during a hearing on immigration reform:
“I hope no one uses the term ‘illegal immigrants’ here today. Our citizens are not…the people in this country are not illegal, they are out of status, they are new Americans that are immigrants, and I think that we can forge a path to citizenship that will be able to pass muster. We’ve got senatorial bipartisan support working very nicely thus far.”
To that end, a number of Democrats have begun flaunting the law and bringing in illegal aliens to the Capitol to attend hearings. Evidently, one will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. Three members will bring illegal dates with them to the prom tonight…I mean the State of the Union Address.
Hmmm..maybe we should start bringing people who carry undocumented guns or undocumented tax returns to the state of the union show.
If you listen carefully to the parlance of the left, and even those on our side, when discussing the issue of ‘undocumented’ people, they don’t regard illegal immigration as something that must be dealt with now but stopped in the future. They view them as the superlative pioneers who are willing to come here and do the jobs that Americans won’t do. They are all geniuses with 4.0 averages in Ivy League schools who are waiting to invent the next industrial revolution..if only we’d abjure our racism and grant them documents.
I actually respect those who openly articulate that position on the issue of illegal immigration. What is stupefying in this debate is the credulity of those on our side who think that if we grant voting rights to the children of illegals, and eventually their parents, Democrats will somehow agree to prevent future waves of illegal immigration.
Let’s walk through a post-amnesty enforcement regime just to illustrate the problem. None of these proposals are calling for a physical barrier that will actually prevent 95% of illegal border crossings, similar to what we have in the San Diego corridor. So the illegal crossings will continue, especially when they see that free ‘documents’ are being handed out. That means any real enforcement would require….that dreaded word…deportations. Moreover, let’s say we somehow successfully implement a visa tracking system. What are you going to do when ICE is alerted to a number of people overstaying their tourist or temporary work visas? Are you going to deport them?
Furthermore, proponents of immigration deform say that only those who pay a fine, back taxes, and learn English will be eligible for the amnesty. What about those who fail the English exam? Are you really going to deport them?
The bottom line is that the same motivation preventing the political class from enforcing our laws now will persist through the next wave of illegal immigration as well. They have no problem with illegal immigration now, and will certainly never have the appetite to enforce the laws in the future.
This is why any call to ‘trust but verify’ on the part of Republicans is beyond naive. What are they trusting? Democrats openly flaunt our laws and suggest that there is nothing but virtue in illegal immigration. Remember this is not a legislative problem; it is an executive problem (and sometimes a judicial problem). Where is the good faith effort to start enforcing the laws, much less to stop preventing states from doing so?
The only way legalization of the current crop of illegals would work is if the enforcement provisions were actually implemented, working, and passing muster with the courts before any path to citizenship is proposed. Don’t just promise future enforcement, even as you flaunt our laws and sue those states willing to enforce them; show us the enforcement. Dry up the magnets for future illegal immigration. Then we can discuss legalization for those already here. That would represent true compromise on all sides. Letting the foxes who view illegal immigration as a net positive guard the enforcement henhouse is a consummate example of the stupid party living up to its name. It is also a recipe for ballooning the welfare state and relegating the Republican Party to permanent minority status.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project