Boehner Pushing Immigration Reform

According to a January 17 article in The Washington Times, President Obama vows that the Republican-controlled House will pass immigration reform legislation this year. And Speaker John Boehner has hired a new immigration policy director – the same aide who worked for Sen. John McCain – to craft a set of immigration reform measures.

In the words of Ronald Reagan, “Here they go again.”

Ironically, it was during Reagan’s presidency that the United States granted amnesty to illegal aliens with the passage of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. Former Attorney General under Reagan, Edwin Meese, reflected, in an article in Human Events, “The lesson from the 1986 experience is that such an amnesty did not solve the problem. There was extensive document fraud, and the number of people applying for amnesty far exceeded projections. And there was a failure of political will to enforce new laws against employers. After a brief slowdown, illegal immigration returned to high levels and continued unabated, forming the nucleus of today’s large population of illegal aliens.”

A key phrase in Meese’s experience, “…failure of political will to enforce new laws…” should be a red flag to Republicans operating under the assumption that any new laws passed under the Obama administration will be enforced. With regard to existing immigration laws and certainly in the implementation of ObamaCare, President Obama consistently refuses to enforce laws with which he disagrees. Despite Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution, which states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” this President cannot be counted on to fulfill his Constitutional responsibility.

Further, even if immigration reform were passed and attempts were made to enforce the law, is the federal government capable and competent enough to implement the documentation and tracking of millions of “guest workers”?
Republican leaders vehemently deny that they will support amnesty, instead calling for a guest worker program. But temporary worker programs will likely end up as de facto amnesty.

Immigration reform is necessary; however the steps necessary to achieve true reform must focus on securing the border, enforcing immigration laws, using advanced technology, and workplace enforcement, while at the same time giving priority to the over 4 million people who are attempting to lawfully immigrate to the United States.