The View From The Border: The Gang of 8 Offer A Failed Plan


So there’s a big push these days to reform immigration laws. Given the importance and sensitivity of this venture, maybe the eight leading lights of the US Senate putting together a grand strategy should invite over the people who actually enforce the border and hear some words of wisdom from those whose boots are on the ground. You would think. But somehow that hasn’t transpired, so the National ICE Council (a union representing about 7,000 border guards and staff) decided to opine at large. Christopher Crane offers their perspective.


“The plan of the Gang of Eight appears to be legalization, or amnesty first, and then enforcement. That is a big problem for us,”… “If we don’t take care of the enforcement part of this first, it will never happen. The only thing that will happen will be that 11 million illegal aliens will be legalized, and 10 to 20 years from now the nation will again be facing the influx of another 10-20 million illegal aliens,” he said. “And all the problems and expenses associated with that we will be right back to where we are right now, with a failed immigration system.”

How could such mean-spirited charge have merit? Take for example the issues of whether the United States should accept immigrants who would require public assistance. ICE is authorized by their charter to arrest immigrants who come for the specific purpose of receiving public benefits rather than seeking work. Public Law on the issue is not ambivalent. It States the following.

Section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, first passed in the 1950s and still the law today:
“Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.”


Run that past the whiz-bang legal shop run by Eric Holder, and you get a policy by which no immigration officer can ask by any means whether a perspective alien will require public assistance from a variety of sources. They are quite literally ordered to be professionally uninformed on the matter as to whether an alien could become a public charge.

Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama wrote the following to Secretaries Clinton and Napolitano:

We write to express our concern with your agencies’ interpretation of section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) regarding inadmissible aliens. It was recently brought to our attention that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has an ongoing partnership with Mexico through which Mexican consular offices encourage non-citizen enrollment in USDA welfare programs. It is our understanding that the materials distributed by the consular offices assure those being recruited that reliance on SNAP benefits, or food stamps, will not be taken into account when considering the merits of an application for a visa or adjustment of status. Further review of Department of State and Department of Homeland Security protocols indicate that this policy applies to dozens of other welfare programs as well.

So why does America want immigration reform? Will it streamline the system? Will it make things more “fair”? Will it bring us the talented work force of the 21st Century that we do not produce here at home? No, but its sure a good thing for Con-Agra and General Mills.* Is it good for America to wave through the next 10 million with no meaningful effort to enforce our laws? I’ll leave you one more little vignette and let you judge for yourself.


WINCHENDON, Mass. ( – A McDonald’s in Winchendon is searching for cashier candidates with one to two years of experience, as well as a bachelor’s degree. The full-time cashier position has some hefty requirements, including a degree and previous experience, reads the job posting on

SO what exactly is it again that we need 11 million new Americans for again in a hurry? Is there a Mickey D’s out there not finding cashiers with the appropriate BS/BA? We have 11.5% youth unemployment right now. We have fast food joints demanding a Bachelors Degree before they’ll let you ask “Do you want to supersize that combo?”

And we really want to bring 11 million new people in to put on our welfare system? I’ve got an immigration reform idea. Let’s try actually enforcing the laws we already have. We have an entire organization of border enforcement professionals telling you that the proposed comprehensive amnesty reform will be an unmitigated disaster. We have a ranking Minority Senator on the Senate Budget Committee predicting a run on our already perilously indebted entitlement system. We have a job market crying out for the opposite of a spike in unskilled labor. The idea is poor, the country is not in good condition for it, the economic timing is atrocious. Let’s say we kill this Gang of 8 Bill and bring it up again after the next time we have a balanced Federal Budget.


*-The biggest receipients of welfare from the SNAP/EBT program.


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