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  • New Immigration Report, Same Old Call for Amnesty

    Jeb Bush

    On July 8, 2009, the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, chaired by Jeb Bush and Mack McLarty, released a report which attempts to give a solution to America’s immigration problem. The report starts off well, emphasizing that immigration has been positive for America and citing the need for more legal immigration avenues and a market based temporary worker program. But then it dovetails, recommending legalization of those illegal immigrants living in the United States.

    Legalization is a fancy term for an amnesty. We gave amnesty in 1986—and it did nothing to solve the problem. More and more folks saw an incentive to come here illegally, and they did, in droves. The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. was around 11 million in 2008. While the economy has certainly decreased the numbers here illegally, the fact is that millions remain, and the numbers will increase when the economic gets better (even the CFR report confirms this is true).

    For its part, the report addresses 1986 head-on. It claims that 2009 would be different. That this isn’t 1986, because we have more stuff at the border designed to keep people out. But the problem is, border security isn’t enough to stop illegal immigration. In fact, many of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. are overstays—those who came to the U.S. on a legal visa and just stay here permanently. Having Border Patrol agents on the Southwest border won’t do anything to stop those folks. And the worst decision would be to dampen legal immigration in an effort to stop illegal.

    So what should America do? It’s obviously not something we should ignore—Heritage and the report both agree on that. But the comprehensive approach advocated by the report just always winds up meaning an amnesty. A better approach would be to secure the border, enforce the law here in the United States to ensure that people return home, open up legal avenues of immigration, and provide a market-based temporary worker program. Proponents of amnesty always try to paint immigration as a choice between a costly amnesty and the forced deportation of each and every illegal immigrant in the U.S. This approach is deeply flawed. The better solution is to rely on law enforcement and market forces to stop undocumented labor while supporting legitimate opportunities for immigrants to come here.

    This report is not the first to tout legalization, and it probably won’t be the last. And while its ‘bi-partisan’ nature is certainly attractive, it doesn’t make legalization anymore than a costly amnesty.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to New Immigration Report, Same Old Call for Amnesty

    1. wood0771 says:

      We give citizenship to more people in this country each year then all the other countries in this world combined. Most are not coming here for freedom, but for financial gain only (hence foreign flags). What do you want to do, let all 8 billion people in and loose our heritage and culture? Yea, then we will be then welfare capital of the world! Show me someone from Mexico that actually wants to speak English, show me.

    2. Lou Oregon says:

      To get over 80% of Americans to agree on anything is almost impossible. But not on legal mass immigration. When informed that we are adding 100 million people to our population every 35 years, 83% of Americans say that is way too many and want to go back to our pre 1965 levels of controlled immigration.

      So what do our leaders want? More legal immigration. Talk about being out of touch.

    3. Andrew, Michigan says:

      Solution – Mexico the 51st State, no more border patrol, additional natural resources, ability to gain law & order in Mexico, clean water, crop sanitization etc… Oh and this minor detail – Freedom and its associated responsibilities for the Mexican people which elevates the condition of mankind.

    4. Delaware Bob, Smyrna says:

      We have 10 million Americans out of work. We have 20 million illegal aliens in this Country. Now not all the illegal aliens are working. So, let's guess that 5 million illegal aliens are working. How about we get rid of all the illegal aliens so the Americans can work.

      I think obama and his thugs better learn that the American people don't want AMNESTY! We went through this before. Why are we going through it again?

      ENFORCE THE LAW! NO AMNESTY! I repeat, ENFORCE THE LAW! NO AMNESTY! Do I have to say it again? OK. ENFORCE THE LAW! NO AMNESTY!

    5. omar says:

      i do want to speak English and i think i do it pretty darn good i like the American way and i think is the right way despite I've only been here 5 years i understand the American values and i think i have assimilated pretty good and you shouldn't kick everybody out give a chance to the hardworking people with dreams and i know i will happen so just try to take it easy folks don't hate we all should work hard and not let other countries like china step ahead of us in the world leadership folks we are gonna do this..

    6. Gabriela Los Angeles says:

      I agree with Omar, I have been here for almost six years, constantly trying to improve my ways to adapt to the American values. I don't feel proud of overstaying. I do have moral ethics. Sometimes young people take the wrong decisions. I did so, I came because I was socially stressed for the current government system in Venezuela. I wish I could have a chance to enjoy the benefits of an amnesty. I do pay taxes and tried my best to stay here legally but after many denials I just gave up. I understand the reasons of many Americans for objecting a new immigration reform. I agree with most of them, but we're not all the same. There are many illegal people who had a strong reason to come here and definitely wish to get a change to accomplish goals and dreams. Americans are very lucky for living in a developed country, with plenty of freedom that new generations in other cultures wish to have :(

    7. Pingback: New Immigration Report, Same Old Call for Amnesty « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    8. Pingback: Wonk Room » Heritage Foundation Misdefines ‘Amnesty’ When Slamming Council On Foreign Relations Report

    9. Carol in az says:

      Two Points:

      If amnesty becomes pro-bono from the current administration it will crack-open the dirty secrets of how so many citiesare receiving Federal funding in the Trillions form the Federal Gov't.based on programs ,in support for illegal immigrationon on all levels.

      CA with it's Pelosi machine, iron clad Chamber of Commerce lobby, has turned itself into the welfare capital of America. Go figure.

      What I can not comprehend is; how the tax paying citizens of CA can continue to allow this to happen.

      Also, why do the elected leadership there continue to get re-elected when the decision making process is not for the benefit of the State that they represent.

      I.O. U. for CA?

      Ca has not had a balance budget in decades. Certainly it will continue on the same path of "let them come and we will support them." accept for, recent articles in the L.A. Times that has clearly reported the fiscal abuses on many levels as a result of this mind set.

      Second Point;

      On a local level ,when the L.A. hospital responsible for the delivery of eight home ground baby's lined up, infront of National media, and proudly announced their story an L.A. County asorbed the cost in the millions, with a team of Prof. in the hundreds, I realized that certainly there is no hope for poor broke CA.

      So when I think of a National Ins program put forth, I certainly think of the un-insured in the millions like octo-mom and know that not CA, but all of us will be footing the bills in the millions, for the the millions who will certainly come-out of the shadows for the fleecing of America.

      I have already been fleeced out of a lg % of my 401, and that's as far as I'm taking this train ride to fiscal craziness.

      It is all connected and cuts so deep that we should be screaming STOP, I repeat STOP this maddness.

      No amnesty, no National Health care program at this time, and Ca shut down your borders.Cut your entitlement programs for all illegals and give the Fed. Housing support to the middle class that are now homeless who have paid into the system and supported the infrastructure thus far. It is a place to start one sector at a time.

    10. Edward Springs, CO says:

      Omar and Gabriela,

      Sorry, you are both citizens of other countries already. If it was only you two maybe it wouldn't matter, but there are at least 20 million more here, spitting on our laws.

      Add to that, the illusion that we were so rich is gone now. We're pretty poor today. Our Law based culture is all we really have for our future, we can't give that away too.

      There are millions, BILLIONS of people who would love to cash in against our country, but we must become very serious now about protecting ourselves, or we will lose what we have.

      Of course you understand, that's human nature.

      No, no amnesty for either of you, nor for millions of others who saw a great chance to score some gain for themselves in our house.

      What others in the world would love to have, or however well you two have learned about us since you've been here, pales in comparison to the rich power of the Rule of Law.

      I would never trade that away for anything.

      You two will have to go back to your own countries, along with the other criminals.

      However, if you apply legally and one day return again, I will welcome you here as a new fellow citizen.

      But never as a cheat.

    11. Brittancus says:

      Illegal Immigration and health care are heavily connected, believe it or not. Massive high taxes are imposed on the US taxpayer to pay for so called emergency hospital care for illegal immigrants and their families. Except foreign nation use the emergency room for their basic needs, such as the flue or a splinter in the finger. As always the taxpayer is the recipient? Health care revision can never happen while Taxpayer carry the heavy burden of paying for the millions of illegal workers and families, who have settled here. As an example 80 hospitals and clinics locked their doors for good in the Sanctuary State of California, because huge hordes of individuals came their for free health care. Why do you think California found themselves with a $24.5 billion budget deficit?

      Those who want to just follow the same old road, can do so with the profit taking commercial insurance. Those who would be satisfied with a government run health care program, can now start demanding it from the lawmakers. Those who see a Universal health care system, similar to most developed countries in Europe, should start informing every Representative and Senate politician starting today. Rationing in places like England, was caused by the major impact of uncontrolled immigration. I see–THE RATS–are coming out of the woodwork, using propaganda and downright lies about government run medical care? The Special interest lobby, status quo have very wealthy fingers in the pie and do not want Health care for everybody? It's a trillion dollar business like Cancer treatments.

      The pharmaceutical companies, AMA and others have very much to lose? Even many corrupt politicians are stockholders in this behemoth money machine. Most American working class can do–without– high premiums, pre-existing condition clauses. deductibles, co-pays that is representative of the wealthy medical care insurers.

      Unless our politicians commit themselves to a strong E-Verify, Police enforcement 287(g) and enforce all federal employees are vetted, so illegal immigrant workers can be rooted-out. The push for AMNESTY, will even draw another invasion in to our nation once the word goes out.

      This free health care atrocity was placed on the unknowing American, years past and never been rescinded. This has favored the business community, because they pay–ABSOLUTELY NOTHING– to a maimed or sick illegal worker, because it's passed on to the consumer. IF YOU DESIRE A NEW HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, WHERE YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR INSURER? WHETHER YOU WANT THE FOR PROFIT INSURANCE OR GOVERNMENT MEDICAL CARE SYSTEM? TODAY IS CRITICAL. SO CALL YOUR SENATOR OR CONGRESSMAN 202-224-312. Just like illegal immigration , we cannot afford anymore to subsidize the business that hire them or the millions of illegal families. GOOGLE–on the web to find the truth. Read this: http://www.redcounty.com/what-if-20-million-unlaw

    12. Joseph S says:

      CFR's non-amnesty related conclusions seem good, having read the report: allowing high-skilled workers to stay in the USA, pay taxes and create wealth rather than kicking them out at the end of their degrees, for example, would certainly be a commendable step. Likewise, reducing chain migration by gradually moving to a more employment-oriented system would be good. As would the excellent idea of allowing companies to sue competitors who use illegal labor for unfair competition, as well as enhancing criminal penalties for knowingly employing illegals, thus providing more incentives not to hire illegal workers.

      The amnesty/earned legalization provisions need more work. As is endlessly stated, it is not a worthwhile use of tax bucks to kick out 12m people; however, the report's method of earned legalization may be too lenient. There should be some, preferably commensurately arduous, route for hard-working illegals to eventually gain legal status, and several years down the line citizenship; however, the system advocated in the report, although somewhat arduous, is not sufficiently limited, and would probably have the same result as a full amnesty through the ability for citizens to apply for family-based immigration.

      My solution: adopt the legal immigration parts of the report, come up with a tougher earned-legalization provision.

      For example – large fine ($10k region?) or punitive high taxes for 5 years, conditional on working for 10 years, must have no criminal convictions (aside from traffic, jaywalking, etc.), no welfare payments, NO RIGHT TO BRING IN RELATIVES for those previously illegal. Maybe exception from fine for kids brought in by parents; no other exceptions, and tougher enforcement (whether direct by raids or indirect by applying financial incentives to employers) so that those left (criminals and those who are unwilling to work) are forced to return home or starve.

      (incidentally, to the guy above who has linked illegals to high taxes – I think a fine/higher taxes for illegals attempting to legalize would help cover this cost. encouraging hospitals to become non-profit/charities might help too, since i'd wager that they overcharge the taxpayer for that stuff)

    13. Rich in Pennsylvania says:

      short and to the point..

      do not believe the lie of 12 million illegals in America.. I have seen studies that suggest up to 38 million.. once given amnesty and healthcare Obama will become dictator for life.. say hello to 3rd world America..

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