Politicians in Washington, D.C. are once again floating amnesty for illegal aliens, and it is a bad idea that could not come at a worse time.
U.S. senators from both parties are now publicly and privately discussing the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform, which is Washington-speak for amnesty. Democratic Sens. Alex Padilla of California and Dick Durbin of Illinois met late last month with Republican Sens. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and John Cornyn of Texas to discuss the possibility of a deal that could grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and increase the number of legal immigrants coming to the country as well.
The outline for the immigration bill includes a pathway to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, an increase in the number of guest-worker visas and undefined border security measures. It is not known what specific border security measures they have discussed, but whatever they are, they almost certainly would not be robust enough to offset the damaging parts of this proposal.
Tillis appeared to acknowledge that this would be unpopular politically but implied that an amnesty bill is needed to jolt the country’s struggling economy.
“This is the time to maybe set politics aside a little bit and get good policy in place so we can do our part to lessen the burden that people are feeling here in the country,” Tillis said, according to Bloomberg News.
However, amnesty for illegal aliens would be both bad politics and bad policy, especially as our border continues to be overrun due to the Biden administration’s anti-border policies.
The state of our border has never been worse than it is now. According to a 2018 study published by Yale and MIT, there were 22 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. at that time. That number has almost certainly increased significantly over the past four years. The number of illegal aliens living in the U.S. increased by one million during the first year of Joe Biden’s presidency, according to a recent study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
There have already been over 360,000 “got-aways” this year, meaning hundreds of thousands of people were able to evade border security and are now living in the country and unaccounted for. Given these numbers, and the reality that amnesty begets more amnesty, this proposal could ultimately lead to amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens. It would also have the effect of creating further strain on our border as migrants throughout the world flood the border for a chance at U.S. citizenship. It’s also important to remember that comprehensive immigration reform has already been tried and has already failed.
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation granting amnesty to more than three million illegal aliens in exchange for promises of future border security. The amnesty immediately took effect, but the promised border security never came. A new amnesty deal would likely do the same thing and result in a country that is less safe, less secure and less free.
It’s also unlikely that the Biden administration would enforce whatever border security measures made it into the final bill. This administration is staffed by anti-border ideologues such as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who have committed their careers to opening up America’s borders and weakening our sovereignty. Trusting Biden and Mayorkas to properly enforce any border security measure would be a fool’s errand. Thus, any guarantee of border security that could make it into this bill would be an empty promise, just like it was in 1986.
Rewarding illegal aliens with amnesty during an unprecedented border crisis would send exactly the wrong message, not just to migrants, but to Americans as well. Many Americans whose quality of life has been harmed by the border crisis would rightfully feel abandoned by their government, and the result would be increased political polarization and even more distrust towards elected leaders.
Comprehensive immigration reform is an idea whose time has passed. Our leaders must focus their full attention on securing our border and protecting our sovereignty, and they must say no to amnesty.
William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.