By Joe Guzzardi
June 17, 2013
On Wall Street, there’s an axiom that governs investment strategy: does potential reward outweigh existing risk? In other words, should stock market players be willing to gamble heavily, and possibly lose, in order to potentially make a huge return?
Risk versus reward is a good way for Americans to evaluate the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, to decide whether it’s worthy of their support. To get to the answer, let’s stick to facts widely acknowledged as true by both the Gang of 8 and its allies as well as those who oppose the legislation like Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.
Starting at the beginning, the bill was drafted by a small group of Senators who soon became known as the Gang of 8—Republicans Marco Rubio, John McCain, Jeff Flake and Lindsay Graham as well as Democrats Michael Bennet, Chuck Schumer, Robert Menendez and Dick Durbin. Although the media universally referred to the Gang as bipartisan, seven had well established pro-immigration credentials. Only Rubio was a wildcard who promised enforcement before amnesty. Rubio’s later betrayal of his pledge has left his political future in serious doubt.
During the closed door process when the Gang wrote the legislation, special interest lobbies provided direction on what provisions should be included and what had to be excluded. Among those advisors were high tech gurus, agri-business, meat packers, all of whom want to pay lower wages even though working Americans’ take home pay has been stagnant for years.
La Raza, the Chamber of Commerce and the Immigration Lawyers Association were also present at the table and contributed to the final 1,077 pages of unintelligible legislation crammed with “waivers,” “exceptions,” “subsections” and “provisions.”
The Gang didn’t include everyone, however. The average American didn’t get an invitation. His opinion was neither requested nor wanted. In the end, S.744 was all about amnesty instead of, as the bill’s name implies, “Border enforcement” or “Economic opportunity” (for American workers).
As Rubio candidly admitted, S. 744 would give legal status to illegal immigrants immediately and long before border security would be strengthened, assuming that day ever arrives. Since there’s no enforcement, future waves of illegal immigrants will certainly come. Their presence will assure demands not too far down the road for another amnesty. Representatives from Mexico and Central America frequently visit the United States to push, not too subtly, for S. 744’s passage.
No one from the Gang disputes that during the next decade 33 million foreign-born workers, high and low-skilled would be granted legal status and work permits. For 20 million unemployed or under-employed Americans, getting and keeping a job would become more challenging every year.
Americans get nothing from S. 744 except an invoice and a deteriorated quality of life. Cost estimates for S.744 after 50 years range above $6 trillion. Whether you, your children or grandchildren pay is inconsequential. Amnesty would add trillions more to the existing $17 trillion federal deficit.
The new visas issued under S. 744 would also increase U.S. population by about 10 percent from today through 2014. Higher population leads to overcrowding in schools, hospitals and on the highways, all bad for American taxpayers who have funded these services.
I’ve searched in vain for any provision in S. 744 that improves my life or yours. Try it yourself. Maybe you’ll have more luck than I did.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]