By Joe Guzzardi
April 26, 2013
After watching three days of Senate Judiciary testimony on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, my unshakeable conclusion is that the bill’s sole purpose is to grant amnesty to the United States’ current 11 million illegal aliens and provide waivers and exemptions to millions more. I further conclude that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s brazenly lied when she testified that the amnestied millions would undergo vigorous background checks prior to being granted provisional permanent residency. Finally, more lies, Napolitano’s unabashed promise that the border will be clamped down tighter than a tick with never-before-seen protection measures will be broken on day one.
In truth, no border security measurements exist that must be achieved before illegal immigrants could apply for legal residency.
Since Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy stacked his committee with pro-amnesty witnesses, rational thinkers had little opportunity to expose the legislation’s flawed assumptions. Leahy, Napolitano and other open borders supporters want critics to believe that 11 million illegal aliens and possibly millions more will be processed through an as yet unidentified system of background checks. That’s a daunting task given that the illegal immigrants entered the US without inspection and, in most cases, falsified their identification upon arrival.
My simple questions are the same as a third grader would ask but seemingly haven’t occurred to the Judiciary Committee: How does DHS propose to undertake this massive job, how long will it take, how much would it cost and who will pay?
Even if DHS were determined to keep its promise—which it’s not—processing background checks for 11 million, many of whom don’t speak English, is impossible. The place to start an amnesty cost effectiveness analysis is by comparing it to an existing quasi-amnesty program President Obama introduced two years ago called Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). As of March, 450,000 DACA applications had been submitted, 250,000 approved and none denied. The remarkable 100 percent acceptance rate indicates that U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, already swamped with legal immigrants’ petitions, simply rubberstamps DACA forms without verification. Expect the same with amnesty filings.
The DACA fee is $465, modest when compared to the benefits aliens receive which include immediate work authorization and removal from possible deportation.
On the larger 11 million amnesty scale, however, the Center for Immigration Studies correctly assumes that some applications will be more complex than others. CIS estimates that amnesty background checks will cost about $2,000 each in federal manpower to process or, after 11 million applications have been verified, about $22 billion in administrative expense. The Gang of Eight wants Americans to believe that immigrants will foot the bill. But make no mistake about it; taxpayers will ultimately get stuck.
Regardless of who may pay, $2,000 is a pittance compared to value illegal immigrants will be given in exchange. Through amnesty, aliens would be forgiven their illegal entry and their subsequent use of fraudulent identification like social security numbers. They will be legally authorized to work and may therefore get better jobs, probably ones Americans would happily take. Whatever concern aliens may have had about deportation would vanish. After a few years, citizenship would be an option.
The biggest of many flaws found in S. 744 is that even its sponsor, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) admits he has no idea how many aliens would ultimately achieve amnesty. Only the most fool-hearty could believe the Gang when its individual members insist that S. 744 is sound legislation.
The US has already has effective immigration laws to deal with violators that President Obama ignores. Worse, the White House has initiated programs like DACA and prosecutorial discretion that have provided amnesty-lite to thousands while at the same time working to scotch Secure Communities and E-Verify, two programs that would help keep Americans safe and employed. Unfortunately, Americans’ safety and economic prosperity is not as important to the Obama administration as coddling illegal immigrants and their lobby.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]