The Devil You Know (The Details You Don’t)

Published on April 30th, 2009

Five questions supporters of immigration “reform” don’t want to answer

By Mark Cromer
April 30, 2009

Tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters will take to the streets across the country tomorrow and again demand—yes, demand—that the American people accept the “reform” that they claim will fix a broken immigration system.

And that reform means mass amnesty, plain and simple.

Of course, we’ve been through this before. The chants, slogans and signs the marchers will carry throughout America’s cities will be quite familiar to most informed citizens, featuring the same indictment of the United States: the system is broken; enforcing the law is unfair and destroys families; illegal immigrants have a right to come to the United States and opposition to the mass legalization of tens of millions of illegal immigrants is a racist plot orchestrated by the dreaded Right Wing. (Please contact Janeane Garofalo for more information.)

Much of the media will offer a choral backing for the demonstrators, rushing open-border pundits onto the air and into print that will insist, yet again, that it is America’s deep shame for not coming to its senses and legalizing its mammoth population of people who broke into the country.

One noticeable revision to the script that amnesty’s proponents read from will be the argument that the economy will collapse without immigrants filling jobs Americans won’t do. That didn’t test well with audiences this time around.

Other than that quick re-write, the narrative voice-over to this year’s May Day demonstrations will continue to offer a self-righteous sermon that the American people must understand that tens of millions of illegal immigrants aren’t going to leave and the sooner they accept this, the better.

As with previous campaigns for amnesty, its proponents will steadfastly avoid five core questions that the American people deserve asked, considered and answered:

How many illegal immigrants will be eligible for the bill’s amnesty provisions?
Proponents of amnesty insist there are 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., a lowball figure that has remained static in the media for the past five years. Detailed studies have put the figure at potentially three times that number, but amnesty’s supporters know that acknowledging there may be more than 30 million illegal immigrants in the country is deadly to their agenda—so they cling to the 12 million figure. It’s important to remember that three times the anticipated number of illegal immigrants stepped forward to claim amnesty in 1986. That vast underestimate will most likely be repeated.

How many illegal immigrants will be deported under immigration reform?
Amnesty supporters like Senator John McCain routinely say that a compromise over immigration reform will mean many illegal immigrants will receive legal status, while many others will be deported for not meeting certain criteria. Yet even fairly liberal standards requiring multi-years residence, gainful employment, etc., would mean millions of illegal immigrants would be required to leave the country or face deportation. But the fact that immigration reform supporters never directly address how many illegal immigrants they are willing to deport under a “compromise” suggests the answer is simple: none.

How will background checks be accurately conducted on millions of people whose very identities are frequently based on fraudulent documents and fabricated histories?
American citizens have been told time and again that immigration reform will result in a literal human inventory that will carefully ensure that illegal immigrants undergo “background checks” to establish their good character. But amnesty’s supporters have yet to explain in a coherent manner how these checks will be conducted, what data will be reviewed and what standards will be employed.

How will back taxes be accurately calculated for illegal immigrants who worked off the books and for employers who paid them in cash?
Like background checks, the estimation and collection of back taxes that illegal immigrants and their employers face is little more than an “honor system,” a misnomer in this issue if there ever was one.

How will you permanently secure the border and enforce the law?
At the root of the argument peddled by the open-borders lobby is an Orwellian gem that posits in order to enforce the law we must grant amnesty to all those that broke it, again. One may as well assert that in order to prevent burglaries, your possessions must be given away to those that envy them. The entrenched lack of enthusiasm from virtually every level of the federal government to secure the border with finality and enforce employment laws with consistency points to the obvious: they don’t intend to.

Mark Cromer is a Senior Writing Fellow at Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS).

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