The Most Cynical Legislation the US Senate Has Ever Produced

Published on November 30th, 2007

By Rick Oltman, Director of Public Relations

The current legislation being debated in the Senate and by the news media ranks as the most devious immigration legislation proposal—ever.  Not because this tangled bureaucratic blockbuster has a chance of getting to the president’s desk, but because it doesn’t intend to and won’t.  It is also the most perverse immigration legislation ever, and designed precisely so it will never become law and was never intended to.

This entire legislative kabuki dance we have been suffering for the past few weeks is a fraud, a dog and pony show that has nothing to do with enforcing the law or reforming the immigration mess that congress has allowed to grow for over two decades.

Then why are the Senators doing this?  For two separate reasons and for two separate and distinct constituencies.  The first constituency is the American people who are demanding in record numbers that our immigration laws be enforced and our borders secured.  This legislative farce can be pointed to by congress in the future, so it can be claimed disingenuously that, “we really tried to reform our immigration laws, but—(fill in the blank here with the speaker’s favorite opponent)—blocked our efforts.’   

For the past twenty years the effects of the failed 1986 amnesty have been festering, first in the border states and then in the rest of the country, until it is now an open sore.  With the internet, 24 hour cable news and talk radio nearly constantly reporting the latest immigration- related outrage, no one lacks information about the unsustainable stresses this causes in our country and our communities because of the government’s failure to enforce immigration laws.  But Congress is determined to look like they’re trying to do something, anything, about this problem.  

The second reason for this cynical effort is the effect this current debate has on illegal immigration itself. It increases it.  At the very time when our country needs to be sending a deterrent message to the world, this debate and its national and international news coverage has the opposite effect, it encourages more illegal immigration—which means more cheap labor for business, a very important constituency.

In this country when the talking heads in Washington, DC jabber about, “jobs Americans won’t do” and how we need a “guest-worker plan” what citizens hear is a non-solution to overcrowding and all the stresses over- immigration has on our institutions and on our lives..  What the “third world” hears is a message of encouragement which has millions of people saying to themselves, “I had better get to America before this latest amnesty window closes.” 

Consider that there probably isn’t anyone left in Mexico who isn’t related to or doesn’t know someone who was amnestied in 1986.  This latest proposal is just the most recent encouragement to join the wave of illegal aliens entering our country.  And, citizens on the border are reporting that the numbers are surging, meaning that message has been received and is being acted upon.

Consider that the Congress has two constituencies with diametrically opposing goals and can service them both with this one act of legislative theatre, an unusual convergence of interest providing elected officials with credits from both ends of the spectrum. Voters see elected officials “trying to solve the illegal immigration problem” and business gets more of what it wants; cheap labor. What could be a more perfect “twofer?”

Meanwhile, the illegal immigration crisis grows in our cities as education, healthcare and law enforcement continually stagger under the weight of ever- increasing illegal immigration with no end in sight.

The secret truth is that nobody wants an amnesty.  Amnesty would heap work and onerous requirements on government and business. Law abiding citizens hate it, government can’t possibly administer it and business doesn’t want it for sure. Illegal aliens and business benefit most from the status quo—access to unlimited illegal alien cheap labor with virtually no chance of the law being enforced against them. 

So, at the end of this bogus process, illegal entry continues apace, the legislators can claim they put out their best effort to solve the problem, business is left with its continued access to low wage workers and the American people are left with deteriorating communities and waning respect for a system of government that seems to have lost its soul and will to enforce the law.  But we, evidently, are last in line to be pleased. That is why this latest immigration legislation is a sham and its duplicity and ambiguity was purposely designed for rejection and failure.  And that is what makes this the most cynical legislation ever produced.



Rick Oltman is the Director of Public Relations for Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) and can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

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