July 4,2007 - (please feel free to forward to others and/or post elsewhere as appropriate)
When the amnesty bill was defeated last week, the New York Times reported on the angry and disappointed reaction of Senator Ted Kennedy, whom they described as the "chief Democratic architect of the bill":
[Kennedy] said many senators "voted their fears, not their hopes." Referring to opponents, Mr. Kennedy said: "We know what they don't like. What are they for? What are they going to do with the 12 million who are undocumented here? Send them back to countries around the world? Develop a type of Gestapo here to seek out these people that are in the shadows? What's their alternative?"
Kennedy's extremist rhetoric to the contrary, the opponents of amnesty advanced rational, humane, and realistic arguments in favor of a clear and superior alternative to amnesty, an alternative that benefits the American people and protects our nation's security.
Some proponents of the failed "immigration reform" bill argued that this was the "best possible" compromise that would ever be possible.
Their mistaken premise was that the 2008 election would lead to a Clinton presidency (or maybe an Obama or Edwards presidency) plus even larger Democratic Party majorities in Congress. Thus, the mistaken reasoning continued, any future immigration bill will be "much worse," so we might as well settle for this "despite imperfections."
However, the pro-amnesty Democrats (and those misguided Republicans who sought to compromise and accept amnesty) saw their bill go down in flames as it collided with the will of the American people.
The American people strongly favor border security and strongly oppose illegal immigration, and their voice was heard.
Legal immigration, of course, is a wonderful and important feature of American history. I know this well, because I myself am the grandson of four legal European immigrants.
America welcomes the immigrant, but we ask people to be respectful of our country and abide by our laws.
Besides, legal immigration is better for the immigrants themselves. Illegal immigration means exploitation and existence in a permanent underclass; legal immigration means fair pay and better benefits.
The Democrats falsely accused the anti-amnesty forces of "opposing immigration" and "racism."
Even with this false accusation poisoning the discussion, and even with a secretive, closed process, the viewpoint of the American people was heard and emerged victorious. Sure, the Democrats could have had an open process - with weeks and months of hearings, amendments, and debate - but then they would have even less chance to push through amnesty.
The Democrats pretend that "we all agree on tough border security." If that were true, there would simply be a 100-0 vote in the Senate in favor of a bill which did nothing but strengthen border security, build the fence, and strengthen enforcement requirements. Later, there could be a separate discussion of other measures (likely to be defeated, of course, and deserving to be defeated).
But because the Democrats don't really "agree" on tough border security, they tried their best to foist amnesty on the American people. They failed.
The 2008 elections are an opportunity to elect a better House of Representatives and a better U.S. Senate. The Republicans can win an anti-amnesty, pro-border security majority in both chambers.
Combined with a Republican presidency (Thompson, Romney, Giuliani, or whoever defeats the Democrats), we would then be able to get MUCH BETTER legislation on many issues, from border security and stopping illegal immigration to lower taxes to supporting the troops.
Many pro-amnesty politicians raise the red herring of "you can't round up and deport 12 million people." But the real issue is, as Iconoclast and others have pointed out, law enforcement and stronger border security. Drying up the illicit job market, ending the flow of benefits, building the fence, and sharply implementing even existing laws will lead to a huge attrition.
Many people who came here for under-the-table jobs and benefits will go back on their own if such benefits and jobs no longer exist.
Here's my four step program for strengthening border security and ending illegal immigration:
STEP #1: We must strengthen border security to sharply reduce additional illegal immigration. This includes carrying out the will of the American people by building the security fence along our southern border.
And we must eliminate the incentives that encourage illegal immigration and increase the penalties to discourage it:
STEP #2: Dishonest businesses that hire illegal aliens should be severely punished. Their goal is to evade taxes, and their goal is to avoid providing workers with proper pay and benefits. My support for severe punishment of companies that hire illegal aliens does not stem from any anti-business sentiment. In fact, this is a pro-business position, because allowing amnesty for such dishonest businesses is unfair to the vast majority of honest businesses that play by the rules. Taking action against companies that hire illegal aliens will dry up the illicit job market that attracts illegal immigration. Some illegal immigrants will decide to return to their country. Others, contemplating illegal immigration to the U.S., will choose to stay in their homeland.
STEP #3: We should discontinue providing free education, free health care, free social services, food stamps, welfare, driver's licenses, and other benefits to illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants have become a massive underclass, not paying taxes to support social services, yet using these services disproportionately because of their poverty status. This greatly increases the tax burden on the American citizen taxpayers, while also depressing wage levels. This is a great disruption to the American economy, and curtailing of benefits for illegal aliens would further destroy a big part of the incentive to come to the U.S. illegally.
STEP #4: Strict law enforcement. If a person is arrested on a traffic offense, misdemeanor, burglary, assault, or any crime, and it is determined that they are also in the country illegally, deportation proceedings should take precedence over any other minor crime of which they might be accused.
Strengthening border security, drying up the illicit job market, ending benefits for illegal aliens, building the fence, and strict law enforcement will gradually lead to sharply reduced illegal immigration and eventually a reversal of the flow. Some will decide to return home on their own, some will turn themselves in, some will be caught committing crimes and deported.
It took twenty years for 11 million illegal immigrants to come to this country, and it will probably take many years to reduce the number to a small fraction of the current amount.
Legal immigration is better for the immigrants themselves. Illegal immigration means exploitation and existence in a permanent underclass; legal immigration means fair pay and better benefits.
Legal immigration is better for the American economy. Legal immigrants pay taxes and contribute to society, earning their share of social services. Illegal immigrants live on the margins, while their social services are paid for by working class and middle class Americans.
Legal immigration is better for the culture and well-being of the nation. Legal immigrants play by the rules, learn English, and seek to become law-abiding citizens. Illegal immigrants start off on the wrong foot, breaking our immigration laws right off the bat, and are more likely to be mixed up in smuggling, gang activity, welfare fraud, identity theft, and other anti-social behavior.
No "open borders." No amnesty. No "benefits" for illegal aliens. Respect the will of the American people. Enforce the law. Build the fence!
Steve Beren 2007 Speaking Tour
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This communication paid for and authorized by Beren for CongressPosted by BerenForCongress at July 03, 2007 11:17 PM | Email This