Risks of amnesty

The Gang of Eight immigration bill is an adjunct and analogue to Obamacare. Claims by proponents on its behalf lack veracity. Indeed, the operative assumption should be that the opposite of such claims is closer to the truth. Heather Mac Donald cuts through a lot of blather in “The real risks of amnesty.” It sounds like 1986 all over again, only worse. She writes:

Mickey Kaus has demolished the Senate bill’s central claim: that it makes border security a precondition for the granting of permanent-resident status. In fact, the enforcement goals consist of empty promises; nothing actually hangs on their achievement or requires that they ever be met. Immigrant advocate Frank Sharry candidly echoed Kaus’s analysis in the Wall Street Journal: “The triggers [for obtaining green cards] are based on developing plans and spending money, not on reaching that effectiveness, which is really quite clever.”

But the legislation’s most critical amnesty comes right away, before even the pretense of beefed-up security. Illegal aliens will get their illegal status removed six months after the bill is passed upon payment of $500. The formerly illegal aliens will be allowed to remain in the country legally, under so-called “probationary status,” for ten years (while those who wish to enter the country legally wait patiently in their home countries for permission to enter). This lawful presence is virtually everything that most would-be illegal aliens hope for, since few cross the border with any desire to become U.S. citizens.

What about the politics? Mac Donald:

The political effects of the proposed amnesty won’t benefit the GOP, whatever the party’s hopes might be. Hispanics will not shift their vote to Republicans in the next presidential election unless Republicans promote the same big-government programs, such as Obamacare, that attract Hispanics to the Democratic Party in the first place. So Republican handwringing over how to woo the Hispanic vote will begin all over again, and the next solution will be to convert probationers immediately to legal permanent-resident or citizenship status. Expect to hear the mantra: “Bring the probationers out from the shadows.”

And then there is this:

he coming amnesty’s insult to the rule of law and its magnet effect on future illegal immigration could perhaps have been justified had the proposed reform decisively converted the legal-immigration system from a family-based to a skills-based one. Instead, the Senate bill makes only a minor change in that direction. Reconfiguring immigration priorities is crucial, because many children of unskilled immigrants are assimilating into the underclass. They are also placing enormous burdens on the nation’s schools. California governor Jerry Brown proposes to redirect state taxpayer dollars from middle-class schools to those with high proportions of “English learners,” because Hispanic students lag so far behind whites and Asians. Most of these “English learners” were born and raised in the U.S. but are characterized as non-native speakers because their academic language skills are so low. Nationally, only 18 percent of Hispanic eighth-graders read at or above proficiency levels, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Because of their low academic achievement (and their high rates of illegitimacy), second- and third-generation Hispanics rely on government welfare programs far more than native-born whites.

It should be noted that Rich Lowry cuts through the blather as well in his Politico column “Chuck Schumer’s triumph.”

What is to be done? For the moment, the answer is to call out the supporters of the bill on what they are peddling.


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