Amnesty for illegal aliens


Vernon Briggs, a Cornell University labor economics professor stated:

"The toleration of illegal immigration undermines all of our labor; it rips at the social fabric. It's a race to the bottom. The one who plays by the rules is penalized... a guest worker program guarantees wages will never go up, and there is no way American citizens can compete with guest workers."

An amnesty for illegal aliens forgives their act of illegal immigration and implicitly forgives other related illegal acts such as driving and working using false documents. The result of an amnesty is that large numbers of foreigners who illegally gained entry into the United States are rewarded with legal status for their breaking the law. In January, 2004 President Bush Proposed an earned legalization program for illegal aliens. This is an amnesty under another name.

Tidal wave of illegal immigration
Tidal wave of illegal immigration.

For over 200 years, the United states only granted amnesty in individual cases and had never given amnesty to large numbers of illegal aliens. Then in 1986, Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) which gave amnesty to all illegal aliens who had evaded law enforcement for at least four years or who were working illegally in agriculture. This resulted in 2.8 million illegal aliens being admitted as legal immigrants to the United States.

Because of chain migration, those granted amnesty have brought in an additional 142,000 dependents - relatives brought in to the United States to join their family members.

The amnesty of 1986 was supposed to be a "one time only" amnesty. Yet since 1986, Congress passed a total of 7 amnesties for illegal aliens:

  1. The Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA) Amnesty of 1986 - the "one-time only" blanket amnesty for some 2.8 million illegal aliens.
  2. Section 245(i) The Amnesty of 1994 - a temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens.
  3. Section 245(i) The Extension Amnesty of 1997 - an extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994.
  4. The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty of 1997 - an amnesty for nearly one million illegal aliens from Central America.
  5. The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA) of 1998 - an amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti.
  6. The Late Amnesty of 2000 - an amnesty for approximately 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty.
  7. The LIFE Act Amnesty of 2000 - a reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty to an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.

An amnesty is a reward to those breaking the law. Issuing an amnesty to illegal aliens only encourages more illegal immigration into the United States. After the 1986 amnesty, illegal immigration increased significantly. Census Bureau 2000 data indicate that 700,000 to 800,000 illegal aliens settle in the U.S. each year, with approximately 8-11 million illegal aliens now currently living in the United States (up to 12 million, according to Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge).

Yet an amnesty benefits neither our society nor those being amnestied. An Immigration and Naturalization Service study found that after living in the United States for 10 years, the average amnestied illegal alien had only a seventh grade education and earned less than $9,000 a year. Amnestied illegal aliens have no sponsor to support them financially. Instead, by enacting an amnesty, Congress places a staggering financial burden on American taxpayers to support those amnestied.

According to a study by the Center for Immigration Studies, the total net cost of the 1986 IRCA amnesty (direct and indirect costs of services and benefits to the former illegal aliens, less their tax contributions) amounted to over $78 billion in the ten years following the amnesty.

Congress has paved the way for more amnesties. In 2001, Mexico's President Vicente Fox began to lobby the United States to "regularize" the status of millions of illegal aliens from Mexico living in the United States. Both U.S. political parties, in attempts to pander to the Hispanic vote, speak of amnesties in various forms for illegal aliens.

By granting amnesties, Congress has set a dangerous precedent that threatens homeland security. Our normal immigration process involves screening to block potential criminals and terrorists from entering the United States. Yet millions of illegal aliens have avoided this screening and an amnesty would allow them to permanently bypass such screening.

President Bush's January, 2004 guest worker plan announcement - really an amnesty for illegal aliens - directly caused at least a 15% to 25% increase in illegals entering the United States.

Polls show that nearly 70% of Americans oppose amnesty for all illegal aliens and that Hispanics are less likely to reelect President Bush if he supports amnesty.

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