Deja Vu All Over Again

By D.A. King, Marietta Daily Journal, May 11, 2005

"This country has lost control of its borders. No country can do that and survive."

- President Ronald Reagan

President Reagan made those remarks in 1986 as he signed a bill known as the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, or IRCA, that granted amnesty to illegal aliens. That bill was sold to the American people with the assurance that it was a "one time" amnesty for nearly 3 million illegal aliens. IRAC '86 came with the promise of severe employer sanctions and strict border security.

By any measurement, the amnesty of 1986 was a failure - as illegal immigration actually increased after its completion. Maybe you have seen part of the result here in Cobb County.

Less than 20 years later, Georgia state Sen. Sam Zamarripa (D-DeKalb) and the Wall Street investment firm Bear Stearns estimate the number of illegals nationally to be 20 million. The federal government is admitting to 11 million.

Read this sentence carefully, because you won't see it often: Zamarripa is entirely accurate.

Earlier this year, the government of Mexico defiantly published and distributed to its citizens a "Guide for the Mexican Migrant" - a "how to" book on entering the United States illegally and avoiding apprehension by our intentionally hamstrung Border Patrol and nearly non-existent interior enforcement.

Several other nations now have similar guides in the works.

For the employers who help to drive down American wages by openly hiring the illegals, being struck by lightning is a greater concern than suffering any serious effort at law enforcement from our federal government.

As Michael Chertoff, secretary of Homeland Security, said last week, "We've got a lot more to do to give us control of our border."

I point out the 1986 amnesty because this week the "open borders" wing of the U.S. Congress, led by the President and including Sens. Edward Kennedy and John McCain, are expected to announce their own bipartisan plan to "reform" our immigration system - by introducing another amnesty proposal.

Don't be confused when you see it labeled anything and everything except an amnesty proposal.

Don't be confused when you hear little or nothing of the 1986 amnesty.

Read some of what the Arizona Republic newspaper in Phoenix reports will be included in the latest "amnesty by any other name" and judge for yourself what it really is:

  • A program to allow some illegal aliens who have been in the United States for several years, have jobs and pay taxes (it's hard to avoid those sales taxes) to remain in this country with renewable visas that also could put them on a path toward earning permanent residency.
  • A plan that requires illegal aliens to register for the program and pay a fine or fee.
  • A plan to improve regulation of the future flow of "undocumented migrants" into the country.
  • An enforcement system that would have more teeth in it, including fines for employers who hire foreign workers illegally.

I love that last point. We are expected to believe that the same people now in charge of securing our borders and enforcing our laws will suddenly leap into action and begin to honor their oaths of office if we will only allow them to "legalize" the millions who are stealing the American dream.

It is already a federal felony to employ an illegal alien, with a possible fine of $10,000 a head.

Imagine the Georgia of 20 years from now if this proposal were to become law, as Reagan's IRAC did.

One thing you won't see is that the amnesty will also serve to "legalize" the employers who have been allowed to smirk at the law that the rest of America is expected to obey.

Another is that rewarding the people who laugh at our laws with a path to American citizenship will only encourage millions more to come and wait for the next amnesty proposal. Si?

Using amnesty and virtually open borders as a way to "reform" our immigration system is a proven failure. To ignore this fact is national suicide.

Here is an idea for the next 20 years: make our borders as secure as Mexico's and actually enforce our laws - for everyone. Or am I being "extreme"?

D.A. King is founder of The American Resistance Foundation, a Marietta based national coalition of citizens actively opposed to illegal immigration.