The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 initiated a family reunification principle that allowed immigrants to bring in perpetual and unending chains of relatives by blood or marriage. For example, an immigrant could bring not only his wife and children, but his parents and sister. His sister could bring her husband and an unending chain of his relatives. Recent third world immigrants soon crowded out European immigrants with no recent immigrant relatives. They also crowded out skilled immigrants without relatives here. The education and skill levels of the average immigrant dropped, and the percentage of immigrants using government welfare programs increased. Chain migration statistics collected indicate that for every two legal immigrants another seven non-immediate family immigrants are brought in. The ratio for Mexican immigrants is slightly higher.
The second huge mistake was the 1986 Amnesty. Thought to be less than 1.0 million by President Reagan, it turned out to be 2.7 million. Six supplemental amnesties brought the total to near 6.0 million amnesties. Amnesties encourage more illegal immigration. The total number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. in 1986 was thought to be about 3.0 million. Now we have over 11 million additional illegal immigrants, and some say there are as many as 30 million here. Reagan was promised strict immigration enforcement thereafter. The amnesty was given first, but the enforcement promises were undermined by Democrats and liberal Republicans. One rule we have apparently not learned: Full enforcement must come before any amnesties. However, it should be obvious that the safest path is NO blanket amnesties ever. The 1986 Amnesty was also characterized by massive fraud—at least 25 percent—and purposely lax vetting. Would things change in 2018? At the end of his presidential term, President Ronald Reagan confessed to his Attorney General Ed Meese that the biggest mistake of his eight years in office was signing the 1986 Amnesty.
There have been demographic, fiscal, and economic consequences. In 1960, foreign-born residents of the U.S. numbered 9.7 million or 5.4 percent of the population. The Department of Homeland Security estimated that the number of foreign-born residing in the U.S. had risen to 45.6 million in 2016, or 14.1 percent of the population, the highest ever recorded. Because of the huge increase in cheaper foreign labor, real U.S. wages have been stagnant for 30 years. A recent Center for Immigration Studies report indicated that U.S. wages have been reduced by $494 billion per year, about 5.3 percent of annual wages per wage earner every year. Businesses who use cheap foreign labor gained, but the fiscal costs of illegal immigration far outweighed the relatively small national gain. According to the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform, illegal immigrants alone cost U.S, state, and local taxpayers $113 billion a year (2013). Recent Department of Justice crime statistics indicate non-citizen U.S. residents have a crime rate three times higher than U.S. born citizens. According to a 2013 Heritage Foundation study (2010 dollars) unlawful immigrant households cost American taxpayers a net of over $14,000 per unlawful household per year more than taxes paid. If they are amnestied and made eligible for Social Security that cost would rise to $22,700 per year. This is because their low average education and skill levels keep them from progressing economically, and they remain in a low tax bracket. Only 49 percent of illegal immigrants of working age have a high school education. The Heritage Foundation estimated that this would be at least a 50 year burden. Similarly, only 49 percent of DACA applicants have a high school education.
Why do illegal immigrants continue to flow into the United States? Most come for jobs and/or welfare. To stop illegal immigration and encourage those here to return home, we must turn off the job faucet for illegal immigrants. The best way to do that is the E-Verify computer system for checking immigration status. No immigration enforcement will work without E-verify.
Many people think that most illegal immigrants come here by sneaking under a fence or over a wall. That is a huge common misunderstanding. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, about 45 percent enter on legal tourist, student, work, or business visas and ignore their expiration. That is why border security alone is not sufficient to stop illegal immigration. Border security is terribly important both to stop illegal immigration and prevent crime and terrorism, but it is not sufficient without E-Verify. Without E-Verify and visa control, more illegals will simply route their unlawful entry by means of visa violations. That is why some estimate that a completed Wall and border security system will only prevent 25 percent of illegal immigration without E-Verify. I am for a Wall and modern means of border security, but without E-Verify and visa control the Wall will be only partially effective eyewash.
We certainly must get rid of chain migration, but getting rid of chain migration and the Visa Lottery is not enough to justify even a small amnesty without also including E-Verify.
The Goodlatte-Labrador House bill HR 4760 gives a 690,000 amnesty without a special route to citizenship, but it includes E-Verify, stopping chain migration and the Visa Lottery, a border wall, and other border security, and merit based immigration. I do not favor any amnesty, but I can support Goodlatte-Labrador, because the gains far outweigh the costs and risks. I also support the Cotton-Perdue bill in the Senate, which includes E-Verify, border security, an end to chain migration and the Visa Lottery, and merit based immigration.
President Trump also supported these bills, but his new proposal does not include E-Verify and extends the amnesty with a special path to citizenship to at least 1.8 million “dreamers.” There are those who say not to worry, because Trump’s new amnesty plan is only a negotiating strategy. But I have written over 100 articles on immigration in the last 18 years, and you must pardon me for being uncomfortable with throwing knowledge and reason out the window, hoping that letting a fox into a chicken pin is a trick to trap the fox.
The Center for Immigration Studies hypothesizes that the Trump immigration team believes that E-verify would be a bridge too far to get 60 Senate votes that must necessarily include many Democrats. This may be true, but getting the 60 votes with a bigger amnesty with a path to citizenship and No E-Verify is a bridge too risky and too far for anyone that realizes the stakes involved. Demography is now political destiny. Even a small amnesty, if not tightly restricted, could finish the Republican Party and every conservative cause of its grassroots supporters—The Constitution, right-to-life, family values, Second Amendment rights, taxes, national security, public safety, freedom of speech, and economic and religious freedom, everything they hold dear. All could vanish under permanent Democrat hegemony ushered in by amnesties and uncontrolled immigration.
We need to get rid of the 60 vote Senate hurdle or nothing can save the country from its present tragic trajectory. On immigration, unfortunately, it takes at least two hands to count the Republican Never-Trump liberals and servants of pro-amnesty, pro-open-borders special interests in the U.S. Senate.
I have come to the conclusion that the nation’s salvation from foolish and corrupt immigration policies rests in the 2018 and 2020 primaries and general elections. It may be now a long shot against scores of millions of special interest dollars, but those who love the Constitution and the traditions and values of our founders must purge Congress of as many Democrats and liberal establishment Republicans as we can to have solid conservative/populist majorities in both Houses, the Supreme Court, and the Whitehouse.
I remain a Trump supporter. He has accomplished wonderful and astonishing things so far, but as a true friend to his presidency, his agenda, and the “forgotten patriotic Americans” who elected him, I solemnly advise that a larger “Dreamer” Amnesty with a path to citizenship and No E-Verify system is a huge risk and probably serious mistake that could jeopardize all the good that he has done and would accomplish and could crush the dreams and hopes of all Americans forever. All that our forefathers and friends of liberty everywhere have fought and struggled so hard for and defended so arduously for so long is at stake.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Mike Scruggs, Author and Columnist
a.k.a. Leonard M. Scruggs
Mike Scruggs is the author of two books: The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths; and Lessons from the Vietnam War: Truths the Media Never Told You, and over 600 articles on military history, national security, intelligent design, genealogical genetics, immigration, current political affairs, Islam, and the Middle East.
He holds a BS degree from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Stanford University. A former USAF intelligence officer and Air Commando, he is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal. He is a retired First Vice President for a major national financial services firm and former Chairman of the Board of a classical Christian school.
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