Commentaries posted do not necessarily represent the opinion of LDN.
 Any opinions expressed are those of the writers.

Immigration amnesty the next major administration push

By Jim Killebrew

Send a link to a friend 

[February 01, 2014]  American border states like Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California have all battled the influx of illegal crossings across their borders. Many who cross illegally are people who are part of foreign gangs, drug dealers, human trafficking dealers, gun smugglers and other notorious lawbreakers from Mexico or other parts of the world. Additionally, the officials of those states continually warn of terrorists wishing to do the people in the U.S. harm who might be crossing as well.

We have been told it is almost impossible to know who these people are because there is a well-developed underground railroad of sorts that supplies those who crossed illegally with forged papers and other materials to help them integrate into the populations of other states, get jobs or prove eligibility for some federal or state entitlement programs. Yet, we are told it is against the law for people to cross over into the country without going through the proper channels through legal application.

With that backdrop of information that any reasonably prudent person could understand, why does the current administration in Washington continue to take the action it does?

After the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, the president started pushing the "Dream Act" that allows for amnesty for these same people who have crossed over the borders illegally. It really doesn't make much sense to push it again, since the president essentially circumvented the Congress after the Dream Act was defeated, by issuing work permits and not allowing the deportation of illegal immigrants who had been captured, which created an executive law that mirrored the Dream Act anyway. He knows that he cannot be called on that erosion of the separation of powers since Congress really can't do anything about it as long as he has his backers in Harry Reid and the majority of Democrats in the Senate.

The president's next big political push is to provide amnesty for the groups of people who are already present in the country so he can have Congress endorse and make legal his fiat Dream Act. Since the administration has circumvented the laws on the books to have various law-enforcement agencies cease the practice of returning certain classes of these groups to their country of origin, the essence of the act is there already; it simply lacks the Constitutional process of making it a law. The administration has brought lawsuits against states that have tried to enforce the laws already on the books regarding illegal crossing to force those states to cease enforcing those laws. The administration has consistently pushed back on the call from many to secure the border to stop the flow of illegal crossings. The administration has consistently rejected any idea of having people produce photo identification at the voting polls and has consistently fought against state legislatures that have passed laws requiring such identification.

What is the administration hoping to achieve by taking this action?

Simply put, the president wants the credit for signing into law a bill that would contain the elements of the Dream Act he has already put into effect by unilateral executive actions. The giant problem he faces, however, is the resolute resistance of the majority of Republicans. The president knows if he could get a Dream Act legitimately legalized by having a congressional bill he could actually sign into law, it would likely create a "dream act" of ensuring the election and re-election of Democrats for decades to come. If 30 million illegal immigrants could line up for fast track to citizenship, the Democrats know it would likely result in almost that many being turned into voters, who likely would be Democrats.

[to top of second column]

Republicans need to hold their own if they are in disagreement with the elements of amnesty. Due to the problematic issues the president has incurred during the past year, he is entering his sixth year from more a position of weakness rather than strength. The American people have indicated they want the U.S. borders protected and made safe from illegal entry. Obviously a much stronger bill could be fashioned after the midterm elections if the Republicans take control of the Senate and remain in control of the House. Until then, if the Republicans insist that the president, with his Department of Justice and Homeland Security, simply enforce the immigration laws already on the books, it would turn the tide on illegal entry. Of course, the Democrats and the president have already demonstrated they have no intention of following the current laws on the matter.

The Achilles' heel the Republicans are going to have to protect themselves from is the clarion call from American business people who are demanding more people to accept labor jobs that are paid less than what many Americans will accept. When a person who has entered the United States illegally, they put themselves at a distinct disadvantage. Because of their illegal status they will work for less, but working for less has its drawbacks as well. They also place themselves in a position to become eligible for many American entitlements that must be paid for by the American taxpayer. Consequently, the business person does not have to pay more, since the taxpayer picks up the bill for many services that must be provided for the illegal workers, including medical care through emergency room use, tax credits and even legal liabilities.

The positive in this predicament is for politicians, including Republicans. The businesses that can have their bottom line enhanced by the current conditions, paying lower wages to willing workers, and have the American people pay for things the business person would be forced to pay for with legal citizens, can make vast amounts of money that allows them to spread it around to the politicians to keep the status quo.

The bottom line: No matter how hard the president pushes for a legitimate law that would give him a win for immigration reform, it likely will not happen at least until next year, and then only if the Republicans win the majority in the Senate and keep their majority in the House. They will then do a reform that will satisfy the American people and be beneficial to the Republican politicians. Although even that reform might create an unhealthy smell to many Americans, including those whose families have been waiting in line to enter America legally, but have waited for years.


Click here to respond to the editor about this article.

< Recent commentaries

Back to top