6/07/2007

Immigration bill grants amnesty to lawbreakers

Last June I had an unexpected exchange of viewpoints in the News Journal with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. In explaining why I had voted against Nelson in the previous election, I cited his abominable record re suppression of illegal immigration.


Nelson responded: "I oppose amnesty. The immigration bill Sen. Martinez and I voted for doesn't grant amnesty to anyone. Instead, it would allow only certain immigrants who play by all the rules to seek a path to legal status."


I noted in follow-up letter that illegals had already broken a key law by entering the U.S. illegally, so none of them could actually qualify.
Well, Sens. Nelson and Martinez are at it again.


As a member of NumbersUSA (www.numbersusa.com), I have sent more than 100 faxes -- many to Nelson and Martinez, but also to President Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Jeff Miller, Gov. Crist and others -- expressing concerns about the illegal-alien situation.
Hundreds of thousands of like-minded concerned citizens have done likewise, all to no avail if the present bill granting amnesty -- whatever they want to call it -- is passed.
The senators negotiating the present amnesty "compromise" would have you believe that illegal immigration can be solved by rewarding it, even though what it really means is that the American people will be subjected to a flood of accelerated immigration, which will overwhelm and forever change America.


A recent study by the bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform found that guest worker programs depress wages, burden local communities with substantial costs, and fail to reduce unauthorized migration. The American Legion likewise emphatically opposed amnesty.
There are 23 million low-skilled Americans, including 40 percent of working-age African-American men, who currently do not have jobs. Shouldn't they get first shot at the American Dream? By 2020, amnesty would increase the number of green card holders from about 25 million to 50 million, further depressing wages and opportunities for this segment of the American populace.


By 2050 immigration could result in 200 million additional workers. Construction, restaurants, hotels and hospitality services would be overwhelmingly manned by these newcomers, to the detriment of lower-skilled Americans.


Then there's the cost to taxpayers -- estimates are that 60 percent of illegals are high-school dropouts, and the Heritage Foundation found that every household that includes a high school dropout costs taxpayers $22,500 per year, i.e., they pay $10,000 a year in taxes and receive $32,500 in taxpayer-subsidized benefits.


Can you imagine the effect on already overburdened Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and education programs? In short, we will become a giant welfare state paid for by the rest of us.
We need a change in immigration policy, but not one based on closed-door negotiations between Senate leaders and the Bush White House. The status quo, as bad as it is, is far better for American workers than the Bush/Kennedy immigration compromise.


Border security and a reliable employment verification system must be our first priorities. Stronger enforcement plus stiffer penalties for illegal workers and their employers will address our illegal immigration crisis.


With a secure border and strong enforcement in place, we can then consider a tightly controlled guest worker program geared to serving America's interests.
American taxpayers need a legion of heroes to protect us from this outrage. Be one of those heroes. Call your senators -- (202) 224-3121 -- and express your opposition now, before it's too late.

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