Amnesties forgive the breaking of immigration laws and reward illegal aliens with permanent residence in the United States. Inevitably, amnesties entice more illegal aliens to the United States, in the hopes that they, too, will be rewarded for breaking the law. Census 2000 results indicate that 700,000 to 800,000 illegal aliens settle in the U.S. each year, with an estimated eight to eleven million illegal aliens currently living here.
Until 1986, the United States had never forgiven the act of illegal immigration, except in individual cases involving unusual circum-stances. We had never rewarded large numbers of illegal aliens with the opportunity for U.S. citizenship. In 1986, the U.S. Congress passed a law granting amnesty to almost three million illegal aliens. It was supposed to be a one-time, never-to-be-repeated action. Since 1986, however, Congress has passed seven amnesties, rewarding more than six million illegal aliens with legal residence and putting them and their relatives on the path to U.S. citizenship.
In the decade following the 1986 amnesty, illegal immigration increased dramatically, and has continued to skyrocket. Each of the six million illegal aliens granted amnesty since 1986 has been replaced by more than one new illegal alien, resulting in the huge illegal population enumerated by the Census Bureau. The solution, according to some, is yet another amnesty.
Polls show that the vast majority of Americans oppose amnesty for illegal aliens.
In reality, any plan that allows illegal aliens to get legal residence and a green card is an amnesty. It is sufficient enticement for millions more aliens to enter or remain in this country illegally, even if it means risking their own lives and the lives of their families to get here.
Another “jackpot” loophole needs to be closed: Each year we hold a lottery for 50,000 visas for legal immigration. This nonsensical approach to selecting newcomers should be ended.
Amnesty may be the jackpot for illegal aliens, but it’s a losing policy for America.
– Rosemary Jenks, J.D.
Director of Government Relations