Dear President Bush,
I would like to voice my strong opposition to the Immigration Bill currently before the Senate. As a legal immigrant who came to the United States more than 25 years ago and waited 10+ years to receive my citizenship, I am outraged and disgusted at the provisions and "solutions" offered in this bill. As a life-long conservative I am very disappointed in the way the White House and many of our elected representatives have approached this bill and the complete lack of concern for the hundreds of millions of legal immigrants and American citizens our government is supposed to represent and protect.
America has a long history and established tradition of ethical due process and protection of individual rights and freedoms that support the mandate that all its citizens must be treated equally under the law. The constitutional protections and laws of this land were created by the founding fathers for the benefit of the American citizens, and by extension to those legal immigrants who respect our country's sovereignty and laws, and legally seek permanent residency and eventual citizenship here. Passage of this flawed immigration bill would represent yet another blatant violation of that sacred tradition and a betrayal of the fiduciary duties and responsibilities the executive and legislative branches owe the American people. Congress and the White House are supposed to represent the interests and concerns of the American voters, not of illegal immigrants and a handful of inefficient businesses who refuse to become more competitive and rely mostly on low wage, illegal laborers to make up for their own management deficiencies and internal incompetencies.
Offering amnesty and legal standing to 12+ million (some estimates say this could be closer to 15 million) illegal aliens is not ethical or fair with respect to the millions of legal immigrants who came here legally, respected our laws, played by the rules, and properly followed the legal process required to show themselves worthy of permanent residency or citizenship. Giving amnesty and special treatment to millions of illegals who flaunted this very same legal system and chose to repeatedly violate our laws and national sovereignty, is a slap in the face of those countless millions of legal immigrants who ethically and honorably respected our laws and customs.
Similar immigration reforms were tried in 1986 during the Ronald Reagan administration when 2.5 million illegal immigrants were granted amnesty. Then, as now, Congress promised the American people that stronger border enforcement and much tougher employer sanctions for hiring illegal aliens would be implemented. Unfortunately, thanks in large part to Sen. Ted Kennedy's efforts, the enforcement provisions of the 1986 law were eventually gutted and neither appropriate border enforcement nor tough employer regulations and sanctions were ever properly implemented.
Congress' failure to follow through on its promises of tougher immigration enforcement and stronger border security sent a clear
message to the rest of the world: the United States is not really serious about enforcing its own immigration laws or protecting
its borders. Encouraged by the old adage that "actions speak louder than words", 12 million more illegal immigrants heeded our
government's tacit invitation and made it to our shores since 1986. The "just one time" amnesty guarantees from our government back then, have been
proven to be just empty promises.
The American people will not stand for that kind of an amnesty scheme again. Albert Einstein once said "The definition of
insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". This is exactly what the White House and
many representatives in Congress are doing with respect to the current immigration "reforms" initiatives. We have tried this
before. The illegal immigration problem which was supposed to have been fixed increased five fold in size just 20 years later.
We simply do not trust how the government is handling this issue anymore!
If history is any guide, if we implement the same failed immigration policies of the past, the United States will face a potential 60 million illegal aliens problem in another 20 years. Already the constant flood of so many illegal immigrants has overwhelmed the social, educational, and medical services infrastructure in many parts of the country. What will happen in the decades ahead when tens of millions more poor and uneducated individuals will again need to be granted amnesty, absorbed into our society and given full social assistance? Such a massive assimilation effort will certainly require substantial tax increases on the legal residents and tax paying citizens of this country in order to finance this enormous drain on our social services system. In effect, this White House and Congress are laying the foundations of turning our country into a third world nation at the expense of the very American citizens they were sworn to serve, protect, and represent; quite an unethical dereliction of their "public service" duties.
Assuming this administration is really serious about immigration reform and truly places the needs and concerns of its citizens at the top of its priority list, there are several key steps that must be followed for Washington to regain the trust and respect of the American people on this issue.
First of all, comprehensive border security and tough labor law enforcement must first be fully funded and properly implemented, proven effective and efficient, and allowed to work for at least a few years in order to make the needed impact, before any discussions regarding the immigration status of those already illegally here. Legislation must also be enacted to guarantee that all the necessary funding, resource and authority are given to the FBI, INS, the Border Patrol, and any other federal, state and local agencies needed to insure that these initiatives are properly supported and remain in full effect for the foreseeable future, if not indefinitely.
Second of all, full and proper enforcement of all current immigration laws must be implemented. This can indeed go a long way in restoring the confidence of the electorate that our elected officials really want to bring about meaningful change and are willing to walk the talk.
Third of all, the status and potential deportation of the tens of thousands violent criminal illegal aliens already in our country,
many sitting in federal and state prisons, must be addressed in a meaningful and tough manner that proves that our government is watching out for our safety and well being, and is not engaging in politically correct hogwash and diplomatic dribble.
Finally, we have sacrificed thousands of US troops and hundreds of billions of dollars on the War on Terror in order to make our citizens safer, but we seem unable and unwilling to secure our borders with significantly more reasonable costs and efforts. The likelihood of terrorists entering the United States by crossing our borders is much higher when there is so little enforcement and security. While we have spent billions of dollars fighting terrorism and defending freedom abroad, we continue to leave our back door open and un-monitored, in effect inviting terrorists to slip in unnoticed and giving them the opportunity to slaughter more innocent people, wreck havoc on our lives and potentially cripple our economy. Is this the legacy this administration would like to leave to future generations?
We have reached critical mass on the issue of uncontrolled illegal immigration into the United States. Something must be done if Washington is genuinely concerned for the American people legally here. Ethical and responsible leadership demands that our elected representatives act in the best interests of the citizens of this country whom they have promised to protect and defend. Amnesty and compromise will not work when the future of our families, children and grandchildren are at stake. We have been down this road before and can already see the disastrous effects looming on the horizon. This insanity must stop!
Chris Banescu is an attorney, entrepreneur, and university professor. His business, ethics, and management articles and podcasts can be found on ChrisBanescu.com. He is a regular contributor to
OrthodoxyToday.org, manages the conservative site
OrthodoxNet.com, writes articles, and has given talks
and conducted seminars on a variety of business and management topics. He has also written book reviews for Townhall.com and articles for Acton.org. Other articles available in his archive.