The executive and legislative branches of the US government are celebrating their bipartisan efforts to solve the illegal alien conundrum.
Under the deal, undocumented workers who crossed into the country before Jan. 1 would be offered a temporary-residency permit while they await a new "Z Visa" that would allow them to live and work lawfully here. The head of an illegal-immigrant household would have eight years to return to his or her home country to apply for permanent legal residence for members of the household, but each Z Visa itself would be renewable indefinitely, as long as the holder passes a criminal background check, remains fully employed and pays a $5,000 fine, plus a paperwork-processing fee.
A separate, temporary-worker program would be established for 400,000 migrants a year. Each temporary work visa would be good for two years and could be renewed up to three times, as long as the worker leaves the country for a year between renewals.
To satisfy Republicans, those provisions would come in force only after the federal government implements tough new border controls and a crackdown on employers that hire illegal immigrants. Republicans are demanding 18,000 new Border Patrol agents, 370 miles of additional border fencing and an effective, electronic employee-verification system for the workplace.A question has been sitting in the back of my mind since it became apparent that the majority of national politicians—Democrats and Republicans--were inclined not to crack down hard on illegal immigrants nor follow through on meaningful methods to prevent further large scale illegal immigration via both borders.
What is (are) the long-term goal(s) with regard to going easy on illegal immigration?
Sure, this latest proposition contains the hard-core verbiage, existing “to satisfy Republicans,” but, as we know, words without consequent action mean nothing. If they did, our law makers and enforcers would merely have to abide by existing immigration law in remedying the situation.
Let’s just say that I believe our policy-makers when they talk about implementing the positive solutions—such as they are—to the illegal immigration question, but I do not believe that they will implement the harsher measures. And, Politicians, please! If you were an “undocumented worker” already making enough to support you family—and the one back in the old country—would you pay $5000 and go back home, risking not being able to come back? I wouldn’t.
So what is their point? Is their some long-term strategy when it comes to allowing Mexicans (and Canadians) to simply come on over? I’d be interested in reading hypotheses, even tin-foil hated ones.
Since 9/11, many observers feared that certain types of individuals not originally from Mexico and Canada were taking advantage of the laxity of the US-Mexico and the US-Canada border enforcement—individuals who were not simply looking for a better life, but those who were looking to make life worse for others: gang-members, drug-dealers and, of course, terrorists. It was already too late. The Fort Dix plot featured decidedly non-Mexican illegal immigrants who were brought over the Mexican border in the 1980s as small children and, in addition, some were arrested dozens of times for traffic violations as adults. However, following the traffic arrests, local authorities did not check any of the arrestees’ immigration status since “they operated in so-called 'sanctuary cities,' where law enforcement does not routinely tell the Homeland Security Department about illegal immigrants in their towns…” Now, of course, the future isn’t always accurately predicted and “terror suspect” or even “reckless driver” need not have been in the future description of these men. Nor I am I saying that the original intent of their parents wasn’t identical to that of most immigrants in our midst, illegal or not: to immigrate to US in order to make for themselves betters lives than was possible in their countries of origin.
But their parents took advantage of a loophole that has long existed in our border enforcement policies well before national security was on the radar of most citizens/policy-makers. Well, national security is on our radar now (at least that of many private citizens) and, unless harder solutions exist in fact rather than merely on paper, it won’t get any better.
One more thing to consider as far as Mexicans go who have illegally immigrated here for economic and existential reasons: do any of our policy-makers consider why so many Mexicans would rather brave the desert conditions of southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to get here rather than live and work in the country of their birth and upbringing? I’m guessing that if they do consider conditions for poorer Mexican citizens, the policy-makers figure that nothing can be done about it.
I'm not an advocate of forcibly deporting the roughly 12 million illegal immigrants who are here right now--something which would be a human and logistical nightmare. But, you know what? As long as conditions in Mexico itself exist, coupled with lax de facto border enforcement policies, the flood of Mexican illegal immigrants will continue to flow at its regular rate and we'll again be asking ourselves what to do about it in the not-so distant future.
Assuming that not-Mexican terrorists who are more tactically intelligent than the Fort Dix Six don't come along for the ride, that is.
Again, what’s the end game?
UPDATE: Be prepared for Sticker Shock. From Heritage Foundation via The Corner:
Some 50 to 60 percent of illegal immigrants lack a high school degree. Granting amnesty or conditional amnesty to illegal immigrants would, overtime, increase their use of means-tested welfare, Social Security and Medicare. Fiscal costs would go up significantly in the short term but would go up dramatically after the amnesty recipient reached retirement. Based on my current research, I estimate that if all the current adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. were granted amnesty the net retirement costs to government (benefits minus taxes) could be over $2.5 trillion.(Emphasis mine.)
(Thanks to Michelle Malkin)