By: Richard H. Frank
Any individual interested in learning the truth about immigration reform in America should take the time to study the history behind existing immigration law in this country. The Legal Information Institute website is an excellent place to start educating the public about immigration law.
The law is intended to determine if a person is in fact an alien and if so, the rights, duties and obligations of an alien within the borders of the United States. The law is intended to serve as the gatekeeper for our borders, making a determination as to who may enter, how long they may stay and under what circumstances they must leave.
Congress has complete authority over immigration and contrary to some interpretations Presidential power does not extend beyond refugee policy. Congress created the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and defined an “alien” as any person lacking citizenship or status as a national of the United States. Today politicians take pains to distinguish between documented and non-documented (illegal) aliens. The terms refer to whether an arriving alien has the proper records and identification for admission to the United States. Proper documentation can come in the form of a valid passport, a visa, border crossing identification card or reentry permit. Border jumping or stowaways are expressly refused entry as aliens to the U.S.
Current immigration law requires all aliens to carry identification indicating their status for being in this country. Failure to comply with the law makes an alien immediately subject to deportation. Grounds for deportation may include committing an aggravated felony, failure to register a change of address, aiding and encouraging another alien to enter the country illegally, engaging in marriage fraud, voting unlawfully and failing to update the government records for residency every three months regardless if any change has accrued or not. This is the law that unfortunately is poorly administered by the Department of Homeland security since it was designated to replace the INS in March of 2003. The agency has three separate divisions with which to enforce immigration law. The U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement (CBE) handles border patrol duties. The Citizenship and Immigration services (USCIS) is responsible for naturalization, asylum, and permanent residency functions. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for deportation, intelligence and investigatory functions. Janet Napolitano said recently that, “our borders are more secure today than at any time in recent history.” The citizens of our border states would tend to disagree with her statement. It would also appear that Secretary Napolitano has a short memory with regard to letter requests she made when she was Governor of Arizona asking for reimbursement by the Federal government to pay for illegal aliens imprisoned by the state. Her failure to act and secure our southern border is grounds for her removal from her position as Secretary of Homeland Security.
President Obama is calling for “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” as a means to resolve the Illegal alien problems in the country today, as opposed to insisting that the current law be enforced. The last major reform came in the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act that toughened sanctions against employers who hired illegal aliens, denied illegal aliens federally funded welfare benefits and legitimized some aliens through an amnesty program. A close examination of the Reform Act seems to show it does more to provide welfare and social security assistance to aliens than to secure the borders and enforce the law. Today the total cost to America is $338.3 billion a year being spent on illegal aliens. Consider the following:
- Between $11 and $22 billion spent by the States on welfare to illegal aliens.
- Another $2.2 billion spent on food assistance programs, e.g.; food stamps, WIC and school lunches for illegal aliens.
- Medicaid at $2.5 billion for illegal aliens.
- Primary and secondary school education costs $12 billion for children here illegally.
- An additional $17 billion for American-born children of illegal aliens, anchor babies
- $3 million per day spent on incarceration of illegal aliens. That’s $1.1 billion per year.
- $90 billion spent on illegal aliens for Welfare and social services.
- Suppressed wages in the U.S. are estimated at $200 billion per year as a result of illegal immigration.
- 30% of federal prison inmates are illegal aliens, with the crime rate 2 ½ times that of legal aliens.
- In 2006 illegal aliens sent $45 billion in remittance to their home countries of origin.
- In 2005 up to 19,500 illegal aliens were from terrorists countries.
- Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin, and marijuana crossed into the U.S. from our southern border.
Is it any wonder that 75% of Americans are disgusted with the Federal government and its policy for enforcement of its own immigration law?
Now, since Arizona has had enough and is taking action to protect their citizens, all the politicians are taking sides and pushing new immigration reform in their quest to secure the Hispanic vote in the coming 2010 election. We don’t need new immigration law. We need to enforce the existing law and not worry about what party will win the Hispanic voting block in the coming election. Those legal resident aliens in America should feel betrayed by any politician that would propose amnesty for illegal aliens that have broken the law to gain entry to this country. The cost for mass deportation of the 10 – 12 million illegal aliens currently in this country is small in comparison to the annual spending taking place today for the undocumented. If we are truly a nation of laws then we should enforce the law and close our border to the undocumented. There should be no amnesty granted to those that entered illegally but they should be deported and made to go to the end of the line for those that are following the law waiting to become citizens. Justice, not social justice, is the law of the land. Social justice failed in the immigration reform of 1986 and will surely fail again if we repeat the mistakes of the past.