The Immigration law being hammered out in Congress right now intends to solve the problem of illegal immigrants in this country in two ways: by legalizing the ones who are already here and by deterring further illegals from crossing the border.
Proponents of the bill insist that this legalization is not the same as outright amnesty ~ there will be registration procedures, high fees, relocation and several long and involved phases before illegal immigrants are transformed into legal residents.
Future illegal immigrants and those who refuse the new road to legalization are expected to be deterred by increased border security and stiffened penalties on employers for hiring illegals.
William King Jr., a 27-year Border Patrol veteran, former sector chief, and former head of the amnesty program in the West for the now-defunct U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), says the new law resembles a similar attempt in 1986 to legalize illegal immigrants and deter future illegal immigration — an attempt that failed roundly in all its objectives. Based on his 50 years of “continuous experience in immigration law enforcement,” and his “oversight of the 1986 amnesty program,” Mr. King fears the new immigration law is bound to fail again.
“I just can’t believe they’re trying to do this again,” he said. “We seem to be suffering from collective amnesia about why amnesty programs have never and will never work. They’re using the same language, the same logic and, I assure you, will reach the same conclusion: failure.” King added, “Because of the number of illegal aliens in the country and the massive potential for fraud today, the result of this new law is going to be three to five times worse than it was in 1986”
Twenty years ago, in 1986, 3.1 million immigrants were granted amnesty, and millions upon millions more followed. “Increased” border security failed to stem the flow and penalties on employers were inadequately enforced. Now, an estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal residents reside within the United States. Can the new immigration law make this problem go away?
It is wonderful to see Democrats and Republicans sitting down together and earnestly addressing one of our country’s most serious problems ~ and reviewing past failures is part of such an address. Because those who forget the past, I hear, are doomed to repeat it. Mr. King says, “All Americans should stand by for the inevitable rush on the border because of the promise of amnesty.”
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