(Please note that we must recognize root causes if we are going to attack the problem of immigration in the United States of America and provide any real and lasting solutions. BUT, that is not in the scope of this article. I’ll leave that for another writing. For now, I will only be dealing with the issue of “immigration” as it relates to “amnesty.”)
When Americans say, “They (the Illegal Aliens) should go back to their own country and come back legally”, they have no idea what the underlying issues are. While I don’t disagree with the sentiment, [currently] it is impossible for them to do so, especially, if they are Mexican. Oh, the go-back part is not the impossible task, the come-back “LEGALLY” is.
According to the statistics listed on the U.S. Department of State – Consular Affairs Bureau website, most of the requests for visas from Mexico that are being worked date back to 1993 and they are getting further behind every year. For instance, in the past 12 months, they have only worked through a couple of month’s applications.
Now, part of the reason is due to the low number of applications that are accepted. According to the same reference listed above:
“Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000. The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.”
Here’s the interesting thing about “amnesty;” most people don’t know what it means and at least how it would be implemented. Certainly, there are several plans being touted about, here’s what the past looked like:
President Reagan - On November 6, 1986, Reagan signed into law the first “amnesty” plan, "The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which:
· required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status;
· made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal aliens;
· legalized certain seasonal agricultural illegal aliens, and;
· legalized illegal aliens who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously with the penalty of a fine, back taxes due, and admission of guilt; candidates were required to prove that they were not guilty of crimes, that they were in the country before January 1, 1982, and that they possessed minimal knowledge about U.S. history, government, and the English language.
Of course, this didn’t “legalize” ALL illegal aliens as there were many who could not afford the fines and back taxes or who didn’t commit crimes. I don’t know if there is an official number out there somewhere, but apparently somewhere around three million were granted legal status through this act.
President Clinton - The following is a list of amnesties granted to illegal aliens Clinton:
· In 1994, an amnesty for illegal aliens (Section 245 (i)) was added to the FY 1995 Commerce, Justice, State Appropriations bill. The rolling amnesty ended on September 30, 1997, and resulted in 578,000 illegal aliens being granted permanent legal status.
· The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty of 1997, granted amnesty to 1,000,000 illegal aliens from Central America.
· The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA) of 1998, granted amnesty to 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti.
· In 2000, amnesty was granted to about 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed they should have been amnestied, but were not under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
· Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act Amnesty of 2000 removed deportation orders and/or granted permanent legal residency to an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.
Again, I’m not sure there are any “official” totals, but this equals to about the same number as under Reagan, about 3 million.
President Bush – No official amnesty granted. However, when President Bush made his “Amnesty” proposal public, there was a dramatic surge of illegal border crossings. According to the Border Patrol, it was increased by at least 15%.
In the discussion of the debate on Amnesty is that it that MUST BE RECOGNIZED that the majority of people who are crossing the U.S. Border illegally are not coming here as immigrants.
Take two of the bullet points under President Clinton as an example. The Nicaraguans and the Haitians; they were not coming to the U.S. to become Americans. They were coming here as refugees who are just looking for a way to survive.
IT IS A FAÇADE to deal with this as an immigration problem. Providing AMNESTY, does not really deal with the reasons why people are coming into this country illegally.
While not within the scope of this discussion, people must also understand the different visas that people are seeking. The U.S. really can benefit from a well-managed “worker” or “student” program. The problem is in management.
Why is it that since 1993, over 3 million illegal aliens have been processed and become “LEGAL” through the process of “AMNESTY” and yet, there is still an archaic number of people who are allowed to come into the United States, legally?”
Currently, they are talking about giving 11 million (estimates as great as 14 million) “Amnesty” and there is no mention of fixing the broken immigration policies that are set forth in “Immigration and Nationality Act.”
One of the main problems of “the system” is the numbers. Either STAND ON NUMBERS ESTABLISHED BY LAW, which would mean NO AMNESTY, or ADJUST THE NUMBERS TO REFLECT REALITY and force everyone through the legal system.
If it’s about the inability for the state department to process such a large number of people, consider the fact that the IRS processes hundreds of million income tax returns every year and they still find time to harass people about back taxes. Think about it: maybe they should turn the whole immigration process over to the IRS… (I’M BEING SARCASTIC HERE)
AMNESTY, DOES NOT FIX A BROKEN IMMIGATION SYSTEM; IT ONLY PERPETUATES IT AND MAKES IT WORSE!! Giving official amnesty only exacerbates the problem and encourages more people to come to this country illegally to wait their turn for the next bout of amnesty, rather than to come to this country legally for the specific purpose of their coming; whether that is to work, be with family, escape horrible economy and/or violence, or to actually become American and all that it means to be a proud citizen of this country.
UPHOLD THE LAW!!
If the law is broke, FIX IT!! Don’t just put a bandage on that 1) violates the law, and 2) does NOT fix the problem. If there is truly a reason why the U.S. wants 11 million more citizens, DO IT THROUGH THE LEGAL SYSTEM!! Either that or just admit, we don’t care and simply repeal ALL immigration laws and just periodically provide “Amnesty.” EITHER WAY - - UPHOLD THE LAW!!
IT’S THE SYSTEM THAT IS BROKE! FIX IT!! Don't put another bandage on. PULL THE SPLINTER OUT!!
(THE SINGLE BIGGEST THING THAT CAN BE DONE TO FIX THE PROBLEM IS TO FIX THE REASON(s) WHY THEY ARE COMING. Again, this article is only about the issue between “Amnesty” and “Legal Migration/Immigration” reasons behind the coming will be dealt with in other articles)