The old saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. The U.S. Senate is poised to fool the American people the second time with the euphemistically named “comprehensive” illegal alien amnesty scheme.
Certain senators have been working behind closed doors, leading some Republican senators to complain that they are not having knowledge of, or input into, any proposed legislation to come. Democrats are expected to get behind any amnesty bill to be produced. Some RINOs are expected to join them, along with President Bush, who has made this near the top of his wish list since the very beginning of his two-term tenure. His recent speeches still include demands for a “comprehensive” immigration bill.
Some features of the behind-doors maneuverings have become public. They are confusing, because there are many aspects to be considered. Work visas are in the mix. There are proposals that a fine must be paid by those who came here illegally. The open borders crowd do not want that, claiming it is too high a price to be paid for working here and establishing a way to citizenship. It seems they want no penalties for the lawbreakers who may have falsified documents to get work or may have even stolen someone’s identity (Social Security). All would be forgiven if the amnesty is granted.
Senator Kennedy led the push for amnesty in 1986, and is doing so again. That amnesty was to be the very last one and to involve only about 300,000 illegals. The number turned out to be three million. Estimates of how many are here now vary from twelve million to thirty million. Nobody really knows for sure, since agencies that should be asking are not allowed to do so. It is a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. It forbids welfare agencies to ask the legal status of recipients. The two federal agencies, (the IRS and Census Bureau), that might have somewhat accurate figures will not give them out, citing “privacy” issues. We are left to speculate that we might have twice the cited illegal population here, which would be about twenty-four million, or even three times the estimate, which would be thirty-six million. Talk about buying a pig in a poke.
The promise that the borders would be controlled was just that….a promise. It was never done. And now, we continue to hear the mantra that more cheap labor is needed by industry. The logical question is: how many more millions do we need? Building industries statistics show that foreign workers are getting the new jobs being created. This is probably due to employers taking advantage of being able to pay them lower wages, off the books, with no taxes being paid and no health insurance provided. It means that low-wage earners who are citizens are being made to compete for jobs against many who are here illegally. The black population in particular is losing jobs this way.
There are many studies to contradict the claim for needing millions more low wage laborers. In its January 2005 report “The Underground and Labor Force is Rising to the Surface”, Bear Stearns estimated that we have 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S., more than double the nine million that the Census Bureau estimated at that time. Bear Stearns also stated that one of the reasons for the undercount is that at least five million illegal aliens are paid under the table and do not show up in the normal demographic data the bureau uses to calculate population.
Bear Stearns reported that those 5+ millions cheat the government out of over $35 Billion a year in income taxes. At the same time, they receive $30 Billion a year in government largess. Taxpayers make up the difference in taxes not paid by these tax cheaters. Taxpayers also provide the generous welfare dollars for them.
California has probably more illegal aliens than any other state. A study released in late 2004 by Milken Institute entitled “The Los Angeles Economy Project” was done in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles.. What this study found was that 15 percent of the workforce (680,000 workers), were paid under the table That is just in L.A. County. They estimated that 61 percent are illegal aliens.
Those 680,00 workers cheat the government out of $2 Billion a year in taxes. L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich estimated that illegal aliens cost L.A. County about $1 Billion a year just in health care, criminal incarceration and public education. The authors of the report conclude that there is a real risk that a steadily increasing number of employers will adopt this illicit practice in order to remain competitive. After all, if a roofing company is paying somebody under the table and not taking any taxes out of the wages, it can undercut bids every time of someone who is abiding by the law. This is how a law abiding company can be put out of business.
The region’s underground economy, estimated in 2006 at a $8.1 Biillion payroll annually, siphons off vast sums of money as workers and employers fail to make payments to Social Security, workers compensation, health insurance and other social safety net programs. Even if an illegal alien is carried on the payroll, most are poorly educated and unskilled, resulting in them not earning enough money to pay taxes. Poorly paid or not, they have saved money to send back to their families in Mexico, an estimated $28 Billion since January of last year, competing with Mexico’s revenues from oil and the tourist industries for number one source of income.
It is easy to see why Mexico is lobbying our Congress to keep its workers here and give amnesty to them. Those Billions are going to enrich its economy by taking it out of ours. The real question is: why are we letting them do it, and why are our representatives in Washington working to legalize those who prop up Mexico?
Using Census Bureau data, it is estimated that 96 percent of the increase in enrollment in public schools is due to immigration. This being so, and parents of those students contribute little or nothing in taxes to support their education, something has to give, usually the taxpaying citizens. We hear constantly that if we don’t raise taxes for schools, programs and teachers must be cut. We rarely hear that to avoid the cuts we must get rid of those in this country illegally.
Current immigration policies that allow two to three million legal and illegal immigrants per year into the country are overwhelming our public schools, our public health systems, and the criminal justice system, (about 30 percent of the inmates in federal prison are not citizens), sending the livability of our communities in a downward spiral. If this population is made legal by amnesty, it will mean they will no longer have any fear of deportation. And because our border is still almost wide open, it will only encourage more waves of people to cross it.
While all this is happening, our senators right now are considering whether we should just forget about our laws and make all the ones who have sneaked in legal. No matter that they have broken one law by coming in, another by taking up residence, and another law by working here, some of the senators are willing to overlook the lawbreaking for the sake of their own agendas. Republicans are pandering to the businesses that hire illegals. Democrats are eyeing the voters they think will come their way. As usual, the average taxpaying American is not represented in any meaningful way. The only thing these senators fear is loss of power. If enough of their constituents tell them “no amnesty, no way, no matter what you call it”, the powerful interests that are pulling them to amnesty might be overcome. After all, they need votes to be re-elected.
Otherwise, be ready to welcome all who are here illegally now, plus their families who will be allowed to come legally. There will also be millions more who will be pulled by the magnet of becoming citizens if they can just get over the border.
It is now fooling time again in the Senate. Unless enough constituents tell their senators to close the borders, punish the employers of illegals, and forget about any amnesty, those senators will surely succeed in fooling us all the second time.
This article originally appeared on March 23, 2006 and has been updated April 16, 2007.