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- 04-14-2012, 12:09 AM #1
Immigration amnesty, a continuing saga
April 12, 2012
John W. Slagle
St. Louis Immigration Examiner
For many years, the U.S. Immigration Service and the U.S. Border Patrol was responsible for the control of legal as well as illegal immigrants entering and remaining in this nation. The system was far from perfect yet law enforcement was very effective prior to political intervention. In 1972 the total number of agents on the Mexican and Canadian border was less than 2,000.
In 2012, the number of border patrol agents will be increased to 21,370. Last year border apprehensions of illegal aliens entering the United States totaled 340,000. The major factor that draws people of most nations to enter the United States is employment opportunities and a constant political "welcome mat" from Washington, D.C.
Amnesty for anyone that has disregarded the immigration laws has not ceased in over thirty years. Legal immigrants and non immigrants who obey the law must go through the proper channels, necessary paperwork and wait in line.
The Department of Homeland Security will soon halt the deportation of certain illegal immigrants by granting them “unlawful presence waivers.” The new waivers would apply to illegal aliens who can prove they have a U.S. citizen relative. Currently illegal aliens with relatives in the U.S. must return to their native country and request a waiver of inadmissibility in an existing overseas immigrant visa process.
The Department of Homeland Security has established a priority mission to deport criminals and immigrants who pose a threat to national security. Immigration Customs Enforcement Officers will have "prosecutorial discretion"or the ability to decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether an illegal alien should be deported. A nationwide training program will assure that enforcement agents and prosecuting attorneys don’t remove illegal immigrants who haven’t been convicted of crimes.
Pending deportations would be cancelled and illegal aliens could claim to qualify for special consideration if they have not committed a serious felony in the United States or are a suspected terrorist. Claims can be anything from long periods of residence in the U.S. with numerous relatives to alleging that they would be in danger if returned to their own country.
The 1980-1992 El Salvadorian Civil War created thousands of illegal entries along the southwest borders. Some were legitimate refugees but most entered for economic reasons, such as jobs. There were also criminal elements, suspected members of the MS-13, a very violent gang affiliation who also entered the U.S. illegally. All who requested political asylum due to fear of death or persecution were usually granted a stay of deportation by immigration judges. Suspected criminals to anyone “with a wish” to remain in the U.S. claimed asylum when they were arrested by immigration officers.
The First Amnesty Immigration Reform Act was passed in 1986 and opened the “floodgates of illegal immigration and crime upon the nation. There were insufficient law enforcement agents to control the Borders and interior cities for labor sanctions violations or to investigate fraudulent admissions. 2.7 million people were legalized as Special Agricultural Workers.
The first and only Amnesty has never really ended despite political proposals of another comprehensive immigration reform act in 2012.
The continual influx of illegal aliens since 1986 is a known factor in Washington. In 1994 Congress approved a temporary rolling Amnesty for 578,000 Illegal Aliens under Section 245 (i) .
There was also a 1996 Citizenship USA program which required the Immigration Service to reduce the two year period of time for immigrant applications to six months in many areas of the United States. The taxpayer funded Citizenship U.S.A. was geared to provide new voters prior to the 1996 elections and was directed by Vice President Al Gore.
The normal criminal background checks and fingerprints checks were not done or done in haste to meet the scheduled political goals. 1.3 million immigrants benefited from the program including 80,000 new naturalized citizens that had criminal backgrounds found on fingerprint cards that were submitted. Politics and the Immigration Service are forever intermingled it seems and it doesn’t matter which party is in power.
In 1997, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act allowed one million people legal status. In 1998, the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act was created which allowed additional legalization for Haitian nationals.
The late Amnesty Act of 2000 was rather remarkable in politics. This Act was an Amnesty for 400,000 illegal aliens residing in the U.S. who claimed they should have been granted Special Agricultural Worker status under the fraud filled 1986 IRCA.
The Life Act Amnesty was the best example of political lack of common sense.
This Act, a re-instatement of Section 245 (i) allowed Amnesty for 900,000 illegal aliens who might have been qualified as Special Agricultural Workers in 1986 if they had presented documentation, I-705s prior to the deadline for admissions. Usually a deadline in a sensible society means "that's it" end game or close of business, no more applicants accepted at any office. The U.S. Government has a very liberal immigration policy and accepts more legal immigrants than any other nation in the world.
On illegal immigration issues, over stay visas, criminal sections of the law, elected officials have sought to reward law breakers for decades with few restrictions.
Amnesty has continued over thirty years for Agricultural Workers, Guest Workers by Congressional authority and year after year, the American people are led to believe there is a “shortage of laborers” in the United States. The H1- B "needed foreign worker" Visa program has always been a successful program. Needed skills could be anything from an experienced sheep herder, agricultural worker to technical fields in science. Sponsors were required to prevent fraudulent entries, overstays and was very effective. Immigrants and non-immigrants obeyed the laws set by Congress and were appreciated.
Immigration amnesty, a continuing saga - St. Louis Immigration | Examiner.comWe have immigration laws that just need to be enforced.