Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Joseph Cotto
The Washington Times

OCALA, Fla., November 13, 2013 — As the year draws to a close, it looks increasingly unlikely that Congress will pass a bill granting some form of amnesty to illegal aliens.

Just a few months ago, Washington was abuzz with news that Republicans in the U.S. House were crafting legislation to comport with the Senate’s Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744).

Just in case some have forgotten, what is in S. 744?

In April, RedState blogger Daniel Horowitz analyzed the bill, finding that it “fails to mandate any specific trigger for legalization.” Should the Secretary of Homeland Security put forth a plan for securing dangerous points along America’s borders in a half-year period, illegals then become eligible for Registered Provisional Immigrant status.

Horowitz wrote that “(t)he bill prescribes a 12-month open enrollment process for the RPI status….it cedes a lot of power to the Secretary. She will have the authority to extend the application period for another 18 months….Now, we know from the conditions of the bill that almost every illegal in the country could be eligible for RPI status until proven otherwise. In fact, even some aliens already deported can come back and apply for the status.”

He also detailed how the Homeland Security Department will be made to allow illegals, even those in custody, to apply for RPI status.

“During this period of no deportations,” Horowitz said, “many more people will come here illegally or overstay their visas. What would be the deterrent? Does anyone really believe that after the application process is over, they will suddenly make a 180 and deport those who didn’t come forward?”

Making matters worse is “given that the E-verify and watered-down visa tracking system don’t have to be implemented for 10 years, we will be dealing with many more illegals.” That’s not all, though: “By the time the 10-year deadline comes due to grant the RPI illegals green cards and citizenship (unconditionally within 3 years), we will probably have more illegals than we have now.”

Finally, Horowitz told that the RPI status “will ostensibly halt all deportations for 2.5 years. Subject to the discretion of the DHS….they could completely shut down deportations because any illegal can potentially be here before 2012….And anyone could potentially be eligible for the Dream Act, because, unlike previous iterations, this one does not mandate a maximum age for eligibility.”

In June, the Center for Immigration Studies, a prominent think tank, summarized a Congressional Budget Office report on B.S.: “CBO projects 4.8 million new illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children will be living in the country by 2023 if the bill becomes law, compared to 6.4 million without it – a mere 25% reduction in future illegal immigration”.

The CBO discovered that “(i)n the first ten years after the passage of S.744, new illegal immigration will add nearly 500,000 illegal residents and their children to the U.S. population each year” and “7.5 million new illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children will be in the country if the bill passes, compared to 10 million without the bill, so even in the very long term S.744 only reduces illegal immigration by 25%”.

“One of the reasons that illegal immigration will remain so high,” the CIS also noted, “according to CBO, is the bill itself will encourage illegal immigration. CBO states, ‘aspects of the bill would probably increase the number of unauthorized residents – in particular, people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers’”.

The popular claim among House Republicans is that President Obama’s actions during last month’s federal government shutdown soured them toward compromise. While relations between Capitol Hill GOPers and the White House are surely strained, it is almost impossible that this was enough to derail amnesty.

These days, even Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, once amnesty-driven immigration reform’s public face in center-right circles, has backed off. Libertarian firebrand Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky hasn’t been making much noise, either.

Over the last several weeks, many supposedly conservative political groups, along with Christian conservative religious figures, have come out in support of amnesty. Nonetheless, the House’s Republican majority does not seem receptive toward them.

Turning down both activist special interest groups and the religious right is no ordinary feat for GOP politicos. Really now, what gives?

Perhaps House Republicans finally figured out that awarding amnesty to untold millions of financially destitute, generally unskilled, poorly educated, and ardently non- — if not anti- — assimilationist illegals is just a bad idea.

“It is a myth that immigrants only take those jobs that Americans no longer want and therefore do not compete with American workers,” Californians for Population Stabilization executive director Jo Wideman told The Washington Times Communities earlier this year.

“Excessive immigration is responsible for unemployment, underemployment and depressed wages and working conditions, not just for the working class (e.g., janitors, dry-wall hangers, gardeners and construction workers) but increasingly, for high-tech professions, such as IT and engineering, as well.”

It could also be that GOPers have seen the writing on the wall: An electorate of this nature will create a demographic nightmare for the Republican brand nationwide. After amnesty, the GOP would be lucky to win in the Solid South.

On a deeper level, though, one can hope that Capitol Hill Republicans looked beyond party to see what is best for the country as a whole.

“There is a common misperception that immigration laws exist to facilitate the orderly admission of foreign nationals who would like to live in the U.S.,” Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, explained to TWTC last summer. “In reality, immigration laws exist to protect the vital interests of the people of the United States and, only then, to ensure the orderly admission of people we choose to open our doors to.”

Perhaps more reasonable Republican officeholders listened to their constituents and decided to do the right thing. Maybe the congressional GOP saw that passing amnesty just before an election year is a sure-fire way to demoralize loyal voters — rightist and centrist alike.

Whatever the case, it is nice to see that House Republicans aren’t caving, and that many Senate GOPers are waking up.

Still, folks across the fruited plains needn’t forget about amnesty. A strong eye should be kept out in case lunacy makes a comeback. If this happens, then the voices of congressional Republicans’ constituents become vital beyond measure.

Public servants ought never forget that they are precisely this; not royals sitting in a hereditary court.