Appropriately 1.1 million illegal immigrants entered the United States in 2007, most from Mexico. Since about three million illegal aliens gained legal status in the amnesty of 1986, the flow of illegal immigration has increased, and today that population is estimated at between nine and eleven million illegal alien residents in the United States.
Immigration overhaul has been divisive for years, as some say the borders need to be closed and illegal immigrants should be sent home, allowing for more job opportunities and better wages for U.S. workers. Others argue that illegal workers here now should be given some sort of amnesty and be allowed to apply for citizenship and continue working as an integral part of the nation's work force. This issue is not an easy one but there are several reasons why countries have immigration laws.
First, no single country can support an infinite number of immigrants, especially those that enter their country illegally. Mexico, for example, has harsh restrictions on immigration. No country in the world has open borders with no restrictions on immigration. Controlling immigration is a function of government.
Secondly, contrary to popular belief, Amnesty will not fix the illegal immigration issue. As cited about, after Amnesty, even more illegals entered the U.S., thinking we were a soft touch and would grant them Amnesty at some point in time. The argument that we cannot stop illegal immigration is like saying we can’t stop crime because no matter what we do, a criminal will still commit crime- so why bother making and enforcing laws? If we are unwilling to enforce our immigration laws, perhaps we should abolish them and start letting people who have been trying to enter the country legally, but are stuck on a waiting list at least a chance to immigrant to the U.S.
There are those who want to make illegals legal citizens. That means that people who lie to the government, falsify documents, disregard our laws and our borders should be rewarded for their deceit? Illegals who say they want to be “good citizens” started by ignoring our laws. If we just grant blanket Amnesty, we would be teaching our children that obeying the law doesn’t matter. We are a nation of immigrants, however the vast majority of those immigrants entered the country legally. Immigrants cannot chose to obey our laws “cafeteria style.” What other laws are they willing to break if they are willing to break the law to come to America? If they want to be a part of our country, they should enter it legally.
Third, every country has the obligation and responsibility to their citizens to know who is entering their country. National security is at stake. That’s way most countries have very well controlled borders and strict immigration laws. America has a border control problem. Both our northern and southern borders are fluid. To not recognize that is to jeopardize our own national security.
Fourthly, illegal immigration has an impact on our country’s schools and social services. It costs money to educate the illegals and their children and the taxpayer foots that bill. It’s one thing to give a “hand up” to an American who is downtrodden, but it’s quite another for taxpayers to do that for those who chose not to obey our laws. According to Dr. Donald Huddle, a Rice University economics professor, the cost to taxpayers is over $70 billion dollars each year.
Controlling our borders is a federal issue. But last year the Oklahoma legislature took action and passed the toughest illegal immigration enforcement law in the country. HB 1804 denies drivers licenses and public services to illegals. It makes it a crime to transport, conceal and harbor illegals from detection.
Now State Representative Randy Terrill- R,Moore, has filed a “Son of 1804” bill. The most controversial tenet of that will would deny birth certificates for children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents- the so-called anchor babies. The fourteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship to anyone born in this country. This provision of Terrill’s bill is clearly a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
HB #1804 is one that has Oklahoma employers up in arms. Mike Seney of the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, says, “We never said we supported that bill.” But according to Terrill, the Chamber did not come to the table to discuss 1804 until well into the process. “I asked for their input, but they were not interested until it became apparent the bill was going to pass,” Terrill said.
It’s unrealistic to think we can herd up eleven million people and deport them back to Mexico, but we can process them. As GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani says, “The organizing purpose should be that our immigration laws should allow us to identify everyone who is in this country that comes here from a foreign country. They should have a tamper-proof ID card. It should be in a database that allows you to figure out who they are, why they're here, make sure they're not illegal immigrants coming here for a bad purpose, and then to be able to throw out the ones who are not in that database. We can do that. Credit card companies take care of data that is greater than that.”
Rudy is right- American Express could find Osama if he owed them money. Privatizing the process to locate all the illegal immigrates would be a good first step. It should be done at the federal level, but if not, perhaps “Son of 1804” should include that provision.