By Richard Rankin
February 3, 2007 (DENVER, CO) -
The new Congress is in session, and the open borders lobby is wasting no time. The Senate has already introduced S.B. 9, this year's bigger, badder version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Very soon, we could witness a massive pardon of 12 to 20 million habitual lawbreakers. An amnesty this large would be unprecedented in human history.
Just last month, President Bush told us that "we need to resolve the status of illegal immigrants who are already in our country, without animosity and without amnesty."
Mr. President, we have news for you: there are no illegal immigrants in our country. That's right!
U.S. Law defines only three categories of Migrants:
Category 1 is "Immigrants", who are defined as Lawful Permanent Residents. Category 2 is "Temporary Entrants", who are defined as Lawful Nonimmigrants, including tourists, diplomats, and guest workers.
Note the key word "Lawful". Everything else falls into Category 3, "Illegal Aliens"! An illegal alien is NOT an immigrant.
Immigrants, by their very definition, have followed the law to get here and to stay here. Border jumpers and visa overstayers are not immigrants. No, their legal status as Illegal Aliens is perfectly clear. Their status does not need to be "resolved". Mr. President, what does need to be resolved is your refusal to do your job, uphold the Constitution, and enforce the laws already on the books.
America has always welcomed immigrants. But we have not ever welcomed habitual lawbreakers. Illegal aliens commit serial felonies; by repeated border crossings, by tax fraud, by stealing identities, by forging documents, by encouraging others to do the same. All of these are felonies that we would not tolerate in any other context.
So without animosity, Mr. President, we insist that serial felons be held accountable for their actions.
President Bush also said that we need "an immigration system worthy of America".
The truth is, we already have one:
- every year, we allow 5 times more LEGAL immigrants than we averaged annually from 1776 to 1965.
- every year, legal immigration into the U.S. exceeds the total immigration to ALL other nations on earth.
- The U.S. version of extended family chain migration is without equal. Other countries do provide for family reunification, but generally restrict the practice to spouses and children.
- we already have the largest guest worker program on earth. Consider the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker visa, which is uncapped.
- we continue to offer jackpot birthright citizenship. Ireland was the last European country to offer jackpot citizenship to every baby born on its soil. In June of 2004, Irish voters amended their constitution by referendum to eliminate that provision.
- we have the most generous legal immigration system on Earth, certainly one worthy of America. Yet we still tolerate those who take advantage of our unparalleled generosity. We are doing irreparable harm to our own citizens and future generations in a way that is not worthy of America.
Mr. President, comprehensive immigration reform must not be about decriminalization, regularization, legalization, or amnesty by any other name. Over 20 years ago, President Reagan promised us comprehensive immigration reform that included enforcement, but all we really got was amnesty. Between 1986 and 2000, we granted six more mass amnesties, still with no enforcement. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me seven times? Well, the American people will no longer be made fools.
This time around, Mr. President, we must insist that comprehensive immigration reform means fixing our broken enforcement system.
Neither Amnesty nor any expanded guest worker program will relieve the pressure on the border. The human tide will not abate until the cost of being here illegally is both so high and so certain that it outweighs any possible jackpot. There is no doubt about it - many illegal aliens risk death in the desert and exploitation by human smugglers. But once in the U.S., the actual risk of getting caught and deported is extremely low.
Comprehensive immigration reform means expanding the SAVE Basic Pilot, and making it mandatory for all employers. SAVE must be able to identify not only fake documents, but also patterns of identity theft like we saw at SWIFT. We have a responsibility to protect our own citizens against the substantial harm of identity theft. We must remove the job magnet by making sure that jobs go only to legal, authorized workers.
Comprehensive immigration reform means changing the rules of engagement on the border. Rules that sacrifice our sovereignty for the illusion of safety. Rules that put Border Patrol agents at risk. Rules that force the National Guard to disengage rather than stand their ground and fight a military incursion. Rules that put "avoiding confrontation" ahead of "stopping an invasion".
Comprehensive immigration reform means empowering the Border Patrol. We will never have a Border Patrol that is "free to chase down drug smugglers and terrorists" when we put them in prison for trying to apprehend violent drug smugglers! President Bush refuses to pardon Ramos and Campean, yet thinks we should pardon tens of millions of aliens who willfully commit serial felonies in their pursuit of "a better life". We must FREE RAMOS AND CAMPEAN!
Comprehensive immigration reform means empowering and funding ICE to fulfill their mission. In 2003, ICE declared their mission to be "the departure from the United States of all removable aliens."
Comprehensive immigration reform means not only building a true security fence, but also fixing the visa overstay problem. 45% of illegal aliens in this country entered legally but have overstayed their legal welcome. Many of the 9/11 hijackers entered legally with student visas, but remained here illegally. We need a system to quickly identify and deport every visa overstayer.
Comprehensive immigration reform means killing Section 245(i) and other unlimited amnesties that have already allowed several million illegal aliens to become Lawful Permanent Residents, with no meaningful consequence for their illegal acts.
Comprehensive immigration reform means abolishing anchor baby citizenship. We need to correctly interpret or amend the 14th Amendment. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the author of the citizenship clause, Senator Jacob Howard, made his purpose abundantly clear during Senate debate. Senator Howard said “This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens…” We do not give automatic citizenship to the babies of foreign diplomats. We should not give citizenship to the children of aliens who have no legal basis to be here.
Finally, Comprehensive immigration reform means ending catch and release, deporting illegal aliens, and making sure they can never break into our country again.
As a civilized society, we know that human tragedies are the sad but necessary consequence of willfully breaking the law. We are saddened by families torn apart by the lawlessness of drugs, or theft or violence... and we understand that if we are to maintain law and order, there will be tragic consequences for the children and families of such criminals.
Likewise, it is right that we are empathetic towards the children and families torn apart by a parent's decision to steal identities, forge documents, and commit repeated felonies... and still we must insist that there be a high price for such lawlessness.
Today I want to urge you to use these next two years wisely. Keep fighting against amnesty, and against injustice for American citizens. And then look beyond that. Look carefully at all the candidates throwing their hats into the Presidential ring for 2008. Look beyond the letters after their name. Look beyond political parties.
None of us speaking here today will endorse any particular candidate. But ask yourself: who do you think will be most likely to drive for real immigration reform?
Numbers USA and Better Immigration.com have some ratings for you to consider:
In the "believe it or not" category, Al Gore (D): A-,
Ben Nelson (D): B-,
Duncan Hunter (R): A+,
Ron Paul (R): B,
Tom Tancredo (R): A+.
From Giuliani to McCain to Brownback to Clinton, get past the rhetoric and find out where the candidates really stand. From Constitution party candidates, to Ron Paul, to our own native son Congressman Tancredo, we urge you to vote the issues first. Regardless of party, in 2008 we need to elect the leaders who are most committed to BORDER SECURITY FIRST, BORDER SECURITY NOW, and NO AMNESTY!