When President Barack Obama speaks at American University on Thursday, he will likely pitch expansion of opportunities for immigrants as well as undocumented aliens. Obama wants the same thing his predecessor President George W. Bush wanted. Obama will paint that goal as a need to fix the nation’s “broken immigration system through comprehensive immigration reform” because that’s how an announcement at the university website describes it. But the goal is now, as in the past, amnesty, and he should just come clean.
COSTS FOR HEALTHCARE, FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
What will amnesty actually cost? For instance, what will the cost be for healthcare, since most would be eligible for even more generous government subsidies after the passage of Obamacare? New or increased immigration fees and tax penalties alone will not do it.
Obamacare is already projected to cost more than the Congressional Budget Office said it would. On Wednesday, The Associated Press said, “The Congressional Budget Office said last week it would take probably another $5 billion to $10 billion to fully meet the demand…”* That assessment related to uninsured Americans with medical problems.
A projection of the number of new federal employees to handle what will certainly be a flood of amnesty applications should also be included. What are the projected costs for current and future labor costs, and pension and other perks conferred on federal employees?
It is critical to determine the cost because federal entitlement costs will increase. Immigrants already have numerous benefits not granted to Europeans, Asians, African Americans and other immigrants, who came here willingly or unwillingly, from previous centuries. Those benefits are currently advertised in Spanish language publications (alongside numerous ads for personal injury lawyers) with messaging encouraging immigrants to get all benefits available.
TAXPAYER REPARATIONS FOR 1986 AMNESTY
Fact is the American taxpayer is due reparations for the amnesty of 1986. We should all receive a tax credit, tax break or outright refund, those of us who produce income. The reason: the federal government has broken federal laws and has done so arrogantly. For example, Labor secretary Hilda Solis announced to illegals that they have a right to fair wages. Most of us believe in fair wages but we do not approve of a labor secretary who encourages people to break federal law.
When the 1986 Amnesty Act was passed (Senate bill 1200), promises were implicit. The NY Times said, “President Ronald Reagan signed that bill into law with great fanfare amid promises that it would grant legal status to illegal immigrants, crack down on employers who hired illegal workers and secure the border once and for all. Instead, fraudulent applications tainted the process, many employers continued their illicit hiring practices, and illegal immigration surged.”
Those promises were legal commitments contained in law. Thus the government broke a contract with the people and that action resulted in economic loss for the taxpayer.
WIDE IMPACT OF AMNESTY
Amnesty, if passed, will have a wide impact.
For instance, after the 1986 Amnesty, federal mandates impacted local school language programs, school breakfast and lunch programs, Medicaid, SCHIP and other taxpayer funded items. The American taxpayer is due a refund for increases in those costs associated with the 1986 Amnesty due to the federal lapse on commitments set forth in the bill.
The president (and Congress) should decide how they will pay for the 2010 amnesty—what non-essential federal agencies will be shut down and where funding for present and future entitlements will come from.
There is talk of cutting Medicare, extending the retirement age and perhaps even cutting social security. The federal government should justify why policy aims at reducing commitments to citizens but aims to increase commitments to those who have broken federal law.
Another matter Obama does not mention is how amnesty will affect those who have observed the law and have applied for legal status but who will switch to illegal status because amnesty will be quicker.
Will changes in H-2B petitions occur? The Center for Immigration Studies said, “Despite credible allegations and even convictions for fraud and abuse of both H-2B workers and the program in general, neither the Department of Labor nor the Department of Homeland Security has ever barred a U.S. company from filing H-2B petitions. Some repeat offenders continue to have their petitions approved to this day.”
Furthermore, are H-2B petitions available to small companies, on equal footing with availability to large employers?
There is also the issue of funding given to alien advocacy organizations. The federal government should disclose the total dollar amount given to such advocacy organizations.
MORE PROMISES BROKEN AMID FRAUD
Fixing a “broken immigration system” is misleading because the federal government does not manage the existing system capably and the border, according to the chief of the Department of Homeland Security, cannot be sealed. Thus the government has publicly admitted a decision to continue to break the law passed in 1986.
Americans have paid a high price, in terms of entitlements as well as law enforcement costs. The Associated Press said on Wednesday, “Since ICE began sharing fingerprint information with local law enforcement officers in October 2008, the U.S. has deported more than 8,500 immigrants convicted of crimes such as murder, rape and kidnapping. More than 22,000 additional immigrants convicted of crimes such as burglary and serious property crimes also have been deported.”**
How will amnesty legislation address another fraud issue—Form N-648? This form permits applicants with a physical or developmental disability or a mental impairment to obtain a waiver regarding the mandate to use English proficiently and to have a knowledge of US civics and history. The Dept. of Homeland Security said fraud issues with this form “continue to cause concern.” DHS noted that at the Detroit District Office, over a 2-year period, the agency identified more than 2,000 cases of suspected N-648 fraud. [Story continues after photo.]
Obama should come clean on his goals just as Bush, ’43 should have. The goal when someone mentions immigration reform is amnesty. The American taxpayer should receive reparations for the sizable costs we have paid for the open border policy our government has endorsed and for the failure to observe laws Congress passed when amnesty was granted to millions in 1986.
Bottom line: the federal government broke a legal contract with America and reparations are due. I can basically guarantee Obama will not mention this issue in his speech on Thursday.—By Kay B. Day
*’Uninsured people to get special coverage’; The Florida Times-Union, June 30, 2010, pg. A-6; Associated Press, Richard Alonso-Zaldivar
**’Immigrants' fingerprints checked’; The Florida Times-Union, June 30, 2010, pg. C-5; Associated Press, Jennifer Kay.]
Nothing new in Obama's speech, as I predicted. Same old same old straw man argument with not a single word about the costs taxpayers will assume. Nothing more than Democrats doing what Republicans did under Bush--pandering for votes and ignoring the costs to the taxpayer. Amnesty is a fiscal issue and a security issue. Until someone admits that, no meaningful legislation will come forth. And I still believe the taxpayer is due reparations.
2) CBS News writeup similar to USA Today, but an interesting comment from a reader of the CBS story reverses the alien situation, comparing US benefits to those aliens slipping into Mexico receive.