Debra J. Saunders

Besides, if guest-worker proposals are so moral, why do their authors include dishonest provisions? For example, the Specter bill purports to be tough and temporary because it would require that guest workers leave America after six years.

Ha! I laugh out loud.

Jacoby objects to that provision because she understands that after six years, Specter's immigrants won't leave -- they will simply go underground.

Other bills, such as one by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., might work better because they would allow illegal immigrants already in America to pay $2,000 in fines in return for which they could apply for permanent residence, and eventually for citizenship. There would be no need for those workers to go underground.

To meet the demand for new immigrant workers, the McCain-Kennedy bill would allow some 400,000 people living outside America to apply for guest-worker status each year.

But here's the problem: The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in America grows by 500,000 each year.

Jacoby advocates laws that "make it so nobody comes through the back door." But if the demand for immigrant workers exceeds the McCain-Kennedy cap, well, you get more "untouchables." If there is no cap, there can be a flood of unskilled workers, and they'll be using government services.

Speaking to reporters last month, Sen. John McCain said of the 11 million illegal immigrants in America, "We believe that sending them back is something that is not only not humane, but not possible."

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., bristled at McCain's words. "I have never advocated massive deportation," Rohrabacher responded. "The whole theory is, if you quit giving people benefits and make it hard for them to find jobs, after that, they themselves will decide to go home."

I want smart policies that don't cost America jobs. But it can't be smart to send another green light to would-be immigrants who already think it may be worth their while to break U.S. immigration law.


Debra J. Saunders


 
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