Amnesty puts profound questions on table

Posted: Aug 22, 2001 12:00 AM
Perhaps one good result of President Bush's toying with the unpopular notion of granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens is that Americans are starting to have a frank debate about the constitutional, cultural, social, moral and economic questions involved. When people all over the world are standing in line to come to America legally, how can we, in justice, put the illegals at the head of the line, in front of all those who respected our laws? If we grant amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens, doesn't that really mean 15 times that number, because of the much-abused section of our law that allows a naturalized American to bring in all family members? Every "regularized" illegal will have at least 15 relatives. What about the surprising increase in the number of illegal aliens after we were told that the 1986 amnesty of 3 million illegals would cure the problem? After the 2000 census, the U.S. Census Bureau originally said we have 6 million illegal aliens, then revised the number to 9 million, while other researchers estimate 11 million - a population equal to 17 congressional districts. Isn't California's energy crisis really due to the large increase in its illegal population during a decade when no new power plants were built? California now has about 4 million illegal aliens, so it's no wonder that existing sources of power are not adequate. What about abolishing foreign-language ballots as part of the reforms suggested for our election laws? You are not supposed to vote unless you are a citizen, and you can't become a naturalized citizen unless you speak and write simple English words in ordinary usage. What about the diseases now being brought in by aliens? We should have a public discussion about the health danger and the cost of the outbreaks of tuberculosis, West Nile virus and other diseases brought in by aliens. Why did Congress increase the number of H1-B visas to 200,000 per year, just as the high-tech industry was laying off thousands of workers? Employers wants aliens with H1-B visas not only because they can pay them less than U.S. technicians, but especially because the H1-B visas lock them into sticking with the sponsoring employer and prevent them from job-hopping for better pay as Americans do. Is tolerance of illegals just a ploy of agricultural corporations and wealthy households that want to perpetuate a servant class of low-wage, non-English-speaking immigrants unable to climb up the economic ladder? And of Democrats who want to keep them dependent on government benefits promised by the politicians? When is the United States going to reject and repudiate the March 20, 1998, Mexican law that purports to re-instate Mexican nationality for Mexican-Americans who have become naturalized U.S. citizens? Mexico has issued tens of thousands of documents to Mexicans who had become naturalized Americans. In order to be naturalized as a U.S. citizen, each applicant must swear to "absolutely and entirely renounce all allegiance" to any foreign state. But Mexico is openly telling Mexicans, in effect, to cross their fingers behind their backs when they take that oath. Illinois was shocked this month when Gov. George Ryan announced he wouldn't run for a second term. Former Gov. Jim Thompson explained the reason why in seven words: "the secretary of state driver's license business." Chicago newspapers were explicit in explaining what that meant. Six children of Scott and Janet Willis were incinerated in a flash when their minivan exploded as it ran over a metal tail-light assembly that fell from a truck driven by Riccardo Guzman. Guzman was an unqualified truck driver who had paid a bribe to get a license from the Illinois Secretary of State's office when George Ryan held that office. Because Guzman couldn't speak English, he didn't understand the other truckers on the highway who warned him about his dangling tail-light assembly. Just this month, a Mexican truck driver, Fernando Guzman Ruiz, spilled his chemical load on a Chicago expressway, sending 17 policemen and firefighters to the hospital and requiring 1,500 residents to be evacuated. After arriving in the U.S. illegally, he paid bribes to get a birth certificate, Social Security card and commercial driver's license. Can we assimilate such large numbers of people who have no experience with the Rule of Law? When Americans have a difference of opinion about what the law requires, we ultimately settle it in a court of law. But in Mexico, bribery is the customary way of doing business, doing politics, and getting along day to day. Bribes are the only Rule of Law some illegals know. They may consider themselves legal because they paid off the "coyote" who guided passage across the border and the crooks who provided fake I.D., Social Security numbers and driver's licenses. How much of the push for amnesty is being driven by the Republican National Committee's foolish hope that it will win the Hispanic vote? Yes, we welcome immigrants - but only if they want to become Americans, respect the Rule of Law and learn to speak our language.