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Roadblocks Blocking Amnesty

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
The amnesty bill that the Gang of Eight has been working on in secret has sprung some leaks so we can identify several major flaws. The Senate Budget Committee reports that there is nothing in the plan to comply with the federal law that states that any immigrant is "inadmissible" who is "likely at any time to become a public charge."

That is the text of Section 212 of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act. The Gang of Eight appears to be willing to allow those who illegally entered the U.S. to obtain legal residence without demonstrating that they will not become a public charge, and after they get a green card, they can access the 79 federal welfare benefits and anti-poverty programs.

The Senate Budget Committee staff estimates that costs to the U.S. taxpayers could be $40 billion a year just for Medicaid and Obamacare. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation believes that the net cost of amnesty would eventually top $2 trillion.

One in three immigrant-headed households already participates in at least one major welfare program. Green card holders are already eligible for Medicaid, TANF, Supplemental Security Income, childcare assistance, food stamps and a variety of other welfare benefits and public aid programs.

Who will protect the taxpayers against this gigantic raid on our money and our children's future?

A second roadblock on the way to success for the Gang of Eight is the public's demand than the route to legalization absolutely must include border security in order to prevent the entry of a new flood of illegals. But Homeland Security officials just told Congress that they still don't have any way to effectively measure border security.


Three years ago, the Obama administration scrapped the yardstick that was supposed to measure how many miles of the border are under "operational control." But top Customs and Border Protection officials told Congress in March that the new system they are now working on won't be ready for use any time in the near future.

A third setback for the Gang of Eight's amnesty scheme was this week's front-page headline stating, "A sharp drop in job growth sows new concerns." The average Joe in America can't support the idea of giving permanent residency to 11 million foreign job seekers when our own labor-force participation is lower than it's been in 25 years.

Do we really need more high-school dropouts looking for U.S. jobs? Don't we have enough Americans trying to support their families who can't find full-time jobs or jobs that pay as well as the jobs they held 10 years ago? Why should available jobs go to aliens who broke our laws instead of to American citizens?

A fourth difficulty for the amnesty crowd is Vermont Democratic Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy's chilly brushoff of Senator Marco Rubio's call for thorough legislative consideration of any immigration bill, with time for public comment and consideration of amendments. Leahy plans to bypass the usual committee process, hold only a single hearing and push the bill through the Senate "with all deliberate speed," which all recognize as woefully inadequate to deal with dozens of amnesty issues such as how legalization of millions of illegals will impact unemployed Americans, the short- and long-term cost to the taxpayers and metrics for establishing border security.


Leahy appears to be planning to imitate the Nancy Pelosi model of dealing with legislation, namely, the procedure she used to pass Obamacare: first pass the bill, and after that, members of Congress and the American public can read it and find out what is in it. We hope Marco Rubio will say that's unacceptable.

Another roadblock that no one is yet discussing is that, according to a new Rasmussen survey, the majority of American voters (54 percent) do not think that potential U.S. citizens should be allowed to maintain any dual citizenship. If you listen to what illegal aliens are saying, it's rather clear that most plan to retain significant loyalty to their homeland, and some even claim that Mexico rightfully owns our southwest states.

In any discussion of amnesty, it would be a good idea to remind all illegal aliens, especially those waiting for the Gang of Eight to complete their job, that U.S. citizenship requires applicants to swear this solemn oath: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen."


That oath requires people claiming U.S. citizenship to abandon all fidelity to their home country. That oath is a good way to sort out the ones who really want to be Americans.

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