“Our Immigration System is Broken” drones on repeatedly like a worn out Christmas tune from a choir of establishment politicians accompanied by the mainstream media and was parroted by President Obama himself as justification for his executive action granting “amnesty” to millions of illegal immigrants. On the contrary, America’s immigration system is not broken, just our government’s will to enforce it. The problems with immigration, both legal and illegal, are simply the direct and predictable result of our existing laws being ignored .
Defenders of Obama’s executive action claim that families are being torn apart by existing immigration law that requires deportation of illegal immigrants with children born in the U.S.. But our laws already favor family reunification for legal immigrants. In the last decade over 600,000 immigrants were allowed into our country annually as “family sponsored” immigrants. But to protect our citizens, existing immigration law requires background checks of those immigrants.
Our immigration system is, however, backlogged and lacking resources for current laws to be properly enforced. Kenneth Palinkas, representative for the 12,000 INS agents tasked with screening immigrants to ensure that terrorists, criminals and diseases are kept out of the United States, recently warned that agents are so overwhelmed they are simply “rubber stamping” applications to keep up with their required quotas. He warned that the executive action will make things “exponentially worse.” American citizens thus have good reason to be worried about only cursory examinations of people entering our country. If legal immigrants are not being properly screened, how will millions more illegal immigrants, many with little to no documentation of their personal history, be properly screened by a system already overburdened?
Although President Obama said illegal immigrants with felony convictions would be deported, does any sane person think that an illegal immigrant convicted of a felony is going to willingly submit to a background check? Even if one did, there are already 900,000 illegal immigrants who have been ordered deported yet are still in our country. Why would our citizens have any faith that newly discovered illegal immigrant criminals would be deported with such a backlog of persons already subject to unenforced deportation orders?
Another purported rationale for the executive action is that it will increase tax revenue from illegal immigrants issued work permits and Social Security numbers. Quite the opposite will occur. The latest analysis by Heritage Foundation poverty expert Robert Rector pegs the net cost —total benefits minus total taxes paid in — of the amnesty recipients will be around $2 trillion over the course of their lifetimes. Looking back, the Treasury Departments’ Inspector General issued a report in 2012 showing that in just that one year $4.2 billion dollars flowed from the federal treasury to illegal immigrants in the form of refunds under the Additional Child Tax Credit. Prior executive actions granting amnesty also cost taxpayers, just as this one will. The 1986 amnesty by President Reagan cost taxpayers $76 billion ($164 billion in 2012 dollars adjusted for inflation) more than additional tax revenues generated, according to the CBO report that followed that amnesty.
Most importantly, President Obama’s executive action is a catastrophe for working American citizens. The law of supply and demand can’t be repealed, even by executive order. With a labor participation rate of 63%, the lowest in 37 years, adding nearly 5 million illegal immigrants to the labor pool defies economic common sense. The vast majority of low-skilled jobs illegal immigrants will fill currently require proof of citizenship and background checks. Security guards, janitorial workers, municipal waste collectors, and other jobs that require bonding or background checks will now be available to illegal immigrants, taking jobs from American citizens and further depressing wages for the entire lower and middle class working population of American citizens. President Obama’s executive action will literally be taking food out of the mouths of American citizens and their families.
Our nation’s government was elected by, and owes its allegiance to, our fellow citizens. President Obama’s executive action granting amnesty to illegal immigrants and his refusal to enforce our existing immigration laws represent nothing less than a wholesale betrayal of his duty to American citizens.