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A New Amnesty Plan from Surprising Sources — Richard Lamm and Lawrence Harrison
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October 30, 2010, 04:40 AM
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It’s disappointing to see two intelligent and influential immigration thinkers, whom I admire greatly, plop out a lipstick-on-a-pig amnesty scheme that ignores the rock bottom psychological fact: when you reward a behavior, you get more of it.

Any legalization giveaway, no matter how augmented with tough policing measures, would be headlined in every news outlet of Latin America as a victory and opportunity — Amnestia! In fact Washington’s continued discussion of amnesty (aka comprehensive reform!) keeps interest in illegal entry bubbling along because people want to be here in time for the next green card fiesta.

Rewards for lawbreakers tell the world that the current wink-&-nod regime remains in effect: enter illegally and then get the citizen goodies a few years later, courtesy of spineless legislators.

It’s odd that the “compromise” formulation continues to have credence for some — that to fix immigration, a nation of laws must surrender its principles to millions of lawbreakers who have stolen employment from citizens and used fraudulent Social Security numbers to do so. The country tried that corrupt trade-off in the 1986 amnesty, and the enforcement aspects were quickly subverted. Expecting a different, more positive result is unreasonable at best.

Reagan’s 1986 amnesty indeed promised increased enforcement, which was never delivered. So we are still owed real border and workplace policing from the government, not to mention that the Constitution guarantees us protection from invasion. Repeating the amnesty disaster is not the way to go.

A bold plan to solve America’s illegal immigration problem, Christian Science Monitor, by Richard D. Lamm and Lawrence Harrison, October 15, 2010

As the debate on immigration policy intensifies, Americans are caught in a false choice between tougher border protection and amnesty for illegals. A compromise solution that both parties can rally behind is possible – but only if we have a revolution in the way we discuss our national identity and values.

At bottom, we must:

1. Substantially reduce levels of legal immigration and end illegal immigration, while providing amnesty – at a price – to most pre-existing illegal immigrants.

2. Be selective about future immigrants’ country of origin, and terminate multiculturalism as a national value. [. . .]

First, a bipartisan, commission must certify (1) that our borders are under control, and (2) that an effective system of employment verification is in place. Then, all illegal immigrants who can prove that they have been working or at school in the United States for at least five years are eligible for amnesty.

Each illegal immigrant who applies for amnesty must pay a fine of $10,000 per person, over a five-year period if necessary, before becoming eligible for amnesty. Family eligibility will be limited to the nuclear family: spouses and children who have lived in the United States for five years, or since their marriage/birth.

Some may argue that the $10,000 per person fine is excessive. But look at the numbers. In 2008, remittances from Latino immigrants in the United States, mostly to families in their homelands, totaled about $60 billion – $25 billion alone went to Mexico. That shows that Latinos in America are capable of generating serious income. With five years to pay, the $10,000 fine should be manageable.

This approach could generate as much as $100 billion in new federal revenues.

As welfare reform expert Robert Rector explained in 2007, a mass amnesty and consequent inclusion of millions into the social services system would cost a fortune: Amnesty Will Cost U.S. Taxpayers at Least $2.6 Trillion. So the extra $100 billion in additional revenue from the rather modest fines proposed is small potatoes indeed.

There’s a lot good in the opinion piece, like the recognition that multiculturalism is a damaging value and must be ended. But the amnesty proposal is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Illegal immigration is a law enforcement and sovereignty issue, and it is no more an advantage to America than slavery was. It is a corrupting influence that harms the poorest American workers, threatens national security, and undermines honest capitalism. Any business owner who refuses to hire illegals and pay them under the table cannot compete with those in his industry who do.

The idea that lawbreakers should be rewarded with the object of their desire is unique to the immigration universe of upside-down thinking. The bank robber is not permitted to keep his swag just because he managed to snatch it, nor does the car hijacker or forger. But millions of foreigners have achieved their goal of being a non-deportable worker by squatting and complaining for years. Furthermore, citizens who object to backwards policies are not lauded, but are instead accused of racism by the press and open-borders riff-raff.

If we really want to end the illegal entrance of foreigners, then there must be no more amnesties, ever. Basic human psychology tells us so.

Below, future American citizens if amnesty occurs.