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Congress Should Ask What Legal Immigrants Think About Amnesty

In a two part series, we have explained the dangers of going to conference with the Senate-passed amnesty bill.  Any bill resulting from a conferencecommittee will almost certainly contain a sweeping amnesty.  Americans who came here through the legal immigration process – paperwork, waiting periods, fees, and respect for the rule of law – oppose amnesty the most.  They cannot fathom living here illegally, and they are concerned about the 4.4 million people waiting to come here through the legal process. 

Amnesty is not fair to them, or to any American for that matter. 

As part of our Sentinel Stories series, we’ve highlighted the incredible and inspiring stories of people who came here legally, love this country, respect the rule of law, and staunchly oppose amnesty.

Jose Aldana, originally from Guatemala, now holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and has valid concerns about amnesty:

Similarly, he is concerned about employers who won’t want to bother going through the labor certification for employees who have come here legally when illegal immigrants will be granted amnesty and work authorization.

He said:

What makes my case the most interesting – I didn’t have any sponsorship, no relatives, no sponsor, no amnesty.  I am here based solely on my merit.  

Lourdes Mulligan, a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States to escape the oppressive communist regime of Fidel Castro, is concerned about the beautiful culture in America:

Lourdes knows the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill won’t work because it doesn’t secure the border, it doesn’t stop illegal immigration, and it’s riddled with pork.  As a Texan, she added:

Why don’t we let states take control, the border states.  They know better than Washington what’s going on on our borders.  We’re only trying to enforce the laws that are already on the books, and they won’t even let us do that.   

Octavio Sanchez came here through the legal process with his family from Mexico.  He knows an amnesty-first approach won’t work because it won’t solve the problems of our legal immigration system and won’t secure our border:

In life, when an issue arises, you must go to the source or the root of the problem, and fix it.  Simply trying to deal with the effects is not enough. Octavio Sanchez doesn’t think the Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill will work, because it doesn’t actually solve the problems related to our immigration system but simply tries to deal with the effects of illegal immigration.

The Heritage Foundation also highlighted the perspective of Virginia Prodan, an immigration lawyer who came here from communist Romania, largely in search of religious freedom:

Prodan and her clients agree the immigration system is broken. But that doesn’t mean illegal immigrants should be able to receive amnesty—a measure she feels would change the culture of the United States.

“You’re not going to get people to obey the law if you don’t hold them accountable,” she said.

Heritage experts have warned that an amnesty-first approach won’t work.  If lawmakers are serious about pursuing real immigration reform, there is a positive path to immigration reform.  But lawmakers should understand that amnesty is not part of that path.

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  • Marisa

    I completely agree that there should be no amnesty for the illegal immigrants that are here. As a naturalized citizen I am proud to be an American. My parents brought me to this wonderful country at the age of five and it was through the legal process. My parents taught me to respect the laws and to follow procedures. What can be taught to the many illegals if we allow them to stay and given the prize of citizenship? The only lesson will be if you wait long enough as you break the law you will be granted what you want.

    • Kat

      Thanks for sharing, Marisa. That is exactly the point we’re working to get across.

  • Sondra

    Congress ignores the law, the Constitution, they swore to defend & uphold. Who’s bidding are they doing & why? We need to do our duty as the Declaration of Independence says “throw off such government and provide new guards for their future security” Defund the federal government.

  • hotgrandma

    Why are so many politicians so stupid?

  • Ginny Barkley Roberts

    I have been saying for quite awhile that amnesty is like a slap in the face to legal immigrants. It’s like saying to them that they were fools for coming here legally, for obeying the laws, for being ineligible for health care facilities until they have been here for several years. I have a friend who came here legally, who is the hardest worker I know, and who is almost ready to take the final step to becoming an American citizen. One day she was telling me about a friend of hers who knew a pregnant illegal alien who has been given immediate medical care for the pregnancy, and setting up a plan for her when the baby comes, food stamps and housing assistance. My friend was very indignant, especially because she knows people who are waiting in Mexico to enter legally, but who have to prove that they will have a job here so they will not have to depend on welfare.

  • ChuckerF14

    I believe the honest approach is to enforce the existing laws and punish those who employ persons remaining in this country illegally. Without jobs, the majority will deport themselves.

    I understand the desire for a secure border. However, I can name no country in history that was entirely successful at securing its borders. Those that came close are not countries in which I would ever want to live. Those that were nearly successful did so at the expense of tremendous human suffering and loss of life. Consider prisons, for example. Despite the extraordinary security around a prison, inmates still manage to escape. What makes anyone think that we can do any better with an fence that is 1,800 miles in length?

    My other concern with securing the border is the knowledge that a fence can work in both directions. I am afraid that with the growing federal government intervention in our private lives and the looming debt crisis, a “secure” southern border will soon be part of a complete national perimeter designed more to keep me in than to keep others out. You might find this fear a little extreme at this moment. However, we are reading news every day that was beyond our imaginations just 5 years ago.

    I realize that holding employers accountable will impact campaign contributions. Oh well! Perhaps the time has come for single term service in Congress by citizens dedicated more to principle than power.

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  • gustafson

    So right after amnesty is passed with it’s various checks and balance laws, will our government uphold those laws? History tells us no.

  • Patrick Galvin

    I came to this great country from Ireland, legally. It took literally years of paperwork, fees and interviews. Just recently I’ve gotten my letter from USCIS stating I am now a permanent resident (green card holder). To grant amnesty to the illegal immigrants after all I and many like me have gone through to get here by the front door is an absolute blood-boiling disgrace.

  • http://www.abogadolozano.com/ Alfredo Lozano

    Each of these individuals make valid points. While reform will alleviate many issues related to immigration, there will always be questions and concerns. As stated, we need to get to the root of the problem to eliminate it rather than finding ways to fix it on an ongoing basis.