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.
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.