“NO” on Senate Amnesty Bill

The Senate will soon consider the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744), which would undermine the rule of law and place a tremendous burden on those in the country legally.

Washington must not repeat the mistakes of the past.  When Congress granted a sweeping amnesty in 1986, it did so with the promise of enforcement and border security.  As President Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese III noted, out of all the promises made, “Only amnesty prevailed.”  Since then the population of illegal immigrants has nearly quadrupled.

America cannot afford more false promises from politicians.  Much like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, S.744 is an unwieldy bill that delegates immense power to an unaccountable bureaucracy.  As Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky explains, S.744 would give the “secretary of homeland security pretty much carte blanche to waive the vast majority of the requirements detailed in the bill.”  Those concerns have been echoed by the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council and the United States Citizen and Immigration Service Council.

While there is no doubt lawful immigration can benefit America both economically and culturally, granting amnesty to 11 million people would place a tremendous burden on our nation’s already insolvent entitlement programs.  Simply put, the cost of amnesty is too high for the American people to bear.

America can get the benefits of a reformed immigration system without the costs associated with legalizing millions who have entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas.  That can be accomplished through a transparent, step-by-step approach that creates a system that welcomes immigrants, protects our sovereignty, encourages assimilation and expands opportunity and upward mobility for everyone.

As Heritage notes, “[t]hose who enter legally by our slow and bureaucratic system need to be rewarded, not left wondering whether they should have entered or stayed illegally and waited for amnesty.”  America needs an immigration system that works, and S.744 falls woefully short of the marker.

Heritage Action opposes S.744 and any procedural motions taken to get onto the bill, and will include the vote(s) as a key vote(s) on our legislative scorecard.

Related:
Heritage Action Legislative Scorecard