The Comprehensive Immigration Bill now being debated in the U.S. Senate is doomed to fail. We can only hope that it fails to pass in the House, so that its failure as a law will not be inflicted upon America.

We currently have a problem with 10+ million illegal immigrants now living in the United States, but the problem is not that they are illegal, that they lack the proper paperwork. The problem is that some are dangerous, and have slipped in through a porous border. The problem is that we had no control over the type of immigrants that have arrived; too many are unskilled and uneducated to benefit our economy. The problem is that they are not integrated into our employment and tax systems, and are paid “under the table” or have committed identity theft to get employment. The problem is that they overtax our social safety net; despite prohibitions they consume billions of dollars in educational, health care and social benefits.

Democrat supporters of the Senate bill promise that it will address all these problems, but all it is really designed to do is grant papers to illegal immigrants allowing them to remain in the United States. (These are the same people who promised that the Affordable Patient Care Act will make health insurance cheaper, won’t add to the deficit, will produce jobs, won’t force anyone to change their health insurance and will decrease the number of uninsured.) There is a reason why the Democrats insist the bill does this first, and negotiate fixes to the immigration system second: they know that once the aliens are given provisional legal status, all of the measures to correct our immigration system will be completely ineffective. The purpose of this bill is not an effective immigration system; it is to create a perpetual dependent underclass of voters to keep the Democrats in power.

What is needed to fix our immigration system is not a mystery: fence the southern border, implement the E-Verify system, re-vamp the visa system to keep track of those in the county on visas, enact more rational legal immigration policies, streamline the deportation of criminal and undesirable aliens, and restrict social benefits to those not in the country legally.

If the Senate bill passes, millions will flow across the border to take advantage of it, long before a fence can be built; and a visa to enter the United States will be the equivalent of a free pass to stay as long as you like. Criminal aliens will use the new law to evade deportation for years by claiming to apply for the new status. Any non-citizen will effectively have the right to stay here undisturbed for years while “their application is being processed”, even if they never actually applied. This new law would send the clear message to the world – “The US is not serious about controlling immigration, in fact you would probably be better served to slip into the country illegally rather than following the Byzantine legal process.”

As for social benefits, what legal reasoning allows the government to deny schooling, or health care, or welfare, or unemployment, or the Earned Income Credit to individuals that it has permitting to reside within our borders?

There is discussion right now in the Senate over whether the new provisional immigrants will be covered by ObamaCare. If they do, we’ve just added tens of billions of dollars a year to the costs. If not, employers will have incentive to fire Americans and hire the newly legal aliens and avoid the fines/taxes for not providing health insurance.

The debate over “triggers” controlling “a path to citizenship” is meaningless. Our immigration system is badly in need of reform, but if any provisional status is granted before the fixes are in place, it will effectively and permanently end any chance of immigration reform.


[featured image used under Creative Commons license, credit: jonathan mcintosh]