To justify granting citizenship to those who have come into this country illegally, the Senate, led by McCain, Kennedy, Specter and First, have insisted that those who have lived here for some years be given an "earned citizenship".
In a perverted reasoning they say that those who have been here the longest, illegally, be given favoritism over those who have been here less than five years. In other words, if you have succeeded in sneaking into the country and have lived here the longest, you should be given the most favorable treatment. This reasoning goes against what most people think is logical, that those who have evaded our laws the longest should be the ones punished the most severely.
Advocates for illegal aliens paint all of them with a broad brush when they say that just because these illegals have been here, worked, and maybe have paid taxes, they also deserve special consideration over those who are forced to apply from overseas.
Many people from many different countries want to come here to live and work. As the law stands now, they are put through our bureaucratic processes, and most take years to finally be allowed to come into the country. Citizenship does not happen automatically. There are other hoops they have to jump through before the process is finally complete. This could take several years more. It also could cost several thousands of dollars. Why would they go through this grueling process? Because they value American citizenship and know that they will live better lives here and raise families who will benefit from all this country has to offer.
They have followed our laws to the letter. If it is possible to “earn citizenship” they are the ones who have done so.
Those who have crossed our border without permission have broken one law. Those who remain and set up residence have added another broken law. Those who work here, in addition, have broken a third law. If they offer false documents to enable them to do these things, they have broken a fourth law. They expect to go to the front of the line just because it was easier for them to get into the country by the simple expedient of coming across a border.
Those illegals have already benefited from being here, undetected, so they could work and enjoy the benefits of being in an economically stable country. If it were not so, they would be returning home shortly after coming in. This is not the case. Because so many are low income workers, they cannot support their families any better than a low income citizen worker can, so they turn to our generous welfare system. Their employers, who love cheap labor, often will not provide health care, so they go to our hospitals and clinics. While citizens are required to have health care benefits, illegals just go to the emergency rooms for whatever health problems they have.
Since they have low incomes, they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. This is a provision that gives people who do not make enough income to pay taxes a rebate, estimated at usually around $2,000 per filer. Coincidentally, the “fine” an illegal must pay for amnesty, under the Senate bill, is usually $2,000. In effect, one year of receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit pays for this fine. In reality, the taxpayer must help make up the lack of taxes paid by illegals and their employers, and then help pay for the reward (EITC) for illegals making little money.
Mexico is not an impoverished country. It is ranked twelfth in wealth. However, most of its wealth is concentrated in the upper ranks, with few middle income citizens, but massive poverty mired citizens at the lower end. Vincente Fox’s country has been helped economically by the millions of his citizens living in the U.S. who send “home” money that is left over from what those citizens have to spend to exist. These remittances are so significant that they have ranked first and second in Mexico’s economy, sometimes ahead of even tourism and oil revenues. No wonder Fox is happy to see his poorest head North. An enormous burden is taken from his country and imported by the U.S. As a bonus, his citizens send impressive amounts of money into his economy, thereby draining our own. The dollars that should be spent here to help our economy end up in Mexico.
With massive poverty at the lower end of Mexico’s citizenry, the possibility always is that the poor will rise up and try to dislodge the wealthy elite and the politicians who are content to keep the status quo. The natural yearning for a better life for one’s family is powerful, sometimes powerful enough for a revolution. The U.S. acts as a pressure valve by eliminating some of the poverty that might cause Fox trouble. We inherit whatever problems his poor people bring North. We also are a lot more tolerant of dissent, even the marching in the streets of illegals waving foreign flags, and their supporters for their “rights”.
Americans have a keen sense of fairness. They know that to grant a path to citizenship to those who have broken our laws in preference to those who have honored our laws is unjust and is rank favoritism.
The U.S. Senate has just passed a bill, S2611, that would open the citizenship door for an estimated twelve to twenty-four+ millions of illegal border crossers. If this bill passes, many would be granted a way to get “earned citizenship”. But in what way was it earned?
The bill is heading for the House now. The House leadership has said it does not want amnesty or a sure pathway to citizenship. It has passed a sensible bill that calls for a barrier on the border to stop the thousands who cross every day before any consideration is given as to what benefits illegals should be given. As it tries to reconcile its bill with the Senate version, enormous pressure will be put on it by special interest groups to grant amnesty, “earned citizenship”.
House members need to know what Americans want. They, at least, seem to have been listening to their constituents. They continue to need to hear from us.
Barbara regularly writes for CapitolHillCoffeeHouse. She also appears in California Chronicle, Border Patrol, and Citizens Caucus. Her primary interest is illegal immigration, but she writes about other subjects as well.
Barbara lives in a large city on the West Coast. Her loyalties are with God, family, country, heritage and borders.
She enjoys music, painting, poetry and song writing.