- In this three part series, you may enjoy Maria Fotopoulos,
Senior Writing Fellow at www.capsweb.org as she examines amnesty
for 20 million illegal aliens now residing within the United States. She
addresses the key word 'sustainability' in "No home for amnesty in
a sustainable America."
- LONG-TERM IMPACTS
- "Open-border advocates often characterize those
who enter or remain in the U.S. illegally as "just looking for a better
life," said Fotopoulos. "While many fit that description-if we
choose to ignore the violation of our immigration laws-there are numerous
examples to the contrary by those committing identity theft, driving while
uninsured, driving while inebriated, failing to file income taxes and trafficking
in drugs. Furthermore, there are multiple cases of individuals who have
entered our country illegally with the clear intention of engaging in terrorist
- "The evidence indicates that a new amnesty, like
the previous ones, will affect an increase in illegal immigration. Zogby
International found that a majority of Mexicans (56 percent) thought giving
legal status to illegal aliens in the U.S. would lead to more illegal immigration
there. For Mexicans who had an immediate household member living in the
U.S., 65 percent said an amnesty would make people they knew more likely
to migrate to the U.S. illegally.
- "An illegal population has a severe impact in the
workplace where it drives down wages, inflicting its greatest damage on
those at the bottom of the economic spectrum who can least afford it. By
encouraging more workers to enter the country illegally, an amnesty would
simply continue to feed the demand for cheap labor.
- "The negative impacts of amnesty on the environment
and sustainability of the country are patently obvious. More people equals
more demands and strains on the natural environment in a country that many
conservationists believe can sustain a population of 200 million, not 310
million, and certainly not more than 1 billion.
- "Moreover, the economic costs attached to illegal
immigration are staggering. A grant of amnesty to just 10 million adult
illegal aliens could impose a net cost on the government of more than $2.6
trillion, according to a Heritage Foundation study.
- "This analysis was completed before healthcare "reform,"
so it does not include any additional costs from that program. An elderly,
low-skilled immigrant would cost the taxpayer an average $17,000 per year
in Social Security and Medicare benefits, or Supplemental Security Income
and Medicaid benefits. While mortality rates would reduce the total figure
by roughly 15 percent by age 67, that would still yield 8.5 million people
who would enter retirement.
- "Because the average adult illegal immigrant is
now in his or her early 30s, it would be 25 to 30 years before the majority
of amnesty recipients retire. Nevertheless, when they do, they would increase
the number of Social Security beneficiaries by 5 to 10 percent at a time
when Social Security is projected to run annual deficits of more than $200
- "Educational levels are also very low among illegal
aliens: 49 to 61 percent of adults lack a high school diploma, compared
to nine percent of American-born adults. Due to this lack of education,
adult illegal aliens have double the poverty rate of adult native-born
Americans, 27 percent versus 13 percent.
- "Lower educational levels among the workforce will
make it increasingly difficult for America to compete globally. In 1970,
California had the seventh most-educated work force of the 50 states in
terms of the share of its workers who had completed high school. Because
of massive immigration, it ranked 50th in 2008, making it the least-educated
state-a startling transformation for a state once iconic as the center
of technological innovation. One in six workers in the state has not graduated
from high school."
- "Amnesty is no answer to the problems caused by
years of mass, unchecked illegal immigration," said Fotopoulos. "The
solution lies in developing the fortitude to enforce the laws we have passed.
Any blanket or partial amnesty would be patently unfair to the many that
have played by the rules of the legal immigration process and have entered
legally or have been denied admission. An amnesty would be prohibitively
costly and poses a threat to national security.
- "An enforced ban on hiring illegal immigrants would
cause many to leave the country voluntarily-an approach known as attrition
through enforcement. Mandatory usage of the successful E-Verify program
and penalties for businesses who knowingly hire illegal employees would
help unemployed American workers, and discourage new illegal immigration.
- "Secure U.S. borders are essential. After Arizona
passed its immigration law, President Obama in May 2010 ordered 1,200 National
Guard troops to protect the border, a paltry number, but an acknowledgment
that he understands that border enforcement works. In summer 2006 and early
2007, when the National Guard was deployed to the U.S. border for the Jump
Start border operation, there was a 60 percent decrease in illegal apprehensions.
Fewer people attempted illegal entry because of the deterrence of the National
- "Our nation must also tackle the other component
of illegal immigration-those who enter our country legally for a specific
time period, but then do not leave upon the expiration of their tourist,
work or student visas. The government must develop procedures to guarantee
that those who arrive with our permission depart when that authorization
- "Finally, we need to advocate for and fund family
planning here and abroad. While the hard work of individuals and organizations
has led to significantly lowered birthrates in many parts of the world,
there remains a great, unmet need for family planning services. President
Obama has his eye on an amnesty, but the best legacy he could leave for
future generations is a sustainable America. Creating a sustainable country
has multiple components, but a sound immigration and population policy
is one essential piece. Encouraging those who are living and working here
illegally to return to their home countries and discouraging further illegal
immigration must be at the top of the agenda."
- For more information please contact:
- Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS)
- 1129 State Street, 3-D
- Santa Barbara, CA 93101