Column: Four ways amnesty would harm Americans
White House insiders confidently predict that President Obama will soon issue an executive order that will grant deferred action to up to 5 million illegal aliens. Here are four major, indisputable reasons why Obama's callous, politically motivated move would irreparably harm Americans.
First, 5 million previously unemployable aliens would instantly receive work authorization. With their work permits in hand, the newly legalized immigrants would compete in a labor market that, according to the Economic Policy Institute, has no available jobs for more than 60 percent of applicants.
The depressed economy has idled more than 1 million recent high school or college graduates which results in an 18.1 percent true unemployment rate for prospective workers under age 25. Involuntary part-time workers, people who would like a full-time job but can't find one, has increased steadily and represents nearly 20 percent of all employment. Part-time jobs traditionally pay an hourly wage that hovers around the minimum, offer few benefits, and no health care.
Obama's amnesty would disproportionately harm African-Americans, Hispanics, returning veterans, legal immigrants and the disabled. Finally, about 3.5 million Americans are long term unemployed, defined as unemployed for six months or longer but still actively seeking a job. For Americans lucky enough to be working, the 5 million immigrants represent a potential threat to their job security. Many immigrants would willingly take a lower salary than the existing American worker earns.
Second, under no conceivable circumstances can 5 million deferred action applications be processed effectively, securely or on a timely basis. Through June, 2014 more about 375,000 cases including 42,000 Central American children, are backlogged in immigration courts with an average waiting time of 587 days.
Many deferred action petitions under Obama's 2012 executive order for childhood arrivals are still bogged down at U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. With lax oversight, fraud becomes more likely. In 1986, when the Immigration Reform and Control Act [IRCA] passed, more than 2.5 million received amnesty even though immigration officials active at the time confirmed that fraud was rampant.
Third, excluding 5 million deportable aliens from removal represents amnesty, no matter what misleading label supporters may give it. Amnesty begets more amnesty. After IRCA passed the U.S. had effectively zero illegal immigrants. Today, 27 years later, the illegal immigrant population is estimated at 12 million, but could be substantially higher.
Fourth, because of chain migration an executive action amnesty would eventually add millions more foreign nationals to the already overcrowded U.S. Once amnestied immigrants attain lawful status or citizenship, they can send for spouses and minor children as well as non-nuclear family members like siblings, parents and adult children.
Chain migration is the primary contributor to legal immigration, quadrupling from an average 250,000 annually in the 1950s to nearly 1 million today. The U.S. cannot fiscally or environmentally accommodate everyone.
The unassailable facts in today's economy argue for tighter labor markets which would create more employment opportunities and help increase Americans' stagnant pay scale. Ecologically, population must be stabilized, not expanded.
Yet, a detached from reality Obama appears determined to forge ahead. If he proceeds unilaterally on immigration, he'll add an exclamation point to his dictatorial "I've got a pen, I've got a phone" threat.
Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org.