Letter to Representative Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) Regarding Amnesty
Honorable Jeff Flake
424 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Flake:
This letter will respond to your remarks yesterday on the floor of the House concerning “the language of immigration reform.” During your remarks you accused the opponents of the President”s immigration plan of poisoning the well with charges that it is an amnesty. You further implied that opponents of the President”s plan have offered no alternative for dealing with the illegal aliens already here.
In the first instance, the President”s plan is an amnesty because it eliminates prosecution for a criminal offense, i.e. the violation of immigration laws against illegally entering the country or overstaying a visa. By definition, forbearing prosecution (and actually rewarding it by giving the illegal presence effective permanent status is an amnesty whether you care to admit it or not. In the second instance, many of us who oppose the President”s plan have for years offered constructive alternatives to address the continuing problem of an ever growing population of resident illegal aliens.
Sadly, you and many of your colleagues have ignored our suggestions, preferring the status quo. The Chamber of Commerce has blocked reforms for years. In particular, no serious statutory changes have been effected to make the laws against employers who hire illegal aliens workable since employer sanctions were first enacted into law in 1986. Serious legislative efforts have been made to help employers screen out illegal aliens. One example is Rep. Marsha Blackburn”s bill, H.R. 4064, last year to require federal contractors to use the electronic worker verification system, but that bill was ignored.
It remains a mystery to me how some Members of Congress can, on the one hand, profess to be interested in solutions to illegal immigration while, on the other hand, year after year they fail to cosponsor bills such as the Blackburn bill. No one is fooled.
Moreover, nowhere in your remarks yesterday did you give the President”s opponents credit for objecting that his plan is a dagger pointed at the heart of the standard of living of America”s poor and middle class.
The President”s plan is not only an ill advised amnesty, it is also bad economic policy that threatens to place virtually every American”s job on the auction block for the cheapest bidder.
Rep. Flake, the one thing you did say in your comments yesterday that does ring true is that “those who question whether or not we can follow through and enforce the new law with severe employer sanctions have a right to be skeptical after the last round of major changes to immigration law in 1986…” I can tell you that while we acted in good faith at the time, this organization was privately highly skeptical that the employer sanctions and worker verification provisions would ever be enforced once that year”s amnesty was approved. We were proven right then. We firmly believe we are right today for much the same reasons. We will not be cajoled into the same position again.
The amnesty now in exchange for employer sanctions and worker verification later was a classic “bait and switch” proposition in 1986 and so is the President”s plan this year for a guestworker amnesty program now in exchange for getting tough on employers later who hire illegal aliens.