Jewish World Review April 11, 2006 / 13 Nissan, 5766
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
In the aftermath of last week's Senate meltdown over immigration legislation and ongoing mass demonstrations meant to compel more sympathetic treatment for illegal aliens, official Washington seems poised once again to give short shrift to contrary sentiments of millions of American citizens. All other things being equal, their views will be trumped by the folks who have dominated our dysfunctional border security and workplace policies for years: the vocal, highly disciplined and well-financed special interest comprised of immigration lawyers, Latino activist organizations and businesses that have long prospered by exploiting illegal aliens.
Despite the political pressure to grant a far-reaching amnesty to immense numbers of illegal aliens (perhaps as many as 20 million according to a recent Bear Sterns study) being exercised by those taking to the streets, the American people have an opportunity over the next two weeks to reverse this dynamic that entails real national security, as well as socio-economic, risks. One way to do so would be by challenging elected officials (and wannabes) to endorse the "Secure America" pledge.
This pledge has been endorsed by more than 30 organizations active in the public policy debate about immigration matters. It offers ten common sense principles that should govern our policies in these areas. Politicians who want our votes should be asked to confirm that they support the following principles:
1. The purpose of U.S. immigration policy is to benefit the citizens of the United States.
2. Since immigration policy can profoundly shape a country, it should be set by deliberate
actions, not by accident or acquiescence, with careful consideration to ensure that it does
not adversely affect the quality of life of American citizens and their communities.
3. Immigration policy should be based on and adhere to the rule of law. Immigration laws
must be enforced consistently and uniformly throughout the United States.
4. Non-citizens enter the United States as guests and must obey the rules governing their
entry. The U.S. government must track the entry, stay, and departure of all visa-holders to
ensure that they comply fully with the terms of their visas, or to remove them if they fail
5. The borders of the United States must be physically secured at the earliest possible time.
An effective barrier to the illegal entry of both aliens and contraband is vital to U.S.
6. Those responsible for facilitating illegal immigration shall be sought, arrested and
prosecuted to the full extent of the law and shall forfeit any profits from such activity.
This applies to smugglers and traffickers of people, as well as to those involved in the
production, procurement, distribution, or use of fraudulent or counterfeit documents.
7. U.S. employers shall be given a simple and streamlined process to determine whether
employees are legally eligible to work. Employers who obey the law shall be protected
both from liability and from unfair competition by those who violate immigration law.
The violators shall be subject to fines and taxes in excess of what they would have paid to
employ U.S. citizens and legal residents for the same work.
8. Those who enter or remain in the United States in violation of the law shall be detained
and removed expeditiously. Illegal aliens shall not accrue any benefit, including U.S.
citizenship, as a result of their illegal entry or presence in the United States.
9. No federal, state or local entity shall reward individuals for violating immigration laws by
granting public benefits or services, or by issuing or accepting any form of identification,
or by providing any other assistance that facilitates unlawful presence or employment in
this country. All federal and law enforcement agencies shall cooperate fully with federal
immigration authorities, and shall report to such authorities any information they receive
indicating that an individual may have violated immigration laws.
10. Illegal aliens currently in the United States may be afforded a one-time opportunity to
leave the United States without penalty and seek permission to reenter legally if they
qualify under existing law. Those who do not take advantage of this opportunity will be
removed and permanently barred from returning.
The need for such commitments is all the greater in light of worrying prospect: the sorts of illegal immigration-related problems evident today may pale by comparison with those that might arise should Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador succeed Vincente Fox this summer as president of Mexico. AMLO (as he is known in Mexico) as mayor of Mexico City made no secret of either his radical leftist political proclivities or his affinity for the virulent anti-Americanism of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.
Such a Mexican leader can be counted upon to maintain his country's own draconian treatment of illegal aliens; for example, as the Center for Security Policy's J. Michael Waller has noted, it is a felony yes, a felony to be an illegal alien in Mexico. AMLO will also surely be tempted to use the rising assertiveness of his countrymen illegally in the United States not only to block legislation that would restore the rule of (immigration) law here. He may also encourage them to advance the extreme Mexican nationalists' agenda of "reconquista" or "taking back" America.
There is no time to lose in securing America. Make sure over the next two weeks that your representative or those who wish to represent you pledge to do so.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington
and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
BUY FRANK'S LATEST
"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"
America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.
With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.
War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.
© 2005, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.