Yes, It’s Amnesty

Language is very important in politics. The earliest stage of a political fight is often the fight to gain control of the terms used in the debate. Supporters of the bland sounding “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” really don’t like it when opponents call their various schemes “amnesty”. Why? No one wants to be seen as rewarding criminal behavior even when that’s EXACTLY what they are doing. So supporters of amnesty will go to great lengths and intellectual contortions to make sure no one dares use that term.

Take a look at how Marco Rubio, one of the key figures in the most recent amnesty push, phrases the argument.

We have de facto amnesty right now

No we don’t.

If we did, why are we going through this whole process in the first place? If we had de facto amnesty, we wouldn’t hear about how hard it is for illegal immigrants to live in the shadows. If we had de facto amnesty, we wouldn’t be deporting anyone. If we had de facto amnesty, there wouldn’t be a thriving black market for illicit work documents and identity theft.

Amnesty supporters will tell you it can’t be amnesty because illegal immigrants will say there are “tough but fair” penalties for illegal immigrants such as paying a fine of some sort, have to pay back taxes and “go to the back of the line” behind those waiting to come here legally for permanent residency and citizenship.

The last bit is particularly deceitful. The “back of the line” language is designed to make it sound like a real penalty is being imposed on illegals. The reality according to amnesty supporter Chuck Schumer is they would get big rewards up front with no penalties of any sort.

“On day one of our bill, the people without status who are not criminals or security risks will be able to live and work here legally.”

According to Rubio, the “penalties” will come years down the road when illegal aliens apply for green cards.

As for the path to citizenship, as Rubio explained when he rolled out his ideas a couple of weeks ago, the senators envision a temporary legal status and then the opportunity to obtain a green card, upon payment of back taxes, learn English, and a background check “among other requirements.” (Although there was no mention of Rubio’s suggestions for fines or community services is made.) The path to citizenship provisions also emphasize that none of the illegal immigrants could jump ahead of those who have legally been pursuing a green card.

In short…illegals will gain immediate legal status upon enactment of the law with no penalty until some unidentified time far off in the future. How is that not amnesty? Until we see the actual legislation, we don’t even know if illegals will have to apply for a green card or citizenship. It’s very possible whatever category of visa they get upon passage of the scheme will entitle them to stay for as long as they want.

Who is really punished by this system? People waiting to come here legally. The legal immigration system is already a mess but now we’ll be dumping upwards of 11 million new people into the system. They will all have to be processed and have background checks done to claim their new status.

How is an overworked system going to handle that new workload without A- skimping on real checks and B- adding more delays to people who are playing by the rules (pdf)?

One of the supposed penalties illegals will have to pay is to prove they have been paying taxes all along or pay taxes owed.

How will that work?

The IRS is already strained by implementing new ObamaCare regulations but now they will have to process millions and millions of new returns? Will current tax payers see delays in returns or other services? Or will the checks on this condition be cursory and incomplete at best?

And if illegal immigrants have been working and paying taxes by definition they are using fraudulently obtained documents, often committing Identity Theft.

Illegal immigrants are not “undocumented.” They have fraudulent documents such as counterfeit Social Security cards, forged drivers licenses, fake “green cards,” and phony birth certificates. Experts suggest that approximately 75 percent of working-age illegal aliens use fraudulent Social Security cards to obtain employment.

Illegal immigration and high levels of identity theft go hand-in-hand. States with the most illegal immigration also have high levels of job-related identity theft. In Arizona, 33 percent or all identity theft is job-related (as opposed to identity theft motivated simply by profit). In Texas it is 27 percent; in New Mexico, 23 percent; in Colorado, 22 percent; California, 20 percent; and in Nevada, 16 percent. Eight of the 10 states with the highest percentage of illegal aliens in their total population are among the top 10 states in identity theft (Arizona, California, Florida, Texas, Nevada, New York, Georgia, and Colorado).

Will they be prosecuted for crimes that a citizen would? Of course not. But don’t call it amnesty!

Like Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars movie, amnesty supporters will waive their hand and say, “this isn’t amnesty” and hope the weak minded who oppose amnesty will just let them move along with their plans.

The first battle over amnesty is for the word “amnesty”. If those of us who oppose this policy lose this battle, we will undoubtedly lose the war.


About Drew

I blog about politics and hockey because I sort of understand those things. I'd blog about women but I'll never understand them.

Posted on January 28, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. >> They would no longer be deported, provided they don’t have a criminal record

    Other than that first crime they committed when they entered the country, I guess. I mean, that’s why God invented the Mulligan, amirite?

  2. it’s almost amazing how the GOP learns the wrong lessons from elections over and over again.

  3. If they would immediately stop letting illegals go to school, get school lunches, food stamps, tax credits, and medicare after granting amnesty then they might see numbers drop of illegals. If we still do the same things whether someone is documented or not, then we will have solved nothing. More will come, and what is the incentive to be documented? Who wants to pay tax?

  4. How is this any different than robbing a bank and then getting to keep the money in the end, regardless of how much you might otherwise get punished? What a joke, these silly little words games are. Of course it’s amnesty. You’re getting to keep what you illegally took in the first place.

  5. Drew,
    You have written one of the best articles on this than I can recall in many years. You are helping people get in behind the subtle nuances of these various schemes put forward by our politicians.The framing is exactly what sets the tone and allows them to push through these bills. Well Done!

  6. If you ask me, deportation is amnesty as we are simply sending an illegal back to their homeland — no worse, no better than the day they undertook their illegal activity and with no real fines or sentences suffered for their criminal activity. They committed their crime and now they are back to where they began their journey having suffered no real consequences — now that is amnesty!

    “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” is something far worse than amnesty. This ugly beast rewards the law breaker with their ill-gotten good. It is akin to a car thief getting the pink slip to the car he stole in exchange for a small fine and the completion of a driver’s ed course.

  7. As J.R. Ewing above said, this isn’t only amnesty it’s amnesty on steroids. Amnesty is the pardon for a crime committed. This is much more than that. Not only are the illegal aliens pardoned, they get to keep the spoils of their crime (their illegal presence in the country). Not only do they get to keep the spoils of their crime they are additionally showered with jobs, social services, education, Obamacare and through voting, reward the traitorous politicians who are doing this.

    This must be stopped cold. Please join NumbersUSA. They helped us defeat amnesty in 2007.

  8. >>Who is really punished by this system? People waiting to come here legally. <<

    As bad as those waiting in line are getting screwed, no one is getting screwed as bad as the American citizen.

  9. We actually have ourselves to blame as much as the government, and I include myself in that statement. We haven’t stood against them and demanded that the law be enforced. We hire them, we look past them, we accept their presence in our lives. We watch as they are employed and American workers sit home collecting years of unemployment.

    Our time is running out. The tipping point is near. We must stand on all issues that are destroying this Country, especially this push for amnesty. No one will rescue us.

  10. The “pathway to citizenship” in “immigration reform” is really, the “Superhighway to Democrat/Leftist hegemony”. It is all about votes and who will own the future of America.

    “Immigration reform” will, by legislative fiat, strip American citizens as a nation of people of their fundamental human rights to determine the present and future or all matters pertaining to our nation, our society, our economy and our political processes and outcomes, free from the massive burdens and undue political influences stemming from the presence of tens of millions of citizens of foreign nations living here in violation of the laws of the land, and the will of the people.

    In terms of political history, “immigration reform” is effectively a soft coup by the Left.

    “Immigration reform” is code for the political process of creating 8 to 20+ million artificial voters – the vast majority of which will be poor, govt-dependent and reliably leftist voters. By this process the Left will cement themselves quickly and solidly into power at the federal level, and in many states – aided and abetted it seems by the Republican party.

    Think post-passage of “Immigration reform”: Once the politicians have established “Guaranteed Democrat/Leftist Hegemony”, the Left will mount an unprecedented, all-out assault on all freedoms and human rights that they fear and despise starting with those protected by 2A, then 1A (don’t forget all the calls from the left for restricting 1A speech rights after “The Video” “caused” the murders in Benghazi…) and then the others will fall rapidly in waves after that.

    The Left’s ruthless zeal will be on full display and will be unlike anything any of us have ever seen – at least in America.

    And be clear, the Left will be unstoppable and they will win if this “reform” passes as proposed.

  11. Tom Dean, I’m afraid your scenario has basically already happened — this latest amnesty will only accelerate the total and complete control of the leftists/Democrats. The Republicans lost this fight in 1965 with Teddy Kennedy’s resuscitation of mass immigration which coupled with a tolerance of the illegal variety of immigration through the years has brought them to this current state of irrelevance nationally. The Republicans just sat by and hardly raised even an objection.

    Republicans have lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 Presidential elections. It’s over, the Democrats have won — not by changing the hearts of the electorate, but by changing the electorate itself. These trends will only accelerate — even without another amnesty. Poor, unskilled, undereducated people with limited English language skills just simply don’t vote for Republicans — never have, never will. Our loose immigration system has largely been pumping this class of immigrant into the country both legally and ilegally for the last 50 years.

    Unfortunately, the fate of conservatism does not hang in the balance with this latest amnesty — it was already lost with the last 50 years of loose immigration policy.


  1. Pingback: Yes, It’s Amnesty | Political Thrill

  2. Pingback: Comprehensive immigration reform is amnesty « The Attack

  3. Pingback: Illegal Immigration from Dysfunction - The Great Illuminator - The Great Illuminator

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