A group of 43 influential opinion leaders – including Alan Keyes, Phyllis Schlafly, David Horowitz and Swiftboat activist John O’Neill – have signed a declaration pledging to withhold support for any candidate, Democrat or Republican, who votes for legislation providing “amnesty” or a guest-worker program for illegal aliens.
The members of a group called the Secure Borders Coalition say the immigration bill passed by the Senate and a plan proposed in the House by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., – which they call “amnesty lite” – are unacceptable.
They describe Pence’s plan as providing for “the wholesale importation of aliens and a path to citizenship for them.”
The leaders, who are circulating their declaration among other conservative leaders and grass-roots activists, say their stance represents a major break with the Bush White House reminiscent of the battle over the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court.
The declaration points out the Heritage Foundation estimates the Senate bill will bring in at least 60 million foreigners during the next 20 years.
“If the demographics of the so-called temporary workers are similar to those of the illegal aliens already here, more than half will be high school dropouts,” the declaration states. “They will work low-paying jobs that require payment of little or no income tax. They will be 50 percent more likely to receive government benefits than those in non-immigrant households. And 42 percent of their children will be born out-of-wedlock – but all their children born in the U.S. will automatically become American citizens.”
The cost of the Senate amnesty for illegal immigrants alone, according to the Heritage report, would be $50 billion a year for entitlements, including Medicaid, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Earned Income Tax Credit, food stamps, public housing, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and federally funded legal representation.
“Any amnesty would move America toward a future like France, which is staggering under the burden of ‘guest’ workers who never went home,” states the declaration.
The declaration says the plan proposed by Pence, hailed by supporters as a compromise, would “place no limit whatsoever on the numbers of foreign workers who could be imported by U.S. employers from any country anywhere in the world.”
“By flooding this country with so many immigrants, legal and illegal, controlling immigration will become impossible and by dumping that burden onto an already-overburdened system of government benefits, these proposals are a threat to the future of the United States,” the declaration states.
The declaration concludes: “Passing no bill is better than passing any new amnesty, legalization, guest worker or foreign worker program of any kind.”
The backers “call for enforcement now” and favor a “policy of attrition of the illegal population through strong enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, which includes, first and foremost, the securing of our borders.”
The signatories, whose affiliation is listed for identification only, are: Peggy Birchfield, Religious Freedom Action Coalition; Jim Boulet, Jr., English First; Brent Bozell, Conservative Victory Committee; Bay Buchanan, Team America PAC; Mario A. Calabrese; Christine Carmouche, GrassTopsUSA; Jim Clymer, Constitution Party National Committee; Kristen N. Cooper, Foundation for American Christian Education; Jerome R. Corsi, author; Kay Daly; Tom DeWeese, American Policy Center; James R. Edwards, Consultant to NumbersUSA; Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch; Don Feder, Don Feder Associates; John Fonte; Paul Goedinghaus, Alamo Alliance; William Green, RightMarch.com; Ellen Grigsby, Open Doors USA; Colin Hanna, Let Freedom Ring, Inc.; Carl F. Horowitz, National Legal and Policy Center; David Horowitz, Center for the Study of Popular Culture; Joan L. Hueter, American Council for Immigration Reform; Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Hope Christian Ministries; Kevin Kearns, U.S. Business and Industry Council; Alan Keyes, Declaration Alliance; Mal Kline, Accuracy in Academia; Gary G. Kreep, United States Justice Foundation; Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies; Deborah Lambert, Accuracy in Media; Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Toward Tradition; K.C. McAlpin, ProEnglish; William J. Murray, Religious Freedom Coalition; John O’Neill, Swiftboat Veterans; Howard Phillips, The Conservative Caucus; Alan Potter, Constitution Party of Virginia; Marc Rotterman, American Conservative Union; Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum; Rick and Caryann Shaftan, Neighborhood Research/Mountaintop Media; Rev. Lou Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition; Chris Simcox, Minuteman Civil Defense Corps; Kent Snyder, The Liberty Committee; Mike Valerio, Mike and Helen Valerio Foundation; Richard A. Viguerie, Conservative HQ.com.