Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Jane always will be remembered as the nation's first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Jane blogs at JaneChastain.com. She is a pilot who lives on a private runway.More ↓Less ↑
The new Democrat congressional leaders are salivating over passing an immigration bill that will grant amnesty to millions of uneducated illegal aliens in this country. After all, this has been a primary objective of President Bush, blocked by a Herculean effort by House Republicans who now find themselves in the hinterlands of the minority.
The motives of Democrats and President Bush are clear: The former expects to lead these new, largely impoverished, uneducated voters around by the nose; the latter wants to satisfy his business supporters who feel they are “entitled” to cheap labor to manufacture their products, mow their lawns and clean their toilets.
“Immigration reform” – as this amnesty plan often is called – was not on the laundry list of things Democrats promised to pass in their first 100 hours at the controls. Had it been, they might still be in the minority, as it is hugely unpopular with voters.
Believing amnesty to be inevitable, a suggestion for a possible compromise surfaced this week that offers some hope to this dismal situation.
It first appeared in a letter to President Bush from one of the rising stars of the conservative movement, Manuel Miranda of Families First on Immigration. The letter asked the president to take a fresh look at the issue of immigration reform, similar to what he has done with Iraq, and consider input from a host of influential conservative leaders who have, thus far, been shut out of this debate. Mr. Miranda was joined by such luminaries as Paul Weyrich, Coalitions for America; Donald Wildmon, American Family Association; Gary Bauer, American Values; David Keene, American Conservative Union; James Martin, 60 Plus Association; Brent Bozell, Conservative Victory Committee, William J. Murray, Religious Freedom Coalition; Amy Ridenour, National Center for Public Policy Research, and a host of others.
The letter indicates that this group would be willing to look at a plan that includes amnesty for millions if he also addresses our policy of granting United States citizenship to children born on our soil to illegal aliens and tourists, the “anchor babies.” (See my column “Before opening the borders, seal up the wombs!”).
The letter stops short of endorsing such a compromise but rightly states that “a policy reform that does not put everything on the table, including the so-called ‘anchor baby’ policy” is “no reform at all.”
While immigration advocates try to tell us that illegal aliens are a plus for our economy and not a drain, the dirty little secret is that when someone breaks into our country and has a child here, that child becomes an “anchor” for the entire family and provides a plethora of welfare benefits to that family. Those benefits include free food, housing and – yes – even free money!
While the parents may be providing cheap labor for our “entitlement” class, we (the hardworking taxpayers) are subsidizing those illegal workers. This has to stop!
Miranda, who has worked on immigration and refugee issues since 1980, is a realist when it comes to giving amnesty to the families of our “anchor babies.” He prefers to call it a recognition of “expectant rights” because, when those anchor babies become adults, they can petition the government for legal status for their foreign-born relatives, as can any U.S. citizen.
Our government should require the illegal immigrant parents of these “anchor babies” to go home with their minor children. After all, their U.S. born children also are recognized as citizens by their parents’ homeland. Nevertheless, I would be willing to look at a proposal that would allow these parents to stay here with their offspring, providing we end the anchor baby policy once and for all.
The United States is the only industrialized nation that confers citizenship on children born on its soil to tourists and those who break into the country illegally. This is nuts!
However, before we consider any immigration proposal, we should require that our current immigration laws be enforced. First things first!
After the recent election, the new Democrat leaders promised they would provide oversight of the executive branch of our government. They have an opportunity to prove themselves by securing our borders and seeing that our employment laws concerning undocumented workers are enforced.
Anything less ultimately will be viewed by voters as hypocrisy of the worst sort.