WASHINGTON – Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., is warning that “millions more” illegal aliens will come into the United States if an immigration reform plan proposed in the U.S. Senate becomes law.
“Any declaration of a pathway to citizenship will encourage more to come here illegally, just like it did in 1986, when Ronald Reagan gave amnesty,” Barletta said.
While it was expected that the surge of illegals would amount to only half a million, the number surpassed 3 million, he said, because “we waved the carrot to people all over the world to come here illegally and they would be given amnesty.”
The surge will happen again, he said if the Senate plan by the so-called “Gang of Eight” becomes law.
Barletta is part of a growing and vocal opposition to amnesty in the House of Representatives. He’s a member of the “Gang of Six” opposing amnesty.
Others are Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Mo Brooks, R-Ala.; Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Steve King, R-Iowa; and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.
Barletta cited the testimony of U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher April 10 before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Fisher admitted the U.S. Border Patrol has “seen an increase in attempted entries” since last year. Though the reasons for the increase “are varied,” he said, the debate over comprehensive immigration reform has been a factor.
The congressman’s position was supported in an article by Townhall’s Katie Pavlich, who reported from an anonymous source that the Border Patrol has “seen the number of illegal aliens double, maybe even triple since amnesty talk started happening.”
“Immigration laws protect national security and protect American jobs,” Barletta said in opposition to the Senate plan.
He said “the proposal from the Gang of Eight doesn’t do either.”
From an economic point of view, to grant amnesty to 10-to-20 million illegal aliens would be a “betrayal of the millions of blue collar American workers,” Barletta said.
He said the move would bring in another 10 million to 20 million people – all looking for jobs and income. That would come just as 22 million Americans already are out of work.
The consequence would be that people will find it “harder to find jobs, or people will have to work for less money.”
Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, noted that over the last 25 year “real wages plummeted for many jobs in construction, janitorial services and all kinds of service occupations.”
The decrease in wages, he said, was because of “the flood of formerly illegal farm workers who changed occupations as soon as amnesties allowed them to do so.”
Barletta said that instead of “rewarding people for breaking our laws,” the U.S. should instead “enforce the immigration laws we have to protect American jobs and protect American national security.”
He also urges enforcing the law on foreigners who overstay their visas or use fake documents.
“Forty percent of the people who come here illegally do so on a visa, the visa expires, and they never leave, and we have no way of tracking them,” he said.
That fact, he said, makes any state with an airport a border state, with respect to the impact of illegal immigration.
He said the existing system isn’t “broken,” but it’s just “the lack of enforcement that has created the problems we now have.”
Barletta got his start crusading against illegal immigration in 1999 when he was elected mayor of Hazelton, Pa. There, he vowed to make his city “one of the toughest places in the United States” for illegal aliens and successfully implemented legislation that punished businesses and landlords who hired illegal aliens.
He also made English the official language of Hazelton.