Ed Koch Commentary: An Overriding November Election Issue – Amnesty for Illegal Aliens BY Edward I. Koch

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Koch_EdwardIrving-standing Immigration is the issue that will dominate the November elections. On one side of this contentious issue are those who believe as I do that the Obama administration has exactly the same goal as its predecessor, the Bush administration, which is to provide amnesty and a “path to citizenship” for our illegal alien population, now estimated at between 11 million and 20 million. Supporters of amnesty often say the alternative is to put millions of aliens into boxcars and send them back to Mexico and other Latin American countries, where most of them are from, creating the Nazi-like and totally unacceptable image of Jews on their way to the crematoria. It is a false argument. No one I know who opposes amnesty supports such an approach.

What I and many others urge is a crackdown on American employers who knowingly hire illegals. They usually do so in order to have a docile workforce that is afraid of being deported and is therefore fearful of complaining about workplace conditions and illegal, below-minimum-wage salaries. If such employers were prosecuted and upon conviction received prison sentences, even as low as six months to one year, I believe the message would hugely deter future such breaches in the law. White collar criminals – predator employers – don’t fear civil penalties and fines — the cost of doing business — as much as they fear serving time behind bars. Were the jobs to disappear, I believe that illegal aliens, many here to work and send much of their paychecks back to their families in Mexico and elsewhere, would go home. We can also attract illegal aliens to join a going home program by offering to pay their airfare and even offering them a reward of $1,000 or more, payable one year later on proof they had remained in their own country for at least a year after their return. However, if amnesty is provided, we will simply be continuing a failed policy. In 1986 we said there would be no more amnesties after the Simpson-Mazzoli act legalized the status of illegal aliens who were in the country at that time. We should be compassionate in dealing with individual cases and special categories. The New York Times of August 1st reports, “The Obama administration, responding to requests from Democratic and Republican lawmakers, has taken steps to make it easier for illegal immigrants who are spouses and family members of Americans serving in the military to gain legal status.” I would go further and not limit the program to the military, but apply it to all immediate family members – brothers, sisters and parents – of American citizens living in this country as illegal aliens. There are those who believe the policy of the Obama administration for what they euphemistically call a "comprehensive reform of the immigration laws," which means amnesty for basically all, but not criminals, is predicated on the belief that the amnesty recipients – overwhelmingly Hispanics – will vote Democratic in appreciation. That is not a legitimate reasons to in effect create a policy of open borders for this country. If open borders became the policy of the United States because the federal government decided it could not actually control our borders, they being so vast – and President Obama did convey that thought – we would have a dramatic illustration of what former Senator Patrick Moynihan meant when he coined the phrase “defining deviancy down” : if you can’t control illegality, legalize it. The Obama administration should reach out to those who disagree with his amnesty approach and seek to find a compassionate, rational approach to an admitted vexing problem. The current approach of the Obama administration which is to bar the efforts of the state of Arizona to control its borders from infiltration by illegals, is deplored by most Americans. A poll taken by CNN on July 27th shows that 55 percent nationally favor the Arizona law recently gutted by a federal district court judge, with 40 percent opposing the law. In Arizona itself, a Rasmussen poll of April 21st shows that 70 percent favor the Arizona law and 23 percent oppose it. The decision of the federal judge gutting the law is now being appealed. Unless overturned, it applies only to those states in the jurisdiction of the 9th Federal Circuit. It does not mandate the actions of most of the states, those in other circuit court jurisdictions seeking to emulate the Arizona law. Sooner or later, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the issue of whether states like Arizona, which are spending billions on healthcare for illegals, as well as for education of their children – Arizona has an estimated 500,000 illegals – can take police measures to control its border with Mexico, or must rely on inadequate federal efforts. One such inadequate effort is the President sending 1,200 National Guardsman to the southern borders of our southwestern states, who have no authority to arrest illegals crossing, but can only call on the U.S. Border Patrol to do so when sighting an illegal. That is not exactly a real effort by the Obama administration. The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served New York City as its 105th Mayor from 1978 to 1989. His e-mail address is: eikoch@bryancave.com Related articles by Zemanta Ed Koch Commentary: Amnesty – It Is Not Too Late To Step Away From The Abyss BY EDWARD I. KOCH (whytmedia.typepad.com) Arizona's 'Perfect Storm': How The State Stopped Tolerating Illegal Immigrants (huffingtonpost.com) Aaron Belkin: Hypocrisy on Immigration (and Salad) (huffingtonpost.com) 5 more fresh articles…

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eHeziEd Koch Commentary: An Overriding November Election Issue – Amnesty for Illegal Aliens BY Edward I. Koch

Comments 4

  1. well jack it is really simple
    the Feds are not interested in controlling the borders
    Arizona is presenting a major showdown
    the sad truth…
    these stupid bastards are simply looking for more votes!
    will they win?
    we will see….
    the idea an American citizen is on the CIA hit list?
    Terrorist or not: this is a major issue of constitutional rights.
    Where the hell is McCarthy when you need him?

  2. what you fail to see is the fascists are here and they hold office.
    and you voted for them.
    but you’ll figure it out soon enough…

  3. The Obama Democrats want Mexican and other latin illegals granted amnesty and if they accomplish that, how could they legally and morally stop the Haitians from flooding Florida with illegals?The only good Democrat is a defeated democrat.

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