Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Four Major Myths from the Opposition - Part 1

One of the disturbing facts that makes it very difficult to have a rational discussion about the need for comprehensive immigration reform are a number of myths that are basic assumptions made by the opponents of comprehensive immigration reform that are very hard to overcome. Thus, parties of good faith often talk past each other rather than having a meaningful discussion of necessary changes in immigration laws in order to protect our borders and to make sure we do not have the continuing large scale illegal/undocumented immigration. Those 4 myths are as follows:

Immigration Myth #1

All Immigration Reform Is “Amnesty.”

This is a myth. Since this issue was brought to the forefront by President George W. Bush, none of the proposals have included a true form of “amnesty” proposal. The last real amnesty bill, which was signed by President Ronald Reagan, was the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which provided for a broad based legalization program in exchange for which employers were required to verify that all future job hires were authorized to work in the United States.

This was real amnesty as eligibility for Lawful Permanent Residency (or so-called “green card” status) was based solely upon the undocumented alien having been here continuously in illegal status since January 1, 1982. No amnesty provision was included in the comprehensive immigration reform bills introduced in both 2006 and 2007.

In exchange for a viable employee verification system for employers, the existing illegal work force that have no criminal record, that paid back taxes and a significant fine for the violation of U. S. immigration laws, and committed to learning English, would have been eligible only for a temporary work visa status that under certain conditions could be extended. Only after a number of years, a certain percentage would be eligible to apply for Lawful Permanent Residency.

This is in no way equates to the 1986 amnesty law.

…. To be continued: Next: MYTH # 2


LOL, good article, I love being told that amnesty is not amnesty.  I also will hold my breath, while I watch the tenacity to guard the border diminish over time, while the frenzy to keep importing cheap labor for real estate developers ( and, to be honest, importing the rest of the world in a short-sighted illogical and selfish desire for future voters ).

People like you will say that the focus will be on both, border enforcement and importing people in by the millions.  The truth is you are lying...there is no border enforcement now, there will be no border enforcement under an amnesty plan either.  We will be stuck with millions upon millions more people, as well as the extra traffic, over-burdened schools, over-burdened hospital ( and even more increases in taxes to pay for the freeloaders ), no my friend, the myth is that you are telling the truth.

My friend, you are wrong. I am not lying. I would put the burden on opponents of sensible immigration reform to say what they think will work and be effective. We know doing nothing does not work. We know building higher and bigger walls does not work. People will always go over, under or through them.


Until we amend our laws and provide for effective enforcement at the work site and legal avenues for people to come in where there is a proven need or shortage of U.S. workers, we will never get illegal immigration under control.


Again, I'm not lying. Border enforcement has been substantially increased under every administration since President Gerald Ford; each President doubling the Border Patrol and more land barriers, technology, and fences. The truth is that large numbers of people will come when there are economic opportunities and today they are coming in much smaller numbers almost entirely because the economy is down.


There is a sensible way to fix this, but we won't get there if every proposal to try fix the problem is labeled "amnesty." Study the bill that President Reagan signed in 1986 and study all the current proposals and you can see there are huge differences. Under President Reagan the '86 legislation said that if you were here illegally you got to apply directly for Lawful Permanent Residency. Today's proposals require you to register and identify yourself and if you have no criminal history, pay a significant fine and pay your back taxes you will be given an interim work status, which could be extended over a period years. Then after many years, when there is no "cutting in line", would a certain percentage of those individuals become eligible to apply for resident status. It could take as long as 15-17 years according to the last calculations. Thanks for your comments.

Rather than each of us giving each other the 'usual' talking points
( cheap labor/future voters vs. border enforcement ), how about you answer me this one question first, then we can discuss it further if you would my question is this, since there are 6 BILLION people in the world, and since the U.S. admits more legal immigrants ( let alone illegal immigrants ) than all other countries COMBINED, and since we are an overcrowded country now at 330 million people ( 300 million + about 30 million illegal alien residents ) question is this - tell me what the number is that you globalists think we should cap our population at?  Give me a number....400 million, 500 million, 1 BILLION???  Give me a number, that people like you will finally say, ok, our population is high enough.  Please, I beg you, tell me how many of the worlds 6 billion people are you people wanting to import?

I think issues like this can be also approached from a moral and a philosophical angle. First, I don't believe your statement that we allow more people into the US than the rest of the world combined is accurate. It is my understanding that the only way Lou Dobbs and folks get to these numbers is by including all of the tourists and other very temporary visas and counting them as immigrants.

Second, from a moral and philosophical angle, as a person who loves and believes in freedom, I don't believe it is for us to "cap" the population. Are you justifying population controls?  forced abortions? forced contraception? limits on the number of children born?

I believe in unalienable human rights given to man by our creator. It is not our place to "cap" population. I believe anyone seeking freedom deserves it, and my position is supported by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

It is my view that your line of thinking is immoral, dangerous, and unAmerican. We are capable of anything we put our minds to. If  population causes problems, we can fix them. If we have to inhabit the moon, we can fix them. But one thing is paramount, regardless of how many people there are, they all deserve to be free.

From another perspective, if you are concerned with global population then you should desire for everyone to come to the United States  and gain wealth and education because all studies I've seen show that the wealthier and more educated people become the fewer children they have.

As for the economics, there is absolutely no question that there will continue to be fewer people entering the workforce in America than those that will need to retire. If we don't address that problem, then jobs will leave this country and we won't be able to financially support our retired/ing communities. 



Jason LeVecke is exactly what this country is sliding off into.  Half-baked ideas about being able to 'fix' population, even if we have to inhabit the moon are exactly the sorts of 'push the facts of the problem down the road" mentality that gave us Medicare and Social Security.  The assumption is that some smarter generation will HAVE to do something drastic, like inhabiting the moon when the problem is out of hand.  When our hospitality has diluted our resources like all the other third-world locales of the world that we are misguidedly trying to absorb the overage from.

I ALSO believe in unalienable human rights given to man by our Creator. It is not our place to "cap" population. I believe anyone seeking freedom deserves it, and my position is supported by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But the Declaration does not extend an open invitation to any person who enjoins our beliefs to come swarming into this great nation, let alone millions who hold no allegiance to our beliefs or national identity.

Any person who believes this country will be a better place by massively increasing the population in this country are missing much of the picture.  Capping population is NOT the answer.  The legal population of this country is NOT growing of its own volition.  Our population numbers are stable when only the citizens of this country are counted.  But when you add the explosive population growth brought about by both the grossly inflated legal immigration policies AND the lax illegal immigration controls, the actual inhabitants of this great nation are growing by leaps and unsustainable bounds.  

I don't NEED nor at all condone abortion or mandated caps.  Population growth contains itself when solid economic policies prevail.  The equilibrium in our citizen population in this country is evidence of that.  Our growth is solely attributable to the opportunistic migration to the wealth of this country which can only be sustained by limiting the availability of access to a much more reasonable number of immigrants.  That number should be somewhere in the range of 100,000 to 150,000 per year, about 10% of what we LEGALLY allow to come here now.

I mean you no harm or disprespect. If we had a chance to break bread together I think we may get along wonderfully. There are definitely areas we may disagree and the two greatest concerns I have first a moral question and the second is an economic one. I will not deny I have a very soft spot in my heart for those seeking freedom and opportunity. For those that risk their lives crossing oceans on rafts and deserts by foot. My Great Grandparents who came from Ireland and Germany were no different than these people coming today. They were looking for work and were leaving countries that were struggling greatly. They didn't call or write to ask permission. They just one day got on a wooden sail boat and crossed the Atlantic with a bunch of strangers seeking a better life. They fell in love with America and their freedoms. When you mention that these immigrants have no allegiance to our beliefs or national identity, I must stand up and defend them. When I was in the United States Marine Corps I served next to over 35,000 non citizens and another 12,000 in the reserves, many with heavy accents, serving in the Armed Forces of the United States and defending freedom and America with their lives. There are countless 1000's more that I know and knew that were legal citizens but the children of undocumented immigrants. In fact among the first deaths in Iraq was Sgt Rafael Peralta, a US Marine who originally came to this country illegally. I knew Sylvestre Herrara who recieved the medal of honor for saving his platton in WWII who served as an illegal alien. When he was drafted into WWII, his Uncle who was his guardian, told him "Sylvestre, you aren't legal, you do NOT have to go" and young Sylvestre replied, "Uncle, I will not let another man die in my place".
My experience has been that these immigrants understand the value of freedom very often more than we do. The get the stakes as they have first hand knowledge of tyranny, poverty and oppression. You can turn off all of the benefits which I support because I don't believe anyone should be recieving welfare or any other entitlement program. But they will still come. People have always risked their lives to achieve freedom. It's no different then those that risked being gunned down trying to escape over the iron curtain. Immigrants serve in the US Armed forces in great numbers. They serve in equal proportion to their population and are historically among the largest groups of recipients of the Medal of Honor. I beg you to honor their service and not question their allegience to our shared values of a free people.
With regard to the economics, more people is the equivalent of more capital. We make a mistake when we see people as only laborors. Every worker is a consumer too and in a free society there is no limit to the number of people we can support. The ill effects that you mistakenly attribute to overcrowding are actually the effects of socialism and the welfare state not of the population. There is no limit to the number of people a free society can support. For every worker there is a consumer. America is wealtheir when we grow the population and slow and limited growth can only be achieved by limiting freedom and will only result in a poorer and less well funded America. We don't just support ourselves inside the borders of America. We need these workers because American farmers aren't growing just enough to feed only American's but in fact feed people all over the world. American construction companies aren't just building projects  here but all over the world. American hospitality is serving tourists from all over the world. We manufacture products that are sold not just here but round the world. Our tech, biotech and medical industries serve people round the world as well. If we are to slow things down and support only ourselves we limit our potential to export more to keep businesses here selling around the world. Limits are nothing more  than limits on our potential.
Another example is, we educate engineers and scientists from all over the world, we give them student visas and as soon as they graduate we deny them a work visa. We have the best educational institutions in the world and we don't get to realize their potential and we never get paid back as we deport them back to other countries instead of allowing them to remain and work here. I do not know what the argument is for not allowing smart people to stay. Outside of the economic argument for allowing them to stay, there is also a National Security Argument. I believe strongly in the brain drain. One of the best weapons we have without ever shedding blood is to make sure that these smart people want to stay here and work for good in this country as opposed to working in another country where there talents may be used against us.
The reality is, that as a percentage of the native population in America we have never let in fewer immigrants than we do today. In the 17 and 1800's there were times where there were more people in the Atlantic and the Pacific, on their way here than there were natives already living here. They all spoke different languages and didnt' get along very well and there were NO limits on the number of them that were allowed. Thank God my family was not prevented from coming. I celebrate this heritage and am not afraid of the fact that according to your own numbers we let in around .33% of our native population (1,000,000 / 300,000,000). What many of us are asking is to just increase that number to whatever the market needs, not an arbitrary number decided by someone in an ivory tower. Just doing the math on the 12 million undocumented already here, its important to remember we came to that number over 25 years, which equates to 480,000 per year. That is less .17%. Less than 1 percent! These other countries that these immigrants are fleeing will run out of people before we ever experience the problems you fear. For America's prosperity and for the freedom of these noble people, I beg you to reconsider your position and wish you the best always,
Jason LeVecke

not sure I understand the LOOOONG meandering answers, I know you REFUSE to tell me HOW MANY of the worlds 6 BILLION people the middle class American tax payers should pay for though.  I also wonder if you had to drive yourself thru L.A., Chicago, Houston or Dallas - then you night notice that we are absurdly over-populated now.  Do you even notice what is going on outside your windows when you drive?  We could import ( and we probably will thanks to clueless elites ) people until we have a billion people here, and it wouldn't make a dent in the world population.  All that we are doing is destroying our quality of life, so some combination of pseudo-guilty white elites, along with the ethnic race-baiters get their way, and turn the entire U.S. into the mess California is in.  Our chattering political class is stunningly clueless as to the everyday quality of life of the middle class.  The middle class American must be the most hated entity in the world to the elite globalists.

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