The proposed Senate immigration bill as reported by the New York Times is an amnesty for illegal aliens. Anything that rewards them for an illegal act is an amnesty, and this bill proposes to do that for aliens who have been in this country for more than five years, i.e., the worst offenders.
This bill is racism at its worst. It favors Mexicans over all other races and nationalities because they are the main people who sneak over the border illegally. Sure, there are illegal Africans, Asians, and South Americans, but they mainly have to come in by the planeload and clear immigration at an airport. A few, but very few, non-Mexicans come sealed in shipping containers or by other unorthodox methods. Of the millions of aliens under consideration, the vast majority are Mexican. Indians, Russians, and Chinese be damned, especially if they have Ph.D.s or are highly skilled. The Senate doesn’t want them! It wants uneducated Mexicans who sneak across the border.
The main thing that bothers me is the disregard of the rule of law. We have immigration laws, but now the Senate says they are only hortatory. I was upset at Republican disdain for international law early in the Bush administration, but now — with increasing domestic acceptance of torture, denial of habeas corpus, warrantless wiretapping and other horrible things that it took the common law and the Constitution hundreds of years to outlaw — deciding that there is no immigration law is consistent with the general Republican disdain for law. No wonder Enron’s Ken Lay and company were good friends of the President, and they probably will be again when the press spotlight dims.
Perhaps I am upset because of my past job as a consular officer in Brazil issuing American visas. It breaks your heart to refuse a visa to someone, for example, who wants to visit his mother who is working illegally in the States, and whom he has not seen for years. But under the law, he is almost certain to stay and work in the US as his mother did, and thus, he is not eligible for a visa. But if he were Mexican, he could just sneak across the border. Why should there be one law for Mexicans and another for Brazilians (and Poles, and Thais, and Nigerians)? What’s the point of breaking his heart, and yours, if Congress doesn’t really care?