Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Illegal Immigration - First Priority

Twenty years ago in 1986, the U.S. granted amnesty to illegal immigrants then in the country. Illegal immigrants in 1986 numbered an estimated 2.5 million. Today, the number of illegal immigrants is estimated at 11 million, with some observers putting the number as high as 16 million.

Granting amnesty in 1986 did not solve or ease the problem of illegal immigration. Instead, the amnesty encouraged more illegal immigration.

To make real progress, the first priority must be border security and enforcement. Without true border security, all attempts to legislate the problem away will fail.

Does Congress have the political will to take necessary measures to secure the border? It will mean appropriations to increase the number of border patrol officers and to build a fence along at least parts of the southern border. But that is what is required to stem the tide of illegal immigrants. Bills in Congress to have guest workers or to require more paper will not reduce the problem of illegal immigration. However, they may contribute to a solution if used in tandem with true border security and enforcement.


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