Republican supporters of the Senate’s latest amnesty bill are trying to distract voters by dangling before them the requirements for an illegal alien to become a citizen or purchase a green card. These requirements make this bill a tough, no-cave-in reform, proponents say, that responds to the public’s outrage over immigration law-breaking. Don’t be fooled. Prerequisites to citizenship or permanent residency status are irrelevant to whether this bill rewards law-breaking or will encourage more in the future. Its key feature is rather that illegal aliens, according to press reports, can immediately have their illegal status wiped away with a temporary-residency permit, available virtually upon demand. That’s it. The rest is noise. Whether or not one has to show English proficiency and a knowledge of civics to become a citizen is irrelevant from an illegal alien’s perspective; a minute proportion of illegal or even legal Mexican and Central American immigrants come here with the desire to become citizens. The naturalization rate among qualified Hispanics has traditionally been negligible compared to other national groups; it started rising only when Congress required citizenship to receive welfare benefits.
There is no ambiguity about the effects of amnesty. Everywhere they have been introduced—including in Europe–they have brought in their train a new flood of illegals. This latest bill will do the same.