The Corner

Re: Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants

A reader sent the following letter to the White House (where, he says, no

doubt correctly, “it will not be read by anyone with any clout”), then

shared it with me. I thought I’d share it with you.

“I wholeheartedly disagree with the reported intent of this administration

to issue temporary work visas to workers in the United States Illegally. As

a Project Manager for an underground construction company [which he then

names], I have had an extremely difficult and frustrating time dealing with

the INS (now the Dept. of Homeland Security) regarding two Australian

citizens with highly specialized knowledge and 7 years more experience than

any comparable

American Citizens for my microtunneling operations. They have extensive

experience using a highly technical and specialized trenchless method, and

have installed 3 times the amount of footage of anyone else in the world.

“I have spent numerous dollars in attorneys’ fees, expedited processing

fees, airline tickets, hotel rooms (both in Australia and the US) attempting

to navigate the byzantine temporary worker visa program while attempting to

get a green card or H1-B for the two Aussies in question. (These two

Australians want to maintain their Australian citizenship but work in the US

and train US workers to their standards for approximately 3-5 years and then

return to their native country.) They are hard working, they pay US taxes,

and they have made every effort to stay within the letter of US immigration

laws (as has my company).

“I cannot begin to express how frustrating it is to me personally that it

has cost me approximately US$50,000 (and untold frustration to the

Australians and their families shuttling back and forth and disrupting their

children’s education and life), attempting to follow the regulations of US

immigration laws, only to find out that our President is contemplating

handing out 3 year protected working visas to any Tom, Dick, or Harry

working here illegally that managed to sneak across the border one way or

another and has made absolutely no effort to obey the immigration laws of

the United States.

“I am thoroughly displeased by this turn of events and I know that there are

millions of others in the US that are as displeased as I am.”

This letter illustrates an important truth about the immigration issue: The

people who are angriest about current policy, and about proposals like this

new Bush amnesty, are people who have some personal acquaintance with the

awful, expensive, irrational and hyper-bureaucratic business of LEGAL

immigration. People like the writer of that letter; like Michelle Malkin, who is the daughter of

immigrants; like Peter Brimelow and me, immigrants

ourselves. Most native-born Americans have no idea what you, and anyone

desiring to employ you, have to go through to accomplish a legal

immigration. When you have wrestled with that beast, the idea of handing

out Green Cards to people who sauntered across the border on spec just seems

grossly unjust.

The anger is spreading, though, and my prediction for 2004 is that illegal

immigration will be a big issue in the fall elections–to the consternation

and embarrassment of all establishment politicians, and in brazen defiance

of those politicians’ cynical attempts to cast the whole issue in terms of

“intolerance,” “discrimination,” “nativism” and “racism.”