The so-called Gang of Eight immigration plan now being considered by the Senate fails to live up to every major promise made by its sponsors. Far from improving the immigration system, their 1,000-page proposal would exacerbate many of its flaws. It would dangerously undermine future enforcement while imposing substantial burdens on taxpayers and taking jobs and pay from U.S. workers.
Indeed, the two unions representing our nation’s immigration and customs officers and those who process immigration applications have strongly urged opposition.
The sponsors’ promise of enforcement first was broken when lead sponsor Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared: “First, people will be legalized…. Then we’ll make sure the border is secure.” About 11 million immigrants who are here illegally — which includes 4 million who have overstayed their visas — would receive work permits, Social Security numbers and access to state and local benefits within six months of passage. The Department of Homeland Security merely has to submit a border plan, not accomplish that plan. Those legalized will then be free to compete for jobs at a time of low wages and high unemployment. It’s amnesty first, not enforcement first.