The Immigration Reform Act of 1986 was a pretty simple act, but these laws have not been enforced in substance for 20 years. The current immigration bill in the Senate is 380 pages long, before amendments. President Bush and the lawmakers would want us to believe they will enforce the new laws if passed. Are you kidding me?
The reason some of us call this new bill amnesty is that, as soon as it becomes law, the illegal immigrants will be immediately granted legal status by a very simple process. Path to citizenship is something else, of course. Legal status means they would essentially have the same rights as citizens except the right to vote, for example. It also means an estimated 30,000 illegal immigrant gang members could immediately request quick legal status and, when granted, could never be deported.
In 1986, we said we could not deport 3 million illegals. Now we say we cannot deport 12 million. In 10 years or so, we will probably say we cannot deport another 20 million. The lawmakers say that this new bill and the 370-mile wall — if ever erected — on a 2,000-mile-long border will deter new illegals from entering the United States. Are you kidding me?
We need to follow this bill closely because some provisions are smoke screens. For example, emotional debates are raging on the immigration bill’s point system for future immigrants. If this point system were to pass, it would not be implemented for eight years. Do you think the next president and lawmakers will remember and implement them then?
I believe the answer to the problem is for us to enforce existing laws.
Let’s challenge Bush and the lawmakers to enforce existing laws for two years before they embark on creating very complicated new ones.
— Leon Lim, Camarillo