What a horrible miscalculation. Feckless politicians are banging the drum over a watchdog agency report on S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, heedless of the one big problem with any immigration reform bill that includes legalization: it practically begs Americans to discriminate.
Can Congress force inclusion?
Not many amnesty lovers will temper their joy over the CBO’s deficit reduction figures for S.744 with the agency’s projection that the bill will also add millions of workers to the labor force and have at least 10 years of negative effects on employment and wages.¹ We are hearing about the deficit-lowering impact of the Senate’s immigration boondoggle, but we aren’t hearing much about this:
CBO and JCT expect that new immigrants of working age would participate in the labor force at a higher rate, on average, than other people in that age range in the United States.²
For Americans who are over 50 and still looking for work, will new job seekers willing to make less money be a good thing?
S.744 can’t force inclusion for millions of new citizens-in-waiting who become Registered Provisional Immigrants. Real inclusion doesn’t come from passing out favors to activist groups to bolster political careers (see: If Republicans Sell Exclusion, the Middle Class Will Buy). It does not rely on slogans or teary-eyed tales of immigrants in America that have nothing to do with our government pardoning illegal aliens, either.
Out of the shadows: will Americans accept or discriminate?
Will the perception of undeserved favors being handed out to those who gamed the system cause America to discriminate? S.744 could turn illegal aliens into outcasts by bringing them out of the shadows and making it clear that they did something wrong, hammering the point home with fines and back taxes while they wait for over a decade in the RPI gray area and their chance at citizenship. Unleashing millions of work permit carrying immigrants into the labor market won’t help much, either, and invites us to discriminate in favor of American workers.
Members of Congress who decided we had to opt for inclusion and include illegal aliens as legitimate members of our society are selling out citizens and ignoring the lingering effects of the bad economy. A compelling question is whether S.744 or any immigration bill will make a difference. If you are living and working in the shadows under a false identity, why would you out yourself when your chances of being caught are slim to nil and America’s government has proved it has no stomach for mass deportations? Immigration legislation may turn into a big party that the guests of honor don’t show up for.