President Obama and the bipartisan Gang of Eight in Washington who want to create a "pathway to citizenship" for millions of illegal aliens have sent a message loud and clear to those who follow the rules: You're chumps!
Have you paid thousands of dollars in travel, legal and medical fees to abide by the thicket of entry, employment, health and processing regulations? You're chumps!
Have you studied for your naturalization test, taken the oath of allegiance to heart, embraced our time-tested principle of the rule of law, and demonstrated that you will be a financially independent, productive citizen? You're chumps!
Unrepentant amnesty peddlers on both sides of the aisle admit their plan is all about votes and power. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain continues his futile chase for the Hispanic bloc. Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez is openly salivating at the prospect of millions of new illegal aliens — future Democratic Party dependents of the Nanny State— who could be eligible for Obamacare and a plethora of other government benefits despite clear prohibitions against them.
These cynical pols insist that the rest of law-abiding Americans and law-abiding permanent residents must support Washington's push to "do something" because "11 million people are living in the shadows."
To which I say: So? There are 23 million Americans out of work. Why aren't they Washington's top priority anymore? Didn't both parties once pledge that j-o-b-s for unemployed and underemployed Americans was Job No. 1? Why is the very first major legislative push of 2013 another mass amnesty/voter drive/entitlement expansion?
If Washington is really concerned about people "living in the shadows," how about prioritizing the jaw-dropping backlog of 500,000-plus fugitive deportee cases. These are more than a half-million illegal aliens who have been apprehended, who had their day in immigration court, who have been ordered to leave the country, and who were then released and absconded into the ether. Poof!
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, pols pretended to get serious about fixing the broken deportation system and enacted absconder apprehension initiatives to track down these national security risks. But over the past dozen years, only 100,000 out of 600,000-plus fugitive illegal aliens targeted by the program have been found. Why isn't the search and removal of these repeat offenders more important than giving "11 million people living in the shadows" a "pathway to citizenship"?
Question: If border security and immigration enforcement are truly a priority to our elected officials, why must these two basic government responsibilities be tethered to benefits for line-jumping illegal aliens? See whether any politician can answer without sputtering about "11 million people living in the shadows" or invoking the over-worn race card.
(By the way, we all know that moldy "11 million" statistic can't be right. Open borders groups have cited it for nearly 15 years as amnesty measure after amnesty measure attracted new generations of illegal aliens to the country.)
You know who else deserves more attention and compassion than "11 million people living in the shadows"? The 4.6 million individuals around the world who legally applied for sponsored green cards and followed the established legal immigration process. They've been shunted aside while the Obama administration ushers illegal alien "DREAM" waiver winners to the front of the line.
As Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies points out: "It is clear that there is no way the roughly one million or more potential Dreamers can be accommodated by (the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service) without noticeably slowing down the processing of legal immigrants. (emphasis added). The agency already processes six million applications a year without the amnesty add-ons.
There have been nearly a dozen major amnesty laws, affecting at least five million illegal aliens, passed since the Reagan 1986 amnesty. These beneficiaries and their families have crowded out legal immigrants and increased their application waiting times in untold ways. GOP Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas asked the Obama administration last summer to disclose data on how much the DREAM waiver amnesty alone has affected adjudication/processing times for everyone else. The White House has failed to answer the request.
Want a reality check? Not one of the past federal amnesties was associated with a decline in illegal immigration. Instead, the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. has tripled since 1986. The total effect of the amnesties was even larger because relatives later joined amnesty recipients, and this number was multiplied by an unknown number of children born to amnesty recipients who then acquired automatic U.S. citizenship.
Hopelessly naive (or stubbornly self-deluded) freshman GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida insists that any new recipients of the Gang of Eight's Grand Pander scheme will have to "go to the back of the line and wait behind everybody who applied before them, the right way." Rubio emphasizes to conservative talk show hosts that there will be background checks and rigorous vetting.
But as I've reported for the past two decades, the background check process has been corrupted under both Democratic and Republican administrations. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration turned immigration policy into a massive Democratic voter recruitment machine through the Citizenship USA program. Naturalization officers simply abandoned background checks wholesale. In 2003, an INS center in Laguna Niguel solved the massive backlog problem by putting tens of thousands of applications through a shredder. And in 2006, I exposed how some high-immigrant regions rewarded adjudication officers with bonuses for rubber-stamping as many applications as possible without regard to security.
You want "comprehensive immigration reform"? Start with reliable adjudications, fully cleared backlogs, consistent interior enforcement, working background checks for the existing caseload, and efficient and effective deportation policies that punish law-breakers and do right by law-abiders.
And please don't pretend that piling millions of new illegal aliens onto an already overwhelmed system is going to fix a darned thing. Chumps.
Michelle Malkin [email her] is the author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores . Click here for Peter Brimelow’s review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin is also author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild and Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies.