In 1986, when I returned to my native California after living in New York and then Seattle, an interesting sequence of immigration-related events brought me, quite unintentionally, to the place I now occupy as an activist and patriot.
I had no teaching experience but spoke Spanish. The principal was an open-minded type who figured that he needed someone—and soon—and that, based on my interview, I would be able to pass the tests required to get a California teaching credential.
Immediately, my classroom filled to overflowing with Mexican farm workers who were fulfilling their federally mandated 40 hours of English language instruction under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.
Then—even though they never actually learned English—the aliens would qualify for their "green card" and could change their immigration status from illegal alien to legal permanent resident and eventually to U.S. citizen.
The process, which involved thousands of students, wore on for months.
Looking back today, I realize that, at the moment I issued my last certificate attesting that the aliens had satisfied their educational obligation, the U.S. illegal immigrant population was reduced to zero.
Technically, that's not quite accurate, since many aliens didn't take advantage of what was then referred to as a "one-time" amnesty.
But for the sake of today's discussion, let's assume that, effective at the end of 1986, America had no illegal aliens. And for the sake of fairness, let's use an average of the commonly cited (by the mainstream media and immigration enthusiasts) of 12 million aliens living in the U.S. and my more probable calculation of 20 million. That makes 16 million as the number of aliens currently living in the U.S.
Those 16 million represent "stealth amnesty," immigration reform patriots' most insidious enemy.
Defined, stealth amnesty means that a foreign national comes to the U.S. never leaves. While he's here, he does all the things an American citizen or a legal immigrant might: He works, puts his children in school, receives medical attention, buys a house, etc.
Stealth amnesty beneficiaries come in two types.
First, many aliens qualified for legal amnesty under six separate federal acts between 1994 and 2000. They were individually smaller in scope than IRCA, which amnestied approximately 2.7 million. In aggregate, however, the six provided amnesty to more than 3 million.
Section 245 (i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens
Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994
Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America
Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti
Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens
LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000
These amnesties that provided a "path to citizenship" to millions more aliens. They qualify as "stealth amnesties" because the bills were passed under the radar without meaningful debate of Main Stream Media coverage, either before or after they were enacted.
Even today, many patriots have no idea that these amnesties existed.
Second, the more visible stealth amnesty community are illegal border crossers and visa overstayers.
From time to time on the evening news, most often on Fox or CNN, video clips of illegal aliens marching through the Arizona or California deserts emphasize the crimes that inadequate border security allow.
What's never shown on television is the equally egregious offender—the visa violator who represents about a third of the illegal alien total. Using our 16 million base figure, visa overstayers number about 5.5 million.
Eight years after 9/11, when visa abuse provided entry into the U.S. for the terrorists, America is still without an effective entry-and-exit monitoring program.
The United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program (US-VISIT) has tightened up the entry process, with a series of biometric authentications matching the person issued a visa abroad with the person standing at a passport counter. But when that person leaves the country, no such process takes place.
The border and visa processing failures, both of which effectively mean stealth amnesty, are a headache both for national security and for controlling immigration. They serve as a worldwide advertisement that if people can just get into the U.S., they can stay as long as they want, outside the law, and without much hassle.
Either the federal government cares about its laws or it doesn't. Despite the costs, following through with US-Visit on exit as well as entry is vital to sending a message that the U.S. is resolute in policing its borders, appropriately monitoring its visitors and protecting its people.
Five consecutive presidents have not only deliberately ignored immigration laws, they have to various degrees actively promoted amnesty.
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; …
By refusing to uphold the Constitution, President Obama is committing, as have his five predecessors, an impeachable offense.
And there are ominous signs that he is quietly sabotaging enforcement.
Recently, various conservative voices have sprung up recently endorsing Obama's impeachment—most prominently the widely admired radio talk show host Michael Savage. (Listen to Savage demand Obama impeachment here.)
From a national security and economic stability perspective, the consequences of allowing more legal and illegal immigration are higher than ever. Not only does the terrorism threat remain unchecked but jobs are fewer and the economy shakier than at any time in American history.
Bringing impeachment proceedings against a sitting U.S. president is a large order. Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader tried and failed against Bush II for his role in falsifying the evidence that led to the Iraq War.
Even if Congress votes to impeach, it's never gotten a conviction.
But courageous Blue Dog Democrats could send Obama the vital message that the America's fate is more important than his radical left agenda.
And the sooner moderate Democrats join up to expose Obama's treason, the sooner we can kill stealth amnesty.
Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.