The Southern Baptist Convention coined a new name for amnesty last month: “Restitution-Based Immigration Reform.”
Southern Baptist Seminary provost Bruce Riley Ashford outlined this poisonous proposal in a Fox News op-ed last weekend. “Congress must reject amnesty-based proposals, which disrespect and diminish the rule of law,” Ashford claims. But his proposal sounds awfully like amnesty. [These immigration reforms will make America good as well as great, by Bruce Riley Ashford, Fox News, November 17, 2019]
He argues America should not tolerate illegal immigration and that we need to secure the border. But instead of telling illegal immigrants they’re not welcome, Ashford says America should allow them to make “restitution.”
Restitution is the same plan all amnesties supposedly require. Illegals would have to pay a certain fee to stay and eventually earn citizenship. The Gang of Eight amnesty was also supposed to require illegals to pay “back taxes.” This is a bad idea. One, this rewards illegal immigration by only penalizing them with a slap on the wrist. Two, Democrats would not support it because they now think illegals should not suffer any penalty—regardless of how small it is.
Ashford claims mass deportation would be “inhumane” and “destroy the economy.” He offers a false choice between his plan and mass deportation. The best idea is attrition through enforcement, which would simply make it impossible for illegals to live in America via strictly enforced laws.
Ashford also wants “Dreamers” (illegals who came to the U.S. as minors) to receive permanent legalization. The vast majority of Dreamers protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are young adults, not children.
The Southern Baptists’ plan is amnesty, plain and simple. Republicans should dismiss it and focus on making it harder for illegals to live in America--not easier to stay here.