'Catch an illegal' college games won't stop immigration amnesty

The University of Texas students should have known better. Fortunately, there are more reasonable methods of stopping amnesty. Photo: Associated Press

OCALA, Fla., November 25, 2013 — Last week, our national discussion about illegal immigration was revived, though for a very unexpected reason.

Just before the weekend, Meleena Loseke of Fox News Latino reported that “(t)he Young Conservatives of Texas had called for a ‘Catch an Illegal Immigrant’ game on Wednesday afternoon, during which several people were supposed to walk around [The University of Texas at Austin] campus with a label reading ‘illegal immigrant’ while other students were supposed to try to ‘capture’ them.

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“But after the controversial event was cancelled amid national opposition, protesters showed up instead wearing shirts labeled, ‘Undocumented.’ 

“More than 300 people showed up to protest YCT’s questionable attempt to spark a conversation about immigration reform.”

There can be little doubt that the YCT should have thought up a more reasonable game. How was something like this going to play out, especially in an illegal alien-rich state like Texas?

If they wanted to raise awareness regarding the possibility of amnesty for illegals, they should have publicized the contents of S. 744. Also called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744 was passed by the U.S. Senate earlier this year. 

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In April, RedState blogger Daniel Horowitz analyzed the bill, finding that it “fails to mandate any specific trigger for legalization.” Should the Secretary of Homeland Security put forth a plan for securing dangerous points along America’s borders in a half-year period, illegals then become eligible for Registered Provisional Immigrant status. 

Horowitz wrote that “(t)he bill prescribes a 12-month open enrollment process for the RPI status … it cedes a lot of power to the Secretary. She will have the authority to extend the application period for another 18 months … Now, we know from the conditions of the bill that almost every illegal in the country could be eligible for RPI status until proven otherwise. In fact, even some aliens already deported can come back and apply for the status.”

He also pointed out that the Homeland Security Department will be made to allow illegals, even those in custody, to apply for RPI status. 

“During this period of no deportations,” Horowitz said, “many more people will come here illegally or overstay their visas. What would be the deterrent? Does anyone really believe that after the application process is over, they will suddenly make a 180 and deport those who didn’t come forward?” 

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Making matters worse is, “given that the E-verify and watered-down visa tracking system don’t have to be implemented for 10 years, we will be dealing with many more illegals.” That’s not all, though. “By the time the 10-year deadline comes due to grant the RPI illegals green cards and citizenship (unconditionally within 3 years), we will probably have more illegals than we have now.” 

Finally, RPI status “will ostensibly halt all deportations for 2.5 years. Subject to the discretion of the DHS … they could completely shut down deportations because any illegal can potentially be here before 2012 … And anyone could potentially be eligible for the Dream Act, because, unlike previous iterations, this one does not mandate a maximum age for eligibility.”

In June, the Center for Immigration Studies, a prominent think tank, summarized a Congressional Budget Office report on border security. “CBO projects 4.8 million new illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children will be living in the country by 2023 if the bill becomes law, compared to 6.4 million without it — a mere 25% reduction in future illegal immigration.”

The CBO discovered that “In the first ten years after the passage of S.744, new illegal immigration will add nearly 500,000 illegal residents and their children to the U.S. population each year” and “7.5 million new illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children will be in the country if the bill passes, compared to 10 million without the bill, so even in the very long term S.744 only reduces illegal immigration by 25%.”

“One of the reasons that illegal immigration will remain so high, according to CBO,” the CIS also noted, “is the bill itself will encourage illegal immigration. CBO states, ‘aspects of the bill would probably increase the number of unauthorized residents — in particular, people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers.’”

As the year draws to a close, it looks increasingly unlikely that Congress will pass legislation granting some form of amnesty to illegals. This is especially important as, just a few months ago, Washington was abuzz with news that Republicans in the U.S. House were crafting legislation to comport with the Border Security bill.

The claim among House Republicans is that President Obama’s actions during last month’s federal government shutdown soured them toward compromise. While relations between Capitol Hill Republicans and the White House are strained, it is unlikely that this was enough to derail amnesty.

Even Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, once amnesty-driven immigration reform’s public face in center-right circles, has backed off. Libertarian firebrand Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky hasn’t been making much noise, either.

Perhaps congressional Republicans finally realized that awarding amnesty to millions of financially destitute, generally unskilled, and ardently non- — if not anti- — assimilationist illegals is just a bad idea. It would create demographic nightmares for the Republican brand nationwide. After amnesty, the GOP would be lucky to win in the Solid South.

On a deeper level, though, Congressional Republicans looked beyond party to see what is best for the country as a whole. In any case, it is nice to see that House Republicans aren’t caving, and that many Senate Republicans are waking up. 

We should not become complacent about the chances of amnesty. Careful watch should be kept in case this lunacy makes a comeback. If that happens, then the voices of congressional Republicans’ constituents will become vital beyond measure. 

By learning as much as possible about S. 744, and making our voices heard in a reasonable manner, we can take positive steps against illegal immigration. College students playing foolish games, however, is not the path forward.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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