Saturday, January 9, 2010

Amnesty Opinion by Pittsburgh Gazette

Illegals and amnesty: Repeating a failure

Saturday January 9, 2010

Expect a new amnesty for illegal aliens under the Obama administration to harm U.S. workers and the rule of law and also be a bureaucratic nightmare conducive to fraud, abuse and waste.

That's what amnesty under the Immigration Reform and Control Act was. Documenting the debacle is a new Center for Immigration Studies ( report, "Lessons from the Last Amnesty: Problems with the 1986 IRCA Legalization Program."

Author David North, a CIS fellow, conducted a study -- funded by the Ford Foundation and a federal agency -- of IRCA as it was implemented. He highlights IRCA failings including bureaucrats' tendency to go easy on their clients and easily defrauded decision-making processes. Expect a new amnesty to repeat those failings.

Mr. North notes that IRCA's problematic provisions for migrant farm workers were crafted largely by then-U.S. Rep. Leon Panetta, now CIA director, and then-U.S. Rep. Charles Schumer, now the senator who'll sponsor the administration's upcoming immigration bill. Expect that bill to be no better.

The immigration reform act of 24 years ago failed to meet its biggest expectation: shrinking existing and future numbers of illegals. Expect a new amnesty to fail similarly -- and this White House to pursue it anyway.

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