By, Murali Bashyam, Esq.
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
So what does Einstein’s definition of insanity have to do with immigration?
In an immigration-related article Atlanta Immigration Examiner, Inger Eberhart, in all of her infinite immigration wisdom, tries to make the point that a recent Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (CIR)(HR 4321) introduced in the House of Representatives is exactly like Ronald Reagan’s ‘failed’ 1986 amnesty, and therefore the push for immigration reform is insane.
The difference between 1986 and 2010 Comprehensive Immigration Reform
None of the CIR bills introduced in Congress resemble Reagan’s 1986 amnesty. What Reagan did was a true amnesty – he granted something very close to Lawful Permanent Resident (“green card”) status to illegal aliens who met certain requirements. These CIR bills do not grant automatic ‘green card’ status to anyone. Instead, they create a separate immigration status for illegal aliens who qualify. After that, these aliens will have to go through the long and cumbersome “green card” process just like any other immigrant who wants to live in the United States.
The author of the immigration article referred to earlier, indirectly blames the 1986 amnesty for the increased numbers of illegal aliens in the United States. She also says that CIR will not stop illegal immigration.
The amnesty in 1986 did not singularly play a role in increasing illegal immigration. There are many factors that contribute to illegal immigration, including enforcement, country conditions and the big one – ECONOMY.
As our country currently experiences what some say is the worst recession since the Great Depression, fewer illegal immigrants are coming to the U.S. and, in fact, more are going home.
CIR should not be confused with stopping illegal immigration. Stopping illegal immigration is related to enforcement. We can build the Great Wall of China across our southern border and basically shut down illegal immigration from Mexico, but that does not impact the illegal immigrants who are already in the U.S.
Call us crazy, but we will continue to do what we can to help immigrants achieve the American dream day in and day out, because they have families, jobs and they contribute to our economy. Many are young children who have grown up here and call America home.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform directly affects all of them. It affects all of us. We don’t think that is insane.