Different Language; Same Amnesty

Jessica Zuckerman /

When it comes to immigration, Bruce Morrison has a fix, at least according to an article published in Politico earlier this month. The article frames Morrison, a former Democratic Congressman from Connecticut and chairman of the House Immigration Subcommittee, as an independent thinker: “[Morrison] doesn’t agree with everything Obama says or does.” Yet Morrison’s plan is anything but unique. It’s just another amnesty in disguise.

The article explains the plan: “Under Morrison’s plan, when you change jobs, you would get checked by a new electronic system to see whether you are in the U.S. legally. If you just arrived in the U.S. illegally you would get sent back. If you are here illegally but have a work history, you would get to stay until Congress decides what to do with you.”

Don’t let the language fool you—this is still a form of amnesty. Throwing in the requirement of a demonstrated work history changes nothing. In fact, requiring that illegal immigrants demonstrate that they have been present in the U.S. for an extended period of time in order to remain is also nothing new. The last time the U.S. granted an amnesty in 1986, the condition was that that an illegal immigrant had to demonstrate he or she had lived in the U.S. for at least five years. Since 1986, the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has soared from 2.7 million to almost 11 million today.

Instead of just applying a Band-Aid to illegal immigration, Congress and the Administration should do some independent thinking and work toward a real immigration solution. This must include finishing the job of securing our borders; strengthening immigration and workplace enforcement; and reforming avenues for legal immigration.

Amnesty by any other name is still amnesty.