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An argument against amnesty

Shaaya Ellis | Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Last week a bipartisan group of United States senators unveiled an outline suggesting ways to fix our countries illegal immigration problem.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, who leads this crusade, said: “This plan introduces a tough but fair path to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders, reforms our current immigration system that will better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families, establishes an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers and lastly establishes an approved process of admitting future worker to serve of nations workforce needs while simultaneously  protecting all workers.”

While these suggestions for immigration reform are cogent and reasonable, it is a clear contradiction to this nation’s values to grant amnesty to those who willfully and knowingly broke the law.

Firstly, all illegal immigrants are criminals in that none of them are innocent of breaking the law. All who come here illegally consciously and intentionally break the law. For our public servants to grant them citizenship undermines the oath of office they took to protect and defend our fair country from enemies foreign and domestic.

Secondly, if you are here illegally, first and foremost you are breaking the law. This means all those here illegally are entitled to nothing: No vote, no say, no services, no opinion, no status, no right to work etc. There are provisions to seek and gain citizenship, legally. Maybe if illegals had remained in their own country and fought for change and worked towards improving their own countries, maybe their native countries would be better. Our founding fathers put their very lives on the line as do our service men and women throughout history to attain and keep the freedoms we have earned. Our taxes help to support this country, and it’s services should only go to the citizens of this country. Granting amnesty to those who continue to usurp the rule of law is not fair to the citizens who work and pay their taxes.

Thirdly, it is unfair to allow those who have willfully and intentionally broken our nation’s immigration laws to, in essence, cut in front of those across the world who have been patiently and legally waiting their turn to become U.S. citizens. To let those who came here illegally continue to reside in our nation undermines the integrity of our country and does a disservice to those who abide by the law.

Finally, if we are serious about achieving solving our illegal immigration problem, then we must imprison and apprehend the lawbreakers who come to this country illegally. This would send a concise and direct message to those who come here illegally.

Likewise, those here illegally can deport themselves if they find that coming to America illegally is a serious crime and that the taxpayers will no longer foot the bill for their medical care, education and other welfare amenities.

Furthermore, if we are deeply committed to achieving real immigration reform, the border is going to need much more stringent security. Failing to secure our border costs the taxpayers in many ways. Schools become overcrowded, medical resources are stretched too thin, other government services are overtaxed and taxes increase further. Granting amnesty to those who deliberately break the law not only is economically burdensome, but it is also an injustice.
 

Shaaya Ellis is a sophomore political science major with a classics minor. He can be contacted at sellis2@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.