The Eight should also explain why they would allow illegal aliens with criminal records to legalize. Not one amnesty proposal has ever required a clean criminal record to qualify. The current bill allows aliens with two misdemeanor convictions to legalize. Given the incessant pressures on district attorneys to accept a plea in exchange for downgrading the crime charged and to ignore most arrests entirely, it takes considerable effort to rack up two misdemeanor convictions—whether by dealing drugs, assaulting fellow gangbangers, stealing, or tagging. The bill’s authors apparently think that staying on the right side of the law is an insuperable burden and that having a criminal record is an ordinary part of being an American.
The political effects of the proposed amnesty won’t benefit the GOP, whatever the party’s hopes might be. Hispanics will not shift their vote to Republicans in the next presidential election unless Republicans promote the same big-government programs, such as Obamacare, that attract Hispanics to the Democratic Party in the first place. So Republican handwringing over how to woo the Hispanic vote will begin all over again, and the next solution will be to convert probationers to legal permanent-resident or citizenship status. Expect to hear the mantra: “Bring the probationers out from the shadows.”
Harvard economist George Borjas has recently estimated that low-skilled American workers already suffer wage losses of $402 billion a year because of immigrant labor, a sum that does not include the costs to taxpayers of welfare paid to low-skill immigrant workers and their children. Amnesty proponents should explain how providing legal status to millions of illegal aliens will affect the job prospects of the poorest Americans.