The Devil is always in the details.
The Gang of 8 statement of principals on immigration reform actually provides for the immediate legalization of the 11 million, or more, of those now here illegally in this country.
While I am strongly opposed to this plan, I want to point out one flaw that is so glaringly obvious; that surprisingly it has yet to be mentioned.
Senator Schumer, on January 28th: "On day one of our bill, the people here without status who are not criminals or security risks will be able to work here legally......They would no longer be deported, provided they don't have a criminal record...."
Senator Schumer, again, on January 30th: "People can get a work visa, so they're out of the shadows, they can work, they can stay in the United States, if they don't have a criminal charge against them.."
I assume that the background check envisioned by Schumer would be similar to that done now for firearms purchases, that is, a search of criminal records databases.
Any law enforcement professional will tell you that there are a huge number of unsolved crimes; a great many of which are violent crimes against persons, where there is fingerprint and/or DNA evidence that has yet to be matched against a potential suspect.
Each day we read of crimes, many of which are cold cases, being solved, as fingerprints and/or DNA from newly arrested persons is entered into the AFIS and CODIS systems, and a match is obtained.
Among the 11 million or more illegals who will be eligible for legal status under the proposed legislation, does anyone doubt that there exists a certain percentage who have committed SERIOUS crimes?
Obviously, many will not choose to come forward, fearing detection and arrest. OK, we're no worse off than before, EXCEPT that we have not stupidly rushed ahead and given them legal status.
EVERY ILLEGAL WHO APPLIES FOR NORMALIZATION MUST BE REQUIRED TO SUBMIT FINGERPRINTS AND DNA AS PART OF THE PROCESS.
I am no expert, but it appears that the requirements for legal immigration to this country are far more stringent than those now proposed for normalizing illegals.
The Mariel boatlift allowed thousands of criminals and mentally ill to enter this country from Cuba. ( A 1991 Congressional report suggested that 25%, or 31,000 people, of the 125,000 Cubans who entered the US before the program was ended, were undesireables.) The cost to local, state, and federal goverments to provide services for these people was in the hundreds of millions.
In the end, 2,746, or 2% were classified as serious or violent criminals, and denied citizenship. BUT THEY STILL WERE ABLE TO REMAIN HERE.
If we reasonably assume that the same 2% ratio ( if not greater) applies to those now here illegally, that's some 250,000 VIOLENT CRIMINALS that we can prevent from achieving legal status..
Today, some 20% of all Americans have criminal records. If we assume the same ratio applies for those now here illegally, that's some 3 million who won't be eligible for legal status. (And what happens if one person has a criminal record, but the spouse doesn't?) Does the criminal get to stay here under the "family unification" doctrine?
Before any legislation is adopted to provide any type of immigration pathway, Congress should require a study of criminology statistics to determine exactly whom we are proposing to legalize.
AND ANY PATHWAY TO A LEGAL STATUS MUST REQUIRE A SEARCH OF FINGERPRINT AND DNA DATABASES AS PART OF THAT PROCESS.