Editor’s note: The following column was submitted before Rep. Katie Hill’s resignation became official and additional candidates entered the race.
There are three Republicans running for Congress in California’s 25th Congressional District, where Democrat Rep. Katie Hill has announced her resignation. These Republicans are Mark Cripe, Mike Garcia and Angela Underwood Jacobs.
None of them indicate on their campaign websites that they oppose granting legal status to illegal aliens generally, or that they only would consider doing so after the border is secured and illegal visa overstays are ended. Nor do they discuss the impact of their positions on job availability and wages for those who are presently legally here.
Cripe states that he is “for a wall. The only concern is cost.” He further states: “If we’re going to expand our economy, we need more workers. There should be a clear path to citizenship. For those who are here under temporary protective status (TPS) or who have been here for 20 years without committing a crime, there should be path to citizenship.”
He wants a legal path to citizenship for “DACA and Dream Act” illegal aliens.
Garcia states that he is in favor of “securing and better surveillance of our borders.”
Jacobs states that she is for “border security and immigration reform.”
Providing legal status to illegal immigrants undermines the rule of law. It insults not only the millions who have immigrated to the United States legally, but also those who have stayed in their home countries while attempting to gain entry to the U.S. legally.
To end illegal immigration, illegal immigrants should not receive any change in their status under the law beyond what is available to them under present law and present lawful regulations promulgated in compliance with present law. This excludes President Barack Obama’s unlawful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) dictates.
If illegal immigrants are permitted to remain in the country with a new form of legal status, even without a pathway to citizenship, how will these candidates respond to the demands of the Democratic Party and significant portions of the Republican Party, and the class of newly legalized illegal immigrants, who will demand a pathway to citizenship? What will they tell the multitude of people in countries all over the world who are attempting to gain lawful entry to this country? What will they say about the children of these newly legalized illegal immigrants who are yet to be born?
When those children are born here, will these candidates favor automatic American citizenship for them? If so, how will they explain this to those who are attempting to come here legally? For those who are legally waiting in their home countries, their future children, who are born in the country in which they are lawfully waiting, do not automatically become American citizens at birth.
Any argument that the newly legalized illegal immigrants will go to the back of the line as they wait for citizenship must be rejected. If they get to remain in the United States legally, they will have jumped ahead of those in their home countries who are attempting legal entry. The newly legalized illegal immigrants will be able to have children born here who will be given automatic American citizenship, with rights to a multitude of means-tested welfare benefits, and non-means-tested entitlements. These children will become the anchors for future citizenship applications from their parents. These benefits will not accrue to those who remain in their countries while attempting to come here legally.
There is only one way to ensure that illegal immigrants go to the back of the line, and that the rule of law is respected. Illegal immigrants must leave the United States without any change in their status under the law beyond what is available to them under present law and present lawful regulations promulgated in compliance with present law. Anything less will encourage others to come illegally knowing that, at some point, they too will be given legal status.
America needs a credible border. By that I mean a border that is controlled by the citizens of America, not the citizens of other countries, that is controlled primarily for the benefit of American citizens, not the citizens of other countries, and that is controlled by an American population that appreciates and welcomes immigrants, but only when they come here legally, and in numbers that are conducive to their assimilation into the American value system that is based on the principles expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.
Comprehensive immigration reform is not needed. Comprehensive enforcement of our immigration laws is needed.
Allan J. Favish is an attorney who lives in Santa Clarita.