The Probable Path to AmnestySubmitted by BILL3 on Thu, 06/28/2012 - 17:51
The first step is already well under way, it is the offical/formal policy of non enforcement. As with Pres. Obama's recent executive order, this policy will become more open and formal as time goes on, despite Republican rhetoric to the contrary. Whether the GOP adopts genuine restrictionist policies rather that mere rhetoric remains to be seen, but it is a possibility.
GOP candidates have acknowledged they won't be going around rounding up elderly or children for deportation, and the recent executive order from Obama took note of this by focusing on non enforcement for young adults, since we already have consensus that we wont deport elderly or children
This is a sea change in policy, at least in its formal capacity, and has gotten barely any attention from Romney or the GOP.
The second condition that will lead to amnesty is the indirect/implicit benefits of being illegal; no income tax, free healthcare with no penalty, free public school, access to social welfare, no public records, no jury duty, no selective service, etc. I'll explain why this will lead to amnesty.
By adding more and more unofficial or indirect benefits, without costs, citizens and taxpayers will be led to feel that there's a certain unfairness in illegals NOT being citizens subject to payroll taxes, income taxes, healthcare penalty, etc., as we move away from talk about actually enforcing the immigration laws, as is happening now.
Coupled with the acknowledged policy of non enforcement, this will create pressure to legalize (amnesty).
The third condition that will lead to amnesty is very important, and will probably begin soon. The presence of millions of illegal aliens in different states, who don't have representation, will create a set of conditions analogous to the lack of representation of slaves in slave states. It will create a powerful interest in those locales, counties, districts, and states to fight or representation for the uncounted undocumented residents. Not voting rights at first, but just representation of their collective numbers.
The lack of right to vote will be the main sticking point for those opposed to amnesty. Despite all the unfair exemptions and benefits given to illegals by default, despite official non enforcement, the majority will still oppose granting the right to vote to illegals, for reasons of fairness, and to prevent their obtaining voting power contrary to the interests of many, both in political office and among voters in general.
The states with large illegal alien populations will at first take an indirect approach to representation, claiming that they should get more representation in congress, more federal funds, etc., because of their large undocumented populations not being counted in the census, not being counted in determining congressional districts and numbers of Reps, etc.
This is similar to the set of interests that caused southern states to argue for congressional representation for slave residents, which resulted in the 3/5ths count compromise. I imagine we'll skip over any such compromises and representation will be given for illegal residents.
This will, in effect, give illegal aliens a substantial amount of representation congressionally and in the electoral college, despite not having the actual vote yet. I think in practice, in many places, illegal aliens will vote, will not be stopped from voting, and attempts to prevent them from voting will be fought with existing civil rights statutes. The democrats will probably lead the way in blocking voter ID laws and creating a de facto right to vote for illegals before pressing for a formal right to vote (thus completing the Amnesty.)
Once this set of conditions prevail, it is a very short step to full amnesty. Illegals will a) be garnering substantial benefits and exemptions from taxes, etc., while b) getting substantial representation via their states and districts. The country will eventually just be inclined to grant amnesty (full rights and full taxes/penalties/records), as a matter of fairness to not the illegals, but to themselves. Once the benefits of being illegal clearly outweigh the lack of full citizenship, as the aforementioned conditions would, amnesty will simply be the de jure formalization of the de facto realiy.
Present policy is heading in this direction, and this is the likely path amnesty will take.
In any case, the present day population of undocumented aliens will presumably have 2-3 children per household who are birthright citizens of the USA and will constitute a large voting bloc, so the issue of amnesty might fade into irrelevance within a generation even if the above actions aren't taken. This voting bloc will favor amnesty, but it might become less important since the majority will be legal children of illegal residents.
The real immigration fight will be over an end to birth right citizenship, as Ron Paul supports, and future enforcement of the border, future limits on legal immigration, and other possible changes.
Whether this voting bloc will fling the doors open even more to unlimited immigration, advocate for self interested ethnic benefits, affirmative action, work and school quotas, more social welfare, radical changes in school curricula; for opening the presidency to foreign born, for allowing dual citizenship, allowing regional de facto political relationships with their countries of origin, de facto "self rule," police no go zones as exist now in the Islamic sections of France, for official non English language sections of the country, or for many other conceivable policies, remains to be seen.
There is also the razor thin possibility of a smoother process of assimilation, as embraced by the Left and the neocons, but that is extremely doubtful, as preset trends continue; open avowal of ethnic identity politics, ingrained victim mentality, fight for special privileges, radicalizing of school curriculum, legally enrhsined language barriers, and very rapid and accelrating demographic change -- concentrated in a regional subsection of the country sharing a border with the home country, (in the case of Mexico).
Just some thoughts!