Argument: Path to citizenship sends message that breaking laws is OK

Issue Report: Path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the US


The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research and educational institute, in its website “Immigration” section, (accessed Oct. 3, 2007): “Do not grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Regardless of the penalties imposed, any program that grants individuals who are unlawfully present the legal permission to remain here rewards illegal behavior and is unfair to those who obey the law and go through the regula tory and administrative requirements to enter the country legally. Those who enter the United States illegally should not be rewarded with permanent legal status or other such benefits, and they should be penalized in any road to citizenship. Those who enter and remain in the country illegally are violating the law, and condoning or encouraging such violations increases the likelihood of further illegal conduct. The only fair way to resolve this problem is to insist that individuals currently in the country who have violated immigration statutes leave and then apply for admission through legal means.”[1]

Randy Neugebauer, US Representative (R-TX), in a July 2, 2007 website section titled “Randy’s Roundups,”: “Amnesty is bad policy and sends the message that immigrants are better off breaking our laws rather than respecting them.”[2]

John Jacob, Owner of John D. Jacob Land Surveying Services, while being a 2006 U.S. congressional Republican candidate in Utah, in a June 25, 2006 Deseret News article entitled “John Jacob’s Responses to News Candidate Questionnaire,” stated: “[Amnesty] is a mass-pardon for lawbreakers and serves as a disadvantage to those who are legally seeking the American dream. We must not reward people who have crossed our borders illegally. In short, amnesty is looking the other way while a crime is being committed.” [3]

The Colorado Alliance for Immigration Reform (CAIR), in a website section titled “Issues” (accessed Mar. 5, 2007): “An amnesty is a reward to those breaking the law. Giving amnesty to illegal aliens forgives their act of illegally entering the United States and in addition forgives related illegal activities such as driving illegally and working using false documents. An amnesty results in large numbers of foreigners who illegally entered the United States being given legal status as a reward for breaking the law. Amnesties encourage additional illegal immigration into the United States.”[4]

Todd Schnitt, who often discusses immigration policy on the Schnitt Show, said in a phone interview with KOMO News: “Everybody who broke into this country illegally knows they broke into this country illegally, and they’ve been siphoning off our system. […] I’m all for immigration. We’re a country of immigrants that came to this country legally. […] [But,] I don’t believe in amnesty. We need to send them back to their home countries, and then they can reapply, get in line, and enter this country legally.”[5]