Some proponents of immigration reform, especially on the liberal left, would like to grant amnesty to illegal aliens who fulfill certain criteria and pay back taxes. They claim that it would help the economy, but at least one organization disagrees with this assertion.
In a new report, entitled No Home for Amnesty in a Sustainable America, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), a non-profit organization, states that, historically, amnesty legislation ended up giving legal status to more people than what initial estimates suggested. For example, the 1986 amnesty program led to the naturalization of more than 3 million illegal immigrants, although authorities expected only about 1 million to be eligible.
The report further found that since 1986, six additional amnesties led nearly 6 million people to acquire legal status in the United States. Hence, the authors caution that this policy approach may end up attracting a new wave of illegal immigration, as foreigners will anticipate a future amnesty that will allow them to stay in the country.
"Amnesty legislation has not worked in the past, nor will it in the future, even if it is disguised under the rubric of ‘comprehensive immigration reform’," said Marilyn DeYoung, chairman of the board of CAPS.
She added that "America simply cannot grow on like this, and voters will have a hard time understanding how we can deter illegal behavior by rewarding illegal behavior."
CAPS researchers say that because of massive immigration, California has the lowest number of workers with a high school diploma in the nation.