To successfully remain in the country, aliens entering or remaining here illegally must regularly violate numerous other civil and criminal laws. For example, federal laws explicitly prohibit unauthorized aliens from working. Because many rely on fraudulent documents or identity theft to gain employment, there will also be a range of crimes associated with misrepresentation. Both the use of fraudulent documents and identity theft are serious felonies — the injury to victims can be significant.
Also, labor displacement from illegal immigration costs more than $100 billion a year for federal, state and local taxpayers.
Invoking a rolling statute of limitations on illegal immigration would be nothing more than a continuing amnesty program and an open invitation for millions more to violate immigration laws. Deterrence — what little remains — is disastrously undermined.
The Obama administration is already exercising overly broad and unmanageable power not to enforce laws against illegally resident aliens except those who have been convicted of violent felonies or who are deemed a security risk. Today’s rubber-stamping of hundreds of thousands of deferred action applications confirms that a rolling statute of limitations would leave our immigration control apparatus in fragments.
Has it come to that? If we no longer have enough self-respect to demand that future immigrants respect our borders and laws, why should they?
Dan Stein is president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.