WASHINGTON — How can "comprehensive immigration reform" benefit our American children and grandchildren, who will prosper from or suffer the consequences of our decisions?
American immigration policy should be designed to enhance the economic, cultural and social wellbeing of Americans.
On a planet of 7 billion people, millions would sacrifice a great deal for an opportunity to succeed at the American dream. We cannot accept them all. Many open-borders advocates see the United States as a lifeboat saving people from poverty. Overloaded lifeboats sink. Ours is taking on water now.
Establishment Republicans, who confidently predicted a Mitt Romney win the night before the November election, awoke on the morning after desperately looking for a scapegoat for failure to wrest the presidency from Barack Obama.
Before the sun came up, they settled on immigration and the diminished Hispanic vote for Republicans as the reason.
They refuse to acknowledge that, had Romney won a majority of the Hispanic vote in all of the swing states, he still would not be president.
Establishment Republicans could not support their erroneous conclusion with facts because all of the facts rebut their erroneous thesis.
Regardless, they continue to insist they are blessed with a clairvoyance, denied common mortals, and, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, water will soon run uphill, the sun will come up in the west, and amnesty will be good for America.
We have become a cradle-to-grave welfare state. Milton Friedman referred to open borders as "free immigration to welfare."
Economist Art Laffer agrees with Friedman on this point but argues for open migration to jobs and admonished those who disagree, "Then eliminate the welfare state."
To my pragmatic and less-principled friends, it is vastly easier to close the border and shut off the jobs magnet than to eliminate the welfare state.
Some of the faith community, including conservative elements, have taken the position that we have a moral and religious obligation to welcome illegal immigrants.
They do so by quoting Matthew 25:35, "for I was a stranger and you took me in." "Stranger" translated from the Greek word "Xenos" means "guest foreigner." The passage does not translate into "You are commanded by God to welcome the intruder into your home and accept him as a permanent resident without obligation, remorse or repentance."
Insult is added to injury with the insistence that we already have "de facto" amnesty.
Perhaps, but proponents of "comprehensive immigration reform" are arguing for literal, permanent and perpetual amnesty. How is literal, permanent and perpetual amnesty superior to "de facto" amnesty?
The "Gang of Eight's" proposal is irreversible and alters the fundamental structure of America forever. Regardless of the trillions of dollars in costs and the flood of legal immigration opened up by the bill, we would see the fundamental destruction of the Rule of Law, at least with regard to immigration law.
If this happens, America cannot be untransformed. The pillars of American exceptionalism will crumble and fall because we will have made massive exceptions to the rule of law.
Rep. Steve King, from Iowa, is a Republican member of the House of Representatives.