Krauthammer: Repeating the Mistake of 1986

Krauthammer: Repeating the Mistake of 1986

“Rubio calls it ‘probationary legal status.’ Obama uses the term ‘lawful prospective immigrant.’ But both would instantly legalize the 11?million illegal immigrants living here today. The moment either bill is signed, the 11?million become eligible for legal residence, the right to work and relief from the prospect of deportation,” says Charles Krauthammer.

“This is bad policy. It repeats the 1986 immigration reform that legalized (the then) 3?million while promising border enforcement — which was never carried out. Which opened the door to today’s 11?million. And to the next 11?million as soon as the ink is dry on this reform.”

Labor, Business Lobby Say Guestworker Agreement at Hand

“Labor and business leaders announced Thursday they have agreed in principle to terms that would establish a new guest worker program for foreigners, but they cautioned that details of the program are still being negotiated. In a joint statement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue expressed optimism over talks on how to make it easier for companies to hire foreign nationals when Americans are not available,” the Washington Post reports.

In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal calls foul on the proposed agreement. “Labor leaders have been insisting instead on a commission to determine when there are worker shortages that immigrants could fill. The commission, first mooted by Jimmy Carter’s Labor Secretary Ray Marshall, would certify labor shortages and set annual limits for temporary work visas and green cards. The President and Congress would appoint its members, whose proposals would be binding unless Congress voted to reject them.”

“Mr. Trumka wants a commission precisely because he knows it will never be ‘independent” in Washington. Its members will always be yanked by political pressure or ideological preference, and Mr. Trumka wants his union allies to control the commission and restrict the supply of immigrant workers. Big Labor talks a good game about solidarity with immigrants, but the reality is that unions don’t want guest workers who compete for jobs.”

The Keynesian Solution on Immigration?

Sol Trujillo and Cesar M. Melgoza embrace the idea that more immigrants are needed to keep the population ponzi going in the U.S. in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “The economics are simple: Latinos spur demand. Seventy percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is fueled by consumer spending. That means the Latino population—large, growing and increasingly prosperous—will play a key role in America’s economic future,” they say.

“Dire demographics threaten the economies in many developed nations, and the U.S. is not immune to the challenges posed by an aging population. But the problem will be considerably mitigated by immigrants who revitalize the workforce. The average later-life American, whose life expectancy nearly doubled during the 20th century, is already asking: Who is going to pay for the Social Security and Medicare promises of the federal government?”

Is Big Ag Crying Wolf Over Finding Workers?

Rick Mines and Ed Kissam say that the agriculture lobby is wrong to think that a new amnesty will deplete the workforce they rely on. “Agribusiness argues that guest worker provisions are crucial because legalizing currently unauthorized farmworkers will result in a mass exodus from farm work. But the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform would not cause such an exodus,” they say.

Among the reasons: today’s farmworkers are much less fluent in English, have fewer skills and options, and are more likely to be able to find consistent seasonal work than ag workers after the last amnesty. Unlike previous agricultural workers, who used legalization to move up the ladder into more skilled positions in agriculture, today’s workers are unlikely to do so.

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    150,000 illegal aliens were caught by the border patrol in the Tucson Sector last year–the number that crossed the border without being caught has got to be at least twice that number–the border is not secured and will not be secured enough to keep out the millions who will try to come in once another amnesty is given–

      • avatar

        softwarengineer, read again my comment, stop and understand & realize then do the same and read your reply…… will see…….E101 isn’t? or you just do not realize we live in the US? DO you understand the meaning of The People? Its implications? our system? and so on…apparently not.

  2. avatar

    You still do not seem to understand if The People would enter e the laws this would have ne er happened………..

  3. avatar

    The 3 million figure in 1986 was also well over the estimate initially given. Just as this one will be. Because a large percentage were later shown to be fraudulent, but as usual in keeping with our policy of letting illegals lie whenever and wherever they feel like it, nothing was done to the people who made false claims.

    And giving amnesty up front is cart before the horse, just like 1986. There are no assurances there will be any enforcement, and given this administration’s propensity to just issue executive orders to overrule what they don’t like, it’s unlikely there will be.

    As for the article in the Wall Street Journal about how “Latinos” are the salvation for Social Security and Medicare for retirees, they are exactly NOT the group for which to make any claims of a big tax bonus for the government. They already use welfare benefits at rates that equal or exceed those of blacks.