We must care more about Americans than illegal aliens

If Washington continues to wear blinders and to make immigration decisions based on emotion and sympathy for illegal aliens, de facto amnesty and open borders will result. If Washington takes the blinders off, sees how open borders and amnesty damage struggling American families, and makes decisions based on rational thought, then secures borders, jobs and higher incomes for Americans will result.

The key to sound public policy is rational thought based on facts, not emotion-generated blindness.

Fact No. 1. America’s legal immigration policy is far and away the world’s most generous. For example, citizenship is the most cherished status a nation can bestow on an immigrant. Over the past decade, America has given citizenship to more foreign-born persons than any nation on earth. In fact, America grants citizenship to almost as many people per year as the rest of the world’s nations combined.

Fact No. 2. President Obama’s border security record is abysmal and helped trigger today’s immigration crisis. While Obama supporters boast about his deportation record, deportations are only half the picture. The other half is “catch and returns,” wherein Border Patrol agents immediately return illegal aliens across the border without costly and time-consuming deportation proceedings.

“Evictions” (deportations plus catch and returns) is the proper border security test.

According to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security:

• In 2012, the Obama administration evicted 649,000 illegal aliens.

• In 2008, the Bush administration evicted 1.2 million illegal aliens … 84 percent more than President Obama in 2012.

• In 1993, the Clinton Administration evicted 1.3 million illegal aliens … double President Obama’s 2012 figure.

The fact is that Obama’s is the worst U.S. border security record in decades.

Fact No. 3. The surge in illegal aliens and lawful immigrants is wreaking havoc with struggling American families that are trying to make ends meet. There is a reason why many American families feel the recession never ended.

The reputable Pew Hispanic Center estimates that illegal aliens hold roughly 8 million jobs in America. That’s 8 million job opportunities illegally taken from American citizens.

According to a 2014 report by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), using data from the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, between the first quarters of 2000 and 2014, the American economy created 5.6 million net new jobs among people ages 16 to 65. Strikingly, during these 14 years, American-born citizens lost 127,000 jobs while illegal aliens and lawful immigrants gained 5.7 million jobs!

These job losses, coupled with population growth, mean there were 17 million more jobless Americans in 2014 than in 2000.

“Immigrants have made gains across the labor market, including lower-skilled jobs such as maintenance, construction, and food service; middle-skilled jobs like office support and healthcare support; and higher-skilled jobs, including management, computers, and health care practitioners,” the CIS report stated.

Lawful immigrants gained jobs while Americans simultaneously lost jobs in many high-paying industries, including healthcare, architecture, engineering and sales. The argument that immigrants only do jobs Americans won’t is a hyped-up myth unsupported by facts.

During those 14 years, Americans of all major races lost ground. The percentage of working black Americans dropped 9.2 points; the percentage of working Hispanic Americans dropped 7.7 points; and the percentage of working white Americans dropped 6.1 points, according to the report.

No part of American society has escaped the damage wrought by the White House’s refusal to enforce America’s immigration laws.

The immigration solution is twofold. First, the White House must respect the rule of law and enforce existing immigration law. Second, America’s immigration policies must reflect the American economy’s ability to absorb foreign labor without devastating effects on American workers.

The solutions are there. What is lacking is enough Washington politicians with both the understanding and backbone to implement those solutions.

The House recently passed legislation to defund President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal aliens. That is a necessary and good first step. But there is a problem. This legislation has no chance of stopping illegal aliens because the Republican Congress lacks the votes to override Obama’s promised veto.

The House has only one legislative option President Obama cannot veto: litigation. Republicans loudly proclaim that Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal aliens violates federal statutes and the Constitution. The White House disagrees.

Federal courts exist for the purpose of resolving legal disputes. As it did with ObamaCare, the House must seek a declaratory judgment in federal court to determine the legality of Obama’s executive amnesty. If Obama’s conduct is illegal, then the House should seek an order directing Obama to obey the law or risk contempt sanctions, which include fines and jail time.

These sanctions help explain why not even Richard Nixon defied final federal court orders.

Brooks has represented Alabama’s 5th Congressional District since 2011.