Question:Where does The American Legion stand on the immigration bill?
As with many of the highly politicized bills that pass through congress, the immigration bill contains more than just immigration policy, which makes it extremely difficult for The American Legion to simply support or reject out-of-hand.
Our position states in part “ That The American Legion oppose legislation that would result in the granting of amnesty and legal residency, in any form or by any name, to illegal immigrants currently in the United States” (TAL Resolution 21, Aug 2012).
The truth is, The American Legion’s position is similar to immigration policies shared by most countries around the world.
The American Legion sees immigration policy as a national security issue that affects public safety, economics, and good federal governance. In order to be effective, the government must be able to account for the needs of its people. In order to accomplish that, it needs to know how many people it has within its jurisdiction. People who reside in the United States illegally are undocumented, and undocumented people make it impossible for local and federal governments to properly plan for, budget for, and provide for its citizens.
Further, The United States of America should be free to monitor and evaluate the applications of people who wish to live among our citizens. This policy is no different from that of any other developed nation’. When people reside in The United States illegally, or any other country for that matter, they thwart the entire process and undermine our legal, social, and economic system.
Immigrants found to be living here illegally, in the opinion of The American Legion, must not be granted amnesty because, as mentioned earlier, it not only undermines our legal and judicial system, but it also cheapens the value of the expense and hard work it took for the millions of American citizens who abided by the law, and assimilated into the American family of citizens legally.
Lastly, The American Legion believes that blanket amnesty would send the message that America’s immigration laws are to be scoffed at, encouraging future prospective citizens to seek illegal shortcuts rather than abide by federal law.
Please take a moment to review the immigration policies of Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia:
United Kingdom: The circumstances in which a person is liable to deportation include: (i) where the Secretary of State deems the person's deportation to be conducive to the public good; http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/immigrationlaw/immigratio...
Germany: Immigration to Germany as a non-EU-citizen is still limited to skilled workers (individuals with either a university or polytechnic degree or at least 3 years of training, together with job experience) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_Germany
Russia: The mandatory condition of employment for this category of workers is to have registration and a work permit, both of which are issued by offices and departments of the Federal Migration Service Directorate. http://moscow.ru/en/guide/trip_planning/workinmos/
The United States has some of the most reasonable immigration policies in the world today, which include a great number of programs that allow for permanent residency based on blanket asylum policies, a variety of employment programs, family and marriage exceptions, and hardship exceptions just to name a few. While The American Legion understands that there will never be a perfect solution, we do believe that the citizens of United States have a right to expect that our federal government is as fair and as prudent as possible when ensuring the safety and economic security of our nation, and properly enforced immigration law is part of that responsibility.