How Did We Get Here? Part Two: Immigration Becomes A Political Tool
Bill Clinton’s view of his presidency had a fractured personality. He fancied himself America’s first “black president” as well considering himself a Kennedy in spirit. As far as immigration went, the Kennedy likeness was apt.
In 1994, Clinton made an adjustment to the Immigration and Nationality Act. Its specific purpose was to change the status of those residing in the United States illegally. Prior to October, 1994, only legal non-residents were permitted to avail themselves of a status modification, and only if a visa became available. Clinton’s “adjustment” changed all that. Now, illegals had the practice extended to them…without requiring them to leave the country and wait for visa approval. It also required each applicant to pay a $1,000 fee. The law also included those who had entered the United States but committed visa violations during their stay. A provision that later benefitted Tamerlan Tsarnaev, of recent Boston Marathon bombing infamy.
In 1997, Clinton’s Congress passed NACARA, the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, which granted legal status to people from Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Nicaragua and nationals of the former Soviet bloc. This law also provided some protection from deportation. Castro emptied the Cuban prisons into America on the strength of NACARA.
Not satisfied with his previous fine tuning, in December 2000 Bill Clinton signed the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act, which allowed those in the United States illegally, to apply for and receive a green card even if they wouldn’t normally be eligible to receive one. Regardless of how the individual had entered the country, whether working illegally in the country or if the individual failed to “maintain lawful status” since his/her arrival in the United States, legitimacy was now assured.
Knowing that the next presidential election would be a tight race, Clinton initiated the not-so-clandestine Clinton/Gore “Project 500,000.” Gore was put in charge of boosting immigration, legal or not, in order to augment Democrat voting rolls by an additional 500,000 + voters. Among other things, Gore ordered adjudicators to abstain from criminal background checks, told immigration officials to ignore the requirement of English for interviews and waived the $1,000 application fee. Many thousands of foreign criminals received citizenship this way.
Transformation of United States immigration policy was not yet complete; but the changes to the system effectively changed America’s fundamental structure. When legal immigration to America was no longer a requirement the bar was, again, forced down. Three revolutionary changes occurred as a result. The first was that uneducated, non English-speaking, third world transplants to America were given resettlement priority. The second was that those given U.S. entry no longer found it necessary to want to be American. Many did; but many didn’t have to. There was no expectation or demand made for the price of their freedom and welfare. Third, the destruction of the black family, begun by Lyndon Johnsons in 1965 and compounded by Ted Kennedy’s immigration “reform”, were given additional drive by Clinton’s actions. The ability for American citizens on the lower rungs of society to climb upwards was further curtailed; unrestrained immigration, legal and illegal, was noticeably eroding the jobs base that would lead to better jobs for American citizens. These changes would increase a population ever more dependent on government.
Immigration modifications shifted the focus of relocation to the United States from the individual’s desire for a better life to that of a political expedient. Cloaking the changes to America’s immigration policy in multi-cultural, politically correct dogma didn’t change the fact that America’s transformation was well underway.