The number of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States would surge more than five times the current wave of 90,000 if President Obama grants amnesty to up to 6 million undocumented people as many advocates expect, according to an immigration expert.
“It could hit nearly half a million people,” said Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies with the Center for Immigration Studies. She said that the additional 500,000 would come in the first year following an amnesty plan.
Obama has hinted that he plans to wait until after the upcoming midterm elections before unveiling his executive order, an action that could move immigration out of the mix of big issues roiling House and Senate contests.
Vaughan said that illegal immigrants already believe that the United States has an open door policy since virtually all of the undocumented children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are entering to welcoming officials. Some 37,000 illegals have been released into the country and only 280 deported so far this year.
“Talk of amnesty and a lack of enforcement inspires them,” she said. CIS advocates for lower immigration numbers.
What’s more, she said that an amnesty proposal would draw illegal immigrants from other countries, including China and Africa, to enter the United States through Mexico. “Others would jump on the bandwagon,” she said.
Vaughan expressed doubt that Obama’s decision to delay his immigration plan will slow the fall surge of 30,000 more illegal children.
“I don’t think that delaying the amnesty announcement will delay the expected fall surge, because there is already a lot of buzz about what he will do, with expectations high for a legalization that will cover as many as 6 million people,” she said.
“In addition, the fact that almost no one who has arrived with a family or as an unaccompanied juvenile has been sent home serves as proof to those still in Central America that their chances to stay in the U.S. are very good if they come soon. The president might as well be Billy Mays selling Mighty Putty — Come now, before this offer expires!” added Vaughan, a former State Department official.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.