Border Patrol Veteran Hears Echo of 1986 Law; Amnesty Act from Congress Led to 'Failure,' Influx of Aliens

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 29, 2007 | Go to article overview

Border Patrol Veteran Hears Echo of 1986 Law; Amnesty Act from Congress Led to 'Failure,' Influx of Aliens


Byline: Jerry Seper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A veteran U.S. Border Patrol agent who served as the Western regional director for an amnesty program authorized by Congress in 1986 says that while the law imposed sanctions on employers for hiring illegal aliens and promised increased border security, it delivered neither.

Instead, William King Jr., who headed the amnesty program in the West for the now-defunct U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), said the law inadequately punished employers who hired illegals, gave amnesty to 3.1 million aliens and their relatives, and fell significantly short of its stated goal.

Mr. King, a 27-year Border Patrol veteran and former sector chief, said that based on his 50 years of "continuous experience in immigration law enforcement" and his "oversight of the 1986 amnesty program," he fears the immigration reform law being debated in the Senate will not succeed.

"I just can't believe they're trying to do this again," he said. "We seem to be suffering from collective amnesia about why amnesty programs have never and will never work. They're using the same language, the same logic and, I assure you, will reach the same conclusion: failure."

"They should know it's not going to work and the American people are going to pay the price," he said.

An estimated 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens are in the United States and 9,000 more cross into the country every day - about 375 every hour. Only about one-third of them will be caught, according to Border Patrol estimates.

"Because of the number of illegal aliens in the country and the massive potential for fraud today, the result of this new law is going to be three to five times worse than it was in 1986," he said. …

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