Immigration Expert: Gang of Eight Bill Weaker Than Current Laws

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 03:45 PM

By Courtney Coren and Kathleen Walter

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The Senate bipartisan immigration bill currently on the table is actually weaker than the laws already on the books, immigration expert John Fonte tells Newsmax.

"It actually weakens our enforcement and one of the purposes of the bill, supposedly, is to have serious enforcements," said Fonte in an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV.

"Right now, on visa overstays . . . there's supposed to be a check when they enter and when they exit the country," he said. "The new law that's been proposed, the Schumer-Rubio law, would check people leaving the country at airports and seaports but not land ports. So it's actually weaker than the one that's on the books now, which is not being enforced."

Fonte, the senior fellow and director of the Center for American Common Culture at the Hudson Institute, argues that while our immigration system is broken, the real crux of the problem is the "patriotic gap" between people born in the United States and naturalized citizens.

"Our patriotic assimilation system, the old Americanization system--that's broken and the way we discovered this was looking at attitudes toward patriotism, toward America," he explained. "We found a huge gap of about 30, 20 points with the native born citizens being a lot more attached to the patriotic symbols of the United States than immigrants."

In the past, he said, "our whole immigration system was based in the idea that someone who comes here, becomes a loyal American, and becomes just like anybody else. And that's the way it worked for probably the first 200 years of our history. So this is an enormous problem."

When asked why there is such a large patriotic gap when America is so generous to immigrants, by allowing them access to so many of our social services, he said, "We taught them that they're separate. They're not primarily Americans, they're Latino-American or Asian-American or something quite different. . . . So we've essentially failed in this project of trying to integrate and assimilate immigrants."

He said that the assimilation problem, as well as our lax asylum system, is on display in the case of the Tsarnaev brothers, who are accused in the recent Boston bombings.

"So what I make of the Tsarnaev brothers, obviously, the assimilation system wasn't working. They got the wrong message. Political refugees are given welfare, which doesn't make any sense. So it's wrong on all counts."

Fonte, the author of "Sovereignty or Submission: Will Americans Rule Themselves or be Ruled by Others?" explained that one thing that he would change to promote better assimilation is to get rid of dual citizenship and multiculturalism as well as having immigration cuts "to insure that Americanization takes place."

Instead, immigrants should be told to "absolutely renounce all allegiance to any prior state," he said. "In the current system, people can retain dual citizenship . . . . They don't have sole loyalty to the United States . . . . It weakened our national identity. And the way to fix it is to get rid of multiculturalism, bilingualism, to take the oath of allegiance [to the United States] seriously."

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