Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers,(R-WA), an Eastern Washington congressional representative, echoed House Republican Leader John Boehner in statements on Thursday, April 24, 2014, stating that there would be an immigration bill by August. She then stated that she would support a bill allowing those who are in the United States illegally the ability to legally stay here while they work towards citizenship.
“We’re going to have to push that this is a legal status, not amnesty,” she said.
There is no difference in the long-term or even the short term outcome between ‘a legal status’ and ‘amnesty.’ This is nothing other than a play on words, hoping that the term ‘legal status’ doesn’t incur the outrage that using the synonym ‘amnesty’ would.
McMorris Rogers is really saying that she is in favor of granting amnesty to the millions of undocumented immigrants living within the United States. Although she is politically savvy enough not to use the term ‘amnesty,’ her intent is the same.
McMorris Rogers states that she is in favor of beefing up the border yet facts show that the United States Border Patrol is only apprehending a small percentage of would-be immigrants as compared to only a decade ago. In fiscal year 2000, 8,540 Border Patrol Agents apprehended 1,643,678 undocumented immigrants. In fiscal year 2012, 18,460 Border Patrol Agents apprehended 356,873 undocumented immigrants along the southern border according to United States Customs and Border Protection data. On average, each Border Patrol Agent, in FY 2000, apprehended 192 undocumented immigrants while in FY 2012 each Border Patrol Agent apprehended less than 20 undocumented immigrants for the year. Border Patrol Agents are apprehending only ten percent of what they were a decade earlier.
The Republican Party is heavily divided by the issue of legalization for the millions of undocumented immigrants. House Leader Boehner has championed a form of immigration reform previously, only to rescind his thoughts and change his course once the rancor from the other side of the house became too prominent. But his advocacy for an immigration reform bill continues to resurface.