Anyone wishing to gain access to the United States, legally or otherwise, is celebrating the likelihood of a Joe Biden administration come January. Candidate Biden sent strong signals during the campaign that amnesty and less stringent border policies would return under a Biden presidency. And the folks were listening.

Caravans consisting of hundreds of Honduran nationals have already begun making the trek northward to the U.S. southern border with Mexico, according to the New York Post and others. Biden and his surrogates have signaled an end to strict Trump Administration policies that have sharply restricted immigration during the pandemic and largely curtailed illegal border crossings.

Cities like New Bedford should be deeply concerned by all of this.

Lenient immigration policies and amnesty will have a detrimental impact on wages and the availability of low-skilled jobs in Massachusetts. The financial burden on local school districts and public safety, and the crunch on an already-tight rental market in cities such as New Bedford, will be overwhelming.

Massachusetts is, for all intents and purposes, a sanctuary state that acts like a magnet to illegal aliens in search of protection and benefits. Massachusetts taxpayers currently pony up about $2 billion annually in benefits for illegals, according to some estimates.

The rows of three-deckers and the willingness of some area employers to hire illegals makes New Bedford a perfect location for them to seek refuge. The advocacy of the legislative delegation on behalf of illegal aliens makes it a perfect storm for the taxpayer.

New Bedford and Fall River are cities with rich, deep histories that involve immigrants. Immigration is at the heart of who we are as a nation. But illegal immigration confronts our country with all types of problems, including health, financial, and public safety concerns.

Amnesty is a slap in the face to all of those who waited patiently in line to enter this country legally.

Tell the congressional delegation to oppose any attempt to offer amnesty to those who entered the U.S. illegally and to continue to support tough immigration policies that ease the burden on taxpayers in cities like New Bedford.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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