The Senate Judiciary Committee has already held two hearings this week. The first was a nearly 8-hour long marathon with a parade of witnesses from Big Business to Big Labor to Special Interest groups. And there were a few that testified about the need for more interior enforcement, better border security, and the huge fiscal drain that an amnesty would have on the nation's future. On April 25, 2013, the Committee brought in DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano who was first scheduled to appear before the Committee the week before. Here's what was learned from the past few days . . .
Key points on bill
One: Every part of the bill was written as though
The key for the Gang of Eight may be to make these millions of unemployed Americans disappear from the national consciousness long enough to pass their bill. They do face some hurdles. The African American Leadership Council hosted a press conference April 24, 2013 to announce their opposition to the Senate bill on the grounds of economic justice for American workers. Peter Kirsanow, U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner and labor lawyer, also testified (on his own behalf) as to the giant pool of available American labor in the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing last Friday.
· Number Two: The legalization comes first. There are no hard enforcement triggers for the initial amnesty (legalization + work permits). Chris Crane, ICE Officer and President of the National ICE Council testified to that on Monday. No one disputed that point and it has been reported in the press (Alan Gomez of USA Today reported "There are no measurements of border security that must be reached before the nation's unauthorized immigrants could apply to become legal residents," April 22, 2013).
The debate over whether there are real enforcement triggers before amnestied aliens can get green cards is largely beside the point because once they are legal and have work permits, almost all of the political pressure will be to grant them permanent green cards and eventual citizenship. The incentive for anti-enforcement groups to go along with improved enforcement disappears after the initial amnesty, which comes right at the beginning of the process, as soon as DHS Secretary Napolitano submits two plans to improve border security and fencing -- just plans.
· Number Three: Sen. Schumer and company called Sen. Rubio's bluff: Back in January, Rubio promised, "If, in fact, this bill does not have real triggers in there...if there is not language in this bill that guarantees that nothing else will happen unless these enforcement mechanisms are in place, I wont support it."
See "Number Two" above. In an op-ed for Fox News this Tuesday, Rubio explained that he abandoned his enforcement-first pledge because it would leave illegal workers "unable to work."
Since the bill has been available to read, Rubio has issued repeated statements that are contradicted by his own legislation and by Schumer.
· Number Four: No one seems capable of explaining what will happen to future illegal aliens if the bill passes (see Roy Beck's op-ed in Fox News Latino).
The bill excludes post-December 31, 2011 illegal aliens. What happens to them? The bill also calls for expanded guest worker programs. What happens to the guest workers who don't go home when their work visa expires?
Will the administration ramp up interior enforcement to detect and remove illegal aliens not covered by the bill? Or will the administration adopt the "attrition through enforcement" approach both the White House and Gang of Eight have decried? Or will the bill preserve the status quo immigration enforcement that gives "prosecutorial discretion" to non-violent aliens unlawfully residing and working in the country, thus building up a new illegal population to be amnestied at a later date? The bill doesn't say. The bill's authors won't say.
The Gang of Eight's amnesty bill is an amnesty first, enforcement promises bill. The amnesty for illegal aliens comes before any enforcement occurs and there are no hard triggers requiring enforcement. Americans want enforcement first. Please oppose this legislation.
It truly is disappointing that this bill was written with such callous disregard for the plight of jobless Americans and for those who truly want to secure the border and end illegal immigration.
bill is written as if the
Gang of Eight also promised to make border security a priority, while holding
off on amnesty until the border is secure and illegal aliens can't take
bill is also supposed to solve our nation's illegal immigration problem.
Unfortunately, it does not address what is to be done about the illegal aliens
who came after December 31, 2011. Will the bill ramp up enforcement so
non-amnestied illegal aliens are found and removed from the
legislation is just plain bad. It's bad for