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Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

Immigration Bill Part 3

Posted by Reuben Ingber on May 21, 2007

Over the weekend, I have worked hard to find as much information to provide to readers about the new “comprehensive immigration reform package.” According to the Heritage,

“This legislation would be the most significant reform of immigration policy in 40 years, affecting not only our national security and homeland defense but the fiscal, economic, and social future of the United States for several generations.”

I couldn’t agree more, this new legislation which I have only read a few of the 300+ page document, is going to change the United States forever. I stick by my guns and say this is being pushed through Congress to quickly.

Furthermore this legislation has been kept secret over the past few month as it was written, and was a draft copy was made available to us through the Heritage Foundation.  Only a handful of Senators, and staffers now about the exact legislation while others are being “told” what is in the legislation.

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Response to White House Myth/Fact on Immigration Bill

Posted by Reuben Ingber on May 21, 2007

This a copy of a great post on Red State, by Robert Bluey who works at the Heritage Foundation.

The White House released a “Myth/Fact” document about the immigration bill last week. But instead of setting the record straight, it perpetuated more myths. What follows are 10 myths the White House is telling us about the amnesty agreement.

1. MYTH: This is not amnesty.

FACT: This is amnesty. Title VI of this bill is amnesty, plain and simple. According to an op-ed by former Attorney General Ed Meese that appeared in the New York Times last year discussing the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, “the difference is that President Reagan called this what it was: amnesty. Indeed, look up the term ‘amnesty’ in Black’s Law Dictionary, and you’ll find it says, ‘the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provided amnesty for undocumented aliens already in the country.’” It was amnesty then, and it’s amnesty now.

FACT: The proposal forces illegal aliens to acknowledge that they broke the law, pay a $1,000 fee, and undergo a criminal background check to obtain a Z visa granting temporary worker status. The acknowledgment, fee and background check does not mitigate the fact that this is forgiveness for illegal aliens breaking numerous immigration laws. The bill waives numerous provisions of current law that would require deportation.

Read the other nine myths …

2. MYTH: This proposal does not repeat the mistakes of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.

FACT: This proposal is substantially similar to the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act and does repeat the mistakes of the 1986 law. The 1986 law failed, despite the fact that, according to Meese’s op-ed, it provided amnesty for 3 million immigrants for the price of “border security and enforcement of immigration laws” being “greatly strengthened.”

FACT: The 1986 law also allowed “most illegal immigrants who could establish that they had resided in America continuously for five years would be granted temporary resident status, which could be upgraded to permanent residency after 18 moths and, after another five years, to citizenship.” The current compromise allows a Z-visa holder to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident status after satisfying a points system, files the application for adjustment in the applicant’s home country and pays a fee of $4,000. A Z-visa holder has the discretion to choose to stay indefinitely in the United States if the Z-visa holder chooses not pursue a “pathway to citizenship.” Meese stated in his op-ed about the 1986 law that “this pathway to citizenship was not automatic. Indeed, the legislation stipulated several conditions: immigrants had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible. Sound familiar?” Yes, it does.

3. MYTH: The government will crack down on the hiring of illegal workers.

FACT: The government will not crack down on the hiring of illegal workers. The government will be granting amnesty to illegal workers under the new Z-visa category. Thus, it will have fewer illegal workers to punish. There will be a handful of illegal workers that will not qualify for the new program that allows amnesty for illegal aliens in the country by Jan. 1, 2007. Therefore, by granting amnesty, there will be no pool of illegal workers to punish and/or deport.

FACT: A Z-visa holder merely has to provide two documents to prove eligibility. First, “sworn affidavits from nonrelatives” that the illegal alien qualifies, plus one other non-secure document. (Source: page 271 of the draft bill.) This is a huge loophole in the verification provision of who is present in the country illegally after Jan. 1, 2007.

FACT: Another loophole contains a waiver for humanitarian reasons. The deportation requirements of current law can be waived for “humanitarian circumstances.” (Source: page 1 of the draft bill.) This is yet another loophole that will prevent a crackdown on the hiring of illegal workers.

4. MYTH: This proposal would not cut in half the amount of fence built by the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

FACT: This proposal cuts in half the amount of fencing to be built as mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Only one half of the additional fencing authorize by the Secure Fence Act of 2006 must be built before the temporary worker program and Z visa could go into effect.

FACT: The Secure Fence Act authorized the building of 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. This bill provides that a trigger that the federal government has to have “installed at least 200 miles of vehicle barriers, 370 miles of fencing, and 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern land border of the United States, and have deployed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and supporting systems.” (Source: page 1 of the draft bill.) This bill allows for less than half the amount of fencing mandated by the Secure Fence Act before the Z and Y visas are issued.

5. MYTH: The trigger period will not cause a rush to the border.

FACT: Although to be eligible for a Z visa illegal aliens must prove they were in the country prior to Jan. 1, 2007, it is expected that it will not be difficult to produce fraudulent documentation to prove illegal continuous presence in the United States and employment offers or employment. This legislation creates the perverse incentive for illegal aliens to prove that they were illegally present and working in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2007. As previously stated, a Z-visa holder merely has to provide two documents. First, “sworn affidavits from nonrelatives” that the illegal alien qualifies, plus one other non-secure document. (Source: page 271 of the draft bill.) This is a huge loophole in the verification provision of who is present in the country illegally after Jan. 1, 2007.

FACT: An exception of the “Grounds of Ineligibility” for Z-visa applicants states “nothing in this paragraph shall require the Secretary to commence removal proceedings against an alien.” Therefore, even if a Z-visa holder is deemed ineligible for Z-visa status, nothing requires the federal government to deport the ineligible illegal alien. (Source: page 261 of the draft bill.) This is yet another loophole in the bill.

6. MYTH: By providing an opportunity for citizenship to illegal immigrants already here, the bill will not exponentially increase extended-family chain migration.

FACT: The bill will dramatically accelerate family chain migration. The bill will dramatically accelerate family chain migration over the next six years. After that time, family chain migration by low-skill immigrants will allegedly be replaced by skill-based immigration. The promised change to skill-based immigration in the distant future is unlikely to ever occur.

FACT: The bill contains a brand-new category of visas for family members. The bill contains a waiver for “family members in hardship cases.” Although this category is capped at the number of 5,000 per year, this is an exception that will allow limited chain migration. (Source: page 251 of draft bill.)

FACT: Allows visitor visas for family members of the Y visa, temporary workers that would allow the spouses of Y-visa holders to come to the country and have children who will be U.S citizens entitled to welfare benefits, also known as “anchor babies.” (Source: page 254 of draft bill.)

FACT: This bill does nothing to preclude illegal aliens coming across the border and having children that will be granted citizenship. The “anchor baby” problem is not addressed by this legislation. The Heritage Foundation has provided as study that asserts that a statutory change in law would be a constitutional means to disallow the common practice of automatically granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens.

7. MYTH: The temporary worker program is good for American workers.

FACT: Under the guest-worker program, guest workers will be able to bring spouses and children into the United States. Children of guest workers will be entitled to free education in public schools, with an average cost of $9,600 per child imposed on U.S. taxpayers. If the spouse of a guest worker has a child in the U.S. that child will become a U.S. citizen with a guaranteed lifetime entitlement to more than 60 different federal welfare programs.

FACT: There will be two new programs for workers. The Z visa will be for illegal workers to adjust their status to legal workers and the Y visa for future temporary workers. A Y-visa program without the Z-visa program may help the U.S. economy, but taken together, the American worker may be harmed by a flood of new workers coming from illegal status and new future flow workers from foreign nations flooding the economy and depressing American wages.

8. MYTH: Illegal immigrants will not come onto the welfare rolls.

FACT: Illegal immigrants will come onto the welfare rolls. Amnesty will give illegal immigrants entitlement to welfare benefits for most of their lives. Illegal aliens will become Z-visa holders. While they are in Z-visa status, amnesty recipients will have access the free medical care under the Medicaid program, but would not be eligible for other welfare programs. After five years in Lawful Permanent Resident status, the amnesty recipients will be eligible for nearly all 60 federal welfare programs including food stamps, public housing, and Temporary Assistance to Needy families, and will remain eligible for the rest of their lives.

FACT: After a Z-visa holder completes the “pathway to citizenship” they will be availed of the same access to welfare benefits as all American citizens. Children born to Z-card holders will be immediately eligible for welfare. After a few years, Z-card holders will be given Lawful Permanent Resident status. Given that 50% to 60% of amnesty recipients will be high school dropouts, welfare use will be quite high; the average amnesty recipient will probably receive about $4,000 per year in welfare benefits every year for the rest of his life.

9. MYTH: Government agencies will be able to share information to pursue immigration violators.

FACT: This is both true and false. The government will have far fewer immigration violators, because the Z-visa grants amnesty to an estimated 12 million pool of illegal aliens who, a large percentage of which, are working in the United States. The government will not be allowed to pursue some visa holders, because once a Z applicant applies, there is a one-year time period that precludes deportation pursuant to the draft bill. The process starts when the Z-visa holder applies for a visa, then fills out paperwork. If a background check is not done by the end of the next day, the Z visa is automatically issued. Even if background check is not completed the applicant has a statutory right to get a Z visa.

FACT: This bill grants the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to issue a national ID card to citizens. This immigration bill states that the “Secretary in consultation with the Commissioner of Social Security may modify by Notice published in the Federal Register the documents that must be presented to the employer, the information that must be provided to EEVS (Employee Eligibility Verification System) by the employer, and the procedures that must be followed by employers with respect to any aspect of the EEVS if the Secretary in his discretion concludes that the modification is necessary to ensure that EEVS accurately and reliably determines the work authorization of employees while providing protection against fraud and identity theft.” (Source: page 105 of draft bill.) This grants the authority to the federal government the authority to force national ID cards on all American citizens.

10. MYTH: Senators are asked to vote Monday on a lengthy bill that they will have time to read.

FACT: Senators will not have time to read and understand this bill before Monday’s cloture vote. Working behind closed doors for months, a handful of Democrat and Republican staffers, along with a few senators and principals from the Administration, have been drafting a “comprehensive immigration reform package.” Until Saturday morning, May 19, 2007, the legislation was unavailable to any other senators or staff, let alone the media, policy analysts, or the general public. This legislation would be the most significant reform of immigration policy in 40 years, affecting not only our national security and homeland defense but the fiscal, economic, and social future of the United States for several generations. A document marked “DRAFT – FOR DISCUSSION PURPOSES ONLY,” is being relied upon by senators and staff as the final language to be debated beginning on Monday, May 21, with the expectation of a vote on final passage — without congressional hearings, committee mark-up, fiscal analysis, expert testimony, or public comment — before the Memorial Day recess. This is not a good way to deliberate over such an important piece of legislation and tosses aside years of the U.S. Senate tradition as being the most deliberative body in the world.

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Blog The Vote-Candidates Statements on the Immigration Bill

Posted by Reuben Ingber on May 19, 2007

Rudy Giuliani

“Rudy’s top priority and main objective is to ensure our borders are secure and to stop potential terrorists and criminals from coming in. The recent Fort Dix plot is a stark reminder that the threat of terrorism has made immigration an important matter of national security. We need to know who is coming in and who is going out of this country if we are going to deal with those who are here illegally.”

John McCain

“The American people expect us to work in a bipartisan fashion to resolve compelling issues that affect our nation.

This is the first step, an important step, in moving forward with comprehensive overall immigration reform. Not only will this legislation finally accomplish the extraordinary goal of securing our borders, but it will also enhance interior enforcement and will put employers on notice that the practice of hiring illegal workers will no longer be tolerated. Before we can look at any program to deal with the undocumented workers currently in the U.S., or future workers wishing to enter, we must meet certain enforcement and security triggers that will let everyone know that we are serious about enforcing our laws and we’re not going to repeat the 1986 amnesty.

Senator Isakson, long ago, had a proposal that we had to take certain steps in order to make sure the American people know that our border enforcement is as complete as much as possible before we move forward with other issues…This is the first step. We can and must complete this legislation sooner rather than later. We all know that this issue can be caught up in extracurricular politics unless we move forward as quickly as possible.

This is a product of a long, hard trail of negotiation and I’m sure that there are certain provisions that each of us would not agree with. This is what the legislative process is all about; this is what bipartisanship is about, when there’s a requirement for this nation and its security that transcends party lines. I’m proud to have been a small part of it.”

Hillary Clinton

“This afternoon, a bipartisan group of Senators, who have been working closely in conjunction with the Administration, announced that they had reached an agreement on a comprehensive approach for reforming our broken immigration system.

“As I have long maintained, comprehensive immigration reform must have as essential ingredients a strengthening of our borders, greater cross-cooperation with our neighbors, strict but fair enforcement of our laws, federal assistance to our state and local governments, strict penalties for those who exploit undocumented workers, and a path to earned legal status for those who are here, working hard, paying taxes, respecting the law, and willing to meet a high bar. In particular, we must also ensure that any bill protects the sanctity of families and does not lead to the creation of a new underclass in our country.

“I will scrutinize carefully the proposed compromise to see if it honors our nation’s principles and proud immigrant heritage while also respecting the rule of law.”

These are the only statements I have been able to find thus far, I will continue to search and post them as I find more.

Posted in Blog the Vote, Election 2008, Immigration | Leave a Comment »

Immigration Bill Part 2

Posted by Reuben Ingber on May 19, 2007

From National Review Online

Analysts at the Heritage Foundation have the current legislative text of the immigration deal and are alarmed at provisions they view as dangerous loopholes.  They point out that once the bill is signed its language appears to create a “cease and desist” order on law enforcement given what looks like a prima facie assumption that any illegal alien is eligible for amnesty and can therefore be given preliminary legal status.  Under the “Treatment of Application” section, once an application for the new “Z” visa has been filed, it appears that the government has only “one business day” to identity a disqualifying factor or the visa must be issued.  And lots of provisions are apparently able to be waived by Cabinet secretaries so there’s plenty of discretion for the next Clinton administration.

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Immigration Bill

Posted by Reuben Ingber on May 18, 2007

I have been reading the blogs all afternoon into the late evening to get a handle on the confusing and daunting immigration bill that is set for debate through next week and expected to be voted on before Memorial Day weekend, it will bypass committee according to Red State.
I don’t believe this bill is being handed properly. The debate over immigration has been fairly silent over the last few months and this bill came out of nowhere. I think that Congress has more imminent things to work on, including the supplemental funding bills.

As more information becomes available, we will be updated.

Posted in Immigration | 1 Comment »