WHAT THEY DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT SENATE BILL S. 2611
The new immigration bill (the most "sweeping reform in 50 years") S. 2611 is an amalgam of petty causes, illogical provisions, unstructured "solutions" with zero allowances for implementation, and self-contradictory language. Despite the mess, it was passed by self-righteous politicians who repeated the mantra "it's better than doing nothing." This from the same gaggle of do-nothings who outright rejected the House's law enforcement bill.
The Senate bill has our President's full support - this same bill is a derivative of one structured by Ted Kennedy and John McCain, and supported in full by the majority of Democrats. That alone ought to give one pause - President Bush, a Democrat?
Peggy Noonan says, "The disinterest in the White House and among congressional Republicans in establishing authority on America's borders is so amazing--the people want it, the age of terror demands it--that great histories will be written about it."
She opines that it is possible that..."the administration's slow and ambivalent action is the result of being lost in some geopolitical-globalist abstract-athon that has left them puffed with the rightness of their superior knowledge, sure in their membership in a higher brotherhood, and looking down on the low concerns of normal Americans living in America.
I continue to believe the administration's problem is not that the base lately doesn't like it, but that the White House has decided it actually doesn't like the base."
S. 2611 is less about law, and more about a weird, mutant agenda that melds licentiousness with an utter disregard for the end result. There are quite a few details in S. 2611 that the media has ignored and that the legislators would rather you know nothing about. Some were provisions germane to the original Kennedy-McCain bill or the pseudo revision of Hagel-Martinez, the rest are amendments that required separate votes to accept or reject. Here's what you need to know about the Senate's fiasco.
The Senate failed to pass an amendment that would've made amnesty contingent on effectively securing the border. Their priorities are completely opposite those of the American people, who have repeatedly made it clear that our borders must be secured before anything else. Furthermore, buried in Arlen Specter's manager's package, an amendment proposed by Dodd makes it mandatory for our government to consult with Mexico before taking any security action along the border, to include building any barrier or any enforcement along the border. This includes everything from federal troops, and state-mobilized National Guard, down to local law enforcement. In other words, even if a county sheriff mobilizes a posse to guard the border, he must clear it first through Mexico. This effectively gives the Mexican government veto power over our national security concerns!
We've heard a lot about the 6,000 National Guard troops, assigned to help with back-up duties in order to free up Border Patrol agents. Unfortunately, that will make only 500 additional agents available to apprehend and detain lawbreakers at the border.
The White House adamantly insists that Guard troops take no role in law enforcement, even though, so long as they are under the command of their governors—as they will be under the president’s proposal—they are allowed to do so. Republicans worry that when the Guard shows up for duty, Lou Dobbs’ cameras won’t be far behind, recording their impotence as they merely alert border agents to the whereabouts of entering illegal immigrants whom they must passively watch.
"Merely alert border agents to the whereabouts of entering illegal immigrants?" Sound familiar? The National Guard will, at most, be performing Minutemen duties. But wait! I thought the Minutemen were "vigilantes", Mr. President.
A tiny concession to border security was passed (Sessions, R-AL, amendment #3979) which allows for the increase of fencing and vehicle barriers along 370 miles of the southwest border of the United States. Unfortunately, existing hardware - including rancher's broken cattle fences - would be counted towards this paltry total.
What's most appalling is that a Democrat tried to push through an amendment (Leahy, D-VT, amendment #4117) that would revise the existing ban on granting refugee status to aliens who have provided "material support" to a terrorist organization! Fortunately, the motion was killed, but the fact that it was even considered and proposed is deeply troubling! Who can take these guys seriously?
Ted Kennedy passed an amendment (#4066) that makes it unnecessary for any illegal alien to have an employer attest that they are employed when petitioning for permanent legal residence, and "self-employment" is sufficient. Plenty of room for fraud and corruption there!
Now here's where the whole argument for "cheap labor/doing jobs Americans won't do" flies out the window. Barak Obama (D-IL, amendment no. 3971) passed an amendment that extends the Davis-Bacon Act's "prevailing wage" levels to all temporary guest workers. That puts them ahead of American workers, who have this protection only on federal job sites:
So guest-workers (but not citizen workers) must be paid Davis-Bacon wage rates for jobs in the private sector if their occupation is covered by Davis-Bacon. Presumably because Senate Democrats' union bosses thought this provision too modest, an amendment by Senator Barack Obama, approved by voice vote, extended Davis-Bacon wages rates to all private work performed by guest workers, even if their occupations are not covered by Davis-Bacon.
There goes their precious "cheap labor" - this provision will effectively price many guest workers out of the market. "Guest workers" will have legal status and visas that entitle them to real wages, overtime, deductions like unemployment and social security, and workers’ rights that legal workers now enjoy. Illegals will still be cheaper. Thus, twenty million illegals will be amnestied right out of the job market. Then what do we do with them when millions of new illegals flood into the country to take their place?
Now enter the litigation factor: foreign guest farm workers, admitted under the bill, cannot be "terminated from employment by any employer . . . except for just cause." In contrast, American ag workers can be fired for any reason.
We've been assured time and again that newly amnestied "guest workers" will have to pay back taxes for the years that they lived here illegally - except that they really won't. A loophole in the new bill provides that only two years of back taxes will need to be filed. I don't know any American citizen that can just choose not to pay taxes for years! Additionally, the Senate has now provided for illegal aliens to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Our government will end up paying them!
Senator Ensign (R-NV) tried to remove the provision allowing illegal immigrants who receive legal status under the legislation to receive retro-active credit for Social Security benefits for time that they worked before receiving legal status. Arlen Specter killed it. The bill allows illegal aliens to receive Social Security benefits for the years that they worked illegally, even if they paid into Social Security under a false number or using a stolen identity! As an American citizen, if I were caught stealing someone's identity or forging documentation to avoid paying taxes, I'd go to jail. Not so illegal aliens! There are NO penalties for breaking those laws - only retro-active rewards. The longer they broke the law, the bigger the pay-off.
Senator McConnell (R-KY) sought to add to the bill a requirement that all voters in federal elections be required to present a valid photo identification.
"It is nonsense to suggest that somehow a photo ID for one of our most sacred rights should not be protected by a requirement that is increasingly routine in almost all daily activities in America today," said the Kentucky lawmaker, second-ranking Republican.
But Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., likened the proposal to a poll tax or a requirement for voters to pass a literacy test. "Now is not the time and this is not the place to consider an amendment that may disenfranchise a million or more poor, minority, disabled, and elderly voters -- all of them American citizens," he said.
The proposal barely passed on a vote of 49-48, but unfortunately, it remains in limbo, evidently doomed by arcane rules now that the Senate has voted for cloture.
What the bill DOES provide for is a Bureau of the Census report to Congress on the impact of illegal immigration on the apportionment of Representatives in Congress. Of course, they need to count them - they are, after all, their newly bought electorate!
"GUEST WORKER" STATUS - NOT TEMPORARY AT ALL
Here is a perfect of example of self-contradictory language within the bill itself. The bill supposedly protects American workers by ensuring that new immigrants will not take away jobs. However, the bill's own definition of "United States Worker" includes temporary foreign guest workers, so the protection is meaningless.
Senator Kyl (R-AZ, amendment #3969) attempted to ensure that temporary workers stayed temporary by removing the bill's provision allowing guest workers to apply for permanent residency. The Senator from his own state, McCain, killed the amendment.
Also, thanks to Senator Santorum (R-PA) the bill expands the visa waiver program (Immigration and Nationality Act, Sect 217) to numerous additional countries. At this point, why even bother with a visa? Waive it all!!
Senator Allard (R-CO), concerned by the incalculable administrative costs of implementing S. 2611, raised a point of order about the budget. Such a move is allowed under the Budget Act when the projected cost of legislation under consideration exceeds a certain level. If the point of order is upheld, the legislation cannot proceed. The Senate irresponsibly waived the protective rules under the Budget Act, rejecting the point of order 67-31. Apparently, no cost is too great.
THE "GO BACK TO THE END OF THE LINE" FALLACY
Bush's former chief economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey blows the whistle on the "end of the line" fiction being used to sell the Bush/Senate immigration reform:
At present, there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are waiting to immigrate legally to America. They have already waited in line to get their first appointment, then to submit the paperwork, then been called back to answer more questions. And still, they wait. In places like Hong Kong, the waiting time may be as long as 15 years. Most of these people have relatives--cousins or grandchildren, for example--who live and work and pay taxes in America and even have become American citizens.
While the process isn't pretty, there is no good alternative. Permission to reside in America is very valuable....
Comprehensive immigration reform promises that people already in the United States illegally can apply for citizenship, but requires them to "go to the back of the line." But a key question is, the back of which line? The reform bill before the Senate doesn't require illegal immigrants to go back home--to, say, Hong Kong, to the end of the 10-to-15-year line there--to get a green card. Instead, it allows the current illegals to receive their green card immediately--having, in effect, jumped the line at the U.S. consulate abroad. Then, like other green card holders, they will be able to work here, collect government benefits like food stamps and Medicaid, and travel as freely as if they had a U.S. passport.
The line the current illegals will go to the back of is the citizenship line. Under the proposed law, current illegals, newly minted green card in hand, will have to wait six years, then get in line to apply for citizenship. But even after six years, they will be years ahead of many people who have gone through the legal process and are waiting overseas for a consular official to let them come here. Once those who have been playing by the rules all along get here, they too have to wait six years before getting in line for citizenship.
If we really mean "the back of the line," that should be behind everyone who is already in the pipeline to come here legally.
Let's be real: this bill allows those who come here illegally to gain a huge advantage over those who follow the rules. This, in effect, creates an irresistible incentive for others to ignore the rules and come here illegally. Fast track it by going illegal - there's no reason not to!
ZERO PROVISIONS TO MAKE IT ALL WORK
Lindsey has further concerns about the utter non-viability of the Senate's bill:
In 2004, the INS issued 946,000 green cards and naturalized 537,000 people. The proposed immigration reform anticipates giving green cards to up to 11 million people [likely closer to 20 million] in one fell swoop and making them eligible for citizenship six years later. It is inconceivable that the INS could handle an eleven-fold increase in its workload. Do we really intend to pass a bill that purports to document these 11 million people without setting up a system capable of providing them the promised documentation? If we don't, everyone else who is already here legally but needs a visa update, or has adopted a foreign-born child, or wants his aging mother to join him in America, will get swamped by the tsunami of newly legalized people seeking documentation.
VDare concurs and says that the guest worker program is an administrative catastrophe in the making: "Already, there are backlogs of millions of applications with CIS [Citizenship and Immigration Services] for the various immigration benefits. If any guest worker program or amnesty is enacted, the sheer amount of work in processing, receiving and vetting applications and the assorted work that goes with them (interviewing, fraud investigations, verifying documentation) will without a doubt delay any application already pending—even if additional staff are added. This includes, of course, those innocents who bothered to apply to enter the U.S. the right way." No wonder, legal immigrants are so upset with this whole thing!
I do not understand how the Senate has been so willfully blind to the will of the people and so determined to ignore the future costs of their folly:
The approved bill would send the U.S. population skyrocketing towards a billion people by the close of the century -- with no analysis done of the impacts of this mass population explosion on housing, congestion, overcrowding, education, the environment and the overall quality of life. Local communities have not been consulted, and virtually no preparation has been undertaken to provide for the enormous burdens this legislation would entail. It reflects the degree to which the Senate is completely out of touch with the average American.
Nor does the bill take any serious steps that would improve immigration enforcement -- especially in the interior. It merely continues a cycle of rewarding lawbreakers and clothing a loss of border control with the patina of legality. Rather than face the reality of today's immigration crisis, the Senate has enacted a terrible bill that once again puts the interests of the American people last. The bill's cost is staggering, the administrative burdens crushing and the consequences for the cohesion of the future American nation -- no longer bound by a common destiny of the rule of law -- are severe.
This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we’re going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.