Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Amendments Part II

Thomas weighed in on these earlier this afternoon. Now, he wants my take on them out there. So, here we go ...

Democratic Amendments
1199 Dodd Family parent visas
1313 Webb Community ties for Zs
1236 Baucus-Tester Strike all reference to REAL ID
1332 Sanders Employers to certify no mass layoff
1344 Byrd Border security immigration fee
1317 Menendez Increased family points in merit system
1340 Brown Employers post job at state agency
1468 McCaskill Repeat violators who hire undocumented workers
1486 Levin Iraqi religious minority refugees
1386 Leahy Refugee Scholars (may instead be 1289 on EB-5 investors)
------ Schumer Tamper-proof biometric social security card (no language yet)
1198 Boxer Reducing Y visa cap by number of Y workers who overstay

The first thing that strikes me about these amendments is that they seem to further exacerbate the already befuddled system listed in the new bill. (Yes, I did say "new" bill. This one is now 418 pages long.)

The two that show promise are the Schumer and Boxer amendments. No one disputes that some for if ID is not needed for this program. It is obvious that some sort of tamper-proof identification is needed, but it remains to be seen what sort of provisions are agreed upon. As it states above, there is no language on this, as yet.

The Boxer amendment is interesting the fact that it seems to limit the Y Visa holders based on those who overstay their visas. What is not addressed is what happens to those that overstay the visa. (Again, bear with us as we have not fully read the legislation yet.)

Republican Amendments
1161 Alexander Oath of allegiance for naturalization (may move to manager’s package)
1255 Bond Prohibits green cards for Z holders
1473 Coleman information sharing/sanctuary cities (Coleman is redrafting, new language not available)
1335/1258 Domenici Federal judgeship increase (redrafting)
1490 Ensign Preclusion of social security benefits
1465 Graham Enforcement, plus other potential agreed upon amendments folded in (redrafting, content not clear)
1441 Grassley-Baucus Obama Strike and replace Title III (small changes possible)
1440 Hutchison Touchback/strike and replace title vi (redrafting)
1174 Thune Probationary legal status triggers
1318 Chambliss Totalization agreement
1282 Isakson Preemption/Home Depot (redrafting)
------ Graham Criminal penalties/mandatory minimums for overstays

I have to agree with Thomas, but with one exception. He noted that only the first Graham amendment seemed good, but the second is no slouch. The Thune amendment seems to be the best of the bunch. Again, I must stress what thomas did: Without the language of these amendments, there is no way to make a solid determination. The descriptions did not come from Thomas, nor Mr. Hewitt. It came from his source that e-mailed him these amendments.

The key thing to remember is that aside from its mention above, there is no further additions in terms of security for this bill. We are being asked to support a piece of legislation -- the overall goal is amnesty -- and have faith that the government will finally wake up and start being serious about securing our nation and enforcing our borders. While this is nice, and to the Senate it seems to be a solution, they refuse to acknowledge that no "fix" is needed from them. All that needs to happen is enforcement of the current laws on the books.

But this is the president's baby. He wants this very badly. For some unknown reason that he has yet to reveal to any of us, the president belives the only solution is a de facto amnesty, and a weak promise to enforce the borders. This is unacceptable.

Now when Thomas was on with Hugh this afternoon, he again brought up the extra scrutiny for people of interest. According to Hugh, and both of us must have missed it (I am waiting for the transcript of the interview to be posted ) Senator Kyl said that there is some amending going on about that very subject. If that is the case, then one of our primary concerns might be quelled. Again, we would like to see what the language is before we pass judgment.

We still would like to see the completion of the fence become a trigger before regularization. Despite his best efforts today in an interview, Michael Chertoff is convincing no one about the extent of construction, and viable excuses for the delays. On the Arizona border right now, National Guard troops are working on the fence, supervised by the Army Corps of Engineers. If we can do it here, we can do it elsewhere, and time should not be an issue. We have put a man on the moon. We built the Empire State Building in 410 days. Building a fence is minor by comparison.

These amendments are not going to bring people around. Support for the bill will not suddenly skyrocket overnight. There are far too many problems still with this bill, and it goes beyond those that we have enumerated in our posts over the last three weeks. Without solid reinforcement on security measures, we cannot support it. In that, we urge all those with like minds to call the Senate -- 202-225-3121 -- and tell them to get serious, or get lost.



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