Amnesty rears its ugly head, again
Democrats on Tuesday begin their new push for an immigration bill, hamstrung by the image of legalizing millions of illegal immigrant workers at a time when the unemployment rate stands at 10 percent -- more than twice what it was the last time Congress tried to act.
[Author's note -- REAL unemployment numbers stand at approximately 17.2%.]
"It certainly will confuse the debate a lot more, but at the end of the day what we have to understand is fixing this system will be good for American workers," said Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, which is one of the major advocates for legalizing illegal immigrant workers.
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, the Illinois Democrat who has taken over leadership on the issue after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, plans to introduce an immigration legalization bill Tuesday, and backers are planning a strategy to avoid repeats of the failed attempts of 2006 and 2007.
In a letter to members of Congress last week seeking support for the bill, Mr. Gutierrez and Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez, New York Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said their legislation will end the off-the-books economy of illegal immigrant workers and protect American workers by raising labor standards.
"In these difficult economic times, we must ensure that everyone contributes toward the recovery and prosperity of our nation," they wrote. "To this end, it is imperative that all individuals and employers pay their fair share in taxes."
A draft overview of the bill, circulated with the letter, ends some enforcement tools such as the 287(g) local police cooperation program, calls for an electronic verification system to replace the voluntary E-verify program, argues that there's no need for more U.S. Border Patrol agents or fencing, and establishes a long-term path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
That path would require illegal immigrants to pay a $500 fine, pass a background check and learn English and civics to gain legal status. After six years, they could apply for legal permanent residence, or a green card, which is the interim step to citizenship. There is no "touchback" provision requiring them to return to their home countries at some point in the process.
Republicans are sharpening their attacks and going straight for the jobs argument.
"With 15 million Americans out of work, it's hard to believe that anyone would give amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. "Even the open-borders crowd agrees that illegal immigrants take jobs from American workers, particularly poor and disadvantaged citizens and legal immigrants. This is exactly why we need to oppose amnesty."
Readers know we stood opposed to the bill in 2006 for a variety of reasons. Among them were the Z-Visas, and the failure to enforce the provisions we have on the books. Basically the 2006 bill would have given illegal aliens a slap on the wrist, and move them right into our society as de-facto citizens.
America is a melting pot of many, many different nationalities and cultures. We are also a nation based on laws, and these people have consistently flouted those laws. there has to be some sort of punishment for their repeated transgressions. This is NOT a racist mentality. It's one rooted in the law, which readers will agree that's all we really care about -- upholding the law as it's written today. In 1986, in exchange for amnesty, President Reagan wanted tougher enforcement, and Congress promised that. But Congress upholds promises the way President Obama does; that said, they don't. The amnesty in 1986 was simply an invitation for more to flood this nation in the hopes that, eventually, the people would just get fed up and call for another amnesty.
Now that's not possible in a common sense way. With unemployment at the levels it's at right now, and the fact that these two morons in the House want to gut the enforcement provisions enacted since the 2006 attempt, illegal aliens will get a level of amnesty that is slightly more stringent than the ;86 amnesty, but it still equates to a slap on the wrist.
Let me be perfectly clear on this: There is no way in Hell we can round up all the illegals here and send them home. Not only is it not feasible, but it'll lead to court challenges that will drag on for years. (Can you say anchor babies, folks?) It's much easier to tell them they'll have to pay a fine, do the touchback to their home country, and reenter the US to be regularized. They go to the back of the line when it comes to citizenship so we don't give preferential treatment to those who haven't worked hard to become a citizen. In addition, the US needs a guest worker program for immigrants seeking work. Granted, the number allowed in on guest worker visas will be severely curtailed to ensure Americans get the jobs first, especially at this time in the recession. Americans need the work. Immigrant workers do too, but we take care of our own first and foremost.
Why is the SEIU involved? Simply put, they want more members involved in their union. More members equals more dues which equals more power for the union. Follow the link above to Michelle's post, and watch the video of the SEIU goons bragging about the amount of illegal aliens already on the union rolls.
The Democrats need this to enhance their voting base. That's all they care about. They don't care about those who try to get to the US at their own peril. Every summer in Arizona we're treated to stories of illegal aliens caught int he desert by Border Patrol agents, and how dehydrated they are because they don't have the provisions to make the trek. Bleeding heart stories, children having to endure the journey, and even the occasional dead alien in the desert that just couldn't make it. For the bleeding hearts out there, I really don't care about them. They knew it was going to be dangerous, and I'm sick of the media trying to demonize us for these people trying to enter our nation illegally.
A common sense immigration reform would help end this, but the politicos in DC don't want this. They use the aliens as a political pawn, and as we see in this new attempt by Democrats to give these people amnesty, they're still just a pawn on the chess board. They don't care about them on iota. All they want is their money and their votes. Beyond that, they're willing to let these people live in squalor and poverty. We'd rather see them given a chance to succeed in America, and work towards becoming a citizen if they so choose. Many don't. Many just want work. For that, we need a guest worker program, and those here who want to be citizens need to be regularized. If these aren't two of the overall goals of the bill, then it should be DOA the moment Rep. Gutierrez introduces it.