Grassley says the Senate “Gang of Eight” bill backed by President Barack Obama is the same 1986 gimmick — immediate “legalization” for illegals coupled with a new Hoeven-Corker-Schumer amendment promising border fencing, more border personnel and interior enforcement. Why should Americans believe it?
Our past president didn’t enforce many immigration laws and the current president last year “waived” part of the deportation law through executive fiat.
Everyone agrees the immigration system must be fixed. But this latest “fix” is a dagger pointed at the heart of our treasured concept of citizenship. Why should anyone who sneaks into our country to enjoy its benefits be ultimately rewarded through this legislation with “a path to citizenship”?
Consider what the amended Senate bill does:
• Eleven million-plus illegal aliens would immediately and permanently stay as “registered provisional immigrants.”
• The “legalized’ illegals would get work permits to compete directly in the job market with Americans.
• The number of legal foreign workers granted work visas would double. Add those foreigners to the legalized illegals and that totals over 33 million competitors for jobs.
• There is no true English language test for the amnestied illegals, contrary to promises by the Gang that they “have to learn English.” When illegals become “registered provisional immigrants” there is no requirement to demonstrate any degree of English language proficiency. For those “provisionals” who later apply for a green card (permanent legal status), there is just a weak requirement that applicants must show they are “satisfactorily pursuing a course of study” but the bill does not require any proof of completing the course or what courses will qualify.
• Wages will be depressed and the unemployment will increase, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
• Repair of the broken entry-exit visa system comes later and Department of Homeland Security waivers can grant amnesty — even violent gang members can be waived. No wonder the immigration agents’ union says this bill makes America “less secure!”
Where is the concern for 20 million Americans who can’t find a full-time job or for taxpayers who support them while over 33 million legal and illegal foreigners hold U.S. jobs? “Uncle Sap,” of course, would continue to pay for health care, education and welfare benefits for the legalized illegals.
What about guest worker programs, especially in the agriculture sector? Plenty of these visas are currently available — there is no cap their issuance. However, the visa process must be streamlined through separate legislation — and employers must still be made to prove that they solicit American applicants first before foreigners.
The Senate Budget Committee estimates ObamaCare increases health care programs by $17 trillion over 75 years. Adding currently illegal immigrants via citizenship obviously ups this staggering cost. So with costs so incredibly high, and border security and interior enforcement just a goal, this is another pressing reason why this amnesty bill should be derailed.
Georgia’s U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss unfortunately missed an important procedural vote on Monday due to weather-related airport delays. But their statements are heartening. They seem to be listening to the voices of Georgians who oppose this deceptive bill. In a joint statement, they underscored “there were too many waivers and other loopholes that could have allowed green cards to be issued before our nation’s borders were truly secured.” They also criticized Senate Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “artificial deadline” of the end of this week to rush the vote to passage.
Most senators still haven’t had time to digest the 1,100-page bill and the 119 pages of amendments tacked on late last Friday. (Reid and Democrat senators, of course, are salivating over the prospect of legalizing millions more future low-wage, low-information Democrat voters — and getting some near-sighted Republicans to go along.)
By the way, Democrats in Congress rushed ObamaCare to passage without fully reading the massive legislation, and some now openly regret the consequences. Why should Congress go that disastrous route again?
America, like Senator Grassley after 1986, must not be fooled again with amnesty now and promises later.
Phil Kent of Atlanta is spokesman for Americans for Immigration Control.