Senate Immigration Bill Weakens Enforcement, National Security

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Immigration Bill

The Senate Gang of Eight’s amnesty bill, S. 744, is an invitation to terrorists (and criminals) from around the world to come on in. The first thing that happens under the bill is that immigration enforcement is stopped dead in its tracks. 

S. 744 makes the United States essentially an enforcement-free zone for a minimum of 18 months (six months for the Secretary of Homeland Security to write two plans to secure the Southern border, then a one-year amnesty application period), but more likely three years (since the Secretary can extend the amnesty application period for another 18 months). During this entire period, no illegal alien can be deported without being given an opportunity to apply for amnesty.

The current Obama executive amnesty for so-called DREAMers is instructive on how this will play out. Under Obama’s policy, if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) encounters an illegal alien—and such encounters generally occur because the alien is in jail for another crime—and the alien says he is eligible for the amnesty, ICE must take him at his word and release him with instructions on how to apply for amnesty. The only exception is if the alien already has been convicted of a felony or three or more “serious” misdemeanors—the same standard set out in the Gang amnesty bill.

We have no way to know if he actually applies for amnesty, or if his claim to eligibility is frivolous.  He is free to go about his business, whatever that may be, even though he is in the United States illegally. 

Let’s pretend for a moment that all illegal aliens, including terrorists (and criminals), will actually come “out of the shadows” and apply for the amnesty promised in S. 744. The Gang assures us that every illegal alien who applies will undergo a background check of some sort.  Yet we know from documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act that DHS actually conducted only limited background checks of illegal aliens applying for the Obama amnesty because the number of applications exceeded the agency’s ability to process them.  Instead, the applications were simply rubber-stamped, and the illegal aliens granted permission to stay and work in the United States.  These background checks were halted after only about 300,000 applications were received.  Should we really expect DHS to do better with 11 million applications?

Just for the sake of argument, though, let’s assume that the background checks are actually performed on all applicants.  If a background check on an amnesty applicant turns up a terrorist connection, that information will be turned over to ICE or another law enforcement agency so the applicant can be deported or prosecuted, right?  Wrong. 

The Gang’s bill says that such information about an applicant can only be disclosed to a law enforcement agency “in connection with…a national security investigation or prosecution.”  In other words, law enforcement has to already know about the alien and be investigating or attempting to prosecute before they get the information.  The bill prohibits any information from the application process from being turned over to ICE, even if the application is denied!  The theory is that illegal aliens, including terrorists (and criminals), won’t be willing to come forward and apply if they think they will be deported if they are found ineligible. Clearly, the Gang has absolutely no intention of deporting illegal aliens who do not qualify under the expansive criteria for amnesty, regardless of the grounds for ineligibility.

Since the Gang bill fails to secure the borders and guts current laws requiring a biometric entry-exit system to identify and track visa overstays, terrorists (and criminals) will have possibly three years to get into the United States and have no fear of being located or deported.

The Gang of Eight Senators either don’t understand the national security implications of their bill, or they simply have decided that amnesty for illegal aliens is more important than the safety and security of the American people.  After all, how many terrorists could possibly enter the country through our porous borders or our flawed legal immigration system over the next three years, and how much damage could they really do? 

Americans need to tell the Senate to vote no on S. 744 so we don’t have to find out.


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