This week an overwhelming number of United States Senators decided to move forward with debate on the flawed immigration reform package supported by the Gang of Eight, known on Capitol Hill as S. 744.
History very well might be repeating itself. Like with the disastrous immigration reform laws passed in 1986, the Gang of Eight’s 900-page piece of legislation does not cure the epidemic of illegal immigration. By the way, has anyone actually read the entire bill?
I have come to realize that when Senator Charles Schumer talks about the need for “comprehensive” immigration reform, what he really means is it should be stuffed with an enormous pile of expensive requests from various interest groups to ensure final passage. The bill is an insult to the American legal system, which is why Senator Marco Rubio is indicating he may ultimately renounce his own bill. In its current form, the bill is such a monstrosity that even its staunchest advocates may end up rejecting it.
The bill would almost immediately grant amnesty to individuals who entered our country illegally, allowing them to live and work in the United States without penalty. Because of the time restrictions, those who have broken America’s laws would get to jump to the head of the line, in front of millions who are waiting to enter the country legally, while weakening our national security and costing the country trillions of dollars.
One of the most irresponsible provisions of the bill funnels money to community organizers to help guide illegal immigrants through the process of receiving government entitlements and eventual citizenship. If this doesn’t sound familiar to you, it should, as these are the same community organizers who will be hired for Obamacare as “navigators” to help people maximize their benefits in the unworkable healthcare law. This process of outsourcing services away from government workers means there will be less accountability. I am suspicious that their objective will be to register as many new Democrats as possible.
This trend of outsourcing services also comes from the non-profit 501c3 entity the bill proposes to create–known as the United States Citizenship Foundation. It will be run by a select few members of various special interest groups, such as the radical group La Raza, and allows them to take over the process currently run by the Department of Homeland Security to teach newly illegal immigrants about American history, the political process, and the Constitution. Again, this outsourcing is by design, as it limits accountability and oversight.
It is impossible to collect back taxes from illegal immigrants, as many gained employment through fake social security numbers or are paid under the table. Yet this weak tax requirement is being championed disingenuously by the bill proponents. Because this bill quickly puts green cards in the hands of law breakers, these same newly legalized immigrants will qualify for Social Security and Medicare, and will receive coverage under Obamacare. The cost to provide Obamacare coverage alone, according to the Congressional Budget Office, will be $9,000 per new citizen each year, which is a conservative estimate.
The bill also places heavy restrictions on interior enforcement of the immigration law, handcuffing law enforcement officials while giving unchecked authority to the Obama Administration to prevent the removal of illegal immigrants, even those who commit violent offenses and are currently in prison. In addition, the bill does nothing to correct the limitations placed on an underfunded Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office by the Obama Administration to investigate the millions of immigrants who overstay their visas.
Finally, the bill does not include support for the long-promised border fence. Instead, it only requires Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to “establish a strategy” about where fencing should be deployed. As we know, any plan that doesn’t complete the 700-miles of double fencing is worthless, but the bill makes it easy for the Obama Administration to completely ignore future construction, while the Administration monitors itself in enforcing current immigration law.
If the current immigration bill passes the Senate, it will be up to the House of Representatives to fix the mess. Republicans in the House should break up the issues into smaller bills, with a focus on protecting our border and enforcing existing laws first. Only then should Congress turn its attention to workplace security and improving America’s immigration system. There is no question our immigration system is broken, but the Gang of Eight’s costly blanket amnesty bill must be stopped.