The Senate Immigration Bill: All Promises, No Improvement

The Senate Immigration Bill: All Promises, No Improvement

The Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week doesn’t reform our broken immigration system so much as it doubles down on the failed policies that got us here. 

The bill guarantees amnesty now in exchange for promises of future enforcement, just like the failed 1986 amnesty. In addition to inviting the next wave of illegal immigration, though, the bill would double legal immigration and vastly expand guest worker programs for both low- and high-skilled foreign workers. It is a recipe for sustained high unemployment, ever-expanding government, and fiscal deficits.

The Gang of Eight Senators (Schumer, Rubio, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Flake, and Bennet) wants us to trust that this bill will end illegal immigration and make America more prosperous. That’s asking a lot, considering that the bill breaks every promise the Gang has made to America.

Gangster Rubio promised the “toughest enforcement measures in the history of this country.” Instead, the bill requires a plan for 90 percent effective border control, as measured by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who insists the border is already secure. It actually weakens current law, which requires a biometric entry-and-exit system at all ports of entry–land, air, and sea–by requiring only a biographic system at air and sea ports. It also fails to quickly implement a mandatory employment-verification program, instead dragging the process out at least five years, exempting some employers altogether, and giving the DHS Secretary the discretion to scuttle the whole system.   

Gangster Graham promised the bill would “make situations like in Boston less likely to happen.” That’s interesting considering that the bill actually loosens asylum rules and lengthens the appeal process for illegal aliens denied asylum. It also eviscerates the ability of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to detain and deport future illegal aliens–including potential terrorists and criminals–by prohibiting ICE from detaining aliens unless they prove there is no alternative to detention and by giving the DHS Secretary and immigration judges almost total discretion to let immigration lawbreakers remain here.

Gangster Schumer promised the bill “will pay for itself” and not cost taxpayers a dime. Call me crazy, but I’m more inclined to believe Heritage’s Robert Rector, whose research shows that the net cost of amnesty alone (not including the bill’s massive increase in low-skilled immigration) will be $6.3 trillion, rather than Chuck Schumer and his fellow gangsters.

Gangster Flake promised amnestied aliens would have to “pay all back taxes” to get green cards. Not only does the bill not require amnestied aliens to pay all back taxes, it doesn’t require the employers who paid them off the books to pay back taxes. Even more egregious, the bill allows amnestied aliens to qualify for the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit–to the tune of $10 billion a year, according to Heritage. This means that when amnestied aliens do actually have to start paying taxes, we will be giving them a check.

Gangster Rubio promised the bill will “moderniz[e] our legal immigration system.” Rather than considering legal immigration based on what is in the national interest, though, the bill proposes a system that would grant 33 million green cards in the next decade alone–that’s more than were granted over the four decades between 1972 and 2012. On top of that, the bill would bring in millions more guest workers, plus their families. Meanwhile, unemployment is almost 8 percent, more than 20 million Americans can’t find full-time work, and the labor force participation rate is lower than it has been since women began joining the workforce in large numbers. Apparently, the Gang sees nothing wrong with paying Americans to remain unemployed while we transform America by importing millions of foreign workers to compete for scarce jobs and suppress the wages of working Americans.

The Schumer-Rubio bill is a huge bonanza for special interests–employers seeking cheap labor, unions seeking to increase dues, ethnic-identity groups seeking to expand their influence, immigration lawyers seeking clients, illegal aliens, and liberals seeking to expand the government and their voting bloc–but it is a disaster for American sovereignty and for American workers and taxpayers.