Jun 10 2013

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Will the “Gang of Eight” Immigration “Reform” Bill Be the Final Straw?

thThe grassroots and a handful of Senate and House members have led the charge against the current version of so-called immigration reforms embodied in the “Gang of Eight” Senate Bill.  A powerful media onslaught seeks to silence or discredit anyone raising objections to this bill.  Why do we, meaning grassroots conservatives, continue to sound an alarm when the “sensible, moderate voices” in Congress and the media say this bill is a viable solution to our long-festering immigration problems.  Senator Mike Lee said it best on June 9, “The Gang of Eight bill is not immigration reform. It is big government dysfunction. It is an immigration ObamaCare. All advocates of true immigration reform — on the left and the right — should oppose it.”

Americans inherently realize open borders are incompatible with a welfare state.  We have both and this take-it-or-leave-it comprehensive immigration bill provides the vehicle for an unlimited claim on the dwindling income in our wallets.  Heritage shows why the country won’t survive the current reform incarnation with their study projecting a 6.3 Trillion cost associated with (SB 744).

Senator Marco Rubio, in his role as the face and voice of the immigration reform bill claims passage is a necessity because the status quo is de facto amnesty – his commercial makes several claims, that if true, might garner widespread support from the entire political spectrum.  But exceptions in the bill negate each and every claim as further reading will detail. By the way, Sen. Rubio’s claim that amendments could be brought forward to improve this legislation are also false. As Senator Mike Lee stated, virtually all substantive amendments proposed to improve the bill during the Judiciary Committee mark-up were defeated, to paraphrase some of the amendments mentioned by Senator Lee:

  • Congressional approval of the border security plan? No.
  • Improve interior enforcement and strengthen workplace verification? Rejected.
  • Manage the flow of new legal immigrants? Failed.
  • Limit access to some of America’s most generous welfare programs? Blocked.

Let’s be clear. I am pro-immigration.  An educated, self-reliant pool of new immigrants from every country around the globe, who appreciate what our founder’s created are an asset and critical to America’s future success. The long line to legally navigate our immigration and naturalization system is still a testament to the vibrancy of the U.S. compared to the world’s socialist countries.  As I learned from Mark Steyn years ago in his book, America Alone, the U.S. would be shrinking in population, but for those immigrants from other countries. But he also warned that those immigrants that would be the lifeblood of our economy could also bleed us to death, if they were not net contributors to our economic growth.  This is what we face, if the current bill is enacted.  The 850 page (at present) bill involves many special interest groups and many ways to connect millions of new immigrants to our vast welfare state at enormous taxpayer expense.  The only person not represented in this legislation is Average Joe Taxpayer. In addition to the cost, several other relevant concerns demand our attention and must be addressed by Congress.  I defer to the diligent research of former NY Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey.  I paraphrased her video comments, making sure the intent of her message was carefully maintained.

1. This bill imperils National Security.  Asylum controls are weakened under the bill.  The one year deadline on seeking asylum and making your case is eliminated.  Once caught here illegally or over staying a visa, at any point, asylum seekers can begin the lengthy asylum process. A new layer of appeals is created in the bill, adding time and cost. Asylum seekers, once turned down can appeal and stay for quite a while. By the way, the U.S. Attorney General (Mr. Holder) has discretion, to make taxpayers pay the legal bills for asylum seekers. (Section 3401, 3504 and 3502).

2. The bill takes the job of guiding aliens through the immigration process and places it with outside non-government organizations (Section 2106). Outsourcing eliminates accountability, public scrutiny and the non-partisan aspect of screening and assisting those seeking legal work status as well as hopeful future citizens.

3.  This bill creates a non-profit foundation called the U.S. Citizenship Foundation; a 501C3, will work in coordination with the federal government, run by a 10 person board selected from the big national community organizations – think; La Raza and union-funded non-profits.  They will be charged with screening the immigrants, teaching them about the citizenship process, history, the Constitution, assisting with documentation; a de facto 5th estate of government.  This tilts the scale in favor of the Democrat party. It creates a permanent elevation of community organizers with steady funding streams and power, to perform the jobs that the Department of Homeland Security should be doing.  They will also be enrolling people in food stamps, housing and all the programs that are currently bankrupting the nation. In the eyes of the left, this may be the President’s greatest legacy (ital. are my comment).
Note:  These same groups are applying to be the Obamacare Navigators who will make sure all new enrolled health insured are also registered to vote. The funding for Navigators and the community organizations will be permanent, as stated in the Obamacare Bill.

4. The number of immigrants coming into the U.S. with Green Cards will double. The legal immigrant line is about 19 years long. Well, the Green Card holder line is considerably shorter – 10 years. You must be employed over that time unless:  EXCEPTIONS: You are in college, you are in high school, you are getting a GED, you are taking care of a child or an older person in your home. Or you are unemployed, but don’t believe it is your fault.  (Section 245Cc).

Newly legalized workers are permitted to access Obamacare.  Expect a 100 Billion dollar cost increase in Obamacare over the next decade due to the passage of this immigration bill (S. 744).

5.  In many places throughout the bill, provisions are listed as an emergency, exempt from the “Pay as you go” statute that forces the Congress to allocate funding through the budget process. This alone eliminates fiscal accountability of any kind.

6.  Finally, this bill puts the border control agents under the DOJ and the “Office of Civil Rights.”  This organization will train, oversee, inspect and scrutinize every aspect of their activities. Our already demoralized agents will have their hands completely tied.

The entire bill is being presented dishonestly.  a permanent stream of money and power will flow into non-accountable groups that will override the intent of our founders. In short order, our financial stability (as it is) will be destroyed.  Unaccountable groups will have control over the real-world application of immigration and serve as handlers, controlling financial access to millions of people who come “out of the shadows.”

Please follow the links and conduct your own research, keeping in mind the concerns mentioned in this blog and come to your own conclusion about the current legislation. I believe an honest appraisal of SB 744 will demand that the Senate address each of the destructive elements mentioned and tackle reform in a prioritized manner placing security front and center.  If each immigration issue is addressed individually, special interests lose much of the ability for back room deal making. To quote Sen. Mike Lee once again, “True immigration reform must be pursued step by step, with individual reform measures implemented and verified in the proper sequence.”

The camel’s (taxpayer’s) back is groaning under the weight of massive debt. At this point, Congress still has a tenuous hold on the purse strings. This immigration bill will turn the reins over to vocal special interests who shall quickly build a new electorate, empowered to spend your children’s future and forever change the nature of our Republic.

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Ed Bell

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