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We at the Neville Awards are, admittedly, very late to the amnesty/shamnesty party. But better late than never.
This abomination of an amnesty bill is once again rearing it's hydra-headed self with the help of Sens. Ted Kennedy (D), Harry Reid (D),
John McCain (R), Lindsey Graham (R), Trent Lott (R), Jon Kyl (R) and President Bush. This bill is nothing less than a complete sellout of our country
and national sovereignty. If it passes our country will be vastly different ten to twenty years from now than it is today.
Not only does it offer amnesty to illegals already here it includes extended families (chain migration). It also does not address deportation for illegals
who commit crimes while in the U.S. after a committing a crime by coming here in the first place. Background
checks must be completed, by checking with a database that doesn't exist yet, within 24 hours of the illegal immigrant registering.
The final insult is the linkage of border security to this bill. The money to build the 700 mile fence has already been appropriated. Only 7 miles have been built.
Our security is being held hostage, and we are being blackmailed by the global internationalists, the country club Rockefeller Republicans, and those who want to see the
North American Union (similar to the E.U.) become a reality.
- A Massive Amnesty: Title VI of the bill grants amnesty to virtually all of the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the country today. This amnesty would dwarf the amnesty that the United States granted—with disastrous consequences—in 1986 to 2.7 million illegal aliens. It is also a larger amnesty than that proposed in last year's ill-fated Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act. Indeed, the Senate's bill imposes no cap on the total number of individuals who could receive Z-visa status.
To initially qualify for a Z visa, an illegal alien need only have a job (or be the parent, spouse, or child of someone with a job) and provide two documents suggesting that he or she was in the country before January 1, 2007, and has remained in the country since then. A bank statement, pay stub, or similarly forgeable record will do. Also acceptable under the legislation is a sworn affidavit from a non-relative (see Section 601(i)(2)).
The price of a Z visa is $3,000 for individuals—only slightly more than the going rate to hire a coyote to smuggle a person across the border. A family of five could purchase visas for the bargain price of $5,000—some $20,000 short of the net cost that household is likely to impose on local, state, and federal government each year, according to Heritage Foundation calculations.
Expect a mass influx unlike anything this country has ever seen once the 12-month period for accepting Z visa applications begins. These provisions are an open invitation for those intent on U.S. residence to sneak in and present two fraudulent pieces of paper indicating that they were here before the beginning of the year.
That is precisely what happened in the 1986 amnesty, during which Immigration and Naturalization Services discovered 398,000 cases of fraud. Expect the number of fraudulent applications to be at least four times larger this time, given the much larger applicant pool.
- The Permanent "Temporary" Visa: Supporters of the bill call the Z visa a "temporary" visa. However, they neglect to mention that it can be renewed every four years until the visa holder dies, according to Section 601(k)(2) of the legislation. This would be the country's first permanent temporary visa. On top of that, it is a "super-visa," allowing the holder to work, attend college, or travel abroad and reenter. These permissible uses are found in Section 602(m).
A law-abiding alien with a normal nonimmigrant visa would surely desire this privileged status. Unfortunately for him, only illegal aliens can qualify, according Section 601(c)(1).
And contrary to popular misconception, illegal aliens need not return to their home countries to apply for the Z visa. That's only necessary if and when an alien decides to adjust from Z visa status to lawful permanent resident ("green card") status under Section 602(a)(1). And even then, it's not really the country of origin; any consulate outside the United States can take applications at its discretion or the direction of the Secretary of State.
- Hobbled Background Checks: The bill would make it extremely difficult for the federal government to prevent criminals and terrorists from obtaining legal status. Under Section 601(h)(1), the bill would allow the government only one business day to conduct a background check to determine whether an applicant is a criminal or terrorist. Unless the government can find a reason not to grant it by the end of the next business day after the alien applies, the alien receives a probationary Z visa (good from the time of approval until six months after the date Z visas begin to be approved, however long that may be) that lets him roam throughout the country and seek employment legally.
The problem is that there is no single, readily searchable database of all of the dangerous people in the world. While the federal government does have computer databases of known criminals and terrorists, these databases are far from comprehensive. Much of this kind of information exists in paper records that cannot be searched within 24 hours. Other information is maintained by foreign governments.
The need for effective background checks is real. During the 1986 amnesty, the United States granted legal status to Mahmoud "The Red" Abouhalima, who fraudulently sought and obtained the amnesty intended for seasonal agricultural workers (even though he was actually employed as a cab driver in New York City). But his real work was in the field of terrorism. He went on to become a ringleader in the 1993 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center. Using his new legal status after the amnesty, he was able to travel abroad for terrorist training.
- Amnesty for "Absconders": Title VI's amnesty extends even to fugitives who have been ordered deported by an immigration judge but chose to ignore their removal orders. More than 636,000 absconders are now present in the country, having defied the law twice: once when they broke U.S. immigration laws and again when they ignored the orders of the immigration courts.
The Senate's bill allows the government to grant Z visas to absconders. Though the bill appears to deny the visa to absconders in Section 601(d)(1)(B), Section 601(d)(1)(I) allows U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials to give an absconder the Z visa anyway if the absconder can demonstrate that departure from the United States "would result in extreme hardship to the alien or the alien's spouse, parent or child."
This is a massive loophole because so many things can be construed to constitute "extreme hardship." This might include removing a child from an American school and placing him in a school in an impoverished country, or deporting a person with any chronic illness. Attorneys representing aliens would also argue that if any member of an absconder's family is a U.S. citizen, then the other members must remain in the United States, because the separation of family members would constitute extreme hardship.
This would also be a reward to those who have defied U.S. immigration courts. Those who have successfully fled justice could receive the most generous visa ever created, but those who complied with the law and have waited years to enter legally would have to wait longer still. (Indeed, the massive bureaucratic load caused by processing Z visas would undoubtedly mean longer waits for those who have played by the rules.) Further, those who have obeyed the law and complied with deportation orders would not be eligible for Z visas.
The effect of this provision may already be felt today. Why would an illegal alien obey a deportation order while this bill is even pending in Congress? If the alien ignores the deportation order, he may be able to qualify for the amnesty; but if he obeys the order, he has no possibility of gaining the amnesty.
- Reverse Justice: The bill would effectively shut down the immigration court system. Under Section 601(h)(6), if an alien in the removal process is "prima facie eligible" for the Z visa, an immigration judge must close any proceedings against the alien and offer the alien an opportunity to apply for amnesty.
- Enforcement of Amnesty, Not Laws: The bill would transform Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from a law enforcement agency into an amnesty distribution center. Under Sections 601(h)(1, 5) if an ICE agent apprehends aliens who appear to be eligible for the Z visa (in other words, just about any illegal alien), the agent cannot detain them. Instead, ICE must provide them a reasonable opportunity to apply for the Z visa. Instead of initiating removal proceedings, ICE will be initiating amnesty applications. This is the equivalent of turning the Drug Enforcement Agency into a needle-distribution network.
- Amnesty for Gang Members: Under Section 601(g)(2) of the bill, gang members would be eligible to receive amnesty. This comes at a time when violent international gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha 13 (or "MS-13"), have brought mayhem to U.S. cities. More than 30,000 illegal-alien gang members operate in 33 states, trafficking in drugs, arms, and people. Deporting illegal-alien gang members has been a top ICE priority. The Senate bill would end that. To qualify for amnesty, all a gang member would need to do is note his gang membership and sign a "renunciation of gang affiliation."
- Tuition Subsidies for Illegal Aliens: The Senate bill incorporates the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). The DREAM Act effectively repeals a 1996 federal law (8 U.S.C. § 1623) that prohibits any state from offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens unless the state also offers in-state tuition rates to all U.S. citizens. Ten states are currently defying this federal law. Section 616 would allow these and all other states to offer in-state tuition rates to any illegal alien who obtains the Z visa and attends college.
The injustice of this provision is obvious. Illegal aliens would receive a taxpayer subsidy worth tens of thousands of dollars and would be treated better than U.S. citizens from out of state, who must pay three to four times as much to attend college. In an era of limited educational resources and rising tuitions, U.S. citizens, not aliens openly violating federal law, should be first in line to receive education subsidies.
Further, legal aliens who possess an appropriate F, J, or M student visa would not receive this valuable benefit. Nor would they be eligible for the federal student loans that illegal aliens could obtain by this provision.
- Taxpayer-Funded Lawyers for Illegal Aliens: The Senate's bill would force taxpayers to foot the bill for many illegal aliens' lawyers. Under current law, illegal aliens are not eligible for federally funded legal services. Section 622(m) of the bill would allow millions of illegal aliens who work in agriculture to receive free legal services. Every illegal alien working in the agricultural sector would have access to an immigration attorney to argue his case through the immigration courts and federal courts of appeals—all at taxpayer expense. This provision alone could cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
- Amnesty Before Enforcement Triggers. Proponents of the Senate approach have consistently claimed that it would allow delayed amnesty only after certain law enforcement goals are met. The text of the bill, however, tells a different story. Section 1(a) allows probationary Z visas to be issued immediately after enactment, and Section 601(f)(2) prohibits the federal government from waiting more than 180 days after enactment to begin issuing probationary Z visas.
These probationary Z visas could be valid for years, depending on when the government begins issuing non-probationary Z visas, according to Section 601(h)(4). Moreover, the "probationary" designation means little. These visas are nearly as good as non-probationary Z visas, giving the alien immediate lawful status, protection from deportation, authorization to work, and the ability to exit and reenter the country (with advance permission). These privileges are listed in Section 601(h)(1).
By Gary Aminoff
Posted June 18, 2007
The more I talk to conservatives and read articles posted by conservatives, it seems to me that there is a revolt brewing within the Republican Party. Conservatives feel that the Administration and the Congress have abandoned them and their concerns.
Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal:
What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker -- "At this point the break became final." That's not what's happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.
The White House doesn't need its traditional supporters anymore, because its problems are way beyond being solved by the base. And the people in the administration don't even much like the base. Desperate straits have left them liberated, and they are acting out their disdain. Leading Democrats often think their base is slightly mad but at least their heart is in the right place. This White House thinks its base is stupid and that its heart is in the wrong place.
President Bush has torn asunder the conservative coalition.
For almost three years, arguably longer, conservative Bush supporters have felt like sufferers of battered wife syndrome. You don't like endless gushing spending, the kind that assumes a high and unstoppable affluence will always exist, and the tax receipts will always flow in? Too bad! You don't like expanding governmental authority and power? Too bad. You think the war was wrong or is wrong? Too bad.
But on immigration it has changed from "Too bad" to "You're bad."
The president has taken to suggesting that opponents of his immigration bill are unpatriotic -- they "don't want to do what's right for America." His ally Sen. Lindsey Graham has said, "We're gonna tell the bigots to shut up." On Fox last weekend he vowed to "push back." Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested opponents would prefer illegal immigrants be killed; Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said those who oppose the bill want "mass deportation." Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson said those who oppose the bill are "anti-immigrant" and suggested they suffer from "rage" and "national chauvinism."
Why would they speak so insultingly, with such hostility, of opponents who are concerned citizens? And often, though not exclusively, concerned conservatives? It is odd, but it is of a piece with, or a variation on, the "Too bad" governing style. And it is one that has, day by day for at least the past three years, been tearing apart the conservative movement.
No one has been a stronger supporter of President Bush than I have. When he stepped up in September of 2001 and took charge, he earned my undying gratitude for his courage, his leadership and his determination to prevent another attack on our country. I thought that, at last, we have a true conservative in the White House - another Ronald Reagan. I thought going into Iraq was the right thing to do to stabilize the Middle East and reduce the danger to our allies.
I have supported President Bush all along, even though I did not agree with his policy on illegal immigration. Even though I didn't agree with his "big government" stance and the growth in non-military spending, I felt that he deserved our support because he appointed conservative justices and was a proponent of freedom and conservatism. In the past year or so, however President Bush, and a substantial number of our Republican Congressmen and Senators, have chosen to abandon the conservative base.
Craig Shirley writes in Townhall.com:
In his now infamous "Malaise" speech in 1979, Jimmy Carter demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of his country and his countrymen. It was the tipping point for his presidency.
Last week, President Bush had his own malaise moment when he attacked a large segment of the American people and insinuated they were ignorant about the immigration bill he has fashioned with Ted Kennedy.
The American people don't like to be criticized by their presidents, especially when they are at 28 percent approval, either then or now. This clash is a "Panama Canal moment" for the GOP.
The bar fight over the newest immigration "compromise" bill is the Gotterdammerung for the party and the conservative movement. The outcome will determine what direction the GOP will take and whether it will once again be consigned to minority status for a generation.
It is not the first time there has been a trial separation and eventually a divorce between conservatism and Republicanism. In 1971, conservatives gathered at Bill Buckley's home in New York. The meeting was called because Richard Nixon had supported his aide, Pat Moynihan's proposal for a federally-mandated guaranteed household income. That tore it for conservatives.
Nixon had already instituted wage and price controls, appointed liberals to his Administration, was cozying up to the Soviets and was about to betray America's longtime ally, Taiwan, to recognize instead Red China. "Tricky Dick" tricked conservatives into supporting him in 1968 and then immediately set about to break every promise he'd ever made to the Right.
The group called themselves the "Manhattan Twelve" and signed a manifesto announcing their "Declaration of Independence" from Nixon and his Republican Party. They hence decided to forget about the losers that made up what was left of the GOP and focused instead on building a political movement. At this, they were very successful and were guided only by their principles.
The conservative movement all through the late 1970's led the GOP around by the nose, on the Panama Canal treaties, on SALT II, on ERA, on tax cuts, on opposition to Jimmy Carter and support for Ronald Reagan. The GOP of the 1970's was clueless, just as their fancy counterparts are of the current Republican Party.
True conservatives are now faced with this choice once again. In order to save their ideology, should the conservative movement declare it's independence from the Bush Administration and the GOP? The arguments for doing so are compelling.
The immigration bill, most conservatives believe, is a sellout of everything they hold dear - the rule of law, justice, freedom and sovereignty. But rather than listen to the grassroots American people, the GOP elites are listening intently instead to their master's voice, corporate America.
Conservatives do not understand the difference between someone breaking and entering their home and someone breaking and entering their country.
Despite "Bushophant" Michael Gerson's derivative arguments calling conservatives bigots, the rule of law still means something to most people in this country.
The GOP's arrogance is doubly insulting because they know how the grassroots feels or at least should. All they have to do is listen to Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, read any of a dozen conservative columnists, websites and blogs to know what conservatives think about this bill.
The outrage over this betrayal is evident. Republicans across the board seemed astonished when the first quarter FEC reports came out and all told, the Democratic presidential candidates out-raised the Republicans by $25 million. The party committees are lagging behind their Democratic counterparts, as reported in the Washington Times.
There is no mystery. Conservatives, who voted in droves for Democrats and against Republicans as a protest vote last November are now voting with their pocketbooks. The sleeping giant of the conservative movement has been awakened and if the immigration bill passes, one can imagine an organized effort to shut down all grassroots conservative money from going to any GOP party committee and instead, direct their hard-earned dollars to legitimate conservative groups.
Some may argue a breakup is premature citing the War on Terror, tax cuts and the appointments of Samuel Alito and John Roberts to the federal bench.
George W. Bush campaigned on supporting tax cuts and appointing conservatives to the courts and conservatives expected him to keep his promises. However, if the White House had had its way, Alberto Gonzales and Harriet Meiers would have been appointed instead. It was conservatives who demanded conservative judges and the White House unhappily went along. As my father used to say, you don't get medals for not robbing banks. You're supposed to not rob banks.
Traditional conservatives are patriots and are thus conflicted over the war in Iraq. They support and honor the American GI Joes and Janes, but deep down, they believe this is not their war or at least that it has been managed poorly. They may have sung a few hymns, they never joined the choir.
The war has held together the unhappy shotgun marriage of the elitist GOP and the populist conservatives, but the D-word ("divorce") is now on the lips of many in the movement.
The arguments for at least a trial separation are legion; from steel tariffs to federal mandates to the states educational systems, to the biggest entitlement since the Great Society to the corruption of Republican "lawmakers" and Enron and the GOP K Street walkers, whose main job is to convince GOP lawmakers into doing un-Republican things. Arrogance, ignorance, the unseemly pursuit of power over principles and betrayal of conservatism are the hallmarks of the current GOP.
The elites in the Republican Party are in denial about this, as they are about last November. But this is not surprising. Republicans have made a cottage industry out of denial, in 1960 when JFK won, in 1992 when George H. W. Bush lost and August 9, 1974…the day Nixon resigned.
The American people, and especially conservative Republicans, are opposed to the immigration bill supported by some Republican Congressman and Senators, and the Administration. Republicans generally believe in fair play and the rule of law. To reward those who break our laws by coming here illegally, without requiring those lawbreakers to pay their back taxes, or to have to earn the right to stay here is the height of hubris. To not have a serious plan to protect our borders is foolishness, and is a major security risk to this country.
President Bush is well-meaning, and I am sure he is concerned about his legacy. He wants support of the American people, and feels that by appealing to the left in the immigration issue he will have a favorable legacy. I don't know the motivations of Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jon Kyl and other Republican Senators who have betrayed their conservative base.
Pat Buchanan, in an essay on Townhall.com, says
"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."
So said Jefferson. It would appear to be time again for a little rebellion in the Grand Old Party -- this time against George II.
For President Bush has attacked his own loyalists for a lack of patriotism. "If you don't want to do what's right for America," he said of opponents of the Bush-Kennedy immigration bill, "if you want to scare the American people, what you say is the bill's an amnesty bill. That's empty political rhetoric, trying to frighten our citizens."
But if the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens are instantly legalized, what other term is there to describe that than amnesty?
Not only are opponents not doing "what's right for America," their courage is in question: "People in Congress need the courage to go back to their districts and explain exactly what this bill is all about. The fundamental question is, will elected officials have the courage necessary to put a comprehensive immigration plan in place."
For, worse than a crime, this attack on his base was a blunder. The people Bush is savaging -- columnists, commentators, talk-show hosts, congressmen fighting his bill -- have been the front-line troops in his fight to sustain funding for the war.
Bush's attack on the motives and character of conservatives tell us it is Goldwater-Rockefeller time again -- time to split the blanket. Conservatives need to declare their independence of Bush and to repudiate Bushism as the philosophy of their movement and party.
While Bush's court appointments, setting aside the Harriet Miers mess, have been superb, while his tax cuts have been Reaganite, while his stand on traditional values is courageous, beyond is a vast wasteland as far as the eye can see.
His free-trade zealotry has led to five straight record trade deficits. While America's economy is now growing at under 1 percent, China's is booming at 10 percent. His refusal to defend and secure the borders is well-nigh impeachable. His compromises with Teddy Kennedy on No Child Left Behind have doubled the size of the Department of Education without any appreciable gain in test scores. His "Big Government Conservatism" marks him as his father's son, not Reagan's heir. In Ward Connerly's courageous battle against reverse discrimination, the Bushes have all been on the other side.
This, of course, begs the question, is there a true conservative candidate in the Republican Party who the conservative base can identify with and who can win the Republican primary and bring conservative values to the White House in 2009? Will the conservative base in the Republican Party stay loyal to this Administration?
Kennedy and Endless Amnesty
Ted Kennedy has already pushed SEVEN amnesties into law. None was followed by a reduction in illegal immigration. Why should anybody believe this one will be?
Now, Ted Kennedy is saying that this amnesty is necessary if we are ever to stop the flow of illegal aliens. Why should we believe him when he says this amnesty bill will end illegal immigration with a track record like his?
- In 1986, Ted Kennedy's blanket amnesty for 2.7 million illegal aliens promised a lot more enforcement but did not set any requirments for actual reductions in illegal immigration. The illegal flow continued.
- In 1994, Ted Kennedy's Section 245(i) Amnesty gave legal residence and jobs to 578,000 illegal aliens. It was a temporary rolling amnesty primarily for extended family members of immigrants who instead of waiting in line, come on to the country illegally. The illegal flow continued.
- In 1997, Ted Kennedy's extension of the Section 245(i) rolling amnesty was followed by an increasing flow of illegal immigration.
- In 1997, Ted Kennedy also won an amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America. Illegal immigration sped up some more.
- In 1998, Ted Kennedy won an amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti. The illegal flow continued.
- In 2000, Ted Kennedy got the so-called Late Amnesty, legalizing another 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed that they missed out on Kennedy's 1986 amnesty. Illegal immigration continued unimpeded.
- In 2000, Ted Kennedy also won the LIFE Act Amnesty for an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens. It was another reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty., an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens. Illegal immigration accelerated.
Immigration Bills since 1965
1965 Immigration and Nationality Act:
Refugee Act of 1980
- Eliminated country-specific quotas
- Broad numerical limits were nearly doubled from 154,000 to 290,000
- Changed Eastern Hemispheric annual quotas to 170,000 (20,000 per country)
- Created a first time annual cap of 120,000 for the Western Hemisphere
- Special preference rules making immediate family members exempt from numerical quotas, however, caused the 290,000 official ceiling to be shattered.
- Coupled with European economic prosperity in mid 1960s, European immigrants to the US dropped to less than 20%. Latin America and Asia become the leading sources of immigrants.
1990 Immigration Act
- U.S. broadens definition of allowable refugees
- 125,000 refugees allowed annually
- From 1981-1986, more than 450,000 refugees and asylum seekers
- 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)
- Legalized 2.7 million unauthorized aliens (about 1.6 million illegal residents who entered prior to 1982, and 1.1 million illegal agricultural laborers who had worked in the U.S. for at least 6 months)
- Sought to curb illegal immigration by establishing penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens
1996 Immigration Reform Law
- Raised the annual ceiling from 270,000 to 700,000 for 1992-94 and 675,000 afterwards (including 480,000 family-sponsored, 140,000 employment-based, and 55,000 "diversity" immigrants)
- Allows an unlimited number of visas for immediate relatives -children, parents and spouses - of US citizens, not counted under the cap
- The 125,000 allowable refugees are also not counted under the cap
- Almost nine (9) million immigrants came to the U.S. in the 1990s
1996 Welfare Reform Law
- Addressed concerns about illegal immigration through a variety of law enforcement measures, including increased border control personnel, equipment and technology.
- Doubled, for example, the number of border patrol agents from 5,175 in 1996 to almost 10,000 by 2000.
- Confronted concerns about illegal immigrants access to government benefits by making undocumented immigrants ineligible for Social Security benefits
- Illegal immigrants still currently enter the U.S. at an estimated rate of 300,000 per year. Seven million illegal immigrants are currently estimated to be living in the U.S.
- Barred legal immigrants entering the U.S. after 1996 from most federal means- tested programs (food stamps, CHIP, Medicaid, etc) for 5 years
- Raised the income and legal standards for U.S. residents who sponsor immigrants
- Barred illegal immigrants eligibility from most federal, state and local public assistance
- 2000 H-1B Visa Legislation
- Increased the number of temporary immigration visas for high-technology workers from 65,000 in 1990 to 115,000 for fiscal years 1999-2000 to 195,000 for fiscal years 2001-2003. In fiscal year 2004 the number was returned to 65,000.