Taking A Look At Competing Enforcement Legislation
Make or Break Time in Congress on Immigration
The second session of the 109th Congress is poised to renew debate on controlling the borders and bringing an end to illegal immigration. As most of you already know, the House passed a bill in mid December that purports to get tough on illegal immigration without adding any guest worker or amnesty provisions. This much is satisfying, but the House bill could and should have been stronger. Only the TRUE Enforcement and Border Control Act, H.R. 4313, aims directly at the root incentives that drive illegal immigration and mirrors what the public is demanding.
New Condensed Side By Side Comparison - July 3, 2006 (PDF)
Read FAIR’s exclusive analysis of the major immigration legislation pending in Congress - updated June 6, 2006 (PDF)
Many of these incentives are ignored in the House-passed Border Protection, Anti Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act, H.R. 4437. For example, this bill conveniently ignores any requirement for employers to dismiss their illegal alien employees even after they have been shown to be unauthorized to work in the United States following mandatory verification.
- Construct a contiguous fence along the southern border;
- Authorize sufficient personnel at DHS to enforce our immigration laws;
- Protect the integrity of the social security card;
- Protect the integrity of birth certificates;
- Reduce the number of documents usable for worksite verification;
- Suspend the visa waiver program;
- Restrict birthright citizenship;
- Restrict the use of ITINs;
- Require additional detention space for illegal aliens
- Stop the granting of mortgages to illegal aliens;
- Stop the business tax deductions employers take for their illegal employees;
- Stop claims by illegal aliens for the earned income tax credit.
These failures are remedied in the TRUE Enforcement Act and all of them, if left unchecked, will leave in place an environment where illegal aliens may continue to live without inconvenience and nearly invisible to law enforcement.
Senate Action Expected Soon
The Senate is set to take up immigration legislation early this year, perhaps later this month or in February. It is widely expected that unless something changes dramatically, the Senate will approve a bill containing some border controls and some enforcement features, but also broad amnesty and guest worker programs. From there, the House and Senate will get together in a conference committee to iron out differences between the two bills and agree on a package that each chamber will attempt to pass.
The result for the public if this Trojan horse is passed will not be pretty. The final product will contain half measures on border security and immigration enforcement and full blown guest worker and amnesty programs.
We at FAIR have been down this road too many times to count. Every time the public demands action, political leaders in Washington, DC pull the old Potomac two-step. They attempt to pacify the public with what is advertised as tough measures coupled with new immigration benefits. The result: Public restiveness is quieted, business gets what it wants, and politicians reap the benefit of uninterrupted cheap labor lobby campaign cash, and whatever enforcement steps were taken are ignored.
Don’t Be Fooled, Let Congress Know How You Feel
Today the immigration reform movement stands at a crossroads. Will the old Potomac two-step be permitted to work its magic once again? Or will the public see through the latest ruse and begin demanding that politicians of both parties stop selling out the public interest-and homeland security along with it-to the highest bidder?
Last month in the pages of the Washington Times, immigration enforcement champion Rep. J.D. Hayworth expressed his concern “that many in Washington view illegal immigration as political problem to be managed rather than an invasion to be stopped.” Just so. See FAIR’s “Facts About Guest Worker Amnesty” for more ammunition to use — including detailed responses to the most common arguments for a guest worker amnesty program.
If the final product of a House-Senate conference turns the House-passed bill into a Trojan horse carrying amnesty and guest worker programs with watered down enforcement provisions, FAIR will lead the charge to defeat the conference agreement. In order to win this campaign, you and concerned citizens across the nation must hold our political leaders accountable. If together we succeed, it will be up to all of us to insist that swift action be positively taken on the only legislation that will restore order from the utter chaos that has become our immigration system. That legislation is TRUE Enforcement.
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