Senate Immigration Subcommittee Hearing Unfairly Stacked with Witnesses Favoring Amnesty
(April 30, 2009 — Washington, D.C.) - Two years ago, a small group of senators emerged from behind closed doors with a bill offering amnesty to illegal aliens, cheap foreign workers to business interests, and vague promises of immigration enforcement. Despite that bill being overwhelmingly opposed by the American public, the U.S. Senate is laying the groundwork yet again. The Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees, chaired by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), is today holding a hearing on so-called “comprehensive immigration reform,” legislation that would grant amnesty to the estimated 12 million illegal aliens living in America.”
The hearing is revealingly entitled “Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?” Based on the disproportionate number of invited special interest witnesses who represent illegal aliens and business interests, the testimony of today’s hearing appears designed to simply affirm the manner of timing of an amnesty with little or no discussion as to the actual merits of enacting it. Notably missing is any proportional representation of the American public who want immigration laws enforced and competition for jobs and wages from illegal aliens reduced.
Today’s hearing will repeat the tactics and the mistakes of the past. The 2007 legislation was written in secret with extensive input from lobbyists. It was ultimately defeated because of overwhelming public opposition. In 2009, Americans continue to reject the idea of amnesty for millions of immigration lawbreakers and guest worker programs that would further undermine American workers and taxpayers.
“A lot has changed in the past two years,” noted Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “Our economy has gone into a tailspin, unemployment has doubled, government at every level is running massive deficits, and the public recognizes more than ever that their own interests are being ignored by the political and economic elite.
“What hasn’t changed is the arrogance and indifference of many in Washington, and the demands of the special interests seeking political and economic gain at the expense of hard-working, law-abiding Americans,” continued Stein. “Rather than an honest attempt to assess the social, economic, fiscal and environmental impact of a massive amnesty and foreign guest-worker bill, today’s hearing amounts to little more than a kangaroo court in which the special interests get to play the roles of witness, judge and jury.”
Sen. Schumer was one of the key authors of the failed 1986 experiment that granted amnesty to some 3 million illegal aliens. Schumer candidly admitted last week that, “No one believed [the 1986 bill] was tough enough on illegal immigration,” but neither he nor other supporters of that bill said so publicly at the time.
FAIR, which spearheaded a massive public education effort to inform the public of the consequences of the 2007 attempt to enact an illegal alien amnesty and guest worker bill, is prepared to replicate that effort should a similar bill be offered in 2009. “The nation is facing its worst economic, employment and fiscal crisis in living memory. Any attempt to pass legislation that rewards those who have broken our laws at enormous expense to embattled American workers and taxpayers will meet with even more fierce public resistance in 2009,” predicted Stein.