We hope the articles we have included here will serve as substantial background for local Republican operatives as they embark on the “minority outreach” project much ballyhooed of late. There are very real problems with the current fast track (bum’s rush) immigration reform proposals.
The vote today regarding immigration reform was a procedural vote. That does not necessarily portend the substantive vote on the Corker -Hoeven / Rubio- Schumer bill later in the week. The vote was whether to schedule a cloture vote (end debate) for Wednesday.
Senator Corker along with Senator Hoeven (R-ND) introduced an allegedly major border strengthening amendment to the Rubio – Schumer Gang of 8 proposal. Corker is defending his proposal saying that it adds only 119 new pages to the 1100 pages of the original Rubio-Schumer bill providing a path to citizenship (amnesty) for illegal immigrants. Given the interrelation and cross references in his amendment, that is not comforting. Any major amendment still requires legislators to study the entire bill to understand the direct and indirect changes and analyze their effect. Only a few days are allowed in the process steamrolled by Democrats to adsorb the implications before the monumental package is voted on. Super-majorities are required on all amendments.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee issued the following statement regarding Monday night’s vote:
“The sponsors of the Corker-Hoeven substitute fell short of the votes they expected tonight to advance what they had erroneously billed to other Senators as a strong border security amendment. Failure to capture the votes they anticipated for this motion demonstrates the building unease this 1,200-page legislative monstrosity has created. I expect that unease will increase as Senators learn more about what’s really inside this proposal.
The Gang of Eight and their allies revealed their true tactics tonight. They shut down debate and blocked amendments to a 1,200-page immigration bill that no one has read. It was anything but the open and fair process that they had promised.
What we know for absolute certain is that this bill guarantees three things: instantaneous amnesty, permanent lawlessness, and a massive expansion in legal immigration that will reduce wages for working Americans. This legislation is a crushing blow to the working people of this country, a surrender to illegality, and a capitulation to special interests over the interests of the citizens we pledged to represent.”
Sessions also issued this bullet point analysis of the legislation:
BACKGROUND ON CORKER-HOEVEN SUBSTITUTE AMNESTY-FIRST IMMIGRATION BILL:
- Immediate amnesty before enforcement
- Guts legal requirement for biometric exit-entry system
- Millions of green cards (permanent residency) before enforcement—debunking another false claim from sponsors
- No border surge. Agents aren’t required until 2021. It will never happen
- No fence requirement. DHS retains discretion in the bill that preempts the call for a fence in ten years. Litigation also provides an escape hatch to never build the fence. The fence won’t happen
- Legalization for gang members and convicted criminals
- Amnesty for future visa overstays (in other words, a prospective amnesty for future illegal immigrants)
- Guaranteed welfare access for illegal immigrants
- Undermines interior enforcement, prompting ICE officers to warn: “There is no doubt that, if passed, public safety will be endangered and massive amounts of future illegal immigration—especially visa overstays—is ensured.”
- Expands non-merit chain migration—less than 10 percent of future flow is merit-based
Writting in The Blaze, Billy Hallowell provided this summery of the cost implications of the immigration / amnesty bill.
Consider the conservative Heritage Foundation’s response, which details a number of concerns about the bill’s potential impact. Among them, contrary to the CBO’s estimate, the organization believes that the immigration overhaul would actually cost taxpayers “trillions”:
In addition to concerns of rule of law and fairness, amnesty will cost taxpayers trillions of dollars. This is because some taxpayers contribute more in taxes than they receive in government benefits, while others consume more than they contribute. Most unlawful immigrants fall into this second category of net tax consumers. Even now unlawful immigrant households consume $14,387 more in benefits than they pay in taxes on average. Current unlawful immigrants receive public education for their children and services at the state and local levels, such as policing, fire protection, road use, and sewer maintenance. Illegal immigrants on average do not pay enough in taxes to cover the cost of these services. In addition, roughly half of illegal immigrants have minor children who were born in the U.S. These children are eligible for nearly all federal means-tested welfare programs including food stamps, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The total cost of means-tested welfare to these children comes to around $17 billion per year. Under current law, illegal immigrant households receive about $2.40 in government benefits for every $1.00 paid in taxes. The overall cost to taxpayers (total benefits minus total taxes) is $54 billion per year.
S. 744 would provide millions of these immigrants with amnesty, eventually entitling them to extensive new benefits. Indeed, a recent Heritage study indicates that the net cost of amnesty for all unlawful immigrants would be at least $6.3 trillion. These costs must be paid by current taxpayers, either by increased taxes or reduced benefits. While S. 744 does not grant every unlawful immigrant amnesty, it would grant it to the vast majority, leading to trillions in new costs.
Commenter AvengerK writing in the same publication in response to the above article had this to add:
I wrote to Boehner and told him (among other things) that the CBO is a calculator not an analyst. If it’s given bad numbers it will reach a conclusion based on those bad numbers. I told him to turn this around on the democrats and tell them that only when the border is secured that the GOP will come to the table to discuss the disposition of illegals in this country. If they’re serious about “immigration reform” they will wait until the border is secured. He should then demand that the Democrats explain to the American people why they’re in such a hurry to inject over 11 million more people into the completion for jobs in an already reduced job market that’s been perpetuated by Barack Obama. That if the CBO report is accurate, why then should Americans accept lower wages over the next decade and why congress is willing to force this on the American people. To tell the Democrats to explain to the American people why they should endure these humiliations so that illegals can be made legal.
We note that support for the bill is coming from Democrat strategists, some business interests but also religious bodies. Regarding the Catholic Bishops support of the Gang of 8 Rubio-Schumer proposal, writing in the respected publication First Things contributor Pete Spiliakos had this to say in part. The entire worthy article is available here.
How, then, to think about immigration? Archbishop Gomez has asked precisely the right question: “Do we want a country with a permanent underclass, without the same rights as the majority?”
The answer, of course, is no, and that is why we should oppose the current bill. The Gang of Eight bill would create a laboring class—some tied to particular jobs—that would be ineligible for U.S. citizenship. And from the CBO’s estimate and from experience, we know what will happen when Congress passes an amnesty without serious border and internal enforcement—we will get yet another wave of illegal immigrants who will lack the protections of labor law. So by both omission (lack of enforcement) and commission (the guest worker program), the Gang of Eight bill would ensure that the U.S. had a substantial permanent underclass that lacked the rights of the majority and was blocked from full membership in the American polity.
More on this topic during the week. R Mall.