HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
June 4, 2007, Herald Journal

Immigration bill’s a rotten deal


There are so many things wrong with the immigration bill being considered by the US Senate that it’s difficult to know where to start.

The worst part is its “instant amnesty” feature. Once the bill becomes law, an illegal immigrant can apply for, and receive, probationary legal status by the end of one day. One business day is all that is given for criminal and terrorist background checks.

Even those illegal immigrants who have already received deportation orders are eligible for this probationary status, in one day, if the Department of Homeland Security concludes the deportation will cause hardship. Actual deportation judges will have nothing to say in the matter.

Second, the bill’s benchmarks and triggers are fake. The enforcement measures do not require the border to be secure. It authorizes hiring more border agents, but it doesn’t require them to be there at the border and guarding it.

The 700-mile fence that was authorized between Mexico and the US has been reduced to 370 miles in this bill.

Who would be so naive to believe that the 12 million illegal immigrants with the one-day approval of probationary status will suddenly become illegal again if the enforcement benchmarks aren’t met?

Third, the extended family chain system will be continued for eight more years, when a merit system depending on skills and education supposedly kicks in. However, there’s no provision in the bill for how many points from skill and education are needed before the immigrant is allowed into the country.

Also, within those eight years, the Democrats, who have the most to gain from uncontrolled immigration, have plenty of time to scuttle the merit system completely.

In addition, the burden of enforcement is on the employers to determine who is legal or illegal, and not the government. Municipal officials, who are sworn to uphold the law, but govern in sanctuary cities, however, can continue to thumb their noses at enforcement of immigration laws.

“Section 136: Nothing in this section may be construed to provide authority to any state or local entity to enforce federal immigration,” the bill states, according to John Fonte of May 23 National Review.

Fonte pointed out the illegal aliens in the Fort Dix terrorist conspiracy were stopped by local law enforcement 56 times, but their immigration status was never checked.

Finally, illegal immigrant gang members, regardless of whether they are trafficking in drugs, arms and people, will qualify for the amnesty if they sign a “renunciation of gang affiliation,” Fonte said.

These are just the 347-page bill’s worst features. There are more. The bill, as a whole, is more rotten than road kill in August.