This week Congress will reconvene and the Senate Judiciary Committee will hustle off to mark up the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744. Since Congress left town, the bad news bill grew from 844 to 867-pages.
Critics have spent the congressional lull analyzing the bill’s pitfalls and preparing amendments to submit by 5:00 P.M. Tuesday. Not surprisingly, the committee hasn’t indicated a willingness to delay the mark up even though the bill is now denser and less comprehensible than ever. S. 744 alarmingly includes an average 1.14 waivers and/or exemptions per page, more even than the Affordable Healthcare Act which, by comparison, contained 0.78 waivers on each page.
An in depth analysis made by the Daily Caller, a 24-hour news publication, found that the updated S.744 version which will give amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens, at least double legal immigration and, during its first decade, add 33 million green card workers to the labor force has 999 mentions of either “unless,” “except,” “exempt,” “waiver,” “discretion,” “notwithstanding” or “may.” These weasel words leave the door open for virtually any bureaucratic interpretation that could liberalize the bill’s already too generous provisions.
In his conference call with reporters, Republican Judiciary member Jeff Sessions said that there are “so many problems with the legislation that it’s hard to know where to begin.”
Here are a few places Sessions could start. First, although months of Gang of Eight promises that the border would be secured before illegal immigrants achieve legal status and become work authorized, S.744 delivers nothing of the kind. Border security would come, if ever, after legal status has been granted. Once work permits have been issued, it’s game, set and match for the anti-enforcement crowd. Illegal immigrants are motivated by jobs; the citizenship carrot means nothing to most of them.
Second, assuming there’s no enforcement, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admits only to having “plans,” another illegal immigration wave is inevitable. The mere hint of amnesty lures migrants to the border. A CBS report from the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande sector indicated that apprehensions have increased to 7,500 in March from 2,800 in January. The Border Patrol provided CBS with surveillance video taped in March near McAllen, Texas which showed a single incident that involved about 40 men, women and children illegally crossing. Illegal entry occurs dozens if not hundreds of times daily.
Third, the bill was written by Beltway elitists and lobbyists without a modicum of concern for Americans, especially unemployed and under-employed American minorities. The adult black male without a high school diploma has an unemployment rate over 50 percent. Yet the 11 million illegal aliens that will qualify for amnesty or a low-skilled guest worker permit would compete directly with black Americans for jobs.
At the other end of the academic spectrum, the unemployment rate for 20- to 29-year-olds who graduated from college in 2011 was 13.5 percent; for those who recently earned advance degrees, 8.6 percent.
Time is short for at-risk Americans. S. 744 will leave only the wealthiest unscathed. Get involved, read the bill and call Washington. The future you save may be your own.