From Tea Party Patriots, why the current Amnesty bill is bad legislation and what should be done:
I. THE PROCESS IS BROKEN
- Security First: The first step for any immigration legislation under consideration MUST be national security. We have heard over and over that Congress is going to get serious about securing the border and that must be a top priority for any immigration legislation. We cannot afford another broken promise on border security.
- Too Rushed: Congress needs more time to read and review the bill. We also need more hearings and opportunities for feedback to improve the current legislation. We need more than empty promises and superficial explanation from the Senate sponsors.
- Lack of Transparency: This bill is another “behind-closed-doors” piece of legislation that was written by special-interest lobbying groups.
- Lack of Accountability: This amnesty bill gives too much discretion and power to an unelected official (the Secretary of Homeland Security) and also creates an unmanageable bureaucracy. In early May, the IRS admitted that some of its agents had harassed tax-exempt organizations, including tea party groups. That incident is a reminder of why we need more control over the Executive Branch and unelected government officials.
- Fiscal Responsibility: We do not yet know the true cost of this legislation, but estimates from Sen. Sessions’ Budget Committee staffers and from the Heritage Foundation indicate that the 10-year cost could be around 6.3 trillion dollars.
II. THE SENATE IS PREPARING TO VOTE ON A BILL THAT NO ONE HAS READ YET
- Obamacare taught us how dangerous it is to pass a bill and then “find out what’s in it,” as then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi expressed it.
- The Senate amnesty bill, S. 744, is more than 1,000 pages. If they are honest, most Senators will admit that they have not read the bill in its entirety yet.
- The Senators supporting this bill have repeatedly said the bill contains strict border security measures. If they had read the bill, they would know that the bill lacks meaningful border security measures and merely suggests that the DHS Secretary submit a proposal for securing the plan.
- The Senators supporting this amnesty bill have also repeatedly said that the bill would require anyone who receives amnesty to pay 100% of their back taxes. If they had actually read the bill, they would know that the bill only requires that tax liabilities on the books be collected. In other words, anyone who worked “under the table” or “off the books” while here illegally would not be required to pay any back taxes. Furthermore, the Secretary of DHS would have total discretion over who would be required to pay any taxes. As this bill is written, she has total waiver discretion.
- As taxpayers, we expect Members of Congress to represent us, and a big part of representing us means not voting for legislation in excess of 1,000 pages that no one has bothered to read.
III. ANOTHER TRAIN WRECK
- When Congress rammed through Obamacare in 2010, opponents correctly pointed out that there had been insufficient time to analyze the bill.
- In April, Senator Baucus, one of the original authors of the Obamacare legislation, admitted that Obamacare is going to be a “train wreck.”
- The current immigration bill, much like Obamacare, is a hefty piece of legislation that will have permanent, detrimental ramifications. At almost 900 pages, this amnesty bill is far too complex for the Senate to be rushing to pass it. We need time to analyze the bill and ask questions.
- The Senate amnesty bill will prove to be just as much of a “train wreck” as Obamacare because Congress is repeating the same mistakes (i.e. passing it before we know what’s in it.)
Real Immigration Reform
An assessment of what a true immigration reform package would include
1. Real reform would prioritize securing the border.
More than 70% of Americans want to see border security before anything else happens. As of right now, the amnesty bill does not require any real border security measures. The bill only requires a plan to do so. An amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz was defeated in committee by all of the Democrats and two Republicans – Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) – that simply would have added a guarantee that the border be secured before any legalization. It was voted down. Real reform wouldn’t pay lip service to border security or treat Americans like naive little children; it would secure our borders before any other steps are taken.
2. Real reform would represent the people’s voice.
The Senate amnesty bill cedes so much authority to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, much like Obamacare does. Agencies and bureaucrats are untouchable by the people, and therefore free to make decisions without the consent of the governed because they never have to stand for elections. Additionally, the bill was written behind closed doors with special interests, while the rest of us were shut out – Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, and La Raza were all intimately involved in the writing of this bill, while ICE, border agents, and all the rest of us were excluded. Real reform would be written and implemented by people accountable to voters.
3. Real reform would be fair and Constitutional.
This point refers to the unfairness of rewarding people who broke the law while punishing those that have followed the law and are waiting to enter the country legally. Whatever reform ultimately occurs, it must be fair. After all, people come to this country hoping to live in a place where the rule of law prevails and the law is equally applied to all. Real reform would uphold the rule of law and justice rather than mocking it.
4. Real reform would be understandable.
This point refers to DC’s addiction to “comprehensive” legislation, i.e. giant bills that are written behind closed doors in confusing legalese and code, released with little time to review and analyze the bill, with so much complexity that regular Americans have no chance of understanding all of the implications and ramifications. Congress also uses these enormous bills to hide unpopular provisions and crony, corruptive deals because they know they will pass it before we can see what’s in it. Real reform would be broken into pieces that are manageable and understandable to the American people – no more comprehensive bills.
5. Real reform would benefit the economy.
This point refers to the logical and obvious requirement that policies and legislation should be good for our economy, our fiscal & debt situation, and jobs. To push for any legislation that does otherwise is unacceptable. According to the Heritage Foundation’s recent report, this bill will cost us $6.3 trillion – at a time when we are already almost $17 trillion in debt. Real reform would be a boon to our economy, the jobs situation, and wouldn’t add a penny to our debt.
6. Real reform would promote American values.
This point refers to the necessity that those who come here and want to become citizens should understand what makes America exceptional and the founding principles of our nation. They should understand the philosophy behind our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. They should understand our three core values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets. The amnesty bill currently contains provisions that would give taxpayer dollars to anti-American groups like La Raza to teach these new citizens about American values. Which version of America do you think La Raza will teach? Real reform would promote and instill the American values that made our country so great.
NOW educated patriots…contact Senators Coats and Donnelly:
Senator Coats’ contact info here.
Senator Donnelly’s contact info here.