Al Franken, the Bald Eagle and America

Published on May 21st, 2013

On May 16, as I listened to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s the third mark-up session on the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, Minnesota Senator Al Franken continuously lied about E-Verify.

Since I’m E-Verified, I know first hand that Franken’s ludicrous claim that if the program is expanded, the low error rate will increase dramatically. I also know that the anecdotal evidence that Franken provided the committee—that Minnesota farmers have told him E-Verify is too cumbersome and too costly—are also lies. [Minnesota Employers Call E-Verify System Unreliable, Associated Press, May 2, 2013]

Franken could easily debunk them by doing an E-Verify self-check or direct his farmer constituents to a E-Verify agent third party agent who, for a modest fee, would process the applications.

About half way through Franken’s pack of lies, I shut off my computer and called a friend who for weeks had been asking me to tag along on an eagle watching expedition. After the bald eagles were fully listed under the Endangered Species Act, they made an impressive come back and were eventually delisted in 2007.

In Xelienople, about 30 miles north of my home, a pair of American Bald Eagles and their fledglings have nested along the Connoquenessing Creek. 

I kicked myself for not having joined my friend sooner, especially when I realized that I had been spending my time those previous weeks listening to the Judiciary Committee. Except for heroic testimony in the face of treason by Senators Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions and Chuck Grassley, the hearings were non-stop lies.

What a magnificent sight the eagles were! And how timely for me to see them when the nation, as symbolized by the eagle, is under siege from powerful people who care nothing about it. 

In Xelienople, I saw much more than eagles. Immigration hasn’t reached Xelienople. The city and surrounding area are 97 percent American-born. Local neighborhoods reflect America in the 1950s. All around, older homes, small and neat, with well cared for yards, Little League baseball players on manicured diamond playing fields and restaurants staffed exclusively with Americans.

Later that evening, I read the committee transcript—more depressing lies. Senator Chuck Grassley predicts six more months of the same, an accurate assessment given the heated debate that awaits on the floor. Majority leader Harry Reid promised to introduce it in June. Six months should be enough time to kill S.744. Once its buried, any bill that might emerge from the House will be DOA.

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