By Joe Guzzardi
May 24, 2013
Predictably, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. Nothing about the hearings, the mark up or the final 13-5 vote surprised veteran immigration observers. Chairman Patrick Leahy stacked the panels with immigration advocates, voted down every amendment that would beef up border security and voted for as many as 33 million new overseas workers during the next decade. The hearings ended with the ugly spectacle of Leahy leading aliens present in the Hart Senate Building chant the revolting phrase, “Si, se puede”. Looking at the final bill, S.744 is arguably history’s most anti-American legislation.
My warning to Leahy, the treasonous Gang of Eight and other assorted amnesty advocates: Sic transit gloria, loosely defined as glory is fleeting. As S.744 heads to the floor for a full debate, a very different ball game with an uncertain outcome awaits it. The one-sided hearing provided enforcement stalwarts Senators Jeff Sessions, Chuck Grassley and Ted Cruz ample opportunity to expose S.744’s numerous flaws.
Original assurances that the border would be secured before a single illegal immigrant was granted amnesty, that aliens would pay back taxes and that worker protections would be built into the new law turned out to be lies number one, two and three. Even Senator Marco Rubio, the Gang’s high visibility Republican admitted that S. 744 did nothing to provide additional security.
Americans subsequently learned that the back taxes pledge—you remember, “to get right with the law”—was smoke and mirrors too. Utah Senator Mike Lee, not a Gang member but on the Judiciary Committee, introduced an amendment that would require all aliens to prove that they have no outstanding tax liability before they would be granted legal status. Like all the other sensible amendments, Lee’s was shot down. The bill’s sponsor, Chuck Schumer snidely argued that if aliens had to pony up back taxes like Americans do, then 5 million might not be able to qualify for amnesty. Schumer’s twisted logic is proof positive that S.744’s objective is to grant amnesty to the most number of aliens by offering the fewest number of roadblocks.
American worker protections were another pipedream. Long time immigration waffler Orrin Hatch struck a shady deal with Schumer that would allow certain high tech companies to hire H-1B visa holders without first having to prove that they had first offered the job to an American. Added kick in the head: wives of H-1B workers would be legally authorized for employment.
On elitist Capitol Hill, immigration bills are often easy sledding in the early stages. In 2006 and 2007, two other massive amnesties were rolling along until the politicians returned home. Once in their own backyards, they learned that what plays well in the Beltway turns out to no sale at home.
As Congress takes its Memorial Day recess, its members are about to get an earful. A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that only 18 percent of Americans approve of the Senate’s legislation that provides amnesty first and enforcement later, maybe.
For Gang poster boy Rubio, his favorable rating plunged to less than 20 percent among conservatives, a bad trend for a would-be presidential candidate. Apparently, smiling and shaking hands with ultra-liberals Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin, his Gang pals, doesn’t energize Rubio’s base.
The anti-amnesty forces, millions strong, have gathered to bring pressure to bear. As Senator Sessions said, S.744 is “…fatally flawed. It will not become law.”
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]