Minuteman Foinder Jim Gilchrist Attacks White House

By: Jim Gilchrist

The Bush administration, trying to win an immigration agreement with Democrats, is backing away from safeguards designed to target businesses that hire illegal aliens and to prevent a repeat of the rampant fraud that resulted from the 1986 amnesty.

Republicans are pleading with the Bush administration to hold firm on the safeguards, arguing that otherwise any new guest-worker program will be unworkable.

“We need their help on that,” said Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, who for two years has fought to give the Department of Homeland Security new tools to limit lawsuits, share information with the Social Security Administration and allow authorities to target those whose applications are denied and who should be deported.

Meanwhile, pressure from interest groups is driving the two sides even further apart, making a deal less likely.

Conservative groups say Republicans are caving on principles, while immigrant rights groups say the Democrats have already given up too much — and let Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hear about it yesterday morning. The Nevada Democrat said he arrived at his office to find “a bunch of phone calls from people around the country quite disturbed about a number of things in this proposed piece of legislation.”

President Bush has dispatched Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to try to broker a deal, but yesterday Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott said as many as 10 “sticking points” remain.

Democrats say Republicans are asking for too many restrictions and checks on illegal aliens before they can get on the path to citizenship, and object to restrictions on future guest workers, who under Republicans’ plans would have limited chances to become citizens.

Meanwhile, Republicans say they have made a major concession in accepting that many illegal aliens will now have a path to citizenship, and argue that the program should be stringent to weed out fraud and abuse.

The two sides are also stuck on how to redraw the legal immigration process, with Republicans pushing for a system that would prevent chain migration of siblings and adult children and would reward those with needed skills.

Twenty years after the 1986 amnesty, which legalized 2.7 million illegal aliens, lawsuits are still pending from some who were denied. And one in four of those granted legal status submitted fraudulent applications, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

Federal law also prevents the Social Security Administration or the Internal Revenue Service from sharing information about illegal aliens, even though those agencies can identify them through use of fraudulent Social Security numbers or taxpayer identification numbers — something Mr. Chertoff has said he wants to change.

And U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez has called for information sharing and a limit to appeals, telling Congress earlier this year to pay attention to the “hard lessons learned from past reform efforts and to avoid repeating their mistakes in crafting new reform legislation.”

Source: The Washington Times

Jim Gilchrist founded the multi-ethnic Minuteman Project on Oct. 1, 2004, after years of frustrated efforts trying to get a neglectful U.S. government to simply enforce existing immigration laws.

Jim holds a B.A. in newspaper journalism, a B.S. in business administration, and an M.B.A. in taxation. He is a former newspaper reporter and a retired California CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

Jim is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and recipient of the Purple Heart award for wounds sustained while serving with an infantry unit in Vietnam, 1968 – 1969.

Mr. Gilchrist is a passionate defender of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and an avid supporter of law enforcement organizations. He has appeared on over 1000 radio and TV news and commentary shows in the past twelve months, and he believes he is only one of millions of 21st century minutemen / women / children who want the U.S. to remain governed by the “rule of law” and who want proactive enforcement of our national security protections and our immigration legal code.

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