The Immigration Reform Act For Dummies Part 1 of 2
By: Bob Parks
Unfortunately the very same President George W. Bush, with whom many of us have defended against the routine attacks of the left for years, has publicly inferred that we all just donâ€™t know what weâ€™re talking about regarding the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007.
Instead of filling us all in, the Republican elite just denigrates us, just as liberals do, and if you were to listen to them, we just donâ€™t know what weâ€™re talking about and thatâ€™s that.
“This bill isn’t amnesty. For those who call it amnesty, they’re just trying to, in my judgment, frighten people about the bill. This bill is one that says we recognize that you’re here illegally and there’s a consequence for it. We can argue about the consequences, but you can’t argue about the fact that there are consequences in this bill for people who have broken our law.”
Weâ€™ll get to those â€œconsequencesâ€ directly.
I donâ€™t read many books. I just donâ€™t have the patience.
I donâ€™t read legal briefs. I just donâ€™t have the patience.
For that reason, Iâ€™m probably not going to find the hidden nuances that would make me say to President Bush, â€œAhhh. Now I get itâ€¦!â€
So I decided to check out the Actâ€™s summary for some answers to some questions.
Title: A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen. Reid, Harry [NV] (introduced 5/9/2007) Cosponsors (4)
Latest Major Action: 5/25/2007 Senate floor actions. Status: Considered by Senate.
Good old Harry Reid. Not like this bill has any partisan intentionâ€¦.
SUMMARY AS OF:
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 – Sets forth border security and enforcement provisions, including provisions respecting: (1) personnel and asset increases and enhancements; (2) a National Strategy for Border Security; (3) border security initiatives, including biometric data enhancements and a biometric entry-exit system, document integrity, and mandatory detention of aliens apprehended at or between ports of entry; (4) Central American gangs; (5) cooperation with Mexico; (6)
National Guard support on the southern border; and (7) extension of the Western Hemisphere travel initiative.
Okay. A â€œNational Strategy for Border Security.â€ Could that be something about The Wall? Maybe weâ€™re talking about putting the National Guard on the border to arrest, detain, and deport the multitudes attempting to enter the United States. Thatâ€™s something the federal government is supposed to do now, right?
â€œBiometrics.â€ How cool. So the feds are going to make the illegals (and all of us eventually?) go through retina scans and maybe give up some DNA and information will make us more secure as the info will be made available to law enforcement agencies nationwide. Iâ€™m just speculating because President Bush says I donâ€™t know what Iâ€™m talking about.
One question. This encrypted information will make it harder for an illegal to use ID that isnâ€™t his or hers. What happens if the federal government loses that information? See â€œthe missing laptopsâ€ and veteransâ€™ data that was compromised and we still donâ€™t know by how much.
Yeah, that sounds secure.
â€œCooperation with Mexico.â€ Is this a piece of legislation or a dream? Sorry, the â€œDreamâ€ thing is later on.
Border Law Enforcement Relief Act of 2007 – Authorizes a border relief grant program for a tribal, state, or local law enforcement agency in a county: (1) no more than 100 miles from a U.S. border with Canada or Mexico; or (2) more than 100 miles from any such border but which is a high impact area.
Sets forth interior enforcement provisions, including provisions respecting: (1) alien terrorists; (2) alien street gang members; (3) illegal entry and reentry; (4) passport and immigration fraud; (5) criminal aliens; (6) voluntary departure; (7) detention and alternatives; (8) criminal penalties; (9) alien smuggling; (10) tribal lands security; (11) state and local enforcement of immigration laws; (12) expedited removal; (13) alien protection from sex offenders; and (14) the justice prisoner and alien transfer system.
Makes it unlawful to knowingly hire, recruit, or refer for a fee an unauthorized alien.
Arenâ€™t all these already crimes? Maybe it just needed to be put in writingâ€¦ again.
Establishes in the Treasury the Employer Compliance Fund.
Provides for additional worksite and fraud detection personnel.
More federal employees = votes.
Provides for a report examining the impacts of the current and proposed annual grants of legal status, including immigrant and nonimmigrant status, along with the current level of illegal immigration, on U.S. infrastructure and quality of life.
They need some government hacks to provide a report? If our senators had had the respect for their constituents and conducted hearings, all they need do is get testimony from citizens from Southern California and Texas on their experiences with illegals. Theyâ€™d give all the impact reports on the quality of life the senators could handle.
The problem is, the truth hurts.
Establishes a temporary guest worker program (H-2C visa). Provides: (1) that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall determine H-2C eligibility; (2) for a three-year admission with one additional three-year extension; (3) issuance of H-4 nonimmigrant visas for accompanying or following spouse and children; (4) for U.S. worker protection; (5) for implementation of an alien employment management system; and (6) establishment of a Temporary Worker Task Force.
A guest worker program in which the Secretary of Homeland Security shall determine eligibility. Well, that makes me feel better.
Expands the S-visa (witness/informant) classification.
So, â€œthe S visa is granted to Aliens who have agreed to assist the Government in various investigative procedures leading to the arrest of individuals in connection with illegal or terrorist activities.â€
How would one expand that? I know, President Bush will explain it to us.
Limits the L-visa (intracompany transfer) classification.
For some perfectly good reason, Iâ€™m sure, the government will now restrict how an employer can hire and retain a foreign national. As theyâ€™re foreign nationals and not federal employees, they canâ€™t vote, thus are of little concern to the DC elite.
Expands the visas waiver program to include on a probationary basis a European Union (EU) country that is assisting the United States in Afghanistan or Iraq and whose participation does not compromise U.S. law enforcement interests.
This seems fair, but as it would appear we already do this, why and with whom are we expanding this?
Fairness in Immigration Litigation Act of 2007 – Sets forth provisions respecting remedies for immigration legislation.
Sounds like a little peck on the cheek for the trial lawyers who donate to many a Democrat politicianâ€™s campaign. I thought this was a way of fixing immigration legislation. Now weâ€™re already remedying the Act?
Iâ€™m sure President Bush will explain this in due timeâ€¦.
Sets forth backlog reduction provisions respecting: (1) family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant levels; (2) country limits; (3) immigrant visa allocations; (4) minor children; (5) shortage occupations; (6) student and advanced degree visas; (7) children of Filipino World War II veterans; (8) powerline workers; (9) aliens of extraordinary artistic ability; and (10) Haitian children.
Is there anyone we left outâ€¦?
So certain people will be pushed a little closer to the front of the immigration line. Maybe next time theyâ€™ll consider entering from Mexico. Itâ€™s quicker.
Securing Knowledge, Innovation, and Leadership Act of 2007 or the SKIL Act of 2007 – Exempts from the annual H-1B (specialty occupation) visa cap an alien who has: (1) earned a master’s or higher degree from an accredited U.S. university; or (2) been awarded a medical specialty certification based on post-doctoral training and experience in the United States.
Revises certain: (1) student visa provisions; and (2) labor certification provisions.
One would think the emphasis would be on encouraging the best and the brightest to come to America and contribute to her greatness.
Look whoâ€™s going to get amnesty….
Prohibits immigration application approval until background and security checks have been completed and any fraud allegations have been resolved.
Again, a shame this has to be written into law again.
Hurricane Katrina Victims Immigration Benefits Preservation Act – Authorizes special immigration status, and related benefits, for qualifying aliens who died, were disabled, or lost employment as a direct result of Hurricanes Katrina or Rita, and for certain of their family members.
Wasnâ€™t one of the promises of Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats that there were going to be no more â€œearmarksâ€ snuck into pieces of legislation? I donâ€™t mean to seem insensitive, but there are Americans in New Orleans that could use some â€œrelated benefitsâ€. Also, one current condition of admission of an alien is that he or she will not become a public charge. Katrina was an extraordinary event, but now weâ€™re giving benefits to aliens who â€œqualifyâ€ benefits just because they were there?
Oh, what the hell. Why notâ€¦.
Immigrant Accountability Act of 2007 – Provides permanent resident status adjustment for a qualifying illegal alien (and the spouse and children of such alien) who has been in the United States for five years and employed (with exceptions) for specified periods of time.
This is just plain wrong.
Iâ€™m not sure how someone who broke a federal law and hid out for five years could â€œqualifyâ€ for anything besides a bus ticket home. I donâ€™t buy the bleeding heart crap.
Should I rob a bank, as long as I have a job, what can I qualify for? Maybe a bigger, more dangerous prison environment. An illegal alien will receive a status adjustment. If youâ€™re illegal, thereâ€™s only one adjustment one receive in conjunction with a benefit.
Anyone want to guess what that could be?
Authorizes mandatory departure and immigrant or nonimmigrant reentry for a qualifying illegal alien who has been present and employed in the United States since January 7, 2004. Establishes a three-year mandatory departure status, and sets forth immigration prohibitions and penalties for failure to depart or delayed departure.
Thatâ€™s so inhumane. The liberals will pick that apart until it goes away.
Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a state impact assistance grant program to provide health and education services to noncitizens.
It may be a grant to states, but who ultimately pays for the money the federal government gives away?
Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007, or AgJOBS Act of 2007 – Establishes a pilot program (Blue Card program) for adjustment to permanent resident status of qualifying agricultural workers who have worked in the United States during the two-year period ending December 31, 2005, and have been employed for specified periods of time subsequent to enactment of this Act.
It doesnâ€™t say (at least in the summary) if this pilot program is aimed at illegals, but it would seem if you entered illegally, had a steady job, and were here for less that five years, you had to go. But if you were picking strawberries for more than two, you can stay.
Iâ€™m sure thereâ€™s some logic behind the reasoning of our politicians. Iâ€™m sure President Bush will explain it to us in due time.
Revises the H-2A (temporary agricultural worker) program.
Because we love our strawberriesâ€¦.
Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2007 or the DREAM Act of 2007 – Eliminates denial of an unlawful alien’s eligibility for higher education benefits based on state residence unless a U.S. national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence. Authorizes cancellation of removal and adjustment to conditional permanent resident status of certain alien students who are long-term U.S. residents.
I must be DREAMing.
So if they canâ€™t find an American student to fill a seat, an illegal (sorry, â€œunlawfulâ€) alien student canâ€™t be denied admission. And as a bonus, they get to stay here longer. Thatâ€™s so special.
Sets forth the conditions for a six-year conditional permanent resident status.
In a few years when we revisit this whole illegal immigration thing again because there will be no meaningful WALL built, this six-year conditional status will be probably increased to eight-year because thatâ€™s the kind of people we are.
Authorizes the Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, to award grants to qualified nonprofit community organizations to educate and support nonprofit agencies, immigrant communities, and other interested entities regarding the provisions of this Act.
Grants for nonprofits and other interested entities regarding provisions of this Act. Maybe thatâ€™s why there werenâ€™t senate hearings on the Act, but The National Council of LaRaza was allowed to participate in the crafting of this Act.
Paybackâ€™s a bitch.
Strengthening American Citizenship Act of 2007 – Directs: (1) the Chief of the Office of Citizenship of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide grants to assist legal U.S. residents who declare an intent to apply for citizenship in the United States to meet naturalization requirements; and (2) the Secretary to establish an American citizenship grant program for qualified entities to provide civics, history, and English classes to promote the patriotic integration of prospective citizens.
We often hear about the fact that America is a nation of immigrants.
Did yesterdayâ€™s immigrant depend on the government for grants to become a citizen or learn about America? I was under the impression that yesterdayâ€™s immigrant attended night classes. Were they free? Maybe they were given, in some cases, by churches or by schoolteachers after hours, but I doubt the government was expected to pay for this.
Yesterdayâ€™s immigrants had pride.
To be continuedâ€¦
Bob Parks is a member/writer for the National Advisory Council of Project 21, VP of Marketing and Media Relations/Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, and VP of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly