Cal  Thomas

There's the story of a woman with five kids who was asked if she had to do it all over again would she have five children?

"Yes," she said, "just not these five."

That's the way I feel about the immigration "reform" bill introduced by the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of 8." I'm all for an immigration bill, just not this immigration bill -- at least in its present form.

One of the "gang" members, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL.), indicated the bill has problems that need fixing when he said in a recent interview: "Let's try to fix it. Let's try to change it, but to just say let's defeat the whole thing; I don't think that's a productive approach either. I think this is a starting point that obviously we can and should improve."

There is much to improve, maybe too much. The Daily Caller read through all 844 pages of the pending bill and found it contains "roughly 400 exemptions, exceptions, waivers, determinations and grants of discretion." In fact, the Caller found, "The document mentions 'discretion' or 'discretionary' 41 times ... 'judge' or 'judges' 73 times ... determines is used 84 times." This bill has more holes in it than a Texas border fence.

Responding to a report by Ronald Mortensen, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, which analyzed the Senate proposal, the center's executive director, Mark Krikorian, offered, "Illegal aliens will be rewarded for breaking laws for which American citizens are routinely punished." He cites as one example the use of a fraudulent Social Security card, which, he says, would cause an American citizen to face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but, he says, "...under this bill the illegal alien would face a $1,000 penalty covering all his many offenses, a penalty which in many cases will be waived." According to Krikorian, the individual would then be "issued a new Social Security number without any past bad credit or arrest records." What's with all the preferential treatment?

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL.), a member of the Gang of 8, said in a statement to Breitbart News, "The Gang of 8 made a promise that illegal immigrants will not be able to access public benefits. We already know that, once granted green cards and ultimately citizenship, illegal immigrants will be able to access all public benefit programs at a great cost to taxpayers. We have, however, identified a number of loopholes that would allow illegal immigrants to draw public benefits even sooner than advertised." Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AR.) disagrees. So let's close up the loopholes and debate it on the Senate floor.


Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
 
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