Why isn’t anyone talking about the new governmental agency needed to implement the Senate’s “comprehensive” immigration reform bill?
For weeks now we have been hearing about, and have been discussing, S. 1348 – the Senate’s “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007”. Presidential candidates, Senators, Representatives, talk show hosts, journalists, and scholars have been debating the details of the Senate’s latest “grand” compromise on immigration. The buzz word details of the bill have been knocked around newscasts and talk shows like ping pong balls. For example, we are constantly hearing about temporary workers, guest workers, undocumented workers, Z visas, triggers, amnesty, the shadows, touching base, chain migration, anchor babies, regularization, and a path to citizenship.
It all sounds very expensive to me, and very confusing.
I began to wonder – who would implement the details of the bill being discussed with such vigor by our leaders? Who would oversee the new “guest worker program”? Who would make sure the new “workers” paid the fines they would be assessed? Who would calculate their back taxes? Who would make the determination as to which level of “regularization” each new “worker” would be assigned? Who would regulate which family members would be allowed to enter the country? Who would prepare, organize and authorize the new documents to be given to the “undocumented” workers? Who would do the 24 hour background checks? Who would oversee the “probationary” period of the Z visa holders? Who would make sure they learned English? And so on…..
Since our leaders were not answering these questions for us, I decided to study the details of the bill and answer the questions myself. Fortunately for us, for each detail of the bill, we already have a giant governmental agency in place to immediately and efficiently fulfill its new responsibilities.
As you are reading about each agency’s involvement in the implementation of the Senate’s immigration bill, please keep in mind that each agency will be working together and communicating with all of the other agencies at the same time. If an example of our government’s ability to do that does not immediately come to mind, just remember the success it had on September 11, 2001.
First, we will need the Department of Labor. Title VI of the bill provides for a guest worker program, so the Department of Labor will be needed to manage a program for millions of “guest” workers.
We will need the Department of Education. Title VI Subtitle C of the bill implements the DREAM Act of 2007 providing in-state tuition and other benefits for illegal aliens, so the Department of Education will be needed to supervise that program and guard against fraud and abuse. Also, Title VI Section 643 requires that at some point, within 12 years, the illegal alien must pass a basic English test to obtain a second Z visa renewal. So, the Department of Education will need to make sure this requirement is satisfied for the millions of non-English speaking illegal aliens.
We will need the Department of Homeland Security. Under Section 601, the government will be allowed one whole business day to conduct a background check to determine if an illegal alien is a criminal or a terrorist. Therefore, we will need the Department of Homeland Security to conduct millions of background checks – immediately. So, the DHS employees will undoubtedly have to pull an “all-nighter”.
We will need the Internal Revenue Service. We are being told that illegal aliens will be required to pay back taxes. If so, we will need the IRS to confirm the amounts owed and to collect such back taxes.
We will need the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department. Title VI of the bill provides for a probationary “Z visa”. Whatever that is, it will need to be handed out, records of it will need to be kept, the time-life of each “Z visa” will need to be monitored, and so on. Furthermore, Subtitle A of Title IV of the bill provides for “Temporary Guest Workers”. The USCIS will be needed to monitor, supervise and enforce the new “Temporary Guest Worker” program.
We will need the Social Security Administration (for as long as it remains in existence). The bill provides that many illegal aliens will be able to collect social security credits for the years they worked illegally. Therefore, the SSA will be needed to calculate the benefits to be paid to each one and to pay them.
We will need the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agency. Under Section 601, illegal alien gang members will be eligible to receive legal status. Not to worry though -- such eligibility is based on the “renunciation” of one’s gang affiliation on their application. We will, therefore, need the FBI, DEA and ATF to ensure that these gang members keep their word and give up the profits from drug smuggling, arms smuggling and human smuggling. Please keep in mind, however, that in certain selected “sanctuary” cities these agencies are precluded from working with local law enforcement agencies regarding certain “immigration” violations – too bad for you folks in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, etc. I am sure you will be safe.
We will need the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Under Title VI, the illegal aliens will have to pay fines (that is why this bill is not “amnesty”). Thus, we will need ICE to make sure all of the fines are paid. We also need ICE’s involvement in the event any of the other provisions of this “comprehensive” bill are violated by a new Z visa holder or an illegal alien who fails to qualify for the Z visa (whatever it is). Title III of the bill provides for employer and workplace compliance, so ICE will be needed to enforce the provisions on every employer in the nation.
We will need the U.S. State Department. We are told that most illegal aliens will have to leave the country to “touch base” and return at some later time before obtaining citizenship. The State Department will be needed to monitor and to confirm such travel.
We will need the U.S. Marshals Service. Section 601(d)(1)(I) allows the USCIS to give absconders Z visa status. More than 600,000 fugitives are now present and running around the country, having defied the law at least twice. The Marshals Service will be needed to locate these absconders and let them know of their new “legal” status. What a relief the absconders will feel – no longer being called “fugitives”.
We will need the Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. State Department of Corrections. Certainly a few of the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens will violate the provisions of the bill or other laws of the United States, and their Z visa will be revoked or they will have to be dealt with otherwise in the “system”.
We will need the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Fortunately, the incredible efficiency and expertise of FEMA will be needed. Title V Subtitle C of the bill is entitled “Preservation of Immigration Benefits for Hurricane Katrina Victims”. No further explanation needed here.
We will need the American Bar Association and American Arbitration Association. Section 622(m) of the bill will force taxpayers to cover the legal expenses for many illegal aliens needing lawyers to argue their case through the immigration courts and federal courts of appeals. Furthermore, if an illegal alien were to get into a dispute with an employer over their firing, the DHS (i.e. taxpayer) will pay the fees and expenses of the arbitrator.
We will need the Department of Agriculture. Title VI Subtitle B provides for “Agricultural Opportunities, Benefits and Security” and a “Pilot Program for Earned Status Adjustment of Agricultural Workers”.
We will need the Government Accountability Office. Title VII Section 707 provides for a “GAO study on the appellate process for immigration appeals”.
Last, but certainly not least, we will need the U.S. Border Patrol. Title I of the bill provides for “border enforcement”, and lots of other enforcement-related buzz words intended to make the American people believe that this time (notwithstanding all those other times (1965, 1986, 2006)), the government is serious about border enforcement. After all, “Border Enforcement” is Title I – the very first Title. Therefore, we will need the U.S. Border Patrol.
After doing the research regarding all of the “arms” of our new governmental agency, I quickly realized that it is simply impossible to include all of the letters of the names of the existing agencies that are part of this new agency. You cannot call an agency the “United States Department of Labor Education Homeland Security Internal Revenue Citizenship Immigration Services Social Security Administration Federal Bureau Investigation Drug Enforcement Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Immigration Customs Enforcement State Marshals Service Federal Bureau Prisons State Department Corrections Federal Emergency Management American Bar Arbitration Agriculture Government Accountability Office Border Patrol” (USDOLEHSIRCISSSAFBIDEATFICESMSFBPSDCFEMABAAGAOBP).
Moreover, there are too many letters to include in the 1-800 number for telephone inquiries (where you can push “2” for Spanish, “3” for Japanese, “4” for Chinese (with varying dialects to follow), “5” for French, “6” for German, “7” for Portuguese, “8” for Russian, and “9” for Dutch – more choices will surely follow once the bugs are out of the new telephone system at the new agency). Therefore, my suggestion would be to simplify the name. How about something like “United States Citizenship Revenue Education Workers Enforcement Department” (“USCREWED”)?
Once the new agency is created, which could take our government at least a few months to complete, some things will need to happen on a “go-forward” basis. First of all, office locations would need to be determined. Obviously, the home office would be in Washington, DC; but should there be a field office in every city in the United States (after all, there will be Z visa holders in all U.S. cities)? If so, thousands of field offices will be opened (e.g. U.S. Post Offices).
Next, a Secretary of the new agency would need to be chosen. Would the person be a Cabinet Secretary? Would they report directly to the President? Would they need Senate approval (Senate approval could be complicated)? Would they need to report to the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Agriculture, and/or the Secretary of State? Should they simply serve in an “Under Secretary” capacity? Or, perhaps in some sort of new “Over Secretary” capacity above the aforementioned Secretaries? Would Alberto Gonzales or Condoleezza Rice be offended?
Employees would need to be hired including executives, secretaries, executive secretaries, assistants, mail room clerks, IT experts, human resources personnel, lawyers, receptionists, janitors, law enforcement personnel, facilities managers, and translators – to name a few. Office space would need to be rented, furniture purchased, computers purchased and installed, telephones purchased and installed. There would need to be computer training and telephone training. Employee handbooks would need to be drafted, printed and distributed. Diversity training would need to take place (only after the diversity trainers were hired and then trained themselves). The offices would need to be painted (color selections made), decorated, and provided with security.
Who knew that this immigration bill would create so many jobs? Should Z visa holders be allowed to work at the new agency? Should Z visa holders be on probation at the new agency until their probationary Z visa status is resolved? Would the same person supervising the Z visa holder’s probationary status at work supervise their probationary Z visa status? Obviously, I could go on and on regarding just the thought process surrounding the creation of this new agency.
Even if the United States Senate was serious about implementing the “enforcement” provisions of the “Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007” – and it is NOT – it would take YEARS and BILLIONS of dollars just to get the infrastructure in place to do so. And, I did not even mention the time it would take to develop the cross-agency computer data base needed to implement the details of the bill (after the ACLU finished litigating the “privacy” issues related to such a database).
So, the next time you interview a member of the United States Congress ask them about the new agency that would need to be put into place to implement the details of the bill. How much would the agency cost to get up and running? How much to operate annually? Has this agency even been discussed in the halls of Congress?