What about the incredible costs to U.S. taxpayers of illegal immigrants, such as health care at our hospitals, schooling for their children, subsidized housing, Earned Income Tax Credit subsidies, and in-state college tuition rates? The Cornyn-Kyl bill would deny taxpayer benefits only to illegal immigrants found to pose a threat to national security (not to those who threaten our pocketbooks).
The Cornyn-Kyl bill contains dozens of excellent and necessary proposals that should have been ordered years ago, such as eliminating the Diversity Visa Program.
But buried in the middle of this vast bill is Title V, which creates a "Non-immigrant Temporary Worker Category." That's the euphemism for giving amnesty to some 10 million illegal immigrants already in the United States, plus creating "guest worker" status for them and for millions more aliens who will be invited into the country to take U.S. jobs.
Amnesty means a general pardon for offenses against the government. The Cornyn-Kyl bill includes no punishment whatsoever for crimes committed by illegal immigrants, by makers and users of fraudulent documents, or by employers who hire the cheap labor.
The Cornyn-Kyl bill would establish a new visa category called "W" that would allow aliens to enter the United States "when there are no available U.S. workers." The bill would require employers to pay "W" aliens the minimum wage but not require the market wage.
In other words, Silicon Valley corporations could advertise in "America's Job Bank" for computer specialists at the U.S. minimum wage, no Americans would apply, and thousands of computer specialists from India and Pakistan would board planes to take the jobs for which, allegedly, "there are no available U.S. workers."
The "W" workers would be allowed to extend their time in the United States up to six years, during which period their family members may come and visit for 30 days at a time.
The bill doesn't answer the question of what happens when the "W" worker is visited by his wife, and they have a baby who becomes an "anchor baby," i.e., a U.S. citizen, with all the rights and taxpayer benefits for the baby and all his relatives.
Amnesty, even under the label "guest worker," is highly offensive to the American people. It cannot be made palatable by hiding it in a bill that pretends to be about "enforcement" or "reform" of border security.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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