The momentum continued on Dec. 16. The House passed an amendment sponsored by Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., by a 273-148 vote, including 57 Democrats, to repeal favorite immigration provision of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., the Diversity Visa Lottery, which admits 50,000 foreigners every year, mostly from Third World and even terror-supporting countries.
Then, the House passed by voice vote an amendment by Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., which codifies the Oath of Renunciation and Allegiance as federal law so that it cannot be changed without an act of Congress. The oath requires naturalized citizens to swear to "absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen."
Then, the House passed an amendment by Rep. Charles Norwood, R-Ga. - by a 237-180 vote, including 30 Democrats - which reaffirms the inherent authority of state and local law authorities to assist in the enforcement of immigration law, to provide training on this issue to the local agencies, and to increase law enforcement's access to vital information about illegal criminal aliens.
Then, by a 420-0 vote, the House passed an amendment by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Attorney General, and all courts from granting any kind of legal immigration status (i.e., "benefits") to an alien until the relevant databases of criminal records and terrorist watch lists have been checked.
Then, the House passed by voice vote an amendment by Ed Royce, R-Calif., stating that no immigration benefit may be granted until an FBI fingerprint check has been submitted and the results show that the alien does not have a criminal or immigration history that would render him or her ineligible for benefits provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The Stearns and Royce amendments are important because, according to whistle-blowers inside the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a significant number of those applying for legal status do not go through complete background checks. When certain checks aren't completed within 90 days, current law allows the application to continue on to the next step anyway.
A Bush administration-supported amendment to reduce the maximum sentence for illegal entry and illegal presence to six months was defeated in the House by a vote of 257-164. Current penalties remain in place.
The Senate will begin its debate on border security in early 2006 and is predicted to be favorable to the guest-worker-amnesty plans proposed by the president, Sens. Kennedy, John McCain, R-Ariz. and John Cornyn, R-Texas, and others. The Senate and House bills will then go to a conference committee to work out differences.
Senators who are up for re-election in 2006 had better listen to the House votes.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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