Virgil Goode

Although the Senate is in recess, both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate introduced immigration bills in October to set the stage for debate on the issue through the election, the lame duck session, and the 112th Congress.

Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-N.J.) Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 makes the attempted amnesties from 2006 and 2007 look like Arizona’s SB 1070. The bill is over 800 pages long, so anti-amnesty researchers have not had time to comb through every little detail, but what they’ve found so far is bad enough. The bill will grant amnesty to every single illegal alien in the country. It will increase legal immigration by millions, and will nullify all state and local laws against illegal immigration.

The bill also gives amnesty for social security fraud, and gives in-state tuition to illegal aliens. Menendez’s bill incorporates the Uniting American Families Act, which allows homosexuals living in the US to sponsor their same-sex partners for citizenship. Giving federal recognition to homosexual partners in an immigration act could be used as a precedent to impose legal homosexual marriage throughout the country.

The same day Menendez introduced his amnesty, Sen. Orin Hatch sponsored the Strengthening Our Commitment to Legal Immigration and America’s Security Act. Unlike Menendez’s bill, it is only a few pages long. It will prevent Obama from committing an amnesty through executive order, eliminates the diversity visas—which gives 55,000 unnecessary green cards every year by a lottery—and encourages states to assist enforcement of immigration laws.

This is a good start, but does not come close to fixing our disastrous immigration policy.

Republicans do not need an 800-page bill like Menendez’s, but there are a few simple principles that need to guide our policies. We must increase border security and interior enforcement against illegal immigration. We need to remove rewards for illegal aliens. And we need to reform our excessive legal immigration policies to protect American workers and taxpayers.

The anti-amnesty organization Numbers USA lists 5 bills in the House of Representatives that will give real “comprehensive immigration reform”:

The SAVE Act sponsored by Heath Shuler (D-NC) mandates E-Verify to ensure that employers cannot hire illegal aliens and increases border security and interior enforcement.

The CLEAR Act sponsored by Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) clarifies the inherent right of states to enforce immigration law, which will prevent the Obama administration and activist judges from interfering with Arizona’s SB 1070 and similar state and local laws.

Virgil Goode

Virgil Goode represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District from 1997 until 2009.