At the very end of his State of the Union address, President Obama said, “we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system -– to secure our borders and enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.”
Like most Americans, I agree with those broad principles, and that is exactly why Obama was so vague in his speech. His claim that “jobs must be our number one focus in 2010” would be exposed as a complete fraud if he promoted giving amnesty for illegal immigration and importing hundreds of thousands of additional legal foreign workers in the same address.
The situation is already bad enough as it is. At least twelve million illegal immigrants are in this country and eight million illegal aliens are in the American workforce. Additionally, our government issues 75,000 permanent work visas and 50,000 temporary work permits to foreign workers every single month. A recent census study found that one out of every six workers in this country is foreign born.
While he left the specifics on immigration out of his televised address, the White House website issued talking points to expand on what the line meant. They elaborated, The President is pleased Congress is taking steps forward on immigration reform that includes effective border security measures with a path for legalization for those who are willing to pay taxes and abide by the law. He is committed to confronting this problem in practical, effective ways, using the current tools at our disposal while we work with Congress to enact comprehensive reform.
“The steps forward on immigration reform” to which he is referring is HR 4321, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 or “CIR ASAP” sponsored by Rep. Louis Gutierrez, Solomon Ortiz, and 90 other Democrats.
As we all know, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” and “Path for legalization” are nothing but code words for amnesty. The last two times the open borders folks introduced amnesties, they at least established some preconditions and made illegal aliens jump through a few hoops and before they could get amnesty. Under Gutierrez’s bill, every single illegal alien in this country the day of the bill is signed will be eligible. This gives foreigners a great incentive to come to this country illegally because they know they’d soon be eligible for amnesty. A recent Zogby found that 56% of Mexicans said themselves or people they knew would be more likely to enter America illegally if they knew an amnesty was coming.To make matters worse, when proving they have jobs and were in the country before the amnesty passed, illegal aliens apply for amnesty they are allowed to use their stolen identities, fake green cards, and fraudulent social security numbers without fear of prosecution.
In addition to giving legal status to the 12 million illegal aliens already here, it will make it much easier for more illegal aliens to break into our country in the future. Contrary to Obama’s claim that the bill will increase border security, CIR ASAP does the opposite.
It guts successful enforcement measures, limits raids on illegal immigrants, prohibits use of troops on the border, and replaces the effective E-Verify system used to ensure that employers only hire legal American workers. It also overturns all state and local laws that crackdown on illegal immigration, and abolishes the successful 287 (g) program that allows local law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities in apprehending criminal illegal aliens.
On top of the millions of illegal immigrants in this country, 1.5 million legal foreign workers come into our country each year. But this number isn’t high enough for Gutierrez and his friends.
CIR ASAP includes a provision “recapture” that will add up all the supposedly “unused” work visas since 1992 and issue them immediately. This is a complete fraud, as all unused work visas are rolled over to the family reunification category the next year. According to the State Department, this will mean 550,000 new foreign workers.
If Republicans want to defeat this bill, we need to stand united as a party against this atrocity. Democrats know this is a loser with the voters, but in the past Democrats were always able to justify their stance on amnesty by pointing to pro-amnesty Republicans like George Bush and John McCain. With Democrats firmly in control of Congress, they just need a few Republicans to give it the air of bipartisanship and to give cover to vulnerable Democrats. We also need to articulate our vision of true immigration reform so we cannot be accused of supporting our failed system.
Instead of granting amnesty, we need to stand for the rule of law. Instead of nullifying state laws like those in Oklahoma, we should use them as a model for the whole country. Instead of ending E-Verify, we should strengthen E-Verify. Instead of reducing workforce raids of illegal aliens and their employers, we should step them up. Instead of increasing legal immigration, we should institute a moratorium on most new immigrant work permits until unemployment falls below 5%.
By supporting Gutierrez’s amnesty, Barack Obama is making it clear he cares more about pleasing the Hispanic Caucus than protecting jobs for American Citizens.