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The comprehensive open-borders goodie bag

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 23, 2007 11:05 AM

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Chock full of enforcement tricks and illegal alien treats

John Boehner called the Bush-Kennedy immigration bill a “piece of s**t” last night. Yeah, after sifting through it the past couple of days, I need a shower.

Debate resumed in the Senate this morning. Yesterday, an amendment sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) that would have deleted the bill’s guestworker provisions was voted down.

Update: Sen. DeMint calls out the Dems’ move to limit amendments from critics of the bill.

While they debate, here are 7 things buried inside the Bush-Kennedy amnesty goodie bag you should know about–plus more questions raised about the phony triggers and point system (all links referring to the bill provisions take you directly to the section in the 317-page draft bill released Friday night and published in online/linkable form by N.Z. Bear):

1) It includes Ted Kennedy’s DREAM Act (Title VI, Section 611, Subtitle B)–a key goodie demanded by illegal alien lobbyists. The DREAM Act gives illegal alien students in-state college tuition breaks not available to out-of-state American students and legal immigrant students. The Dream Act would repeal a clearly worded provision in the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) that states:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.

Ten states defied that federal law and offered in-state tuition to illegal aliens: California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington. The last time the DREAM Act champions tried to tack their scheme onto a larger immigration proposal, they snuck in language that would absolve those ten states of their law-breaking by repealing the 1996 law retroactively–and also offered a special path to green cards and citizenship for illegal alien students.

That’s right. A key feature of this “immigration reform” bill includes repealing old laws meant to discourage illegal immigration–and then absolving all the states and the beneficiaries that thumbed their nose at the federal law.

Oh, yeah, that’ll really help discourage border crossings.

2) It creates a new “UNITED STATES-MEXICO BORDER ENFORCEMENT REVIEW COMMISSION” (Title I, Section 138) that appears to be a Trojan Horse for more proxy meddling by Mexican consular officials hell-bent on undermining border enforcement and interior enforcement. Members from the law enforcement community will be balanced out by members from “academia, religious leaders, civic leaders or community leaders” (read: the open-borders lobby). Their purpose:

The Commission shall review, examine, and make recommendations regarding border enforcement policies,
strategies, and programs, including recommendations regarding

(1) the protection of human and civil rights of community
residents and migrants along the international border
between the United States and Mexico;

(2) the adequacy and effectiveness of human and civil
rights training of enforcement personnel on such border;

(3) the adequacy of the complaint process within the
agencies and programs of the Department that are
employed when an individual files a grievance;

(4) the effect of the operations, technology, and
enforcement infrastructure along such border on the-

(A) environment;
(B) cross border traffic and commerce; and
(C) the quality of life of border communities;

(5) local law enforcement involvement in the enforcement
of Federal immigration law; and

(6) any other matters regarding border enforcement
policies, strategies, and programs the Commission
determines appropriate.

Sounds innocuous, right? Well, here’s a thorough reminder of how this agenda works in practice to undermine rank-and-file border enforcement.

3) It promises to create a database to track exiting temporary visitors that was mandated more than 10 years and has yet to see the light of day. Here it is in Section 130. Yadda, yadda, yadda. As I reported a week after the 9/11 attacks:

The U.S. remains the only major industrialized nation in the world with no centralized system for monitoring alien visa-holders. As part of a 1996 immigration reform measure, Congress mandated an automated entry-exit tracking system for all foreign nationals. But with bipartisan cooperation, President Clinton effectively repealed it and replaced it with a toothless database requirement that remains unenforced. Over 40 percent of illegal aliens in this country are tourists who overstay their visas. What good is an expiration date if no one enforces it?

The nationwide entry-exit database was mandated in 1996, sabotaged by special interests until 9/11, stonewalled again after the terrorist attacks, and just recently shelved by the again by the Bush administration because they said it was too burdensome and costly.

Here’s a novel idea: Instead of using another promise to build this database as window-dressing for shamnesty, why doesn’t Congress just do what it said it would do in 1996 and re-stated it would do after 9/11: Build the damned database, make sure it works, and make sure it is integrated with other DHS and FBI databases.

4) The requirements for proof of eligibility and bogus background checks for the illegal alien amnesty are a joke. Illegal aliens would be allowed to use the following, easily faked documents for their “Z visa” applications:

(I) bank records;
(II) business records;
(III) employer records;
(IV) records of a labor union or day labor
center;
(V) remittance records;
(VI) sworn affidavits from nonrelatives who
have direct knowledge of the alien’s work, that
contain-14
(a) the name, address, and telephone
number of the affiant;
(b) the nature and duration of the
relationship between the affiant and the
alien; and
(c) other verification or information.

Who would be verifying these documents as legitimate? Yeah, the same immigration/homeland security bureaucracy that is incapable of stopping the Bush administration-approved spread of bogus matricula consular cards.

Former DOJ/AG adviser on immigration law Kris Kobach sheds light on three more goodies (I’ve added hyperlinks to the provisions he points to):

5)”The bill effectively shuts down our immigration-court system. If an alien in the removal process is eligible for the Z visa, the immigration judge must close the proceedings and offer the alien the chance to apply for the amnesty. The wheels of justice won’t just turn slowly, they’ll go in reverse.”

6) “The bill transforms the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from a law-enforcement agency into an amnesty-distribution center. If ICE officials apprehend an alien who appears eligible for the Z visa (in other words, just about any illegal alien), they can’t detain him. Instead, ICE must help him apply for the Z visa. Rather than initiating removal proceedings, ICE will be initiating amnesty applications. It’s like turning the Drug Enforcement Agency into a needle-distribution network.”

7) “The bill even lets gang members get the amnesty. This comes at a time when violent international gangs have brought mayhem to our cities. More than 30,000 gang members operate in 33 states, trafficking in drugs, arms and people. Deporting illegal-alien gang members has been a top ICE priority. This bill would end that: Under it, a gang member qualifies for the Z-visa privileges as long as he simply signs a “renunciation of gang affiliation.” He can keep his tattoos.

John Fonte has more, including:

Faux enforcement “triggers”: The so-called “enforcement” measures do not require that the border be secure. They only require that a few thousand more Border Patrol agents be hired (not deployed); that about half (370 miles) of the already authorized 700 miles of border fence be built; and that a few other bureaucratic inputs are announced. Then DHS will authorize the second phase of the amnesty by awarding the Z visas. Can anyone imagine Michael Chertoff declaring that these phony “triggers” have not been met?

No real merit or skills-based (point) system instead current extended family chain migration is accelerated: The chain migration of extended family members will continue and be greatly expanded for the next eight years and only then would a skills-based merit (points) system supposedly go into effect. That is, if you really believe that after eight years a skills system would be adopted against strong business and liberal opposition.

Stanley Kurtz adds more about the point system:

As far as I can tell, absolutely critical details of the merit-based immigration “point system” have not yet been set. In particular, we need to know if there is going to be a “pass mark,” a minimum grade under the point system that must be attained before an applicant can immigrate. We also need to know if the “pass mark” will “float” based on the scores of applicants.

These seemingly abstruse questions are actually of huge importance. A low pass mark could effectively obviate the purpose of the shift from family reunification to a merit system, allowing the same people who would have gotten in under family unification to come in under “merit.” In other words, a low “pass mark” could turn the so-called shift to a merit system into pure window dressing. On the other hand, if the pass mark “floats” based on applicant quality, low skilled immigrants with little education and poor English skills would get a substantially reduced share of visas.

Seemingly small details in how this and other matters are resolved can have big implications. But as far as I can tell, we still know nothing about a possible pass mark, floating, or related issues. In a sense, the whole question is silly, since the family reunification policy supposedly being replaced by a merit system is actually going to be accelerated for eight years, by which time a merit system will likely have been gutted.

The Heritage Foundation lists the top 10 ways the Bush-Kennedy amnesty undermines the rule of law.

***

Numbers USA notes these amendments to be offered in an attempt to salvage the unsalvageable:

* Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) – reduces the annual importation of workers under the bill’s guestworker programs to 200,000 workers per year;

* Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) – changes the cut-off date for reducing the “backlog” of family-sponsored immigration applicants from May 1, 2005, to January 1, 2007, and adds 110,000 green cards a year for adult children and sibling backlog reduction;

* Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) – imposes a surcharge on illegal aliens granted amnesty to help states pay for the medical and educational services such immigrants would claim;

* Sen. Cornyn – allows Federal law enforcement agents to use information from visa applications to investigate allegations of fraud in the “legalization” process;

* Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) – shores up the “trigger” provision to ensure that a crackdown on the border succeeds before additional job programs are extended to illegal workers and future immigrants;

* Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) – requires illegal aliens to return to their home country to apply for amnesty; and

* Sen. Menendez – adds an additional 800,000 family reunification green cards for applicants who applied between May 2005 and January 2007 (this is in addition to the 567,000 already added under the bill).

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