Thursday, April 25th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
It looks like we might have to get more conservative-Americans to do the job that the GOP-controlled House won’t do.
In what has become a familiar routine, instead of fighting against the heaping pile of immigration deform emanating from the Democrat Senate, House Republicans are looking to tweak it with some honey and sugar in order to inveigle conservatives into eating this excrement sandwich. Whereas Republicans in the Senate outsourced their principles on the issue to Chuck Schumer, some House Republicans are looking to Luis Gutierrez, an even more extreme leftist, for guidance. For months, the House gang of 8, comprised of Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and John Carter (R-Texas), have been meeting behind closed doors with special interests to iron out a similar deform bill to the Senate’s version. Paul Ryan seems to merit a separate one-on-one relationship with Gutiérrez.
The House gang is beginning to leak some of the details of their plan to the media. Russell Berman of The Hill has the shocking, I mean shocking details:
Democratic sources say Republicans in the House group want to nearly double the maximum number of guest-worker visas, which was set at 200,000 in the Senate bill.
On the path to citizenship, sources briefed on the talks say that the minimum number of years it would take an person living in the U.S. illegally to gain citizenship would be 15 in the House bill, compared to 13 years in the Senate measure. That is because unlike the Senate gang, the House negotiators do not intend to reduce the number of years that a legal permanent resident with a green card must wait before applying for citizenship.
Both bills would create a decade-long provisional legal status for illegal immigrants to work in the U.S., pay back taxes and learn English while the government works to meet benchmarks for securing the southern border. In the Senate bill, illegal immigrants given the provisional legal status must wait 10 years to obtain a green card for permanent status and then another three to apply for citizenship.
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Here is my letter to Senator Rubio that I posted at Red State earlier today asking him to request that the pace of the immigration bill be slowed down so conservatives can have a chance to truly analyze such a consequential bill.
Dear Senator Rubio,
As the public finally gets an opportunity to read and analyze the bipartisan gang of 8 immigration bill, it is clear that there will be some irreconcilable differences between your vision of immigration reform and that of many conservatives across the country. However, we should all agree that this is an extremely consequential bill and must go through a long process – one which will allow all points of view to be heard.
Several months ago, you promised Rush Limbaugh that you would never be part of a process “that comes up with some bill in secret and brings it to the floor and gives people a take it or leave it.” Unfortunately, the process that has commenced thus far is ostensibly a ‘take it or leave it’ approach.
This bill was crafted behind closed doors with the help of special interests, including big business, big labor, and ethnic front groups, instead of by the relevant subcommittee. It is becoming clear from the committee hearings that Democrat members of the gang have been briefing their colleagues and special interest supporters on the details of the bill for weeks. At the same time, the Republican members of the Senate, including the members and staffers on the Judiciary Committee, were not informed of the details until the bill was dropped at 2:25 AM Wednesday morning. While Democrats and their outside allies were amply prepared for the hearings this week, Republican members were flummoxed and struggling to analyze the details of the bill. Hence, groups like La Raza know more about the bill than the chairmen of the Budget and Judiciary committees. That is simply wrong.
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
As far as amnesty, that’s where [Charlie Crist] and I disagree. He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong…if you grant amnesty…you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works here in America. [Marco Rubio, Fox News Sunday debate with Charlie Crist, March 28, 2010]
It’s this sort of straight talk that endeared Rubio to the conservative base in 2010. Rubio presciently noted that when you consistently grant amnesty and telegraph the message that you will never enforce the law, we will continue to repeat the cycle of illegal migration and amnesty. At the 1:30 mark in this interview, Rubio offers one of the best lines of attack against amnesty I’ve heard. His views were simply diametrically opposed to what he is espousing now.
The irony is that the McCain amnesty bill wasn’t nearly as offensive as the current iteration Rubio is supporting. The past bill contained a cap on the age for Dream Act recipients and required education attainment. This bill doesn’t. Moreover, this bill invites in thousands of illegals who were already deported, many of them for criminal activities.
Consequently, the cost of this bill – both for amnestied illegals and low-skilled guest workers, along with their children – will likely be more expensive than the 2007 bill. Yet Rubio’s office is coordinating a pre-emptive attack on the coming cost study from Heritage, demanding that they score the “benefits” of bringing in so many new workers. Amazingly, it was actually Charlie Crist who advanced a similar argument in defense of McCain-Kennedy. During a debate with Rubio, Crist said that by offering amnesty to 12 million illegals ,we would help solve the Social Security deficit because more people would be paying into the system.
Rubio laughed him off the stage: “There isn’t a single serious public policy observer in the country that thinks that’s a serious solution.” Then, Rubio sent out a press release, which was posted on his website at the time, lambasting the idea that low-wage earners could possible solve Social Security. In doing so, he cited….Robert Rector’s cost study – the very study he now maligns:
DEBATE FACT #5: Crist’s Amnesty For Social Security Plan Would Bankrupt The System Faster
by Marco Rubio (Notes) on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 6:42pm
What Crist Said…
That he would protect Social Security but his plan would actually make it go bankrupt faster.
The Facts About The Crist Record…
Charlie Crist Has Proposed Granting Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants To Save Social Security:
· In 2007, The CBO Predicted That Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants Would Increase Social Security Spending $350 Million Over Ten Years And Add 11,500 Disabled And Retired Workers To The Rolls Ten Years Out. “CBO estimates that the Z-A visa program would boost outlays for Social Security benefits by $350 million over the 2008-2017 period and add 11,500 disabled and retired workers to the rolls in 2017.” (Congressional Budget Office, “Senate Amendment 1150 To S. 1348, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2007,” 6/4/07)
· Amnesty Would Also Increase Medicare Spending $290 Million Over The Same Period According To The CBO. “Medicare would spend an extra $290 million over the 2008-2017 period and enroll an added 7,000 people in 2017.” (Congressional Budget Office, “Senate Amendment 1150 To S. 1348, The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2007,” 6/4/07)
· PolitiFact: Crist Plan Would Actually Add Costs To The Social Security System. “In fact it turns out Social Security already is receiving a huge benefit from illegal workers who are paying into the system but as of now are unable to receive any of the benefits. Back in 2005, the New York Times reported that illegal workers essentially are contributing a $6 billion to $7 billion annual subsidy. More recent estimates suggest illegal workers are now paying $9 billion to $12 billion a year into Social Security, with no legal way to get that money back in retirement benefits. … Crist’s plan would potentially tap the other third of illegal workers not paying payroll taxes, but also would allow all workers access to Social Security benefits when they reach retirement age. Added benefits, yes. But added costs, too.” (Aaron Sharockman, “Charlie Crist Says Social Security Plan Embraced By Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich,” St. Petersburg Times’ “PolitiFact,” 10/18/10)
· National Review: Amnesty “Would Also Make All Of These Individuals Eligible For The Program Upon Retirement – Essentially Turning Today’s One-Way Cash Flow Into A Two-Way Street.” “Here’s the fallacy of Crist’s thinking, by the numbers: About 50 percent of illegal immigrants already pay Social Security taxes, because their wages are ‘on the books.’ The Social Security Administration estimates that illegals pay as much as $7 billion into the program on a yearly basis. Since they’re not eligible for the benefits, this is an inflow of money without any future corresponding outflow. If Social Security’s numbers are the only consideration, keeping illegal immigrants illegal has its advantages. Amnesty would bring the other half of current illegals into the fold of payroll taxes, and increase Social Security receipts in the short term. But it would also make all of these individuals eligible for the program upon retirement — essentially turning today’s one-way cash flow into a two-way street. ‘It is true that they will pay small amounts into the Social Security and Medicare systems for, say, the next two or three decades, but once they retire, they will draw down $2.7 trillion in benefits from Social Security and Medicare alone,’ Rector said. Rector calculated the figure during the 2007 consideration of amnesty, based on an estimate of 10 million adult illegal immigrants.” (Kyle O. Peterson, “Charlie Crist Says Amnesty Will Help Social Security. Really. Governor?” National Review, 9/27/10) [emphasis added]
· Crist’s Amnesty Plan “Will Put More Pressure On The System.” “When Crist has been pressed for his ideas of dealing with Social Security’s long-term problems, the governor suggested that finding a way for some of the country’s 14 million illegal immigrants to become citizens may create more workers who would provide additional payroll taxes to support Social Security. Critics have attacked his proposal by pointing out many illegal immigrants already work and pay payroll taxes but do not receive Social Security benefits. They said if those workers become legal, they will put more pressure on the system and also qualify for other federal aid, such as Medicare.” (Lloyd Dunkelberger, “Senate Candidates Talk About Changing Social Security,” Lakeland Ledger, 10/3/10)
Look, there’s nothing new about politicians “evolving” shortly after being elected to Congress, but how could someone evolve so profoundly in such short order? Rubio rightly recognized the absurdity of suggesting that millions of low-skilled amnestied illegals can affect a net-positive change on taxes and entitlements. While they might pay in a small amount of payroll taxes, they get back more from the progressive benefit formula of Social Security, as well as from the refundable tax credits and transfer programs they might secure on behalf of themselves, or at the very least, on behalf of their American-born children.
Charlie Crist was wrong in 2007 on McCain-Kennedy. Robert Rector was right. McCain-Kennedy on steroids will not change that equation.
Monday, April 22nd, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
When it comes to the Gang of 8 immigration deform bill, night is day and up is down. The latest iteration of preposterous declarations comes from John McCain and Lindsey Graham in response to the Boston bombing and its implications for open borders. They had the unbridled impertinence to suggest that their bill, which will bring in millions of more temporary and permanent immigrants from all over the world in addition to granting citizenship to 11 million illegals, “will strengthen our nation’s security.”
Um…the last time I checked, potential terrorists don’t submit themselves to background checks. And even those who would ultimately come forward for a background check, will only do so to receive legal status. Those who don’t come forward, including all the terrorists, will still be allowed to remain in the country even if they are not eligible for legal status. As we noted last week, Section 245B(3)(A)( on pages 61-66) of the bill makes clear that not even the worst criminals are subject to deportation. In fact, the bill invites in hundreds of thousands of people who have already been deported to step forward and apply for legal status. Remember, in recent years we’ve mostly been deporting those who are real bad actors.
Worse, the bill (Section 3717) places the burden upon ICE to prove that a given alien should be detained:
“the immigration judge shall review the custody determination de novo and may detain the alien only if the Secretary demonstrates that no conditions, including the use of alternatives to detention that maintain custody over the alien, will reasonably assure the appearance of the alien as required and the safety of any other person and the community.”
That is just swell for our national security. Add in to the mix the fact that the bill contains a whole new section banning “profiling” on the part of employers and law enforcement, and that it creates a new ACORN-style foundation to support “innovative and creative solutions to barriers faced by those seeking naturalization,” and I’m sure we will have an easy time deporting people who present a security risk.
Sunday, April 21st, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Healthcare is one of the most complex policy issues. The lack of free market healthcare, engendered by endless government interventions (and secondary interventions to fix the original interventions), has made policy solutions even more cumbersome. But the overarching principle of any reform must begin with the understanding that federal intervention in the healthcare industry has inexorably driven up the cost of healthcare and health insurance. As such, no healthcare policy panacea can begin with growing government and further distorting the already grossly-altered healthcare market.
Instead of proposing more free market solutions, Republicans are offering pale-pastel versions of Democrat government intervention as solutions. Here are two examples.
Last week, Congressman Larry Bucshon (R-IN) introduced the Orwellian-named “Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act of 2013” (HR 1427) – a bill that forces optometrists to disclose all their licensing and qualifications in all advertising. It grants wide latitude to the Federal Trade Commission to regulate and penalize offenders. The bill is heavily backed by special interest hustlers like the AMA and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The ophthalmologist lobby doesn’t want competition from cheaper healthcare providers (optometrists), and they want to use the boot of the federal government to ensnare them in red tape.
It is this sort of anti-free market special interest legislating that has crowded out choice and competition from the marketplace. The reality is that there are already strict laws in most states to punish those optometrists who step outside of their scope of service beyond their qualifications. There is no reason, beyond special interest politicking, for the federal government to get involved. The bill was introduced on April 9, a day before the AAOs national meetings in DC commenced.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Do you want to know why this country is going to hell in a handbasket? Do you want to know why we have a constitutional crisis with the executive branch disregarding many of our laws, particularly our immigration laws? It’s because of those who construct the legislation.
I’ve spent the past 24 hours combing through the legislation, and have only successfully grasped a few parts of the bill. How are senators, who are busy with many other assignments, supposed to prepare for hearings on this disgraceful bill within 48 hours? There are so many problems with every 5 pages of this bill, giving credence to the argument that we must do this one step at a time.
As we noted earlier today, every security “goal,” precondition, and eligibility clause in the Gang of 8 bill is qualified with a waiver, exception, or exemption clause granting the Secretary of DHS authority to do what she wants, just like Obamacare did with the Secretary of HHS. I’ve only skimmed the first 120 pages, but perhaps the most egregious waiver is the one that essentially allows Napolitano to waive all the eligibility standards for legal status for “humanitarian purposes, family unity, and the public interest.” Yup, that pretty much covers everything.
Take a look at Section 245B(3)(A) on pages 61-66:
In this section, it lists the eligibility requirements for receiving the RPI status, which will come with social security cards and the full works as soon as Napolitano submits a strategy plan to secure the border. To begin with, the basic law allows many criminals to get legal status. They have to have at least 3 misdemeanor offenses in order to be disqualified, and even those have some exceptions: (emphasis added)
‘‘(3) GROUNDS FOR INELIGIBILITY.—
‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), an alien is ineligible for registered provisional immigrant status if the Secretary determines that the alien—
‘‘(i) has a conviction for—
‘‘(III) 3 or more misdemeanor offenses (other than minor traffic offenses or State or local offenses for which an essential element was the alien’s immigration status or a violation of this Act) if the alien was convicted on different dates for each of the 3 offenses;
(ii) is admissible under section 212(a), except that in determining an alien’s admissibility—
‘‘(I) paragraphs (4), (5), (7), and (9)(B) of section 212(a) shall not apply;
(II) subparagraphs (A), (C), (D), (F), and (G) of section 212(a)(6)13 and paragraphs (9)(C) and (10)(B) of section 212(a) shall not apply unless based on the act of unlawfully entering the United States after the date of the enactment of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act; and
(III) paragraphs (6)(B) and (9)(A) of section 212(a) shall not apply unless the relevant conduct began on or after the date on which the alien files an application for registered provisional immigrant status under this section;
The second part of this clause exempts RPIs from being excluded on a account of being a public charge, pursuant to section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Now let’s take a look at subsection (B), our trusty waiver:
‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may waive the application of subparagraph (A)(i)(III) or any provision of section 212(a) that is not listed in clause (ii) on behalf of an alien for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest. Any discretionary authority to waive grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a) conferred under any other provision of this Act shall apply equally to aliens seeking registered provisional status under this section.
If you listen to the liberals in both parties explain the rationale for amnesty, it is entirely based upon humanitarian purposes, family unity, and the public interest. There is nobody here who cannot be granted legal status based on that determination. OK, there are a few exceptions to the waiver:
EXCEPTIONS.—The discretionary authority under clause (i) may not be used to waive—
‘‘(I) subparagraph (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (G), (H), or (I) of section 212(a)(2);
‘(II) section 212(a)(3);
(III) subparagraph (A), (C), (D), or (E) of section 212(a)(10); or
‘(IV) with respect to misrepresentations relating to the application for registered provisional immigrant status, section 212(a)(6)(C)(i).
From what I’m seeing of Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the exceptions to Napolitano’s discretionary authority would only include the following nefarious crimes:
- multiple criminal convictions
- controlled substance traffickers
- procures or attempts to procure sex traffickers
- certain aliens involved in criminal activity and have asserted immunity from prosecution
- Foreign Government Officials who have committed particularly severe violations of religious freedoms
- traffickers in person
- money launderers
- Terrorist activity
- Childe Abductors
- Unlawful Voters
- Former Citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation
- Misrepresentations on applications for provisional immigrant status
Everyone else, including all regular criminals, even violent criminals and members of terrorist groups and gangs (as long as they have not been convicted), will be eligible for legal status – subject to the discretion of…you guessed it..the Secretary. And even those convicted of such crimes, might have a way out:
‘‘(C) CONVICTION EXPLAINED.—For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘conviction’ does not include a judgment that has been expunged, set aside, or the equivalent.
And here is the final kicker:
‘‘(D) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to require the Secretary to commence removal proceedings against an alien.
So even the most egregious terrorists and criminals who cannot get legal status, are not necessarily subject to deportation either.
It is incontrovertibly clear that all deportations will be completely suspended for the 10 year provisional period, assuming political pressure doesn’t expedite those 10 years anyway. Even without stretching the law, which the administration of almost any president will do, almost anyone can potentially be eligible for legal status. Consequently, it’s practically impossible to commence deportations, especially when this bill grants the immigration lawyers numerous opportunities to challenge any deportation. In 10 years from now, we will have more illegals than we do today. Liberals are right to suggest that this is a more progressive starting point for amnesty legislation than in 2006.
This is what happens when Republicans let Chuck Schumer’s staff write legislation, instead of working with conservatives to implement real reforms and solve the real issues with legal immigration and the lack of enforcement.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
We’ve noted many times that the lack of immigration enforcement is not a legislative problem, it’s an executive problem. That’s why we need the administration to show us the enforcement before commencing any legalization process for those already here. Additionally, there is also a judiciary problem that could completely gut any enforcement measures – to the extent they are ever implemented – thereby ensuring more amnesty without any enforcement.
Much like Obamacare, this bill is rife with gross delineation of power to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Every condition, trigger, mandate, goal, enforcement mechanism, eligibility qualification, etc. is couched with a waiver, exception, or exemption subject to the discretion of the Secretary.
Although illegals are eligible for temporary legal status almost immediately when Napolitano submits a “plan” to enforce the border, with E-verify and the visa tracking system not in place for 5-10 years, Rubio assures us that they will not be granted permanent status until those things are implemented. Notwithstanding the other issues with that assertion, take a look at this exception granted to the Secretary of DHS on page 13:
(B) EXCEPTION.—The Secretary shall permit registered provisional immigrants to apply for an adjustment to lawful permanent resident status if— (i)(I) litigation or a force majeure has prevented one or more of the conditions described in clauses (i) through (iv) of subparagraph (A) from being implemented; or (II) the implementation of subparagraph (A) has been held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States or the Supreme Court has granted certiorari to the litigation on the constitutionality of implementation of subparagraph (A); and 10 years have elapsed since the date of the enactment of this Act.
Sections (i) through (iv) are referring to the border security strategy, the fencing strategy (yes, not actual construction), E-verify, and the visa tracking system – respectively. Implementation of all of them can be overridden by a lawsuit.
The ACLU, along with multi-million-dollar immigrant legal defense funds, have already promised to challenge any enforcement measure passed even with bipartisan support. We’ve learned from Arizona that there is no shortage of judges who will issue injunctions against commonsense immigration enforcement. They have challenged dozens of commonsense laws throughout the country and have successfully blocked many of them for years, even when the courts ultimately sided with the local governments. In this case, they will challenge E-verify and they will challenge the visa tracking system. They will challenge many of the amnesty requirements, and will have more latitude once they already have temporary legal status. If they prevent implementation, even the LPR/citizenship stage will still take effect (for the applicant and his spouse and children), subject to the discretion of the Secretary.
So we’re approaching an executive and judicial problem by writing legislation to grant the executive even more power to implement amnesty when the judicial system assails the enforcement mechanisms. Talk about immigration reform.
This is just one more reason why we must demand enforcement now and wait several years before attempting any legalization.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
One of the most common bromides regurgitated by Republicans in defense of ‘amnesty first, enforcement later’ proposals is that we already have de facto amnesty with Obama not enforcing the laws. This was always a dubious argument even before the release of the gang bill. We should not use Obama’s malevolence as a baseline from which to craft public policy. Instead of rewarding Obama for his insidious abuse of power by granting him the desired outcome, we should hammer him incessantly and fight for riders in appropriation bills to enforce the laws.
Moreover, although illegal immigrants are currently enjoying a liberal enforcement regime, they do not have a pathway to welfare and voting – something they will get with amnesty de jure. Legalization and citizenship are a lot more than amnesty.
However, with the release of the BS…EOIMA (Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act – S.744), there is now a more salient meaning to de facto amnesty. The 844-page “comprehensive” bill, reminiscent of other notorious comprehensive legislation, was dropped at 2:25 AM, just two days before a scheduled hearing. I just got through the first 100 pages of the bill, and in addition to the numerous issues that are emerging from the first reading, there is one overarching theme. This bill will keep our system in a perpetual state of de facto amnesty for years to come, engender the need for future amnesties, and never ensure true enforcement.
As noted before, this bill fails to mandate any specific trigger for legalization. After Janet Napolitano merely submits a strategy for “achieving and maintaining effective control between the ports of entry in all high risk border sectors along the Southern border” within 6 months, everyone is eligible to apply for “Registered Provisional Immigrant” (RPI) legal status. That’s it. From there, the legal status will never practically be revoked.
The bill prescribes a 12-month open enrollment process for the RPI status; however, like much of the bill (reminiscent of Obamacare), it cedes a lot of power to the Secretary. She will have the authority to extend the application period for another 18 months (page 69). Now, we know from the conditions of the bill that almost every illegal in the country could be eligible for RPI status until proven otherwise. In fact, even some aliens already deported can come back and apply for the status. To that end, the bill requires DHS to provide all aliens, even those who are apprehended, “with a reasonable opportunity to file an application.”
Hence, this will ostensibly halt all deportations for 2.5 years. Subject to the discretion of the DHS, which they will use quite liberally, they could completely shut down deportations because any illegal can potentially be here before 2012; anyone could potentially pay the taxes [they never earned enough to pay] and the $500 fine; anyone could potentially be an Ag worker who is eligible for full legal status in 5 years. And anyone could potentially be eligible for the Dream Act, because, unlike previous iterations, this one does not mandate a maximum age for eligibility.
During this period of no deportations, many more people will come here illegally or overstay their visas. What would be the deterrent? Does anyone really believe that after the application process is over, they will suddenly make a 180 and deport those who didn’t come forward? Also, given that the E-verify and watered-down visa tracking system don’t have to be implemented for 10 years, we will be dealing with many more illegals.
By the time the 10-year deadline comes due to grant the RPI illegals green cards and citizenship (unconditionally within 3 years), we will probably have more illegals than we have now. As for the “trigger” of operational control over the border preceding the citizenship, Byron York takes apart the ambiguous language and shows how it is subject to the whims of DHS. Moreover, failure to control the border will only trigger another commission, which will be tasked to provide even more recommendations and spend more money. Furthermore, the RPI status is subject to renewal every 6 years. So even if the border is not secure by year 10, the amnestied illegals will still be covered pursuant to their application on year 6.
This, of course, is just working off the legal language of the bill. The reality of executive actions and political considerations never follow the language to the letter of the law. That is certainly the case with immigration and border enforcement, as we are so painfully aware. That’s why none of this can work until Obama starts enforcing the laws already on the books. Until then, we will continue to play whack-a-mole, trying unsuccessfully to grant amnesty faster than new illegals enter the country.
Congressman Louie Gohmert noted during a subcommittee hearing last week that a staggering 34.9% of all federal prosecutions under this administration (that’s including all the drug-related prosecutions) were for people reentering the country after they were already deported. This is not the time to go along with a plan that, even with good-will commitments, will not secure anything for 5-10 years while simultaneously suspending all interior enforcement. It’s a recipe for chaos. Implementation of this plan will be just as disastrous as implementation of Obamacare.
There are a number of things Congress can do to make our current legal immigration system benefit the country at large more than it does today. But with regards to dealing with illegal immigration and border enforcement, the ball is in the administration’s court. They must show us the enforcement now. That needs to be the unifying rallying cry for all Republicans. We must only verify, not trust, when it comes to enforcement. Otherwise, we will be dealing with perennial de facto amnesty, whether it’s sanctioned by law or not.
Cross-posted at RedState.com
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Is there no degree of commonsense that Democrats will adhere to?
The media is pining for bipartisan cooperation in Washington. Well, on Monday, the House brought a bill to the floor that should have passed unanimously. On Tax Day, Rep. Jasson Chaffetz (R-UT) wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are some federal employees that are delinquent on their taxes. He brought the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act of 2013 (H.R. 249) to the floor under suspension, requiring a 2/3ds threshold to pass. All this bill would do is make any person who has a seriously delinquent tax debt ineligible for federal employment or to continue serving as a federal employee. Chaffetz explained the problem in his floor remarks:
In 2011–the most recent year for which the IRS data is available–they tell us that 107,658 civilian Federal employees owed more than $1 billion. Now, the statistics say they have a greater compliance than the rest of the public. But let’s remember, when you’re unemployed, you’re probably going to have a hard time complying. Employment for those that are Federal workers is 100 percent. They have a job. They have a responsibility to pay their taxes.
It was reasonable to assume that he could bring this bill up even under suspension. How could it fail to garner 2/3ds support? Well, it did. It got 250 yea votes and 159 no votes, but fell shy of the 2/3ds supermajorty. 152 Dems, or 75% of the caucus voted it down.
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 by Daniel Horowitz and is filed under Blog, News
Did you know that Congress and the President quietly repealed misguided aspects of the Stock Act a few days ago? I thought not.
Late in 2011, CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired a sensational news story detailing allegations that lawmakers were profiting from investments spawned by non-public information. Harry Reid seized the moment, and in a highly political calculation, brought the STOCK Act (S. 2038) to the Senate floor. The bill banned lawmakers and some aides from buying or selling stocks and other securities based on confidential information. As a means of enforcement, the bill required those effected to report stock and bond transactions within 30 days of the transaction. The bill sailed through the Senate and passed 96-3 on February 2.
Not to be outdone in the game of political grandstanding, the House passed a similar bill under suspension 417-2, circumventing the entire committee process. Differences between the House and the Senate were resolved by unanimous consent and the bill was signed by the President in March.
So in a matter of two months, Congress voted to overcriminalize the undefined and ambiguous vice of insider trading. In their mind, corruption in the legislative process was over.