Congress is once again in a hurry. The Senate is preparing to pass a 1,200-page immigration bill. Nobody’s read it, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is rushing the vote anyway. Pass the bill already!
This is a common strategy for our congressmen. It’s no surprise, then, that our legislative branch’s favorability ratings are at an all-time low in public opinion polls. The U.S. Senate, which prides itself on being a deliberative body, just can’t wait to pass this immigration bill now that they’ve extorted, bribed, and cajoled enough senators.
Simply by reading the bill, a senator would learn that the Immigration Reform Bill, after the Corker-Hoeven amendment, has deformed into a giant pork-stuffed disaster. It’s laden with all kinds of concealed treats for select senators. But the concerns of regular Americans? Not so much.
Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama described the inside dealing this way: “The Gang of Eight and their allies revealed their true tactics tonight. They shut down debate and blocked amendments to a 1,200-page immigration bill that no one has read… This legislation is a crushing blow to the working people of this country, a surrender to illegality, and a capitulation to special interests over the interests of the citizens we pledged to represent.”
Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows
An odd coalition is at work on the immigration bill. First, there are the Republicans, who wish to appease corporate giants by holding down wages for Americans. Then there are the Democrats, whose special interests hope the new immigrants will support Democratic candidates in future elections.
And when the two sides come together, that’s when huge, complex legislation rockets through Congress – and the average citizen is left as road kill.
But that’s not all. You see, the list of pork tucked into the immigration bill is stomach-churning. The bill bestows $1.5 billion to President Obama’s failed jobs stimulus programs. This was demanded as tribute by self-proclaimed socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Next, the bill pumps up spending on the Travel Promotion Act. This stimulus was intended to end in 2015. But thanks to Harry Reid and his friends in the Las Vegas casino business, it’s been made a permanent program… at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Then, to secure the votes of Alaska’s two always-for-sale senators, Alaskan seafood processing jobs will get a special status as “shortage occupations.” This will allow the seafood and fish processing business in Alaska to get first dibs on the low-wage immigrant workers coming in to fill temporary jobs.
Yet the worst part of the bill – if you can believe it – isn’t even the pork.
Rotten to the Core
Last week, both political parties were heralding the Corker-Hoeven amendment as a “tough” response to pressure from voters who want to see the border secured before granting amnesty to 11 million illegal aliens.
But in reality, the two sides are lying in unison. The bill actually grants immediate amnesty before border enforcement. Additionally, the much-praised legal requirement for a biometric exit-entry system has been undermined in this version of the bill. Millions of green cards, which allow permanent residency, will now be issued before border enforcement takes place. New border agents aren’t required until 2021, and they’ll likely never be hired.
The most insidious changes are the result of special powers given to Janet Napolitano and other future leaders of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While language exists to promote the border fence, DHS can waive the requirements if they so please. Judicial proceedings likewise leave an out to never build the fence. I predict the fence will never be built.
Also, criminal immigrants will be allowed to stay. Legalization for gang members and convicted criminals is in the current version of the bill. It even includes amnesty for future visa overstays. In other words, we’ll have a prospective amnesty for future illegal immigrants. And don’t forget guaranteed welfare access for illegal immigrants. This is all in the latest version of the bill.
Now you can understand why the elite don’t want the immigration reform bill read. Like Nancy Pelosi said of Obamacare, Congress must “pass the bill to find out what’s in it.”
This article originally appeared at CapitolHillDaily.com and is reprinted here with permission.
Photo Credit: Talk Radio News Service (Creative Commons)
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