Written by Tom Fitton
At first it was called "stealth amnesty," back when the Obama administration circumvented Congress and began quietly (and unlawfully) releasing illegal aliens onto the streets. After the press outed the Homeland Security-led scheme, the Obama administration went public and started proudly "prioritizing" illegal alien deportations, allowing violent illegal alien criminals to stay in the country without repercussion.
And now, President Obama's illegal alien amnesty program has been concretized in a mammoth 844-page bill endorsed by the so-called "Gang of 8" Senators, including key Republicans, who struck a deal on the bill behind closed doors.
(You can read the legislation for yourself here. But at 844 pages, be prepared to give up your entire weekend and then some - and that's if you read nonstop! Credit to CNS News' Craig Bannister for doing the math.)
But here's the bottom line: this legislation provides amnesty for millions of illegal aliens - and their relatives - almost immediately with the possibility of permanent status for illegals after 10 years of "good behavior," followed by citizenship three years later. (Some illegals are given a "streamlined path to citizenship" in half that time.)
Rep. Lamar Smith, a Republican from the border state of Texas, did not mince words in his response to the illegal immigration overhaul:
"It's hard to believe, but the Senate immigration bill is worse than we thought. Despite assurances, the border is not secured before almost everyone in the country illegally is given amnesty. The bill guarantees there will be a rush across the border to take advantage of massive amnesty."
"And the Senate proposal offers amnesty to far more illegal immigrants than we thought. In addition to most of the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country, the bill offers to legalize the relatives of illegal immigrants outside the U.S. and even others who have already been deported back home. So current immigration laws are shredded."
As The Hill reports, the new bill, heavily criticized for its lack of attention to border security would, nonetheless, "bring a raft of new regulations and add more layers to the federal bureaucracy." New federal agencies will be created, new rules devised, the visa system completely overhauled.
And if you take a look at some of the legislation's key components, an inordinate amount of money and time are wrapped up in helping illegal aliens - who should lawfully be deported immediately - to transition into society.
How else do you explain the fact that the legislation calls for the creation of a task force of Cabinet-level officials to help with illegal alien integration issues?
Or the bill's proposed pilot program which provides block grants to state and local governments to establish New Immigrant Councils to help illegal aliens successfully transition from illegal to legal. (The cost of these proposed grants - $100 million.)
Or the Agriculture Department's charter to establish new housing and pay standards for sheep and goat herders?
And the special treatment is not simply limited to government coddling. As the law is written, newly legalized aliens are even given a leg up on jobs over their citizen counterparts! According to an analysis by Investor's Business Daily, under this proposed legislation businesses have a $3,000 incentive to hire a "newly legalized immigrant" over a U.S. citizen:
The bipartisan legislation released Wednesday dictates that those granted provisional legal immigrant status would be treated the same as those 'not lawfully present' are treated under the 2010 health law.
That means they would neither be eligible for ObamaCare tax credits nor required to pay an individual tax penalty for failing to obtain qualifying health coverage. It also means some employers would face no penalty for failing to provide such workers affordable health coverage.
As IBD points out, under Obamacare, if health insurance costs are above 9.5% of a full-time worker's salary, that worker is eligible for the Obamacare exchange program. And employers who provide health insurance for their employees may be required to pay up to a $3,000 fine for each worker who receives Obamacare subsidies - but not if that worker is "newly legalized" and, therefore, exempt from provisions of Obamacare.
And, folks, pay attention to the language in this bill. It is important.
The legislation creates a brand new bureaucratic phrase: "registered provisional immigrant." So if you've been paying attention to how things have unfolded to this point since President Obama took office, we have moved from the term "illegal alien" to "undocumented worker" to now "registered provisional immigrants."
Guess what term comes next. According to the bill, the name of the chief federal agency responsible for overseeing immigration policy will be changed from "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services" to the "Office of Citizenship and New Americans."
From "illegal alien" to "New American."
Yes, this is the largest overhaul of the immigration system in decades. So obviously, given the complexity and enormity of this legislation, Congress will allow for a protracted review process, right? Not if the "Gang of Eight" have their way. Bill supporter Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) seems to think two hearings, at most, should do the trick. The first is scheduled for April 22, 2013. This hearing had originally been scheduled for this past Wednesday, but has been postponed due to the Boston terror attack (which, as you can see above, is directly related to this issue.) Like Obamacare, the process is being perverted. The bill is released in the middle of the night, a hearing with still-secret witnesses is held less than a few days later, and a key committee vote would take place by May 15.
So, here is how I see it. This bill grants amnesty almost immediately to most of the illegal aliens here. It also allows for amnesty for relatives of these illegal aliens. And it allows certain illegal aliens who have been deported to be granted amnesty. That, folks, is amnesty, plus, plus! To be clear, the bill does not require the border to be secure for this nearly instant, massive amnesty to take place.
There's still much to be unwrapped from this monstrous bill. This comprehensive immigration reform is to immigration as Obamacare is to health care.
I strongly encourage you to contact your senators today. Do not wait as this legislation is set to be rushed through the process without your voice being heard. The phone number for the Capitol Hill switchboard is 202-224-3121. And here's a link to a site where you can find the contact information for every U.S. Senator.
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