Right Side News Reports from the Federation for American Immigration Reform in this November 30, 2009 Legislative Weekly
- High Unemployment Will Make Amnesty Bill Tough to Pass
- Obama Employer Audits Do Little to Address Illegal Immigration
- FAIR Pushes to Ban Drivers’ Licenses for Illegal Aliens
- New 2008 FBI “Hate Crime” Data Reflects Positive Trends in “Anti-Hispanic” Incidents
- House Democrats May Go it Alone on Immigration
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday last week, this week’s Legislative Update features entries from FAIR’s blog, The Stein Report. Below you will find summaries of four recent Stein Report entries. To find out more and post comments about each entry, simply click on the “Read the full entry” link beneath each summary.
High Unemployment Will Make Amnesty Bill Tough to Pass
On November 23, The Hill published a story noting that, with the nationwide unemployment rate now over ten percent, Democrats on Capitol Hill are realizing that passing a mass amnesty for over 12 million illegal aliens will be very tough over the next year. The nation’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent when legislation sponsored by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) stalled in the Senate in 2007. At the end of last month, 22 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and dozens of metropolitan areas had average unemployment rates above 9 percent. Michigan’s rate is above 15 percent. California’s is 12.2 percent. Even Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Congress’ biggest proponent of amnesty, admitted that “Each bill is reflective of a time. And with unemployment over 10 percent I think we need to have language that is very carefully tailored.”
Obama Employer Audits Do Little to Address Illegal Immigration
The Obama Administration’s shift to auditing businesses suspected of hiring illegal aliens has recently prompted several employers to fire thousands of workers who could not provide proof of legal residence. However, it appears that the administration is simply allowing illegal aliens who are fired as a result of these audits to remain in the United States and compete with American citizens and legal immigrants for jobs with other employers. Moreover, FAIR Media Director Ira Mehlman has observed that the new strategy “does nothing to address the millions of people in the country illegally” who have an incentive to remain here as long as possible in the hopes of eventually receiving amnesty. “As long as that’s on the table,” Mehlman argues, “they will stick it out because there’s a good chance of being rewarded.”
FAIR Pushes to Ban Drivers’ Licenses for Illegal Aliens
FAIR Media Director Ira Mehlman joined a discussion on National Public Radio’s Tell Me More to talk about the current push by some states to implement measures aimed at banning illegal aliens from operating motor vehicles.
New 2008 FBI “Hate Crime” Data Reflects Positive Trends in “Anti-Hispanic” Incidents
Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released its “2008 Hate Crime Report.” It is interesting to note that Anti-Hispanic crimes showed a significant drop for 2008 compared to the same data in 2007. This trend is positive and reflects an increase in public understanding and community cohesion. Curiously, however, there is no mention of these positive trends by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Sadly for the nattering bigots holed up in their Montgomery (AL) bunker, these positive trends again shred the SPLC’s credibility and its absurd contention that the immigration debate was driving an increase in anti-Latino hate crimes – an assertion that had no basis in fact from the start.
House Democrats May Go it Alone on Immigration
Last week, Roll Call reported that a group of House Democrats intend to move the immigration debate forward quickly and without Republican support. The group, led by long-time amnesty advocate Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), says it was emboldened by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s recent speech at the Center for American Progress in which she stated she hoped to see “comprehensive” immigration reform legislation move through Congress in early 2010.
To help jump start this process, Roll Call reports that Rep. Gutierrez he organized a meeting less than two weeks ago with key Members of several Democratic caucuses – including Reps. Jared Polis (D-CO) Mike Honda (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) – urging them to build support for such a measure. Also attending were Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Nydia VelÃ¡zquez (D-NY) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), co-chair of the Democratic Progressive Caucus.
According to Roll Call, Gutierrez hopes to introduce legislation as early as December 15th with 100 co-sponsors and to kick off an “intensive grassroots” effort in the weeks leading up to the President Obama’s State of the Union Address in late January. (Id.) Rep. Gutierrez stressed the urgency of acting well before the November election. “As a nine-term Member, I understand that the likelihood of success diminishes every week after April 1,” Gutierrez said. “First quarter, let’s get it done and let’s move forward.”