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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Immigration deal reached; Rule of law out with the baby and the bathwater.

I get home and I preparing to dive into more post-debate analysis, and what am I greeted with? This from Kate O'Beirne at The Corner:

Senate Repubicans met today and it appears that the majority of them are willing to sign on to a White House-Kennedy "comprehensive" reform. Some have convinced themselves that the measure represents a good trade, i.e. amnesty for 12 million (which they privately acknowledge is the case) in exchange for beefed up enforcement including a worker verification system (assuming government can effectively design one with Democrats refusing to agree to data-sharing among relevant agencies), and an end to chain migration at some point in the future, i.e. when big backlog on extended family members waiting for green cards is cleared up. Faith-based immigration reform! The "good trade" case is easier to make when the huge net costs of legalization are simply ignored. The fact that much of the improvement they seek could be achieved by enforcing current laws is also being ignored.

The political calculation by conservative senators appears to be that the White House was going to cut a deal with Ted Kennedy with or without them and moderate senators would provide enough votes to pass any such bill. In the absence of vociferous opposition by conservatives, only about a dozen or so GOP senators are likely to oppose the grand "comprehensive" compromise.

My previous optimism about the Senate's inability to come up with a consensus plan that could win broad bipartisan approval obviously underestimated Republican Senators' capacity for self-delusion.

Hugh has the talking points fanned by the operatives on this issue here. Before I cut and paste them here so you can get all the stomach turning details, I'd like to say a few things.

Thos who do not listen to the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them. The lesson on this issue is if you grant those here illegally -- no matter the home country they hail from -- people will continue to come here illegally. In 1986 when Pres. Reagan reluctantly agreed to amnesty, we weren't in a war, and national security wasn't a serious concern. Now it is, and both immigration reform and border security are integral to national security. Hugh was speaking with Mickey Kaus spoke with Hugh Hewitt this afternoon and made an alarming and revealing observation: If this program were in effect RIGHT NOW, the "Dix Six" jihadis would have been granted amnesty.

Folks, we have an illegal immigration problem, and while the bulk of it comes from countries south of our southern border, there are plenty here from other nations, and many of these nations aren't friendly to us. They have come here illegally, or overstayed their legal visas, or their residency here has expired, and they don't care to return home. That's unacceptable, especially when you consider the fallout -- literally -- that could occur if we make a mistake, and let someone stay here that wants to do us harm, like the "Dix Six." We'd be wise to remember that the 11 September hijackers would be granted the same sort of amnesty under this plan. This plan, bluntly put, is a walking cluster-f**k.

The nation needs to step up, and shout down their representatives in Congress. Lash out. Get mad. Tell them the writing on the wall if they sign onto this bill. Do this especially to the GOP in Congress. They're not just cutting off their nose to spite their face, they're tossing out the baby with the bathwater, and the baby is wrapped in what we intelligent people call US law. If the GOP does this, if they sign onto this dire, ruinous, and highly unfavorable "solution. This isn't a remedy to a problem we have now. It's compounding the problem ten-fold.

I should caution people that this is a leaked piece of information. NO ONE in the GOP has said anything, as yet. But they need to hear from you so they know where this nation stands, and we don't stand for compromising our national security and the rule of law for what seems to be a solution where they can't see any consequences. Get on the phone, and raise some hell, folks -- 202-225-3121.

(PLEASE, if you don't want to read the thing completely now, scroll to the bottom. I have some closing thoughts ont he matter and an UPDATE on this issue. -- Thomas)


Republicans Standing Together to Fight for Tougher Enforcement and an Immigration System That Better Serves American Interests

As negotiations continue, Republicans are demanding the following from the Democrat majority:

v Beefed-up border security. Republicans are insisting on dramatic and immediate improvements to border security, including 18,000 Border Patrol agents and 370 miles of fencing, as part of a continuous effort to protect the borders.

?? Republicans insist that border security improvements must be completed before other reforms can occur. Democrats blocked any "triggers" in last year’s bill.

v Enforcement at the workplace. Republicans are insisting on a meaningful, effective, and workable electronic employment verification system that will prevent employers from hiring illegal workers and eliminate the "magnet" that attracts so many illegal aliens.

?? This verification system must be fully operational before other reforms occur (another "trigger"), a position Democrats rejected last year and have resisted in negotiations.

v Merit-based future immigration system and end to "chain migration." Republicans are insisting on eliminating "chain migration" and transforming our immigration system so that all future efforts are focused on attracting those immigrants (and their immediate, nuclear families) who have the combination of job skills, education, and English language proficiency that will make them productive Americans.

?? The Democrat majority has resisted any effort to ensure that our immigration system be rebalanced to serve national needs and still clings to a broken "chain migration" system that does not serve the national interest.

v A truly temporary worker program. Republicans insist that a temporary worker program be for a limited period of time and not serve as a path to citizenship. Temporary workers must truly be temporary.

?? The Democrat majority continues to resist this approach, seeking to let "temporary" workers stay in the United States indefinitely and become permanent residents without going home.

v Strict limits on processing of illegal aliens. Majority-party Democrats made legalization of illegal aliens a non-negotiable priority, but Republicans refused to allow automatic amnesty or a guaranteed path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Republicans insist that all green card applicants must (1) go to the back of the line behind those who have followed the law, (2) pay higher fines than in last year’s bill, (3) pass a criminal background check, (4) show a nearly perfect work history, English proficiency, and familiarity with American civics. If they cannot do so, they will be subject to removal. Republicans also insist that access to permanent status be prioritized based on immigrants’ job skills, education, and English proficiency. Illegal aliens will not gain an automatic right to stay in this country indefinitely.

?? Democrats wanted last year’s permissive Senate bill, which allowed illegal aliens to jump to the front of the line and did not require illegal aliens to continue to work.

DRAFT 5/16/07

Border Security Guaranteed by Republican Efforts

• Republicans have championed greater border enforcement in order to better protect us against terrorist, drug smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal immigration.

• Republicans insisted on the following enforcement measures in this bill before any other reforms (including a temporary worker program or adjustment of status for illegal aliens) are implemented:

? 18,000 border patrol and immigration enforcement agents must be hired.

? 370 miles of border fencing must be built.

? 200 miles of vehicle barriers must be completed.

? 70 ground-based radar and camera towers on the southern border must be operational.

? 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles must be deployed.

? 27,500 detention beds must be available so that apprehended aliens can be detained.

• Triggers: Republicans have insisted that all of the above improvements to border security be implemented before any additional reforms can take place. If they do not occur, then there will be no temporary worker program or movement on a path to citizenship for illegal aliens. Democrats vigorously resisted triggers such as these in last year’s bill.

Republicans Bolstered Workplace Enforcement

• Republicans know that border security is not enough: we must also eliminate the opportunities for illegal workers to be hired in the United States.

• The bill will create an Electronic Employment Verification System ("EEVS") so only legal workers can get jobs.

• Once the EEVS is in place (the administration predicts 18 months), illegal aliens without the right to work will find it extremely difficult to gain any legitimate employment.

• Illegal workers not only will be subject to removal from the country but will be permanently barred from any U.S. immigration program.

• Employers who knowingly hire illegal workers will face stiff penalties.

• Another Trigger: Republicans also insisted that this new EEVS be fully operational before reforms such as the temporary worker program or status adjustment for illegal aliens occur. Democrats vigorously resisted any effort to make an operational EEVS a precondition for other reforms.

DRAFT 5/16/07 3

Republicans Successfully Demanded an Immigration System Based on Merit

• Republicans are insisting on eliminating "chain migration" and transforming our immigration system into one based on qualification and merit.

• Due to Republican demands and over Democrat objections, the bill will require all future immigrants to qualify based on merit through a "point system."

• The main components of the merit-based "point system" will be

? job skills deemed helpful to the U.S. economy;

? level of educational attainment (with added points for science/math); and

? degree of English language proficiency.
• The impact of this new merit-based "point system" will be to ensure entry and permanent residence to those with higher levels of education and professional qualifications.

? Currently, only 20 percent of immigrants are admitted based on merit; the remainder gain permanent residence due to some form of familial relation.

? All new immigrants will still be able to bring their immediate families (spouses and minor children), but other relatives will need to qualify under the point system.

• This end to "chain migration," which allows migration of extended family members who cannot show they will benefit to America, is a significant Republican victory.

Republicans Guaranteed a Truly Temporary Worker Program

• Republicans know that American businesses have labor needs that the American workforce does not always satisfy, so they support a temporary worker program that will ensure that ample workers exist to fill those jobs.

• But Republicans have insisted that a temporary worker program should be temporary, and that it should not provide a direct path to citizenship.

• Workers will be able to enter the country for two years, working for an employer who has demonstrated that no American is available to fill the position.

? The worker must leave after two years and cannot renew for at least one year.

? A temporary worker can work for a total of three separate two-year terms, with one year out of the country between each term. (The rationale is to prevent temporary workers from establishing roots and refuse to leave when their term is completed.)

? All temporary workers will be able to travel freely to and from their home countries.

• Temporary workers must return home after their work period expires. Failure to depart on time will result in criminal penalties and a permanent bar on participating in any U.S. immigration programs, i.e., the worker could never gain an American green card.

• Republicans’ insistence on "temporary means temporary" will protect American workers and maintain the integrity of the U.S. immigration system.

DRAFT 5/16/07 4

Republicans Ensured Limits on Legalization of Existing Illegal Population

• Democrats made clear that no bill would pass without a provision to allow illegal aliens to gain citizenship, and pledged to hold hostage all border security and interior enforcement improvements.

• In response, Republicans united to block automatic amnesty and guarantee that strict limits be imposed on those illegal aliens who wish to become American citizens.

• Due solely to Republican efforts, illegal aliens will not gain an automatic right to stay in this country indefinitely.

• Republican demands guaranteed the following:

o First, Republicans insisted that illegal aliens should not be permitted even to apply for permanent residence unless he or she can demonstrate:

? a nearly uninterrupted work history, i.e., the worker (head of household) must show that he or she has been employed for 90 percent of the previous four years;

? a proven proficiency in English; and

? an education in American civics.

? If an illegal alien cannot demonstrate this work history, proficiency in English, and education in American civics, then he or she will not earn the right to permanent residency and will be subject to deportation and will be permanently barred from the U.S.A.

o Second, Republicans insisted that all illegal aliens seeking permanent residence must get in line behind the legal applicants for permanent residence who did not enter the country illegally. And they must return home to make the formal application.

o Third, Republicans insisted on higher penalties and fees that illegal aliens must pay in order to remain in the country, and also demanded that illegal aliens pay all back taxes they may owe.

• Many illegal aliens will never clear these tough hurdles and will be subject to removal. And because of the tough new workplace enforcement mechanisms, they will not be able to be employed in any legitimate business enterprise.

• If Republicans had not fought for these limits, Democrats would have passed an automatic amnesty bill without any of the restrictions that Republicans have now guaranteed.

I notice that there are some serious changes to the original idea of enforcement and security that was presented in the last session of Congress. The border fence and vehicle barriers have been cut in half, and the detention facilities have been cut. There are border agents that have been included, but we have already seen that such a promise usually goes unfulfilled. It did the previous times that the president promised a significant increase in border agents.

We can argue over what the GOP fought for, but in the end, they compromised. They caved. And if this information is true and correct, it's going to condemn them to walk in darkness for decades. They thought their base rebelled in 2006? If this is true, then they ain't seen nothing yet. I am calling for an online petition similar to the NRSC Pledge to send the message to DC that this plan is unacceptable, and wholly unworkable.

Publius II

UPDATE: Over at The Corner, Mark Krikorian adds his two cents. No offense, be we're on the same page here with the same concerns, and this agreement clearly doesn't follow the frelling logic behind it!

If Kate is right, and the Senate is going to repeat the 1986 "grand bargain" (amnesty up front for promises of enforcement in the future), every senator needs to understand that he is voting to give legal status to terrorists — also just like in the 1986 amnesty.

That amnesty program granted legal status to, among others, brothers Mohammed and Mahmoud Abouhalima, who were involved in the first World Trade Center attack. According to the 9/11 Commission staff report on the immigration histories of terrorists (the large pdf file is
here), the brothers received provisional legal status after claiming to be farmworkers. Mohammed was later rejected, when it became clear he was lying, but he just stayed on illegally, since there was no effort to remove even the relatively small number of unsuccessful amnesty applicants. Mahmoud, nicknamed "The Red," successfully got a green card — i.e., permanent status — despite suspicions that he was lying. That permitted him to work and travel freely until he took part in the attack, then left for Egypt. But we don't know all the details of Mahmoud the Red's immigration history because, as the 9/11 Commission staf report says: "His INS immigration file (A 90 568 993) was not available for review. DHS informed us that the Privacy Act barred the Commission from obtaining immigration files on legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens, even those convicted of terrorism or related crimes."

The kind of illegal aliens who are guaranteed — guaranteed — to be amnestied this time around are the Duka brothers, the Albanians being held in the Ft. Dix plot. There's a
Newsweek web column just posted tracing for the first time the immigration history of the Duka clan from what appears to be information directly from their immigration files. They snuck across the Mexican border in 1984 and applied for asylum in 1989: "While the asylum application was under consideration, the government effectively suspended any effort to deport family members as illegal aliens, the source familiar with their immigration history said."

There is every reason to believe that if the Circuit City clerk hadn't called the FBI (and assuming they hadn't already attacked Ft. Dix), that the Dukas would all get amnesty under any Senate plan. After all, the only thing the immigration service would do is run their names through terrorism watch lists and crime databases looking for felony convictions; if there aren't any hits, you're in.

Having illegal-alien terrorists in your country is bad; having legal-alien terrorists, with all the rights and protections that come with legal status, is worse. And we'll know whom to thank.

Yes Mark we will, but I guess we should have been paying more attention last night when McCain said there was a "new proposal" in the works, and maybe there shoud have been a follow-up to that question. It would have been a lot easier getting the shock there in a controlled environment rather than getting the news when I walk through the front door tonight. Folks, the MSM isn't talking about this AT ALL.

Publius II


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