The comprehensive immigration reform that candidate Barack Obama promised during the presidential campaign is now making its way through Congress.
In addition to amnesty for illegal aliens, the Senate version may include a national identification card. To verify citizenship status, the card would incorporate a person’s DNA and fingerprints, rendering it tamper-proof. Proponents dismiss objections that such a card would be an invasion of privacy, arguing that it would be analogous to a Social Security card.
In past debates, the idea of a national ID card has been controversial. Liberal activists have argued that such a card could serve as a government tracking device, but times, they are a-changing.
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 was introduced late last year in the House. Though strong on amnesty, it lacks a national ID card. Reps. Luis Guitierrez, D-Ill., and Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, co-sponsored the bill (HR 4321) as the House version of Obamigration.
The House bill took shape at a White House Conference on Immigration that took place behind closed doors on June 25. The bill would provide amnesty for illegal aliens, including farmworkers, in the United States as of a certain date, green cards and tuition grants for children of illegal aliens, an increase in family-unity numbers, admission of aliens previously deported, and increased visa categories.
E-Verify, the effective online security check for immigrant workers, would be replaced with employer/employee attestation of employee identity and worker eligibility. Other provisions include creation of visas for low-skilled workers, weakened border security, and constitutional and civil rights for detained illegal aliens.
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has been designated the main author and point man for the Senate version of Obamigration. Schumer enlisted Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to co-sponsor the legislation in a bipartisan effort. Another closed-door White House immigration conference took place in early March 2010, during which proposals for the Schumer-Graham Senate bill were reviewed. On March 18, a framework was presented for the Senate bill.
Although provisions for amnesty and a pathway to citizenship resemble those in the House bill, the Senate proposal adds the national identification card, with the biometric feature of DNA and fingerprints.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, indicated he was looking for common ground on immigration reform, but other Republican support for the legislation may be difficult to muster. Haunting many U.S. senators is the ghost of the failed 2007 McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, which proposed what amounted to amnesty for illegal aliens and a pathway to citizenship. The bill failed when U.S. citizens demanded that the borders be secured first.
President Obama, realizing that his radical-left base links healthcare with immigration, named Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as the White House point person for the Obamigration bills.
Comprehensive immigration reform is key to the president’s goal of reducing poverty by redistributing wealth. Toward that end, he is not beyond changing the United States into a borderless nation with citizenship up for grabs.
Immigration reform is being targeted as the next step in restructuring the nation as a “new” America. Hispanics have not let the president forget that his election was secured with the help of 74 percent of the Hispanic vote. These voters (legal and illegal) consider it payback time for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.
Liberal think tanks now are spinning that immigration reform will help the economy. They say that 12 million illegal aliens will increase the gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The Center for American Progress, a George Soros-funded, ultra-liberal think tank, is the primary outside group working with Congress on the Obamigration bills.
The Democrats are creating red herrings to mislead the public into thinking that illegal aliens will create more income for the country. Immigration advocates refuse to consider the costs to U.S. taxpayers of these “newcomers.” Environmentalists refuse to consider the impact that an onslaught of “newcomers” would have on air, water, and fuel consumption or the carbon footprint they would leave.
Immigrant advocates and community organizers picked March 21 for rallies in several cities to support comprehensive immigration reform. The date was selected to coincide with the Obamacare victory. In Washington, thousands (rather than the predicted hundreds of thousands) gathered and carried professionally designed and printed signs with messages such as, “We just want to work” and “Justice and dignity to all U.S. immigrants.” No mention was made of their immigration status.
In 2007, U.S. citizens soundly rejected the idea of allowing millions of illegal aliens to take jobs, while receiving healthcare, welfare, and education that places an unsustainable burden on taxpayers.
In 2010, immigration legislation could be rejected by another outcry of U.S. citizens, who are “mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.” In passing healthcare reform, the president and too many congressional Democrats thumbed their noses at those citizens who watched in disbelief as the Obama administration bribed and threatened Democratic legislators who opposed Obamacare and as bare-knuckle, Chicago-style politics won out over the wishes of a majority of the people.
Energized by the Obamacare victory, the White House aims to move immigration reform through Congress. On March 19, Graham opined that passage of the health insurance reform bill would pretty well kill any chance of immigration reform this year. The accuracy of his prediction will depend on the response of the electorate.
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