Conservatives Urge Senate to Dump Immigration Bill

Image: Conservatives Urge Senate to Dump Immigration Bill Phyllis Schlafly

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 11:06 AM

By Melanie Batley and Lisa Barron

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A coalition of conservative leaders has published an open letter denouncing the Senate's bipartisan immigration-reform bill, calling it "bloated and unwieldy" and urging lawmakers to abandon it.

The letter, which the Coalition Against S.744 plans to release Tuesday, is signed by nearly 150 individuals. They include former Florida GOP Rep. Allen West; nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham; Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review; Phyllis Schlafly, president of the Eagle Forum; Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation,; and tea party leaders in more than 25 states.

The letter, which was obtained by Politico, urges legislators to vote against any move to bring up the bill, which was drafted by the so-called Gang of Eight senators and spearheaded by Florida Republican Marco Rubio and New York Democrat Chuck Schumer.

“No matter how well-intentioned, the Schumer-Rubio bill suffers from fundamental design flaws that make it unsalvageable,” the letter reads. “Many of us support various parts of the legislation, but overall package is so unsatisfactory that the Senate would do better to start over from scratch.”

The letter also appears to take a shot at the Obama administration over its handling of the  IRS and other controversies swirling around the White House, noting that the bill would cede "excessive control over immigration law to an administration that has repeatedly proven itself to be untrustworthy, even duplicitous."

Among other objections cited in the letter is a plan to grant legal status to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants before the border with Mexico is secure. The bipartisan bill, the signers said, "rewards lawbreakers," hurts Americans in search of work, and threatens to “bankrupt our already strained entitlement system.”

“Reforming our immigration system is an important priority.," the letter said. "But S.744 is such a defective measure that it would do more harm than good.”

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