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In Speech, Sessions Details How Gang Of Eight Legislation ‘Fails To Live Up To Every Major Promise’
Friday, April 26, 2013
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor yesterday to detail how the promises made about the Gang of Eight proposal are contradicted by the text of the legislation itself:
“We don’t know answers to even the most basic questions: How much will this bill cost? What is the total number of people that will be admitted over the next decade? Trust us, they say, don’t worry about it, you’ll find out what’s in it later, just like health care.
What we have already discovered has revealed that the legislation fails to live up to every major promise. For instance:
We were told this bill would be enforcement first, but the plan confers immediate legalization in exchange for promises of future enforcement that will likely never occur.
In fact a major loophole that jeopardizes the entire border security section commands the Secretary to grant currently illegal immigrants permanent legal status—and therefore eventual citizenship—after 10 years if just one of the so-called triggers, that ensures enforcement, is tied up in court.
We were told the Secretary would be required to build the border fence.
We passed a law in 2007 that requires 700 miles of double strength fencing at the border. How many has been built since then? 36. Congress passed a law saying that we would do this enforcement in the future, but it hasn’t occurred.
We were told this bill would reduce the deficit and strengthen Social Security and Medicare. But the effect will be to legalize low-skill immigrants. It will add trillions to the unfunded liabilities for Medicare, Social Security and Obamacare.
We were told illegal immigrants would not have access to public benefits. But illegal immigrants will receive federal public benefits once they are granted permanent residency – with millions eligible for citizenship in just five years – and, once the bill passes, millions of illegal immigrants will become eligible for state and local benefits.
We were told there was a ten-year path to green cards and a 13-year path to citizenship. But 2-3 million illegal immigrants will be eligible for citizenship in 5 years under a remarkably broad DREAM Act provision that removes the age cap and includes those who have been removed from the country. Illegal agricultural workers will also get green cards in five years.
We were told this legislation was for illegal immigrants who have deep roots in the country. But the amnesty is extended to recent arrivals, millions of visa overstays, people who aren’t even living in the country anymore, and those who have been deported multiple times.
We were told this legislation would curtail the Administration’s aggressive undermining of federal law. But it provides the Secretary of Homeland Security with even more discretion.
We were told there would be strict standards for receiving amnesty. But this bill grants amnesty to those who have convicted of multiple crimes.
We were told this bill would make us safer. But Chris Crane, head of the ICE Officers’ Council, said they have been undermined. The ICE Officers’ Council filed a lawsuit for failure of their officials to enforce the law and being directed by their supervisors to violate the law.
We were told this would move us to a merit-based high-skill immigration system with a responsible future flow. This may be the biggest and most dangerous flaw of all. A new poll from FOX News reveals that a majority of voters think we should reduce the overall amount of legal immigration into the country.
The bill would allow an unlimited number of visas for the spouses and children of all green card holders. That would apply to both those here illegally and all current and future legal immigrants. It would clear the 4.5 million legal immigration backlog. It would put illegal immigrants of any age, who entered when they were younger, on a fast-track 5-year path to citizenship. The so-called DREAMers can then obtain expedited green cards for family members—parents, spouses and children. The agricultural worker program is expanded, giving the Secretary of Agriculture unchecked authority to increase these visas to whatever number he or she sees fit.
At a minimum, we are looking at handing out citizenship and green cards to 30 million immigrants over a little more than ten years.”
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