Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sen. Graham We’re going to be aggressive in marketing the bill: Does this also mean the TOP 10 ERROR'S in Bill S.744

'We’re going to be aggressive in marketing the bill,' Sen. Lindsey Graham said. 

From left, clockwise:  Marco Rubio, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Jeff Flake, Bob Menendez, John McCain, Michael Bennet and Lindsey Graham are pictured in a composite image. | AP Photos

And what they are trying sell to America is a bait and switch bill.
They say it’s securing the border first when actually there are no triggers to secure the border.
There are no actual triggers of border enforcement or border security.
Repeat after me: there are no actual triggers. Crafty as ever, the bill’s summary, disclosed by the Senate, has a section misleadingly entitled: “Border Security Triggers.” It lists the two so-called triggers:
(1) “Trigger to Initial Adjustment of Status” (the ‘trigger’ necessary for the initial legalization, changing an undocumented immigrant to a “Registered Provision Immigrant”); and
(2) “Trigger to Adjustment of Status from Registered Provisional Immigrant Status to Lawful Permanent Resident Status” (the ‘trigger’ for then moving one from legal status to greencard/permanent resident)
But then one reads and realizes these ‘triggers’ aren’t really triggers at all.
Six months after the bill is enacted, the Secretary of Homeland Securty must submit a strategy plan for dealing with the high risk sections of the Southern border, as well as a strategy plan regarding border-fence improvement. The two [aforementioned] triggers are simply:
1) No R.P.I. status for anyone “until the Secretary has submitted to Congress” notice of the two plans’ “commencement.” In other words, border security and fencing plans merely need to have started – that’s it! – for the mass legalization to go ahead. It’s tantamount to a parent giving the green-light just because you’ve started your homework, not because you’ve completed it. Perhaps Senator Rubio was understandably careful in his language when he recently stated: “you don’t get to apply for anything until the enforcement mechanisms are in place” — the key phrase there being just “in place.”
2) Further down the line (approximately 10 years), no one in R.P.I. status can obtain a greencard until the Secretary submits a written certification to Congress that certain security measures have been “achieved.” OK, well that sounds encouraging until you realize just how weak the ‘achievement’ bar is. All it requires is that the two strategies have been “substantially” deployed, implemented, and operational; that national E-Verify has been implemented by employers; and that there is an electronic visa exit system used at airports and sea ports.
Moreover, notice the impressive-sounding goal, deliberately placed in the Senate summary’s first page and first section (Section A: Goal for Border Security), regarding the ‘effectiveness’ rate on the border, is just that: a goal. It is not a trigger. And, its reassuring “90% effectiveness rate” on border security actually only applies to “high risk” areas of the border (those where apprehensions are above 30,0000 per year).
Nonetheless, Senator Rubio’s office’s press release states there are “six triggers,” including those that are merely goals (#3 and # 4 below) and not, in fact, triggers.
[2) It could extend to undocumented immigrants who arrived recently after the news of a potential amnesty.
Sure, the bill only allows applicants who were in the U.S. before December 31, 2011 and maintained a continuous presence. But how easy will it be to have crossed the border a month ago and falsify some papers, or friends’ testimony, claiming one came in earlier?
3) No, they don’t have to go to the back of the line and there is special treatment.
The American public has repeatedly heard from the Gang of 8, and particularly Senator Rubio, that there will be no special pathway and applicants must go to the back of the line behind everyone else. But that isn’t exactly right. The path creates a very clear, ‘special’ path and makes no mention of how exactly these applicants are placed behind anyone else.
And, once one qualifies for a green card (permanent residency), one is eligible for citizenship in three years (versus the usual five years).
Pathway? Yes. Special treatment? You bet.
In addition, it is special treatment in that it grants millions of individuals the ability to apply for a greencard – who normally would not qualify for one. What is the usual process for qualifying for a green card? Well, you’ll need a qualifying family member connection, an employment sponsor, refugee or asylum status (e.g., Somalis), or a few other special provisions. In contrast, this bill therefore does grant special treatment to those who will qualify simply because they are or were physically here (provided they meet the fairly easy requirements of a $500 fine and no severe criminal history), versus applicants abroad who must meet one of the special categories or obtain entry via a visa lottery.
4) Family members can piggyback on one’s application.
Thought this amnesty was limited to those already here? Think again. Even family members of those who qualify for this new R.P.I. status will qualify — specifically, spouses and children. Though we constantly heard this immigration reform would move away from family-based immigration to skills-based immigration — where is that? On the contrary, this bill seems to emphasize family-based immigration.
5) “Rigorous background check”? Doesn’t look like it!
One is ineligible to apply if one has a felony conviction, three or more misdemeanors, or a few other no-no’s such as having unlawfully voted. But it is unclear just how detailed — or effective across databases (for individuals who often may have provided fake names or falsified documentation) — these background checks will be.
6) Did we deport you? Come on back!
It’s not only amnesty for those currently here but even for those who were already deported. Even if one was already deported (provided it was for non-criminal reasons), as long as one was in the U.S. before 12/31/2011, one may apply to re-enter the U.S. in cushy RPI status (as long as your spouse, parent, or child is a U.S. citizen or resident).
7) Are you currently undergoing deportation proceedings or have a deportation order? No worries!
“Individuals with removal orders will be permitted to apply[,] as will aliens currently in removal proceedings.”
8) Sure, the bill specifies applicants may not qualify for federal benefits but…
what about state benefits or state programs? And what of legislation down the road that may overturn this restriction?
9) The bill does little, if anything, to track down those who overstay their visits.
As Senator Rubio has noted in previous interviews, millions of those who are here illegally overstayed a tourist or student visa but the system does little to track these individuals. This bill does not provide any actual solution to that problem.
10) A one-time fix?
There does not appear to be any wording in the bill preventing another future amnesty.

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