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20 Worst Loopholes in the Senate Immigration Bill - From Senator Jeff Sessions
Sen. Jeff Sessions ^ | June 2007 | Sen. Jeff Sessions and staff

Posted on 06/04/2007 11:35:27 PM PDT by dennisw

20 Loopholes in the Senate Immigration Bill
Amnesty benefits do not wait for the “enforcement trigger.”  After filing an application and waiting 24 hours, illegal aliens will receive full “probationary benefits,” complete with the ability to legally live and work in the U.S., travel outside of the U.S. and return, and their own social security card.  Astonishingly, if the trigger is never met and amnesty applications are therefore never “approved,” the probationary benefits granted to the illegal alien population never expire, and the new social security cards issued to the illegal alien population are not revoked.   [See pp. 1, 290-291, & 315].
The “enforcement trigger,” required to be met before the new temporary worker program begins, does not require that the exit portion of U.S. VISIT system – the biometric border check-in/check-out system first required by Congress in 1996 that is already well past its already postponed 2005 implementation due date – to be in place before new worker or amnesty programs begin.  Without the U.S. VISIT exit portion, the U.S. has no method to ensure that workers (or their visiting families) do not overstay their visas. Our current illegal population contains 4 to 5.5 million visa overstays, therefore, we know that the U.S. VISIT exit component is key to a successful new temporary worker program.  [See pp. 1-2].
The “enforcement trigger” does not require the Department of Homeland Security to have detention space sufficient to end “catch and release” at the border and in the interior.  Even after the adoption of amendment 1172, the trigger merely requires the addition of 4,000 detention beds, bringing DHS to a 31,500 bed capacity.  This is far short of the 43,000 beds required under current law to be in place by the end of 2007, or the additional 20,000 beds required later in the bill.  Additionally, the bill establishes a “catch, pay, and release” program.  This policy will benefit illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico that are caught at the border, then can post a $5,000 bond, be released and never show up for deportation hearings. Annual failure to appear rates for 2005 and 2006, caused in part by lack of detention space, doubled the 2004 rate (106,000 – 110,000 compared with 54,000).  Claims that the bill “expands fencing” are inaccurate.  The bill only requires 370 miles of fencing to be completed, while current law already mandates that more than 700 miles be constructed [See pp. 1-2, & 10-11, and EOIR’s FY2006 Statistical Yearbook, p. H2, and The Secure Fence Act of 2004].
Aliens who broke into the country illegally a mere 5 months ago, are treated better than foreign nationals who legally applied to come to the U.S. more than two years ago.  Aliens who can prove they were illegally in the U.S. on January 1, 2007, are immediately eligible to apply from inside the U.S. for amnesty benefits, while foreign nationals that filed applications to come to the U.S. after May 1, 2005 must start the application process over again from their home countries.  Last year’s bill required illegal aliens to have been here before January 7, 2004 to qualify for permanent legal status.  [See pp. 263, 282, & 306].
Legal status must be granted to illegal aliens 24 hours after they file an application, even if the aliens have not yet “passed all appropriate background checks.”  (Last year’s bill gave DHS 90 days to check an alien’s background before any status was granted).  No legal status should be given to any illegal alien until all appropriate background checks are complete. [See pp. 290].
Some aggravated felons – those who have sexually abused a minor – are eligible for amnesty.  A child molester who committed the crime before the bill is enacted is not barred from getting amnesty if their conviction document omitted the age of the victim.  The bill corrects this loophole for future child molesters, but does not close the loophole for current or past convictions.  [See p. 47: 30-33, & p. 48: 1-2]
Illegal aliens with terrorism connections are not barred from getting amnesty. An illegal alien seeking most immigration benefits must show “good moral character.” Last year’s bill specifically barred aliens with terrorism connections from having “good moral character” and being eligible for amnesty. This year’s bill does neither.  Additionally, bill drafters ignored the Administration’s request that changes be made to the asylum, cancellation of removal, and withholding of removal statutes in order to prevent aliens with terrorist connections from receiving relief.  [Compare §204 in S. 2611 from the 109th Congress with missing §204 on p. 48 of S.A. 1150, & see missing subsection (5) on p. 287 of S.A. 1150].
Instead of ensuring that members of violent gangs such as MS 13 are deported after coming out of the shadows to apply for amnesty, the bill will allow violent gang members to get amnesty as long as they “renounce” their gang membership on their application.  [See p. 289: 34-36].
Aliens who have already had their day in court – those subject to final orders of removal, voluntary departure orders, or reinstatement of their final orders of removal – are eligible for amnesty under the bill.  The same is true for aliens who have made a false claim to citizenship or engaged in document fraud.  More than 636,000 alien fugitives could be covered by this loophole. [See p. 285:19-22 which waives the following inadmissibility grounds:  failure to attend a removal proceeding; final orders of removal for alien smuggling; aliens unlawfully present after previous immigration violations or deportation orders; and aliens previously removed. This appears to conflict with language on p. 283:40-41.  When a direct conflict appears in a statute, the statue is interpreted by the courts to the benefit of the alien.].
Illegal aliens are not required to demonstrate any proficiency in English for more than a decade after they are granted amnesty. Learning English is not required for an illegal alien to receive probationary benefits, the first 4-year Z visa, or the second 4-year Z visa. The first Z visa renewal (the second 4-year Z visa) requires only that the alien demonstrate an “attempt” to learn English by being “on a waiting list for English classes.”  Passing a basic English test is required only for a second Z visa renewal (the third 4-year Z visa), and even then the alien only has to pass the test “prior to the expiration of the second extension of Z status” (12 years down the road).  [See pp. 295-296].
Current illegal aliens and new guest workers will be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit designed to encourage American citizens and legal permanent residents to work.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this loophole will cost the U.S. taxpayer up to $20 billion dollars in just the first 10 years after the bill’s enactment.  To be consistent with the intent of the 1996 welfare reforms – which limited new immigrants from receiving public benefits until they had been legal permanent residents for five years – the bill should withhold EITC eligibility from amnestied aliens until they become legal permanent residents.  Closing this loophole will save the taxpayers billions of dollars.  [See p. 293 after S.A. 1190 was adopted, p. 307,  p. 315, §606.  All that is required for EITC eligibility is a social security number and resident alien status.  Nothing in the bill’s tax provisions limit EITC eligibility.  The issuance of social security numbers to aliens as soon as they apply for amnesty will ensure they are able to qualify for the EITC.]
Records from day-labor centers, labor unions, and “sworn declarations” from any non-relative (acquaintances, friends, coworkers, etc) are to  be accepted as evidence that the illegal alien has satisfied the bill’s amnesty requirements.  This low burden of proof will invite fraud and more illegal immigration – even aliens who are not yet in the U.S. will likely meet this burden of proof.  DHS will not have the resources to examine whether the claims contained in the “sworn declarations” of the alien’s friends (that the alien was here prior to January 1, 2007 and is currently employed) are actually valid.  [See p. 293: 13-16].
Free legal counsel and the fees and expenses of arbitrators will be provided to aliens that have been working illegally in agriculture.  The U.S. taxpayer will fund the attorneys that help these individuals fill out their amnesty applications.  Additionally, if these individuals have a dispute with their employer over whether they were fired for “just cause,” DHS will “pay the fee and expenses of the arbitrator.”  [See p. 339:37-41, & p. 332: 37-38.]
In-state tuition and other higher education benefits, such as Stafford Loans, will be made available to current illegal aliens that are granted initial “probationary” status, even if the same in-state tuition rates are not offered to all U.S. citizens.  This would normally violate current law (8 U.S.C. §1623) which mandates that educational institutions give citizens the same postsecondary education benefits they offer to illegal aliens. [See p. 321: 8-31].
The “merit system,” designed to shift the U.S. green card distribution system to attract higher skilled workers that benefit the national interest, is only a shell of what it should have been. Though the merit system begins immediately, it will not increase the percentage of high skilled immigrants coming to the United States until 2016, 8 years after enactment.  Of the  247,000 green cards dedicated to the merit based system each year for the first 5 years, 100,000 green cards will be reserved for low-skilled guest workers (10,000) and for clearing the current employment based green card backlog (90,000). From 2013 to 2015, the number of merit based green cards drops to 140,000, and of that number, 100,000 green cards are still reserved each year for low-skilled guest workers (10,000) and for clearing the current employment based green card backlog (90,000).  Even after 2015, when the merit system really begins (in 2016) by having 380,000 green cards annually, 10,00 green cards will be reserved specifically for low skilled workers, and points will be given for many characteristics that are not considered “high-skilled.”   For example, 16 points will be given for aliens in “high demand occupations” which includes janitors, maids, food preparation workers, and groundskeepers.  [See p.260: 25 – p. 261: 20,  p. 262, & The Department of Labor’s list of “occupations with the largest job growth” available at].
The new “parent” visa contained in the bill which allows parents of citizens, and the spouses and children of new temporary workers, to visit a worker in the United States is not only a misnomer, but also an invitation for high rates of visa overstays.  This new visa specifically allows the spouse and children of new temporary workers who intend to abandon their residence in a foreign country, to qualify to come to the U.S. to “visit.” The visa requires only a $1,000 bond, which will be forfeited when, not if, family members of new temporary workers decide to overstay their 30 day visit.  Workers should travel to their home countries to visit their families, not the other way around.   [See p. 277:1 – 33, and p. 276: 38-43].
Though the bill will eventually eliminate chain migration (relatives other than spouses and children of citizens and legal permanent residents), it will not have full effect until 2016.  Until then, chain migration into the U.S. will actually triple, from approximately 138,000 chain migrants a year (equal to 14% of the 1 million green cards the U.S. currently distributes on an annual basis) to approximately 440,000 chain migrants a year (equal to 45% of the 1 million green cards the U.S. currently distributes on an annual basis).  [See pp. 260:13, p. 270: 29 – pp. 271: 17]
Last year’s bill required illegal aliens to prove they had paid three of their last five years of taxes to get amnesty.  This year, payment of back taxes is not required for amnesty.  The bill requires taxes to be paid at the time of application for a green card, but at that time, only proof of payment of Federal taxes (not state and local) is required for the years the alien worked on a Z visa, not the years the alien has already worked illegally in the United States.   Though Senator McCain’s S.A. 1190, adopted by voice vote, claimed to “require undocumented immigrants receiving legal status to pay owed back taxes,” the amendment actually only required proof of payment of taxes for “any year during the period of employment required by subparagraph (D)(i).”  Since the bill does not contain a subparagraph (D)(i), nor require any past years of employment as a prerequisite for amnesty, the amendment essentially only requires proof of payment of taxes for future work in the U.S., not payment of “back taxes.”  [See p. 307, and p. 293 as altered by S.A. 1190, amendment p. 2: 19-20.]
Aliens who came to the U.S. on legal visas, but overstayed their visas and have been working in the U.S. for years, as well as illegal aliens who apply for Z visa status but do not qualify, will be able to collect social security credits for the years they worked illegally.  Under the bill, if an alien was ever issued a social security account number – all work-authorized aliens who originally came on legal visas receive these – the alien will receive Social Security credits for any “quarters of coverage” the alien worked after receiving their social security account number.  Because the bill requires social security account numbers to be issued “promptly” to illegal aliens as soon as they are granted “any probationary benefits based upon application [for Z status]” (these benefits are granted 24 hours after the application is filed), an illegal alien who is denied Z visa status but continues to work illegally in the U.S. will accumulate Social Security credits.  [See pp. 316:8 – 16, and pp. 315: 32-39]
The criminal fines an illegal alien is required to pay to receive amnesty are less than the bill’s criminal fines for paperwork violations committed by U.S. citizens, and can be paid by installment.  Under the bill, an illegal alien must pay a $1,000 criminal fine to apply for a Z visa, and a $4,000 fine to apply for a green card.  Eighty percent of those fines can be paid on an installment plan.  Under the bill’s confidentiality provisions, someone who improperly handles or uses information on an alien’s amnesty application can be fined $10,000.  Administration officials suggest that the bill’s “criminal fines are proportionate to the criminal conduct.”  Why, then, is the fine for illegally entering, using false documents to work, and live one-tenth the fine for a paperwork violation committed by a government official? [See p. 287: 34, p. 317: 9, p. 315:6-8, &  remarks made by Secretary Gutierrez on Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4:00 May 31, 2007]




WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) released a list of 20 loopholes in the comprehensive immigration bill today which reveals that the bill is fatally flawed and will not establish a functioning immigration system in the future.
            The list of loopholes includes flaws effecting border security, chain-migration and assimilation policies.  The list exposes the lack of serious attention given to ensuring that the legislation fixes America’s failed immigration system. 
            “I am deeply concerned about the numerous loopholes we have found in this legislation.  They are more than technical errors, but rather symptoms of a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation that stands no chance of actually fixing our broken immigration system,” Sessions said.  “Many of the loopholes are indicative of a desire not to have the system work.”
            For example, one loophole in the “enforcement trigger” fails to require the U.S. VISIT system – the biometric border check-in/check-out system established by Congress in 1996, but never implemented – to be fully functioning before new worker or amnesty programs begin.  Without the system in place, the U.S. has no method of ensuring that workers and their families do not overstay their visas.
            Another flaw in the legislation prevents the benefits of merit-based immigration from taking full effect until 2016.  Until then, chain migration into the U.S. will actually triple, compared to a disproportionately low increase in skill-based immigration.  As a result, the merit-based system in the bill is only a shell of what it should have been.
            A third loophole in the bill allows immigrants to avoid demonstrating a proficiency in English for more than a decade.  Illegal aliens are not required to learn English to receive full “probationary benefits” of citizenship.  Passing a basic English test is only required for the third Z-visa renewal, twelve years after amnesty is granted.
            Sessions will highlight many of the loopholes contained in the list this week during Senate debate on the immigration bill. 
            A full list of the 20 loopholes is attached.  For more information, contact Stephen Boyd at (202) 224 – 4124.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: aliens; amnesty; illegalaliens; illegalimmigration; immigrantlist; lastsanesenator; noamnestyforillegals; sellout; wot
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To: fella


61 posted on 06/05/2007 10:23:52 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Mo1

Thanks Mo1!

62 posted on 06/05/2007 10:32:06 AM PDT by Rheo
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To: Bahbah

yes it does

63 posted on 06/05/2007 10:41:34 AM PDT by Mo1 (
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To: dennisw

I just called this number 202-224-4124 which is Jeff Sessions office. No one nswered so I let a message about wanting to speak to Stephen Boyd regarding the loopholes in the immigration bill. I then added a few questions I had in mind such as will the vote be recorded, a voice vote or in the middle of the night vote?

64 posted on 06/05/2007 12:41:30 PM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I have had very good experiences talking to the local staff of my Senators in Wisconsin and have put up a web page that lists Senate and Congressional staff contact information for most of the country:

Instead of just CALL YOUR SENATOR you can ask for specific Congressional staff members who’s job it is to handle constituent contacts. You will reach intelligent young staff members who will share most of your common sense concerns about unrestricted immigration, amnesty for illegals.

PM me if your state isn’t up.

Let’s stay busy.

65 posted on 06/05/2007 12:53:05 PM PDT by john cant stand michael moore (Saw this idiot's speech to LA RAZA on Youtube)
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To: dennisw
Thanks for posting this!


Immigration deal under threat in Senate

66 posted on 06/05/2007 12:58:40 PM PDT by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: dennisw

God bless Jeff Sessions.

67 posted on 06/05/2007 1:05:35 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (A wolf in sheep's clothing is much more dangerous than a wolf in drag.)
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To: dennisw

Thanks - this is the best summary I have seen so far, but I have something to add, courtesy of Jim Inhofe. The English Language test that this bill provides is a complete farce. According to Inhofe, all that is required is that the person write a sentence OF HIS OWN CHOICE in English, in three attempts or less.

68 posted on 06/05/2007 1:08:17 PM PDT by MainFrame65
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To: MainFrame65
Just another example of the sham provisions of this bill. All that really matters is the near instant legalization of the illegal aliens. US citizens are penalized as well as legal immigrants and those who have applied for legal immigration.
69 posted on 06/05/2007 1:35:51 PM PDT by Truth29
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To: AmericanMade1776; Guenevere
Easy there boy, I believe Jeff Sessions to be man of honor, and if he says those are the loopholes, I will take them at face value. I was not being sarcastic when I said "How nice Jeff Sessions did his homework on this bill, I am sure that what he says is accurate".

I know a drive by comment from a bushbot when I see one. At least have the guts to put a sarcasm tag on your post.

70 posted on 06/05/2007 5:49:21 PM PDT by TADSLOS (A proud member of El Presidente's designated racist bigot vigilante league.)
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Well, she could be an ex-bushbot....:^

There's a whole bunch of us X's at FR now!

71 posted on 06/05/2007 5:54:37 PM PDT by Guenevere (Duncan Hunter for President, 2008!!)
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Tadlos, have you ever personally met Jeff Session? I have. I admit.. I unashame to say I support President George W. Bush, and I remain the same on that. Jeff Sessions is an honorable man too.

72 posted on 06/05/2007 6:02:27 PM PDT by AmericanMade1776
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To: Guenevere
Guenevere wrote: Well, she could be an ex-bushbot....:^ There's a whole bunch of us X's at FR now!

I don't hang out with Whole bunches, it sounds like a sheeple culture. I love President George W. Bush and thank God everyday for his leadership and guidance in America. The journey hasn't been smooth for President Bush and he has handled it better than any other person could of.

73 posted on 06/05/2007 6:04:16 PM PDT by AmericanMade1776
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To: Tennessee Nana

Kinda what I thought on that loophole. Somehow doing that to those who tried to get in legal just seems immoral.

74 posted on 06/05/2007 6:06:24 PM PDT by nomorelurker (wetraginhell)
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To: AmericanMade1776; TADSLOS
Actually, I was trying to take up for you....

..but it appears you don't need my help.

There are scores of us who are not of the sheep culture, but who once respected, esteemed and trusted George W.Bush.

But the events of the past few weeks, especially...(for some, it was earlier than that)...

..have opened our eyes to a sense of betrayal unlike any other over this illegal immigration bill...AMNESTY...and maybe to a lesser degree...his complete about turn on 'global warming'....

75 posted on 06/05/2007 6:26:43 PM PDT by Guenevere (Duncan Hunter for President, 2008!!)
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To: Guenevere

a difference of opinion is not a betrayal

76 posted on 06/05/2007 6:34:57 PM PDT by AmericanMade1776
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To: AmericanMade1776
A bit more than a difference of opinion.


77 posted on 06/05/2007 6:41:22 PM PDT by Guenevere (Duncan Hunter for President, 2008!!)
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To: Publius6961
I called all my congress critters on my way to work and gave 'em what for on this illegal immigrant amnesty. Being that my Dad came here legally from Peru and he served during WW2 as part of the deal and several other of my relations did the same during Korea and Viet Nam, I'm especially P.O.'d by this Bill. It's like they are using My Dad's grave to relieve themselves.

I have an effective idea on how to take care of this problem that I'd like to give to Fred Thompson. Does he have a web site where us little people can contact him

78 posted on 06/05/2007 11:43:30 PM PDT by fella ( newspapers used habitually to poison the public opinion)
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To: AmericanMade1776
Tadlos, have you ever personally met Jeff Session? I have. I admit..

Why is meeting Jeff Sessions a qualifying discriminator for anything? Hell, I've met George Bush, does that mean that I should agree with everything he stands for? Go name drop and shill for Bush somewhere else.

79 posted on 06/06/2007 4:38:15 AM PDT by TADSLOS (A proud member of El Presidente's designated racist bigot vigilante league.)
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To: dennisw

For once a Republican Senator is showing leadership and guts against this “immigration scam!”.

80 posted on 06/06/2007 4:54:28 AM PDT by KenmcG414
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