Skip to comments.Sneaky Amnesty Tricks In Iraq Supplemental Bill
Posted on 05/20/2008 1:24:52 PM PDT by Delacon
This is why we keep close watch on Congress. In a bipartisan effort accomplished quickly and virtually under the table, Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) -- in Senate Appropriations markup of the War Supplemental bill -- obtained approval of an amendment that would create an amnesty for illegal alien farm workers. The measure, called the Emergency Agriculture Relief Act, was added to the War Supplemental bill in a 17-12 vote last Thursday.
Known as the AgJob amendment, the Feinstein-Craig measure revived instantaneously the controversy that caused conservatives to lash out at the White House and Congress last summer.
The measure would grant temporary legal status to 1.35 million illegal immigrants and their families currently working in the agricultural field. The legislation was passed out of committee at the request of agribusiness interests who have been insisting that they need illegal aliens to harvest crops and run horse shows. The legislation is nothing less than comprehensive immigration reform on a smaller scale.
What supporters of the amendment are calling emergency and temporary, opponents have labeled an amnesty visa. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) said he considered the amendment amnesty and that all these immigration issues should be addressed through the regular order."
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) opposes the amendment and said he will be working to remove it from the supplemental bill.
Instead of ensuring that American troops are provided with the tools and resources that they need to protect our homeland, some in the Senate have instead chosen to jeopardize this funding by inserting provisions that are -- at best -- counterproductive to the efforts of our military members, said Vitter in a press release.
According to Feinstein, the legislation is supported by the American Farm Bureau, the United Farm Workers, and other similar organizations but this is likely because it allows those employers to continue paying excessively low wages.
Feinstein assured the Appropriations Committee that the bill was not an amnesty because it requires the individuals work at least 100 days a year in the agricultural industry for the next five years.
It is an emergency agricultural worker bill, which will give protected status to those workers who have worked in agriculture within the last 48 months, she said, also noting that the U.S. would lose $5-9 billion to foreign competition without it.
Those are the same arguments that we heard last summer. In truth, Feinstein-Craig DOES provide amnesty for an unknown number of illegal workers. It provides, as the Bush-McCain-Kennedy bill did, a path to citizenship for some illegal aliens.
The amendment will go through the Senate this week as they consider the Iraq spending bill as a whole. At this writing, it isnt clear that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will bring the measure to the floor for a vote.
NumbersUSA, an organization fighting illegal immigration, called the amendment outrageous and urged constituents to contact their political leaders. They noted that because families can also obtain temporary legal status through the amendment, it could reach almost 3 million people.
The most important point to stress is that there is no need for an amnesty to provide growers with workers there already is an H-2A foreign agricultural worker program that provides growers with an unlimited number of temporary workers if the growers agree to pay a decent wage and ensure that they go home at the end of the season, said NumbersUSA news release.
Some farming organizations, like the Northwest Growers Association, not only support the measure but dont think it does enough. They claim the AgJobs amendment doesnt do enough for illegal aliens because it includes an unrealistic visa cap.
But the H-2A visa program exists and works without a cap. While Craig and others claim oranges are rotting on trees and needs illegal aliens to tend to our agriculture, places like the North Carolina Growers Association (NCGA, spotlighted on Michelle Malkins blog), oppose the amendment and have fared well with H-2A. NCGA utilizes H-2A to its fullest capacity as other agricultural organizations do not.
Additionally, AgJobs would maximize H-2B visas (lower skill, non-agricultural seasonal workers) and push an influx of more illegal immigrants, which clashes with what the American people want. They demonstrated their disapproval of amnesty proposals last year by a bipartisan grassroots effort to kill the immigration reform bill of 2007.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md) also slipped in an amendment supporting illegal immigrants in the supplemental bill. Mikulski hopes to extend a program for temporary workers to re-enter the country without being subject to the limits on H2B visas. In a Congress Daily article, she said, "If you like Maryland crabs, vote for this amendment.
"It seems that the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee love our troops but for entirely different reasons: they provide convenient cover for passing special interest legislation to benefit illegal aliens and powerful business lobbies," wrote Ira Mehlman, Media Director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in an opinion piece yesterday.
Mehlman also reported that Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wa.) added a provision that would include 218,000 visas for skilled foreign workers. Part of the problem is this: Right now, Americas population is 300 million. At the rate we are going with illegal immigrants (sped up by amendments like these), the US Census Bureau estimates the population will be 450 million by 2050. If a Democrat, entitlement-oriented government sinks its teeth in, taxes will be higher than ever and freedom will be in jeopardy.
The Senate will begin debate on the supplemental bill tomorrow and is likely to vote on it before the end of the week. Some Republican senators -- including Alabamas Jeff Sessions and others -- are working hard to expunge the illegal alien amnesty provisions. The only thing that may save the day is that the Democrats are including many of the antiwar measures that the president has vetoed in previous bills. If the bill passes, its likely to be vetoed.
And Congress will be back to ground zero after Memorial Day.
The Senate will begin debate on the supplemental bill tomorrow and is likely to vote on it before the end of the week.
Contact your senators.
And Republicans wonder why conservatives and many “moderates” have abandon them.
Senator Frankenfeinstein forgets that the voters of California, who are AGAINST amnesty for illegals, will remember this when she asks us to return her to the Senate in four years.
California Republican Party - PLEASE pay attention!
I guess Mr. Wide Stance isn't as conservative as many tried to make us believe.
Why can’t Mexicans just use their own ID instead of stealing others? Mexican licences perfectly legal here.
If this Congress fails to pass amnesty for illegal immigrants this time around, then the next Congress will truly succeed to pass amnesty for illegal immigrants. I don’t understand why our present Congress won’t just wait until after mid-January ‘09 when the next Congress truly will be a socialistic super-majority along with a President who is also for amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Hope Bush has that veto pen ready....
Ironic ain’t it that the one reason the President won’t veto this bill is because of these amnesty provisions, but he may end up vetoing it anyway due to provisions that dems have put in to hamstring him in Iraq. Mr. President, this is what you get for siding with dems on anything. Senator McCain, I hope you take a lesson from this.
save for later read
LOL, are you kidding me? McCamnesty will end up to bashing Bush for the amnesty veto at La Razathon, apologize to his demrat buddies in the senate for the lack of bipartisanship and simultaneously take full credit for pushing the bill through to fund the war. What a guy. What a maverick.
They want to wear us down.
The ultimate sarcastic post...........
Nothing "temporary" about it. It is another "five year" program. Five years is FULL amnesty. Here is why...
If an alien is in the country legally, i.e. a work visa for five years they are eligable under immigration law to apply for naturalization (citizenship).
General Naturalization Requirements
Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
Refer to the section, Naturalized Citizen's Children under Waivers, Exceptions, and Special Cases for information on applicants who are less than 18 years old.
See Also INA 334
An applicant must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Lawfully admitted for permanent residence means having been legally accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws. Individuals who have been lawfully admitted as permanent residents will be asked to produce an I-551, Alien Registration Receipt Card, as proof of their status.
See Also INA 316
Residence and Physical Presence
An applicant is eligible to file if, immediately preceding the filing of the application, he or she:
has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (see preceding section);
has resided continuously as a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing with no single absence from the United States of more than one year;
has been physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the previous five years (absences of more than six months but less than one year shall disrupt the applicant's continuity of residence unless the applicant can establish that he or she did not abandon his or her residence during such period)
has resided within a state or district for at least three months
Well, one of mine is Senator Craig, so I hope you'll forgive me for not contacting him too closely. He is a guy who has certainly touched our lives, so to speak - I know now never to whistle or tap my toes in a public crapper lest I end up being separated from my senior Senator with the Jaws Of Life. But Lar' has always been on the BigAg take with respect to illegal immigration. I have been in touch on the topic, several times, and I've given up.
He's done. And if he runs for re-election as a Republican the Republicans are done.
NumbersUSA has been all over this since last week. Check them out to get involved through free faxes, phone calls and "In-Your-Senators-Face" illegal immigrant opponents on Capital Hill.
Thanks for the link. I just faxed my senator. Here is the fax as prepared by NumbersUSA. I wouldn't change a thing:
Sen. Joseph Biden
|How could the Senate vote to attach an amnesty to the Iraq supplemental bill? How can 17 Senators put the rights of illegal aliens over the safety of our brave men and women fighting in Iraq?
Sen. Feinstein's amnesty amendment to the Iraq supplemental spending bill is absolutely insane. Her plan only encourages violations of the law!
Once an illegal alien meets the "qualifications" for amnesty, he would be entitled to:
-Bring his spouse and children here to join him, or legalize their status, if they are already here illegally;
-Official U.S. government identification documents, including a valid social security numberwith which he would be able to apply for a drivers licenseand a work permit (spouses would be allowed to apply for work permits, as well); and
-Immunity from prosecution for committing social security fraud if he had been working illegally with a false or stolen social security number.
Is this the sort of behavior we want to encourage? Do we want to encourage people to come here illegally and break our laws? If this amnesty passes, more people will come because they will know that the U.S. Senate is a friend of all illegal aliens -- which is a little sad, seeing as how they are supposed to be concentrating on protecting our brave men and women who are fighting in Iraq.
AZ may have been sarcastic but the President may actually veto the bill for other reasons.
>>>>> “If you like Maryland crabs, vote for this amendment.
Why increase the number of foreign workers when the Maryland commercial crab harvest will be reduced by 50 percent this year?
“Well, one of mine is Senator Craig...
He’s done. And if he runs for re-election as a Republican the Republicans are done.”
The question now before us is how much damage can he do before he gets tossed out or retires.
Larry Craig is a disappointment of epic proportions. My guess is he’ll land a job as an AG lobbyist when decides he needs some more money than his retirement will provide.