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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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1 posted on 06/04/2007 11:35:32 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: Kimberly GG; Pontiac; OneLoyalAmerican; NeoCaveman; boxerblues; North Coast Conservative

FYI pings!

2 posted on 06/04/2007 11:37:28 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave (HDTV ping list, please FReepmail me if you would like your name added.)
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To: dennisw
Loophole 9 – Absconders (those ordered deported) Are Eligible:

Not only that but if the Absconders return to their home country, they will be ineligible for this. So they have an incentive not to leave the US.

3 posted on 06/04/2007 11:43:21 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: dennisw

Just say NO to Amnesty!! Before it’s too late!!

U.S. Senate switchboard: (202) 224-3121

U.S. House switchboard: (202) 225-3121

White House comments: (202) 456-1111

Find your House Rep.:

Find your US Senators:

4 posted on 06/04/2007 11:43:40 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Fred Thompson/John Bolton 2008)
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To: Las Vegas Dave
No WONDER one of the Congressman called this bill, and I quote, "a piece of sh*t".

5 posted on 06/04/2007 11:43:46 PM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Can 2004 votes be reclaimed? I want mine back-so I can give it postfacto-to the Constitution Party!)
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To: dennisw
Great post BUMP!

I certainly hope that this threads remains active for at least 24 hours.

Posting at 11:35 pm PDT is not conducive to reaching a wide audience, and the little people with time on their hands, the "posting police", are alive and well...

6 posted on 06/04/2007 11:46:25 PM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: dennisw

This bill is a heinous legislative atrocity. Thank goodness for fine people like Senator Jeff Sessions, who stand for America.

7 posted on 06/04/2007 11:47:53 PM PDT by advance_copy (Stand for life, or nothing at all)
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To: Publius6961

I know it’s bad time to post but if not done now it won’t get done

8 posted on 06/04/2007 11:51:42 PM PDT by dennisw (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction)
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To: dennisw
Thanks for posting this. I had posted it with another thread earlier but it needed its own thread. This looks good.

This is from Session's website and also needs discussing.

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.

More than half of South America and Latin America will be crowded in the U.S. by 2016. Our environment nor children have a chance for a decent life.

9 posted on 06/04/2007 11:58:17 PM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: dennisw

Bumpus Maximus!!!!!

10 posted on 06/05/2007 12:01:14 AM PDT by Maigrey (My tagline is roasting over an open fire, and global warming is nipping at your nose...)
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To: dennisw

I’m so tired of hearing this. It was all over CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS and PBS all weekend long and was the only thing talked about on the Sunday morning shows.</S

11 posted on 06/05/2007 12:06:23 AM PDT by fella ( newspapers used habitually to poison the public opinion)
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To: dennisw

Thank you, Sen. Sessions and his staff. Smartest people in the Senate.

12 posted on 06/05/2007 12:10:03 AM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: dennisw
Comprehensively Bad
Faux immigration reform.

By John Fonte

Deputy White House chief of staff, Joel Kaplan, a key negotiator in the Senate immigration bill, told the Washington Post that there are “things in this bill that Republicans and conservatives have wanted for a long time.”

Did he have any of the following items in mind?

One-day amnesty: Once the bill is enacted illegal aliens can apply for and receive probationary legal status immediately. Criminal/terrorist background checks are required to be completed by the “end of the next business day.” Illegal Monday, legal Tuesday, now that’s almost instant amnesty.

Tax amnesty: Unlike last year’s Senate amnesty bill, which required the illegal immigrants to pay three of five years back taxes, this year’s bill does not require them to pay any back taxes. Senator Kennedy wanted them to pay some taxes, but the White House insisted upon a complete tax amnesty.

Faux enforcement “triggers”: The so-called “enforcement” measures do not require that the border be secure. They only require that a few thousand more Border Patrol agents be hired (not deployed); that about half (370 miles) of the already authorized 700 miles of border fence be built; and that a few other bureaucratic inputs are announced. Then DHS will authorize the second phase of the amnesty by awarding the Z visas. Can anyone imagine Michael Chertoff declaring that these phony “triggers” have not been met?

Weak employer verification: This is not the long-promised “tamper proof” identity for employment. No serious fingerprint digital system is required, massive fraud will continue.

No exit system for guest workers: The guest workers are supposed to be “temporary” and required to eventually leave. But there is no way to enforce their leaving because there is still no Entry-Exit system in place.

Trust criminal gang members: As former Ashcroft deputy Kris Kobach notes there are more than 30,000 illegal immigrant gang members “trafficking in drugs, arms, and people.” They get a Z (amnesty) Visa if they simply sign a “renunciation of gang affiliation.” I guess the Senate-administration “negotiators” trust these M-13 guys.

“Section 136: Nothing in this section may be construed to provide additional authority to any State or local entity to enforce Federal immigration laws.” Why not? The illegal aliens who were part of the Fort Dix terrorist conspiracy were stopped by local law enforcement 56 times but their immigration status was never checked. This bill does nothing to ensure cooperation between local and federal officials in combating terrorism.

No real merit or skills-based (point) system instead current extended family chain migration is accelerated: The chain migration of extended family members will continue and be greatly expanded for the next eight years and only then would a skills-based merit (points) system supposedly go into effect. That is, if you really believe that after eight years a skills system would be adopted against strong business and liberal opposition.

Costs over $2 Trillion: Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation has estimated that the costs to American taxpayers for low-skilled immigrant households is $19, 588 per household, per year. The lifetime costs for the Senate amnesty are estimated to be over 2 trillion dollars.

Okay, maybe Kaplan was not referring to any of the above. Perhaps he meant that the Senate bill has begun a serious effort at assimilation, which many of us “have wanted for a long time.” After all, the White House press office trumpeted, “Strengthening the Assimilation of Immigrants.”

Title VII: Section 707 spells out the details. The term “assimilation” disappears; the concept of “Americanization” never appears; and the Euro-speak weasel word “integration” enters the text. Thus, 100 million federal dollars will be given to states and cities to award grants to “nonprofit organizations with experience working with immigrant communities” for “effective integration of immigrants into American society.”

In plain language this means that the State of Illinois’s Office of New Americans funnels federal funds to groups like La Raza and MALDEF. The type of “integration” that the new citizens will be learning can be gleaned from remarks of Jose Luis Gutierrez, the head of the Illinois Office of New Americans as reported in the Chicago Tribune April 6, 2007.

“The nation-state concept is changing. You don't have to say, `I am Mexican,' or, `I am American.' You can be a good Mexican citizen and a good American citizen and not have that be a conflict of interest. Sovereignty is flexible.”

Gutierrez is a dual citizen who is actively involved in Mexican politics. He votes in both the US and Mexico and is active in political campaigns in both nations. His political allegiance is clearly divided. He will not choose the United States over Mexico. Remember this is the guy in charge of assimilation; sorry, I mean “integration.” In short, the Senate bill can’t even get assimilation right.

There is almost nothing in this bill that “Republicans and conservatives,” Democrats and liberals, or Americans of any political persuasion “have wanted for a long time.” What the American people have “wanted for a long time” in the five and half years since 9/11 is for the Bush administration to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to “provide for the common defense” by securing the borders and interior of the United States of America — in this solemn duty the administration has failed miserably.

— John Fonte is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

13 posted on 06/05/2007 12:12:50 AM PDT by dennisw (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Since the govt won’t, we have to. Gonna?

14 posted on 06/05/2007 12:18:03 AM PDT by Sir Clean Plate Club (Gore feels things are getting warmer because he is on his way to Hell)
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To: dennisw


and BTTT

This amnesty must be stopped

15 posted on 06/05/2007 12:20:57 AM PDT by Dov in Houston
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To: dennisw

From what I understand, Sessions will be on CSpan tomorrow. We need to call every number possible this week.

16 posted on 06/05/2007 12:27:57 AM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: dennisw

And then there’s this:

Immigration Bill Could Outlaw Gun Shops

17 posted on 06/05/2007 12:28:07 AM PDT by quietolong
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To: dennisw

Thanks, Dennis and to Senator Sessions for providing these. I didn’t like the immigration bill to start with, but the more I read, the angrier I get. And it takes a lot to get me angry.

I think we have a right to know why the Republican leadership is pushing this bill so hard. It seems to violate every conservative principle we stand for and debases American citizenship. If it is as simple as big business wants a flow of cheap labor, I can be in favor of increased legal immigration, but to allow people who cheated the system to get away scot-free and reward them with all the benefits of the legal is a travesty of justice.

18 posted on 06/05/2007 12:40:51 AM PDT by Roy Tucker ("You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality"--Ayn Rand)
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To: texastoo
I haven’t found one single thing in this bill that isn’t a “shell of what it should be”. It seems as if EVERY provision has some HUGE loophole. This is one of the worst pieces of of legislation ever introduced in the Senate. (Except maybe for the Dem push to de-fund the War on Terror. That was a real clinker too!)
19 posted on 06/05/2007 12:58:56 AM PDT by singfreedom ("Victory at all costs,.......for without victory there is no survival."--Churchill--that's "Winston")
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To: singfreedom
The following statement was at the end of the article. I am going to call tomorrow and find out if there are more loopholes. Or maybe we can get a fax of the information.

I am really curious about the healthcare personnel as part of the bill mentioned lowering the barriers for employment. As things stand now the Mexicans can't pass our state boards like all the other countries have to such as India, Chili, Canada, etc. If they lower standards and go to universal healthcare, we are in a heap of trouble.

A full list of the 20 loopholes is attached. For more information, contact Stephen Boyd at (202) 224 – 4124.

20 posted on 06/05/2007 1:10:37 AM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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