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June 12, 2007

Almost All "New" Enforcement Promises In Amnesty Bill Are *Already* Law, And Yet Entirely Unenforced; Why Should We Believe The Promise To Enforce In The Future What They Won't Enforce Now?

If the current situation is "intolerable" and a threat to national security, why not begin actually following the already-enacted law?

DeMint notes on his blog that the immigration reform bill includes border security "triggers" that are already required by law or can be implemented now:
The Senate immigration bill calls for the following security benchmarks to be completed as a “trigger” before other parts of the bill go into effect. Bill proponents claim these provisions can be implemented within 18 months. All of them can be implemented under current law:

• Bill Trigger #1 – 18,000 agents border patrol agents;
--- This is already scheduled under current law: Customs and Border Patrol Press Release 8/4/2007: “In May, President Bush announced his commitment to hire an additional 6,000 agents by the end of 2008, bringing the Border Patrol’s total strength to 18,000 agents.”

• Bill Trigger #2 – 200 miles of vehicle barriers, 370 miles of fencing, and 70 ground-based radar and camera towers, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles;
--- This requires less than is already required under current law. The Secure Fence Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2006, already requires 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing along Southwest border, mandates DHS achieve operational control over entire border through “virtual fence” that deploys cameras, ground sensors, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and integrated surveillance technology.

• Bill Trigger #3 – End “catch and release” and provide ICE 27,500 beds for immigration detainees;
--- According to DHS, both of these triggers have already been accomplished. DHS Press Release 10/30/2006: “Ended ‘Catch-and-Release’ Along the Borders: In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security and ICE re-engineered the detention and removal process to end this practice along the border… ICE also increased its detention bed space by 6,300 during the fiscal year 2006, bringing the current number of funded beds to 27,500 immigration detainees.”

• Bill Trigger #4 – Secure identification documents with photo and biometric information and operational employment verification system to determine work eligibility
--- The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2005, already requires secure identification documents with photo and biometric information.
--- The Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2007, passed by Congress and signed into law in 2006, already provides $113 million to fully expand the Basic Pilot / Employment Eligibility Verification (EEV) system to be a national employment database.

Jeff Sessions meanwhile informs the President the amnesty bill is "flawed fatally" and "fundamentally" and needs not a few cosmetic amendments to fix it, but a full-on rethinking and redrafting. He also advises our inattentive decider in chief to actually read the goddamned thing before pressuring people to vote in favor of it.

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posted by Ace at 05:48 PM

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