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June 27, 2007

Enforcement First Second After We've Made Sure We've Amnestied Everyone, Assuming There's Any Money Left

That $4.4 billion for "enforcement" which critics of amnesty claimed was a sham?

Turns out, it's a sham. The money can be -- read as "will be" -- used simply to process Z-visas. It's money to speed along the amnesty process and nothing more. And that's the conclusion of the Congressional Research Service.

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) released Wednesday a report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) which says the new Senate immigration bill contains a major loophole in border security. Supporters of the bill say it provides $4.4 billion in immediate mandatory spending for border enforcement, but according to the CRS analysis, the funds could also be used immediately to implement the amnesty provisions in the bill.

“This is just another example of how this bill claims to do one thing but does something else entirely. It’s another example of an empty promise being used to buy votes for amnesty,” said Senator DeMint. “The supporters of this bill have been running around trying to convince people that this money will be used to secure the border first, but now we know that’s not the case. If you read the fine print, the bill says this money can also be used for amnesty.”

According to the CRS report provided to Senator DeMint, the mandatory spending in the bill could immediately be used for Z visas. It says, “(r)eceiving, processing, and adjudicating applications for the Z visa authorized by Title VI of the Act is one of the trigger mechanisms outlined in Section 1; this means that funding from the Immigration Security Account could be used for this purpose.”

...

“Not only can this money be used for things other then border security and enforcement, it looks like another backdoor trick to promote amnesty,” said Senator DeMint. “If Congress appropriates money later this year for the border, the money provided in this bill will turn into a slush fund the Administration can use to ensure illegal immigrants are legalized.”

Via Hot Air, with the good news that Ben Nelson is sounding like an anti-cloture vote, and Kit Bond is a likely one. Two down, four or five to go.

Slublog sends me these two items from The Corner. First of all, the bill isn't even written yet; what's there is filled with glitches and not-legislatively-precise placeholder language, which they're trying to fix in back rooms even as they're debating "the bill." They're debating a bill that doesn't exist yet. Will they actually read the bill, or even have it finished, before they take a vote on it?

Is that even constitutional? Can you vote on a bill that doesn't yet exist? If it passes, what is passed, exactly? The version that existed at the time of the vote or the "fixed" version?

As if the Senate floor situation could get any worse, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's staff is now rewriting the Clay Pigeon amendment behind closed doors. It is the intent of the Majority Leader to bring this new unread Amendment up without the Republicans seeing the language. Yesterday Senator Reid did not have his massive 373 page amendment ready when he started debate on it and mistakes were made in the initial drafting. This fact was not discovered until Republicans objected to waiving the reading of the bill, and the Senate Clerk had nothing to read.

...

This morning Republicans announced that Reid's amendment did not include the Sessions EITC provision in the touchback section, despite the fact that all previously passed amendments were supposed to be incorporated in the bill and the Clay Pigeon amendment. This oversight is the only mistake so far found, yet there may be other mistakes and intentional omissions in the 373 page amendment. This morning Reid put the floor back in morning business and sent his staff off to rewrite the mega amendment once again. Today, "the most deliberative body in the world," is left to debate legislation that they do not have a copy of.

Given the secret provision about using the 4.4 billion for amnesty application processing, this rather underscores the need to, you know, closely read a bill's actual language before voting on it and stuff.

Sessions' amendment -- the EITC one -- was a major one, one that passed previously with some support from Democrats, which would have made amnestied aliens ineligible for the earned income tax credit, saving the taxpayer a fair amount. Of course the left doesn't like this provision. So what a shock that it just happened to have been mistakenly omitted from the clay pigeon amendment.

And if that's not bad enough...

The Grand Bargainers are playing "hide the ball." We are not seeing language - they are trying to move this thing through without allowing full review and debate. 373 pages thrown together yesterday - AND AILA, a liberal advocacy group, gets to see it before fellow Republicans? What a slap in the face...

Enough. The bill isn't even fucking written yet. No senator upholding his constitutional duty can even vote in favor of cloture on an unfinished, unread bill, nevermind actually voting in favor it it.


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posted by Ace at 04:20 PM

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