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June 13, 2013

For @PRyan: Why The Senate's Immigration Bill Is Amnesty

As Ben noted in the news dump, Paul Ryan wants to debate anyone who calls the immigration bills moving through Congress "amnesty". Well, with all due respect, Congressman Ryan, game on!

On Wednesday, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who has supported forms of immigration reform since he was a House staffer in the 1990s, declared that he would "debate anybody" who calls the current bipartisan effort "amnesty."

"Earned legalization is not amnesty," Ryan said during a forum on immigration sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers. "I will debate anybody who tries to suggest that these ideas that are moving through Congress are amnesty. They're not. Amnesty is wiping the slate clean and not paying any penalty for having done something wrong."

Ryan pointed to provisions baked into the Senate bill from the beginning that require those in the United States to pay a fine, back taxes, undergo background checks and enter a years-long probationary period before earning citizenship, a process that can take up to 15 years.

"That," Ryan said, "is not amnesty."

Ooooh. So we're going to pass a law. A law!

And that law says all these things need to happen before the current crop of illegal immigrants, who we should admit will cease being subject to deportation the second this piece of crap passes, can step foot on the path to citizenship.

Well, Congressman Ryan, we have immigration laws on the books right this very second that say these folks should've already been kicked out of the country.

These laws are not being enforced and haven't really been since the last amnesty in 1986.

President Reagan set out to correct the loss of control at our borders. Border security and enforcement of immigration laws would be greatly strengthened—in particular, through sanctions against employers who hired illegal immigrants. If jobs were the attraction for illegal immigrants, then cutting off that option was crucial.

He also agreed with the legislation in adjusting the status of immigrants—even if they had entered illegally—who were law-abiding long-term residents, many of whom had children in the United States. Illegal immigrants who could establish that they had resided in America continuously for five years would be granted temporary resident status, which could be upgraded to permanent residency after 18 months and, after another five years, to citizenship. It wasn’t automatic. They had to pay application fees, learn to speak English, understand American civics, pass a medical exam and register for military selective service. Those with convictions for a felony or three misdemeanors were ineligible.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because these are pretty much the same provisions included in the Comprehensive Reform Act of 2006, which its supporters claim is not amnesty. In the end, slight differences in process do not change the overriding fact that the 1986 law and the recent Senate legislation both include an amnesty. The difference is that President Reagan called it for what it was.

Gee, those provisions from 1986 and 2006 do sound awfully familiar, don't they?

Anyone who believes enforcement efforts will increase once an amnesty is passed must ignore all previous evidence to the contrary.

In reality, what will happen is that the second this bill passes, the people who have been talking about how deplorable it is for people to have to "live in the shadows" will make a slight shift in the argument to talking about how deplorable it is that the newly-amnestied illegals are being forced to live as second-class citizens while they wait in line.

I would be shocked if anyone failing to meet any of the criteria Ryan laid out is ultimately denied an open door to full citizenship.

Additionally, there's a border security trigger in the Senate bill that Ryan failed to mention. Probably because it doesn't matter; the borders will either be declared secure or the second-class citizen argument will just wrap that in.

Put simply, any bill that doesn't accomplish enforcement first - border security, employer sanctions, enforcement of overstayed visas, etc. - is, in fact, an amnesty bill and will simply repeat the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty on a larger scale.

So, yes, it's amnesty. Reagan wasn't afraid to call it what it was. And once upon a time, Marco Rubio wasn't either:



Here's a short video that would summarize any debate between Ryan and me:

Related: Grassley: Rubio ‘naive’ over immigration, Marco Rubio: I should have been 'more artful' in immigration remarks, The Immigration “Crisis” Is No Crisis

digg this
posted by Andy at 01:27 PM

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