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June 17, 2013

Transcript Of My Debate With Paul Ryan On “Amnesty”

As someone who is opposed to “comprehensive immigration reform” of the kind moving through the Senate (though I do support legal immigration and legal immigrants) I was excited to see this from Congressman Paul Ryan.

"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."

I’m “anybody” and I certainly believe what’s moving through Congress is amnesty, so naturally I accepted the Congressman’s courageous offer and agreed to debate him.

My opening statement:

Congressman you say, "Earned legalization is not amnesty”. Perhaps I’m the wrong person to have this debate with. You should probably take that us with Senator Rubio who has said, “Earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty." Of course you’d need a time machine because he said that in 2010 when he was running for office against this very kind of amnesty the two of you are now pushing.

You say it’s not amnesty because illegal immigrants will have to pay a fine (which can be waived), back taxes (which may not actually happen), undergo background checks and wait years to get citizenship.

Well, other than paying back taxes, that’s what anyone who wants to become a legal resident of the United States has to do. That’s EXACTLY why this is amnesty. It’s actually worse than amnesty since the person who broke the law will get to live in the United States while undergoing the same process as the legal applicant who has to wait back home.

But look at all the crimes the illegal alien has committed in the process that won’t be punished.

If an illegal immigrant came here on a legal visa but didn’t leave they are supposed to be removed and barred from the US.

a. The Three Year Bar: Persons who remain in the US after their authorized stay has expired for more than 180 days but less than one year, and who leave the US prior to the institution of removal proceedings, are barred from reentering the US for three years from their date of departure.

b. The Ten Year Bar: Persons who remain in the US after their authorized stay has expired for more than one year, and who leave the US prior to the institution of removal proceedings, are barred from reentering the US for ten years from their date of departure.

Since the Schumer-Rubio bill says the only people eligible for amnesty are ones who were here before 2012, that means that everyone who qualifies should be barred from entering the US for TEN YEARS.

Since staying in the country is the goal, it seems a simple fine isn’t actually a punishment compared to removal and the inability to come back for years, if ever. Instead of being sent to the back of the line for entry to the US, they go right to front. How is that punishment?

As for people who simply cross the border illegally, right now the penalty is jail time.

a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.

I’m sure most Americans who commit a misdemeanor that leads to 6 months of jail time would LOVE to simply pay $500 to get out of it. But that’s a deal only open to non-US citizens under the Schumer-Rubio-Ryan approach to things.

Oh, about those back taxes Congressman Ryan mentioned. In order to owe taxes a person had to have had been employed. In fact, having a job is one of the requirements for amnesty according to Senator Rubio.

Well, to have a job a person have to fill out an I-9 from (pdf) certifying the are eligible to work. Here’s the part where the employee has to sign.

View image

Hmmm, penalties including jail time and fines for providing false information? Signing the form under “the penalty of perjury”? Will every illegal who comes forward and who claims to have worked illegally be prosecuted for those crimes? No? You mean it will be like, “wiping the slate clean”? But don’t call it amnesty!

Well, maybe all the illegals here started their own businesses and didn’t fill out an I-9. Oh, that’s not legal either.

(d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance with title 18, or both.

To sum up, the "punishment" that illegal aliens will go through involves complying with the the current legal immigration process. The crimes they won't be charged with or punished for include (but aren't limited to) border jumping/visa overstay, perjury and providing false documents to gain employment/illegally establishing a business.

How is that not amnesty Congressman?



Yes, it’s amnesty. Simply making people who came here illegally go through the same process as legal immigrants isn’t a punishment. Hell, that they get to stay here is a reward! That Schumer-Rubio (after 2010)-Ryan and Obama say otherwise doesn't change that fact.

Now I don’t honestly expect Paul Ryan to debate me on this (though I’d be happy to) but he has to debate a couple of credible amnesty opponents otherwise he’s going to sound like a giant gasbag who talks tough but doesn't have the guts to follow through.

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posted by DrewM. at 09:52 AM

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