January 11, 2007, - 3:40 pm
Joined by lawmakers from Florida and California, and backed by hundreds of farm, labor and church groups, [Idaho Republican U.S Senator Larry] Craig is reintroducing a guest-worker plan that’s been debated for years. As many as 1.5 million farm workers and their relatives now in this country illegally could gain legal status under the bill.
The legislation, dubbed AgJobs, would also revise an existing guest-worker program that farmers consider inefficient. It’s the first big immigration overhaul bill introduced this year, mirroring legislation passed last year by the Senate but not the House of Representatives. . . .
The bill is bipartisan, introduced by Republicans Craig and Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Democrats Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California. Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., helped negotiate the package and introduced an identical bill in the House.
The legislation would grant “blue cards” to illegal immigrants who could prove they had worked in agriculture for at least 150 days in the last two years. They must continue working in agriculture for several years before attaining permanent legal status.
The article also says that the outlook for passage is rosy because the Dems now control the House, where Republicans had previously blocked its passage.
But as Mike Cutler says, in testimony he delivered to Congress, a similar program in the past was used and abused by Islamic terrorists:
A nation’s primary responsibility is to provide for the safety and security of its citizens and yet, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, the members of the Senate who voted for S. 2611 are seemingly oblivious to the lessons that the disastrous amnesty of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) should have taught us. That piece of legislation lead to the greatest influx of illegal aliens in the history of our nation. Fraud and a lack of integrity of the immigration system not only flooded our nation with illegal aliens who ran our borders, hoping that what had been billed as a “one time” amnesty would be repeated, but it also enabled a number of terrorists and many criminals to enter the United States and then embed themselves in the United States.
A notable example of such a terrorist can be found in a review of the facts concerning Mahmoud Abuhalima, a citizen of Egypt who entered the United States on a tourist visa, overstayed his authorized period of admission and then applied for amnesty under the agricultural worker provisions of IRCA. He succeeded in obtaining resident alien status through this process. During a 5 year period he drove a cab and had his license suspended numerous times for violations of law and ultimately demonstrated his appreciation for our nation’s generosity by participating in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 that left 6 people dead, hundreds of people injured and an estimated one half billion dollars in damage inflicted, on that iconic, ill-fated complex. America had opened its doors to him so that he might participate in the “American Dream.” He turned that dream into our worst nightmare. The other terrorists who attacked our nation on subsequent attacks, including the attacks of September 11, 2001, similarly exploited our generosity, seeing in our nation’s kindness, weakness, gaming the immigration system to enter our country and then, hide in plain sight, among us.”
I have many reasons for opposing any form of an amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens who are present in our country in violation of law but at the top of my list of concerns are the lessons that the attacks against our nation should have taught us and our legislators.
Mike further writes:
What needs to be understood is that the immigration failed on nation on February 26, 1993 when the World Trade Center was attacked and 6 innocent people died, thousands were injured and a half billion dollars in damage was inflicted upon that iconic complex of buildings that were, at that time, a major feature of the famed New York City skyline. The immigration system failed on September 11, 2001 when approximately 3,000 people were slaughtered in arguably one of the most diabolical terrorist attacks ever carried out against any nation in the history of humanity. But the failings of the immigration system are not just limited to the terrorist attacks, they include the fact that the immigration bureaucracy is utterly inept and incapable of effectively carrying out its missions on each and every day that the beleaguered employees of USCIS report for work. Fraud runs rampantly throughout the system in large measure because the goal of USCIS is to attempt to whittle down the backlog of applications. In fact a good example of just how driven this agency is to reduce its huge backlog, consider that this past year more than 111,000 immigration files were lost but the failure to have those critical files did not deter the naturalization examiners from adjudicating 30,000 applications for citizenship without being able to review those critical immigration files. The easiest way to clear up the backlog is to approve the applications. USCIS is a division of DHS but you would never know that when you consider that the imperative to reduce backlogs of applications was the clear priority where the conferring of United States citizenship is concerned. As a friend who was also an INS special agent said to me several weeks ago, “No bank would approve a mortgage or other loan for a customer whose application had been lost, why would our government hand out citizenship without the relating immigration file?”
It is all well and good that the legislators state that applicants for agricultural amnesty would have to prove that they worked in the agricultural industry in order to be eligible to qualify for their immigration benefits. I have a simple question, who will conduct the investigations to make certain that the aliens who claim that they worked on farms actually worked on farms? A number of years ago I questioned an alien who had claimed he received his residency based on the agricultural provisions of the disastrous amnesty of 1986. I asked him about his employment history and he told me that he had worked on a watermelon farm. I had misgivings about his honesty and so I asked him how tall the watermelon trees were on the farm on which he worked. He told me that the trees from which he picked the watermelons were so high that the only reason he was willing to climb the high ladders to pick the melons was because he was desperate for his paycheck! I am sure most of you know this, but in case you don’t, watermelons grow on vines that run along the ground! Recently I got into a discussion with a cab driver about immigration. I feigned ignorance about how aliens are able to become residents and citizens just to see what the driver would tell me. He told me that he had become a citizen but that he had taken advantage of the amnesty of 1986 by claiming to be a farmer. He said to me about his own situation, “Of course, I never worked on a farm and neither did any of my friend who also took advantage of that amnesty program, but when you want to stay in the United States, you do what you have to do!”
On March 10, 2006 the GAO issued a report that memorialized the immigration fraud crisis that permeates the immigration benefits program. This investigation was conducted at the behest of then chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, F. James Sensenbrenner. He issued a press release about that report and its national security implications. You can read the press release, which contains a link to the actual report, here.
Yesterday the President proposed that our nation send more than 20,000 valiant troops into harm’s way in Iraq to stabilize that nation against insurgents and terrorists. To date more than 3,000 of our nation’s soldiers have been killed in the line of duty with many more soldiers having been grievously injured fighting our nation’s “War on Terror.” Meanwhile our borders are supposedly being being protected by unarmed National Guard troops whose apparent rules of engagement can be summed up by one word, “Retreat!” Two Border Patrol agents who had mere moments to make a life and death decision when they attempted to carry out their sworn duty to defend our nation against illegal aliens, drug traffickers, criminals and terrorists who might attempt to enter our nation surreptitiously are about to do to jail to serve sentences of more than a decade each because of an incident in which a convicted drug trafficker was given total immunity for testifying against them! Meanwhile a recent government report issued by the Office of the Inspector General stated that there are more than a quarter of a million criminal aliens who upon completion of their prison sentences that were imposed pursuant to their being found guilty of committing felonies were released back onto the streets of our cities and towns across the United States and were not deported as they should have been. In fact, a random sampling of the records of 100 of such aliens disclosed that the majority of these aliens are recidivists who have more than 6 prior convictions for a wide array of crimes including serious felonies.
The enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws is not a minor issue. Nor should our politicians see in the immigration system the political “pay dirt” that all to many of them believe it is. Immigration is about more than votes and campaign contributions. Immigration should be about national security and the protection of our citizens and our nation against those who would violate our laws, threaten the lives and safety of our citizens and the survival of our nation. Simply writing into law requirements that everyone knows USCIS will never be able to enforce is to perpetrate a travesty against our citizens. If the Congress ultimately passes amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and the President signs that legislation into law, ‘We the People’ will pay the price. Criminals and terrorists will easily exploit that system to acquire new identity documents to better enable themselves to hide in plain sight, embedding themselves within communities across our nation. If this legislation is passed, the next day our law enforcement and intelligence officers should shred all of the various terrorist and “No Fly” watch lists because the terrorists will have created new “clean” identities for themselves, aided and abetted by our own federal government.
Our leaders have all taken oaths of office in which they swore to defend Constitution of the United States and to defend our nation against its enemies. An amnesty program for millions of illegal aliens whose true identities are unknown and unknowable and therefore their true intentions and histories are unknown and unknowable, flies in the face of that oath and must not be enacted.
Lead, follow or get out of the way!
Amen, Mike! Congress, WAKE UP!
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