Renewing the American Dream: The Real Rational Middle Ground on Immigration Reform

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Stephanie, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    A bit of a read.......would like to hear some thoughts I couldn't bring the whole article so if you like you can start at the site. Below is a Snip:
    http://www.conservative.org/pressroom/2006/060523mp.asp


    By Mike Pence

    The Heritage Foundation

    May 23, 2006

    Note (5/23/06): Earlier today, Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) presented an alternative proposal for immigration reform. As a courtesy to our readers, ACU is pleased to provide a transcript of the congressman's speech, legislation from which he will soon be introducing.

    I come before you today in the midst of a national debate over immigration reform. While I acknowledge that, as the New York Times stated Sunday, we are near the “end game” on immigration reform in the United States Senate, we are far from reaching the kind of compromise that would make a legislative outcome possible in this session of Congress. I bring these remarks in the hopes of offering a new approach and a real middle ground on immigration reform.

    One week ago President Bush set out his views on immigration reform to the American people. He stated: “There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic path to citizenship for every illegal immigrant, and a program of mass deportation.”

    I agree with the President that a rational middle ground can be found between amnesty and mass deportation, but I disagree with the President that amnesty is the middle ground. Amnesty is not the real rational middle ground. In the coming days I will introduce the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act, which as I will discuss today sets forth a real rational middle ground between amnesty and mass deportations.

    The Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act is a bill that is tough on border security and tough on employers who hire illegal aliens, but recognizes the need for a guest worker program that operates without amnesty and without growing into a huge new government bureaucracy. I believe that it is a strong alternative to the amnesty plan being debated by the Senate and pushed by the President, and I hope that it will serve as an attractive alternative to Members of the House.

    As the grandson of an Irish immigrant, I believe in the ideals that are enshrined on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Located on a plaque on Lady Liberty’s pedestal are the words of Emma Lazarus from the “New Colossus”:

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

    America always has been and always will be a welcoming nation, welcoming under the law any and all with the courage enough to come to this shining city on a hill. But, a nation without borders is not a nation, and across this country Americans are anxious about the security of our border.

    Every night Americans see news images of people crossing the border illegally; they hear tales of people paying thousands of dollars to so-called “coyotes” to smuggle them into the country; they worry that drugs will make their way into the hands of their children more readily; and they rightly fear that our porous borders make it more likely that terrorists will cross with deadly intentions against our families.

    In 2005, Customs and Border Patrol stopped 1,189,114 people from illegally crossing the border. Of that number, approximately 165,000 were from countries other than Mexico. Over 200 were from Middle Eastern countries such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others.

    The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that twelve million illegal aliens are currently living in America. Just a few months ago, that estimate was eleven million. In a few more months or years, that estimate will grow to thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, twenty or more million illegal aliens, unless we do something to turn the tide.

    And, we must do something because this is a problem of epic proportions. It is a problem that threatens the very fabric of America. Every time I am home in Indiana, I hear about this issue from my constituents. Hoosiers are concerned. Americans are concerned. I am concerned.

    We can control our borders. At the same time, we can find a real rational middle ground for dealing with the illegal immigrants currently in America. A lot of people in Washington are talking about what we can do, but the solutions they are offering, up to this point, are not workable and they are not acceptable to millions of hard-working Americans who believe in law and order and the American Dream.

    The Senate is debating a bill that will provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Amnesty is no solution. It only will worsen the problem because it will cause more people to come here illegally with the hope of someday having their status adjusted.

    I see the solution as a four-step process. Securing our border is the first step. The second step is to make the decision, once and for all, to deny amnesty to people whose first act in the United States was a violation of the law. The third step is to put in place a guest worker program, without amnesty, that will efficiently provide American employers with willing guest workers who come to America legally. The final step is tough employer sanctions that ensure a full partnership between American business and the American government in the enforcement of our laws on immigration and guest workers.


    On border security, the House of Representatives got off to a great start in December 2005 when we passed H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. The Judiciary Committee and the Homeland Security Committee were able to put together a strong bill that will secure our borders.

    The House-passed bill was a first step. In fact, my bill begins by including the House bill, with a couple of minor changes. The House got it right, and aside from removing the felony provision for illegal presence and clarifying that no one is trying to put Good Samaritans behind bars, I am keeping this language as-is. We must take a tough approach on securing this nation’s borders. I have said it once today and will say it again, “A nation without borders is not a nation.”

    Therefore, we must make America a nation with borders. We must man the door. I believed that in December 2005 when I voted for the House bill, and I believe it now.

    The President called for 6,000 more Border Patrol agents and the use of the National Guard in the interim. I welcome that call and support it, but it is not enough. The House-passed bill adds port of entry inspectors, ends catch and release, puts to use American technology such as unmanned aerial vehicles, and requires the building of a security fence across approximately 700 miles of our Southern border.

    These are the kind of actions that will bring about a new day on our border. Instead of “coyotes,” drug-runners and criminals ruling the border, American law enforcement will rule the border. Instead of terrorists having the ability to sneak through a porous border, they will find a secure border hardened to prevent their illegal entry.

    However, as I have been thinking about securing our border, a thought kept coming back to me. So many of the people crossing the border are not crossing for nefarious or devious reasons. The great majority of illegal border crossers do so in order to find work or to be with family members working in America.

    I have come to believe that securing the border would be much easier and allow for a better use of our resources if we could eliminate these people from the ranks of those crossing the border illegally. The House bill will secure our border, but it will do it even better when its provisions can concentrate just on those illegal border crossers who are criminals, drug dealers and possible terrorists. In order to do that, there must be a legal means for the great majority of people seeking temporary work to come to America.

    A few months ago a very dedicated and resolute American came to me with an idea. Her name is Helen Krieble, and she is here with us today. Thank you, Helen, for being here.

    Helen is the founder and president of The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to public policy and America’s founding principles. She is on the front-lines in this debate, literally. She hires ten guest workers each year for her business, the Colorado Horse Park, which is a major equestrian and events center in Parker, Colorado. She hires them legally, but as she can tell you, it isn’t easy. The bureaucracy is confounding.

    So, she came to me with an idea. She asked why we couldn’t have a no amnesty guest worker program run by the private market instead of the government. Helen’s idea represents the core of the Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act, and I readily acknowledge that. Helen is living proof that the best ideas don’t come from Washington, DC, but come from the creative minds of men and women living the American Dream.

    Step two is to say no to amnesty in any form. My bill offers a no amnesty solution to the problem of twelve million illegal aliens living in our country. Some argue that there is no amnesty if these twelve million illegal aliens are required to pay a fine or back taxes. The President and many in the Senate seem to believe this to be the proper path.

    There is no support back home in my district for amnesty, and this has nothing to do with race or ethnic discrimination. It has everything to do with the fundamental belief of every American in law and order. America is, and always has been, a welcoming society. This sentiment is essentially an expression of a moral principal. The ancient words, “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him for you were aliens in Egypt,” reflect the sentiment of millions of Americans who share this compassionate view of the illegal aliens in our midst. But, there still is no support back home for amnesty.

    Amnesty is allowing people whose first act in America was an illegal act to get right with the law without leaving the country. Allowing twelve million illegal aliens to stay in our country instead of leaving and coming back legally is amnesty, no matter if fines or back taxes are paid, or how it is otherwise dressed-up or spun by its proponents. The only way to deal with these twelve million people is to insist that they leave the country and come back legally if they have a job awaiting them.

    But people ask, “Congressman, if you’re not going to provide amnesty, what are you going to do with twelve million illegal aliens”?

    They recognize it is not logistically possible to round-up twelve million illegal aliens, put them on buses and conduct a mass deportation. It also is not realistic to think that some American businesses can operate without these workers. And, it is unreasonable to think that people who came to America illegally and found jobs will voluntarily leave those jobs and opportunities without knowing whether they can return legally.

    Therefore, the solution is to setup a system that will encourage illegal aliens to self-deport and come back legally as guest workers. This may sound outside of the box, and it is. It may sound far-fetched and unrealistic, but it isn’t. It is based on sound, proven conservative principles. It places reliance on American enterprise and puts government back into its traditional role of protecting its citizens. Let me explain to you how it will work.

    Private worker placement agencies that we could call “Ellis Island Centers” will be licensed by the federal government to match willing guest workers with jobs in America that employers cannot fill with American workers. U.S. employers will engage the private agencies and request guest workers. In a matter of days, the private agencies will match guest workers with jobs, perform a health screening, fingerprint them and provide the appropriate information to the FBI and Homeland Security so that a background check can be performed, and provide the guest worker with a visa granted by the State Department. The visa will be issued only outside of the United States.

    Outside of the United States. That is a key point because it is the provision that will require the twelve million illegal aliens to leave. Now, some of you are thinking to yourselves that twelve million people aren’t going to pack up and leave just to get a visa to come back legally. But, I believe most will.

    The process that I just described to you will only take a matter of one week, or less. That is the beauty of the program. Speed is so important. No employer in America wants to lose employees for an extended amount of time. No worker who is earning money to feed and clothe a family can afford to be off the job for long.

    But, an employer faced with a looming requirement to verify the legality of its employees and stiff fines for employing illegal aliens will be willing to use a quick system to obtain legal employees. And, an illegal alien currently employed in America will be willing to take a quick trip across the border to come back outside of the shadows and in a job where he does not fear a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    In fact, I envision employers working with placement agencies to make sure that their long-time illegal employees get their paperwork processed, background checks performed, and visas issued so that they will be back on the job quickly.

    Imagine for a moment asking millions of people to line up at the U.S. Consulate in Mexico City to obtain a visa to come to America and work as a guest worker. It would be a disaster. Now, imagine private companies competing against each other to process guest worker applicants and match the applicants with open jobs. Imagine the application of American business ingenuity to this process. That, my friends, is why this program will work.

    Let me give you a few other details on the guest worker program. The visas will be referred to as “W Visas.” (No kidding.) I think it is obvious whose support we are trying to garner here. Seriously, the W Visa results from a fortuitous instance of bill drafting. The code already has visa categories for letters A through V, so W is the next open letter. The W Visa, without amnesty, would be the real rational middle ground that the President has called our nation to in this debate.

    Now, for some less interesting details. First, the number of guest workers will be limited. After the program is up and running, there will be a period of three years when the market and the needs of U.S. employers will set the limit on the number of guest workers. Not letting the market and the needs of employers govern the number of guest workers initially will prevent illegal aliens from being willing to self-deport. No one wants to be one number over the limit, and that person will want to come here or stay here illegally.

    But, after three years of this program, we should be in a vastly different situation from where we are now. The great majority of illegal aliens will have self-deported and come back into a confirmed job. The number of those who don’t should be a manageable number for law enforcement to pursue and employers to terminate. Therefore, after three years of the program, a reasonable limit on the number of W Visas will be determined by the Department of Labor based on employment statistics, employer needs and other research. After the three-year window has closed, this limit will be strictly enforced. Thus, the three-year window will provide even greater incentive to those who are currently illegal to enter into and comply with the new guest worker program.

    There also will be a limit on the amount of time a guest worker can spend in America. Guest workers will be allowed to renew their W Visas, but only for a period of up to six years. At that point, the guest should decide whether to return home or enter the separate process of seeking citizenship. We cannot have people coming to America as permanent guest workers. That is why having a six-year limit is important. It keeps the meaning of the word “guest” in guest worker.

    http://www.conservative.org/pressroom/2006/060523mp.asp
     
  2. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Pat Buchanan saw this guy coming three weeks ago:

    "But because the Senate bill cannot pass the House does not mean Bush, the ethnic lobbies and corporate America have given up.

    Which brings us to the Pence plan, named for the conservative congressman from Indiana who heads the House Republican Conference and was the 2005 Man of the Year to the conservative Human Events weekly.

    In "The Godfather," Don Corleone warns his son Michael that, after he dies, someone inside the family will come to Michael with an offer of peace from the Barzinis, who murdered Michael's brother. Whoever brings you the offer, Don Corleone warns his son, will have betrayed you. Tessio, lifetime friend and high-ranking captain of the Corleones, comes to Michael with Barzini's offer. A mistake.

    Rep. Mike Pence appears to have accepted the Tessio role in the great immigration battle of 2006.

    As Bush backs away from the Senate bill ("we don't have to choose between the extremes -- there's a rational middle ground"), Pence uses identical rhetoric to describe his plan, now being hailed by Newt Gingrich, Gary Bauer, David Keene of the American Conservative Union and The American Spectator. It looks like the fix is in."


    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/PatrickBuchanan/2006/06/13/the_stealth_amnesty_of_mike_pence
     
  3. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Pence:

    Sweet Jesus - I think I'm going to hurl. How the hell stupid do these neocons think we are?
     
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    rtwngAvngr Guest

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  5. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Nations - sovereignty - what troublesome little relics. Give us Orwell's Oceana, Eurasia, and Eastasia, and get it over with.

    George Orwell pondered a world in the grip of Depression, and incorrectly concluded that Western capitalism was dead. But, that was the only serious mistake in his thinking I've ever found. He understood the beating heart of tyranny very well. Tyranny has little use for nations, or sovereignty, or quaint curiosities like self-rule. The U.S. Constitution stands athwart a horrendous, monstrous tyranny. How hideously ironic that those sworn to protect and defend that Constitution now pose the most grave danger the document - and the American people - have ever known.
     
  6. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Every time I read this tripe, I get angrier. I look at it, fight back the urge to vomit, and then, say to myself, "THIS is how much they respect us." Why didn't they just throw in a CD playing "Battle Hymn of the Republic" on a dusty old concertina as accompaniment? Arrogant, hateful bastards!
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Depressing. Links at site:

    http://lashawnbarber.com/archives/2006/07/05/amnesty-lite-plan/
     
  8. musicman
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    musicman Senior Member

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    Having the chief law enforcement officer in the country say "we just can't do it" is insane. Applying that assertion objectively, to its logical conclusion, renders the law itself meaningless. I guess we can draw some scant comfort in knowing the President doesn't really believe "we just can't do it"; saying so merely advances his New World Order agenda, and screw the Constitution, screw national sovereignty, screw you, and screw me. Whew - thank goodness for that; I sure feel better!
     
  9. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    Another “No Amnesty” Amnesty
    It was a nice try, at least.

    By Mark Krikorian

    It’s funny how every new “middle ground” on immigration is in the same place as the old one

    The latest “middle ground” proposal comes from Rep. Mike Pence (R., Ind.). Pence, who has solid conservative credentials as head of the House Republican Study Committee, offered what he billed as “The Real Rational Middle Ground on Immigration Reform” at a Heritage Foundation speech last month. Since there’s no actual bill to look at, we have to judge from Rep. Pence’s speech and other materials what the program would be like.

    It starts out well enough. In seeking an alternative to amnesty, on the one hand, and mass deportations, on the other, he laid out a four-step plan. The first step is securing the border, and he included the entire enforcement bill passed by the House in December (with two minor modifications) in his measure.

    Step two is to reject amnesty. That also sounds good, until you remember that Senators Kennedy and McCain also deny their amnesty plan is an amnesty. As do Senators Hagel and Martinez. And President Bush. They all deny that they support amnesty because, as the president says, the only thing that constitutes amnesty is “automatic citizenship,” whatever that is.

    Pence has a broader definition of amnesty:

    Amnesty is allowing people whose first act in America was an illegal act to get right with the law without leaving the country. Allowing twelve million illegal aliens to stay in our country instead of leaving and coming back legally is amnesty, no matter if fines or back taxes are paid, or how it is otherwise dressed-up or spun by its proponents. The only way to deal with these twelve million people is to insist that they leave the country and come back legally if they have a job awaiting them.

    This is exactly the same as the “touchback” gimmick in the Senate amnesty bill, which would require illegal aliens who have been here between two and five years to cross the border to be enrolled in the permanent “temporary” worker program and then immediately return to their homes and jobs.

    That brings us to the third step: the guestworker amnesty. Yes, amnesty. Or, if you prefer, legalization. Or normalization. Or regularization. Or earned adjustment. Or whatever is the euphemism du jour. The fact remains that the guestworker program in the Pence plan is explicitly designed to allow all illegal aliens to keep their jobs and domiciles in the United States without interruption.

    The congressman is quite explicit on this point. In explaining the need for speedy processing of the guestworkers, he says:

    No employer in America wants to lose employees for an extended amount of time. No worker who is earning money to feed and clothe a family can afford to be off the job for long. … And, an illegal alien currently employed in America will be willing to take a quick trip across the border to come back outside of the shadows and in a job where he does not fear a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In fact, I envision employers working with placement agencies to make sure that their long-time illegal employees get their paperwork processed, background checks performed, and visas issued so that they will be back on the job quickly.

    In the 1950s, this process was called — in official U.S. government publications — “drying out the wetbacks.” Whether it’s called an amnesty instead, or is given some other label, the point is to let all illegal aliens stay legally.

    But maybe the amnesty is time-limited? And in fact, part of Pence’s “no amnesty” claim is that the guestworker visa would be limited to a total of six years. This would be an encouraging requirement, except that, in the congressman’s words, “At that point, the guest should decide whether to return home or enter the separate process of seeking citizenship.” If legal immigration quotas are to remain in force, then these formerly illegal, now “temporary,” workers will have to leave, en masse, six years from now, which is precisely the mass deportation the congressman said (correctly) is unworkable. On the other hand, if these workers will be able to receive permanent residency outside the current limits, as they would be under the Senate amnesty bill, then this plan is the very “path to citizenship” that Rep. Pence made a big show of condemning. It’s unclear which of these is true, but it’s undeniable that the plan is either dishonest or amateurish.

    Step four really takes the cake: a promise — really, truly, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die — to enforce the ban on hiring illegals in the future. Pence himself says that since every illegal alien will be legalized, employers wouldn’t need to hire illegals, but that enforcement will be phased in nonetheless. This is exactly the bait-and-switch Congress perpetrated in 1986 — legalization first, enforcement later (i.e., never). It is for this reason that the House, animated by a “fool me twice, shame on me” skepticism, has insisted on “Enforcement First.”

    There are plenty of other reasons to dismiss the Pence plan as unserious: by not calling for an end to automatic citizenship at birth, it makes the “temporary” claim meaningless; his gimmick of having the private sector screen the workers misses the point that they will still need to use (and receive security clearances for access to) the very same databases that the FBI and Department of Homeland Security use now; and to get “temporary” workers, employers will merely have to attest that they tried to hire Americans, rather than using objective measures to determine need, like rising wages or low unemployment in the specific occupation in question.

    In fact, I didn’t write about this plan when it was announced because I didn’t think it possible that anyone could take it seriously. I was wrong. Though the Pence amnesty plan hasn’t been widely covered, it has received support, or at a least respectful hearing, from insiders who will affect the final outcome of any bill. It’s no surprise, for instance, that amnesty supporters like Dick Armey, John Fund, and Michael Barone have had nice things to say about it (not to mention several newspaper editorial pages), but even supporters of Enforcement First, like Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and Newt Gingrich, have been more receptive of the plan than a close reading of it would warrant. It’s also ironic that Pence’s speech was delivered at the Heritage Foundation, given that his plan appears to violate Heritage’s “permanent principles” on immigration; it will be interesting to see what Heritage has to say about the plan.

    In the end, the Pence Amnesty wouldn’t go down with the public any better than the string of other amnesty plans that have been proposed over the past couple of years. As Peggy Noonan wrote last week about the public’s suspicions regarding immigration plans: “they think — they assume, at this point, reflexively — that slithery, slippery professional politicians are using and inventing complications to obfuscate and confuse. ... Americans don't trust ‘comprehensive plans,’ because they don't trust the comprehensive planners.”

    There’s only one way Congress and the president can earn back the public’s trust on immigration: Enforce the law — comprehensively, confidently, unapologetically. Then, after several years have passed and enforcement mechanisms are in place and working, and the illegal population has shrunk through attrition, Washington will have proven that, this time, it’s not lying about immigration.

    Until then, no deal.

    — Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies and an NRO contributor.

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YjM5OTE2ZWMxMmViMmRhMTEwNTA1OWY0OTEzMjg5ZWU=
     
  10. Annie
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