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Cloture Vote Fails: Senator Craig Once Again on Wrong Side of Amnesty Bill

June 28th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer of Idaho Values Alliance

The amnesty bill failed miserably to receive the sixty votes necessary (it received just 46 votes) to move forward this morning in the U.S. Senate, and is effectively dead for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps the most encouraging statement of the morning came from amnesty supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham, who said that the bill would not come back in its current form. Public outcry was so strong against the bill that the Senate switchboard actually crashed.

Unfortunately, Idaho Senator Larry Craig was one of the senators who voted for the amnesty bill. His determination to support this bill in the face of such vocal opposition from his own constituents may be an indication that he does not plan to run for re-election in 2008.


Although supporters insisted that the bill was not an amnesty bill, it still would have guaranteed legal residency to border violators who could have provided some evidence they were in the U.S. prior to January 1, 2007. The cost: a mere $1,000 for legal status that could have been renewed indefinitely.

I have some close friends who came to the U.S. on student visas, and would love to become U.S. citizens. They are exactly the kind of immigrants we should welcome to our shores: bright, intelligent, well-educated, talented, and in love with America. They would enrich our culture, and would be contributors to American life, not dependents.

They have played by immigration rules from day one, have spent thousands of their own dollars on immigration attorneys, and still have no assurance that they will be given permanent or renewable legal status. They would gladly pay $1,000 in return for guaranteed permanent legal residency. But they can’t.

In fact, because the husband inadvertently missed a filing deadline, he was essentially deported for a time. He was told that there was simply nothing that could be done to avert this, immigration law was clear, there was simply no give on this, he would have to leave the country and reapply to return. Fortunately, he was able to work this out, and was reunited with his wife and child here in the U.S.

But clearly there is something badly wrong with legislation that would have granted guaranteed residency privileges to millions of people who have deliberately disobeyed our laws, when people who have assiduously played by the rules are sent out of the country for inadvertent infractions.

Sadly, my friends realize that, under this now-defeated bill, their chances of gaining permanent legal residency in the U.S. would have been better if they could have found a way to suddenly become illegal immigrants. Something is bad wrong with that picture, and that reality alone is enough reason to be happy that this bill went down to defeat.


Gary Bauer reports that recent audits of the Social Security Administration (SSA) indicate that the SSA maintains lists of employers who report fraudulent information, but does not refer them to law enforcement for prosecution, raising questions about how seriously we should take any promises from amnesty supporters that any new immigration law would be supported by any meaningful enforcement.

For example, one Illinois employer filed almost 132,000 inaccurate and false W-2s with the IRS over a five-year period, complete with mismatched names and SSA numbers. But according to a 2004 Government Accounting Office report, the IRS has no information indicating that any employer has ever been assessed even a single prescribed $50 fine for filing bad W-2s. Further, it turns out that the federal government itself may be one of the biggest employers of illegal aliens.

According to immigration expert Michelle Malkin, the government already has a woeful backlog on processing immigration matters, including a backlog of over 600,000 fugitive deportee cases (these are illegals who have already been ordered deported for criminal violations of U.S. law, but whom federal law enforcement officials can’t find to deport), a backlog of over 100,000 FBI background checks for legal immigrant applicants, the disappearance of 110,000 citizenship applications, a backlog of 4 million immigration applications of all kinds, and an additional backlog of almost 330,000 FBI name checks on legal immigrants applying for naturalization and other benefits.

The FBI, with just 30 analysts, is falling even further behind as a new caseload of 1.5 million fresh names are submitted by immigration authorities every year.

As Ms. Malkin puts it, with regard to the “compassion” question, “Where (is the) compassion for the hundreds of thousands of legal immigrant applicants who are getting screwed – and who have paid far more in legal fees and processing fees than the measly, cosmetic ‘fine’ the shamnesty plan proposes for illegal aliens?”

She correctly observes that our first order of business, out of compassion and fairness for those who have played by the rules, would be to clear this horrendous backlog before we start trying to legalize 20 million people who have violated our borders.

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