Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) gave a speech earlier this month to a Horowitz Freedom Center Texas Weekend in Dallas.
Gohmert is one of the strongest defenders of freedom in Congress. His sometimes-relaxed style can belie his toughness, knowledge and courage (last fall speaking about Obama’s legacy in building a second Ottoman Empire). He has gone after members of the administration for their comfy relationship with hostile Islam, as he did last week when he questioned AG Eric Holder during a hearing [Watch]. The Representative’s request was for Congress to be allowed to see the documents about the 2007 Holy Land Foundation trial which were given to the accused contributors to Hamas terrorists but have been kept from the public.
The Congressman is also a defender of American sovereignty who stood with a handful of House conservatives on May 14 to speak against amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. He understands that immigration enforcement is integral to national security, remarking near the end of his Texas talk, “There are consequences to giving citizenship and to letting anybody in.”
Bad consequences, as we saw in the Boston bombing.
Frank Gaffney: I’m very pleased to present to you all tonight a great American, a great Texan, one of my personal heroes and a man I’m very proud to call a great friend, Congressman Louie Gohmert.
Louie Gohmert: Oh, gosh. Thank you. Well, I’m so glad you did that before I talked. That’s really good. Now, I don’t know what you’ll do when I finish.
You’ve heard from three of our best experts earlier today, and then the ultimate expert did the introduction of me tonight. Boy, what a juxtaposition that was. But thank you, Frank, and I appreciate your kind comments. You know, I’m not a household name other than with people that work at the Huffington Post –
– and I tell my family, “Just don’t Google my name. You won’t recognize what you see.”
Back in East Texas, all three networks have stations in my hometown of Tyler, and for a town that small, 85,000, to have all three networks, they all have their own news programs, six and 10, and they’re always looking for news. Back when I was a judge, they were constantly coming to the courthouse and asking for comments. Yeah, Andy is an ultimate expert, having prosecuted the blind sheik that we really need to let go …
… or at least that’s what the people visiting the White House on a regular basis have been saying.
But anyway, so in East Texas, I’m better known. You spend a couple million dollars running for Congress, people get tired of seeing your face. And I was coming home back to Tyler one night, stopped at a — it was about two-thirty in the morning. I stopped at one of the fast fuel places. I like to travel in jeans because I don’t want to wallow around in my suit, you know? They cost too much. Jeans are comfortable. So I had on my jeans. I had my shirttail out. I prefer boots except I’ve got some Brookstone moccasins that are so great to drive in.
And so it’s two-thirty. I shuffle into this place, and I go get my Dr. Pepper and some chocolate, and I see a girl like in her 20s go over to an elderly man who was back stocking something, and she kind of pointed in my direction. Obviously seen the commercials. And I put my stuff on the counter, and she says, “Can I ask you something?” I said, “Sure.” And she said, “Are you James Taylor?”
And so I started to try to sing “Sweet Baby James,” but it wasn’t any use. I couldn’t pull it off, not talking like that, but I thanked her. But anyway, so you never know.
You know, I’m so envious of Frank’s beard. He looks so distinguished. I grew a beard one time for about six weeks before I was a judge or chief justice, and I got ready to try a case in federal court, and I was going to pick the jury that Monday.
My daughter was five. Heard me tell my wife that in East Texas, there’s some people that don’t like beards. So I was going to shave my beard before I went to pick the jury, and anyway, I was tucking our five-year-old daughter in, and she said, “Daddy, are you really going to shave your beard?” And I said, “Yeah, you like it?” And she said, “Yeah, it helps you not look like a clown.”
So, Frank, you don’t look like a clown, buddy. You look really distinguished, and I appreciate that so much.
But anyway, all of those lessons are still muddled around in my mind. I talked to Andy earlier about the things that had been discussed because you’ve had ultimate experts before you. But you hear all the talk about the Muslim Brotherhood, and sometimes — well, I’ve run into so many people that say, “When did it get started? What was it about?” And some of you may have heard me challenged in some of the small networks, you know, those that you add up all of their ratings and they don’t quite add up to Fox News viewers. But when you don’t have as many viewers as C-SPAN, it’s time to check it in. But CNN, MSNBC, they’re still hanging in there.
But anyway, they raised some cane back when I said, “This president has really jumpstarted a new Ottoman Empire.” Now, I don’t know why they had never heard about the Ottoman Empire before. Continue reading this article
This refugee story is quite the opposite of what one usually sees. Instead of going straight to the welfare office for an array of free stuff, Somali woman Amun Abdullahi attempted to contribute to Swedish society by reporting as a journalist about the jihadist group Al-Shebaab, an al Qaeda spinoff, operating in a Swedish city.
Amun was ostracized and threatened by other Somalis residing in Sweden for blowing the whistle on their jihadist activities. But she was also criticized by Swedish scribblers for discussing an unpleasant topic that blasphemes the belief that diversity is the highest good. As a result, she has given up on the West and is going back to live in Mogadishu and work as a teacher.
It’s a shame that Swedish society couldn’t embrace a courageous woman willing to tell the truth about the largely hostile Muslim tribe which Sweden continues to import.
Amun is a journalist, and the first thing you notice is
that she has more passion for journalism than most people do.
Let’s say that if all the jobs in the world were a person, then the journalist would be the head
and all the other jobs would be the different parts of the body.
Now that you have spoken so warmly about journalism,
I have to assume that you would like to work as a journalist in Sweden?
Never… I wouldn’t do that.
Amun came as a refugee in 1991, first arriving in Umeå,
which she describes as one of the most beautiful cities on earth.
Later on she moved to Rinkeby near Stockholm.
She had made the whole transition from refugee to reporter on Swedish Radio.
And her knowledge and contacts as a Somali led her onto a story which changed her life.
One morning she recognised a young Somali,
who had changed character after studying religious scripture.
That was the beginning of an investigative report,
in which she revealed how a leader of am after-school activity center lured youths into Al-Shabab
“It’s half past five, you are listening to Ekot.
Many of the young men from Sweden recruited by the Islamist rebel group Al-Shabab
have come from an after-school activity center in Rinkeby.”
After the report was aired, Amun received numerous threats.
And one night her car was torched on the street.
But she had prepared herself for the threats and social ostracism.
But she was not prepared for what followed later on.
A few months later criticisms emerged from an entirely different front.
From her own colleagues on one of Sweden’s most influential political radio shows, “Konflikt”
Here Ekot’s and thereby Amun’s research was dismissed as mere “hearsay” and “rumors”.
Behind it stood Randi Mossige-Norheim, who has been awarded
the Swedish “Grand Journalism Award” among many others
It’s simply normal to ask “did it really happen?”
I don’t think we made a claim of truth. And I could say that about many things.
We did not say that anything was correct or incorrect.
-You didn’t claim anything was correct or incorrect?
No, we didn’t say anything was correct or incorrect.
But isn’t it your job to say, that which is correct?
But what I mean is, we don’t judge anybody. We don’t judge anybody. Continue reading this article
The Irish are back — now with hands outstretched for a special visa category in the all-encompassing open-the-floodgates immigration bill because they believe they are special, what with their history of millions bailing off the island for export to America. That background gives them a unique entre, they figure: therefore, the Irish deserve more visas now.
The government of South Korea hired a former CIA analyst, two White House veterans and a team of ex-congressional staff members to help secure a few paragraphs in the giant immigration bill.
The government of Ireland, during St. Patrick’s Day festivities, appealed directly to President Barack Obama and congressional leaders for special treatment. And the government of Poland squeezed Vice President Joe Biden and top lawmakers on Capitol Hill for its own favor, a pitch repeated at an embassy party last week featuring pirogi and three types of Polish ham.
Those countries, and others, succeeded in winning provisions in the fine print of the 867-page immigration bill now before Congress that give their citizens benefits not extended to most other foreigners.
Ireland and South Korea extracted measures that set aside for their citizens a fixed number of the highly sought special visas for guest workers seeking to come to the United States. Poland got language that would allow it to join the list of nations whose citizens can travel to the United States as tourists without visas. And Canadians successfully pushed for a change that would permit its citizens who are 55 and older and not working to stay in the U.S. without visas for as much as 240 days each year, up from the current 182.
South Korea alone has four lobbying firms in the campaign, paying them collectively at a rate that would total $1.7 million this year, according to required disclosure reports. Other nations generally relied on their own ambassadors and embassy staff to make the push, meaning there is no way to track how much has been spent on the effort. [. . .]
Indeed, lawmakers are pushing to grant special benefits to others, including Tibet, Hong Kong and parts of Africa. [. . .]
Parts of Africa?? Kenya perhaps? Not that Obama’s illegal alien aunt and uncle (both citizens of Kenya) aren’t doing fine already. Being illegal aliens hasn’t hurt them.
Immigration from Ireland hit its peak in the 1850s, when more than a million Irish immigrants — many fleeing their homeland because of famine — became legal permanent residents.
It’s fallen quite a bit since then. In the 2000s, the number of Irish legalizing was only about 1.5 percent of what it was back in its heyday.
Yet Irish interests quietly remain part of the immigration debate in Washington.
An immigration bill being considered in the Senate would give special consideration to several countries for future immigration. South Korea, Poland and Canada are all hoping for their own part of the deal. And so is Ireland.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Irish have gotten special consideration.
One of the most notable examples was the so-called diversity lottery. During the early ’90s, as the program was getting off the ground, 40 percent of visas were earmarked for Irish, thanks to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)
But that visa allotment was temporary, and groups like the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform (ILIR) are hopeful the Senate bill will create a more permanent program. A provision added by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) would make 10,500 renewable visas available to Irish nationals each year.
To see why the Irish might need their own deal, I spoke to Niall O’Dowd, the founder of the ILIR and the editor of the New York-based Irish Voice.
Adverse effects of the 1965 immigration law Prior to 1965, the immigration system overtly favored European nationals over people coming from other parts of the world. Then Congress passed an immigration bill that scrapped that system in favor of more even visa distribution.
While that meant opportunities for immigrants from Latin America and Asia — and ended clear discrimination — it cut visas for European nationals.
“It’s been impossible for Irish people to emigrate legally to America since 1965,” O’Dowd said. “The new preferences militated against Irish people; indeed, any people coming from Europe.”
He’s right. While the migration flows from Ireland are much smaller than from a place like Mexico, for example, you can see a drop in Irish that were able to become legal permanent residents around the time that the 1965 law was passed.
That said, part of the reason the number of visas to Irish dropped was that they were no longer benefiting from a discriminatory system.
Irish Still Come, Just Illegally Niall O’Dowd estimates that there are 50,000 undocumented Irish living in places like New York, Boston and Chicago. Continue reading this article
Thursday was Day #3 of the Senate mark-up of S.744 in the Judiciary Committee. Unsurprisingly the Gang of Eight Republicans on the committee (Senators McCain and Flake) continued to hang tough with Democrats to prevent any meaningful amendments. It looked like a committee markup on the surface, but it was a dog-and-pony show with foregone conclusions because the pro-amnesty members meet in advance to decide what tiny increments of change they will allow. Genuine friends of sovereignty Jeff Sessions and Chuck Grassley deserve our respect for plugging away in such a corrupt environment.
The interests of the nation surely cannot be safe when amnesty hack Frank Sharry is pleased, as indicated by his remark upon the proceedings: “The Gang of Eight has . . . accepted a number of Republican amendments, but none of them undermine the core elements of the bill.”
You can watch the three-hour hearing on C-span, which allows the viewer to use the search function which will go to that place in the video when clicked. So if you search for grassley in the Timeline search function on the left of the page, then click, that part of the video will begin to run. It saves time and unnecessary brain pain.
After a Senate committee finished poring through the enforcement sections of a sweeping immigration bill on Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, didn’t want to dwell on the three amendments he proposed that were voted down by his colleagues.
He has already been thinking of other ways to change the bill.
The core of the immigration bill, which was produced by a bipartisan group of senators known as the Gang of Eight, remained largely intact after the third hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee that is considering more than 300 amendments. Grassley said little had been accomplished to satisfy him and other Republicans who feel the bill doesn’t do enough to secure the border and ensure that unauthorized immigrants can’t find work in the U.S.
Grassley said he will try to bolster those provisions on the Senate floor and lobby House members working on their own version of an immigration bill.
“I had my day in court (today), and I’m going to have a lot of other days in court,” said Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. “It’s a long process. It’ll be going on for the next six months, so you shouldn’t be drawing any conclusions right now.”
Grassley’s disappointment was met by tempered enthusiasm from members of the Gang of Eight, and other pushing to pass the bill, which would allow the nation’s unauthorized immigrants the chance to become U.S. citizens.
Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a group that supports the bill, said having four members of the Gang of Eight on the Senate Judiciary Committee — Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Democrats Charles Schumer of New York and Dick Durbin of Illinois — allowed them to fight off any amendments that would critically damage the bill.
“The Gang of Eight has held strong,” Sharry said. “They’ve accepted a number of Republican amendments, but none of them undermine the core elements of the bill. The early threats — the poison pills, the delaying tactics, things that we thought might actually hurt the process — they’ve been overcome.” Continue reading this article
One of the worst parts of the Senate amnesty bill is the disregard of public safety and the coddling of foreign criminals. And because this item has appeared in at least two previous amnesties, one must conclude that protecting illegal alien gangsters is a priority of the bill’s authors — the the special interests, both business and ethnic who actually wrote the legislation.
This kind of a pattern shows a suspicious friendliness toward brutal drug gangs that have made Mexico a killing field in the last few years. You have to wonder who in La Raza defends hispanic gangsters with such zeal and why. In many cases of gang crime in this country, hispanics are the victims, so why the permissiveness toward a real danger to the fellow members of The Race?
In 2011, Senator Jeff Sessions warned that the new DREAM Act was worse than the previous version, and provided a list to show it. One important item was the forgiveness for gangsters with just a promise to behave. (Surely Mexican Mafia members now incarcerated in American prisons would love a deal like that.)
3. The DREAM Act Provides a Safe Harbor for Any Alien, Including Criminals, From Being Removed or Deported If They Simply Submit An Application Although DREAM Act proponents claim it will benefit only those who meet certain age, presence, and educational requirements, amazingly S.952 protects ANY alien who simply submits an application for status no matter how frivolous. The bill forbids the Secretary of Homeland Security from removing “any alien who has a pending application for conditional nonimmigrant status”—regardless of age or criminal record—providing a safe harbor for millions. Though the bill requires a modest “prima facie” showing of eligibility, this is the lowest standard of legal proof and could likely be satisfied by the alien’s signature. This loophole will open the floodgates for applications that could stay pending for many years or be litigated as a delay tactic to prevent an illegal alien’s removal from the United States. Such delays will increase the number of those released on bail and will increase the number of absconders. The provision will further erode any chances of ending the rampant illegality and fraud in the existing system.
In 2007, that year’s bill also contained a coddle card for criminals, as analyzed by Senator Sessions in a list of 20 loopholes, detailing three categories that related to the care of criminals:
Loophole 6 – Some Child Molesters Are Still Eligible: Some aggravated felons – those who have sexually abused a minor – are eligible for amnesty. A child molester who committed the crime before the bill is enacted is not barred from getting amnesty if their conviction document omitted the age of the victim. The bill corrects this loophole for future child molesters, but does not close the loophole for current or past convictions. [See p. 47: 30-33, & p. 48: 1-2]
Loophole 7 – Terrorism Connections Allowed, Good Moral Character Not Required: Illegal aliens with terrorism connections are not barred from getting amnesty. An illegal alien seeking most immigration benefits must show “good moral character.” Last year’s bill specifically barred aliens with terrorism connections from having “good moral character” and being eligible for amnesty. This year’s bill does neither. Additionally, bill drafters ignored the Administration’s request that changes be made to the asylum, cancellation of removal, and withholding of removal statutes in order to prevent aliens with terrorist connections from receiving relief. [Compare §204 in S. 2611 from the 109th Congress with missing §204 on p. 48 of S.A. 1150, & see missing subsection (5) on p. 287 of S.A. 1150].
Loophole 8 – Gang Members Are Eligible: Instead of ensuring that members of violent gangs such as MS 13 are deported after coming out of the shadows to apply for amnesty, the bill will allow violent gang members to get amnesty as long as they “renounce” their gang membership on their application. [See p. 289: 34-36].
Back to the present, the President of the ICE agents union, Chris Crane, has been doing media appearances to warn about the bill’s extreme laxity regarding criminals. He appeared on the John and Ken radio show on Monday to draw attention to the gang member waiver:
Chris Crane: It’s a lot bigger than just the gang members of course but on the gang member part of this, if they come forward and allegedly claim to renounce their gang affiliation, their gang membership, then they have a path to citizenship, and it’s pretty much that simple. [. . .] Continue reading this article
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Obama administration’s refusal to grant asylum to the Romeike family.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed against the family, arguing that asylum should not be granted because home schooling isn’t a fundamental right protected under religious freedom.
The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 facing criminal prosecution for home schooling. In 2010, they were granted political asylum by immigration Judge Lawrence Burman, but his decision was overturned by the Board of Immigration Appeals last year.
On Tuesday, the three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit issued a unanimous decision against the family.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike began home schooling in Germany because they didn’t want their children exposed to things like witchcraft and graphic sex education that are taught in German schools. Continue reading this article
It’s not news the Britain’s leftist party favored enormous flows of diverse immigrants who were presumably friendly to the big-government approach to society. In 2009, Andrew Neather, a speechwriter for PM Tony Blair, blabbed that increased immigration under Labour was designed to make Britain more multi-culti and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity.”
‘We were sending out search parties for people’: Former Labour Cabinet Minister Peter Mandelson has admitted that his party actively encouraged immigration to the UK while in government
Labour sent out ‘search parties’ for immigrants to get them to come to the UK, Lord Mandelson has admitted.
In a stunning confirmation that the Blair and Brown governments deliberately engineered mass immigration, the former Cabinet Minister and spin doctor said New Labour sought out foreign workers.
He also conceded that the influx of arrivals meant the party’s traditional supporters are now unable to find work.
By contrast, Labour leader Ed Miliband has said his party got it wrong on immigration but has refused to admit it was too high under Labour.
Between 1997 and 2010, net migration to Britain totalled more than 2.2million, more than twice the population of Birmingham.
The annual net figure quadrupled under Labour from 48,000 people in 1997 to 198,000 by 2009.
Lord Mandelson’s remarks come three years after Labour officials denied claims by former adviser Andrew Neather that they deliberately encouraged immigration in order to change the make-up of Britain. Continue reading this article
On Tuesday, Congressman Steve King organized a presser with several House colleagues who strongly oppose the Senate amnesty bill.
The other speakers included Republican Congressmen Louie Gohmert, Mo Brooks, Steve Stockman, John Fleming and Paul Gosar.
Rep. King noted that he has been a fierce foe of Obamacare, but sees the Senate amnesty as “far, far worse.” Like the other assembled representatives, a primary focus of King is to maintain the rule of law, which amnesty shreds by the act of rewarding lawbreakers. His other concerns are cultural assimilation, border control and national security.
Rep Gohmert of Texas (a drought-troubled state) observed that it’s likely a billion or more people abroad would like to move here. He was not reassured that authorities are able to keep out dangerous persons among the millions to be amnestied when the FBI couldn’t sort out the Boston bomber Tsarnaev brother when warned about Tamerlan by Russian police.
John Fleming of Louisiana reminded listeners that the 1986 amnesty was a failure and the government should not go down that path again.
Dr. Paul Gosar of Arizona warned against a huge bill which puts too much enforcement authority in the hands of Janet Napolitano.
Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks alerted about the enormous numbers of foreigners who would like to relocate here, e.g. 20 percent of Mexicans who would come illegally. He doesn’t want millions of lawbreakers to be future Americans, who will also cost taxpayers trillions of dollars according to the recent Heritage study. An open-borders society promotes anarchy, he stated.
Steve Stockman (R-TX) emphasized fairness for legal immigrants, whose care in doing immigration the lawful way is undermined by rewarding lawbreakers.
Congressman King emphasized how the bill is really really bad. He fears a doomsday scenario in which House leadership allows a conference between the House and Senate versions that might pass legislation unfavorable to the rule of law.
Rep. King said, “That conference committee could produce from it some version of the amnesty bill and send it to the floor, unamendable, an up-or-down vote, in which case, every Democrat would vote for it, it would only take a couple of dozen Republicans, and we could be stuck with a very bad bill on the way to the president. So I’m most concerned about that and I’ll continue to talk about that.”
SunTV’s John Robson starts up a segment with disgust at the fawning dhimmitude of American authorities for worrying about the Islamically correct treatment of murdering jihadist Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body — something average Bostonians did not appreciate..
Then Robson focused on America’s political derangement over immigration in a conversation with author Peter Brimelow.
The one decent element in the 844-page Senate amnesty bill is the proposed termination of the fraud-ridden terrorist-welcoming Diversity Visa. But the Washington Post used its front page on Monday to sniffle about the loss of future diverse residents — oh the tragedy!
The Post article is a liberal Rorschach, full of the mythologies that underly the political urge to import foreigners who are supposed to enrich us in some mysterious way. Earnest foreigners arrive, work hard and become successful — it’s a narrative that highlights America’s generosity and openness, although perhaps by too much. Liberals cannot imagine an America without immigration to affirm the upside-down notion that Diversity Is Our Strength. If annoying traditional Americans could be demographically overwhelmed, then the country would be so much nicer — that’s the idea.
But even among the accolades for diverse immigration, the Post had to admit that the Diversity Visa lottery program is riddled with fraud. This widespread fakery means all sorts of criminals and enemies are given entry.
Be sure to read to the end of the Post piece for the guilt-trip finale: foreigners forced to stay in their dirtbag homelands won’t have fulfilling lives if Americans refuse them entrance to the land of opportunity. (Naturally, there is no mention of job displacement of citizens.)
In the contentious debate over immigration policy, three groups have dominated public and political attention: the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants seeking to become legal, the skilled foreign workers bound for high-tech jobs and relatives waiting to be reunited with their families.
Then there are those who won the green card lottery.
This tiny visa program, aimed at diversifying the pool of immigrants to the United States, selects 55,000 applicants at random each year. Unlike the other U.S. visa programs, it offers the “winners” and their spouses and children U.S. residency with almost no strings attached. Although the odds of winning are infinitesimal, the program is so wildly popular that last year almost 8 million people applied. And now it is likely to be quietly cut.
“In my country, whole cities wait to hear the results of this lottery. I can’t believe they would take it away,” said Ermais Amirat, 29, an Ethiopian lottery winner who lives in Alexandria and drives a limousine. “We may not earn a lot, but on $200 a month, your whole family can survive back home.”
Under a Senate compromise, the program would be eliminated and its visa slots would be subsumed into a broad system that stresses skills, education and other criteria for legal immigration.
A few defenders, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, have urged that the lottery be preserved. They say it helps compensate for the lopsided history of legal immigration, long dominated by a few large countries with high-skilled workers, such as China and India, and those with strong family ties to the United States, such as Mexico and the Philippines. They also note that it creates wide international goodwill for the United States at a low cost, amounting to only 5 percent of legal immigrants.
“Diversity visas are one of the few ways people from Africa and the Caribbean can come to this country,” Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) said in an interview. “We are talking about creating a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people, and I wholeheartedly support that. But why do we need to cut a program where millions of people are competing for only 55,000 visas? I’m sorry, but I just can’t accept that.” Continue reading this article
The Gang of Eight loudmouths, particularly Senators Schumer and Rubio, insist that they are open to amendments to improve their 844-page bill. But when the Judiciary Committee met on Thursday to begin sorting through the hundreds of amendments, the deal was already cut. As Senator Jeff Sessions analyzed in a press release, the Gang of Eight met in advance to decide to what they would agree, and amendments that would improve border security were defeated. The bill which has been spun as being balanced in fact has no effective enforcement.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the Gang of Eight’s decision to block much-needed improvements to their legislation:
“One of the things that most upsets the American people about Washington is drafting a bill with special interests in secret and jamming it across the finish line in a way that minimizes public involvement and input. Despite touting their legislation as “the toughest border enforcement in history,” the Gang of Eight bill failed to live up to every major promise of its sponsors—including the promise of enforcement first—resulting in a bill that is even weaker than the rejected 2007 plan. This legislation needs improvement and openness.
Despite insistence on their openness to improving the legislation, the Gang has continued to stick together to defeat any amendment that would make any serious improvement to border security.
The National Journal reports today that ‘The night before Thursday’s marathon committee markup, members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight and their staffs huddled in a room in the Capitol to decide what amendments to their immigration bill they would let live—and what must die… Each evening, the gang will reconvene before the Judiciary Committee meets to analyze the next day’s slew of amendments and decide, collectively, what stays and what goes.’
Their legislation fails to achieve their stated goals. Their refusal to recognize that, demonstrates they are more committed to the flawed product than producing an immigration bill that serves the national interest.”
BACKGROUND ON YESTERDAY’S REJECTED AMENDMENTS:
1. Sessions amendment to define “effective control” of the border The amendment would assure that “effective control” reflects current law as defined in the Secure Fence Act of 2006, by specifically including prevention of unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband. “Effective control” would trigger the initiation of the legalization process. The amendment failed by a vote of 6–12, with all Democrats and the two Gang of Eight Republicans voting no, while all the other Republicans voted yes.
2. Sessions amendment to require completion of border fencing This amendment would require that 700 miles of border fencing—already required by law to be constructed—be “substantially complete” before the legalization process begins. As written, the Gang of Eight legislation only requires the DHS Secretary to submit a fencing plan (which may well require no additional fencing whatsoever) to trigger the start of the legalization process. There is no requirement in the bill that any fence be built at all. Currently, only 36 miles of double-layer fencing exists. The rest of the border has a combination of single-layer pedestrian fencing and vehicle barriers, both of which are easily scalable. The amendment also clarified the term “fencing” as: “Only fencing that is double-layered and constructed in a way to effectively restrain pedestrian traffic may be used to satisfy the 700-mile requirement under this subparagraph. Fencing that does not effectively restrain pedestrian traffic (such as vehicle barriers and virtual fencing) does not satisfy the requirement under this subparagraph.” The amendment failed by a vote of 6–12, with all Democrats and the two Gang of Eight Republicans voting no, while all the other Republicans voted yes. Continue reading this article
Los Angeles has been ground zero for for bearing the brunt of of immigration diversity for some time. Unlucky in geography, the county was home to 9.8 million residents as of 2010, 56.6 percent of whom over age 5 do not speak English at home according to the Census. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich has been reporting on the cost to taxpayers of illegal immigration for years, with an update a few days ago noting that $54 million in welfare benefits were issued to illegal alien parents just in the month of March in the county.
Even Los Angeles liberal pols are concerned about what another massive amnesty will do to the county’s welfare spending, although they are hopeful the feds will kick in some extra cash, as was done in 1986.
With an estimated 1.1 million people in L.A. County illegally, officials fear that the county will get stuck with many costs for those who apply for citizenship.
WASHINGTON — Few regions will absorb the impact of future immigration reforms more than Los Angeles County, home to an estimated 1.1 million people in the country illegally, one-tenth of the nation’s total.
As the Senate Judiciary Committee began debating the bipartisan immigration bill last week, county officials voiced concerns that local taxpayers will be “left holding the bag” to pay for the brunt of healthcare and other services for multitudes of immigrants who apply for citizenship.
Local and state officials believe the overhaul bill will encourage those in the country illegally to come out of the shadows and turn to local services during the proposed 13-year-long pathway to citizenship.
“The one thing that’s really clear as day is that the federal government is going to be protecting itself against costs, and we’re going to be left holding the bag,” said Mark Tajima, an analyst with the county’s chief administrative office.
In Washington last week for the start of the debate, county officials, including Supervisors Don Knabe and Zev Yaroslavsky, warned of a “major cost shift” to state and local governments from the proposed legislation and pressed Congress to provide federal aid to help cover future costs.
Officials could not, however, provide a figure on the potential tab. Instead, as they made the rounds on Capitol Hill, they pointed to the $800 million the county received in the last big immigration overhaul signed by President Reagan in 1986.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), after meeting with county officials, brought up the county’s concerns at the Judiciary Committee meeting and directed her staff to look into the possibility of creating a “state impact assistance” fund, similar to the $4 billion provided to local and state governments in the 1986 bill. Continue reading this article
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