By: Brian Sikma
After losing the battle for the first immigration bill, the Senate is proceeding to consider a “new” bill that contains many of the same flawed features that its predecessor had. S. 1639’s solution to the 12 to 15 million illegal aliens in this country is to offer them a blanket amnesty. Although the bill contains provisions for a guest worker program and strengthened border security, the majority of the bill’s 400 pages spell out a complex series of new regulations that will govern the amnesty process.
With important parts of the bill written in broad and sweeping language, S. 1639 is not exactly comprehensive. This bill is every immigration lawyer’s dream, every immigration lawbreaker’s hope, and every taxpayer’s nightmare. In one section, applicants for a proposed “Z-A” visa will be allowed to appeal a denial of visa and utilize the help of an attorney paid for by U.S. taxpayers.
The central legal vehicle for turning illegals into legals is the “Z” visa. This visa will come in two forms. First, within 180 days of this law’s enactment the Department of Homeland Security will be required to begin issuing probationary Z visas. Nearly every single illegal alien will be eligible for these visas. In fact, you have to be here illegally to be eligible for these visas-no legals allowed. The other requirements for eligibility are that you were in this country before January 1st of 2007 and that you are related to someone who has a job.
This idea that illegals who come over the border between January 1st and this bill’s passage will be honest about the fact that they missed the “deadline” is not exactly far sighted. These people, many of whom may have good intentions, came here illegally and we cannot expect them to self-deport themselves when a little bit of document fraud can “prove” you were in the country before the deadline. If the Social Security Administration can’t tell which Social Security Numbers are false, and how many people used that number, do we think that an overworked Citizenship and Immigration Services agency will be able to recognize a few hundred thousand fraudulent documents out of 12-15 million applications?
Upon receiving the application for a new Z visa, the government has one business day to run a background check to determine whether or not the applicant has committed any offence that would prevent them from receiving the visa. According to the Heritage Foundation, the FBI takes up to 90 days for name checks on illegals seeking to receive benefits. There is absolutely no way that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency will be able to adequately assess each individual applicant, much less run a thorough back ground check on the individual.
The second form of the Z visa is a regular Z visa which will replace the prohibationary version. The current wording of S. 1639 does not mandate any date by which probationary Z visa holders will be required to upgrade to the regular Z visas. This means that the easily obtained probationary Z visa may not be all that probationary. Limited standards of assimilation are required to renew either version of the Z visa, but the Z visa is infinitely renewable meaning that the vaunted “guest worker” program may not have so much “guest” in it.
With no English language requirement to receive the probationary visa, immigrants are not required familiarize themselves with the basics of our country. This failure to assimilate into our culture is a major flaw in the current immigration proposal and should be reason enough to oppose this bill.
When we look at this problem we have to realize that every government agency that will be participating in the implementation of these new regulations will be the same set agencies that failed to properly use the laws already on the books to prevent this situation from happening. Current immigration law is complex, and the current bureaucratic make-up of key agencies has not operated at efficient levels of productivity.
In providing a solution to this problem, Congress and the Executive Branch must understand that the solution to resolving the status of illegal aliens is not to change the law but uphold the law! We do not need more complex regulations, we do not need laws that reward lawbreakers. We will be doing ourselves a serious disfavor by creating an atmosphere where the rule of law is trampled on. We ask that our citizens uphold the law, we ask that immigrants follow the proper legal channels, and then our lawmakers seek to implement a solution to a lawbreaking problem by rewarding illegal behavior.
Take action today and call or e-mail your Senators and tell them that the solution to the illegal immigration problem is not amnesty but border security and respect for the rule of law. We don’t need to change the law, we need to enforce the law. Go to www.senate.gov to find your Senators’ contact information.