Obama Omnibus Bill Will Seek To Overhaul Immigration

It looks like things are coming in a flood. Barack Obama appears to be set on making good on campaign threats, I mean promises, on immigration policy. It looks like Obama and the Democrats are going to create an enormous omnibus bill that would overhaul the entire system.

The New York Times reports,

Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats will propose the changes in one comprehensive bill, the officials said, resisting efforts by some Republicans to break the overhaul into smaller pieces — separately addressing young illegal immigrants, migrant farmworkers or highly skilled foreigners — which might be easier for reluctant members of their party to accept.

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The president and Democrats will also oppose measures that do not allow immigrants who gain legal status to become American citizens one day, the officials said….

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Mr. Obama is expected to lay out his plan in the coming weeks, perhaps in his State of the Union address early next month, administration officials said. The White House will argue that its solution for illegal immigrants is not an amnesty, as many critics insist, because it would include fines, the payment of back taxes and other hurdles for illegal immigrants who would obtain legal status, the officials said.

The president’s plan would also impose nationwide verification of legal status for all newly hired workers; add visas to relieve backlogs and allow highly skilled immigrants to stay; and create some form of guest-worker program to bring in low-wage immigrants in the future.

There’s also a bipartisan coalition, led by Chuck Schumer and Lindsay Graham, along with John McCain, Jeff Flake, and Mike Lee, that’s begun working on a similar overhaul bill.

“This is so important now to both parties that neither the fiscal cliff nor guns will get in the way,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer(D-NY).

“This is a bottom line,” Mr. Schumer said in an interview on Thursday. “The Democrats have made it clear we will not accept a bill without a direct path to earned citizenship.” He said senators from both parties had been “pleasantly surprised” at how rapidly the talks had proceeded.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is working on his own proposal to grant 12 million illegal aliens legal status. He goes about it at a much slower pace than the above mentioned bill. Nevertheless, the Florida Senator will be pushing his proposal forward which advocates for five specific bills that deals with the topic: low-skill guest worker programs, increased quotas for high-skill workers, border security, employee status checks, and a program to bring the 12 million illegal residents already here into the light of the law (in other words, grant them amnesty).

Matthew Kaminski at the Wall Street Journal writes:

His wholesale fix tries to square—triangulate, if you will—the liberal fringe that seeks broad amnesty for illegal immigrants and the hard right’s obsession with closing the door. Mr. Rubio would ease the way for skilled engineers and seasonal farm workers while strengthening border enforcement and immigration laws. As for the undocumented migrants in America today—eight to 12 million or so—he proposes to let them “earn” a working permit and, one day, citizenship. […]

Politically hardest is the question of the up to 12 million illegals currently here. Mr. Rubio’s proposal allows for adults who overstayed their visa or sneaked in to come into the open.

“Here’s how I envision it,” he says. “They would have to come forward. They would have to undergo a background check.” Anyone who committed a serious crime would be deported. “They would be fingerprinted,” he continues. “They would have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, maybe even do community service. They would have to prove they’ve been here for an extended period of time. They understand some English and are assimilated. Then most of them would get legal status and be allowed to stay in this country.”

The special regime he envisions is a form of temporary limbo. “Assuming they haven’t violated any of the conditions of that status,” he says, the newly legalized person could apply for permanent residency, possibly leading to citizenship, after some years—but Mr. Rubio doesn’t specify how many years. He says he would also want to ensure that enforcement has improved before opening that gate.

The waiting time for a green card “would have to be long enough to ensure that it’s not easier to do it this way than it would be the legal way,” he says. “But it can’t be indefinite either. I mean it can’t be unrealistic, because then you’re not really accomplishing anything. It’s not good for our country to have people trapped in this status forever. It’s been a disaster for Europe.”

“Every country in the world has immigration laws and expects to enforce them, and we should be no different,” Rubio told the Journal.

“You want to protect those folks that are coming here,” he said. “You’re not protecting them if you allow their wages and their status to be undermined by further illegal immigration in the future.”

Here is the rub. Those who come here illegally are by definition breaking the law. Why then do we seek to reward them with citizenship for breaking the law? This is a major concern I had when George W. Bush granted amnesty and when I hear all this talk about immigration reform. They do not address the major problem and that is you have people here who having knowingly broken the law and the federal government is looking to reward them for it rather than “enforce immigration laws,” as Marco Rubio said other countries do. Just because he has a “R” on his team’s jersey does not mean he is thinking on this issue as he should.

Well Mr. Rubio, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Obama I suggest you start seeing to it that current immigration laws are enforced. Stop tying the hands of people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona on the issue. Stop making Rose Garden speeches declaring to the American people you will not uphold your oath of office in enforcing those laws. Stopping blowing smoke at us and begin enforcing the law. If you want to correct the law, fine, but until then enforce the ones that are already in existence. By not enforcing the law and by Senators and Congressmen not holding the President accountable for not enforcing the law concerning illegal immigrants they are violating their oath of office and are as such, law breakers themselves.

Do we need immigration reform? I think so, but the ideas being expressed on both sides reward those who are already here illegally, which is a slap in the face to every single person who went through the process of becoming a legal citizen.

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