Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) posted an op-ed piece in which he lays out why he will be voting no on the Gang-of-eight’s amnesty bill. The primary reason is because it does not secure America’s border first and says that the proposed legislation does not provide “serious reform” to immigration law.
While he says that no one is seriously contemplating that illegals who residing in the US leave, apparently Senator Paul has not spoken to this author or countless other Americans who not only contemplate that concept, but advocate it. However, even though he is not contemplating that, he does believe we should secure the border first.
He goes on to speak about immigration reform and what it must be. “Any immigration reform must expand legal immigration and the work visa program, so we don’t find another 12 million undocumented workers here a decade from now. The Gang of Eight bill actually decreases the number of agricultural workers visas. If work visas are less than what the market demands, the workers will come illegally and we’re right back where we started.”
Paul wants to secure borders before immigration reform takes place. He introduced an amendment known as the “Trust But Verify Act,” which would “make immigration reform contingent upon Congress writing strong border security plan, Congressional votes on border security every year for five years, completion of a double-layered border fence, two new national security visa screening programs and protection against the Obama Administration forcing American citizens to carry around a biometric national identification card.”
“My amendment,” wrote Paul, “ensured that Congress, and not the usual unaccountable government agencies, would verify that the border was secure.”
However, his amendment was voted down 37-61, including seven Republicans who joined Democrats. This was the strongest border security amendment offered. What does that tell you about those in the US Senate and their concern for securing our borders?
He then elaborated on what took place this week with the Gang-of-Eight’s bill.
“This week, the Senate is being asked to move forward on the current plan, which now includes the Hoeven-Corker complete substitute amendment. Over the weekend, the massive amendment consisted of an e-mail to my office containing five separate PDF files with five different titles. The final amendment has since been entered into the Congressional Record, a hard copy of which was delivered to Senate Members Monday morning. The complete text of this legislation amounts to 1,100 pages, and the Senate was then asked to vote on an 1,100 page amendment the same day we received it! So, the Senate was being asked to vote on a crucially flawed bill that no one had read and that no one has had time to read.”
“Welcome to Washington!” Paul wrote.
Senator Paul pointed out that the legislation includes a $1.5 billion jobs bill. What do jobs have to do with immigration reform, you ask?
“Ironically, $1.5 billion is the same amount they promised to spend on a border fence,” the Kentucky senator wrote. “The Hoeven-Corker amendment now gives the DHS Secretary the option of not completing the fence, if she determines the border to be secure without any new fence.”
He also wrote that it would be easier for convicted criminals like gang members, drunk drivers, and sex offenders to gain legal status.
However, the worst part is that the legislation doesn’t even attempt to fix the existing system. “It doesn’t address our current refugee policy, student visa system, or how to track visitors still in the country because of visa overstays-an issue with significant national security implications,” Paul wrote. “If we had a more competent visa program, we might’ve prevented 9/11. If we had more thorough screening of refugees, we might’ve prevented the Boston bombing.”
Paul filed two other amendments that would have offered dramatic improvement. One would have prevented non-citizens in the US on work visas from receiving welfare benefits. This amendment was defeated.
“The second,” wrote Paul, “titled the ‘No New Pathway to Citizenship Act’ would’ve replaced the new ‘Registered Provisional Immigrant’ status in the current legislation with a means for people to apply for work visas in existing work programs. My amendment would have essentially removed the Gang of Eight bill’s caps on these work visa programs and eliminated the prevailing wage requirements that render work visas destined to fail. It is the inability of so many people coming here to obtain work visas that has always been a primary driver of illegal immigration. I simply introduced an amendment that would’ve finally made our worker visa program… work.”
This amendment was not even allowed to be voted on by Senate Democrats.
According to a Rasmussen poll, only 28 percent of Americans believe the Federal government will secure the border if the current amnesty bill passes. I’d say that’s wishful thinking. Forty percent of Americans polled said they thought that border states ought to be the ones who actually determine when the border is secured.
Paul says that it’s up to the House of Representatives if we are to see real meaningful immigration reform. “If we’re going to fix our broken borders and have an overhaul of the system verifiable by Congress, the House will have to lead the way.”
Either way, Paul says he cannot and will not stand to support the Gang-of-Eight’s amnesty, no border security bill. I applaud his stand and wish others would do the same.
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