Below is an easy to understand and highly important analysis of the Senate Scamnesty proposal by two Congressmen. I’ve seen multiple emails on Amnesty and the two articles I’ve forwarded from the AFA seem to be the easist to read analysis I’ve found. You can explore more at: http://www.afa.net


Hat Tip to Eric Rohrbach!



mexicanflag.jpgStudents in Whittier, Calif., area protested immigration bill with flag raising (Courtesy Whittier Daily News)

Compiled by Heritage Foundation policy analysts
June 4, 2007

Question: Supporters say this bill does not provide amnesty to illegal immigrants. Why does Heritage disagree?
Answer: Because we’ve read the bill. It grants amnesty. Immediately.

· The provisional Z visa acts as a magic wand, instantly conveying legal status on illegal immigrants. With a provisional Z visa in hand, immigrants are instantly protected from deportation and authorized to work anywhere in the country.
· The bill stipulates that the federal government can start issuing provisional Z visas immediately upon enactment, and must start issuing them within six months.
· The bill grants illegal immigrants massive benefits (subsidized college tuition rates, free legal counsel for agricultural workers, etc.) in return for a token fee–$3,000 for an individual, $5,000 for a family of five.

Question: Why does Heritage believe this bill would actually slow down immigration enforcement measures?
Answer: Because the bill effectively puts the immigration justice system on ice.

· ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents are barred from detaining anyone who may be eligible for a Z visa. Instead, they must give those they apprehend a chance to apply for the visa. It’s like turning the Drug Enforcement Agency into a needle-exchange program.
· Immigration judges are required to close any deportation proceedings against illegal aliens if it appears they may be eligible for the Z visa.
· Even absconders who have flouted previous deportation orders can avoid deportation by showing that it would result in “extreme hardship” for himself or a family member—a loophole so huge you could drive a truck through it.

Question: Does this bill strengthen U.S. border security?
Answer: No, it does virtually nothing new to secure U.S. borders.

· Its “proposals” to increase security personnel, surveillance technology, and crossing obstacles at the border are mostly already required by laws like the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Repeating the same requirements strengthens nothing.
· Instead, the bill assures illegals of amnesty before security is tightened. Amnesty provisions would take effect as soon as the 700-mile fence required in the 2006 act is 47% complete.
· The bill uses false metrics to measure security. It repeats requirements to take security measures (additional border Patrol Agents, expanded detention facilities, vehicle barriers and fencing) without requiring any reduction in the number of illegal entries. Border security performance standards are lacking.

Question: Should Americans be worried that some of the bill’s enforcement provisions will violate their privacy?
Answer: Yes, Americans should be deeply troubled.

·The bill requires that all 7 million U.S. employers use an electronic ID system for all job applicants—even their own relatives.
·Anyone that wants a job will have to first be logged into a massive, government database so employers can verify their eligibility.
·This expensive approach raises serious concerns about invasion of privacy and identity theft.

Question: What are the fiscal costs of this legislation? How will it impact taxpayers, both in the short-term and long-term?
Answer: The proposal will generate tremendous demand for costly public services and assistance programs.

· Just paying for the retirement portion of the amnesty provision of the bill will generate a net cost of some $2.3 trillion dollars on U.S. taxpayers.
· Amnesty recipients are likely to impose a net cost (benefits received, minus taxes paid) on U.S. taxpayers throughout most of their lives.

Question: Does the bill adequately address the issue of guest worker programs?
Answer: Not really.

· While the bill includes many provisions that would help create a viable Temporary Worker Program, it unfortunately requires a cumbersome, bureaucratic approach to placing guest workers in jobs.
· Specifically, it would require the U.S. Labor Department to certify the need for each job opening.
· Worse, it would require guest workers in a variety of private sector occupations to receive “prevailing wages.” Why should non-citizens be guaranteed “prevailing wages” higher than the federal minimum wage for citizens?

Question: Does the bill currently being debated in the Senate parallel the failed immigration reform law passed in 1986?
Answer: Yes. The 1986 law granted immediate legal status to individuals unlawfully in the United States, as does this proposal.

· Like the current proposal, the 1986 law included additional conditions such as a criminal background check, payment of application fees, and acquisition of English language skills. The core of the law was nevertheless an amnesty that excused the intentional violation of American laws.
· About 2.5 million individuals applied for legalization under the 1986 law. Now the unlawfully present population in the United States is estimated at five times that number.
· The framers of the 1986 Act promised rigorous enforcement of immigration laws. This included an employer verification system and a focus on workplace enforcement. These efforts failed to stem the growth of the undocumented workforce. Nevertheless, the authors of the current bill propose a similar strategy.

Question: Will this bill adequately strengthen workplace enforcement laws and penalize employers who hire illegal aliens?
Answer: The bill requires every employer to use an invasive, unreliable employment verification system that civil libertarians and personnel executives view as hopelessly impractical.

· The bill would spend $400 million to build a new Electronic Employment Verification System—a monster database that would collect biometric data, photos, Social Security information and financial and licensing records for everyone seeking employment.
· Every employer would have to screen every job applicant—immigrant, citizen, even relative—through this system or face steep penalties.
· Unfortunately, EEVS will be based on a much smaller, error-plagued program (BASIC PILOT) established by a 1996 immigration law. A 2002 evaluation of that program determined it failed to protect employee privacy from inappropriate access by employers, government agencies and outside interests.
· BASIC PILOT is also plagued by frequent “false positives,” erroneous information that cost innocent workers their jobs. The law prohibits judicial review of such mistakes, making it virtually impossible to challenge errors or recover lost wages.
Question: What new rights and privileges will illegal immigrants applying for a Z visa obtain under this legislation?
Answer: It bestows all the rights and privileges sought by legal immigrants, as well as some privileges unavailable to them… and unavailable to U.S. citizens.

To help stop this proposal, you need to call, fax and email our US Senators on Monday or Tuesday. Call them in Seattle and in D.C.

Here’s how:

Sen Maria Cantwell
D.C. 202.224.3441
D.C. FAX: Fax: (202) 224-0238
Seattle 206.220.6400

Sen Patty Murray
D.C. 202.224.2621
Seattle 206.553.5545

Other members of the US Senate can be reached via:


Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121

If you have time, please contact Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to urge him to block cloture as well, or any other Republican Senator.

You also need to know that any Senator who says he will vote NO on the bill but YES for cloture is simply guaranteeing the passage of the bill as Senators Kennedy and Reid have the 50 YES votes to pass Amnesty, they just lack the 60 votes to force a vote on the bill.