Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00…
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This Week's "Your Turn" Radio Lineup

Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM/99.1FM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

 

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT:  Kay S. Hymowitz, William E. Simon Fellow at the Manhattan Institute - An Epidemic of Loneliness;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT:  Ross Marchand, Director of Policy for Taxpayers Protection Alliance - Unwarranted Carcinogenic Classifications and How the US Government is About to Drive Up the Cost of Videogames;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT:  Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste - 2019 Congressional Pig Book;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT:  Marlo Lewis…[more]

June 17, 2019 • 12:48 pm

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Ignored by Gang’s Immigration Bill, Conservatives Should Return the Favor Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, May 02 2013
Once the 844-page bill went online, the tough new border security measures were nowhere to be found.

Despite what supporters of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill say, it does not address the most important concerns of conservatives. There are no tough new border security measures, and lots of loopholes for fast-tracking eligibility for welfare and citizenship. With elites in both parties ignoring conservatives, how should the latter respond?

Let’s consider the process so far.

First, there were the promises made to conservatives before the Gang’s bill became public. Because the substance of the reform was negotiated in secret between a bipartisan group of Senators (four Democrats and four Republicans), those shut out of the process had to rely on secondhand reports from inside sources.

Two days before the text became public, Byron York reported what seemed to be a surprising number of concessions to conservatives. Sources said that 100 percent of the border with Mexico would be monitored, and 90 percent of all illegal border crossers would be apprehended. Those already here could be granted legal residency status, but would have to pay a fine and any back taxes owed, plus clear two background checks before earning a path to citizenship. And, only upon becoming a United States citizen would any of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants be eligible for federal entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and student loans for higher education.

The message to conservatives was clear: You get what you want – a secure border and protection against a surge in entitlement spending – and illegal immigrants who play by the rules (if only after the fact) will eventually earn American citizenship.

Reality is anything but.

Once the 844-page bill went online, the tough new border security measures were nowhere to be found. Instead of monitoring 100 percent of the border, the proposal specified only “high risk” areas – those with 30,000 or more apprehensions in the previous fiscal year – must be sealed. Using 2012 Border Patrol numbers, that means only three of the nine sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border would be sealed under the Gang’s plan.

The 90 percent apprehension rate also got murkier. Due in part to the Department of Homeland Security’s failure to finish the congressionally approved border fence, surveillance drones have been used to confirm whether DHS is catching as many border crossers as it claims. Turns out, it’s not. In some sectors, DHS is estimating less than half of the actual number of illegal crossers, according to the drone findings. If allowed to use its pre-drone counts – and the Gang’s bill does not specify – DHS could technically be much closer to meeting the 90 percent threshold even though it would actually be capturing about half that number.

And then there are the loopholes that could impact federal spending. The Gang’s supporters are quick to claim that the 13-year lag between legalization and citizenship means that illegal immigrants won’t be eligible for federal entitlement programs until after more than a decade of paying taxes. But the Gang and its allies are silent about the impact legalization will have on state and local budgets.

That’s because many state and local governments extend welfare benefits to legal residents, regardless of their citizenship status. Moreover, the Gang’s bill “explicitly forbids DHS from considering whether an illegal immigrant is financially self-sufficient when that alien first appears for [legalization] status,” according to an analysis by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Thus, passing the Gang’s proposal as-is could trigger immediate eligibility for state and local welfare programs, at a considerable cost to affected taxpayers.

As for that 13-year pathway to citizenship, a DREAM Act-like provision in the Gang’s bill would fast-track up to 2-3 million illegal immigrants for citizenship status in as little as 5 years. Agricultural workers could qualify within 10 years. And if the bill becomes law, expect to hear calls from the usual suspects to stop “discriminating” among legalized immigrants and just grant benefits and citizenship to everyone, now.

The issues cited above are but two being systematically exposed as the Gang of Eight bill is scrutinized for what it actually says and means.  There are more – more complicated, more important, more costly, more deceptive – all pointing to the same conclusion.  Conservatives are being sold a bundle of promises that are false and misleading about a bill that is in many ways even worse than predecessors that have been forcibly discarded.
 
Ignored by Gang members, conservatives must demonstrably return the favor – demanding something better, something transparent and concrete from the House of Representatives...or an end to the whole “comprehensive” process.

Question of the Week   
Where in the U.S. Constitution is the requirement for a decennial census?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Privacy expectations should not be lost just because digital and electronic information is transferred through wires or enters a remote server (the Cloud). If the government searched an individual's mail or home, it would need a warrant first. This same standard should apply to all property, including electronic data. But 48 of 50 states are failing to protect private data from government intrusion…[more]
 
 
—Anna Parsons, ALEC Center for Innovation and Technology
— Anna Parsons, ALEC Center for Innovation and Technology
 
Liberty Poll   

Should the 2020 U.S. Census add a multi-part question regarding U.S. citizenship, including specifically whether the respondent is or is not a U.S. citizen?