Debra Burlingame

Phony immigration reform bill is comprehensively bad

In the National Review Online today, the Hudson Institute’s John Fonte spells out why the immigration reform legislation now before Congress is no “grand deal.” The bill has one-day amnesty, tax amnesty, faux enforcement “triggers,” weak employer verification, and no exit system for guest workers. In addition, we are asked to just trust criminal gang members.

Below the fold, Mr. Fonte adds:

* “Section 136: Nothing in this section may be construed to provide additional authority to any State or local entity to enforce Federal immigration laws.” Why not? The illegal aliens who were part of the Fort Dix terrorist conspiracy were stopped by local law enforcement 56 times but their immigration status was never checked. This bill does nothing to ensure cooperation between local and federal officials in combating terrorism.

* No real merit or skills-based (point) system instead current extended family chain migration is accelerated: The chain migration of extended family members will continue and be greatly expanded for the next eight years and only then would a skills-based merit (points) system supposedly go into effect. That is, if you really believe that after eight years a skills system would be adopted against strong business and liberal opposition.

* The term “assimilation” disappears; the concept of “Americanization” never appears; and the Euro-speak weasel word “integration” enters the text. Thus, 100 million federal dollars will be given to states and cities to award grants to “nonprofit organizations with experience working with immigrant communities” for “effective integration of immigrants into American society.”

In plain language this means that the State of Illinois’s Office of New Americans funnels federal funds to groups like La Raza and MALDEF. The type of “integration” that the new citizens will be learning can be gleaned from remarks of Jose Luis Gutierrez, the head of the Illinois Office of New Americans as reported in the Chicago Tribune April 6, 2007.

“The nation-state concept is changing. You don’t have to say, `I am Mexican,’ or, `I am American.’ You can be a good Mexican citizen and a good American citizen and not have that be a conflict of interest. Sovereignty is flexible.”

Gutierrez is a dual citizen who is actively involved in Mexican politics. He votes in both the US and Mexico and is active in political campaigns in both nations. His political allegiance is clearly divided. He will not choose the United States over Mexico. Remember this is the guy in charge of assimilation; sorry, I mean “integration.” In short, the Senate bill can’t even get assimilation right.


House and Senate Republicans launch “John Doe” protection

This is critical legislation in fighting the War on Terror here at home. Whether they are airline passengers, subway riders, or, in the case of the “Fort Dix Six,” a retail store clerk, we owe them protection for stepping up and reporting suspicious behavior. They should not have to worry about getting sued if they “see something, and say something.”

9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America thanks Congressmen Pearce, King and Shuster, and Senators Collins, Kyl and Lieberman for leading the way.

Congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico

CONTACT: Brian Phillips 202-225-4759

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Stevan Pearce, along with Rep. Peter King and Rep. Bill Shuster, introduced a bill today that would protect those who come forward to report suspicious activity from frivolous civil liability prosecution.

If passed, the bill, known commonly as the ‘John Doe’ protection legislation, would grant immunity to anyone who alerted transportation security to actions believed to be threatening or to any personnel that “takes reasonable action to mitigate such activity.”

“We cannot have Americans thinking twice when it comes matters of national security,” said Congressman Pearce. “If a passenger sees something threatening, they should report it immediately and do so without the specter of potential prosecution hanging over their head.”

“Alert Americans are often our first and last line of defense in protecting the country from terrorist attacks. They should not face potential prosecution for doing the right thing and coming forward to report suspicious activity.

“It is a sad commentary that this kind of common sense has to be written into law, but we must make it clear to America’s enemies that they can not exploit our system of justice.”

On Friday, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, along with Senator John Kyl, introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

“I appreciate the effort of Senators Collins, Kyl and Lieberman to move this initiative forward,” said Pearce. “Their leadership will be crucial to address this pressing matter of national security. We expect the same kind of bipartisan support for this legislation in the Senate that we found here in the House.”

In addition, the Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee Peter King said: “In a post-9/11 reality, passenger vigilance is essential to security. If we fail to protect passengers that report suspicious behavior, it would be a huge victory for terrorists. It is terrific news that Chairman Lieberman and Ranking Member Collins have thrown their weight behind this important measure. If we expect the 9/11 bill to be meaningful, substantive homeland security legislation, the ‘John Doe’ protections for passengers must remain a part of it.”

Rep. Shuster commented: “No American should ever be sued because they tried to stop a terrorist act. No American should be forced to second guess a decision to alert authorities that could save the lives of other. This legislation will protect vigilant American against the threat of punitive and frivolous lawsuits whose only objective is to chill public involvement in the War on Terror when we need it most. I applaud Rep. Pearce and Rep. King for their leadership in spearheading this legislation with me.”