Thorner: Immigration reform stops at the border – part 1

June 21, 2013

An editorial appearing in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, June 16, conveyed this message:  “Immigration reform doesn’t stop at the border.”  The editorial likewise chastised Senator Mark Kirk for rightly believing that border security should be the first order of business.

Has any member of the Tribune’s editorial staff ever read the 1,077 page “Gang of Eight” bill to know what is really in it?

According to a recent Scott Rasmussen poll, the Tribune differs with 64% of immigration reform supporters who put border control first.

S. 744 doesn’t require any additional border fencing or completion of the current border fence requirement. It only requires the DHS to submit to Congress a fencing strategy in which DHS recommends what additional fencing is needed along the U.S.-Mexican border, if any.

A majority of senators, believing that agreeing to an amendment to build a fence would doom S. 744, don’t want to delay granting illegal immigrants legal status while the fence is being built.

On Tuesday, June 18 senators accordingly rejected an amendment proposed by Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota which would have built the 700 miles of double-tier border fencing Congress authorized seven years ago.  Senator Rubio voted against building the fence, as did the rest of the Gang of Eight.

Of concern is the Cornyn Border Security Amendment that is being advertised as a fix to S. 744. Notice that Cornyn’s amendment has “security” in its title, even though this amendment provides border security only after amnesty has already been given to the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.  It represents a Trojan Horse in disguise.

Cornyn’s amendment also uses weak, arbitrary benchmarks that can be manipulated by DHS and which do nothing to guarantee future security or enforcement.  The amendment likewise doesn’t address the new flows of illegal immigration that would continue to enter this nation every year without a secure border. Even so Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has intimated that passing Cornyn’s amendment would get upward of 80% of senators to support S. 744.

Disconcerting is that Tribune editors are not familiar with Kenneth Palinkas, President, Citizenship and Immigration Services Council (1,200 members strong), who wrote the senate Gang of Eight on June 5 asking why the Senate would pass a bill that makes it even more difficult for USCIS officers to identify, remove, or keep out public safety threats.

Kenneth Palinkas conveyed this message to the Gang of Eight which should be heeded by all legislators and the American people who at this point are confused over what to believe:

History tells us that future promises will not be kept and that our border agents will be left high and dry by the executive branch as they have so many times before, regardless of who writes the plan.  Even if you completely rewrote your proposal to resolve the many border security concerns and changed the ordering to delay legalization, the legislation would still fail — and would still endanger the public — because of the fatally flawed interior enforcement components.  As S. 744 is currently structured, it provides for a massive increase in the flow of casework while making no reforms to our broken adjudications process. 

 Concluding letter remarks:

If this legislation were enacted tomorrow, ICE officers would continue to be powerless to effectively enforce our nation’s laws and provide for public safety as S. 744 does noting to end these dangerous agency and department-level directives. [ICE officers are currently directed by DHS to allow adult inmates in jails to lie about their “Dreamer” status in order to avoid immigration arrest.  As a result, inmates are permitted to simply walk out of jails without being required to provide proof of dreamer status and without any investigation by ICE.]  DHS will most certainly continue to issue these types of directives which will continue to deteriorate the ability of ICE to provide for public safety and national security. 

We therefore conclude that this legislation fails to meet the needs of the law enforcement community and would, in fact, be a significant barrier to the creation of a safe and lawful system of immigration.

Need more be said?  May saner heads prevail among U.S. Republican senators who are presently in the amnesty first crowd.

Part 2:  Thorner Confronts the Tribune:  Exploring the Tribune’s editorial misstatements, scheduled for publication on Friday, June 20.,

Thursday, June 20, 2013 at 03:00 PM | Permalink

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